Saturday, December 01, 2018

long way from home original

Above & Beyond’s first original collaboration single since the 2010 ‘Anphonic’ with Kyau & Albert is out now.  Production powerhouse of Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki teamed up with Spencer Brown from San Francisco to produce their latest track 'Long Way From Home’ featuring the vocals of RBBTS (Anne Kalstrup & Hendrik Burkhard).

Debuting at Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy 300 celebrations in Hong Kong, the track speaks to the loneliness of touring artists on the road through a melancholic wave of undulating melodies underpinned by the quartet’s rounded, dance floor-ready sound.

The first outlines were laid down by Paavo and Spencer in a Melbourne hotel room, a very, very long way from home. Fine-tuned on the road in front of sell-out crowds across Europe, ‘Long Way From Home’ feat. RBBTS is an early Christmas treat for fans.  Both artists have packed schedules for the remainder of the year.

According to Paavo, “Both Spencer and myself know all too well what it's like being a touring musician. Filled with totally amazing, high moments, but also lonely moments in hotel rooms far away from home. We'd both been travelling for hours feeling somewhat lost and lonely and ended up spending the day together talking about it all. We found ourselves making a song about it all in a makeshift hotel room studio.”

Spencer Brown just finished a world tour with Above & Beyond, playing to crowds around the world.  A star on the rise, and already a mainstay on Above & Beyond Anjunabeats, with his debut album, ‘Illusion Of Perfection’ released on the label earlier this year.

Says Spencer, “ “Dream on little dreamer." A message that rung in my head after seeing Above & Beyond, as a fan, in 2014. Signing my music with Anjunabeats in 2016, our musical and personal relationship deepened. We’ve toured the world together. Now, we’ve penned this song - drawing deep from our hearts - about the crazy lives we lead.”

Above & Beyond North American Tour Dates
  • Dec 26 @ The Grand Boston - Boston, MA
  • Dec 27 w/ Spencer Brown @ Great Hall - Avant Gardner - Brooklyn, NY
  • Dec 29 - Echostage - Washington, DC
  • Dec 30 w/ Spencer Brown @ Decadence - Phoenix, AZ
  • Dec 30 @ Decadence - Denver, CO
  • Dec 31 - Snowglobe - South Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Jan 02, 2019 w/ Spencer Brown @ Belly Up Aspen - Aspen, CO
  • Jan 25, 2019 w/ Spencer Brown @ Igloofest - Montreal, Canada

Saturday, November 17, 2018

way back with tlc in kc

We caught up with these girls back in the 90s, after the release of their second album "Crazy Sexy Cool."  They were a little different than the regular variety and showed some promise.  There was so much good music coming out during that time though, we kind of lost track.  

Offered a pair of free tickets to their show on Saturday, we jumped at the chance for a little flashback fun.  It was a good show too, with performances of all of their top tracks from way back then, peppered with a few others from their latest release.

The girls voices were as good as ever, along with the voice of Lisa Lopes aka Left Eye dubbed in spirit on all the necessary tracks.  It was about an hour long show, with back to back tracks, and a sprinkling of commentary from the performers.

Ending the show, they came to the corners of the stage and signed autographs for anyone and everyone that came up.  Just about everyone at the show must have left with their signatures.

The venue was generally good.  There really is not a bad seat in the house, some only marginally better than others.  We were way back on one of the risers.  In fact, all the way back. The sound was good and visibility probably as good as anywhere in the room.

Safety is whole other consideration. The venue should probably look at doing something to stabilize the risers. They swayed from folks simply walking up the stairs and felt like a trampoline, when full of folks on their feet dancing, of which accounted for 95% of the crowd.

The sway was probably not so bad near the bottom.  At times, the upper half continually felt as though it might collapse.  That small bit of terror in the back of my mind, coupled with the dancing drunk girl next to me, flailing her arms about, kept me relatively pinned down.

Capturing photos and video was a small challenge in all the action.  As well, I am finding I do not particularly care for how the S8 does in low light.  The less light, the less it performs.  There are a few more photos than just those in this post.

or add your own to the mix

Thursday, November 01, 2018

the prodigy live forever

Rephlektor - The Prodigy released their latest track ‘We Live Forever’ just last week, bringing together Keef and Maxim, plus vocal hooks from Ultramagnetic MC, over a sinister riff that keeps coming at you before erupting into a violent energy only Howlett knows how to bring.

The track is a striking highlight from the upcoming album release, 'No Tourists' due out on November 2, and a reminder of a band that has resolutely followed their own route through the underbelly of popular culture since day one.

The Prodigy have never taken the lazy tourist route. They dominated the illegal rave scene, challenged anti-rave legislation and redefined the whole idea of what a band should be like. They brought UK electronic music to the US heartland, turning metal kids onto Rave and ravers into metal heads.

Effectively reached global audiences without compromise, racking up 6 number 1 albums and multiple honors (two Brits, two Kerrang! awards, five MTV awards, two Grammy nominations), they are force to be reckoned with.

“No Tourists’ is ultimately about escapism and the want and need to be derailed and not to follow that easy set path,’ explains Liam Howlett in his North London studio.
"In these times we live in people have become lazier and forgotten how to explore. Too many people are allowing themselves to be force fed, with whatever that may be. It’s about reaching out further to find another alternative route where the danger and excitement may be to feel more alive … not accepting that you can just be a tourist. That’s what the title is about for us.”

This new album sees The Prodigy return with venom. They are renegades, outsiders, and outlaws – always hiding in plain sight. Though much has changed in the musical and social landscape, what remains a constant is The Prodigy’s resolute focus to always do things their own unique way.  Indeed, in 2018 the urgency and irrepressible spirit of The Prodigy has never been more needed.

‘No Tourists’ will be available digitally, on CD, cassette, and heavyweight double vinyl.  Exclusive bundles and a ltd edition gatefold clear double vinyl are available via the artist store. The band will immediately follow up with a 21 date tour over the winter season, with more to come, surely.

on the web at

Monday, October 01, 2018

brian flinn black matter

MJR ~ Opening with the tough driving sounds of title track, 'Black Matter' Brian gets things grooving from the first bar with percussive power. bleeding into progressive techno! Out now on Progline Records.

The tracklist for VII Vol I includes "Animate the Enemy" from Brian Flinn. Preorder digital copy from iTunes, Beatport or, or order the 4 CD set. Worldwide release is October  5th.

With a massive year of releases on Degenerate, Full On 140, Black Hole, & his very own label, From The Ashes Records, Brian Flinn shows off his Trance talent and versatility.  Exploring the spectrum between 125 BPM and 142 BPM, enjoy his set below as a guest Intricacy Radio.

Celebrating 3 years of Intricacy, Brian will be playing a producer set in Kansas City, opening the floor for Factor B, and his Kansas City Debut.  The event is October 5th at Rhythm & Booze and will also feature Denver's Adam Stark, and a special B2B with Rendon & GaryK.

... and next month in the same location ...

Monday, September 24, 2018

plaza art fair 2018

This little trip was really only on Saturday the 22nd.  It was the perfect day to get out and have a look around. Much of Kansas City had similar notions and the streets of the Plaza were loosely crowded, with just enough space to move about freely.

Local public radio station KKFI hosted a stage right in the heart of it all.  We paused there for a bit, but we had only just arrived and were anxious to see the offerings.

Heading west along the line of booths, at the time of day we arrived was a little rough, with the sun blazing down on what had been an otherwise cool day.

There were quite a few standards about covering nearly every genre one could think.  Jewelry, furniture sculptured works were peppered in with assortment of unique prints, drawings, and paintings.

Backtracking along the other side of the street encouraged viewing. The shadow of the buildings to the south enabled sanctuary from the sun and a less blinding journey down the road.

It was an interesting, but brief visit.  Turning towards Brush Creek, we encountered an alley of food and just beyond a band commanding a position on the bridge across.  The crowd levels at this point encouraged a detour for our little group and we decided to move on with our day.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

toadies in favor of house

We had never seen Toadies live and really only a knew a few of their tracks, but headed down for the free show anyhow.  We did not have anything better to do, and it was a free show.

Arriving early enough to snag parking right across the street from Crossroads, we were instantly distracted by a deep and steady beat coming from across the parking lot.  House.  It lured us in, curious as to who might be spinning up these sounds.

It seems that MOD Gallery does a regular 1st & 3rd Sunday Groove in the parking lot out back.  Quite the family friendly event too, a variety of ages chilled in late evening, enjoying the sounds of summer fading into fall.

We still do not know who was playing just then, but were happy to see a lot of familiar faces, and hear that Tony Markham would playing later on.  Toadies were slipping away.

Hearing things go quiet across the street Crossroads, we decided to head over there.  Toadies would be going on soon.  We had come for that purpose after all.  Might as well make the effort.

After lingering in the wood chips with a few friends for about 20 minutes, Toadies finally took the stage.  They played well, but the sound was not so great.  The sound guys had their roof up, so they were probably unaware of how bad it was in other parts of the area.

Not particularly feeling the angst of the 90s, two that had traveled with us headed back to MOD Gallery across the street after only a few tracks.  We only held out for another two or three, moving about the area, seeking better sound arrangements.

Crossing back to MOD, the familiar warm and steady beat welcomed us back. Tony Markham took over just as we arrived, and we spent the remainder of his set and part of the next enjoying some great beats!

There are really only a couple more photos of both events, but you are free to contribute your own to the appropriate album.  Just view, then join the sunDown  event album, or if you were across the street, view and join the Toadies event album.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

bon appétit featuring ya-le

Shaun Frank is back with an up-tempo house record titled “Bon Appétit,” following the massive success of his latest release “Tokyo Nights” with Digital Farm Animals & Dragonette.  Out now on Ultra Music, this track features the catchy and upbeat vocals from developing artist YA-LE.

“Bon Appétit” is a delicious house track loaded with electrifying kicks and powerful synths, bringing Shaun Frank back to his melodic house music roots. The track begins with the a catchy vocal hook that pulls you in and then releases into a high-energy drop filled with Shaun Frank’s signature infectious melodies.

Shaun is hot off the heels of his massive “Rave Dad Road Trip” tour, which crossed North America in the first half of 2018. He recently took the stage with a huge performance at Îlesoniq Music Festival in Montreal, and will soon be seen performing at Breakaway Music Festival in Nashville.

And a  quick glance at his Facebook page indicates he has no intention of slowing down either, kicking off his "No Future" Tour in Miami during Winter Music Conference 2019.... 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

32nd world championship cardboard boat races

While visiting the great state of Arkansas, we had the opportunity to check out this event, which had been elusive for several years.  The endurance of some of these hand manufactured boats was quite surprising, and amusing at times.
Apparently, the theme of the year was Star Wars, and there were quite a variety of flotation constructions about the landscape of Sandy Beach.
All of the contraptions endured the warm waters quite well, and really did not take on any water.  It was quite surprising, considering the construction materials permitted.
A few, while water tight, contained a few minor design flaws that caused disintegration under pressure. One almost fell apart at the starting line, and eventually did, prior to the finish line.

It was quite a lot of fun though, and a full house on the beach in spite of threatening rain.  We look forward to getting back to it again.

view more photos from this event
or add your own to the mix

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

backstory update

In case you have not been following along, things have changed a bit.  Writing the backstory was getting a little stale and not really going much of anywhere, just recanting the events of any particular month that was restored.  I put a stop to it.  Eventually, we will get back to that, once I have had a little time to soak in it.  

Beginning with the series related to 2005, when an event is restored it will be posted to a couple of the more prominent social channels.  This will offer an opportunity to focus on the photos again.

Some of those have already begun to appear on another channel.  Kind of like the raves old days, you have to be looking around for it though.  See if you can find it.  

The back story column will return when a few more thoughts are in order, and there is always that random current event that will show up here, so check back.  Otherwise, look for phocas on your favorite social channel for the most up to the minute on the latest of the restoration effort.

There is also an album of all the completely random photos taken along the way, which is always being updated... randomly.  Check out "encounters" for those photos, which appear nowhere else, and photos from events with less than 5 shots.  A few from that album appear below, just to fill the space. 

... wishin U all whirled peas ..

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

lasers and sitars

The last month of 2004 launched an array of events that only escalated into the following year.  Frisky kicked things off with their residents and the Simply Soul Syndicate, while Wicked Fridays kept pace across town, and Chris provided a look inside the NYC rave scene.  That Saturday, the weekly at Grand Emporium tried to keep pace, but was no match for DJ P at Kabal.

Thing started off simple enough with an appearance by DJ Imperial  at Jilly's, and a live set by Swayzak out in Lawrence, while a few friends and I wandered down to The Point with Dave Brock for a special surprise appearance there.

He was in town to headline our show the following night, the 3rd anniversary party, along with Xplicit.  Both kept the floor groovin all night long, and made for a solid night of food, fun, and phabulous partying.  

Invited down to a Christmas party for  local promotional firm, I dropped by there, before heading over to Kabal for a party by another local rag, then down to the Empire for another dose of Wicked Fridays.  Meanwhile, Joe ran out to Omaha, and Shawn dropped in on The Stables for the first of its kind of show in that venue.  All eyes were on Kabal Saturday, with D:Fuse appearing in support of his Begin tour.

Weekdays were mostly quiet until that Monday, when it was back to Kabal for The Future Sound of Cambridge Tour.  That was followed a few days later, joining our Irish soloist, Jonathan Ramsey for a little Christmas Hoolie!

The month faded quickly, but not without a few wild parties in between.  KC Christmas rocked the House at Kabal on Christmas night, while across town Saeed Younan played to a mostly empty house, and the Grand Emporium held onto their loyal subjects.  

The Dark Divas kicked off the last week of the month with their own little Christmas party.  The following night  was DJ 2Heavy's birthday, with a salute to the Breakers, and then an acquaintance dragged us off to the Grand Emporium for a great show by Tabla Rasa.

And then, the year ended in an explosion of music and champagne.  A good portion of the regular "scene" skipped it though, in favor of a private little bash of their own.  Folks were still out en masse, and Eric covered the loyalists at The Point, while Shawn covered the sold out show at Martini Corner.  As for myself, a moderately upscale little-black-dress evening at The Clubhouse filled the end of my year.

Access to all of these events is restored. You can learn more about them through their respective event post, or scan through all of the events recently restored from December 2004. Spliced with various commentary, which will eventually be updated, a link to additional photos for each appears at the bottom of every post.

Random photos were taken along the way, not associated with any particular event, are hosted within the encounters album. It is always being updated with various things, also hosting photos from events with less than five shots.

Have some thoughts about this column, or anything else related to the events or photos? Leave a comment below, or on any of the event postings or pages of the site.

Stay up to date with new posts to the site too. Follow by email below, or RSS. Either of these methods only update you when there is a new post.

Friday, June 01, 2018

mark tonelli quartet at festa italiana 2018

We had never actually been to Festa Italiana at Zona Rosa, and really did not stay for much of it on this occasion.  The incredible heat played a determining factor.  However, we made time for the Mark Tonelli Quartet, and enjoyed some great Italian food trucks like Garozzo's and Johnny's Italian Steakhouse, among others.

It was a good evening for food, drinks and jazz.  Surprisingly, this is the only shot taken while there.  We caught the last of the prior act, and only stayed through the beginning of the following.  The situation definitely bears closer investigation next time.

Friday, May 25, 2018

free fridays w/ elton dan

After noting a post related to the same, on somewhat of a whim, we dropped in on the Crossroads for the evening.  The show was slated to start at 6 pm, but they must have been a little behind.  It was no matter really.  We needed some sustenance.  Fortunately, this venue comes with relatively reasonable food and drinks.

The first cover band, Gypsies, Doves and Dreams took the stage sometime around 7 pm, and they were really good.  Playing all the Fleetwood Mac favorites, and didn't miss a beat.  The singer did a great job, sounding almost like like the real deal.

After an hour or so of play time, they relinquished the stage to setup for the next act, who did not take long at all.  It was only about 15 minutes between acts, just enough time to locate a fresh beverage and use available facilities.

Just about the sun dropped behind the Kansas City skyline, Elton Dan fired up on stage.  This group launched into one Elton John hit after another, and the band did as good a job as the previous covering these tunes.  Elton Dan, lead singer and pianist was good, but offered a slightly different tone.

They only played for about an hour too, ending the night somewhat early. It had been a fun little experience though, and a chance to get out and hear some live music, at a great venue, without breaking the bank.

Another Free Friday is coming up soon. July 13th features The Phantastics, and the Friday after that features Hi-Lux, Neo-Soul, and DJ Kay-Fan. We look forward to dropping in on one of these, or maybe both.

there are no more photos from this event
but you can add your own to the mix