Smile Politely

Weekender: June 14–16


“What We Do During Our Summer Vacations,” indi-go Artist Co-op, 6:00–9:00 p.m.

We announced this on our SPlog a few weeks ago, but I wanted to post it here as well in case it’s slipped your minds. This exhibit is really interesting. It’s an exhibition of several Art educators, graduates, and undergraduates from UIUC, who’ll be showcasing their own work. So there will be all kinds of artists who create in all kinds of different mediums about all kinds of different subjects.

The opening reception is Friday, but the exhibit runs through June 25. (TN)

Vieux Farka Touré, Mhondoro Rhythm Success, U of I Research Park, 6:30 p.m., free

Krannert Center’s Outside at the Research Park series begins this week with former Ellnora performer Vieux Farka Touré. They announced the shows a short while back, and this is the first of two performances this summer. Taylor did an interview with him yesterday, which is pretty interesting. You can check that out here. Also, another reason these events are great: They’re all ages, so bring your kids if you want. Or call a babysitter. You’ll figure it out. (PS)

Caveman, Common LoonThe Highdive, $10, 8 p.m.

So, Caveman has put out one of the best records all year. Yep, one of the best. Definitely not the best, but damn good. It’s self-titled, and if you know how to use the internet, you can find it there to listen to prior to this show tonight. 

Sure, they’ll be performing at this year’s Pygmalion Music Festival in September, but why not see them before then? This material is relatively fresh, seeing as their record came out in March, so the tracks haven’t had time to become diluted yet.

Caveman kind of has a throwback sound. It makes me think of ’80s pop-rock in a lot of ways, while creating a distinctly fresh sound at the same time. Again, listen to their album if you haven’t already. If you’re lazy and just want to hear it here and now, look below. Disclaimer: you might not listen to anything else the rest of the day. It’s good stuff.

Not only is this band coming to town, but Common Loon is opening. Talk about the local icing on the cake. They don’t pack many surprises, which is kind of their game. It’s what makes them worthwhile, honestly. You know what you’re getting when you go to their shows, and that’s more than satisfying. This is the show, people. (PS)


Carnivále Debauche, Emerald City Lounge, 10:30 p.m., $5

This somehow slipped past my radar for the Rainbow Connection this week. I’m making up for that here. I’m really glad to see this burlesque troupe performing again. They’re always a delight. (TN)

Guest performers include:

Sightseers, The Art Theater Co-op, Friday and Saturday at midnight

If you’re in the mood for dark comedy this weekend, skip (the likely predictable and formulaic) This is the End in Savoy and check out Sightseers at the Art. I haven’t seen this film yet, but it sets up as a romantic English getaway for two (a “ginger-faced man and an angry woman”) that goes awry, turning into more Natural Born Killers than Roman Holiday. It looks to be some British satire at its best.

The local short A Bear in the Woods, a story by Joe Taylor, which won the Art’s vacation horror story contest, will premiere before Sightseers. The film is directed by Thomas Nicol and stars Finn Dallas. (JS)



Bloomsday Celebration, Heartland Gallery, 2:00 p.m.

It’s a celebration of all things James Joyce at Urbana’s Heartland Gallery, featuring Ulysses readings performed by local theatre luminaries Gary Ambler, Joi Hoffsommer, and Seamus Reilly. Also featuring Irish writer portraits by Barry Mullan, John Nolan, and Francis Leavey of Fab Cow Designs, plus photography of Ulysses locations. Snacks and drinks provided. (MG)

Superior Donuts, Station Theatre, 8:00 p.m., $15

It’s the final performance of Superior Donuts, the Norman Lear-esque dramedy by recent Tony Award-winner Tracy Letts. Starring Lincoln Machula, William Anthony Sebastian Rose II, and a host of local actors, this play follows the meetings, partings, and relationships of a donut shop proprietor, his new employee, and the denizens of Chicago’s Upton neighborhood. Check out our review here. Then call (217) 384-4000 for reservations. Free parking located across the street at Sav-a-Lot. (MG)

Sun Stereo, Elsinore, Dirty Feathers, The Struggle, Feudin’ Hillbillies, Green St. between 5th and Wright, 6:00 p.m., free

The first truly summery week of the year and I go and get the virus from hell. If I weren’t sick, I guarantee I would be on campus Saturday night for this event. Last year, during the first installment of Champaign Center Partnership’s Summer Stage, I had a great time at this event, even if the music was secondary at times. I saw old friends, I had a drink or two, and I enjoyed some food from restaurants I haven’t been to yet. Of course, the music was great last year and I expect it to be the same this year (maybe with the exception of Feudin’ Hillbillies), but, as an experience, I don’t think there’s a better bet this weekend. (CDD)

$5 off wine, spirits, and imported beer at Friar Tuck, Savoy, all day, price varies

Since I am sick, I plan on nursing my sore throat and achy body with a bit of Bulleit bourbon. If you get the Friar Tuck newsletter you already have the coupon good for $5 off all through June. If you don’t this is what the front side looks like (sorry, they did not post the coupon online for printing). You don’t have to keep yourself cooped up, like I will be, but you should probably take advantage of this deal anyway. (CDD)



5th Annual Crawfish Boil, Crane Alley, 1:00 p.m., $18 (advance); $23 (door)

This is one of my favorite events of the year. One of the few positive things I remember about growing up in Louisiana is the food (and the legal drinking age being 18, and Mardi Gras, and that’s about it). So I look forward to this event every year. Seriously, Crane Ally’s annual crawfish boil — for which they ship the little beasts live, overnight — does everything right.

This year, their outdoor beer truck will have six different brews from Victory Brewing Company (of which I am not familiar at all). They’ll also have “a charity raffle, bags competition and more.” Don’t miss it. And look for our coverage of the event next week! (TN)



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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