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Hidden Agenda artist The Bats headlines Pitchfork News

Local label Hidden Agenda got some mad love from upstate indie rock juggernauts Pitchfork today when they reported on the U.S. release of The Guilty Office, the latest album by The Bats, to be released June 23. To those who know, and obviously some people do, the New Zealand natives are considered to be some of the originators of indie-pop alongside The Church and XTC.

They'll be on tour in Europe come May and June, and we can only hope for a stop in the States, perhaps even in Champaign?

Come on Jim! Come on Angie! Come on Roy! Come on Geoff!




Prelude wows at Paradiso film screening

I was fortunate enough to be able to catch the first two programs of Local Cinema @ Paradiso on Friday during the Boneyard Arts Festival. The screening provided a glimpse of huge talent among the cornfields, showcasing trailers, music videos, and complete films. The last show I was able to view, the 32 minute film, Prelude, made my jaw drop. Directed by Luke Boyce, the beautifully shot film is a slice-of-life story with a dark twist. I was stunned by the professional camerawork and gorgeous look of the film, and the ending left me thinking, "This guy's going places!" It's exciting to see Champaign-Urbana can host an environment where local film is appreciated.

To view Prelude, visit this page on Essence Films' website. This is a perfect precursor to Ebertfest!


Celebration Company open audition

The Celebration Company at the Station Theatre will hold auditions for two summer productions on Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, April 26, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. 

The first show of the summer is the musical comedy smash The Full Monty, to be directed by Mikel L. Matthews Jr., set to open June 11 and run through July 11.  Second is Alan Ayckbourn's comedy Absurd Person Singular, to be directed by Joi Hoffsommer, set to run July 23 to August 1. 

Musical auditions should consist of a prepared song, preferably from another show.  Accompanist provided.  Non-musical auditions will consist of readings from the script.  Actors aged 20 and up are encouraged to audition!


Furniture Lounge “flexes” muscles with a new exhibit

Now that Furniture Lounge has skipped from one downtown to the other, they've been taking advantage of its new spacious digs by showcasing visual artists in what it calls its, "FLEXSPACE."

Up next: the artwork of DeanEddie. Join them this coming Saturday, April 26 25 at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the opening reception. The art shows from then until May 30 during regular hours, 11 a.m. to 5p.m.


Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act of 2009

Thanks to the Common Ground Food Co-op, which is making excellent use of its Facebook feed, I found out about this report published last month.

Written at the behest of the General Assembly, the report details plans to develop Illinois's local food economies. Some of the proposed steps would be enacted under HB 3990, currently pending through the Senate. Senator Frerichs is already on board as a co-sponsor, but for readers who live outside of Champaign-Urbana or who maintain permanent residences elsewhere, consider writing or calling your state senator to help move this legislation forward. Thanks are due to Rep. Jakobsson, who co-sponsored the bill in the House, and Wes Jarrell of Prairie Fruits Farm, who served on the committee that drafted the plan.


Don’t forget: Today is “Record Store Day”

Celebrating all that is good about a) vinyl and b) brick and mortar, mom & pop record stores, today (Saturday) is "Record Store Day." Exile on Main Street and Parasol Records will be selling many of the limited-edition releases coming out today from bands like My Morning Jacket, Camera Obscura, Iron and Wine, King Crimson, Misfits, MC5, and Radiohead. (To see the full list of releases, go here.) Exile is also having bands perform all day long in store.


Beer Bulletin: April 17

Here are the new brews making the rounds this weekend.

Crane Alley

In the bottle: Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Port Brewing Hop-15

On tap: Southern Tier Hoppe, Delirium Tremens, Three Floyds Pride & Joy, Bells Two Hearted Ale, Avery Old Jubilation, Weltenburger Helles Lager, Weihenstephaner Hefe Weizen, Southern Tier Choklat Stout, Bells Oberon, Boulder Mojo Risin IPA, Unibroue Ephemere, Old Speckled Hen, Rogue Youngers Special Bitter, Ballast Point Whiskey Barrel Porter

Blind Pig

In the bottle: Dupont Avril, Dupont Biere de Miel, Boulevard Saison, Bells Oberon, Dogfish Head ApriHop, Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti, Breckenridge Vanilla Porter

On tap: Witkap Pater Tripel, Duchesse De Bourgogne, New Holland Dragon’s Milk, Krusovice Imperial 12°, Wychwood Hobgoblin, Anchor Old Foghorn Ale, Anchor Bock, Founders Cerise, Ballast Point Coffee Oatmeal Stout, Three Floyds Pride & Joy