Dear Mr. Obama:
We know youve had some busy days since getting elected when was it? Back around Christmas? But we think youve done a great job. (We thought the Gates thing was stupid, too!) And as a reward for your hard work in the Oval Office, weve prepared a special live-music extravaganza just for you.Its happening Thursday, August 6, in a district of Kansas City, Missouri, known as Westport, and its called the Pitch Music Showcase. We promise no Jonas Brothers, no Britneys and no Jack Whites. In fact, well go ahead and say no one remotely famous (at least, not as of this writing) will go anywhere near a guitar at this event, so you dont have to worry, Mr. President, about being fed all that high-profile celebrity pop music that Joe Biden probably makes you listen to during Executive Zumba. Swarms of locals will be there because wristbands cost a measly $5 for all the venues, all night. But they wont bug you. Theyll all be 21 and older. And you can smoke, too outside. Heres how it goes down: Between the hours of 8 p.m. and 3 a.m., at four wonderful drinking and rocking establishments that you would want to visit anyway the Beaumont, McCoys, the Foundry and the Riot Room a total of 29 bands, DJs, rappers and singer-songwriters play back-to-back, 45-minute-ish sets. Everyone gets hammered. Memories are made.
Youve heard of the South By Southwest festival down in Austin? This is like that but smaller and just maybe more diverse. Which is an accomplishment, given that all these bands are local, and we arent a very big locality. Dont be late, though, Mr. President. The night will kick off at 8 p.m. as the jump-and-jiving Grand Marquis strut onstage at the Beaumont; rollicking bluegrass outfit the Kansas City Bear Fighters get their pluck on at McCoys; dreamweaving indie-pop band the Sailor Sequence spaces out at the Riot Room; and folk laureate Howard Iceberg sings tales of love and longing at our sponsor tent outside the Foundry. Pace yourself, Mr. President, because thats just the beginning. And its not going to let up not even for you, sir (all due respect). Even your Secret Service detail will dance to Max Justus at the Foundry, if theyre not over at the Beaumont, that is, getting high to the reggae sounds of SeedLove and then doing the robot-boogie to Antennas Up.
At the Riot Room, you will appoint James Christos Minister of Rap, and you will throw devil horns when Hammerlord triggers the thrash meltdown. You will take solace in the catchy rock of Pet Comfort and find a kindred soul in the country gentility of Adam Lee. You will fall in love with all-girl pop band Softee at McCoys. And when its over, you will cry out, Is there more?
Good news, Mr. Prez! The 29 acts at this years showcase are roughly a fifth of the 126 nominated in this years Pitch Music Awards. Every year, we put together a ballot that highlights the areas best musicians in all kinds of different genres blues, metal, jazz, rock, pop, hip-hop, dance, Latin, reggae, punk and many more and then we let people vote on their favorites. Democracy, yo!
In the pages that follow, youll learn about all 126 nominees what they sound like, what theyve been up to lately, whether they think Hot Topic is more or less punk than Warped Tour is, and so forth.
The voting stops on Showcase night, and on Sunday, August 16, we present the winners with their trophies at the Uptown Theater at a ceremony hosted by David Wayne Reed that features still more live performers: the Pedaljets, Making Movies, London Transit and Stik Figa.