Friday, June 17, 2011

Wild Flag Coming To The Highdive 10/7/2011

(Shakes off the rust, dusts off the cobwebs)

Well, it appears that Wild Flag will be playing a gig at The Highdive on October 7th, according to their label's website. Wild Flag is a group consisting of members from Sleater- Kinney, Helium, and Minders. Sleater-Kinney was no stranger to the the 'dive, so it's good to see Brownstein and Weiss's new band coming back through town.

Their debut self-titled album will be released by Merge Records on September 13, 2011.

Check out a Wild Flag show from SXSW below, courtesy of NPR Music.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Prodigal Blogger Has Returned...

Yes, I'm back. It's been over a year and a half since the last post, and all of that time (and more) has been spent out of town. It didn't feel quite right to continue on with it, seeing as it would not really be the Champaign of Blogs. However, being a married, home-owning, public-serving, the address is on my driver's license, resident of Champaign, I feel more than secure in revving up the keyboard once more and sharing some commentary about the places and people who impact my life in this community. A lot has changed since I've left, and, yet, so many of the wonderful things and people I remember are still here, and I feel really fortunate to make this homecoming.

So, for those of you who've checked back now and again, thanks for remembering! To those who are new to the site, well, there are several years worth older posts to whet your appetites in the meantime. Much more to come...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Smile Politely - A New CU-scene Web Site

There's a relatively new kid on the block in the CU social scene websiteosphere, Smile Politely.

Written by peeps who I love, such as Doug Hoepker (who's Maintaining My Cool blog I miss desperately) and Seth Fein (who's got enough moxy for us all), it's got all the makings of an entertaining community resource.  A look at the contributors also shows promise.

I'm curious to see if they ever decide to include a forum (ala OpeningBands) and an event schedule.  If so, the whole brick and mortar, paper-in-hand idea of a community weekly could quickly fall by the wayside.  There are enough people who work on this project that A) know what they're doing and B) are tired of being beholden to "media companies" that, if they really work at it, could build a lasting presence in the community that wouldn't be compromised by university ties or corporate whoredom.  Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Great Champaign-Urbana Photo Site

Local photographer, Dan O'Brien, has an impressive photoblog that features a new photo of the C-U area everyday. He has prints available on his gallery site, as well, so if anything catches your eye, it can be purchased directly from the artist. Below is a recent shot from his blog.

"Across The Universe" by Dan O'Brien

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Like A Point Of Singularity..."

Champaign rocker cum visual artist, Joe Donhowe, recently created this snippet on the concept of singularity. It's been a favorite of mine, and I figured I'd share it with you all.

Monday, November 05, 2007

So there's a new Beauty Shop release...

And it's great. The new disc is titled "Just Some Demos," and it's being put out by the band. There are three tracks up on the band's MySpace site for you to enjoy.

These tracks are Hoeffleur's best efforts yet. The writing has never been tighter, both musically and lyrically, and if this is any clue as to their next album proper, then we're all in for a treat. Show-goers will recognize these tracks as the new ones that have been played at the band's gigs for several months now. Their recorded versions, whilst still considered demos, are faithful to the spirit of those performances. Although, I'm gonna start holding my breath for a live album from them soon, because an inspired Beauty Shop show is as exhilarating as any I've seen. And, in fact, if any of you were at the upstairs show at Mike n' Molly's this past June, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Adam Schmitt ran the boards for this particular session, which was, according to Hoeffleur, all done in one take. Once I knew this, and I heard these songs again, I wondered what stopped them from just doing an album. These tracks, even at the demo stage, are produced and played extremely well. Perhaps the boys are awaiting a deal to let a label pay for a new disc? I couldn't think of a better batch of songs to get behind at this point, so, listen up A&R people, GIVE THIS BAND A DEAL!

Thematically, this album seems to focus on the aftermath of the ending of a relationship, but sonically, its approaches are all over the map. From mellow opener "Like I Wasn't Even There," to the mid-tempo rocker Ambulance (one of my personal favorites) to the neck-break paced closer "How It Came To This," it's obvious that someone in particular is on Hoeffleur's mind. How Hoeffleur chooses to engage that topic seems to vary, but, be prepared to wanna lay out your heart on a platter after a few repeat listenings to this disc. That's something truly special.

As of now, the tracks are not up on iTunes yet, so your best bet is to pick one up from the band, who have a show at the Urbana IMC on November 9th, or perhaps try calling Exile On Main St. downtown. It's only $5.

Here are some music videos from the band's last record, Crisis Helpline. Definitely worth picking up either online at iTunes or at a gig. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Imaginary Posse Reunion!

Yep, the "bi-polar pop" of Imaginary Posse will be blasting through the speakers of Mike n' Molly's once more on Saturday, June 23rd, 2007. Listed start time is 8PM, and I'm guessing there'll be some other bands on this bill to join them.

For those who missed out on seeing them back in the early 2000's, Imaginary Posse arose from the ashes of another group, Chuck Moody, that comprised of Joe Donhowe (vocals, gutiars, etc), and future Posse band mates Bob Henne and Kevin Cahill. Imaginary Posse's first album is a sort of electronic sound collage experimental project. This self-titled release came out under Donhowe's own Petrahof label.

He was eventually joined by David Domal (drums), Bob Henne (bass), Brian Robertson (keyboards), Kevin Cahill (guitar) and Deb Domal (backing vocals, etc). This changed the sound of the group exponentially, making it more of an alterna-pop collective. This group self-released an EP titled "32 Chester."

Next up was the full-length album "Previously Unreleased," which is pictured above. This was self-released in 2000 on the Pirtdab Records label. It's the group's most polished effort, and sadly, their last. You can check out a few tracks from that release on their MySpace page, linked above. Kevin and Deb stepped back in their duties over time, and the band added Isaac Hensleigh on guitar. This line-up lasted through the group's demise in early 2002.

At this point, Dave Domal and Brian Robertson went on with Mark Starr to form Some Velvet Morning, Hensleigh started up Solips with one of his brothers, and Bob Henne played in FeED. Donhowe started Emotional Rec Club with Jason Milam, Derek Niedringhaus, and Kevin Cahill. The line up of that band eventually saw Niedringhaus exit, and Aaron McAllister enter on bass with other small variations along the way.

Enough with the history lesson, just go see 'em on the 23rd... they're a blast.

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