Smile Politely

The Weekender: March 27–29


Learn how to twizzler on the internets: Want to help your non-profit organization or independent business navigate the confusing waters of social media? Then head to the Wagner Education Center (504 E. Armory, C.) for “Social Media, the News … and Non-Profits” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. See our Listen Up! column from earlier in the week for more information. There’s free beer!

I hate the Blue Devils but love me some Duke: Duke of Uke, that is. Dave King’s novelty “orchestra” performs at Bentley’s at 9 p.m. in what is being billed as a “CD release party.” I’m down with that.

Keith Harden is back in town: Who better to play the Embassy over the bar’s final weekend than former C-U resident and singer-songwriter Keith Harden (pictured, right), who now calls Nashville home. He’s opened for such luminaries as Dr. John, Delbert McClinton, and Muddy Waters. Catch him in a free solo acoustic set at 9 p.m.

They say it’s her birthday: We aren’t asking how many candles will be on Dottie’s cake, ’cause we don’t care. She can still belt out the country standards with the best of ’em. Dottie & the ‘Rail headline this birthday bash at, you guessed it, the Brass Rail. 10 p.m., $3.

To Che, or not to Che, Part 2: Part two of Steven Soderbergh’s Che (about, you guessed it, Che Guevara) is at Boardman’s Art Theatre starting Friday.


We make it up as we go: Zoo Improv, who performs monthly at the Iron Post, takes the stage this Saturday at Cowboy Monkey as part of the C-U Improv Festival. Also appearing are Improv Mafia, winner of the 2008 College Improv Tournament National Championship, and BassProv. $15 at the door, 7 p.m.

Checkmate, little man: Like Spanish as a second language, the game of chess should be standard learning for young people in the United States, and across the world. It sharpens the mind, and enables abstract thought at an early age. Since it’s not though, you should take your little one to the Urbana Public Library to learn it as part of the Kid’s Chess Club. They will thank you later on.

Green Like Kermit: Head to the Orpheum with little ones in tow for their Go Green! program from 1 to 3 p.m. You and the kids can learn how to treat your environment right. It’s free with admission to the museum, and there’s no registration required.

Zombie Funk in Rantoul: Check out members of Brother Embassy this weekend at Rantoul High School performing as part their production of Zombie Prom. It plays all weekend, but Saturday seems like the best night for travel this weekend.

The newest greatest venue in town: From seemingly out of nowhere, Bentley’s on Neil has begun to pick up the slack in our “collapsed” music scene. We’re stoked about it. The Greater: On Saturday, they present classic cowgirl Angie Heaton and Chris Wylin. The Greatest: It’s free.


Sushi on Green: We’re not sure if this place will be ready yet, but Sushi Rock is slated to open its doors this weekend. If their grocery store, Green Onion, is any indication of how their sushi will stack up, I’d be willing to bet on it.

Pygmalion parties underway: It’s Pygmalion time again. Well, at least for some pre-parties anyway. Bowerbirds headlines on Sunday at The Canopy Club as the first of four planned shows to kick off what we’re sure will be another fantastic festival coming Sept. 16 – 19, 2009. Stay tuned to Smile Politely for updates and band announcements as it comes in. Zach May and the Maps opens this show.

Throw me the falcon!: The Big Read features Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon this year, and it all kicks off from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Champaign Public Library. There are events going on all through the monthlong event, but get in on the ground floor with mystery author Michael A. Black, who will speak about Hammett’s life.

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