Friday, September 23, 2016

drive-by truckers sun volt

Initially bowing out, but then later caving under pressure, I ended up at the Crossroads for another show. I really had nothing better to do, but am generally persistent in my quest not paying unnecessarily large sums of money for shows in which I am not extremely well acquainted with the work of the artist. I usually regret it.

The price tag to see the Drive-By Truckers along with Son Volt seemed like it might be one of those situations.  I had not heard anything recent from either in years.  In fact, I think it was the 1990s when I had last heard anything, and could not recall whether I really even cared for it or not.

I did end up going anyway, and really enjoyed the performances by both bands, as well as recalling a few of their tunes.  It has been a long time indeed.  Son Volt played quite an extended set and while they were good, but a bit slow mode for a Friday night, and I think everyone was anxious for the headliner.

The Drive-By Truckers took the stage and delivered a long, non-stop set featuring 28 tunes from their collection, including some from their yet unreleased “American Band” CD.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the performance, but many like our little group, left before it was over.  The extended set from the opening band, and the Truckers extensive set, along with the general make-up of the venue caused many folks to cut out early.

It is likely folks left early because standing and maintaining balance on wood chips for five or six hours can be challenging, and a little exhausting.  It was our cause for leaving early.  You can dig yourself out a little spot, but then you are restricted in movement.  Our little group discussed this at length.  They should rent out lawn chairs and lawn loungers.  They could easily make enough to replace any damaged and still make a profit.

This remains one of my more favorite open-air venues in Kansas City.  The stage setup and grounds positioned well for day or night shows, and the ground slopes away just enough to ensure good viewing from just about any spot in the place.  Folks can generally move about freely and take in any performance from just about any angle.

However, the venue is starting to run down a little.  You can only party in your backyard for so long before it starts to look (and smell) a little funky.  It is not just that though.  There are a couple of things that are a bit silly, and contribute to my feelings about the excessive cost of many of the shows at this venue.

The latest annoyance on the list, water bottle caps.  On this visit, I discovered the venue does not permit anyone to keep the cap on their water bottle.  Several asked to keep this harmless item, but the attendant dutifully sneered that “policy” required they keep them.

Apparently, his personal policy is to also keep my change and tip himself.  As a quick reminder to that little joker, I tip you.  You do not tip yourself.  That policy of yours will cause you to lose your tip every time and on any future visits.

What the hell is that water bottle cap thing all about though?  The venue has policy to take the cap off a new bottle of water and throw it in the trash to save the consumer from what exactly.  What are we addressing with this policy?  I suspect, only the ability to conserve water and associated costs with the same.  There can be no good logical reason for this policy.

The only upside is the cost of $2 per bottle, which is definitely more reasonable than other beverage prices.  Indeed, it is much more realistic than any other venue I have been to in the City, where the price of a bottle of water is often as much as a soda or beer.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

dinner with phoenix tim

We dropped in on The Phoenix for a late dinner and were pleasantly surprised to find a little live Jazz happening inside.

While it was not quite as crowded as it usually is, we decided to camp out on the sidewalk.  It was a beautiful evening out, and we were more interested in conversation.  The music was a background bonus.

Tim Whitmer and his band KC Express played straight through for the nearly 2 hours we were there, cranking out some solid Jazz for the patrons inside.  They were really enjoying it too, from what I noticed the one time I stepped inside.

He has been playing at the Phoenix since the day it opened.  His award winning group KC Express consists of some of the town's premier musicians including Tom DeMasters, Rick Huyett and Ray DeMarchi.  Additionally, every week he hosts the vocal talent of Millie Edwards, Lori Tucker, or a special guest.

If you ever need a place to kick back and enjoy dinner and Jazz, this is the place!  We only took the couple of photos shown here, and did not shoot any video.  Our position was not exactly conducive to that sort of activity.    There are plenty of opportunities for that another time.  The Phoenix regularly hosts some of the finest local Jazz in the city, along with Open Mic nights, and Open Jams.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

septemplur grooves

The summer of 2003 was coming to a close quickly, but that did not slow the pace any.  There were a lot of different things going on, and I was determined to diversify things just a bit.  I think I accomplished that, while at the same time hitting all the usual high points that were becoming increasingly significant in the Kansas City dance scene.

Kicking off the month of September back in 2003, Industrial Area hosted a little CD Release Party for the Clan of Xymox, featuring The Jesus Complex, Biocarbon 13 along with local support from their group down at Davey’s. It was fun, but turnout was low, as with many events that month.  Perhaps there was too much going on?

I tripped out to Lawrence a few days after that for Heather B’s birthday at the Paradise CafĂ©, a low key event really, promising much the same vibe as the Cup down on Delaware.  I am not sure if they ever pulled it off, as I never really made it back out there.  Things just got too busy.

A couple of days after that, I stumbled on a little House party out South.  Looking back on the photos you would think I knew just about everyone there, but that was not exactly the case, though they seemed to know me well enough.  It was no matter either way.  Most of us didn’t know who we were by the end of the night.

Intending to take the night off, the temptation to follow-up on an invitation to the West Bottoms led me to Chop Shop 7.  It really was a blast.  Walking into the room there were about 6 DJs seemingly playing off of each other all at once.  Indeed, it almost had a bit of a family vibe, so I rang up Sher to come check it out and bring the munchkin too, since others were there.  They had a great time, and her another girl about the same age are still friends to this day.

The break I was looking for came along, but I was back on the streets for a brief visit to the Cup to check out DJ Eclypz.  It was really strange to stumble across his photo just about the time I got the news of his passing recently.

I really hate to hear about people leaving us, and according to some folks, there have been more than I am even close to aware of.  Slow down guys.  There is a long ride ahead.

The same night as my short visit to the Cup, I dropped in on Kabal for Infamous Peoples.  I was really surprised to find a relatively full house too, B.Boys and B.Girls representing, and using what space was available for as long it was.

Back down for Frisky the next night, Raoul Belmans all the way from Belgium stirred up a fun night that kept folks dancing to the last beat.  The same was very much true for several other events at Kabal.  The place was on a roll, and was not letting up.  Astro & Glyde turned the place inside out that Saturday, and the Lawnchair Generals and the Eastcoast Boogiemen hosted a very special tag-team 4-deck set.  It was hot.  It was sweaty, but nobody seemed to ever care.

I only caught the end of another little show down at Loose Park, but it turned out rather amusing, and an interesting distraction for a Sunday night.  How often does that happen?  In these types, it seemed to be happening more often than not though.

Wednesday the same found me down at Hurricane for Guerilla Theory, featuring Bizar out from DC.  There was not a huge attendance, but the bridal party that came wandering through provided their own little show for a bit.

CROMA, a relatively new group on the scene threw a little party the following day, featuring Jeffery Zion.  It had its own little twist, leaning towards a more spiritual aspect, and opening the door for the much younger crowd.  They made an appearance too, and seemed to really enjoy themselves and the music.

Later than night, I somehow ended up back in the west bottoms.  Somebody from the CROMA group was headed down there, I think.  They knew of a band having rehearsal and insisted that I come check it out.

We got there a bit late though, and only caught the end of their practice session, but the party went on with several other DJs along with members of Djembe Kahn pumping out some music into the morning hours.  It was the first of several excursions to this spot to catch up with the band "I" and their weekly practice, and the little after party that followed.

I took a break for a couple of days after that, and then it was back downtown for Robin’s birthday celebration aka the Libra Soiree aka Industry Mixer.  Again up on John’s Big Deck, it was a fantastic time.  There really is no better place than rooftop for a downtown party.

On the opposite end of things, I found myself in the basement of Mi Cocina on the Plaza a few days later for another birthday party for Darian?  or Darius?

I don't really recall, so if you know him, leave a comment so I can fix the title.   It was fun, but got a little hot, so I really didn't stay long.  On top of that I broke my UV filter, so my lens was very exposed for most of the night.

I got that fixed quickly though and headed down to Afterhours the next night. I am still puzzled over what this party was an afterhours for.  Maybe I just missed the event somewhere along the way, but I don’t think I was the only one.  Not many showed up.

The event many had been waiting for finally arrived the next day; at least for most of those in the southeast part of the state.  Dance til ya Plur lit up an IAFF hall down in Springfield, drawing kids from all over the state in their finest kandi.  It was hot, the music was hardcore (happy, that is), and the party full tilt until the early morning hours.

After that experience, I had to break away to the lake for a couple of days, but found my way back to Kansas City in time for the anniversary party for Submission. Ironically, as had been the case for a lot of events this month, it had a bit of a low turnout too, but a good performance all the same.

view more photos from September 2003

Until next time... Dance til ya Plur!