Sounds Good: St. Vincent@Liberty Hall, Minus the Bear@Granada, Portugal. The Man@Bottleneck


All Lawrence all the time this weekend.

Sure, you could pay 800 bucks and go out and see Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs tear up some gilfs and silver 

You could. 

Or you could take a little jaunt on down the road to that little hamlet known as Larry and see up-and-coming bands.

Then you could say, "Dude, I saw St. Vincent at this little theater in this little college town back before she got huge."

Instead of, "Dude, I saw Michael McDonald right before his fifth bypass surgery – he was actually dead for three minutes on the operating table before they brought his mellow groovin’ ass back to life"

Think about it. 

Friday, October 7th

St. Vincent at Liberty Hall in Lawrence

St. Vincent is a girl from Oklahoma.  She plays several instruments, mostly guitar, and sings as well.  She was previously a member of the weirdo giant ensemble The Polyphonic Spree and she also toured as part of Sufjan Stevens’ band. 

All three of her albums have received critical praise, perhaps each more than the last.  Which is quite something.  Though I’ve never seen her live, those who have tell me that her live show is even better than her albums.  Her style is somewhat elaborate and quirky, with lush arrangements, unusual twists and turns, and crystalline vocals.  Kind of reminds me of Cat Power at times, but with a bit more edge to it. 

No doubt this show at Liberty Hall will be packed with indie girls and boys alike, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more mainstream folks there too — St. Vincent seems poised to break huge at any moment. 

Minus the Bear at the Granada in Lawrence

Who wouldn’t love a band that chose its name based in part on the 70’s TV show BJ and the Bear?  No one, that’s who.  No one.  Though I must admit, the sheer volume of bands around right now that have the word "bear" in their name is a bit curious.  How did this happen?  There must be some kind of rational explanation.   

This Seattle band has been doing its thing for about a decade now, delivering danceable indie pop to a growing legion of fans.  Its latest release, 2010’s Omni, was produced by Grammy winner Joe Chiccarelli of The White Stripes and My Morning Jacket fame, so there’s got to be something to that, right?

I have a feeling this might be the show of the weekend.   

Their current tour features the band dusting off its 2002 release, Highly Refined Pirates in its entirety.  I like to think the album is a political statement on post-modern imperialism, with song titles such as "Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco Twister," "Hey, Wanna Throw Up?", and "I Lost All My Money at the Cock Fights."  It’s funny cuz it’s true.   

Sunday, October 9th

Portugal. The Man at the Bottleneck in Lawrence

This band, originally from Wasilla, Alaska, is way cooler than most everything else you’ve ever heard of that is from Wasilla.  Obviously, they migrated to… (wait for it)…. Portland, where they started to get into the music scene there. 

Its latest album, In the Mountain, In the Cloud, has received copious airplay on alternative rock stations like 96.5 the Buzz, and has received generally favorable reviews across the board.  Sunday’s show has to be one of the smallest venues these guys play anymore, so it might be worth a shot, even for a Sunday night. 

Paste‘s Wyndham Wyeth gave the album a commendable 8.3 out of 10 and had this to say:

"[I]t almost feels as though it picks up right where the last album left off. However, that’s not to say that In 
the Mountain, In the Cloud is predictable or boring—quite the opposite in fact. It’s an amalgamation of everything 
the band has done before, from the electronic drum beats that were prevalent in the group’s debut to a wider array 
of sounds including the use of strings and horns. But In the Mountain, In the Cloud takes it all one step further."
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17 Responses to Sounds Good: St. Vincent@Liberty Hall, Minus the Bear@Granada, Portugal. The Man@Bottleneck

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    Nice options
    I’ll take in Tom Russell @ Knuckleheads tonight. To paraphrase Harry Truman, the only thing new is the music we don’t know.

    Kelly Hunt & Trampled Under Foot, again @ Knuckleheads on Sunday night.

    Caught a little of Wild Flag at The Record Bar last night.

  2. Cliffy says:

    “Sure, you could pay 800 bucks and go out and see Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs tear up some gilfs and silver

    WTF is that supposed to mean? My tickets cost $20. McDonald isn’t the top draw here … it’s Boz Scaggs.

  3. PB says:

    No Fan Of
    McDonald, but Cliffy is right, Boz is way cool. And I’m not sure I would walk across the street to see some undernourished, church-named, goth-folk hybrid let alone drive to Lawrence. Like Cat Power (at least she LOOKS okay)…wow, quite the sell job. Yeah, much like Nirvana @ The Outhouse or SRV @ the Grand Emporium, folks will really regret not seeing her when. I think I’ll save the gas and pass on Pitchfork-endorsed, indy-buzz chick and her skinny jeans-wearing flock and check out out something more gritty like Grisly Hand/The Wilders at Davey’s.

  4. kcfred says:

    why the diss, dude?
    You don’t like the music, fine. WTF is up with the age dis? I’ll take one Boz Scaggs show over any of the no talent, here today, gone tomorrow, won’t be remembered past next week bands you’ve listed.
    Do some history about Boz and then get back to me.
    My tickets are $65 a pop. What the hell are you talking about?
    And he’ll play better and with more style and grace then any of the junk you’ve recommended. Style and grace, you might want to look up the definitions. Michael McDonald ruined the Doobie Brothers but give me the smooth style of Boz anytime. Boz was in an up and coming band 40 years ago. It was the Steve Miller Band, but Mr. Donnelly probably doesn’t know that or doesn’t care.

  5. Orphan of the Road says:

    That looks like a great show Fri. Have they sold out yet?

    Wasn’t Davey’s originally Jim and Mary’s Steak House?

  6. PB says:

    Has always been there, but you are correct, they did take over the space that was formerly Jim & Mary’s and that is now the room where the bands play. Not sure about the sellout, I just heard about the show today so I’m hoping there are still tix available. And the beauty…only $8 in advance, $10 at door.

  7. Hearne Christopher says:


  8. Hearne Christopher says:

    Uh, Jimmy and Mary’s

  9. Hearne says:

    Let me get this straight…
    Not only are you guys willing to admit you’re going to the McDonald / Scaggs show, you’re bragging about having seats in nosebleed? Allow me to assist. You can still buy a pair of up front “producer’s circle” seats for $176 and $26 service charge per on Ticketmaster. Total for two; $402

    You’re welcome

  10. Hearne Christopher says:

    The $800 should just about cover the above commenters with a “four pack”

  11. Michael M. says:

    Well hold on a minute
    I am “officially” on bypass numero tres. Get your facts straight. And christ almighty who beat that Bear band with a stick?

  12. Cliffy says:

    Well, Hearne … in a 7,000 seat venue when you’re probably going to sell half of that do you really think there’s such thing as a “nose bleed” seats? If someboby wants to pay a few hundred dollars to see Scaggs and McDonald up close more power to them. Me? They’ll look better from where I’m sitting.

    You can try to be young and trendy all you want but it’s obvious from the comments that most of the people visting your site are probably AARP eligible or will be in the near future.

  13. Hearne Christopher says:

    I not only think that, I know it.

    There are nosebleed seats inside the Beaumont Club in Westport which holds about half what you predict will show up at Starlight. Unless you like watching artists on giant screens or looking at them as stick figures – even from the halfway point at Starlight – they’re nosebleed.

    Granted there are degrees of nosebleed…

  14. kcfred says:

    …for the diss. And I’ll lay you ten to one odds that none of the bands mentioned in the young punk’s story will be even relevant to the music scene in two years. Or even one year. Yes, I have my AARP card. Hearne, you’re my age, you probably have one too. Yeah….life’s tough…no house payment…no car payment…lots of dough in the bank, dating someone that’s 15 years younger than me. and I get to go wherever and whenever I want. Yup, it sucks to be me.

  15. Cliffy says:

    I wish I were you, kcfred. Believe me.

    Stick figures from halfway up at Starlight? Please.

  16. Matt says:

    Apparently Michael McD is a touchy subject. I’m slowly learning the few subjects that are taboo among the KCC commentariat: talking about expensive beer, pointing out the obvious superiority of soccer versus all other sports, and now former Doobies.

    Lighten up a bit guys and watch this clip.

    Oh, also kcfred, St. Vincent is the real deal. The other two bands, who knows, maybe they will be gone in two years, but I doubt it – they tour relentlessly and are on the upswing.

  17. kcfred says:

    Thanks. I’ll check them out sometime.

Comments are closed.