Smile Politely

The Overture: November 2-8

WHAT: GWAR, Battlecross, Isle Nine Asylum, Portals

WHERE: Canopy Club ($20 advance/$25 door)

WHEN: Monday, November 2nd at 8 p.m.

Sure, Halloween is over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get spooky anymore. Perhaps one of the spookiest bands of all time, GWAR, hits Canopy on Monday, and you definitely don’t want to miss this one if you just haven’t quite gotten over Halloween yet.

WHAT: Pageant, Motes, Waterfowl

WHERE: Canopy Club ($7)

WHEN: Tuesday, November 3rd at 9 p.m.

Both Motes and Waterfowl have been making waves in the C-U music scene lately, including a killer set from Motes at The Pygmalion Festival and a newly released record from Waterfowl last week. Add these together wtih the uniqueness of Pageant, and you’ve got one killer show lined up.

WHAT: Young the Giant, Wildling

WHERE: Canopy Club (sold out)

WHEN: Wednesday, November 4th and Thursday, November 5th

When I first heard that Young The Giant were playing two dates in Champaign, I thought that it was perhaps overly-ambitious, but I was proved wrong when this show sold out, even given a re-scheduling from last winter to this fall. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you can think what you want about Young The Giant, but their lead singer has one of the best voices in music today — and that, alone, should make this show worth it… if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket.


WHAT: CU Folk & Roots Festival

WHERE: Various places, Downtown Urbana

WHEN: Thursday, November 5th through Sunday, November 8th

A four day festival accross 9 venues in C-U… what’s not to love? Full lineup and details can be accessed via the link above.


WHAT: Isaac Arms

WHERE: Aroma Cafe (free)

WHEN: Thursday, November 5th at 6 p.m.

One of the most important mainstays in C-U’s vibrant music scene has been Isaac Arms, the frontman of Withershins. When he’s not playing shows, he’s helping others play shows. This Thursday, he is playing a very rare 2-hour-long solo set, and you don’t want to miss it.


WHAT: PHOX, Cougar

WHERE: The Highdive ($13)

WHEN: Thursday, November 5th at 7 p.m.

Phox are certainly one of the most unique bands in modern indie-music, combining brilliant female vocals against a folk/pop background. After a couple of years in hibernation (and a couple of years since they’ve been to C-U), their new record is set to be bigger and better than ever. I would suggest seeing these guys in Champaign while you can, because next time, you may not be able to get a ticket.


WHAT: Somi

WHERE: Krannert Center Studio Theatre ($10-44)

WHEN: Thursday, November 5th through Saturday, November 7th

It’s rare that drinks are allowed inside the Studio Theatre (or anywhere in Krannert, for that matter), but this weekend is an execption for Somi, a jazz group that has owned the charts lately. Turn up, Krannert style.


WHAT: Cedric Watson, Les Amis Creole

WHERE: Allen Hall (free)

WHEN: Thursday, November 5th at 7:30 p.m.

In a very rare performance at Allen Hall’s main lounge, Cedric Watson bring a night of free Creole music to the U of I’s campus. Catering will be provided by J. Gumbo’s for maximum effect. It’ll feel just like being in Louisiana, just without the humidity and with a worse football team.


WHAT: Butler Pons Duo

WHERE: Sipyard ($5 suggested donation)

WHEN: Friday, November 6th at 8 p.m.

Sipyard just opened up this past weekend, but they already have a killer show planned for this weekend, featuring some of the most cutting-edge percussion in the country. 


WHAT: Dalipop, Hot Bag O’ Donuts, Hot Hand Luke & The Sound

WHERE: Mike N Molly’s ($7)

WHEN: Friday, November 6th at 9 p.m.

With the departure of lead singer Kenna Mae to New Orleans, it’s hard to say when the next time we’ll be able to catch Dalipop will be. As such, this show is extremely important, because these guys are really fun to see live.


WHAT: Daemonweed, Gonzo Diablo

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey

WHEN: Friday, November 6th at 9 p.m.

I’ll be honest, with a name and a picture like that, I’m extremely frightened, but also extremely interested, at what Daemonweed will bring to Cowboy Monkey on Friday – I guess I’ll just have to stop by to see what it’s all about.

WHAT: Bone Thugs N Harmony, TRUTH aka Trouble, Jarrel Young

WHERE: Canopy Club ($31 advance / $36 door)

WHEN: Friday, November 6th at 9:30 p.m.

When I first heard Bone Thugs were coming to Canopy, I lost my mind. I haven’t found it since. Although I’m a little distraught that Bones Jugs N Harmony aren’t opening up, this cast of local openers is no slouch, either. Per the poster, BTNH will be playing all of their hits, which should make for a raucous Friday night.


WHAT: Joe Nichols

WHERE: City Center ($30-45)

WHEN: Saturday, November 7th at 7 p.m.

The City Center has been one of C-U’s most pleasant surprises of late, and this weekend is no exception, as they host Joe Nichols. Is there a better time to check out Champaign’s newest venue? I’d wager this is the perfect time.


WHAT: Sinfonia De Camera Series: Andres Cardenes

WHERE: Krannert Center Foellinger Great Hall (price varies)

WHEN: Saturday, November 7th at 7:30 p.m.

For the latest in their Sinfonia De Camera series, Krannert Center enlists former concertmaster for the PIttsburgh Symphony: Andres Cardenes. Saturday night’s concer will feature Cardenes on violin as well as conducting during the second half of the show. Come on out and get a little culture, as he plays selections from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.


WHAT: Old Fox Road, Our Lady, The Foxery, Heel Turn

WHERE: Mike N Molly’s ($7)

WHEN: Saturday, November 7th at 8 p.m.

Perhaps one of the best punk bands in town, Old Fox Road, is putting out their album, and they’d like you to come celebrate with them. The Foxery, another fox-themed band, provides support, as well as Our Lady and Heel Turn. With Phox on Thursday, I’m not sure C-U can handle this much fox at one time, but I guess we’ll have to see.


WHAT: The Ars Nova, Molehill, Slick Lisp

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey

WHEN: Saturday, November 7th at 9 p.m.

Slick LIsp have kept a fairly low profile as a local band, but this Saturday, they hit Cowboy Monkey with a pair of Chicago bands (that I believe include some University of Illinois alumni). This homecoming is sure to not disappoint.


WHAT: Moon Ring Circus

WHERE: Clark Bar (free)

WHEN: Saturday, November 7th at 9 p.m.

It’s been a year since Moon Ring Circus have hit C-U, but Saturday, they seek to make a night of it during a rare show at Clark Bar.


WHAT: The Infamous Stringdusters, The Wood Brothers

WHERE: Canopy Club ($20)

WHEN: Sunday, November 8th at 9 p.m.

If I were in a band, I would want it to be named “The Infamous Stringdusters.” It’s phenomenal in every way, shape, or form. The Wood Brothers provide support on what will certainly be a night packed full of folky fun.

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