Saturday, August 27, 2005

American Minor's CD Release Party @ The Canopy

Last night, the West Virginia-come-Champaign rock outfit, American Minor, celebrated their major label CD release on Jive Records at The Canopy Club. Thee Shams and Lorenzo Goetz kicked the night off for a crowd of close to 400 people on the Canopy's main stage. The set list for the show comes courtesy of local music savant, Todd Hunter.

01. Shine
02. Break
03. Don't Jump the Gun
04. Cheaters & Non-Believers
05. Hot N Nasty
06. Mr. Queen
07. Walk On [with instrumental intro]
08. One Last Supper
09. Medley: Papa Was a Rollin' Stone/Movin' on Up
10. Sleepwalking
11. Change

12. All My Time
13. Buffalo Creek
14. Whipping Post

You can listen to Walk On, Break, Shine, and One Last Supper on their myspace site.

Since 2002, I've had the pleasure of watching the band at nearly all of their CU performances, and have gotten to know some of the guys, and am very happy to see the success they've earned. I'm even more happy to have all the memories of the legendary shows. The Halloween show with The Blackouts (now The Living Blue) in 2003 and the CU-Cityview's Showcase back in 2002 stand out for me. Good times, indeed.

Unfortunately, my camera battery was totally dead for last night's gig, but I do have a good picture of Rob from the American Minor/Redwalls show at the Highdive this past February.

Friday, August 26, 2005

JigGsaw - New Web Site

Those crazy gents in JigGsaw have themselves a new website. Yeah, it's still in it's infancy, but you have their upcoming dates (including the free one tonight at The Courtyard) and the reemergance of "Mona Lisa's Mirror." Download it immediately. They want you to!

Right click, save as, rinse, repeat.

Urbana Sweetcorn Festival - It'll Grab You By the Ear!

Ear of corn that is!!! *hahaha* I'm such a comic genius after one cup of coffee.

And yes, this has been pretty much covered to death by the weeklies, but it's always a good time.

The USF festivities kick off at 5PM tonight and go on til around 11PM... but you'll probably end up in Crane Alley playing some pool and trying to pick the corn out of your teeth 'til around midnight.

Go see some free tunes:

6-7:30PM - Delta Kings
8-9PM - The Britles
9:30-10:45PM - Heartsfield

Main Stage
4:30-6PM - Live Band Karaoke w/ Cheezy Trio
7-8:30PM - Tons Of Fun
9:15-10:30PM - The FamilyStoneExperience

Elm St. Stage
12-1PM - Krash Type 17
1:30 - 2:30PM - "2-1-7"
3-4PM - Kelly's Heroes
4:30-5:30PM - Eclectic Theory
6-7PM - Doxy

The real star of the show is the corn, though. And if there are funnel cakes... well... they'll take a co-headlining spot.

"Everybody's Got Their Enemies..."

Looks like Foleyma decided to piss in Don Gerard's, The Hub's, and One Main's Cheerios yesterday, for no apparent reason.

Foleyma says:

"This is development for the privileged few who have been able to self-actualize their existence through (most likely) trust funds, expensive colleges, and dictated tastes (thanks Mojo Magazine!). For the rest of us, we drive by and it all looks pretty good. But we keep on driving."

Speak for yourself. You don't know one iota about the people who've built what is downtown Champaign, Foleyma.

This person somehow thinks that restaurants, software development, print journalism, retail sales, and real estate are not "industries." While they're not smokestack, assembly line, hard-hat and goggles sort of places, Exile On Main, Ko-Fusion, Jim Gould's, Merry Ann's, Volition, The Hub, and One Main Development all belong to "industries" of their own. And if anyone was being displaced by having a paking lot moved (there is parking underground for residents of the building, so you can't say that it was totally removed) for a building to be created that would bring more jobs to downtown, than I'd like to meet them. The difference is, there are local people who develop and give to the arts. Cody Sokolski was the head of 40 North for crying out loud! Carlos and Marco Nieto and friends have redeveloped properties to make them useful to artists, and Ward Gollings arranges dates for local bands of all kinds and experience levels at those venues. Of course these people will want a return on their investment, but they have invested into places that give the "creative class" to strut their stuff, so to speak. The same can be said for Verde Gallery, which has exhibits year-round and is also locally owned and operated. These people aren't just making a buck and turning their faces from the very people who frequent their businesses. And as for the restaurants, the prices are lower or equivalent to any other sit down place in town, and I don't know anyone who can't afford something Sam's Cafe or Merry Ann's and every freakin' one is locally owned and operated. You wanna know how I know, Foley, cause I have eaten at every one of them! However, it doesn't sound like Foleyma comes downtown too often to experience this so called "gentrification" in action. I've been coming down the past 6 years consistently and know from talking to all of the people that I've mentioned (yes a first hand, rather than third-hand account like ol' Foley) about their intentions over the years, but you need not even take my word for it. Just go out and see for yourself. The reason these places can succeed and are suceeding are because of the wealth of businesses in town that are doing well outside of downtown. You see all kinds of people downtown on a weekend night, and it can hardly be said that the people who live downtown alone are filling these chairs. It's simply not the case. And to claim that there aren't "blue-collar folk" that come down town is absolulte bullshit. Do you ever go to the Esquire? How about Mike n' Molly's? How about Farren's? How about Sam's Cafe? And I see and have seen "blue-collar" types at all the rest of the places. I've been one of them, as a matter of fact. It has nothing to do with what job a person has, just what their interests are. You're being so judgemental, Foleyma, without any facts at all. It's disgusting.

However, Foleyma wishes to compare Champaign to Seattle, Cinncinati, and San Francisco. Umm, you're using situations that are so drastically different than ours that you may as well be comparing apples to crowbars. The difference is simple. The buildings were empty here! Yeah, you know the old Blind Pig was closed for years, The Highdive, Verde's space, ummm One Main's Building was a parking lot, and every other business outside of Guido's, which was acquired and redeveloped by the Nieto Group. No one was displaced! These properties weren't someone's home! No one was going to the empty buildings! The restaurant prices are lower or equivalent to any other sit down place in town, and I don't know anyone who can't afford something Sam's Cafe or Merry Ann's. There was not a dot-com bust in Champaign. There is a technology-boom, however, based on the fact that, oh Wolfram, Motorola, Volition, and the University of Illinois (among so many others) have developed ground-breaking products and have gathered individuals from across the globe to make new developments, as well. However, we all know that Champaign-Urbana is made up of more than just the tech sector, but the main argument of Foleyma's articles was the dot-com blowout, so that's why I mention it.

Go to Aroma and get a cup of their delicious (yet inexpensive) chai tea while taking in one of their many nights of free local music and chill out, Foleyma, because you obviously don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ahoy! Another Anchor Down At WCIA!

A reliable source has informed me that WCIA's Morning Show co-anchor and Noon News anchor, Matt Metcalf, will be stepping down in the next few weeks. Allegedly, the two parties could not come to terms on a new contract, so Metcalf would be leaving of his own free will. Another big loss for a station that can nary afford to lose an established, likeable personality like him.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Enough Music To Make Your Head Spin...

Orange Peels w/ Darling Disarm tonight (Wed) @ the Canopy (10ish)

Headlights w/ Shipwreck tomorrow night (Thur) @ the Canopy (10ish)

Eclectic Theory (Thur) @ Joe's Brewery (10PM)

American Minor w/ Lorenzo Goetz (Fri) @ the Canopy (10PM)

The Beauty Shop w/ JigGsaw (Fri) @ The UofI Courtyard Cafe (9PM)

Eclectic Theory (Fri) @ The White Horse Inn (10PM)

Shadows of Doubt (60's & 70's Covers) (Sat) @ Alto Vineyards (7:30PM)

Headphones w/ Headlights (Sat) @ The UofI Courtyard Cafe (9PM)

Mad Science Fair w/ Rob McColley (Sat) @ Mike n' Molly's (10PM)

Eclectic Theory plays TWO shows Saturday...

Urbana Sweetcorn Fest (4:30PM) and Joe's Brewery at 10PM

I'll probably be at the USF to see The Britles, because I'm a sucker for live faux-Beatles.

So there's some more kick-ass music coming...

Death Cab For Cutie: 10/13 @ Foellinger

Cat Power: 10/22 @ Canopy

Spoon: 10/28 @ Foellinger

More info as I get time... but this fall is going to be one for the ages in CU. Great job to all the people putting these gigs together!

Pygmalion Music Festival - All the Details

As first reported here, Pygmalion Music Festival is going to be upon us from September 28 through October 1. The fest is going to utilize venues across CU, and a festival pass costs only $25. The fest's website has information on every artist performing, so roam if you want to.

However, I will provide the Official Pygmalion Music Festival Lineup and Schedule, as given by the festival's co-creators, Seth Fein and Mike Ingram, on Bands listed are confirmed acts and the times represent an approximation of what time they will be performing and where. In addition, bands have their home city and state listed as well, alongside individual prices for the shows:

Wednesday – 09.28.05

The Canopy - $7

9:00pm – Mike Ingram – (Champaign, IL)
9:45pm – Bailey – (Champaign, IL)
10:30pm – The Elanors – (Champaign, IL)
11:30pm – Maserati – (Athens, GA)
12:30pm – Headlights – (Urbana, IL)

Thursday – 09.29.05

The Canopy

10:00pm-11:30pm – Umphrey’s Mcgee – (Chicago, IL)
12:00am – 1:30am – Umphrey’s McGee

The Highdive - $7

9:00pm – The Chemicals – (Urbana, IL)
10:00pm – The M’s – (Chicago, IL)
11:00pm – The Living Blue – (Champaign, IL)

The Courtyard
- $5

8:00 – Tractor Kings – (Urbana, IL)
9:00pm – Catfish Haven – (Chicago, IL)
10:00pm – Low Skies – (Chicago, IL)

Cowboy Monkey - $5

12:30pm – The Invisible – (Urbana, IL)
1:30am – Emotional Rec Club – (Champaign, IL)

Mike N Molly’s - $5

11:30pm – Green Light Go – (Urbana, IL)
12:30am – Unique Chique – (Chicago, IL)
1:30am – Fireflies – (Urbana, IL)

Friday – 09.30.05

The Canopy - $10/$12 early / $5 late

7:30pm – Saturday Looks Good To Me – (Detroit, MI)
8:30pm – Ida – (Brooklyn, NY)
9:30pm – Mates of State – (San Francisco, CA)

11:30pm – Al*iteration – (Urbana, IL)
12:00pm – Harsh – (Champaign, IL)
12:30pm – Agent Mos – (Champaign, IL)
1:00am – Ro Knew (Champaign, IL)

Cowboy Monkey - $5

9:30pm – Elsinore (Charleston, IL)
10:30pm – The Championship (Milwaukee, WI)
11:30pm – Triple Whip (Urbana, IL)
12:30 – Lorenzo Goetz (Champaign, IL)

Mike N Molly’s (Outdoor) - $5

10:00pm – Pulsar47 - (Champaign, IL)
11:00pm – Ambitious Pie Party - (Urbana, IL)

The Iron Post - $5

9:00pm – Angie Heaton - (Urbana, IL)
10:00pm – Megan Johns - (Champaign, IL)
11:00pm – Lynn O’Brien - (Bloomngton, IL)
12:00pm – Kate Hathaway – (Urbana, IL)

Saturday 10.01.05

The Canopy - $10 / $5

8:00pm – Shipwreck – (Urbana, IL)
9:00pm – Chin Up Chin Up – (Chicago, IL)
10:00pm – The Appleseed Cast - (Lawrence, KS)
11:00pm – Troubled Hubble – (Dekalb, IL)

12:30pm – Apollo Project – (Urbana, IL)

Cowboy Monkey - $5

10:30pm – Darling Disarm – (Champaign, IL)
11:30 pm – The Winter Blanket – (Minneapolis, MN)
12:30am – The Beauty Shop – (Champaign, IL)

The Courtyard - $5

9:30pm – jigGsaw – (Urbana, IL)
10:30pm – Mike Downey – (Chicago, IL)
11:30pm – The Like Young – (Chicago, IL)

The Iron Post - $7

10:00pm – Ear Doctor – (Urbana, IL)
11:00pm – Thollem – (San Francisco, CA)
12:00am – Jason Finkelman’s Nu-Orbit Ensemble

Mike N Molly’s - $7

11:00pm – TBA
12:00am – City on Film – (Chicago, IL)
1:00am – Owen – (Chicago, IL)

That is a veritable smorgasbord-orgasbord-orgasbord of rock and roll music my friends. Granted, it goes up against Krannert's Guitar-fest that weekend... but I only really wanted to see Daniel Lanois there anyway.

And I can't wait to see those t-shirts, Seth! "This little Pyggie went to Highdive, this little Pyggie stayed out til 2AM...." We should collaborate!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Take Me To The Beauty Shop...

Well, I'm furiously pissed at myself for missing The Beauty Shop show. This has happened the last two times they've played, and I'm seriously despondent.

But perhaps you wouldn't understand why...

It's because John Hoeffleur is the best frontman in town...and the best lyricist.

Maybe you've not heard their albums. Their punky twist on americana is sung through the liquor-soaked vocal chords of a modern Johnny Cash (Hoeffleur) and with songs that have traveled many miles without forgetting where they came from. These are not contrived works, but genuine, down-to-earth experiences laid out straight from the heart.

Their latest record is called "Crisis Helpline." If you're in CU, you should head over to Parasol (it's on Griggs St. in Urbana, off of Race) and pick it up. If not, just buy it from their website.

You say you want to sample it first? No problem... "Paper Hearts For Josie" and "Monster." These are SAMPLES... not full tracks.

Keep an eye on their website,, for news and tour dates.

Monday, August 22, 2005

My Ferris Bueller Shot....

Taken with my trusty Canon S70 from the top of the Sears Tower.

Aunt Sonya's - Reduced To Rubble

Ahh Aunt Sonya's... it's been 3 months and I've probably lowered my cholesterol several points in your absence. However, you were still there to admire... beckoning to me like a failed relationship. Instead of being filled with life, you were hollow, and fences were put up to prevent ever being together again. Who could make biscuits and gravy like you? Well, no one can ever do it quite the same.

And now "a trip to my Aunt's" is truly limited to someone who is a sister of my parents.

Reduced to rubble, there is nothing left of the place but fond memories. God forbid anything happens to The Ribeye... I'll have to convince my mom and dad that there is another restaurant in town.

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