Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Weekend Showdown: DeVotchka, Galactic and more

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 9:16 AM

devotchka.jpg

We'd hate for you to miss out on all the awesome that happens every weekend, so we've decided to run down four of the best shows in one easy-to-swallow post, with video and audio. Tell us -- and the rest of the world -- what we missed in the comments.

This weekend, Little Miss Sunshine sweetheart DeVotchKa graces the stage, along with local troupe Quixotic Fusion, on Saturday night. Friday night brings New Orleans to Lawrence with funk band Galactic, and Sonic Spectrum hosts its latest installment in its tribute series, dedicated to Neil Diamond.

1. DeVotchKa, with Quixotic Fusion and the Grisly Hand

Saturday, March 19

The Midland

Doors open at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $19.99

Why you should go: Many people first heard DeVotchKa when the band scored the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine, but the quartet's origins go back a decade earlier. Initially a backing band for burlesque shows and fetish model Dita Von Teese,

the Denver outfit has exploited its multi-instrumental talents to forge

a dynamic sound rich in sonic detail. The band's expansive approach

centers on chamber pop, colored with European sophistication and

hotfooted Eastern European gypsy folk and polka rock -- a charming blend

of stately carriage and proletariat passion. DeVotchKa's recently

released fifth studio album, 100 Lovers, frames Nick Urata's languorous croon inside moody, cinematic music, with results that suggest a distant kinship with Arcade Fire.

It's a beautifully crafted record, like something that should be

carefully propped on a velvet pillow in an elegant display case. Which

makes the vibrant abandon of a typical DeVotchKa live performance that

much more welcome. 
-- Chris Parker

Listen:

"How It Ends"
"Transliterator"


2. Galactic, with Cyril Neville, Corey Henry (Rebirth Brass Band) and Orgone

Friday, March 18

The Granada

Doors open at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $20, $22 at the door

Why you should go: Galactic, among the most visible ambassadors from the thriving New

Orleans funk and jazz scene, has been working out one long, heated jam

since about 1994. The boys from the Big Easy bring that spicy Southern

flavor to Lawrence with a longtime member of another New Orleans institution, Cyril Neville.

That name should ring a bell for funk fans: Neville has been a mainstay

in various incarnations of the Meters since the early 1970s. (The

Meters, one of the first funk groups, is known for its stripped-down

rhythmic sound and for backing up many New Orleans artists, including

Dr. John, Lee Dorsey and Allen Toussaint.)

Galactic hasn't released an album since January of last year, so the

set promises to be a mixed bag of old favorites, new works and

collaborations with Neville. Also sitting in: Orgone, a young group

with a tight, cohesive groove and a soulful singer who knows how to

throw down the funk gauntlet. Attendees of last fall's Sharon Jones show at the Midland should remember Orgone's exceptional opening performance. All told, expect one groovy evening.
-- Elgin Smith

Listen:
"Hustle Up"


3. Sonic Spectrum Presents: A Tribute to Neil Diamond, featuring Claque, David George, Chad Rex, and Free Band Radio

Sunday, March 20, at RecordBar

Tickets: $7

Doors open at 8 p.m.

Why you should go: With tributes to the Pretenders and David Bowie under his belt, Sonic Spectrum's Robert Moore is creating a solid track record of curated tribute line-ups.

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