Music Notes and Entertainment Briefs, March 22, 2012 Edition

Pictured: VibeSquaD. Picture by Daniel Zetterstrom.
Nightlife staff

Big Shows

The Southern Illinois Music Festival will probably add major performances to its summer schedule up until the last minute, but a few headlining concerts are already pencilled into this year’s fest, which carries the theme Turn of the Century Masters: Puccini, Rachmaninoff, Strauss, and Stravinsky.

Igor Stravinsky’s ballets Firebird and Petrushka will take place Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9 at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center.

A full orchestra will perform Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Richard Strauss’s Don Juan, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Thursday, June 14 at a location to be announced, and Friday, June 15 at Carterville High School.

Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohè me will take place Friday, June 22 and Sunday, June 24 at Carterville High School.

The festival will include many, many more concerts, workshops, and performances, from little educational and chamber shows to full-blown productions. Find out more at <http://www.SIFest.com>...

VibeSquaD will perform Thursday, March 29 at the Sports Blast with opener Dan Schrian. VibeSquaD sounds like a band, but he’s really Aaron Holstein, a psychedelic crunk and intelligent dance music DJ and guitarist from Colorado who grew up outside Chicago. He counts a wide range of influences, from George Clinton to Frank Zappa, from Wes Montgomery to Yusef Lateef, and has cranked out at least six releases since 2007, including Remix Mashers Volume I, which opens with a remix of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Family Affair.”

Tickets are selling for $10. For those who don’t want to drive, a bus will leave every half hour from the Old National Bank parking lot for $2 per round trip...

Concert-industry publication Pollstar lists country act Dailey and Vincent as performing Sunday, December 9 at Shryock Auditorium...

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band will return Thursday, April 19 to the Hangar 9. Tickets are on sale now for $8; they will sell for $10 on showdate...

Eat It

While neither the SIU’s men’s nor women’s basketball teams made it to the NCAA tournament, March Madness still comes to Carbondale Main Street. The downtown development organization is holding a restaurant competition through March 26.

The public has been voting for the Elite Eight-- Mary Lou’s, Thai Taste, Fat Patties, Kelly’s Irish Boxty House, Longbranch Coffeehouse, Blend Tea and Crepe, Vintage Soul, and Quatro’s Deep Pan Pizza-- in the Carbondale Main Street Madness online poll.

In the first round, Mary Lou’s beat Thai Taste by one vote. Quatro’s gained the most votes of the entire competition, beating out Vintage Soul. Longbranch Coffeehouse defeated Blend. Fat Patties overcame Kelly’s Irish Boxty House.

In the second round, Mary Lou’s defeated Fat Patties, and Quatro’s beat out Longbranch. The finals will pit Mary Lou’s against Quatro’s. Balloting takes place through Sunday, March 26. Vote now at <http://www.CarbondaleMainStreet.com>.

For each week that customers vote, they are entered for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the participating restaurant of their choice. Almost two-hundred bracketologists tried to predict the winners. The person to most accurately chart the competition results will win a $100 gift certificate to the winning restaurant...

Being for the Benefit of...

The community of Harrisburg will still require mountains of help to recover from the February 29 tornado that left such devastation in Harrisburg-- including seven dead and about two-hundred homes and twenty-five businesses destroyed.

One of the more fun ways to contribute to Harrisburg’s recuperation will take place Saturday, March 24 at 9 a.m. at the SIU Student Center Bowling and Billiards. The Bowling in Ballgowns benefit will encourage women to remove their ballgowns, prom and wedding dresses, and other ornamental wear from mothballs and hit the lanes along with men doffed in tuxes and suits. (Those in everyday attire are also welcome.)

Four-person teams will bowl two games. Participants can win team and individual prizes. Cost is $15 each, and proceeds from the tournament will go to the Good Samaritan House homeless shelter in Carbondale and relief efforts for the area in and around Harrisburg.

Because prom season is coming and the tornado may have deprived Harrisburg-area teens of money for formalwear, Bowling in Ballgowns participants who wish to leave behind their attire may do so, and organizers will donate it to Goodwill.

To register, or for more information, call (618) 453-2803...

Treasures of Little Egypt

The Shawnee Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society will conduct a hike to Heron Pond Saturday, March 24 at 10 a.m. Participants meet at the Heron Pond parking lot in Belknap, Illinois. Hike leader Tony Gerard, a biology instructor at Shawnee Community College, will help the group find and identify amphibians and reptiles.

For more information, contact Terri Treacy at (618) 521-1030 or <terri@ShawneeAudubon.org>, or visit <http://ShawneeAudubon.org>...

The River-to-River Trail Society will offer an Indian-wall hike Saturday, March 24 that will take participants to three of the ten known prehistoric stone walls in Southern Illinois. Hikers will explore War Bluff, Millstone Bluff, and Stonefort Bluff, guided by local expert Mark Motsinger. A caravan will meet at 10 a.m. at the Shawnee Mart convenience store on Route 145 in Eddyville. Participants should carpool if possible and bring appropriate shoes and clothing, bugspray, water, and a snack. Pets are not welcome on the hike. For directions or information, call (618) 499-2337...

WriteNow

Herb Russell’s gorgeous new tome The State of Southern Illinois: An Illustrated History (SIU Press, 232 pages, hardcover, $39.95) has a curious contradiction at its heart. On one hand, it argues that this region called Egypt carries a separate identity from the rest of Illinois due to numerous factors. Yet at the same time, he dispels the stereotypes hung on Southern Illinois, and makes a compelling case that it isn’t so much different from the state’s north.

Southern Illinois, Russell contends, was hardly sympathetic to the Confederacy during the Civil War, sending a greater proportion of its citizens into the Union army than northern Illinois, for example. And while parts of Southern Illinois certainly fought desegregation, others welcomed and encouraged the migration of freed slaves into the region.

Thrilling new photographs and terrific archival pictures adorn Russell’s fascinating text. Wonderful stuff...

Carbondale resident Lynne Davis contributed an essay, “Just Like West Side Story: Teaching English Grammar with Poetry,” to the anthology Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing, and Teaching (McFarland, 286 pages, paperback, $45). Davis tells Nightlife that her essay deals with a class she taught when working at SIU’s Center for English as a Second Language from 1989 to 2005...

Former Illinois state senator Philip J. Rock has a new SIU Press book, Nobody Calls Just to Say Hello: Reflections on Twenty-two Years in the Illinois Senate (247 pages, hardcover, $29.95). A Chicagoan, Rock served twenty-two years in the Illinois Senate, including fourteen years as senate president from 1979 to 1993. The book, written with Ed Wojcicki, gives readers an inside view of Illinois politics and focuses on the many calls elected officials receive from those in need of help...