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With work, family and shooting turkeys, 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:

Wednesday November 26: VVVVV! — Canopy Club, 9 p.m., cover TBA

With that holiday everyone seems intent on celebrating every year arriving this Thursday, there isn’t an abundance of shows in C-U this week. No worries, the quality of the bands performing hasn’t diminished in the least. There’s a show Wednesday night at the Canopy Club that you shouldn’t miss. VVVVV!, the Champaign band that can only be described by onomatopoeia, draws influences from The Stooges, Talking Heads and even a little Vincent Price. In the meantime, they manage to dip into every genre that ends in “-billy.” See this wildly eclectic band that would only be hindered by words or an unnecessary “the” tagged on the front of their name. Cameo Turret and Golden Quality also perform.


Saturday November 29: The Koffin Kats, The Boneyard Brawlers, Lurking Corpses – Independent Media Center, 4 p.m., $8

If you felt like there was a lack of rockabilly bands who sang about zombies ruling the world and punk bands that sing about maggots eating brains playing around C-U, this Saturday will change your mind. Ten bands, including Detroit’s Koffin Kats, Fort Wayne’s Lurking Corpses, The Boneyard Brawlers and Black Cat Rebellion, will rock from 4 p.m. until well into the night. I don’t know what it is about upright basses and horror movies, but the combination is pretty irresistible.

Saturday November 29: Kilborn Alley – Cowboy Monkey, 10 p.m., $5

Kilborn Alley’s Tear Chicago Down was nominated for best contemporary album at the Blues Music Awards in 2007. While playing some tracks off the rollicking record this Saturday, they might tear Champaign down too. The C-U-based band has played over 700 shows since their formation in 2000, and they show no sign of slowing down. With tight arrangements, gut-punching harmonica and perfect vocals, Kilborn Alley is aptly self-described as a “filthy Chicago blues” band. Be sure to check out this Sunday night set from the best blues band in the area.