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
MC Chris has blown past the nerdcore label to become one of the most interesting minds in music. Sure, he could rock the mic for the comics-convention set indefinitely, but he clearly has a broader audience in mind. His latest, MC Chris Is Dreaming, concludes a kind of trilogy with an ambitious set centered on dreams and A Nightmare on Elm Street. It’s one of the rare hip-hop records on which the skits generate real excitement.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 11/9/16
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
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
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
Last night's LKxRR show at the Granada, organized by Treet Ward of Lawrence's Young Bull, ably demonstrated that a solid bill can pull a hundred people out on a holiday weekend. The show was stacked top-to-bottom with the finest heavy music the Lawrence and Kansas City areas have to offer, and there was no finer way to starting kicking 2016 out the door than with a big, metal boot.
Read the full review and see more photos at the Pitch. Published 12/31/16
In one of the cruelest imaginable displays of fated timing, David Bowie died just three weeks before last January’s debut of the Band That Fell to Earth. The tribute act, organized by Michelle Bacon (Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds), was put together to pay homage to the musician while he was very much alive. Then came the bad news, and Bacon was joined by Nathan Corsi (Not a Planet), Steve Tulipana, Betse Ellis and nearly a dozen other local-music luminaries.
Read the full feature at the Pitch. Published 1/3/17
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
Watching the actors of Card Table Theatre rehearse the beginning of Bertolt Brecht’s 1941 play, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, you get an immediate sense of the work’s gravitas. From the back of the ballroom inside Lawrence’s Eagle’s Lodge #309, you see the all-female cast move around as they work out Brecht’s menagerie of “the underworld’s most-fabled malefactors.” As one of actor Jeanne Averill’s characters — Barker — puts it, these folks are “rotten,” “ill-begotten,” “butchers,” a “bloody brood.”
Read the full feature at the Pitch. Published 1/19/17
Movie critic Joe Bob Briggs is known for his reviews of drive-in movies, even if there aren't all that many drive-ins around these days. He's become something of a go-to guy for films with exploding heads, car chases, nudity, and all aspects of action, be it kung-fu, car-fu, or chainsaw-fu. While he was once best known for his hosting duties on The Movie Channel and TNT, introducing films as part of Joe Bob's Drive-In and MonsterVision, he's now an author of some repute, with the essential movie guides Profoundly Erotic: Sexy Movies that Changed History and Profoundly Disturbing: Shocking Movies that Changed History.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 1/21/17
Comedian, writer, and performer Kevin Murphy has been involved in nearly every incarnation of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and its offshoots. He was with the initial show as a writer from its earliest days, on Minneapolis' KTMA TV station, then became the iconic voice of gumball-machine robot Tom Servo for the show's time on Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel. Murphy has also been part of the Film Crew, a direct-to-DVD riffing project featuring fellow MST3K'ers Bill Corbett and Mike Nelson, as well as working with Corbett and Nelson on the hugely popular Rifftrax series of downloadable movie mockery.
Read the full Q&A (as well as an interview with Michael J. Nelson by Dan Lybarger) at the Pitch. Published 10/27/16