Posts Tagged ‘Bootleg Review’

Performed February 2, 2016 at Snake Tank in Kansas City, Missouri


The members of SODA performing in the red light of the Snake Tank

SODA is a trio of Floridians based in Gainsville who entreat their audiences to a slack yet coarse mixture of punk rock. Steeped as it is in intermittently abrasive and/or catchy mid-tempo tunes, I would hesitate to call their music gravy-esque. However, that tinge of swampiness may come from some deeply engrained and still thriving southern love of country music. For us Midwest folk (or maybe just me) it can be easy to forget Florida is a part of “The South”, it seems so much like it’s own sovereign nation (re: Texas). Dare I invoke the perennial name of the Florida Man?

Despite their roots, each member appears to have been successful at dressing appropriately for the season. In their hardy little Subaru station wagon they rode the coattails of the recent, massive snowstorm up the east coast, playing to audience members who had not had the luxury of being able to leave their homes for a few days. Trekking towards their turnaround point in Tulsa, they landed in KC on day 12 of a nearly 3 week tour. Their 15 minute set at the underground Snake Tank prompted the cry for an encore, and, with minimal heckling, they obliged.

All this fuss and meteorological daring is in support of their newest vinyl EP, Without A Head, released January 15th on Parquet Courts‘ label Dull Tools, and engineered by Jonathan Nuñez of Torche. Though SODA singer and guitarist Arlington Garrett III may be old buds with Parquet Courts’ front man Andrew Savage, this small bit of nepotism does not tarnish what is, in fact, a very good EP. SODA‘s only lineup consists of Garrett alongside the bass and vocals of Lara Lookabaugh and the drums of Meredith Kite.

SODA was supported by the now-crucial-KC-punk outfit Phantom Head and Warm Bodies, who played their first gig for the occasion. I can’t wait to see the next one.


Listen to SODA’s set now with the embed below (20:29)

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

Setlist for SODA

1. New Trash

2. Janie Juicehead (2:30)

3. Blonde On Blonde (4:30)

4. Parking Lot (8:37)

5. Know How (11:20)

6. Chasin’ Tail (13:20)

7. “One More Song” (17:12)

8. Plucking Hairs [Encore] (18:04)

Click the link below to hear more music by SODA

Click the link below to buy SODA’s newest EP, Without A Head, from Dull Tools

Editor’s note:

Long time friends Lara and Meredith also sometimes run a podcast together called Female Trouble, that podcast can be heard below 

Thanks to the crew of Snake Tank, all the members of SODA, Phantom Head, and Warm Bodies for making this show possible. Thanks to SODA again for giving me the permission to publish this post. 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 or didn’t have the scratch to buy anything at the show visit Dull Tools‘ bandcamp site and pick up SODA‘s new EP, Without A Head. 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,, 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.


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

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

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.


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

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.

Performed July 2, 2013 at The Replay Lounge in Lawrence, Kansas

CS Luxem 7/2/13, Photo by Andrew Erdrich

CS Luxem 7/2/13, Photo by Andrew Erdrich

The Replay Lounge is notorious for sending bands home with a big payout. It’s not uncommon for performers to leave the bar a couple hundred dollars in the black. Paradoxically it seems these bands are still playing to a sparsely populated audience. Given the payout one may reasonably ask, “Where are all the people?”

Typically all the people who have bolstered your band fund are actually hanging out on the back patio, smoking cigarettes, and listening to DJ Whoever. These strange, profitable nights can be credited to one thing; the University of Kansas.

During the school year KU bolsters Lawrence’s population by 26,000 or more people. All it takes is a couple hundred Jayhawk coeds to fork over three bucks and you’re set for the month. Since it’s scientifically impossible to prevent a state school student from going out to the bars on the weekend, a band simply needs to book a show on a Friday or Saturday during the school year, show up to perform for 15 or so people, and drink their three free pitchers (that’s right THREE).

Kansas City bands have been using this formula for years, and it seems to work without fail. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to actually perform for someone besides the bartenders, the sound guy, and their friends?

That’s exactly what happened last Tuesday when CS Luxem and OILS performed their tour kickoff supported by Sneaky Creeps. Inside were roughly 40 tweens and on the back porch was movie night.  It’s safe to assume most of the two hundred-odd dollars split between the three bands didn’t come from the pockets of moviegoers. The recognition lays with the pulling power of Lawrence natives, CS Luxem and OILS who have now proven to me that you don’t need KU to have a good night at Replay Lounge.

A central figure of the two Lawrence bands is Christopher Luxem.  Not only is he the creative mind behind CS Luxem, but he’s also pulling double duty providing backing vocals for OILS, as well as collaborating with fellow Lawrencians Karma Vision.  After performing a couple songs solo as CS Luxem, Chris was joined by Andrew Frederick (backing vocals and bass) and Mark Osman (drums) from OILS.  The addition of real performers in place of loops/backing tracks I had heard in the past was refreshing, and brought more tactility to the performance. Looping, Chris’s specialty, was still present through his vocals and guitar work, but this time there was something more beefy to back it up.

OILS forewent the stage in lieu of the floor, a very “punk” thing to do, but it really made a difference in terms of creating a better connection with an audience. Fortunately their mix did not seem to suffer from the relocation. In OILS, Andrew Frederick took center stage and guitar duties, while Osman played drums, Chris had backing vocals/loops, and Taryn Miller (who performs independently as Y(our) Fri(end)) tackled bass duties.

Despite their incestuous relationship and a surplus of “Oohing and aahing,” both groups managed to maintain a distinct sound. CS Luxem’s set built on a gradual crescendo. OILS on the other hand was markedly more psychedelic as they rolled through one five minute jam into another. The best part is felt for the first time as if I was actually at a real Lawrence show, surrounded by Lawrence people. I’m hoping to see more of it in the future.

As mentioned earlier, both groups will be on tour for the next month, so cheers and best of luck to them. I’m sure they’ll do just fine, but just in case send them your love and well wishes.


Listen to CS Luxem’s set now with the embed below (28:00)

CS Luxem 7/2/13

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

Set list for CS Luxem

1. Tree Swing

2. Looking For (7:05)

3. Summertime Is Here (14:25)

4. With the Dogs (18:55)

5. Born Down Bobby (24:28)

For more CS Luxem visit his website through the link below

Listen to OILS set now with the embed below (40:28)

OILS 7/2/13

Listen to OILS set later, with tracks already separated, with the mediafire link below

Set list for OILS

1. Duck

2. Big Bear (4:24)

3. The Town (9:53)

4. Rain (16:58)

5. Fly Us To The Sun (24:21)

6. Deep End Part II (32:23)

7. My Own Eyes (38:09)

To stay up with OILS visit their facebook page through the link below

This music was recorded with the permission of the performers. If you enjoy it then show it by supporting them, and if you enjoy this blog then subscribe.

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

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

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.


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

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

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.


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

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

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.


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

Listen to Coral Legs set later with the mediafire download below

For more Coral Legs visit these links below

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?


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

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:

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

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:

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.