Category: Audio

U of I student allegedly eats fake Scantron in front of professor during final

Even if this video is totally fake, it is still funny and worthy of discussion as finals have come and gone at the University of Illinois. 

A lot of us have been there: The dreaded finals week, and you just can't wait to turn in your Scantron to finish up your course for the semester.

This form of examination is pretty much the worst, but many of us have been there. I've taken plenty of finals in Foellinger Auditorium, which is where a student at the U of I allegedly staged this prank on his professor: eating a Scantron form right in front of him.

UIUC sub-Reddit is full of gems, and this one popped up. A student had a recorder on his person to tape the interaction, where he allegedly ate his Scantron form in front of his professor (a fake, edible Scantron that he acquired), and subsequently asked to leave the building after he did just that.

I want this to be real. I really do. Even if it isn't, it is still funny. Watch the video below which explains what happened.

Top photo is a screenshot from the video

Audio / Link

Carly Beth releases debut demo

Carly Beth, a poppy, punky, girl-power-inspired group comprised of Kamila Glowacki, Isabel Skidmore, and Christine Pallon, has released their debut demo.

The three artists have been longtime collaborators on several different local projects (think Nectar and Spandrels), but Carly Beth is a relatively new project, forming just last summer. The demo was released May 31st on Rat King Records, recorded and mixed by Sean Neumann (Jupiter Styles) and mastered by Brandon Carnes (Looming). As their press release says:

"Once a summer side project with an uncertain future, Carly Beth now exists through these songs as a fully-formed, exuberant testament to the years of friendship and collaboration that inspired it in the first place."

Carly Beth has also announced spring tour dates:


And before you catch them in person, take a listen Sacramento, the first song on the new demo:


New Ruins' We Make Our Own Bad Luck released 10 years ago today

New Ruins were active in the late 2000s here in C-U, and their sophomore record We Make Our Own Bad Luck was released 10 years ago today. The album was featured on our best albums of the decade list, and is still an excellent listen. 

On WMOOBL, original duo J. Caleb Means and Elzie Sexton expanded to a five piece, featuring Paul Chastain, Roy Ewing, and Andrew Davidson — and today marks the 10 year anniversary, as it was released on Parasol on April 28, 2009.

Stream the record below:

Audio / Link / Word

Upcoming Balinese concert and performance highlights C-U’s musical diversity

I keep walking around saying to everyone who will listen that Champaign Urbana is a veritable hotbed of musical diversity, and here's a show that proves it. 

On Saturday April 27th, the Robert E. Brown Center for World Music is putting on a free public performance by the Balinese Gamelan ensembles at the Music Building Auditorium. Gamelan is a style of music from Indonesia, and is played by an ensemble, on several types of (primarily) percussive instruments (read a past Smile Politely article that talks more about gamelan here). Balinese Gamelan is characterized by quick changes in tempo, and complex rhythms that shift throughout the performance. The sounds are unfamiliar to many western ears, mine included, and are dynamic and interesting. Saturday's performers are directed by I Ketut Gede Asnawa.

Alongside the music, this performance will feature Balinese dance under the direction of Putu Oka Mardiani Asnawa. This year, performers are joined by I Nyoman Catra, one Bali's foremost masters of traditional Balinese topeng (masked) dance/theater. You can check out a video of topeng dancing here.

Even if you aren't able to make it to the performance, you should check out gamelan music. Below is a video of the UIUC Balinese gamelan and dance performance from 2015.


Common Loon releases new self-titled album

Earlier this week, dream pop/rock duo Common Loon awoke from bit of a slumber, issuing teasers for new music, releasing a new song "The Coup", and now they have released their long-awaited new record, Common Loon. This is the follow up from their 2010 release The Long Dream of Birds, which you can read our review of here

The band released the track "Harry Dean Stanton" back in 2013, which is featured on this record.

Common Loon is comprised of Robert Hirschfeld and Matthew Campbell, and they will perform for the first time in a handful of years at Record Store Day at Exile on Main Street on April 13th.

Album art and track listing below, and stream the whole thing here via their website.

Common Loon:

  1. Tuesday
  2. Radium
  3. Sitting in the Flames
  4. Radar Gun
  5. Automatic Skin
  6. Academy Smiles
  7. Heart and Soul
  8. Tired of Waiting
  9. Harry Dean Stanton
  10. Via Appia 
  11. The Coup
Audio / Link / Word

Rapper, actor, screenwriter, and social activist Tamer Nafar is coming to Allen Hall on Monday night

Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar will be presenting My Life in Song for free on Monday night, which will include a performance and discussion in addition to Mediterranean/Levantine cuisine. This show is open to the public, and is an wonderful example of how rich and diverse the music scene in Champaign Urbana truly is.

Nafar grew up in the particularly turbulent town of Lyd (Arabic spelling; also known as Lod, Hebrew spelling), in Israel, and his experiences there have shaped his music and informed his activism. Monday’s show is an excellent opportunity to learn more about how Nafar has situated himself as an artist amid the relative chaos of national and international tension. You can check out his sound before the show on Spotify.

Tamer Nafar
Allen Hall
1005 W Gregory Dr
7 p.m.


American Football's LP3 is out today

Back in December, American Football announced their upcoming new record, appropriately titled American Football (LP3), was coming out in March — and today is that day. Their third record is available for listening now, and purchasing of course via Polyvinyl. Pitchfork's Ian Cohen had some lovely things to say about it as well. Although the band isn't based here anymore, C-U will always be home in a lot of ways, even though they've moved away from imagery of the famed house on High Street in Urbana.

Read Nathanial's piece on the band back from 2016 when they performed here last. Stream it below on Bandcamp:


Poster Children's No More Songs About Sleep And Fire released 15 years ago today

Poster Children's excellent 2004 record, No More Songs About Sleep and Fire turns 15 today. The record was released on January 27, 2004 on Hidden Agenda Records, and was featured as #10 on our Top 20 Albums of the Decade when published back in 2009.

Stream the record below, and enjoy your Sunday.