Sounds Good: Gaslight Anthem@Bottleneck, Dan Hicks@Knuckleheads, The Sluts, Rev Gusto@Barnyard, O.A.R.@Crossroads

I know this is a music post, but I also cover soccer for those of you following along…

Last night, Sporting KC got sweet revenge, beating down Philly 2-0 after being on the receiving end of a 4-0 curb-stomp just a couple weeks back.  The win puts KC into the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup finals, which will be held at LIVESTRONG.  Get your tickets now, because this will be one of the all-time best atmospheres in a stadium that is known for great atmospheres.  And I assure you, this will be a sellout.  I mean, the last seven games have been sellouts, but this will be a SUPER SELLOUT.

Scary, right?

Back to the music.  A couple of picks for shows that are taking place tonight, so act quickly KCC music junkies…

Thursday, July 12th

The Gaslight Anthem at the Bottleneck in Lawrence

Really looking forward to this show.  Last time the Anthem boys came through town, which was a couple years ago I think, they headlined the Midland.  After touring mostly Europe for a few years they decided to get back to the small club shows.  Which is great for me and everyone else that loves live music.  Smaller the better, right?
The Gaslight Anthem is most often compared to Bruce Springsteen, and though I can hear the resemblance with the gritty storytelling lyrics and straight forward Americana rock, the reference may be due in large part to the fact that these guys hail from New Brunswick, New Jersey.  But they are also heavily influenced by Joe Strummer and The Replacements, and seem to share their same working class ethos.

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks at Knuckleheads in KC

Dan Hicks is still doing his thing.  But exactly what is his thing?  Pop?  Folk?  Country?  I always related him a little bit to Jimmy Buffet for his easy-going demeanor and tongue-in-cheek musical style.

But don’t take my word, let the man himself tell you: 

“My music is kind of a blending. We have acoustic instruments. It starts out with kind of a folk music sound, and we add a jazz beat and solos and singing. We have the two girls that sing, and jazz violin, and all that, so it’s kind of light in nature, it’s not loud. And, it’s sort of, in a way, kinda carefree. Most of the songs are, I wouldn’t say funny, but kinda maybe a little humorous. We all like jazz, so we like to play in a jazzy way, with a swing sound you know, so I call it “folk swing”. There are a lot of original tunes that I’ve been writing through the years, so that has its personal touch on it.”

Friday, July 13th

Rev Gusto, The Sluts at Barnyard Beer in Lawrence

I believe this is the first real rock show at the Barnyard, which normally caters to the down-home folkster and bluegrass crowd.  Either way, the beer will be flowing.  I recommend the Golden to beat the summer heat.  Also, say hi to Mike and Heath while you’re there, two of the friendliest local brewmeisters you’ll ever meet.  They’re always happy to tell you about their beer, their bar, and just plain old shoot the shit.  

They’re branching out this weekend with a couple of local bands on the rise.  Rev Gusto is out of KC and plays a mix of garage rock mixed with a folk-punk type deal.  And the Sluts are a Lawrence act that is making some major noise, literally.  Last fall, said, “The Sluts are everything I could ask for in a rock band. They’re screamy, noisy and completely unapologetic. I got the feeling that they didn’t really care what you thought of their band. They’re here to be loud and amazing, and that’s all that matters.”

Sounds cool, right?

Saturday, July 14th

O.A.R. and Rebelution at Crossroads KC

That Was a Crazy Game of Poker, unfortunately, is what always comes to mind when I think of O.A.R.  But the fact of the matter is that they have a lot more to offer than the the “You say ahh, I say uhh” frat anthem rock that song always brings to mind.  In fact, they’ve recently released a single in support of Team USA for the London Olympics, featuring rapper B.o.B.  and their last album, released in 2011 hit number 12 on the Billboard charts.   Their shows are always high energy, jammy affairs, that feature a fun loving and feel good vibe.  Perfect for a hot Saturday night.

Rebelution is a cool-ass reggae-ish band, that Sporting KC soccer star Graham Zusi lists as one of his favs.  Their tight grooves and socially conscious lyrics evoke a bit of Marley and a bit of Ben Harper – in fact they toured with Harper last year, hitting up the Crossroads for one of the best shows of the summer.
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