Justin Lake Whedon doesn't get out on the scene much these days.
He and his wife, Melinda Anne Whedon, who perform together in the duo Ebon, have traveled and schmoozed with barflies enough over the years. Justin, who grew up in Overland Park, spent a good part of the '90s throwing and promoting raves in Kansas City.
A believable 33, Justin seems like someone who lived through the heyday of warehouse parties. He met me on a Saturday afternoon at Fric & Frac.
The Whedons have been married 10 years and have been remixing tunes most of that time.
They started collaborating musically as college students in Manhattan, Kansas. "The first track we wrote got signed to one of the most prolific house record labels ever," Whedon says, referring to the UK imprint Hooj Choons.
In 2004, they helped compile a full-length tribute to My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult, one of Justin's biggest influences. As Ebon, the Whedons also remixed a tune for Ladytron that the prominent Liverpool group put out on a German release. Currently, the Whedons are remixing two songs for the Dandy Warhols. They'll mix one dancier, electro-rock track as Ebon and another more ambient track as Dark Night Sky.
Justin also just started a monthly listening party at the Record Bar. The first was this past Monday, for which he played a lot of music that fit into the genre shoegaze. He has plenty of ideas for future listening parties, but he may only get one more chance.
The Whedons recently decided to move to California, to be closer to Melinda's family.
They'll be less than two hours from San Francisco and about six from Los Angeles. "Six hours from here, you're in St. Louis," he says, "or maybe Chicago, if you drive real fast."
That's no indictment of Kansas City. Justin is just ready for a change. And it's not like they'll never see this place again. "We always end up back here," he says. Kansas City is like that.