Also Thursday, February 9, and Friday, February
10, at the Bottleneck.
Last year, Wakarusa brought even bigger acts than the year before. This year, in addition to the big names, there'll be a lot more smaller ones, thanks to Battlerusa, a series of 18 shows at which bands compete for a spot in the third-annual Wakarusa this June at Clinton State Park. Spearheaded by a tie-dyed-in-the-wool collective called the Loyal Family, Battlerusa began its inaugural year in Fort Collins, Colorado, on January 18 and ends in Lawrence this week. The February 8 show at the Beaumont finds local acts Bixby Lane (pictured), the Brothers Green, Cory Ryan, Bad Abby, the Station and Groovelight competing for the coveted local spot at the festival. Then, over the next two nights at the Bottleneck, the winners from previous Battlerusa spots will face off once again, this time to see which bands get to have the Loyal Family as its palm-frond-bearing slaves (and receive other forms of cushy treatment) during their stay at the festival. Also at stake: a track on the 2006 Wakarusa compilation album. If you're in a band, it's too late to sign up, so don't ask. But if you like feel-good sounds, very happy people and a bongo solo here and there, clear your calendar now tickets for the festival are already on sale.