Smile Politely

The Overture: Sept. 22 – Sept. 28, 2008

With work, family and On-Demand television, 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:

Tuesday Sept. 23: Cameron McGill – Mike ‘n’ Molly’s, 9:00pm, $3

Cameron McGill, a former Champaign-Urbana local who made his way to Chicago, will make his way to Mike N’ Molly’s this Tuesday. McGill’s style can be summarized by what is written on his acoustic guitar: “This Machine Kills Hipsters.” Not only does it give a solid indication of his influences, but it also tells what he is not influenced by; the trends and fads that dominate contemporary culture. McGill plays honest folk and country-inspired rock songs with sincerity and talent. His backing band, What Army, follows suit and puts natural but gripping arrangements around McGill’s songs. Come to Mike N’ Molly’s to see a great show free of any drum machines or ironic facial hair.

Friday Sept. 26- Grass Roots Revival – Kickapoo Canoe Landing, 5:30 p.m.

On the grounds of the Kickapoo State Park in Oakwood sits a great place to go canoeing, see the scenery and to hear live music; Kickapoo Canoe Landing. The Landing has been hosting live music all summer in its Dockside Café, and though fall seems to be just around the corner, this Friday will be no different. The Grass Roots Revival, those friendly people playing bluegrass at Urbana’s farmers’ market, will play from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Friday Sept. 26- Steve B. & The Love Messengers (Soul & Jazz?)- Iron Post, 9 p.m., $3

Do you like the words “funk,” “old,” “soul” and “school?” What if you rearrange them? Come to the Iron Post to see what will surely be a lively set of old school funk and soul performed by Steve B. and his Love Messengers. Steve B. will be accompanied by seven talented U of I students including Zane Ranney (the genre-bending drummer from Organic Flow and World’s First Flying Machine). Shameless plugs aside, this show will be a lot of fun.

Saturday Sept. 27: Bang on a Can All-Stars w/ Glen Kotche and Lee Ranaldo – Colwell Playhouse (Krannert Center), 12 p.m., $14-$30

The Bang on a Can All-Stars arose from New York’s Bang on a Can Festival. The All-Stars, an ensemble made to blur the lines between classical and pop music, are described as “part rock band and part amplified chamber group.” They’ll be performing a 12-hour music marathon where the audience is encouraged to come and go as they please. Joining the sextet will be Lee Ranaldo from Sonic Youth and Glen Kotche from Wilco. Expect to see pieces by Brian Eno and Steve Reich performed.

Saturday Sept. 27: LoveLikeFire and Drew Danbury – Courtyard Café, $3 student/ $5

LoveLikeFire is one-word. It’s spaceless and, like they’re music, seamless. Their songs are powered by driving guitar and polished tones to create a clean, cohesive sound. Stopping by at the Courtyard Café in the Illini Student Union, LLF will be showcasing their high intensity-rock. Female lead vocals make the band stand out from other hi-hat driven rock bands. Drew Danbury, a great low-key folk-pop songwriter, will also be performing.

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