Saturday, November 12, 2011

We Look for Our Joy With Lucinda Williams at Liberty Hall / KU Quidditch Gets Its World Cup On!

Sure, we missed a chance to get banged-up at a Ricky Fitts reunion show and sit on the Tap Room floor communing with our scenester brethren during a Suzannah Johannes set during last night's Up to Eleven Music Festival, but we'll just read about those shenanigans over at I Heart Local Music and spend our day telling you about the badass Lucinda Williams show at Liberty Hall.

If your father is one of America's greatest poets (Miller Williams), perhaps it's no surprise that you can rattle off so many wonderfully precise images with such seeming ease. But we always marvel at Lucinda's ability to say a lot with a little, as we did last night at Liberty Hall while standing dead-center about 30 feet from the stage:

"I'm broken down like a train-wreck" ("Can't Let Go").

"My brother knows where the best bars are." ("Crescent City").

"You took my joy. I want it back." ("Joy").

There's nothing flashy, rarely an extra word, rarely the kind of extensive metaphors or wordplay so many in the folkie tradition might toss at you.

Lucinda had a cold, but promised we'd get our money's worth even if she had to start songs over (This only happened once, with "Crescent City"). It's doubtful anyone would quibble too much with either her voice or her top-flight backing band (including new-ish hotshot jawdropping lead guitarist Blake Mills). The performance began with a series of Car Wheels and self-titled era favorites, worked its way through newer material, and finally drifted into an escalating fury of rock and roll with the angry-yet-funny "Changed My Locks" ("I changed the name of this town/so you can't follow me down") and the angry-yet-hopeful "Joy" ("Maybe in Slidell, I'll find my joy."). A top-flight encore slowed the pace briefly with "Blessed," the title track of the newest album, before culminating in the searing blues of the Allman Brother's "It's Not My Cross To Bear" and Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," which could have been corny if it wasn't played with such absolute conviction. Played with said conviction, however, it became a cathartic sing-a-long with Larryville's older hippies and progressives, most of whom had no idea the Up To Eleven festival was going on in six venues along the same street.

Verdict: four out of four Free State Winter Ales (which cost $4.25 a piece? holy shit, Liberty Hall!).


Sure, KU football is about to get slaughtered at home by Baylor this afternoon, but the real KU sports action is in New York this weekend, where KU Quidditch is already wreaking havoc in the World Cup, beating Vermont 170-0 and Utah 80-60.

Even the UDK recaps of the Quidditch matches are more exciting than anything KU football has accomplished this season (and possibly ever):

"The snitch-runner was more crafty than any Kansas had seen before. Kansas' seeker, Joel Haverkamp, had his broom snatched by the snitch. The broom was handed off to a crowd member who took off running so Haverkamp followed in hot pursuit."

Make sure to follow @UDK_Quidditch for live updates throughout the weekend.

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