Readers, did you witness a fair amount of rock and roll this weekend? We did. Though we only spent about four hours total at Lawrence Field Day Fest, we witnessed eight bands. Below are some mildly humorous observations on a few of them. (For more comprehensive coverage, visit our friends at I Heart Local Music here).
Best overall act: KC's Schwervon is a small tornado of pristine guitar licks, furious drumming, and cute/clever lyrics. Yes, it's a husband/wife duo. Yes, it's a guitar/drums duo. You're thinking you've seen it before. But you haven't seen it done this well in quite a long time. It's less White Stripes/Black Keys and more like a rocked-up, technically-perfect version of Moldy Peaches. Cougar Pride!!! (please click that link). Also, we want to meet their cat Gummo sometime. Best moment: Schwervon swigging something from a Boy Scout-canteen.
Best surprise: Okay, technically Rooftop Vigilantes' final farewell performance at the end of JOCKS set was not a surprise. It was even on the schedule. But following the previous night's Replay farewell--a boozy and blood-soaked affair with an injured Oscar grisly-ing up the stage--it was somewhat of a surprise that they were functional at this early hour on a Friday evening. Best moment: it's only appropriate that the last tune played by the Vigilantes in this town (for now) was their perfect cover of the 'Mats' "Can't Hardly Wait." ("Ashtray floors, dirty clothes, and filthy jokes.").
Most likely to inspire a scenester-crush: Much of the onstage-action at LFDF during our stint there was a real sausage-fest, as Chip repeatedly exclaimed. Luckily for us dudes, Brain Food's Demi brings a bit of the sexy-librarian to the stage, with "adorkable" dance moves and a killer voice. Best moment: we would have sworn we were tired of bands that do Britney Spears' covers, but damn if "Toxic" didn't make Chip twerk a little. We'd love to have a black-and-white dance party with these good folks! (photo snagged from their FB page here).
Band most likely to score a rock-opera: Many Moods of Dad. Let's make this happen. Their proggy-moments and epic "mystical journeys" are tailor-made for some kind of LFK-twist on Tommy. We've begun writing lyrics already.
Best surprise: The name Man Bear didn't inspire much confidence. We were hoping for an actual mutant creature but expecting some sort of brutal sonic assault. What we discovered instead was a well-crafted set of tunes that sounded like a mix of the 'Mats, Big Star, and Superchunk. And that's a combination we can dig. Find some tunes via Bandcamp over here .
Band we're sad that we missed: We can never stay up as late as the internationally-acclaimed Radkey children. But it was nice to see them roaming the club all evening on Friday, often heading up front to soak up different sounds from the evening's other bands.
A moment that we're glad to have missed: Apparently the dudes from The Rackatees threw up everywhere and called the cops about a lost phone early on Thursday (guess they borrowed someone else's phone to make the call). Perhaps they were angry at not being on the bill for the festival.
Most valuable player: Cameron Hawk, for masterminding the affair once again in its bigger and better second year. Good job, Cameron!
Special shout-out to the Kansas City Roller Warriors for keeping us entertained on a Saturday evening field trip! While the action was never as brutal as we had been led to believe from Whip It, we found ourselves caught up in a wild overtime victory by the Black-Eyed Susans over the Knockouts. Our favorite name also belongs to one of the Susans. It may not be PC, but it sure is clever: JonBenet Slamsey.
Now let's take a look at this trailer for the legendary Raquel Welch's Kansas City Bomber: "This is the world of roller games, where the only thing more dangerous than the competition...is some of the fans!" We were hoping for a full-on brawl on Saturday but were kept frustratingly sober because the beers cost $8, reminding us once again why we so rarely leave Lawrence.
The iconic image from Kansas City Bomber: