Saturday, December 07, 2013

inspiration

What follows is as accurate account as I can surmise. If somebody knows a better lie, please feel free to jump in anywhere. The people are real and are their own truth.

The inspiration for a project occurred at the most fitting place, among the Millennium Mardi Gras in New Orleans. A close friend and I had crossed half the US to be in what at first appeared a war zone. Indeed, taking our first exit in to the city of New Orleans, we were confronted with burning trash barrels. It was only the aftermath of a parade, but hundreds of people wandered the streets, as if there had just been a riot. It was a bizarre sight that we would later take odd comfort in being a part of.

“Flash” took the photos over that extended weekend of debauchery with good friends. There are only a few from the days leading up to Fat Tuesday, since he had to conserve floppy disk space on his Sony Mavica. There are lots of Mardi Gras day; a fantastic journey through seemingly endless cascade of parades and people. It was a whirlwind tour through chaos, starting with a Bloody Mary at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, ending up joining hundreds in rattling our excess of beads to one of the best street beats that I have ever been privileged to witness. Numerous musicians and several hundred people grooved on what could only be called House - New Orleans Live Improvisational Jazz Style. Seeing, hearing, and being a part of that was an amazing experience and it was a fantastic end to a fantastic event.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

linden square platinum express


We dropped by the local park briefly to catch one of our favorite bands, playing a set for a small crowd.  They were as good as ever, but it was a little weird seeing them with so much open space in front of them.  Every time we have seen them at any other event, the dance floor is packed.  I only fired off one shot, and the little bit of video below... enjoy!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

preseason chiefs vs packers


Fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a pre-season game featuring the Kansas City Chiefs against the Green Bay Packers, I jumped at the opportunity. Two of my favorite teams going head to head was a rare opportunity.  Of course, I snapped a few shots along the way, and captured a little video.

I was shocked at the total rip-off on parking though.  $27 seemed a little extreme.  Somebody said it was because of all of the tailgaters, but you would think there would be some sort of discount for those actually in possession of tickets.  I am surprised more folks are not outraged by this.  It was a good game though.








Monday, July 29, 2013

a night out in san diego


While visiting San Diego recently, we took the opportunity to check out the local dance music flavor one Thursday night.  After not finding very much information on the ole’ internet, we ended up relying on the advice of some folks we ran into at Whiskey Girl in the Gaslamp District.  They indicated that Thursday was EDM night in the area, more or less.  Fluxx and Voyeur were really the only establishments playing what were seeking, with the later being a bit more reliable.

Voyeur was right across the street, so we confirmed that they were indeed hosting Electro House that night, and then headed down the street to Fluxx to see what they had to offer.

We should have stuck with Voyeur though. We ended up there anyhow, after spending too much money at the bar for Fluxx. We did find some quality time with some locals though in between the two though.

When we arrived at Fluxx, we found a $25 cover for a couple of names we had not heard before and can’t remember now.

We debated our situation outside and were just about to leave, when one of the promoters was good enough to offer us tickets.  Grateful, we decided to stick around for a while.  The club was nice enough.  There were glass floors all around the bar area in a bit of a checkerboard pattern.  The dance floor hosted some rather obtuse round sofas that really made dancing impossible; that is, of course, without stepping on one of the nearby supermodels prancing around giggling.

It was the opening DJs that drove us from the place though.  While they were playing House, they really should have tried to let their tracks go a bit longer than 15-30 seconds.

It really is disturbing to listen to someone try to mix like that, unless they are endowed with the same set of skills as DJ P; unfortunately.  These two definitely were not, and when they tried to slip a popular Hip Hop track in there, it was time for us to go.

On our way back to Voyeur, we stumbled in to a little bar called Thirst on Fourth, lured in by the sweet sounds of Tech House.


There was no cover, no attitude, no pretentious people, so we had a few cocktails and lingered for a couple of hours talking with the DJs and the bartenders and just enjoying the tracks.  We almost did not want to take a chance on Voyeur, but we were seeking a bit more energy.  Saying farewell to the best DJs of the night, and thanking them for the quality beats, we hit the pavement again.

Arriving at Voyeur, we found the music and energy we had been seeking together in one place.

We had apparently missed whatever Electro there might have been, because all we heard was Progressive was pounding from the speakers.

We were not disappointed at all. There was a decent little crowd dancing in their own space.

Nobody was barging through the middle of the dance floor or prancing around trying to balance themselves on impossibly high heels.

The visual display behind the DJ was intensely mesmerizing, and the DJ himself, rock solid.  He had us on the dance floor immediately, and for the duration, banging out track after track without missing a beat.

Closing time came fast though, much to our disappointment, and everyone else there.

We were a bit shocked to find that they only stayed open until 2 am, but I guess you have to make some time for daytime festivities too… and we did, but that is a whole other story.

The remainder of the evening was spent stumbling our way back to the hotel, giggling about every nonsensical that appeared in our path.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

knuckleheads saturday open jam


Saturday afternoon found us at Knuckleheads Saloon for the Saturday Afternoon Open Jam. It is the best place to go for live music on a Saturday afternoon, and catch some of the best up-and-coming musicians in Kansas City, along with those already making their name.

A boarding house built in 1887, Knuckleheads sits tucked under the Chestnut Street Bridge, right next to the railroad tracks.  Trains are always going by, but you never really seem to notice.  They seem to fit right in with the rhythm of things, as this venue regularly hosts some of the best and biggest acts in rhythm & blues, folk, zydeco, honky tonk, the list goes on.







Monday, June 10, 2013

demf 2013


story & photos by sarah ~ I have attended Movement Electronic Music Festival, or DEMF as we all affectionately refer to it, over Memorial Day weekend for four years.  Some in the group I go with have gone seven years in a row, and every year there's always at least one newbie.  This year there were many. Between The Fest and the after-parties, it's practically a 4-day-24-hour-party-that-never-stops-until-you're-so-tired-you-have-to-take-a-nap weekend.  It's a whirlwind experience, over oh-so-quickly, leaving a yearning for just one more set, just one more party.  You never want it to end. 

A bit of history...

Y2K was the kickoff year for Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF), which 6 years later became Movement Electronic Music Festival, ran by Paxahau out of Detroit. DEMF is held at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit, an open-air venue with grassy areas for lounging, a fountain, and beautiful view of the Canadian skyline, and a technology area showcasing the latest gear in the industry.  

During DEMF,  five technologically-rich outdoor stages are brought in to host more than 100 artists from around the world.  Over 107,000 people from around the globe attended the 2012 festival.  I can't wait for the numbers from 2013.  I suspect 120,000 or more.  

Detroit's Mayor Bing even declares the week of DEMF as "Detroit Techno Week," stating "... I, Dave Bing, Mayor of the City of Detroit, on behalf of its citizens, do hereby proclaim the 20th - 28th of May 2013 as "Detroit Techno Week" in the City of Detroit, and encourage citizens to celebrate the festivities as it creates local and international awareness of Detroit's rising creative culture."  The city embraces this event.  That's huge.


Preparation....

Preparing for our trek to DEMF starts 6 months before the actual fest.  Hotels sell out fast, tickets are cheapest early, and the first wave of after-party tickets sell out in hours.  We scour the internet to catch the latest after-party ticket release, hoping our favorite DJ will be on the lineup; if not on that one, surely the next one.  

The After-Parties...

The highlight of the weekend, without a doubt, was the Dirtybird party.  This year it was held at The Fillmore Detroit, a beautiful historic venue first opened as a movie house in 1925.  This party has been gaining ground over the years, and they finally found a spot this year that was big enough.  Jesse James opened up the night, followed by Ardalan vs. Justin Jay, Worthy vs. Leroy Peppers, J.Phlip vs Kill Frenzy and Claude VonStroke vs. Justin Martin.  J.Phlip is my number 1 House DJ, her booty bass house music just makes you want to dance your own booty off, and I did.  And J.Phlip gets down, bounces around, you can tell she's diggin' what she's playing.  Feathers exploded over the crowd at one point, and we went wild.  It was awesome. 


The deep dark sound of Techno was calling me, so I headed out to catch part of the CLR show at St. Andrews Hall, where two floors of techno filled the building.  I caught most of Drumcell's set, and he definitely didn't disappoint, even got a photo with him.  

I've found myself more and more drawn to the deep, dark sound of techno over the last couple of years.  I believe it really is an art to create music that deep and driving, and still keep it moving forward in a way that leaves you wanting more when it comes to an end.  I usually find myself seeking out the Techno more than any other genre of electronic music.

I was also able to catch Clockwork (live), The/Das Live, Tale of Us and Maceo Plex at the Life & Death party, put on by Liaison Artists.  Maceo Plex stole the show for me, his sound always drives me to dance my hardest. Practically every track he plays, and the way he plays them, move me to dance and dance and dance.  Maceo Plex also plays as Maetrik, which I enjoy even more.  He played as Maetrik on the last day at the Fest, but by that time it was raining and cold, and I was tired.  Good thing his set was released so I could listen to it at home under a nice warm blanket  :)


Old Miami is the epic event of the weekend, held at The Old Miami bar, and if you make it there, you're a ROCKSTAR.  This party starts at 7 a.m. Monday and continues all day and into the evening.  Over the years I've shown up mid-afternoon, mid-morning, at 7 a.m. sharp and this year, made it there at about 11 a.m.  

Whatever time you go, the place is always packed.  Seth Troxler meets you at the front gate, and the music goes from sun-up until sun-down in the backyard of this bar.  There's rarely a line-up, and no one minds.  Somewhere around 1 p.m. several men from the VFW marches into the Old Miami backyard, and honors war veterans with a 21-gun salute.  I've only been there for it once, and it brought tears to my eyes.  Extremely moving experience.

The Festival...

Our first stop in Detroit is always Niki's Pizza, then Bookie's Bar and Grille to gear up for the first of many after-parties of the weekend.  The after-parties have become my favorite part of the weekend, simply because it's where the artists really let loose.  

One of my most anticipated after-party sets each year is Cassy. Her deep techno is always spot-on, although I've realized she's not the most energetic DJ to watch.  She seems very technically-alert while she's playing, making sure all the cues and tweaks are just right, always with a smile on her face.  I can dig it.  It's her thing.  

Techno was king this year at the festival, and although I didn't spend much time there this year, I did catch Nina Kravitz, Steffi, rRose and Tommy Four Seven at the Underground Stage.  A few of my other highlights included Hector, Stacey Pullen, Moodyman, Shigeto Live, J.Phlip and Nicolas Jaar Live.  I had never heard rRose before, and that, I must say, was my highlight set of the fest.   It was the deepest bass I had ever heard, or felt.  Definitely. Mind. Blowing. 


Outside of Techno, Hector and J.Phlip were my other top sets of the fest.  I had never seen Hector before.  He got me dancing right away with his soulful, upbeat tech-house.  J.Phlip's set was, as always, awesome as well.  I could get down to her booty-house any day of the week.  Nicolas Jaar made his first appearance at DEMF this year, and I was not disappointed.  His slow, deep minimal techno-like music was perfect for the rainy day.  

DEMF is as much about the music as it is the people, at least for me.  The outfits!  Some wear costumes, some wear almost nothing at all.  Tutus, bikinis, furry boots, sunglasses, booty shorts, fishnet stockings, Pharaoh hats...you name it, I've seen it.  The lights at the shows are always a treat.  This year I saw more LED lighting than past years, and there's always lasers and fog machines. 

DEMF 2013 was an amazing time that I was able to share with many newbies this year.  I look forward to my next adventure...maybe DEMF 2014?



Saturday, June 08, 2013

royals 100th win vs astros



Visiting the Royals at Kauffman Stadium is always an adventure, and this time was no different.  The Kansas City Royals beat the pants off of the Houston Astros (7-2) for their one hundredth win of the season!








Thursday, May 30, 2013

nice jux-ta-pose

Tomorrow night features another installment of  jux-ta-pose at the increasingly popular Uptown Arts Bar.  This particularly special night of House music with resident Todd Howard, will feature performances by local House legends Pat Nice, Tony Markham and Chris.

These names are synonymous with KC House and are the founders of the House music scene we know and love in Kansas City.  They have kept the faith for longer than I can honestly recall.  Their mixtapes (yes... cassette tapes) still clutter the shelves of my music outpost in the garage, and are frequently recalled when I need a little bit of the real deal.  Honestly, I am surprised that one of them. a THC mix from 1990-something, hasn't disintegrated from all the play time.  I suppose that when it does, I will finally be forced to listen to the digital copy I made for myself and Pat quite a while back.  Perhaps one day, with their permission, we will post some of this stuff up to the MixCloud.

In juxtaposition, another local legend DJ JAH will be banging it out in the upstairs lounge with support from Madamsies and former phocas.net writer, Chris Mills (Demencha).  Chris worked with the Pitch for awhile after leaving us and then reinvented his own zine Demencha, which has turned out to be a rather good resource for what's going on in and around the local Kansas City music scene.

If you are looking for a break from the typical KC club hopping, but still want to get your groove on to some quality dance music, the Uptown Arts Bar is the place to be.  This is quite a fun little bar too; completely unpretentious, and if you didn't know better you would think you were partying it up in somebody's midtown house.

Besides, where else you gonna get in FREE to hear some of the best dance music that Kansas City has to offer in two rooms, with booming sound and cheap drinks?  Be there... check KansasCityTechno.com for full details or just click the flyer above.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

blacklight & incense sessions


"Deep dance music for serious souls."  That perfectly describes Saturday night's Blacklight & Incense Sessions at The Arts Asylum.  Chill.  Deep.  Dark.  Techno.

Everyone who was there wanted to be there, and were so glad that at the end of the night they could say they were there.  Hearing techno in Kansas City again outside the club scene was a breath of fresh air. 

We were there for the music.  And you should hear the speaker system that was just recently completed.  The sound moves you to your soul.  This party is sure to be a "must-attend" this summer.  Looking forward to the next one, you'll find me on the dance floor.

photos by sarah...








Friday, May 17, 2013

we love techno blacklight & incense


Saturday night in Kansas City, the Czar Bar features Rob Lemon with Zach Jennings from St Louis, along with locals Jeffrey B and Paul DeMatteo.  We've caught Rob's performances on numerous occasions and most recently caught up with him opening for Above & Beyond in St. Louis at Europe Nightclub for a fantastic night of music and dance.

With over a decade of experience behind the decks Rob Lemon has rocked other venues such as Vision & Spybar-Chicago, The Church-Denver CO, Late Night Empire Ballroom-Las Vegas, Kabal/Skybox-Kansas City, LaSouk-NYC and BLU Parrot-Mexico.   Rob regularly plays alongside top DJs such as Tiesto, Paul Van Dyke, Deep Dish, Sander Kleinenberg, Christpher Lawrence, Danny Howells, & Fedde Le Grand. As well, he is regularly featured on XM Radio, Proton Radio and Frisky Radio.

In 2006 Rob formed “X -1” with music production partner Byron Thomas. Their first release “Hypnosis” was released on Curvve Recordings in February 2007 and has made a huge buzz on the progressive house charts. The Terranova & Leeds remix of Hypnosis reached #4 on the Beatport Chart where it stayed in the top ten for twelve consecutive weeks. Hypnosis has been featured by Sharam of Deep Dish on Radio One’s Essential Mix and has been played regularly by Paul Van Dyke, David Guetta, Dean Coleman, D:Fuse, Tall Paul, & DJ Dan. Currently Rob & Byron are releasing music under their own names. (RobLemon.com)

Alternatively, the Arts Asylum Basement downtown will feature “Blacklight & Incense Sessions.”  MickFinesse will be throwing down his brand of Techno, along with ZSonic with Future Bass, Bilateral Motion doing Live PA and Base Theory rounding things out with some DubStep.  The show promises a serene landscape of glowing amber, ultraviolet light, and smoldering incense dominated by the newly reconstructed META HI FI Sound System.    We were not able to dig up much information about these artists, excepting the MixCloud links their names lead to, but it sounds as if it should be quite and evening out tomorrow night!  For more information on this event, visit KansasCityTechno.com

Summer is here and there is some great music happening tomorrow night in Kansas City, one of the only best places in the country you can go out with out going broke.  So, get out and get  down.

Friday, May 10, 2013

white & black premier


A night of TechHouse featuring Richie Relax, Rachel Fair, PK and Josh C; brought to you by the KansasCityTechno krewe.  There are only a few photos from this even, shown below the little collage of videos on the YouTube below.






Thursday, May 09, 2013

white house black techno


Our two favorite colors Black & White, come together in Kansas City tomorrow night in a new monthly series featuring some of the finest in local and regional talent.    Headed up by locals JoshC and PK, of KansasCityTechno.com, the event will be held under the stars (or clouds) on the back patio of the new Gusto Lounge in Westport.

Helping to launch this new monthly, Richie Re Lax and RachelFair from Springfield, Mo. will be their first guests up.  We were not able to scrounge much up on them, excepting a few spots on MixCloud and the notorious FaceBook profiles, so it will be interested in hearing what they have to offer.  What we have heard so far sounds simply smooth & groovy. Hit their names to have a listen.

JoshC and PK are long time favorites of phocas.net.  Josh takes pride in his careful track selection, and has been moving the dance floor around these parts since 1999.  PK has been at it nearly as long, after having taught himself to DJ “Inidan Style.”  Both together put out a lot of good tunes that will keep your body movin’ and groovin’.

Should you be out and about tomorrow night stop by and have a cocktail and do a little dance.  You will find it was worth your while.  And if you are in Westport already, you have no reason for not stumbling by.  Gusto is right next to Kelly’s and this event is free before midnight for the guys, and free all night long for the ladies.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

gruv featuring mr nuro


This past weekend I made it out to GRuV, a long-running monthly event at The Gusto Lounge in Westport.  The first Friday of the month, Mike DiLeo and Trevor Shaw host the night, and feature a local/regional guest.

Mr. Nuro, of KansasCityTechno.com, came through for May.  His first show in KC since moving to Texas, I know we were all excited to have him back!  Never one to disappoint, these three had the dance floor moving all night long with their blend of Deep, Tech, Indie & Bass House.  Hands were definitely in the air!

photos by sarah