Full disclosure: the following rant has nothing to do with the shows that you should think about checking out this week in the KC/Lawrence area.
This past weekend, downtown Lawrence was host to the Ugly Sweater Run. Approximately 3,000 paid $50 ($50!), and then showed up in all varieties of horrific holiday cheer to run an un-timed 5K. Actually I heard the course was a bit short of 5K. And it looked like there was more skipping, walking, and trotting than running. But whatever.
Point is, these are not the Ironman types. Nope, most were the kind of people that would sign up for The Color Run. Which by the way attracted about 8,000 participants a few months ago in downtown Lawrence.
Why do people want to pay good money to do this? I really don’t know. And that is why I feel stupid. Both the Ugly Sweater Run and The Color Run are owned by the same guy, Travis Snyder, a mid-thirties dude from Utah. Hire a DJ, rent some porta potties, an EMT or two, some colorful flags, a beer tent, and voilà (or as Glazer likes to say, “Walla!”).
The first Color Run was held less than a year ago in Arizona, and since then, dozens of other venues like Lawrence have hosted the runs. Snyder has become a millionaire many times over basically overnight (Take that Pet Rock!).
And here I am slaving away over a hot keyboard for mere pennies per keystroke like a fool.
End of rant, check out some music dummies….
Kentucky Knife Fight at Barnyard Beer in Lawrence
These guys were voted Best Rock Band of 2012 by St. Louis’ Riverfront Times, which is basically like The Pitch here in KC, but better. So why is a “rock band” playing at the Barnyard, which is mainly a bluegrass and Americana venue? Well, you know how hard it is to label a band’s sound, but KKF is essentially an aggressive, blues-soaked, country-tinged outfit, with a singer whose voice is growly yet versatile. Got it? They’ve been playing a bit with the Reverend Horton Heat, if that helps you out a bit. Or, even better, just go to their website and listen for yourself. And as if that weren’t enough, Fast Food Junkies– an up and coming local speedgrass group- are also on the bill.
So get out to the Barnyard and sample Heath’s new bourbon vanilla stout if there’s any left – that stuff goes pretty fast these days. It’s pretty damn good. And powerful.
Friday, December 7th
These indie rockers are one of the most acclaimed local bands of the moment (and last 5 years, really), with their latest self-titled release garnering plenty of critical praise. But they’ve been doing this thing for quite a while, about a decade, and they always deliver thoughtful and interesting pop songs. Frontman Andrew Connor is also a member of awesome indie pop act the ACB’s, providing lead guitar and backing vocals.
Joining in the fun is The Shy Boys, a newish group that boasts two members of the ACB’s, drummer Kyle Rausch and singer/guitarist Konnor Ervin. They play breezy ‘60s-ish pop tunes with plenty of harmonies and simple, sweet lyrics.
Saturday, December 8th
In years past, this now annual event has featured an ugly sweater contest, prize giveaways, and tons of festive decorations. And some cool bands, of course. All the money raised goes to Toys for Tots, so if you don’t come out to this show, what you’re saying is that you hate underprivileged kids. So now it’s on you, yo. I believe that showing up with a new, unopened toy is also encouraged, and may take the place of a cover charge.
But the real deal is this: if you haven’t seen Noise FM yet, it’s your own damn fault. They used to reside in Lawrence but now call Chicago home. But they swing through the area quite a bit still, so everyone can get their melodic hard-indie rock fill.