Friday, July 29, 2005

JigGsaw - new album soon!

Champaign's art-punk cousin to Franz Ferdinand, JigGsaw, is pushing ever closer to finishing their debut album, recorded with Adam Schmitt, and has put two new songs, Pretty Pride and Breathe, on their Pure Volume website. They had released another track from those sessions, titled Mona Lisa's Mirror, and it's easily the most infectious song that I've heard this year. So, yeah, you should download the new cuts and play them for everyone you know and bug the guys to hurry up and finish mastering the rest of the record already.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Pygmalion Music Festival - You heard it here 1st!

This just in, a reliable source has just informed me of a music festival coming to town (brought together by Seth Fein and friends). It's going under the name Pygmalion. I know... it's about the weirdest name I've heard, too. Hopefully the bands will make up for it. You're probably wondering what Pygmalion refers to, so here you go! (thanks to accel-team)
An ancient myth

Magic certainly was involved in the ancient myth from which the idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy takes its other common name. As Ovid told the story in the tenth book of Metamorphoses, the sculptor Pygmalion, a prince of Cyprus, sought to create an ivory statue of the ideal woman.

The result which he named Galatea, was so beautiful that Pygmalion fell desperately in love with his own creation. He prayed to the goddess Venus to bring Galatea to life. Venus granted his prayer and the couple lived happily ever after.

I can see the t-shirts now... "I gorged myself at the Pyg!" "Music so good, you'll be happier than a Pyg in stink!" etc. And if I see any of these shirts... I'm suing.

Interpol - Coming Back to Champaign

In a month that will already be featuring Sufjan Stevens at The Canopy, another big NYC indie band, Interpol, will be gracing us with their presence on September 24th at Assembly Hall. Not sure who they're supporting or who their support is, but given their last performance at The Courtyard Cafe, I'd imagine they're gonna have to give away tickets. Not much love lost on the pretty boys from the big city, even though their first record's a gem. Click on over to OpeningBands and join in on the discussion.

Quote of the day comes from The Beauty Shop's John Hoeffleur about Interpol:

"The higher a monkey climbs a ladder the more you see of it's ass, and we saw plenty last time. Remember sitting in the corridor for an hour and half because they showed up late? Inside, eddie scissorhands spent soundcheck combing his hair. "

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Exile On Main St. - Have you been there yet?

Because if you haven't, and you're reading this blog... well, you now have no excuse. Exile On Main is owned (in part) and operated by CU native, Jeff Brandt. His brother Jim is around occasionally, and is getting worldwide recognition with his high concept and design for Apostasy (#1 and #2), a comic geared around the vastly popular Half Life 2 computer game. Anyways, they really are a one stop pop-culture shop, with new and used CD's, DVD's, video games, video game consoles and handhelds, and even classic video arcade machines to play for free. FREE DONKEY KONG!!! Come on... you can even test out a new video game before you buy it on their sweet media set up for the 3 main systems. Oh and did I mention Sony PSP movies and games? Special orders are welcome, as well.

It's located at the One Main Plaza in downtown Champaign. There's tons of parking, and if you get hungry, just walk next door to Merry Ann's Diner. Drag yourself away from the mall for a day and kick it there.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Now that's a tasty beverage!

Greetings and salutations... welcome to The Champaign of Blogs!

(Oh...okay... a little too friendly... umm how about...)

'Sup? This here's the Champaign of Blogs, my friend. Gather 'round for a bit of tongue-in-cheek commentary on the goings on of media and culture in Champaign-Urbana. Just remember, when I'm not kind, at least I'll be honest :-)

(That's better.)

So, first things first... let's take a look at a couple of the weekly papers. The Hub and The Buzz are the two most frequently published that have the most character (sorry News-Gazette), so those will be the ones that I'll be commenting on each week. I won't necessarily be judging the entire of each edition, just whatever suits my fancy.

Urbana native Seth Fein kicks off this week's ish of Buzz (as he has been for the past few) and is developing into quite a decent columnist. Seth's replaced Buzz editor Paul Wagner on page 2, and I think I speak for all regular readers when I say "Thank GAWD!" In this column, Seth tackles Pitchfork's growing credibility and gives high marks to their recent Intonation Festival. A fairly interesting, if not pedestrian, subject for a sometimes booking agent to cover. However, I also found it rather curious that he chose to highlight the changes in the competing paper, The Hub. Usually commenting on the positive progress of your competitor is a no-no, but Seth steams ahead anyway, if only to name-check two local musicians, and say that "Lisa (Meid)'s notes are always interesting." I'm not sure what all Seth finds "interesting" about Lisa's little editorials each week, but it makes me question his ability to guage talent if those meandering missives are high on his weekly reading material. He regains momentum, however, by thrashing a Hub columnist from last week's ish about claiming the (former?) Smashing Pumpkins lead man, Billy Corgan was "practically the founder of 'Emo' music." Thankfully, something was said about this publicly, as I'm guessing my letter to the editor wouldn't have made it to print. Seth leaves us with a secretive statement about having an idea that we're going to like... I'm wondering if that would be some big music fest in Champaign-Urbana? Not that that would be a total shocker. Perhaps he's going to rejoin Headlights and play drums again (please be so!), or maybe his brother Adam has come to his senses and will be reuniting Absinthe Blind (even better!).

Oh, and Mike Coulter rocks, as usual.

The aforementioned Hub is beginning to rearrange its stripes somewhat after a lengthy spell of sub-mediocre editions. Thank gawd they finally ditched those stupid emails that took up about 1/3rd of page 3 each week, as those were the lamest inside joke/public ass-kissing displays that I think I've ever seen. This paper still suffers under its "downtown Champaign" idolatry, and it has seemingly closed the door on a venture to explore the nearby environs of Bloomington and Normal. The attempts to uncover the great local businesses and people there was so weakly approached that it makes me wonder how anyone over there could be interested in getting involved again. Hey, Hub, why don't you contact the Journalism departments at Illinois State and Illinois Weslyan and offer an internship for credit to report on the goings on of each town? Think about it... on staff reporters who are live on the scene every day spoon-feeding you info for whatever you need? Just a thought. They have, however, got an interview with Frank Black this week, which was really cool, and Eric Steckler (who is the best damn bartender in CU) continues to grow as a sports writer. Otherwise... this caterpillar is still molting its cocoon, so I'll lay off for a few more weeks until they fully hatch.

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