Thursday, August 28, 2014
The Lawrence music scene is relatively quiet in the summer. We lose some of our most-devoted concertgoers when Kansas University students go home. But the silence is finally over.
Mark your calendars now for nationally touring bands, jazz ensembles, emerging artists, musicals and other acts making their way through town this fall. Here’s a preview to get you started:
American Fusion Project 2014: Into the Sun
7:30 p.m. Sept. 4, Lawrence Arts Center, $10 adults, $5 for students
Kansas native and Juilliard piano major Kristen Doering is bringing her arts fusion project to the Lawrence Arts Center on its week-long tour through Kansas. The American Fusion Project is a collective of New York-based dancers, a composer, a violinist, a cellist, a vocalist and a pianist who will combine their art forms in pieces inspired by the Frank O'Hara poem, “A True Account of Talking to the Sun on Fire Island.” Sign up for an interactive workshop ($10) taught by members of the project to explore techniques in the choreography of responding to art from other disciplines. The workshop will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 3.
“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band
7:30 p.m. Sept. 12, Lied Center, free
Created in 1798 by an act of Congress, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band is the nation’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. The ensemble, under the direction of Marine Band Director Lt. Col. Jason Fettig, puts on a show featuring the traditional patriotic marches that made it famous as well as new works. All tickets have been distributed, but ticket holders who are not present at 7:15 p.m. will lose their seats and their seats will be given to those in the standby line.
8 p.m. Sept. 21, Liberty Hall, $25-$30
Spoon is back with its eighth studio album, “They Want My Soul,” four years after its last release and a brief hiatus. With the new album came a new label, Loma Vista Recordings, and new band member, keyboardist and guitarist Alex Fischel. The fresh take for the Texas-based band has paid off with one of its strongest records in 20 years. The album is full of catchy, well-crafted rock songs and imaginative arrangements. Check out “Inside Out” and what sounds like a delicate harp ringing in the background at the end of the track.
8 p.m. Sept. 29, The Granada, $25
Though the band was formed in the late ‘90s, Interpol’s fame took off in 2002 with its breakthrough album, “Turn On the Bright Lights.” Twelve years later, the moody New York group, with all-black clothing to match its attitude, is releasing its fifth album, “El Pintor.” The album is highly anticipated because of the rough loss of bassist Carlos Dengler and a recent four-year hiatus. Having struggled, as many bands do, to measure up to its earliest work over the course of its career, Interpol channels remnants of its original sound with more polished, gloomy, post-punk guitar lines than ever before on the forthcoming album.
The Midtown Men
7:30 p.m. Oct. 9, Lied Center, $26-$50
Tony Award-winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony Award-nominee J. Robert Spencer are The Midtown Men. Four original cast members of “Jersey Boys,” they have joined forces again to put their own twists on ‘60s hits from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Motown, The Four Seasons and more, both vocally and choreographically. Not only have they garnered quite a bit of attention as a live act, but their self-titled debut album, featuring iconic ‘60s songs “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Up On The Roof,” “Time Of The Season,” and “Candy Girl,” was met with critical acclaim.
8:15 p.m. Oct. 17, The Granada, $25 general admission, $100 VIP
The Suicide Girls are bringing their nerdy dancing back to Lawrence on the 2014 Blackheart Burlesque tour. What first started in 2001 as a small website for pin-up models encouraging unconventional beauty — piercings, tattoos and all-around edge — has evolved into a 10-million member social network and touring burlesque troupe. The troupe uses modern music to create sexy routines that poke fun at pop culture such as “Doctor Who,” “Kill Bill” and “Game of Thrones.”
City and Colour
8 p.m. Nov. 5, Lied Center, $26
City and Colour is the solo acoustic pop-rock project of former Alexisonfire guitarist Dallas Green. The Liberty Hall show in November was a last-minute addition on the Canadian’s fall tour to support his fourth studio album, “The Hurry and the Harm." Green’s record reflects honest lyricism, soft melodic sounds and an emotional journey through Green’s mind during the final days of Alexisonfire. Most notable about a his development as a solo artist is his shift from basic acoustic guitar, piano and vocals on his previous albums to full instrumentation on his latest. He’s also ditched the moody folk singer descriptor and has transformed into a catchy but thoughtful singer-songwriter.
9 p.m. Nov. 6, Liberty Hall, $7-$10 for students, $10-$13 for general public
Solana Rowe, or SZA (pronounced Sizza), is a 24-year-old New Jersey singer-songwriter and first woman and R&B; singer signee to label Top Dawg Entertainment — home to Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul. Rowe has quickly gained a following in the past two years with her EPs, “See.SZA.Run,” “S” and “Z,” the latter released by Top Dawg in April. Her music has been described as ethereal, alternative R&B;, her biggest influences being Bjork and Ella Fitzgerald. Rowe’s vocals consist of high falsetto and sultry rasp, unfolding nostalgia from her childhood and poetic lyricism that touches on sexuality. As SZA, Rowe has embraced the “everyday girl” image, using music to shed insecurities.
Rennie Harris Puremovement
7:30 p.m. Nov. 14, Lied center, $11-16 for students, $20-$30 for adults
The Rennie Harris Puremovement aims to deconstruct negative general perceptions of hip hop presented by the media and introduce audiences to sophisticated hip hop dance theater. Rennie Harris founded the troupe with the belief that hip hop can explore themes beyond racial, religious and economic boundaries and present the voice of the new generation. For a two-hour program, Harris choreographed a centerpiece entitled “Rome and Jewels” that places Romeo and Juliet in a hip hop world with mesmerizing back flips, aerials and tight dance moves.