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The online votes are in and the batch of eight bands competing in the 2015 Farmers’ Ball Semi-Finals is set. Listen to tracks by the eight acts on the SoundCloud playlist, and read on for more about each band.
Want your favorite act to advance one more step toward cash prizes and glory? Be sure to save the date for the Semi-Finals show, scheduled for Saturday, April 18 at The Bottleneck. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the first band goes on at 8 p.m. Get all the details here. Audience members will have a chance at the end of the night to vote for their choices to advance to Farmers’ Ball Finals, scheduled for Saturday, April 25 at The Bottleneck.
Arc Flash is a Lawrence punk band with familiar faces from the Whatever Forever regime. They describe their unique style as Time Wave Space Punk, and claim to be “transdimensional space mutants” that can “manipulate the time continuum.” Come find out if their claims are true at this year’s Farmers’ Ball, and be sure to listen to their debut album, which released last month and is titled Black Market Time Tech.
Founded in 2011, Dean Monkey & The Dropouts are Lawrence’s contemporary soul and doo-wop group. Their bright sound and high energy are brought out by the seven members, three of which focus on vocals, creating a real spectacle of a live show. Take a listen to their two albums on Bandcamp – Dean’s Steakhouse and Dean Monkey & The Dropouts.
LION, also known as Brian Rogers, is one of the first full-on electronic acts to make it into KJHK’s Farmers’ Ball. You may recognize him as the drummer for heavy instrumental band Forrester, who incorporated MPCs to help Forrester achieve a truly unique sound. LION’s solo work is nothing short of unique as well, creating euphoric, synthetic hip-hop, often laden with angelic vocal samples. Be sure to check out his release from earlier this year, Disquiet, as well as his performance on Live @ KJHK.
Maybe Not definitely is in the Farmers’ Ball Top 8 this year. They’re a three-piece rock n’ roll band with catchy, up-beat and high-energy tunes that make for a good time, as well as some tunes that fit into the emo revival and are reminiscent of bands like Halo Fauna. They’ve released two EPs of their own in the past year, and you may have heard the title track from Hey Marie get some air time on KJHK. Be sure to watch their set on Live @ KJHK.
No Cave is a reverb-heavy, lo-fi, psych rock trio from here in Lawrence, but they describe their sound as dark bandicoot jazz. You can find out what that means by checking out their four-track EP that they released this year, titled Eyes Brighter Than The Sun, and by coming to Farmers’ Ball, of course. No Cave also has a set on Live @ KJHK, and you may recognize one of the members, Ross Williams (also known as Wild Eye), from his solo set at SXSW.
Toughies is a cordial four-piece rock band with an engaging sound that covers a variety of styles. Some of their songs use a stringy, straight-forward style in both instrumentation and vocals that is reminiscent of past releases by Modest Mouse, but with their own unique twist. They don’t have any releases out just yet, as they are just beginning to make some headway in the local scene. But come April 18, it’s time to get tough.
Via Luna is one of the very few math rock bands in Kansas. Hailing from Kansas City, the quartet composes complex, melodic and emotional instrumental pieces in odd time signatures that can hypnotize the listener, even without a vocalist. Be sure to check out their album, Calm and Clear, and their seven-minute single, The Giant’s Wallet, on Bandcamp. Surprisingly, you’ll find their song titles (for the most part) are rather minimalistic compared to those of most math rock bands.
Wolf, The Rabbit is a group with roots in both Lawrence and Kansas City, driven by full and fluttering synthesizers and effected guitars, woven among intricate, organic drums, drum machines and engaging vocals; this band will most certainly make you dance, or at least pleasantly sway side to side. Wolf, The Rabbit has released a handful of albums since 2011, all of which you can listen to on their Bandcamp.