Congratulations to Probably Vampires, Champaign winner of Battlerusa Battle of the Bands last Thursday at The Highdive. Eric Noble of Loyal Family, the St. Louis organization that oversaw the contest, wrote: “You guys have made this entire tour worth it for me. Your entertainment factor was through the roof- until last night, I had never seen a crowd cheer because the lead singer spit his beer out on them- bonus points for that one.” This show was recorded and may become available online. Noble explained of Loyal Family: “We’re about promoting the underground. We’re grass-roots promoters. We don’t care … who’s radio-friendly.” Loyal Family seeks to develop local scenes. Noble, an alum of the Nashville scene, said he had “tried to get away from the battle concept … faced with the challenge of how would I get myself to go to it.” Probably Vampires will play Feb. 9-10 and June 8-10 in Lawrence, Kan. in connection with Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival.
A block away at Cowboy Monkey, Anomic and Machines That Think drew well for their dual record release and quite possibly played their best yet. Collaboration between them on the encore “Five Lamps” was the icing on the cake, and, yes, there was cake.
Robert Martz of Relenter and Rachel Braunstadter of Cameo Turret announce their side project together, “kind of Sneaker Pimps meets Massive Attack”. Martz lays beats, and Braunstadter writes words and guitar parts. Three songs are complete, with a target of eight to ten for an album. One of the songs, “Camouflage,” lends its name temporarily to the project.
Cameo Turret meanwhile will release both an EP and an album. The EP will feature material that was previously only available promotionally, such as the songs “Lumberjack” and “Drowning in You”, whereas the album will feature all new material with bass by Clem Abercrombie, who moved to Oregon in December before he could perform publicly with the band. Cameo Turret plays Feb. 16 at Cowboy Monkey with i:scintilla and Sounddrifter; this show is rescheduled from Dec. 17. Show time is 10 p.m., and cover is $4.
Abercrombie is not the only one off to Oregon: The News-Gazette confirmed Joni Laurence will follow suit this spring. Consequently, her recording concert Feb. 18 at Unitarian Universalist Church in Urbana will not just be a big show, but also a big send-off. In addition, Laurence will teach a two-night beginner guitar course, Feb. 13 and 20 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, call Parkland College at (217) 351-2546.
Saturday, Shipwreck plays at The Iron Post with Sanawon and Bound Stems. Sanawon is former Champaign denizen Jenny Choi with Philip Stone; the two have performed together since 1998. Bound Stems includes longtime Harvey Danger drummer Evan Sult and was Spin Band of the Day, Dec. 29. Show time is 9 p.m., and cover is $5.
Todd J. Hunter hosts WEFT Sessions and Champaign Local 901, two hours of local music every Monday at 10 p.m. on WEFT 90.1 FM. Also, The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers appeared out of nowhere and is terrific despite its name. Support your scene to preserve your scene.