Crossroads Music Festival
Saturday, September 8 / Sunday, September 9
The Crossroads at Grinders, the Gorilla Theater, the Brick
Review & some crappy snapshots by Jason Harper
DAY ONE: night
I got back in time to hear Eleni Mandell singing my anthem, Makeout King. Just kidding, that's not my anthem. "Paying for Dinner and Having You Home by Ten" is my anthem. The pictures I got of Eleni, the festival's biggest name and mellowest chanteuse, were all out of focus. Sorry. Roach's own band, It's Over, took the grand stage next, and people got up on the PA speakers and danced toward the end of the set, but the pictures I took of that sucked, too. Don't worry, though, Anna-Marie Perry was there with her professional power-demon camera in hand, and I'll be posting the good shit soon. (I AM ONLY ONE MAN, KANSAS CITY!) Ah what the hell. Here are a few teasers:
Eleni Mandell, by Anna-Marie Perry
Jamie Searle of It's Over, by Anna-Marie Perry
Musically, like I said, Eleni was mellow. But I only saw two songs, so maybe her midset stuff was crazy-balls-out-red-meat rock. Probably not, though. By this time -- 8 p.m. or so -- there was a light but sizable crowd. (Wait...sizable? What does that mean, anyway? "Not enough," that's what it means. Damn.) For It's Over -- a jubilant Monkees pop explosion in banker's clothes -- people began the boogiedown. The ladies love to dance them up some Jamie Searle, lemme tell ya. The golden-haired lad with the oh-so-long lashes is more heartthrob than me or any of my male friends will ever be. Ten years from now, Searle will still be necking with the equivalent of the homecoming queen, and I will be in the bar with my head on the bar. I guarantee you that.
The Pitch: "How do you feel about It's Over?" Chicks: [Dance]. Photo by Anna-Marie Perry.
Ghosty was due up in the warm dark Gorilla place, so I went over there. I'd been excited about their pending album release, due out October 1, on OxBlood -- until, that is, bandleader Andrew Connor told me they'd pushed it back to January 2008. Assholes. J/K OMG! They played the hits and all was good. In fact, the warmth, combined with Connor's shades, the red-orange light and the soothing indie pop made for a downright tropical mood. It was not unlike that Mexican ice cream place on the Boulevard, La Tropicana, where I once ran into Connor's girlfriend, Liz, eating corn and mayonnaise stuff and singing the praises of every spoonful. (Bonus factoid: Ghosty guitarist Jake Blanton is a songwriter in his own right).
Ghosty with the mosty, as photo'd by Anna-Marie.
Back at the Brick, Black Gasoline was burning up the place. If Queens of the Stone Age is desert rock, then Wichita's BG is prairie rock. Wait, that sounds like a suburban subdivision. Never mind. Anyway, they do rock -- sharp, aggressive and lethal.
At one point, the guitarist stepped up to the mic and said, "You know that guy who molested a girl at that casino? He was my roommate at KU. He wasn't really that weird, but his pubic hairs were always around my dormroom." Meanwhile, Roman Numerals guitarist Billy Smith was tokin' off an inflatable PBR bottle.
I had purchased, in advance, a new Afterparty cassette and CD so that lead singer Danny Fischer could buy a wristband for his girlfriend, so I headed back to the Gorilla, where I took these shots (I think you will appreciate their "haunting" quality) of one of Kansas City's most productive yet penniless bands.
Sonya and Amie, aka "the Brunettes"
Danny and Cody, aka "the Brutators"
Josh Mobley, aka "Young Jack Nicholson"
Ashley Miller, experimental musician and certified out-cat, had been on hand to play tamborine. Here, he sends mixed messages between the mugs of Dave and Danny of the Afterparty.
The night took a turn for chaos, beginning with Siddhartha's arrival at the Brick, whereupon the lead singer climbed atop the band's rental car (?) and went a bit primal. This mostly African-American band from Detroit and Los Angeles was set to bring the night to its end with a blend of old-school-garage bangers and psychedelic mash, garnished with parsley, because that's what you garnish it with. Doy.
You know a band must be onto something when one of its members can wear a freakin' multicolored sweater and date a girl as cute as the one SBM drummer Joseph Remlinger is sitting across from here. Maybe she's got a Cosby fetish.
Whenever the frontman for Siddhartha -- you know, the whip ghostrider, a man so buff he makes Spider-Man look fat -- would sing, his eyes would roll back in his head mystic-like, mirroring the state of drunkeness I and most of the people around me had reached.
For $3 all day at the Brick, you could buy a nice deep cup of watermelon cooler, a pink cocktail made with watermelon vodka, mint-infused vodka, soda water and raspberry soda, with a real watermelon wedge for a garnish. Hm-dah. I didn't know the words to any of Siddhartha's songs, so I just mouthed "watermelon" at the bartender and got steadily crunk. I do remember that the music was whirling-railyard-dervish material, and I hope Sid comes back soon, as does Ryan Mattes, late of the Last of the V8s and manager of Mercy Seat Tattoo, who gave the singer a shot he probably needed real bad.
After the show, I went home, went to bed, woke up in the morning to find all the lights on, my pants halfway off, my thumb somehow wedged in an empty bottle of rum and my head resting on a mysterious bed of parsley. Well not really, but you get the idea.