Posts tagged with Music
For some Lawrencians, Kawehi came out of the woodwork. Vimeo selected her cover of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” as a staff pick and suddenly everyone (Esquire, Elle, Spin, etc.) wanted to know about the DIY one-woman band with a signature looping style, singing and beatboxing skills.
Especially in Lawrence. All publications were giving our town a shout out for her location and most of us had yet to see her play any local venues.
That changes this Saturday night at The Bottleneck. The concert is at her request.
“I really just wanted to get one in at the end of summer, like ‘hey I told you guys I was going to get one in so here it is,’” Kawehi says laughing.
Since her Kickstarter campaign was funded at more than 900 percent, Kawehi put out her third EP “Robot Heart” in July and started touring the world to perform for sold-out crowds. She was off to a private party (described as a “hush-hush” event) in Brazil hours after the phone interview with the Journal-World.
“It’s all kind of a first for me,” Kawehi says. “I’m used to being paid in beer to play crowds that are there to drink and not specifically to see me.”
Despite putting out “Robot Heart” independently, sales have been amazing, she says. Kawehi never expected to sell out of the first shipment of copies, and she is already ordering more.
On the EP, she tunes into her sci-fi buff side as she explores the world from the perspective of a robot. Kawehi recently released a new video for single “Anthem” that reminds human beings that we can choose be positive and to make positive decisions even when things feel out of control.
“You get tired of writing stuff about yourself,” she says on the theme. “You want to come from a different place and try something different.”
Her husband has filmed her work for two years now, so Kawehi says she is lucky the Nirvana cover blew up when it did because she had a stockpile of other videos to back up her talent.
“It wasn’t just a one shot deal,” she says.
“It feels really good to not have to just eat ramen anymore or just try to survive and pay the bills. This is what we were hoping for. To have this life where we can just make music all day.”
Watch her live at 9 p.m. this Saturday as she layers various vocals, keyboard and guitar parts and, of course, beats in front of the entire audience. Her set incorporates all the covers that made us fall hard for her, in addition to her original work on “Robot Heart.” Tickets are $9.
“I like to create everything in front of you,” she says. “And it will be a wild ride, I promise.”
Attention all local songwriters: This Saturday, local music collective Silly Goose Records is hosting MXM2014 Mix/Master, an opportunity for musicians to learn first-hand from music industry experts and make some connections. Stick around for a showcase of local talent.
Bring demos and a notebook for a day of music workshops, panel discussion and information sessions with professionals from radio, bookings, promotion and labels, who will all be in one room at The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire St.
Supported by a grant by the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission, this is a chance for musicians to network and take note of different tips and tricks that might help them advance their careers.
“We all work and support the same industry,” says Silly Goose founder and creative director, Nick Carswell. “Whether releasing records and playing gigs locally or booking high-profile acts and hosting radio shows, it’s all based around the same thing. We’re excited for bands to pick up info and have access that they won’t get anywhere else. MXM2014 will have a big impact for local music in Lawrence.”
From noon to 5 p.m., listen to panelists from local and regional music industries including Mark Manning & Barry Lee (KKFI), Chris Haghirian (INK Magazine, Middle of the Map), Mike Hannah (The Bull 92.9), Laura Lorson (Kansas Public Radio), Fally Afani (iheartlocalmusic.com) and many more. There will also be information tables represented by KJHK, Mass Street Music, Whatever Forever tapes, Americana Music Academy and others.
From 7 p.m. until close, enjoy sets by the following local bands: The Phantastics, Sunu, Pink Royal, Carswell & Hope, Forrester, and F.A.I.T.H.
Admission is $10 for day pass or $6 for the live gig only. If you’re in a band, or simply a music enthusiast who loves to support the local scene, this is an opportunity to let those doing music right impart some wisdom.
For more information, contact Nick Carswell (785) 424-5236 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Magic Beans
FREE SHOW FREE SHOW FREE SHOW. Seriously, you have to pay attention to those. A night of free music is never a bad thing. The Magic Beans are a traveling band from Nederland, Colo., combining americana, funk, rock, and electronica into a one sound. Their diverse instrumentation blends acoustic roots music with modern technology and electronic dance music has earned them the descriptions of space funk, ameritronica, and groove grass. Check out the sweet outfit of musicians: Scott Hachey on guitar and vocals; Josh Appelbaum on bass guitar and vocals; Casey Russell on keyboards, synth, talkbox, acoustic guitar, banjo/mando, and vocals; Will Trask on percussion and timbales; and Hunter Welles on five-string baritone electric mandolin and acoustic mandolin. They’ve shared the stage with Railroad Earth, Great American Taxi, Elephant Revival, Split Lip Rayfield, and Juno What, to name a few. Thursday, April 24, at The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire St., 9 p.m., FREE.
KU Common Music: Party at the Pavilion
FREE SHOW AND FREE FOOD. I can’t hit that theme hard enough this week (can you tell I’m on a fixed budget?). Local musicians MAW and Drakkar Sauna will play their own originals and Dust Bowl tunes as a final celebration of the 2013-14 Kansas University Common Book, “The Worst Hard Time.” Free hot dogs, popcorn, soda and water, you guys.
MAW is an old-timey bluegrass band of all women who, on their debut album called “Advice for the Young and Foolish,” sang about about drug abuse, adultery, murder, hoboing, opium-smoking, Sterno-drinking, sticking their fingers in babies’ eyes, and other undesirable things. Sounds entertaining, you should most definitely check this out.
Vaudevillian folk duo of Jeff Stolz and Wallace Cochran make up Drakkar Sauna. Represented by Third Man Records — label founded by Jack White that represents The White Stripes, Willie Nelson, The Shins and Jack Johnson, to name a few—they have released five full-length records. Friday, April 25, at Potter Lake, 5 p.m., FREE.
Farmers' Ball Finals
Last week’s preliminary round was a fierce match between all eight acts including Alien Jones, Narkalark, Oils, Paper Buffalo, Pink Royal, Psychic Heat, Slight Right and Westerners. Only four advanced to this week’s finals based on audience votes at the end of the night. The last four contenders are Oils, Paper Buffalo, Psychic Heat, and Westerners, and they will compete for a chance at $2,000 as first prize and $1,000 for the second prize winner. If you’ve got a favorite, and I know you do, make sure you get to the Bottleneck for the very beginning of the night and stay until the very end. Get a good listen (these are all great bands, you guys) and stick around to show some love through your vote. It’s not enough just to cheer for them during their set. This could give some of these up-and-comers an opportunity to record for our listening pleasure, and really get the wide exposure they deserve. Support local music. Saturday, April 26, at The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire St., 9 p.m., $3 w/ KU ID, $5.
If you’ve got any interest in either of these headlining bands, you should definitely make an effort to go to this show, as there are four bands in this night’s lineup. letlive. and Architects as the main feature, they will be joined by Glass Cloud and I The Mighty. What a bargain ( I really didn’t intend on this theme).
letlive. is a post-hardcore band from Los Angeles consisting of lead vocalist Jason Aalon Alexander Butler, guitarists Jean Nascimento and Jeff Sahyoun, bassist Ryan Jay Johnson and drummer Loniel Robinson. The band is currently exploring a project called “Renditions” where the members work with other artists in new methods of collaboration, letting them take a section of a song off their latest album and revise it in a reimagined way. The latest is “The Dope Beat” with the Wonder Years’ Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell.
Architects is a metalcore band from Brighton, England that consists of lead vocalist Sam Carter, drummer Dan Searle and his twin brother, guitarist and keyboardist Tom Searle and Alex Dean on bass guitar. Early this month, Architects released a 27-minute documentary on the making of their new album, “Lost Forever // Lost Together,” which was released in March. Constantly evolving their sound, this sixth album is more extreme and ambient than previous efforts, but they’ve yet to lose their “speak our minds” mentality. Fun fact: they’re all vegan. Saturday, April 26, at Granada, 1020 Massachusetts St., 7 p.m., $13-15.
Earlier this month, the Queensborough duo of Mobb Deep released its first full-length in eight years called “The Infamous Mobb Deep.” It’s technically 19 years after their “The Infamous” album, so I think we can all agree it’s about time Prodigy and Havoc got back in the hip hop game with this continuation. A two-disc album, the duo uses social conscious lyrics to criticize the rap game, showing their unstoppable nature in an industry that they’ve said before is about “survival of the fittest” and they’ve never been afraid of a challenge. They briefly disbanded in 2012 announcing an indefinite hiatus via Twitter, but have seem to set their differences aside to celebrate their 20th anniversary on tour. Guests on the project include Nas, Busta Rhymes, Bun B, French Montana, and more. Tuesday, April 29, at Granada, 1020 Massachusetts St., 9 p.m., $20.
A two-piece, Sam and Will Gunnerson make up the fuzz punk JabberJosh. They rocks a heavier sound than most two can produce alone, Sam on bass and powerful screaming vocals, and Will on drums. Self-described as “Power Slop,” they have a knack for crafting drum-and-bass compositions that are as musically versatile and complex as they are excruciatingly loud. They are known for their sweet, charming dispositions, keeping their sets just as comedic as they are hardcore rock. Their full-length album “Dos Hombres” shows a collection of offbeat song titles and funny lyrics, the music loaded with menacing bass and pounding drums. The balance is unconventional, but welcomed in this town. JabberJosh will be joined by Money Badger and CS Luxem. Thursday, April 17, at the Replay, 946 Massachusetts St., 10 p.m., $3.
Farmer’s Ball semi-finals
Have a favorite local band? Well, if you head out to this event, you might be able to get that band a good chunk of change for future recording projects, touring or anything that will ultimately get them greater exposure. Eight semi-finalist are performing in this rounds and set-length and order aren’t determined until right before show starts so get there at the beginning and take in a full night of talented performers. Here’s the list of bands: Alien Jones, Narkalark, Oils, Paper Buffalo, Pink Royal, Psychic Heat, Slight Right and Westerners. Audience vote will determine which four bands will advance into next week’s final rounds. Who’s it going to be LFK? You decide. Saturday, April 19, at The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire St., 8 p.m., $3 w/ KU ID, $5.
With a unique arrangement of members — an MC, female vocalist, a trio of keys, bass, drums, a horn section with trombone and trumpet, and a tap-dancer — Sidewalk Chalk revolutionizes traditional hip hop, soul, jazz, funk elements. Hailing from Chicago, the eight members of this diverse outfit create a captivating show fit for all audiences. The group has already shared stages with Questlove, De La Soul, Action Bronson, Jean Grae, Hiatus Kaiyote and other noteworthy musicians. Members of the band have have acted as musical directors for Brother Ali, toured with Jazzanova and played behind Buddy Guy and Talib Kweli. Laid back singing, ‘90s-style unforced rapping, and soulful improvisation, what more can you ask for? Look out for cover of Kendrick Lamar's "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe." DJ Kimbarely Legal is opening, and she’s fire, too. Sunday, April 20, at The Replay, 946 Massachusetts St., 6 p.m., $3.
Ghost is a Swedish heavy metal band that formed in 2008, and were widely praised for the first and second albums; their second album released on a major label won the Grammis Award (Swedish music award) for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album. Their attire alone sets them apart from most bands, providing an eccentric on-stage presence. Five of the group's six members wear hooded robes and the vocalist dons skull make-up and dresses as a Roman Catholic pope. The mystery continues as they keep their identities secret and their names have not been publicly disclosed. The vocalist goes by Papa Emeritus and the musicians are referred to only as Nameless Ghouls. How edgy. But it gets better! The five ghouls represent the five elements; fire, water, wind, earth and ether. They worship the devil, Satanic lyrics a common theme in their music, with admonitions about living a religious lifestyle. Tuesday, April 22, at Granada, 1020 Massachusetts St., 8 p.m., $18-21.
Los Angeles born Quincey Matthew Hanley (known by his stage name Schoolboy Q) spent a few years mixing socially conscious tracks with smoker anthems in mixtape releases until kickstarting a proper music career in 2011. His recently released third album “Oxymoron” has gained the hip hop artist much attention, “Collard Greens” with label-mate Kendrick Lamar amping his popularity and getting plenty of radio play. A collection of multi-faceted sounds and team of guest producers and vocalists, the album’s title track “Perscription/Oxymoron” is in its first half a confession touching on Q’s past prescription pill addiction, his baby daughter’s voice making the track heartbreaking as she begs him to “wake up” from a drug-induced coma. Schoolboy Q is also a member of hip hop group Black Hippy, along with fellow West Coast rappers Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar Wednesday, April 23, at Liberty Hall, 644 Liberty Hall, 9 p.m., $25-28.
For those of you who bummed out on the couch last night because Miley Cyrus ended up hospitalized in Kansas City instead of onstage at Sprint Center, you should have drowned your sorrows at the Granada. While there was no indecent gyrating, flashy bear-inspired costumes or tongue action (I can’t believe I just wrote that), Mates of State ended their set with a tribute to her with “We Can’t Stop.”
They performed the bare-bones version, of course, as the entire intimate concert was designed to abandon their synthesizers and bring in piano, drums trumpet, saxophone, cello and occasionally acoustic guitar.
The small crowd gathered near the front of the stage weren't exactly expecting the words “Red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere” to come out of Kori Gardner’s mouth, following their first encore song “Like You Crazy.” That one, after all, had been requested (ahead of time) by her grandmother, who sat among about 10 of Gardner’s relatives.
But I’ll be the first to say, they did not disappoint those who ventured out. It was a fairly empty venue, with the single row of 20 seats almost all taken and plenty of room on the floor for old friends of Mates, and longtime fans of all ages.
“Thanks for coming out to see us tonight,” Gardner said. “We know John Cale is right down the street.”
Speaking with Gardner a couple weeks ago, she said that the goal was to experience the music in a new way, as if absorbing the contents in a more relaxed setting. It was as if the show were taking place in their living room with their laid back attitude, having conversations in between sets with any fan who shouted something their way, and their loving interactions with each other during songs.
The addition of incredible solos by the trumpet and saxophone player added warm textures to a set that I can only compare to a sigh of relief.
Their cover of “Long Way Home” felt the most stripped down, closely resembling Tom Waits’ original, which left room for the beauty and simplicity to flood into the space as a breathtaking duet. Their version on 2010 “Crushes (The Cover Mixtape)” is much quicker, and with distracting “yeahs” shouted throughout the song.
Gardner and Hammel followed with “Get Better,” leaving room the end for the cellist to solo. There’s something about watching a stringed musician live that brings the crowd to a hush in order to take in the fluid motion and rich intensity.
And someone has to say it: This is the most beautiful couple to come out of Lawrence. After the small preview with one new song, I can't wait until their next record comes out. They may just take it in the basic format direction, Gardner says.
Set List (approximately):
So Many Ways
Fraud in the ‘80s
Unless I’m Led
You Are Free
My Only Offer
Long Way Home (Tom Waits)
Parachutes (Funeral Song)
Like You Crazy
We Can’t Stop (Miley Cyrus)
Real Estate [w/ Your Friend]
Emerging Brooklyn-based indie pop band Real Estate is performing at Liberty Hall, thanks to KJHK and SUA. Forming in 2008, Real Estate introduced its surfer-vibe lo-fi sound through it’s debut self-titled release and receiving an 8.5 rating and best new music tag from Pitchfork. Its third full-length album, “Atlas,” came out last year (two years after the previous record) to critical acclaim in March of this year and is looking like the band’s best-selling release. This album draws on the experiences of singer and guitarist Martin Courtney and his being settled in his current relationship and the toll touring takes on this part of his life. This summer, Real Estate will hit music festivals including the Pitchfork Music Festival, Primavera Sound and Bonnaroo. Your Friend (recently signed to Domino Records) will open. Thursday, April 10, at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., at 8 p.m., $3 with KU ID, $8 general public.
Last year I got to speak Alejandro Rose-Garcia, aka Shakey Graves, and the high acclaim he received from the New York Times as “making the one-man band act look effortless,” something Graves said is the result of how organic and intuitive the music feels when he performs. Starting out full-time as an actor (which he does on the side still), Graves found his home in music, touting his handmade suitcase kick drum and guitar around country on tour and singing bluesy whiskey-soaked, electric troubadour music. He was a featured act at a train stop in Austin at the 2011 Railroad Revival Tour with bands like Mumford and Sons, Old Medicine Crow and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and opened directly for Old Medicine Crow on certain stops on his last tour. This gentleman from Texas is touring and debuting a new backing band. Make sure to check it out! Thursday, April 10, at The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire St., at 7:30 p.m., $11.
Particle Particle is known for late-night performances and high-energy shows at a series of festivals including Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Festival, Coachella, New Orleans Jazz Fest, and Bonnaroo (starting sets at 3 a.m.) to name a few. The band’s debut album, “Launchpad” in 2004 garnered attention from high profile publications including Rolling Stone and New York Times, becoming one of the pioneers of the emerging livetronica scene and touring all over the world. This year, Particle has announced that they will be touring extensively from coast to coast for the first time in nearly six years, and releasing its first full-length studio album since Launchpad (2004). The rhythm section recently announced their departure from the band, and drummer Brandon Draper (Quixotic) is now playing for them, representing Kansas City. Thursday, April 10, at The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire St., at 11 p.m., $13-15.
Another shameless plug, but it’s hard out there for a struggling local band. Sharp 9 is a nine-piece funk band blending elements of jazz, hip hop and New Orleans magic into the soulful mix. With me (killing it) on vocals, the rest of the band (who also kill it) is as follows: Joel Bonner on guitar, Jordan Coke on bass (and vocals), Tim Clark on keyboard, Rayyan Kamal on trumpet (and dropping sweet rhymes), Leslie Butsch on saxophone, and the two other vocalists Nathan Nickel and Himal Sherchan. Shout out to Devin Heath who just recently joined us on drums. Come out, get weird and sing along to songs you might know and those you most definitely do not. Opening up the night, we will be joined by Pink Royal.
Friday, April 11, at Jazzhaus, 926 Massachusetts St., at 10 p.m., $4.
Currently on his Workin’ and Drinkin’ Spring Tour, Kansas native and country artist Logan Mize has gotten a lot attention in the past two months. New single off forthcoming record (later this year), “Used Up,” is a rootsy break-up album that has found itself in the regular rotation on Sirius XM’s The Highway. In addition to national radio airplay, Mize (whose great uncle is California country pioneer Billy Mize) has had some small commercial roles, including co-starring alongside starlet Hayden Panettiere in her “Fabric of Our Life” Cotton commercial. Mize and his band were also featured performing in an episode of CW’s hit drama “Hart Of Dixie”, starring actress Rachel Bilson. He has opened shows for names such as Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels Band, Blake Shelton, Billy Currington and Pat Green so head out to the Granada to support this up-and-coming “Heartland country rocker.” Wednesday, April 16, at Granada, 1020 Massachusetts St., at 9 p.m., $12 in advance.
MIDDLE OF MAP FEST APRIL 3-5 [KANSAS CITY PICK]
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.
DJ Kimbarely Legal + Tom Richman
Two of Lawrence’s most talented rappers in one room? I’m down. Kimbarely Legal blends a fresh mix of current U.S. hits with Afrobeat, reggaeton, funk, hip-hop, moombahton, samba, salsa, bomba and plena. She’s popular in Lawrence for her DJ vs Drums nights at Taproom that pair her sick mixing skills with the traditional African drumming patterns of Dylan Bassett. Tom Richman is the co-founder of Team Bear Club —bringing the ever popular Goomba Rave parties to Kansas — and most famous for his track Dro Montana (https://soundcloud.com/tomrichman), which features remixes from Ryan Hemsworth, Obey City, Huerco S and Sweater Beats. It seems that all proceeds from this particular night will go toward helping a friend (not named) who will be traveling to study music so let the generosity flow and show up to support your local comrades. It’s all in the spirit of music. Friday, April 4, at Eighth Street Taproom, 801 New Hampshire St., 10 p.m., $3.
Having just celebrated their one-year anniversary this past week, Psychic Heat is one of the most buzzworthy bands in Lawrence at this point. Self-described as “ADHD-rock,” this psych rock group influenced by sounds of the 60s and 70s consists of Evan Herd on lead vocals and guitar, Tanner Spreer on guitar, Sam Boatright on bass and Ricky Barkosky in an energetic set that does LFK proud every time with their intense bouts of flailing onstage. Its debut EP "Lighter" was released last August (different members along with Herd and Spreer) showcasing a collection of songs with more of shoegaze feel. Whether it’s garage, shoegaze or ADHD rock, we’re picking up what these guys are putting down. They will be joined by The Sluts and Black Stacey. Friday, April 4, at Replay, 946 Massachusetts St., 10 p.m., $3.
You’ve got a lot of Friday night options for live music, you guys, so no excuse for staying in. These Lawrencians turned San Franciscan make up female-fronted indie rock quartet known for the dreamiest of pop. Having moved to California in 2011, they adopted a sunny, West Coast vibe playing up subjects of youth, love and adventure in songs on the latest self-titled album released in the summer of 2013. The album showcases the remarkable lead vocals of Kix Mead along with layers of dreamy pop rock-alternative sounds to put all listeners at complete ease. The band will also be playing at Kansas City's Middle of the Map Fest on Saturday, if you can’t get enough at the Jackpot. Friday, April 4, at Jackpot, 943 Massachusetts St., 10 p.m., $5.
All Time Low
Starting as a high school band in 2003 by Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat, this melodic emo pop band was originally a cover band in Baltimore, Maryland. During the breaks in school, they’d tour the east coast and south, first releasing a four-song EP with help from local label Emerald Moon. The band released its debut album, “The Party Scene,” in 2005, the success of which led to their signing with their label Hopeless before graduation, and appearing with Motion City Soundtrack, the Early November and Plain White T’s on tours across the country that summer. Now the pop-punk band, that has released five studio albums, is touring the U.S., having just wrapped up a European tour. All Time Low’s fifth album was reissued in September of last year, this time called “Don’t Panic: It's Longer Now!” and including the 12 songs from the 2012 album along with four new tunes and four acoustic tracks. Tuesday, April 8, at Granada, 1020 Massachusetts St., 8 p.m., $20 in advance.
There’s a reason the gypsy folk music of Elephant Revival pours the moving elements of nature into our hearts.
“I get my inspiration mostly from the still moments when we happen to be traveling,” says frontwoman and vocalist Bonnie Paine. “I'll get out of the bus or out of the van and go down to the river or wherever. Behind a library or an alley. Somewhere where I can be alone and just kind of listen.”
The natural world feeds her songwriting hunger, offering fodder for new music as long as she takes the time to absorb the possibilities.
“Sometimes if there’s a constant hum, like a car makes?” Paine continues. “That can be something to work off too because eventually a melody will play around that. Or a river. Rivers have a bubbly noise and there will be a pattern after a while if you listen. And that can be a lot like the melody that I just need to write words to. That’s one way I like to write.”
The five-piece band from Nederland, Colo., are now touring to support latest album “These Changing Skies,” a collection of 12 songs recorded in Bear Creek (near Seattle) over the span of a focused four weeks. They will be at Bottleneck this Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m. with Olassa opening for them. Tickets are $11-13.
The record showcases the band’s gypsy tendencies from extensive and diverse travels in sounds inspired by Ireland and West Africa, particularly in stripped down djembe-driven “Rogue River.” It also makes you wonder how these five individuals work together to write such harmonious, spiritual music.
Paine says the collaborative process is more about asking what each song needs, and not what each person needs.
“It takes a lot of listening and checking in with yourself,” she says. “Everybody is pretty sweet about putting their egos aside so the song can come through rather than the people. There are certain things that just come with the song, it seems like. And if you can just make room for that, songs need a lot of space sometimes. ”
Their arrangements are so powerful they seem to have been born from a special bond. Having met the majority of the band at Winfield Bluegrass Festival, Paine says, the idea for the band was born after bass player Dango Rose busked in front of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago in front of the elephant cage where two elephants had been together for 16 years. A zoo in Salt Lake City bought one of them, and on transport it died of unexplained reasons. Within a day or two, the other one died.
“They’re tribal creatures like we are, so he saw that as a sign that we should all come together and play music because we were all scattered across the country at the time,” Paine says. “I got a text that had a list of dates and venues and ‘Elephant Revival?’ and that was my invitation into the band pretty much.”
Soothingly soulful sounds are produced by five multi-instrumentalists who infuse experimental, Americana and Celtic elements into folk/bluegrass with various stringed instruments, and at the heart of its innovative percussive force is the enchanting Paine. Armed with musical saw, washboard, djembe and stompbox, she stands center of the band with hauntingly beautiful vocals fueling a style they've now coined at “transcendental folk.”
Paine was mentored by incredible Oklahoma-born fiddle player Randy Crouch, starting at age 10 when he lived in a Greyhound bus in her front yard (long story, she says). She and her sisters later played in a band with Crouch, her first experience playing in a band.
“He’s an incredible songwriter,” she says. “People have called him Jimi Hendrix on the fiddle. He’s a very interesting character who has written hundreds of songs and is very humble.”
Paine started training with Crouch on electric guitar and later, hand percussion. Her dad encouraged her to try out the washboard at a festival, which she ended up playing until the sun came up the next morning, invited onto different stages throughout the night. And she fell in love with the musical saw when an old man offered to let her try it out at Winfield, and later when her bandmate James Townsend (in former band My-Tea Kind) gave her his for her birthday.
“He has the sister saw to it,” Paine says. “They were both made in Germany 60 or 70 years ago by the same maker.
“I love the versatility in it. I’ve barely tapped into the potential. You can make melodies out of it. It’s like a voice. It feels more like an extension of myself.”
Paine equates the experience with speaking through notes. Perhaps that’s why Elephant Revival is known for this mentality: Where words fail...music speaks.
It’s safe to say the good people of Lawrence who ventured out to the St. Vincent concert last night walked out of Liberty Hall looking disfigured. I’ll just say it: Annie Clark shredded our faces (or melted, if you prefer) with intricate guitar solos that soared and exploded at a moment’s notice.
Clark arrived onstage in a sleek fitted black cabaret-style dress with red details pouring across the front, and black heeled booties, in which she shuffled across the stage much like a roomba in her futuristic robotic act. To her left, incredible keyboardist and guitarist Toko Yasuda matched her sharp movements in rehearsed choreography and provided the celestial vocals to fill out the theater.
Captivated by Clark’s sly smile from the moment she opened with “Rattlesnake,” she floated across the stage while belting out lyrics (mostly from her latest and fourth self-titled record), delivering an unconventionally mesmerizing show. Maybe it was the vibrant silver-white hair or the deliberately strange hand movements, but the packed room stood almost still for the duration of each song as she delighted everyone with pop flair and shredding guitar work.
In between a few songs she’d look out at the crowd and recite the bizarre things they all had in common. For example, that we all had an imaginary friend at some point...named Mercedes...that we ended up killing because she ended up getting more attention than us. It didn’t matter what seemingly psychotic phrase came out of the indie robot; she had everyone holding onto each word like a cult leader.
The beginning of “Huey Newton” followed simplistic digital pop suit until the entire room shook with a seamless transition into heavy rock sounds that brought the crowd into worship mode for such an elegant female artist that packs an edgy punch about as harsh as it gets. This rock star is bending the rules of any genre she decides to fall into, and we’re into it.
The three-tiered platform provided a backdrop throne for Clark and a theatrical “Prince Johnny” act of Clark draping her body over the top step and slowly slinking down each step and finally to the ground in a sensual burlesque routine. She often dropped out of sight during the show as she’d flop onto the floor for added drama; the entirety of punk single “Krokodil” was spent flailing around and flopping on the floor.
It’s safe to say there were many who left inspired, the crowd sprinkled with local musicians. Ending the encore performance with “Your Lips are Red” from 2007 album “Marry Me,” the entire set was summed up with flashy strobe light work, passionate vocals and brutal sounds from a guitar goddess.
Birth in Reverse
Laughing with a Mouth of Blood
I Prefer Your Love
Every Tear Disappears
Year of the Tiger
Bring me Your Loves
Your Lips are Red
From Berlin, by way of New York, Fenster recorded their first album Bones before ever playing live together. The band was born from a collaboration between New York native JJ Weihl and Berliner Jonathan Jarzyna, and an eight-day binge recording session, with help from friend and producer Tad Klimp where they almost completely lived at their basement studio in Steglitz in the dead of winter. An ominous event occurred during the recording ; a window shattered on JJ’s head, thus the name of the band Fenster or “window" in German. The album was later completed with percussion by Rémi Letournelle. The female/male dreamy folk-pop sound is paired with lyrics that suggest doom, which they say are inspired in the world of ghosts, graveyards. trains, religious imagery, and broken machinery. One track “Gravediggers” combines spooky lyrics over thumping minimalist percussion. They will be joined by local band Spirit is the Spirit. Thursday, March 20, at Replay, 946 Massachusetts St., 10 p.m., $3.
Spoonfed Tribe w/ DJ vs Drums
Spoonfed Tribe is a spectacularly strange mix of visual musicians who are known for vibrant live shows combining what they call “hypnotic walls of percussion, psychedelic sonics and mind-expanding visuals.” Formed in Fort Worth in 1999, the quintet’s jam-rock avant-garde style doesn’t exactly fit the Texas pedigree they were born into. Their latest album (of six), Enjoy the Ride, captures their fluorescent spirit best, full of percussion, catchy and clever lyrics, synthetic layers, along with the added smooth baritone saxophonist Jeff Dazey (Gunga Galunga, EPIC RUINS), alto saxophonist Shadow Price, and a new full-time member, trumpeter David Willingham. They will be joined by Kimbarely Legal’s DJ vs Drums (with Dylan Basset on drums), and Kansas City’s instrumental band Sri Yantra. Saturday, March 22, at The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire St., 9 p.m.
Playing regularly in Kansas City, Kirsten Paludan is having an album release party at the Replay this Saturday for newest Up All Night. Described as a singer songwriter with a enchanting, unaffected voice, Paludan's indie folk-pop music, with just a hint of electronica, has a stunning sound that seems to depict the Midwestern landscapes around us. Her collaborative project with Billy Smith, Wade Williamson and Christopher Tolle in Kansas City band Olympic Size has been featured nationally on MTV’s “Real World: Sydney” and in the full-length documentary “72 Musicians." She has also shared the stage with legendary indie acts like Juliana Hatfield and Australian songwriter beauty Missy Higgins. Check out the solo work of Paludan (and support her by purchasing her latest record) this Saturday. She will be joined by Knife Crime and CS Luxem. Saturday, March 22, at the Replay, 946 Massachusetts St., 10 p.m., $3.
Lead Creed singer, Scott Stapp released his debut album Proof of Life in November last year, the single “Slow Suicide” an autobiographical song that Stapp says may actually be a toned down version of his actual life story. Drawing on real-life experiences of rock bottom moments to finding strength through faith, this entire emotionally charged rock album is a self-portrait that chronicles his life journey, starting with his long relationship with Creed. This is his second solo album, but he has said that it’s by far the most meaningful and honest record he’s put out. Brace yourself for a confessional kind of concert if you’re headed to this once. Tuesday, March 25, at Granada, 1020 Massachusetts St., 8 p.m., $20 in advance, $25 at door.
The Austin-based alt-country band is stopping in Lawrence on a tour to support latest album Long Night Moon, which won a Grammy this year for Best Record Package at the 56th Grammy Awards, beating out Jay-Z, David Bowie, and Metallica. Aesthetics aside, the recurring theme throughout the album is life on the road, the title track about getting home from a tour just to head back out for another one. Together for 18 years, the bands members have rotated in and out but its current incarnation is made up of Cody Braun and his brother Willy, David Abeyta, Jay Nazz and newest member Joe Miller on bass. Long Night Moon also features instrumentation by legendary steel guitar player Lloyd Maines, as well as Bukka Allen (piano, organ) and Jeff Plankenhorn (dobro). Wednesday, March 26, at Granada, 1020 Massachusetts St., 9 p.m., $13 in advance, $15 at door.