Smile Politely

The Halloween Overture

Now that you have completed your costume and taken it for a couple test runs at pre-Halloween festivities, it is time for the main event (and time for you to work up a new costume, Lady Gaga). 

Nearly every venue in Champaign-Urbana has planned some Halloween mash, bash  or shindig, so we put together a quick rundown of some of the bigger events Saturday night.  With most bands keeping mum on the details of their Halloween performances, we’re left to excitement of speculation.

neogaWhat:  Neoga Blacksmith, Echo Input

Where:  Bentley’s Pub

Very few genres aside from your standard death metal lend themselves so well to Halloween as does rockabilly.  Fortunately, Urbana’s Neoga Blacksmith are perfecting the homegrown rockabilly craft with the same tongue-in-cheek fervor of the Reverend Horton Heat.  Songs like “Child Support Blues,” “Whiskey” and “Glue and Tryptophen” [sic] all echo the timeless dilemma of the human condition endlessly trying to beat the devil(s) off your back.  The possibilities of swinging rockabilly Halloween tunes are endless, so with any luck, we can only hope these gentlemen throw in some twists on the classics.



What:  Canopy Halloween Bash with Cornmeal, The Bridge, Zmick

Where:  Canopy Club, $10

For the second year in a row, Chicago’s Cornmeal will share the stage with Zmick and tourmates the Bridge for Canopy Club’s annual Halloween Bash.  With an array of possibilities for funneling Halloween horror through progressive bluegrass, one thing is for sure:  they’re going to bring the boogie.  Baltimore’s the Bridge have a similar American/roots feel that will compliment Cornmeal well and they’ll be on the road with them until mid November.  But if none of these acts appropriately rattle your soul, just crawl up to Canopy’s killer balcony and sneak in a doob or two.  Then you’re sure to bug out.  

tmWhat:  Halloween House party with Teenage Martians, the Fresh Kills, We Must Dismantle All This, the Burninators, the Dopamites, It’s a Trap

Where:  Champaign, Free

Champaign-Urbana’s DIY community has put some planning into their annual Halloween tribute show courtesy of C-U’s finest Misfits tribute band, Teenage Martians.  For a taste of their grime and grit, check out their version of “Where Eagles Dare” here.  Obviously they don’t put on the full get-up all the time, but one can hope they’ll be sporting devil locks and the whole nine yards Saturday.  Adding fuel to the fire will be the Fresh Kills as the not-so-scary, but very costumey Blink-182 and We Must Dismantle All This as the arguably frightening Minor Threat.  I’d suggest stocking up on fake blood.  

raWhat:  Dubstep Halloween with Mobius, Substr8, DJ Belly, Phaded, Richie August

Where:  Cowboy Monkey, $5

Champaign-Urbana’s latest installment of the aptly-titled Dubstep Massacre hits Cowboy Monkey Saturday night with an all-star lineup featuring some acclaimed Chicago DJs.  Richie August planted his roots in hip hop and drum and bass in the 90s and fell into dubstep in recent years with the release of his first dubstep EP, Death Proof, on Betamorph Recordings.  Phaded, or El Phado, the “Chicago Dubslinger,” has been hammering the Midwest dubstep scene relentlessly for the past several years and shows no signs of letting up.  DJ Belly, Substr8 and Mobius round out the bill with an afterparty featuring Geist to be announced during the show.  Costumes are strongly encouraged and will be rewarded with prizes, gift certificates and slabs of autographed vinyl.

clWhat:  Headlights, Pomegranates, Common Loon

Where:  The Iron Post

Fresh off of tours leading to CMJ in New York, locals Headlights and Common Loon along with Cincinatti’s Pomegranates (on tour with Headlights) will probably breathe sighs of relief once welcomed triumphantly home into the arms and respite of the C-U community.  With rather up-beat and pop-friendly sounds, it will be interesting to see how some of C-U’s musical all-stars creep it out for the evening.  Word on the street is that the gentlemen of Common Loon might break out an all Loverboy set complete with costumes.  You’ve been warned:  this will be one of the best shows all night.

dottieWhat:  Dottie and the Rail, Curses, Withershins

Where:  Mike N Molly’s, $3

If you can only catch one show Halloween night, this might be it.  And if you don’t get your honky-tonk fix at Bentley’s, you won’t be able to avoid it at Mike N Molly’s.  Dottie and the Rail play all the classic hard-drinkin’, knife-fightin’, honky tonkin’ covers that make the youngsters get up and dance and make grandma tap her feet.  Fronted by Champaign’s own Dottie Henningand backed by an armada of instrumentation, Mike N Molly’s whiskey selection is the only thing that could appropriately compliment this perfect evening.  Dottie’s voice has a perfectly weathered tinge to it which is amazing any time of the year, but should prove espcially pertinent for Halloween.  Expect selections from country music’s long history of songs about the devil and try to get there early for the Curses and Withershins, some of Champaign-Urbana’s finest new acts.

Don’t see your monster mash on the list?  Add it in the comment section below.

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