Posts Tagged ‘FOKL’

Performed February 13, 2014 at FOKL in Kansas City, Kansas

Front man Kevin Boyer with his worn axe, and drummer in mid beat; Photo by Brock Hildebrandt

Front man Kevin Boyer with his worn axe and drummer Beren Elkine in mid beat repping the Wipers; Photo by Brock Hildebrandt

The ever caustic yet catchy Tyvek played their first Kansas City venue since forming in Detroit way back in 2004. Over the years their ever changing lineup has featured as many as five members at once. However, for their appearance at FOKLTyvek performed as a three piece, arguably their point of irreducible complexity. Front-man and founder Kevin Boyer was joined by drummer Beren Elkine (Eat Skull, The Intelligence), and a bassist simply referred to as “Scott.”

Despite having never played KC, this isn’t Tyvek’s first visit to the area. They played Scion’s garage-rock fest in Lawrence a few years back, and have since returned to LFK to perform again. Typically a show such as this would default to Lawrence, but it seems FOKL‘s formula of budget friendly, all ages, BYOB events has been attracting more and more national mid-sized acts.

The crowd was sizable for a Thursday, but there was still plenty of room inside FOKL to find a private, dark corner. Tyvek’s 14 song set included tracks off all of their full lengths and spanned over 45 minutes. Some of their songs were by the book (such as Air Conditioner) while others were extended versions, maybe with another song mashed into the end (i.e. Returns running into Little Richard). One song, Underwater, featured a guitar rig malfunction caused by a stage climbing fan. Boyer, without missing a word, kept singing and managed to fix his dilemma in time for the solo. The end product is a good example of Tyvek’s adaptability. They took adversity and made it into something listenable. It’s most likely this sort of attitude that has allowed them to persist for over a decade with no signs of slowing down.



Editor’s notes:

I am proud to say Kevin Boyer is planning on releasing Big Urges’ recording of Tyvek’s set as a “live at fokl” cassette! This sort of occasion is business as usual for the prolific musician, but a new precedent for the blog! Updates to come, as new information surfaces.


Listen to Tyveks set now with the embed below (45:30)

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


Set List for Tyvek

1. Scaling

2. Stop Start (4:43)

3. City of a Dream (6:13)

4. Say Yeah–>Midwest Basements (7:24)

5. Air Conditioner (13:01)

6. Mary Ellen Claims (16:30)

7. Underwater (19:27)

8. Underwater To (22:07)

9. Returns–>Little Richard (28:03)

10. Give It Up (36:38)

11. Future Junk (40:54)

12. Sea Walls (43:00)


For More Tyvek Click the Links Below:




For More Photos by Brock Hildebrandt Please Visit:

F Stops and K Holes


Thank you to the members of Tyvek for allowing their performance to be recorded, and a double-thanks to them for their interest in issuing its release as a cassette! will update when the tape drops. Until then, show your support for Tyvek by trucking over to their website and buying something. 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!

Performed November 23, 2013 at FOKL in Kansas City, Kansas

Another night at FOKL. It’s cold inside and out, but the turnout is decent. Most people are hanging out in the foyer recently turned smoking lobby, or milling about the show floor waiting for the change over. The show was billed as a fundraiser for Kansas City’s independent theater the Tivoli. “GO DIGITAL OR GO DARK…SAVE THE TIVOLI,” exclaims the hand bill. While I doubt the amount of money raised could be anything but marginal, it remains a kind gesture from one community minded organization to another.

On the flip side, music-for-the-cause doesn’t seem to fit the HŮMΔN ŦRΔFFIC aesthetic. Their new industrial, ALL CAPS, cyber goth doesn’t exactly scream charity, yet there they are. If the gamble was to find an electronic band that had a draw, then it may have paid off. HŮMΔN ŦRΔFFIC has managed to endear themselves to the morbidly inclined of Kansas City while entering into the normal rotation of the local underground. Their sets are aggressive, dark, and loud. Vocals are buried beneath a digital din, while audio collages recorded onto cassette segue one song into another. Their FOKL showing didn’t deviate from this formula.

Like Metatone, HŮMΔN ŦRΔFFIC occupies a niche more or less unclaimed by other KC bands. This could help them to stand out, but it could also typecast them. I understand the need for an aesthetic. It helps contextualize the music, create an environment, and even align the band to certain musical trends. It’s part of the whole package. In many ways HŮMΔN ŦRΔFFIC‘s image is complete and cohesive, from their clothes, song titles, and even their band name. Again, the risk is that this image could become a limiting factor which would relegate HŮMΔN ŦRΔFFIC into the category of novelty. Time will tell.


Listen to HŮMΔN ŦRΔFFICs set now with the embed below (27:58)

Listen to HŮMΔN ŦRΔFFIC’s set later, with tracks already separated, by clicking the mediafire link below



2. TURBO SLUT (5:01)


4. BLOOD ORPHAN (14:43)

5.  FVTVREPVNK (19:15)

6. GOTH RAVE (24:15)

For More HŮMΔN ŦRΔFFIC Click the Link Below

Although this recording was initially made without permission, the crew of HŮMΔN ŦRΔFFIC has since graciously sanctioned it. Show your support for their music by visiting their various web pages and liking their facebook page. If you think this blog is worth chattering about then kindly share it, subscribe to it, leave some comments, and keep reading. You can also like and follow the facebook page (located at for more bonus material and update notifications!

Performed November 1, 2013 at FOKL in Kansas City, Kansas

Mike Donovan is best known as the front man of the recently defunct Sic Alps. Their final release, a single titled She’s On Top, came out a little more than six months ago in May. Wasting no time, Donovan dropped his first solo LP Wot in October on Drag City, and is currently on the road in support of the release.

Show time at FOKL began a little behind schedule as result of some late load in’s and the implementation of a common practice called “Waiting-for-more-people-to-show-up” (which they rarely do). It was just shy of midnight by the time Donovan took the stage and the crowd was thin. That’s hard luck in my opinion. A place like FOKL should be bustling at midnight on a Friday, but unfortunately the show was booked directly following Halloween. It’s likely most of the people who would attend such a show instead hit up any number of the midtown, spillover costume parties.

Mike Donovan’s set was modest, not just in terms of length, but in terms of sonic abrasion. The singer/songwriter aesthetic is a departure from many of Sic Alps’ more noisy recordings. At another glance though, Donovan’s current offerings aren’t too far from where he left off with Sic Alps. Don’t call it more of the same, call it a continuation.


Listen to Mike Donovans set now with the embed below (31:09)

Listen to Mike Donovan’s set later, with tracks already separated, by clicking the mediafire link below

Set List for Mike Donovan

1. Do Do Ya?

2. MP3 Farm

3. R. Reg

4. The Kid

5. New Fieldhand Bop

6. Sic Ballad

7. Bloom

8. Untitled

For More Mike Donovan Click the Link Below

This recording was made with the permission of Mike Donovan. If you like his music then you should show your support by visiting his website and picking up his new LP Wot. 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 (located at for more bonus material!

Performed October 8, 2013 at FOKL in Kansas City, Kansas

IS/IS in Low Light on a Tuesday Night, Photo By Andrew Erdrich

IS/IS in Low Light on a Tuesday Night, Photo By Andrew Erdrich

If Mondays are bad, it’s because they’re followed by Tuesdays. Monday is the initial, shocking submergence into a freezing pond that is the work week, serving to numb your senses until you reach the weekend shore. Tuesday, however, is worse than that. It is droll, incessant, and does not bring cause for celebration such as Wednesday or “Hump Day,” but resignation that the grind will persist four days more. Tuesday is so insidious that Monday has become the scapegoat for the true evil that is acquiescence.

IS/IS was the weekend manifest on a Tuesday.

This washed out, femme powered, three piece consists of Sarah Rose (guitar and vocals), Sarah Nienaber (bass), and Ronnie Lee (drums). Okay, so Ronnie is a dude. Does that hurt the image? The coven may be broken but the band held together, and they seem to be doing alright. Their stop in Kansas City was the end of a first leg of shows following a recording session in the southwest. I’m guessing many of these new, as yet to be released tracks, were played during their set because I’ve had the damnedest time identifying them. From here they’re headed back home to Minneapolis for a show and brief respite before another two months or so of national touring. I predict they’ll be around for at least another big tour, and judging by the helluva-Tuesday-night-turn-out on the 8th, I assume they’ll be returning to Kansas City as well. Bravo all.


Listen to IS/ISs set now with the embed below (32:13)

Listen to IS/IS’s set later, with tracks already separated, by clicking the mediafire link below

Set List for IS/IS

1. Unknown 1

2. Unknown 2 (2:35)

3. Unknown 3 (6:05)

4. Shine Down (9:13)

5. Unknown 4 (13:22)

6. Gleam (16:55)

7. Unknown 5 (21:05)

8. Unknown 6 (24:52)

9. Hunter (28:43)

For More IS/IS Click the Link Below

This recording was made and posted with permission of the very amiable members of IS/IS. If you like their music then you should show your support by visiting their website and buying some wares so maybe they can afford gas on their cross-country tour. If you like this blog then kindly share it, subscribe to it, leave some comments, and keep reading. Also, a facebook page for Big Urges has been recently created find it here at, so click it for more bonus material and like the page to help spread the word!

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 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!