Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Strand of Oaks' Timothy Showalter talks about the healing powers of music ahead of his Riot Room show on Friday

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 7:53 AM

  • Photo by CJ Foeckler

Strand of Oaks’ Timothy Showalter has never been a confessional songwriter. His 2010 album, Pope Killdragon, was a sort of sci-fi creation, featuring his story of Dan Aykroyd avenging the death of the late John Belushi. But the process for his newest record, Heal, has been different. Influenced by a personal realization that he (in the lyrics of "Goshen '97") had become “fat, drunk and mean,” Showalter began to change his life. He wrote a record about it. And then a terrible Christmas Day car accident involving two semi trucks changed him even further.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rick Springfield on his first novel; at Starlight this Wednesday

Posted By on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 1:30 PM

  • Courtesy artist's managament.
  • Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield has written a New York Times bestseller. He's on a co-headlining tour with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. Additionally, Springfield's getting ready to star work on a new album. So, those of you who refer to him as “teen actor turned musician” for his work on General Hospital in the 1970s or make “one hit wonder” comments regarding “Jessie's Girl” can kindly shut up. The man's career is healthy and robust. 

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Zepparella, at RecordBar tonight, talks originality in cover bands

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 8:56 AM

  • Ransom & Mitchell

Whenever someone utters the phrase "cover band," my mind immediately conjures up a sad scene of social misfits in tie-dyed T-shirts and socks-and-sandals combinations, holding up lighters for a clutch of musicians playing what vaguely sounds like the Grateful Dead or Van Halen. But Los Angeles four-piece Zepparella blasts that stereotype to bits.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

White Arrows frontman Mickey Church talks about his magic powers; opens for the Neighbourhood next week at KC Live Block

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 8:40 AM

  • Big Hassle Media
  • White Arrows

If White Arrows was an Instagram account, it would post inverted gifs of L.A. palm trees swaying in the wind with post-modern psychoanalytical quotations as captions. Its bio would have "exploring neon as a medium" as its current vocation and a recently added posthumous send-off to Alexander Shulgin accompanied by an alien emoji.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Capital Cities talk writing jingles ahead of Boulevardia slot on Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM


Doubtless you've heard "Safe and Sound" at some point over the past year, if not dozens of times - first when it spread like wildfire on the Internet and then when radio gobbled it up. It was the breakthrough hit from Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian, the duo behind L.A. electro-pop outfit Capital Cities. Since releasing their debut album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery in June 2013, the group has had a steady stream of success - thanks in no small part to the cheerful washes of synths and danceable live shows. 

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Frank Turner on his place as a punk-rock troubadour; opens for the John Butler Trio Saturday night

Posted By on Fri, Jun 6, 2014 at 7:14 AM

  • Brantley Gutierrez
  • Frank Turner

Frank Turner is a man who started out playing hardcore shows, but he's now risen to the point where he had the London O2 Arena singing along to his song "I Still Believe" as a warm-up act for the Olympic opening ceremonies. It's an interesting journey, and it seems that every tour of the United States raises his visibility just a little more.

Turner has recently returned to his hardcore roots. His side project, the Mongol Horde, will be releasing its debut album later this summer - and continues touring on the success of last year's Tape Deck Heart. We spoke with Turner by phone from London.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

St. Paul and the Broken Bones' Paul Janeway talks soul music ahead of the band's sold-out show at RecordBar tonight

Posted By on Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 9:39 AM

  • Press photo courtesy the artist's website

With his nerdy frames and average stature, you probably wouldn't look twice at Paul Janeway if you passed him in the aisle at Target. Up until March, was working as a bank teller at a Wells Fargo. But the frontman's magnetism is revealed with the seven-piece soul outfit St. Paul & the Broken Bones. Thanks to a breakthrough debut record - February's Half the City - and a reputation for earth-shattering live performances (featuring a killer horn section), this Birmingham, Alabama band is currently winning hearts all over the country. St. Paul and the Broken Bones is inarguably one of the best new acts to come to light in 2014. 

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Billy Joe Shaver talks about being a musician's musician, headlines Westport Roots Festival this Saturday

Posted By on Thu, May 22, 2014 at 7:52 AM

  • Courtesy artist's management.
  • Billy Joe Shaver

You know Billy Joe Shaver's music, even if you're not familiar with the 74 year-old's name. Shaver's best-known for a song from his 1973 debut, Old Five-and-Dimers Like Me, "I Been to Georgia On A Fast Train," a song that's been covered by everyone - Willie Nelson, Commander Cody, and Johnny Cash are just a handful. Shaver is also known for having shot a man in Lorena, Texas in 2007, and having nearly died from a heart attack on stage in 2001.

He has a new album due out this summer called Long in the Tooth, and it's an all-killer, no-filler affair - ten songs that resonate with experience and hard-won lessons. For all his notoriety, it was a pleasure to simply discuss music and nothing but with Shaver by phone ahead of his headlining slot at the Westport Roots Festival this Saturday. 

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Lucky discuss the evolution of band, release new record at RecordBar on Friday

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

  • Photo courtesy of the artist

Before cranking up Swimming Invisible, the raw, loud, energetic first full-length album by local punk band the Lucky, make sure no children are around - or your mom and dad, for that matter. I inadvertently started rocking out to "Sex Dream," the band's ode to somnolent sensuality, while lounging on my parents' couch a couple of weeks ago. I snapped my laptop shut right as vocalist Camilla Camille was about to launch into the chorus: Pump it like a sex dream. Pump, pump!

I wanted to leave as quickly as possible so I could listen to the song again and turn it up louder. Such is the essence of the Lucky - fun, rowdy, occasionally subversive, and a little bit naughty. According to lead guitarist and vocalist Iason Mac Ai, who rounds out the lineup along with bassist Calandra Rene and drummer Dustin Mott, the Lucky's live shows are quite the spectacle as well.

"We're a lot more dynamic and entertaining now that we're a four-piece and Camille is running around singing and being a front person, because she's a natural in front of a crowd," Mac Ai said when he, Camille, and Rene sat down with The Pitch to discuss the album, set for release on May 23. "She was born to be on stage dancing and singing."

With long, dark hair and a lithe physique, Camille hits the stage like a live wire bouncing on asphalt. She may have been destined for the spotlight, but she and the Lucky's other members have had plenty of practice honing their craft. Mott has a degree in percussion from Missouri Western State University and is a member of the Waldo Jazz Collective, and Rene also plays bass for Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds. With more than 16 former bands between Camille and Rene alone, these veterans of the KC scene know what makes a group tick. One of the keys for the Lucky has been collaboration.

"There's no complaining, and everybody gets along and respects each other," Rene said. "That can be hard to find in any relationship in general - and especially in bands. That makes it really nice."

"We're all invested and contributing, and it's like a single unit," Mac Ai added. "It's a lot more fun now."

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Communist Daughter's Johnny Solomon talks touring, new music ahead of Wednesday gig

Posted By on Tue, May 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM

  • Photo courtesy of the artist

Johnny Solomon has had a long and heavy road to Communist Daughter, the Minneapolis folk-rock band he started in 2008. Years earlier, as the frontman for lauded rock band Friends Like These, Solomon seemed to be at the high point of his musical career - until addiction and troubles with the law derailed the band. Out of the wreckage, Solomon salvaged his life and his music with Communist Daughter - thanks, in some part, to vocalist Molly Moore, who agreed to sing with Solomon if he agreed to a substance-free life.

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