The benefit show for the Paul Martin Memorial Fund, highlighted in such publications as my awesome column last week, will rock the Highdive this Friday. Paul, an avid music fan in general, and a lover of all things local, passed away in January – though his mustache will live on in our memories. Of the eight children he left behind, three are still very young, prompting an education fund to be set up. You can contribute to this fund and see a fantastic show at the same time on Friday. Set to take the Highdive stage: Cameron McGill – Champaign-native turned Chicagoan, mighty with the pen; Erin Fein and Tristan Wraight – Headlights front-persons make an incredibly rare acoustic appearance, meaning anything could happen; elsinore – local rockers will cut short a recording session to lend a hand; Darling Disarm – Kayla Brown finally has a solid rhythm section behind her; Leslie Stevens – the California singer and friend of Cameron McGill is all about helping. That’s quite an awesome lineup already, but there are other acts rumored. Will Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s lead singer Richard Edwards drop in for a solo set? Might Adam Schmitt make a rare appearance with cohort Anthony Gravino? I don’t know – they won’t call back. But we’ll see! The cover charge will be a minimum donation of $7, but you can obviously feel free to contribute more than that, though I doubt that Espi will respond nicely to any requests for receipts for tax purposes. Ask at your own risk. 9 p.m. start time.

Thursday is the official kickoff date for this year’s Summer Camp Festival in Chillicothe, Ill., and this year’s lineup will once again include some local bands. Santa, Zmick and Kilborn Alley will be included alongside bands like moe., Tea Leaf Green and Keller Williams. You can find more info about tickets and camping passes at www.summercampfestival.com/2007.

On Thursday night, Cowboy Monkey will once again play host to a comedy night, this time featuring Jarrod Harris, Elise Crocker and buzz columnist Mike Coulter with stories about what a crotchety fucker he is. Cover is only $5 for a night of hilarity starting at 9 p.m. Recent open mic goers might be a little pensive about comedy on the Cowboy Monkey stage, but trust me, it had nothing to do with the room.

Also on Thursday evening, Barb Hamilton will play Aroma CafÇ’s weekly acoustic series for free at 8 p.m. Aroma now has a freezer full of ice cream sandwiches and the like. Relive your childhood by eating an orange push pop. You know you want to. Over at the Iron Post you can catch a set from the Jake Hertzog Trio at 7 p.m. for $5. That’s the good kind of jazz, folks.

Friday’s ongoing happy hour battle between Cowboy Monkey and the Iron Post continues this week, as the Post plays host (yeah, I typed it) to the Jeff Helgesen Quintet at 5 p.m. while the Monkey presents the New Orleans Jazz Machine at 5:30 p.m. This week, victory in the battle is claimed by CM’s Ward Gollings, who entered the cover charge on openingbands.com as “FREE!” Take that, Paul Wirth, with your “no cover.” Of course, those who know Paul are probably just excited to see that for the cover charge he didn’t put “go fuck yourself.” So, there’s that.

Later at the Iron Post you can catch Lynn O’Brien and Chris Garneau. 10 p.m., $5.

In the spirit of all of the fests that have been overrunning the CU area in recent months, Duo-fest will sally forth on Saturday night at Mike ‘n Molly’s. The cover charge will only be $2 to coincide with the whole “duo” thing (reports that Seth Fein is planning a Quintet-fest, Septet-fest after 10 p.m. may or may not be true). The lineup is made up entirely of two-piece bands, including Triple Whip, Water Between Continents, Clatter, The International Theatre of War and The Rise and Fall of Tomax and Xomat. Triple Whip drummer Jane Boxall hints at other surprises, including some collaborations. My hope is that I will walk in the doors to find downtown Champaign’s own Margaret asking for my $2 cover charge. Starts at 8!

A quick hop over Walnut Street will take you to the release show for Brother Embassy’s epic new album, Music Knows No Color But Love. For one night only (actually, for one set only), Cowboy Monkey will become a funk palace. People of all ages and races will suddenly find themselves unable to control their bodies. They will be driven to get funky. Showtime is 10 p.m., with a $5 cover. Tourvere and mad mardigan will open the show. Sunday brings along another installment of 7-9 Sundays at the Iron Post. Three bands, three styles, two hours. This week: New Ruins, Kate Hathaway and Tourvere. $3.50 at the door.

Casados – fresh from a nationwide tour – will step into the Great Hall at WEFT on Monday for a WEFT Sessions performance. You can listen from 10-11 p.m. on 90.1 FM, or you can head on down to the station at 113 N. Market in Champaign to watch live.

Tuesday night brings the fantastic Iowa band Death Ships back to town. Previously seen in CU playing with elsinore, and also playing as Jay Bennett’s backing band and opener, the band will make a stop at Cowboy Monkey. 10 p.m., $5. The Confines also play.

Mike Ingram can be reached at forgottenwords@gmail.com. Hey, why not?

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