Category: Audio

Fake Friend is some of the best local music I’ve heard in a while

I was pointed in the direction of this local release just a few minutes ago: Fake Friend's ∴∵  is some of the best local music I've heard in quite some time. Fake Friend is the project of Spencer Walters, and that's about all I know about the release right now, outside of it being very good.

Do yourself a favor and check out the release below, you will not be disappointed.


Poster Children announce new album Grand Bargain!; hear the title track now

Poster Children have announced their new record, their first since 2004's No More Songs About Sleep and Fire. They're calling it Grand Bargain!, and it's out May 18th — you can hear the title track now:

Produced by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, this is action from a band that had a quick stint in 2016 for the 25th anniversary of Daisychain Reaction, including a performance at PYGMALION in Champaign that same year.

Check out the album art below, and some more information about the release.


Lyrics from "Grand Bargain!":

Grand Bargain!

America held hostage day one
A lot of folks woke up without power this morning
It’s every man for himself
And every woman at 70% of the going rate

In the land of the free market
And the home of the wage slave
It's not the robots you need to worry about
It's the corporate human

I am a paid enemy of the state
Guilty in an attempt to educate
To teach is to leach to sell divine
The business of America is business

This is a company town
A 21st Century Pullman
16 tons or 64bits it's all the same

Rule by thieves
To use the mechanism of government
To enrich oneself
At the expense of the greater good

The 6 billion dollar man will be our savior
Greed is God
Starve the Beast
Let’s see if that puts food on your plate


Here's the press release:

America held hostage day one

A lot of folks woke up without power this morning

It’s every man for himself

And every woman at 70% of the going rate

- Poster Children, Grand Bargain!

Poster Children are back with a scathing new political album, their first new release in 14 years. Grand Bargain! is a return to their formative years, engineered by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, with a raw and intense fury matching their heralded live performances.

Leading to their return, in 2016, Poster Children released the 25th anniversary edition of their renowned album, “Daisy Chain Reaction” (Twin/Tone / Sire / Lotuspool Records). The limited edition vinyl included a hand-made zine with forward by indie rock guitarist/journalist, Jon Fine. Both the album and subsequent tour garnered rave reviews in celebration of PC’s return and in anticipation of their upcoming new release. That release, “Grand Bargain!” is here and it happily greets those expectations with an aggressive view of our current state of affairs. 

In the land of the free market

And the home of the wage slave

It’s not the robots you need to worry about

It’s the corporate human

Poster Children was formed in Champaign, Illinois in 1987 by Rick Valentin (guitar, vocals) and Rose Marshack (bass, vocals). Jim Valentin joined on guitar in 1991 and Matt Friscia (drummer #7) joined in 2001. The band are known for their DIY attitude and for pioneering digital communication with fans.

They began coding their own websites and Enhanced CDs in 1994, started blogging online in 1995 via tour reports and have one of the longest running podcasts, Radio Zero, which started in 1998 before the word podcast was even coined.

I am a paid enemy of the state

Guilty in attempt to educate

To teach is to leech, to sell divine

The business of America is business

Poster Children Grand Bargain! out on May 18th 2018 on Lotuspool Records, in LP, CD, and cassette. Single release on January 19th 2018.


Our Landmark releasing their debut album What the Silence Says on Friday

Our Landmark is going to be releasing their debut album What the Silence Says on Friday, December 8. From what we've heard so far it's definitely one to check out. 

Check out "After Them" released exclusively to Smile Politely

Also be sure to check out their album release show at Cowboy Monkey next week Friday with We the Animals and Extremities. 


CJ Run releases new track “Runs World”

CJ Run has released a new track, "Runs World", which debuted on Prime Fortune today.

From the press release:

About the single "Runs World":

Runs World takes a look at CJ's past, present, and future, stemming from their diverse background. From growing up in England and Germany as the child of west African immigrants, to moving across the drink to North Carolina for high school, and finally moving to the heart of the Midwest for college. As non-binary story teller, CJ talks about figuring out their personal and musical identity while navigating the music industry as a newcomer, about wanting to stay true to British culture and music while trying to make it in the U.S., and ultimately, about what a uncertain future feels like in the face of each new day.

About CJ Run:

CJ Run is a singer, a rapper, a songwriter, a trailblazer. 

Born to a Nigerian family in Germany, and hailing from the United Kingdom, music was always at the forefront for CJ, who identifies as non-binary. By age 13, grime, British hip-hop, RnB, and electronic music had possessed them. With a deep understanding of pop sensibility, and enough hooks to last a lifetime, CJ Run is destined for the next step, after the next step, with the one before it, leading the one before that.

Currently based in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois — home to a litany of incredible musicians and producers who have helped shape the music industry — they have risen to the top of the local scene in just under a year. Incredibly prolific from their beginnings, CJ has independently released three full length albums with another on its way. Their sound is now unmistakable and urgent; pragmatic and decisive.

2018 will see CJ Run tour with a full live band into the Midwest, and beyond. Now is the time to hear them. Now is the time where it will make sense to everyone within earshot.

Now is the time.


The 27th Annual Great Cover Up is announced

Every year the Great Cover Up brings local artists together to cover their favorite artists. They've recently announced the 27th edition of the annual event, taking place in February this year:

February 2nd/3rd at The Canopy Club  [18+]
February 9th/10th at The City Center  [19+]
February 16th/17th at 51 Main [19+]

You can buy tickets in advance starting next Monday, December 4th.

Oh and you're helping a great program, too:

Proceeds from the annual benefit with be donated to the CU One-to-One Mentoring Program , the Matthew C. Farrell Memorial (scholarship) Fund, and the Urbana Middle School Bands program. Full nightly line-ups and set times coming soon.

Here are some of the confirmed artists:

90s Daughter
Brother Embassy
Caleb Cook Band
CJ Run
Fiona Kimble Music
Melvin Knight and The Amber Sky
Mike Ingram (of New Souls)
Nick Rainey
Ryan Groff (of Elsinore)
Slick Lisp
Sun Stereo
The Bashful Youngens
The Underwerewolves

Check out Facebook for more information.


Chawla releases his debut EP Still Waiting

Local artist Chawla released his new EP Still Waiting at the Canopy Club Tuesday, November 24th. 

The album as described from his bandcamp

Lyrics in a melodically driven sound that showcases harmonies as much as crazy guitar solos. It’s the perfect amount of pop and catchy, with a real full live band rocking out in the back.

Here is the album

Check out the EP on every possible site here

Stay tuned to his Facebook for more info


Truth aka Trouble’s track “I’m a Winner” to be featured on NBA games this season

One of Champaign's best musical artist, Truth aka Trouble, landed his music into the NBA and it will be playing during every game this season on Fox Sports. 

Here's the info from the Fox Illinois article:

The commercial is the one you will see on Fox Sports. Truth's song, 'I'm a Winner' will be featured in every single basketball game on Fox Sports during the NBA’s 2017-2018 season.

Oh and he's got a new album coming out soon, stay tuned to his Facebook page for that.

Probably my favorite song by Truth:

Check out the coverage by Fox here.

Top photo by AdventureHart Photography and gotten from Facebook.