For his full-length debut disc, Misadventures in Radiology, melancholy melody master Andrew Morgan recorded hundreds of takes in what was essentially a tribute to Miles Davis’ painstaking process. He arranged some of the tunes at Elliott Smith’s New Monkey studio, layering orchestral overdubs in the spirit of his symphonic-pop soulmate. Still, after years of perfectionist production, the native Kansan needed to capture the sound of a ringing bell. So Morgan and members of his band scaled the University of Kansas campus’ campanile and recorded its toll. Radiology justifies Morgan’s extravagant search for the sublime. His gorgeous hooks swirl with grace, and his vocals soar as if carried by the wind. His topics can be gloomy, but his voice communicates optimism. Morgan recently settled in Boston, but on Thursday night this KU graduate returns to Lawrence to the Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts. Call 785-749-7676.— Andrew Miller
Get this man a martini.
Jayson Kayne hosts an “interactive acoustic” show every Wednesday at Lew’s Grill and Bar (7539 Wornall Road, 816-444-8080). The basic premise is simple: He plays the guitar as patrons stumble through the lyrics of, say, “Crash” by the Dave Matthews Band. And occasionally, someone who’s skilled as both a singer and a showman rocks the mike. (One UMKC student’s recent performance of Tone Loc’s “Funky Cold Medina” comes to mind.) Kayne boasts an extensive catalog, and if someone requests something he doesn’t know, chances are he’ll probably learn it before the next week. Sadly, though, he plays guitar all by himself for most of the night; the crowd doesn’t really start to interact with him until everyone’s sufficiently intoxicated. Fortunately, Wednesdays also mean $4 martinis — good news for us, because there’s no chance in hell we could sing “Sweet Child of Mine” without a few. —Todd Broockerd
We hate to make assumptions about musicians’ pasts, but Devin and Brandon Strecker of Hays, Kansas, look like living proof that the heartland is a prodigal-son generator. It doesn’t take a degree in psychology to see how ideologically repressive households and Christianity-induced sexual neuroses pretty much ensure an early-20s breaking out of some kind. Though we really don’t know what the Strecker brothers’ rural childhood was like (except that Devin did play piano in church), we’re pretty sure that when the boys bring their West Hollywood-based, openly gay band Shitting Glitter to the Hurricane (4048 Broadway, 816-753-0084) at 9 p.m. Sunday, they’ll show all their old friends and neighbors what raunchy electro-punk can do to the minds of impressionable youngsters. — Jason Harper