I'm going to brave the ranks of the Great Unwashed and the barricades of buzzkilling, drug-stealing cops and security guards at Wakarusa, but for those of you hitting the clubs this weekend, here are some leads that didn't make it into the Pitch print this week — at least, heh, that I saw:
Yeager, Birds, Nameless at the Brick (1727 McGee):
Bang! Bang! at the Record Bar
We did a Q&A with this Chicago band a while back, and I have yet to see it, but wherever danceable rock and roll and overt sexuality collide in a single show, the results are rarely disappointing.
His Last Chance, Actors & Actresses and Deadline at Mike's
Looking for a sensitive guy, ladies — a man who will contemplate his shoes for an entire set by an indie rock band, pouring Dutch courage in the form of PBR down his throat, before getting up the nerve to buy you a drink? You may need look no further than this show. A&A specializes in depth, mood, crashing delivery and deliberate slowness — and they're also one of the few bands in town to actually use positive Pitch press on their Web site. And if you get bored, there's always tots (a no-brainer at Mike's) and pool. Sold? Good.
The Golden Republic and Doris Henson at the Record Bar
Last year's two biggest local/national bands, the Golden Republic and Doris Henson are still at the top of their game — hell, maybe they aren't even there yet and are just kickin' ass all the way to the top.
Unknown Hinson at Davey's
You might think Unknown Hinson is just another crazy, sick, dark, hilarious, perverted rockabilly king, but no. He's actually yet another musician who has done a voice on stoner wet dream Adult Swim and gotten a tour out of it.
Legendary Pink Dots at the Grand Emporium
This is one show I feel really bad about not previewing in print because the Legendary Pink Dots are, well, almost legendary. Really good, in any case. This British band has been making provocative, creepy, under-the-radar dancepop music for 25 years. It's kind of like Throbbing Gristle meets New Order: ragged and wretched but full of spunk. Snag some free downloads here.
I'm out. Have a good weekend, kids. Don't drive drunk, but don't stay sober, and don't look any mad dogs in the eyes.
I just got word that El Torreon is really and seriously having to shut down until further notice. It's a fact: the city has clamped down on laws regarding permits for liquor, catering and dancehalls — laws that have evidently been on the books a long time but have gone largely not enforced — and the city's busiest all-ages music venue is closing its doors until all of this can be sorted out.
The El Torreon people I've talked to today all cited a Saturday night show at an all-ages venue near Main Street in midtown called the Silo that was busted by the cops on charges of breaking licensing laws. I've heard rumors that a near-riot broke out. I'll have to find some witnesses before I can say anything more, but the important thing to keep in mind is that El Torreon has conducted peaceful shows for years. It had to have been something else (presumably this mysterious Silo fracas) that caused the city to put the shackles on the old Bull. (By the way, if you have information on the Silo melee, or whatever it was, call me! 816-218-6774)
Here's the story as it's been told to me:
According to the El Torreon employees, the city's licensing laws pretty much prevent all-ages venues from conducting business. When the El T. has a show, it charges at the door, naturally. Well, in order for it to have shows in the first place, it needs a dancehall license. In order for it to get a dancehall license, however, it must also have a catering license. There's no stand-alone dancehall license — or, at least, El T. has been unsuccessful in its attempts at getting one. And herein lies the catch. El Torreon would want a catering license in order to be able to sell beer at certain shows to 21-and-overs, but the city says that you can't charge admission at a catered show, period. Drop the catering license, right? Wrong, because you can't have a dancehall license without a catering license, too, or so it seems. It's a catch-22: you can't put on a show without a catering/dancehall license, but you can't charge admission under such a license. So, the question is: how can bands play if the venue can't charge admission? It can't. Boom! El Torreon closed.
That's how I understand it anyway. I still haven't talked to anyone at City Hall, but I'll let you know as soon as I find out what the stink is going on. And if you have any tips or insights, don't hold out!
Last night was pretty darned evil, I tell you what. First off, there was a $6 cover charge at the Record Bar to benefit some damned bike club. They'd had a bike race that began and ended at the RB and involved riding in pentagram-shaped routes all over the city. Evil.
Then, the Pornhuskers played — but without all the fire-breathing and nudity and gross misuse of sex toys. Disappointing, I guess, but not evil. In fact, they sounded really good. The guy who usually sings was playing drums and singing, which Beelzebub totally cannot pull off, even though he says he's the best drummer in hell. Their sound is like punk delivered in large heaps from the back of a dumptruck full of porn mags — crushing and dirty. Too bad we didn't get the visuals. Without boobies, 6/6/6 veers close to becoming just another day. So that's why I had to do something evil. My pen quit working the minute I walked in the door, and I wanted to write down that bit about the dumptruck full of porn as soon as I thought of it (yeah, that's how we hacks roll, baby), so I looked around and saw a pen sitting on top of a speaker or monitor beside the stage. When no one in the band was working, I yoinked it. I figured whoever owned that pen couldn't possibly put it to better use than me — unless, that is, the original owner was going to stir a cocktail with it, which is certainly the highest use of the pen.
Next up were the Haunted Creepys. This masked band has only played Halloweens and maybe a few other special occasions. They wear purple-hooded robes with fabric over their faces, sort of like Jawas in graduation regalia. The Creepys combine short blasts of garage punk with tales of roaming time and space, rockin' out at graveyards, dicking around with the supernatural and other things that went with the robes and smoke machines. Some people were heavily into it, and the dancefloor steadily filled up. I even saw one guy mouthing the words to a song, which seems strange considering how few times the Creepys visit this dimension — but now that I think about it, it was probably a cover. I'm terrible at identifying those.
Partway through the show, the bass player lowered from the ceiling a small wooden cage about the size of a Kleenex box. Inside of it was the ravenous Hairy Tomato, which the lead singer gently extracted from the cage, teased its stringy tuft of hair and held it aloft. The softball-sized vegetable was equipped with a gaping jaw full of vampire fangs and looked pretty ferocious. After a long monologue about the Hairy Tomato's deadly properties, the beast was dispatched to wreak havoc upon the world (which means I wasn't paying attention and didn't see what happened to the damn thing — the last time I saw the Creepys play, the Hairy Tomato got pulverized, an act accompanied by much shrieking from the band, which reminds me of this one time I got drunk and took off my shirt and went to the fruit basket on the counter and... never mind).
Following that spectacle, DJ Stevie Cruz (singer with the Esoteric) began a Metal School session. Not many people had stuck around to rock out to Quiet Riot, Motley Crue and, basically, a couple hours of classic and pop metal, which I can only stand in small doses, I'm afraid. I guess that means I'm not very evil after all.
But I did steal a pen.
Hope you're having one hell of a 6/6/6. Dusting off the evil records and gory metal tees and visiting Sir Simon's Pit of Darkness, first, no doubt. Or perhaps wearing a cross necklace and rocking out to Stryper, just in case. Or, better yet, both, as Pitch music writer and former music editor Andrew Miller more or less accomplished:
I changed into a "Reign in Blood" shirt at two minutes to midnight (Eastern time) last night, paying tribute to both Iron Maiden and Slayer while in the dingy, "Hostel"-like bathroom of El Torreon at a Cattle Decapitation concert. Earlier that evening, someone spectacularly fractured his finger while moshing to one of the local openers. He shrugged off going to the hospital because "I want to see the show, plus it's numb anyway." People took camera-phone pictures of his freakishly mangled digit. All this was surely some sign of the Antichrist-catalyzed apocalypse.
However, I did go to noon mass yesterday, just to even my odds.
Dang, I need to hang with that guy more.
But even more impressive than that are the Satanic enterprises of Metal Mark, to whom I introduced you last weekend. Dude's getting married today -- that's how heavy metal he is. I just got off the phone with the El Torreon manager, who told me he's marrying a longtime friend for no other reason than because it's 6-6-fucking-6 today. The ceremony will involve a marriage license, a location near the Plaza, a friend from a metal band who's a Life Church minister (whichever one's available, and possibly a goat. And later, an annullment. "We want to see how many times we can commit adultery," he said.
That's pretty naughty, but you gotta cut the poor fellow some slack. Recently, his wallet was stolen. It had $1,000 in it, shit you not. Metal Mark's no coke dealer; if he was, he wouldn't need to throw a benefit concert to bail himself out of debt, eviction, jail, etc. Help the metal scene's hardest-working man by headbanging and hornthrowing to the sounds of Vena Amori, Silence Broken, Sicadis< .strong>, The Occupation, and other bolt-throwing acts this Friday, June 9, at El Torreon.
For today (if you're not invited to the wedding, of course), drop by Mike's Tavern, where Federation of Horsepower and the Graveyard Nightmares celebrate Boozeday of the Beast, a very special Boozeday Tuesday matinee show from 8 to 10 p.m., costing $5. Bring earplugs, 'cause Federation is fucking LOUD. If the Nightmares sound like they do on Myspace, then they better go ass-wild on stage or it could be painful — and not in a way of which Satan would approve.
The Eagles of Death Metal last night at the Record Bar was one hell of a satisfying show. That band knows how to take all the bad parts about being at a crowded rock show — the sweat, the claustrophobia, the smoke, the drunken idiots — and turn those into the best parts about being at a crowded rock show. Best, that is, except for the music and the stage presence of singer Jesse Hughes, he of the mighty 'stache.
EODM's music, actually, is all the '70s FM hard rock you've ever heard combined with a few muddy, punky chugs of Queens of the Stone Age, the band fronted by the Eagles' founder and permanent, non-touring drummer Josh Homme, on whom I would have a man crush if I didn't think he'd hunt me down and kick my ass simply for thinking about him like that.
So, the strength isn't in the music so much as Hughes' testosterone-addled, single-minded desire to rock out for the ladies and pander to the crowd. He's damn good at it, though, and he had the entire audience beliving that (a) Kansas City is his favorite place to play ever, and (b) he genuinely wants to have sex with every girl in the house. "Can I get one for the ladies?" he'd say, guiding the swell of cheers upward with one arm. "Oh, God, I love you so hard, Kansas City. Can I get one for rock and roll?" Woooooo! We ate it up. And there was authentic solidarity in the room, too. I even high fived a random dude who was standing in a chair next to his girlfriend, whom Jesse Hughes pointed and winked at repeatedly. I also got in about three months' worth of fist pumping and devil-horn throwing.
Unfortunately, I missed the opening act, the Giraffes, because I thought they were playing at 10. Instead, that was when EODM went on, so I got nothing for you on that.
Now, I'm going to take a break and direct you to something very non-local. It's a Web site I often visit to listen to stuff that hasn't come out yet, as well as weird European electronic and hip-hop stuff that may not even see U.S. release. Kansas City, meet LUISTERPAAL. When you follow this link, click on the LUISTERPAAL tab. Then you'll see four albums, plus two weird Dutch O-words. The top one scrolls up, the bottom one scrolls down, and you start off at the top of the list. Just scroll and click on albums to start 'em blasting through your PC speakers or headphones. This week, Primal Scream's Riot City Blues and Midlake's The Trials of Van Occupanther are my picks. The latter doesn't come out until mid-July. I got an advance copy last week and have barely listened to anything else. There's also the new Futureheads, which I'm listening to right now and enjoying. I've always been more of an album listener than radio person, so I dig this site a lot.
I wonder what that word means, anyway. I bet it's something along the lines of, "You have a white collar job where you sit at a computer all day but work still sucks so listen to this." Or maybe "warm milk." Sprachen zie Dutch?
I thought I was going out for a reasonably quiet nightcap when I left my apartment and headed down to Buzzard Beach a couple nights ago around 11:30. I figured I'd maybe see one or two people I knew, have a couple cold ones, a little diverting conversation, and then go home. Because no one ever told me that Wednesday nights at the Buzzard bring one of the best (if not the best) mid-week parties in town.
Evidently other people knew this, because the outside deck was full of drinkers, and the inside upstairs (I never visit the downstairs part for some reason) was reasonably busy. I hung out with some friends and acquaintances on the deck, watching them buy round after round from the friendly cocktail waiters (you wouldn't think a dive like that would have such service...or maybe I'm just easily impressed) while I paced myself because I hadn't brought much cash. Out on the parking lot, a truck pulled up and Steve Tulipana -- Record Bar owner, Roman Numerals player, long-time KC stud — hopped out and began unloading his DJ equipment. Earlier inside, I'd run into Metal Mark — El Torreon booker, around-town DJ, tattooed wildman http://www.missioncreep.com/mundie/gallery/gallery22.htm -- but little did I know they were going to be tag-teaming the decks for some hard-on inducing party action.
Before long, the two had set up, and one of the most wonderfully heinous dancefloor jams ever was pumping through the PA: Dirty Laundry. And it only went up from there. As if the place were a zoo, I stood outside the windows behind the DJ table and watched as people started boogieing unselfconsciously to Michael Jackson, Queen, and all manner of trash disco tracks. One merry couple consisted of a dude in khakis and a blue polo who looked like he'd just gotten off work at Office Max, plus the 40-year-old blond trashy businesswoman he picked up at McCoy's. Later, I'd see that blonde, thoroughly drunk, grab two lovin' fistfuls of some poor black guy's hair and give his head a good shaking. I think he was pretty much into it at that point, however.
I moved inside. Beastie Boys. "Nuthin' but a G Thang." The crowd was the most diverse I'd ever seen in Westport. There were some stylin' black guys with corn rows and bling, tattooed barista babes and swank office gals, thick-necked dudes and artsy hipsters, and a good contingency of over-30s alcoholics, who were doing most of the rug-cutting. I ran into Robert Moore and asked him if he came to this night a lot. "It's the only night I come here," he replied, then added, "It's the only time you get to see Steve Tulipana get really drunk."
Moore was partially responsible for that. A few minutes later, he was doing shots with Steve and Metal Mark over the turntables. And a few minutes after that, I watched Steve go from a full-standing position to lying flat on his back under the DJ table. He hadn't passed out, in fact, he was wearing a calm expression on his face, as if he'd just decided, "Fuck standing up -- the floor's where it's at!"
I should have mentioned that all that was after Metal Mark and Steve had swapped shirts, Mark donning Tulipana's black Oxford-like button up and Steve rocking Mark's basketball jersey, which allowed him to reveal the fact that he has almost as many tattoos as Metal Mark. More importantly, though, the shirt-swapping inspired two women on the dancefloor to swap tops, and for a brief moment or two, there were two bra-clad broads pumping to the beat.
I ended up staying until closing. I'd hit up the ATM for money I didn't actually have (hello, overdraft fee!) and was pretty lit by the time I found myself back by the ice machine talking to Wes, the drummer from Doris Henson (second from right in the garden o' heads). Of course, I don't remember a word I said to him, but I do remember idiotically punching a plaque on the wall for no reason. I wasn't angry; I just wanted to smash a motherfuckin' plaque, OK? I failed, scraping a knuckle in the process. (Note to self: There's a reason pubs and bars always decorate with garage-sale Americana brick-a-brack. It's impervious to drunken attacks!)
The lights came up soon after, and I began walking. I was so sweaty by the time I got home that I stripped down and got in the shower — and promptly wiped out in the tub. I wasn't hurt (badly), and, in fact, I counted myself lucky. Not everyone I saw that night had been able to reserve their nudity and/or clumsiness for the privacy of their own bathrooms.
From the tipline... The people at AOL Cityguide must be smoking crack — or, more likely, not living in Kansas City. A hardcore band with the ironic name The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza is playing El Torreon in a couple of weeks. Evidently, the AOLers aren't familiar at all with the all-ages metal venue, otherwise, they wouldn't have posted this description of the event. It'll take a while to load, so if you can't go and see this glorious mistake for yourself, the long and short of it is there's a pic of the real Tony Danza above a rather lengthy bio about his Sinatra-butchering musical career. There's even a link to buy tickets (albeit, for a Florida show of the real Tone). And maybe best of all, the author's name is Yon Motskin. Wow.
This is some bullshit that KC can do without.
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