Smile Politely

The Overture: Sept. 15 — Sept. 21, 2008

With work, family and Google image searches, who has the time to find out about the best shows happening in Champaign-Urbana? No need to fear, because the editors here at Smile Politely have taken care of it. Here are the must see shows of the week:

Wednesday Sept. 17: Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s – The Canopy, 6 p.m., $17

Mere hours before the start of The Pygmalion Music Festival, you can catch one of the best eight-member bands out of Indiana (there are a lot, for the record), Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s. Their explosive and epic “folk” songs are powered by two percussionists, strings, lap steel, piano and anything else they can get their hands on. Margot puts on such an amazing live performance that it’s worth the embarrassment of going to a show that has Motion City Soundtrack headlining. It’ll also be a good chance to hear new material from Animal and Not Animal; Margot’s newest albums simultaneously dropping on October 7. _(Ed. note: Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s have canceled their performance this Wednesday)_

Wednesday Sept. 17: Mock Orange – Mike N’ Molly’s, 9 p.m., $4

Stop by Mike N’ Molly’s to see another great Indiana band this Wednesday night. Mock Orange, hailing from Evansville, has been playing together for over a decade. With dueling vocals and quivering melodies, the four-piece sounds like a pop-oriented Wolf Parade. Some of their latest material compares to post- Good News for People Who Love Bad News Modest Mouse. It’s very polished, very well executed indie rock. They’ll be playing with C-U’s New Ruins and The Withersins.

Wednesday Sept. 17-Saturday Sept. 20: Pygmalion Music Festival – Canopy Club/ Krannert Center/ More, $50 (for festival pass)

Bringing some of the most renowned, blog buzzed and talented acts around into C-U, Pygmalion Music Festival (in its fourth year) is something that shouldn’t be missed. Combining amazing national and international acts with the best of the local scene, Pygmalion will not only be an awesome time, but can also serve as an education in contemporary music culture. Venues include the Canopy, Krannert Center, Krannert Art Museum, Red Herring, Blues BBQ and Jennifer North. Though there’s a lot to see, don’t miss Monotonix, Dan Deacon, The Hood Internet and of course, Yo La Tengo. Individual tickets, if the pass doesn’t suit you, can also be bought for shows.

Friday Sept. 19: U of I Symphony Orchestra – Krannert Center (Foellinger Great Hall), 7:30 p.m., $10/ $7 senior citizen/ $4 student

Start your weekend with a culturally uplifting experience by checking out the University of Illinois’ Symphony Orchestra. Students in the UISO will be performing in the renowned Foellinger Great Hall—known for its superb acoustics. For the twelfth consecutive season, Donald Schleicher will be conducting the orchestra’s first performance of the school year.

_(Ed. Note — Full Disclosure: A founding member of Smile Politely also produces Pygmalion Music Festival.)_

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