A welcome development in 2005 is the expansion, or restoration, of Cameo Turret. Founded in Billings, Mont., by Kip and Rachel Brandstadter, it matured into a rock quartet before the couple relocated to Champaign. Last year, they performed here under the same name as an acoustic duo. Twice at Nargile now, however, Cameo Turret has showcased a confident, full-bodied rock sound with the return of Mike “Too Smooth” Schmitt of Green Light Go on drums and the enlistment of Bethany Whisenhunt, on loan from Seattle, Wash., on bass. Kip and Rachel both sing and play guitar. The name Cameo Turret comes from a Richard Brautigan poem, and the band’s Northwestern origin is reflected in its set list (“Wyoming,” “Lumberjack”). In addition, Rachel will play May 26 at Aroma with Joanna Michal.
To understate, The Living Blue is keeping busy. In March, after playing St. Patrick’s Day for the Minty Fresh showcase in Austin at SXSW, the band began recording album three at Gravity Studios in Chicago. Meanwhile, Alternative Press and Chicago Reader separately spotlighted The Living Blue. The latter reported, “one of its songs had been picked up for the MTV reality series Power Girls. Another is slated for a forthcoming feature film called Waiting.” The Living Blue have three local dates in April: tomorrow with The Beauty Shop at Nargile, $6 cover; April 16 for The Local Cook-Out at The Canopy Club, $8 cover ($5 in advance); and April 17 for Star Course Presents: An Evening with Ben Kweller at Foellinger Auditorium, $18.50 cover ($16 with valid UIUC student ID). In the absence of a current release, the new song “Murderous Youth” is available for a limited time at the SXSW web site: http://2005.sxsw.com/music/showcases/band/18471.html
To compensate for the quietude of spring break, the scene reawakens with a vengeance tonight. The Suede Chain disbanded a decade ago and although it is not about to reconvene, its veterans return to Champaign to play together tonight in their current incarnations: Jason and Matt Docter in The Lift, and Brian Krumm and Brian Hunt in The Great Crusades. This is part of The Lift’s ten-city tour of the Midwest, and The Lift and The Great Crusades played together last night at 8:30 at Elbo Room Chicago with The Touchers and Lorenzo Goetz. The show tonight is at 10 at Cowboy Monkey with Lanterna, and cover is $5.
Also at 10, Nargile hosts Shipwreck with Tractor Kings; cover is $5. At 9, as addressed last time, The Canopy Club hosts the Video Trapped the Rapper tour, and Brass Rail hosts Terminus Victor with Snakebite Machinegun, The Situation and Romancing the Bone; cover is $4. At 8:30, Courtyard Cafe hosts Twin Wrecks the Memory with DownPour, Maxlider and Broken Day (unconfirmed); cover is $4 ($3 with valid UIUC student ID). At 8, Aroma hosts Noisy Gators, and an undetermined location hosts the punk show previously scheduled at Red Herring.
Sunday, Illinois Disciples Foundation presents Acoustic Lovin’: A Benefit for The Center for Women in Transition. “The Center for Women in Transition provides food, shelter and support services to homeless women” as they strive for self-sufficiency. On the bill are Larry Gates and Jesse Greenlee of Lorenzo Goetz, The Elanors, Mike Ingram, Kate Hathaway and Shipwreck. Cameron McGill had to cancel and sends his regrets. There will be Christmas lights and an active fireplace to make the show cozy. It is an all-ages show, and cover is $4. All proceeds go to The Center for Women in Transition.