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KC music





Album review: Bloodbirds - MMXIII

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
 
Twenty-year veterans of the LFK/KC underground music scene, Mike and Brooke Tuley have played with a number of bands familiar to local rock audiences. Best known for their time with Ad Astra Per Aspera, they established Bloodbirds in 2011 with the intent of cutting loose and shaking things up.
 
And they have. Dense, dark—equal parts Fun House (Stooges), Spacemen 3 and Black Angels—Bloodbirds’ newest release MMXIII may also be their swan song, given the departure of bassist Anna St. Louis for Chicago. In some ways, it is St. Louis whose playing defines the band. Forward in the mix, and by no means shy, St. Louis plays with punchy authority, reminding of some of the other great “lead” bass players like Jon Entwistle and Peter Hook. Brooke Tuley is a powerful drummer; her parts are simple, but dead-on. She locks perfectly with St. Louis.  Mike Tuley plays on top of their aggressive foundation, a canvas for his arsenal of shimmering hammer-ons (“Modern Sympathy”), punishing riffs (“Did You Say”), and sometime dulcet tones (the comparatively clean Blue Mask jangle of “Convalesce”). Depending on the song, his sound can be metal harrowing or as ropey, surf-psychedelic as the theme from Repo Man.
 
About those songs: they’re functional, gripping, emotional soundscapes, not necessarily bound by pop hook conventions. They hit you with the shape-shift intensity of vintage heavy rock like Blue Cheer or modern darkness merchants like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Which is to say the focus here is not necessarily on hum-ability. Even allowing for that, it would be nice if the vocals had a dash less delay density and a bit more clarity in the mix. Lyrics and vocals on MMXIII are more about mood than meaning (or mood as meaning), stray lyrics emerging from the driving murk to arrest your conscious mind here and again.
 
The tough thump of “No Trains Coming Through” totally belies the song’s title. With Roky’s manic intensity, the song “Did You Say” features the ominous, repeated line “Did you say you want the end to come right now?” And the music echoes the sentiment. “Round Moon’s” cascade of guitar features some of Tuley’s most expressive fretwork, summoning up the incantations of bands like the Icarus Line and the guitar howl of the Stooges’ Ron Asheton. For an album that emphasizes a certain heavy-osity, MMXIII manages to shift mood and tone effectively.
 
Brothers and sisters, the Bloodbirds can make a show-stopping addition to anybody’s Psych Fest. Live shows may be few and far between, given the departure of St. Louis, but they have reunited in support of MMXIII occasionally and the members remain close friends and open to the odd gig. Go catch them if you have the chance.
 
—Steve Wilson
 

 

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September Artist of the Month: 3 Son Green

Congrats to 3 Son Green, The Deli KC’s September Artist of the Month! 3 Son Green is the collaboration of Jamie Anderson, Evan Carlson, Trey Green, and Patrick Suckiel. These guys take the jam band genre to another dimension, incorporating improvisonational techniques and a high level of musicianship. They’ve been hard at work on the Midwestern festival circuit, recently playing Crossroads Music Fest in Kansas City. Get to know this band a little better with our Artist on Trial.
 
The Deli: Down and dirty: one sentence to describe your music.
 
3 Son Green: "I'm melting!" -The Wicked Witch of the West
 
The Deli: Give me some background on 3 Son Green. Have you all been together since 2007?
 
3 Son Green: Bass and guitars, yes, since high school, 2007. Our original drummer, Steven Pearson, moved to Houston to get a real job in 2014, and Patrick Suckiel joined us.
 
The Deli: What have been your biggest accomplishments as a band?
 
3 Son Green: The opportunity to play multiple music festivals across the Midwest, releasing our debut full length album in 2013, a music video in 2014, KC Psych Fest and Crossroads Music Fest, and this Deli KC honor is pretty cool, of course.
 
The Deli: What inspires your music and songwriting?
 
3 Son Green: The music of others inspires us, of course, as well as inspiring one another. We all write, so one of us will cook a little something up, bring it to practice—we'll chew on it together for a bit & see what we can make of it, so collaboration is an important part of our compositions.
 
The Deli: What recorded music do you guys have and what is coming up for you?
 
3 Son Green: Our debut album, Redbird, is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3, YouTube, and at local music stores near you. Right now we are recording our second album, which we plan on releasing a single from in the upcoming months.
 
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
 
3 Son Green: Going to local shows and spreading the word about the local music scene. Usually you can pay $5 to see multiple great local bands. That's less than a beer at some famous artist's concert, and it means a lot more to the local musician.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite local and non-local musicians right now?
 
3 Son Green: Local? Black Crack Revue, an Afro-Nuclear Wave Funk Swing Reggae Tango band that's been around for more than 25 years. Non-Local? Robert Glasper Experiment. They play a healthy mix of Jazz, Hip-Hop, and R&B.
 
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
 
3 Son Green: Just us, headlining at Madison Square Garden. If it's just us at that big of a venue, then we've made it pretty far, and for 3SG, that would be the ultimate concert bill.
 
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
 
3 Son Green: Frank Zappa, Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles. They are all pioneers in music, whether it's songwriting or musical ability. (The Beatles is that one "Imagine" guy, right?)
 
The Deli: What goals does 3 Son Green have for 2015, and beyond?
 
3 Son Green: Besides finishing our second album, getting out on the road as much as possible. Touring is one of our biggest priorities right now.
 
The Deli: Where can we find you on the web?
 
3 Son Green: www.3songreen.com and facebook.com/3songreen are the two ways to best keep in touch with us, although you can also find us on Twitter, Instagram, Jambase, Soundcloud, etc.
 
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
 
3 Son Green: "When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me speaking words of wisdom, let it be." -Elvis
 
3 Son Green is:
Jamie Anderson: guitar, vocals
Evan Carlson – guitar, vocals
Patrick Suckiel – drums
Trey Green – bass, vocals
 
You can catch 3 Son Green next Friday, October 9, at the Jazzhaus in Lawrence. Facebook event page.
 
--Michelle Bacon
 
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands.
 
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Album review: Be/Non - "Moi Ou Toi" 7"

If you’ve been around the KC music scene for a while, there’s a good chance that, if you haven’t actually heard Be/Non, you’ve at least heard of them. The brainchild behind the band, Brodie Rush, created Be/Non over 20 years ago, and has remained the only constant member. Since then he has had many different supporting lineups, and has released several full-length albums, including A Mountain of Yeses, Esperanto at the Pantheon, Incognito, and RAN. These recordings are mostly artsy, progressive rock, with plenty of eccentric accents. While they may be interesting to certain ears, the majority of the songs are not going to appeal to the masses, which is probably just fine with Rush.
 
In 2011, Be/Non teamed up with now-defunct Earwaxx Records to record the 7” vinyl single, “Moi Ou Toi,” and the B-side, “Not Tonight.” Earwaxx folded soon after the record was pressed, and little became of the endeavor. Four years later, Haymaker Records decided to re-release the tunes on vinyl and digital formats, along with the bonus tracks “Che Che Coolie” and “Ice Fight.” I’m glad they did, as the songs deserve a second chance.
 
“Moi Ou Toi” (Me Or You), was originally featured on RAN in its demo form. It has transformed over the years to its current minimal version, consisting mainly of a drum machine from a keytar and a guitar played through a cheap Pignose amp. It’s lo-fi electro pop, yet is quite thought-provoking. The smooth, Leonard Cohen-esque vocals and driving rhythm are hypnotic. My first listen was spent nodding my head to the beat, while trying to comprehend the lyrics. “’Moi Ou Toi’ is a song about blame and liars,” Rush says. It’s erotic: “I am the piston in the shaft / I am the bullwhip smacking your ass.” It’s contradictory and almost eerie: “I am your alibi / I am the creep in the foyer.” The whispered chorus, “Moi ou toi,” adds to this. “Creeps tend to whisper,” Rush confirms. Few songs are intriguing, relaxing, and exciting at once. “Moi Ou Toi” somehow manages to be all three.
 
The flip side, “Not Tonight,” is a very different sound at first. Up-tempo acoustic guitars with an Indian influence play along to an intricate beat coming from what sounds like a cajon box drum. There is a noticeable influence from Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, both musically and through Rush’s vocal style. The lyrics, while sung in a flat, no-nonsense way, seem very melancholy under the surface. “Forgive me for taking the time to be real, but nothing can disturb you…alone, I am.” Towards the end of “Not Tonight,” an electronic beat takes over and the guitars fade away; perhaps indicating that the song’s protagonist is doing the same.
 
Rush admitted that both sides of the record are “a challenging listen.” I would agree that they will challenge the listener to think about what they are hearing, but would argue that they can be easy for fans of various genres to enjoy. Be/Non is a band that has few boundaries, and probably won’t be loved by everyone. Moi Ou Toi stays true to the band’s long history, but offers something for most.
 
 
Be/Non will be one of the featured artists at KC PsychFest and recordBar’s 10th anniversary party this weekend. They will be playing night 2 on Saturday at 9 p.m. Facebook event page.
 
--Brad Scott
 
Brad loves music, Boulevard beer, and his family. Not necessarily in that order.
 

 

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Video premiere: "Keep Knocking" by Connor Leimer ft. Gracie Schram

The Deli KC is excited to premiere “Keep Knocking,” the latest music video from Connor Leimer. The single (available on iTunes and Spotify) comes off Leimer’s forthcoming debut album, Postcard, which drops October 2. Leimer is a young songwriter from Leawood who hopes to make his musical mark with this ambitious 10-song effort, recorded at Weights & Measures Soundlab and produced by Max Griffith.
 
“Keep Knocking” features another young and up-and-coming KC artist, Gracie Schram, who contributes tender but poignant vocals to Leimer’s acoustic song. The video is beautifully shot at Voltaire in the West Bottoms, with Schram and Leimer dressed to the nines in vintage clothing. It was filmed and directed by Clinton Martens and edited by Steve Gardels.
 
 

Go see Connor Leimer this Saturday at Crossroads Music Fest. He’ll be performing at The Tank Room at 6:00 p.m. Facebook event page. Get your tickets for CMF here. 

--Michelle Bacon

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The Deli KC Presents at Grain Valley Fair 2015

This Friday, we’re taking a fantastic lineup of performers out to Grain Valley for their annual Grain Valley Fair. Tickets are only $5! The stage will be located by the Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce at 711 Main St., Grain Valley, MO 64029. Preview the bands, bring your lawn chairs and blankets and come say hi to us! Midwest Music Foundation will also have a table near the stage. Facebook event page.
 
11:15 – Not A Planet
 
 
Not A Planet
 
 
 
The Philistines
 
 
 
Katy Guillen & the Girls
 
 

  
Kangaroo Knife Fight
 
 

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