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The Blind Pig’s version of March Madness

Every Thursday in March, the Blind Pig will feature a different brewery on draught.

March 5: Dogfish Head (60 Minute IPA, 90 Minute Double IPA, Indian Brown Ale, and Palo Santo Marron)

March 12: Bells (Hopslam, Best Brown Ale, Amber Ale, Kalamazoo Stout)

March 19: Three Floyds (Robert The Bruce, Alpha King, Gumballhead, Price & Joy)

March 26: Sierra Nevada (Pale Ale, ESB, Bigfoot Barley Wine, Chico IPA, Pale Bock, Torpedo 12 oz. bottles)

For more info, see the Pig's website.

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Pigface founder Martin Atkins speaks tonight at Cowboy Monkey

For those of you who lived through the industrial rock revolution that was birthed in Chicago, the name Martin Atkins should be familiar. He help found Pigface, Killing Joke, and Public Limited Ltd. and performed with the likes of Ministry, RevCo and more. For those of you who have no idea of who I am speaking about, be sure to stop by Cowboy Monkey tonight at 6:30 p.m. to hear this seminar on touring and what it means to live on the road.

Atkins is the auther of TOUR:SMART, a definitive guide to touring in a rock band. Best part is that it won't cost you a dime, thanks to Red Bull. They picked up the tab so that we can all learn.

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Sharing your books, for a noble cause ...

Is your book collection weighing you down? Do you have a home library that is threatening the structural integrity of your abode? Champaign-Urbana has many great places to donate books. One of the neediest is the Books to Prisoners program, profiled earlier in a Smile Politely piece.

We take donations of used books from the community, mail books in response to prisoner requests, and stock and staff the two local jail libraries. Those books that are not suitable for prisoners, for a variety of reasons, are sold to cover the postage to mail books.

Thanks to community support, we have sent 32,162 books in 8,281 packages to 5,096 inmates since we were founded five years ago. Go here for details about dropping off books.

If you'd like to get rid of your books, merely to make space to acquire more, come to our Spring Book Sale April 3–5 at the IMC in the old Urbana Post Office. A huge assortment of high quality books: paperbacks at 50 cents, hardbacks for a buck.

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CoMMoN Theatre Project presents Closer

The brand new CoMMoN Theatre Project will present their first production, Closer by Patrick Marber, March 13–15 in the loft space above Boltini. 

CoMMoN was founded by Cara Maurizi, Matt Fear, Mathew Green, and Niccole Powers and strives to bring art into intimate spaces, with the ultimate goal of finding a space in which to work permanently. The company performs poignant works in residential spaces to an invited crowd.  Using the provided space as a backdrop, the group focuses on creating hard-hitting art that draws in the crowd. Guests are treated to an evening of local food, music, and visual art before the production even begins. Following the play, a discussion with the cast and reception completes the experience. We are currently accepting reservations on a first response, first served basis. (Opening night is sold out). Anyone can host a CloseUp production in their home or space. Contact 217-649-2983 or cara.maurizi@comcast.net for booking or more information.

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IMC hosts a pair of music workshops

The Independent Media Center is offering a rare opportunity for local musicians to learn from two award-winning performers: Robrt Bowlin, a longtime vet of the Nashville recording industry who specializes in flatpicking and fingerpicking, and Wil Maring, a Merlefest Songwriting Contest winner who has played the Grand Ole Opry. Bowlin teaches a guitar workshop, while Maring teaches a songwriting workshop. The workshops, which will be held at the IMC on May 9, cost $35; Ed Hawkes (217-493-4654) is the man to contact if you wish to register.

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Crappy weekend for Illini basketball

1) The men's team lost to Michigan State on Senior Day, 74–66, assuring the Illini they can finish no higher than second in the Big 10.

2) Luther Head was cut by the Houston Rockets, ending his lengthy stay with the team and a brief reunion with fellow Illini Brian Cook.

3) Jamar Smith, called maybe "the best shooter I've coached" by his new coach at Southern Indiana, is starting to really heat it up for the Screaming Eagles. It's hard not to wonder, on days when the Illini can't buy a bucket down the stretch, whether Smith could have boosted our fortunes this season. Sadly, such thoughts clearly weigh heavy on Smith's mind, too.

At least the Illini women posted a big road win against Minnesota. Another road win next week against Penn State will get the ladies to the 10-win plateau for the season.