Posts Tagged ‘Electronic’

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 September 26, 2013 at The Brick in Kansas City, Missouri

Keith Rankin, a.k.a. Giant Claw, performing. Photo by Andrew Erdrich

Keith Rankin, a.k.a. Giant Claw, performing. Photo by Andrew Erdrich

Electronic night at The Brick opened with the premier of Kansas City’s Human Traffic, who managed to smuggle in their underage member Anthony, but weren’t able to keep the lid on it. Funny to me, but not the bar staff. Closing the evening was local DIY favorite Scammers who wasted no time harassing the audience and the sound man. Combine the two acts and you’ve antagonized everyone on either side of the bar.

Sandwiched between the locals acts was the socially passive Giant Claw from Ohio. The sole member of Giant Claw, Keith Rankin, performed several lengthy, improvisational pieces. While at times meandering, Rankin shied away from extended soloing in favor of reiteration of melodic phrases and arpeggios. By avoiding self-indulgence and emphasizing repetition, the music remained meditative and introverted, even when it had groove.

During the performance the bar was rife with chatter from the crowd whose limited participation relegated Giant Claw’s performance to background music for a conversation. However, Rankin didn’t seem to mind and he kept the sounds flowing. This apparent laid back demeanor may belie his prolific output and eye to detail. Case in point; he sound-checked his microphone only to briefly introduce himself and make a plug for his suitcase full of tapes and vinyl, all of which happen to be distributed from his own label Orange Milk.


Listen to Giant Claw’s set now with the embed below (32:27)

Listen to Giant Claw’s set later, with tracks already separated, by clicking the mediafire link below*

Set list for Giant Claw*

1. Untitled

2. Untitled II (14:43)

3. Untitled III (27:26)

For More Giant Claw click the links below

This recording was made and posted with permission of Kieth Rankin, who’s not just a musician, but a really nice guy. Help a nice guy eat by visiting his webpages and purchasing some wares. If you like post/blog then leave a comment, share with your friends, and subscribe. Bye now!

*Editor’s Note: Since these songs are improvisational, they are untitled and transition from one into without pause. As it’s not overtly evident where one song ends and the other begins, I’ve separated tracks in a way that seemed to make the most sense to me.

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?