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Michelle Bacon

Barry Lee interviews Deli KC editor Michelle Bacon (Part 2 of 3)

Listen in as KKFI 90.1 station manager Barry Lee and The Deli KC editor and all-around musician Michelle Bacon converse about growing up in Kansas City, playing music, and the current local music scene in a special three-part audio verite series.
Click below to hear part two of the series.
Here is the link to part 1. Stay tuned for the final installment tomorrow.

And if you’re interested in hearing any of Michelle’s bands, Bandcamp links are below. You might as well listen to her do something she does much better than speaking.

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Lawrence Field Day Fest bridges KC and Lawrence music communities

(pictured above: Oils / all photos and videos by Michelle Bacon)
Spanning over three evenings with 28 acts, the third annual Lawrence Field Day Fest proved to be a large success. From Thursday through Saturday nights, some of KC and Lawrence’s most notable acts converged upon the town and brought with them a score of talent and style.
For this reviewer, LFDF kicked off on Friday evening at Jackpot Music Hall in the middle of Katy Guillen & the Girls’ explosive set. The KC trio had the full attention of a trickling-in crowd, most of whom had never seen them before and all of whom raved over them after. Once you experience one of Katy Guillen’s searing guitar solos—impelled by her tenacious rhythm section—you’re never really the same again.
Immediately following KG&G was Destroy Nate Allen. As the duo began to do a sound check while walking about the room, I realized that this would probably be nothing like what had preceded it or what would follow at any point during the fest. The husband/wife team of Nate and Tessa Allen has a delightfully unusual punk folk style, characterized and enhanced by an unconventional, interactive live show.
The rest of the weekend was a somewhat similar story, where festivalgoers—myself included—were getting to experience bands for the very first time. The lineup dropped a portion of the KC music scene in a setting they aren’t as saturated in, allowing an initial exposure to many Lawrence music fans. In that same vein, the KC faction was also able to see performers who don’t travel east very often.

“Last year, I was burdening myself with the task of finding national acts because I thought that would help the draw,” says festival organizer Cameron Hawk. “I was worrying about stuff like that, and I think it made me forget that not only do we have a huge crop of amazing bands around here, but they are bands people care about. We are so lucky to have that.” So this year, Hawk took the approach of building a solid lineup from both sides of the state line, and was able to draw in fans from the two music communities and parts in between.
Other highlights included Major Games’ highly anticipated set on Friday at The Bottleneck. Emerging from a nearly two-year live show hiatus, the trio played its upcoming album in its entirety and presented an even bigger, fresher, more passionate sound than before. Following them was Loose Park, a pure rock ‘n roll band who manages to somehow become even more electrifying and fun with each passing performance.
The Sluts closed down The Jackpot on Friday night to an enthused, riotous audience. The duo of Ryan Wise and Kristoffer Dover has a steady following in both KC and Lawrence, and was able to prove exactly why with Friday’s performance. They have a stripped-down, DIY garage rock/punk sensibility, with just enough hooks to grab almost anyone who could possibly be entertained by the thought of live music. Wise’s newly added vocal effects also brought more depth and grunge to their songs.
Saturday night marked Pale Hearts’ final performance, as frontman Rob Gillaspie (also currently doubling as Lux Interior in The Cramps’ tribute band Stay Sick) prepares to move to KC. The always enigmatic performer led his band through its dark, poppy, ‘80s-influenced catalog. We hope to see more music come out of Gillaspie, perhaps in future collaborations with KC artists.
At Jackpot, CS Luxem entertained and captivated a new audience, showcasing Christopher Luxem’s talented songwriting both as a solo act and realized as a full band. Meanwhile—and with the help of Jar Jar Binks—Josh Berwanger and his band got the Bottleneck crowd on its feet.
Like other frontmen I was able to catch on that stage (Gillaspie, Matthew Dunehoo of Loose Park), Berwanger can capture an audience and keep it engaged—a feat many lead vocalists haven’t quite figured out yet. His obvious charm, coupled with the group’s grooving power pop anthems, warmed the audience up for Cowboy Indian Bear.
Cowboy recently announced that it would take a hiatus after LFDF, resulting in a lengthy, heartfelt, double-encore show. The band played several songs off its acclaimed 2013 album Live Old, Die Young, and delivered a touching but fervent performance—one of the most dynamic, gargantuan performances I have personally witnessed from them.
And closing down LFDF was Stiff Middle Fingers, who wins the award for Most Spirited Audience of the fest. In true form, frontman Travis Arey riled up the crowd, inciting friendly mosh pits and audience members storming the stage.
The exuberant crowd chanted and shouted right along with Arey, also showing its gratitude for guitarist/fest curator Hawk. The group’s straight-up don’t-give-a-fuck punk style was the perfect environment to congregate in for LFDF’s swan song. The KC and Lawrence music communities let loose together, shouting “I ain’t no goddamn son of a bitch” as SMF busted out a Misfits cover, and locked in sweaty embraces to celebrate a job well done.
--Michelle Bacon
Michelle is editor of The Deli KC. She is in bands. She is the only person in the world not watching the World Cup right now and is sorry for that.

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Barry Lee interviews Deli KC editor Michelle Bacon (Part 1 of 3)

Listen in as KKFI 90.1 station manager Barry Lee and The Deli KC editor and all-around musician Michelle Bacon converse about growing up in Kansas City, playing music, and the current local music scene in a special three-part audio verite series.

Click below to hear part one of the series.

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The Cave Girls are our June Artist of the Month!

The Cave Girls are our June artist of the month! Robin Campbell and Stone Age Sara have gotten down the art of creating simple, upbeat, fun Neanderthal garage rock. With bassist Lizz Weiler as the band’s newest addition, the trio is returning to the KC music scene with a primordial vengeance. 
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?
Stone Age Sara: Stripped-down rock ‘n roll with a prehistoric punch.
The Deli: Give us some background on the band. How long have you had this particular lineup?
Sara: Liz Lightning (Weiler) joined us on bass in the summer of 2013. Before Liz, Stephanie Williams (Katy Guillen & The Girls, Claire and the Crowded Stage) played bass with us for a couple years, and is on our first CD. Our original bass player was Nikki Love. Liz and Robin have played music together for years, so Liz is a natural fit. We are really grateful to have her!
We have worked with a couple really cool lead guitarists: Meredith McGrade (Wick and the Tricks, Morningglories) and most recently Kelly Nightengale (The Spook Lights). Kelly recorded with us on a song we’re about to release called “Let’s Go!”
The Deli: What do you have coming up?
Sara: This summer is pretty busy! We are playing at the Free State Film Festival in Lawrence. Our music is featured in the film Replay by Marlo Angell with WOLF (Women of Lawrence Film), which is showing at the festival, and our set will be at The Granada on Sunday, June 29.
We’ll also be featured on a CD compilation of The Pandoras’ covers by garage rock bands from all over the world. It’ll be released sometime this year for the 30th anniversary of their It’s About Time record. We’re excited to be a part of something so global!
And we’re releasing a 3 song EP this summer too. Can’t wait!
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
Sara: As musicians, keeping up with what fellow musicians are up to and being sincere and encouraging of each other. Everyone knows how good it can feel when someone acknowledges your work in a positive way. That can go a long way for a musician. We put a lot of ourselves out there.
Liz: I would say supporting the local scene, supporting fellow musicians, friends, etc.
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?
Robin: Whichever I am watching at a given time... I am blown away at how good the local bands are around here. This must be what Detroit felt like in the ‘70s. I'm really impressed with Expo 70's meditative heavy rock with no lyrics. Also, recently I caught The Big Iron and The Philistines at recordBar; both were excellent! The Big Iron's new record is 4 stars!!
Sara: Too many to list, so many I need to catch up on.
The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?
Robin: Those Darlins. They're playing recordBar in August... GO! Their show is great! I am also really digging some instrumental music from an artist called Bonobo.
Sara: I freakin LOVE Dinero out of Fort Collins.
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
Robin: I would love to play a festival with other KC/Lawrence bands/musicians for 3 days and camp out! I've always wanted to try playing a big multiple-day music festival.

Sara: I don’t have one… But I sometimes think it would have been fun to be a back-up singer for the Kinks… except for the fighting.
Liz: The Runaways.
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there? 
Robin: Hmm. I always try not to choose artists over each other, they all bring their own special gifts, but I guess I'd say John Lennon, George Harrison, Aretha Franklin & Loretta Lynn. John & George for their sincere love preaching and spiritual awareness. Aretha for her empowering woman essence. Loretta Lynn for her authenticity, and her courageous and sincere songwriting.
Sara: Chuck Berry, Ray Davies, Harry Nilsson, Tiny Tim. All dudes and no drummers, I know, but that’s who comes to mind. They’re personal favorites, and I find them to be largely undervalued.
Liz: Lemmy, Joan Jett, King Buzzo (just to see if they could get his hair right), and Dimebag Darrell.
The Deli: What other goals do The Cave Girls have for 2014?
Sara: We talk sometimes at practice about just having made it through another crazy week. There’s so much everyone is up against these days: personally, locally, globally. Liz put it really well at our last practice. She said “I just wanna rock!” and we were all like “YEAH!”, so that sounds like a good goal!
The Deli: Where can we find you on the web?
Girls:We’re most up to date on Facebook, though we’d sure love to find a better way! Like a lot of bands, we feel pretty bummed when we post something on our page and less than 10% of our fans even see it. We’re also on Bandcamp.
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
The Cave Girls: Ooga ooga Ug!Ug!
The Cave Girls are:
Robin Campbell: vocals, guitar
Stone Age Sara: vocals, drums
Lizz Weiler: bass, vocals
--Michelle Bacon
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays in a bunch of bands.

Take in a movie and catch The Cave Girls at The Granada on Sunday, June 29 for the Free State Film Festival. Their set will follow the Nick Cave film 20,000 Days on Earth. Kirsten Paludan & the Key Party will also play. The film starts at 7:30 pm. 



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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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