Smile Politely

Five things in music: November 2023

4 members of Silverweed performing on a stage with a red wall in the background
Silverweed on Facebook

November is here, and the colder temperatures have cooled down the Champaign-Urbana music scene just a tad. The whirlwind of festivals and special performances in September and October are over and the scene is given a little bit of room to breathe and prepare for the holidays, and more importantly, the ambitious musical goals for 2024. This November features much of the usual suspects playing at the usual places as folks gear down for the holidays, but there is still some unique sonic enjoyment to be had. This month we say goodbye to a C-U staple (Silverweed), and hello to a new album from area rock stalwarts (Terminus Victor). Cypher Saturdays are back at Canopy Club, but I’d still like to see more venues take a chance on the very creative, and exciting hip-hop scene here in C-U.

We don’t know what we don’t know, so if you’re band is recording, releasing, touring or playing anywhere locally, please let us know at [email protected]!

Silverweed: The Last Fandango, Sunday, November 12th at Rose Bowl Tavern

On a bittersweet note, local favorites Silverweed are gearing up for “Silverweed: The Last Fandango,” their swan song performance at the Rose Bowl Tavern in Urbana on Sunday, November 12th. This band, regulars at Rose Bowl Tavern and hailing from Champaign, has a reputation for blending the spirit of a freewheeling cowboy with the soul of 60’s counterculture — a sound they’ve coined as “hippie cowboy” vibes. Silverweed, composed of scene veterans Jay Rosenstein, John Tubbs, Jesse Brown, and Sean Kutzko, has been stirring the pot of the local music scene since 2019 with their roots rock and Americana, rich three-part harmonies, and indulgent jam sessions. Influenced by greats like the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young, they’ve been a staple for original tunes and beloved deep cuts. As they take the stage for one last hurrah, expect an evening where heartfelt tunes, nostalgia, and the joy of music intertwine in a final, memorable fandango.

Rose Bowl Tavern
Su, November 12, 7 p.m.
Tips in bucket

Emerson Lake and Palmer

Emerson Lake and Palmer, Thursday, November 16th at Canopy Club

On November 16th, The Canopy Club in Urbana will host a concert that brings a new dimension to the music of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. In an event that merges archival footage with live performance, Carl Palmer will unite with his departed bandmates Keith Emerson and Greg Lake via modern audio-visual technology. The concert promises to be a respectful nod to the band’s heyday, with large screens showing historical performances while Palmer and two live musicians provide the live soundtrack.

This event offers a unique opportunity for fans to witness the interplay between the band’s recorded legacy and the ongoing musical journey of the surviving member. It’s not a simple homage but an innovative concert experience, aiming to encapsulate the essence of the legendary trio’s contributions to progressive rock.

The Return of Emerson Lake and Palmer
The Canopy Club
W, November 15th, 9 p.m.
$45 to $80

Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts performing at the Rose Bowl Tavern on March 4, 2023. The light on the stage is orange-brown. Nielsen, a white man, plays guitar and is wearing a jean jacket and a black hat that says "respect." Another white man wearing a newsboy cap and glasses plays the keyboard.
Derrick Philips

Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts, Friday, November 17th at Rose Bowl Tavern

On the evening of November 17th, the Rose Bowl Tavern is set to be animated with the storytelling and musical artistry of Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts, complemented by the soulful opening act, Sass. The Rusted Hearts’ sound, rich with the essence of Americana and echoes of classic rock, promises to fill the room with tunes that tug at the heartstrings. Yet, it’s the moments in between — where Nielsen and his bandmates share stories and jests with the audience — that the performance transcends music, offering laughter and a sense of camaraderie.

Adding to the allure of the night is opener Sass (the incomparable Sara Siders), who will bare her soul with her booming voice and big heart. Her set is expected to be a tapestry of heartfelt R&B and funk, a compelling intro to the personable charm that Miles Nielsen and his band bring once they step into the spotlight. For those gathering to see this performance, it’s not just the promise of songs that resonate but also the spontaneous interludes of humor and interaction that make the live experience memorable.

Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts, with Sass
Rose Bowl Tavern
F, November 17th, 8:30 p.m.
$10 to $15

Cypher Saturdays

Cypher Saturday, Saturday, November 18th at Canopy Club

At the Canopy Club in Urbana, once the clock hits 8 p.m. on Cypher Saturdays, you know it’s about to go down. This monthly gathering is the heartbeat of Champaign-Urbana’s hip-hop scene, a place where the underground becomes the spotlight. You’ll find rap flowing, DJs spinning, live art evolving, and a community thriving in the pulse of hip-hop culture. The performances kick off at 9 p.m., but the energy starts the moment you walk through the door.

Part of the Champaign Cypher Series, this event doesn’t just showcase talent; it celebrates it. And with a cover charge of just $10, it’s the stage where you might find local artists like ZENtheRapper and Herm Everlasting vibing to the rhythm, or the crew from Half House Studios throwing down some bars in a cypher. As the night progresses, one of their esteemed DJs takes the helm, ensuring the beats keep dropping until the early hours. Want to be part of the action? Hit them up with your details and links to your tunes, and who knows? You could be the next to light up the stage at Cypher Saturdays.

Cypher Saturdays – Half House Studios vs Vorborg Studios
The Canopy Club
Sa, November 18th, 10 p.m.

The image is a black and white photo of three people standing in a dark alley. The person in the center is wearing a suit and tie, while the other two are wearing jackets. The background consists of a concrete wall and a puddle on the ground. The photo has a dark and moody tone.
Ben Tschetter

Terminus Victor album release party, Friday, November 24th at Rose Bowl Tavern,

Terminus Victor, or TVic as their called by scenesters, known for their heavy and dynamic soundscapes, is all set to release their much-anticipated album, Everending, on Friday, November 24th. The recording journey for this album began a year ago at Earth Analog Studio, with talents like Matt Talbott at the helm and later, James Treichler of Wave Upon Wave Studio mixing and adding the finishing touches. Mastered by the renowned Dave McNair, whose portfolio includes industry legends, the album has shaped up to be a sonic powerhouse that TVic is eager to unveil. As Everending makes its debut on all streaming platforms, the tangible energy and passion poured into this record are set to be unleashed.

The celebration of this auditory feat is poised to take over the Rose Bowl Tavern on the release night, with doors opening at 8:30 p.m. The event promises to be a sonic spectacle, with TVic performing the new album in its entirety and possibly sprinkling the set with additional crowd favorites. Supporting acts Edna and Sweetmelk will be amping up the evening’s atmosphere, each bringing their own flair to the stage before TVic takes over. Fans can snag CDs and cassettes of the new album, place vinyl preorders, and above all, be part of a vibrant community reveling in the fresh release. It’s not just a showcase of TVic’s latest creative evolution — it’s a thanksgiving and a gathering of all who resonate with their music.

Terminus Victor Album Release Party, with Edna and Sweetmelk
Rose Bowl Tavern
F, November 24th, 9 p.m.
$10 to $15

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