Highway to the Danger Zone

Santa makes a downtown Champaign stop this week, playing the dependable Mike ‘n Molly’s beer garden tonight. The band is a longtime campustown favorite, having packed large crowds into the Canopy Club on numerous occasions. Their downtown shows have been well-attended as well, proving either that the townies also love them, or that their campus fans love them so much that they’ll brave the buses or sidewalks to catch a show. I think it’s a bit of both. Catch their (likely) last show before Pygmalion tonight under a (hopefully) starry sky. They’ll play alongside Records Record Records, and Carl Hauck (whose Counter Intelligence is very much worth picking up if you haven’t yet). Start time is 8 p.m. and you can expect a $5 cover.
Angie Heaton is the next local stalwart to grace the new “bandstand” at West Side Park for the park district’s “Eat to the Beat” program. On Friday afternoon (12 – 1 p.m.) you’ll find her performing her trademark brand of country infused rock. It’s free, so bring a blanket and some lunch and enjoy.
For a fun time on Friday night, look to the Iron Post in downtown Urbana, where Afro-beat band (of the Zimbabwean persuasion) Mhondoro will rock socks. Also lined up to perform is Big Grove Zydeco. With a (guessing here) 4 or 5 dollar cover, this may be the most economical choice you’ll make all weekend when considering bang for your buck. These two bands epitomize fun, danceable music. Show up before the 9 p.m. start time if you want to ensure your spot.
On Saturday you should most definitely check out the Represent MC Battle taking place at the Canopy Club. Some of the best MCs from the area (including Krukid, Cornbread and Jonah) will lock horns in good fun over beats provided by DJ Belly. Says hip-hop guru Matt Harsh: “Oh man.” 9 p.m., $5.
Just west of Champaign at Alto Vineyard, the weekly “Music Among the Vines” series will present Jazz Mayhem on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Vineyard serves up refreshments and if the weather cooperates, it makes for a great evening. Call 356-4784 for more info.
Cowboy Monkey’s Tuesday night open mic night has enjoyed a new surge of performers, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for more. All genres are encouraged so long as you leave the drums at home and don’t want to sing karaoke. Sign up at 9 p.m. every Tuesday. There is no cover.

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