Champaign-Urbana’s community magazine FREE
WEEK OF MARCH 18, 2010
“NEW FACE OF BUZZ” TEASER
buzz w eekly
march 18, 2010
in this issue
THE MUSIC ISSUE venues guide editor’s note
Venues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 DJ Hotspots . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Bars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Record Stores . . . . . . . . 15 Restaurants . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Music Stores . . . . . . . . . . 16 Recording Studios . . . . . . 12 Festivals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Radio Stations . . . . . . . . 13 Coulter and Comics . . . . 23 House Shows . . . . . . . . . . 13 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 on the217.com Food & Drink
Flip over some homemade banana pancakes! Find out how to make them in this weeks Feats of Eats, online Friday.
Movies & TV
A review of Repo Men up Thursday, the uber-stylized action film starring Jude Law about a man trying to avoid paying off loans for his new mechanical heart ... IN THE FUTURE!!!
april 7, 8 & 14
Valentine’s Day was over a month ago, but the labors of love are just clocking in. Read what experts say about love and the first signs of spring on Saturday. It’s cupid’s resume and every singleton in America is hired.
Opening Act of Laughing Prairie Dog Fest on May 8th, $500 for the winning Fraternity, Interview/Live Performance on WPGU 107.1
If your fraternity’s band wants to enter, email us at Frattle@wpgu.com. At least half of the band members must be in the same fraternity.
Want to know what essentials you will need for spring break? On Thursday let buzz tell you the top shopping items and must-haves for your fun vacation!
Want to know how Neil Young and Stephen Stills got there start? Check out buzz’s review of Buffalo Springfield’s first self titled album which contains their hit “For What It’s Worth.”
Welcome, my friends, to the annual buzz Music Issue. This year we decided to go with something a little different; instead of trying to encompass the whole of the CU scene into less than 28 pages — the bands, the venues, the tunes — here we focused on one element of this diverse and eclectic community — where to find music. While seemingly a simple question, one query led to another, forming a web of clubs, record stores, promoters, and much more, representing the underlying musical architecture of CU. But buzz can’t be everywhere. As much as we like to think we are omnipotent, digesters and purveyors of all things cultural, leaving trail of informed reader droppings in our wake, we make mistakes. We miss events, locales, scenes, and even whole buildings occasionally. So if you are around town, and happen upon a happening that you think bears out attention, let us know at the “Where do you go for music” thread on the forum section of the217.com. We will take your suggestions for improvement, and constructive (or even destructive) criticism seriously, as we try to inch up the scale of journalistic perfection. So remember, as Black Sabbath once said in “Iron Man,” “duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-da-da-dada-da-duh-da-da-da.” I think that is a credo we can all live by. So let’s rock.
buzz is Still hiring! Here at buzz, we graduate college. Our photo and image editors are no exception to this rule. We are looking for replacements for both positions. Applicants should have a background in photography, experience with Adobe programs (specifically Photoshop) and managerial experience. If you are interested, please send your resume and a digital portfolio to email@example.com. We can’t wait to hire you!
the217.com march 18 - 24, 2010
The return of the prairie dog
Cover Design Matt Harlan Editor in Chief Tommy Trafton (not for looooong!) Managing Editor & Copy Chief Mark Grabowski (See ya,
TALK TO BUZZ
All of us here at WPGU take a lot of pride in the music we provide for our listeners and feel it’s something we should be sharing with everyone in the community in all forms. Therefore, we’re extremely proud to announce that our very own Laughing Prairie Dog Festival is coming back to the CU this semester! As round two of the event, we’re hoping it can be bigger and better than last time, which featured a bunch of excellent local bands as well as national touring acts. Our inaugural event featured Chicago-based Smoking Popes, Pet Lions and The Hood Internet, as well as some great Champaign acts including Common Loon, Headlights and Santah. For a mere $10 a ticket, Laughing Prairie Dog Fest was a fantastic night of music, and we’re looking forward to providing that to the CU community again. The event was a great success last semester, and we hope to bring about an even better result this semester. Come out to one of the best nights of music of the year on Saturday, May 8, 2010 to see a slew of great bands perform and do what they do best for the Laughing Prairie Dog Festival. More details about artist additions in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to your True Alternative, WPGU 107.1, streaming live at the217.com.
On the Web www.the217.com Email firstname.lastname@example.org Write 512 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 CALL 217.337.3801
wouldn’t wanna be ya!) Art Director Claire Keating Photography Editor Wallo Villacorta Image Editor Bekah Nelson Designers Nicole Hammonds, Kamil Kecki, Huang Li, Annaka Olsen Music Editor Emily Carlson Food Editor Maggie Carrigan Movie Editor Matt Carey Art Editor Abby Wilson Community Editor Em-J Staples CU Calendar Bonnie Stiernberg Copy Editors Tim Madigan, Danielle Perlin, Emily Siner Sales Manager Sarah Gleason Marketing/Distribution Brandi Willis Publisher Mary Cory
We reserve the right to edit submissions. buzz will not publish a letter without the verbal consent of the writer prior to publication date. buzz Magazine is a student-run publication of Illini Media Company and does not necessarily represent, in whole or in part, the views of the University of Illinois administration, faculty or students. © Illini Media Company 2010.
Nick Martin Assistant Movies & TV Editor
» Jonas Salk: He invented a cure for polio then gave it away for (basically) free! I’ve never done something that nice ... And neither have you! You should feel guilty that you’re not as nice as Dr. Salk. Stop reading and go cure something! (Especially you science majors!) » Old Men: Need some saged advice? Need a new friend with experience? Need someone to fulfill the paternal desires your father could never provide? Become friends with an old man! Not only will you learn life lessons, you might even get put into his will! » Nipple Tape: Sometimes you want to wear a skanky dress, but you don’t want everyone to see your bub-bubs. If you had used nipple tape in those pictures maybe you wouldn’t have lost your job (but you shouldn’t have stolen office supplies either). Matt Carey Movies & TV Editor
» Pearl Jam: I’m beyond ecstatic that they’re touring again, but I wanted them to come to Champaign. This isn’t really a gripe against Pearl Jam, I love them with every fiber of my being. » White Horse: God I miss you. Please, come back to me baby. » Nick Martin: He took “likes”, and I wanted those. claire keating art director
Children in grown-up clothes: No, I do not want to see pictures of a creepy little boy in oversized pants giving a young girl a single flower. 3 Seeing this in real life would be completely unnerving. (See fig. 1) Dogs in human clothes: This is unnatural and cruel. I do not support it. (See fig. 2) Babies in ironic clothes: I don’t think I would want my baby to be ‘Born to Rock.’ That can’t lead 1 to anything good. (See fig. 3) Tommy Trafton and Mark Grabowski: These boys are rude and obnoxious and I hate working with them. It is also their last issue. They are dead to me. I won’t miss them. (See fig. 2)[Managing Editor’s Note: We will miss you too Clairey, and you are really pretty]
by Sabrina Gosnell
hall 1800 S. First St., C.
N.E.R.D performs at Assembly Hall Thursday, November 12, 2009. Photo by Wallo Villacorta.
Offering a smattering of genres from classic country to hip-hop, Assembly Hall has a show to accommodate nearly every musical taste. Assembly Hall’s unique design — rumored to have been given a failing grade when the architecture student submitted it for a course — offers more than an aesthetically curious conversation piece. The design allows for the intimacy of a small venue while simultaneously having the capacity of a large venue. The hall seats around 16,000 people, give or take. The balconies are always reserved seating, but the floor can range from “festival seating” (see: mosh pit) to general admission. One of the main advantages of Assembly Hall is that it is convenient. “[It] sure beats driving to Chicago and St. Louis (to see a show),” said Kevin Ullestad, director of the facility. He also pointed out that Assembly Hall is generally cheaper than other venues in larger cities. Furthermore, the venue is easily accessible by car and parking is afforable. Perhaps the biggest perk is that almost every show offers a student discount, from a few dollars
Talent Buyer, Canopy Club
708 S. Goodwin Ave., U. by Evan Metz
Van Halen — Nov. 5, 1980 Bruce Springstein — Feb. 7, 1981 Barry Manillo — Nov. 5, 1980 Rush — Oct. 13, 1982 Red Hot Chili Peppers — March 28, 2000 Pearl Jam — April 23, 2003 Jay-Z — Nov. 12, 2009
club One of the most well-known venues in CU is The Canopy Club, located at 708 Goodwin Ave. in Urbana. Seth Fein, talent buyer for Canopy, explained that it actually began as a movie theater in the 1960s called the “Thunderbird Theater” — the logo can still be seen on the outside of the building. It was in June 1998 that it officially became The Canopy Club and began putting on concerts. Ever since then, Canopy has been a hot spot in the college music market. “Because of where we are located, we get a lot of filler dates on national major tours,” Fein said. The venue has two rooms: the void room (with a 150 person capacity) and the theater (which can hold 750), both of which give a great intimate feel to any show. As a concert go-er, the Canopy Club will offer you a number of benefits. To begin with, it is right on campus. While many of the other venues in the area are in downtown Champaign or Urbana, Canopy is a block from the quad. Also, because it is in Urbana, the age requirement is 18, allowing freshman with late birthdays to fall in love with the venue early.
off some shows to others offering tickets as low as $10 for UI students. Drawbacks of the facility relate mostly to its age, such as a limited number of bathrooms which can lead to long lines at popular events. Also, when the building was constructed in 1963, air conditioning was not installed; while there are no shows during the summer months, it can get a little warm during late spring and early autumn. Renovations are tentatively planned to address these issues. With previous acts ranging from Elvis to Lord of the Dance to T-Pain to Death Cab for Cutie, just about any musical desire can be met in a comfortable, intimate setting by seeing a show at Assembly Hall.
march 18 - 24, 2010
The Canopy Club draws a variety of musical acts from across the country to the Champaign-Urbana area. Photo by Brad Thorp
And there is good reason to fall in love: The Canopy Club is one of the most sought after venues in its market for various acts. In the past, they have had performances that range from Dierks Bentley to Nas, The Arcade Fire and The Avett Brothers. But at the same time, Canopy is a great patron of the local scene. As Fein puts it, “As long as a local band is functioning, performing and practicing, they will always be able to get a show here.” So if you are looking for a good place to see great music, both local and national, The Canopy Club is always a great destination for everyone. “I think that the name ‘The Canopy Club’ is kind of telling in that it’s supposed to be this umbrella, this canopy, over all genres of music,” said Fein.
Ages: 18+ Crowd Capacity: The Void Room: 150, The Theater: 750 Atmosphere: Two concert halls with a bar in each. Bar seating, intimate setting and low lighting. Bar: Serves more than twenty different beers and twenty-six different types of liquors. They also sell entire pizza’s and pizza by the slice from Manolo’s. Parking: Meters on Goodwin and Busey Where to eat afterward: Walk down Goodwin for a slice of pizza at Manolo’s, 1115 W. Oregon St., U. Web Site: http://www.canopyclub.com
» buzz: What are some shows that The Canopy Club is proud of? Seth Fein: I think the list probably tops out with things like The Smashing Pumpkins doing their CD release show here in 2000, Iggy Pop, Flaming Lips, Sufjan Stevens on the Illinois Tour, a couple great shows with Ween, we’ve had a lot of powerful and relevant acts come through here throughout the years. » buzz: How would you describe the “scene” of The Canopy Club? Seth Fein: There is none. I mean it’s absolutely varied. It’s whatever people want it to be here, because we have done sold out shows with Dierks Bentley, a big famous country artist, and we’ve done sold out shows with Nas, who’s a big famous hip-hop artist. We’re not in the business of trying to define ourselves with a genre; we’re in the business of trying to provide Champaign-Urbana with really great live music. » buzz: What would you say is the divide between bigger bands and local groups that you put on shows? Seth Fein: I’d say about 60 percent national bands and 40 percent local. You know the local scene; we really always try to give local bands a chance to play. We are proud of the idea that as long as a local band is functioning, practicing and performing they’ll always be able to get a show here. » buzz: What is your idea of a successful show? Seth Fein: Reasonable ticket price (working with a marketing team that understands that the difference between an 18 dollar ticket and a 30 dollar ticket is substantial), a sold out show, and not to many bands on the bill so that it is not too overwhelming. Something that is entertaining for everyone for a reasonable price.
the217.com March 18 - 24, 2010
ward gollings, Booking agent, Cowboy Monkey & Highdive
51 E. Main St., C. by Jack LaBelle
Cowboy monkey 6 Taylor St., C. by Justine Chan However ridiculous or outrageous or fantastic its name is, Cowboy Monkey is the place to be. Spacious and classy, this bar/restaurant hosts a variety of different musical performances every day of the week and brings so many different people together. “We like having anything that’s entertaining,” said Ward Gollings, booking agent and entertainment manager for Cowboy Monkey and The Highdive. “If the music’s good and the stools are filled, people just groove — even if they don’t know the music — and that’s just great.” Cowboy Monkey was born eight years ago when the owners of The Highdive decided that it was evolving into more of a dance club and there needed to be a place more focused on live music with its own particular spicy feel. The walls are soaked a desert sand yellow; hardwood floor flows smoothly, and tables with black stools line the sides of the walls. The stage looms in the back with its rippling red curtains and
Ward Gollings, booking agent at Cowboy Monkey and Highdive. Photo by Wallo Villacorta
concert ambiance. “There’s usually a good aura of energy floating around, and of course that’s enhanced by the music.” Paintings and mosaics — created mostly by local artists — decorate the interior of the club, adding compelling visuals and vivid colors to the captivating Highdive experience. The setting is spacious enough for a crowd of 400 people and is characterized by a horseshoe-
an old jukebox lights up the corner, waiting for quarters to drop into its slot and for the music to play. And come mid-April, the outdoor tables as well as Cowboy Monkey’s Mexican style restaurant will be open for extra seating. And right by all that, a magnificent horse sculpture leaps toward the bar with its cowboy monkey companion. But as always, it is the music and performances that complete Cowboy Monkey’s atmosphere. Cowboy Monkey hosts a series of regular events such as open mics on Mondays, salsa/tango nights on Wednesdays and blues jams every other Thursdays, and bring in a whole range of performances and special events featuring many different kinds of music. With a quaint alleyway in the front, there is no place quite like it.
“Here in Champaign, Cowboy Monkey and the Highdive are out of this world.”
— Ian Erard of Snowsera
shaped bar, sufficient number of tables and ample standing room on both the ground floor and raised lofts. During the coming weeks, The Highdive will host indie band St. Vincent March 30, garage rock band Japandroids April 7, and blues/country musician Paul Thorn April 29, among others, while DJ Mingram will continue to spin for the ‘80s dance parties every Monday night.
Gazelle performs at Cowboy Monkey. Photo used with permission from the band.
Since opening in July 1999, The Highdive has hosted its fair share of well-known musical acts. Located in downtown Champaign, the venue has brought in the likes of The Flaming Lips, Black Eyed Peas, Death Cab For Cutie, and Sufjan Stevens to entertain local music lovers. In recent years, The Highdive has built upon the tradition of live performances, with an expanding repertoire of music. Booking agent Ward Gollings has worked at The Highdive since its beginning and embraces the changes that the venue has seen throughout the past decade. “Recently, it has evolved more into a dance club,” Gollings said. “It’s constantly evolving.” With a layout and atmosphere conducive to both musicians and DJs, the club hosts weekly ‘80s nights, supports local bands and gives attention to touring acts, as evidenced by recent visits from State Radio, Band of Heathens and The Tossers. Each night has its own distinct vibe, but Gollings indicates that every performer and concertgoer finds a way to fill the building with excitement. “I’d say it’s somewhere in the middle but leaning towards crazy,” Gollings said of Highdive’s typical
» buzz: When did Cowboy and Highdive Open? WG: Highdive opened in July 1999, and Cowboy Monkey opened in April 2003 » buzz: How would you describe the “scene” of The Highdive and Cowboy Monkey? WG: The size is one reason that the owners opened Cowboy Monkey, for that flexibility. It’s a great thing to have the right room for the amount of people and the night that’s best suited for it. Put 75 or 100 people in Highdive and it’s not a very impressive show, but put 100 people in Cowboy Monkey and it’s packed. Or going the other way like back in January when Elsinore had a show at Cowboy Monkey and we had sold 100 tickets three days before the concert and obviously we weren’t going to have enough room. Luckily, Highdive didn’t have a conflict and like 350 people showed up and it was a great show. » buzz: What would you say is the divide between bigger bands and local groups? WG: I’m always on the lookout for bigger, national acts, but sometimes it’s just not there. So local bands are your bread and butter anyway, hopefully over time with some of them you build what happened with Elsinore where they can easily draw 150 people every time. Headlights is a good example of that too, it’s good to help people grow like that. » buzz: If you could book anyone, who would it be? WG: Stereolab is one that I’ve always wanted to book, or maybe just see. Them Crooked Vultures would be pretty cool. I’d like to book the DriveBy Truckers again, when they were here before it was a long time ago, so it would be really cool to see them now. I’d like to book The Flaming Lips again. » buzz: What is your idea of a successful show? WG: A good show is one that’s got a decent crowd, which results in a really cool energy and like the crowds feeding of the band and viceversa. Everybody walks away from the show maybe not thinking that music saved their lives, but music is pretty fucking special.
INSIDE BEAT Ages: 19+ Crowd Capacity: 120 Atmosphere: The bar is intimate with a goodsized stage and nice interior. Bar: Cowboy Monkey has around 50 different types of bottled beers and eight different drafts in addition to an expansive wine and martini selection. Parking: Meters on street, private lot Where to eat afterward: Walk down to the 24 hour diner Merry Ann’s. 1 E Main St., C. Website: http://www.cowboymonkey.com buzz
march 18 - 24, 2010
foellinger 709 S. Matthews Ave., U. by Candice Norwood It’s hard to miss the colossal, dome-shaped structure that is Foellinger Auditorium. Whether hosting a guest speaker or sleeping students in an economics lecture, Foellinger is one of the signature buildings on campus. Dedicated in 1907, Foellinger hosts an array of student activities, including professional concerts put together by the Star Course organization. Star Course is a student-run organization funded by Assembly Hall. The hardworking members of this team bring big name acts to the University for affordable prices. Since 1892 , Star Course has offered CU a wide range of musical performances including the Rolling Stones, U2, John Mayer and Lil Wayne. The Star Course workers do what they can to make sure any acts they book will be able to fill a majority of the 1,936 available seats. “Anytime Jeff Tweedy comes, he does really well at Foellinger; we’ve had him twice in the past four years,” said Senior Star Course Manager Brian Houze. “Ben Folds does well here too, and a couple of years ago we had Lupe Fiasco, which was a really fun show.”
Foellinger stands at the heart of campus with tall, white columns and decorative doors on the outside, as well as an expansive stage with ground level and balcony seating inside. Various technological and structural renovations have been made over the years to ensure that this establishment is more than capable of hosting a great show. Foellinger also hosts orchestras and a cappella groups. With relatively low ticket prices and a convenient location on the Quad, Foellinger is a venue worth checking out.
INSIDE BEAT Ages: All Crowd Capacity: 1,936 Atmosphere: Large theater with both main floor and balcony seats Parking: Meters down Mathews and Wright Website: http://www.foellinger.uiuc.edu
809 S. Wright Street, C.
The Mountain Goats plays at the Courtyard Café. Photo used with permission from the band
Andrew Bird performs at Foellinger Auditorium. Photo by Wallo Villacorta
by Megan Creighton The Illini Union Courtyard Café is everything it claims to be and more. By day, it is a friendly snack and study area. But by night, it can transform to become one of the most dynamic entertainment venues on campus. Other than hosting comedy shows, debates and other performances, the Courtyard Café stages several terrific musical acts. Welcoming student musicians and professional artists alike, the Courtyard Café hosts shows that range from low-key acoustic sets to crowd-raging concerts. While it is spacious, it can receive large crowds without losing a notable sense of intimacy. Its capacity of 449 creates a relatively quaint setting, but does set a limitation for booking certain artists. Though most larger musical acts occur on the weekends, the Courtyard Café hosts free daytime shows as well. Every Thursday, musicians from the UI School of Jazz play a free lunchtime performance. As such, the courtyard can host seated performances in a friendly and relatively quiet environment. While its stage is modest in size and stature, it has supported countless professional artists, as well. In recent years, the courtyard’s spotlight has shone upon groups such as The Hold Steady, Company of Thieves, Brighton, MA, Starfucker and Great Lake Swimmers. It has played a huge role in CU’s Pygmalion Festival since it began in 2005 and hosts shows of its own year round.
UI alumni, Matt Fender, claimed one of his fondest concert memories was seeing The Hold Steady at the Courtyard Café. “The one and only time I ever crowd surfed was at the Hold Steady in the Courtyard Café,” Fender said. “I’ll never do it again, but it was incredible.” Just last weekend, the Courtyard Café hosted local indie band Santa, along with Tigercity from Brooklyn and Wave Machines from Liverpool. No matter what your musical tastes may be, keep your eye out for more great musical performances to come.
INSIDE BEAT Age: 18+ Atmosphere: Dance floor and stage surrounded by tables and booths. Crowd Capacity: 449 Type of acts: Local and small national touring acts Food: Expresso Café located inside serves both drinks and sandwiches Parking: Small lot off Green Street, meter on Wright St. Website: http://union.illinois.edu/funspots/courtyard/Default.aspx
the217.com March 18 - 24, 2010
I’m a person just like you, but I have better things to do.
THE Y O J DEN E EN R M A O G C EER B T -U! C BES E H IN T
post 120 S. Race St., U.
This weekend: Thursday
March 18th 9pm
For Great Justice w/ Breathe
March 19th 9pm
The Chemicals w/ Tractor Kings and Crane & Badger
105 N Market 217. 335. 1236 Open 4pm -2am Daily www.mikenmollys.com
by Emily Carlson Nestled in downtown Urbana is a cozy little — but not too little — bar known as The Iron Post, where the music is as plentiful as the beer. The floor lined with red carpet and the walls decorated with black and white freeze-frames of jazz greats sets the mood for the style of music that floods the venue. The Iron Post features a variety of musical acts ranging from blues to pop-rock to acoustic sets with regular jazz performances. With near-nightly performances, the Post continues to have something new to see and hear. The Iron Post is also where many past and present students of the University’s School of Music call home. The school’s jazz combo performs at The Post every Thursday from 7 – 9 p.m during the fall and spring semesters. “The owner there has been great about having jazz groups there,” said Charles McNeil, Chair of Jazz Studies. “He supports all kinds of music.” Priding itself on being a neighborhood bar, The Iron Post offers live music, a full menu and an outdoor patio, making it desirable throughout the year. It’s not difficult to see that this is the home of many jazz and blues shows. The Iron Post also presents a variety of genres ranging from acoustic to bluegrass. Artists such as Charlie Sizemore and the Ken Smith Jazz Combo have showcased their talent at the bar, making it one of the top places to hear live music in downtown Urbana.
INSIDE BEAT Age: 18+ Atmosphere: Intimate jazz bar with dim lighting. During the summer there is an outdoor area where the music is still audible from inside. Bar/Food: Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap with a small assortment of both domestic and imported bottles. Also an open grill until midnight Crowd Capacity: 110 Parking: Free parking in the Busey Bank Lot after 4 p.m. on weekends and the Urbana Parking Garage for free after 7 p.m. on weekends Website: http://www.theironpost.com
buzz file photo
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march 18 - 24, 2010