Smile Politely

The Overture: August 16 – 22

WHAT: Withershins, Hot Cops, Brief Candles

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, August 18th at 10:00 p.m.

Withershins will be playing some of the new material they’ve worked into their set as of late, probably including the excellent “After Dark” (free until this show), along with Milwaukee’s Brief Candles (sidenote: I would like to see C86 return as a common genre descriptor). Hot Cops will also pop up for an increasingly rare Champaign show, and they alone are worth a look at this.

WHAT: Psychic Twin, Take Care, Rvins

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Friday, August 19th at 9:00 p.m.

It’s difficult to overlook a show with this solid of a lineup, especially when it does such a great job of bridging the gap between the established (Take Care) and emergent (Rvins) scenes in town. Psychic Twin resurface in the Mike ‘N Molly’s upstairs room as a duo consisting of just Erin Fein and Brett Sanderson, while Take Care and the uber-sludgy Rvins should sound appropriately epic in the beer garden.

WHAT: Elsinore, the Palace Flophouse, Ezra Furman

WHERE: Highdive ($10 advance)

WHEN: Saturday, August 20th at 9:00 p.m.

Elsinore will celebrate the release of Life Inside an Elephant — which is really fucking good by the way, don’t listen to the internet — in an appropriately grand fashion at the Highdive this Saturday. On the second-largest stage in town, they’ll showcase both local friends (The Palace Flophouse) and touring talent from Chicago (Ezra Furman, back in town after an excellent Record Store Day set at Exile). Admission to the show also nets you a free copy of the EP.

WHAT: Alma AfroBeat Ensemble

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($5)

WHEN: Saturday, August 20th at 10:00 p.m.

If you’ve been around town for a bit, Alma Afrobeat Ensemble probably sounds familiar to you — no doubt due to the extensive work they put in a few years back (which included regular sellouts at the Monkey). We guarantee there will be booty-shaking if you show up to this.


WHAT: Armada, Smoke Coke, TBA

WHERE: Red Star ($3)

WHEN: Monday, August 22nd at 8:00 p.m.

Much has been written about the general sense of economic malaise that blankets downtown Urbana, but where else are you going to find a three dollar cover these days? Plus, I don’t think I’ll ever miss Smoke Coke again after witnessing their ceiling-destroying set at Dan Aykroyd’s House last month.

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