I’m not entirely sure what the end result of a local-centric music blog posting regional tour dates for a band would be, but Google search results are a hell of a thing, and this is my website anyway so get off my lawn.
Lawrence indie-pop quartet Cowboy Indian Bear are kicking off a two-week tour of the Midwest tonight with a show at the FOKL Gallery (host to the upcoming Psychfest) and will be playing with locals The Atlantic and Maps For Travelers. After tonight, they’ll be venturing over to Springfield, MO, and beyond until they make their grand return for a homecoming matinee with the fantastic Ghosty at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence on May 19th. It is highly recommended you attend if they are coming through your town.
See the band’s video for “Saline” from 2010′s Each Other All the Time below, and stream or download their Daytrotter session here.
Cowboy Indian Bear spring tour 2012:
05/04: Kansas City, KS @ FOKL
05/05: Springfield, MO @ The Outland
05/06: St. Louis, MO @ Cicero’s
05/07: Clarksville, TN @ The Coup
05/08: Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone Cafe
05/09: Louisville, KY @ Zazoos
05/10: Champaign, IL @ Cowboy Monkey
05/11: Rock Island, IL @ Rozz Tox
05/13: Chicago, IL @ The Whistler
05/14: Milwaukee, WI @ Frank’s Powerplant
05/16: Minneapolis, MN @ 400 Bar
05/17: Omaha, NE @ The Sandbox
05/18: Lincoln, NE @ Knickerbockers
05/19: Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
Next month, Katlyn Conroy will be hitting the road for nearly two weeks on her first ever tour as La Guerre. Conroy has been performing under various monikers and with different bands in the local music scene for the last few years, and officially became the fourth member of Cowboy Indian Bear after the release of their debut full-length. With La Guerre, she is given free rein to explore the darkest crevasses of minimalistic twee, and is expected to have a release out later this year on The Record Machine. Once again, if you don’t go see her when she comes through your town, you’ll be missing out.
Stream her song from the RSD collab between TRM and Golden Sound Records:
La Guerre summer tour 2012:
06/06: Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck w/ CS Luxem, Spirit is the Spirit
06/07: Kansas City, MO @ recordBar w/ Melismatics, Shadow Paint
06/08: Columbia, MO @ TBA w/ Enemy Airship
06/09: Saint Louis, MO @ TBA w/ Middle Class Fashion, Golden Curls
06/10: Nashville, TN @ TBA
06/11: Athens, GA @ The Go Bar
06/12: Savannah, GA @ Graveface Records w/ Jamison Murphy
06:12: Savannah, GA @ Sparetime
06/15: Atlanta, GA @ TBA w/ We the Lion
06/16: Birmingham, AL @ TBA w/ Lauren-Michael Sellers, Delicate Cutters
06/17: Memphis, TN @ The Hi Tone w/ Michaela Caitlin, The Memphis Dawls
06/18: Springfield, MO @ The Lindbergs Bar w/ The North Decade
There’s always a slight stigma around an independent local band trying to break out and “make it.” Often times, this is met with a knee-jerk reaction accompanied by cliché insults that almost always allude to the artists in question selling out. There is no shame in a talented band making the commitment to bring their music to the masses, and furthermore no disgrace in trying to crawl out of the dive bars– all while keeping the integrity that gained them a reputation in the beginning.
Kansas City’s Antennas Up are throwing their hats in the ring and trying to do just that. The foursome gained some local press upon release of their debut, self-titled full length three years ago, and their ’70s funk, attraction to outer space and proclivity toward unadulterated pop drew comparisons to artists such as Daft Punk and Jamiroquai, neither of which are entirely inaccurate. The follow-up has been a two-year process of the band writing and recording in multiple locations over and over, and whittling the resulting final song list down to only ten.
On May 15th, The Awkward Phase will be released as the band’s sophomore album, and with it a 10-week, nationwide radio campaign with Vitriol (whose client roster includes Daft Punk and Metric, as well as projects from Arthur Dodge and Danny Pound) in an attempt to get the band’s music on the air at 300 different stations. Unfortunately, promotional companies don’t work for free. To circumvent the costs that will incur from this opportunity, the band has launched a $2,500 kickstarter project with multiple tiers offering those who pledge digital downloads, autographed albums and posters, personalized art, and a customized vocoder cell phone answering machine/ringtone.
The band will be playing a CD release show at the Riot Room on April 27th, with support from Flashbulb Fires and The Hipnecks.
Nearly a decade has passed since SHINER played their final show at the Madrid Theatre in 2003. The group left their legacy at a high point, having released a handful of acclaimed full-lengths and singles on labels ranging from Sub Pop (freshly into their Warner partnership) to Kansas City’s own Anodyne Records. The band was heralded for their affinity for twinkly, spaced out guitar work and chunky riffs, and were contemporaries of fellow space-rock cohorts Hum and Failure, managing to curate a sizable fan base in their eleven years of activity.
All things must come to an end, and the same is true for SHINER. The band existed no more, but the members were anything but silent in their projects that followed. Allen Epley returned shortly after with The Life and Times, a band that to this day releases material able to rival that of SHINER’s in their sonic magnitude. Josh Newton and Paul Malinowski (both formerly bassists in Season to Risk) as well as Jason Gerken (Molly McGuire) all saw fleeting glimpses of celebrity in their acts to follow, Newton joining nationally touring bands From Autumn to Ashes and Every Time I Die, and Malinowski and Gerken taking up with Open Hand.
Years of silence came from the band, and occasionally a blip would surface with rumors of a reunion. Record nerds had something new to be excited about in early 2012, when news that the band’s final full-length The Egg was finally getting the vinyl treatment. In addition to this, the band announced that they would come together for a few reunion shows later in the year. Four reunion shows, to be exact — and it doesn’t take a genius to piece together that Epley lives in Chicago, Newton in NYC, Gerken in LA, and Malinowski in KC, making three of the four shows in the largest metropolitan areas in the country, but only one in the best (spoiler alert: I’m talking about Kansas City).
Today, the Granada in Lawrence revealed that they will be the host of the band’s single area reunion, to be held Friday, August 24th. The $20 tickets will be released this Friday, and it is suggested that you grab yours quickly, as it will surely sell out. No openers have been announced yet, but come on, does that really matter?
UPDATE 04/24/12 – the rest of the band’s reunion shows have been announced, and are as follows:
08/11/12 @ Irving Plaza (New York City)
08/18/12 @ Echoplex (Los Angeles)
08/24/12 @ The Granada (Lawrence)
08/25/12 @ The Bottom Lounge (Chicago)
I have been waiting more than a month to find out just who will be playing the inaugural KC Psychfest. Announced yesterday, the collective at the FOKL (556 Central Ave) will be presenting 30 bands in their space on May 18th and 19th (the website also lists the 20th as part of the event). Tickets are available now, single day passes for Friday and Saturday are $11 a piece, Sunday is $8, or you can get the all-inclusive weekend pass for only $21. They can also be picked up in person from Earwaxx Records, Zebedee’s, or Love Garden for you Lawrence folk. With record store day coming up this weekend, you’ll have a perfect opportunity to grab a pair for you and your closest warped-minded friend.
As initially announced, the weekend festival will not only include the sanity crushing sounds of various artists from the metro and beyond, but will also contain art displays in the gallery, and what is looking to be a pretty intriguing sculptural video installation. Unfortunately, no specific set times have been announced, but I expect they will be made public before too long. See the full list below. I’ve included links to music and notes where applicable.
KC Psychfest 2012 lineup:
Umberto (KC – Matt Hill is a former collaborator of Justin Wright’s Expo ’70)
Dylan Ettinger (Bloomington, IN)
Expo ’70 (KC)
Mr. Marco’s V7 (KC – Marco Pascolini is an unstoppable force)
Monta At Odds (KC)
Metatone (presumably KC, has collaborated with a local Balinese gamelan)
Karma Vision (Lawrence)
The Conquerors (KC)
Gemini Revolution (KC – members of Monta at Odds)
Vor Onus (KC)
South Bitch Diet (KC – side project from Brock Potucek of Lazy)
Box The Compass (KC – no website that could be found)
Sounding The Deep (KC)
Restless Breed (KC)
Import/Export (KC – one of the many John Bersuch projects)
Kevin Harris (St. Louis)
Surroundher (KC – a project of Sterling Holman of Import/Export and Sky Burial)
Discoverer (KC – side project of Brandon Knocke from Parts of Speech)
Thee Devotion (KC)
Carnal Torpor (KC – project of J Ashley Miller from SSION)
Jorge Arana Trio (KC)
Twofaced (presumably KC, but no website could be found)
CS Luxem (KC)
Yuo (presumably KC)
Spring is in the air, Kansas City! All over town, the trees are fighting to bud, and the midtown crackheads are beginning to bloom, shuffling up and down Broadway without direction. Each night that passes will see more and more people flooding out onto the sidewalks in front of crowded bars and venues offering a spot for music fans to dwell and catch up with friends over beers. In less than a month, Westport will be a mass of asymmetrical haircuts, tight jeans, denim jackets, and PBR cans as far as the eye can see. The second year of the Middle Of The Map Festival is upon us, bringing in over 80 bands from around the city and across the world, and the sounds that will be heard around the central hub will vary from electronic pop, to any variety of indie rock, to the occasional thrashy metallic hardcore band.
What you may not hear, though, is a large assortment of punk rock. Outside the additions of touring bands like Mission of Burma and Fucked Up, or local weirdos like Cher U.K., the inclusion of punk is wholly non-existent in the festival. This did not go unnoticed by the local punk scene, and a few members of the community pulled together their friends to put on what they have cheekily dubbed the Center Of The City Festival. The two-day, 21+ event will be held the nights of April 6-7 at The News Room (3740 Broadway) and will provide a shelter for those who wish to avoid the festivities occurring just south, while still getting their fill of live music (though you can still expect to see just as many asymmetrical haircuts, tight jeans, denim jackets and PBR cans).The schedule is below, with links to music. Keep up with any changes that may happen here:
Friday, April 6th:
07:30 The Rackatees (Lawrence)
08:15 Smash The State! (KC)
09:00 Dead Ven (KC)
09:45 Bent Left (KC)
10:30 Iron Guts Kelly (Lawrence)
11:15 The Alerts (KC/Lawrence)
12:00 Red Kate (KC)
12:45 Dismantle The Virus (Lawrence)
Saturday, April 7th:
07:30 The Bad Ideas (KC)
08:15 Brutally Frank (Joplin, MO)
09:00 Hipshot Killer (KC)
09:45 Death Valley Wolfriders (KC)
10:30 They Stay Dead (Oklahoma City)
11:15 Bombs Over Broadway (KC)
12:00 Pizza Party Massacre (KC)
Kansas City, KS, gallery space FOKL (556 Central Ave) will be hosting the first KC Psychfest this spring, on May 18th and 19th. The full lineup has not yet been announced, but the press release reveals that it will be a two-day multimedia festival featuring psychedelic bands, live VJs, and visual artists from the KC Metro and Midwest.
Thus far, the only bands featured on the bill will be KC mainstays Expo ’70, CVLTS, Goodwillies, Be/Non, The Conquerors, Monta At Odds, and Lawrence band Karma Vision. With a lineup like that, I’ll estimate that additions from Umberto, High Diving Ponies, and LAZY are to be expected soon, as well as what I’d guess will be a handful of decent touring national acts, and a few bands that just happen to be coming through the area this May that may be thrown on the bill for the hell of it. Keep an eye on the venue’s website for more info.
This won’t be news to anyone who already follows the local music announcements that have been building in anticipation of this year’s Middle of the Map festival, but Kansas City’s own Molly McGuire will be reuniting for what is currently being billed as a one-off show. The band’s recently successful kickstarter campaign also means we can expect a new album from them in the near future, and on vinyl to boot. Joining Molly onstage will be a Men Are Monkeys, Robots Win era Season to Risk (meaning they will have Shiner‘s Josh Newton in tow), a reunion from The Esoteric (no word on whether this will be career-spanning, or focus on their earlier, more experimental sounds), and an opening slot from the never-quite-broken-up Cher UK.
Molly McGuire has not played live in over a decade, and were a mainstay at venues like The Hurricane (now Riot Room). As the band ran its natural course, the members’ musical interests began to skew in varying directions. The band Gunfighter was started as a side-project, but after the Epic Records-released (and Ken Andrews-produced) Molly album Lime, what was once a hobby band gradually pulled in all of front man Jason Blackmore’s focus. Upon Gunfighter becoming his primary concern, Blackmore moved to California to begin anew, with a fresh take on his songwriting. The band, like any other, ran its natural course through various lineup changes and eventually sputtered out quietly with a death rattle few were paying attention to at that point.
Blackmore then experimented with the mercifully short-lived Kingdom of Snakes, a quartet which garnered Molly, S2R and Shiner drummer Jason Gerken, and featured two members from the nu-metal band Nothingface. Let us all take a moment of silence to appreciate the quickness with which that project ended. Blackmore still resides in California to this day, and began talking with his former band mates about an album which they were never able to record and release, and what the chances would be anyone would still care. If the kickstarter is any indication (pulling in almost $6,500 with a $5,000 goal), the people are anxiously awaiting the new material.
The show is scheduled for April 5th at the RecordBar, and is slated to be a kickoff, of sorts, for the festival. The first 500 MOTM ticket purchasers are guaranteed entry (not that the venue holds that many) and it is first come, first served after that.
I would be a fool to hunt down and post every local show happening in the coming months. The metro area is experiencing a musical boom, and has been for the past few years, so I suppose limiting myself in the amount of shows I post here is both good and bad. Good that there are so many choices, but bad in that I don’t wish to show preferential treatment against those I choose to exclude. These days, most local events are pretty easy to track via the bands, venues or promoters participating in them, so if you miss out on something you only have yourself to blame.
CANCELED: The September 29th Unwritten Law show at The Beaumont Club has been canceled, likely due to co-headliner The Ataris inexplicably dropping off the bill. The show previously had three KC bands in support, including Hipshot Killer, Bent Left, and Le Grand. Hipshot Killer is one of the best melodic punk bands to come out of KC in a long time. If you haven’t already, you can pick up the band’s debut 12 inch at Vinyl Renaissance on 39th Street. For the tech savvy, a digital version can be purchased from their bandcamp here. Bent Left has been a mainstay in the local punk scene for the better part of a decade, and has many politically-charged albums and EPs which can be purchased either through local stores or directly from the band. Le Grand, while not my bag, probably has a built-in fanbase with high schoolers who love auto-tuned and frankly generic pseudo-punk and/or radio-friendly “screamo.” Not trying to put baby in a corner or anything, but I have to call it like I hear it.
09/23: Kansas City via Chicago (or vice versa) space rockers The Life and Times are heading up an event at Crosstown Station for those who want to punish their eardrums (in a good way, of course). Not only will this be one of the venue’s last shows before their untimely demise of being turned into an urban church, but it will be one of only two times the headliner will make an appearance in our town before the end of the year (the other being an opening slot on the 11/04 HUM show at recordBar). Opening the Crosstown show will be thirty-something favorites Dirtnap (Are they together? Are they split up?), Larryville newcomer indie-pop sensations Cowboy Indian Bear, and Cherokee Rock Rifle, a hard-rockin’, hard-drinkin’, hard-sexin’ foursome with only one release under their belt, but a steadily growing local following due to the charisma of bar tending front man Nathaniel “Dutch” Humphrey.
10/01: Crosstown Station will be saying it’s goodbyes with a final live music show on October 1st. The list of names on the bill is long, not the least of which is a rare reunion from Giants Chair, co-creators of a ’90s indie rock sub-genre lovingly referred to by some as the “Kansas City sound” (shared in part with Molly McGuire, Shiner, et al). Also performing as part of the festivities will be Be/Non (the ever-changing sounds of the prolific Brodie Rush), Thee Water Moccasins (a side project of Roman Numerals), Minden (new project from members of Kelpie), Olivetti Letter (a brand spankin’ new band with members of To Conquer, Season to Risk, Doris Henson, and many others), Olympic Size (a mostly one-off project between members of Doris Henson, The Belles, and Roman Numerals that still pop up for an occasional gig), local jazz outfit Diverse (who often team up with other local musicians to pay tribute to past influences), and the synth-heavy sounds of Parts of Speech. Other unannounced and unbilled (Major Games) special guests are expected to appear, and if you are free that evening, you would be wise to attend.
10/15: Kansas City label The Record Machine is releasing a new split 7 inch between locals Soft Reeds and Minden, and The Brick will serve as host to their record release on October 15th. Also opening will be TRM newcomers Deadringers. The event will be 21+, and the cover will probably be $7. Even if the flier says $5, bring $7, as the venue in question has a history of magically increasing their cover charges the evening of the show. Hear Deadringers’ single publicly released demo track here, and while we’re on the topic of TRM, go here to stream and purchase the debut LP from Ad Astra Arkesta. New releases (and coinciding release shows) can be expected from Capybara and Max Justus before the end of the year as well. If 2010 treated The Record Machine well, and 2011 has placed them in a local spotlight, it will be interesting to see what 2012 has in store for the label.
10/25: Last but not least, Season to Risk will be playing a very unexpected second gig this October, opening for the once great Helmet (or, as they have become since reuniting, Page Hamilton & Co) at Riot Room. Locals Waiting For Signal will be rounding out what is currently only a three band bill, sure to give at least some in the crowd a migraine due to either S2R’s smoke machine, or the deafening wall of noise coming from much of the lineup. Helmet has reportedly been playing a respectable amount of their older material, covering a lot of songs from Betty, Aftertaste, Meantime, and Strap It On. But, as is to be expected, at least part of their set will involve some of their newer, inferior songs as well. Season to Risk revealed before their first show of 2011 last month that they have now written two new songs as an inactive band. There is hardly any chance they will ever be recorded, so if you want to hear them, you know what you need to do.
As stated earlier this afternoon on the band’s Facebook page, Rooftop Vigilantes have decided to get back together and continue melting Lawrence’s collective face off with their blistering garage pop. The details of why the band originally parted ways is pretty muddy, but multi-instrumentalist Zach Campbell has been busy with his newest band Mouthbreathers for the last few months. Their new 7 inch can be expected out on In the Red Records any day, now. Campbell has also kept himself from getting idle by starting up his own one-man bedroom garage pop band (not terribly far away from Rooftop, though more stripped down) under the name Trailer Blazed. Those songs can be heard on his bandcamp page here.
It appears as though the original break was caused at least in part by frustration at not finding a label to release their long-awaited follow-up to 2009′s Carrot Atlas (WoodenMan Records), still tentatively titled Real Pony Glue. The band also released a well-received four song cassette called Who Stole My Zoo? (Lovely Sea Records) in early summer 2010. Rooftop Vigilantes have made multiple treks around the country, in turn garnering quite a bit of a name for themselves, even getting coverage as a Stereogum Band to Watch in June of 2008. A series of events (or luck) also caused them to be the only local band to perform at last October’s Scion Garage Fest, held around the downtown Lawrence area. Witnesses of their set saw them perform a very different take on The Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait,” with a keyboard in place of the iconic lead-in guitar hook.
In addition to the band’s plans to self-release their new album, they have already announced their intentions to release not only an EP (dubbed the Party Animal EP), but a third LP as well. These new songs could be heard at live shows before the band decided to, in their words, “wet the bed.” If you missed out on any of those then not to fear, because the band will be making their comeback at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence on September 29th, with local favorites Fourth of July.
Ultimate Fakebook will be playing their only show (they really can’t be called reunions at this point) of the year at The Bottleneck on October 29th, and various parties involved have been working hard to make sure it is a must-see event. The stars aligned, and both Podstar and The Touchdowns will be playing long-awaited reunions, The ACB’s being the only currently active band on the bill. That is, unless you count the tribute band Pyromaniac.
For the uninformed, Podstar was a Lawrence power-punk sensation earlier last decade, and the quartet’s disbanding more or less coincided with Fakebook deciding to call it quits, and thus The Dead Girls was formed out of the ashes of both. Podstar’s Cameron Hawk (bass in Podstar, guitar in TDG), JoJo Longbottom (guitar) and UFB’s Nick Colby (bass) and Eric Melin (drums) came together and are still very active to this day. The Touchdowns formed in Iola, KS, and were close friends with Podstar, to the point that drummer Ryan Magnuson moved behind the kit at the Podstar camp, replacing JP Redmon prior to the release of the band’s sophomore and final album, 2002′s Lovely 32.
The ACB’s released Stona Rosa, one of the best local albums of the entire year in early 2011, and have been playing local shows and touring when possible. The band recorded a Daytrotter session earlier in the summer that is expected to go live any day now. Pyromaniac is from Manhattan, KS, and will be playing a raucous set paying homage to what is sure to be some of the more scandalous and drug-fueled hair metal that was popular in the ’80s. This is an ’80s themed evening, after all.
This is all just the beginning of what has been dubbed the Revenge of the Nerds Halloween Ball, sponsored in part by KJHK. Other things to be expected include air guitar performances, UFB karaoke and an acoustic set, a costume contest and some yet to be announced special guests. Get more info here. The doors open at 5PM, and tickets are only $13, so make sure you pace yourself with the drinking. I know I won’t.