Smile Politely

The Overture: Mar. 15 – 21

WHAT: Bright Eyes, The Mynabirds

WHERE: Foellinger Auditorium ($30)

WHEN: Wednesday, March 16th at 7:00 p.m.

If you’re unfamiliar with indie-americana giant Conor Oberst, better known as Bright Eyes, you must live under a rock. Suffice to say, reviews were good last time he came through town in 2007, and there really is something to be said for seeing a show at Foellinger, if everything comes together correctly (Death Cab sticks out as having been especially good). Despite the pricy ticket, you may want to make it out to this one, as Oberst has announced that he’ll be “retiring” Bright Eyes after this album and tour cycle.

WHAT: 14th Annual St. Patrick’s Day with The Dirty Feathers, Withershins, Take Care

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, March 17th at 4:00 p.m.

This one sounds like quite the day — events kick off at four with free corned beef hash, cabbage, and bread pudding (plus traditional Irish tunes). The Dirty Feathers, Withershins and Take Care close out the festivities starting at nine.

WHAT: The Fresh Kills, DJ Kosmo

WHERE: Red Star Liquors (free)

WHEN: Thursday, March 17th at 9:00 p.m.

One of our favorite things is seeing new venues doing shows, and with Red Star’s recent announcement of free shows every thursday, they definitely fit the category. Plus, this is one of the last opportunities to see the Freshies before they head up to Milwaukee to record a follow up to their excellent debut, Turn Up the Brilliance.


WHAT: Jeff Helgesen Quintet

WHERE: The Iron Post ($TBA)

WHEN: Friday, March 18th at 5:00 p.m.

If you’ve slept on Champaign-Urbana’s low-key (but awesome) jazz scene and not seen a show yet, do it now. The Iron Post is far and away the best room in town for jazz, and very few players can rival Jeff Helgesen in terms of talent.

WHAT: Morgan Orion, Noel Thrasher, Huck Fate

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Friday, March 19th at 10:00 p.m.

If you haven’t checked in the local alt-folk scene in a while, you could do worse than this show. Huck Fate is a veteran of both Tree Thump and Mhondoro, Noel Thrasher is on tour from North Carolina, and Morgan Orion is always deserving of a listen.

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