The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash were at Cowboy Monkey last Thursday and were phenomenal. It’s a shame that there weren’t more people there to see them, but those who did attend seemed completely wrapped up in the show. If you catch their name being promoted again, be sure to go to the show. They’re a perfect blend of rootsy-Americana, old school country and a little rockabilly – plus their guitar player has outstanding tone on that Tele.

Tonight Tally Hall will make their triumphant return to Cowboy Monkey. Last spring they made Champaign a stop on their month-long residency tour, and gained many local fans by putting on solid shows with tons of harmonies, shirts and ties, kazoos, catchy originals and Biz Markie covers. Since their last show in town, they’ve toured extensively, had songs on shows like The OC and The Real World, and appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Check out for song samples. Also, be sure to get there early to catch local favorites Stella Polaris in addition to Chicago-based NYCO’s first show with Anthony Gravino. You might remember Anthony from local band Temple of Low Men (one of my favorite bands of all-time). Showtime is 9:30 p.m., and the cover is only $7.

For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon that is the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, a little background: A touring family made up of dad (Jason, on guitars/vocals), mom (Tina, on slides), and daughter (Rachel, on drums/bass), the Trachtenburgs write and perform songs based on slide collections that they’ve picked up at thrift stores, estate sales and anywhere else one might find slides for sale. And for these guys it’s the stranger, the better. Sound interesting? Well, it’s a blast. You can see these guys right here in town tomorrow night (Friday, Sept. 15) at the Highdive. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $12. Trust me when I say it’s worth it. Got some old slides sitting around? Take them in to donate. I’m betting that having

a song written about you on a Christmas morning sporting Smurfs pajamas would be pretty awesome. Furthermore, the earliness of this show leaves plenty of time for you to get over to the Vertebrats’ reunion show at the Iron Post!

The Vertebrats are often named when those who know anything about the CU music scene start talking about the best of the best. During the very late ’70s and early ’80s, they reigned supreme regionally, writing songs that would eventually be covered by the Replacements and Uncle Tupelo. Their local legend is huge, and with good reason. What should that mean to you? Well, it means that you might want to check them out this weekend as they play two reunion shows at the Iron Post. At 9 p.m. on both Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept. 16, the Brats will rock Urbana. Advance tickets are available at the Iron Post for $10. The price will bump to $12 at the door, assuming there are any tickets left. Also, as part of some sort of “Reunion Week 2006” thing, the Didjits will have a reunion show on Saturday at the Highdive at 8 p.m., with tickets at $10. Not wanting to miss the opportunity of capitalizing on the reunion craze, Nate Jones (of local funkmasters Brother Embassy) made several calls to his old madrigals group. No calls were returned.

If you’re in the mood for something a little more quiet on Saturday, the Canopy Club is the place to be. Headliner (and Charleston native) Charlotte Martin will be making her second CU appearance within the last year, this time bringing a drummer along for the ride. Writing catchy piano pop tunes with excellent melodies, Charlotte has been picking up fanatical fans and critical praise over the last several years while touring the nation and recording with a major label. It also doesn’t hurt to be married to Ken Andrews (Failure, Year of the Rabbit), who deftly produces her albums. On tour opening for Charlotte is ABC Network-favorite songwriter Joe Purdy, who in the last two years has found his songs on shows like Lost and Grey’s Anatomy. You’ll likely recognize “Wash Away” right off the bat. Also on the bill is Madison, WI band The Buffali – an indie-pop duo with male/female vocals. Check them all out by heading to and running a search. Don’t pretend like you don’t have a Myspace page. Tickets for this show are $10 in advance, and $12 at the door.

Tune in to 107.1 WPGU on Sunday night at 9 p.m. to catch Super Fun Sundays with Satan’s Beer Vomit, as scene-supporting DJ Travis Wayne Hurt invites several local musicians in to play children’s songs on the air. No, seriously.

Speaking of radio appearances – elsinore will appear on this week’s WEFT Sessions. Every Monday night at 10 p.m. on 90.1, you can catch an hour of live, in-studio music performed by a local band. If you’re in the area of the station (113 N. Market, next to Mike N Molly’s in downtown Champaign), you can swing on in to be part of the studio audience. It may be a little cramped this week, but in that good, sexy way.

Mike Ingram wants to be your Myspace friend, so long as you’re not one of those people who leaves flashing pictures that say things like “have a great weekend!!!” in his comments. He likes the smell of cut grass and is terrible with names. He is a local musician and booking agent, and is also the local music director at WEFT, where he books WEFT Sessions. But he doesn’t host it unless Todd is out of town – never when Todd is in town. Contact him with show news or to talk about hats with pre-frayed brims at

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