Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Erdrich’

Performed January 3, 2016 at Front/Space in Kansas City, Missouri

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Today Adam Werven, otherwise known as Larry Wish, celebrates his 27th birthday. I like to imagine him in his Minneapolis apartment, bundled up in a rainbow afghan, eagerly awaiting a special birthday hotdish. In reality he’s writing grants and preparing for a standup comedy show, but three days prior he performed his last show of a two and a half week tour at Kansas City’s cozy (small) storefront arts venue, Front/Space. This gig marked Larry Wish‘s first appearance in Kansas City. He was supported by tourmate and friend Ray Jackson, or The Grow Fangs.

Both Werven and Jackson performed solo to a full house (that translates to about 35 or 40 bodies given the size of the space). The Grow Fangs followed the jangle-pop dance hall of supporting, local openers Toad Tartare with about 25 short, cheeky, high-energy punk rock tunes. He played on a guitar shaped like a shark through a borrowed amplifier and delivered screaming vocals that were equally impressive and amusing.

Larry Wish also had a minimal setup which strung an auxiliary cable from the PA to his boombox which contained the night’s set burned onto a CD. Wish was very animated. He mounted cinder blocks, wore them as shoes and meandered futilely about the performance area. He played air guitar, air drums, air saxophone, air everything while gesticulating wildly.

Wish‘s music utilizes pop, prog and compositional influences, features programmed or live drums and plenty of direct input and digital overdubbing. He sings, or rather, belts his vocals within a rich baritone register. The outcomes are both epic and whimsical, sincere yet playful. With proclamations like, “I just forget myself sometimes,” it’s hard to resist the notion that Werven is showing vulnerability.

For every few tracks of original material performed there was a karaoke cover of another. Typically these were slowed down versions of nineties grunge hits such as Nirvana‘s “In Bloom” or Pearl Jams‘ “Even Flow,” a combination of Werven’s 90’s adolescence and more recent love of Vaporwave. One such selection, however, was a cover of Donna Summer’s disco classic I Feel Love.” This latter song, as well as several others from the set, is taken from Wish‘s newest recording Born Outside My Window, released last October by Orange Milk Records.

Also represented by Orange Milk Records is Kansas City resident Scammers, or Phil Diamond. Diamond was billed to play with Larry Wish and The Grow Fangs, but cancelled late due to a sudden dental emergency. It would have been the first time the labelmates had met in person.

While his newest recording is a worthy listen, Werven is prolific. His bandcamp page holds over 50 recordings from over half a dozen projects dating back to 2007. While the lion’s share of these offerings fall under the Larry Wish moniker, many others are attributed to OcturbomangoSleeves and Used Condo (which has a cassette coming out by the end of the week on the Suite 309 label).

The recordings also vary greatly in approach. One recording titled TACE BEEL: TACE THE BEEL consists of empty, yet titled, tracks.”I did half the work, now the listener needs to do the other half and come up with the music.” said Werven in interview, comically suggesting that titling is half the job in song writing.

Some recordings are wholly digital creations while others are more traditional studio recordings. Throughout these works Werven’s primary concerned rests with creating something that feels right or appropriate for the recording rather than emulate a style or enter a particular school of thought.

Werven and Jackson’s tour carried them as far as Gainesville, Florida, and spanned two major holidays; Christmas and New Year’s. When asked why they decided to tour through the holiday season, when many people are indisposed spending time with family and friends, Werven stated it was more convenient because he had winter break from school. Unfortunately this also meant that neither Jackson or Werven’s bands could tour with them. Undaunted, the pair took the opportunity to visit friends and celebrated their holidays on the road.

Their final payout at the Front/Space gig was decent, more than enough to cover their six-plus-hour drive back to Minneapolis the next day. When I asked Werven if their income had been good during the entirety of the tour, he said it had been, but that he also wasn’t too concerned. Before they embarked he had taken out a small student loan to cover expenses, a technique he’s used in the past to make recordings and put out physical releases. I feel that anecdote epitomizes the attitude of many do it yourself musicians today, that is, cheerful and reckless.

Happy Birthday Adam. Cheers to you and recklessness.

-AWE

 

Listen to Larry Wish’s set now with the embed below

Or listen to Larry Wish‘s set later, with tracks titled and separated, by clicking the mediafire link below

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/gc78xrfnf2yn2/Larry_Wish

 

Setlist for Larry Wish

1. Yeah, Soon the Birds Will Wake Me Up Somewhere in the Vaseline [Used Condo]; intro

2. On One More Condition (:30)

3. Even Flow [Pearl Jam]; interlude (5:05)

4. Ubduction Redundant (5:27)

5. In Bloom [Nirvana]; interlude (10:49)

6. Unsound/Touched (11:20)

7. I Feel Love [Summer, Moroder, Bellotte] (14:08)

8. Man In the Box [Alice In Chains]; interlude (17:08)

9. Your Face [Maureen McElheron] (17:46)

10. Up-to-Me Books (20:08)

11. Been Caught Stealing [Jane’s Addiction]; outro

 

Click the link below to hear more music by Larry Wish

http://larrywish.bandcamp.com/

 

Click the link below to hear more music from Orange Milk

http://www.orangemilkrecords.com/

 

Click the link below to listen to The Grow Fangs

https://thegrowfangs.bandcamp.com/

 

Click the link below for more events from Front/Space

https://www.facebook.com/FrontSpaceKC/


Thanks to Adam Werven, Ray Jackson, Madeline Gallucci, Kendall Harbin, and Ian Teeple for making this show possible. Thanks to everyone that came and bought merchandise and paid door cover, you keep the dream alive. If you weren’t able to make it you can show your support by visiting Larry’s Bandcamp and buying something for goodness sakes. If you like this blog then kindly share it, subscribe to it, leave some comments, and keep reading. You can also like and follow the facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/bigurges, for more bonus material. Cheers!

Performed January 8, 2014 at Art Closet Studios, Kansas City, Missouri

All Blood Ringmaster Jonathan Brokaw; Photo By Brock Hildebrandt

All Blood Ringmaster Jonathan Brokaw; Photo By Brock Hildebrandt

Art Closet Studios is the awkward niche carved out of the backside of Open Fire Pizza. It earns points as a centrally located all ages venue (features that are ever in demand), but for the most part the space is bare bones. There’s a basic-but-adequate PA system, the door man was hand-picked from the crowd, and there’s a total absence of any sort of climate control. Around the room space is occupied by in-process artist works encircling a concrete pad. The performance area is marked by a helter skelter backdrop of mixed media that leaves one questioning whether it is in fact a finished stage setting or a neglected project made into an ersatz substitute.

Alongside such trappings typical of a house venue comes the baggage of a more legal public event space; it’s an alcohol and drug free zone, door money is split a dozen ways, and they close down early. In practice, the venue stayed open as long as necessary and the localized prohibition was largely a facade. Many attendees fearlessly or carelessly drank openly. Maybe the restaurant couldn’t divert one of their employees to chaperone for the evening? Furthermore, despite the math-magical purgatory that is payout, touring band Idaho Green did alright.

All Blood played in the middle of a packed billing that showcased two other local bands alongside two touring acts. Initially a solo project created and nurtured by KC native Jonathan Brokaw (aka JB), All Blood has expanded to four members. These extra hands and voices belong to familiar faces. Zach Campbell on drums also plays for Mouthbreathers, Justin Baird on keys and guitar has spent time in Whyte Bitch as well as The Conquerors, and Zach Turner on bass has played in Folkicide and worked solo as Puffs Or Plumes.

While on his own JB has written, produced, and released numerous recordings including last year’s highly favorable Someone Else’s Ocean, but with the new troops the All Blood live experience has noticeably expanded. Shows are bigger and louder, the songs are catchier, and JB seems more coherent and sober. During instances where other members would spearhead vocal duties, such as Zach Campbell taking the lead on Hippie Drugs, All Blood seemed less like JB’s brainchild and more like a collective effort. This is a good thing and the fact that the entire band continues to perform together indicates they are self aware of this improvement.

As long as bands like All Blood continue to perform at Art Closet minors and underagers will keep showing up,  but before you decide to attend a show keep in mind the music and arcade far outclass the art and the pizza.

-AWE

Listen to All Blood’s set now with the embed below (25:39)

Listen to All Bloods set later, tracks currently uncut, with the mediafire download below

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/sa9gltp5q04qg//All%20Blood

Set List for All Blood

1. Now I Am The Devil

2. Hippie Drugs (3:37)

3. Object Destroyer (6:30)

4. Action/Reaction (9:04)

5. Feral castle (11:25)

6. She’s In The Air (12:48)

7. Sweet Ass Dank (16:50)

8. Triumph Of Your Cool (19:18)

9. Queen Twerp (22:24)

10. Casino (25:07)

For more All Blood click the link below

http://allblood.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Blood/203144953056338

These recordings were posted with permission of the performers so throw em’ a bone and support them by going to their shows and buying their music. If you like my poor recordings of them, then throw ME a bone and subscribe, share, like, and tell your mom, sister, brother, dad, and friends. Thank you.

Performed July 26, 2013 at Café Acoustic in Saint Joseph, Missouri

The first time Sneaky Creeps played with Cupcake we opened for some shitty singer named Cock Douglas at The Record Bar. Cock had hired a backing band of professional musicians who knew some of the members of Cupcake, so they had asked Cupcake to open for them. Sneaky Creeps had just started playing bar gigs and The Record Bar owner Steven thought we would fit well with Cupcake. Steven was right. We loved playing with Cupcake, but more importantly both bands abhorred Cock Douglas. While Cock sang through his set the rest of us were drinking on the patio waiting for the show to be over so we could maybe get some sort of payout. Wishful thinking. Thanks Cock.

Fast forward a year and a half later and Sneaky Creeps once again shared a stage with Cupcake at a little place called Café Acoustic in St. Joseph, Missouri. Cupcake was still comprised of the same four members; Jeff Jensen on drums, Kiley Bodenhamer on bass,  Shardy Darnell on lead guitar, and Marc Darnell on guitar and vox. Cupcake has a pretty standard setup, but it’s important to note that these musicians are all in the latter half of their 30’s or even working through their mid 40’s. With older, gigging musician’s it’s reasonable to expect some Classic Rock stylings, possibly some old-hat New Wave, perhaps a little 80‘s Hardcore/Metal, or maybe some Alt-Rock with a wash of Americana. Cupcake eschews these tropes and offers an attempt at being their own band. Additionally, Marc’s on stage antics make their shows that much more entertaining. For example, If you listen to the accompanying recording you’ll hear Marc as he plays a card game with the audience for REAL MONEY. In case you’re suspicious, I can vouch that Marc made good on his payouts.

Like other bars in St. Joseph Café Acoustic is a “One-O-Clock” bar, and unlike most cities in the United States, indoor smoking is still legal in St. Joseph. This means you can go to a show and leave with the real smell of a bar on you. That being said, Christina, who books the shows at the café, runs a pretty tight ship. She’s no hard ass, but she makes sure the bands are provided for. On the recording you can hear her introducing Cupcake, as well as coming on stage to encourage the audience to throw money in the tip jar or buy raffle tickets (the raffle was more successful). She also pays out bands from the money made at the bar as opposed to the money made at the door. While it may seem counter-intuitive, paying out from the bar makes a lot more sense in this kind of situation. Neither band was going to draw hundreds of people to that show, but people were still interested in finding their way to a bar on a summer Friday night and putting down a few libations. The bar saved money by not having to hire a door man and because Café Acoustic is bar that is known for having frequent live and local music. The latter is key. Cultivating a space that carries the expectation of affordable yet ever-changing live music is paramount to having a successful music venue, because that venue now has a built-in-audience of people who frequent it just to see and listen to something new. Without this audience bands must rely on the power of promotion, their name, and their brand to attract crowds, which is often not enough to sustain any sort of lifestyle. Local bands can have it hard, but I have even witnessed bigger, touring bands have problems with drawing audiences. Bands like Quasi, Boris, or even Os Mutantes, all of whom have played shows internationally to audiences of thousands.

So maybe the cards can be stacked against the musicians, but the members of Cupcake don’t really seem to care. They seem happy and excited to simply be playing shows, performing for audiences, and doing what they love. Maybe they weren’t sure if being in a band was something they would be doing at their age, but here they are, still making noise. Cheers to you Cupcake.

-AWE

Listen to Cupcake’s set now with the embed below (36:34)

Listen to Cupcake’s set later, with tracks already separated, with the mediafire link below

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/3qqrc2jpg0ilt/Cupcake

Set list for Cupcake

1. Card Game Pt.1

2. Feels So Good (:52)

3. Divorce (3:11)

4. Card Game Pt.2 (8:36)

5. Big Boys (9:17)

6. Fetch (11:37)

7. Card Game Pt. 3 (14:42)

8. Feet Fell Down (16:27)

9. Mustard Seed (22:23)

10. Short Bus (25:58)

11. Vacation (30:18)

12. Those Kids Played Hard (33:32)

This music was recorded and posted with permission of the band. If you’d like to support them then take a day trip to St. Joseph when they’re playing and hang out in front of the stage, otherwise there aren’t many other options. If you like this blog then follow it and post a comment with some feedback.

A Response to “The Best Kansas City Music of 2013 – So Far”

As you may have guessed I’m a bit dissatisfied with KCUR’s “The Best Kansas City Music of 2013 – So Far,” written by Steve Kraske and Kaitlin Brennan. This program aired midday, June 26, 2013 in conjunction with several, local Kansas City music figures; Michelle Bacon, Bill Brownlee, and Chris Haghirian. All three of these individuals are dedicated, selfless supporters of local music, but I feel something may have been missed in their curation.

My issue with the program is not in terms of quality of selection, but with its homogeneity and predictability, and that these problems are commonplace. Seems Jazz, Americana, Indie Rock, and Rock are very well represented Kansas City’s media, critics, and promoters, but when last I looked the Kansas City scene had much more to offer.

Underrepresented are the slew of Psychedelic/garage rock resurgent acts, the experimental and avant-garde, as well as electronic musicians, DJ’s, and ethnic acts. Absent still is anything remotely punk, hardcore, and metal (with maybe the exception of The Architects, who are still more rock than anything). The entirety of the selection reads almost like a list of “Things White People Like.” Which may seem extreme until you notice there is only one hip-hop/rap selection.

This occurrence was, unfortunately, not a surprise. Anyone who regularly goes to shows or thumbs through The Pitch, Ink, or The Star would know that a lot of the bands selected are extremely well represented. It follows that a band with more press and higher reputation would be first when considering a “Best Of” list. Constantly providing coverage of and promoting the same musicians and bands creates a feedback loop and leaves some members of the community with the sense that, “This is all there is,” which is roundly untrue and culturally hazardous.

Admittedly, exposing audiences to unfamiliar music is also risky. Music writers don’t want to lose their hard-earned following to the likes of Cumulus/Clear Channel monotony. However, if there is any hope of creating a more diverse and open cultural community then what other option is there? As much as I abhor “Best Of” lists in principal, I feel a better sense of quality, local music could be conveyed through a selection of more diverse critics and writers to curate them. While it may be the duty of all critics, promoters, and writers to strive for a more complete knowledge of music, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and suggest that the reason there are no electronic, experimental, or avant-garde musicians is because there were no critics on the panel that specialized in those areas. Hopefully vast portions of KC’s music culture were not overlooked simply because the critics or producers of this program did not care or thought the ratings would suffer otherwise.

Once a more diverse network of music writers, promoters, and critics is more vocal toward the community, it’s likely Kansas City residents will begin to demand, cultivate, and support more diverse forms of music. If we fail to do this Kansas City will remain homogenous and insular, with one wave of musicians commanding the attention of the audiences until their sound  becomes old and they are replaced by the next generation. While this occurs other midwest cities such as Minneapolis and Chicago will continue to produce acts that are both locally and nationally respected and we’ll get to compete with Lawrence for having them play in our city.

-AWE

Below is a link to the original story, listen and decide for yourself:
http://kcur.org/post/best-kansas-city-music-2013-so-far

Performed May 30, 2013 at The Walnut Place Laundromat, Kansas City, Missouri

Ashley Tini 5/30/13, Photo by Sean Starowitz

Ashley Tini 5/30/13, Photo by Sean Starowitz

Von's Stuff 5/30/13, Photo by Sean Starowitz

Von’s Stuff 5/30/13, Photo by Sean Starowitz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Walnut Place Laundromat has been the chic spot for Kansas City music the last couple of months thanks to the open mind of owner Wally Badejo and the hard work of artist Sean Starowitz. While it’s popularity is palpable many of the attendees are probably unaware of the lineage of Laundromat music venues which starts with the famous Sudsy Malone’s Rock N’ Roll Laundry and Bar (now defunct) in Cincinnati. From 1986 to 2008 many influential and famous acts passed through Sudsy’s including Yo La Tengo, Modest Mouse, Built To Spill, and 3RA1N1AC along with legions of other lesser known hardcore, punk, and metal bands. Now Byproduct: The Laundromat, Starowitz’s latest alternative-arts-programming-social-practice endeavor, carries that torch.

The first performers of the night were Ashley Tini and Von Hansen, two percussion majors from Kansas University. During their near 40 minute set they played two compositions each, one of which was an original. Von commanded the limited “stage space” while Ashley sprawled her various instruments and accessories across the main Laundromat floor. The dynamic range of their pieces was wide and their timbres unconventional. They achieved these effects through various extended techniques of electronic manipulation, homemade instruments, prepared instruments, and alternative means of striking their instruments. In Ashley’s first piece (track 2) you can plainly hear her tearing paper (sheet music) and using marbles as well as other household objects on her tamtam, while Von talks briefly in track 3, It’s Like the Nothing Never Was, about the homemade instruments he is using which include the guts of a grandfather clock. Let me emphasize that these two people had a lot of gear. Not only were all of Ashley’s percussion instruments huge, but Von set up a five point surround sound system in addition to his stage full of make shift toys and electronic gear. It seemed to take them almost as long to load out as it did to perform. Their performance was well received by the audience and I personally enjoyed their selections, but allow me to pose a question: in the world of compositional music who is greater, the composer or the performer?

Listen to Ashley Tini’s and Van Hansen’s set now with the embed below (37:14)

Listen to Ashley Tini and Von Hansen’s set later, with tracks already separated, with the mediafire download below

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/xrzxgj4od24uf/Ashley_Tini_%26_Von_Hansen

Set List for Ashley Tini and Von Hansen

1. Canotila (Composed by Mike McFerron, performed by Von Hansen)

2. Resonance of The Corner Less (Composed by Austin Yip, performed by Ashley Tini) (12:01)

3. It’s Like the Nothing Never Was (Composed and Performed by Von Hansen) (18:43)

4. Rebonds B (Composed by Xenakis, Performed by Ashley Tini) (31:20)

For more Ashley Tini and Von Hansen click the links below

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzV1kwSqwcJHyghwaSXMC3A

Metatone 5/30/13, Photo by Sean Starowitz

Metatone 5/30/13, Photo by Sean Starowitz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much later, following the massive load out of the previous performers and after waiting for the delivery of a functional electric bass guitar, Metatone took the stage. Metatone is Ashley Miller’s newest genre band that blends Afro-pop styling with humorous lyrics that cleverly address his personal turmoils (and a happy belated birthday to her) and triumphant recoveries. Metatone is also very much a family affair as his father Gary contributes vocals, percussion, and harmonica and his sister Abbi provides lead female vocals. The biggest surprise of the night was finding Ian Teeple now filling in on bass. Though I will always have a soft spot for their former bassist Hank Eddins, the young Ian was a more than adequate substitute. As usual they were accompanied with Rhys Ziemba on guitar, Jon Kraft on Drums, and the enigmatic Rabbit Killer on the makeshift electric fiddle. The riason d’être for the show was the release of Metatone’s self-titled album which was available for purchase as an impressive, sexy 12″ vinyl record. I suspect they sold a fair number of them as the event and the beer was free, and the crowd was burgeoning and enthusiastic. There was little space to traverse the catwalk while Metatone performed in the small lounge area, but the main floor was filled with shimmying coeds slowly becoming more and more sweaty. I hugged the wall and kept to my recorder which may have been a bad decision as it attracted the attention of the slightly inebriated A. Bitterman whom you can credit for the defamatory interruption during the middle of track 7, Rururu. Thankfully a request from audience member Drew Roth lead Metatone to perform my favorite song, Dark Empress, before they called it a night.

-AWE

Listen to Metatone’s set now with the embed below (1:06:11)

Listen to Metatone’s set later, with tracks already separated, with the mediafire download below

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/sektuj7kk4tal/Metatone

Set List for Metatone

1. Unknown 1

2. Gemiknife (7:25)

3. When The Dreams Come (12:36)

4. 2 Fine 4 Time (19:30)

5. Unknown 2 (25:37)

6. Happy Rebirthday (33:33)

7. Rururu (38:18)

8. Theme (42:54)

9. Unknown 3 (48:56)

10. Unknown 4 (54:12)

11. Fear Pressure (58:13)

12. Dark Empress (1:02:18)

For more Metatone click the link below

http://metatone.bandcamp.com/

These recordings were posted with permission of the performers so throw em’ a bone and support them by going to their shows and buying their music. If you like my poor recordings of them, then throw ME a bone and subscribe. Thank you.

Performed May 29, 2013 at Harling’s, Kansas City, MO

It’s significant when two touring bands show up to a sleezy KC dive bar in the middle of a May rainstorm, still manage to make some money, and play to 60 plus people. Maybe it means the local openers Sneaky Creeps and Meat Mist can draw a crowd, the flyering and social media promotion worked, or Harling’s is very, very well loved? It is definitely evidence that the KC community will support smaller, alternative touring acts if given the right conditions.

By most anyone’s standards The Funeral And The Twilight (TFATT for short) are not a pop group. Their sounds and themes point towards a kind of satanism, or at the very least a deeply macabre cynicism. This “dark” asssociation is why when they manage to coerce nearly $70 in donations from the crowd and sell a bit of merch, I consider it a fairly astounding feat. Chances are, if KC can maintain a habit of making bands feel welcomed, like The Funeral And The Twilight, then more bands will want to play here. This not only means more shows, but potential for better, bigger shows.

TFATT themselves are a Minneapolis three piece comprised of Benjamin Jones on guitar and vocals, Noah Schafer on bass, and Brandon Keegan on drums. I have never seen any of these guys wear anything but black, and with the exception of Brandon, everyone has a gigantic beard. They came to KC with another group, Dusty Santamaria And The Singing Knives, from Portland. TFATT was driving them around on their tour and KC was their last stop before heading back to Portland, while TFATT went back to Minnesota. While the comparisons may be easier to draw from recordings, it was harder for me to find the ties between Dusty and TFATT. Dusty seemed like a performer, a professional musician trying to make a name or something, and sometimes the act came off a little forced. TFATT however seemed to just want to bury you alive. What always seems to surprise me are their longer passages of unaccompanied instrumentation. I say this because Benjamin strikes me as the type of front man that puts a lot of care and thought into his lyrics, so I automatically assume he wants to employ them as much as possible. Fortunately TFATT is not above pulling away from  morose singer/songwriter posturing in order to melt a few faces. Oh, they also “punk” as well as the rest of them.

-AWE

Listen to TFATT’s set now with the embed below (23:43)

Listen to TFATT’s set later with tracks already separated with the mediafire download below

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/ok5kazow61242/TFATT

Set List for The Funeral And The Twilight

1. Crusaders Of Death

2. Church Burner (1:30)

3. Sabina Isabella Pena (6:30)

4. Human King (9:55)

5. Salacity Pure (11:40)

6. Speak It’s Name (12:14)

7. Wipe The Blood (13:25)

8. Make This Man (17:09)

For more TFATT click the links below

http://thefuneralandthetwilight.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/The.Funeral.And.The.Twilight

These recordings were posted with the permission of the gentlemen in The Funeral And The Twilight. If you enjoy their music and my shitty recording of it then show your support by buying some of their stuff and subscribing to Big Urges.

Performed May 16, 2013 at Palmer’s, Minneapolis, Minnesota

At about 10:30 in the morning I received a text message from Phil Diamond a.k.a. Scammers. Phil had a show that night in Minneapolis but he didn’t have a ride up to it from KC. He’d been soliciting people via facebook for about 10 days but all his best leads had fallen through. Fortunately my long time friend Andy Montee (yes, his name is also “Andy”) had just returned from his first year of grad school, and I thought he might be looking for something to do. A few calls made, a few texts sent, and a couple hours later all three of us were seated inside Andy’s 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid. Eight hours after that we arrived in Minneapolis at Palmer’s, a seemingly diverse neighborhood bar seated amidst some high-rise projects. Phil informed me a lot of Somalian refugees lived in this area hence the projects.

While hanging around Palmer’s waiting for the show to start we convinced the bartender that Andy and I were “In-The-Band” with PhilWe drank our free yard beer and smoked cigarettes on the massive backdoor patio while meeting the members of the night’s opener, Coral Legs. These were some of Phil’s friends and he told me all the guys in Coral Legs had their own solo projects and played together in other bands. They all seemed like fairly genial guys, that were probably drinking age but not by much. They promised a short set. As they setup I stuck my recorder (the door man’s suggestion, thanks door man) on the platform of a suspended box television. That night Coral Legs were four; Brian and Tim on keys/drum machines, Sam on guitar, and John on the kit. There were no vocals. Their set consisted of improvised, easy-going beats separated by sparser, ambient passages. For me the latter was their biggest achievement. After seeing many shows with performers who “transition” each song into the next by looping the last couple seconds or creating a din of noise until they’re prepared for the next song, it was nice to hear genuine transition from “a” to “b” to “c.” While their set did not show a vast range emotionally or musically, they did only play for 15 minutes. It’s pretty hard to fuck up a 15 minute jam session especially when you’re as comfortable playing together as these guys seemed to be, and they nailed it. Coral Legs is a fairly new band, but I have a hunch they’ll keep performing together for a while. If you’re in Minneapolis on any Tuesday this coming August they’ll be performing at the Kitty Cat Klub. Tell them you’re from KC and maybe they’ll want to make their here sometime.

Scammers played second for about 45 minutes. Phil was playing with some new material, a new vocal toy, and drinking off-brand NyQuil. I thought it was a riot, and so did other a lot of other people. I chose not to record him because I felt I needed video as well as audio for a Scammers show, and I’m currently unable to do him that justice. One day perhaps…

Last to perform were Minneapolis locals Shakin’ Babies. Half the people at Palmer’s seemed to be there for them, which is a good for Phil, but they seemed to play for a long-ass time. They were fine musicians but I guess I wasn’t in the mood for revival, garage, surf-rock. Don’t get me wrong, I like Link Wray, The Ventures, and The Beach Boys like most people, but that vein seems a bit strip-mined these days, and I’m a little bored with it. Rock on anyway I guess.

-AWE

Listen to Coral Legs’ set now with the embed below (15:00)

Listen to Coral Legs set later with the mediafire download below

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/j4r36rlw3aw5m/Coral_Legs

For more Coral Legs visit these links below

http://corallegs.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/corallegs

Editor’s notes

Sorry no photos this time.

Special thanks to Andy Montee for being our secret-ginger, white knight, and Coral Legs for hooking up the show. Thanks to your help Phil miraculously turned a profit on this one day excursion. Good luck to Phil Diamond in L.A. This posting is dedicated to all of you.

This recording was posted with permission from Coral Legs. Isn’t that cool?

Performed May 15, 2013 at East Wing, Kansas City, MO

Nature Boys, Photo by Andrew Erdrich

Nature Boys, Photo by Andrew Erdrich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KC’s own Nature Boys are much beloved in the community for good reason; they bring it every time. Every bill I’ve seen them play there are at least 60 people in the crowd to see them (which is a lot for a dark, wet basement) as they smash through a twenty-plus minute set without going soft for a second. What’s most surprising is that they are still (in my mind) a fairly straight forward rock n’ roll band. Danny Fischer plays guitar, with Suzanne Hogan on bass (they split vocal duties), Aaron Rommel is the drummer, and that’s it. They leave it frills free and raw. A little distortion and overdrive here, some screaming and harmonizing there, and not much else. Very “punk.” Their best songs for me however, songs like Scary Larry or Babylon (track number 5 in the bootleg recording posted below) seem to be something other than “punk” songs. While that lineage still exists, through some creative divination they’ve moved into other territory. This is what I feel sets them apart.

Nature Boys‘ show last Wednesday at the East Wing lived up to all expectations. That night was a “Cardboard Cutout Costume Party” most likey in honor of the touring band Moira Scar (I’ll talk about them below). Danny was wearing a woman’s spread eagle legs on his face and Suzanne was some sort of shark attacking a boat or something. Eventually they ditched the outfits, but they didn’t need the getups to get the crowd riled anyhow. Bodies were surfing, bottles were being chucked, and people were visibly singing along. What most impressed me about their performance was their awareness of their instrument volume in relation to vocal volume. You can actually hear them singing, an incredibly rare feat for a DIY basement show. That being said their lack of sheer volume didn’t take away from their drive or aggression. Opening the night was KC’s Palace Neapolitan, followed by Nature Boys who were playing in support of the touring band Moira Scar from Oakland. Closing out the night was another KC group Wasted Management.

Moira Scar, Photo By Andrew Erdrich

Moira Scar, Photo By Andrew Erdrich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moira Scar are a costume wearing, gender bending, instrument hopping, carnival troupe of chaos. As unique as that combination may sound it also perfectly describes other Oakland area groups such as Idiot Flesh or Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Fortunately their similarity to Moira Scar is mostly limited to their shared aesthetics. Yes, they wear androgynous costumes and use pseudonyms, but wait; Moira Scar is not eight members but three, and while their music is a bit carnival-esque it’s also very gritty, danceable, electropunk. Furthermore their use of brass is golden and they ditched most of the theatrics in lieu of straight rocking out. Did they adjust their set for the night’s crowd? I’m not sure, but it was a relief to me to not have sat through ten minute monologues or spooky-weirdo-not-as-good-as-actual-noise-bands soundscapes. That being said, their costuming was not posturing as “Over-the-top” was still present in their songs/performance, a lot of which came through their vocals which, admittedly, I liked (even the pseudo-operatic parts).

Moira Scar is Roxy Monoxide (vocals, guitar, sax, keyboard, drums), Lu Lu Gamma Ray (vocals, synthesizer, trombone, sampler, drums), and Ryan Bonus Beast (drums and bass). Their headlining set lasted for about 40 minutes from 11:30 to 12:15. I put $5 in the hat and bought their newest “recorded at home, mastered in the studio” album Scarred For Life for $7. If my spending/donating is any indication of how the night went on a larger scale then I’m guessing they made enough money to drive the van to the next gig. Success?

-AWE

Listen to Nature Boys‘ set now with the embed below (22:04)

Listen to Nature Boys’ set later with tracks already separated with the mediafire download below

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/t29atxs8d543u/Nature_Boys

Track List For Nature Boys

1. Dr. Claw

2. Boot Stew (3:53)

3. Future Boys (9:11)

4. Mr. Sniffers (11:57)

5. Babylon (14:31)

6. Movin’ In (17:34)

7. You Suck (20:14)

For More Nature Boys go to their website:

http://www.natureboysrocknroll.com/

Listen to Moira Scars set now with the embed below (38:28)

Listen to Moira Scar‘s set later with tracks already separated with the mediafire download below

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/12ulrmsov1s2r/Moira_Scar

Track List For Moira Scar

1. Damaged Control/Escaped Mechanic

2. Gotta Get Out (5:40)

3. Miss Funktion (8:37)

4. Organ Grinder (11:54)

5. De/Monster/A-Tiff (15:58)

6. Telepathos (19:10)

7. Nina Dantor (22:03)

8. Tarantula Tangoid (25:32)

9. Demon Lover (30:32)

10. Someday Cockroaches Will Rule The World (33:30)

For more Moira Scar go to their website:

http://moirascar.blogspot.com/

These recordings were posted with permission from these independent artists. Visit their websites, see their shows, and buy their stuff. You’ll be broke even if you don’t so just do it anyway.

Performed May 14, 2013 at Micheal’s Loft, Kansas City, MO

Photo By Mary O'Brien

Photo By Mary O’Brien

Photo By Brock Hildebrandt

Photo By Brock Hildebrandt

Outside World  are a lo-fi, DIY trio from Chicago. The band features Ben Scott (Guitar and Vocals), Hazel Rigby (Bass and Vocals), and Evan Jenkins (Drums). Their music combines elements of psych, rock, noise, pop and sheer loudness. Their couple of self-released tape recordings (Outside World and Seaside Nowhere, both 2012) don’t seem to quite capture the relentless groove in Major they bring to their live show, but at least you can hear the vocals. Both times I’ve seen Outside World their PA setups didn’t stand a chance once they blew up the space with their stage volume. Personally I’d take the rawness of their live show to their (by comparison) somewhat restrained recorded offerings. For this particular occasion they performed in my friend Micheal’s loft apartment in the Crossroads district of KCMO. Kansas City’s own Wanin’ Peppa’ and Dated opened. Outside World started around quarter to 11 and played a rock solid half hour of music to about 40 people. I felt as though a good number of the songs seemed familiar from their last visit, but upon cross-checking their set list with their available recordings most of them seem new and off the market. This leads me to believe a new recording is imminent. As a side note I noticed their live set didn’t seem to contain anything like their slower, quiter tracks (such as Seems So True or You May Think) which may be a direct attempt to keep the crowd energy up. Hopefully KC makes them feel welcome enough to come back and play another. I know I’d like to see them again.

-AWE

Listen now with the below embed (32:51)

Listen later with tracks already separated with the mediafire download below

http://www.mediafire.com/?5inyijza4oc71

Track List

1. “Fills”

2. All Day – at 3:55

3. Outside World – at 7:51

4. “Center” – at 13:18

5. “Flying” – at 16:44

6. “Inside” – at 19:36

7. “Due” – at 24:06

8. “Stain” – at 27:00

For more check out these links below:

Outside World’s Facebook

Outside World’s Bandcamp
These recordings were recorded and posted with permission from the band members of Outside World, because they’re clearly cool dudes.