This week’s picks are all about local Lawrence and KC acts.
A few of them are on the verge of “making it” (whatever that means these days). The others are just getting started, building a fan base, and trying to score gigs.
Sometimes, these unknowns pump out some of the most entertaining shows – in part because expectations are low for a band you’ve never heard of. But remember when you stumbled upon that random band in a dive bar that was just killing it? You became their biggest fan from then on, didn’t you?
That’s a big part of what seeing live music is all about…
Thursday, April 17th
Radkey 7″ release at the Replay in Lawrence
Radkey’s been on a steady rise since emerging out of St Joseph, MO a little over a year ago. They signed a deal with Wreck Room Records out of NYC – fronted by Entourage star Adrian Grenier. They played at SXSW and received some high praise. All this and I don’t think any of the three brothers can even legally order a beer. Their raw blend of sturdy musicianship and throwback grunge-punk surprises a lot of people seeing them for the first time. So if you haven’t yet, now’s your chance. Check them here.
Friday, April 19th
Quiet Corral at the RecordBar in KC
This Lawrence-based indie-folk-pop band is always a good bet. Their new album still hasn’t been released though, due to some distribution issues, I’m told. It was finished in September of last year and promises to be one of the year’s best local albums. Also, here’s a cool video of QC covering Aloe Blacc‘s I Need a Dollar. Note Jesse’s pretty great vocals. And another cool cover of the Beatles’ We Can Work it Out. Really good video quality.
Saturday, April 20th
Farmer’s Ball at the Bottleneck in Lawrence
This annual battle of the bands has usually seen its winners go on to do big things. Just to name a few past victors – Ghosty, Kelpie, Stik Figa, the Esoteric, and Hawley Shoffner, among others. Always a good way to come out and see some new local talent. Here’s who’s performing:
Spirit is the Spirit
DJ Lonewolf at the Barnyard
So, apparently DJ Lone Wolf has been doing this dance party at the ‘Yard for a few weeks now, and nobody told me. I ventured out last Saturday night to check it out and spoke with one of the owners of Lawrence’s newest brew pub, Mike Hummel. It was about 11:00 p.m. and there were about 20 randoms playing pool and sitting around the high tops. “Just wait, it’ll pick up, and it’ll be sexy as hell,” promised Mike. I went to the Pool Room next door to grab a beer and when I came back a little after midnight the place – which holds about 300 – was jam packed.
Tuesday, April 23rd
Lucero at the Granada in Lawrence
Blending Replacements-style tex-mex with edgy indie punk, these Memphis boys are rolling through in support of last year’s release, Women and Work. But this record steers the band in a more familiar rock direction, as noted by Paste’s Kristen Blanton:
“The six-piece has restrained its punk traditions on this 2012 album, bridging the transition between the shadow of the past and the prospects for the anti-pop future. The contradiction is the very foundation of their Americana roots—a mixture of a retrospective eye and solace of the future rounds out the album with final track “Go Easy.” The hymnal tells us, “we’ll find our way” with backing female vocals and an atmospheric church choir awareness.”