CU Scene Roundup: New Releases, New Venues Up and Running

we-the-animals The C-U Scene Roundup gathers some of the latest news surrounding the Champaign-Urbana music scene and shares them for you all in one place. There’s a lot of news and only some of us at Ghost Track, so we decided this is the best way to bring you everything we can at once.

New CU Music
Champaign-Urbana bands Elsinore and We the Animals both released singles this past week. We the Animals is gearing up for the release Hells & Chronicles. Their single is of the same name. Check it out below, along with Elsinore’s new track “Examples of Magnetism”:

Tara Terra frontwoman Emily Otnes is now making solo music under the name Emily Blue. She has previously released solo music under her own name or under other project titles. This new project finally has a release date for its debut album, which comes out November 4. You can see the album teaser here:

Dan Durley, another former Champaign-Urbana musician who fronts The 92s, is also putting the final touches on his first, official solo record which he just finished up recording in Los Angeles. Durley, now residing up in Chicago, also plays in alternative emo band Nice Things, whose debut EP came out back in June.

Urbana alt-country band The Fights was featured on Illinois Public Media’s The 21st Show recently and announced they’ll be releasing their sophomore LP sometime this October. Cole Rabenort and Clayton Deering played two songs off the new album and you can hear a snippet of another one during the segment. As you’d expect after their 2014 record Off Your Horse, it sounds like it’s going to be a great one. You can listen to the segment here:

State of the House Venues
New Champaign house venue Blips & Chitz is up and running, and hosting shows pretty regularly. There’s also still Ghost Planet (formerly “Dingbat Dungeon” and before that “Shang-ri La”) and Library House (primarily hosting acoustic, lower-volume acts). There’s also been some sign of acoustic shows happening at The Elm, also in Urbana. Those have been acoustic so far as well.

One-Off Showing
Local musician Isaac Arms rarely plays shows (he’s often booking most of them), but when he does it’s always as a solo act. He’s gathered a full band to perform some of his songs from over the years and is doing a one-off show at Blips & Chitz in October. You can check out the event here.

American Football House Fun Facts
I don’t mean to post this here as a self-advertisement, but it’s extremely relevant to the history of the scene. There’s a story up at NOISEY that dives into the history of the American Football House and Polyvinyl Records. There’s some interesting facts about the Urbana house and the scene, so if you’re interested you can check it out here.

David Bazan House Show
Pedro the Lion frontman David Bazan is doing another secret living room show in Champaign on October 5. He’s done them in Champaign-Urbana in the past, as well as other acts like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. They’re great, intimate shows that are honestly pretty unique. If you have the chance, I’d recommend getting out to this one or another that’s likely to come in the future.

Have any tips for us or think we missed something cool? Send us an email at

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