Smile Politely

The Overture: Jan. 30-Feb. 5

******EDITOR’S PICK******

WHAT: Andrew Bird

WHERE: Canopy Club ($31 advance/$36 at the door)

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 30th at 8 p.m.

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird is back in town on Monday after several years away from C-U. Since then, he’s grown a lot as a musician, and his latest album focuses on grown-up topics like marriage and children. His wry, literary lyrics, idiosyncratic violin work, and of course, skilled whistling, are all as strong as ever. Fellow Pygmalion alum Ryley Walker will open for Bird, making this huge show one of the best ways you could possibly spend this evening.


WHAT: Baby Ocho / Kurt Bielema

WHERE: The Iron Post ($5)

WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.

Kurt Bielema’s Typeset/Letterpressed was some of the best acoustic music to come out of C-U in 2016. On Tuesday he’ll bring some of those thoughtful melodies to the Post and will be accompanied by singer-songwriter Baby Ocho, in from Indiana.



WHAT: Joyce Manor / AJJ

WHERE: The Accord ($15 advance/$18 door)

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Joyce Manor pack quite the emo-punk wallop, which is just the thing to help you power through the rest of your week. The wonderfully weird rockers AJJ will also be there, returning to C-U after their appearance at Pygmalion last fall. Add Mannequin Pussy and you’ve got a one-two-three punch worth moshing for.


WHAT: Datsik Ninja Nation Tour

WHERE: Canopy Club ($20-$23 in advance/$23 at the door)

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m.

Dubstep artist Datsik returns to Canopy on Thursday armed with some heavy bass that is set to rattle your brain around in your skull. Two additional electronica artists are also on the bill to help accomplish that mission.



WHAT: Urbana First Fridays

WHERE: Downtown Urbana (admission is free)

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 3, starting at 4 p.m.

This week’s session of Imbibe Urbana’s First Fridays will feature all sort of activities (as usual) that have a loose Valentine’s Day theme. There will be love poetry readings, wine tastings, food and drink specials, and of course, live music. Visit the event page for more info.



WHAT: Krelboyne / Euriah / Gigantic / Earthholder

WHERE: Blips & Chitz ($5 suggested donation)

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m.

Local spacey emo rock band Krelboyne just put out a new album, and this show is officially their album release celebration. It’s also serving as the kick-off to their tour. Euriah, Earthholder, and Gigantic (MO) are also playing to see them off, which completes this really solid show.


WHAT: Baraka/Crofton Coleman

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey (cover)

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 3 at 9:30 p.m.

The event page for this show uses the word “groove” at least three times, so that’s a good indication of what to expect. Soul, funk, and electronic jams will help you loosen up and get down.


WHAT: Aaron Carter

WHERE: Canopy Club ($12 in advance/$15 at the door)

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 3 at 9 p.m.

If you’re somewhere around the age of thirty (or even if you’re not), chances are you’re aware of the boy band craze of the 90s. Aaron Carter is the little brother of Nick Carter, a member of the hunky pop group Backstreet Boys. Aaron’s music is a bit different than his brother’s, but if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic, this show might still satisfy that urge to revisit your childhood. And there’s nothing wrong with indulging.


WHAT: Aaron Nigel Smith

WHERE: Krannert Center (free)

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 4 at 10 a.m.

If you are looking for a family-friendly show to attend this week, this one would be a great choice. Aaron Nigel Smith offers up high energy reggae for kids and parents alike. He’s toured with a wide variety of artists, from kid-music queen Laurie Berkner to good-vibes reggae artist Ziggy Marley. This free show will start the weekend off right for all ages.


WHAT: The Maddy Marsan Project

WHERE: Krannert Center

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 4 at 2:30 p.m.

The Maddy Marsan Project is a songwriting folk experiment featuring seven members playing a large variety of woodwind and brass instruments.This show will be divided between the Project’s performance as its own entity and Marsan’s solo material from her latest album “Nocturnes.” This is an eclectic, genre-bending show not to be missed.


WHAT: Girls Rock! C-U Benefit Concert

WHERE: Library House ($5 – $7 donations suggested)

WHEN: Saturday, February 4 at 7 PM – 9 PM

This benefit for the awesome organization Girls Rock! C-U features four different musical acts of the mostly acoustic variety playing the intimate and well-loved Library House venue, which seldom has shows nowadays. Those are two excellent reasons to attend. See the event page for specifics on the performers.


WHAT: C-U Stands with Standing Rock Benefit

WHERE: Bentley’s Pub ($5 suggested donation)

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.

All proceeds from this event will directly benefit Oceti Sakowin Camp and the anti-DAPL cause. Over seven musical acts are lined up for another rare show at an underused location to benefit an excellent cause. This one goes until 2 a.m., so you can technically attend both.


WHAT: Tyler Farr

WHERE: City Center (tickets start at $28)

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.

Enjoy your Saturday evening by filling it with some country music from up-and-coming artist Tyler Farr, who has collaborated with big names within the genre, such as Colt Ford. Farr aims to make music that everyone can enjoy, so this gig should please all folks so inclined.


WHAT: One-year Anniversary Hootenanny

WHERE: Waston’s Shack and Rail (admission is free)

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 4th at 10 p.m.

Watson’s has become such a staple around here that it’s hard to believe the place is only a year old. All sorts of local musicians will be playing for this show, and the stage will be open to anyone with an acoustic instrument and a desire to jam. Come celebrate with some fiery chicken and “pickin’ and grinnin.”



WHAT: Excision & friends

WHERE: Canopy Club ($35 advance/$40 door)

WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 5 at 9 p.m.

Here’s another dubstep and other EDM evening from Canopy, complete with four different artists. These musicians are coming together from all over the globe; there will be someone from Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands, and a duo from Massachusetts to represent the U.S. Come check out each country’s take on bass and synth.

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