Bedroom-pop teenage wunderkind Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell just released her latest single “my future.”
“we wrote this at the very beginning of quarantine. it’s a song that’s really really personal and special to me. when we wrote this song, it was exactly where my head was at – hopeful, excited and a craaaazy amount of self reflection and self growth. but recently it has also taken on a lot of new meaning in the context of what’s happening in the world now. i hope you can all find meaning in it for yourselves,” Eilish said,
The song marks her latest since soundtracking the upcoming James Bond film, “No Time To Die.”
After releasing their first album in 22 years earlier in June, the shoegaze greats Hum are back and stronger than ever before. If you haven’t listened to their triumphant comeback album Inlet, boy are you in for a heavy, good time!
This fan-captured show from 1998 showcases the power that the Illinois space-rock band can bring, dealing out riff after nasty riff for days. Touring on Downward Is Heavenward, their last album before going on hiatus, this 90’s time capsule features a group working at their peak and operating on all cylinders.
To put it simply, Hum shreds and this show rules. Enjoy!
The great Kansas City indie-rockers Hembree are specialists in all things catchy and creative. Constantly evolving their sound and enveloping new styles and genres, their new single, “Culture” takes massive leaps into unchartered territory, and the result is exhilarating and fresh.
Long known as one of Kansas City’s gems, Hembree are no rookies to the scene. The group graced NPR’s list of “Slingshot Artists” last year. While infusing catchy rock music with slick synths and jangly guitar riffs, lead vocalist Isaac Flynn lays down relatable and poignant lyrics.
Flynn explains of the song: “These days we put so much emphasis on things that lack actual significance. Everything is urgent and I wanted to try to capture this urgency in a song and question what we prioritize. It’s about taking the time to stop and reflect; to think for yourself and establish your own opinions. The song also touches on the lengths people go to for status and power. There’s the realization that these qualities don’t actually equal happiness. Thus, ‘ the king of the culture is never really free…’”
Hembree’s latest offering, “Culture” features hip-hop rhythms, ear-worm melodies, and veteran-level song-crafting. It’s readily apparent that these guys are onto something incredibly exciting in 2019.
The band plans to release their album, House On Fire via Thirty Tigers on April 26.
Here’s a not-so-hypothetical hypothetical. You’ve worked all week. You’ve slaved at your laptop, you’ve been in and out of meetings, and your boss has been riding you like Seabiscuit all. week. long.
You, the weekend warrior- you, the one who works the desk– YOU deserve to dance.
This Saturday night in Kansas City, two of indie-rocks’ most dancey acts will be playing rock music. And it will be loud, and it will be fun, and it will be carefree. And you should be there.
Joywave and Sir Sly are on the bill, and both have experienced huge levels of success, on record and in concert. Both have played festivals and shows around the world, and specialize in making booties move.
Joywave has been playing high octane rock music since 2010 and hail from Rochester, NY. The group brings an electric vibrancy of sound with slick guitars, heavy drums and bass, and catchy as hell vocals. Lead singer Daniel Armbruster provides a sort of nerdy charm to his performance and guitarist Joseph Morinelli absolutely shreds licks down.
Don’t miss “Destruction” and “Somebody New” for optimal dancing tracks that are guaranteed to make you forget about your week.
In addition to Joywave, Los Angeles indie-rockers Sir Sly will open the show.
Sir Sly’s sound pulses with electronic synthesizers and chest-rattling bass. Their songs hit like a dart to the head- they STICK IN THERE.
Sir Sly has made a big name for themselves cutting up the club scene and pretty much touring constantly for years. They’ve proven to be formidable in making crowds eager to sing and dance along with their catchy tunes.
The National’s music is notoriously depressing. Their music paints the picture of despair, heartbreak, and sorrow- so much so that “Sorrow” is the title of one of their songs. It’s the kind of music that can bring tears to your eyes. Luckily for me, and the attendees of their October 7th Kansas City show, it was pouring rain out, so nobody could tell I was crying.
Indie-rock vets from Cincinnati, the National, strode through Kansas City and brought their saddest record to date, Sleep Well Beast, with them. These downtrodden tracks found dancey life under a shroud of furiously beating down rain. Under the veil of wet, and cloaked by plastic ponchos, the crowd let loose in musical freedom of expression and euphoria.
The National’s show could best be described as the world ending all around us, so why not dance? Singer Matt Berninger often found himself striding into the crowd head first, standing on chairs, holding onto peoples’ heads for stability, and throwing beers around- just generally being a wild ball of chaos in a fiery rainstorm.
“Bloodbuzz, OH” and “Graceless” were racuous showstoppers, while “Dark Side of the Gym” and “I Need My Girl” brought all the soaked, plastic-wrapped lovers to a slow sway.
“Fake Empire” as a closer is always a staple for the National, and in these politically heated times, Berninger said “This wasn’t written for these times, but it might as well have been.”
For the encore, “Terrible Love” lit the fuse and “Mr. November” blew the place to smithereens. Amongst the rubble, we all rose our voices together in harmony to sing along to “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.”
A beautiful night full of the ups and downs, crazy emotional rampages and quiet embraces that make up a life. Maybe that’s why the National’s music is so sad— it’s relatable. It’s us, it’s life, it is what it is. At the end of the day, whether wet or dry, happy or sad, we can all say that the concert meant something to us.
There are few bands as emotionally captivating as The National. Cincinnati’s finest have played to small clubs and large festival crowds for years. While their sound and style has evolved and expanded over time, one thing has remained the same, the reaction one feels when they hear their music.
On October 7th, The National bring their brooding, bracing and bold repertoire of tunes to the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City. The indie-rock greats will be supporting their Grammy-winning album Sleep Well Beast.
Seeing The National perform live is an unforgettable experience. The music touches the soul in such a way that immediately elicits emotion- pain, pride, and of course, “Sorrow.” Combine the beautiful artistry of the band’s sound with singer Matt Berninger’s gruff growl and coarse and snarling drawl. His deep bellow on record translates to hyper shouts and riveting stage presence.
Berninger and Co. have been playing live since 2001 and have only gotten better and better, more precise, more biting, and more poignant. Can’t miss tracks include “Mr. November,” “Bloodbuzz, OH,” and “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness.”
Tickets can be found here: https://www.kcstarlight.com/events/event-detail-production/the-national-2018
Who knew that three Jewish sisters from Los Angeles could perform one of the best rock sets of 2018? Uh, I did. It’s 2018, get over it.
(I really considered not making that my intro sentence, but I’m basically writing this for myself, so screw it.)
Danielle, Este, and Alana Haim strutted through Kansas City’s Uptown Theatre on May 10, and instantly blew the roof off the place with high octane, highly danceable rock music.
HAIM have been rocking since 2013, and creating some of the best on-stage banter in the music scene today. Their catalog, full of catchy, bold, and awesome indie-pop tunes translate to a live setting so perfectly, these three sisters are IMPOSSIBLE to dislike.
Starting off with the unstoppable one-two-three punch, also known as a PERFECT COMBO in Mortal Combat, “Falling,” “Don’t Save Me,” and “Little of Your Love,” rocked through the venue and got everyone’s feet moving. Even the coolest cucumbers in the room, those who came to the show, not to dance, but to look cool, quickly got pickled in the power of dance.
The hits kept coming throughout the impressive almost 2-hour-stunner. “My Song 5, “Walking Away,” and “The Wire,” kept the temperature of the room at about 200 degrees. I say that, because I sweated through my shirt whilst dancing. Totally. Fucking. Worth it.
HAIM’s power goes beyond the music. They are cool, funny, strong, and profoundly talented musicians. Their music hits you hard in the soul and reverberates through your bones, forcing you to dance. It is highly emotional and shoots through your heart like that scene in Pulp Fiction.
If you get a chance to see these amazing women live, jump at the chance. And if their opening act Lizzo finds herself in your area, GO. Don’t ask questions, just go. You’ll be glad you did.
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.
On Thursday night, I attended my third concert in three days. A rowdy Jack White show and an intense JPEGMAFIA/ Injury Reserve show preceded my finale of the trifecta, a syrupy sweet indie-pop set from Alvvays.
After the week I’ve had, my ears, knees, and sleep schedule may never recover, but it was a perfect week. All I can say is thank god for Alvvays.
The Toronto dream-pop group played the most pleasant, lovely, catchy, impactful tunes I’ve heard in a long time. Beneath clouds of light and warm blankets of guitars and bass, Alvvays swooned and serenaded a sold-out crowd at the RecordBar into pure bliss.
The music that singer Molly Rankin and Alvvays produce from instruments and amps is emotional yet uplifting, powerful yet soothing. There is a general serenity throughout the room when they play.
I was fortunate to watch from a balcony, so I was able to see the entire crowd. Indie kids bobbed their heads in glee, smiles on every face in the audience. In fact, there’s a specific indie-kid bounce that happens during this kind of sweet poppy music, it’s like a bobble back and forth with head-nods to the beat throughout. I’m guilty of it too, and it’s just delightful to see. But how can you not dance to “Adult Diversion”?
The show was jam-packed with insanely lovely songs, with the band never even stopping to take a breath, let alone a sip of water. “In Undertow” led right into “Plimsoll Punks” and followed by “Lollipop” and then “Not My Baby.” Hit after hit after hit after hit!
“Your Type” got everyone’s feet moving and heads bobbing around. The song is fun to cruise to in a car, but sounds 10 million times better live.
The main entree of the night was “Archie, Marry Me,” which I wish never ended. Even now, as I’m writing this, some two-hours after the show, I wish I was still listening to “Archie, Marry Me” in that dingy bar. That song is perfect, and the performance of it was flawless.
Alvvays are already a big deal in the indie world, but while watching them crush their set with the precision of a Swiss wristwatch, I couldn’t help but think of them taking over the world. They have a phenomenal sound, incredible live show, and songs that could fit into a movie or a commercial, or a main stage at a music festival. The world is really Alvvays’ oyster.
If you can make it out to an Alvvays show, do it. You’ll be instantly taken away to a magical place where music heals and love is eternal.