Colin Sean Mahoney, of Z'Gwon,th recording studio, ventures to the Far East to record the Vianna da Motta International Music Competition.
Triennially, the Vianna de Motta foundation sponsors one of the most intense international music festivals in the world. Established in 1956 by distinguished Kansas University professor Sequeira Costa, the competition pits outstanding young classical pianists against each another in the hope that they will be honored with not only first place, but also with their very own full-length CD.
This year Colin Sean Mahoney, founder of Lawrence's Z'Gwon,th studio, has been honored as the head recording genius of the entire operation.
"They're giving me a terrific chance to do something bigger than myself," Mahoney said.
Mahoney will cut a feature-length CD for the first-place winner and make DAT recordings of all of the competitors. They then have the option of buying these recordings for personal use.
Now, let's talk about the great live music that will be taking place in our area over the next week.
After its most recent release, "Americana" -- the follow-up to the multiplatinum "Ixnay On the Hombre" -- the Offspring will bring its punk sounds Monday to Kansas City's Memorial Hall, 600 N. Seventh, Kansas City, Kan.
The Offspring has had enormous tour success thus far. If its last tour has any validity, the band certainly has something to boast about. It rolled up sales of "Ixnay" to more than 3 million.
This concert will surely pack an intense wallop.
Also appearing on Monday are The Samples at The Granada, 1020 Mass. The band has three new members and its '98 release, "We All Move On," celebrates these lineup changes.
Perhaps due to the group's roller-coaster successes, The Samples' sound is more mature than ever.
Don't be fooled, however. The Samples will still have that classic sound characteristic of the band's largest accomplishments.
The following night, also at The Granada, will be the Creatures. Featuring Siouxsie Sioux & Budgie of Siouxsie & the Banshees, the Creatures have come up with a unique drum-and-voice sound that sets the band apart from other acts.
"We didn't want to step back into the arena in the way that the industry expects bands to, which is frequently just going through the motions," Budgie said.
This beat-driven groove will seep into the subconscious minds of Granadians. Should be interesting.
Unfortunately for those of us who don't have tickets, the other great bet for the week will be Elliot Smith Saturday at The Bottleneck, 737 N.H. Smith was the mastermind behind the "Good Will Hunting" soundtrack and will definitely put on a great show.
If you want tickets, you'd better be close to a phone with an itchy touch-tone trigger finger. The Lazer has the only tickets to give away.
This one also should be great.
Finally, on Friday at The Jazzhaus, Natty Nation will be performing its conscious roots-style reggae that is blended with a hard rock edge.
Natty Nation is good enough to be opening for one of the premiere rap groups in the United States, so they must be doing something right. Check it out.
So, there you go -- a few good bets for the week. Get out and see some great bands. There should be a little something for everyone. Enjoy yourselves. Have fun. Listen to live music.
-- P.J. Wagner is the music writer for The Mag.