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Sustainable screening and Q+A happening March 30th at Harvest Market

Here's an educational opportunity available to you in the near future: There will be a screening and Q+A session following of the film Sustainablewhich discusses the farm system and the community that surrounds it, at Harvest Market. Check out the Facebook event here, the event takes place on Thursday, March 30th at 5:30 p.m.

Joins us March 30 in our upstairs Mezzanine for a special showing of the film "Sustainable"...for FREE!

It's a film about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations. It's a vital investigation of the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the agricultural issues we face — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use — to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. The narrative of the film focuses on Marty Travis, a seventh-generation farmer in central Illinois who watched his land and community fall victim to the pressures of big agribusiness. Determined to create a proud legacy for his son, Marty transforms his profitless wasteland and pioneers the sustainable food movement in Chicago.

Marty Travis, the farmer featured in the film and Will Travis will be here for Q&A after the movie.

We will also be serving popcorn and cornbread made with ingredients from Severson Farms!

The movie features Marty Travis of Spence Farms, who supplies Harvest Market's bakery and bulk sections with product. So, there's a direct connection to the store and the surrounding community.

Here's the trailer, and some information about the showing below.


There is no hiding from the facts - rising temperatures, drought, soil loss, chemicals in our food, antibiotic resistance, declining bee populations, obesity, diabetes, shorter life expectancy - America needs help. Sustainable reveals the crisis facing America’s food system, and the community of leaders who are determined to fix it.

Amidst the cornfields of Illinois lives the hero of the film - Marty Travis, a seventh-generation farmer who watched his land and community fall victim to the pressures of big agribusiness. Determined to create a proud legacy for his son, Marty transforms his profitless wasteland and pioneers the sustainable food movement in Chicago.

Greg Wade, a visionary young breadmaker, works with Marty to revitalize ancient grain production in the Midwest, joining an artisan bread movement that’s sweeping our country. Together, they prove that traditional bread is not only healthier, it is also better for the environment.

From Klaas Martens’ Einkorn fields in rural New York to Bill Niman’s cattle ranch off the Pacific coast, industry pioneers around the nation join in to reveal the profound connection between human health and environmental protection. In Iowa, Matt Liebman discovers a solution to combat the trifecta of drought, flooding and soil runoff, and a young Amish man in Ohio emerges as an agricultural leader who will feed the world despite climate extremes and limited natural resources. Additional key interviews include: Rick Bayless, Dan Barber, Mark Bittman, Marion Nestle, John Ikerd, Kelly Brownell, Nicolette Niman and Fred Kirschenmann.

Sustainable is a story of hope and transformation, about passion for the land and a promise that it can be restored to once again sustain us. 


Even a majority of downstate residents & Republicans want weed legalized in IL according to new poll

A poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy institute this week found that there is overwhelming support for the legalization of marijuana in Illinois. But what's even more interesting is that the poll breaks down how certain geographical areas in the state and different political parties feel about the measure.

At first glance, this is unsurprising - Chicago favors legalization by staggering 52 percentage points and decriminalization by even more (64 points). The suburbs are slightly less. Then, when the poll is broken down by political party, we see that weed legalization isn't really that partisan of an issue anymore - in fact, 54% of downstate residents surveyed, (generally some of the last to come around on these sorts of things) surveyed actually are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. The case is the same with 52% of the state's total Republican population.

My, how the times are changing, folks. To read the full poll, and to jump into the data, click here.

This comes on the heels of legislation introduced last week to do just that - legalize recreational marijuana, though it could take some time. Regardless of whether you use marijuana recreationally or not, legalizing in a state like Illinois would inevitably reduce the tax-payer burden for a non-violent prison population, as well as provide some much-needed tax revenue for a state in such dire shape as Illinois is.


You can win free Triptych beer for a year if you’re good at trivia every Thursday in April

No, that headline was not a tease - this is legit. Triptych Brewing and Urbana's Attie's Bar and Grill are joining forces for a "Trivia and Tap Takeover" every Thursday in April, with trivia starting at 6:30 pm.

If you want to win a free Triptych 4-pack every week for a year, better brush off the old thinker, because the winner (after all of the Thursdays, at the end of the month) will get just that.

For more info, check out Triptych's Facebook post on the festivities below:





Cracked on Green St. opening tomorrow

Rejoice, breakfast-eaters of Champaign-Urbana - as we have long-known, Cracked will no longer be confined to a food truck. What we now know, however, is that their brick-and-mortar shop on Green Street opens up for the very first time tomorrow (March 26th) at 10 AM.

For more info, check out this tweet from Cracked below, featuring a picture of the new spot:


Big Grove hosting Caymus Wine Dinner on April 5th

For those of you who enjoy a nice glass of vino with a meal, Downtown Champaign's Big Grove Tavern will be hosting a dinner featuring pairings of Caymus Vineyards' wines. The dinner will be held on April 5th, and tickets can be bought online or in-person.

For more info and to buy tickets, check out Big Grove's Facebook post:


Champaign Parks Foundation hosting benefit concert on April 1st

Champaign Parks Foundation, which helps fund things like the Virginia Theatre's restoration project, natural areas development, playgrounds and scholarships, will be hosting a benefit concert with music and comedy at The City Center on Saturday, April 1st.

Tickets are $10, and will go towards CPF's continued efforts to provide excellent civic services.

For more info, here's what Champaign Park District had to say: 

A Benefit Concert for the Champaign Parks Foundation

Join us for a full night of laughter and live music to benefit Champaign’s parks, programs and facilities! This event will feature comedian Chris Schlichting and will be headlined by one of the nation’s most well renowned rock cover bands - Mike and Joe!

April 1, 8:00pm - 12:00am
@ The City Center
Tickets: $10 - $20
Purchase tickets online:

Comedian Chris Schlichting (7:30-8:30 pm)

Growing up on the mean streets of Iowa, Chris Schlichting knew that he either had to take up standup comedy or join the notorious Midwest gang known as “The Farmers.” He is quickly gaining a reputation as oneof the best comics on the planet, and by “planet” we mean “his street.” Described as “hilarious” by his mom, and “not good at sports” by his dad, Chris takes pride in his immature and lovable style.

His act covers hard hitting issues like squirrels, sandwiches, and his twin boys. Learn how to pronounce this comic’s last name, and then remember it forever. Chris Schlichting is sure to leave you laughing, andwanting more. Follow him here: The SchlickTEAM (comedian chris schlichting's fan page)

Mike and Joe (9-Midnight)

Mike and Joe is one of the nation’s most well renowned rock cover bands! The bulk of the set list includes rock hits from the ’90s through today, but occasionally they’ll throw in some tunes from the 70’s and 80’s as well!

Covers include: The Foo Fighters, Maroon 5, Fallout Boy, U2, Blink 182, Mumford and Sons, Justin Timberlake, Fleetwood Mac, Sublime, Dave Matthews Band, Florida Georgia Line, Third Eye Blind, The Eagles, , Weezer, Jimmy Eat World and many, many more!

$10 General Admission / $20 VIP Mezzanine
Get tickets now:


Local March for Science scheduled for April 22nd

This year's Earth Day takes on new meaning as scientists in Washington D.C. and across the US take their concern for recent policy changes to the streets for the March for Science. The March for Science Champaign-Urbana is an official sister march, and will take place April 22nd from 5-7 p.m. at the Orpheum Children's Science Museum. The C-U march takes a unique approach by involving youth in our community. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade are encouraged to bring signs with messages about why they love science and why science is important to their future. Students will march on a sidewalk-route through downtown Champaign and will return to the Orpheum.

After the Youth March, four local scientists and science-advocates will give short speeches about how science has impacted their lives. There will be a focus on the intersectionality of social justice issues and science issues.

From the press release:

We promote science-based policies that benefit the Champaign-Urbana community and the greater public beyond. Science benefits everyone when we include the diverse voices of people from many backgrounds. We invite our neighbors of all professions and backgrounds to join this march. Together, we can improve our communities. Together, we will show our elected officials that science matters. Together, we will demand policies that protect our communities.

Visit the March for Science: Champaign-Urbana website to find out how to participate, donate, or volunteer.


Jay Bennett’s original Pieholden Suite Sound is getting demolished (UPDATED)

UPDATED: 8:53 pm:

Huge apologies to Matt DeWine, as this article was originally published incorrectly. The new Pieholden is still in operation, while the former studio is what is being demolished:

Matt DeWine, a sound engineer who worked with Bennett after Bennett left Wilco, has continued to operate Pieholden Suite Sound along with studio manager Josh Dumas.

The studio — described in a 2013 Chicago Reader story as a "recording playground" and a shrine to Bennett who collected vintage guitars —  moved out this past fall.

Here's the original content below. Deepest apologies for the misinformation. (PS)


While this isn't directly happening here in Champaign-Urbana, this feels like something worth posting: Jay Bennett's Pieholden studio in the Ukranian Village in Chicago is getting demolished. Per DNA Info Chicago, the studio and property will be wiped away to make room for condos. So it goes nowadays, sadly.

The ex-Wilco member Bennett has many ties to Urbana — the place where he died. Annie Weisner outlines it well in her review of his record, Kicking the Perfumed Air:

On May 24, 2009, musician, producer and multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett was found dead in his Urbana apartment from an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl. Bennett had first come to CU as a student of secondary education, mathematics and political studies. He played in several local bands before joining the power pop group Titanic Love Affair, and after TLA's breakup Bennett eventually left Champaign to join Chicago-based band Wilco in 1994. Bennett had returned to Champaign-Urbana in 2007, and his friends said he seemed to be entering a calmer phase of life-working toward an online masters degree at UIUC, enjoying the relaxation of Urbana, and recording in Pieholden Suite Sound, the studio Bennett and manager Matt DeWine built from the ground up.

You should read Joel Gillespie's piece on the studio to get a look inside what it was like. RIP.

Photo from Undertow.


C-U ex-pat Jonathan Childers featured in Rolling Stone

The annual South By Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival took place over the last two weeks in Austin, TX, where literally hundreds of bands perform in what is one of the biggest shitshows the music industry has to offer. That said, it is a fun time, though it depends on who you are.

Anyway, Jonathan Childers used to live here in Champaign-Urbana, contributing at SP at certain points (oh, that Jimmy John's thing), before his band The Leadership moved to Nashville in 2011. Their album Frontiers was one of the best albums over the course of the last half decade, and he performs in a band called Blank Range nowadays. 

Blank Range played some shows at SXSW and Rolling Stone took the opportunity to talk about the band, Childers, and the Nashville sound.

Here's an excerpt:

But it was Blank Range, a Nashville country-rock outfit featuring amped-up guitars with occasional steel-guitar atmospherics, plus the sort of precise vocal harmonies rarely heard in guitar-rock nowadays, that demolished the Yeti stage. Singer Jonathan Childers also earned sartorial extra credit by rocking a thrift-store cowboy look with a white-suit-and-hat ensemble that made him appear as if he just escaped from a high-school prom.

"I bought a pair of jeans off a guy at a show in Flagstaff, Arizona," Childers said after the set. "They were acid-washed, I wanted 'em and the guy said $10. But I gave him 20 since he was taking them off."

Pretty cool to see what Childers is doing and to have him and the band featured is great. Read the whole article, and in addition, listen to his band here.

Photo by Lorne Thomson/Redferns.