A lot going on this weekend…
Not only am I personally recommending three really great shows featuring some unique and legendary artists, there’s also some great local music happening in Lawrence and KC, as well as the Chiefs on Friday night and Sporting KC on Saturday night.
Yep, it could be an epic several days if everything goes according to plan.
Thursday it’s some chill rock with Steely Dan, Friday we get a little weird with Dweezil, then Saturday it’s off to LIVESTRONG to watch Sporting keep climbing the ladder. But no after-game beers this time because it’s a bee-line for Crossroads to catch one of the cooler live acts around on Saturday night, TV On The Radio.
Who’s with me?
Thursday, August 25th
Steely Dan at Starlight Theater in KC
The brainchild of virtuoso musicians Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, Steely Dan has been through a lot of weird twists and turns as a band. For example, one of the earliest incarnations featured Chevy Chase on the drums. After touring in the early seventies, the duo decided that playing live was for the birds and they became strictly a studio act for the next two decades until 1993, when they decided to play some live shows again.
Then, in 2001, more weirdness when Steely Dan released their first studio album in 20 years, “Two Against Nature.” Surprisingly, the album won Album of the Year at the Grammys, beating out the likes of Radiohead’s “Kid A” and albums from Paul Simon, Beck, and Eminem. Seriously, though, “Kid A” is way, way better, right?
Regardless, the Dans have built a cult following over the years with their slippery smooth jazzy guitar rock and ironic lyrical content. Known for their incredible attention to musical detail, they are currently touring with a full band of ten or eleven seasoned pros, so the musicianship at Starlight this Thursday should be off the charts.
Friday, August 26th
Return to Forever IV & Zappa Plays Zappa w/ Dweezil Zappa at the Midland in KC
I will call you… Dweezil. Why Dweezil? Why not?!? And you, your name will be… Moon Unit. And you will be known as Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.
I don’t know about you guys, but I think Dweezil made out like a bandit compared to his siblings.
Around 2006, after making a name for himself as a guitarist in his own right, Dweezil decided to learn and perform his old man’s songs to bring them to a younger audience. He enlisted a bunch of the original Mothers of Invention, as well as new musicians in his attempt to perfectly recreate the best of Frank Zappa’s performances from over the years.
But wait! There’s more! If you act now you also get: jazz-fusion supergroup Return to Forever, which features Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Frank Gambale playing both old and new songs from their solo careers as well as the RTF catalogue.
You can’t afford NOT to go!
For any SERIOUS music fan, this show has been circled on the calendar for months, maybe more.
Saturday, August 27th
TV On The Radio at the Crossroads in KC
This Brooklyn band is usually described as indie rock, but that label doesn’t really do TVOTR justice as their sounds are so wide ranging that typical pigeon-holing doesn’t really work. At times punk, jazz, improv, soul, pop, electronic, you-name-it.
I describe them as one of the most interesting and different bands around.
Their most recent album, 2011’s “Nine Types of Light,” has received mostly acclaim, with Pitchfork giving it a 7.7, Paste pegging it at an 8.0, and Rolling Stone offering 4 out of 5 stars. RS reviewer Jon Dolan writes, “TVOTR’s most accessible disc rolls out grand alt-rock and thwumping future funk that’s warm and grabby — from the arena-Pixies "Caffeinated Consciousness" to the Prince-ly "New Cannonball Blues."
Their live shows are notoriously upbeat and sonically imposing, to the point that, even those not super familiar with TVOTR’s stuff can get hooked and transformed into an instant fan in the span of a ninety minute set.