Aw crap, it’s Halloween again (oh yeah and some election thing … )

Here come the slutty costumes and the complaints about being cold in said costumes! Hooray! But before we get into Halloween proper, let’s discuss the fact that Tuesday brings us the chance to have our voices heard (unless you vote Democrat in Ohio — we’re still not sure if your voice will be heard). I don’t care who you vote for, people, just vote. This election has certainly done a better job of turning out young voters, which is great, considering how completely worthless the 18-to-25 crowd has been in recent decades. And don’t just decide that your vote isn’t worth anything on either side in Illinois — there are plenty of down-ticket races that could be very close, on top of the fact that high turnout is a big deal. So take a few minutes to read up on the issues that are important to you, and then vote based on that and not on any kind of silliness. This columnist will be driving people to the polls all day, so if you need help getting to a polling place, e-mail for more information.
I’ll also be hosting a show on election night at Cowboy Monkey featuring Ryan Groff (of Elsinore), Mike Droho and the Compass Rose (formerly the Profits) and more. The idea is to hang out with others and watch the results come across the TV while listening to some great music (the presence of alcohol might also make the evening more fun). The evening will kick off at 9 p.m., and there is no cover.
Turning back the clock to shows that are happening this weekend before the election because Halloween is always a big night to catch a show, and it just happens to fall on a Friday this year. First off, tonight, Cowboy Monkey will host DJ LEGTWO (Larry E. Gates II — for those keeping score, formerly of Lorenzo Goetz and currently of Curb Service), laying down an evening of hip-hop, R&B, soul, and more. The night is also rumored to feature some special guests including Krukid. There is no cover charge and the needle drops at 10 p.m.
Elsewhere, the 88 Broadway piano bar will host a free show from jazzy songstress Cara Maurizi starting at 7 p.m. Underpaid Packy is tackling an unlikely room, playing Firehaus starting at 9:30 p.m. Man, I played there when back when it was R&R’s. Old. Let’s get to Halloween already.
Choices, choices, choices. Here’s where that crafty costume might get you some cash. Ladies, I understand the urge to go as Sarah Palin is overwhelming, but believe me when I say you’ll run into at least ten other girls dressed the same way. At the first bar you go to. Right by the front door before you can even wander around. And yes, they will all think that they’ve got the accent down, too. It’s like the damn Burger King mask all over again. Also, let’s not make UIUC the site of the next blackface exposé on Dateline, okay? Aren’t we all smarter than that? Yes, even if you’re trying to go as Robert Downey Jr. from Tropic Thunder, it’s still going to offend people. So, with those things in mind, let’s figure out where you can win some cash and/or prizes…
The Brat Pack have a long tradition of treating every night like it’s Halloween in the 80s, so it is fitting that they will be playing the Highdive on Friday. While 80s costumes are certainly not necessary, they might help grease the wheels to get you into the running for the cash prizes available during the judging period (11-midnight). How much cash? It’s a secret, it seems, but several places will be awarded. The night starts at 9:30 p.m., and there is a $7 cover.
Another costume contest will commence at 10 p.m. at Radio Maria, the restaurant that occasionally turns into a rock venue, at Taylor and Walnut in downtown Champaign. If you’re not feeling 80s covers, you might instead enjoy the stylings of both the Living Blue and Elsinore, who will both convene to decide a costume contest winner who will receive $200 in cash. Second and third places will also win prizes. The $15 cover will get you in to see two of the area’s best bands playing in a cool space that will likely be filled with lingerie. And that’s just behind the Elsinore drum kit on Dave Pride—who knows what the other show-goers will be wearing?
Other venues will be hosting Halloween shows, but no official word on bucks for your costume or other prizes. Canopy Club has a loaded bill featuring Cornmeal, Family Groove Company, JoBu, and Zmick is you’re in the mood for some epic jams, and the Courtyard Café is hosting Sense L, Manifest, Supastition, and Krukid if you’re looking for solid beats and rhymes. Check the venue pages for more information.
–Mike Ingram can be reached at VOTE.

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