What’s Goin’ On?

By Sarah Tackett

I’m tired of blah blah blahing about shows that have already happened when readers want to know more about upcoming stuff that you should most definitely go and see.

So here is the week in preview, (giving you more than enough time to mark your day-planner, or key into you palm pad, or write on your hand the good old fashioned way).

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, KFTC, has put together a fantastic lineup for their Stage for Change benefit concert. It takes place next Thursday, August 19th at High on Rose. The concert will begin at 10pm (giving you plenty of time to attend the Ace-sponsored Thursday Night Live performance of The Yonders right after work the same evening; grab a bite; and head on over).

Because of the diversity in performances, it will make you feel like you’ve had an entire weekend of entertainment in just one sitting. Reunited and it feels so good, Starboxer—a local indie rock band—will be playing their first show in a year together for the benefit. The group is made up of a visual artist, an architect, an actor, and a frisbee-playing librarian. But what about the music? you ask ever so pointedly. They have been called “the kind of pure rock sound that has kept a following of true lovers of the genre in their wake.”

“What?” is right, but I think that is supposed to mean “they totally rock, and people like them.”

John Simpson from the southern rock band Sunday Valley will also take the stage next Thursday, and who has a problem with southern rock? Seriously, why else does Lexington have not 1, not 2, but 3 radio stations all devoted to Skynrd fans. Simpson can play both blues and honky tonk, (which is as fun to hear as it is to say), and his musical abilities are widely recognized by fellow performers both within and outside his genre.

Underlying Themes Records will bring an electro-acoustic sound to the concert. This is a mix of electronic, acoustic, jungle, hip-hop, experimental noise, jazz, and ambient, (and yes I wrote jungle). This group of musicians, producers, MCs and poets, developed by Chuck Moreland, will be releasing their first nationally/internationally distributed record, Brain Wave Radio, this November. It should be cool to see what they can do at a live show.

The Jive Turkeys is a new band with a cool name that plays funk music. They are the reason why I will be there with a stupid gleeful grin on my face. It’s like Clinton says, “We like the funk, gotta have that funk.”

The Affrilachian Poets will be making an appearance, sharing their grass roots poetry. The heavy hitters associated with this group are Frank X Walker, Nikky Finney, and Crystal Wilkinson. Emerging talents such as Amanda Johnston, Shayla Lawson, and Bianca Spriggs will be sure to “bring it” to the stage of High on Rose.

The Lexington Slam Team—who usually run the stage at Common Grounds—will be presenting the wordplay of the “working class poet,” as opposed to wordplay of, say, the “suburban soccer mom poet,” or the “major corporation CEO poet.”

Just looking at the range of talent, it is sure to be a good time for all. And what is really exciting, is that it benefits a great cause.

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is a grassroots organization that cares about social, economic, and environmental justice for everyone across the state. They have been around for 23 years, and their mission states, “We believe in the power of citizens, working together, to challenge injustices, right wrongs and improve the quality of life for all Kentuckians.” Who can argue with that?

The proceeds from the $5 dollar door charge will go to local voter registration/awareness as well as the living wage campaign, among others, and it is a small price to pay to experience such an event. So mark whatever you’ve got accordingly.

This weekend, The Dame will be hosting the Bottle Rockets, Saturday August 14th. This band has transcended their punk heritage to become a leader of the 1990s roots rock revival. Their sound has been described as a “redneck fusion of southern boogie, country-folk, and crunching rock and roll.” And what is more satisfying than crunchy rock and roll? Tres Chicas will open for them, featuring Caitlin Cary from Whiskeytown. The show will begin at 7pm and the cover is 10 bills, yo.

It will happen. You will be cruising around, unknowingly tuned into “Delilah After Dark,” and suddenly it will occur to you that you are missing great music.

Conscious effort or not, these shows are worth seeing. n