Middle of the Map Fest – the local, multi-venue indie rock, film, art, and technology showcase – has recently announced its lineup for this spring’s throwdown. The music portion takes place on April 3-5 and features a bunch of local acts like Cowboy Indian Bear, La Guerre, CS Luxem, Psychic Heat, Schwervon, Shy Boys, Rev Gusto, Y(our) Fri(end), Howard Iceberg, and many more.
The headliners (which in year’s past have included bands that went on to blow up like fun., e.g.) are The Get Up Kids, Of Montreal, Kate Nash, !!!, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, William Elliott Whitmore, and a bunch of others.
In only its fourth year of existence, it’s pretty cool that this festival seems to be really taking off. It’s a great, and relatively inexpensive way to see a bunch of up and comers that are mostly Pitchfork approved (you’ve been warned).
Check out the full lineup here, and take a look at some picks for this weekend.
Friday, February 7th
Olassa and 40 Watt Dream at the Jazzhaus in Lawrence
Allison Olassa is so cute, and she has such a voice, and she plays the damn accordion so well, why wouldn’t you come on upstairs and check this out? If that’s not enough to do it, consider this, from Olassa’s Facebook page:
“We are super excited to play tomorrow night with a 7 piece band at Jazzhaus. We open for 40 Watt Dream which is Katie Euliss of Truckstop Honeymoon‘s new project! They are great so come out and get warm with us on the dance floor!”
I will take you up on that, Allison.
Sunday, February 9th
Amon Amarth at the Granada in Lawrence
This is going to get heavy. These Swedish melodic death metal viking rockers swing back through town for a Sunday night show of enlightening Norse mythology. But don’t try and pigeon-hole these guys as just another Viking act:
“We don’t really see ourselves as one of those bands doing pagan folklore music,” explained singer Johan Hegg in an interview with norsemyth.org. “The reason we took the Viking theme and mythology theme as a lyrical theme for the band was, perhaps, more accidental from the start. When we wrote the first song with Viking lyrics, we felt it was a topic that suited the music that we wanted to write really well…It was something different, as well, from a lot of other bands. In Sweden, I think only Bathory and Unleashed had done anything like it. For us, it was to do something different, to stand out a little bit, to use those lyrics.”
Tuesday, February 11th
Pixies at the Midland in KC
This legendary indie rock band is still going, but last summer they replaced founding member and bassist Kim Deal with Paz Lenchantin, who has played with A Perfect Circle and Zwan, among others. And they’ve released about 10 new songs in two separate EPs entitled EP1 and EP2. Though it’s not the original lineup, this is one of those bands that you better go see while you can, because soon they could be gone for good. And word is, they’re still rocking it pretty good. From Jordan Zivitz of the Montreal Gazette, reviewing a recent show:
“Similar to previous visits, Pixies ripped through more than 30 songs in 105 minutes with a sort of casual breathlessness. Save for a chorus given over to the audience in Where Is My Mind? and Santiago’s trademark edge-of-insanity showcase in Vamos at the end of the main set, there was no ovation-bait, and no words of greeting or farewell — and, really, no need for pandering or pleasantries. Few acts can be so ruthlessly efficient without draining the life out of their songs.”