Friday, July 30, 2010

Review: The Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey- Stay Gold

JFJO EPK for Stay Gold

John Zorn's tribute to Ennio Morricone, The Big Gundown, had a profound effect on my impressionable ears twenty years ago. The album altered my perception of jazz and noise. I still listen to it periodically and I'm always left wishing that Zorn had paid more reverent tribute to Morricone's work on Spaghetti Westerns like A Fistful of Dollars, Once Upon a Time In the West, and everyone's favorite, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey fills that void with its new Stay Gold album. Morricone's music was probably the last thing on the minds of the band's members as they created the project, but the cinematic scope of the instrumental album, flavored with haunting lap steel, is as vast as the Oklahoma prairie. I love it.

Last night's Snoop Dogg concert was the best I've experienced. And Ice Cube stepped on my fingers! Here's my review.

My review of the new James Christos EP is here.

Josh Broadhead of Kansas City's Saved By Grace has died.

Al Goodman of Ray, Goodman & Brown has died.

Ben Keith has died.

Nelly won't be playing in Branson after all. (Tip via Tony's Kansas City.)

Kansas City Click: Liverpool plays Frontier Park in Olathe on Friday.

Steddy P returns to the Czar Bar on Saturday.

As I noted at Plastic Sax, Mark Lowrey will record an album Sunday at Jardine's.

My top five picks for Warped Tour on Monday are Andrew W.K., Pennywise, The Reverend Peyton's Damn Big Band, Whitechapel and Dillinger Escape Plan.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Review: Archeology- Memorial

Unless I secure a designated driver, I'm not going to see Archeology when they perform seven miles from my home tonight. I'm not drinking. Rather, I'm so sleep-deprived that I'm actually hallucinating. I don't trust myself to make the trip in the dark. Memorial, Archeology's new album, contains the same sort of lush folk-based pop that has made Mumford & Sons and Blind Pilot fledgling stars. I hope to have sweet dreams about the Portland band's music tonight.

I'd almost forgotten just how much I love The New Pornographers. Here's my review of last night's concert in Lawrence.

I reviewed Alaturka's performance Sunday at Jardine's.

Ultimate Fakebook is offering their new album as a free download. (Tip via The Pitch.)

Bluesman Phillip Walker died July 22.

"The queen of the bolero," Olga Guillot, died earlier this month.

Kansas City Click: As noted above, Archeology appears Tuesday at The Record Bar.

Remember Sister Hazel? The band will be on the Power & Light stage Wednesday.

Abstract Rude plays The Record Bar on Thursday.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Busy In the Vizzy Zone

I've regularly noted the rising star of Wichita's XV at There Stands the Glass. Unless B.o.B has stolen his thunder, it would appear that a modicum of stardom may be just months away for the Kansan. The embedded video of Seven creating a track for XV mesmerized me when Demencha brought it to my attention last week. And Credentials Hip Hop offers a new interview with XV.

Big Star's Andy Hummel has died.

Kansas City Click: T-Model Ford plays the blues at Davey's on Thursday.

Devo is the highlight of Friday's bill at City Market.

Paul McCartney plays Sprint Center on Saturday.

Alaturka return to Jardine's on Sunday.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Fall To Pieces

My feelings were hurt a year or two ago when my friend BGO characterized There Stands the Glass as the "death blog." That's not how I see it. Yet the bad news has been so relentless this week that I'll reluctantly embrace the concept for this post.

Some songs seem as if they've always existed. "I Fall To Pieces" and "Make the World Go Away" are just as much a part of the natural order of things as the wind and the tides. It seems absolutely astounding, consequently, that until yesterday, the man largely responsible for those songs walked among us.

Hank Cochran has died. Also from Cochran: "She's Got You"! "Set 'Em Up Joe"! "Ocean Front Property"! "It's Not Love But It's Not Bad"! And Paycheck's "A-11"!

Other recent deaths of note:

Organist Gene Ludwig- he's heard with Pat Martino here.

Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs- here's a would-be hit.

Ruth Rhoden- the longtime Kansas City jazz personality interviews the late Emily Remler here.

Harvey Pekar- don't miss the cartoonist introducing his "World of Jazz".

Brazilian clarinetist Paulo Moura- he plays beautifully here.

Kansas City Click: I'm not the least bit pleased that Big Boi is purportedly appearing Friday at the ritzy Jones Pool. I don't have a thing to wear!

The Jeff Hamilton Trio returns to Jardine's on Friday and Saturday.

I caught the Doobie Brothers/Chicago tour a couple years ago. Not bad at all. And I don't care what anyone thinks- this is my jam. They trot out the hits again Sunday at Starlight.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Non-Review: Steddy P- While You Were Sleeping

In the column to the right you'll see that Steddy P's Style Like Mind was my #7 album of last year. I stand by that assessment. I haven't listened to the brand new mixtape by Steddy P and DJ Mahf only because I'm completely obsessed with "Teqkilla," the fourth track on the M.I.A. album that also hit the streets today.

In lieu of a proper There Stands the Glass review, here's largely unfiltered hype from Indyground:
While You Were Sleeping, a collaborative effort from the "Show Me State" duo Steddy P & DJ Mahf, celebrates two years of music and touring across the Midwest. The project begins with Side A, a brand new EP from Steddy and Mahf... On Side B, DJ Mahf handles the Mixtape portion remixing popular songs from Steddy's catalog with the finest variety of hip hop beats spanning the last fifteen years. While You Were Sleeping is over an hour of FREE, never before heard music from Steddy P & DJ Mahf.
Get the free mixtape here. Watch the video for "And It's Like That" while it downloads.

(Random unrelated original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Review: Rich the Factor at the Uptown Theater

"KC is the town."

Pop quiz- Tech N9ne aside, who is Kansas City's most popular hip hop artist? The correct response is Rich the Factor.

You're not alone if you don't know about Rich. Three out of four of my music geek friends say they've never heard of him. Yet Sunday night at the Uptown Theater the majority of the audience of about 1,300 rapped along to almost every song Rich performed. Because he's an elusive figure (that's him in silhouette) and rarely makes public appearances, it was only my second time seeing him. I could hardly keep up.

It's Rich's sound on material like "Authentic Tycoon" that most intrigues me. His murky mix is a unique combination of DJ Screw and Lee "Scratch" Perry. Syzurp slow and insanely off kilter, Rich's music is akin to gangsta folk art. It may be weird, but it's lucrative. Rich has built an underground empire.

E-40 was last night's ostensible headliner. "I want to be saved!" So fun. Until his set was spoiled by the intrusion of a talentless Kansas City, Kansas, act that I refuse to name, the Jacka's set was also excellent. And I was pleased that he and Lee Majors performed a track from my favorite album of 2010.

Even so, it was Rich's night. With all due respect to Three 6 Mafia, Rich the Factor is the real "Most Known Unknown."

Tim Finn composed an incredible review of Saturday's Hearts of Darkness concert.

Sugar Minott has died.

I finally got around to attending a live broadcast of KCUR's 12th Street Jump. Here are my notes.

Kansas City Click: Jason and the Punknecks perform an early show Monday at The Brick.

I don't expect to hear my favorite Tom Petty song Tuesday at Sprint Center.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Friday, July 09, 2010

Review: Bob Schneider at Knuckleheads

Bob Schneider couldn't get the line about Kansas City's "crazy little women" out of his head Tuesday. He made several references to the Leiber and Stoller song during his performance at Knuckleheads. Who could blame him?

The vast majority of the 200 people on hand were women. And a lot of them were, in fact, acting a little crazy. A handful of songs like "2002" aside, I could take or leave most of his stuff. Even my date, a woman compelled by the breathless ravings of her friends to attend, wondered what all the fuss was about.

"Bob Schneider is OK," she suggested, "But I'd rather see Howard Iceberg."

I agree.

I caught Julia Peterson, Sara Watkins, Carrie Rodriguez, Dar Williams and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals last night. Here's my review.

I've seen the likes of Mickey Gilley, Ray Stevens and the Baldknobbers in Branson, but I'm eagerly awaiting the day when artists like Aerosmith and Run-DMC run the town. It starts next month with Nelly.

Kansas City Click: Sam Bush plays a free concert Friday at Frontier Park in Olathe.

Hearts of Darkness perform Saturday at Crosstown Station.

E-40 headlines a massive show on Sunday that also includes The Jacka, Lee Majors, Rich the Factor, Berner and Ampichino.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Review: Levon Helm at Crossroads KC

I loved Levon Helm's concert Monday at Crossroads KC. Here are a few observations.

*As Tim Finn suggested in his proper review, Helm's large ensemble "recalled Springsteen's Seeger Sessions band." I'd actually prefer catching another date on Helm's current tour than see Bruce's Americana collective or any existing Grateful Dead splinter group.
*Helm can't weigh much more than 100 pounds.
*The evening's nicest surprise was the presence of acclaimed jazz musician Howard Johnson.
*How I miss Rick Danko!
*This fan video captures much of the concert's flavor.

Music industry icon Harvey Fuqua has died. This footage is a treat.

Steddy P invokes "the ghost of the jazz era" in his new video for "It's Like That".

Kansas City Click: Tim Whitmer is joined by Stan Kessler and Kim Park at Unity on the Plaza on Wednesday.

Eric Church performs Thursday on the Power & Light stage.

(Dark and blurry original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Monday, July 05, 2010

Review: Hearts of Darkness

The highest praise that can be heaped on the stellar new self-titled recording by Hearts of Darkness is that the document successfully captures much of the energy of their live performances. The album crackles with energy.

By the time I was born the heyday of Kansas City jazz was already decades past. As I noted in 2009, however, using the same instrumentation as the legendary jazz bands of the '30s and '40s, Hearts of Darkness capture some of the same vital spirit of that era. While a few local musicians work in that vein today, ttheir work is inevitably imbued with a sense of nostalgia. Based in the Afrobeat of Fela, Hearts of Darkness only allude to the bands of Jimmy Lunceford and Benny Moten.

A free download of "Step First Look Last" is available here. The entire album will be available for purchase at the band's July 10 gig at Crosstown Station .

Credentials Hip Hop lists its top ten Kansas City hip hop albums of 2010 (so far) and interviews the Arrangatang Gang.

The M P M pays tribute to the late Robert Byrd.

It's time to catch up on my concert reviews- here are my efforts for the following shows: Tool and Woven Hand, Roger Daltrey, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum and Love and Theft and 311, Offspring and Pepper.

Kansas City Click: Levon Helm makes a rare Kansas City appearance Monday at Crossroads KC.

I'm escorting a woman to Bob Schneider's Tuesday show at Knuckleheads.

(The Hearts of Darkness review is cross-posted from Plastic Sax.)