Archive for April, 2016

“Come on out for a special brunch with George Clinton.”

April 29, 2016

George Clinton (Image via

In an attempt to cure some of my annual missing Jazz Fest seasonal affective disorder, I tuned in to New Orleans radio station WWOZ online. It only made things worse.

“Come on out for a special brunch with George Clinton,” a radio spot proclaimed. Brunch with George Clinton would be the funkiest brunch EVER. If you make your brunch with P-Funk, you’re gonna get funked up. “The mimosas were bottomless and I can see through time now. BOW WOW WOW YIPEE YO YIPEE YAY!!!!!!”

“If you’re gonna get a stupid tattoo, get a really stupid tattoo.”

April 29, 2016


“My thinking is if you’re gonna get a stupid tattoo, get a really stupid tattoo,” –Molly Balloons, balloon artist, talking about her balloons lip tattoo. I’m also digging the chain. I mean, why not look like a discount version of Juvenile? A balloon maven in action.

Welcome to the Family: The Joyous Sound of the Mowgli’s.

April 27, 2016

The Mowgli’s live at Charlie Hustle, 4/26/16.

It’s always nice to see bands that enjoy meeting their fans. Indie-pop band the Mowgli’s really love their fans. The band recently brought the happy clappy indie rock heat to a secret show at the headquarters of Kansas City clothing company Charlie Hustle. Their songs sounded wonderful floating through the breeze. The energy and joy in the Mowgli’s music is infectious.

After the set, a young girl was talking to vocalist/percussionist Katie Earl about how she had wanted to see them live for so long. “Welcome to the family,” Katie said as she hugged the girl. Really sweet and kind.


My Secret Desire to Become Jazz Fest Dad.

April 26, 2016

Jazz Fest Dad (Image via Jazz Fest Dad’s Instagram).

Buried deep inside of me is a desire to become Jazz Fest Dad. It is an eventual life goal for me. Their Instagram account is like looking into a living mirror and seeing myself in the future. Often red faced and sunburned, wearing their trademark NOLA shirts, the Jazz Fest Dad is an important subculture of Jazz Fest. Nothing wrong with being a trippy older dude with a large collection of Irma Thomas b-sides. If you’re gonna be a dad, why not be funky dad?


A Jazz Fest Dad “Cissy Strutting” his way to the Fair Grounds (Image via Jazz Fest Dad’s Instagram).

The Jazz Fest Dad and Jazz Fest Mom lurks within the heart of many a NOLA funk supporter. If someday I end up looking like a discount member of the Radiators, I’m totally fine with that. Money is overrated. However, I just want to make enough money  to do both weekends of Jazz Fest. I’m sure there are worse ways to spend retirement. EH LA BAS! FILÉ GUMBO! FUNKIFY YOUR LIFE!!!


“When ur a JFD and Trombone Shorty is closing out your life and you die and get to heaven and it’s just more Trombone Shorty.” (Image via Jazz Fest Dad Instagram.



The Noble Land Manatee.

April 25, 2016

There have been a bunch of volleyball players invading downtown Kansas City. These kids are so toned. I feel like a noble land manatee, blobbing around downtown.

This volleyball player had a team shirt that read on the back, “We eat the weak.” It seems a bit overkill. I didn’t know most volleyball players are cannibals. Kids these days! “Please don’t eat me. I’m high in fat content. I am but a noble land manatee.

Be Funkier Today!

April 23, 2016

Just a friendly reminder that funk isn’t just a genre of music, it is a lifestyle decision. Funk can be the way you carry yourself through life. Being square is for, well, squares. Dig within and tap into the trippy joy within you. Every day, it can be helpful to ask yourself, “What can I do to be funkier today?” Listen to that internal voice and let it guide you to a different view of yourself.

Interview: The Greeting Committee.

April 20, 2016

The Greeting Committee, 4/9/16

The Greeting Committee is an up-and-coming Kansas City-based band. They are signed to Harvest Records, which also features artists such as Glass Animals and Best Coast. They played SXSW and are playing Lollapalooza 2016. I go to a lot of shows, I’ve interviewed a ton of bands over the years. The Greeting Committee has something special. Their well-crafted indie rock and joyous live performances are gaining them fans nationwide.The future is bright for this band. The Greeting Committee features guitarist and lead singer Addie Sartino, bassist Pierce Turcotte, guitarist Brandon Yangmi, and drummer Austin Fraser. I recently sat down with the band to discuss the insanity of SXSW, signing with Harvest and their creative process.

I’m here with the legendary Greeting Committee here, up-and-coming, soon to be legendary, in my opinion, but they already know that. How did you all get started?
Addie: I wrote and performed music as a solo artist and I decided that it wasn’t fulfilling enough. I’d previously written music with Brandon Yangmi, our guitar player. When it came time to make a band, I knew he was the first person to call and from there he got Pierce Turcotte, our bass player, and Austin Fraser, our drummer.

Your EP, It’s Not All That Bad, is out now and doing well. You’re getting radio play, you’re really growing. How does your song writing process work? Do you start with lyrics first, melody first?
Brandon: Usually, it starts off with the music. Someone will bring an idea, me, Pierce or even Addie. One of us will bring an idea and we’ll kind of build it off of that. Usually, it’s like one idea and bringing in the rest of the band. We then mold it together as a whole band. We just kind of jam on stuff. Then, lyrics go on the top of the music that we’ve already written.

You guys really dig into your songs and that’s a beautiful thing to see. You’re really focused and I see a lot of bands that are not focused. You guys are locked in and that’s awesome. How often do you find yourselves writing?
Addie: Writing is more of a continuous project. It’s harder to write while we’re on the road. Since we’ve been on the road a short amount of time, it’s not that difficult. I would say writing is a continuous process and not something that we take breaks from. If we have an idea, we go with it. If not, we don’t put pressure on that.

That’s the thing about being creative, you just have to let it flow. You guys are signed to Harvest Records. How did you get hooked up with him? How did that happen?
Addie: The first email we got was from Republic Records and then Atlantic Records. After that, we spoke with Lazlo, who’s our manager, and he kind of made the connection with Harvest. He’s been best friends with Jacqueline, who is the general manager. They’ve been close for about 20 years or so. After having meetings with Republic, Atlantic and Harvest, it was just kind of clear which one was the best fit for us personally. Harvest just felt like home.

That’s awesome. There are some heavy hitters on Harvest, Best Coast and Glass Animals. These guys are melting kid’s faces off. You’re going to melt their faces off too. Have you guys started tracking your debut album yet? Are you writing right now?
Pierce: We have been writing, but not tracking anything.
Austin: We haven’t recorded anything, but we have been getting ideas and stuff. I think we’re going to record it over the summer. We haven’t recorded anything yet.


The Greeting Committee, 4/9/16

Do you have favorite quoted motto that you live by?
Addie: Peyton Marek and I, she’s our tour manager, we just say, “Be a girl boss,” all the time. I don’t know if that works for the guys. I don’t know if they have their personal motto.
Austin: “I like Dirt.”

You’ll be seeing those boys soon enough. Are you pumped for Lollapalooza?
Addie: I am really excited for Lollapalooza. A lot of my favorite artists that I haven’t gotten a chance to see, like Daughter is on the same day as us. I am really excited for that.
Austin: I’m glad you got the “I Like Dirt” reference. Did you notice us go into it when we played MGMT’s) “Kids?”

Yeah, I did catch that. It was nice. You had a spacey jam segment.
Pierce: I just wanted someone to catch the “I like Dirt.”

You did throw it in there. You’re loose enough too that it works. You guys are really in the moment live. It’s all about being good live. You’re going to rip Lollapalooza apart. Did you enjoy South by Southwest too?
Pierce: Yes, it was a lot of fun.
Austin: South by Southwest was insane. It was definitely a new experience. Besides the venues, just the whole city and the people. It was a great experience. We got treated really nicely. We played a Stubb’s Showcase where a notable artist, Charli XCX, was playing outside. That was a really fun performance. Everything was really fast paced. I’m glad we only dd two shows because I felt like if we did more, then there would have been a lot of things that we wouldn’t be prepared for.

You don’t get burned out. I know people that have done like 12 showcases. They feel like they’re going to die. I went a few years back. You feel great, but you’re falling asleep at the Korean taco truck. It’s like a Hunter S. Thompson music fest put on by Taco Bell. I’m watching Youth Lagoon and people in flannels are shoveling Taco Bell in their faces. It was confusing.
Brandon: That’s the life. People go down to South by Southwest just to sell stuff. They know tons of people will be down there.

So many voices all shouting. What advice would you give to the artists who just starting out? You guys are still young and you got the future in front of you.
Brandon: We are still starting out.
Addie: Play as many shows as you possibly can. You’re never too good or too above anything. Just play music and have fun doing it.
Austin: Practice a lot. Chemistry in the band is one of the most important things for a band.
Pierce: There can be very special things about each individual, but it’s also important how everyone kind of gets together and kind of bonds with the music too. Put in the work and stay humble.
Austin: I think it’s also important to really show off your individuality in the music too, because everyone comes from a different backgrounds. I think it is very important.
Brandon: You shouldn’t set roles for yourself. You shouldn’t be like, “No one else is doing this, I probably shouldn’t do it.” You should do do whatever you feel like you want to do.


McClain Approved: The Greeting Committee “Hands Down.”

April 12, 2016

The Greeting Committee at the Power & Light District, 4/9/16.

The Greeting Committee is a young indie rock band on the rise. The Kansas City-based band recently played SXSW and they are playing Lollapalooza 2016. The Greeting Committee features guitarist and lead singer Addie Sartino, bassist Pierce Turcotte, guitarist Brandon Yangmi, and drummer Austin Fraser. All of the band members are still in high school. They are signed to Los Angeles-based record label Harvest Records, which also features Best Coast and Glass Animals on its roster.

I recently caught the Greeting Committee’s headlining set at local radio station 96.5 the Buzz‘s Homegrown Buzz Music Showcase. Live, the songs have even more power and Addie’s vocals soar. I go to a lot of shows and the wonderful joy the Greeting Committee have playing is infectious. Those indie rock happy sensors go off in your body and gets you fired up. Their single “Hands Down” is a tight, well-crafted indie-pop song. It’s so inspiring to see a young band having fun doing what they love. The future is bright for the Greeting Committee.

Big Gigantic Bring the Saxy Dance Party to the Midland.

April 5, 2016

Big Gigantic at the Midland, 4/2/16

Big Gigantic brought their live electronica jams to the Midland April 2nd. The Colorado-based drums and sax duo represent a fresh take on dance music. Big Gigantic’s sound is a mixture of dubstep, house, hip-hop and jazz. Their instrumentation and sound is a nice change of pace from the standard DJ playing beats. The songs flowed effortlessly and the mix of bass drops and breezy sax lines got the crowd moving.


Big Gigantic at the Midland, 4/2/16

A lot of the set was focused on remixes and covers. Their remix of Major Lazer’s “Wave” was a highlight. It was a quality evening of party music. With their mix of sax and hard driving beats, Big Gigantic kept the crowd fired up and hype all night.


Big Gigantic at the Midland, 4/2/16

“Wayne Coyne is in our yoga class. He is kind of distracting. He does yoga shirtless, wears yoga tights and has big hair. He’s very expressive.”

April 2, 2016

The Flaming Lips at the 2009 Voodoo Music Experience (Photo credit: Ellen Maloney)

I heard a good Wayne Coyne story today. If you go to a lot of indie rock shows over the years, you probably end up with a Wayne Coyne story. The Flaming Lips are trippy indie rock legends. They have always created music with a weird and wonderful vision. Their live shows often explode into glorious expressions of joy.

I met Wayne briefly, in New Orleans, at the 2009 Voodoo Music Experience. He was wearing his signature suit and chilling out before heading onstage. A friend of mine’s father had recently passed and he happened to have been a big Flaming Lips fan. It was nice to be able to chat with Wayne. I told him that his music brings joy to so many people, myself included, and that my friend’s dad was a big fan.


Wayne Coyne, of the Flaming Lips, at the 2009 Voodoo Music Experience (Photo credit: Ellen Maloney)

I met a woman today from Oklahoma City. The Flaming Lips are based out of OKC. Like many people, she had a quality Wayne story, “Wayne Coyne is in our yoga class. He is kind of distracting. He does yoga shirtless, wears yoga tights and has big hair. He’s very expressive.” That will realign your chakras!

It is wonderful to be able to tell a musician that their music has a positive impact on you. If you like someone’s music and you get a chance to talk to them, speak from the heart and tel them why you enjoy it. It was interesting to hear a story about one of music’s weirdest and best artists. Wayne Coyne fearlessly freaking out his yoga class probably keeps the world in balance. People that bring their strange and honest creative visions to the world help to tip the scales away from the bland zone. Be yourself and remember to keep it weird!

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