Sounds Good: Jason & the Scorchers@Knuckleheads, A Lull@Replay, ACB’s@Jackpot, The Civil Wars@Liberty Hall


Let’s knock the holiday crust off our pasty, shriveled and malnourished bodies…

Gone are the pseudo-memories from another disgusting New Year’s Eve.  Do you really want to know what you said to that girl at the bar?  Or what you said about your sister’s douche boyfriend? 

No, you do not.

Were couches peed on?  Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t.  Does it even matter anymore? 

Packed away are the "great gifts" you received.  And by "packed away" I mean either Goodwill or straight down the gullet.  And by "great gifts" I basically mean booze.

Let’s put all that nonsense behind us and get back to our normal kick-ass lives – the ones where we pay a few bucks to get lost for a few hours…


Wednesday, January 11th

Jason and the Scorchers at Knuckleheads in KC

 They bill themselves as “relentless rock ’n’ twang since 1981,” but that’s really only partly true.  After laying low for the better part of the last decade, this alt-country blazing act put out an album in 2010 called Halcyon Times, and has been touring in support of it since.  The album’s pretty good and is vintage Scorchers.  And despite a few new band members, the Scorchers can still do it in a big, gritty, filthy way – not a tribute band way. 

Make no mistake, these guys are/were critical darlings that get credited with influencing a whole helluva lot of genres and styles.  Like the whole cover-song-but-do-it-punk-style thing, for example.  The Scorchers’ mid-eighties take on Dylan’s Absolutely Sweet Marie figured that whole deal out for everyone.  And the alt-country thing – yep, that’s Jason and his boys again.   

Here’s the most recent set list I could find, which was from a show in Amsterdam: 

Mona Lee

Shop It Around

Absolutely Sweet Marie

Last Time Around

Land Of The Free

I Can’t Help Myself

Drugstore Truck Drivin’ Man

I’m Sticking With You

Twang Town Blues

Pray For Me, Mama (I’m A Gypsy Now)

Harvest Moon

Better Than This

Broken Whiskey Glass

Moonshine Guy/Releasing Celtic Prisoners


Help There’s A Fire

White Lies 


Thursday, January 12th

A Lull at the Replay in Lawrence

This young Chicago band plays a super-percussive brand of indie rock, complete with digital bleeps and treeps.  But their lyrics fit more into the singer-songwriter deal, which makes A Lull somewhat off kilter at times.  Sometimes so much so that you could call their sound a bit “messy,” and trying to wade through the multiple layers of sounds and effects and reverb and percussion might not be worth it for the faint of heart.  But they do have awesome lyrics like “All we know are each other’s holes,” a line taken from the song, Mammals

Their latest album, Confetti, has received some attention from critics, but overall has received mostly hum drum reviews.  As Pitchfork’s David Bevan put it, “While it’s clear a lot the textures here have been calibrated just so, the aggressive manner in which this crew opted to produce the record makes for a flat, synthetic sheen that takes a lot away from the multi-dimensional sound multiple drummers can provide.”

But hey, for an indie band like this, a lukewarm Pitchfork review is probably better than a good one from most other outlets.  I have a feeling this show could be interesting.   


Saturday, January 14th

The ACB’s & the Kinetiks at the Jackpot Music Hall in Lawrence

For those of you still in the dark when it comes to the ACB’s latest album, Stona Rosa, get your shit together.  Go here ( right now and listen to the seventh track, My Face.  Then listen to the whole album and see if you can get those songs out of your head.  I’ll give you a hint: you can’t.  But if you can, then you are probably a robot. 

If I was into the whole list thingy like so many music critics are, I would’ve pegged Stona as the best local album of 2011.  Hell, I might have put it pretty high on my “all albums list,” not just local.  If I was into lists, that is, which I am not.  Partly because I don’t have that much time.  I’d rather get out from behind my screen every now and again and get beer spilled on me at the Jackpot and watch these guys this Saturday. 

But wait!  Act now and you also get the Kinetiks, an indie dance-rock band from Lawrence that features half and half boys and half girls.  Their songs are polished little pop numbers that usually have some sort of nerd twist to them.  They caught the attention of former Sublime producer, Stuart Sullivan, who agreed to record their last album, Science is Magic, in his Austin studio.


Tuesday, January 17th

The Civil Wars at Liberty Hall in Lawrence

This should be an intimate little affair, with a band that’s been gaining a ton of momentum lately.  As you will recall, inquisitive concert-goers, a few months ago I recommended The Civil Wars when they were virtual unknowns rolling from town to town in their old white van.  They stopped at the Bottleneck and wooed the audience with their folk harmonies and storytelling songs, promising to return soon. 

Well since then they’ve received a pretty big shot in the arm from none other than Adele.  (You know Adele, right?  Her latest album, 21, went 14 times platinum in the UK.  She’s the first artist ever to sell more than 3 million copies of an album in one year in the UK.  She’s been nominated for 6 Grammys.  You can’t go anywhere without hearing her song, Rolling in the Deep, to the extent that if you hear it again you might want to stab your ears out.  Get up to speed, yo.)  Anyway…
After the Civil Wars opened for Adele’s North American tour, the sultry Brit singer blogged that they were her favorite band around and that everyone should go see them.  Since then it’s been success after success for the Tennessee duo of Joy Williams and John Paul White.  They’ve played the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium where they were introduced by Emmylou Harris, were nominated for a Grammy in the folk album category, and were mentioned on, like, everyone’s best of 2011 lists, from NPR to Paste to the HuffPo.
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8 Responses to Sounds Good: Jason & the Scorchers@Knuckleheads, A Lull@Replay, ACB’s@Jackpot, The Civil Wars@Liberty Hall

  1. chuck says:

    “That rug tied the room together!!”
    Was there a beverage involved?

  2. Super Dave says:

    Right again
    You are right A Lull is different music. Being someone who likes percussion beats they have stuff I like. Weapons of War is one that delivers that well ESPN used it on a web special not to long ago.

    They have several videos out now which makes one think of what you might have seen if early as in when Sid was with Pink Floyd and Monty Python had got together and created something.

  3. newbaum turk says:

    Jason and the Scorchers are the most under-rated band from the 80’s. If you are unfamiliar with them you should check them out. They just had the misfortune of being before their time.

  4. PB says:

    For the setlist, Matt. It appears fairly similar to their 2010 show which is a good thing. Looking forward to this show tonight. And I do recommend Halcyon Times to anyone who hasn’t listened to Jason & Co. since the early/mid 80s. Very good album.

  5. legendaryhog says:

    They peed on your fucking couch
    And I quote (via text):

    Um, did u spill something on the couch?

    Dude, I guess I fucking pissed myself last night (which never happens…I must have been completely smashed). Didn’t think couch got any, but I was still hammered when I left. I may have spilled a beer – pants smell like beer. I have no cluee. I will pay for new couch or cleaning. Sorry.

  6. legendaryhog says:

    Why doesn’t that guy in the back of the ACB’s picture have any ice cream? Is it because he’s the drummer?

  7. RJ says:

    The Kinetiks are headlining at the jackpot show
    They’re releasing a new album that night and are offering it free to copy to anyone who shows up with a thumb drive. Pretty cool band.

  8. PB says:

    Civil Wars
    Certainly doesn’t suck although their music doesn’t do a whole lot for me, but at the risk of being shallow, I will say that the chickie is hot. Saw that Ryman performance on the PBS telecast of the Americana Awards and I was mesmorized by her in that short skirt.

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