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 TWO: night
I pussed out of most of Sunday. I admit it. I'd hit it so hard the day before that I didn't arrive until, well ... later. (Please, do go see AMP's shots for more action from this day.) At least I didn't come looking like a perp.
Now this, folks, is what we call a perp. See yesterday's pt. 1 entry for the opening-day perpshot. It's no surprise that both of these perps are in the morally dubious local act Bacon Shoe. You can usually spot a perp by his inappropriate shades. Perps commit crimes against the citizenry, usually while exhibiting outlandish behaviors -- i.e., robbing a convenience store while dancing; shaking down a vending machine while f*cking. Their preferred substance: PCP. Their idol: Dennis Rodman. The presence of these perps and others (full disclosure: I'm a recovering perp) may have accounted for low festival attendance. But what ya gonna do? Don't hate the perpetrator; hate the crime. Anyway, back to the bands...
Following a solid set from the Only Children that I missed most of because I was inside a concrete bunker being interviewed for that documentary, the Roman Numerals got up and stepped right into equipment malfunctions. Shawn Sherrill's keyboard was out of tune. I didn't know that could happen, but evidently it can. New menu item for Record Bar: Keyboard Tuna. It should be a wrap. When the Nooms did get going, "Msr. Control" and the songs that followed seemed to drag significantly, tempo-wise, as if the new drummer (Ryan Pope) was playing with 30-lb. drumsticks. The Numerals looked vexed, probably because of the broke-ass keyboard, the miserably small crowd, and the lurking presence of perps. I don't mean to sound harsh; everyone has their off nights. At least the lights looked really cool.
In the Pines fared better over at the Gorilla box, which proved (despite a not-great PA) a good venue for the band's acoustic tales of love and death. In contrast, out on the street, a bunch of idiots were trying to pry open the door of a pickup truck, which presumably had the driver's keys locked inside. Their tools: a crowbar and a hockey stick. If you look closely at this picture, you can see a couple of these hockey pucks standing on the truck. The one on the right has wedged his hockey stick all the way inside the cab. Some festival staffers eventually came and talked sense into them, and they abandoned their bootless, desperate project and left us to enjoy the Pines in peace.
Back in the main lot, as the Nooms made way for the Architects, the determined and saintly people of the brand-new Kansas City Music Coalition wound down a weekend of gathering and spreading info toward the goal of developing a healthcare program for local musicians. You go, girls!
As with the night before, the party streamed into the Brick, where the Beautiful Bodies and the Lucky Graves were waiting for the kill. Polarizing BeauBods frontwoman Alicia Solo -- either you think she's awesome or just a blatant Karen O. ripper offer -- strutted around stage in a corsetlike top and fishnets. You gotta give it to the girl -- she knows how to dress like a rockstar.
I was captivated by the band's live assault -- not just Solo's stage presence but her bandmates' crushing, funky, punk-prog, too. The thing with the Beautiful Bodies, though, is that until they release a recording, it's hard for the non-haters (like me) to distinguish between the showmanship and whatever actual musical talent lies beneath. Live, they're a beautiful mess. It's pretty obvious that Solo needs to work more artistry into the artifice. One way she can do that is by proving her mettle in the studio. Another thing's clear: they do help people get jiggy, as in the already-documented case with DWR.
Talent's not a question with the fest's final act, the Lucky Graves. Fronted by -- for my money, the town's best male rock singer -- Adam Stotts, the Graves are a trio with chops to hang in the butcher shop window and let bleed. After a rollicking set of originals, the Graves kicked out bitching covers of Guided By Voices' "Glad Girls" and the Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash."
By night's end, Brandon Phillips of the Architects and festival organizer Roach had wandered over for a little nightcap and malarkey.
Much respect to Roach. Every time I ran into him over the weekend, his only voiced concern was that people were having fun. Well, he can rest assured that for those who did come out, the fest was a blast. Let's do it again next year, K?
This perp has already bought tickets:
For realz, b.