Music

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

For five months, from December 2012 to May 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield served as the commander of the International Space Station.

Hadfield conducted a record-setting number of scientific experiments. He also gained a reputation as the "most social media savvy astronaut" by sharing his daily life, posting photos on Tumblr and Twitter and videos on YouTube. 

Local Listen: Sara Swenson

Nov 5, 2014
saraswenson.com

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." 

E.C. Boldridge / Marr Sound Archives / UMKC

On Tuesday's Central Standard, Chuck Haddix, who hosts the public radio party known as the Fish Fry, joined a panel of guests in the studio to talk about the changing landscape for music collectors.

The consensus: Vinyl isn't going anywhere. If anything, it's seeing a revival, in the Kansas City area and elsewhere.

Patrick Quick / KCUR

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.

Guests:

Local Listen: White Girl

Oct 31, 2014
whitegirl.bandcamp.com/

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."

courtesy: Joyce DiDonato

After a social media campaign with the twitter hashtag #LetJoyceSing, a Change.org petition, an invitation from Major League Baseball to sing in Game 7 of the World Series -- and the Royals victory that assured there would be a Game 7, Prairie Village, Kan. native Joyce DiDonato is ready to sing the National Anthem in the final game.

courtesy: Carnegie Hall

Classical musicians will be taking center stage during the final games of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

About 20, or as many as 60, members of the Kansas City Symphony, decked out in blue suits with blue accents, are scheduled to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" in the pre-game ceremonies of Game 6 on Tuesday night. Music director Michael Stern is flying back Tuesday afternoon in time to conduct. 

Local Listen: The Architects

Oct 22, 2014

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 band's affection for vintage American pop.

courtesy: American Jazz Museum

The American Jazz Museum is reporting the death of musician Horace Washington, 62, posting this today on the museum's Facebook page: “The Board and Staff of the American Jazz Museum are saddened to pass along the news that HORACE WASHINGTON has passed away.”

Washington, a saxophonist and flute player who grew up in Kansas City, Kan., had been dealing with some health issues for the past couple of years, says Chris Burnett, marketing and communications manager for the museum.

Paul Andrews

When Central Standard thought about asking Jeffrey Ruckman to create new theme music for the show, one of the things that made him appealing was his masterfully offbeat, genre-bending tendency.

AFP

Art Spiegelman has been called the father of the graphic novel, though it's a title he resists. And composer Phillip Johnston has been a fixture in the New York underground music scene since the 1980s. The friends and collaborators teamed up on a performance (coming to Kansas City October 19, 2014) that, according to Johnston, is like a high school class slideshow lecture on LSD. 

Guests:

John Long / YouTube

Now that the Royals have made the playoffs for the first time in nearly 30 years, fans are celebrating in their own unique ways.

A recent spike of fan-made Royals songs have hit the Internet in support of their historical post-season journey.

Here's a short list of songs we dug up that were created by fans for the Royals:

John Long"Kansas City Royals" - parody of Lorde's hit-song "Royals"

Local Listen: OJT

Oct 9, 2014
www.kenlovern.com

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."

Kristie Stremel

One branch of Kansas City’s musical family is mourning the death of Lou Whitney, a Missouri recording engineer and bass player who many of them considered a father figure.

Whitney, of Springfield, Mo., died Tuesday after a battle with cancer.

Whitney established his reputation at now-legendary gigs with his 1980s-era bands The Morells and later The Skeletons, both of which made regular appearances at the Grand Emporium in Kansas City. 

Paul Andrews

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.

Local Listen: Shades Of Jade

Oct 2, 2014

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. 

Eva Rinaldi / Flickr--CC

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.

Gottlieb, William P./Wikimedia-Creative Commons

In the 1930s, Kansas City was a place where talent and history converged, resulting in a whole new sound that jazz aficionados continue to study today. But how does that past inform Kansas City's present day jazz scene?

Guests:

mohaoffbeat.blogspot.com / Creative Commons

Ben Webster hated to fly on airplanes.

When he went to Europe to perform for his fans across the Atlantic, the trip was one-way. 

A contemporary of Charlie Parker, Webster grew up in Kansas City, Mo., right off of 24th Street. He taught himself to play the piano at a young age, and started his career performing as a pianist for silent films. It wasn't until he was about 20 years old that he took up the saxophone.

Local Listen: Grand Marquis

Sep 26, 2014
grandmarquis.net

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."

Julie Denesha / KCUR

When the International Center for Music (ICM) at Park University in Parkville, Mo., a boutique conservatory for top performers, decided to add an artist-in-residence, they didn’t have to look very far.

elmamboworld.com

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. 

Local Listen: Various Blonde

Sep 13, 2014

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.

courtesy: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Jan Kraybill, principal organist for the Dome and Spire Organ Foundation and organ conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, plays and maintains the three largest pipe organs in the Kansas City metro area. The Kauffman Center's Casavant organ ranks third with 5,448 pipes. 

courtesy: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Five architect teams are on the short list to design the first phase of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s proposed downtown arts campus.

The finalists include Kansas City-based firms BNIM, el dorado, Helix, Hoefer Wysocki and International Architect Atelier, each teamed with national architecture firms. 

The initial stage of the project calls for relocating the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance -- students, faculty, classes, and most performances -- to the Crossroads Arts District. 

courtesy: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Update: Sprint's Cleyson Brown Unlimited won first place. The band was also recognized for Best Horns (David Freeland), Best Bass Player (Frank Minolfo), and Best Drummer (Jason Smith). 

Original post follows: 

Companies around the country will be in heavy competition this weekend - on stage, with musical instruments.

Photo courtesy of Chris Lee / Kansas City Symphony

The Kansas City Symphony’s Classics Uncorked series is a more informal concert experience — shorter and with a theme. This weekend’s program, called Bohemian Rhapsody, features works by Dvorák, Bizet ... and Queen.

Nick Hersh, assistant conductor at the Baltimore Symphony, and Aram Demirjian, associate conductor at the Kansas City Symphony, met a few years ago at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen. They conducted and stood as partners for two summers in the cello section of the Conductors' Orchestra. 

Todd Zimmer

It was almost exactly a year ago when a young band named Katy Guillen and the Girls won the Kansas City Blues Society’s annual Kansas City Blues Challenge. The victory earned them a trip to Memphis to compete with bands from all over the world in the International Blues Challenge in January.

Local Listen: The Project H

Sep 3, 2014
theprojecthkc.com

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."

Local Listen: Carswell & Hope

Aug 29, 2014

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."

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