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Kansas City music

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Song premiere: "Bad To Me" by Margo May

(Photo by Hannah Lavenburg)
 
The Deli KC is excited to premiere the latest track from Margo May, “Bad To Me,” off her forthcoming album I’m Not Coming Home.
 
May credits much of her songwriting to Elliott Smith, whose voice comes through on this track’s melodic arrangement and its stripped-down, heart-rending honesty. She wrote “Bad To Me” as a result of a relationship gone wrong: “I really had to question my intention if I was a good or bad person,” she says. “A week later with no phone or Internet and I got ‘Bad To Me’ on my self reflection.”
 
The raw delivery of the song mirrors the intimate tone of the album, a departure from May’s polished pop tunes of the past. Recorded/produced in Kansas City by Tim J. Harte (Mother Russia Industries), its lo-fi sound lends more poignancy and sincerity to her subtle, breathy vocals and Doby Watson’s sublime, tasteful fingerpicking.
 
I’m Not Coming Home will be co-released on Mother Russia Industries and Double Shift Music and was mastered by Cory Schultz in Milwaukee. May and Watson will be embarking on a short tour in July, which includes an official album release show at Prospero’s on July 19.
 
 
--Michelle Bacon
 

Michelle is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands. 

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June Artist of the Month: Brooklyn Rye

Congrats to our June Artist of the Month, Brooklyn Rye! This new blues-influenced rock/pop group is fairly to the KC/Lawrence scene, making its live debut earlier this year. Find out more about the band and see what they have coming up.
 
The Deli: Down and dirty: one sentence to describe your music.
 
Brooklyn Rye: Time warped rock & roll best paired with a good whiskey.
 
The Deli: Give me some background on Brooklyn Rye. How did the band come to be?
 
Brooklyn Rye: The band started nameless in the dormitories of a small junior college in southeastern Kansas. Zach Dodson, Branden Moser, and Steven Bauer passed the time by creating simple progression songs with melodies that usually piqued the humor of the group. Bauer and Moser continued writing songs in this fashion before forming their first band in summer 2014. Kyle Babson had played with a group of friends in college and had toured the Midwest before meeting Bauer, Moser, and Dodson. On the search for a female vocalist Moser found Grace Griffin, who had been a solo singer-songwriter looking to collaborate with other musicians around the Kansas City area. Then we started jamming and haven't stopped.
 
The Deli: What inspires your music and songwriting?
 
Brooklyn Rye:Life, love, loss, hope, sex. We write about what everybody feels and goes through in their life. We just tell our side of the story. We try to always push each other out of our comfort zones and try to create something that has parts of all of us. A Frankenstein of music roaming the streets of Kansas City.
 
The Deli: What have been your greatest accomplishments as a band?
 
Brooklyn Rye: We feel that being able to play music everyday with your best friends and share that music is our greatest feat. We are just lucky enough to have the opportunity. But we are honored to receive the Deli KC’s Emerging Artist of the Month.
 
The Deli: Do you have any recorded music or anything in the works? What can we expect?
 
Brooklyn Rye: We have released two demo tracks (“Demon Shake” and “Hangman”). We have an EP in the works without a release date at the moment but probably winter/spring . In the meantime, we are branching out later this summer/fall to continue pushing our own boundaries and road test new songs for the record. We adore playing live so we just try to work sessions around that.
 
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
 
Brooklyn Rye: In Kansas City alone, there are hundreds of bands that go unnoticed that have a great deal of talent. This city has so much to tell the world, and Kansas City's choice of medium just happens to be song, which is pretty damn cool. We like to believe in the underdog and that you can make music and be seen and heard no matter where you're from.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?
 
Brooklyn Rye: Grand Villanova, Me Like Bees, Scruffy and The Janitors, Radkey, and the other bands in the poll with us.
 
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
 
Brooklyn Rye: The ‘69 Woodstock bill would be pretty rad.
 
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
 
Branden Moser: That's impossible. I'd put the other four members of our band on there. They're pretty good looking and would provide great overseers for the people of South Dakota.
 
The Deli: What goals does Brooklyn Rye have for 2015, and beyond?
 
Brooklyn Rye: Recordings, festivals, gigs—anything we can get our hands on. We want to fully immerse ourselves in music.
 
The Deli: Where can we find you on the web?
 
Brooklyn Rye: www.brooklynrye.fm
 
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
 
Brooklyn Rye: Stay hydrated and ration the use of selfie sticks, people.
 
Brooklyn Rye is:
Steven Bauer: vocals
Kyle Babson: bass, guitar
Zach Dodson: drums
Grace Griffin: vocals
Branden Moser: guitar
 
 
--Michelle Bacon
 

Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands.

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Artist on Trial: Witch Jail

Though they created an online presence two years ago, Witch Jail has only been playing out as a band for a short time. Formed by husband-and-wife team Rob Gillaspie and Emily Filley, the group recently added drummer Zach Turner to the mix. Gillaspie—formerly of Lawrence bands The Spook Lights and Pale Hearts, as well as The Cramps tribute band Stay Sick—lends his extravagant frontman stylings to the surfy, primitive garage rock band. Witch Jail’s music has all the makings of the soundtrack to a sleazy horror movie, and we mean that in the best possible way. The trio sat down together to answer our questions, and we think you’ll be amused by the answers.
 
The Deli: Down and dirty: one sentence to describe your music.
 
Zach Turner: Pineapple Boom Bop.
Rob Gillaspie: LISTENABLE. Incredibly listenable Pineapple Boom Bop.
Emily Filley: A 45 you find in a thrift store dumpster but don't know if you wanna listen to it.
Rob: I would. It's LISTENABLE.
Zach: It came from the garbage disposal.
 
The Deli: Give me some background on Witch Jail. How did the band come to be?
 
Rob: There is this picture from the ‘40s of these classy­looking schoolgals standing in front of the old Salem Witch Jail in Massachusetts. We saw that and decided to steal the name before anyone else could. Made a Facebook page and a Bandcamp page before we even had any instruments. Locked it down. Conjured up the band around it. SORCERY. I'm used to just being a wild­ass frontman, breaking bottles on my head and taking off my pants and all that... so being anchored to a guitar has been a real humbling experience for me. It's a good thing.
Emily: You forced me to play guitar even though I was super sick.
Rob: What?
Emily: Yeah! Remember that time I was sick for 6 weeks?
Rob: I forced you to play guitar?
Emily: Yeah, you were like, “We should do this!” and I was like, “I can't even stay awake right now.”
Rob: So you're saying I healed you? I cured your illness?
Emily: Yes.
Rob: THAT'S WITCHCRAFT.
Emily: We went through a slew of drummers. Then Zach came up to us in a bar and asked if he could play drums for us.
Zach: That's how I get all my drumming gigs. I just go up to people and ask. That's how I ended up playing with Folkicide, too.
 
The Deli: What inspires your music and songwriting?
 
Rob: Vintage melodramas. Old comics and sleazy movie trailers. Slime. Artists of singular vision­­ like Doris Wishman or that guy who directed Miami Connection. Unsolved murders. Drugs, obviously. The Devil—not the metal one but the blues one. Ghosts—at my age, the kind of life I've led, you start to know quite a few of them.
Emily: Romance comics, cats, shoplifting, movies.
Zach: Sticky buns. I think about sticky buns. Don't put that.
Emily: Those sticky buns are gonna be good when I'm done. Better hurry up and finish this song.
Rob: What about your drumming? What inspires your drumming?
Zach: I just like to hit stuff.
 
The Deli: What have been your greatest accomplishments as a band?
 
Emily: Not getting frostbite in the shed at Satan's Gay Acid Bath.
Rob: I was gonna use that show, too. Opening for Guantanamo Baywatch in that freezing shed. They're one of my favorite bands. Also, Getting Zach to play drums for us.
Zach: I don't know. SHE'S ASKING THE TOUGH QUESTIONS. I thought this was gonna be a fluff piece.
Rob: Actually, the fact that we're playing shows ANYWHERE is an accomplishment. I'm just happy Kansas City has been such a good fit for us. We love it here.
 
The Deli: Rob, you’ve been playing music in the KC/Lawrence area for a number of years. How has the scene changed, in your opinion?
 
Rob: I don't know that it's changed a whole lot. The way I interact with it has changed as I've gotten older, sure... I think the only thing that really changes in a scene is perspective. The music in KC has ALWAYS been on point. It's a creative town, lots of energy here. That being said, there's always an ebb and flow. Kansas City just happens to be FLOWING in a huge way right now. We just moved here after living in Lawrence for 20 years. Lawrence is... not really a GULCH these days, but close. There's certain things going on with the economy over there that makes it hard to be a struggling artist. Which is probably why KC keeps stealing such great talent from there, ha ha ha. I know it's a BIG reason we decided to migrate here.
 
The Deli: Do you have any recorded music or anything in the works? What can we expect?
 
Rob: We have a really rough demo up on our Bandcamp page, but we're gonna record everything over again, then start shooting music videos. Maybe do a horror movie about killer cats. And definitely put out a tape soon.
 
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
 
Rob: Reducing the amount of shit I talk online about local bands I don't like.
Emily: Buying a round of shots for bands when we see them play.
Rob: I'm too broke and crotchety to get out to all of the shows I want to see, which is A LOT of shows, so I try to do my part by spreading the word to people, help build audiences. I've been trying to do art for local bands that I like, too, whether they want it or not. Ha ha ha.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?
 
Witch Jail: Johnny Blood. Lazy. Schwervon!. Psychic Heat. Drugs and Attics. Cop Knock. Folkicide. The Quivers. The Bad Ideas. The Latenight Callers. That band Bill Murray likes (The Philistines). Pretty much any band playing at the Green Lady.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite non-local musicians right now?
 
Rob: Martin Denny? Liberace?
Emily: Can it all just be dead people?
Zach: Guantanamo Baywatch. Shannon and the Clams.
Rob: La Luz. I like them a lot.
Emily: Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds.
Zach: Cherry Pits are really good. The Rebel.
Rob: I listen to rock music some of the time, but when I'm at home I mostly listen to exotica albums and lounge music.
Zach: I mostly listen to bubble-gum pop and soundtrack music.
 
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
 
Zach: Wrestlemania in Hawaii.
Emily: Hasil Adkins with Tom Lehrer and The Cramps. The Cramps with Kid Congo.
Zach: I don't know. I don't really have a fantasy concert.
Rob: Playing at some seedy fucking titty bar in the 1950s and ending up on one of those Las Vegas Grind comps later on. Or opening for ourselves from 20 years in the future.
Zach: I'm not really a concert guy. So I don't really have one. I like albums better.
Rob: That's a really good answer. I feel like a lot of people come up with really extravagant concerts…
Emily: "The Who and Cher!"
Rob: …I think that's a way more honest answer though. I totally feel that.
 
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
 
Rob: We were gonna say the Residents at one point, just four eyeballs.
Emily: Poison Ivy, Levi Stubbs, Mark Mothersbaugh, and Tuna from the Rock Cats.
Zach: Paul McCartney, John Cage, Erik Satie, Macho Man Randy Savage. There was a question on one of those Legends of Wrestling specials; it was an episode about managers, and they actually had a graphic of their top four managers on Mount Rushmore.
Rob: No girl groups?
Zach: Fuck. I wanna change Macho Man to Ronnie Spector now.
Rob: Martin Denny, Link Wray, Mrs. Miller... Nah, my Mount Rushmore is gonna have The Chipmunks and Screamin' Jay Hawkins on it.
Emily: You're just doing that out of spite!
 
The Deli: What goals does Witch Jail have for 2015, and beyond?
 
Emily: Get the all­important Dan Aykroyd endorsement.
Rob: Get a Crystal Skull vodka endorsement.
Zach: I don't like vodka, though.
Rob: You like Dan Aykroyd, don't you? Then you'll like his vodka.
Emily: We'll just fill a crystal skull with gin for you.
Rob: Also, supporting Zach in his bid to become a pro wrestling manager. What's the story with that?
Zach: The story is, I got a walrus in my bathtub and a crapper fulla diamonds, and I'm gonna buy me a fucking champion!
Emily: And we're gonna ride his coattails to stardom.
 
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
 
Zach: You should probably die before the war.
Emily: Good times, great oldies.
Rob: Never shower. It washes your creativity down the drain.
 
Witch Jail is:
Rob Gillaspie (Guy Slimey): guitar, vocals
Emily Filley (Suzy Bones): guitar
Zach Turner (Tommy Guyana): drums
 
There are several opportunities to catch Witch Jail this month; the first is tomorrow, June 9, at recordBar with Lazy, Heavy Buffalo, and Mr. & the Mrs. Facebook event page. They’ll also be at East Wing next Wednesday, June 17.
 
 
--Michelle Bacon
 
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands.
 
 

 

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Too Much Rock's 7" series: The Uncouth!

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
 
The fourth installment of Too Much Rock’s 7” single series features The Uncouth!, arguably the leading purveyors of Kansas City’s Oi! scene. Too Much Rock has also released singles from Schwervon!, Rev Gusto, and Josh Berwanger Band; each 7” includes an original song from the band and a cover chosen by TMR’s Sid Sowder.
 
The album’s A-side is “KC United,” a 2-and-a-half-minute track that celebrates KC pride and displays what The Uncouth! does best: producing unabashed, fast-paced anthems with a classic punk throwback. This carries over onto the B-side, a cover of “Gudbuy T’Jane,” a 1972 hit from Slade, who influenced both the skinhead and glam rock scenes. The KC trio’s interpretation retains the original’s rhythmic drive and adds its own brand of immediacy and ferocity.
 
Check out this single from The Uncouth!, also available on Teenage Heart Stateside Distro.
 
 
--Michelle Bacon
 
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands. 
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Show review: Deco Auto with The English Beat

(Photo by Elizabeth Garcia)
 
Friday night, I was 16 again, except for the part about needing a fake ID to get into the club. If there wasn't a good time being had by anyone and everyone in the vicinity of Knuckleheads, well, it's on them, because all the ingredients were assembled for them—all they had to do was shake.
 
Deco Auto got things rolling, and the only problem I had with their set was that it wasn't long enough. Seriously, seven songs? These guys deserve more. Steven Garcia just wails, both his vocals and his guitar; Tracy Flowers maintains the power pop beat with some of the most right-on bass playing in Kansas City, or anywhere else for that fact. The band is rounded out with Pat Tomek on drums. You know who he is. He's the unnamed drummer who not only didn't object, but probably thought it was a grand idea for Steve, Bob & Rich to change their name and become The Rainmakers.
 
But they're resourceful and made the most of what they had to work with, and played mostly new stuff from the new LP The Curse of Deco Auto (which is awesome and you should buy a copy). They closed with a crowd favorite, “The Mercy Kind.” I can only imagine the speeding tickets that song has inspired.
 
Deco Auto opening for The English Beat was like a pyromaniac gleefully setting a blaze, and then watching with smug satisfaction as the headliner fanned the flames.
 
And fan the flames they did. For two hours, they burned down the house. If you haven't gotten it by now, I'll just tell you… I had a great time. For a few hours I was as carefree as I was when they provided the soundtrack of my youth, and that was the effect they wanted to have. The Beat has a new album coming out next month, and the playlist interspersed songs from it with the songs of our youth that most of the attendees came to hear… “Tears of a Clown,” “Save it for Later,” “Hands Off…She's Mine,” “Mirror in the Bathroom,” “Twist & Crawl”… they knew what several hundred people turned out on a glorious May evening for, and they did not disappoint. For more than two hours they had the crowd on their feet, dancing and skanking (relax, it just means 'boogying' in ska-speak) and forgetting all about the babysitters that were on the clock and making more than the revelers made in their first two or three jobs combined. But no one cared, because the show they came for… they got.
 
--Tammy Booth
 

Tammy also blogs at They Gave Us A Republic and Show Me Progress.

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