Mark Reynolds, RobRoy Mountjoy, MaxTV, and Music Without Boundaries.

Around Hear 

Mark Reynolds, RobRoy Mountjoy, MaxTV, and Music Without Boundaries.

Rocker turned avant instrumentalist Mark Reynolds titled his most recent release I Used to Be a Pedaljet, but it could just as easily have been named I Was Once a Fabulouse or, most luridly, Formerly a Chick with a Dick. Evils of Stealing, Ludicrous Behavior, and Castration rank among the other band names on Reynolds' lengthy resume, which reflects 20 years of prolific involvement in Kansas City's punk/alternative/ hardcore scene. Best known for his work in Grither and Cher UK, Reynolds has taken the solo route of late, releasing the droning electronic albums A Nice New Toy and Music for Enemies as well as Pedaljet, which consists of acoustic guitar riffs delivered at a metronomic pace. Chords appear and vanish repeatedly as the album alternates between sparse noise and silence, with occasional bursts of melody providing fleeting glimpses into the realm of the tangible. Unlike the electronic efforts, Pedaljet features distinct songs (with appropriately dark titles, such as "The Death" and "The End"), but all of the tunes are confined to one lengthy track -- the better for listeners to observe the subtle effect as upbeat notes gradually take a dark turn before another "song" begins, setting into motion another descent through the scale.

Reynolds has released such self-produced albums for years, dating back to his early-'90s peddling of tapes in front of the downtown all-ages spot The Rhumba Box, when he put them out under the name "Anonymous." At the time, Reynolds paired his music with slide presentations; he plans to resurrect this practice, though it might be awhile before local fans witness such a performance. He's heading out to the West Coast to promote his latest electronic efforts with a late-October mini-tour that includes gigs in Los Angeles and San Francisco. "They seem to appreciate that stuff out there," he explains. "There's a lot of techno and trance places in that area. There's not much electronic stuff going on here in town, so I don't know where I could play it here."

But locals who want to get their hands on his output can contact Reynolds at 911 Cambridge, Kansas City, MO 64126. "It's totally grassroots," he says of his do-it-yourself distribution, making an analogy to Ani DiFranco before using a sotto voice to exclaim: "I want all the money. Total control!"

Mountjoy to the World
On Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Grand Emporium, local musicians perform stripped-down versions of their tunes during what the creativity-impaired might dub "KC Unplugged." Thankfully, this month-old showcase sports the much more interesting name "RobRoy Mountjoy's Acoustic Soul Slam.""Local musicians looking to try their trade acoustically now have a forum," explains the titular host, whose solo performances are part of the program. Acts such as Holstein and Mustard Couch have been booked for this time slot, but walk-ins, to some extent, are welcome.

"I don't want this to seem like open-mic night at the Holiday Inn, and I don't want cover bands or anything, but this is definitely a place for people trying to get into the business to come down and give it a shot," Mountjoy says. "It's a place for musicians to network and mingle, and the club's owner (Roger Naber) is usually there, so it's a chance to impress him and get some regular shows. It's for people who are really hungry to get involved in the scene."

Lawrence bands and fans dominated the first few Soul Slams, but Mountjoy says more people are attending each week, and Kansas City artists have started to warm up to the concept. "People are coming in, having a good time, joking, laughing," he says. "It's fun, but it's also about some serious music. It's a place to grow, a place for people who have something in their hearts that they want to get out. I want this to be a strength; something that makes people take notice of the rock scene in this area. It's my puppy, and I'm going to treat it like an angel."

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