Posts tagged with Lawrence

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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One-man band Monster masters beautiful buildups

If you’ve ever been fascinated by the art of building a song, Monster’s a great place to start.

The one-man-wonder treated the Replay to one of his yearly performances on Friday night. The sole performer — armed with a set of keys, buttons, mics, guitars and a highway system of wires — is grand fun to watch. You’re there for every step as he constructs a song, starting with repeating keyboard bits and drumbeats, then eventually looping in guitar rhythms and vocal harmonies.

On this night, his dreamy synth numbers were backed by accidental yet appropriate percussion, courtesy of the bleeps and bloops of the pinball machines behind him. Monster’s music is exquisitely ethereal, so all the space noises from those pinball machines were nearly mistaken as part of the act.

Here’s a clip of one of his songs, featuring his knack for beautifully subtle buildups.

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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Sugar Britches to boast new lineup at fundraiser tonight

Some midweek merriment is in store for Lawrence.

Our favorite foul-mouthed songsters, Sugar Britches, will be playing a benefit show on Wednesday for the Lawrence Community Photo Studio. The studio has had a tight relationship with the band, and even hosted them for a popular Final Fridays event over the summer. In return, Sugar Britches will be helping raise funds for the studio with a performance there.

The band will come armed with a new lineup. Previously, they performed as a four-piece, but have now added some percussion via Kimberly Simonetti. They've told us this is a permanent fixture.

The studio currently acts as a space for up-and-coming photographers, darkroom classes, gallery shows, equipment workshops and more. But it also has served as a strong ally to the musicians. "The folks at Lawrence Community Photo Studio are good friends of ours, and they have helped us out in the past," says Sugar Britches' Monica Greenwood, who also admitted the band "jumped" at the opportunity to return the favor. "We really liked the idea of giving back to the Lawrence community that has given us an overwhelming amount of support this year."

You can catch the benefit show this Wednesday at the studio, 720 E. 9th St., Suite 6.

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Pickin’ and picklin’: MAW to celebrate new album with show at Frank’s

Lawrence loves a good MAW show, and it's been a while since we've seen one. But this weekend, the musical matrons with a flair for old-timey tunes will be celebrating with a CD release party for their latest album, "Bought the Farm."

Everything about MAW is undoubtedly agreeable, which makes sense when you consider their origins. These harmonizing women are also the wives of the Midday Ramblers, and decided the boys wouldn't be having all the fun when they came together to form the beloved Americana band. Since then, they've pleased audiences with their matter-of-fact folk numbers full of cheeky, dark humor (they've been known to keep a death count of casualties in their songs).

This playful attitude continues on the new album, as evidenced by the songs they posted online ahead of the show. We're particularly fond of "Picklin' Man." With lyrics like, "I like a little pickle and I like a little ticklin', too," it's hard not to blush (you can listen to that song here). MAW tends to have audiences wrapped around their banjo-pickin' fingers, and we imagine that'll still be the sentiment this weekend.

You can catch MAW at their CD release show, where they've promised murder ballad bingo, from 6-8 p.m. Friday at Frank's North Star Tavern.

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 Sluts new music video pays tribute to their fans

This weekend when The Sluts hit the stage at the Replay, the audience will no doubt go nuts. That's a bit of an understatement, and a point we've made repeatedly.

The Sluts' fans are one of the funnest groups of concert-goers to watch in Lawrence. They thrash, they dance, they throw each other around (literally, we've watched them pick each other up and toss bodies across the room).

So the music video they just released (with the help of I Heart Local Music) makes sense. It's an homage to the fans we helped them create. The fans are showcased against a blank background so that you can see them in their lively glory without distraction. The video was created in Lawrence for your viewing pleasure ahead of their Replay show this weekend. Enjoy what the rockers (and their fans) have to offer before partying with them on Saturday:

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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Beach Slang bringing raw, nostalgic rock sound to the Jackpot

The Jackpot is one of those places to see bands right before they take off, and we have a feeling Wednesday's show will follow the pattern.

That's where Beach Slang, a rapidly rising band out of Philadelphia, is set to draw out anyone who loves guitar rock and wears nostalgia on their sleeve. The current rock scene is littered with punk bands bands trying to pander to everyone's nostalgic woes, but most of kind of blow it (oof). Beach Slang is not one of those bands.

James Snyder and his bandmates are propelled by an authentic, raw and emotional fuel that appeals to both their mature and younger listeners. If you come to the Jackpot on Wednesday, there's a good chance there will be a few KU students thrashing at the front of the stage, while the older folk find that familiar "sweet spot" at the venue that allows them to take in all of the perfectly resonating and explosive guitars saturated with '90s wistfulness.

Beach Slang's appeal to a wide audience is a blessing because it could be the band that puts the final nail in the coffin on poorly constructed pop punk. It's allowing listeners to let their guard down and replant their rock roots into something organic and authentic.

Photo courtesy: Craig Scheihing

— 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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Something and the Whatevers loves local bands, will cover their songs at upcoming show

We know what it's like to "heart local music," but Something and the Whatevers may have outdone us this time.

Something and the Whatevers has never kept their love for local bands a secret. The band's guitarist even hosts KJHK's local music show "Plow the Fields" on 90.7 FM. But this Thursday, they're putting that local love in the spotlight with a set consisting entirely of songs by other local bands.

Their set is part of a covers show at the Replay. Me Like Bees will cover The White Stripes, which makes perfect sense seeing as how the frontman's voice is a dead ringer for Jack White's. The show will be headlined by an LCD Soundsystem Tribute featuring members of The Noise FM, Bonzo Madrid, and Blane Fonda.

But it's Something and the Whatevers' set that grabbed our attention. Songs by beloved Lawrence and Kansas City bands — including Major Games, Your Friend, and The ACBs — will make an appearance. They've covered local bands before, including The Sluts, Dean Monkey and the Dropouts, and La Guerre. Their La Guerre cover was particularly impressive because it required one of the singers' voice to reach heights only attainable by Katlyn Conroy.

That's something folks tend to forget about Something and the Whatevers. They may seem like a silly, loud band on the surface. But underneath is some highly impressive musical skill. Instead of hearing obnoxious shouting from the keyboard player, look down at his hands and see how swiftly they fly up and down the keys while messing with settings on the laptop. He also had to program "Tiny G," the robot they tout at all their shows now. The guitarist should also grab your attention. Look past the comical lyrics and you'll see a proficient guitarist with pitch perfect vocals.

You can watch these accomplished musicians in action when they play songs written by other Lawrence bands starting at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Replay

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