The bands of summer descend

The Brass Rail, the most beloved of downtown bars that are typically referred to as “dives” by anyone that doesn’t frequent them, will celebrate its 75th anniversary by opening its corner up for a rock show tonight. Dottie and the Rail, a band made up of some of the scene’s most notorious and long-running musicians (including former Brass Rail show organizer Dave Domal), will offer up its old-school country tunes after a set from rock outfit Golden Quality. The festivities will kick off at around 9 p.m., and payment of the $3 cover charge also gains you entry into a raffle for some downtown-related prizes. The Rail has slowed its hosting of live music to a trickle in recent years, but many people fondly remember seeing or playing great shows there, with this being a chance to re-live the good old days.
If the Rail is too packed to get into, you can head over to Cowboy Monkey for a free show from power-pop favorites Sangamon. This will be the fourth installment of the free show series on Thursday, which kicks off at 11 p.m. Sangamon are known for hook-y rock songs reminiscent of Coldplay and Keane, and the band’s lead singer, Shay Thiele, is also known as the Canopy Club’s popular Piano Man. They have an EP that will be for sale at the show — preview it at So pony up for an EP or toss a couple bucks in the tip jar to support the band.
Over at the Canopy Club, local student-favorite band Underpaid Packy will headline a show featuring Herbert Wiser Band and the Eric Klotz Trio. Cover charge is only $3 and the show starts at 9 p.m. tonight.
The Canopy Club will be a hot-spot Friday night as several bands will play a show dedicated to raising awareness of Hepatitis C. Hathaways, the duo of siblings Kate and James, will open the show with their worldly acoustic sound, followed by indie loop-master Grampall Jookabox (Indianapolis, Ind.). Headlights will play in the middle of the pack so that grandparents and family members don’t have to stay up so late for once, while The Beauty Shop will follow with their second benefit show set in one week. In the headlining spot will be Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons in the band’s first CU appearance in several months. The Sons should be packing copies of the new Cabin Ghosts EP, which is the first release following the signing to RCA Records.
Elsewhere, the Savoy Rec Center, 402 Graham, is hosting DIY all-ages shows regularly throughout the summer and will do so Friday, with an 8 p.m. show featuring The Signal, Seldan, and Fight! Fight! Fight! No word on the cover, but check out for more info and links to the other acts.

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