Smile Politely

Weekender: February 5-7

FRIDAY, February 5th

Observatory Open House, Observatory (901 S. Matthews Ave., Urbana), 7-9 p.m., free

Join the University of Illinois Astronomical Society for their monthly observatory open house. This event gives community members the chance to check out the night sky with the observatory’s historic telescope (which is 115+ years old). If you want to get amped up before the event, check out the Clear Sky Chart to see what will be on view on the cosmos. (RP)

My Bloody Valentine, The Virginia Theatre, 7 p.m., $4

As part of their “Love Stinks” film festival, our classic theatre is screening a classic slasher flick (not the recent remake, and not anything to do with shoegazers). A bit early for the holiday, but might as well start anti-celebrating early, right?  (RK)


Cullen Omori, Tara Terra, Tigerbeat, The Accord, 8 p.m., $10 advance/$13 door

If you’re like me, then Smith Westerns is your most-seen live band ever. If you’re not like me, you’re probably a normal person. Regardless, however, Smith Westerns are one of the best indie-pop bands of the past five years, and their frontman Cullen Omori graces The Accord’s stage this Friday, backed by local powerhouses Tara Terra and Tigerbeat. (BH)


The Decadents + James Jones, Memphis on Main, 9 p.m., $5

The Decadents are still celebrating the release of their new album, Hard Folks, and James Jones Trio is f’ing amazing. The Decadents play at 9 p.m. and James Jones starts at 11 p.m. Show up early to grab a seat and a drink or three. (RP)

SATURDAY, February 6th

Marrow, Sima Cunningham, The Phantom Broadcast, The Canopy Club, 6 p.m., $10

If you’re familiar with Chicago’s hip-hop scene (or the national hip-hop scene, at all), you have likely heard of Vic Mensa, who was featured on a couple of tracks with Kanye West last year. Well before Vic was a huge rap star, he was in a group with other kids from Chicago called Kids These Days, which was one of the most awesome projects ever. After Vic and KTD went seperate ways, some of the band went on to form Marrow, who have been buzzing throughout Chicago’s indie underground. Saturday, they bring their music back to Canopy Club, aided by locals The Phantom Broadcast. (BH)

February Dance, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $20 max.

A thorougly modern production, this semester’s showcase from Dance at Illinois features a unique take on the work Astral Convertible. This piece features interactive costumes, lights, and sound brought to you by the extraordinary technological talent of Illinois: IACAT, NCSA, and eDream are not just supporters but collaborators in this production. (RK)




Los Guapos, The Accord, 8 p.m., free

Come chill out at The Accord for a night of Latin-themed instrumental music ranging from salsa, rumba, and son montuno. It’s also free, so it’s a great chance to go check out The Accord if you haven’t been there yet. (JK)

PechaKucha Night in C-U, vol. 20, The Virginia Theatre, $10 advance/$15 door, 8:30 p.m.

In the 20th installment of PechaKucha Night in C-U, you’ll see the return of the presenters — which will surely provide a lot of entertainment for your Saturday evening. Take a look at Mara’s piece that we ran yesterday to get a glimpse into the all-star lineup that is ready to go on Saturday. (PS)

Bardo, B0ycut, Fiona Kimble, Cowboy Monkey, $7, 9:30 p.m.

Chicago’s Bardo is making his debut in Champaign-Urbana on Saturday evening (yes, he’s the son of this Stephen Bardo). His funk-infused hip-hop should make for a great night at Cowboy Monkey. He’s worked with James Treichler (Elsinore/Dirty Feathers), and he’ll be joined by Emily Otnes + Joe Meland’s project B0ycut, and Fiona Kimble will open the show. (PS)

SUNDAY, February 7th

Viva Local, Common Ground Food Co-op, all day, all month, from 7 a.m.-10 p.m., free

Common Ground has expanded its Viva Local event to be a month-long thing, which means free samples for you all month. Stop by any time, any day in February and check out some local produce, cheese, wine, and other delicious items. For more info, check out our review of last year’s event. (JH) 

Soul Food Sundays, Caribbean Grill (at Refinery), 12-4 p.m., $12 for meal, $4for dessert

Soul Food Sundays is back! This Sunday’s meal is fried chicken and a waffle, served with two sides of your choosing. Dessert is peach cobbler. Forget the Superbowl; get yourself some soul food. Carry out only at Refinery on John Street in Champaign. (JH) 



Japan Twang: Sato Michiyoshi ShamisenConcert, Japan House, 1:30 p.m., free

It’s not every weekend that you can see a shamisen virtuoso performing for free. Not sure what a shamisen is? It’s basically a Japanese sytle banjo — check out this video to get an idea. (JK)



All event information is accurate to the best of our abilities, but sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes event information, times, prices, etc., change after we look them up. Whenever possible, we’ve provided a link to the original event page; you should always double-check the source before you make any firm plans. Thanks for your understanding.

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