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Kansas City music

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Album review: Fake Fancy - New People (EP)

Self-described as “a boy and a girl that met over their mutual love for hardcore evangelical conservative beliefs and tequila shots,” an admittedly tongue-buried-firmly-in-cheek wry ironic smile weaves itself in and out of the tracks that make up the new EP from Fake Fancy, entitled New People.

At its core, this is two-person, boy-meets-girl lo-fi garage pop, reminiscent of Kansas City area darlings Schwervon!, only featuring a much more prevalent electronic edge. The lazy comparisons of The Black Keys or The White Stripes could certainly be applicable as well, but there is a deeper range of tone and darkness that deserves being mentioned here. A real separation from those two aforementioned duos comes from the wholesome balance established between the melancholy David Byrne vocal stylings of John Elijah against the more pure and sunshiny Sheryl Crow sound of Katie Vah. Coupled with the witty and elevated lyrical prowess, Fake Fancy rises above being “just another two-piece indie rock band.”
The EP has a multiple personality disorder in the best of ways, featuring a stirring amount of variance amongst six songs that come in at a total of eleven minutes. The sweet afternoon breeze strains of “If A Man Made A Machine” and “Summer Hours” provide trancelike respites from the more avant-garde, chaotic moments in “I Have A Drum Machine” and “Mild Violence.” “We Hold Hands” and “Aqua Teen” show Fake Fancy at its best, with head-bobbing beats, tight harmonies, and accessible yet charmingly odd instrumentation firing on all cylinders.
Overall, this is a tidy little slice of pop music. With a sonic landscape that effortlessly bounces from Downy fresh to the kind of sticky grime you find in an old broken down engine block, Fake Fancy makes no efforts to pigeon hole itself into one kind of sound.
--Zach Hodson
Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings begins production. He is also in Dolls on FireDrew Black & Dirty Electric, and Riot Riot Riot, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects.
Fake Fancy will be on KKFI 90.1 FM tonight, on High Voltage Rock N’ Roll Radio Show to release the album at midnight. The band will be playing at Jackpot Music Hall on Thursday, July 31, with 2twenty2, Little Time Off, and Onward to Glory!. Check them out.
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Barry Lee interviews Deli KC editor Michelle Bacon (Part 2 of 3)

Listen in as KKFI 90.1 station manager Barry Lee and The Deli KC editor and all-around musician Michelle Bacon converse about growing up in Kansas City, playing music, and the current local music scene in a special three-part audio verite series.
Click below to hear part two of the series.
Here is the link to part 1. Stay tuned for the final installment tomorrow.

And if you’re interested in hearing any of Michelle’s bands, Bandcamp links are below. You might as well listen to her do something she does much better than speaking.

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We Are Voices releases the first installment of Year

Today marks the start of a year-long journey that quartet We Are Voices will embark on. The whole project, appropriately titled Year, will take twelve months to complete. Once every quarter, the band will release a few singles and an accompanying music video. Four shows a year, four separate releases all feeding into Year. Today, Year I was released.
The two tracks embody all of the classic We Are Voices elements with a new twist.  The band builds its songs with clean drums; no distortions, no tricks, just a clean and clear kit. The bass is ample, pertinent, and easy to pick out. The guitars are in perfect harmony, which creates an ethereal and dynamic tune. The vocals are effortlessly spoken yet ultimately at the front of your attention.  
Year I starts with “Tear Me Apart,” a classic song in the We Are Voices style, but with a hint of a twist. The chorus that chimes in several times throughout the song (as choruses tend to do) is outrageously catchy. An indie-pop hit waiting to happen. The perfect lull of the song mixed with the heavy tones of the chorus mash up perfectly throughout the four-minute duration. The accompanying music video is for the same song, layering each band member on top of the other as they chime in. Starting with guitarist Carson Land on guitar, the flickering of the video hints at the motif of a flipbook. Guitarist Lucas Larson comes in, his images super-imposed over Land’s. Joshua Greenlee breaks in on drums, followed by Eric Baldwin on the bass. The video perfectly displays the layers that We Are Voices incorporate in their music.
The second, and final song of Year I is called “Disappear.” This song heavily features the piano, not a stranger to We Are Voices, but a pleasant visitor. Again, this song features an outstanding chorus that adds layer over layer, in a mellow, not empowering way. The verses are rather stripped down in the beginning, at least. The song structure is one that builds on top of itself rather than repeating. Encompassing music themes hold the song together.
These two singles have made the two-year lull in the band’s discography worth the wait. The fact that in another three months we can experience some more new singles from We Are Voices is very exciting as well. Year II should be out by October.
--Steven Ervay

Steven is an all-around awesome guy who works tirelessly for the KC music community. 

Tear Me Apart from w e . a r e . v o i c e s on Vimeo.


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Album review: Folkicide - The Meaningless Glare of Broken Human Beings

A back-and-forth between snare and minor acoustic chords chime in on the first track, “Meaningless Glare.” High-pitched, wailing, whining guitar feedback and plucking carry the song into the first verse and remain present throughout the song. Haunting harmonies of low-toned voices begin to speak to you, preaching the meaning behind people’s run-down existence. A very fitting introduction song to what is in store for the remainder of the album.

Kansas City’s premier despair-core outfit, Folkicide, is back at it again with his latest full-length. The Meaningless Glare of Broken Human Beings is thirteen tracks of what you have always wanted Folkicide to sound like. With this release, it is clear to tell and easy to say that Folkicide has found his voice.
Recorded over several of the warmer months of 2013 at Merriam Shoals Studio, Folkicide pulled out all the stops for this album: featuring guest appearances from some of KC’s finest, extra instrumentation on many songs, clean and clear guitars, and even some catchy tunes that will find their way through your brain and keep his mantras on repeat. Sticking to his roots, Folkicide infuses folk music with a heaping portion of attack on the establishment. Just take a look at the song titles and you’ll know what I mean: “Divine Violence,” “Melodic Screams,” and “Taste A Hate Like Mine” are all superb examples.
As mentioned, Folkicide has enlisted the help of his friends to bring this album to life. Marco Pascolini lent his guitar to track five, which also features Mikal Shapiro’s voice. The extra intricacies lend themselves useful in this track, and Shapiro’s voice just improves the song that much more. What good is a song titled “An Imaginary Rant From An Imaginary Girl” without striking female harmonies? Violins, a choir, organs, and trombones are among some of the other extra instrumentation dealt in by guest musicians.
If there were a lead single off of Meaningless Glare, it would have to be “Little Nihilist,” the eighth track on the album. Those charming minor chords that are a must-have in most every Folkicide song blend with clean and riffy electric guitar noises. Folkicide soon breaks in with a baritone voice shadowing his own. A strange bridge quickly ensues. Weird horns, chanted “ho-hum” vocals, layered acoustic jams, and vocals melodies bring up the backbone.
The Meaningless Glare of Broken Human Beings is arguably the best work Folkicide has put out to date. A perfect example of what he is and what you believe he stands for, which is a hazy topic. Thirteen tracks of melancholy and pessimism may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but these specific thirteen tracks are majorly accessible.
--Steven Ervay
Steven is an all-around awesome dude who works tirelessly for the KC music community.
Get a taste of Folkicide’s despair-core style on Monday, July 7 at East Wing, and Wednesday, July 9 at Davey’s Uptown for the Acoustic Mayhem series. 
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Album review: Attic Light - Different Shades of Black

Meticulously crafted with an ear towards commercial rock radio appeal, Attic Light throws down a heavy gauntlet of ‘90s-style alternative rock with its debut album, Different Shades of Black. The music tows a fine line between reminiscent and anachronistic, featuring just enough charm to not seem entirely dated. Like rock ‘n roll hero jigsaw puzzles mod-podged and hung on the wall in the living room, these six carefully welded arrangements channel hard rock acts from many generations, tipping the cap to Black Sabbath and Deep Purple just as much as their angsty little nephews Buckcherry and Chevelle.
“Demigod/Holiday” kicks off the album with a very garage-tinged Sex Bob-Omb distorted bass riff, quickly turning more towards Crash & the Boys and then promptly into Collective Soul. “Help Me Darlin’” is a skanky swamp groove, the kind of tune that should be accompanied by a brassy and costumed funeral procession down the sticky streets of New Orleans. “Spotlight,” with a sound akin to Alice in Chains or any Candlebox song not named “Far Behind,” will surely make all the Overland Park soccer moms throw up the horns with fervor.
When allowed to breathe and wander instrumentally, the songs develop an increased dynamic punch. The jammed out bridge/outro of “Market” is some of the more interesting work amongst the six tracks, bringing some sass and emotion to an otherwise heavily regimented soundscape. Whereas at times these songs may lack raw emotion and grit, they make up for it in clarity, precision, and sanitation of sound. The bass work of Patrick Rippeto and lead guitar of Mike Pittman particularly stand out, both knowing when best to flex their musicianship and when to lay back in the trenches.
Attic Light is finishing up a swift nine-appearance Midwest summer concert series with a KC album release show at Davey’s Uptown tomorrow, June 27 at 8 pm. If you’ve finally gotten over your Rockfest hangover, go check ‘em out, with Uncountable Kings, Fake Fancy, and Electric Third Rail. Facebook event page.
--Zach Hodson

Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings begins production. He is also in Dolls on FireDrew Black & Dirty Electric, and Riot Riot Riot, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects. 





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