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kansas city punk

Too Much Rock's 7" series: The Uncouth!

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
The fourth installment of Too Much Rock’s 7” single series features The Uncouth!, arguably the leading purveyors of Kansas City’s Oi! scene. Too Much Rock has also released singles from Schwervon!, Rev Gusto, and Josh Berwanger Band; each 7” includes an original song from the band and a cover chosen by TMR’s Sid Sowder.
The album’s A-side is “KC United,” a 2-and-a-half-minute track that celebrates KC pride and displays what The Uncouth! does best: producing unabashed, fast-paced anthems with a classic punk throwback. This carries over onto the B-side, a cover of “Gudbuy T’Jane,” a 1972 hit from Slade, who influenced both the skinhead and glam rock scenes. The KC trio’s interpretation retains the original’s rhythmic drive and adds its own brand of immediacy and ferocity.
Check out this single from The Uncouth!, also available on Teenage Heart Stateside Distro.
--Michelle Bacon
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands. 

Vandals Takeover: Punk rock prevails on Broadway

Just a stone’s throw from Westport, the space at 3740 Broadway is shaping its new identity. For years, Kenny’s News Room was a watering hole for journalists. It later became The News Room, a quintessential Midtown dive bar. In its later years, the establishment struggled to find its footing. New ownership transformed the spot into Black and Gold Tavern—an MU-themed bar—at the beginning of 2013. But like its predecessor, it failed to maintain a steady patronage and significance as a music venue. In March, the back room underwent a transformation, rebranding itself as the punk rock club Vandals.
I like being able to provide a space for music, and I also like being able to pay local musicians for playing,” says Vandals’ manager Michelle Wyssmann. With that approach in mind, Vandals has grown into its own entity and has become a notable spot to catch a live show.
From the start, the venue set out to prove that it could thrive. A stage was built, an upgraded sound system purchased, and the grand opening party was stacked with a we-don’t-fuck-around lineup of The Big Iron, Drop A Grand, and Sneaky Creeps. Since then, Britt Adair has been booking local heavy hitters weekend after weekend, building bills that have made Vandals a haven for fans of distorted guitars and high-energy performances. DJs have taken up residency in the bar, helping bring in a regular crowd. The venue has also hosted the annual Center of the City Fest in April and its first Summer Kamp Fest in August, both of which boast more than 30 bands over 3 days.
Less than a year after taking the venue, Vandals has announced that the entire space will become theirs. Eager to don its new punk rock threads, Wyssmann notes that the bar area will feel more like a dive, and a wall of fame for bands will be constructed, but she reveals little else about the remodel. “I don't want to give everything away, but know it will be very punk rock and that leopard print is my signature color,” she exclaims. The bar will be closing on Sunday, November 30, and reopening as Vandals on Tuesday, December 2 (Facebook event page).
With a lack of venues that cater to a punk rock crowd, Vandals has begun to fill a gap in the local community. “It’s really cool to see a lot of bands starting up again and sharing that history with the younger scene,” says Wyssmann, who recognizes the value of having a destination for musicians and fans to congregate. She’s also an artist who understands the need to foster music in the city. “I think it's important [that musicians] have somewhere to go that cares about their future and wants to see them succeed.”
And in that same spirit of community support, reopening week will feature a slew of free shows, all leading up to the Vandals Takeover party on Saturday, December 6. Sex Offenders, Wick and the Tricks, Stiff Middle Fingers, Black on Black, and will play, while DJ Pat Brown will be spinning in the bar. A canned good can be exchanged for a raffle ticket; this will support the venue’s Punk Pantry. From 7 to 10 pm, various punk and horror vendors will be on hand to sell sweaters, scarves, home decor, and art.
--Michelle Bacon
Michelle is editor of The Deli KC and plays music with The Philistines, Dolls on Fire, and Drew Black & Dirty Electric.

Vandals will be closing on Sunday, November 30 and will reopen on Tuesday, December 2. Be sure to hit up one or all of their events next week. Why not? They’re all free. Facebook event page for the December 6 show. 

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Album review: Red Kate/The Bad Ideas split 7" record

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
The sound of rock ‘n roll, serious dyed in the wool; real rock ‘n roll blasting through my speakers rejuvenates my tattered and weary soul. I’ve grown tired of the indie/college rock/shoegaze types; to me, music (rock especially) should be like sex: I’ll take a quick five-minute explosion of passion and true power over an hour of half-hearted posturing mediocrity any day.
The upcoming split single from KC bands Red Kate (pictured above) and The Bad Ideas, being released by Mills Record Company, is anything but a boring rock roll in the hay; it is rock ‘n roll laid out by two bands that clearly know how it is done.
Red Kate, the pinko commies from the Heartland whose sound is equal parts The Clash, The Saints, and Chuck Berry, continually put out music that is catchy, thought-provoking and top shelf. Its two offerings to the 7” are no exception. They are exactly what you would expect from Shawn and Company: fast and as invigorating as Bruce Lee kicking you straight into an ice-covered lake.
“On My Mind” is good ol’ sing-along punk rock. Red Kate gets to the point and breaks down the key ingredient of what makes music so addictive, how you should be as a player, someone that people will always follow: “Keep moving forward / leave them wanting more.” Rock steady drum, silky smooth bass, flamethrower guitar, and a run time of just over two minutes is a recipe for success in this ADHD world.
“I got new dreams and I’m gonna make ‘em real” is the fuse that light’s “New Dreams.” Repeating that line over and over as the band plays at breakneck speed, “New Dreams” molds itself into a mantra that becomes part of your brain, making you believe that these guys truly know what they want and where they’re going, and you buy what they’re selling. Red Kate clearly knows what it wants, has its convictions, and is willing to put it all out there. Lucky for us, the group is willing to lay it down on wax too. Editor’s note: “New Dreams” is originally a Naked Raygun song, written by Santiago Durango.
Since first hearing Patti Smith first belt out “Piss Factory,” Ann Wilson blowing my doors off with “Barracuda,” Kathleen Hanna singing about a “Rebel Girl,” or PJ Harvey saying she’s “Man Size,” I’ve thought women fronting bands—punk rock bands especially—is incredible and hot. Sure, that statement will probably get me shit for being chauvinist or whatever but I don’t care. A woman laying it all out there is amazing. Breaka Dawn of The Bad Ideas certainly will continue my fascination with frontwomen. The Bad Ideas’ contributions “Apocalypse Detroit” and “I’m Stuck” show that, like their partners in crime, they speak what they believe. They don’t play pretend when they play punk rock, they ARE punk rock.
The drums, guitar, and bass are as wild, hectic, and ramshackle as the subject matter. It’s two minutes and six seconds of chaos and anarchy. Quality punk rock visiting time-tested themes of punk: a system collapsing upon itself, choosing what side to be on, standing up for yourself, it’s all there and it’s done well.
“I’m Stuck,” the other is a California hardcore at its finest. It’s fast, disaffected, and bitches about the way people are treated in America. In short, it’s about being stuck in a rut dug by society. I’m sure we’ve all been there once or twice.
This split 7” shows that, even in America’s Heartland, people can be pissed, disillusioned, bored, and generally defeated by life. The key is to turn that into gnashing of teeth and let it boil over into creativity. These bands have certainly done that.
--Danny R. Phillips
Danny has been reporting on music of all types and covering the St. Joseph music scene for well over a decade. He is a regular contributor to the nationally circulated BLURT Magazine and his work has appeared in The Pitch, The Omaha Reader, Missouri Life, The Regular Joe, Skyscraper Magazine, Popshifter, Hybrid Magazine, the websites Vocals on Top and Tuning Fork TV, Perfect Sound Forever, The Fader, and many others.
Join Red Kate and The Bad Ideas at the album release party this Saturday at Harling’s. Faultfinder, Bruiser Queen (St. Louis), and Crushed Out (Brooklyn) will also play. Starts at 8 p.m. Facebook event page.




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Center of the City Fest starts Friday

Another important music fest is taking place in Kansas City this weekend that provides a punk alternative to what's happening a few blocks south. This weekend will mark the third annual Center of the City Fest, at Vandals (in back of Black & Gold Tavern). The fest focuses on the KC punk rock community, and is jam-packed with a stellar lineup.

This year’s COTC fest will feature bands on indoor and outdoor stages (Friday and Saturday). Tickets are just $7 for one day, $21 for all three days. Drink specials will be available at Black & Gold. Facebook event page

7:00     The Big Iron (inside)
7:30     Plug Uglies (outside)
8:00     5 Star Disaster (inside)
8:30     Stinkbomb (St. Louis) (outside)
9:00     Four Arm Shiver (inside)
9:30     Bombs Over Broadway (outside)
10:00   The Haddonfields (St. Louis) (inside)
10:30   Documentary (outside)
11:00   American Dischord (inside)
11:30   Smash the State (outside)
12:00   The Shidiots (Omaha) (inside)
12:45   The Uncouth (inside)
7:00     Deco Auto (inside)
7:30     Dead Ven (outside)
8:00     The Itch (Joplin) (inside)
8:30     Donner Diaries (outside)
9:00     Scene of Irony (St. Louis) (inside)
9:30     KC Thieves (outside)
10:00   Molotov Latte (Springfield) (inside)
10:30   Red Kate (outside)
11:00   Bottle Breakers (inside)
11:30   Hipshot Killer (outside)
12:00   The Bad Ideas (inside)
12:45   Iron Guts Kelly (inside)
6:45     Black on Black
7:30     The Biff Tannens
8:15     The Hemorrhoids
9:00     The Protesters
10:30   The Rackatees
11:15   Bummer
12:00   The Death Scene
12:45   Ghetto Blaster (San Diego)

--Michelle Bacon
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays bass in The Philistines and Dolls on Fire, and drums in Drew Black & Dirty Electric.
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