Friday, April 29, 2011

Kansas City's funkiest dance bands descend on the Crossroads

Posted by on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 7:47 AM

Hearts of Darkness' Les Izmore
  • Hearts of Darkness' Les Izmore

Don't let this show's name fool you: the Crossroads' Spring Dance has nothing in common with the hormone-addled formal you attended in high school. This jam features three of Kansas City's best-known dance bands. Hearts of Darkness brings progressive Afrobeat tunes, Making Movies supplies foot-tapping Latin rock, and the Good Foot serenades the crowd with soul-swinging classics. In short, groove-inducing music played at an outdoor venue that serves booze. Sounds better than the cover band that played your prom and the spiked punch you ingested at the after-party, doesn't it?

Hearts of Darkness

The Pitch: Is Hearts of Darkness pumped for the show?

Rachel Christia: So frickin' pumped. I can't believe we get to play a stage where the last show I saw was the legend himself, George Clinton! I'm also excited about having all the extra space to booty shake!

Is there any song you play that's a total crowd-pleaser?

Brandy Gordon: "Mr. Sinister." I want to hear Rex Hobart do a version of that.

Any awkward fan-dancing stories?

Alex Smith:

People who stand right up at the front of the stage are a special kind

of people. There have been a few times when some people's front-row

dancing is actually scary, and we actually need to look away to keep

from getting freaked out. There was an M&S-looking goth couple one

time who danced painfully slow and bizarrely intense one time, and I

couldn't watch.


The Good Foot

The Pitch: What's the Good Foot looking forward to?

Julia Haile:

It really just hit me how big the show is a couple weeks ago. It's a

grand stage, and we're always so scrunched together. We're looking

forward to having some space and really being able to work the crowd.

Is there any song you play that's a total crowd-pleaser?

Every time we play Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," people lose their minds.

Do you respect and acknowledge an individual's right not to dance?

You never know what their day was like, and you never know what

they're thinking. Maybe they got a bum leg, and I shouldn't hate on

them for not dancing, but I just have fun with the people who are

dancing and continue to invite the people that aren't.

Any awkward fan-dancing stories?

There's one lady who is probably 4-feet-11, and she does not pay

attention to anyone. She's shaking her head and closing her eyes, and

I'm like, yes -- I don't know where that lady came from, but thank God

she's here. Also, a couple weeks ago, we were playing at the Levee. It

was towards the end of the night, so people had a couple drinks in

them. These three bro-looking guys took off their shirts and were

dancing in a circle in the middle of the bar.


Making Movies

The Pitch: How do you get people up and dancing?

Enrique Chi:

I think there is a universal quality to Afro-Cuban rhythms. It doesn't

matter what race or ethnicity you are -- if you hear those rhythms, you

just have to move. I have this theory that maybe it's because Afro

rhythms stem from the dawn of humanity, like they descended directly

from Mesopotamia.

In other words, I feel like it's programmed into human DNA to move to

those rhythms. All we do is play them under my indie-rock songs, and

voilà, people move. One of my friends says it's cheating, ha.

Is there any song you play that's a total crowd-pleaser?

We have a song called "La Marcha," which never fails to get people moving.

Any awkward fan-dancing stories?

We have a super-fan that's at all of our shows. He is a bit older

than our average demographic, but boy, he dances like none other! He's

kind of my hero, but I can't watch him too much while we play or else

I'll chuckle and mess up.

Spring Dance Party,

with Hearts of Darkness, the Good Foot

and Making Movies. Saturday, April 30, at Crossroads KC at Grinders.

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