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Editor's note: At press time, Morri$ had canceled his Foundry show. He remains a nominated act.
Also nominated: Ataxic
What's good? "We released a five-song EP on January 1, 2011, called Fake Figures. It can be downloaded for free at Bandcamp. We're planning another five- or six-song EP this fall."
What do you think you sound like? "A blend of indie and electro. Darker musical tones blended with hopeful lyrics. We're kind of morphing the sound again. We've added a live drummer to the band. We hope to be like a Radiohead-type band, meaning that we blend the electronic sounds with acoustic sounds in a way that's unique. We hope to be more daring, and experiment with new sounds and spaces on the next recording."
What's good? "Got a new EP coming out in September called Signs and Wonders, which will sound like a cat scratching the back of a water buffalo while carrying a turnip falling into the sun. Also working on getting a band together to make things a little wilder."
What do you think you sound like? "The music you'll hear while flying your custom Hoverbike into the light at the end of the tunnel."
What's good? "Sport, my fuzzy summertime debut LP, was released via the Record Machine in June, and it's awesome. Motorboater is in the works of becoming a full-time performance team with drum machinists, drummers, drummees and projectiles. If you caught the LP-release party at the Union, you know what I'm talkin' about."
What do you think you sound like? "A muggy night out in the greenest park with your cute girlfriend and some ice-cold beverages."
Saharan Gazelle Boy
What's good? "I will be releasing a full-length album at some point this fall, for sure. I will be collaborating with a ton of KC music folks for the new album."
What do you think you sound like? "Saharan Gazelle Boy sounds like what you remember hearing but not what you actually heard. It's very closed — the music was written in a cramped, hot bedroom during one of the happiest times in my life. All of it exists in that place and nowhere else."
What's good? Full-length Etc. was released in May, followed by a two-week tour of the East Coast and Canada. The band also shot a live, one-take music video outside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with Love Drunk Studio.
What do you think you sound like? "The best thing you've ever heard mixed with the worst thing you've ever heard."
Anything else? "We may not win the award, but we are emerging and excited for the future. And we're playing the Riot Room the day after the awards ceremony."
Root and Stem
What's good? "Our first full-length is coming out at the end of August, recorded at the studio at 24th Street and Southwest Boulevard. No tours booked yet, but we play around Kansas City all the time — RecordBar, the Beaumont and the Riot Room."