Smile Politely

Weekender: June 29–July 1


Moonrise Kingdom, Art Theatre, Friday: 5:00 & 7:30 p.m. | Saturday: Noon, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30 p.m. | Sunday: 5:00 & 7:30 p.m.

I know nothing about this movie except that Ed Norton is in it and it’s being played from 35mm film. That’s all I really need to know. Moonrise Kingdom will be playing all next week as well, so if you can’t make this weekend’s shows, stay tuned for a review from us on Monday. (TN)



Fight Club, Art Theatre, Friday & Saturday, 10:00 p.m., $3

It’s been years since I’ve seen this film, but I remember that I fucking loved it. (TN)


Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival, all evening through Saturday night, free to attend. 

Friday night kicks off back-to-back nights of this year’s festival. All events this year will be in downtown Champaign, so head down for the loads of food options and stick around for the music. There will be 13 different BBQ vendors so there will be plenty to sample. And really, you should sample a few. I often forget that besides being one of Americas greatest pastimes, cooking loads of meat over an open flame and smothering it with sauce and spices is secretive, competitive, and far from cordial. So go enjoy the food, but don’t be afraid to judge a little as well.

Accompanying the wafting smells of roasting pig will be a whole slew of music, as is to be expected. There will be several outdoor stages featuring a pretty extensive lineup of family friendly blues, rock, and bluegrass. Some of the downtown venues are also hosting music in coordination with the festival. Some of the best local music will be held at both the High Dive and Cowboy Monkey on Saturday. High Dive will also be hosting the official festival after-party on Saturday night, which will have a $5 cover after 11 p.m. (CC)


Time Traveling Cinema, 10:00 p.m., SoDo Theatre, $5

Thanks to Psychic Joker Entertainment, Time Traveling Cinema happens the final Friday of each month. This month it’s featuring local shorts, vintage music reels from the Apollo Theatre, and film noir starring Cab Calloway. (TN)



Psychic Joker Presents, 10:00 p.m., SoDo Theatre, $5 (or pay what you can)

Psychic Joker is offering late night jazz by Hodge Podge, followed by comedy with Zoo Improv at 10:15. Sun Stereo takes the stage at 11:30, followed by Psyclone Jack at 12:30.

If you’ve not been to one of these parties thrown by Psychic Joker, try to check this one out. I can’t say that I’ve been to every event they’ve had, but I always have a great time when I do get to them. (TN)


Dinner date at Timpone’s; dinner time; $12–$30

For whatever reason, Timpone’s rarely gets brought up amongst friends as an option for dinner. It’s not as though it isn’t good; in fact, quite the contrary. I’ve never heard anyone say anything except the opposite. Owner and Executive Chef Ray Timpone, along with head chef Jim Takantjas consistently serve up some of the best food in town, and prices that are perfectly comparable to the likes of bacaro, Carmon’s, Big Grove Tavern, etc etc.

Plus, the pizza. I recently caved for lunch there and while my plan was to get a salad, I ended up with a personal pizza with sausage in front of my face. Yes, it wrecked my gains at the gym for the day, and likely the next one as well, but my God — it’s so good. Seriously, as far as thin crust goes in this town, there is no exception. None. Really and honestly. But bring a friend and split it, instead of what I did: eat the whole fucking thing. (SF)


EVIL TENTS, Moon, The Chemicals10:00 p.m., Mike N Molly’s, $5

If you get tired of the tunes over at the Blues, Brews, and BBQ festival happening all day Saturday in downtown Champaign, this is a pretty good bet for a nightcap. Chicago progressive rock band Moon pay a visit to Champaign. I’ve never seen Moon perform, but they have a fairly straightfoward progressive sound with lots of bass, lots of fuzz, and a little bit of solo in them. Their bandcamp page also says they feature “haunting, ethereal choral vocals.” I’d say that’s fair.

Moon will be playing alongside EVIL TENTS who have been particularly busy promoting the physical release of their album about a month ago. If you haven’t listened to them yet, this is a great opportunity. (CC)



Go tubing at Kickapoo State Park, 9 a.m. to sundown, $6 per person

Lamenting the lack of water around here is a popular thing to do, and on the whole, I concur: it’s a true bummer, especially when the weather turns as hot as it has been and is going to be this coming week. But driving a mere half an hour to an hour shouldn’t be a deterrent from enjoying a lake or a stream or a river. Enter Kickapoo State Park, located in the western part of Vermillion County. In addition to being able to rent a canoe, or a paddleboat, the Satterthwaite family has created a truly wonderful activity for both families, and those who like to party.

It costs just $6 a person, and granted, right now, there’s very little you can do to move at anything but a snail’s pace aside from having to trudge through with your feet now and again, but the sheer idea of laying in a stream and lazily floating down a river is worth the trouble. PLUS: they allow you to bring beer, and take an extra tube for it to float alongside of you. The scenery is pretty spectacular at times, to the point where my wife starting singing the theme song to Jurassic Park, and forced the entire party to join in, creating a chorus that almost seemed worthy of praise.

It’s a short drive, and with good friends, a better time in the Summer around here, you will likely not find. (SF)

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