CU Sound Revue

New students take note: there is a free show tonight (Thursday) that you need to attend. Krannert Art Museum will open its doors for an 8 p.m. show featuring two of the biggest local-but-done-good-nationally bands we’ve got. Headlights – the Polyvinyl Records band (with a song on a national Pontiac commercial) that sounds like a shoegazier Stars – will share the stage with CU royalty Poster Children. Again I say, the show is free. And it’s all ages. Believe me when I say that you don’t want to miss this fantastic night of music. Matthew Smith opens.

Going up against that show, ex-Verve Pipe singer Brian Vander Ark will perform at the Illini Union Courtyard CafÇ, with openers Ryan Groff (of elsinore) and Cary Judd. The show is also at 8 p.m., meaning that if they’re turning people away at Krannert Art Museum, you’ve got another great show right down the block. Vander Ark has made a decent name for himself as a solo act since the days of “The Freshmen.” You might even recognize his voice as the one coming from Mark Wahlberg’s character at the end of Rock Star – you know, when he gets all sensitive and sings in the coffee shop at the end. Vander Ark also starred in the movie, as the bass player in the tribute band that Wahlberg fronted. Pretty awesome.

September 6, 2007 will live in the hearts of CU music fans for awhile, as it will likely mark the night when Todd Hunter killed himself trying to get to all of the shows happening at once. That’s right, another show to report on for the evening: Angie Heaton and the Gentle Tamers have a new CD to unleash upon the world, and they will do so with a show tonight at Cowboy Monkey. The Rumor Mill is the name of the new record – possibly a nod to the rumors of the torrid love affair between Angie and Brother Embassy frontman/boating enthusiast Nate Jones. Jones could not be reached for comment, but BE guitarist Quez offered: “Nate loves those blondes!” The release show will begin at 10 p.m. with a saucy minx of an opener, Eleni Moraites. The Tamers will play in the middle, choosing to sandwich themselves between Eleni and a full-band set from Darling Disarm. DD singer Kayla Brown promises the debut of two new songs.

WEFTfest, the annual fund-raising show for the community radio station, will take place this Saturday at Mike ‘n Molly’s. Starting at 2 p.m., and hopefully out on Market Street/in the beer garden if the weather allows, an excellent group of bands will lend their music in the hopes that you’ll lend a few dollars (the show itself is free, though). On the schedule: Jazz Sandwich, Terminus Victor, the Greytones, Blues Deacons, Mhondoro Mbira Trio, Tex Wynn, and FERROCENE 3 (featuring WEFTies Eychaner/Finkelman/Rudd). To accompany the music, there will be a fish fry and other assorted foods. If you can’t make it down to the show, tune in to 90.1FM as the music from the show will be broadcast in real time.

Another cool outdoor event will happen Saturday when Allerton Park presents “Music in Nature.” At 5 p.m., the Prairie Dogs and Backyard BBQ Band will play (though I couldn’t find info on which part of the park they’ll play in – hope for the sunken garden), with the idea being that you can bring the family and a picnic blanket. Call the park for more information.

David Bazan, the frontman of Pedro the Lion and Headphones, will make a stop at the Highdive on Saturday night. I had the lucky opportunity to mix him last year at Pygmalion, and I have to say he puts on a fantastic show as a solo act. He also has tons of rabid fans who hang on every word. If you are uneducated on his former bands, you should take steps to fix that problem with a quick online search. Or, just attend his show at 7 p.m. for a well-worth-it $10. The opener for this show has not been announced.

Angie Heaton will drop by the WEFT studio on Monday to play WEFT Sessions and promote that new CD of hers, so tune in to 90.1FM from 10-11 p.m. She’s all over the place!

Next week: Pygmalion begins! Guitarists from all over the world flock to CU for the Wall2Wall Guitar Festival! Seth-Fein-favorite Umphrey’s McGee returns to Canopy!

Mike Ingram can be reached at

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