New Record Swap open! Gentleman Auction House returns!

Record Swap has officially opened, following a move from downtown Urbana to its new location between First and Second Streets on University Avenue (just east of the Champaign Police Department). The space is much larger (and includes a kitchen!), meaning room for more inventory, and the location comes with fewer problems with whiny neighbors. The store carries used CDs, tapes and records (including an entire upstairs room filled with $1 records — I found every Journey album ever, including a Steve Perry solo record!) and is open during normal business hours. Local selections are stocked, as well, including copies of old Absinthe Blind records that are becoming hard to find. The space includes a back room that may even function well as a space for in-store performances in the future. Stop in, and check out the selection.
It’s time for the monthly appearance of Live Karaoke Band at Cowboy Monkey. That means that you can head there tonight to watch drunk people get on stage and make fools of themselves. If that wasn’t tantalizing enough, there will also be people with actual talent participating. 10 p.m., $5.
If you’re feeling less like hearing “Black Velvet” three times and more like hearing some original music, Canopy Club is hosting Corey Smith, the Athens, Ga., troubadour with a strong Southern following. In just a few short years, Smith has gone from being a social studies teacher to performing in front of sold-out crowds around the country. His Train-meets-pop-country sound plays, well, most anywhere, and at this stop, he’ll enlist the help of Kayla Brown to open the show. Brown’s songwriting has never been stronger, and her voice truly shines post-smoking (seven months into it!). The pair will perform starting at 8 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at all outlets for $10.
Friday night starts rocking early with a 6 p.m. show at Radio Maria featuring the Living Blue and Scurvine. I’m not entirely sure where they’ll be set up or how loud it will be or if this is even really happening, but with those two bands, it would be worth it for you to check it out. No cover is listed.
Seth Fein’s evening will be occupied with the 7:30 p.m. Boat Drunks show at the Highdive ($7), which is a shame considering the excellent lineup at Cowboy Monkey. Local folk-rockers Casados (11 p.m.) will return for a nationwide tour to play a homecoming show (not a CD release as previously reported) with tour mate Jacob Tyler Wolfgang (9 p.m.) Also on the bill are Chicago singer/songwriter Rachel Ries (10 p.m.) and CU favorites from St. Louis Gentleman Auction House (midnight). GAH recently returned to the Midwest after spending a couple of weeks in Washington D.C. where they laid down the tracks for their new full-length (follow-up to the 2006 EP The Rules Were Handed Down). While in the city of government, the band was also robbed at gunpoint, so be sure to give them lots of hugs. Again, a 9 p.m. start time and a $7 cover charge.
In other Friday news, the IMC will host Yeni Raki along with Matt Rocks and Me, Him and Charlie Miller (8 p.m., $5) while elsinore heads down to Charleston to play a hometown show alongside Memphis band Giant Bear (10 p.m., $5). Oh, and the Assembly Hall hosts Jimmy Eat World. Woo hoo.
Saturday night brings music back to the upper level of Mike ’n Molly’s — Shipwreck will make a stop in the middle of their nationwide tour to play a show with Common Loon (some former members of Colonel Rhodes). 9 p.m., $5. Don’t forget that you can still smoke at Mike ’n Molly’s and that, even though the room is small, the shows are always awesome. The beer selection is also great. Many Cowboy Monkey patrons are already making this their new hangout since Cowboy Monkey announced that they’ll no longer host live music in 2008, so look for more shows to start popping up in the upstairs.
Speaking of Cowboy Monkey — while the place is still hosting shows, anyway — tonight you can catch a CU Hip-Hop Showcase featuring Krukid and more (10 p.m., $6). If there are still people out there reading this column who haven’t seen Krukid or picked up his record African, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Stop by Exile on Main Street, and buy the damn thing already.
Next week is Thanksgiving, so don’t forget to take your fat pants home with you. Those of you who will remain in Champaign, come out Wednesday to see the triumphant return of DJ mingram at Cowboy Monkey. It’s free. 10:30 p.m.

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