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Artists on Trial: David Hasselhoff on Acid

For the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring artists playing the MidCoast Takeover fundraiser shows, sponsored by Midwest Music Foundation.

Kansas City boasts a diverse music scene, ranging from its historic jazz foundation to its renowned symphony to rock bands finding national success. David Hasselhoff on Acid has added yet another dimension of versatility with an instrumental psychedelic rock sound that brings in elements of funk and metal. Let’s find out a little more about the four-piece group.
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?
David Hasselhoff on Acid: David Hasselhoff on Acid is a progressive, instrumental PB&J with extra spank and a side of deep space.
The Deli: Let’s talk about your upcoming album. What can we expect?
DHOA: Our new album Eudaimonia will be coming out in early May. We are about halfway through the process right now. The album will be 7 songs and feature guest appearances by R.L. Brooks from Maps for Travelers on trumpet and Bobby Bayer from Sundiver and Janet the Planet on saxophone. Expect a more powerful and focused Hoff... or as focused as a schizophrenic could ever hope to be.
The Deli: What other plans do you have for 2013?
DHOA: Our Kickstarter will be up soon. We are relying on the support of our community, not just our local community but the entire music community to help us get to SXSW. We are hoping to be on Middle of the Map fest in April, and will be promoting a CD release show sometime in May. Depending on fan support from Kickstarter, we hope to make it out to our friends in LA and hit a few shows on the way back. Besides that... look for us opening for more national touring acts that come through Kansas City.
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
DHOA: Going out to see shows. Giving those bands your money. Introducing new people to new music and artists in the area.
Supporting the local scene is important to us because the KC music scene is tight like family so when we go out to shows we are pretty much supporting friends and family.
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?
DHOA: Parts of Speech and Janet the Planet, Josh Enyart and everything he does, the Arana brothers, Mark Southerland and Snuff Jazz, Mike Dillon, Zach Rizer, Humans...there are so many talented people and great bands in Kansas City. Too many to list here.
The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
DHOA: This would never happen, but it would have to be Animals as Leaders, Meshuggah, Primus and Tool!
The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
DHOA: Half and half.
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
DHOA: Our bass player's main influence is Flea, so he would be up there. Abe and Chino from the Deftones because we are all huge Deftones fans, and Beethoven because he's the shit!
The Deli: All right, give us the rundown. Where all on this big crazy web can you be found?
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
DHOA: Everything is not always as it seems. Question everything. Laugh as much as possible and see as much local music as you can. We rely on the community. Thank you for listening.
DHOA is:
Phil Wolf – guitar
Erich Thomas – bass
Zach Legler – drums
Brandon Bamesberger – guitar
You can see David Hasselhoff on Acid this Saturday, February 16, where they will be playing the fourth MidCoast Takeover fundraiser at The Brick. The group will be playing at 11:30, along with Rev Gusto, Cherokee Rock Rifle, and Not A Planet. Facebook event page hereDavid Hasselhoff on Acid was also one of over 40 KC artists selected to play the 2013 MidCoast Takeover showcase at SXSW from March 13-16 at Shangri-La in Austin, Texas.

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Show review: The Growlers/Radkey/UZIS at Riot Room, 2.3.13

While sports fans gathered together over watered down brews and chicken wing cupcakes, The Riot Room celebrated Super Bowl Sunday by opening its doors to a menagerie of leather-clad locals in support of Costa Mesa band, The Growlers. While The Growlers certainly captivated Midtown with their upbeat surf-psych melodies and Brooks Nielsen’s listless shimmying, the band was framed by a full-bodied lineup, including Kansas City bands, Radkey and UZIS.

A newer band made up of familiar faces, UZIS started off the night during the death rattle of Sunday’s game. Mitch Clark and Jessie Brown vocalize well together, their harmonies serving to complement the simple, upbeat energy of their set. Backed by Chris Farmer on drums, the trio executed a neatly compact set of melody-driven, lighthearted punk rock. By starting off the show with “Spider” and “Black and Blue”(a particularly well-written track), UZIS set the tone for the remainder of their performance. What the band lacks in self-indulgent guitar solos, they make up for in accomplished simplicity, reminiscent of a time the term “pop-punk” was not a musical death sentence. Their cover of La Peste’s “Don’t Wanna Die (In My Sleep)” paid tribute to the late ‘70s melodic punk reincarnated by their set. “Shut Your Mouth” evoked a sneering swagger from Clark, which accentuated the mood of UZIS performance with the perfect hint of irreverence.
UZIS, of course, were not the only band to celebrate a throwback to puritanical punk rock during Sundays show. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Radkey took the stage after a sobering break provided by Jessica Hernandez and her band, The Deltas. While their set was well executed and soulful, their placement in the lineup created a break in the pace of Sunday’s show, although I am doubtful that this was the fault of Hernandez. However, whatever energy had waned since the UZIS set was quickly rekindled by the three brothers that have recently turned so many heads in Kansas City.
After being named The Deli’s Emerging Kansas City Artist of 2012, Dee, Isaiah, and Solomon Radke have been stealing the spotlight in Kansas City, and Sunday’s show was another for the boys to add to their ever impressive resume of performances. What blows me away every time that I have been fortunate enough to see Radkey is the stunning depth of sound that they accomplish through their intelligent and well-placed guitar solos (a particularly well-placed solo during the track “Little Man” was a brilliant punctuation to their set), which are simultaneously brief and complex, as well as Dee’s deep and resonating vocals. Most press that the band has received has harped relentlessly on how incredibly young the members of Radkey are, which is understandable. But after the year that the boys have had, they have made it clear that they are not relying on any cheap gimmicks, including their own youth, to draw a crowd to their shows.  Bursting out of the gate with “Where Do You Stand,” the brothers set a fast pace….and kept up with it. The track “Cat & Mouse” seems to remain a crowd favorite every set the boys have played, and Sunday’s show was no exception, the solid thumping rhythm of the song commanding attention from the steadily growing audience.
The Growlers, and their touring partners Jaill, wrapped up Sunday’s show with a notably lighter collection of tunes, culminating in the much anticipated set by The Growlers, whose current tour will culminate in their appearance at Austin’s annual PsychFest, hosted by The Black Angels this April.
Radkey will be opening for Illinois duet Local H next Wednesday, February 13 at recordBar. UZIS will be playing at recordBar as well, on Saturday, March 30, with local heroes The Architects.

--Stephanie Bloss
Stephanie Bloss is an artist and writer living in Kansas City, Missouri. She is currently in residency at The Roost Gallery in the West Bottoms and has been active in the KC music community since 2010.


On The Beat with Josh Enyart

(Photo by Jorge Arana)
Josh Enyart has played with some of the most eclectic bands in Kansas City, and isn’t afraid to tackle any genre of music. From his work as a former member of chaotic dance rock outfit Pixel Panda to the heavy rock styles of Maps for Travelers, to his current work in the jazzy and heavy rock bands Jorge Arana Trio and Various Blonde, Enyart is an unstoppable rhythmic force in this city. Find out more about him and catch the beat right here!
--Michelle Bacon
On The Beat is an exclusive feature from The Deli Magazine-Kansas City that showcases many of the talented drummers in the Kansas City area. 

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On The Beat with Josh Enyart


Josh Enyart is one of the most eclectic drummers in Kansas City, proven by his time with bands like Pixel Panda, Maps for Travelers, and currently, Jorge Arana Trio and Various Blonde. We catch up with Josh to learn more about him and his massive collection of drums (see photo).

The Deli: How did the drums find you?

Josh EnyartWell, back in ‘95 at Hocker Grove Middle School (Brett Southard and Justin Tricomi were also in the same grade as me), a friend of mine would play guitar by himself all the time and I would just hang out and watch. so I got a job as a carny for fun services, saved up enough money to buy a drum set in ‘96 and I started my life as a habitual worker/drummer. That is pretty much all I have been doing since. Work and drums!

The Deli: What type of kit(s) do you use?

JE: I have a couple, and each one has had a pretty specific role in each band it was used for. In Jorge Arana Trio, I use a Mapex Saturn series (Manhattan sizes) with an auxiliary Sonor Rosewood 16" floor tom. This is one of my favorite setups!

The DeliBiggest influences?

JEThat question has an odd answer; I missed out on a lot of music culture. Until 1993 we lived overseas (my parents were missionaries) so we got back to the States and I was introduced to Nirvana and Pantera—talk about culture shock! Spirit Fest and The Gadjits were how I was introduced to the live music scene.

How about this, the bands i saw in concert most: Fear Factory, The Urge, Primus, 311, Lake Trout, Drums and Tuba, anything Mike Dillon! Tons of heavy shit back when Adam Mitchell in The Esoteric (love that guy)! In all actuality I would say all the people I have played with have been some of the biggest influences on my drum style. Yeah, definitely! I've had the pleasure of playing with a lot of great musicians. These are the people who helped shape my playing style.

The Deli: Tell us about some of the bands you’ve been in.

JEThat is a long list, so I will name a few. Nocturne Noir, kind of a black metal meets J-Rock heavy sound. Savitar: Middle Eastern-based Mars Volta sound. Pixel Panda: anxiety-driving chaos dance rock. Latin: vocal-driven modern alt rock. Maps for Travelers: heavy indie rock. Capture the Flag: electronic bass dance indie. My current groups are Various Blonde: vintage expressive rock, and Jorge Arana Trio: punk jazz, as described by Jorge.

The Deli: Wow, that’s quite an eclectic list. Is there any style you wouldn’t play?

JEI have also played in country and pop bands. There isn't anything someone could put in front of me that I wouldn't try because you can learn from every style, and that keeps me growing as a musician.

The Deli: Okay, let’s say you get to pick a group of KC/Lawrence drummers to make a drum circle with. Who would they be?

JEThat’s a long list! Separating by genre? Style? Taught or rough on the edges? It would totally depend on what was trying to be accomplished. But one of my top configurations would most likely be Sam Sartorious, Blair Greens, Nick Organ, Justin Tricomi, Drew Little, and Alex Thomas. This is a group I am trying to get in my basement!

The Deli: Anything else you want to share with us about your technique?

JE: I would like to become a jazz drummer. That means I have work to do.

The Deli: What other plans do you have for the bands this year?

JEI bought a van, and this year, and the Jorge Arana Trio is planning on spreading our Gospel throughout the land. We and Various Blonde will be playing the MidCoast Takeover in Austin for SXSW. As far as other projects are concerned, I do have an idea I might start working on, but the trio is my top for sure!

Enyart will join Jorge Arana Trio on stage tomorrow, Friday, February 1 for the second MidCoast Takeover fundraiser at Czar. Then, go to Riot Room on Saturday, February 2, where he’ll be with Various Blonde for the third fundraiser.

--Michelle Bacon  

Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She plays with Deco AutoDrew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. She owns an Australian cattle dog and a Corgi. The Corgi is the dumbest (but also quite possibly the most adorable) animal she has ever owned.


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Josh Enyart

Photos by Jorge Arana





 Jorge Arana Trio








Album review: The Dead Girls - Fade In/Fade Out

(Photo by Rachel Meyers)
It doesn't seem too premature to consider The Dead Girls’ latest effort Fade In/Fade Out a strong contender for best local pop album of the year.
The four-piece power pop group, who also cites classic, heavy guitar rockers like KISS and Thin Lizzy as influences, is releasing its first full-length album since 2010’s Out of Earshot. Though they also released a 7” single in 2012 (She Laughed A Little), the new LP has been highly anticipated by fans and the band itself.
“We started recording FIFO in 2009,” said guitarist and vocalist Cameron Hawk. “We were putting the finishing touches on Out of Earshot, and then went in to track drums for a few new tunes. We were thinking like, ‘Man, we’re gonna be done recording this new album even before Out of Earshot comes out!’ Now, here we are, three-and-a-half years later. It’s the story of our lives, really.
That said, this album is well worth the wait. FIFO was produced by Chris Cosgrove, who has been an integral part of The Dead Girls’ recorded sound since producing Out of Earshot and their previous EPs Te Quiero and Hair Trigger. According to Hawk, Cosgrove helped push this recording in a stronger direction. “He was very set on having really different guitar sounds for every song; some of this extra layering resulted in more than 70 tracks on a few songs. Virtually every guitar track features a different amp, guitar, setting, or all of the above. Also, Chris had this wall of amps for us to choose from, so it was pretty much a guitar player’s heaven.
Layered guitar sounds are evident throughout the album, weaving masterfully between a big entrance in lead-off track “Never Erased” to a soft, crisp acoustic guitar progression in the sincere track “Sing It Soft.” In the same vein, the songs gracefully transition from energetic to heartfelt. The contrast between Hawk’s and co-writer/vocalist/guitarist JoJo Longbottom’s songs is enough to create variety on each track, but the sense of what makes a Dead Girls’ song remains intact.
According to Hawk, all of the songs on this album are written separately by him or Longbottom. “JoJo and I will write songs on our own and bring them to the table through demos we record at home,” noting that each composition undergoes an intense collaborative scrunity by the band. “We’ve found a system that really works for us, and we’re getting better at it all the time.”
On songs like “The Beast Inside,” you hear the punk vocal stylings of Longbottom, which also maintain a smooth, accessible higher range. On the other hand, Hawk’s voice leans toward a purer pop tone like Alex Chilton with a slightly gritty rock ‘n roll edge. With their songwriting and Thin Lizzy-style dueling guitar attacks, Hawk and Longbottom construct nearly flawless pop songs with the help of a booming rhythm section from Eric Melin and Nick Colby. Some of album’s songs are structured like standard, quality pop songs; yet there’s a secret touch that comes from each member contributing his own part. Colby throws in gripping bass lines in addition to establishing a sturdy foundation to propel each track. Melin complements Colby (they’ve been together since the days of Ultimate Fakebook), punctuating each chug with a solid beat. He precisely attacks the skins on each track, and initiates crucial breaks that give songs an extra bite.
Flaming Lips’ drummer Kliph Scurlock, a friend of the band’s (he recently filled in at a gig for a sick Melin), mastered FIFO. The element of adding another ear to the recording process—especially from someone familiar with the group’s sound—also shaped the overall sound of the album. “’I Feel You’ (a nearly seven-and-a-half-minute song) was actually split into two tracks originally, but Kliph helped us understand that it should be a single song.Sometimes, one person will see something not even five other people can see,” said Hawk. With all of these elements, Fade In/Fade Out demonstrates a work of pop mastery from a group of true musicians.
Fade In/Fade Out will be released for digital download tomorrow, Friday, February 1, on The Dead Girls’ Bandcamp page. The group will be celebrating the release with a show that evening at Replay Lounge with The Depth and The Whisper. On Saturday, February 2, the boys will celebrate on the other side of the state line at recordBar with Gentleman Savage and The Casket Lottery.The Dead Girls were also one of over 40 KC artists selected to play the 2013 MidCoast Takeover showcase at SXSW from March 13-16 at Shangri-La in Austin, Texas.
--Michelle Bacon

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