Posts tagged with I Heart Local Music

Watch: Ryan Wise performs acoustic cover of ‘Milkshake’ at Henry’s

Mondays are normally not the time for live music in Lawrence, but Henry’s has been doing fairly well with their acoustic Monday sets. Considering it rained ice from the sky all day, the turnout on Monday was impressive as Ryan Wise and Joel Bonner took the stage while frozen revelers huddled around the fireplace.

Wise, more formally known as the frontman for Lawrence duo The Sluts, is no stranger to sexual innuendo. His songs are full of them. But on this night, he decided to take a break for his own dirty lyrics and cover a few others.

Here he is covering M.O.T.O.’s “It Tastes Just Like A Milkshake.” Don’t let his slowed-down version of the song fool you — Wise stays true to his band’s reputation.

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Duncan Burnett spreads the gospel with ‘Soulcially Conscious’

Every rapper holds a goal of spreading a message. It just so happens that Duncan Burnett pulls it off properly.

Right off the bat with his latest release, "Soulcially Conscious," you know where he’s coming from. In fact, within the first two minutes of the first track, “Olathe,” you know where he was raised, who his family is, and the struggles he faced growing up. Throughout the course of the song, he hits you with his weaknesses and a few words of wisdom. “Sometimes you’re gonna be wrong/ take chances/ don’t take anything for granted because nothing is forever, y’all,” he warns.

Being upfront about who he is makes a difference, because then he spends the rest of the album touching on very pressing social issues, such as Mike Brown and Eric Gardner in “3 Sides.” There’s a killer line in that one: “There’s three sides to the story, there’s mine and the truth.” Every time he says that line, it hits us right in the gut.

Throughout the album, Burnett is using a full band. You can hear the bass loud and clear, the funky guitars, the drums, the keys — all of it. His samples are noteworthy as well, particularly his use of Portishead in “H.M.F.Y.S.” This is where he calls out rappers that are all style and no substance, and the criticism he faces as a “Christian rapper.” Approach shows up in the middle of the track to back him up with lines like, “I know no limits to your growth and potential.” It’s like a good pat on the back encouraging him to make it through the rest of the album.

"Soulcially Conscious" is worth your time not only because you get to hear real instrumentation and talent but also get treated to a series of life lessons from Burnett. He’s been busy in recent months, spreading his gospel across Kansas City (and sometimes Lawrence). If he keeps it up, 2016 will be a year for his rise. Burnett knows this, and it could be why he ends on the ever-positive note at the end of “Tobin Frost” by listing his abilities and qualifications. “I’m a drummer, a rapper, an artist!” It goes on with the list until the music suddenly drops out and he declares, “I’ma do whatever I want, man. Ain’t nobody going to stop me, you dig?”

We dig.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Introducing grunge-rock trio Sunday Heroine

With it being the very last Saturday before Christmas, Lawrence was out in full force and ready to party over the weekend. The Replay was brimming with excitable revelers donning Christmas hats of every shape and size when a brand new band took the Replay stage for the first time.

Sunday Heroine is one of Lawrence's newest bands with a very bright future. The trio, fronted by Max Lock, specializes in all your '90s grunge dreams. Lock is a teenager who just finished high school this semester, but we've had our ears on her musical talent for a few months now.

The guitarist is joined by Chris Maddox on bass and Max Allsbrooks on drums. Together, they give us that alternative sound that's been making a raging comeback, laced with just a taste of riot grrrl attitude.

They're completely likable and made a fantastic debut at the Replay. We expect to see a lot from them in 2016.

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Watch CS Luxem debut a new song

Normally when a band debuts a new song, they're still working it out. It's (understandably) a bit nerve-wracking if you're onstage testing your new art on an audience. But this isn't the case with CS Luxem.

The king of relaxed onstage demeanor busted out — much to the delight of his fans who know the words of all his songs — a brand new number at the Replay Friday night. He beautifully crooned his way through it. This one is a bit more sway-worthy than his usual work, so it's nice to see him go outside his comfort zone. But there are still those signature Luxem wails, looping arpeggios, and (of course) his perfect, reverb-laced pitch.

Luxem consistently holds his reign as the person most likely to get the audience to close their eyes when they listen. This new song is only further proof of his royal highness' hold on his colony of adoring fans.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Library to host electronic music meetup this weekend

We've been seeing a stronger interest in electronic music lately (thanks to bands like Debra, Monster and Narkalark), and the Lawrence Public Library has been helping musicians with that interest.

The library's SOUND+VISION studio, more famously known as the free and accessible recording studio for the Lawrence community, has been hosting electronic music meetups since August. This weekend, they'll be holding their third one of the year.

Anyone who attends will get a firsthand lesson in electronic music gear, sound design and patch theory. Organizer Ed Rose, who spent years as the recording engineer at Black Lodge Studios, says attendees get to learn about modular synths and different modules, as well as learn some new techniques. Rose recommends attending the meetup to "play with cool, vintage synths and meet other folks interested in making electronic music."

The event starts at 1:30 p.m. and runs through 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The meetup even ends with a couple of performances from ADAMON and NARKALARK, with a chance to ask the performers questions after their set.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Feel-good Everything: Schwervon! brings holiday cheer to the Replay

When Schwervon! comes to town, it’s like when that cool aunt and uncle everybody likes come around for the holidays.

They were especially dapper when they hit up the Replay on Friday night. The chipper indie-pop duo are really just the life of the party. First, they brought snacks (cookies loaded with butter and sugar to feed “the dancers,” because every Schwervon! show has dancers). Then, they dived into one delightfully catchy and instantly memorable song after another. Nan’s voice reminds us of everything cool about the B-52′s.

But what really seals the deal on visits from Uncle Matt and Aunt Nan is the poetry segment. The two have consistently performed spontaneous poetry segments at every show. Matt will throw on his reading glasses and read from a small piece of paper or his phone, while Nan dons the tap shoes and jumps into the audience. “Merry Fascism!” Matt proclaimed while Nan arched her back and threw her arms into the air. This poem was holiday-themed.

Schwervon! are the producers of poppy goodness and feel-good everything. Every visit presents a little more bonding time with their Lawrence audience, and they’re becoming as familiar and comfortable as Matt’s dad sweaters.

Here’s a new song they played on Friday night at the Replay (totally sexy spy movie material):

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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MilkDrop releases new single with Approach, DJ GTRAIN

In an ever-developing revelation of his musical identity, we now bring you the next chapter in the development of MilkDrop.

The local lyricist just dropped a new single with the help of a familiar powerhouse last week. The moment "Welcome Home" fires up, you find yourself somewhere familiar with DJ GTRAIN's signature scratching. The song, produced entirely by local hip-hop mastermind Approach, features the poetic and lyrical skills of MilkDrop. If you've been paying attention to the local scene, you know that instantly recognizable synth sound Approach has become famous for. The man has a strong hold on any music he puts out, never sampling and always creating.

MilkDrop has been crafting an image as the idyllic rapper, romanticizing all his thoughts into rhymes. He's been plugging away at his craft over the last year, and the strength behind his vocals are showing on this track.

To show that this is a collaborative effort, MilkDrop eases off the gas at about two minutes in and lets GTRAIN and Approach carry him home (much like how they've been there backing him up throughout this venture). "50 dollars in my pocket isn't much to get through the week," he declares before trailing off, leaving you a solid minute of music to think on that statement before the song ends.

You can catch both Approach and MilkDrop at Josey Records in Kansas City on Saturday, Dec.19.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Sam Billen’s annual holiday compilation a jolly good time

For the last 10 years, musician Sam Billen has rounded up musicians to help him release a compilation of holiday music.

For the last 10 years, musician Sam Billen has rounded up musicians to help him release a compilation of holiday music. by Fally Afani

You could say Sam Billen is holiday happy. The Lawrence musician is fond of festivities, and crazy about Christmas. For 10 years in a row, he has rounded up musicians to help him release a compilation of holiday music.

This year's album, "Jolly TIme!", just arrived and sports a fairly impressive roster. Billen recorded a couple of tracks, and rounded up artists from across the globe (as far as Finland and Tokyo) for the rest of the album. Andrew Connor, formerly of Ghosty, makes a delightful Beach Boys-esque appearance with "Little St. Nick." Justin Klaas, another Lawrence expat, channels his delicate harmonies for "She's Not Comin' Home For Christmas."

The album is an adorable little indie-pop smorgasbord. Additionally, in the spirit of Christmas, it's free to the public. Billen tends to this every Christmas. But, should you choose to donate some money for the download, all donations go toward water.org.

Download the album here courtesy Sam Billen and Friends and listen to some of the music below.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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The wild world of Wides

"Experimental" may not be a strong enough word for Wides.

The band, fronted by Paper Buffalo's drummer, started as a two-piece and has now fleshed out their tone with a third member on synth. Drummers tend to be animals that are contained to the kit. So when that animal moves to the front and you give him a mic, all hell breaks loose.

In a town where psychedelic is still ruling hard, Wides has grown into an animalistic psych-rock jumble. The turmoil Wides seeks to achieve can be great fun when they're playing around with tempos and flirting with jazz. Wides wants to do it all, and they're wild enough to the point where nobody will stand in their way if they do. With the flailing, the hair, and the mayhem-themed scratchiness in the frontman's screaming, it's no wonder the kids love them so.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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For rockabilly riffs, turn to Kansas City

There really isn’t much in the way of rockabilly here in Lawrence (unless it’s worked into a bluegrass act). So when you want to see lively and deliriously fun rockabilly music, you have to rely on Kansas City bands.

The Thunderclaps and the Quivers are two of those gems. To our delight, both hit the Jackpot last weekend. This was the first Lawrence show for the Thunderclaps. They whooped, hollered and rocked the stage with surf-infused rock riffs. We always hold a fondness for two-piece acts, especially when they conjure up such a wild sound (one that positively thrills you). The drummer made it look easy, barely adjusting his posture while he beat away on the kit and sang along on the mic.

Even with a fairly hoarse voice and a cold, The Quivers’ frontwoman would end up slaying during their set. What a command she holds over everyone! With an unrivaled bass face, and a keyboard player that sports endless swagger, we were quickly reminded how much we miss seeing this group around these parts.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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