Review of The Grisly Hand’s self-titled at Modern Vinyl

grisly-cover-e1483396215894
A double album can be an odd duck, but Kansas City’s The Grisly Hand may have unlocked its secrets. On the surface, the idea of recording 19 songs, putting them out as two separate compact discs (a year apart), and then re-sequencing them as a double vinyl release (now self-titled) sounds overly-complicated, and maybe it is. However, while the two albums which comprise The Grisly Hand’s double LP — last year’s Flesh & Gold, and this year’s Hearts & Stars — are both excellent records on their own, it’s when the two are combined that this music really takes shape.
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 1/23/17

Interview with The Naked & Famous’ David Beadle in the Pitch

Music_NakedandFamous.5819046980f2b
You’ve heard New Zealand indie dance-pop quintet the Naked and Famous, even if you don’t know the group by name. Its first single, “Young Blood,” has turned up in absolutely everything since its arrival in 2010 — movies, TV shows, video games, commercials. And even after all this time, it generates not weariness but an “Oh, it’s that song!” kind of reaction.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 11/2/16

Interview with Longriver’s David Longoria in the Pitch

Music_DavidLongoriaCREDIT_Jess_Williamson_.5834807bc6ccc
Austin musician David Longoria’s recordings under the name Longriver are more than just standard singer-songwriter fare. The Longriver album features instrumentals, found sounds and poetry, all flowing together like its aqueous namesake. Longoria’s voice and guitar playing are clear and clean, yet the record is by no means antiseptic. The music is instead warm and inviting. I spoke with Longoria by phone about recording the album, and about his love of nature.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 11/23/16

Black Friday Record Store Day roundups

RSDBF01___Flips.583998b498026
KC's record shops were a busy delight Friday morning and afternoon. The Black Friday installment of Record Store Day might not inspire the sort of fervent capitalistic enthusiasm of its better-known April counterpart, but this particular cold gray morning seemed to keep people at home drinking coffee a little longer than usual.
Read a round-up of the goings-on at various KC record shops at the Pitch. Published 11/28/16 Music_GrislyHandCREDITPaulAndrews2016.583481b20a62e
With Black Friday just around the corner, we know you’ll find yourself beginning to seek out cool and interesting gifts for friends and family. Rather than buying another iTunes gift card for that stocking stuffer, we suggest you head out to one of the many excellent local record shops to buy an actual physical release from a local act. Whether it’s a benefit album, pop, metal, or lo-fi punk, there should be something for all tastes in this roundup of the latest local releases.
Read a round-up of the best local releases to snag on Black Friday, also at the Pitch. Published 11/22/16

The Ovaries-Eez feature in the Pitch

moon_birth.586d57ba90631
On its new album, Moon Birth — released this week on the Whatever Forever label — Lawrence folk trio the Ovaries-Eez reaches for ethereal sounds. Granted, the group's gorgeous three-part harmonies are still the focus and the joy, but the new CD also finds room for Cloud Dog’s Brett Grady and Jim Martin, who add further texture to the lush singing with, respectively, viola and percussion (among other things).
Read the full feature at the Pitch. Published 1/6/17

Review of Beck’s ‘Odelay’ at Modern Vinyl

odelay-complete-package
Revisiting this record after decades of alt-rock radio play, it’s refreshing to know that everything still stands up. The singles have been ran into the ground, and lord knows I never need to hear “Devil’s Haircut” again, but “Jack-Ass” is like a revelation. That swimming, relaxed mood provides a glimpse into what Beck would do on his follow-up, Mutations, and the switch-up from what is — at its heart — a blues record still feels as fresh as it did 20 years ago. Start to finish, this is a record which stands the test of time. Much like Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique, or RZA as Bobby Digital, this is the sort of music to which most musicians have yet to catch up to.
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 10/27/16

Photo gallery of the Mountain Goat & Oh Pep! at the Madrid

mtn-goats-05 For soaring harmonies and gorgeous music, there may be no finer venue in the metro than the Madrid Theater. In its intimate confines, Melbourne, Australia's Oh Pep provided charmingly wonderful music. The quartet won over hundreds of new fans as they opened for the emotionally charged, yet no less beautiful music of the Mountain Goats. It was an evening of sing-alongs and almost bursting into tears (at least for your photographer). The Mountain Goats [gallery link="file" ids="19012,19010,19011,19013,19014,19015,19016,19017"] Oh Pep! [gallery link="file" ids="19022,19021,19020,19019,19018"]

Q&A with Oh Pep! at the Pitch

music_ohpepcreditmichaelconlon-57ec1037cf01c
For the benefit of anyone drawn into the hotel room by the charming music, the band’s name was spelled in wooden letters on the floor. This was the 2015 Folk Alliance International conference, and the musicians who’d made this endearing gesture had come a long way: Oh Pep, of Melbourne, Australia. Oh Pep is primarily the work Olivia Hally (the Oh) and Pepita Emmerichs (the Pep), who released their debut LP, Stadium Cake, on the Dualtone label this past summer. I spoke with Hally and Emmerichs via Skype about writing and producing the record.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 9/29/16

Anniversary reunion feature at the Pitch

anniversary
Josh Berwanger is hanging out in my living room, drinking an iced coffee, expressing admiration for three of the four cats roaming the house. Ostensibly, we’re discussing the reunion of his former band the Anniversary, for which he plays guitar and sings. But we keep getting sidetracked talking about horror movies.
Read the full feature at the Pitch. Published 9/13/16

Local Album Reviews & Interviews at the Pitch

[caption id="attachment_18942" align="aligncenter" width="540"]The Uncouth / photo by Samantha Levi The Uncouth / photo by Samantha Levi[/caption]
The past few months have yielded some especially strong local releases. The psychedelic rock of Lawrence Psychic Heat, AY-MusiK’s positive hip-hop, the Uncouth’s throwback oi — there’s something new for just about any taste. And five of the acts behind the best such recordings are playing in the area over the next week. Here’s what they have to say.
Read all the reviews and interviews at the Pitch. Published 8/30/16