4/28

US Air Guitar Championships

All Ages | 8 pm

US Air Guitar Championships

Limited spots available to compete. SIGN UP NOW: https://usag2017lawrence.eventbrite.com/
Invite your friends at the official Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/698462433647606/

Sponsored by KJHK and Little Bear Graphics
Hosted by 2013 Air Guitar World Champ Eric "Mean" Melin!

You have to see it to believe it. Air superiority wanted to represent LFK. No guitars allowed. This is an official qualifying competition that feeds into the Air Guitar World Championships in Finland!

Come witness an historic event - Lawrence's second official competitive air guitar show! Last year's show was insane, as two Lawrence-based shredders, Rockward Silence and Eddie Hans Flailin', advanced at The Bottleneck, through the Semifinals, all the way to US Air Guitar National Finals in Austin TX! This year, we're looking for some more local talent to show off some ridiculous facemelting skills for a chance to perform on the world stage.

A panel of celebrity judges will choose two winners from this show to advance in bracketed international air guitar competition. Winners from US Air Guitar shows across the country will be flown to a-yet-to-be-disclosed city in late July/early August to compete in the US Air Guitar National Championships for the crown of US Air Guitar Champion. The US champ will then be sent to Oulu, Finland later that month to represent the USA in the World Championships, where he or she will compete against national champions from all around the world.

Founded in 2003, US Air Guitar is the official Air Guitar Association of the United States and is responsible for operating the US Air Guitar Championships, official regional events, and specialized championships. US Air Guitar is devoted to taking our nation's unofficial pastime out of the bedroom and putting it up on the world stage. US Air Guitar is an official member of the World Air Guitar Association.

In Round 1, each competitor performs to a song of their own choosing. In Round 2, the top competitors from Round 1 perform to a surprise compulsory song. In each round, contestants perform for one minute of a song and are judged on a combination of technical merit, stage presence, and “airness." All guitars must be invisible. In each city, the jury is a panel of independent judges. The results of the jury cannot be protested.

OUR LINKS


4/29

Anilyst

Slo Pain
SSB
Loyal
PLUS MORE (SEE BELOW)

$9 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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Anilyst

MORE INFO COMING SOON!



    Slo Pain

    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



      SSB

      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



        Loyal

        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



          Restless

          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



            4/30

            Smackdown Trivia

            18 & Over | 6:30 pm

            Smackdown Trivia

            MORE INFO COMING SOON!

            OUR LINKS


            5/1

            Whitney

            $15 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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            Whitney

            MORE INFO COMING SOON!

            OUR LINKS


            5/2

            Alluvion

            Asterales
            Ben Dipper

            18 & Over | 8 pm

            Alluvion

            Alluvion mixes elements of metal, rock, prog-rock, and shoegaze into there own brand of music. Alluvion has been a band for about 10 years recording several albums and performing regionally. Alluvion prides itself on its high energy performances and diverse songwriting.

            OUR LINKS


            Asterales

            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



              Ben Dipper

              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                5/3

                Matt Haeck

                Roseline Acoustic Solo Act

                $11 + F&T | All Ages | 6 pm

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                Matt Haeck

                Cosmic American Music

                OUR LINKS


                Roseline Acoustic Solo Act

                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                  5/3

                  PRIDE

                  18 & Over | 10 pm

                  PRIDE

                  Dance. Drink. Dance and drink!



                    5/4

                    #ASSJAMZ

                    18 & Over | 9 pm

                    #ASSJAMZ

                    BACK AGAIN
                    BACK TO THE ROOTS
                    BACK FROM THE BOOTY PALACE
                    BACK-BACK-BACK IT UP
                    BACK THAT A$$ UP

                    #ASSJAMZ COMING AT YOU AGAIN, WITH ALL THE BOOTY SWEAT AND TWERKING THAT YOU COULD EVER WANT OR NEED.

                    PLAYING ALL YOUR FAVORITE JAMZ FROM TODAY, YESTERDAY, TOMORROW, SEVENTEEN YEARS FROM NOW, AN INFINITE LOOP OF TIME, AND BACK IN THE DAY WHEN YOU WERE JUST LEARNING HOW TO SHAKE YR ASS IN THE MIRROR.



                      5/5

                      The Steel Wheels

                      Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy

                      $11 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                      The Steel Wheels

                      The Steel Wheels have captured audiences across the country with their heady brew of original soulful mountain music and their deep commitment to roots and community. Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, this dynamic four-piece string band marries old-time musical traditions with their own innovative sound and lifestyle, generating a truly magnetic revival.

                      The Steel Wheels is an amalgamation of hard work and easy rapport. The band is renowned for their raw energy and chemistry on stage, where they often cluster tightly around a single microphone to adorn Trent Wagler’s unmistakable tenor with bell-clear four-part harmonies inspired by their shared Mennonite heritage. Add to this Eric Brubaker’s lively and evocative fiddle, Brian Dickel’s grounded yet buoyant upright bass, and Jay Lapp’s signature mandolin style, and it’s no surprise that The Steel Wheels have enthralled the contemporary Americana scene.

                      Their breakout album, Red Wing, garnered critical praise and enjoyed tremendous success on the radio. It spent 13 weeks on the Americana Music Association’s Top 40 Chart, where it reached the number 15 slot, and cracked the Euro Americana Chart top 10. Red Wing ranked 70th out of the top 100 Americana albums of 2010 and second out of all independent releases (Americana Music Association). The Steel Wheels were nominated for five Independent Music Awards in 2010, with “Nothing You Can’t Lose” taking top honors as Best Country Song. The Steel Wheels continue to take the Americana scene by storm with their latest album, Lay Down, Lay Low, which lingered for 10 weeks on the AMA’s Top 40 Chart. NPR named “Rain in the Valley” their Song of the Day, marveling that the “heavy hymn […] is sparse and dense all at once.” Already celebrated as the darlings of Merlefest 2012, the band looks forward to further accolades during a phenomenal festival line-up.

                      As the band thrives, so do their partnerships with local businesses, artisans, and charitable organizations. The values portrayed in their music—devotion to roots, community, and family—are a way of life for The Steel Wheels, and this is reflected in everything from production process and booking agency to merchandise and touring. For the past three years, they have performed an annual SpokeSongs bicycle music tour, during which band members tow their instruments, equipment, and merchandise from one gig to another via bicycle and blog about their adventures. Last year’s tour spanned 11 days, 550 miles, and 10 shows. This year’s tour included multiple charity rides, such as Lose The Training Wheels, Charity Ride for Kids, and Wheels Up for Cory.

                      The band’s merchandise represents a host of grassroots connections to people and businesses. Lucas Roasting Company, located just outside of Harrisonburg, created “Halfway to Heaven” dark roast coffee in honor of their friends The Steel Wheels. Blue Mountain Brewery, located on Afton Mountain in Virginia, hosted the band when they were just getting started and now sells a “Steel Wheels ESB.” The Livery’s master brewer rode with the band on their second bike tour and, soon after, created their “Steel Wheels Stout.” The band’s T-shirts are made in downtown Harrisonburg, and a potter who is a childhood friend of Jay’s makes their mugs. Each business is local for the band, and each product is intimately woven into their narrative. The Steel Wheels are proof that music remains a viable and sustaining force for connection in our world.

                      OUR LINKS


                      Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy

                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                        5/6

                        Mantis

                        Helicopter Showdown
                        Bommer

                        $13 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                        Mantis

                        Taylor Scott and Paul Ollinger, known as Mantis, are a relentless duo. Having begun their musical careers with metal & deathcore, the transition to heavy bass music was not so much a step down in intensity, but a slide into a world with spectacular tools to mix dense layers of music in new ways, and deploy it with force. Mantis was formed in early 2011 to test the boundaries of metal-influenced production, and plunge the result into a wash of haunting atmospheres. Mantis wants to provide “music to make you feel like you’re somewhere else, and you’ve never been more stoked to be there.”


                        With that target in sight, 2011 was a smashing first year; the momentum began in Atlanta, and overflowed with releases on labels such as Play Me, Heavy Artillery, BroTown Records, & Abducted Records. A standard was set with 2011's "All Worlds", their first EP, breaking the top 10 on Beatport's Dubstep releases, and held with 2012's "Futures" scoring #5 on Beatport's overall chart. The support of tastemakers such as Liquid Stranger, Downlink, Figure, Cyberoptics, Diesel, Genetix, Persist, & Sluggo, points to an accomplishment of musical influence on an international scale, and the potential for much more.

                        A history in Atlanta's metal scene, playing in acts such as WLTP and Attila, provides Mantis' cornerstone of fierce stage skills. Having become known across the USA for throwing down an aggressive live show with unmatched energy and only the heaviest bass music, Mantis' reputation stands as being one of the gnarliest new production teams in the scene.

                        With packed crowds at hand, and Beatport charts at their feet, only one goal remains- to raise the awareness of metal-influenced bass music... oh, and world domination.

                        OUR LINKS


                        Helicopter Showdown

                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                          Bommer

                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                            5/7

                            Smackdown Trivia

                            18 & Over | 6:30 pm

                            Smackdown Trivia

                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!

                            OUR LINKS


                            5/8

                            Open Mic

                            18 & Over | 8 pm

                            Open Mic

                            Every* Monday, Nicholas St. James and The Bottleneck host Open Mic! Sign-up at 9:00, music at 9:30.

                            TWO stages - Main stage and the Bluegrass stage
                            FULL band (any genre)
                            Singer-songwriter
                            Acoustic
                            Electric
                            Comedian
                            JAMS - just show-up with an instrument!

                            FREE entry
                            $1.50 pints
                            45 minute slots available
                            Amongst the best sound systems in town
                            Try-out for playing Bottleneck shows
                            Big venue experience
                            Pool tables

                            Contact us with any questions at:

                            bottleneckopenmic@gmail.com

                            Instruments must be provided by the musician at this time.

                            *no open mic will be held if there is a show scheduled.


                            You MAY NOT sign up any sooner than 2 weeks of the date you wish to play. You may not sign up for two consecutive weeks.



                              5/9

                              Lindsey Alderman

                              Dom Chronicles
                              Mae C
                              Baby B
                              PLUS MORE (SEE BELOW)

                              All Ages | 8 pm

                              Lindsey Alderman

                              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                Dom Chronicles

                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!

                                OUR LINKS


                                Mae C

                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                  Baby B

                                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                    Weaver

                                    At just 20 years old, Weaver has brought a fresh perspective to the music scene with thought-provoking lyrics and a psychedelic, hip-hop flare. Clearly inspired by the sounds of the 90’s rap era and the messages within classic reggae music, the content of his work is both progressive and uplifting. Having captured the attention of listeners across the Midwest, the ripples of Weaver’s progress are reaching beyond his local beginnings in Lawrence, Kansas. He continues to experiment with his sound, sometimes incorporating a live band into his performances. Listeners are drawn to his innovative approach and inviting, interactive stage presence. There is much to be anticipated from this young artist.



                                      Kimbarely Legal

                                      Funk/Afrobeat/hip-hop/salsa

                                      OUR LINKS


                                      5/11

                                      The Wild Reeds

                                      Blank Range

                                      $12 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                                      The Wild Reeds

                                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!

                                      OUR LINKS


                                      Blank Range

                                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                        5/12

                                        Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys

                                        Rex Hobart & the Misery Boys

                                        $12 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                                        Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys

                                        He‟s been known as the co-founder of the three-time Grammy nominated BR549, the honky-tonk
                                        heroes that almost single-handedly lit and carried the blowtorch for the mid-„90s alternative country
                                        explosion. He‟s been hailed as „The Hillbilly Renaissance Man‟ for his subsequent successes as a
                                        songwriter, performer, producer and musical theater director. Now after more than a decade as one of
                                        the most uncompromising and consistent talents in the American roots music movement, Chuck
                                        Mead at last emerges with the most anticipated role of his entire career: Solo Artist.
                                        With Journeyman’s Wager, Chuck Mead throws down the gauntlet with an album that defies all
                                        sonic expectations while re-defining his position as one of the hardest-working artists in the business.
                                        “I respect the term „journeyman‟,” Mead says, “because that‟s I what consider myself. I‟ve been living
                                        by my wits musically for more than 20 years now, going from job to job and doing them all pretty well.
                                        Certainly there‟s a hustle to what I do, but there‟s always been a gambling aspect to it, too. With this
                                        album, it‟s finally all me going all-in. It‟s a record that challenges listeners in a good way. Best of all,
                                        I‟ve challenged myself.”
                                        Produced by Grammy-winner Ray Kennedy, the eleven tracks on Journeyman’s Wager embody not
                                        only the core of country music, but also the pulse of pop, R&B, hillbilly rock, Gospel and beyond. “Why
                                        be confined by barriers or genres?” Chuck asks. “As far as I‟m concerned, it‟s all American Music.
                                        These are the sounds that made up my musical vocabulary. I still believe that American Music is
                                        about real things, good stories and unique songs. And I‟m willing to bet that most everyone else does,
                                        too.”
                                        “It‟s hard to believe that it‟s taken him this long to make a solo record,” says producer/engineer Ray
                                        Kennedy, best known for his work on classic albums by Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle. “What sets
                                        Chuck apart from so many artists is that he‟s a genuine hard-working, blue-collar performer. I hate the
                                        word „old-school‟ but we didn‟t want this album to sound like a lot of modern records where everything
                                        is over-tweaked and perfect. We knew we had to make it intimate and real.” Kennedy recorded the
                                        entire album analog on two-inch tape, in a studio full of both state-of-the art and vintage equipment
                                        that included „60s tube microphones, a Vox Continental organ, and a badass band that featured
                                        Kenny Vaughn (Marty Stuart), Audley Freed (The Black Crowes), Mark Miller (BR549), Mark Horn
                                        (The Derailers), Dave Roe (Johnny Cash), Mike Henderson (The SteelDrivers), Pat Sivers (The
                                        Everly Brothers) and Jen Gunderman (The Jayhawks). “Chuck is the same in the studio as he is on
                                        stage,” Kennedy explains. “He loves working without a net. There are a lot of multiple voices singing
                                        into one microphone and the band playing together in one room. Most of all, it‟s an album that really
                                        represents his worldview song-wise. It has humor, intelligence, sarcasm, a bit of politics and a lot of
                                        spontaneity. Plus he‟s singing his ass off. Chuck doesn‟t have a model; he really is a journeyman in
                                        that songwriting and entertaining is his life.”
                                        For Mead, life and music have always been irrevocably intertwined. “I joined my first band at 12 years
                                        old,” he explains with a laugh. “Ruint me forever.” Throughout his 20s, he led several groups in and
                                        around his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas, including the popular Mid-western cult band The
                                        Homestead Grays. By the early „90s, Chuck found himself as an itinerant musician on Nashville‟s
                                        then-seedy Lower Broadway. It was a place in time where a performer armed with only the vision of a
                                        sonically relentless hillbilly band with nothing to lose could try anything. Within months, Mead cofounded
                                        a quintet that began playing must-see marathon sets in the front window of bar/bootery
                                        Robert‟s Western World. Seven albums, three Grammy nominations and millions of worldwide fans
                                        later, BR549 would become one of the most improbable success stories of the past decade.
                                        “BR549 is on extended hiatus,” Chuck now says. “We were – and remain – a family, and taking a
                                        break from each other will make us miss each other more. We survived the highs, the lows and all the
                                        hype, and we still had fun making music we love. But it was also time for me to do my own thing.”
                                        With the exception of occasional reunions on Prairie Home Companion (at the behest of longtime fan
                                        Garrison Keillor) and benefits for favorite charities, Mead‟s post-BR career soon became known as
                                        much for its continued integrity as for its eclecticism. He founded the touring collective The Hillbilly All-
                                        Stars featuring members of The Mavericks, co-produced acclaimed tribute albums to Johnny Cash
                                        and Waylon Jennings, guest-lectured on „The Sociology of Modern American Culture‟ at Vanderbilt
                                        University, and became a staff writer at one of Nashville‟s top song publishers. In 2007, he was
                                        named Musical Director of Million Dollar Quartet, the new hit stage musical based on the night in 1956
                                        that Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley came together for an impromptu
                                        jam session. “It‟s been incredibly liberating to do all these things I‟ve never done before,” Chuck says.
                                        “But most of all, I wanted to call my own shots and make a record that mattered.”
                                        Ten of the eleven tracks on Journeyman’s Wager are co-written by Mead, who‟d spent the past year
                                        working with such idiosyncratic and award-winning songwriters as Tia Sillers, Bobby Huff, Greg
                                        Crowe, Patrick Davis, Angeleena Presley, Mark Collie and Jon & Sally Tiven. The album roars out of
                                        the gate with the twanging highway stomp of “Out On The Natchez Trail”, and runs head-on into the
                                        sinister mystery of “Gun Metal Grey”. The horn-powered “She Got The Ring (I Got The Finger)” is a
                                        sly nod to Jerry Reed‟s “She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft)”. There‟s classic country-pop
                                        wisdom in “Albuquerque”, gentle insight in “Up On Edge Hill”, and hard-driving good times in “I Wish It
                                        Was Friday”. “A Long Time Ago” is a paean of pedal-steel regret, while “After The Last Witness Is
                                        Gone” is a bold testimonial that‟s equal parts honky-tonk and roadhouse rocker. “In A Song” may be
                                        the album‟s genuine showstopper, a gloriously sanctified testament to the Everlasting Church Of
                                        Music. The disc‟s sole cover is a fiery version – complete with yodeling – of George Harrison‟s “Old
                                        Brown Shoe”, the obscure Beatles b-side from “The Ballad Of John & Yoko”. The album closes with
                                        the assured shuffle-funk of “No Requests”, a song whose chorus is a potent statement of purpose
                                        from an artist who is now truly his own man.
                                        “Even when BR549 were being called a throwback act, we never allowed ourselves to be classified,”
                                        says Chuck. “The key was to always bring something new to everything we did. Today my slate is
                                        cleaner than ever before. This album is all me, doing what comes naturally.” For Chuck Mead, the
                                        time has come for one of Americana‟s most uncommon artists to finally step out, step up and be
                                        heard on his own unique terms. And in a game where sure bets are rarely the real deal, one
                                        singer/songwriter/performer is again unafraid to lay it all on the line. “I mean everything I say on this
                                        album,” Chuck Mead says. “You can tell it with a wink and a smile, but it‟s still the truth. And the truth
                                        is that Journeyman’s Wager is the culmination of everything I‟ve learned. These are my decisions.
                                        This is my music.”

                                        OUR LINKS


                                        Rex Hobart & the Misery Boys

                                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                          5/13

                                          Play Dead

                                          18 & Over | 8 pm

                                          Play Dead

                                          As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead in 2015, this group of talented and eclectic musicians has come together to celebrate the remarkable repertoire and live experience of the Grateful Dead. More than what you’d expect from a typical tribute band, this group embraces the foundation of what made the Dead’s sound so unique by creating a landscape of masterful improvisation, rich harmonies and beautiful melodies across all genres of music.
                                          While this group of players has never before taken the stage together, they have all been in connection for more than 20 years and possess over a century of experience writing, teaching, performing and producing music. Boerger and Comparato have played and performed together in the L.A. Ramblers, The Deal, The Coyote Project and most recently Stranger Tractor. Additionally Boerger’s music roots include Tofu Teddy, The Red Zone, The Parlor Frogs, Diamond Eyed Jack & Flint Gray. Hoopes’ credits include The EZ Pieces, Ardys & Bradford, The Secondhands and with Mahoney, venture back into the 80’s with the east coast jam band MoonRocks. Hoopes and Hamm have played together in The Yards since 2003. Bassett and Mahoney are a seasoned and accomplished percussion duo with numerous credits for session work as well as their performances in their bands Sunu (in which both Bassett and Hamm play), Truckstop Honeymoon and 40 Watt Dreams (in which Mahoney play).

                                          Together Play Dead produces an uncanny rendition of a part of musical history that was genius, ahead of its time and may never be experienced again. To say the music and culture of the Grateful Dead had a profound effect on the course that music has taken over the years is a grave understatement. Whether you’re a card carrying Deadhead, a Hi-Fi music aficionado or just a music junkie who loves a good groove you will not want to miss Play Dead.

                                          Let The Music Play The Band!

                                          Dylan Bassett - Percussion
                                          Brad Boerger - Guitar, Vocals
                                          Joe Comparato - Bass, Vocals
                                          Michael Hamm - Guitar, Vocals
                                          Bradford Hoopes - Keyboards, Vocals
                                          Kelly White - Percussion

                                          OUR LINKS


                                          5/17

                                          J Roddy Walston & the Business

                                          Quaker City Nighthawks

                                          $17 + F&T | All Ages | 7:30 pm

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                                          J Roddy Walston & the Business

                                          The third album from J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Essential Tremors borrows its name from a nervous-system disorder that’s long plagued the band’s frontman. “It’s this condition where my hands shake―sometimes not at all, but sometimes pretty bad,” says singer/pianist/guitarist Walston. “I’ve referenced it throughout all our records in some way, but it made sense to be more open about it on this album, which is partly about owning and embracing your weirdness instead of letting it hold you captive because you don’t even want to talk about it.”

                                          For J. Roddy Walston & The Business―who formed in 2002 in Walston’s hometown of Cleveland, Tennessee―embracing weirdness means a mumble-out-loud celebration of that great and terrible burden of being human. Forcing the oft-clashing worlds of art and rock-and-roll to make nice, the band (including guitarist/vocalist Billy Gordon, bassist/vocalist Logan Davis, and drummer Steve Colmus) deals in a scrappy yet sublime sound that honors both their Southern roots and punk spirit. On Essential Tremors, J. Roddy Walston & The Business builds off that formula with a mix of heavy hooks and elegant melodies revealing their affinity for artists as disparate as Led Zeppelin, pre-disco-era Bee Gees, The Replacements, Randy Newman, and the Southern soul outfits that once populated the Stax Records label. Co-produced by Matt Wignall (Delta Spirit, Cold War Kids) and Grammy-winning producer/engineer Mark Neill (The Black Keys) at Neill’s own Soil of the South Studios (a Valdosta, Georgia-based facility where J. Roddy Walston & The Business were the first to ever record), the follow-up to 2010’s much-acclaimed self-titled sophomore album also finds the band crafting lyrics that ultimately serve as a secret language to the initiated listener.

                                          OUR LINKS


                                          Quaker City Nighthawks

                                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                            5/18

                                            Fresh Air After Party

                                            18 & Over | 9 pm

                                            Fresh Air After Party

                                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                              5/19

                                              Groovement

                                              Sunu

                                              $9 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                                              Groovement

                                              Groovement sounds like Robert Randolph and Stevie Wonder ate some New Orleans Red Hot Chili Peppers; more easily described as: high-energy funk-rock. Their catchy melodies, big harmonies, tasteful solos, and funky grooves easily create songs you can dance to. Deitra Magazine describes Groovement's music as "a surprising find of funky original tunes that got the crowd boogying out of their seats, as well as some unique renditions of unexpected covers."

                                              The playful personality and strong, soulful voice of Groovement frontman, Alex Carr, helped him win a ticket to Hollywood as one of the 2011 American Idol contestants. In addition to their decorated singer, the band posseses many years of professional experience and over 30 local award show nominations. This all-star lineup includes Adam Becker (keyboards, organ, synth); Trey Burkett (guitar, vocals); Bryan Burkhart (drums, vocals); Jacob Johnson (sax, guitar, vocals); and Randy Soller (bass, vocals).

                                              Groovement has a reputation for putting on one of the most high-energy and professional live performances around. They’ve been steadily building a following in the Northwest Arkansas/Northeast Oklahoma area by being featured at some of the region’s premier festivals: Wakarusa, Tulsa’s Mayfest, and the Backwoods Bash.

                                              Groovement’s debut album is slated for release on August 6, 2011. Following the release of the album, they plan to keep touring, promoting their music, and putting smiles on the faces of movers and groovers worldwide.

                                              OUR LINKS


                                              Sunu

                                              SUNU is a wall of drums, horns and funk. Formed in 2007 in Lawrence, KS this 9 member ensemble mixes afrobeat, jazz, funk, New Orleans street beats and West African dance drumming to create a tasty brew of shake your ass music.

                                              SUNU is:

                                              Dylan Bassett –Drums & Percussion
                                              Dan Pem –Saxophone
                                              Rv. Aaron Morris –Trumpet and Vocals
                                              Chris Leopold -Trumpet and Trombone
                                              Tommy Johnson -Trumpet
                                              Michael Hamm –Guitar
                                              Chris Shaw –Bass
                                              Taylor Babb –Drums & Percussion
                                              Alex Thiessen –Drums and Percussion

                                              OUR LINKS


                                              5/20

                                              The Lonesome Houndogs

                                              Brothers Bly

                                              18 & Over | 8 pm

                                              The Lonesome Houndogs

                                              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                Brothers Bly

                                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                  5/24

                                                  PRIDE

                                                  18 & Over | 8 pm

                                                  PRIDE

                                                  Dance. Drink. Dance and drink!



                                                    5/25

                                                    Skating Polly

                                                    Bruiser Queen
                                                    The Sluts
                                                    Wendy Moira

                                                    $10 + F&T | All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                    Skating Polly

                                                    Skating Polly, a sister duo from Oklahoma made up of Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse, formed in 2009 after a jam session at the girls’ Halloween party. Their sophomore album, Lost Wonderfuls, was produced by Exene Cervenka of X and mixed by Kliph Scurlock of The Flaming Lips. Lost Wonderfuls was released in April, 2013. They are now working on their third album, Fuzz Steilacoom, set to be released early 2014. Fuzz Steilacoom was tracked by Calvin Johnson of Beat Happening.
                                                    Raised on ‘70s punk and early-‘90s alt-rock, Mayo (age 13) and Bighorse (18) mine inspiration from artists as disparate as Johnny Cash, The Ramones, NWA, Nirvana, and Bikini Kill and saturate their own songs with a raw energy reminiscent of their musical heroes. Skating Polly takes a minimalist approach to songwriting, with the two largely self-taught musicians (Bighorse plays guitar, Mayo plays a guitar/bass hybrid called a basitar, and both girls play drums and piano) crafting super-catchy melodies mainly by “messing around with our instruments and figuring out how to make cool noises,” according to Bighorse. But despite their stripped-down aesthetic, each track on Lost Wonderfuls retains a rich emotionalism that’s at turns brutally in-your-face, gut-wrenchingly tender, and irresistibly fun.
                                                    Along with earning the adoration of Cervenka (whom they befriended after attending one of the X singer’s 2010 solo shows and playing their demos on a cell phone), Skating Polly has found fans in Rosanne Cash and Sean Lennon, taken the stage with punk legends like Mike Watt, and opened up for such indie heavy-hitters as Deerhoof and Band of Horses. Tapping Mayo’s dad as their tour manager, the stepsisters typically hit the road with their entire family and optimize their travel time by making up songs on their ukulele.
                                                    Both Mayo and Bighorse are intent on ignoring what’s fashionable and staying true to their passion for challenging music with long-lasting appeal. “The musicians we’re most inspired by are the ones who keep on going and going, who devote their entire lives to coming up with new and different stuff,” says Mayo. “A lot of times at our shows people will come up to us and tell us, ‘Keep on doing what you’re doing, don’t ever stop’ and we’re just like, ‘Yeah—we weren’t planning on ever stopping.”

                                                    OUR LINKS


                                                    Bruiser Queen

                                                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                      The Sluts

                                                      The Sluts are a two-piece garage rock/punk/grunge act from Lawrence Fucking Kansas.

                                                      OUR LINKS


                                                      Wendy Moira

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                                                        5/26

                                                        BJ Barham

                                                        Adam Lee

                                                        $11 + F&T | All Ages | 6 pm

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                                                        BJ Barham

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                                                          Adam Lee

                                                          A former honky tonk acolyte, Adam Lee’s newest writing turns traditionalism on its head. It’s a varied and engaging collection, criss-crossing genre and influence and bringing to mind artists such as Cory Branan, Justin Townes Earle, or John Moreland.

                                                          In preparation for the release he spent much of the past year on the road. He completed his second European tour and also played shows with Frank Turner, Chuck Ragan, and Austin Lucas.

                                                          Prior to landing in Chicago, Lee fronted Kansas City-based Adam Lee & the Dead Horse Sound Company, a scrappy alt-country outfit with traditionalist leanings. His time in the honky tonks paid off; he was nominated for Dale Watson’s Ameripolitan Awards and found homes for his country songs in writer/director Kevin Smith’s Red State and TUSK.

                                                          Following these successes, he moved to Chicago after being offered a leading role in the Tony Award-winning musical Million Dollar Quartet, under the musical direction of Chuck Mead. It was at this point he began writing and recording the songs that make up ‘Sincerely, Me,’

                                                          All told, ‘Sincerely, Me’ is a strong and diverse debut. Roots-rock songwriter Justin Wells sums up this sentiment. “Somebody’s gonna file this album under Americana, but that's because Adam Lee isn't a genre... it nods at several American musics without knowing the meaning of derivative.”




                                                            5/26

                                                            Dirtfoot

                                                            WT Newton

                                                            $9 + F&T | All Ages | 9 pm

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                                                            Dirtfoot

                                                            Dirtfoot is an all original, all acoustic band out of Shreveport, LA. Forming in early 2002, they've been honing their songs and craft in bars and pubs across North Louisiana, Southern Arkansas, and east Texas. After winning the Shreveport Times Battle of the Bands in January 2006, doors have really been opening. Now playing festivals like Voodoo Music Experience in NOLA, Wakarusa Music Festival in Lawrence, KS, Diversafest in Tulsa, OK, Mulberry Mountain Harvest Music Festival in Ozark, AR, Cutting Edge Music Festival in New Orleans, LA, Red River Revel in Shreveport, LA, Northgate Music Fetival, College Station, TX, etc, and playing major markets like Austin, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, etc, things are definitely looking up.

                                                            Led by the organic writings of Matt Hazelton with each player adding his own flavor and feeling to the songs and sound of the group, Dirtfoot is a blend of eclectic styles as well as diverse personalities. By far, their claim to fame is their high energy shows and overwhelming crowd participation. They involve the fans with infectious grooves, call and response songs as well as their famous "Beancans'. Each show, bean cans (homemade shakers) are passed out to the audience which turns them into a part of the percussion section. Though all of their instruments are acoustic, their energy and ingenuity will make you swear they are plugged in. Featuring instruments ranging from an acoustic guitar, banjo, upright bass, pots n' pans, drums, bells, saxophone, xylophone and more, this band has a truly engaging sound, a real dose of Gypsy, Punk, Country, Grumble Boogie! It is like a good gumbo - you have some growling vocals, upright bass and percussion that makes a good, dark, dirty Louisiana roux, mixed heartily with some meaty rhythms, combined liberally with fresh offerings from the guitar and banjo that are like okra and tomatoes picked from your backyard garden, topped with the hot n' sexy spice of the saxophone and jazz style drums, and finally a little something magical and indescribable, and you have Dirtfoot - a delicious, spicy, dirty band that will make you stomp your feet, shake your ass and yell like a lunatic on a full moon night.

                                                            OUR LINKS


                                                            WT Newton

                                                            From the whiskey-fueled ranks of County Graves, WT Newton comes roaring out with a much simpler and much more intimate approach to songwriting and storytelling. It's as though he's left all of the screaming and howls directly from hell behind for the opportunity to sit around an old barroom with a handful of dear friends, weaving stories of hometowns and heartbreak. Americana from the front porch, and roots for the hopeless. Driven by an undying work ethic, WT Newton writes songs for the underdogs in all of us. Pour yourself a drink and gather round. There's stories to be told and heart strings to pluck.



                                                              5/27

                                                              Merchandise

                                                              B Boys

                                                              $12 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                              Merchandise

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                                                              B Boys

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                                                                5/30

                                                                Roots of Creation

                                                                $9 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                Roots of Creation

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                                                                  5/31

                                                                  The Phillistines

                                                                  You Bred Raptors?

                                                                  18 & Over | 8 pm

                                                                  The Phillistines

                                                                  With a barrage of spaced-out, razor-sharp guitars, a grooving rhythmic onslaught, and melodic keyboard tapestries, The Philistines take vintage ideas and form them into modern psychedelic sonic movements.

                                                                  The six-piece group has made a name for itself with forceful, engaging live shows that match its provocative, bombastic rock sound. Since The Philistines' inception in late 2013, they have become one of Kansas City’s most recognized bands, supporting prominent touring acts, playing prestigious music festivals (including Middle of the Map Fest, Crossroads Music Fest, and Alejandro Escovedo’s SXSW Day Party), and receiving a healthy amount of accolades in the local media.

                                                                  Engineered and produced by Paul Malinowski (Shiner), The Philistines released their debut album "The Backbone of Night" on The Record Machine in mid-2016. The full-length has been met with critical acclaim, described by The Obelisk as "a foundation of psych, garage and desert-style rock that they can shape as they please, and the control they demonstrate over that process bodes remarkably well." The album is available on vinyl, CD, and digital formats.

                                                                  OUR LINKS


                                                                  You Bred Raptors?

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                                                                    6/1

                                                                    Dragondeer

                                                                    18 & Over | 8 pm

                                                                    Dragondeer

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                                                                      6/4

                                                                      Face to Face

                                                                      Counterpunch

                                                                      $21 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                      Face to Face

                                                                      In 1996, we did a tour of very small clubs that we called ‘Econo Live.’ Twenty years later, we’re back to do it all over again… Tickets + VIP Packages for all shows are on sale right now at facetofacemusic.com/tourdates.

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                                                                      Counterpunch

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                                                                        6/8

                                                                        Flobots

                                                                        $15 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                        Flobots

                                                                        Flobots are an alternative hip-­hop band from Denver dedicated to creating, performing, and finding anthems for a better world. Since forming in 2005, they have released 3 full length albums, toured theUS and Europe, and appeared on late night programs including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. They are internationally known for their 2008 platinum single “Handlebars” and widely recognized for using their music and career as vessels for social change.

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                                                                        6/9

                                                                        Fort Defiance

                                                                        Arkansauce

                                                                        18 & Over | 8 pm

                                                                        Fort Defiance

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                                                                          Arkansauce

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                                                                            6/10

                                                                            Upchurch the Redneck

                                                                            $15 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                            Upchurch the Redneck

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                                                                              6/15

                                                                              Metasota

                                                                              Greg Grease
                                                                              The Lioness

                                                                              18 & Over | 8 pm

                                                                              Metasota

                                                                              Music of the hip hop kind.

                                                                              OUR LINKS


                                                                              Greg Grease

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                                                                                The Lioness

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                                                                                  6/17

                                                                                  Airpark

                                                                                  All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                  Airpark

                                                                                  Airpark makes deconstructed pop music. Inspired by minimalism, melody and groove-heavy percussion, bandmates Michael Ford, Jr. and Ben Ford launched the group in 2016, one year after their previous project, The Apache Relay, quietly called it quits. The Apache Relay had been a large band, staffed with six members and armed with a thick, wall-of-sound approach. With Airpark, the Ford brothers sharpen their focus and scale back their arrangements, focusing on songs that pack a punch with bold, basic ingre-dients. Raised in New Orleans, the Fords grew up surrounded by music, from the Crescent City's jazz to the soul of Irma Thomas and Allen Touissant. Later while living in Nashville, the two rekindled the music connection they'd kick-started back home, finding popularity — first in Tennessee, then across the country - as The Apache Relay performed alongside the likes of Jenny Lewis, Mumford & Sons and more. It was a whirlwind period that found the brothers constantly touring, forever moving and steadily swelling their sound to new heights. Michael and Ben move at a deliberately different speed with Airpark, thus finding new musical territory to explore. Taking their cues from a wide set of influences — the rhythmic world music of Tinariwen and Lijadu Sisters; the production of Air, Damon Albarn, and Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel; the ten-or vocal range of Big Star's Alex Chilton and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, with the occasional pop crooner delivery of Harry Nilsson — the two unveil their new direction with Air-park's debut EP, Early Works, Volume 1. On opening track "All The Time," Michael spins the autobiographical story of a musician who's starting over and swinging for the fences, finally coming to terms with his own ambition. "Now I know I need ittobe ocean-sized," he sings, backed by propulsive percussion, syncopated electric guitar and his brother's harmonies. Else-where, the two ride an abstract, atmospheric groove on "Even If," get nostalgic with "Black Light Blue," and reset the clock during the New Year's Eve breakup anthem "Plenty to Pine For." It's a sound that targets the feet and the head. It's pop music for thinkers. It's dance music for wallflowers. And with the brothers pulling triple-duty as songwriters, multi-instrumentalists and co-producers, Early Works, Volume 1 — whose March 3, 2017 release arrives courtesy of the Fords' own label, Eugenia Hall Records — is their most forward-thinking project to date, pairing the band's growing ambition with musical chops to match.

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                                                                                  6/30

                                                                                  Katy Guillen and The Girls

                                                                                  Eric Tessmer

                                                                                  $9 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                  Katy Guillen and The Girls

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                                                                                    Eric Tessmer

                                                                                    Eric James Tessmer, actually named after guitar giants Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, is an extraordinary guitarist, musician, singer and songwriter hailing from Austin, TX. He is widely considered one of the most vibrant guitarists to follow in the footsteps of blues-rock legends such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and his namesake predecessors. His live shows have captured audiences' attention across the United States as power-packed sessions of wickedly fast and precise licks that can light the house on fire without the need for lighter fluid.

                                                                                    Born and raised outside of the small town of Richland Center, Wisconsin, Tessmer began playing at a young age, inspired by his father and grandmother. In 2000, he moved to Austin at the age of 19 to play gigs with numerous musicians and bands, earning local credibility as he honed his craft of riffing with speed, power and control. He later formed his own power trio, the Eric Tessmer Band, in 2003. Through a battered '59 Fender Stratocaster producing vintage-correct tones, Eric kickstarts the engine left idling by guitar players of the past.
                                                                                    Known as one of the hardest working musicians in the area, Tessmer continues to travel the U.S., Canada and Europe. Creating his own brand of ‘blues-rock soul-chedelic’ sound, he has electrified festivals such as Montreal Jazz Fest, Summerfest, and MusikFest with dialed-in precision and delivered polished performances at clubs, pubs and venues across the land. Sharing the stage with notable musicians such as Dick Dale, Anders Osborne, Tab Benoit, Monte Montgomery, Gary Clark Jr. and Chris Duarte; Tessmer has created a buzz among the blues-rock community that is quickly swarming with devoted disciples.
                                                                                    -G. Lemen

                                                                                    OUR LINKS


                                                                                    7/1

                                                                                    Tree Machines

                                                                                    18 & Over | 8 pm

                                                                                    Tree Machines

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                                                                                      8/13

                                                                                      The Melvins

                                                                                      Spotlights

                                                                                      All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                      The Melvins

                                                                                      The Melvins formed in Aberdeen/Montesano, WA in 1983 the founding members were Buzz, Mike Dillard (drums), and ex-Mudhoney bassist Matt Lukin. Buzz, Mike, and Matt all went to high school in Montesano. The name Melvins came from a grocery clerk at the Thriftway in Montesano where King Buzzo served as clerk and vandal. Melvin was the most hated fellow employee and they felt it to be an appropriately ridiculous name.

                                                                                      When Mike couldn't cut it, as rumor has it because the songs were getting too mathematically complex, Dale was recruited out of the Iron Maiden cover band he played in at the age of 15. Matt was replaced by Lori Black (Lorax) (Shirley Temple's daughter) when they left Aberdeen for San Francisco.

                                                                                      The Melvins have had quite a few bass player changes during their tenure. Check out the bassist morgue to learn more. The Melvins live in Hollywood, CA right now.

                                                                                      The Melvins Discography is an exhaustive resource of their many releases. They were on a major label Atlantic Records for three albums, although most would agree they're not the type of band that would appeal to a major label. They knew this while they were being signed and just took advantage of the drunken blitz the record companies were on in signing any band connected to a supposed Seattle "grunge" sound.

                                                                                      Dale filled in for Nirvana when they were between drummers and he appears on Incesticide and Bleach as a result of those sessions. Buzz has a side project called Fantômas with Mike Patton (Faith No More/Mr. Bungle) who is also owner of Ipecac Recordings the label the melvins are currently releasing material through. He also plays guitar in the hardcore/grind "supergroup" Venomous Concept, featuring members/former members of Napalm Death and Brutal Truth (also released through Ipecac). Melvins have also released music on Boner Records, Alchemy Records, Amphetamine Reptile Records, Alternative Tentacles Records, and numerous others in the manner of 7"s and whatnot.

                                                                                      Dale has a side project called Altamont. Kevin Rutmanis (bassist, 1998 - early 2005) used to be in the band Cows, he also is in another Mike Patton project along with Duane Denison of the Jesus Lizard called Tomahawk. I would completely recommend anything a Melvins member has released. Melvins have toured with KISS, White Zombie, NIN, L7, Primus, Tool, and Rush, among others and were also on the Ozzfest tour in 98. They toured with a second guitarist at one point David Scott Stone (a great noisician). If you ever get the chance to see them live be sure to give them gifts, they prefer Cracker Barrel gift certificates.

                                                                                      Purchase tickets at: http://pipelineticketing.frontgatesolutions.com/

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                                                                                      Spotlights

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                                                                                        8/18

                                                                                        Moonshine Bandits

                                                                                        $15 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                        Moonshine Bandits

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                                                                                          9/2

                                                                                          Indigenous

                                                                                          $13 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                          Indigenous

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                                                                                            The Bottleneck Interview with Jamie Laurie of Flobots

                                                                                            flobots1

                                                                                            Flobots (image via http://liveloudmedia.com/flobots)

                                                                                            Denver-based alternative hip hop band Flobots play The Bottleneck October 28th. Jamie Laurie recently discussed artists that inspired him to love hip hop, creative process and his passion to create music without boundaries.

                                                                                            What first got you starting out in music? How’d you get going? What was your first musical memory?
                                                                                            I remember in 5th grade people making fun of me like, “Hey, what kind of music do you like? Why don’t you listen to music?” It wasn’t in my world. I wasn’t thinking about who my favorite band was. Once I did start listening, the first tape ever, honestly, was Willie Nelson. My dad had this tape of Willie Nelson and I liked the songs on there, then I got into the stuff that was on the radio. The first hip-hop I was into was J.J. Fad and Supersonic. Just stuff on the radio that still I think holds up pretty well.
                                                                                            I like Young MC and some of that pop stuff, but before long I got really into more They Might Be Giants and R.E.M. and some of the alternative radio stuff. I think it was really De La Soul and Native Tongues were some of the first hip hop artists I was into. Pretty soon after that, I was into more revolutionary hip hop like the Coup. They are still some of my favorite or most formative, influences for that.
                                                                                            The early ’90’s was a pretty great time for hip hop with Hieroglyphics, Outkast, the Roots and all those groups expanding what the music could be. I fell in love with West Coast underground. Quantum, Living Legends, Soulsides, all that stuff.

                                                                                            Quantum is really something else. Those beats are so fresh.
                                                                                            It’s amazing. It was an experience actually going into the industry, making the music myself. It was amazing getting a chance to meet some of those folks and have them, for a second, treat me like a peer when I’m still just looking at them like a fan.

                                                                                            Your music, it goes beyond styles. You’re not boxed in at all. You’re doing your thing.
                                                                                            Right. That’s one of the things I always admire. Especially about West Coast underground at the time. I always felt like people on the East Coast, because that’s where hip hop sort of lived in the ’90s. It’s like “Oh, that’s where the real hip hop is” people. In my little mind, it was like those people sound more similar, but I would listen to the range between E-40 and the Grouch. We were exploring. They’re just doing absolutely completely different things.
                                                                                            I fell in love with the ability of artists who really find their own personal style and that became an ambition for me. When Flobots really got going, we thought, at that point there were no barriers, even musically. What do we have to sound like? What does the music have to sound like? The Roots had shown that we could be a live band and be an authentic hip hop group. I think, for us, it was like, “Look, we’re coming out of Denver, Colorado. We’re coming out of very different social conditions than many other artists. We have things to say that we could say, that are unique to us and that’s why every one of us are on this Earth is just express our own truths most fully.” So we thought, there’s no boundaries anymore. Let’s have a viola. If there’s a viola player that’s excited about this band and wants to be part of it, let’s start there. Let’s bring in live musicians. Let’s just be ourselves as fully as we can be and that’s what music’s all about.

                                                                                            flobots2

                                                                                            Flobots (image via http://www.facebook.com/theflobots)

                                                                                            Don’t you feel like having a live band with you, doesn’t that push you lyrically? It gets you fired up as well.
                                                                                            It does and it also forces you to think responsively to the music. There’s songs where it’s like, “Alright. This music’s really busy, so I need to be simple.” Or, “Hey, this one is a whole lot of space, so now I can fill it in.” It’s definitely a lot more to think about in the creative process, because it’s not just put on the beat and I’ll do a rap. it’s what is the emotional journey of this song going to be and how can I contribute to that with my lyrics.

                                                                                            Kind of like adding to the sound or pulling away from the sound? Contrast?
                                                                                            Right, absolutely. I think, hip hop is doing very well these days because so many people have thought about so many different things. You look at Kanye, who was a producer first for at least a decade and then starts bringing in the lyrics and it’s no surprise that his lyrics feel like they’ve been put together by a producer. Like, “Alright, where do I want to take people? How clear do I want to be? How cryptic do I want to be? What’s the crescendo of this verse?” He’s thinking about those things. I think that makes better music when people pay attention to, how does the emotional arc of the verse match the emotional arc of the music and vice versa?

                                                                                            Taking people on a full journey with a song.
                                                                                            Right. It challenges you to think, maybe, more in depth. I revise way more than I ever did before. I used to go, “Okay, what’s the music? Cool? I wrote a verse. Alright, I’m done.” Now it’s like, “Wait, maybe that verse isn’t everything it could be. Let’s try a new verse.” On the new album we have, I have probably written 3-4 verses for every song and I love where it ended up.

                                                                                            Basically, you’ve gotten better at drafting ideas.
                                                                                            Exactly. Honestly, it took me a while to not be stubborn because I’d be like, “What are you talking about? I already wrote a verse for that. It’s done. No, I can’t change that word because then I’d have to change that other word.” I’ve just learned to have more confidence in the finished product. I think of it like a sculpture where you, you know there’s something that already lives in that rock and your job is to remove the parts that are obstructing it. By the end, it’s like I’ve peeled back all the layers and revealed what the song really is. It’s taken a while, as an artist, to be humble enough to realize that the first thing I did wasn’t necessarily the work of genius that I thought it was in that moment.

                                                                                            That’s got to be a fun challenge, looking over your past work and trying to expand all the time. You never want to stagnate.
                                                                                            Right. Exactly. There’s lots of ways to move forward. You can move forward by just creating a whole lot of things or you can move forward by saying, “Alright, let’s keep wrestling with this song until it is so undeniably compelling that you know it’s finished.”

                                                                                            You never want to put anything unfinished out there. You have a certain standard of what you want. How often do you find yourself writing songs? How often do you find yourself writing lyrics? Is it every day or is there a certain time of day that works for you?
                                                                                            It’s fun to do in the morning. It’s fun to just get up and write but, honestly, it’s all over the map. There was a year, 2010, where I actually made a commitment that every day I would put a new verse up on YouTube and so I did this thing called “The Rhyme of the Day.” It basically meant I wrote a new verse every day. Sometimes, I used old ones that I’d never put out. That was really as a creative exercise. As a artist you can have this feeling, “I have all these ideas. When am I going to get to try them?” In the course of a band where a song is a big production that involves a lot of people, it was easy to think like, “I never get to write a verse that just speaks to what happened that day in the news, or whatever whim I had that day,” so it’s the little idea factory needed to be satiated. Taking a year to just indulge in that was pretty gratifying.
                                                                                            In the process of the last two years of writing this album, it was kind of a back and forth. Someone would come with a bass line and it’s, “Alright, let me react to that bass line. Here’s a verse that reacts to that bass line. Now, based off that verse, we want to do a new bass line. Okay, cool. Let’s bring in this guitar, this. Oh, look the song has evolved and now it’s not really about what it was about. Now, it’s more about this. Alright, let’s do a new verse, let’s try that out.” I don’t know if you ever worked with a t-shirt designer or someone who’s like, “Here’s some potential logos. Here are seven ideas. I like this one, can you take that and expand it?” It kind of feels cool to be a craftsman like that too and also to reach back into that crafts place back into the soul place and see what I’m doing. Let’s go back to what I’m trying to say and what is authentic to me about the song.

                                                                                            Everything is tied into each other, connected, like in the creative process.
                                                                                            Exactly and songs reveal themselves. We have a song on the new album called “Carousel.” I’m trying to remember what we thought it was about in the beginning, but now it’s very clear. It’s a song about that feeling when you’re just playing with your phone, looking for something that you will never find. Whether it’s laying in bed late at night or in the early morning before you get out of bed, just being stuck in this little swirl of this pretend world of likes and follows and instant approval from other people that you’re seeking. I think it consumes so many of us. The song’s about that. The Carousel is that. It took a while to figure that out. First, it was just this chorus, this other set of ideas. It’s exciting when you listen to the song and let it reveal itself to you.

                                                                                            Yeah sure. We should definitely talk about that too. How do you approach a live show differently than your work in the studio? How do you go about it?
                                                                                            For us, the way we came up in Denver was because of our live show. My grandpa used to say, “Your audience is like a greased pig. If they can get away from you, they will.” We think of it from the audience perspective. If I was standing out there, what would I want? What would hold my attention? What would I actually feel good about if I paid and came to a show, brought some friends and told them to trust me, this is going to be good? What are the things that I would want to see happen? How would I want to feel? Were there elements of the show that would actually engage me?
                                                                                            We put a lot of energy into the live show. It’s great having a live band because if you have a bad ass viola solo right before lyrics that captivate people, all of those things go a long way. We really look at our shows as almost like church for a secular world. Come here, we want you to move your ass, want you to intellectually be on board but we want to touch your soul too. We try to send people on a journey that at the end of the night they’ll be like, “Hey, I’m satisfied, I feel good.”
                                                                                            With the election and the climate in the country, it’s really easy to sit at your computer, look at Facebook and just be like, “Hey, we all hate each other. Everyone’s a horrible person and there’s no hope for anything.” Actually, that’s not true and the best way to remind ourselves it’s not true is just to be in a community of people where we can actually celebrate just getting together. It doesn’t mean there’s not things that need desperately to be transformed, because we do. We need social movements. We need to confront hard questions about police violence or climate change. Those need to be transformed. Those systems need to be transformed to be more human things. We can do that in a way that invites everybody into the process and to the solution.

                                                                                            Music, live especially, is the catalyst for positive change.
                                                                                            Yeah, I think it definitely can be. It can be a lot of things, it can be catharsis, it can rally, be a place to pour out our anger, pour out our pain but the over all effect of doing that in a group of people is that we remember that we are not alone. I think that’s the problem where you sit at your computer and you have all these feelings, but you have them by yourself. There’s no affirmation of ultimately moving towards something because there’s other people that feel the same way and we can do something about it. The concert is a shortcut to that feeling. That’s why it was important for us to go out on a show where we’re doing this, really, because we just looked at the situation right now and we need to be out there talking to people.

                                                                                            Making something happen.
                                                                                            It reminds us that we’re not alone, you know?

                                                                                            Yeah, of course. It benefits everybody.
                                                                                            Right, exactly. Anyway, thank you to whomever is reading this. If you’re not sure about coming to the show, come to the show. We promise you it’ll be a good time. Even if you never listen to our music or think you don’t agree with our politics or something, come to the show. We want to see everybody there.

                                                                                            The Bottleneck Interview with Evan Hawkins of Through the Roots

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                                                                                            Through the Roots (image via http://www.throughtheroots.com/)

                                                                                            Through the Roots is a California-based band. They are playing The Bottleneck October 27th. Lead singer and guitarist Evan Hawkins recently discussed how he became interested in reggae, his songwriting approach and the beginnings of Through the Roots.

                                                                                            Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?

                                                                                            I did come from a musical family, my father was a musician, he played guitar and bass for ?Marvin Gaye and other Motown acts in his day. My brother was a singer, so I guess I just found my abilities naturally.

                                                                                            What was your earliest musical memory?

                                                                                            My earliest musical memory was spending countless hours at my best friend’s house playing all of the instruments that his father had collected. I think that is really where I found my obsession with playing them.

                                                                                            What was the first album you bought?

                                                                                            I honestly can’t remember, but it was probably Hanson or Offspring Americana or something. 

                                                                                            What first got you interested in reggae?

                                                                                            My mom used to play reggae for me around the house when I was very young. At that young age I really found a love for the grooves and easy listening.

                                                                                            What do you remember most about your first time onstage?

                                                                                            I just knew that was where I belonged. I never felt insanely nervous or anything. The stage is my comfort zone.

                                                                                            How did Through ?the Roots first get started?

                                                                                            Started writing songs in my first and second year of college. I had a close friend that influenced me who passed away, and I wrote a song for him, “man down.” Once I found that people were digging the music, I got some guys together and we started putting more music together and playing shows. 

                                                                                            How does your creative process work when songwriting?

                                                                                            Normally I just like to be in a quiet place with a good vibe. I normally make the music first and then find something to write about that fits the mood.

                                                                                            How did “Bear With Me” come together?

                                                                                            Eric Rachmany and I came up with the riddim for the song in 2013 on the “Give Thanks” tour. The song sat untouched and was revisited when I first toured solo with them on the “Count Me In Tour.” Eric came down to San Diego and we finished it in the studio together. 

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                                                                                            Through the Roots (image via http://www.throughtheroots.com/)

                                                                                            What have been the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome in your career?

                                                                                            I would say every day is a new obstacle, none bigger than the other. In this industry you have to learn to adapt, while maintaining the grind. We’ve had our bus burn down, switch our members, tour for countless years not making a dime. Starting a band is no joke. However, it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever been a part of. We are very fortunate to have this outlet. 

                                                                                            What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                            Never give up, even when it seems impossible. You’re hardest day, might make someone’s greatest day. 

                                                                                            The Bottleneck Interview with Max Doucette of Skydyed

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                                                                                            Skydyed (Image via https://www.facebook.com/Skydyed/)

                                                                                            Skydyed is a Colorado-based band. They play The Bottleneck September 28th. Guitarist and keyboardist Max Doucette recently discussed how he became passionate about music, the evolution of Skydyed’s sound and their creative process.

                                                                                            Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?

                                                                                            To a certain extent yes. My dad is also a guitar player and though he never took it to a fully professional level, he was certainly the one who first got me started as musician. My guitar that I tour with was actually handed down to me from him from his musician days which I’m very grateful for. My great-uncle was also a big influence on me guitar-wise and many other members of my family have sung or played piano as a hobby. Shane’s family had no musical background before him, but they supported him from a very early age giving him the resources he needed to grow. Andrew’s dad on the other hand made a lifelong career as a professional musician and was a huge influence on him too.

                                                                                            What was your earliest musical memory?

                                                                                            Honestly it’s probably from the old VHS tapes my parents have of me as a little kid dancing to various children’s songs, although I don’t actually have the memory. Earliest memory I can remember would probably be the first time I tried playing my dad’s guitar just whacking on the strings having no idea what I was doing, but being absolutely mesmerized by it.

                                                                                            How did Skydyed first come together?

                                                                                            Skydyed really started as a reggae-rock band between a couple friends and myself in high school. Andrew and I were already friends then and it was around the time he joined that we both started dabbling in electronic music that he joined the group. After we moved to Colorado post-graduation our original lineup kind of fell apart and it was there we met Shane who eventually joined us once we started developing our new sound.

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                                                                                            Skydyed (Image via https://www.facebook.com/Skydyed/)

                                                                                            How does your creative process work when writing a song?

                                                                                            It often starts out as one of us just making a simple demo in Ableton and then if everyone likes it we’ll start building upon that as we go, but sometimes two of us or everyone will sit down and start something together. For example, Andrew and I will often both leave the drums open for Shane, or I’ll leave a lot of the bass parts and arrangement open for Andrew, or Andrew will give a lot of room in his compositions for Shane and I to add on to. It’s really just writing on the fly between the three of us so that we can end up with something we all like and think others will like as well.

                                                                                            Your songs have a really great flow to them. Do you try and record tracks as live as possible?

                                                                                            Not necessarily, we do a lot of the writing within Ableton itself but we try to approach it in a way that we can replicate live after the fact. Every now and then an idea will be something someone comes up with on the spot, but usually we spend a lot of time tinkering with various sounds and trying new things out to see what sticks. Something Andrew really brought to the table is putting an emphasis on making sure our arrangements are really solid and not too repetitive feeling, so I think he deserves a lot of credit for that. Shane is also quick to change up the beat a lot which gives everything a lot of movement I think.

                                                                                            How do you go about writing a setlist?

                                                                                            We usually first consider the tempo and key changes first as we try to be as fluid as possible and not spend to much time in silence on stage. We’ll also consider what kind of instruments begin and end each song. Something I’ve started dabbling in is figuring out what songs blend together well so we can mix things up live a bit more a like a full on jam band would per say. Even though we often extend out songs out live in improv/solo sections we have yet to really dial in those kind of changes that you often see in the big names of the scene, something I personally look forward to seeing us develop with our sound.

                                                                                            Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?

                                                                                            I can’t think of anything that the whole band together would say, but I’ve always been a big fan of the phrase from the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti that is, “Truth is a pathless land” which I often look at from an abstract point of view not just the literal meaning.

                                                                                            What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                            There is no final plateau as a musician, so always look to improve your craft. Never become arrogant no matter how far you get. Always show respect and appreciation to your fans and musical peers. Also, be sure to remember professional music is not just an art, it is also a business whether you like it or not. Most importantly of all never forget that music is beyond ourselves and to never lose sight of the the underlying importance it has to this world and the people in it.

                                                                                            Lawrence Locals The Dear Misses Rock The Bottleneck Stage for Lawrence Field Day Fest on Friday, July 15th

                                                                                            The Dear Misses

                                                                                            Todd Anderson/Vocals and Rhythm guitar, Cody Stapleton/Lead guitar and Backup Vocals, Bret Collins/Drums, Shane Berggren Bass/Backup Vocals

                                                                                             

                                                                                            If you love vocal hooks and thick rhythm, then you’ll love alternative, indie-rock band The Dear Misses. This Lawrence-based band rocks The Bottleneck stage for Lawrence Field Day Fest on Friday, July 15th. Catch them live at 8:15PM.

                                                                                            How did you pick your band name? When did you form The Dear Misses?

                                                                                            The band name started as Dear Misses and it was designed to be an acoustic project whose songs were geared toward love, lust and all of that mushy stuff. Dear Misses is like Dear Mrs. but leaving the last name open-ended. Love songs to my future someone.

                                                                                            After Cody and Todd made the decision to plug in the electric guitars and make a full band project it eventually turned into THE Dear Misses which then created a sort of double meaning.

                                                                                            All the musicians in this band have been plugging away for the better part of a decade and a half trying to “make it” in this business and all of the opportunities that we missed along the way lead us to this. So you could say that those misses are dear to us.

                                                                                            How would you describe your musical style?

                                                                                            Our musical style is hard to pin point to one genre as most musical endeavors are these days.  There are some tones of the early 2000 emo movement, some colors of progressive alternative, and some throw back elements of 90’s alt deriving from British and American groups alike, harnessing open standard chords with some dirt on the top with lead lines that sow them together. All of the songs try and grab you by the vocal hooks and thick rhythm section.

                                                                                            Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process? Are there any reoccurring themes in your songs?

                                                                                            Inspiration comes at you at all different times of day no matter where you are. Most of us carry around cell phones with recording capabilities so we can record any melody or any riff that comes to mind as we go. Most riffs are put together on our own time and brought to the practice space to be given a test run. The overall song inspiration comes from the feeling that we get from the music that we love. We try and convey that in our riffs and vocals alike. Our mission is to really hook the listener. We really want these songs to stick in our listeners head and make them feel inspired themselves to do something great in their own lives. We are trying to create something beyond ourselves. As far as themes go We have touched on subjects about love, passion, and anxiety.

                                                                                            What’s your music making process?  

                                                                                            Making music starts at home in our respective home studios. We put together riffs when they come to our heads and if they stick, we end up shaping the song and putting into a form that we can bring to the practice space.  If they vibe well, we will finalize the song as best we can. Vocal melodies come first and the words to the lyrics usually come last. Songs can derive from a vocal melody all the way to a drum beat. The beautiful thing about this is that our songs are coming from every which way which is allowing us to grow at a speedier pace.

                                                                                            Has your music evolved since you first started playing music together?

                                                                                            Our music has very much evolved. We have the same spirit we started with in that we just want to create. Any success that comes from that will make that much more pure of an experience. The music has always been rock based but we have explored all ends of the rock music that is in our hearts whether that be clean guitars and poppy melodies all the way to distorted low tuned guitars with gritty and loud vocals.

                                                                                            What’s your favorite thing about the music scene in Lawrence?

                                                                                            Our favorite thing about the Lawrence music scene is how eclectic and open minded musicians and music fans are alike. It’s such a family vibe that a show could consist of 4 or 5 bands all with different styles and everyone would have the same amount of fun no matter who is playing

                                                                                            dear misses2What other bands inspires your band musically?

                                                                                            Each member has a slightly different music taste, but for the most part we all meet in the middle. If you were to have us throw different bands into a hat you might find, Thrice, Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, Jimmy Eat World, Ben Folds, Early Radiohead and Say Anything.

                                                                                            Does The Dear Misses have any rituals/traditions you do before/after performances?

                                                                                            As far as a pre-show ritual, we just try to stay loose not drink too much before we get on stage. We are usually as social as we can be, which leads to drink drink drink. So to answer your question. Stay sober. (just kidding) We try and stretch, get into a huddle and say a few positive things before we start the rock.

                                                                                            Besides music, what do you guys like to do in your spare time? 

                                                                                            Todd likes to golf, Bret likes to work out, Shane like to play Frisbee golf, and Cody likes to play music and take selfies.

                                                                                            What have been the biggest challenges you’ve guys had to overcome in your career?

                                                                                            The biggest challenge we are running into is honing into a very specific style. right now we are still very broad in what our style actually is. We could take this project in any different direction and have personal success with it, but are wanting to make this band count as much as we can, so picking the right direction to go is very delicate at this moment.

                                                                                            Any advice to other bands starting out on the music scene?13606500_898471793594724_4363945182159391034_n

                                                                                            Stay true to yourself and never make it about business. Make sure you are happy in your personal life because all of your shit will follow you into the band which should be a positive and healthy experience for anyone that tries it.

                                                                                            What’s in store for the future of The Dear Misses? Anything you would like share, from new merch to upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?

                                                                                            We have a run of shows starting in July 1st and 2nd in our hometown, Hutchinson, KS, coming back to play Lawrence Field Day Fest the 15th and playing The Riot Room in KC on July17th and ending in late August as well as promoting our as of yet untitled E.P. Our main focus in the spaces between are to write as special of music as we can so we can hopefully get into the studio and on to the radio. We want to be heard more than we want to be seen.

                                                                                            What are you look forward to most playing at the Lawrence Field Day Fest at The Bottleneck?

                                                                                            Lawrence Field Day is a huge opportunity to get to know and enjoy our musical peers as well as show them what we are about so we can hopefully develop new and awesome relationships with the bands that are playing and The Bottleneck alike.


                                                                                            For more info on The Dear Misses, have a listen on their website.

                                                                                            Looking for tickets to the show? Get yours today!

                                                                                             

                                                                                            Coral Creek Hits The Bottleneck July 2nd

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                                                                                            Coral Creek (Image via http://www.coralcreek.net)

                                                                                            Coral Creek is a Colorado-based band. Vocalist Chris Thompson recently discussed how he became interested in bluegrass, the beginnings of Coral Creek and advice to musicians just starting out.

                                                                                            What first got you interested in bluegrass?

                                                                                            Like many Deadheads, I found bluegrass music through Jerry Garcia and Old & In the Way during high school (this was in the late 80’s, I should add). My interest in bluegrass first peaked in college. I bought a banjo, got some lessons and starting copying every Flatt & Scruggs album I could find at my local library. I mostly just liked the fast banjo tunes. I wasn’t really into the county singing and all that when I was young. I just wanted to hear that banjo played real fast! So, I guess you could say “the banjo” got me interested in bluegrass. These days I’m more of a dobro junkie though and the pickin’ parties at the festivals keep me coming back.

                                                                                            How did Coral Creek get started?

                                                                                            The current configuration of Coral Creek got started at the end of 2014 as a collaboration between Bill McKay and me.  We were both playing a lot around Colorado and we crossed paths a few times, so after my wife Susannah (who’s a terrific singer/songwriter and co-founder of the band) decided to step down, I was looking for a new collaborator. We gathered up Rob Garland and Jack Watson and launched Coral Creek 2.0 at the UllrGrass Music Festival in Golden in January of 2015, where we were joined by Luke Bulla as a guest on the fiddle. Luke was a great fit, so we’ve been touring and recording with Luke as much as possible ever since.

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                                                                                            Coral Creek (Image via http://www.coralcreek.net)

                                                                                            How does your creative approach work when songwriting?

                                                                                            For our first album, we did not do a lot of collaborative songwriting as a band. Bill and I are the primary contributing songwriters and for the most part we bring completed works to the band. The song arrangements may get tweaked a bit, but not a lot.

                                                                                            For myself, I tend to draw inspiration and content from people, places and life experiences. My life is hectic and I’m a bit ADD, so my approach is to grab good ideas, musical or lyrical, when the pop into my head and try to keep track them in notebooks and voice memos until I can find some time to sit down and complete a song. It’s a bit haphazard, but time can be a pretty good filter. When I listen back, there is plenty of garbage that seemed clever in the moment, but doesn’t hold up to sober scrutiny. But then there are the little nuggets that make for great lyrical content, musical motifs or even concepts for an entire song. Every so often I’ll steal a few days of isolation and complete the songs working from my notes.

                                                                                            What inspires you lyrically?

                                                                                            I draw inspiration from people, places, current events and random life experiences.

                                                                                            Do you have a quote or motto that you live by?

                                                                                            Not really, but I am a fan of the Golden Rule. That one serves us all well.

                                                                                            What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?

                                                                                            We’re making music here, so life is good. The challenge for all aspiring musicians is figuring out how to get the music out to where people can hear and appreciate it. There is so much great music in the world, that’s always going to be a challenge, but how you measure success is relative, so I’m not sure if we’ve overcome that one or not. The new album’s getting pretty good radio play, but I don’t think we’re there yet.

                                                                                            What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                            My advice would be to concentrate on the music/product and the promotion/business in equal parts. In rare cases, an artist can be successful with one and not the other. But most will need to build both to have success.

                                                                                            Frogleg Brings Their Jams to The Bottleneck July 13th

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                                                                                            Frogleg (Image via Frogleg’s Facebook page)

                                                                                            Frogleg skillfully blends funk, reggae and bluegrass to create their sound. Guitarist and vocalist Joe Dunn recently discussed how Micro Jammers began his musical obsession, how Frogleg got started and the band’s songwriting approach. Frogleg plays The Bottleneck July 13th.

                                                                                            What was your earliest musical memory?

                                                                                            My first musical memory would have been these mini guitar toys called Micro Jammers with different buttons that played short songs when I was a young tot. I was obsessed with them. That was probably the first thing that got my eyes set on becoming a guitar player.

                                                                                            How did Frogleg first come together?

                                                                                            It first started out as an acoustic trio with Demitri and Will Effertz, who is no longer in the group. Toward the end of the summer, in 2012, Demitri got a call to put a band together and be the Thursday night house band at Bunkers Bar and Grill in Minneapolis. We went for it! Almost 4 years later, we’re still holding down Thursday’s and having a blast.

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                                                                                            Frogleg (Image via Frogleg’s Facebook page)

                                                                                            You incorporate so many different styles of music to create your sound. What is your creative process when songwriting?

                                                                                            Originally it went where Demitri and I would write songs outside of the group and would bring them to the rest of the band and we’d work them out. Recently Demitri, Elliott, Sam, Jimmy and I have been getting together at a practice space and doing collaborative writing sessions. It’s been working out really well having more brains to give input. We’re excited about the new music.

                                                                                            How often do you find yourself writing songs?

                                                                                            I varies between the members of the band but we’ve been trying to get together at least once a week whether it’s writing lyrics or just piecing the music together for something to write to later.

                                                                                            What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                            Not only try to get out and play as much as you can, but also go out to shows and support and meet other musicians and artists. Networking with your peers is key when first creating your musical brand.

                                                                                            After Funk Funks Up The Bottleneck June 29th.

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                                                                                            After Funk (Image via http://wwwafterfunk.ca)

                                                                                            After Funk is a Toronto, Canada-based funk band. They are playing The Bottleneck June 29th. Bassist Justin Bontje recently discussed the beginnings of After Funk, his lyrical inspiration and the band’s musical creative process.

                                                                                            Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?

                                                                                            My parents were never musicians, but always had music in their lives. They grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, a great time for music that is directly linked to the kind of music After Funk creates.

                                                                                            How did After Funk first come together?

                                                                                            After Funk came together at a university in southwestern Ontario, Jaime and Justin were randomly paired up as room mates where they were free to construct a beat laboratory for all to come and collaborate. That’s where Yanick came into the picture, he came to jam with them on keys. After winning multiple battle of the bands they decided to keep on making music!

                                                                                            It really just kind of happened. Justin and Jaime were paired as room mates at university where they met Yanick. After a couple jams we decided to enter a battle of the bands just for kicks. We needed a name to enter the contest and thus After Funk was born.

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                                                                                            After Funk (Image via http://wwwafterfunk.ca)

                                                                                            What is your creative approach when writing a song?

                                                                                            ?We try a mixture of approaches. A big one is listening before we play?. Because writing can be such a delicate process, we find it helpful to visualize before we make a bunch of noise with our instruments.

                                                                                            What inspires you lyrically?

                                                                                            ?Stories! People are interesting and awesome, and everyone has something great worth sharing. I also like to put a fantastical twist on things because I find the imagery evocative and imaginative.

                                                                                            Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?

                                                                                            ?Chuffy. It means anything you want it to.

                                                                                            What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                            ?When the ground starts to get steep, you know you’ve reached the base of the mountain. Work hard and keep chuffin it.

                                                                                            Rolling Foliage Rolls Into The Bottleneck June 18th

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                                                                                            Rolling Foliage (Image via https://www.facebook.com/RollingFoliage)

                                                                                            Rolling Foliage is a Lawrence-based band. Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Leaf recently discussed how he became passionate about bluegrass, his love of the Lawrence music scene. Rolling Foliage plays The Bottleneck with the Ragbirds June 18th.

                                                                                            What was your earliest musical memory?

                                                                                            My earliest memory musically is old Motown playing while momma cleaned house. She was always dancing around and my dad would say “easy momma, you’re gonna throw a hip out.” As far as live music, it was Cain Robberson and Joel Brummett playing guitar and washtub bass on Mass street. Cain with his eyes closed, on his knees, singing his heart out while Joel thumped that weed eater line. It was moving and inspiring for me.  

                                                                                            What got you interested in bluegrass?

                                                                                            Split Lip Rayfield got me into bluegrass. I used to live across from The Bottleneck and would always go in for free pool early in the day and get to watch the bands warm up and discuss band stuff. New Years every year was SLR and had never seen acoustic instruments played with such power and passion. You follow Split Lip and end up meeting all the die hard Winfield Bluegrass crew.  

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                                                                                            Rolling Foliage (Image via https://www.facebook.com/RollingFoliage)

                                                                                            How did Rolling Foliage get started?

                                                                                            Rolling Foliage started a few Junes ago. I had been building stages and throwing a festival called Festy Fest and the production took up all my time. I used to tour with Deadman Flats all across the country and Europe and used to open up as a solo/loop act. Decided I wanted a band to play with and ended up with Sonny and Paul, two friends that have played in all sorts of bands (primarily bluegrass) and my music seemed to be a way that both of them could stretch out a bit and not be bound to standard bluegrass rhythms and chord transitions. We actually have a hard time classifying our sound and try not to be stuck in a single genre.

                                                                                            What do you enjoy most about the music scene in Lawrence? 

                                                                                            The music scene is amazing. I remember listening to “The Band That Saved The World” CD and thinking they are my favorite band for three years and found out they were local! Let alone, I knew a couple of the members. The amount of musicians is staggering and the quality and variety of bands is impressive. I love being able to go out any night of the week and catch a band. I thought it was primarily a bluegrass scene and I was happily mistaken.  

                                                                                            What is your creative approach when writing tracks?

                                                                                            My creative approach is probably all the other monotonous work I do. When I’m welding I like to listen to music that’s around 100 bpm and get a steady groove going. I listen to the words and generally find my own groove and topic. When I sit and pick alone I generally find a simple lick and kinda freestyle the topic I’ve been thinking of while working. I figure most of the rhymes and melody at work. Paul and Sonny especially can jump in with ease once they hear it a time or two. I’ll sit and try to write a song sometimes and end up writing a completely different one. Your mood also has a lot of impact. It’s really tough to pinpoint when you can be inspired by so many different things.  

                                                                                            What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?

                                                                                            The biggest challenges have collaborating schedules. I work a lot and love to build and try to accommodate music with my projects while the other guys have other bands they play with and work as well. As much as we all would like our band to pay our bills, it’s just not doable unless you’re always on the road. I think I am ready to start putting more time into the band and am eager to write new material. It’s just hard to feel it when you’re overworked.  

                                                                                            What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                            The advice I’d give to musicians would be to prioritize your moves. Get good at your material. You shouldn’t have to think about what chord you’re playing next or how the lyric melody should go. It should be natural and each word/note should be deliberate. When you half-ass play a song it gets awkward and people don’t feel it. Play a song enough times where you nail it every time and play it like its the first time anyone has heard it and have fun. Even if you’re not that good, but are having fun doing it, people will like you. Bring the energy.

                                                                                            Vela Brings Their Indie Rock to The Bottleneck June 17th

                                                                                            Vela at The Bottleneck

                                                                                            Vela (Image via http://www.velakc.com)

                                                                                            Vela is a hard-hitting, Kansas City-based indie rock band. The band features Jonas Birkel on guitar and vocals and Sean Cedillo on drums. Birkel first became interested in music when his parents got him involved with playing classical music. “As far as being moved by music, I was about 4. Our family had a cassette tape called Peter and the Wolf and listening to that was mind altering. I would sit on my bed and blast it. I loved the dynamics between the heavy tones of the brass and the light woodwinds and strings. It still today is a huge influence for me,” he says.
                                                                                            The members of Vela first met in 5th grade. “Sean and I had always talked about starting a project and we tried it with a bunch of different people. But it never really worked out until we started playing as just a two piece,” Birkel says. Staying true to their vision, the band produces all of their own music.

                                                                                            Vela at The Bottleneck

                                                                                            Vela (Image via https://velakc.bandcamp.com/

                                                                                            Striving to create quality music keeps Vela focused. “Everything always ever and forever in music is a challenge. That’s why I feel that every musician carries a blessing and a curse. I see many people solely try to make money off of music or show how great they are at it. But I think that if just playing music isn’t enough fulfillment then don’t do it because the gratification will never inversely relate to the amount of time and effort you put in,” Birkel says about being a musician. Vela plays The Bottleneck June 17th with Fallopian Fire, Good Ole Fashion and Trauma Parlor.

                                                                                             

                                                                                            The Ragbirds Take Flight at The Bottleneck June 18th

                                                                                            The Ragbirds at The Bottleneck

                                                                                            The Ragbirds (Image via http://www.theragbirds.com)

                                                                                            Catch The Ragbirds at The Bottleneck

                                                                                            The Ragbirds combine world music, bluegrass and more to create their sound. Their latest release is the album The Threshold & The Hearth. The Michigan-based band’s music has been described as infectious global groove. Vocalist and violinist Erin Zindle recently discussed the band’s beginnings, her personal mantra and advice for musicians just starting out. The Ragbirds play The Bottleneck with Rolling Foliage June 18th.

                                                                                            How did you become interested in music?

                                                                                            My early experiences with music start with my family and the church we grew up in. My mother always sang with my brothers and I as we went about our day – at meals, in the tub, as we played, etc. My parents also sang in the choir at the Baptist church we attended.  The church used hymnals so I grew up following along in the music from a very early age which helped me be an early reader and my dad always sang the tenor parts so I grew accustomed to hearing the harmony. At Christmastime my dad’s 8 brothers and sisters would gather and sing carols in harmony with guitars. I think it is because of this climate that It was always very natural for me to sing. I started violin lessons at the age of 9 and piano a few years later.  

                                                                                            How did the Ragbirds first get started?

                                                                                            In 2005, I had written more than an album’s worth of songs that were tugging at my sleeves so I decided to record them. I asked my boyfriend, percussionist Randall Moore (who is now my husband) to record the rhythm tracks. The early songs were very much centered around the world rhythms that Randall and I laid out. We found a guitarist and bassist to record those parts and we cut the record before we even played a single show together, then we hit the ground running and haven’t stopped since. We’ve had a few lineup changes over the years, but my brother TJ Zindle joined the band in 2008 and our current drummer Jon Brown and bassist Dan Jones joined a little over 2 years ago.

                                                                                            What is your creative approach to songwriting?

                                                                                            I am a lifelong student of the songwriting process and I could talk about it for days, so I’ll try to answer this as concisely as I can. I try to approach songwriting from many different angles to keep the process fresh and to challenge myself, but my most natural way of writing is to sit down in a quiet place with a pen and paper. For me, the words are at the center of my songs and I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the words before they are ever even sung. It is like a puzzle and once the words are “just right” they practically sing themselves. This is the greatest thrill and in these moments when a song lifts off the page into my throat I feel more alive and complete than ever. I usually rush to record the melody at this point and quickly find an instrument to sketch out the harmonic structure, experimenting and editing as I shape the song into being.

                                                                                            What inspires you lyrically?

                                                                                            Working through struggles. One of the lyrics on our new album is “I’m a self-improvement junkie” (from the song “Sometimes Honestly”) and it’s so true. I’m always striving for self-awareness through my songwriting, and seeking out the message of wisdom that the song wants to teach me. I’m trying to express my trials and sorrows by finding my way through them into hope and joy.  Songwriting is the best tool in the world to help me do that. My greatest hope is that other people who hear the songs when they are in a dark place can find their way out too.

                                                                                            The Ragbirds at The Bottleneck

                                                                                            Erin Zindle, of the Ragbirds (Image via http://www.theragbirds.com)

                                                                                            How did the song “Six Wheels” come together?

                                                                                            Oh, gosh. I wrote that song about 6 years ago I think. We were in the middle of one of our busiest touring years and we were constantly on the road. Touring can be exhausting and the lifestyle tends to be dominated by masculine energy. So, I was on the road with 5 boys (4 band members + our merch guy) in a van and trailer (that’s the 6 wheels) and was writing songs about our experiences which eventually were recorded for our 2011 album Travelin’ Machine. “Who’s got sugar who’s got spice?” was something I wrote in my journal one evening as I was reflecting on my need for femininity. It’s easy to lose touch with yourself in a sense when you are surrounded 24/7 by people who are very different from you.  I was so grateful on the road every time I’d get a little “girl time” – like if we’d stay with a friend, or even just the little hospitable touches that women would bring to the show experience – like home-cooked meals in a clean green room, etc. Those little moments were so refreshing and those human connections mean the world to all of us who live a traveling lifestyle.

                                                                                            Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?

                                                                                            I have a mantra that I repeat each morning.  It’s an acronym for the word EMBRACE, which reminds me to embrace each day.

                                                                                            E – Enjoy the day

                                                                                            M – Magnify the positive

                                                                                            B – Be the strongest version of yourself

                                                                                            R – Rise above the petty stuff

                                                                                            A – Accept responsibility (+ apologize effortlessly)

                                                                                            C – Control your tongue

                                                                                            E – Empathize with others

                                                                                            What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                            This new music business is full of many possibilities so it’s important to go into it knowing your own personal definition of success. If you are genuine (both vulnerable and humbly aware of what makes you unique) and always striving to learn and improve then you will succeed. It’s just that success doesn’t look anything like the old model – and it usually is not the same as fortune and fame. Know yourself and plan for the long game. If there’s anything else you can see yourself just as happily doing then do that thing, because this way, this business is a hard way to go. It’s also worth every bit of the hard work and disappointment. It’s the only job I’ve ever had. I’ve been touring in bands for almost 20 years! I always remind myself how lucky I am though, because what else could I be doing with my life that would make so many people happy? I know that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, and if you know that about yourself too, then the sky is the limit.

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