The incessant upbeat of canned Christmas music can leave even those who love the holidays with a feeling of cheer fatigue.
Kansas City-area singer Lauren Krum of The Grisly Hand, whose DJ alter-ego Lorna Kay spins classic country tunes all year long, shares some grittier winter songs to fill out the emotional spectrum this December.
Megan Birdsall is Kansas City's finest young jazz vocalist. As musically accomplished as she is personable, Birdsall is a delightful entertainer. This week's edition of Local Listen features "Hey There (You With the Stars In Your Eyes)" from her album, "Little Jazz Bird."
Hear More: Birdsall will perform at the recently relocated Take Five Coffee + Bar in Overland Park, KS on Friday, December 5th at 8pm.
Kasey Rausch is the most prominent member of a new generation of dedicated folk musicians in Kansas City. This week's edition of Local Listen features a rollicking song from Rausch’s new album, Guitar in Hand. Take a listen to "The Gospel of Winfield."
It was described as "one of the strangest recording studios ever built."
In the 1960s and 1970s, musicians found their way to Cavern Sound, a studio in an underground cave in Independence, Mo. James Brown and Brewer and Shipley recorded there. But so did garage bands, school choirs, gospel groups, and folk duos at a rate of $300 a day.
The elegant Kansas City singer-songwriter Sara Swenson is one of many artists participating in this weekend's Apocalypse Meow benefit. This annual event raises money for Abby’s Fund for Musicians’ Health Care.
This edition of Local Listen features "Darling Dear," a lovely song from Swenson's new album "Runway Lights."
How are the elements of pride, care and luck-of-the-find translating from the tangible world of the record collector to the digital world of, well, everyone else? Plus, news from local record stores and a recent release from Numero Records, featuring music recorded in Missouri's limestone mines between 1967 and 1973.
In one of the most striking transformations on the Kansas City music scene in recent memory ... Martin Bush has completely reinvented himself. Once a prominent metallic punk rocker, Bush is now a dance music guru. Operating under the moniker White Girl, Bush makes industrial electronic music.
This week's edition of Local Listen features the A-side of the new 7-inch single "M.E.T.R.O.R.O.C.K."
The Architects have been Kansas City's sturdiest punk band for a decade. The quartet is barnstorming the country with the California skate-punk legends Agent Orange. Their tour stops at the Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kan. on Friday, October 24.
This week's edition of Local Listen features "Kickswaggerboom," a song from the latest installment of the Architect's "Border Wars" song cycle that reveals the Architect's affection for vintage American pop.
This Saturday's 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival will have national acts like the great jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove. But the event also provides an expanded stage for many Kansas City-based musicians like OJT. This organ jazz trio, led by Ken Lovern, will be among the acts representing the area's jazz scene. This edition of Local Listen features the trio's playful new interpretation of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl."
Paul DeGeorge and his brother Joe have been writing and performing songs about the trials and triumphs of wizards-in-training since 2002. They look disorientingly similar, and both wear v-neck sweaters and neck ties. Their band, Harry and the Potters, has inspired its own genre: "wizard rock."
It was the younger brother, Joe, who first read the Harry Potter books. In his early 20s when the first books in the series came out, Paul, the older of the DeGeorge brothers, picked them up out of curiosity; he immediately related to the Harry Potter character as a punk.
Shades of Jade is among Kansas City's many notable young jazz ensembles. This band differentiates itself with an invigorating blend of bop and R&B. This week's Local Listen features "Dynasty," an ebullient track from Shades of Jade's new album "Fingerprinted Memories.
Hear in KC: Shades of Jade performs Friday night October 3 at the Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, Mo.
There’s only one way to rock, and that’s any way you want.
Long ago, the term “it rocks” went well beyond rock ’n’ roll to encompass anything deemed personally appealing or individually scintillating. What rocks for a fifth-grader probably won’t do it for grandma. Then again, maybe it will – and that’s the beauty of it – including this weekend in Kansas City.
From classic rock to zombies that rock, the town is yours to rock. So are you ready to – all together now – ROCK? I knew you were.
Big Joe Turner died in 1985, but the jump blues tradition he forged in Prohibition-era Kansas City nightclubs is kept alive by the Grand Marquis. The band has been entertaining audiences with its vintage sound since 1998. This week's edition of Local Listen features "Bed of Nails," a raucous song from the Grand Marquis' 2013 album "Blues and Trouble."
Miguel DeLeon is a man of many aliases. To some, he's El Mambo. To others, El Pionero. After nearly three decades leading Latin bands and teaching music in Kansas City, he moved to Phoenix, but he's back for a visit, playing gigs and teaching an Afrocuban drumming workshop.
Kansas City's Various Blonde has been attempting to expand the consciousness of listeners since 2008. The art-rock band has perfected its potent psychedelic sound on the new album "Summer High." This week's edition of Local Listen showcases the heavy mysticism of the album's title track.
Hear more: Various Blond performs at The Record Bar on October 15.
The instrumental band The Project H allows several of Kansas City's most exciting jazz musicians to showcase their affinity for rock and rhythm & blues. The ensemble's album "We Live Among the Lines" will be released next week.
This edition of Local Listen features The Project H's brash new composition "A Bear's Cave."
Carswell & Hope, a soulful folk-rock band from Lawrence, Kan., will be among the performers at this weekend's Kansas City Irish Fest. A collaboration between the Irish transplant Nick Carswell, two native Kansans, and a New Yorker, Carswell & Hope released its debut album in May. This week's Local Listen is a curiously pensive track from the project, "Hunger."
Gracie Schram has sung the national anthem for the Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC, and she also has her own single with an album in the works. It's a pretty ambitious start for the 16-year-old Prairie Village, Kan. songstress.
Patrons of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra may rethink their usual wardrobe choices before attending the big band's next concert. Instead of appearing at the its regular home at Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center, the orchestra will perform at Knuckleheads this Saturday. On this edition of Local Listen, we'll hear the orchestra's rendition of Freddie Green’s classic "Corner Pocket."