Smile Politely

Bubble City Meets Cloud City

When I was a kid, I loved Star Wars. I had pretty much every collectible known to man. I had the movies, the soundtracks on vinyl, the action figures, bed sheets, curtains, talking Ewoks…all of it. My first word as a baby was “Yoda.” I had a severe mental complex that had me thinking that I was actually Luke Skywalker bulls-eying womp rats on Tatooine for much of my childhood. I lived and breathed Star Wars.

I eventually grew out of my SW phase and moved on to more sophisticated movies like The Wizard and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but every now and then, my brain will snap and I’ll see the world in Star Wars vision again. This week, I took a hard look at the Champaign-Urbana local music scene and made stunning comparisons of people in our local universe to people in the galaxy far, far away.

1. Larry Gates / Master Yoda

Yoda was one of the most respected and revered Jedi in the galaxy; Larry Gates is one of the most respected and revered musicians our town has witnessed. Just like Yoda, he saw the fall of the local music scene on Green St., but returned as an unstoppable force to bring people back to downtown Champaign.

2. Krukid / Boba Fett

If you’ve never performed alongside, opened for or headlined Krukid, then you’re not a real musician. Like the most infamous bounty hunter of all time, Krukid has rubbed shoulders with almost anyone local who has talent.

3. Todd Hunter / C-3PO

Threepio is fluent in six million forms of communication. Todd Hunter is as fluent in local music trivia. For years, Todd has interviewed countless artists and has seen more local music shows than anyone. Still, no one knows what this guy does for a living.

4. Dave Dickey / Droopy McCool

Dave and Droopy actually both played for Jabba once.

5. Matt Harshbarger / Jabba the Hutt

Harsh, a business man, promoter, gangster and emcee. Jabba, a businessman, promoter a gangster and emcee. They’ve gotta be related.

6. John Hoeffleur / Han Solo

Han never wanted to be a hero, but always seems to find himself in the weirdest of situations. Just like Han, John never wanted to be known as a one of the kings of the scene. This rebel scum just wanted to smuggle his spice all day.

7. Tom Grassman / Chewbacca

Seriously, this guy has got a lot of hair.

8. Ward Gollings / Darth Vader

Feared across the city and being known for ending music careers, Darth Ward rules the local music scene with a dark hand.

9. Brandon T. Washington / Mace Windu

Well, it’s Brandon T. Washington! I mean come on!

10. Michael “Guido” Esteves / Greedo

Not because their names sound similar, but because we’re told by many women that he always “shoots first.”

11. Illini Media Company / The Galactic Empire

Let’s face it. They control what we hear, what we read, what we see and even what think. They own you, everything that you own and this town—until the Rebel Alliance forms.

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