Some cool, tasty things happening in Lawrence right now…
Aside from the great shows, that is.
First off is the Kansas Craft Beer Exposition at Abe & Jake’s Landing this Saturday afternoon. It features not only Kansas Beers, but also selections from Cali, Missouri, Nebraska, and a bunch of other places. For a full listing go here: http://kscraftbrewfest.com/brewers/
But alas! The brewfest is sold out. So if you want to go you’ll have to sneak in. I think it can be done.
Speaking of craft beer, the word in Larryville is that a new micro-brewery is set to open soon that will also double as a live music venue. The brewers go by the name of Barnyard Beer, and rumor has it that they’ve been operating on a limited sort of soft-opening word of mouth basis and featuring some underground bluegrass jams.
‘Bout time for some new beer ’round here! Don’t tell me Lawrence doesn’t have room for Free State, 23rd Street, and Barnyard. Do not tell me that.
That’s about all I know right now, but I do have a call out to the brew masters, and when I hear back, you, loyal KCC readers, will be the first to know.
On to the picks!…
Friday, March 2nd
Dirtfoot at the Bottleneck in Lawrence
Here’s how "Spencer," of synthesis.net described this band:
"Imagine Nick Cave on a bed of rusty nails, the cover of “Gin and Juice” often mis-attributed to Phish (it was actually the Gourds), some old-timey “Dem Bones,” Old Crow Medicine show culture-clash, and that subtle fecal stench of Mr. Bungle skronk sax craziness: Get theses elements, let them stew in an oaken barrel for a number of years and out comes Shreveport, Louisiana’s Dirtfoot."
I know. Gross.
Nevertheless this all-acoustic Louisiana band has been making a name for themselves on the festival circuit, performing on Wakarusa’s main stage last year, and bringing their dirty brand of ass shaking, pots and pans banging, cajun gumbo boogie to anyone within earshot.
Friday’s Bottleneck show also features Joplin’s own The Ben Miller Band, a blues/appalachian trio that leans toward the stripped down and features a washtub bass.
Saturday, March 3rd
Blind Pilot at the Granada in Lawrence
I saw Blind Pilot for the first time in July 2011 at the Bottleneck in Lawrence. At the time I knew little of the band, but I walked away a fan. I remember the crowd being one of the most enthusiastic I’ve encountered in a long time. I must’ve thought it was a pretty cool show, too, because here is what I wrote in my review:
"All the musical subtleties were really effective, especially when matched with the band’s endless smiles and good natured stage banter. Sometimes it makes a big difference, as an audience member, if you feel like the band is truly appreciative of where they are, what they’re doing, and not jaded by the road and endless bad food."
I just quoted myself. And it felt kind of good. Kind of like the mellow, folk-pop-neo hippy vibe that will be swirling around the Granada on Saturday night. These guys packed out the ‘Neck last time and I expect an even bigger, sweatier crowd for this one.
Sunday, March 4th
The Head & The Heart at the Granada in Lawrence
For a band that formed in just 2009, this Seattle outfit has certainly already enjoyed a nice taste of big-time critical success. They’ve opened for (check this shit out) The Decembrists, My Morning Jacket, Vampire Weekend, Dr. Dog, Dave Matthews, Death Cab For Cutie, and Iron & Wine, among others. If that list of heavyweights doesn’t get your pantaloons into a 7.8 Paste-rating bunch nothing will.
Plus, they have a cool story. The band met at an open mic, started jamming together, and self-recorded an album to give out at their live shows. The album proved pretty hot and sold over ten thousand copies, which is a pretty huge haul for just merch-tabling it. Sub Pop (remember Nirvana?) picked the band up, remastered the album, and voila! You have an indie-pop-folk act that everyone seems to love. I’d like to say these guys are up-and-comers, but I’m about 9 months late on that deal.
They’re playing much, much larger venues than the Granada all across the country and selling out shows months in advance in California, Chicago, and Tennessee. For example, they’re playing Red Rocks with the Shins, they’re slotted at Coachella, and they’re headlining the Fillmore in San Fran.
What I’m saying is, I know you’ve never heard of these guys, but you should really come to this show.