A couple weeks ago we had stumbled across Fort Collins band Post Paradise at the Minibar. Our buddies in the Hillary Watts Riot and Vi Tran Band were also on the bill and we got done with our other gigs early. So we headed over to see what was happening. Unfortunately, we missed Vi Tran’s set, but we did manage to catch a rather catchy rock band with an unusual twist, Post Paradise.
Post Paradise is a well-oiled machine with well written and developed songs that have a distinctive radio friendly alt-rock vibe. The “twist” is the addition of a cello. Now this isn’t simply some gimmick. The cello adds a great harmonic element to already good, accessible tunes. The extra layer of strings is not new territory, but this is one of the better executions I’ve ever heard. Post Paradise has managed to create a sound where every element belongs. It’s really quite interesting.
Check them out next time they are in town, you’d be hard pressed not to enjoy.
Over at the Record Bar just before Halloween, Freight Train, Rabbit Killer and the Legion of Ghosts performed an extended set of tunes with Berwanger opening.
Berwanger started things off with a power-pop set of rock tunes in support of the newly released “Exorcism Rock”. It’s a great album with snappy tunes and great production value. Definitely check it out.
After Berwanger finished things off, the Kris Bruders and Mark Smeltzer started the FTRK set off as the typical duo. They set the tone for their delta blues inspired tunes before the Legion of Ghosts turned the set into a thirteen piece jam of horns, drums, keys and slide guitar in addition to Smeltzer’s DIY string instruments. It was quite a massive sound. In previous editions of the Legion of Ghosts the lineup was much smaller. This time around it appeared all the stops were pulled.
About a week and a half ago, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings stopped into to Kansas City as part of a co-headlining tour with Trombone Shorty. The show, at Crossroads behind Grinders featured an excellent crowd which had to be near capacity and beautiful weather. The tunes were jumping and the crowd was dancing for a great show.
Day 2 of the Middle of the Map Festival this year was even better than the night before. We caught a number of acts with lots of pictures and audio for your eyes and ears. Rather than get into the weeds on details, check out the show!
This year’s Middle of the Map Fest (MOTM) underwent several substantial changes. Gone are the days of the fest taking place exclusively in Westport. This year the open two nights were held in Westport while the latter two days were held in the Crossroads and Midland Theater. It created a very intimate feeling for the first two nights and more of a big time festival for the finale. Also this year, the Record Bar had a sneak peek with pop-up shows at their new digs on Grand across from the Cigar Box. Overall, the changes were definitely for the better. Without further ado, here is night one:
Back on the first Friday of March, the Quivers released their long-awaited follow-up to 2014’s “Hot Young Mess” with “Sugar Tease”. The show took place at the midtown swap shop Holy Cow Market. The Thunderclaps opened with a great set of surf-tinged tunes from the KC-based duo.
It’s a great collection of tunes written primarily by Terra Skaggs and Todd Grantham. This time around, they added a horn section with the help of Kyle Dahlquist and Jesse Howes. “Sugar Tease” has a the classic Quivers sound with plenty of 60’s soul and early garage rock.
Really, it’s a solid album. It’s been two years since they released their previous effort and maybe the long time between releases was a good thing. The songs had time to mature, get played up at gigs, tweaked and finally laid-down. Check it out here. You can also hit the link in the photo section to hear the entire live set.
Had a bit of a crazy week during the Folk Alliance so unfortunately, I wasn’t able to spend as much time down there as I had hoped. But I did make it down on Saturday evening and caught a bunch of great bands from all over the country.
It was more of a listening experience than a photographic one. I mean there are only so many ways to make musicians in hotel rooms that all look the exact same interesting. Also, there’s that whole difficult to get good shots when there is a bed and dozen chairs in the way thing.
Despite all those things, one thing it didn’t take away from was the quality of the sound. It was a great time just strolling up and down the halls popping your head in, picking up swag and hearing some fresh jams.
The whole conference is a bit of a crazy thing. The civilized more traditional conference-like activities take place during the day time. Then, each night around 6 PM, the “official showcases” start up in the main ballrooms and conference halls until around 10 PM. At 10 or so, that’s when the madness begins upstairs. Dozens of rooms and hallways are filled to capacity with hundreds of musicians and industry folks checking out the sights and sounds. You basically just wander around and stick your head in anywhere that sounds interesting.