Until now, Kelpie has largely managed to stay off the national radar, preferring instead to hide out in Lawrence. But that's beginning to change; the playful, guitar-driven band is touring the Midwest and opening for the likes of the Dresden Dolls. The things that set Kelpie apart as a live act are its earnest energy and its complete lack of commitment to any time signature. Kelpie singer Casey Burge -- vocally reminiscent of Sunny Day Real Estate's Jeremy Enigk or Ted Leo -- displays an impressive range that stays mostly upbeat, despite some surprisingly dark lyrics. The band as a whole makes inventive music that's rich, bouncy, sometimes sad, sometimes thoughtful -- and very much its own.