Tom Goss at the Record Bar
For those who missed the recent Tom Goss performance at the Record Bar, don’t be too sad — this wasn’t a particularly good show for Goss. He played well, but the Record Bar was a terrible venue for his style of music. I wish I could have heard the music more clearly. The voices around me were much louder than the performance. This particular bar seems more suited for louder music.

I would love to see him again some day at a venue more geared to his music style. One where some of the more intricate and soft melodies can be enjoyed to the fullest, where you can truly relish those more tender acoustic songs.

Though I disliked the Record Bar for this performance, I still enjoyed listening to Goss. He was undeniably a sweetheart. He told little stories in between songs. He seemed very real and humble. He even admitted to writing a song while watching The Jerry Springer Show. He’s just keeping it real.
Lawrence Queer Music Showcase on May 21.
Get ready, Lawrence. You are about to receive a treat. Bands from Kansas City and Lawrence are teaming up with New York’s The Shondes for an amazing night of live music May 21 at The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire. General admission is a very affordable $7, and those with any kind of student ID get in for $5. The show is all ages. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the music starts at 7 p.m.

Each of the bands has a different musical style. The glue that holds them all together for this show is their general identification with and support for the queer community. The musicians featured are either fierce allies, supporters, or identify themselves with the LGBTQ community. Joining The Shondes will be three Kansas City bands — Wick & the Tricks, Blondie Brunetti and Amy Farrand – as well as Lawrence’s own Grenadina. This show is one not to miss. The Facebook event page ( even says that nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. How can you resist?

Tom Goss
Lost Songs
and Underdogs
(Tom Goss Music)
Goss’ singing style reminds me quite a bit of James Blunt, and I consider that a good thing. Where Blunt’s love songs are about women, Goss sings about men. His songs are emotional and sweet, and his lyrics are truthful and narrative. Goss is a natural storyteller, and he’s truly a lover, so it is not surprising that most of his songs are about love. Goss used to be a Catholic seminarian, and although he does use some religious allusions, he is definitely not preaching. Fans of acoustic and piano should definitely give Goss a listen. My favorites are “Sure Enough,” and “I Do.”
Neon Trees
Picture Show
(Mercury Records)
Within the first minute of listening to this album, I knew I was going to enjoy Neon Trees. It’s strangely soulful for alternative rock, with some clear rock vocals that have just a slight pop edge to them. It’s low and sultry when necessary, and loud and crisp at perfect times. The vocals have just a touch of “Justin Timberlake meets Michael Jackson” to them. They are energizing, but not in the bouncy, repetitive way. It’s more layered than that. There is some talented guitar work, and the track “Close to You” even surprised me with some random saxophone action. This band kept my attention throughout the CD. If the Vampire Weekend had a rock baby with The Strokes and The Killers you would get Neon Trees. Trying to understand an artist’s songwriting process is tough and mostly useless, but kudos for the end result. I can’t say enough good things about Neon Trees. I also can’t pick a favorite track, so listen to all of them.
Kat Graham
Put Your Graffiti on Me: The Remixes
(A&M/Octone Records)
Kat Graham is best known for her role as Bonnie Bennett in the popular show The Vampire Diaries. She is a known supporter of LGBT rights and is making her move to music. Having seen on her on TV, I was incredibly surprised when I found out this was her. Graham’s voice reminds me a bit of Christina Aguilera crossed with Gloria Estefan. Her first single, “Put Your Graffiti on Me,” is very catchy, danceable, sexy and definitely belongs in a DJ’s arsenal. Although the original is unique on its own, there are plenty of remixes available, too. The best are the “Richard Dinsdale Remix” and “Digital Dog Remix.”
Kwanza Jones
Time to Go: Single/Remixes
(Innovation Entertainment)
Kwanza Jones should keep doing what she’s doing. Last year, she had the hit “Think Again” and she is following that up with “Time To Go” from her anticipated album Super Charged. So far, so good. It’s pure club and dance music. Catchy, and it has the full possibility of being a dance anthem. I definitely want to check out the full album when it comes out. My favorite remixes are the “Mixin Marc & Tony Svejda Edit” and the “Cliffhanger vs. Modulation Remix.”

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