Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

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.



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


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


Click the link below to hear more music from Orange Milk


Click the link below to listen to The Grow Fangs


Click the link below for more events from Front/Space

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,, 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 August 29, 2013 at FOKL in Kansas City, Kansas

No Age Performing a new track off "An Object", Photo by Tim Amundson

No Age Performing a new track off “An Object”, Photo by Tim Amundson

No Age‘s one night stand in Kansas City marked the fulfillment of more than a few teenage dreams. It was also a windfall occasion for local DIY venue FOKL, whose volunteer staff won’t need to pay the next month’s rent out of pocket.

To some it may be a surprise that No Age‘s booking agent approached FOKL instead of another venue. Other spaces could arguably be more accommodating in terms of stage production, space, and promotional capacities. However, it follows No Age‘s modus operandi to play at a place like FOKL. They even had their start in a similar space called The Smell back in Los Angeles.

Maybe No Age is on to something. Perhaps a DIY space gives you something a club or a bar cannot. Something like genuine hospitality. Sure, it’s nice to get drink tickets, but it’s not the same as a venue that grants anyone of any age, entrance for five bucks. It sucks playing shows in bars with a handful of attendees and a staff who is visibly annoyed that your band is wasting their time. On the other hand, if you play to a sparse room at someplace like FOKL, at least you can hangout with the venue dudes during the downtime.

Nevertheless, No Age probably doesn’t play to empty rooms that often these days, and when they do, it’s most likely not at places like The Smell or FOKL.

No Age was supported by fellow L.A. musician’s Protect Me and K.C.’s own Lazy.


Listen to No Age’s set now with the embed below (48:47)

Listen to No Age’s set later, with tracks already separated, by clicking the mediafire link below

Set list for No Age

1. Circling With Dizzy

2. Lock Box (3:55)

3. Teen Creeps (6:08)

4. You’re A Target (9:14)

5. Every Artist Needs A Tragedy (13:00)

6. I Won’t Be Your Generator (16:05)

7. A Ceiling Dreams Of A Floor (19:29)

8. Defector/Ed (21:54)

9. Glitter (24:36)

10. Eraser (27:57)

11. C’Mon Stimmung (30:39)

12. Ripped Knees (33:44)

13. Fever Dreaming (37:18)

14. Boy Void (41:04)

15. Miner (43:33)

16. Everybody’s Down (46:05)

For more No Age click the links below

Visit photographer Tim Amundson’s blog at

This recording was not recorded or posted with the permission of the band. If the band or their label would like it removed then send an email to If you like the blog then re-post it, leave a comment, subscribe, or tell a friend. Cheers.

Performed August 13, 2013 at FOKL, in Kansas City, Kansas

Stiff Knight & The Hard Ensemble, 8/13/13, Photo by Andrew Erdrich

Stiff Knight & The Hard Ensemble, 8/13/13, Photo by Andrew Erdrich

This particular review may be masturbatory, but I’m probably the biggest fan Stiff Knight & The Hard Ensemble (SK&THE) has. They even dedicated the second song of their set to meWhat’s more, SK&THE don’t have another show scheduled going into the foreseeable future, because the Stiff Knight himself, Perry Kroll, is snowbirding in Arizona for the winter. So, while this review may be self-indulgent, it’s also a means of adding longevity to a group with an uncertain future.

There are many reasons to like a band, some of the more popular examples include; how loud they are, the genre of music they play, their technical ability, and production value. I’m drawn towards SK&THE for the spectacle. On any given night Stiff Knight & The Hard Ensemble could include anything from four to six members, depending on who has a ride, can get off work, or just wants to step on stage (such as this performance). This night’s set included four core members plus a guest from the audience.

Perry takes the lead swapping chords and lead notes between his chaos pad. Bassist Nicholas Bell remained motionless and stoic while performing the entire set in a bright blue bunny hat. Catherine Grimes, lead female vocalist, played ukelele (without amplification), slide whistle, and french horn. Catherine also doubles as the chief costume designer. She’s undoubtedly behind the giant pants her and Perry temporarily shared during performances (they put them on during track three, Warddrobe Change Interlude and wear them for the next composition), the face mask shaped like a lamb’s head, and the large, Terry Gilliam-esque cardboard semblance of F.D.R. who mouths along to their songs. Drummer Tommy Capps is seemingly the most square of the bunch, but frankly they need someone to keep the whole show on the rails. During the set guest player Summer Power can be heard playing an out-of-step snare. Combine their stage antics with their weirdo lyrics and you have yourself a contender for most entertaining show in town. I don’t like SK&THE to be blown away by craftsmanship, virtuosity, or overwhelming coolness; I like them because I always have a good time.

The various members of The Hard Ensemble may continue on in some capacity. Before the formation of SK&THE Nicholas headed his own project, Wire and String. Nicholas’ frequent collaboration with his girlfriend Catherine Grimes and Perry is what eventually led to the formation of SK&THE in the first place. Whether Wire & String reforms or another entity manifests entirely is yet to be determined. However, Perry won’t be in Arizona forever, so chances are Stiff Knight & The Hard Ensemble will return.


Listen to Stiff Knight & The Hard Ensemble’s set now with the embed below (31:29)

Listen to Stiff Knight & the Hard Enemble’s set later, with tracks already separated, with the mediafire link below

Set list for Stiff Knight & The Hard Ensemble

1. Bad Word

2. Two Kinds Of Cheese (4:07)

3. Wardrobe Change Interlude (6:48)

4. Chained For Life Hong Kong Flu (7:30)

5. Beth The Psychic (10:37)

6. I Know (13:30)

7. Goth Wop (15:55)

8. Gamer (19:35)

9. Sugar Skulls (21:59)

10. Twilight Zone (25:19)

11. Giants In The Desert (28:40)

For more Stiff Knight & The Hard Ensemble click the links below

This recording was made with the permission of Stiff Knight The Hard Ensemble, so if you like it send some love their way. With any luck they’ll receive it and come back to play again. If you enjoy the blog then leave a comment, share it with your friends, and subscribe.

Performed August 12, 2013 at The Middle East In Kansas City,  Missouri

Silence Dogood 8/12/13, Photo by Andrew Erdrich

Silence Dogood 8/12/13, Photo by Andrew Erdrich

Naming your band after an alias of Benjamin Franklin is an overt gesture in proclaiming your love of literature. Composing a song based off a short story by Mark Twain may be borderline obsessive. While waxing literary fixation, Silence Dogood deliver their sermons in the church built to the 90’s alternative rock gods, and, like any good zealot, they practice what they preach. As such, their music is lyrically driven and follows a straight forward lineup. This prolific three piece is composed of Nick Erickson on drums, Matt Bullock on bass, and Cameron Mahoney the guitarist and singer/songwriter.

Silence Dogood toured from the upper peninsula of Michigan with Sycamore Smith & The Gray Beast. Their local destination, The Middle East, is a basement venue deep in the east side of Kansas City on 59th and Spruce within an ever-expanding compound of rehab houses. Landlord John Larson (also known by his stage name Mosquito Bandito) has been buying up cheap, neglected properties in the area and reconditioning them, seemingly just for amusement. John himself is also a Michigan transplant and has become somewhat of a conduit between KCMO and UPMI, hence the Michigan musicians.

While many people showed for the opener Scammers, most left by the time Silence Dogood kicked off. This attendance drop was arguably exacerbated by eleven minutes of downtime following the first song as Mahoney changed out a broken string (this downtime has been edited from the recording). However, the reason why so few may have remained in attendance may be because the Middle East tends to be a hot bed for some fairly gritty punk shows, and Silence Dogood may not have been the best fit for such a crowd.


EDITOR’S NOTES: Since the publication of this review, Silence Dogood asked me to remove the post. As a compromise I removed their music which I had recorded and linked, but kept my review. The music belongs to them, however, my opinion about their concert belongs to me.

Set list for Silence Dogood

1. Wonder Years

2. Paradise City (3:02)

3. Granola Kids (5:30)

4. School Is Out Forever (8:10)

5. Don’t Stop Believing (10:31)

6. Endless Bummer (14:56)

If you enjoy this blog, then subscribe, leave comments, share it with your friends, and keep reading. Thanks!

Performed July 28, 2013 at FOKL in Kansas City, Kansas

Post show at FOKL, Photo by Andrew Erdrich

Post show at FOKL, Photo by Andrew Erdrich

Mouthbreathers are a Lawrence mainstay who stand out amongst the surrounding, middling indie rockers not only sonically but also socially. The members of Mouthbreathers (Derek Solsberg, Bass; Zach Campbell, drums; Kyle Gowdy, guitar and vox; Brad Shanks, guitar) are deeply invested in various aspects of the Lawrence music scene. A number of them work at the local music bar The Replay Lounge pouring drinks, running sound, and promoting. It’s no accident The Replay has become well known for it’s local music shows, and I’m willing to bet Mouthbreathers have had more than a small role in securing that position (for more on The Replay Lounge see #7-CS Luxem/OILS). In addition all members of Mouthbreathers have vetted themselves in other Lawrence Bands such as Rooftop Vigilantes or Blood On the Walls.

Possibly the greatest effort spent on the Lawrence music culture comes from Brad Shanks who runs Replay Records, attributed to it’s parent company and the aforementioned Replay Lounge. In just over a year Replay has put out six 7″ singles (sold individually or collected in the Replay Records 2012 Box Set), and one full length compilation of Lawrence/KC bands entitled Cheap Beer. Mouthbreathers themselves have released a single Die Alone on the label making it a true circumstance of one hand washing the other. Mouthbreathers have also released singles on a couple other notable labels such as Slovenly and In The Red. Not only does the label support help the band book tours, find new fans, and play with bigger acts, but it also draws attention back towards the Lawrence/KC area which is normally thought of as a fly over zone.

If I’m remembering correctly, the last time Mouthbreathers played a show in Kansas City was over two years ago at the now defunct, but fondly remembered, Studded Bird. That’s quite a gap for a band that resides less than an hour away. Maybe they’ve been busy, or maybe their adoration in Lawrence is sufficient for them, either way it doesn’t seem to have affected their popularity in KC much. This time around they performed at FOKL, a DIY space that hosts a variety of shows including the-not-too-infrequent punk show. Case in point, the night’s lineup consisted of Dated, Thugees, the newly reformed Whyte Bytch, Sneaky Creeps,  and, of course, Mouthbreathers.

FOKL has come a long way as a venue. It’s a volunteer run space operating out of a basement in KCK that charges a modest $5 for their typical show, but they have a sizable PA setup and even book bands as prominent as No Age (that show is tomorrow, Thursday, August 29, 2013). They are also a community minded space, hosting gallery shows of local and national artists as well as annually hosting a two day psychedelic music fest known simply as Pyschfest, so it makes a lot of sense for a community oriented band such as Mouthbreathers to play at FOKL.

Unfortunately for FOKL, it seems that their most present downfall is their inability to draw large crowds consistently which may be a direct result of their location being off of Tremont and Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas. Admittedly it’s difficult to convince a mostly-midtown constituency to traverse the state line then pay a cover. Maybe this is a promotions thing, but it could also be the lack of punks with cars, licenses, cash, time, or interest. However, a combination of Mouthbreathers long absence and highly anticipated return, and a show lineup loaded with many of KC’s most active basement musician’s, may be credited for temporarily lifting this curse in spite of a Sunday booking. Hopefully, when Mouthbreathers return, it will be before 2015, and maybe they’ll have a full length for us to take home as well.


Listen to Mouthbreathers’ set now with the embed below (27:03)

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

Set list for Mouthbreathers

1. Nowhere Else To Go

2. Track 2 (2:37)

3. Track 3 (6:29)

4. Track 4 (9:05)

5. Jail Weapons (11:28)

6. Track 6 (15:09)

7. Anxiety (18:16)

8. Die Alone (21:07)

For more Mouthbreathers click the links below

This concert was recorded with permission of the band Mouthbreathers. If you like what you hear, please show your support by going to their shows, buying their studio recordings, and liking their facebook page. If you enjoy reading this blog then subscribe/follow, leave a comment, and tell your friends. Muchas gracias!

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 17, 2013 at The Middle East, Kansas City, MO

Marquee Board, Photo By Sadie Pike

Marquee Board, Photo By Sadie Pike

Wett Nurse, Photo By Andrew Erdrich

Wett Nurse, Photo By Andrew Erdrich























Despite a population of only 20,000 citizens, Marquett is the biggest city in the Upper Penninsula (U.P.) of Michigan. It also boasts the large, 10,000 student Northern Michigan University, whose football team plays their home games in the world’s largest wooden dome, the Superior Dome. Hooray Wildcats. Marquett is also the hometown of Wett Nurse, a concise, lo-fi, psych band. Upon their 2010 inception the band consisted of Anastasia Vlasta Greer and Matt Lynch, but have since expanded to around 4 or, at times, 5 members. When they last visited KC a few weeks ago Greer (keys) and Lynch (guitar) were there along side Matt Bullock (bass) and Nick Erickson (drums). Nick was also sharing duties as the drummer of the other Marquett area band on tour, Sycamore Smith and The Gray Beast. The night was opened by Sneaky Creeps and closed by Stiff Knight and the Hard Ensemble, both KC locals. Somewhere in the mix fellow KC friends Wayne Pain and The Shit Stains played.

Wett Nurse’s set was less than half an hour but they still managed to play a dozen songs, break a string or two, and throw in a cover of The Sonics’ tune The Witch. They also managed to maintain their momentum from song to song despite a few restarts which may bother some and seem like a sign of amateurism, but I personally don’t go to basement shows to hear music recitals. These guys are definitely garage rockers which means you can’t hear the vocals for shit, but a good number of their songs don’t have vocals anyway (or I just couldn’t tell). The crowd was a little small, but perhaps we can chalk that up to collective laziness in promotion/venue accessibility. I know I personally didn’t hang any flyers. At some point there were actually about 20 people, but 4 or 5 left after a man showed up to the adjoining house with a gunshot wound he received a couple blocks away. Even though he was only looking to use a phone to call for some help the whole event still spooked a good number people away. Maybe this is why it’s hard to get a good, consistent draw to The Middle East. Wett Nurse played on, oblivious to the events next door, with catchy keyboard hooks and driving guitar a plenty. They were followed by compatriots Sycamore Smith and The Gray Beast who played a solid set of anti-folk, electro-acoustic, singer/songwriter songs. Sycamore Smith… is returning with some other Michigan friends in August, which means KC has another chance to show some hospitality, and I’ll be writing about another Marquett band in the foreseeable future.


Listen to Wett Nurse’s set now with the embed below (27:48)

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

Track List For Wett Nurse

1. Man Beast

2. Unknown 1 (1:35)

3. SPOOK IT (4:16)

4. Ride My Rootbeer Barrel (7:44)

5.  Bring Me Your Satans (9:22)

6. Unknown 2 (11:44)

7. Summer Cummers (14:02)

8. Unknown 3 (16:20)

9. The Witch (18:19, The Sonics cover)

10. Throne Of Bones (21:06)

11. Wett Dreams (22:47)

12 Imperial Reaction (25:07)

For More Wett Nurse go to their website:

This recording was posted with permission from the very wonderfully pleasant people of Wett Nurse. Cheers!

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.

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.


Listen now with the below embed (32:51)

Listen later with tracks already separated with the mediafire download below

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.