“If you don’t like my music, fuck you! Eat shit and die!” -Ted Nugent.

August 23, 2016
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Ted Nugent at CrossroadsKC at Grinders, 8/12/16.

“If you don’t like my music, fuck you! Eat shit and die!” –Ted Nugent, addressing the crowd at his recent concert at CrossroadsKC at Grinders.

At least Uncle Ted speaks his mind. You never hear indie bands say, “We’re Death Cab for Cutie. Go screw yourself!” It was a nice change of pace from the humility bands often display when bantering with the crowd.

He might have abhorrent political views and spout inflammatory rhetoric, but Ted Is one hell of a musician. Ted Nugent is 68. It was 90 degrees out and he smashed through a blazing hour and 30 minute set. It was an impressive performance for sure. Love him or hate him, Ted Nugent is true to himself and great at what he does.

Rachel Mallin and The Wild Type Performs “White Girls” Live at The Tank Room 7/12/16.

July 27, 2016

Here’s a recent video I shot of Kansas City-based indie rock band Rachel Mallin and The Wild Type performing “White Girls.”

Yes You Are “Echo” Live at KC Riverfest 2016.

July 5, 2016
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Yes You Are at KC Riverfest 2016, 7/4/16

Here’s a clip of up-and-coming Kansas City-based indie band Yes You Are performing “Echo” live at KC Riverfest on 7/4/16:

Yes You Are “World Without End” Live at KC Riverfest.

July 5, 2016

 

 

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Yes You Are at KC Riverfest 2016

Here’s a clip of up-and-coming Kansas City-based indie rock band Yes You Are performing “World Without End” live at KC Riverfest on 7/4/16:

 

The Glory of Little Freshie.

July 4, 2016
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Watermelon-basil snow cone at Little Freshie

It’s the end of an era for Little Freshie. The storefront closed July 1st. The Kansas City-based soda fountain and espresso bar was a fixture of the Westside neighborhood.

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Little Freshie

Little Freshie was created by entrepreneur and design maven Lindsay Laricks. Lindsay’s creativity and vision comes through in every aspect of Little Freshie. Her passion, positive outlook and drive is inspiring. She is closing the storefront to take a position at a local design firm and focus on her line of all-natural syrups. Little Freshie was more than just a shop, it was a community.

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Blackberry-lavender snow cone at Little Freshie

The vibes were always chill and laid back in Little Freshie. The treats were always insanely delicious. Everything was made with natural, fresh ingredients. Their snow cones were mind blowing. In my opinion, they also had the best chai tea in Kansas City. Quality indie, chill reggae or grooving afrobeat sounds would often be flowing out of the speakers. Every time I would go into the shop, I would meet interesting people. A lot of hip and funky folks were regulars at Little Freshie, but there was no attitude or pretension. It was a glorious place.

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Brownie and chai tea at Little Freshie

While it might be the end of the Little Freshie storefront, Lindsay’s ability and beasting will lead her to an even brighter future.

Yonder Mountain String Band Bring the Jams to CrossroadsKC.

July 2, 2016
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Yonder Mountain String Band at CrossroadsKC, 7/1/16

I’ve been a Yonder Mountain String Band fan since 2005. I saw them at Wakarusa one year and it got me hooked. They are past interview subjects, really nice and light it up live.

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Yonder Mountain String Band at CrossroadsKC, 7/1/16

One of my favorite Yonder memories was the time I caught a late NOLA Mardi Gras night show with my friend, Tim. I had seen Galactic play for 8 hours the night before. Tim smuggled in a Camelbak filled with a box of Franzia. We were passing out cups of boxed wine. At one point during the second set, a dude in a green dinosaur costume ran me over.
The early CrossroadsKC Yonder shows were also insane. Long, sweaty, packed evenings of quality jams and mayhem. Yonder shows create such a fun sense of joy and community.

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Yonder Mountain String Band crowd at CrossroadsKC, 7/1/16

Yonder fans are often referred to as the kinfolk. At the recent Kansas City show, a fan described his viewpoint of the Yonder fans as “a mix of bros, old ass hippies over 50 and hot girls. Everyone just wants to get down on some jams. No one judges each other. It’s not like when I go to indie shows and everyone is too cool.”
I hadn’t seen Yonder live in three years, but their July 1st show at CrossroadsKC reaffirmed what I love about them. The Colorado-based band’s two-hour set kept the crowd fired up. The interplay was tight, the tunes were on point and everyone had a great time. As the jams flowed and the breeze was rolling in, it was glorious. I took a bit of a break, but it feels great to be back! Woo!!

A Complete Vision of Silence: Notes From My First Experience with Sensory Deprivation Floating.

July 1, 2016
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Floating KC (Image via http://www.floatingkc.com)

A few months ago, I had a dream about floating in a sensory deprivation tank. I told myself if I saw any indicators to do it that I had give it a shot. I felt a really strong pull to attempt floating. The morning after my dream, I opened up Facebook and the first post I read was from a friend of mine that tried a sensory deprivation tank in my neighborhood. Here are some notes about my experience with sensory deprivation at Floating KC.
The session begins with a 15 minute chair massage. The float lasts for an hour.
You are in 10 inches of water with 1,200 pounds of Epsom salts, when you first enter the tank, there are lights and soft music. However, the sounds fade to silence and total darkness. The water is 93 degrees, the same temperature as your skin.
The experience felt like the complete vision of silence. My mind kept repeating that is was the complete vision of silence.
Feeling weightless, any mental weight/stress seems to slip away.
You really meld with the water. Things just seem to blend together. It’s hard to tell where your body ends and the water begins.
Everything seems slow, but the concept of time doesn’t matter.
Floating feels like you’re in zero gravity.

I could really hear my breathing.
The feelings of bliss and euphoria were very joyful. Seriously chill vibes.
It felt like the best, deepest meditation ever.
Floating felt like a really good massage, but for your brain as well.
I moved around the tank. I would push off and my mind told me it would take 1,000 years to get to the other side of the tank.
I stretched lengthwise. My mind told me I was 1,000 feet long.
I saw little flashes of light. They were these quick, golden, flickers of light. “These are excitement bolts,” my mind stated.
My mind thought about how my eyelids were heavy. I visualized a sack of cartoon style eyeballs.
Near the end of the session, a realization come to me. Whatever happens in life, I have to be peaceful about it. No matter what happens, I have to greet it with peace.
The lights came back on, the music started playing and it jolted me back to reality.
Floating in a sensory deprivation tank was an extremely chill experience. Everyone might have different experiences, but I would recommend it.

McClain Approved: Laura Gibson “Two Kids.”

June 30, 2016
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Laura Gibson in Kansas City, 6/20/16

Laura Gibson is a passionate songwriter and vocalist. She recently showcased her quality songwriting and glorious voice while opening for David Bazan in Kansas City. Gibson’s solo, acoustic set focused on songs off of Empire Builder, her excellent new album. Once you learn about Laura Gibson, you will have discovered one of the best singer-songwriters in music today. Her take on indie-folk is entrancing.

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Laura Gibson in Kansas City, 6/20/16

The jaunty, weird love song “Two Kids” is a great example of Laura Gibson’s appeal. Gibson’s emotive vocals soar over the sparse accompaniment of her acoustic guitar. The song is simple, direct and beautiful.

Here’s a solo, acoustic version of “Two Kids” recorded live at RecordBar:

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Myself and the lovely Laura Gibson

A Day of Indie Rock Glory at Boulevardia 2016.

June 28, 2016
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Boulevardia 2016

The 2016 edition  of Boulevardia showcased beer, a street fair and music in Kansas City June 17-19th. I hit up Boulevardia June 17th to soak up the indie rock vibes. The fest was held in an industrial area known as the West Bottoms. Around 8,000 people attended the fest. The music lineup helped to highlight the excellence in the KC music scene.

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The Greeting Committee at Boulevardia 2016

Up and coming indie rockers the Greeting Committee started off the day with an energetic set. The temperature was a scorching 95 degrees when the band hit the stage. In the middle of the set, lead singer Addie Sartino fell off the stage and just kept singing. The passion in the Greeting Committee’s playing and music proves why they are one of Kansas City’s best indie rock bands.

 

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The Greeting Committee at Boulevardia 2016

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Meg Myers at Boulevardia 2016

Going into Boulevardia 2016, Meg Myers had one of the most highly anticipated sets. Myers won over the crowd with her dramatic indie-pop and strong vocals. Songs like “Lemon Eyes” and the murderous yearning of “Desire” received big reactions.

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Radkey at Boulevardia 2016

Radkey hit the crowd hard with their blistering rock. The intensity and interplay from the St. Joseph, MO-based band made for one of the best sets of the day.

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Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness at Boulevardia 2016

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness closed out Friday with a set mixing new solo material and classics. It was nice to see him dig back into Jack’s Mannequin tracks like “Dark Blue.” McMahon’s emotive vocals and soulful piano playing were a perfect end to the evening.

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Boulevardia 2016

Overall, Friday at Boulevardia 2016 was one of the best days of music I’ve seen in at least five years. Every set was quality. Even in blazing temperatures, it’s great to see people enjoying themselves. Boulevardia 2016 served up beer and excellent tunes.

Widespread Panic Fan Shows Up One Month Early for Show.

June 8, 2016
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Widespread Panic logo

One of my friends recently showed up early to the Widespread Panic concert in Kansas City. One month early.

“I went down to Starlight at 3 pm to tailgate,” said the flustered fan. “I was ready to party. I didn’t realize the concert wasn’t until June,” he said. His yells for “Space Wrangler” echoing against the infinite sadness of an empty venue.

The dreams of nitrous-fueled spinning to epic jams will have to wait. We really need to get him a day planner.


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