This might be one of the most action-packed show weeks this town has ever seen, so I’ll dive right in. Tonight, the usual Aroma CafÇ acoustic night will feature the return of a familiar face in Eleni Moraites, who has recently returned to us from the east coast. She’ll share the stage … er, corner with G. Lee (sadly still minus the Jet Blonde). That’s right, you get two ladies for the price of, well, none I guess, since it’s free. It’s also early (8 p.m.), meaning you can either get to bed early or head out to another show.
One option if you do head out afterwards is Cowboy Monkey, where excellent Chicago-area band Bullet Called Life will play with locals mad mardigan (working on a CD) and Doxi (finally settled on a name, it seems). The Zorba’s jazz night will feature Weasel Dreams, starting their first set at 9:30 p.m. The Red Herring in Urbana will also host one of its intermittent shows, featuring fireflies, Morgan Orion and the Magic Chords and Hinter. The show starts at 9 p.m., no word on the cover.
Friday night seems to be the perfect storm of shows in CU. The Redwalls will make a return to the area with a show at the Highdive, alongside The Living Blue, Probably Vampires and Roman Numerals. Showtime is 9 p.m., and the cover is $8. The Living Blue is exactly the kind of band that you want to see at the Highdive – loud and solid. I’ll again note how great it is that shows are actually happening at the Highdive again on a semi-regular basis.
Down the block at Mike ‘n Molly’s, the upstairs pipes have been fixed, and elsinore will headline a show with two Indiana bands, Arrah and the Ferns and Everthus the Deadbeats. Arrah and the Ferns have been making quite a bit of noise touring all over the land for Standard Recording Company, including playing a very well-received show here in Champaign last fall. For those who like to see shows in a more intimate setting, this is a good chance to see one of Champaign’s best bands along with two great touring bands. Plus, Mike ‘n Molly’s has one of the best beer selections in town. Cover for this show is $5, and it starts at 10 p.m.
Venturing into Campustown will get you an outstanding show at the Canopy Club, where
The Wandering Sons will play. The Sons are easily one of the best bands in the Midwest, and have also recently nabbed a spot for one of their songs in a Jimmy John’s commercial. Can’t complain about that kind of money. The bill also carries The Beauty Shop (with new bassist Eric Fisher, formerly of Lorenzo Goetz, who appeared with the band at the Great Cover Up), local fave Lynn O’Brien and Noah Harris (whose wife Adriel has been an excellent addition to the Sons’ lineup).
But wait, there’s more. The Iron Post will be hosting an all-ages show with Mit’n, Coco Coca, The Dolphin and Chris Black. Cowboy Monkey offers JigGsaw, Butterfly Assassin, Snowsera and Apteka. Friday’s certainly a helluva night to see a show.
As if Friday wasn’t ridiculous enough, Saturday night has one of the most loaded shows I’ve ever seen on paper. Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s (one of my all-time favorite bands) will headline, playing with Headlights (fresh from a European tour), Page France (fast becoming an indie sensation), Canada (not one, but two members wielding cellos) and Gentleman Auction House (the band to beat if you’re from St. Louis). If there’s one show you catch this whole semester, I highly recommend that it’s this one. Sure, it’s at the Courtyard CafÇ, which is a pain in the ass to get to, only to have no available alcohol, but this show is worth it. I can’t even figure how it’s only $7 at the door ($5 with your UIUC ID), but I guess that’s your tuition money hard at work. Take advantage.
Sunday night the action moves back to the Highdive with Terminus Victor, who I often call the best hard band in the area. Don’t take my word for it (it’s totally true, though) – instead check out this show, also featuring Chicago’s Team Rockit, Mad Science Fair and Watery Domestic. The show begins at 9:30 p.m., and the cover is $5, which makes for a pretty great Sunday evening.
Lynn O’Brien pops up with her piano again this week, this time on Monday in the WEFT studio for the weekly WEFT Sessions live show. She’ll play live on the air from 10-11 p.m. You can tune in at 90.1 FM, or stop by the station at 113 N. Market in Champaign (just north of the Mike ‘n Molly’s beer garden).
Tuesday night at the Canopy Club, following an early show from The Faint with local act Coco Coca, the weekly Rehearsal Space show will get underway. This month features Jason Finkelman’s Nu-Orbit Ensemble, an experimental jazz outfit that is constantly gaining accolades for being one of the best in the area. One thing’s for sure – the Fink-man can jam.
And on Wednesday you can hang with the hippies at the Canopy for the Umphrey’s McGee show. Let’s hope they’ve stopped covering “Dick in a Box.”
Mike Ingram wants to send a shout-out to the huge pothole on Lincoln near Bradley that is causing so many flat tires. A call to the City of Urbana to get it fixed seemed to fall on deaf ears. Or maybe the music at Record Swap was too loud and the City couldn’t hear me. You can reach Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.