Category: Video

The Greenman’s “ghost mural” has been repainted

I frequently find myself driving east on University, and my eyes are always drawn to the giant Lee logo on the side of the buildling at 110 E. University.

Photo by Patrick Singer

Here's a Tom's #Mailbag answer explaining the origins of the mural. 

If you are also a regular passerby, you may have noticed that it's looking a bit brighter these days. Local artist Glen Davies was tapped to repaint the original, and Champaign Center Partnership posted this video of Davies and Michael Hosier of R Rentals discussing this recent restoration. 

Top photo from Champaign Center Partnership Facebook page. Video by Alex Kim. 

Watch CJ Run’s recent Audiotree session

CJ Run is on the move these days, performing a bit in Chicago recently. While they were up in the Windy City recently, they performed for an Audiotree session. That session was released today, and you can download/stream it on your platform of choice.

Run released Here For Now earlier this year, and was recently featured in Chicago Tribune ahead of their performance at Do Division Festival. Run performed at Wicker Park Fest a couple of weekends ago.

Catch CJ Run in a city near you:

Photo by Audiotree Live


Watch The Bashful Youngens cover Beastie Boys in new video

The Bashful Youngens have released a new video, recorded live at Wave Upon Wave by James Treicher (you can read about his studio here), wherein they cover the Beastie Boys classic "Fight For Your Right". Watch the video below, and check out the upcoming shows for Bashful Yougens over the next couple of months:

Photo is a screenshot from the video


Watch C-U ex-pat Jon Childers in Shovels & Rope’s trailer for their upcoming concert film

Jon Childers has several ties to Champaign-Urbana. A former student at the University of Illinois, and a contributor to Smile Politely at one point in time, Childers played in The Leadership while he spent time in the area, so you might remember his name from those times. He moved to Nashville a while back, where Blank Range became a thing, and toured for a long time with them, and still plays music in that outfit.

That's a bit of backstory as I get to the thing I'm SPlogging about, which is the upcoming live concert film for Shovels & Rope, another band that's visited C-U, performing at ELLNORA a few years ago. You can watch the trailer below, which features Childers as the narrator, but also as the taxi driver one of the characters calls up.

Watch the video below, where you'll find Childers' appearance around the 2:15 mark (though his character is in the darkness for the most part):

Photo is a screensshot from the video


Watch this amazing feature by Bill Geist about Robeson’s closing

The world has changed so much over the course of the last thirty years, especially in the world of consumer goods and shopping. You should watch this feature by Bill Geist, a Champaign native and U of I alum, from his work at CBS, which is an amazing look into the world of malls and department stores back in the early 1990s.

Mike Moran posted it in Champaign Urbana History's group on Facebook, and the short feature highlights the closing of Robeson's department store in Downtown Champaign after mall culture started to take off and make it more challenging for department stores to do business. Geist interviews a bunch of people that are pretty clearly upset about the closure of Robeson's, a building that still very much exists in Downtown Champaign. 

It appears that Geist provided it to Moran to post in the group, so thankfully this piece of media was not lost and now will be preserved by the world wide web for all to see. 

Photo of Robeson's sign from the video


Champaign Centennial grad Luke Smith had some words to say to his opponent

Luke Smith is a Champaign native, Champaign Centennial graduate, and former Parkland College pitcher. Now, he's pitching in the College World Series for Louisville, who faced off against Vanderbilt on Friday night. This came to my attention via Deadspin's post, but he was caught on camera providing some choice words to his opponent, who Smith just struck out. Watch the video:

Top photo screenshot from video

Watch Chef Ra talk about weed in this video

Chef Ra, born Jim Wilson, Jr., is known as a marijuana advocate and is a local legend of sorts, going to Urbana High School and U of I after that. His memory is memorialized on the wall at Seven Saints, formerly Mike N Molly's. He's been featured on the cover of High Times, and with the recent news about legalization of marijuana in Illinois in the near future, some content has surfaced, naturally.

Anyway, here's a video that is worth your time, featuring Chef Ra in Jamaica talking about ganja:

Top photo is a screenshot from the video


Here’s a video of Guinea Pigs eating lettuce

I know we often think of dogs and cats when we think of adoptable animals, but the Champaign County Humane Society often has other critters too, including rabbits (we adopted our bunny Lola there), snakes, birds, and guinea pigs. They have several guinea pigs available for adoption, like Rodney and Randall pictured above, and Pepe and Taki seen having a snack. I know this is something you needed to see on this Wednesday afternoon.

Photo of Rodney and Randall from CCHS Facebook page

Instagram Story Takeover with Diamond Walker

The next installment in our Instagram Story Takeover series is happening today. Champaign Centennial student Diamond Walker will be taking the controls to lead us through her high school graduation. Read Julie's interview with Walker, as she found the spotlight pointed at her following her amazing accomplishments ahead of gradution.

Find us at @SmilePolitely on Instagram to follow along with this installment of our Story Takeover series. Head over to our Instagram Highlight section to see our previous installments, which include Krannert Center, Patrick Earl Hammie, Polyvinyl Records, and more.

Photo provided by Diamond Walker


U of I Professor Ben Grosser’s supercut of Mark Zuckerberg is gold

Ben Grosser is a professor at the U of I, and his recent supercut of Facebook overlord Mark Zuckerberg has been circulating quite a bit. I noticed it published in Fast Company's article about the video, discussing how Zuck's rhetoric about Facebook's growth has existed over the course of its lifetime.

"More" and "more" and a ton of numbers, of course.

You can watch the video, ORDER OF MAGNITUDE, below, as well as read more about it over at his website.

Top photo by Anthony Quintano; Usage permitted via Wikipedia Commons


Watch this pro-Trump “rally” from this past weekend in Champaign

This past Saturday, a "rally" in support of President Trump took place on North Prospect in Champaign, and our Editor Steve Pratten went and caught the action. Rally organizer Mark Thompson discussed his efforts with Pratten, which you can watch below.

In response to this rally, Champaign County Republican Party had this to say:

The Trump Rally was neither supported nor promoted by the CCGOP.   Our focus is finding and electing qualified candidates to local offices who will provide exceptional service to all people of Champaign County no matter their party affiliation, race, religion or sexual orientation.  

It is our hope that by working to make local politics functional for the citizens of the county it will work its way beyond our county lines to help move politics away from the fringes and back to the middle where compromise is possible.

Watch the video:

Photos and video by Steve Pratten