The elephant in the room: local legends Braid announced they are reforming to record on Polyvinyl. Formed in Urbana, Braid were active from 1993–1999 and were a driving force in 90s emo. No word yet on any tour dates, but it sounds like it's a possibility. And even if they are not from around here anymore, we're guessing a reunion without a C-U show is a near impossibility. (At least we hope so.) You can ask them a question here.

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The 20th Annual Great Cover Up wrapped last week, with terrific performances all around. Check out a ton of videos here, courtesy of Withnail.

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Bossa Nuevo recently began working on an intrumental album with Mark Rubel at Pogo Studio to follow up last year's self-titled debut. Why instrumental? Vocalist, Holly Holmes, is departing for her doctoral research in Brazil as a Fulbright scholar, and they decided to take the opportunity to explore instrumental repertoire of the band. "In particular, we've been working on compositions and arrangements by contemporary Latin Jazz composers such as Michael Mossman, Wayne Wallace, and American tango composer Glover Gil, who wrote the soundtrack for a cult classic "Waking Life" (dir. Richard Linklater)," says BN's Karim Yengsep.


You can see Bossa Nuevo one more time with Holmes this Saturday, Feb. 5, 8 p.m. at the Iron Post. The show will feature a full septet lineup, including drummer Matt Plaskota, who currently resides in Chicago.

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Elsinore held their first rehearsals since Dave Pride was injured in mid-December and they've been very active on the Facebook and the blogging recently. Additionally, they've uploaded an excellent cache of videos from their August record release shows. Here's "Landlocked" and "In the Sea & Air" from their Parasol in-store.

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Withershins and Take Care recently spent some time in-studio together recording for a split EP. Take Care spent some additional time at Midget Pistol back around New Year's as well.

Withershins will also record a five-song EP this month at Great Western. Mark Wyman will be producing, Aaron McCallister is engineering, and Caleb Means will record vocals for the EP, which will be supported by a spring tour. Withershins will also contribute a song to an upcoming Braid tribute compilation, which will be a double disc encompassing the entirely of Frame & Canvas.

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You and Yourn played their first show back from hiatus on the 17th at Geppetto's Workshop in Urbana.

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Horrible Things' split EP with Indiana-based Landbridge is available to stream or purchase on their Bandcamp. We highly recommend "200 Billion Backrubs".

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World's First Flying Machine have announced that a February 12th date at Canopy Club will be their final show. Common Loon and Good Night and Good Morning support.

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The Diamond Stretch and Rusalka have announced a split 7". The Diamond Stretch will also release a split cassette with New Jersey-based Four Fingers.

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Roberta Sparrow are currently writing new material and working on their new full length record that will be out early summer, rumor has it.

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Leonard Hatred is recording shortly to release an as-of-yet untitled EP which may possibly be the first release on a new label created by some 217 locals.

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Bentley's continues to host shows. Below, The Sugar Prophets perform "The Thrill is Gone" on January 9th.

In other Sugar Prophets news, their self-titled debut album debuted at #16 for national airplay on the Roots Music Report's Top 50 Blues chart. Looks like they're in some pretty good company.

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We Must Dismantle All This! traveled up to Milwaukee to record a split album with "death polka" artist Ando Ehlers, to be released on March 26th. Stream some of it here, and check out some studio footage below..

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Harsh-noise group (and Dude Ranch proprietors) His Throne have released a cassette/digital single entitled Hell. Stream it over at the Crippled Sound records page.

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The Band Geeks have announced their debut full-length entitled Geocentric, currently set to be released sometime this Spring.

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New Ruins are in the process of mixing their next release at Chicago's Engine Studios.

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Santah announced via Facebook that they are making a new record. We've heard some rumors that this one will not be self-released.

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The Palace Flophouse put up an early mix of a song called "Addicts Victorious" from their upcoming album, which we expect to be out some time this year.

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The Leadership's Frontiers continues to get great writeups from around the internet, including a guy in Australia who made some really cool original artwork to go with his blog post.

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And some local jazz news, with some tips from cujazz.org, which you should definitely check out. They have a Facebook page too, which has daily updates about local jazz performances.

The University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band just released an epic 2-CD set called Free Play. More information is available here.

Both the Centennial High School and Edison Middle School jazz bands performed at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference.

And here's a couple of live vidoes from the CU Jazz YouTube page:


Traditional Jazz Orchestra performing "Struttin' with some Barbeque"


University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band perform "After You've Gone"

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The Martyrs, the recently reunited local band who appeared on SP Radio a few weeks ago, have officially re-released their remixed debut album. You can listen to it and order it here.

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Hathaways will officially debut their full new lineup at their show on Feb. 18 at the Cowboy Monkey. (Unofficially, this lineup played at the Cover-Up.) Full new lineup is Kate Hathaway on charango and vocals, James Hathaway on guitar and vocals, John Hoeffleur on guitar, Rory Grennan on bass and Brendan Gamble on drums.

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And in case you missed, local heavy pop metal punk etc. outfit Vanattica signed to New Jersey's Ignite Records and are set to release a brand new EP called The King or Me on March 15. The first single, called "Ready, Set, Stop!" is available for free right here.

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Evil Tents, who had their debut show last weekend, have lots of videos up on their website, including this demo for a song called "Etienne".

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Kinda-local act Good Night and Good Morning recently remastered and rereleased their album on euro-label Own Records. Give it a listen here. In addition, group member Ryan Brewer has recorded and produced EPs for Rusalka and (most recently) Ruins.

 

As always, we try to get as much in here as possible. But there's a lot going on, so if we missed your band send us an email with info to music@smilepolitely.com.