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Artist of the Month
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December 2015
Mikal Shapiro
"The Musical
"
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Singer-songwriter Mikal Shapiro’s perfectly titled latest release, The Musical, is a collection of not merely songs, but 10 short stories set to wonderful music. The album is a work—or multiple works—of art that are just as mysterious and intriguing as any paintings you will find in a gallery. Shapiro’s palette is splattered with the complete spectrum of colors. There are dreary gray tones and bright whimsical flashes, melding together to create a soundtrack to life—one that touches many musical genres, including rock, folk, jazz, old-school country, and even gospel.
 
The Musical's opening act, “Nope,” is an airy, ethereal fantasy. Odd, evasive lyrics over a folk sound made jazzier by a muted trumpet give the listener a sense of drifting in and out of a dream on a rainy Sunday morning. Drums and crashing cymbals briefly end the slumber, until you are lulled back to sleep as the song comes to a close. Several tracks share this jazz feel, including “Out on the Town,” “Two String Blues,” and the wonderfully whimsical "Hot Cool." Shapiro's vocals are poised and effortless on each of these. 
 
“Here and Now” explores rediscovering love and a desire to forget (or never remember) the past. A dull snare beat blanketed by beautiful steel guitar rivals the purest of cry-in-your-beer country songs. Similarly, “This Way to Heaven” is country with an emphasis on gospel. It begins a cappella and, as the band joins in, becomes the loveliest song on the album. It is simultaneously serene and haunting.
 
Matching the mystery and irony found throughout the album, “Daniel,” the catchiest and most up-tempo tune, is also possibly the saddest. Daniel himself is an enigma. The storyteller, who acknowledges being a “friend” of Daniel’s, clearly knows little more about him than that he can “sleep like a Christian” and “drink like a demon.” The song turns dark when the protagonist is found dead, presumably by suicide. “But on that Saturday, Daniel was down / They couldn’t say where he was found, or how he was found.” Brilliantly, the listener is left to decide how Daniel may have met his demise, and why.  
 
Shapiro is fortunate to be backed by Chad Brothers (guitar and vocals), Johnny Hamil (electric and double bass), and Matt Richey (drums), along with a small army of additional local musicians. This adept team provides a canvas that Shapiro expertly fills. My interpretations of The Musical may differ from other listeners. As with any painting, the artist is not only revealing her emotions, but is also attempting to provoke a response—and Shapiro certainly does. My response may be lost in translation, as the peculiar, personal songs will pierce each listener differently.

--Brad Scott  

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Best of KC for Emerging Artists Final Results: Radkey wins hands down!

Best of KC for Emerging Artists Final Results: Radkey wins hands down!

Deli Readers,

We are proud to announce that The Deli’s Best Emerging Kansas City Artist of 2012 is Radkey! The three-piece punk wonder brothers have swept the competition, with a landslide of votes from our local music jurors.  Taking second place is the sultry, syncopated group Making Movies, followed closely by recent NYC-to-KC garage pop duo Schwervon!.

Take a look at our chart of 48 Kansas City area bands below. The highest value of votes came from our jurors, who included individuals involved in local music. This includes promoters, venue owners, press, record storeowners, and other music experts. The remainder of votes was compiled by The Deli KC contributors, readers, and open submissions voted on by national Deli editors. Congrats to everyone who made the list!

 
ARTIST
J
W
R
OS
TOT
 
1
Radkey
36
3
0.028
1
40.028
2
Making Movies
10
 
0.052
1
11.052
icon
3
Schwervon!
7
3
0.029
1
11.029
icon
4
Antennas Up
8
2
0.007
 
10.007
icon
5
Dream Wolf
6
1
0.119
1
8.119
icon
6
The Quivers
2
3
0.057
1
6.057
icon
7
Molly Picture Club
5
 
0.046
1
6.046
icon
8
Shy Boys
6
 
0.004
 
6.004
icon
9
Dollar Fox
2
1
2
1
6
icon
10
She's A Keeper
4
1
0.12
 
5.12
icon
11
The Conquerors
4
 
0.041
 
4.041
12
The Empty Spaces
2
1
0.011
1
4.011
icon
13
Expo 70
4
 
0.005
 
4.005
icon
14
Gentleman Savage
1
 
1.5
1.5
4
icon
15
Cadillac Flambe
3
 
0.5
 
3.5
icon
16
Clairaudients
3
 
0.141
 
3.141
icon
17
Attic Wolves
2
 
0.086
1
3.086
icon
18
Conflicts
3
 
0.076
 
3.076
icon
19
Not A Planet
3
 
0.055
 
3.055
icon
20
The Sibyl
3
 
0.046
 
3.046
icon
21
Man Bear
 
 
0.015
3
3.015
22
The Bad Ideas
3
 
0.008
 
3.008
icon
 
The Caves
3
 
0.008
 
3.008
icon
24
Akkilles
3
 
0.005
 
3.005
icon
25
Beautiful Bodies
3
 
0.001
 
3.001
icon
26
We Are Voices
 
 
1
2
3
icon
27
Bears and Company
1
1
0.5
 
2.5
icon
 
Me Like Bees
2
 
0.16
 
2.16
icon
29
In Back of a Black Car
2
 
0.058
 
2.058
icon
30
Jorge Arana Trio
1
1
0.014
 
2.014
icon
31
Tiny Horse
2
 
0.008
 
2.008
icon
32
The Heavy Figs
2
 
0.007
 
2.007
icon
33
Shades of Jade
2
 
0.005
 
2.005
icon
34
Drew Black and Dirty Electric
1
1
0.001
 
2.001
icon
 
Quiet Corral
1
1
0.001
 
2.001
icon
 
Spirit is the Spirit
2
 
0.001
 
2.001
icon
37
The Republic Tigers
2
 
 
 
2
icon
 
The Phase
2
 
 
 
2
?
39
Cowboy Indian Bear
1
 
0.069
 
1.069
icon
40
The B'Dinas
1
 
0.044
 
1.044
icon
41
Gemini Revolution
 
 
0.017
1
1.017
icon
42
Oils
1
 
0.012
 
1.012
icon
43
The Blackbird Revue
1
 
0.01
 
1.01
icon
44
The Elders
 
 
0.008
1
1.008
icon
45
Ghosty
1
 
0.004
 
1.004
icon
46
The Dead Girls
1
 
0.004
 
1.004
icon
47
Ssion
1
 
0.002
 
1.002
icon
48
John Maxfield
 
 
0.001
1
1.001
icon
Legend: J = Jurors, W = Deli Writers, 
R = Deli Readers, OS = Open Submissions

--Michelle Bacon


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