With work, family and the Christmas on Mars video game, who has the time to find out about the best shows happening in Champaign-Urbana? No need to fear, because the editors here at Smile Politely have taken care of it. Here are the must-see shows of the week:
Friday November 21: Hathaways, Jamie Randolph and Grace Askew — Cowboy Monkey, 9:30 p.m., $5
A night of stripped down songs and soulful singers starts off with sibling duo Hathaways at Cowboy Monkey Friday night. Kate and James Hathaway play classically-tinged folk music, and they just released their debut EP earlier in the month. Two singer-songwriters from Memphis, Grace Askew and Jamie Randolph, also perform.
Friday November 21: Dropkick Murphys — Canopy Club, 9 p.m., $20 in advance
If you’re looking to get rowdy Friday night, Hathaways’ show might not be the best idea. Instead, try out the Canopy Club where Dropkick Murphys will be performing. Their out of control live shows made the seven-piece famous well before The Departed’s soundtrack put the band on every “Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day” playlist. The Boston band takes the high energy from traditional Irish music and applies it to punk rock. The result is pretty remarkable and this show promises to be the same.
Friday November 21: Granny’s Porch: Lincoln and his Music. Melodies that Moved the Man and the Nation — Virginia Theater, 7:30 p.m., $15 adult, $10 student, $5 children
As part of American Music Month, The Virginia Theatre will play host to a night of old-time music. The show will ask the audience to “travel back to Abraham Lincoln’s time as narrations of scintillating stories portray every-day life of a divided nation struggling to express itself through melody and word.” The night will feature performances by Jordan Kaye of the Prairie Dogs, Oberon the Possum King, Bow-Dacious String Band, the 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Band, Matt Turino and more.
Sunday November 23: Colour Revolt, So Long Forgotten — Canopy Club, 8 p.m., $10
Colour Revolt hails from Oxford, Mississippi, and makes music good enough to be on the prestigious and totally awesome record label Fat Possum Records, also based out of Oxford. While Fat Possum initially focused on blues artists, it has since signed acts like The Fiery Furnaces and Andew Bird. Colour Revolt fits nicely between these two camps. Possessing a modern sound with dark and brooding undertones, the band creates music that’s definitively “indie-rock” while also grounded in the aesthetic of the blues. So Long Forgotten, a local rock outfit whose EP, Baptism, was just released, will also be performing.