I recently hit the Westside neighborhood in Kansas City, MO. Ended up having a discussion about street art and the importance of urban culture.
Archive for the ‘culture’ Category
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.
I’m a big fan of indie rock. Left-of-field sounds get me all hyped up. I love music that gets my indie sense tingling. You search for those sounds that get you musically fired up inside. As a music fan, it’s a joyous feeling you chase and crave. One of my preferred subgenres of indie rock is something I call the meowification of indie rock.
I love when artists/bands unleash these glorious soundscapes. Then, you get on the mic and meow your way to the indie rock glory land. It’s a strange sound of pure sonic bliss. Roll those beats, mew from the soul and beast it hardcore! The time is meow!
Here are a few of my favorites from what I consider to be part of the meowification of indie rock:
Sonic Spectrum is my favorite radio show. The show airs on Kansas City-based radio station 96.5 The Buzz. Sonic Spectrum is a freeform radio show that focuses on new and classic indie rock.
Host Robert Moore’s passion for music is inspiring. You can’t fake great taste and Moore’s taste is exceptional. I think he is so hip, he probably can’t even see over his pelvis. He is flyer than a pelican. Moore has am ear for quality music. It’s almost like he gets on air and goes, “This track is so new, I time-traveled into the future to get it. It hasn’t even technically been created yet.” Some of his selections are trippy and excellent, “This track was recorded on a Norwegian ice flow with wood blocks.” It makes you want to learn more about great music you’ve never heard of before. I’ll often hear a track he spins and go, “I don’t know what the heck that was, but I love it and need more of it in my life!”
Radio shows like Sonic Spectrum, curated by someone with great taste, can help make your world a more musically joyous place. For an example of some of the tunes played on Sonic Spectrum, check out this playlist created by fan Patrick Morrissey. Sonic Spectrum airs Saturday nights from 8-10pm CST on 96.5 The Buzz in Kansas City and can streamed live online at http://www.965thebuzz.com/
I consider myself to be a funk evangelist. It’s one of my many missions in life. I truly believe in the importance of spreading the good word of funk to the world. A lot of people are funk deficient and they don’t even know it. The wonderful and soul enriching power of music is so beautiful. No matter how funky you are, you could always be funkier. It is a never-ending, joyous journey. Charles Bradley’s set in Kansas City Saturday night reaffirmed my dedication to bring the funk to the people.
Charles Bradley is an underrated soul singer. Bradley overcame a rough childhood and homelessness to pursue his love of music. Known as the Screaming Eagle of Soul, he is signed to the excellent funk and soul label Daptone Records. The 67-year-old Bradley began his career as a James Brown impersonator, but has carved out his own path. He is not an artist just mining nostalgic ideas. Bradley is honest, real and in the now.
Over 500 people came out to the Midland to see his set as a part of Middle of the Map Fest 2016. Bradley and his tight band, the Extraordinaires, burned through an hour of simmering ballads and uplifting soul. It was one of the funkiest shows I’ve seen in years.
Live, the songs took on even more emotion and energy than the recorded versions. Bradley left so much of himself on that stage. The passion he has for his music is infectious.
I was fortunate to briefly meet Charles before his set. I told him about my funk deficiency theory and said he is a catalyst for positive change in funk. “I’ve paid my dues,” he said in a gravelly voice. Charles Bradley’s humility, positive outlook and his love of music is inspiring.
“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.
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?
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!!!
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.