The Canopy Club nears its awkward teenage years

Uh oh, here we go. The Canopy Club is turning 10 years old. Soon it will be taking an interest in girls and start talking back to its parents, but for now it is still cute and wants you to join it in celebration. So tonight a show will kick off at 6:30 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.), littering the space with countless (okay, 15) local bands in a marathon night of music. Canopy’s Web site isn’t much help as to the schedule, but luckily there is super-cool blog In the Aeroplane, Over UC (, run by super-cool lady (and former-turned-current-turned-whatever buzz employee) Carlye Wisel. She’s got the knowledge, y’all. I’ll be stealing her set time-listing in the next paragraph. The show is being deemed a “Tribute To Local Bands,” but (with a few exceptions) it’s more like a tribute to campus bands, as the student bands, with their youth and their speed, stepped up to claim most of the slots before most of the oldies could. Here’s the rundown:
Local folk-rock chick Angie Heaton will open the event (or “shindig,” as she might say) at 6:30 p.m. Angie has a storied past in the CU scene, participating in bands like Corndolly and Tractor Kings when she could take time away from being an obsessive fan of the Bangles. She will be followed by chamber-folkish band Casados (7 p.m.), which mostly comprises of married duo Nic and Heather Dillon, who have spent most of the last year driving around the country playing coffeeshops and clubs. Another band that’s mostly a duo is up next at 7:30 (seeing a pattern?): Hathaways (siblings Kate and James). 8 p.m. brings Lucky Mulholland in a rare (of late) appearance. Frontman Brian Phelps has been performing under the band name for years, armed with a good pop sensibility. Sunset Stallion — a new venture from some old faces (old in campus terms, that is) — will go to work at 8:30. The band features ex-and-current-Santa members, along with the adorable Hannah Newman, playing songs in the indie-folk realm at 9 p.m. Hot Cops! Arrested Development quotes to saturate the crowd! Power pop! World’s First Flying Machine brings along the fun-time instruments like the ukulele for a quirky 9:30 set, with The Brother Whys following at 10 p.m. New Ruins will play their brand of slick, well-written indie-rock at 10:30. Tall Tale will offer show-goers another chance to buy their newly released CD Pirate Ship after their 11 p.m. performance. The band recently picked up a booking agent and plans on hitting the road this summer. The Piano Man himself will descend upon the Canopy at 11:30, though not under his Tuesday moniker, but rather as the frontman of pop band Sangamon. Another weekly-residency-at-Canopy act, Zmick, follows at midnight. The progressive/improvisational band is the focal point of Monday Night Rage. As Thursday passes into Friday, we get to see Tractor Kings, whose front-trucker-hat-wearing-man Jake Fleischli will likely feel very old during his 12:30 a.m. set when compared to all of the student bands surrounding him. Luckily the boyish good looks of bass player Aaron McCallister help to offset this problem. Slick lead-guitar man Johnny Chemical and stick-twirler Marty Gray, both men of great mystery, might be too much for the college girls to handle. Wow, bands have been playing for six hours now. What does that leave us with? Well, Snowsera, for one (and at 1 a.m.) and Santa (I mistyped this as Satan at first — sorry guys) secondly. Two solid campus faves to close a night celebrating both local acts and a venue that has brought many great acts to the central Illinois area over the years. Tickets for this event are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. A quick search for any of these bands on MySpace will let you preview songs.
For you vinyl lovers out there, I’ve recently rediscovered Old Main Bookshoppe in downtown Champaign. It’s tucked quietly between the Blind Pig and the new cupcake shop with the $3.50 bowl of cereal, and it features one of the nicest (and most awkwardly stored) LP collections in the area. Sure, you have to step over deaf cats and squeeze through narrow corridors created by stacks and stacks of excess merchandise, but it really is worth it. I mean, I found Champaign’s How ‘Bout Us in there! Stop by 116 N. Walnut in Champaign and see for yourself, or visit for more info.

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