Archive for December, 2016

The Floozies and Jason Hann (The String Cheese Incident/EOTO) Jam at the Midland

December 29, 2016
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The Floozies and Jason Hann at the Midland, 12/23/16

Lawrence-based duo the Floozies recently smashed the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland with a set of future electronic funk. Near the end of the show, the past interview subjects were joined by special guest percussionist Jason Hann (The String Cheese Incident/EOTO) for some blazing jams. Check out this video of some of the action.

Emmaline Twist “Vega” Live at the RecordBar

December 29, 2016
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Emmaline Twist live at RecordBar, 12/27/16

Kansas City-based band Emmaline Twist brought their potent post punk and shoegaze vibes to the Middle Class Records launch party at the RecordBar on December 27th. Take a listen to this rocking live version of “Vega.”

A Live Chat With Molly Balloons

December 26, 2016
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McClain and Molly Balloons at the Midland, 12/23/16

I recently ran into past interview subject and balloon beast Molly Balloons during a set break at the recent Floozies show at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City. You know we had to go live and chat it up!

My Favorite Shows of 2016

December 23, 2016
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Quintron and Miss Pussycat at the RecordBar, 10/9/16

2016 was a great year for live music in Kansas City. It was such a great honor to cover so many quality shows this year. Here is a rundown of my favorite gigs of the year.

Quintron and Miss Pussycat at RecordBar

The garage rock insanity and sweaty mayhem of New Orleans-based Quintron and Miss Pussycat at RecordBar was my favorite show of 2016. Backed by the drumming of the robotic Drum Buddy, the strangely funky grooves and interplay between organist Quintron and percussionist/puppeteer Miss Pussycat had the crowd dancing hard all night. Some songs sounded like if you played “96 Tears” underwater while drinking a bunch of NyQuil. It was weird, wonderful and complete perfection.

Femi Kuti and the Positive Force at CrossroadsKC at Grinders

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Femi Kuti and the Positive Force at CrossroadsKC at Grinders, 7/9/16

The eldest son of afrobeat legend Fela Kuti honored his father’s legacy while pushing the sound into the future at CrossroadsKC. Backed by a 14-piece band, mufti-instrumentalist Femi smashed through two hours of politically charged songs with infectious grooves. The musicianship was topnotch and the messages of empowerment and unity are needed now more than ever.

M83 at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the MidlandArvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

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M83 at the Midland, 6/1/16

M83 delivered a high-energy set of indie-pop at te Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. The new material of Junk worked really well live meshed seamlessly with their classic tracks. The production and lighting was also top level. It was a glorious evening of French-tinged indie rock.

Here’s a snippet of the classic “Midnight City,”

Yellowman at Prohibition Hall

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Yellowman and McClain at Prohibition Hall, 7/22/16

Reggae-dancehall legend Yellowman smashed KC with an epic performance this year. He came at 1:30 in the morning and he smashed through nearly two hours of classic tunes. King Yellowman was Jamaica’s top-selling artist of the ’80s, but his live show proves that he is no nostalgia act. Something isn’t purely nostalgic when it is right in front of you, blowing your mind. Yellowman’s set was hard-hitting blur of blazing reggae vibes, lyrical dexterity and calisthenics. All hail King Yellowman!

Warpaint “New Song” Live at the Midland

December 22, 2016
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Warpaint at the Midland, 12/17/16

Warpaint recently brought their psychedelic indie rock vibes to the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. The LA-based band are past interview subjects of mine and are one of my favorite bands. The band’s latest album, Heads Up, is one of 2016’s best. The album has gotten the band commercial radio play and reach a larger audience. Watch Warpant groove on “New Song.”

Marian Hill “One Time” Live at the Midland

December 21, 2016
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Marian Hill live at the Midland, 12/15/16

Marian Hill showcased their jazz-laced indie grooves in their recent set at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. Check out this soulful version of their hit song “One Time” that I recorded live on 12/15/16.

Local Natives “Airplanes” “Wide Eyes” and “Fountain of Youth” Live at the Midland

December 21, 2016
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Local Natives at the Midland, 12/17/16

California-based indie band Local Natives recently smashed the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland with their final set of 2016. Their album, Sunlit Youth, is my favorite album of 2016. Check out these live videos I shot of “Airplanes,” “Wide Eyes” and one of my favorite songs of the year “Fountain of Youth.”

People That Made Their Facebook Live Debuts With Me in 2016

December 14, 2016

I had the honor of going live with many great musicians and friends in their debut Facebook Live interviews this year.

Here’s a chat with Australian producer Roland Tings.

Two members of the Milwaukee-based electronic pop/dream pop band GGOOLLDD stopped by for an interview.

Hank Weidel, drummer for Kansas City-based band Captiva, stopped by for an interview after their set at X1051‘s Bye Week Brew Fest. This interview also features a guest appearance by the legendary Alfred Whitaker.

I interviewed Austin-based musician Walker Lukens for X1051 after his set at the Riot Room.

Rachel Mallin (of Rachel Mallin and the Wild Type and Jaenki) was the most frequent guest of the year. She has appeared four times this year on my Facebook Live.

We talked about Degenerate Matters at her EP release show

We had a chat about my favorite song of the year, “White Girls.”

I chatted it up with Rachel and famed blogger Sam Kali after her Midland debut.

I met up with Rachel, Stephen and Joanna Snow and the enigmatic Westport Panda during a set break at the Riot Room.

Fashion designer Nicole Leth (owner of Sex and Ice Cream) gave an interview and a tour of her shop.

Aaron Braun chatted with me during the Umphrey’s McGee show at CrossroadsKC.

It was over 100 degrees out at the Chipotle Cultivate Festival in Kansas City this year. Paul Bragg and cocktail maven Margot Anna Thompson. We had to give the rundown on the indie rock vibes and learn about quality margarita crafting.

A chat with funk fiends Macy and Gabe Engelbert about the origins of their funk and their love of Lettuce.

I hit up Art Alley with the former rave queen/indie rock beast Jami Halverson.

A chat with Matthew Arnold and Krystal Nies at the Liberty Memorial.

I met up with David Cecil Blattner of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to discuss a few of the modern art pieces in the collection.

I sat down with Joe Hammers and Gabrielle Favreau for an impromptu interview at YJ’s Snack Bar about Burning Man.

I had a chat with comedian Chloe Pelletier to discuss her favorite joke and the impact of Huntington’s disease.

Emmaline Twist singer and guitarist Meredith McGrade stopped by for an interview after their set at RecordBar.

Kansas City-based indie rockers Golden Groves sat down for an interview before their set at the Riot Room.

I met up with Tom Camden while he was selling merch at the sold out marshmello show at the Midland.

A big thank you to everyone that sat down for chats with me this year! So much beasting!

My Favorite Songs of 2016

December 13, 2016
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Rachel Mallin and the Wild Type at CrossroadsKC at Grinders

2016 featured a ton of quality tunes. Here is a rundown of my favorite tracks of the year:

Rachel Mallin and The Wild Type “White Girls”

“White Girls” is my favorite song of 2016. The self-effacing nature of the lyrics are counterbalanced by an upbeat, surf rock melody.

Marian Hill “I Want You”

Jazz-laced indie grooves and soulful vocals from electronic pop duo Marian Hill.

Local Natives “Fountain of Youth”

Local Natives put out my favorite album of the year, Sunlit Youth. Love the pulse and drum work in this song. Excellent indie rock vibes.

Laura Gibson “Two Kids”

A sweet love song from underrated singer-songwriter Laura Gibson.

The Hunna “You and Me”

Uptempo indie-pop from England’s the Hunna. They bring the energy here for sure.

Sylvan Esso “Radio”

Catchy grooves and passionate vocals made this one of the biggest songs of the year. They also put on one of the strongest sets I saw this summer.

Eleanor Friedberger “Open Season”

Quality vocals and guitar work from past interview subject Eleanor Friedberger. I love the vibe of this track.

The Naked and Famous “Higher”

Big, poppy sounds from the Naked and Famous. The band really goes epic on this song.

Warpaint “New Song”

A poppy tune from past interview subjects Warpaint. This song finally got them on mainstream radio. It’s great to see a band this trippy and great getting more recognition.

Bear Hands “Boss”

Past interview subjects Bear Hands indie rock smash it here. “If you taught me how to fish, I would sweep the sea clean” are some of my favorite lyrics I’ve heard in a long time.

Bishop Briggs “River”

Really soulful vocals from Bishop Briggs. This song was overplayed a lot this year, but it’s still excellent.

Phantogram “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”

The emotive vocals and pulsing grooves make “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” one of the biggest tracks of the year. Three is an excellent album.

K.Flay “Blood in the Cut”

Nice grooves and intense delivery from K.Flay. She also put on one of the most hard-hitting shows in KC this year. Her set was a perfect blend of hip hop and indie rock.

Whitney “No Woman”

I love the growing sprawl of this tune and the horn work really pushes the song in unexpected directions.

Maggie Rogers “Dog Years”

Maggie Rogers showcases her glorious voice on “Dog Years.”

Rachel Mallin and The Wild Type “Wait For It” Live at the RecordBar

December 12, 2016
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Rachel Mallin and The Wild Type live at the RecordBar, 12/10/16

Kansas City-based band Rachel Mallin and The Wild Type recently rocked their set at the Noise FM‘s Noise For Toys benefit for Toys for Tots at the RecordBar. Check out this live version I shot of new track “Wait For It.”