Smile Politely

The Overture: June 26–July 2

WHAT: Justin Rondón, Cullyn Murphy 

WHERE: The Clark Bar (free)

WHEN: Tuesday, June 26th at 7 p.m.

A busy week for the C-U Singer-Songwriter Collective shows. The first show features Justin Rondón, who is no stranger to these shows and has played before, with Cullyn Murphy, frontman of An Evening With Your Mother. Kirby Jayes from AEWYM has played this once before, so his bandmate is taking a stab at it this week.


WHAT: Dave Cooper, Cliff Stoker

WHERE: The Clark Bar (free)

WHEN: Wednesday, June 27th at 6:30 p.m.

Number 2 this week, and “rocking out to some major jammage” is this show at the Clark Bar on Wednesday. Dave Cooper and Cliff Stoker take their best shot at things following the two on the previous night. Clark Bar is taking over!

WHAT: Stephen Paul Smoker, Netherfriends, Scurvine

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Wednesday, June 27th at 10 p.m.

Touring and label mates Stephen Paul Smoker and Netherfriends make their way through C-U and team up with Scurvine for what should be an excellent show. SPS just released Ripe Fruit in April and Netherfriends’ Middle America back in Februrary. Later this week we’ll publish an interview with Netherfriends’ leadman Shawn Rosenblatt, so be on the lookout for that.


WHAT: Pamela Machala, Megan Johns Band, Duke of Uke

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, June 28th at 9 p.m.

Pamela Machala just finished up her new record and wants to share it with everyone. She’s playing with a full band alongside another singer-songwriter who released an album earlier this year, Megan Johns and her band. Some of her older songs are embedded below, so with the new material you’ll have a few more fresh tracks to digest.

What I Wouldn’t Give

WHAT: Year of the Bobcat, Hank, Pleasure Boat Explosion

WHERE: The Brass Rail ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, June 28th at 10 p.m.

Busy week for Year of the Bobcat as they’re playing two nights in a row this week. This one goes down at The Brass Rail, which unfortunately had a show get cancelled last week due to unforeseen circumstances. However, luckily this week has a pretty solid bill to rebound with.


WHAT: Enta, Options, Mitar, Year of the Bobcat

WHERE: Red Herring ($5)

WHEN: Friday, June 29th at 8:30 p.m.

Chicago’s Options and Mitar make their way down to C-U to team up with another pair of local acts this week. Mitar just released an album, which you can stream over at their Bandcamp page. The two Chicao acts are sandwiched in this bill, so they’ll fit right in with the other bands bookending the show. This one starts a bit earlier in the night (8:30, sharp, apparently), so set those watches 5–10 minutes ahead so you’re there on time.



WHAT: Dr. Responsible, Marathon, Jeremiah Fisher, Makers

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Friday, June 29th at 10 p.m.

Another full bill across town from the one previous is this one at Mike ‘N Molly’s. Dr. Responsible and Marathon have sort of an airy-atmospheric sound to them, messing with guitar looping and things of that nature. Definitely one of the more interesting bills put together this week to check out.


Downtown Champaign – Friday, June 29th & Saturday, June 30th

There’s always a lot to talk when a festival takes over a weekend in C-U, especially one with a ton of music and food. An interesting mix of artists and bands this year playing the festival, but all mostly very blues-rock based (doesn’t the name of the festival give away all the mystery?).

Anyway, there’s a huge list of bands playing in Champaign throughout both days at several stages, which you can check out over at Urbana Blues’ website. Honestly, the more interesting acts that catch my eye are ones over at Cowboy Monkey and The Highdive throughout the day on Saturday. Matthew Curry, The Dirty Feathers, Beeson Brothers, Mike Ingram and Kayla Brown, amongst others will play over there. Check out the Facebook events for the entire schedule and other details. 


WHAT: That’s No Moon, Finer Feelings, Coed Pageant

WHERE: Indigo Place Apartments (free)

WHEN: Saturday, June 30th Friday, June 29th at 3 p.m.

Go splash around and listen to music at this free show. Even if it is all the way in Savoy, you can get free food and drink as well as catch these locals. Hey, Indigo Place might even try to lease an apartment to you! All jokes aside, definitely not a bad bill to catch and try to win some stuff while chowing down.


WHAT: Evil Tents, Moon, The Chemicals

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Saturday, June 30th at 10 p.m.

Evil Tents have been pretty active over the last two months, and take the stage again this week. They re-released their stellar Night Air on the Midway and soaked up some sun at the City Center Summer Stage a few weekends ago. They’ve released some cool videos in the past few days as well, so check out their Facebook page to catch a glimpse of those.


WHAT: K. Flay, Colin Munroe, Mickey Karbal

WHERE: Canopy Club ($10)

WHEN: Sunday, July 1st at 8 p.m.

Perhaps the most interesting bill this week rounds everything out on Sunday night with San Francisco-by-way-of-Chicago’s K. Flay. She’s been on tour for the last few months and makes her way through the Midwest with a couple of others. Canopy Club has been pretty quiet in the summer thus far, so hopefully this one will bring some noise into the building. Head over to her website to download her new EP for free.

Executive Editor

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