Fight to the death between local bands begins!

In the grand tradition of the Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter games that came before it, next week’s Fall Semester Showdown at the Canopy Club will pit local bands against each other in matches to the death! Or until the other band members are turned into tiny babies. (Remember babalities?)
Alright, well, no blood will really be spilled, and though some band members might get so drunk that they drool like babies, no one will actually be turned into one. This is all just a fun theme for a four-day mini-fest of local bands. It kicks off next Wednesday (Dec 12) with headliners Tall Tale and From the Tops of Trees. Roses N Sake, Hotel Ahead, and World’s First Flying Machine will round out the bill, which starts at 9 p.m. and carries a $7 cover. Get there before 10 p.m. and pay only $5! That will be the cover scheme for all four nights (featuring bands like Headlights, Shipwreck, The Living Blue, The Beauty Shop, elsinore and many more), so get out early to catch some bands that you might not have seen before. This is a great event that deserves lots of support. Check out for all the info.
Backing up to the Thursday that this issue runs, we’ve got an early show with Angie Heaton. The Krannert Uncorked series continues with a free show at 5 p.m. from the saucy songstress. This will be followed by a free (donations accepted) show in the Illini Union (Room 314) from Cajun artist Morris Ardoin (and friends!) at 7 p.m. If that wasn’t parenthetical enough for you, there will be dance lessons (Zydeco at 6:30, Cajun at 7:30) followed by the full-on dance (8:30).
Keeping with the free show theme, Aroma Café’s weekly acoustic series will feature Larry Gates (Curb Service) alongside Geoff Koch. Tips are appreciated, but the show is free. Grab some coffee or Curtis Orchard apple cider and enjoy some tunes. 8 p.m. start. Those wanting to see a hilarious video featuring Gates and other local music artists like elsinore and Kayla Brown playing Wii Sports (set to the tune of Survivor’s immortal “Burning Heart”) need to only look to the Fickle Little Machine blog at It’s worth the trip.
Friday night is shaping up to be a little more rootsy/grassy than the rest of the week. Over at the Canopy Club you can catch Chicago’s Cornmeal, a new-grass band with a strong Midwest following, with opener Family Groove Company (9 p.m., $7). Cowboy Monkey will host The Wilders, a hillbilly bluegrass band from Kansas City, with openers Corn Desert Ramblers (10 p.m., $7).
On Saturday evening, the Illinois Disciples Foundation (Springfield and Wright on campus) will once again open its doors for a show. This time around, local bands will be playing to raise money for disaster relief in Bangladesh. A $10 suggested donation will get you dinner along with a show from three bands: Oberon, the Possum King; Mhondoro, and Bow-dacious String Band. 6 p.m. start.
Also on Saturday, local act Snowsera will release a new EP that is either self-titled or simply called EP. The band will share the Canopy Club stage with Last Fast Action, Company of Thieves, and State & Madison. The show kicks off at 9 p.m., and is $5.
One last bit of business for Saturday, as Brother Embassy plans to once again bring the frunk (funk-rock, yo) to the Cowboy Monkey stage. The band of seasoned funk veterans will headline a night also featuring Bloomington, Indiana band Mental Afro and locals Trouvere. Word on the street is that Brother Embassy has been too busy practicing the popular video game Rock Band to actually practice as a real band. What could this mean for Saturday’s set? Likely some Axl Rose antics from lead singer Nate Jones (don’t let his gruff exterior fool you — this guy buys french vanilla Cool Whip.) Expect a riot. 10 p.m., $5.
This week’s WEFT Sessions band is Tall Tale (formerly Tracey and Tricia). The band will perform live, on-air from 10 to 11 p.m. on 90.1 FM this Monday night. Tune in or stop by the station (113 N. Market in Champaign) to watch the show live.

Leave a Reply