With a playlist as rich as a block of Stilton, Robert Moore's Sonic Spectrum broadcast sets the standard for free-form radio in this city every Saturday night. The first installation of his newest project, the Sonic Spectrum Tribute Series, features the work of David Bowie covered by such scene kings as Steve Tulipana, Brodie Rush and Cody Wyoming. We asked Moore how he plans to pull off such heavy tuneage.
The Pitch: What inspired this tribute series?
Moore: We've done a couple in the past — Leonard Cohen, the Go-Betweens — and I finally found the time to make it a monthly event. I've always been a fan of cover songs — when they're done well, obviously, and especially when they're completely different interpretations. The goal is to celebrate the artist and to highlight the depth and talent of our local music community.
You've chosen artists with some sizable chops: Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Lee Hazlewood. Is the local talent pool deep enough to accommodate the variety?
Definitely. We hope to bring musicians together that haven't collaborated before. I think one of our scene's great advantages over other cities of similar size is the mutual support among our musicians. Most people don't realize how rare that is. It makes me proud to be a small part of the Kansas City music scene.
How will these tribute shows be different?
I will be curating the series and choosing the tribute artist as well as the local lineup. The bands will pick five or six songs each. The song choices are completely up to them. I'll ask for the set lists a few weeks beforehand to make sure there are few, if any, duplicates. With the Bowie tribute, there were many deep cuts chosen. It will be a very nice mixture of the Bowie hits and overlooked gems.
Are these artists personal favorites of yours?
Of course. Many have catalogs so diverse that we can draw from the jazz, indie, blues and rock scenes. We may feature music scenes eventually as well — like Krautrock or fractal pop — so lesser-known artists can be featured.
Will you host these events?
I will be there, yes. As far as "hosting," I may do some introductions, provided I've had enough liquid courage beforehand.
Is there one artist who is simply too sacred to cover?
Yes. Udo Dirkschneider.