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To Begin Summer Concert Season, Modest Mouse scurry through Starlight


There are places and times to best experience music, music heard in its’ prime environment and ambiance. For example, it’s a well known fact that AC/DC is optimally listened to while driving 45 mph down a vacant road, dirt preferred. Beach House is best heard at, you guessed it, a cabin in Colorado in the dead of winter.

As for Issaquah, Washington indie-rock legends, Modest Mouse, the optimum viewing experience led about 6,000 music fans to the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City on Friday, May 10.

What tricks does a band that’s been rocking consistently for about 26 years still have in store? It turns out, a lot.

The band came prepared with 9 members on stage, including two drummers, horns, and theatrical violins and an upright bass. Isaac Brock and Co. really came to impress.

And impress they did! The band came out absolutely swinging with “Dark Center of the Universe” from long-time fan favorite album, The Moon and Antarctica.

The band kept going through hits played liberally from their five most recent albums. Some of the most viciously fun songs played were “Dashboard,” “Lampshades on Fire,” “Cowboy Dan,” and of course, “Float On.”

The surge of people I saw sprinting up towards the stage, to take a selfie during “Float On” was just astonishing. There was a security guard, whose only job, was to prevent people from taking selfies near the stage, AND HE COULDN’T HANDLE THE RUSH! I tried to keep tally, but lost track.

But still, can we just reflect on how good that song is? And how good this band is? I mean, everyone has heard of Modest Mouse. They’ve been around for 30 years! But they’ve kept every bit of excitement, experimentation, and catchiness for their entire career. They never receded away, and never backed down.

Modest Mouse continue their tour through mid-October, (impressive, right?) and will be coming to Wichita on the 21st. So, check them out. You’ll be glad you did.




Ready to Rumble: SXSW Preview #1

Looking for some awesome music insights ahead of the Thunderdome of sonic exploration that is SXSW? Let me be your Lewis and Clark on this journey, your Sherpa through the terrane of the Serengeti of new and exciting tunes soon to be discovered in Austin.

Ever get the inclination to get in the car and just drive that fucking thing as fast and as far as possible? You’ve probably thought it out before. But have you ever considered what the soundtrack to that Mad Max-esque scene would sound like?

Hot Flash Heat Wave should find their way onto that drive-like-hell playlist. They have a sound that radiates freedom. Their music is insanely catchy and the feeling it gives off is one of “who cares dude, let’s get out of here.” Their songs can sound sleazy, grungy, PBR and tequila fueled, and ideal for a skate session, a cruise around town, or any situation really. These San Francisco rockers have the guitar licks, crisp basslines, and vocals to take them places. Go see these dudes, and maybe buy them a beer.

Killer tracks include “Hesitation,” “Bye Bye Baby,” and “Lonely Times.” Oh, and “Gutter Girl” absolutely rips.


Tuesday @ 2 pm Daytrotter Session

Wednesday @ 5:15 pm Melted Showcase

Thursday @ 9 pm Rachel Ray Showcase

Friday @ 3pm Wallflower Records Showcase

Saturday @ 1 am The Velveeta Room


Maybe crushing and heavy alternative rock is more up your alley. Look no further than Lume. These guys write dense and heady songs with wall-to-wall sound. Their thumping and crashing drums explode on each track as guitars sprawl and twinkle. Meanwhile, there is darkness swirling and building, until they consume the song whole, smiling as it does so. Check these guys out in a dark dive bar somewhere and maybe bring some earplugs, because it is going to get loud. Some of my favorite tracks include “Aurora Bridge,” “Had it Made” and “Violent Light.”

3/13 @ Ground Floor Booking Showcase @ The Love Goat (w/ Spirit of the Beehive, Heart Attack Man, Kississippi, Gulfer, Greet Death, Mover Shaker, Prince Daddy and the Hyena, Late Bloomer)


Don’t Sleep: Great Good Fine OK, Haux, and more at SXSW

Looking for some awesome music insight ahead of the Thunderdome of sonic exploration that is SXSW? Let me be your Lewis and Clark on this journey, your Sherpa through the terrane of the Serengeti of new and exciting tunes soon to be discovered in Austin.

One of the most buzzing names in synthpop EDM is Great Good Fine OK. This is Ass. Shaking. Music.

What do you get when you combine superb vocals with show-stopping instrumentation? You probably get a good combination to dance to. Well, if you’re looking to get your feet on the dancefloor and show the people of South By your slickest moves, look no further than Great Good Fine OK.

The group from Brooklyn brings a little bit of the past to the future. Imagine Frankie Valli crooning over a disco synthpop tune. Try to think about what it would sound like if John Cougar Mellancamp collaborated with Years and Years.

There is something funky, something groovy, something fresh, something vintage, about Great Good Fine OK. They take something borrowed and clash it together with new and cutting edge sounds from what’s popping today. All together, you get something

Some of my favorite tracks include “What Do U See in Me,” “Find Yourself” and the outrageously catchy “Take it or Leave It.”

I highly recommend hitting up the Ultra Records Announces SXSW 2018 Showcase on Thursday, March 15 @ Esther’s Follies. Oh, and bring your dancing shoes. I’ll meet you on the floor.


Can’t Miss: Cape Francis & Stranger Ranger at SXSW

Looking for some awesome music ahead of the Thunderdome of sonic exploration that is SXSW? Let me be your Lewis and Clark on this journey, your Sherpa through the terrane of the Serengeti of new and exciting tunes soon to be discovered in Austin.

Two bands that are packing a punch in the ultra-competitive arena of Indie rock are Cape Francis and Stranger Ranger. Each group features a unique yet familiar sound that holds crowds close like your favorite crewneck sweater. Their sounds are warm, embracing, and threaded with memories.

Cape Francis feels like the emotion of coming home, or leaving home. Their sound resonates in the soul and reverberates through the whole body. The simplicity of the instrumentation and the warm lyricism of Kevin Olken Henthorn brings about the same sentiment as a Bon Iver song does.

Some killer tracks include “Iditarod,” “5 in the Morning,” Fortified,” and “Olly.”


Stranger Ranger is one of those bands that reminds you how you felt in high school. Whether you were a music nerd, a weirdo, a punk, a photographer, a newspaper kid, or all of the above (this is my biography,) you probably felt like you were alone in this bizarre universe of social constructs. Maybe you and your friends got together and listened to Modest Mouse, American Football, and Snowing and talked about getting out of this dead end town.

Stranger Ranger’s music feels like escaping. It feels like packing up the car and driving somewhere, anywhere, as long as it was far away from here. It feels like the first time you knew that there was more to life than what was just in front of you. Their music is inherently sad, but it also spills over with hope. The subtleties in their chords bring immense emotion and the slow-burning pace of the songs keeps you captivated.

Check out “Hydration is Key,” “House Show” and “Everything All at Once”


Both of these bands will send chills down your spine and are definitely worth seeing live. Check out one or a couple of their shows below.

Cape Francis:
TBA – BMG Day Party
11pm – Official SXSW Showcase (Rhyme + Reason Records)
12pm – Lazarus Brewing Co. (Music for Listeners Showcase)
12:30pm – Whole Foods (Southwest Invasion)
630pm – Kebabalicious (Boomfantasy/Distrokid Showcase)
4:30pm – Swan Dive (ROSQUATCH Showcase)
TBA – Tiniest Bar (Lil Big Fest)


Stranger Ranger
7:00 pm – We’re Trying/Tiny Table Talks
10:30 pm – Phluff Showcase

2:00pm – Grey Estates Showcase
2:30pm – Blast Off Showcase
4:30pm – Tiny Engines Showcase
4:30pm – Topshelf Showcase
10:30pm – Camp West Campus