Need help deciding what to do this New Year's Eve weekend? Well, I know of a party, but it's a small thing, and they probably don't want a whole bunch of people they don't really know showing up, so, sorry, dude, but you're on your own.
You might just camp out at the Record Bar for the next couple of nights, actually. Tonight, the Roman Numerals and Stella Link play with the beloved Namelessnumberheadman, who are reportedly rolling out new songs. I predict there will be girls at this show. Saturday brings the Punk Rock Premature Ejaculation Festival, featuring the Pornhuskers, the All Sorts and Mi Corazon Negro. I predict that someone will "arrive early" at this show. And it might just be me.
Now, you may have missed it, but two issues ago, we ran an excellent New Year's guide, written by our resident nightlife killa, Megan Metzger. Because it's not available online for whatever reason, I've posted it after le jump.
A funny old blues dude named Watermelon Slim (real name Bob Homans) talked with Pitch contributor Saby Reyes-Kulkarni recently. We weren't able to run this in print due to all our astounding year-end wrap-up material, but it was too good not to at least run in pixels. Slim plays Knucklehead's on New Year's Eve with Rich Berry, Billy Ebeling and Lee McBee. Go here for details.
By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni
Every now and again, a musician comes along for whom the word "character" seems specifically invented to describe -- Dr. John, Bootsy Collins, Moondog, Leon Redbone...the list goes on. Not only can Oklahoma-based blues guitarist Watermelon Slim hold his own on that list, he may very well rival those who are routinely mentioned at the top.
To cover Slim's much-publicized background would take too long and take the spotlight away from the man himself. Vietnam and Iraq war protester, academic, teacher, blues historian, environmental activist, watermelon farmer, heart-attack survivor, and a longtime trucker who put in his two weeks with the trucking company only recently, Slim is one of the few modern blues artists out there whose albums sizzle with heat and passion.
The Pitch recently came across the good fortune of having Slim wax poetic on a number of topics. Suffice it to say the man has a ramblin' man's way with words and doesn't hold back. Without further ado, a necessarily streamlined transcript of our conversation follows...
Our wish has been granted!
Tonight at one80, starting around 10 p.m., DJ John Ingle hosts a JB tribute party.
"A night dedicated to James Brown oriented music. All songs will contain James Brown samples, be performed by members of his band, or are recordings by the Godfather himself. "
Get up, get on up, and so forth.
If you know of any others, post 'em.
And here's a fine obit on the late great Papa, penned by John Lomax.
The 21st century way to travel is to keep a laptop handy or a wireless Blackberry whatsit tucked up under the scrotum at all times. But the only innovations I'm carrying on my person is a pair of underwear turned inside out (forgot to bring enough...again) and fleece pants -- artificial fleece pants. Witchcraft!
That's why this blog hasn't been updated in a while. I sorely regret that before leaving town I didn't mention my Saturday appearance on KCUR's Sonic Spectrum. The host, Robert Moore, had me come in the studio a couple of Mondays ago to discuss my favorite albums of the year, both major-release and local. When I get back, I'll try to post a stream of that episode here so that those who missed it can catch up and fling criticism at my outlandish pronouncements.
In the meantime, let's be mindful of the passing of one of Western Civilization's greatest movers and shakers, James Brown, who died Christmas day at the age of 73.
Beyond the big hits, youngsters probably only know Drunk James Brown, namely, the viral video that sadly constitutes the Godfather's most (in)famous release of the past ... I don't know how long.
I, for one, would prefer to remember the man who fused sex and music more effectively than Elvis, the Stones, anyone. Witness this classic footage.
So, which of you local DJs out there is going throw a James Brown memorial party -- all James Brown records and funk from his era, all night or until the club closes? I'm afraid if we don't do it, something bad will happen to Kansas City, like a sudden increase in popularity of grunge nights at local bars. Eeeeeugggghhh. Get on up, please, somebody.
While plying their dollars toward Jukebox Roulette and drinking themselves into a respectable stupor, patrons at Dave's Stagecoach Inn last night learned of the death of the man for whom the bar is named, owner Dave Golad. His death was of natural causes.
Golad opened the bar in 1952 where Fitz's Blarney Stone is today. In 1972, he moved the bar to its current location at 316 Westport Road, where it stands as one of the greatest dives the world has ever known. Be sure to stop in during your last-minute Christmas shopping frenzy -- several new T-shirt designs are in, including ones with slogans like "I'm the One You Gotta Blow to Get a Drink Around Here" and "[this face intentionally left blank]". Still available are classics like "All I Got for Christmas was Drunk" and "Dave's: Your 1st Stop After Parole."
I'll post details in the comments regarding whatever memorial services have been planned for Mr. Golad. Feel free to post your favorite Dave's memories or any memories you may have of the man himself.
In my latest column, I made a couple of half-blunders.
Jeremy Willis: The owner of Datura Records (home to Approach, Archetype and Deep Thinkers) wouldn't explain his affiliation with Black Clover to me, but he was the one who introduced Eilert to Mac and Joe.
Jeremy e-mailed me the following yesterday after I'd gone home:
I actually need to let you know that I am no longer involved with Datura on the domestic and local end. I was gonna try and pull you aside the other night and kinda explain some things. I am still handling some overseas work with Datura artists.
As far as Black Clover, I actually started the label with Mac over a year ago, we have just kept my involvement a bit silent, for obvious reasons and the fact that I like to stay hidden away behind the scenes
in most everything I do. ... I kinda reached a crossroads and had to make some very hard choices. The hardest being my departure from Datura. There is no love lost, Datura and Black Clover are pretty close family and the two projects have a great deal of interaction together.
Good luck with Black Clover, Jeremy. We'll stay tuned to that and also to whatever Datura's got coming up. It's nice to have some local hip-hop labels putting out music that's actually good and making business-minded moves.
Also, in the article, I said that Ryan Mattes, of the Last of the V8s, was the "receptionist" at Mercy Seat. Well, he does work there, and he isn't a tattoo artist, and he does answer the phone and help out 'n' shit, but my describing him as "the receptionist" is like calling the family pitbull "the butler." He let me know as much, by calling me yesterday and asking if this meant he'd be getting flowers on Secretary Day.
Postscriptal Digression: I have now discovered two UK teenagers, both 19, with MySpace addresses that are names of local KC bands. Folks, meet Mike, aka Last of the V8s, and Vicky, aka Appleseed Cast (hark, the band is in her top friends). Strange, no?
After this column hit the streets, an irate (and, I assume, ironic) message was left on my voicemail by a fan, friend and/or defender of the band Baby Birds Don't Drink, who got lightly drubbed in the article. Using technology that called for fuel made from geraniums and required 10 IT guys flown in from Pakistan, we were able to capture the hysterical message in mp3 form for your enjoyment.
The following was authored exclusively for Wayward Blog by the Pitch's new, brilliant calendar editor, Crystal K. Wiebe, a Faint fan and dog owner.
Maybe its unwise to overpraise a band's live rocking abilities if you've only ever seen it play its home turf. But the Faint's Lawrence gig was sold out, so I headed to Omaha last Saturday with the ticket I did have. It was the third time I've seen my neo-wave heroes fill Sokol Auditorium with gyrating bodies. And, dammit, the Faint's still my favorite live band.
The people over at KansasCity.com have already sounded off on their picks for the year's best albums -- except for Jim Kilroy, who preferred instead to list his top 10 favorite Club Wars winners. That's just too rich.
Our final report (top 10 or so local albums, with compelling commentary) will be in our December 28 issue. Don't miss it. Until then, we're welcoming recommendations. In addition to albums that were released, we might like to highlight songs by bands (most necessarily new) who didn't put out an album this year. Help us out with that, too.
Here's a quick list of the good (and not so good) rekkids '06 brought us.
The Afterparty, Under the Rainbow
The Architects, Revenge
The Appleseed Cast, Peregrine
Bodhisartha, Find Yourself Getting Lost
Miles Bonny, Smell Smoke?
Conner, Hello Graphic Missile
James Christos, The Guerilla Movement
Drakkar Sauna, Jabraham Lincoln
The Esoteric, Subverter
Flee the Seen, Doubt Becomes the New Addiction
The Gaslights, Lines and Wires
Gunn Jakc, 144 Killahurtz
I Love You, Six Trick Pony EP
In the Pines, In the Pines
Josephine, Every Scene in Vibrant Green
Julia Othmer, Oasis Motel
Overstep, Laughter After Disaster
The Pixel Panda, Burial Suite
The Pomonas, When You're Electric
Roman Numerals, Roman Numerals
Kristie Stremel, 10 Years
Super Black Market, Will Sell Anything
Tech N9ne, Everready
White Flight (Justin Roelofs), White Flight
White Whale, WWI
Jon Yeager, Foi
Now, what are we forgetting here...?
Also, if you think any of the records on the list suck hard or rock tits, feel free to state your case.
Thanks for the comments to Tuesday's post. I guess we'll declare White Whale eligibly local. I was ready from the get-go to accept them as local, but some people groan when they see a local band that happens also to be on a decent label beat out unsigned locals.
Now: Fresh from Mr. Postman: 9o.9 The Bridge: Live Volume 1
Anyone listen to the Bridge? I've always thought of this Warrensburg, MO, public radio station (operated out of Central Missouri U.) as a textbook adult album alternative, or "triple A," or "safe as a whole grain waffle," station. By the way, you know how you know if you're an AAA fan? If all your favorite bands are actually individuals.
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JtotheB: A staunch defender of expensive shitty food, silly costumes, and terrible puns.