Sounds Good: Elvis Costello@Crossroads, Meat Puppets@RecordBar, Umphrey’s McGee & Quixotic@Crossroads

Thursday, June 30th

Elvis Costello & the Imposters at Crossraods KC

Costello is known for his trademark horned rimmed glasses that make him look a little like an older Buddy Holly but with a funny little hat.  But here’s the deal – he’s written everything and played with everyone and won every award on the face of the earth that a singer songwriter can win.  Saturday Night Live?  C’mon, are you kidding?  Played with The Strokes?  Yep.  Paul McCartney?  Check.  Phil Lesh?  Uh huh.  Green Day?  Check.  Seriously, just name ANYONE.

So how does this veteran of everything keep his touring and live show fresh?  Why, with a huge spinning wheel called the Spectacular Spinning Songbook, of course.  Here’s how it works: instead of a setlist, audience members get to spin this giant wheel with like fifty song titles on it.  Whichever song it stops on, the band plays, and a few lucky concert goers get to come onstage and sit in the Society Lounge, with beverages served. 

So, yeah, that’s how. 

Meat Puppets at the RecordBar

The Meat Puppets are widely credited with influencing many of the alternative bands that emerged to create that new genre in the early 90s, such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Dinosaur Jr., and Pavement.  Known for frontman Curt Kirkwood‘s warbling vocals and overall unique sound that bridges punk, country, rock, and grunge, this band has reunited (again) and even released a brand new album a few months ago called "Lollipop."

No doubt, this show will feature some of their classics as well as the newer material, which has been getting pretty good reviews.  Jess Harvell of Pitchfork recently reviewed the album and wrote, "Lollipop is a bit of a step up from 2009’s Sewn Together. The ballads are less maudlin, for one thing; "Town" is as achingly sad and good as this sort of thing gets. And for a band that once blasted its hooks to bits, the Puppets have embraced the stick-in-your-head tunefulness that always lurked under the skronk and blare."

Saturday, July 2nd

Umphrey’s McGee and Quixotic at Crossroads KC

After seeing Umphrey’s at Liberty Hall in Lawrence a month or two ago, I wrote that this is a band that seems able to bridge the gap between hippie jam band and rocker better than most, attracting both the smelly and the hair-product-using fans with their combination of prog and extended noodling.  I also noted that a lot of girls came out to see these guys, more than usual for some other bands like Umphreys that seem to draw exclusively sausage-centric crowds.

And they travel with a killer light show, so between them and Quixotic there should be plenty of visuals to stare at. 

Quixotic is the KC based dance/music/electronica/circus act that promoter Brett Mosiman seems to be really fond of.  And why shouldn’t he be?  They boast one of KC’s best and most prolific drummers in Brandon Draper, and have scantily clad women flying around the stage on trapeezes on fire.  

Beat that.
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