"The Beckinator is the center of the music scene in Kansas City and Lawrence," explains Dandercroft editor John Bersuch, who assembled the album and appears on almost half of its tracks. (E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.) "She has been supporting local music to the extreme for years. She is like a silent guru. "
"Becki has a level of dedication to the local music community that is rooted in something deeper than having fun or being cool," adds John Ferguson (Federation of Horsepower, In the Pines, Bacon Shoe), who plays keyboards on an upbeat tune that turns Sherwood's "Beckinator" nickname into a falsetto mating call.
Several songs lyrically name-drop Sherwood's favorite group, Casket Lottery, but many more detail her love of pizza. "The word pizza is perfect for beat placement," Bersuch explains. "It has a percussionlike sound."
Namelessnumberheadman's contribution, a cresting orchestral composition, contains no references to Sherwood's personal preferences, but keyboardist Jason Lewis decodes its instrumental plot. "Our song opens as Becki is in her basement laboratory trying to put together the right mix of chemicals that would allow her to simultaneously attend every possible rock show in the entire world," he says. "In the end, she has a eureka moment, and the symphonic musical moment represents her great success."
Bersuch offers pragmatic advice for fledgling scenesters who would like to serve as subject matter for an intriguing array of electronic, hip-hop, pop, folk and funk tunes: "You could always donate large amounts of money to struggling bands." Sherwood shares her strategy: "All you have to do is help glue hundreds of CDs into Dandercrofts and go to at least 15 shows a month."
The Beckinator material might not translate well to the stage, as Bersuch demonstrates in this largely apocryphal anecdote: "Bacon Shoe played the song off the album, and we made her come up onstage," he recalls. "She was embarrassed, and I tried to get her to rap, but she wouldn't. Then John Ferguson poured hot bacon grease all over her hair and clothes. She was kind of mad after that, but we pitched in some money so she could have reconstructive surgery. Now she looks almost the same as she did before."
Her response to the record indicates that all is forgiven. "It's one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me," Sherwood says.