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Ryan Shank

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KC musicians collaborate for Nick Cave tribute

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds came to The Midland on June 18, but we in Kansas City got ready early. Sonic Spectrum’s Robert Moore curates a slew of tributes on divergent and linked bands and musicians. Sunday, June 16, was one that pulled the souls out of some of my favorite musicians in town and left them on the recordBar stage for 1 hour 36 minutes and 16 seconds. 
First, Shaun Hamontree, Terrence Moore, and Kristin Thompson Conkright brought beautiful harmonies, acoustic guitar, keyboards, and subtle electric guitar to the crooning side of Nick’s catalog. Shaun may have been bummed that “The Mercy Seat” didn’t work out the way he had envisioned, but I think I felt a commiserating smile on his face when Nick and the Bad Seeds came into trouble on the same Wednesday night.
Then Alex Alexander, Jeff Harshbarger, Ryan Shank, Steve Tulipana, Rich Wheeler, and Cody Wyoming dug electrically into a high-powered set of rarities and well-knowns. Each song was heartfelt and dynamic. Watching Steve rotate through instruments was a blast. Rich’s sax brought soothing salve to the wonderfully dissonant guitars while Cody and Steve’s sonically different vocals were right for each song. I think “The Weeping Song” may have been my favorite of their set.
Two things I really enjoy about these tribute series are hearing each group’s interpretations of the songs and learning what has played a part in influencing their original music. Most of the time, the groups are made up of members that are not in bands together. That kind of cross-pollination and collaboration affects the course and subtle weave of threads that make up Kansas City music.
--Todd Zimmer
If you spot a man in a kilt taking professional photos of your band, it’s probably Todd Zimmer, and your band is about to have some incredible shots. Apparently he can also write, because he wrote this article!

Here’s a link to recordBar’s live feed recording of the tribute show. You can check out the rest of Todd’s photos, both from the tribute show and the Bad Seeds show, check out his Flickr page at this link. 

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Album review: Outsides - Million

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)

Though it isn’t actually summer yet, it’s not too late to start that summer playlist. You know, that one you blast when you’re cruising the highways, the back roads, side streets; when you’re headed to the neighborhood pool, the grocery store, so on and so on. Million, by electro-pop band Outsides is the best place to start.

A simple six tracks, Million will grab you by the ears and guide you deep into those wonderful summer vibes. Swelling synth sounds and ethereal “oh oh ohs” kickstart the album. “Just Curious” incorporates simplistic and poppy drum beats from Ryan Shank with delayed synthesizers from Bronson Kistler. A plucky guitar from frontman Tim Ellis creates a flow for the song to rise and fall seamlessly into the chorus and verses, none of which seem the same and create a sort of mini-symphony with several movements under the umbrella of an encompassing theme. The sheer catchiness of this song is a bit outrageous. Smooth vocals keep the song chill and put a smile on your face.
In fact, the whole album is similar to the opening track. Every song sounds like an ‘80s one-hit wonder dance-pop jam waiting to happen, but turns out to be completely different and so much more. The synths are always prominent. The guitars come second, building roads for the songs to travel. The drums aren’t overpowering and are only there to keep your foot tapping and your waist wiggling.
“When It’s Time” offers up a different arrangement with cool guitar work opening up, leading way for the classic piano tones that hide themselves in the crevasses of the otherwise slow jam. The album finishes off with the heavy-hitter, “It’s Gonna Be Alright,” which is by far the most upbeat, fast-paced, and layered track on Million.
Million is six songs that—throughout the duration of each—are ever evolving. No chorus is the same, no verse similar, no musical element static. Each song is dynamic and urges you to move, sing along, and delve deeper into the lyrics and sounds.
--Steven Ervay
Steven is an all-around awesome dude who works tirelessly for the KC music community.
Celebrate with Outsides tonight as they release Million at The Riot Room, with special guests White Girl and The Slowdown. Doors at 7:30 pm. Facebook event page. 

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On The Beat with Ryan Shank

(Photo by Michael Byars)

Ryan Shank has been a member of three important and stylistically diverse KC bands: The Golden Republic, Roman Numerals, and Be/Non. We get a chance to talk with him before he reunites with The Golden Republic for a special New Year's Eve show. Catch the beat right here!

--Michelle Bacon

On The Beat is an exclusive feature from The Deli Magazine-Kansas City that showcases many of the talented drummers in the Kansas City area.

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On The Beat with Ryan Shank



More than many other local drummers, Ryan Shank has evolved his craft over the years, in many successful Kansas City bands. He was a founding member of The Golden Republic, an indie rock band that eventually spawned The Republic Tigers and Soft Reeds; moved in to the mathematical rhythms of the Roman Numerals, and is a current member of the sonically complex Be/Non. Shank will be celebrating a reunion show of The Golden Republic at recordBar on New Year’s Eve, and we find out more about his technique and experience in the local scene.
The Deli: How did the drums find you?
Ryan Shank: A lot of people will find this odd, but I started playing when I was 16 at my church. Their drummer was awful, and I thought “I could do that.” Playing in church actually taught me a lot about dynamics and feel.
The Deli: Did you play any other instruments before?
RS: I played the trumpet in 5th grade for a couple months. You got to pick which instrument you learned by where your last name fit alphabetically. Unfortunately, my last name is Shank. I wanted to play drums, but honestly I probably wouldn't have stuck with it. I was a hyper kid. Needless to say, I don't remember much about the trumpet. Spit valves are disgusting, though.
The Deli: What type of kit(s) do you use?
RS: I used to play a Gretsch Broadkaster kit. I used it on tour with The Golden Republic, but I sold it a few years ago. Lately, I've been borrowing kits. I use Brodie [Rush]'s kit for Be/Non shows. I finally ordered a new kit, though. It should be done before the new year's gig. C&C, of course.
The Deli: Biggest influences?
RS: The obvious drummer influences... Bonham, Moon. I was actually hugely influenced by a guy who played for Matthew Sweet named Ric Menck.
The Deli: Who are your favorite KC/Lawrence drummers?
RS: Bill Belzer from Ghosty is my favorite drummer in KC. He knows how to play for the song, but puts something interesting in there when it needs it. Dave Conarroe from The Good Foot is also great. Solid. Super solid. Also, Nick Organ is a great drummer.
The Deli: How has your drumming style changed or evolved since The Golden Republic into the Roman Numerals and Be/Non?
RS: With The Golden Republic, I was a one-trick pony. I've tried to broaden my outlook and playing in general. The Golden Republic was kind of sloppy, Roman Numerals was more mathematical and square-patterned (does that make sense?), and with Be/Non it's a lot more diverse. I'm still a "less is more" kind of player, but my mind is open to more ideas. Since my Golden Republic days, I've played in several cover bands. It's actually changed my playing a lot. We started rehearsing for our new year's gig last week and the songs just sound different now...in a good way. We've all come a long way in our playing.
The Deli: You've been part of the KC music scene for several years now. What advice would you give to a drummer just starting out?
RS: Go see local shows any chance you get. Talk to the other bands. Eat Sunday brunch at recordBar. Buy me a drink.
The Deli: You have your hand in a lot of projects. Any particular ones you're looking forward to for next year?
RS: I'm really excited about the new Be/Non stuff. We're working on a lot of new and not-so-new material that people need to hear. I can't wait to finally play a new kit.
Shank will join his Golden Republic bandmates (Ben Grimes, Kenn Jankowski, and Harry Anderson) for a special New Year’s Eve show at the recordBar. They’ll be joined by Thee Water MoccaSins and a very special guest. Champagne toast and party favors will be included. Tickets are $12 and available at this link.


--Michelle Bacon
Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She plays with Deco AutoDrew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. In 5th grade, she dressed up as a computer programmer when everyone had to dress up for their dream job. She is not a computer programmer and never would be.

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Ryan Shank

Photo by Michael Byars

The Golden Republic
 Photo by Lindsey Fisher
Roman Numerals
Photo by Todd Zimmer


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Show preview: Sonic Spectrum Dealer's Choice at recordBar, 7.29.12

If you haven't been to one of the shows in the Sonic Spectrum Tribute Series at recordBar, this is one to experience. Since debuting the series last January, host Robert Moore has selected local bands and musicians to play songs of eclectic artists like David Bowie, Talking Heads, The Pretenders, Neil Diamond, The Clash, and most recently, Minutemen.

This Sunday, Moore will be celebrating his birthday and has handpicked a few Kansas City musicians to play songs of his choosing, from artists as diverse as Bauhaus, XTC, The Beatles, Loretta Lynn, Devo, T.Rex, and many others. Performances will be from some of Moore's (and Kansas City's) favorite musicians:
Erik Voeks & His Merry Men: Erik Voeks, Cameron Hawk (The Dead Girls, Hidden Pictures), Dave Tanner (The Depth & The Whisper, Liverpool), Patrick Hawley (The What Gives), Cody Wyoming 
Tiny Horse (Abigail Henderson and Chris Meck) featuring Zach Phillips (The Architects), Matt Richey (The Grisly Hand) and Cody Wyoming
And Moore promises a few other surprises, so be there if you can.
Doors: 7 pm
Showtime: 8:00 pm
$7 cover; A portion of the proceeds from this show goes to Midwest Music Foundation.

Upcoming Sonic Spectrum tributes include:
August: Fela Kuti, featuring Hearts of Darkness
September: The Doors
October: The Ramones
November: Devo
December: The Rat Pack

--Michelle Bacon

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