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Thursday, June 17, 2004 10:33 pm

Now Playing 6-17-04

Here we are passing the middle of June. I love June. The word invokes so many things: June Carter Cash (Johnny), June Miller (Henry), June Cleaver (Beaver), June Lockhart (Lassie), June bugs (badminton rackets), Junior Sample (BR-549), Juneau, Alaska, (someday), junipers (gin and tonic), and Juneteeth (party and parade). See what I mean? How could you not love all that?

June also hosts the Sangamon County Fair, Chatham Homecoming, the local Juneteenth celebration, and several other area small town shindigs. And that's just this weekend with one more to go. The list is long, and you, my friend, can find most these delightful excursions into central Illinois culture in the IT calendar or on a flier in your neighborhood grocery or more than likely, your area mega-superstore if they allow the posting of bills.

Razin' Kane, one of the capital city's most popular groups of years past, resurfaces at Robbie's on Friday evening. Smooth jazz sounds emanate effortlessly from the talented ensemble, as they combine danceable groove beats with snazzy jazz solos to provide listeners with a pleasurable concoction of mellifluous pulsations.

Jazz Central Station, slowly swaying atop the mighty Hiltonian, 30 stories above Mr. Lincoln's hometown, welcomes newcomers Tabakin on Friday night. The Chicago area band comes labeled as experimental organic hip-hop, which I believe, has more to do with instrumentation and composition than strange agricultural growing processes or alien carbon-based compounds.

Let not the wind, the rain, a late babysitter, or lack of a proper hairdo, deny you the opportunity of attending the internationally acclaimed 2004 Brewhaus Prom this Saturday night. It's for the lonely ones who never went to their own prom and the downtrodden who felt like they didn't have a chance to win on court against the star athletes or the society darlings. Yes, and you can drink legally and there are no teachers, but you still dress to the nines and experience the coronation of king and queen and presentation of the court. Best of all there is a great band, The Phonocaptors, not some cheesy please-all live karaoke band decided on by a committee of dandy do-gooders hoping to please their parents and the principal, too, but an honest-to-goodness, raw, original rock band. And you can stay out as late as you want, as long as you leave the bar by 1 a.m. It's the law.

On Saturday at American Legion Post 809, the Illinois Central Blues Club hosts Larry Garner, one of the most celebrated blues songwriters working the scene today. Garner mixes soulful singing with intelligent lyrics, backed by a contemporary blues beat to create a powerful potion of living blues. In a great deal for blues fans, promoters of the Illinois Blues Festival are offering free admission to folks who join the ICBC or renew their membership by the end of August. That's two days of local and national acts on Labor Day weekend at the Peoria riverfront just for supporting you favorite blues club.

Here's a treat for you Sunday morning music lovers: Tina Thornhill and band perform their self-described "Rootsy Alterna Pop that Rocks" at the Trout Lily Café from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Rise and shine with rock & roll.

May all things June embrace and excite you until the moment of Julyzation occurs.

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