Paste Mag Favorite Giant Bear Plays Cowboy Monkey

Paste Magazine seems to be following the new Radiohead model of asking fans to name their price — this time on subscriptions. Type /PAGNYOP.aspx?key=9ISO114 into your browser (the offer hopefully still going when this goes to print) and name your own price for a year of the magazine. Sadly you’ll miss out on this month’s issue, which features Memphis band Giant Bear on the sampler CD, and also in the magazine’s “Four To Watch” section. But, you can catch the band tonight at Cowboy Monkey alongside Angie Heaton and a late set from DJ mingram. Giant Bear’s Myspace page ( lists them as sounding like “Southern-Fried New Pornographers … The Decemberists from Shiloh,” both of which are pretty accurate. Locally they’re closest cousins to New Ruins, Pulsar47 and elsinore. The band has been touring the country relentlessly over the last year, and tonight’s show will mark their first CU appearance. The show will start at 10 p.m. and will carry a cover of only $5, giving you a chance to see one of the country’s fastest-rising bands on the early end of the climb.
On Friday night there will be a CD release show from one of my favorite local bands, Pulsar47. The band will release its long-awaited full-length Slow Motion Quest at a show alongside Centaur, The Forms, and Velella Velella. Pulsar47 has gone through some lineup changes in the last year, losing keyboardist Cassie Conner to a job in North Carolina and drummer Aroon Karuna to a law career. The new lineup, calling itself Pulsar47 Mark II, is just as exciting to watch. Recent sets have seen them doing a live mashup with rapper Krukid, showing even more depth in the instrumental band. The release show will start at 9:30 p.m., with a cover of $7.
IMCfest will span the entire weekend with musical performances, art exhibits, independent films, food, activist speakers,
DJs and more. All of these things will happen at the IMC space in the old post office in
downtown Urbana (next to Lincoln Square Mall). The event is all-ages, meaning you can take the kids out to see some great live music. Each day will carry a $10 price tag, but if you’re planning on attending all three, you can buy a weekend pass for $20. Listing every band playing on every night would take up the rest of the column, but here are some of the highlights. For Friday:
the Beauty Shop (with a solid new rhythm section) (11 p.m.), Mars (smart pixie with an acoustic guitar) (7 p.m.), and Common Loon (featuring members of Colonel Rhodes)
(10 p.m.). An electronic after-party will commence at midnight with DJs Bozak, Elise, Impact and more.
Saturday’s IMCfest schedule features The Living Blue (local garage-rock legends) (11 p.m.), along with fireflies (10 p.m.) and Kristov’s Agenda (7 p.m.). Groove-oriented Caleb Cook and the Big Naturals will play at 8 p.m. Another late night after-party will happen at midnight, with DJs Mertz, Lincoln Jones, DiscoPhil, and Geist/Roro. Sunday’s IMCfest lineup is curated by popular blues band Kilborn Alley, and will feature performances from bluesman Candy Foster and the Shades of Blue (6 p.m.), Shirley King (7 p.m.), and Kilborn Alley themselves (5 p.m.). An open jam will kick off at 9 p.m. Sunday’s late-night hip-hop show will feature performances from
rappers Krukid (making CU proud on the national level) (1:30 a.m.) and Agent Mos (1 a.m.)
Newcomers Text and Cypha MC will perform at 11:40 p.m. Check out or opening for full lineups and more info!
Back to Saturday night, the Illini Union Courtyard Café will see signs of life with a show featuring Headlights, Sybris, and Light
. 8 p.m. start, with a TBA listed for cover. Free? Who knows? Headlights has recently wrapped mixing and mastering on
their new album for Polyvinyl Records, and it sounds incredible. This will be the album that takes them to the next level,
for sure. Preview some of those songs by attending this show. Tractor Kings will continue their Tuesday residency at Cowboy Monkey, this week featuring openers Uni and Her Ukelele, Mariel a la Mode, and Coco Coca. 10 p.m. start time and a $5 cover. If you haven’t seen the Tractor Kings live lately, believe me when I say that you want to. Now, if we could just get the new album.
For next week, keep an eye out for Corey Smith, a singer/songwriter who is hugely popular in the south, to headline the Canopy Club with opener Kayla Brown. Also, another new local CD will be released next Friday as Casados returns from a nationwide tour and offers up a new full-length. Also on the bill, fantastic St. Louis band Gentleman Auction House, local songwriter Jacob Tyler Wolfgang, and Chicago songstress Rachel Ries.

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