Smile Politely

CobraFest in Tolono will make your Weird Jingoist Holiday Weekend heavy and awesome

If you’ve never been to Loose Cobra in Tolono, you should change that this weekend. Look, I don’t care if you like heavy and loud guitar music, honestly. If you do, great, there’s probably no reason for you to hear me out. You can just go to CobraFest tomorrow.  

But if you don’t like heavy guitar music, or if you think you don’t like it, I would argue that you need to give yourself a chance to experience what it sounds like in a parking lot next to an old IGA at a bar in a small town like Tolono. There’s a unique component here, and in this particular parking lot, in that there is a stage built on site, and the PA being used is one of the loudest and cleanest around. It’s the work of multiple audio engineers collecting and restoring equipment for literally a decade, and now, it’s ready to be unleashed, like a… um… like a, like a… like a Loose Cobra.

OK! Fine, fuck it, I wrote that. OK. Sorry! 

The lineup is pretty awesome, if you are into rock music the way I still am. Terminus Victor has been a band in Champaign-Urbana since 1946, yet Don and Scotty transcend time and space and travel wormholes to maintain their youthful allure and naughty exuberance.

Cloakroom and Sweet Cobra are two touring acts that frequent the area. Click on this page to listen to the song “Slivered” by the latter. I’ve always loved how well their drummer handles the sludge. But both awesome. Cloakroom has a particular place for me, in that Matt Talbott produced their debut LP, and sang on a track as well. It’s a super good song

Frontier Folk Nebraska has been making the trip to the CU area from Cincinnati for a long time now, and we hosted them at PYGMALION a few years back too. Awesome shit. 

Our Landmark practiced across the street from our house for a long time, and filled our block with riffs and huge drums and I think I was the only one sort of cheering while it was happening. They are a terrific band. Justin Gee is one of my favorites. Whole band is great, but I have a musical crush on Justin. Always have. 

Looks like Matt is going to play some tunes as well. It’s not been the easiest week for the fellas in HUM. So this would be a great chance to get out and be the sort of family a music scene can be when times get rough. 

Here’s the full rundown: 

Bonus points: the margaritas that Loose Cobra makes are legitimately the best I have had from the hands of pasty white gringos. And they serve it from a little “tiki” bar just off the patio. There’ll be BBQ from Chester’s truck, which is never a bad thing, and yes, that pairs well with a full day of face-melting, gnarly ass heavy ass guitar music to indulge in. 

America is truly a magnificent place in so many ways. The National Park System alone allows us to at least appreciate how lucky we are to be living somewhere with such majestic beauty almost always within a day of driving.

But the systems of control that educate us, and police us, and govern us, well, they pretty much suck. It is not all that good mostly.

So this is how I am going to celebrate America in this way, in this year. There’s beauty in this sort of heavy music. Give it a shot. Might change some things around for you.

Top image courtesy of Loose Cobra Facebook page.

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