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Golden Sound Records

Golden Sound Records presents 3rd annual Crossroads Summer Block Party

Golden Sound Records will be hosting its third annual Crossroads Summer Block Party on June 6, at 19th and Wyandotte in the Crossroads Art District for First Friday. This year promises to be its biggest yet, with eight bands, as well as food trucks, live art, craft beer makers, and much more.
If you haven’t heard of Golden Sound Records, it’s a Kansas City-based record label with a roster of talented local and regional bands—among them, The Empty Spaces, The Caves, and Baby Teardrops. But co-founder Jerad Tomasino doesn’t think of Golden Sound as a traditional record label.
“Golden Sound started as more of a collective,” he remarks. Tomasino, who co-fronted Everyday/Everynight (which, at the time included Mat Shoare and Evan Ashby), said that the idea for the label materialized around 2009. “As E/E was getting its engine running, we started to play around with how we would collectively release our music. We wanted to create an entity that could withstand more than a single person or band.”
Tomasino started the label along with Shoare and Ross Brown in 2010. Since its inception, Golden Sound has not only helped bands release albums—it has helped showcase many musicians to audiences that might not otherwise be exposed to them.
One of the best culminations of this exposure is with Golden Sound’s annual Block Party. In addition to eight of Kansas City’s best bands, the Block Party will include food trucks from Indios Carbonsitos, Wilma’s Real Good Food, Jazzy B’s, and Nani’s Kitchen, as well as offerings from several other sponsors. Brown mentions that this allows the collective to involve more of the community. “We can’t give you all the support of a regular record label and we aren’t experts at every aspect, but we can help in some way.”
“Our process is creation-oriented, and we bring in super creative people in to flesh it out with their offerings,” says Tomasino.
But without argument, music is the forefront of the annual Block Party. The lineup starts off with a swift kick in the teeth by Jorge Arana Trio at 6:30, followed by the sweet pop stylings of Rev Gusto and Mat Shoare. Katelyn Conroy’s solo indie project La Guerre follows, and power trio Loose Park and The ACBs will bring the rock ‘n roll. The night will be rounded out by the otherworldly sounds of Metatone and the atmospheric instrumental mutiny of Forrester.
For Tomasino, one of the highlights of the Block Party is being able to put the performers on a large, professional stage in the middle of the Crossroads during First Friday. “You know your band’s music is good quality and worth putting on a big stage,” he says.
Golden Sound begins its push for the Block Party this Sunday, June 1, when it will celebrate the release of See Through Dresses’ self-titled LP at Mills Record Company. This is the second stop on the Omaha band’s tour. Matthew Carroll and Sara Bertuldo, of See Through Dresses, were two of the first artists that the label approached outside of its core group. Golden Sound released an EP from their previous project Honey & Darling in 2010, and Bertuldo’s punk project Millions of Boys is also a label artist. “We just want to get behind a really special album and band on its way to whatever is next,” says Tomasino, who feels that Mills will be a great place to expose See Through Dresses to a KC audience. “Mills plays a vital role in the musical makeup around here. We’re doing the in-store there so that people—specifically those actively engaged with KC music—can step into an easy environment to meet these guys, hear their music, and that’s it.”
“We want to take away the barriers and create a relaxed, fun environment for people to experience some amazing music,” Tomasino concludes. And Golden Sound is a collective, a label, whatever you want to call it, that does just that—facilitating contact between artist and audience, and at once helping increase the reach of Kansas City’s musical landscape.
If you’re milling about First Friday next weekend, be sure to hit up the Block Party. It’s free! Facebook event page. For more info on the Block Party, check out crossroadsblockparty.com. And be sure to check out the See Through Dresses’ release party at Mills. Show starts at 6:00 pm. The Author and the Illustrator will also play. Facebook event page.
--Michelle Bacon
Michelle is editor of The Deli KC and is also a member of The Philistines, Drew Black & Dirty Electric, Dolls on Fire, and Lucky Graves. She’s a staff member of Midwest Music Foundation. She is getting tired of inserting all of these hyperlinks.
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Album review: Mat Shoare - Domestic Partnership

Golden Sound Records is on a string of great releases. They kicked off mid-summer with Party Line from The Empty Spaces, later put out Ross Brown’s sophomore release, the new Everyday/Everynight singles, and now Mat Shoare’s fourth album. Within the past year, Shoare has somehow found the time and inspiration to write Domestic Partnership. As frontman of The Empty Spaces and a visceral component of Everyday/Everynight, one wonders where Shoare found the creative muses to write this breathtaking album.
Taking a more somber tone than The Empty Spaces’ upbeat surf-rock, and a more earthly sound than the ambient Everyday/Everynight, Domestic Partnership is an album that is easy to grasp. The album is full of sad, sorry tales, and real-life happenings that everyone, at some point, will have or has experienced.
The recording quality seems low-end, but works insanely well with this album. The album sounds as if Shoare recorded it while sitting right next to you. Domestic Partnership’s liner notes state: “…recorded by Mat Shoare in multiple bedrooms, basements, and offices…” And that aspect is definitely felt throughout the album. As mentioned, it sounds as if Shoare could have been playing the song while in the same room as you. This hosts a brilliant emotional linkage to his songs; not unlike seeing him perform live. For these kinds of songs, you don’t want over-produced and completely flawless music—it’s straight and it’s real.
Shoare’s vocals embody a haunting undertone while remaining pleasantly familiar. It sounds like a voice you know, one that you are inclined to listen to. His vocal range is quite impressive as well. Varying from a low and daunting timbre, like in the opening track “Patterns in the Sand,” to a high-pitched screech (a characteristic of The Empty Spaces) found in the title track. Backing himself up with a plethora of “ooohs” adds depth to songs like “Patterns in the Sand,” among others.
This album is a no-holds-barred attack on the reality of life. Shoare’s lyrics come at you like a slap to the face or a kick in the shin. Shoare definitely does not sugar coat a single line for the listener. “We never get older, we only get sadder, we never get bolder, we only get madder” is a shining example from “Meadowlark.” His words hurt and are full of some sort of pain, but paralleling this pain is an organic sense of sympathy, from Shoare to you. Domestic Partnership sounds like two people sitting, talking, and listening to each other: a therapy session.
Shoare celebrated the release of Domestic Partnership at recordBar this past weekend. The official release of the album will be tomorrow, Tuesday, December 11. You can order the CD and preview a track at the Golden Sound Records’ link here.
--Steven Ervay
Steven is the intern of Midwest Music Foundation and The Deli - Kansas City. He can't go to 21+ shows yet and that bums him out.  

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New tracks: "#fire" and "#16monkies" by Everyday/Everynight

Since emerging in 2009, Everyday/Everynight has managed to make a lot of noise in the Kansas City scene. With a full length release in 2011, a two-week tour and a best emerging act nomination under its belt, the band has effectively punched the clock and done the necessary time needed to grind out a respectable reputation as a working-class band.

Assuming that the Mayans don’t fuck us over, the band will ride that reputation into 2013 on the strength of their new single “#fire.” The track positions itself nicely with plenty of build and atmospheric noise to gather mystique. Easing in with passive drums over porno sounds, “#fire” climbs upwards into a full Radiohead frenzy. Perfectly paced and patterned flawlessly underneath mellow and melodic vocals, the song takes a simple approach to its structure with repetitive guitar and bass riffs blended with reasonably adjusted floor tom drumming.  If time travel were possible, “#fire” could easily spark up the flux capacitor and find its way snuggled into the set list of several classic 1990’s movie soundtracks. Local nerds: think Flick’s The Perfect Kellulight with this track.

As a bonus, the release packages “#fire” with a free t-shirt and an additional cut titled “#16monkies.” The bonus track takes on a heavier demeanor than the single, opening with straightforward and aggressive drum and guitar beats before shifting into a 2004-era Modest Mouse-like jam session. However, the track jumps ship, bolting at the vocal break for a Purple Rain-inspired rant that effectively swells into an epic arena rock chorus. The song absolutely doesn’t fuck around and pairs with the single in a manner that makes it just as worthy a purchase as “#fire.” While it might be the free toy in your Happy Meal release, it absolutely is not a throw away.

Overall, I only have one minor complaint regarding the release. Collectively coming in at 10 minutes, the tracks are a little on the long-winded side considering most full-lengths linger around 35 to 40 minutes. However, considering the sound and manner in which the time is used, the tracks deserve a free pass for this. They’re efficient in their aim and gather enough momentum to stir excitement toward whatever project the band tackles next.
Therefore this release has done its job. Gold stars will be had by all.

You can download "#fire" and "#16monkies" at the link right here. The songs were recorded by Ross Brown at Rock Jack Studios.

--Joshua Hammond

After stints drumming for both The Afternoons and Jenny Carr and the Waiting List in the Lawrence/Kansas City music scene, Joshua Hammond found his footing as a music journalist, launching the national publication Popwreckoning. After running the show as Editor in Chief for 6 years, Hammond stepped away from the reigns to freelance for other publications like Under The Gun Review and High Voltage Magazine. This shift allowed the adequate amount of time for him to write passionately, allow the Kansas City Royals to break his heart on a daily basis and spoon his cats just enough that they don't shred his vinyl. 

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On The Beat with Ross Brown

Ross Brown is a jack-of-all-trades in Kansas City music. First and foremost, he identifies himself as a songwriter, soon to be releasing his solo album Small Victories. He's also the beatkeeper of The Empty Spaces, frontman of Fullbloods, and an integral cog in Golden Sound Records. This week, we talk to Ross about all of his projects and find out what's coming up. Catch the beat right here!

--Michelle Bacon

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On The Beat with Ross Brown


Ross Brown is a drummer, a songwriter, a guitarist, a singer. He splits his time as the bombastic timekeeper for The Empty Spaces, the frontman for Fullbloods, and he’s a solo artist with a new album on the way—his first since 2007. We sit down with him and find out more about his life as a drummer and all-around musician.

The Deli: How did the drums find you?

Ross Brown: I started homeschooling my sophomore year of high school, which basically meant I blazed through my work and played music all day. The problem was that all of my friends were at school during the day, so I didn't have anyone to jam with. I borrowed an old kit from my buddy and started playing along with my own recordings to fill out the rhythm section. If that's not a pathetic story, I don't know what is.

The Deli: Did you play drums first, or another instrument?

Ross: I started with trumpet and euphonium as a kid and picked up guitar and bass along the way. Drums were the last addition.

The Deli: What kind of kit do you use?
Ross: I've had the same Gretsch Catalina Club kit for years. It's a decent and versatile enough kit to keep around. I love the 18" kick. I usually play a 14" brass Tama Starclassic snare and use Aquarian Modern Vintage heads on everything but the kick.
I'm fortunate enough to have Fullbloods practice in my basement, so I get to hammer on the kits that Bill Pollock brings over. There was a span of time where I swear that guy was bringing a different kit every two weeks. His vintage Rogers kits are killer.

The Deli: When you think of your musical career, do you see yourself as a drummer?
Ross: I definitely didn't until about a year into playing with The Empty Spaces. I finally broke down and accepted that the thing I was doing when flailing sticks around at wooden shells was called "playing the drums.”
The Deli: Are there any local drummers you look up to?
Ross: Kyle Rausch (of The ACB’s) is currently my favorite drummer in Kansas City.

The Deli: You also are a solo artist and the frontman of Fullbloods. Do you think of yourself first as a songwriter or a drummer/instrumentalist?
Ross: Songwriter. I think that helps me not go nuts and tromp over the rest of the band. Sometimes.

The Deli: What’s coming up that you’re especially looking forward to?
Ross: Officially releasing my solo album Small Victories on October 23 on Golden Sound Records. Really stoked that The Empty Spaces get to play with Broncho on Novermber 30 at Czar

The Deli: Finally, you’re a part of Golden Sound Records. Tell me a little bit about that collective and what role you play.
Ross: We're a "record label" in that we help artists put out records, promote them, and sell them. Our main goal is to do cool stuff with music and the community and bring attention to music we think is great. I do a lot of the recording/mixing/mastering, web development, and design stuff.
The next time you can catch Ross hitting the skins with The Empty Spaces will be this Saturday, October 20 at recordBar with The Cave Girls and Mad Spirits. Then, be sure to check him out with the band at this year’s Apocalypse Meow benefit at The Beaumont Club on Saturday, November 3. His solo album Small Victories will be available exclusively through Golden Sound Records as a digital download next Tuesday, October 23.

--Michelle Bacon

Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She also has a weekly column with The Kansas City Star and reviews music for Ink. She plays with Deco AutoDrew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. She never ate glue in school, honest. 

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Ross Brown

The Empty Spaces - Party Line

Golden Sound Records


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