Talk about an embarrassment of riches…
There’s so much going on this week, if none of these events tickles your fancy I would question whether you actually have a fancy capable of being tickled.
And while we’re on the subject, where the hell did that phrase even come from? Tickle your fancy? I’m assuming it’s British and that it’s real meaning is horribly, horribly sexual.
Enough about me, on to the picks…
Wednesday, August 22nd
Phish at Starlight Theater in KC
You knew when these guys went their separate ways a few years ago it wouldn’t be long before their reunion and subsequent touring. Because that’s what it’s really always been about for Phish – the live shows. Sure, they’ve put out some good studio albums, and some really good live albums. And some really cool live concert movies, too. But nothing can capture the vibe of actually being there and hearing Trey hit that ridiculously long sustained note in You Enjoy Myself, and feeling the happiness sweep through the audience.
I know it sounds kind of corny, but it’s true. And it’s something that few, if any, other bands I’ve had the opportunity to see can pull off.
Thursday, August 23rd
Mickey Hart Band at the Granada in Lawrence
I wonder how many wooks are going to follow up Phish on Wednesday with the Mickey Hart Band on Thursday. More than a few, I’m guessing.
Known as one half of the rhythm devils – The Grateful Dead’s dueling drummers – Mickey Hart is rambling through town with his ever-changing lineup of top notch musicians. Recently, that lineup has included Dave Schools of Widespread Panic on bass. Expect the band to roll through a bunch of Dead material, but with a little bit more of a world music flavor to it, something Hart’s always been a fan of.
Friday, August 24th
Shiner at the Granada in Lawrence
These KC 90’s rockers are getting back together for just 5 shows on this reunion mini-tour. Lucky for you, one of them is at the Granada in Lawrence. The other shows are in LA, NYC, and Chicago, so this is probably your one and only shot to see how time has treated these local heroes.
The reunion coincides with a re-release of 2001’s The Egg on vinyl, of which Pitchfork’s Joe Tangari wrote this:
“The band doesn’t waste any time letting you know where they’re coming from, opening with the harsh, heavy salvo of “The Truth About Cows,” a ragged slough through the sludgy bog of post-grunge. It’s the kind of stuff that major label A&R; has been cleaning up for mass consumption since 1994, only played with more authenticity and feeling than the schlock-angst posterboys of Creed and 3 Doors Down could ever muster. Needless to say, this stuff sounds a lot better when it’s dirty and raw, and Shiner’s six-string bloodletting beats the crap out of anything you’ll hear on commercial FM these days.”
The Noise FM & Quiet Corral at the Oread in Lawrence
This should be a cool show, and it’s an early one too, starting at 7:00. Noise FM were from Lawrence, but have been calling Chicago home for the past few years. They’ve been touring like banshees lately and are swinging through town to hit up the Oread for a bit. I believe they’re playing up in The Nest on the 9th floor terrace patio with an unmatched view of Lawrence and surrounding areas. If you haven’t been up there for a cocktail, seriously, it’s worth checking out just for the view.
The Noise boys play a kind of melodic rock, but with a hard indie twinge to it. Last time I saw them, guitarist and lead singer Alex Ward was super impressive, so I’m looking forward to seeing how far these guys have come after getting hardened by the big city.
Tech N9ne at Crossroads KC
KC hip-hop overlord Tech N9ne brings his Strange Music crew outside to close out the summer in style. He’s set to drop another album in September called E.B.A.H. so you can expect to hear a bunch of new cuts off that, as well as all his old favorites. He’ll be bringing along Krizz Kaliko, Stevie Stone, and CES CRU to supplement the experience.
Oh, and he’s running a contest where you can win a dinner with Tech himself, after the show. Check it out here: http://www.therealtechn9ne.com/
Saturday and Sunday, August 25-26th
Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships at South Park in Lawrence
This good old time is a must see for anyone who’s fond of roots music. Also scheduled for this weekend is the Busker Fest, plus the students all just got back into town, so you know Mass. Street is going to be absolutely jammed. Not only are there tons of great musicians and bands all jamming together – as well as competing – there’s also street food, beer vendors, stuff for the kiddies, and more beards than you can shake a stick at.
Then, when everything’s winding down on Sunday, the boys at up-and-coming Lawrence microbrew Barnyard Beer are hosting the official after party at their place behind The Merc. If Barnyard wasn’t involved I’d be a bit disappointed, as the new-ish music venue is geared mainly toward roots, bluegrass, a little country, and some old timey thrown in for good measure. The after-shindig will show off its recent remodel, as well as its tasty brews.
Saturday, August 25th
Dawes, William Elliott Whitmore, & Quiet Corral at Crossroads KC
Really, there’s more? You bet. All the bands on this bill could rightfully occupy your car stereo’s entire playlist on a long road trip. Headliner Dawes play an unobtrusive blend of Americana with a vintage sound that’s more tricky than it first appears.
But if you go to this show, the real hidden gem is Lawrence’s Quiet Corral, who’ve been steadily shining and polishing their catchy indie rock, and getting noticed by some bigger touring acts along the way. Worth getting there early for sure.