Russian Leaders and Rocking For, of All Things, Life

More news of local CD releases, as this week there will be one show that will serve as a release spot for two new discs. Saturday night at Cowboy Monkey, The Chemicals and Cameo Turret will debut their new CDs, and will share the stage with New Ruins (who are apparently already out of copies of their new disc) and Mad Science Fair. The show will begin at 10 p.m., and will have a $5 cover charge. Get there after 10:30, though, and you may be looking at a $7 cover. For info on the bands and their new songs, check out and turret.

Getting back to all things chronological, tonight (that’s Thursday, y’all) you’ll find a $2 show from the U of I Jazz Saxophone Combo at the Iron Post, with a 7 p.m. start time. Cowboy Monkey will run two shows tonight – an early show will feature Jazz Sandwich, a Local Music Award nominee. The show is $5 and will start at 7:30 p.m., so tape all of that crappy Thursday night TV that you love and have a drink while watching a fantastic band. The second show will start at 10:30, and is an ode to hip-hop, featuring Krukid, Agent Mos, The Mud Kids, Mahjik, Ernie Rhodes and DJ Limbs. For $6 you get in the door to see some of the area’s brightest urban acts.

At 9 p.m. tonight, Urbana’s Canopy Club and Delta Sigma Phi will host “Rock For Life.” I’m not sure what aspect of life the bands will be rocking for, but I think we can all get together in agreement that life is generally a worthwhile cause. Go life. Local scene mainstays Mad Science Fair, along with newer rockers Mad Mardigan, will join bands with names like Zach Ben Brian Trio and Nothing Too Sexy. OK. The cover is $5.

Friday evening brings a familiar battle between jazz happy hours, this time pitting a machine against a quintet. The Iron Post will have the Boneyard Jazz Quintet with no cover charge, starting at 5 p.m. Cowboy Monkey will start at 5:30 p.m. and charge $3 for the New Orleans Jazz Machine (Captured! By Robots fans, do not get excited. There is no machine involved with this band).

Pushing on into Friday night, a pair of shows really stand out. Cowboy Monkey will offer The Beauty Shop, featuring new bass player Eric Fisher (yes, ladies, formerly of Lorenzo Goetz), playing with Chicago’s The 1900s, Reds and Blues and Tunnels (the new project from Steve and Ben Ucherek). It has been too long since The 1900s have come to CU, so they are a welcome addition to the lineup. This show will carry the familiar $5/$7 cover. The Beauty Shop’s Crisis Helpline, now with bonus tracks, can now be purchased at Exile on Main Street, and possibly at live shows, as well.

Oceans, found at the awesomely titled, will play at the Iron Post alongside Goes Cube, Foreign Islands and Snowsera. This show commences at 9 p.m., and along with your $5 cover, you’ll also have a $2 minimum at the bar. It seems silly to most people who would be spending money at the bar anyway, but there is an alarming population of people who don’t even bother to buy a Coke or an order of fries to bump the bar’s sales on show nights. I’m actually surprised that more bars haven’t moved to a system like this.

Along with the Chemicals/Cameo Turret CD release show on Saturday night, there’s also a show at the Iron Post with elsinore, Lucky Mulholland and The Winter Blanket (Minneapolis). Lucky Mulholland, formerly an acoustic project from Brian Phelps, is now a full-sized rock band coming off of a performance at the recent Beatles tribute night. Ryan Groff of elsinore has a new solo CD coming soon, but the band also has plans for an EP full of new songs. The band is up for two Local Music Awards, and Ryan is up for one as a solo act. The Winter Blanket first caught my eye at the first Pygmalion Festival and have continued to grow as a band. This stands to be an excellent night of music at only $5. Showtime is 10 p.m.

Sunday evening brings the Polyvinyl band with the excellent name, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, to the Canopy Club for an early show with bands Mute Math and Cinematics. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the show starting at 6:30. Advance tickets are available at for $13. After the show, there will be another installment of “New Sound Sundays,” where you can sample new bands for only a $1 cover. This week’s show is with Black Fur and Na’ve.

Goran Ivanovic, the Chicago guitarist well-known as the frontman of the Goran Ivanovic Group, has a new project called Eastern Blok. Goran has a guitar style that’s often called jazz or classical, but that is actually very hard to effectively name. One thing is certain, though, and that is that he is very, very talented. He is bringing Eastern Blok to town on Sunday to play a show at the Iron Post. Opening the show is former local Anthony Gravino (Temple of Low Men), who has found a home as a musician and studio man in Chicago. Gravino actually recorded the Goran Ivanovic Group’s most-recent release. He will be adding his own acoustic tunes to the night, which will start at 7 p.m. The cover for the show is $5.

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