Smile Politely

Weekender: June 22–24


Taste a little local; don’t taste the not-so-local; all weekend, Westside Park

Two years back, I guess I just felt like I’d had it with the Taste of C-U. Bob Evans, Papa John’s, and a few other corporate behemoths mixed in with the likes of local gems like Manolo’s and Junior’s was simply too much for me to handle. I broke down, and wrote this piece on why it wasn’t working. 

But, I’ve settled down a bit, as per usual. Spoke to a few people at the Park District, heard their rationale, and actually tend to agree with their perspective: it’s not perfect, but it’s a good thing, on the whole. You can avoid those places by simply not patronizing their tents, and instead, hit the local booths and taste a few items throughout the day.

So, you should go.

But you should also stop by the Park District booth and ask them, “Why can I not have a beer in my hand right now?”

Seriously. Why? If the Park District believes that adults drinking beer on a sunny afternoon in the park is going to somehow sully the “family-friendly” nature of their event, there aren’t enough words out there for me to discredit that notion. If the intention is to raise money for their Youth Scholarship Fund (which is admirable as hell), then they should be making every effort to do just that.

And let me tell you, nothing puts money into coffers the way alcohol does. Ask Jerry Schweighart. (SF)

Dazed and Confused at The Art Theater, Friday, 10:00 p.m. | Saturday 10:00 p.m.

Richard Linklater’s classic in 35mm. I’ve never seen this film, but I’ve heard good things about it. I wonder if I’m too old for it now though. I hope not, because I’ll be checking it out on Friday. Can’t do it on Saturday because I’ll be following Patrick’s advice (below) and hanging out at Mike N’ Molly’s (never too old for a concert). (TN)


Sun Stereo, S.Words, Legtwo at Cowboy Monkey, $5, show at 10 p.m.

This a-here lineup is sure to be one of the better summer shows within a few weeks, and I’d stake my collection of vinyl on that notion. Fact is, Sun Stereo is the product of Kelly McMorris’ years of honing his craft and finally executing his vision. Full disclosure: Kelly and I were roommates in 2001–2002, and my band (Absinthe Blind) shared a basement practice space with his band (Synesthesia). They were directionless, and had little vision, and I think they were on drugs, but you know, it was college — so, hard to say.

Sun Stereo is the work of a musician who has truly developed. In fact, I’d argue that from a true musicianship standpoint, you won’t find a better band anywhere in town. Jesse Greenlee on the drums? Please. Josh Houchins on the upright bass? Amazing. A brass section that is as tight as a snare drum, and handmade beats interact with Kelly’s mostly perfect songwriting and creativity to make one of the best live acts around.

Swords is far and away one of the best rappers this town has seen in years, and it’s good to see that he’s mixing it up and getting on shows like this one, which will be a perfect situation to showcase his rhymes. And the ever-present DJ LegTwo will start things off right. He always has, and always will.

It’s a truly blockbuster local showcase, and you’d be a fool to miss it. (SF)


Auction of the Week: Willard and Verna Yoder Estate Auction, 155 E. CR  600 N., Arthur, 9:00 a.m.

The name sounds Amish, but they must be Mennonite, because there’s plenty of electrical tools and gas appliances. This is just the collectibles section of the listing:

Vegetable wagon out of the Eli Yoder Cannery; Schwinn Collegiate bike; Schwinn Hornet w/tank; (4) MCCORMICK DEERING REEL SLATES; (5) Porch posts; Meat hooks, Hay trolley and hay rope, Corn Meal grinder; Galvanized buckets; Old feed scoops; Chicken feeders; Copper kettle; Metal Chicken coop; Milk Can; Round Oak cast iron stove w/finnel; Well pump; Sled; Watering cans; Perfection Heater; a good selection of Vintage tools; 1922, 1930, 1931 license plates; Picket fence and chicken wire; Wood ladders; Old Country blue step ladder; Galvanized wash tub; crocks; 1891 Benson Creamy Cookie jar (rare); Sugar bucket; Costume jewelry; Service for 8 of Mikasa – Blue Daisy pattern plus serving items. 


Gone Missing at Krannert Center, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $10-$18

If you are like me you often forgot how great it is to go see live theatre. Usually I bust out the theatre tickets in order to impress my love interest, but I won’t lie, I like it. Watching someone who isn’t an overpaid actor in a movie dress up and make believe makes me feel like a kid again. Speaking of kids, this show comes with the disclaimer that we the audience should “note that this production contains profuse swearing and graphic descriptions of dead bodies.” I’m sold. (CC)

Stop by The Brass Rail for a few Old Grand-Dads, $3.50 a piece, open hours

There are a lot of redeeming qualities to the establishment at 15 E. University, but this has got to be the best thing about it. Most of the time I end up going there and have one too many of these and it’s usually worth it. Nothing like a kick in the pants from Old Grand-Dad to get your night started out right. This is definitely a stop before going to most shows downtown, so you’ll probably see me there before the show at Mike ‘N Molly’s on Saturday. (PS)


Troubadour Dali, Cloudmanner, Monheim at Mike ‘N Molly’s, $5, show at 10 p.m.

This is definitely slated to happen on my schedule this weekend. The last time I saw Troubadour Dali was back on Halloween over at Cowboy when they played with The Dirty Feathers, and they destroyed. Fans of psych-rock should see these guys at some point when they come into town. It’s a small price to pay to see them and new(er) local act, not to mention hang out in the beer garden all night. Can’t really complain about that type of night, as I’ve spent many there in the summer months. (PS)


One Man, Two Guvnors at The Art Theater, $20, 1:00 p.m.

I don’t know much about One Man, Two Govnors, except that it’s already a Broadway hit and the film version is getting stellar reviews. The blurb describes it as a “comedy that is heavy on wordplay and exquisitely choreographed physical movement.”

This performance was filmed live at London’s National Theatre during the initial run. It is three hours, with an intermission. (TN)





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