The Wakarusa Festival released the rest of its lineup for June’s throw-down, and I
was a little surprised by the top headliner, The String Cheese Incident.
For those unfamiliar with SCI, it’s a Colorado jamband that’s been doing its thing for a couple decades. They got popular in the 90’s alongside bands like Phish, Widespread Panic, moe., Leftover Salmon, and Gov’t Mule (among others), and helped fuel the music festival resurgence.
I’ve probably seen SCI over a dozen times, including several multi-show weekends at sold-out Red Rocks. But that was about 10 years ago. Since then, they seem to have steadily declined, as most other jambands have, to be fair. And festivals, including Wakarusa, have skewed toward electronic acts.
So this throwback could be kinda cool. Dig out your patchwork cords, man…
Friday, January 17th
Schwervon at the Replay in Lawrence
KC’s (by way of NYC) latest and cutest boy-girl indie rock duo apparently loves playing Lawrence. And why not? They’ve done remarkably well there, drawing in fans that show up again and again. Their stripped down melodies and polished harmonies are more interesting than most duos can muster, and their off-kilter stage banter keeps things weird.
Saturday, January 18th
Shy Boys at the 8th Street Tap Room in Lawrence
This surf-pop band features soaring falsetto harmonies and delicate guitar riffs on their tunes, which usually clock in at about 2 minutes. They’re a three-piece comprised of two members of the ACBs – so the falsetto thing isn’t really surprising. This gig is a record release party that has been anticipated for quite some time, with Pitchfork stirring up some buzz for the KC boys by grabbing their first single, “Is This Who You Are” for a review about a month ago.
Tennis at the RecordBar in KC
Here’s another duo that’s a husband-wife, indie-pop deal. Hailing from Denver, these guys have been on the national radar for several years now, especially so after they enlisted the Black Keys‘ Patrick Carney to produce their second album.
Nick Hexum Quintet at the Granada in Lawrence
Nick is best-known as the front man for 311, the never-ending rap-rock-pop-funk band that got huge in the 90s with their breakthrough hit, Down. But this show is much, much different. It’s a lot more laid-back and instrumental, featuring jazzier elements like horns, flute, and keyboards. Or as Nick recently told Lawrence.com, “It’s more put on your blazer, go out and groove with your girl kind of night.” You’ve been warned.