The UGL may not have its own collection of CD’s for you to check out (but you can certainly head over to the Music and Performing Arts Library if new tunes is what you seek), but that doesn’t mean we don’t love music. Champaign and Urbana have been the birthplace of many great bands in many genres over the years, and many of their recordings can be found using the online catalog. The prolific 70’s and 80’s rockers REO Speedwagon once called Champaign home, as did folk great Dan Fogelberg and the 90’s saw the emergence of hardcore band Braid. The Sousa Archives & Center for American Music is featuring “Live From the Crossroads”, an exhibit dedicated to the colorful Champaign scene between 1981 and 1986.
Check out our guide to the upcoming Pygmalion Festival, going on from September 25 through the 28th all over Champaign and Urbana. This short list will highlight some of the bands that have ties to the University.
This 4 person folk band is made of U of I graduates, two of whom are products of the music department. Bones Jugs ‘N Harmony play upbeat music that will have you scratching your head while dancing like a fool. The band’s Facebook biography cites them as “NDM” or “novelty dance music”, and their unique spin on traditional folk music is something to be marveled at. Rarely do you see a band that features the jug, and even more rarely do you see a band featuring a jug that makes your body move with such reckless abandon. Check them out at Cowboy Monkey for the late night show at 1 AM on Sunday.
It’s a slow burn for indie trio Motes, a band made up of two U of I graduates and current teachers. Elizabeth Majerus and Matt Mitchell form two thirds of this guitar driven outfit, and one can tell that they’ve studied literature simply by reading along with their winding and poetically strong lyrics. Each member contributes equally to the overall sonic output of the band, featuring textured guitar playing and a consistent and tempered rhythm section. These literati’s will be at Memphis on Main on Sunday at 10:15PM.
Sometimes, you just want a song to rock or roll or be quiet or just go. Single Player, the project of student Sean Neumann, knows this and delivers tenfold with all of his music; his longest song to date under the moniker clocks in at a smooth 3 minutes and 49 seconds. This brevity is not due to lack of school or songwriting prowess. Single Player has the unique ability to play exactly what needs to be played. Catch Single Player opening for Speedy Ortiz on Friday at Red Herring at midnight.
Most bands have a specific thing they do really well. Either they have an amazing guitarist or their lyrics are to die for or their drummer can really just wail.The 92s is different because they simply know how to rock. Dan Durley is both recent alum and an extremely powerful lead singer, and his band’s punching alternative rock will certainly not disappoint live. Krannert Art Museum hosts The 92s on Thursday at 7 o’clock PM sharp.
What bands are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below. There are plenty of other U of I notables playing Pygmalion this weekend, so head out and let us know which notables we may have missed on Facebook or Twitter.