Posts Tagged ‘Minneapolis Bands’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday Adam. Cheers to you and recklessness.

-AWE

 

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

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

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

 

Setlist for Larry Wish

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

2. On One More Condition (:30)

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

4. Ubduction Redundant (5:27)

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

6. Unsound/Touched (11:20)

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

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

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

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

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

 

Click the link below to hear more music by Larry Wish

http://larrywish.bandcamp.com/

 

Click the link below to hear more music from Orange Milk

http://www.orangemilkrecords.com/

 

Click the link below to listen to The Grow Fangs

https://thegrowfangs.bandcamp.com/

 

Click the link below for more events from Front/Space

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


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

Performed 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.

-AWE

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

http://www.mediafire.com/folder/9o28pab3vzd7a/IS_IS

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

http://is-is.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/isisisaband

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 https://www.facebook.com/bigurges, so click it for more bonus material and like the page to help spread the word!

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

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

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

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

-AWE

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

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

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

Set List for The Funeral And The Twilight

1. Crusaders Of Death

2. Church Burner (1:30)

3. Sabina Isabella Pena (6:30)

4. Human King (9:55)

5. Salacity Pure (11:40)

6. Speak It’s Name (12:14)

7. Wipe The Blood (13:25)

8. Make This Man (17:09)

For more TFATT click the links below

http://thefuneralandthetwilight.bandcamp.com/

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

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