Sounds Good: Middle Class Rut @ Czar Bar, Sharon Jones @ Liberty Hall, Dr. Dog @ Liberty Hall

I need to get into the beer festival business.Kansas Crafter Brewers Expo

No, I don’t want to actually brew the beer, I just want to invite a bunch of other people who brew the beer to show up with the beer.  Then I’ll put tickets up for sale for $30-ish or so, sit back and relax.  And drink some of the beer, of course.

This Saturday is the Kansas Craft Brewers Expo at Abe & Jake’s Landing in Lawrence.  Tickets online cost about $36 after all the fees and stuff.  And it sold out in a matter of minutes, for two different 3-hour sessions.  There are currently zero tickets available for purchase on Stubhub, and on Craigslist there are a few that are listed at over $60 per.

Then yesterday came word that Boulevard’s version of the event sold out in a matter of minutes at $75 a pop.  Granted, I think that includes some food as well, but still.

I’m starting to think that people around these parts really like beer…

Saturday, March 8th

11219-middleclassrutpic2Middle Class Rut at Czar Bar in KC

This powerful alt-duo from California was one of the buzzier bands a year or two ago when the success of their single New Low propelled them from relative obscurity to regular rotation on adult alternative stations across the country.  Last year, they released a sophomore effort, Pick Up Your Head, that’s a bit more polished, but still manages to keep the raw sound that their fans have become accustomed to.

This particular show is a great chance to catch an intimate performance from a band that has played much, much bigger venues.  Which is always one of my favorite things.  Here’s a setlist of theirs from a show in Seattle a few days ago, just to give you a little taste:

Sad to Know 11219-middleclassrutpic2
Lifelong Dayshift
Aunt Betty
25 Years
I Guess You Could Say
All Walks of Life
Busy Bein’ Born
Dead Eye
No Bones
Alive or Dead
New Low


Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at Liberty Hall in Lawrence

If you close your eyes and listen, you might think you’ve been transported back to the golden era of Motown, where artists like James Brown, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin became legends.  Indeed, Sharon Jones keeps it real.  Make no mistake, this is not an ironic retro soul shtick ala Mayer Hawthrone or Fitz and the Tantrums, for example.  Nope, this is the real deal, as authentic as you can get if you want some pure funk and soul in this day and age.



Monday, March 10th

Dr. Dog at Liberty Hall in LawrenceChicago! Good to be here; it

This Philly-based indie folk band has been on the slow burn for years and years.  They’ve paid some serious dues, toured non-stop, put in the hard work on DIY albums, the whole 9, opening for acts like My Morning Jacket and Wilco.  But this time around they’re headliners, making stops at the Pageant in St. Louis, the 9:30 Club in D.C., Wakarusa, Bonnaroo, and Sasquatch, to name a few.  Last time I caught these dogs was a few years ago at the Granada, when they were fresh off their release of Be The Void, an album that is excellent all the way through.  They pretty much packed the place and put on one of the best performances I saw that year, which is saying quite a bit.  This time they’ve got a bigger venue, and a new album called B-Room, that’s just as solid.  If you can get out on a Monday, I highly recommend this show.
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