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Katy Guillen & the Girls
"Katy Guillen & the Girls
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Normally when I discover a band for the first time, I listen to their album first, then go see them live. In the case of Katy Guillen & The Girls’ new release, the situation's been reversed. I saw them live a couple of times before the album was released, so I was interested to hear if the record was going to capture the ferocity of their live performances. I have to confess that my hearing is not in the best of shape, and, due to a poor sound mix at what shall be an unnamed Lawrence venue, I never got to hear the words or even the melodies properly live at the most recent concert I attended. But upon hearing the self-titled LP, it’s nice to hear that Guillen can write literate lyrics to these songs I've heard played out.
 
The album opener, "Don't Get Bitter," hearkens back to the sound and feel of the Beatles' "Taxman," with Claire Adams' bass introducing the song. It's short, catchy, and lasts exactly as long as it should. If there were a single release off this album, this would be it.
 
This record is no-frills. It's the band pretty much as you hear them live, with the mix capturing a live in-studio sound. What strikes me listening to this record is that Katy and the Girls are not strictly a blues band. There's certainly an infusion of the blues in what they do, but, to my ears, they hearken back to some of the late ‘60s-early ‘70s hard rock bands like Mountain and Free, but with better lyrics and songs. I also hear some White Stripes in there somewhere. The melodies and harmonies are accentuated and they help blend with the powerful playing.
 
Katy Guillen, Claire Adams, and Stephanie Williams fill up a lot of space in these songs. It's obvious they are all very well in sync and have that great intuitive blend that comes from playing lots of live gigs together. I also like the changes in some of the songs, which go in directions you don't expect, like "Woke Up In Spain," which switches tempo adroitly.
 
The absolute masterpiece of this album is the last song, “Earth Angel.” It's the longest tune on the album, but it doesn't feel long. It starts out with Guillen’s dirty-sounding guitar intro, reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing," and builds in intensity as it moves along. Guillen takes one hell of a solo during this song. It's obvious from hearing this record that she is an excellent guitarist but never overplays during the songs. But when the song calls for a lengthy solo, like "Earth Angel," sparks fly. The rest of the band is equally as adept. Adams’ bass lines are nimble and fit right in place with Williams’ active drum work. It's a pleasure to hear a band that obviously loves to play together rolling through these songs. The album’s producer (Duane Trower at Weights & Measures Soundlab) captures the clarity of the music as well as the power of a live performance.
 

--Barry Lee


Welcome to the new Deli Charts, organized by genre and scene.

To rank the artists with the star system go to the Top 50.


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scene blog
This Thursday, October 30, KKFI 90.1 FM and Signal To Noise will be presenting It Came Out of the Garage!: A Garage Rock Dance Party, at Knuckleheads Saloon.
 
The show begins at 8:00 p.m. with the intense garage-flavored songs of Til Willis & Erratic Cowboy, followed by Alan Murphy & The Frequent Flyers. Murphy was the frontman of legendary Lawrence band Ricky Dean Sinatra. The Quivers will headline the show.
 
Costumes are encouraged, dancing is mandatory.
 

Tickets are $15; all proceeds will benefit KKFI. Ticket link. Facebook event page. 

October 27, 2014
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In conjunction with The Temp Agency, The Deli KC is happy to premiere the first single from Ready Astronaut, “Somewhere We Exist.” Ready Astronaut is the solo project of Josh Johnson, also of The Slowdown. His debut self-titled album will be released on November 4.
 
 
 
With his solo project’s lead single “Somewhere We Exist,” Josh Johnson takes a modern folk rock stroll in the woods away from his usual work in The Slowdown. The variant, almost multiple personality approach to songwriting still exists, with plenty of unexpected turns, changes, stops and shakeups that we’ve come to expect from his regular outfit. However, the layers upon layers upon layers of distorted guitars are replaced by a varied selection of tones and timbres. Countless strings, keys, and a melodic lead guitar weave a maypole around the periphery while the track is driven by Johnson’s wispy voice, an acoustic guitar, and solid percussion work. Fans of Rogue Wave or The Dodos would really dig this.
 
--Zach Hodson
 
Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings begins production. He is also in Dolls on FireDrew Black & Dirty Electric, and Riot Riot Riot, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects.
 
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October 21, 2014
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(Photo by Brandon Forrest Frederick)
 
The B’Dinas’ Fruitcakes is a creative juggernaut of hopeful turmoil; heavy groove and sexy vocal driven filled longing. It is an instant local classic. 
 
“Fated,” the opening track, is an up-tempo rocker with a blazing guitar. It has a retro psychedelic keyboard reminiscent of the ‘60s San Francisco scene—a great way to kick off a record.
 
“Pretty Neat (Candy Store)” is the album’s second track, with some of my favorite lyrics on the entire collection. I love profanity in rock ‘n’ roll but it’s very rarely done with power and grace. Roger Waters may be the best at it, and while there are other singers with clever filthy mouths, The B’dinas has one for the books with the line, “All your promises don’t mean shit if I can’t hold the value in my hand.” True enough, it seems to be. I’ve been walking around for days singing this line. It’s tough but tender because it’s delivered by Katelyn Jamison’s forgiving voice.
 
“Nuts and Bolts” is one of the shortest tracks on the record. This is a tough tune that makes me want to walk down the street with a switchblade in one hand and a flower in another.
 
The tune “Crystal Ball” opens with lovers in the sack. The heroine is just lying there when she turns over to glare out the window at a blackbird. The song is a mid-tempo funky thing with an Edgar Allen Poe twist. This song moves from blues to ‘50s vocal pop into a light prog rock ending.
 
“Two Doves” is a gem, a mix of Little Feat and Marshall Tucker. It’s almost jam band in a retro Van Morrison way. The B’Dinas have two doves in their mind so it must be very peaceful there. They sing of doing “it” all night and everyone loves that idea… everyone! The guitar is terrific and the solo is so sleepy, soulful, and cold-blooded I’ve had to rewind it several times. The B’Dinas should shop this tune to Widespread Panic. It’s an absolute classic.
 
“Bread and Butter” conjures up a 90’s SoCal vibe mixed with a little Go-Gos meets Carole King. This one has a serious groove and great drums. “Can’t Shake It” has serious saxophone hooks and dark lyrics. Katy Guillen sings of wearing gray and having an unbearable burden baring down upon her chest she cannot shake. This one hints a bit of the Neville Brothers Yellow Moon era.
 
Goddamned” is another beautiful example how to use profanity the right way. “I see you got your eyes wide… you better hold on to your hi-fi,” and “I’ll be goddamned.” This one is going straight to the top of the list of songs to play and sing when things aren’t going my way.
 
The records closing track, “Answer Me,” is a dark soul tune with a guitar solo that probably peeled paint off the walls of the studio. It is the perfect way to say goodbye. 
 
The B’dinas Fruitcakes is worth it. It is obvious they have expended a tremendous amount of effort, musicianship, and creative songwriting talent into these eleven tracks. It has an intensely serious musical vibe with lighthearted narrative. It’s fun and it grooves. My only criticism so far of this record is I’m not listening to it on vinyl.
 
The B’Dinas are:
Katy Guillen – guitars/vocals/harmonica
Katelyn Jamison – keys/vocals/bass
Peter Lawless – bass/vocals/saxophone
Tess Jehle-Ray – drums/vocals
 
Fruitcakes was recorded by Jerod Rivers at Sangha Studios, and mastered by Bruce Barkelew at Mansion Studio.
 
-AJ Rider
 
AJ Rider was born in in the town where Jesse James died to a soldier and playboy bunny. His mother has let it slip on many drunken nights that he was conceived at the Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair 1. He is a child of the sixties, has seen the grateful dead 126 times, and has a soft spot for the schoolteacher type.
 
 
Join The B’Dinas tonight at Coda, where they will be sharing the stage with Morningglories. Doors at 9:00 p.m. Facebook event page.
 
 

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October 17, 2014
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(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
 
This week, we’ll be highlighting some of the artists playing KC PsychFest from Thursday through Saturday nights at recordBar.
 
Recently changing their name from The Ray-Tones and forming a new lineup, El Rey-Tones has a surfy garage rock influence, dipped in a warm psychedelic groove. We talk with songwriter Bryan Koehler about the band and what we can look forward to from them.
 
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music.
 
Koehler: Imagine it like riding a wave through a tunnel of reverb, while all your best friends create a whirlpool of a constant rotation of joints circling past you in a conga line, while at the same time you're making out with your number one crush on the beach watching the blood orange sun sink into the ocean. #runonsentences
 
The Deli: Give us some background on El Rey-Tones. What’s the lineup? You also recently changed your name. What’s up with that?
 
Koehler: El Rey-Tones started as a few dudes trying to make some surfy garage jams in my converted dining room jam space in the spring of 2013. I think there were four of us in the beginning and we called ourselves The Buh-Ohls (phonetic spelling of the British pronunciation of "buttholes.") After about a month of realizing that just Johnny Mitchell (ex-Not A Planet/Soft Reeds) and I were the only ones getting together consistently, we quit extending the invitation and focused on writing between the two of us. We jammed and wrote together for the next 9 months in my make shift music space, calling ourselves The Ray-Tones (we both grew up in Raytown). We made a bunch of rough recordings, kept it under wraps for the most part, and then, with a little help from a friend, recorded 6 songs in Nashville with Konrad Snyder (The Brown Owl Studio) during the first week of March of this year. We brought the tracks back to KC. Austin Turney hit us up wanting to play some shows (he jammed with us a few times before). Not having a band yet, we declined, but we shared the tracks with Austin, who showed a bunch of other people, and then a few days later we had him on bass, Drew Little on drums, Jake Masters on guitar, Johnny on guitar/vox, and me on vox/percussion. Fast forward a few months and Johnny moved to Brooklyn with his wife (something he'd been planning on since we met and started this thing), David Bennett (Akkilles) stepped in to fill Johnny's spot, and we added Cortland Gibson (Organized Crimes) on keys/percussion/whatever. We got a cease and desist from a bunch of cartoon rhino fucks, and then changed the name to El Rey-Tones.
 
The Deli: What inspires your music?
 
Koehler: ‘50s and ‘60s rhythm and blues, psychedelic R&B, surf, garage, northern soul, etc. From day one we set out to write music that makes us feel good, music that we want to listen to, nostalgic sounds that remind of us of what it would be like to live near a beach, or some place far from the 21st century Midwest. I like songs that groove, syncopated circular rhythms, pretty melodies...
 
The Deli: What have been your greatest accomplishments as a band?
 
Koehler: I'd say getting to play with Allah-Las in June and having them put us on Reverberation Radio mix tape #115. Not only was that one of Johnny and my favorite bands/biggest modern influences, getting on that playlist has gotten us fans from all over the world (and probably what led to the cease and desist.) It was truly a dream come true to share the stage with a band we looked up to so quickly in our life as a band. If you haven't checked out Reverberation Radio yet, you should probably do that like yesterday.
 
The Deli: Do you currently have any albums out? You’re working on an EP now. What can we expect?
 
Koehler: We don't… we have a tape we made for our in-store at Mills Record Co. The A-side is our studio roughs plus 2 live tracks from practice and the B-side is a collection of our favorite voice memos and GarageBand demos. As far as getting our studio stuff out, we'll be trying to get a six-song EP out as soon as possible. You can expect to hear really awesome recordings of the songs you hear us play live.
 
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
 
Koehler: To me, it’s like when someone asks me if I like U2…not really? But I respect what they're doing, it’s just not what my ears want to hear most of the time…I kinda see local music like that. There's bands out there that I wouldn't necessarily choose to listen to, bands that I may not get into, but it’s important to support them, go to a show, talk to each other, share each other's work. I ask myself, would I want them to buy my record? Yes. I find it pretty amazing to go to a show, whether it’s a local music show, or just a local opener, and look in the crowd and see members from a bunch of other local bands in attendance. It means that people in this city care, and we got each other's backs. I think in past times KC has been sort of cutthroat or has had a me vs. the world attitude, but I feel like recently there are a lot of cats trying to make some pretty cool stuff and share it with each other. KC doesn't see many bands find large commercial success, but you don't see that curbing anyone's enthusiasm. People are making music because they love making music. That's the kind of scene I want to be in.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?
 
Koehler: TheConquerors have been a huge fave since I saw them on the back patio of Riot Room at the first Middle of the Map. Rory [Cameron] is a fucking rad songwriter and a rad dude (see local music comment above). Organized Crimes blows my mind; I think I'm their biggest fanboy. The dudes from The Slowdown/Wonderfuzz/Ready Astronaut are insanely talented and every time I see one of their bands I'm reminded as to how far I have to go as a musician to become a professional.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite non-local musicians right now?
 
Koehler: Allah-Las, Nick Waterhouse, Holy Wave, La Luz, Mac DeMarco, Temples, Cosmonauts…you get the idea…that and whatever vinyl I'm listening to.
 
The Deli: Who are you looking forward to seeing at PsychFest?
 
Koehler: I've honestly never seen White Mystery, so that'll be dope. Thee Water Moccasins never plays so that'll be a treat. Also, never seen David's band Akkilles play, so that'll be cool too.
 
The Deli: Besides PsychFest, what other shows do you have coming up?
 
Koehler: We're playing with this rad Brazilian psychedelic space rock band Wannabe Jalva at Riot Room Nov. 3 and opening for The Wytches from the UK at Riot Nov. 15. Both shows should absolutely shred.
 
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
 
Koehler: We've been fortunate enough to play with mostly bands we're really into so far…but it would be way rad to play at Austin Psych Fest one day, or like Desert Daze or really any of those cool psych fests… actually since you said fantasy, it would be extra wild to share the stage with The Ray-Tones (those cartoon rhino dick heads) and have a Death To Smootchie-esque freak out Battle Royale where we, El Rey-Tones would ultimately reign supreme (I'm clearly a little bitter still…).
 
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
 
Koehler: In no particular order, or no particular place to go: Chuck Berry, Brian Wilson, Donovan, Link Wray?
Berry: completed that pun for me there, father of rock ‘n roll, and the motherfucker is still performing!!
Brian: Duh.
Donovan: The most non-groovy looking groovy dude ever.
Link Wray: I mean, yeah… those tones though.
 
The Deli: What other goals do El Rey-Tones have for 2014, and beyond?
 
Koehler: We'd like to make it through the end of the year with a clear vision of what the lineup and writing process will be. We'd like to get the EP out digitally and on wax, but a vinyl will probably be the new year. If we can get some help from licensing or something, I'd love to do some regional tours and obviously write hella music and release hella music. We'll see. It’s still pretty early…but definitely definitely get these 6 songs out to you people!
 
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
 
Koehler: Thanks for reading and checking us out. Please stay tuned for upcoming releases. You can follow us at http://www.facebook.com/theraydashtones, soundcloud.com/theraydashtones, and instagram @koehlab. We love staying positive, playing groovy jams, and having a good time. We really like what we're doing and we hope you do too. We're also really friendly, so please, come see us and say hello. We love to make new friends. Thanks for reading. Weed is tight.
 
 
You can catch El Rey-Tones in just a couple hours! They’re opening up KC Psych Fest at recordBar this evening at 6:00 p.m.
 
--Michelle Bacon
 
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands.
 
 

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October 10, 2014
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Longtime KC mainstay free-form show Signal To Noise, hosted by Barry Lee, will present a special show in honor of Lou Whitney, who passed away Tuesday after battling cancer. The radio show will include in-studio guests Kristie Stremel, Tony Ladesich, Fred Wickham, and Joey Skidmore. Lou's longtime friend and guitarist D. Clinton Thompson will also join in via telephone from Springfield, Missouri. Tune in this Sunday, October 12, at 8:00 p.m. to hear the music of the Morells, The Original Symptoms, The Skeletons, and songs recorded by the guests with Lou producing. And great Lou stories as well. Facebook event page.

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October 09, 2014
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(Photo by Lindsey Kennedy)
 
This week, we’ll be highlighting some of the artists playing KC PsychFest from Thursday through Saturday nights at recordBar.
 
Taryn Miller’s intelligent songwriting and entrancing music is making its way around, and for good reason. Miller’s project Your Friend was signed to Domino Records earlier this year. With her debut album, Jekyll/Hyde, Miller constructs a simultaneously comforting and haunting atmosphere, fashioned around somber but colorful vocals. 
 
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music.
 
Miller: The music itself has distinct differences when presented live or by the actual recordings, but I’d say it’s spacious and constantly evolving.
 
The Deli: Give us some background on Your Friend. Do you have a regular cast of musicians that play with you? How long have you been operating under this moniker?
 
Miller: I’ve been playing under the moniker for over 2 years now. When it began, the roster was always changing, and that was exciting. But I felt that in order to dig deeper over time, I wanted some sort of solidified group to explore with. I really enjoyed the risk in one-off shows but I wanted the trusting element to be more present. There’s always going to be some sort of risk playing with me anyway! It all happened organically though. We all work well together as friends and as bandmates. Nicholas Stahl, Chris Luxem, and Austin Swick are the gentlemen I have played with the longest. I can’t imagine playing with anyone else at this point. It feels like a group more than a solo project than it ever has.
 
The Deli: What inspires your music and songwriting?
 
Miller: In all honesty, just purely existing. I am very intuitive and tuned in to all that is happening around me at all times. This is my way of documenting it. It’s very cathartic for me to do this. I’m inspired by energy, and the lack of it, all at once.
 
The Deli: What have been your greatest accomplishments as a band?
 
Miller: Touring and still loving each other afterwards. It only made it more apparent that these are the people I should be surrounding myself with. It wouldn’t have gone as smoothly without them.
 
The Deli: Your debut EP Jekyll/Hyde was released on Domino Records earlier this year. What can listeners expect? Do you have plans to record again soon?
 
Miller: The most rewarding things about having this amazing company backing the project are that the music gets to be heard by people that wouldn’t otherwise know it exists, and the tools to make something that I am truly proud of. It’s the kind of support that I had always dreamed of. I’m in the process of finishing the writing process of the full-length. The plan is to record it by the end of the year and for it to be available next year. I’d hope that there will be a sense of growth that can be heard with the newer material. I’m definitely in a radically different headspace.
 
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
 
Miller: It means everything from what I’ve experienced. I’ve only had the opportunities that I’ve had from the support of the community. Being involved in it, there is some sort of magic that peaks out of so many different directions. I’ve gotten to grow as a musician and watch all of my friends do the same. I’ve learned so much from the local scene and talent within it.
 
The Deli: Who are your favorite local and non-local musicians right now?
 
Miller: Locally, everything coming out of SeedCo and a part of the Whatever Forever collective. I’m really looking forward to Karma Vision’s release. I fell in love with No Magic this year and practically begged him (Ben Sauder) to let me play live with him. KC-based, All Blood has been really killer to watch. I grabbed their earlier tape and really love how unique the material is. I’m also a big fan of Lazy, The Conquerors, and Shy Boys.  There’s also a guy, Nathan Dixey—he plays as The Dan Ryan—who also played bass on my EP and sent me his mixes of his upcoming release. I can’t wait for it to reach other ears. He lives in Austin now but he’s still local to me.
 
Non-local, I’m all over the place. To keep my head clear I find myself listening to a lot more droney things.  Although I have been really excited about the newest Caribou record. 
 
The Deli: Who are you looking forward to seeing at PsychFest?
 
Miller: The Conquerors, Gemini Revolution, Monta At Odds, Jorge Arana Trio, White Mystery, and I’m still holding out for some surprise Expo 70 appearance.
 
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
 
Miller: This answer would probably change depending on what I’ve been most into. So, currently, Lower Dens, Timber Timbre, with Nils Frahm closing the show.
 
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
 
Miller: Referencing the last question, it mostly depends on what I’m listening to the most at the time. I would say William Basinski, Steve Reich, Arthur Russell, and Leyland Kirby. William Basinski has transported to me to an entire different form of listening. I could say the same of all of them honestly. I’m definitely drawn to composers. Listening to their work is almost like a glimpse of what their brain appears like on the inside. Steve Reich’s arrangements require your attention and I respect that artform. Leyland Kirby has worked in so many different types of environments. I love his spontaneity and also his control and selection. Arthur had sort of the same trajectory. All of his records touch upon something different. From the absolute joyous to morose. He was always creating, and it inspires me.
 
The Deli: Where can we find you on the web?
 
 
The Deli: What other goals does Your Friend have for 2014, and beyond?
 
Miller: The same thing I tell myself every morning: finish this record. It’s been very challenging to make this next thing. Now that I’m aware of what ears it could reach I want it to be very representative of myself. I also want to make something that I can be very creative with in the live setting and keep it exciting. Those are the goals as of now. If I look too far ahead, the page in front of me gets blurry.
 
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
 
Miller: I’ll cheat and quote Allen Ginsberg. First thought, best thought. I’m beginning to learn what it means to trust your instincts. I feel as though I spend so much time trying to change what’s inherent. Stay true to who you are and surround yourself with the people that irrigate and continually inspire that.
 
 
Make sure you check out Miller with Your Friend. The group will be playing KC PsychFest this Saturday, October 11, at 8:00 p.m, at recordBar.
 
--Michelle Bacon
 
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands.

 
 

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October 08, 2014
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