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Looking Forward: March 27-April 2
It seems he’s going to be giving a Hallmark Lecture in Budig Hall at 6 p.m., on this day, as well, so try to make it out to both for his notable works as a visual artist in addition to his musicianship. A very interesting artist in many senses of the word, Ben Livingston is internationally known as a neon/light sculptor and inventor of an infinite phosphorescent color palette, which glows within his luminous tubes. His homemade animated "Neon Mural #1" (a downtown Austin landmark from 1986 - 2008) beat out the Statue of Liberty for the honor of the Paul Waterbury International Lighting Design Award. He’s also been a Texan songwriter for 20 years, scribbling song lyrics in his journals, which have been described at “pure Texas poetry.” This is quite a character, worth attending for his words and his music. His excitement expressed in a Facebook post: “I am totally digging putting together a University/public speaking/singing engagement about art, love, life music and how being a cheapskate will set you free!” Thursday, March 27, at Jackpot, 943 Massachusetts St., at 8 p.m., $3.
La Guerre —Cowboy Indian Bear's Katlyn Conroy's solo project — dropped latest ambient EP “Violent” in August of last year a quick three months after releasing “The Three” EP. Now they are hosting a release party in honor of the latest "Rare and Collectible Spirits," which can be streamed or purchased as of now. Conroy says she has poured more of herself into this album than any of the others combined, an ambient product rich with thoughtful lyrics and dark pop and synthy sounds. The band name was inspired from a 10-minute-long French song performed by her high school a capella choir where they reenacted a war with vocals. Appropriately enough, her dark, emotional song lyrics broach the subject of inner battles and self-criticism. They will joined by See Through Dresses, and Dan Mariska and the Boys Choir. Thursday, March 27, at Replay, 946 Massachusetts St., at 10 p.m., $3.
Consisting of various instruments including guitar, banjo, bass, drums, saxophone, and bean can shakers, Dirtfoot coined their style as Gypsy Punk Country Grumble Boogie band, with an raucous sound and unique feel. Who am I to even try to put that into better words? After a tornado dropped a tree onto Matt Hazelton’s home, he was soon introduced to J Bratlie who was walking by during the scene, and the two became friends who jammed and wrote music together regularly. The early band days were treated as an open-door kind of rehearsal having people playing anything from electric bass, washboard or trombone show up to play with them. Since settling into the six-piece incarnation now, they gained a foothold in the Shreveport, Louisiana (where they are based) music scene, and have expanded their following to touring nationwide since. Kansas City’s Hearts of Darkness will be joining them. Saturday, March 29, at The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire St., at 9 p.m.
Son of iconic folk singer Woody Guthrie (who composed “This Land is Your Land”), Arlo Guthrie is notorious for his songs protesting against social injustice, following in the footsteps of his father. “Alice’s Restaurant” is his most famous piece, an 18-minute-long talking blues song — 18 minutes and 34 seconds to be exact, which is the length of one of the famous gaps in Richard Nixon's Watergate tapes. The song is a critique on the Vietnam War structured within a true incident where Guthrie is called up for a draft examination, and is rejected for the military as a result of a criminal record from one arrest, court appearance, fine, and clean-up order for littering and creating a public nuisance on Thanksgiving Day in 1965, when Arlo was 18 years old. In concert, he has been known to extend the song out to 45 minutes. Tuesday, April 1, at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., at 8 p.m., $35-100.
Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, is coming to Liberty Hall in support of her self-titled and quite possibly most genuine record, self-described as “a party record you could play at a funeral." Released last month — worked on just 36 hours following a tour with David Byrne — this collection of experimental synthy-pop ballad-inspired songs have a more organic sound than her previous three records and labeled the artist as truly fearless. With heavy guitar licks, distortion and bold (not out of character) lyrics, this album is boundless; her song “I Prefer Your Love” proves that, requiring a strong sense of confidence to say “I prefer your love / to Jesus.” With a very digital futuristic focus as of late, her backing band now consists of a drummer and two keyboard/synth players. It’s going to be a theatrical concert to say the very least. Let’s get weird, Lawrence. Monday, March 31, at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., at 8 p.m., $25-30.
MIDDLE OF MAP FEST APRIL 3-5 Have you gotten your tickets yet? Lot of locals in the mix on all three days so it’s best you show your support by heading to Westport and dancing your booty off to some of the best local, national and just emerging artists. Quality Kansas City entertainment brought to you by Of Montreal, Kate Nash, The Get Up Kids, Cowboy Indian Bear, Middle Twin, CS Luxem, Shy Boys, La Guerre and so so so many more. Seriously, buy those tickets now.