Category: Word

Q&A with performance artist Rebecca Nagle, performing tonight

Rebecca Nagle is performing her one-woman show "A Dozen Things I Want to Do On Stage" tonight at the U-C Independent Media Center at 8 p.m. There's a sliding admission scale of $6 to $12 (not sure how it slides), and Jacob Barton will be opening on udderbot. Rebecca answered some of our incredulous questions by email. As an introduction, the dozen things are:

  1. undress to "Wenn Ich Mir Was Wünschen Dürfte"
  2. fit in a small box
  3. tell your secrets
  4. discuss why something is racist
  5. fall in love
  6. read her fantasies
  7. act out your fantasies
  8. induce a tragedy
  9. fall down
  10. take truth serum while letting the audience ask her questions
  11. tell a tall tale
  12. disembowel herself


Rebecca Nagle: I do nightly disembowelments. It does not involve magic, but it does involve a daily trip to the blood bank.

Smile Politely: Who supplies your truth serum? Are you tempted to lie in answering this question?

Rebecca Nagle: My friend back in Baltimore is a neurologist at John Hopkins. She gets it for me. I'm not lying.

Smile Politely: How did you get interested in 1920's political cabaret?

Rebecca Nagle: I took a class on fascist aesthetics in college which was mostly about art in Germany and Italy during World War II. And one of the things we studied was Weimar republic cabaret and how radical that art form was and how it was oppressed and shut down when Hitler came to power. And right now in contemporary performance there is this whole neo-cabaret movement, that isn't always self aware of its origins. And knowing that I was going to use the format of a variety show I did more research and was really fascinated by how radical the cabarets in the 1920's were. A lot of the performance was this visceral reaction people were expressing to the violence they had witnessed in World War I. In Vienna some of the cabarets incorporated Dadaism, so it was really experimental.

Smile Politely: What is the best tall tale you've ever heard?

Rebecca Nagle: The best story my family has is from our first family vacation before my dad and step mom got married. We were in a small town in Minnesota in this small episcopal church and this old, old, old priest was effeciating a baptism. And he kept backing up into the baptismal candle and lighting his robe on fire. And as the alcolites were hitting him on the back to put the fire out, he turned to them and said thank you because he thought they were patting him on the back to say that he was doing a good job. So he never realized that he was lighting himself on fire and none of the people in this small, polite congregation ever told him.

Smile Politely: What's been your favorite and least favorite reaction from an audience member to this show?

Rebecca Nagle: It's hard to get people reactions right after the show, because I'm dead. But I really like it when people find me on the internet and send me e-mails and facebook messages. Sometimes really long ones about all of the things that the show made them think about. It's a pretty meaty piece of work and to see that people really take the time to digest it makes me really happy.

Smile Politely: Anything else that you want to share is welcome, thanks for helping to weird up our little towns.

Rebecca Nagle: Other things to say... hmm... In general the performance combines 1920's European cabaret with 1970's feminist performance art to make an interactive variety show that deconstructs power, gender, sexuality, and truth.


Interim Provost/Chancellor Easter outlines budget woes to UI students

From a massmail sent by Easter to all UIUC students early this morning:

Dear Students:

As we approach the spring semester I write to inform you of the current
financial situation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

As is the case with all public universities in the state we currently face
a cash crisis. In the current fiscal year that commenced on July 1, 2009,
we have only received 7 percent of our annual appropriation from the
state. As I write this letter the state of Illinois owes the University
more than $436 million of its appropriation. That number increases every

As a response, we have instituted a number of measures on campus to ensure
that we have the necessary resources to get through the semester with an
eye to confronting a similar fiscal shortfall in the next fiscal year. Our
faculty and administrative staff will begin mandatory furloughs in
February. (A furlough is a leave of absence without pay.) We have also
been cutting costs at all levels of the university and we are looking at
ways we can consolidate services to garner even more savings. Finally, we
continue to draw on cash reserves, but these are finite and we can no
longer continue to go down this path.

Please understand that we are doing everything we can to protect our
students - our number one priority - from the impact of these cost-cutting
measures. We believe that each fiscal decision we make must not compromise
the education of this state's greatest assets, its daughters and sons.

Please share this letter with your parents and family members. Great
public universities such as ours must be preserved and supported to ensure
that Illinois and the nation stay competitive in a global economy.

Thank you for your support,

Robert A. Easter
Chancellor and Provost (Interim)


Despite petition, Rietz refuses to drop charges on Jeshaun

Originally posted on the UC-IMC site.

On Tuesday morning, Jan. 19, Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice delivered an online petition with 377 signatures to State’s Attorney Julia Rietz asking her to drop the charges on Jeshaun Manning-Carter, the 15 year old who was with Kiwane Carrington when he was killed by Champaign police. A hard copy of the petition with another 60 signatures was also presented. Jeshaun is being prosecuted on felony charges of resisting arrest.

A juvenile hearing was held at 2 p.m. with about 15-20 supporters showing up at the Champaign County Courthouse, although they were not permitted in the courtroom as is routine in juvenile cases. State’s Attorney Rietz appeared in court and local African American attorney Alfred Ivy represented the defendant. Attorney Ivy asked Judge Heidi Ladd for a continuance, saying that he and the State’s Attorney were working toward a resolution. Rietz had no objection, stating that according to Principal Richard Kelly of the READY Program where Jeshaun goes to school, he was attending class and doing well. Yet despite this good record, Rietz was still unwilling to drop the charges.

A continuance was granted and the next hearing will be held February 17 at 2:45 in Courtroom C.  

You can sign the petition and read the many heartfelt comments left by others here:

After the hearing, I attempted to ask Rietz if she had a response to the people who had signed the petition and she simply stated, “No.” When I asked why she would not respond she said, “I don’t trust you Brian.”

While Rietz would not talk to me, she invited press members from WCIA and WDWS into her office. A reporter with the television station WCIA told me that Rietz had seen the petition and read it.


Tour Diaries: World’s Second World’s First Flying Machine’s World’s First Tour Post

Saturday 1/16/10 - Cincinnati

We played at Rohs Street Café. It’s a great coffee shop with a huge stage that connects to a cathedral style church. From the clientele and the American Apparel across the street I could tell it was a “happening” place. Neon orange tights!?!? That's so hip!!!

But seriously, why is everyone in Cincinnati so fashionable? I felt like we were in a Coca Cola commercial that took place at an “indie rock show.” And I totally mean that in a positive way, I was neither pretty enough nor clean smelling enough to be there. But despite our sloppy appearance, the fine people of Cincinnati accepted us.

We were very excited because not only were there 100+ more people than we were expecting, many of them were more than happy to buy our CD (INSERT INFO ABOUT OUR CD RELEASE SHOW!!!).

One guy was surprised to find out we were from Champaign-Urbana because he thought we sounded like “if Broken Social Scene was from Tennessee.”I told him that analogy was much more appreciated than the Dave Matthews Band comparison we got the night before.

Everyone in Champaign-Urbana should love the band Enlou (who set this show up for us). I think they are more than ready and capable to “break out” or what have you. But yeah listen to them – reverb, dance beats, and vibraphone! They were also nice enough to let us stay at their place and their guitarist, Curt, drove Chris and I to Wendy’s at 2 in the morning.

Sunday 1/17/10 - Indianapolis

Indy show

The last day of our tour brings us to Indianapolis. The venue is called the Earth House Collective. It reminds me of a three floor Red Herring. The basement has a vegetarian restaurant, the ground floor serves coffee, and the top floor is a huge, beautiful room with a big stage. The room was full of seated audience members, but the big stage and tall ceilings made the place fill huge and empty.

It felt awkward performing but we got the most positive reaction of the tour, so I guess we sounded alright to the folks listening. We played with another fantastic group, Accordions. My favorite part of the set was when the group got off stage and played some songs in the audience. Melodica, trumpet, ukulele, autoharp, a singing saw, and the titular instrument blended perfectly with the group’s spot on vocal harmonies.

After the show, Accordions taught us how to “Elk Wrestle” (it’s basically like competitive yet gentle head-butting) and then we headed back to C-U. All in all, it was a great time. We’re looking forward to seeing you on the 30th.


Tour Diaries: World’s First Flying Machine’s World’s First Tour Part 1

Wednesday 1/13/10 – Chicago

It’s the first day of the World’s First World’s First Flying Machine tour! I, admittedly, only had to take a 10 minute bus ride to Quenchers Saloon, but the rest of the band made their way from further distances. It was the best Chicago show since we opened for Headlights at Schubas way back when.

Quenchers gives each band member a “$10 credit for drinks” and in order to keep track of this they have their own currency. It’s a lot like Geoffrey Bucks from Toys R US. And with the crazy good beer selection I felt like a drunk kid in a toy store.

Thursday 1/14/10 – Day Off! Our day off!

While the rest of the band went to Champaign to assemble our handmade LIMITED EDITION copies of “The House You’re Living In” (available at our CD release show at Canopy Club on Jan 30!!!), I performed at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival with The Other Other Guys – a comedy group formed at U of I and sort of named after campus acapella group “The Other Guys.” I’ll be taking a much too early train to Champaign tomorrow.

Friday 1/15/10 – Tennessee

Far from city lights and GPS signals, a couple of us are taking night cap shots of Beefeater, waiting for the water to boil on the wood burning stove. Also, we’re in a school bus. But more on that later.

We left for Greenbrier, Tennessee around 11 in the morning. We arrived at Greenbrier, Tennessee around 6 p.m. I ate two McDouble Cheeseburgers at 6:30 p.m., I regretted eating two McDouble Cheeseburgers at 6:33 p.m. Then we went into the venue.

Loudhouse Coffee is located at a strip mall alongside a laundromat and a resale shop/ dog grooming store. It was the most fully realized all age venue I’ve ever been to. We played to some angsty small town teens, some of their parents, and some of their much younger siblings. An eight-year-old girl put her feet on the stage and doodled a bearded stick figure version of Gautam during our set.

It was really great. Not only was this our first out of state show, but it was the first time the crowd wanted an encore. That was a total surprise, considering we followed a Paramore-esque band with a light show that the crowd went bananas for. We even sold a handful of our handmade LIMITED EDITION copies of “The House You’re Living In” (skip this parenthetical phrase to avoid another shameless plug: which will be released locally on January 30 at our CD release show at the Canopy Club!!!!)

The night ended with this scream-o band that really blew my mind. They had synchronized rock out moves including “Running in Place,” “Head Banging like a Scarecrow,” and “Head Banging like a Spider Monkey.” A lot of the songs had these great talking-verses. Some choice quotes:

“If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to give in; you don’t want to grow up (Death Growl)”

“A friend once told me that you should learn to live with yourself because in the long run that’s who you’re stuck with (pause) FOR LIFE (Death Growl).”

wffm bus

But yeah, we got this show because of the help of the very good Nashville band Pineapple Explode. And we’re drinking a variety of beverages inside a renovated school bus because Pineapple Explode member Markus was kind enough to let us stay at his family’s farm. He’s been working on the bus for a couple months and I have to say it’s one of my favorite places I’ve been to in recent memory. There’s a bunk bed and an autoharp! Part two of the tour coming later this week!!!


Booze before noon…for charity!

The local chapter of Ambucs ("a non-profit service organization consisting of a diverse group of men and women who are dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities") is putting on a Barstool Golf Event to raise money for disabled children. So, if you're enjoy throwing back a few cocktails while putt putt golfing at a bunch of townie bars, well, you'll probably like Barstool Golf.

Its going down this Saturday the 23rd from 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. and (here's the best part) the volunteers at Ambucs will provide participants with a safe ride from bar to bar.  If you're interested, get four people together, then get $80 together and then call Larry Windingland at 217-621-6991 before Thursday the 21st.  You can also sign your team up at one of the participating bars:

  • The Office II on South Country Fair Drive in Champaign
  • PIA's on Springfield Avenue in Champaign
  • Fireside on Springfield Avenue in Champaign
  • Fat City on the corner of Neil & Green Stree in Champaign
  • Jupiter's on Main Street in Downtown Champaign
  • Esquire Lounge on North Walnut in Downtown Champaign
  • Neighbors at The ICE HOUSE on South Neil Street in Champaign
  • Huber's on West Church Street in Champaign
  • It'll Do 2 in The Country Fair Shopping Center in Champaign

This is a great way to find a new local watering hole that you can later brag to your hipster friends about. They'll think you're the ironicist.



Send Books to Prisoners on MLK National Day of Service

You are invited to take part in this special volunteer opportunity on Monday January 18th from 1-3pm. Families, organizations, groups and individuals are welcome. Don't miss this unique chance to spend time with your friends, family and neighbors as we observe this Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

Show up at 1pm for a brief orientation and stay for as long as you'd like. You can expect to read letters from inmates, then select books from our collection of donated materials to meet their requests, then package the books for shipping. We will also be accepting financial donations which are used to pay for our postage costs and to purchase dictionaries, which is our most frequently requested book.

Urbana Champaign Books to Prisoners workshop is located in the basement of the Independent Media Center at 202 S. Broadway in Urbana. Questions? Email or call 708-782-4608 or visit Feel free to re-distribute this open invitation to others in our community.



IMC Film Festival (Feb. 5-7) announces “Call for Submissions”

(Urbana, Illinois) December 31, 2009: The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (IMC) is proud to announce that it will host the second annual IMC Film Festival during February 5, 6, and 7, 2010, and is now accepting submissions! This celebration of the art of cinematography will once again highlight local and regional independent artists, giving them an opportunity to share their work and connect with other artists, community members, and organizations. Download the Call for Entries submittal form here (pdf).

Last year’s inaugural IMC Film Festival attracted approximately 300 supporters of creative media who enjoyed three days’ worth of screenings, presentations, workshops, dance parties, and after-hours camaraderie at the IMC building, located at 202 S. Broadway Ave. in downtown Urbana, Illinois. Beyond offering attendees the rare opportunity to screen truly independent work with an audience, the Film Festival also helped draw attention to the IMC’s on-site Production Group, which provides knowledge and equipment for budding media-makers in the Urbana-Champaign community who strive to make a difference with their work.

All genres of film are welcome, including: documentary, experimental, narrative, comedy, etc. Film highlights from last year’s event include:

Prelude (2007), directed by Luke Boyce, an anguished writer meets a mysterious stranger in a cafe and is drawn into a soul-bearing conversation, but her interest may be deeper than he thinks.

Citizen Watch (2004), directed by Patrick Thompson and Martel Miller, a controversial video recording interactions between local police and the black community in Urbana-Champaign;

Proceed and Be Bold!
(2008), directed by Laura Zinger, the colorful story of printmaker Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., who uses his art to bring complicated issues such as race and gender into the forefront of the American consciousness;

Diversity and Technology for Engaging Communities (DTEC) Video (2008), produced by UIUC Educational Policy Studies professor Antonia Darder and her students, a video that exposes the secret history of racism on the University of Illinois campus;

And the Beat Goes On: The Spirit in the Legacy of the Douglass Center Drum Corps (2006), produced by Urbana (IL) High School students and supervised by Kimberlie Kranich and Will Patterson of WILL’s Youth Media Workshop, looks at recent efforts by former drum corps leader Jesse Ratliffe and 17-year-old Lee Duncan to revive the group, which in 1968 won First Place in the national Elks Club competition in New York City.

The Transient, directed by Chris Lukeman, is an '80s throwback action movie about a homeless vigilante.  The hero and his social worker sidekick, Steve, must stop Vampire Abraham Lincoln and his gang of punks...the 25 minute short was filmed in Champaign Urbana and the IMC Film Fest 2009 was the official CU premiere!

Filmmakers are invited to submit their works by filling out the Submittal Sheet and following those instructions.  As well, the IMC Film Festival is open to all – free of admission charges! SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2010, 5 p.m. Please make sure that all required information is included with your entry.

Area businesses, regional filmmakers, and media production companies are also invited to sponsor this year’s event! It is a great way to introduce your business or non-profit venture to a wider audience both during the IMC Film Festival and in key promotion that will appeal to the artist and art-supporting communities. If interested, please contact Nicole at for more information; please write “IMC Film Festival 2010 – Sponsorship” in the Subject header!

Last year’s sponsors included:

CU Blogfidential and Micro-Film Magazine
Shatterglass Studios
Mirabelle  Bakery
Common Ground Food Co-op
That's Rentertainment
One World Pizza
Strawberry Fields
La Gourmandise


 Nicole Pion
Outreach and Development Coordinator, UCIMC

Katy Vizdal
Performance Venue Coordinator, UCIMC

or, at

202 S. Broadway Ave.
Suite 100
Urbana, Il 61801



The Alex Legion Saga to renew in a different location


Fighting Illini Basketball

Legion Leaves Illini

Champaign, Ill.--Junior guard Alex Legion (Detroit, Mich.) has left the Illinois basketball program.

"Alex is a good kid who faced a difficult situation in returning to the court last year at semester break," Illinois head coach Bruce Weber said. "He worked hard during his time here and gave great effort. We wish him the best and we'll do whatever we can to help him in his transition."

Legion played in 33 games during his Illini career, totaling 107 points (3.2 avg.). He scored a career-high 15 points last year at Michigan State, and had a season-high 11 points vs. Presbyterian on Nov. 21.

"I appreciate the support from the U of I fans, my teammates and coaches," Legion said. "I look forward to the next step in my collegiate career."