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:
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)
Better Than This
Broken Whiskey Glass
Moonshine Guy/Releasing Celtic Prisoners
Help There’s A Fire
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 (http://theacbs.bandcamp.com/) 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.