Friday, September 02, 2005

Show of the Week - First Friday Art Fest @ Nargile

Hey gang, it's that September weekend where we take a break from the "labor" and enjoy ourselves a little. Maybe it's the Illinois game on Saturday, perhaps it's a cookout or a trip out of town, it could even be a weekend where you get your Jerry Lewis jones on like no other. Whatever. A good way to start is the First Friday Art Fest @ Nargile. A good mix of live music and DJ's that includes As One, Kilborn Alley, Jiggsaw, Green Light Go, Eclectic Theory, Apollo Project, Krukid v. Sanya N'kanta, DJ Motion, DJ Impact, and DJ Raphael Kroshay. Plus, there will be 40 artists with their work on display across the club's two levels, and a way for newer artists to get some contacts. There's also a wine and cheese reception from 6-8PM, so get there early.

I'm off 'til Tuesday, so have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

15th Annual Great Cover-Up - Proceeds To Katrina

Booking guru, Ward Gollings, has announced that the 15th Annual Great Cover-Up will be taking place on Wednesday, November 2 and Thursday November 3rd at The Highdive. He also announced that proceeds of this event would be going to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

For those unaware, the Great Cover-Up is a music fest where local artists get together to perform and portray other rock bands. And it's a blast... with costumes and performances that are once in a lifetime entertainment. There's always speculation about what bands will be performing up to the day of the shows, as it's kept relatively secret. Let the gossip flow!

This year's line-up includes:

The Living Blue, Beauty Shop, Salaryman, Temple of Low Men, Sick Day, Beat Kitchen, Mike Ingram, Nadafinga, Kilborn Alley, Tractor Kings, Terminus Victor, Delta Kings, Greedy Loves,
Lorenzo Goetz, Emotional Rec Club, Goldfronts

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words...

Thursday - "Gawker" Style....

  • The Champaign Public Library had its big ground-breaking ceremony this morning... and I can only hope the $10 dollars and fines I paid yesterday go towards building something resembling anything but the "Mad Max" looking metal monstrosity we have now. I know, "you can't judge a book by it's cover," and all that... but still, with as much money as is being spent, I'm judging!
  • WCIA, Busey Bank, and the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross is giving people yet another route for donations to Katrina survivors. You can drop off your donation at the station's studios, located at 509 S. Neil St. in Champaign (aka by the Dunkin' Donuts on the intersection of Green and Neil) or mail your donation in the form of a check to:
WCIA Disaster Relief Fund
P.O. Box 20 Champaign, IL
You can also just drop of your donation at any Busey Bank location. Find their location nearest you right here.
  • And in more entertaining news... local "ultra lounge," Soma, is throwing a "White Party" tonight. The regular Thursday dynamic DJ duo of DJ Mertz and DJ J-Phlip will be spinning some underground house (is that where the Ninja Turtles live?) while people dressed in white will be drinking $3 Absolut vodka drinks. So... drink cheaply and dress like everyone else... sounds like a normal night downtown to me! At least the music will be good. If you'd rather get tanked on a cheap bottle of SKOL Vodka and listen to J-Phlip wearing your tightie whities in the comfort of your own home, just click here.
  • Wonkette helps shed some light on why the levee broke in New Orleans. Around 80% of the funding that was to go to shoring it up over the past 3 years has gone to Iraq. Read the article here. Any guesses as to why they're calling it "Lake George?"

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Illinois Football - The Zook Era Is Upon Us

This U of I football season is the start of the Ron Zook era, as I'm guessing almost everyone in a 30 mile radius is aware of. Being an Illinois football fan is not easy, however, being slightly buzzed on Miller Light and satiated by various grilled meats, one could easily get past the haze of interceptions and 4th down frustrations until at least the the middle of the third quarter. After all, Illinois tail gates are not currently for celebrating the tradition of great football. Sure, there've been a few great years, even as recent as 2001, but a tradition of greatness would be, unfortunately, vastly overstated. No, Illinois tail gates these days are about getting yourself comfortably numb enough to deal with something less than mediocrity. And this season will most likely not be any different. The team is thin at wide receiver (Derrick McPhearson is out for 4 games, and Kendrick Jones the only experienced starter), Tim Brasic is serviceable in the spread attack, and Pierre Thomas will most likely not get the number of carries neccessary to be the threat he *could* be with this offense. Perhaps E.B. Halsey will be the pass-catching half-back the offense caters to. Five-star recruit Rashard Mendenhall will be the third option, and will likely be a contributor on special teams barring any significant injuries. Don't get me started on the defense. Morris Virgil is the only real talent, and he's a converted running back. Ismail Abdunafi was a short-lived dream on the D-line. And with so much youth, and new schemes, it's going to be a challenge.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With Zook in the fold, recruiting has already taken a turn for the better. The 2006 recruiting class has quarterback Isaiah "Juice" Williams, a nationally recognized talent, and wideouts Marques Wilkins and Chris James to invigorate Zooks passing attack. Experience will yield results, and this years team will progress, but not without adversity. No one said being a fan was easy, but that's part of the unspoken agreement; you've got to take the bad with the good. I'll be out there rooting them on like always, and a win would only make the fresh grilled beer brats even sweeter. Go Illinois!

Illinois Head Coach Ron Zook is the lovechild of actor
Gary Cole and Utah Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Euterpe Music Network - Brainstorming the Scene

It cannot be said that there's "no way to get involved" with the music scene in CU. Between openingbands, WEFT, WRFU, WPGU, WPCD, Star Course, Green St. Records, and even just street-teaming for bands you like, there are choices abound. And I'm sure I'm leaving a few out, so feel free to add them in the comments.

Another one that I wanted to mention was the Euterpe Music Network.

"The Euterpe Music network exists to strengthen the local music scene by organizing open dialogue, educational workshops, and annual music conferences. With your participation, our combined energies can advance the network and foster brainstorming, information sharing and a broader support for live music in the community."

And they're doing just that.

Check out this link to learn more about upcoming seminars and discussions on how to make a living as an unsigned independent musician with Daylle Deanna Schwartz, techniques in promoting your shows with The Poster Children, and studio training with HUM/Centaur frontman, Matt Talbot.

Can We Get One Of These?

For all the talk about "gentrification" and corporate this-and-that, pro or anti Starbucks, there are some businesses that are just plain inventive and, dare I say "hip" and "cool." Although you certainly don't have to be cool to enjoy cereal...

Cereality has got to be one of the few ideas I've thought of that I can't believe is a real business.

There's gotta be a spot on campus for one of these!

Katrina & The Waves - No Sunshine At the Pump

No one's walking on sunshine in the "Big Easy," and the rest of the US will be feeling the groove of Katrina & the waves, but more in the form of an increased cost and decreased production of oil.

I really didn't need WCIA or WICD to tell me that gas prices have jumped; I was lucky enough to get a phone call from a friend of mine outside of Champaign to tell me to get gas at 11AM yesterday. According to reports, prices could end up a dollar higher in the near future. Even Blowdryavich is investigating for price gouging and asking G-Dub for a little relief in the form of loosening the oil reserves.

Take a look at and see where you can save a few cents.

Prayers go out to not only the Katrina sufferers, but to those suffering throughout the south from hurricane damage.

Monday, August 29, 2005

CMJ Music Marathon 2005 - CU's Representatives

The 25th Annual College Muisic Journal (CMJ) Music Marathon will be taking place September 14-17th at venues all across New York City.

Why is this of consequence to those of us in CU? Because local bands and formerly local talent will be taking the stage for music press, radio groups, and record labels from all over.

The lists for the four days of shows are unbelievably long, so here's the Cliff's Notes version of the locals, so you can impress your friends with something other than your good looks and shining personality.

Thursday, Sept. 15

Venue -Arlene Grocery

7:45PM - The Living Blue
9:15PM - Cameron McGill

Venue - Knitting Factory

Polyvinyl Records Showcase
8PM - Aloha
9PM - Ida
10PM - Saturday Looks Good To Me
11PM - xbxrx
12PM - Grand Buffet
1AM - Of Montreal

Venue - Maxwell's

9PM - The Firebird Band

Friday, Sept. 16

Venue - Crash Mansion

8PM - American Minor
9PM - The Firebird Band

Sunday, August 28, 2005

"Talk amongst yourselves...I'll give you a topic..."

First of all, this is not a "political blog." There are good ones abound for not only CU, but for every take imaginable; left, right, moderate, or off the map entirely. Google away.

However, I wanted to post this link of QuickTime video of CBS Sunday Morning's two-sided take on the Cindy Sheehan saga in Texas because of the quality of the positions taken by the two speakers, Ben Stein and Nancy Giles. Check it out. Food for thought, if nothing else.

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