They say this place is like the Empire Room, but with 12 bowling lanes. If that doesn't draw you out to the Village West Legends complex in West WyCo like a winged roach to a 9-year-old girl's cheek, then consider this: I will be there. $2 domestics and $3 wells will be there, too, along with bowling, music by the town's best selectors (Automatic Westy, Steve and Shawn from the Record Bar) and the morally bankrupt and highly entertaining antics of lounge impresario Brodie Rush. It'll be like midtown relocating to the land of Hooters and Cheeseburger in Paradise. No word yet on how anyone's going to get home.
Lovers in Transit, Dark Circles, the Amateurs and No Blood Orphans at the Record Bar
Meanwhile, in the real midtown, check out some neo-new romantic dark-wave shit, courtesy of the hook-happy and glamorously Anglophilic Lovers in Transit. Word is, they'll be filming this show for a DVD, so wear your underwear on the outside and do lots of stage dives. The band's motto is "The thing that makes you do it all over again the next day," so don't feel bad if you got drunk and slept with a complete ho (male or female) last night and/or probably will do it again tomorrow. Lovers in Transit understands.
The Pomonas, Approach and the Burly-Q Girly Crew
There's a reason the Pomonas grace this week's cover of the Pitch. See their true-blue pop live and find out why.
New Record Stores!
You're on your own as far as shows go tonight (I would recommend a visit to Sad Dog for tips) because today, I'm spending all my time and money on the brand-new record stores that have popped up in the absence of Music Exchange and Recycled Sounds. Wait a minute! Music Exchange is still here — it just moved to the West Bottoms, to 1413 West 13th Terrace. Call 816-931-7560 for the score. Some others with background in the biz have opened a shop on West 39th called Zebedee's. They'll be open Saturday from 11 to 8. There's also a shop in the basement of Prospero's Books, just down the street from Zeb's, at 39th and Bell. They have a SoundsGood poster in the window, so it can't be that bad.
Rock for Boobs at the Brick
Someone named Sarah has breast cancer, and you can help her by going to the Brick, spending way too much and ensuring a terrible Monday. (Face it, it's what you do every Sunday night, so why not do it here?) A solid lineup boasts 30 Minute Recess, In the Pines and Blackout Gorgeous, which are both good-kind-of-dark groups (30 Minute ... not so much). You'll also see the Cowtown Playboys, Fast Eddy's Drivetime Band, DJ Bucho and Bomtrak Assembly. I can't tell you anything about those acts, unfortunately. (Hey, I've only been here three years! It takes time, damn it!)
Have a good weekend, and whatever you do, don't drive drunk and don't stay sober.
This just in from Depeche Mode's publicist! I don't know about you, but in my book, "laryngitis" means "I got shit-hammered on my birthday (Dave's was May 9), took a bunch of drugs, fell out of the first-story window of a stranger's Super 8 motel room, wandered along the highway until I passed out, and was awakened by an armadillo that was rooting for worms in the ground under my crotch, at which time I hailed a Mexican cantaloupe wagon and got a ride back to town."
Come on, Dave, fess up.
DATE: MAY 11, 2006
FROM: MITCH SCHNEIDER/MARCEE RONDAN/LATHUM NELSON
DEPECHE MODE FORCED TO CANCEL TONIGHT'S CHICAGO SHOW
AND ENDED LAST NIGHT'S KANSAS CITY SHOW EARLIER THAN EXPECTED DUE TO SINGER DAVE GAHAN'S LARYNGITIS
BAND OFFER SINCERE APOLOGIES TO FANS AND THANK THEM FOR THEIR LONGTIME SUPPORT
DEPECHE MODE has to unfortunately cancel tonight's (Thursday, May 11) performance at the Allstate Arena in Chicago as lead singer DAVE GAHAN has laryngitis. After seeing a doctor in Chicago this morning, he was advised to cancel the show and rest his voice. At this time, a make-up show is not planned due to the band's scheduling, but management is looking into it. Tickets for Chicago will be refunded at point of purchase.
Meanwhile, the group had to regrettably end their show last night (May 10) at the Starlight Amphitheatre in Kansas City, MO earlier than expected. Coming off three concerts in Mexico, GAHAN's voice was challenged throughout the concert by the unusually cold temperatures at the venue.
An hour into the concert--after the segment where MARTIN GORE sings a few songs--GAHAN was unable to return as he lost his voice, leaving GORE to continue on lead vocals for another 25 minutes or so.
DEPECHE MODE offer their sincerest apologies to their fans in Kansas City and Chicago and want to thank them for their longtime and dedicated support.
DEPECHE MODE's next scheduled show will take place Saturday, May 13 at Jones Beach Amphitheatre in Wantagh, NY.
John Brewer and Miles Bonny at the Blue Room
I've already written a column on this, so I won't belabor any of the points made therein other than this one: you should go.
Atmosphere and Mac Lethal at the Beaumont
Oh yeah, and Brother Ali and Los Nativos. I just wanted homeboy Mac to be in the headline. You can, however, read a quick interview with Slug and Ant from Atmosphere here. I've never seen a hip-hop show at the Beaumont, but I can imagine this one won't disappoint. Be sure to get there early enough to see Mac Lethal, because, for all the other acts' virtues and clout, Mac is consistently one of the best one-man entertainment acts on the road right now. Seriously — I saw him up against some of his Rhymesayers labelmates at SXSW and they should have been taking notes from him on how to connect to an audience.
Pitch correspondent Andrew Miller was in attendance at the Depeche Mode concert last night, which, as you've probably already heard from an irate coworker, ended prematurely and with guitarist Martin Gore singing the closing songs in Dave Gahan's sudden absence. Here's his report:
The first three songs, "A Pain That I'm Used To," "A Question of Time" and "Suffer Well," sounded great. The stage set-up included a giant disembodied robot head suspended from the ceiling which flashed soon-to-be-apt words such as "droop" and "malaise" across its LCD mouth. Martin Gore wore a strange black-winged outfit, and while he was going for "dark angel," he looked more "tarred and feathered." This, too, was prophetic.
During song five, "Walking In My Shoes," Dave Gahan seemed bereft of energy. He kept holding the mic out to the crowd, seemingly more in dire need of support than in search of an interactive connection. The next song, "Stripped," had to be restarted midway through the first verse when Dave missed his cue. For the next song, "Home," Dave disappeared. This caused no stir, because that's a valid Martin-sung hit. However, when Martin sang the next slow-paced song as well ("It Doesn't Matter, Two", after an aborted false start for "In Your Room"), people started getting suspicious. The sound engineer came out and said "We've lost our man in the middle." (Dave) Scattered boos and heckles greeted this announcement.
After another song ("Leave in Silence," which the group hasn't played in years according to fan message boards), Fletch announced "Dave is not well, but he's fine," which was confusing but probably communicated that his ailment, while performance-prohibitive, was not fatal. Martin stuck around for "Question of Lust," "Someday" (mass exodus begins) and "Damaged People," all of which are down-tempo.
On the one hand, it was unquestionably a unique set. On the other, this crowd came to dance and listen to hits, and, for the most part, it was able to do neither. Some fans clearly enjoyed the opportunity to see Martin sing rarities, and applauded his courage. When it became clear he'd have to carry the concert, he asked the crowd: "Do you ever have nightmares?" Others wished they'd just stopped at the first sign of Dave's illness, as it's more likely to get a refund from a 6-song set than a 13-song show.
A local blogger was also in attendance and has an interesting theory about what happened to Dave. (I tried to scan the Depeche Mode official fan forum for answers, but the thing won't load on my machine.) I hope the poor fellow isn't permanently injured — and I hope Dave Gahan's OK, too.
You've picked up today's Pitch and seen that a virtually unheard of band is on the cover. Don't freak out. We at the Pitch realize that we don't have a record of putting much local music on the cover. We're working to change that. The Pomonas may not be as big as the Architects or anyone else we've put on the cover lately, but their songs are great and they're a blast to watch live - so, hell, we put 'em on the cover.
So don't get all crazy. We're not saying the Pomonas are the absolute hottest band in Kansas City right now. We just wanna start putting more music on the cover, and they happened to come along at an opportune time.
Who knows? You could be next.
I think I aged 10 years this weekend. One day soon, the doctor's going to say to me, "You're only 33, but you've got the body of a 90-year-old." And then he'll say, "Will you hold it next to mine?" And I'll get molested by an M.D. (who will later turn out to be just a lowly nurse practitioner) -- all because of my devotion to the KC music scene.
Friday, I went down to the sewery-smelling West Bottoms for a show at the Pistol Social Club by Vaz, which a bunch of older scenesters had been frothing over. It's an LA-based band that only people who rudely drop the esoteric term AmRep into conversations know about. So, I should have known that because some old music buffs were geeking out over the show it was probably going to be one of those concerts where you get cred points for going but don't enjoy yourself at all. But no matter who's playing, the Pistol's usually a great place to see a show. It's a loft, and the shows there are technically private parties, so it's BYOB. The Record Bar dudes often book more outre bands there when they already have a show planned at their home venue. That night at the RB, there was a Neil Young tribute show with performances by local musicians, so they (and by "they," I mean Billy Smith) booked Vaz at the loft.
When I got there, Billy was taking money, and a small crowd of minors were gathered around a dirty artschool punk band called the Creepy Aliens. (You gotta love those college bands where everyone comes to school with equipment they bought in high school, and they start a band and allow way too many people to be in it, and only one of them has a decent amp, and the bass player only knows one riff, and it's from a Dream Theater.) Shorts must be the new hipster thing, because the Aliens' singer and one or two audience members were showing some hairy, scrawny leg. This kid, the singer, was all over the place, stepping up onto speakers, pacing, jumping, and doing flips onto his back. The music was three-chord punk and pretty worthless — basically a trampoline for singer antics. I will credit the Creepy Aliens for coming up with the pussiest idea for a punk song ever, which was being unable to find "this totally awesome Vegan margarine" in the grocery store and going crazy. Hence the title, "The Earth Balance Crazies."
Next up was This Is My Condition, the one-man-band project of Craig Comstock, and, as usual, he rocked. Between songs, he took deep gulps from a giant thermos of what could only have been mad bear juice. The artpunks in shorts freaked out inches away from Craig's drums the entire set -- except when he was playing slow stuff.
The crowd had gotten noticeably older but, sadly, no bigger by the time Vaz started bashing out bottom-heavy waves of over-thirties sludge rock. I talked to Anna Cole, who is now engaged to her band's guitarist, Andrew Kirk. Congratulations to the happy Anvil Chorus couple! Hear their sweet music here. Sorry, if I, like, wasn't supposed to tell anyone about that.
Saturday, things didn't get any quieter. I got to the Record Bar in time to catch most of a set by The Occupation, a group comprised of some very talented vets, including Bill Cave (vox), Chris Braun (guitar), Dan Weber (bass), Chris Fugit (drums), and One Other Guy (guitar). They sound like math rock mixed with postpunk to me, but everyone has a different take. Weber says the band's most obvious influence is The Jesus Lizard. Chris Tolle, of the Belles, says they sound like a bunch of band's I've never heard of. And he's probably right.
After The Occupation came Sirhan Sirhan from San Diego, which drew a huge crowd, probably because its members used to be in beloved local bands Overstep and Molly Maguire. These guys were actually scary, with their furious fist-to-the-throat rock, red backlights, smoke machines and assassin-referencing name. If I was in a biker gang and ate acid for breakfast and tortured hippies, I'd listen to Metallica. But if I had a couple dozen tattoos, a wife, a kid, a mortgage, a vegetable garden, and an affinity for music that made me feel young, I'd listen to these guys.
Third, The Esoteric ripped the joint before a slightly diminished crowd. The latest news with that amazingly loud, punishing and electrifying Lawrence band is that they have a new album coming out. It's going to be called Subverter and will be on Prosthetic Records. Go to the band's site for details.
As I was driving home after the show, I was blocked from going down my street by an ambulance and a police SUV. I took the alley to our back parking lot, and walked around front to see what was going on. There were about four paramedics and four or five regular people out on the sidewalk in front of the neighbors' house. One of the non-paramedics had apparently knocked down part of a stone wall, as two rocks the size of sofa cushions lay on the sidewalk. There were no crashed cars and no signs of actual violence, so the scene was a bit of a mystery. However, one of the guys was drunker than the rest. As soon as I noticed how drunk he was, he rapidly projectile vomited and swooned backwards into the arms of his comrades, who laid him on the sidewalk. One of the paramedics pressed on his gut and asked him if it hurt, but the general mood of the scene — drunk people and paramedics both — was of lightheartedness. Another medic took a plastic neckbrace out of a package, throwing the plastic bag into my neighbor's garden (nice), and fastened it around the drunk dude's neck. They put some more harnesses on him and strapped him to a spongy board with handles in it and put him on the stretcher — and this is when it really got good. The paramedics started quoting Monty Python's Holy Grail. Someone started off with the bit about the swallow, then, one of them jumped to "He's not dead yet!" which was pretty hilarious, given their cargo. And, the kicker — as they rolled him into the back of the ambulance: "Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!" I swear it happened.
And then Sunday... man, no luck. I still had to rock out, and here are some pictures to prove it. The Last of the V8s played P.Ott's in celebration of the birthdays of guitarist Jay Zastoupil and Ryan Mattes (both this week, days apart). I actually dragged my wife out to this show, promising her a spectacle of rock mayhem and nudity, and we weren't disappointed. (Unfortunately, however, there was no nudity because Mattes, the one who usually strips to his skivvies, said that he [a] couldn't find his "panties" and [b] had a really gnarly-looking bite mark on his flank. He didn't mention how he'd acquired such a wound, but I suspect it was either [a] his girlfriend, [b] the postman, [c] a snapping turtle, [d] a cow or [e] two or more of the above, in a joint assault.)
The opening act was a new band called Crazytalk, and they were sort of a V8s Lite — waaay lite. To me, they sounded like they had practiced a lot but played very few shows. The singer, who took off his shirt early in the set, had a strong, clear voice, but the band lacked physical energy and just plain wasn't loud enough, despite their expensive, new Gibson guitars. Props on the admirable cover of "Tie Your Mother Down."
The V8s understand that tone begins with a guitar plugged into an amp, and that's why they sound good no matter who the sound man is or -- as in the case of a P. Ott's show — whether there even is one. Also, despite Ryan Mattes' reputation as a wild exhibitionist, the guy can definitely sing. It's the kind of voice a singer is born with, and once he realizes he has it, there is nothing to do but join a rock and roll band and abuse his voice as ruthlessly as possible with whisky and cigarettes and by never ever singing a note that isn't equipped with a coffee can full of tonal gravel. Bassist Chico Thunder and drummer Kriss Ward help out with staccato backing barks and yells.
Here are four of the best pictures I took at the show. Keep in mind, there was plenty of straight rocking out, but I couldn't help but shoot a few of the crazier momens, like when (1) Mattes burst a blood capsule on his forehead; (2) a couple of guys served up a dinosaur pi�ata to the band, which Jay Z smashed with his Flying V guitar, sending candy everywhere, which Ryan put on his head; and (3), Ryan jumped ass-first onto a pan of cupcakes. That last picture is just a good one.
And, like all V8s shows, nobody got hurt. Except Ryan.
One of the most exciting games in all of Kansas City, if not the world, is Jukebox Roulette at my favorite little dive, Dave's Stagecoach Inn. On Thursday nights at 9, 10, and 11 p.m., bartender and jukebox overlord John Yuelkenbeck posts cryptic clues that point to a certain song on his 100-album-heavy jukebox. Play the song, and the entire house, no matter how full, gets a free round. It is a game wherein the victory of one benefits the many. But though all are rewarded equally in the material sense, the true champion gets his name, along with the winning song, logged in the bar's Roulette records, which have been going at least since 1999. For those in search of personal glory among music geeks, there is no better — or more harrowing -- test of mettle.
At 10:15 last Thursday night, the joint was hoppin'. There was only one open seat in the house, next to some old guy at the bar who blabbed on about the hotel business to anyone who made the mistake of sitting next to him. Two of the clues had already been posted:
9:00 Cited often by Bowie
10:00 Where 3301 came from
The first clue was anyone's guess. The second referred to a track on the jukebox, "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" by Tom Waits, which was there on a compilation album, leading one to believe the answer to Clue 2 was something to do with Bone Machine, the original Waits album on which it appeared. But whom or what does/did David Bowie often cite?
I began focusing on the Bone part, thinking also about Bowie's contemporaries — Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, T. Rex. That was it! T-Bone! There was a T-Bone Burnett song on the very same CD in the juke as the Waits song. It seemed unlike John Y. to pick a winning song on the same disc as one of the clue songs, so I held back buying the song until I got to read the 11 o'clock clue.
Other people were making different associations. In fact, I'd never been to a Roulette night where so many people were involved. At one table, a girl suggested that the origin of "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" was Peter Pan. Then, the girl across from her made the "first star to the right and straight on 'til morning" connection, which pointed to space, stars, starmen, etc. as things Bowie often cites.
Then, Buchmann arrived. David Buchmann is the Jukebox Roulette king. He's also a local trivia hound. He was sporting a custom shirt designed by a member of his usual Trivia Clash team. The design was an artsy picture of overlapping candy hearts with the words "Bitter Sweet" on them. Because Buchmann is a thorough gentlemen, and the shirt actually looked cool, I refrained from giving him shit. Also, he was going to win us all a free drink.
Buchmann gained an immediate entourage, which followed him to the jukebox, brainstorming ideas and flipping through the selections in search of inspiration. This left a table open, so I sat down, but was quickly up and down again, back and forth from the jukebox, to check the progress of Buchmann and associates.
At 11, John posted the final clue:
11:00 I'm a big teaser, I took you half the way there, now
I had no idea what it was, but Buchmann immediately identified it as a lyric from "Day Tripper" by the Beatles. That's when I put forth my T-Bone theory because the name of the T-Bone Burnett song on the juke was "Nothing In Return." So, I had the T. Rex citation by Bowie, which led to T-Bone because of Bone Machine, and then, you get nothing in return from a big teaser, right?
I played the song, and all I got from John Yuelkenbeck was, "You know T-Bone Burnett's coming out with a new album, right?" Once the game begins, people always start looking to John after the beginning of every song, waiting for some signal that it's The One. But most of the time, you catch him just singing along (because he knows every song on the machine), enjoying the music. He gets feisty, too, when those huddled around the jukebox aren't making selections and are too focused on the game.
I sat down. Songs were played that I didn't recognize, one after the other, mixed with a rare familiar tune. I overheard some guy at another table ask, "What does 'Que sera sera' mean?" Nice one, dude.
Returning to the Bowie/Space/Bone theme, Buchmann's group actually managed to find a song buried on the 'box titled "Bone" by some obscure band called the Spaceheads. A jolting, mechanical tune came through the speakers, and the group looked eagerly at John, who was rolling his eyes at their far-out selection.
At 11:45, only 15 minutes before John would divulge the answer and end the game, Buchmann's group thought of the song "Bone Machine" by the Pixies, which, as it turned out, was on the jukebox on disc number 50. For some reason, though, they didn't select it but went on frantically searching for something else. At the stroke of midnight, John told them that the winning song was indeed "Bone Machine" by the Pixies. Foreheads were slapped, teeth were gnashed, and an explanation was demanded. John said that in interviews, David Bowie often cited the Pixies as a fave; the second clue was obvious; and as for the third, at number 50, the disc was "halfway there."
But at least we didn't get nothing in return — there was the fellowship of minds bent to a common goal, the conversations about music that spun off from the challenge, and the pleasure wrought from the bar's high-efficiency, low-cost drinks.
Next week, though, we're tearing that shit up.
I don't like bar trivia. There's no good place in the room when a trivia game is going on. Either you're on the losing team, feeling stupid; or you're on the winning team, absorbing everyone's hate energy; or you're on a middle-place team, anxious about catching up. Or, worst of all, you're not on any team — you just came to have a drink and get some food and chat with your mates, but you inevitably become a trivia spectator, a vicarious ghost player, unable to tune out the questions and tell yourself you don't care about the answers. It's the only thing more excrutiating than being a Royals fan.
Nonetheless, I have thrown my hat into the ring on occasion, and I probably will again. As of last Wednesday, I can now boast of having participated at least once in each of Midtown's main trivia nights — Trivia Riot at the Brick on Fridays, Trivia Clash at the Record Bar on Thursdays and Trivia, um...Something at the Westport Flea Market on Wednesdays. Wait a minute, I haven't actually done Clash, but my wife has, several times, and her team even won once. Yeah, wife! Also, I am well acquainted with that night's host, Pat Hopewell, and his assistant, the formidable Forester. I like the trivia night at the Flea Market the best because, well, my team won. Unlike Clash and Riot, there is no "rioting" or "clashing" (which is when you challenge another team to get the question right and if they don't, you get the points) at this pub quiz, and no final jeopardy round where you gamble points on the last question. So, if you like a little strategy (and the chance to intimidate people even more) with your trivia, go to the Brick or the Record Bar. If you like a more laid-back setup, head to the Flea Market. Each one costs $5 per person to enter, and at all three, both the first- and second-place teams take home cash.
Or, if you're an insecure prick like me who can't stand being reminded repeatedly of his own ignorance, then stay away from all three.
This may be the strangest item we've received since I started working at the Pitch (well, the strangest item that's transmittable via the Internet, anyway, and isn't spam), and I wanted to share it with all y'all. The following e-mail [sic] was sent to the inbox of the Night Ranger, who forwarded it to me because I am the guy in the office who has to deal with "local talent." Note the sender's near-vulgar email address.
Subject: john jewell / local talent
Dear Jenifer ,
hello , how are you doing ? I have a story how do I start ? I have a web site you can see my most dearest project. The song baby is there ,which I wrote and sang. I hope you like the beautifull drive trough lees summit ( which I recomend muteing the windy background ).
I need the help and support of my community which means , please share this web site through your journal the pitch , ok ?
Doesn't sound like the product of a cultivated mind, does it? Even stranger is what lies behind that link. On a fantastically ugly background, a choppy video plays showing what appears to be footage of a Lee's Summit church shot by a head trauma patient on a skateboard. There is a Gumby cameo early in the film, which creeps my shit out because I randomly mentioned Gumby a few posts ago. The inspiring, orchestra-of-keyboards "song baby" plays on a separate feed. I hate to piss on this guy's "most dearest project" because he's probably just some immigrant all jazzed up about living in a Missouri suburb. But, dude, what the stink?
I am in love with Eddie Delahunt. It's been going on a long time, this passion of mine, and I'm pretty sure it's unrequited, but that's OK. The flame will always burn in my soul. I've wanted to write about this local Irish troubadour on numerous occasions, but I just haven't gotten to it yet because I suck.
Armed with a guitar and joined by a bodhr�n (that's pronounced "bow-rahn") player from Strawberry Hill and sometimes an accordion player, Eddie does weekly performances at O'Dowd's on Wednesdays and Sundays, Mike Kelly's Westsider on Fridays, and W.J. McBride's on Tuesdays. It's worth enduring a faux Irish pub to bask in Eddie's real Irish musicianship and charm. Yeah, he's an old guy with a guitar, and there are lots of those in every town, playing coffee shops and uncool bars, but, take it from me, Eddie is not among the lame. He's the real fookin' deal. I once asked him what the main themes in Irish music were. He told me to guess. I said, "Drinking, sex and death." "In that order," he said.
I could gush more, but I've got news. Actually, it was broken by Liam over at the KC Irish blog last week — Eddie's buying the coffee shop at 45th and State Line! I sure hope it works out. It'll be great going over there just to hang with the guy even when he's not playing. Hmm... maybe he'll hire some of my out-of-work artist friends.
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