A lot of things to get to right off the bat, as there are several great shows happening in the space of tonight (Thursday). In terms of the local scene, the place to be tonight is Cowboy Monkey where three excellent local acts will release new CDs. Kicking off the night at 10 p.m. will be Curb Service (Larry Gates of Lorenzo Goetz), who has a new full-length titled Little Red Recovery Room. The album features guest appearances from Krukid, Brandon T. Washington, Ryan Groff and more. Look for some possible guest spots during the set. The Beauty Shop will play second and will be offering up a new five-song EP of (apparently) quickly recorded demos. Shipwreck will finish the night, playing songs from their new full-length RITKWANDO (standing for Rabbit in the Kitchen with a New Dress On). Shipwreck will use this show as a kickoff for a nationwide tour that will take them all the way to the West Coast and back, then south, then to the East Coast. Check their MySpace page, and tell your friends in other cities to go and see them. Tonight’s show will cost you $8 at the door.

Earlier in the evening and in the rarely used (for shows) space of Caffe Paradiso, Mount Eerie (formerly The Microphones) will play what I believe is their first show in CU. For $7, you can catch this indie buzz band along with Privacy and Mit’n in a nice, cozy setting. Be sure to support the venue by ordering some coffee or a snack. 6 p.m.

At 7 p.m., the Canopy Club will start the first of two great shows on the same night. The Appleseed Cast along with Oceans and Butterfly Assassins will play (tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door). The doors will open later for a second show featuring From the Tops of Trees, Snowsera and the Western Civilization ($5 in advance, $7 at the door).

Friday night also brings many great choices on the show front. At the Iron Post in Urbana, the Greytones will host a CD release show for their new disc, Penumbra. 9 p.m., $5. The band is fronted by CU-scene legacy Megan Johns, who also has her own CD (recorded and produced by Andy Lund) available. Speaking of Andy Lund, it seems his band, Temple of Low Men, will likely play a couple of pre-New Year’s Eve shows at Cowboy Monkey. Fitting that the first band to play the venue will play a couple of the last shows as well. Keep an eye out for more details.

The Highdive will get far eastern-crazy Friday as Melt-Banana, the popular Japanese band, play a show with Parts & Labor. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. and is only $10 in advance. I think the band name alone is worth that.

Later and down the block, Cowboy Monkey will host the Black Angels along with two strong locals in the Tractor Kings and the Living Blue. With tickets only available at the door, you’ll want to make it to the club before the 10 p.m. start time if you want to ensure your place in the crowd.

The always pleasant Lynn O’Brien will make a rare-ish mid-semester appearance at the Courtyard Café on Saturday night, playing a set at 8 p.m. No word on support or really about any other aspect of the show, so make some phone calls to make sure you catch her set.

Sunday night will once again bring the 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday series back to the Iron Post, and this weekend, the show will start with local funk rock supergroup Brother Embassy. The spicy middle will be filled by Kayla Brown with accompaniment from this columnist. If that right there isn’t enough to make you want to drop the $3.50, the last spot will be covered by Texas band the Western Civilization (check them out at myspace.com/thewesterncivilization).

Wednesday is Halloween, and its falling on a Wednesday means that lots of bars will try to capitalize on it by having things on both weekends. But you know and I know that Halloween is actually on Wednesday and that all of the true awesomeness will only happen on that night. And we all also know that there’s nothing better when in your slutty pirate or slutty nurse costume than dancing to ridiculous ’80s tunes as supplied by DJ Mingram. So drop by Cowboy Monkey at 10:30 p.m., and make some requests for your favorite Nelson or New Kids song, and show off the costume that you worked so hard on.

-Mike Ingram can be reached at forgottenwords@gmail.com.

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