Saturday, June 27, 2015

stones zip code tour kc

We had a great time at The Rolling Stones, but had to leave before the first encore.  Other plans were in the making for the morning hours, related to a trip across the southeast United States.  The Rolling Stones ZipCode Tour 2015 was a great way to kick off a little vacation time and get our road trip on.

The whole affair was at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. Special Guest Ed Sheeran was not particularly interesting; to me, that is.  He made a second appearance in the later show too, with the Stones.  I don't remember what song it was.   Check out the video collage on the YouTube below.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

vibe n spin

The summer was starting to heat up, and there seemed to be a party around every corner, during July 2002.  It was impossible to make them all, but I managed to capture the best of the best.

The very first weekend, after running out to St Louis for Beat the Drums 2, a huge gathering took place outside of Lawrence.  The event was the third in a series put on by TribalVision.  I had not had the opportunity to attend the previous events, but it didn't take away from the fun.   A line up full of regional talent, with a Renegade Stage by local message forum Syde-Sho, keep everyone dancing through the night.  I was not one of those.  The previous weekend had taken much out of me, and it was long drive home.

Another weekly show kicked off at Jilly's on Broadway.  Initially, started by local DJ Atom, he quickly joined forces with others to bring in all sorts of local talent from the metro area, along with those from Lawrence, Topeka, and regional points beyond were showcased.  It had slow nights here and there, but  quickly became the place to be on Tuesday night.

On a whim, the following weekend I ran down to a remote campground on the Meramec River, just southwest of St Louis.  The lineup sounded good, and I knew a lot of folks that were going.  I got there just about the time the event was starting, parked and hopped the bus with a bunch of other kids, down to the river.  Walking through the settling mist, I could hear the beats ricocheting off the surrounding hillsides.  It was as if music was everywhere.  A solid line-up of folks like Simply Jeff, Charles Feelgood, Woody McBride (DJ ESP), a live vocal performance by Dajae, and an unbelievable sunrise set from ... well, I can't recall.  Indeed, it is hard to recall everything that went down.  I just remember walking away after the last beat, with the valley full of fog, thinking that is how it was meant to be.  It would be a while before a similar experience would arrive; even then, not quite the same as that morning. Hopping the bus back to the car, everyone seemed to have that same feeling; as if they had experienced something they never would again.

The following weekend found me back in Lawrence at a private Jell-O party. At the first invite, I was intrigued.  What was a Jell-O party?  I was told that I would find out, as if it were some fantastic oddity that only a few could bear witness.  It turned out to be nothing more than a jell-o shots party (a whole refrigerator full of them).  Still it was a lot of fun, with new friends.

Topping the month off, a local record company was hosting their annual picnic in Topeka.  666 ZipCode Town Rekkids had secured the amphitheater in Gage Park, and promised an afternoon of fun, friends, family and fire.  Although, not quite as good as in the dark, the fire dancer I had photographed earlier in the year provided an interesting performance.

The same night the first of many large-scale ravalicious events took place in Kansas City again, put on by local promotional group PhukBed.  This was their first real show, and while the line-up was mostly local and regional talent, it did not deter anyone.  Folks had been planning on going to this for weeks, and it was obvious. The Kansas City massive turned out and and turned the Jackson County Conference Center inside out and upside down all night long.  There was space to dance, and room to roam a little outside, and it was a night folks would remember for quite awhile; until the next one, that is.

Monday, June 22, 2015

in plainsong tour kc

The Smashing Pumpkins came to town, and I had an opportunity to catch the show down at the Midland Theater in Kansas City.  It was pretty good show, but didn't quite meet the expectations of many, who apparently expected a bit of the old flair.  I had read up on the tour a bit, and had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into.  Billy Corgan is pretty much all that is left of the fierce sound that once captivated youth across the nation.  At times others played along on bass, but it was pretty much Billy and a beat box.

We arrived late, so I am not really sure if there was a warm-up act.  It was not your typical length of performance; this one went on for 3 hours.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

essential loud beat spirit

The annual Kansas City Spirit Festival returned in June of 2002, and for the first time hosting an Electronic Music Showcase, coordinated by Subsonic Sound & POD Productions. It was a huge success showcasing only the very best local talent from a wide array of other krewes like Nightbreed, Good Times Records, Techno Justice League, SpaceTribe, and the Simply Soul Syndicate.  I only made it out for one day, but it was an afternoon and evening to be remembered.  The tent attracted folks from all parts; likely because it was the only venue on the grounds that anyone was dancing and having such a great time.  It was also right near one of the entrances to the festival, so it was kind of hard to miss. If you did, you were deaf and blind.  A small follow-up after-party on the second night held at The Empire Room, hosted much of the same talent, and was just as much fun.

That was really the only significant event in Kansas City that month though, as the party seemed to divert to Lawrence, in spite of the fact that school was over for most.

The following weekend Organic Mind Control Productions (OMCP) and Project Groove kicked off a new set of nights that would draw folks from all over the region to The Pool Hall in Lawrence, Kansas.  I had not really bothered to run out that way much.  There were a few exceptions for nights at the Granada, and the White School House.  Running out with a friend to help setup, I discovered the wonderful world of Q-Burns Abstract Message who brought a solid night of House music to Kansas City under the event banner of "Play It Loud," with support from DJs Jason Kidd, Konsept, and Flotilla.

That event was only a warm-up though, for an event down the street the following night.  Destroy All Robots at The White School House featured Jazz and Hip-Hop Fusion pioneers the Jungle Brothers, who turned the place inside out, with additional support from out-of-towners Rekstad, Elliot, and Bodaleg, along with a wide array of locally recognized super stars.  An all-nighter culminating in breakfast with the few that survived the entire route, this was one of very few events that nearly brought the venue to its knees.  Every room was packed, and everyone having a good time.

The next weekend, I made a quick follow-up at a couple of events.  Project Groove out in Lawrence at "Mad Love and Respect" for the birthday / going away party of a new found friend. While the event did not showcase any more than local talent, it was no less full of energy and folks dancing.  Back in Kansas City the next night, I found myself at yet another ATM House Party / Pool Party.  There really was no pool, unless you count the kiddie pool on the front walk, but it was a good time either way.

The next couple of weekends found me in New York on other business, but I did stumble across a few things, and a couple of folks treated me to some interesting late night sights.  The first night out, my cousin treated me to a few random places before dragging me off to the desolate Meat Packing District.  He wanted to show me a little dive biker bar called Hogs and Heifers Saloon, hinting that it was the true original inspiration for the movie Coyote Ugly.  After some good food at a little place called Vynl, we wander through an area of abandoned warehouses, until the light from the bar appeared in front of us, and we were attracted to it like moths.  Inside, exactly what you would musically expect of a biker bar, but what got your attention was the giant shark on the wall, holding up what appeared to be thousands of women's bras.  I would later find out that there was some incentive for women to remove their bra and leave it for the shark; although, the reason for doing so escapes me at this time.  It proved to be a night of hilarity, with your regular every-day working class professional women drunk dancing on the bar, and at times tactfully removing their bra for donation.   As I said, I don't remember the whole routine, or the reasons, but a packed house and cheap $1 PBRs ensured everyone was in tune.

Essential Wave at a fun little club called Bounce.  It was very similar to many of the weekly events that I had been to in Kansas City.  There were a lot of regular folks that all knew each other; in contrast, they turned out to be extremely welcoming.  I am not sure if that was because they knew I was coming out with a camera or just the nature of their culture (most were Russian / Eastern European).  Regardless, we had a wild cab ride down, for a wild time there, and an equally wild cab ride back sometime around 3 am.  Just another typical night in New York.
othing in New York quite matched that place in character, but it was not for lack of trying to find comparisons.  Among some of the other places we visited were Bellevue, Pioneer Bar, and Remote Lounge.  We did come close one night though.  On invitation form a colleague with S.O. Unit, myself and a few others made our way over to Brooklyn to check out his weekly event,

Returning to Kansas City, I was nearly immediately kidnapped and taken to St Louis by DJ Synnister, to witness Beat the Drums II.  He and KC locals Phelyne and Paul Wicked were part of the warm up for the legendary Dieselboy and MC J - Messinian.  They were roaming the countryside for the Planet of the Drums Tour; a fantastic show that I was very happy that he had encouraged me to come out for.  It is very likely that Aggie's on Broadway never saw so many kids, and very likely never will again.  A thousand or more turned out to hear Drum and Bass played the way only Dieselboy can;  indeed, due to the number of people in attendance, my camera angles were limited that night, forcing me into the rigging above and to the sides of the stage on a few occasions.  Coupled with a little bit of jet lag, it turned out to be yet another intense all-nighter I cannot remember where, or if we really slept.

We made it out alive though, for one last stop in the St Louis area, and the last even for the month of June 2002.  Out in St Charles, DJ Synnister had been invited to come play for a little while at the Party in the Park in St Charles.  It was for a graduation or some such thing; again, memory is failing on certain specifics.  It was a good relaxing afternoon meeting up with some folks from the night before, chilling at the park, and listening in on a few beats before making that long drive home to KC.