2/26

Smackdown Trivia

18 & Over | 6:30 pm

Smackdown Trivia

MORE INFO COMING SOON!

OUR LINKS


2/27

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.



    2/28

    Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

    MONTU

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

    BUY TICKETS!

    Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

    MORE INFO COMING SOON!

    OUR LINKS


    MONTU

    After four years of being together, Oklahoma jamtronica band MONTU has played shows everywhere from New York to California, capturing audiences with their high energy performances and their own unique brand of sound blending influences of instrumental rock, electronica, prog, hip hop and trance.

    In their last few years together, they have found themselves in the pages of Relix Magazine, played at several national festivals (Wakarusa Music Festival, Yonder Harvest Festival, etc.) and have opened for such big name acts as Umphrey's McGee, Girl Talk, Keller Williams, The Disco Biscuits, Lotus, EOTO and more. 2012 promises to be a big year for MONTU including a new album release with a heavy tour schedule so check them out when they are in your area for a high-energy performance and dance party that won’t leave you standing still.

    OUR LINKS


    3/2

    Midnight Marauders

    18 & Over | 8 pm

    Midnight Marauders

    DJ G Train- Johnny Quest- Dj Proof

    Say no more...



      3/3

      Eric Tessmer

      Amanda Fish

      $9 + F&T | All Ages | 7 pm

      BUY TICKETS!

      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


      Amanda Fish

      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



        3/4

        Bagels & Basketball

        All Ages | 4:30 pm

        Bagels & Basketball

        Join KU Hillel in cheering on the Jayhawks against Oklahoma State!
        $3 for students
        $6 for non-students



          3/4

          Govinda

          Recycled Phunk

          $13 + F&T | All Ages | 9 pm

          BUY TICKETS!

          Govinda

          Govinda is the alter-ego of Austin based producer/composer Shane Madden. He began studying violin and composition at the age of eight and went on to study classical violin at the University of Texas where he fell in love with electronic music production. It was in Madden’s pursuit of his gypsy roots that he opened his ears to music from around the world. From experiences learning violin with mysterious masters on his journeys across the globe and his passion for modern design and technology, the current sound of Govinda was born.

          Govinda has played with Thievery Corporation, Tipper, Bassnectar, Shpongle, Cheb I Sabbah, STS9 and many more and been featured on over 25 compilations such as Buddha Bar II, Asian Travels II, and Nirvana Lounge selling a combined 400,000 copies. Govinda has played at numerous festivals throughout North America including Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle, Lights All Night, Euphoria, Sea of Dreams, Camp Bisco, SXSW and many more. Govinda's music has been on TV including stations like WB, MTV and Bravo as well as many independent films.

          The Govinda live show immerses the audience with a textured atmosphere of exotic, dubby vibrations interwoven with cosmic visual projections, world class dancers and mesmerizing vocals- all to the magic of his live electronics and violin.


          OUR LINKS


          Recycled Phunk

          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



            3/5

            Smackdown Trivia

            18 & Over | 6:30 pm

            Smackdown Trivia

            MORE INFO COMING SOON!

            OUR LINKS


            3/6

            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.



              3/9

              Snow Tha Product

              $16 + F&T | All Ages | 8 pm

              BUY TICKETS!

              Snow Tha Product

              Snow tha Product, a native of California, but resident of Texas, is an underground phenomenon and sensation taking the scene by storm in a way that has put male MCs on alert. She’s a beauty and a beast – looks and lyrical skills on the microphone, respectively. Physical stature aside, she stands as tall as any female MC in the game and can wreck a track in fluent Spanish or English with a handful of male MCs trying to match her lyrical level, as she did on Capea El Dough P City Remix.

              Let us be forthcoming about 22-year-old, Claudia A. Feliciano. We'd put her up against any female MC in the game, and we're confident she'd give anyone of them a run for their money... or take their money. She's a versatile, bilingual lyricist who can fluently chop you up in English or Spanish, so take your pick. She has the swag, attitude, fine-ass looks and in-your-face rhyming abilities to be a hip-hop sensation in the U.S. or Latin America, if only the industry could, as Snow would say it, wake they’re game up.

              For now, Feliciano, better known to the streets as Snow Tha Product, is going to have to settle for being an international underground buzz-maker. We're not exaggerating. You can find her on anything from videos with major-label Spanish-pop sensations like Jaime Kohen, to hit rap videos in Latin America to underground Mic Passes in Texas.

              Everything we want in a Latino - excuse us - Latina, hip-hop artist.

              “I am versatile and even though I've been taught the industry wants you to pick a lane and stay there, I'm too hyperactive for that. I'm going to just swang this Cadillac I call a career.”

              OUR LINKS


              3/10

              Truckstop Honeymoon

              KC Bearfighters
              Honeywise

              All Ages | 8 pm

              Truckstop Honeymoon

              In eleven years Truckstop Honeymoon have released eight CDs and a full length
              documentary film on Baton Rouge label, Squirrel Records. They perform at International folk festivals, rock clubs, neighborhood bars, house concerts and hay barns from Nebraska to Tasmania.

              Truckstop Honeymoon’s story begins in New Orleans, where Katie played wash-tub bass and blues piano in the streets of the French Quarter. There she met Mike, who slung a banjo and sold his CDs to tourists as a curative for hangovers and small mindedness. After a court house wedding, they hit the road together. They spent their wedding night in a trucks stop somewhere between Lafayette and the Atchafalaya Swamp. There Truckstop Honeymoon was born.

              OUR LINKS


              KC Bearfighters

              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                Honeywise

                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                  3/11

                  Page 7

                  18 & Over | 8 pm

                  Page 7

                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!

                  OUR LINKS


                  3/12

                  Polyphia

                  Jason Richardson
                  Covet
                  Via Luna

                  $13 + F&T | All Ages | 6 pm

                  BUY TICKETS!

                  Polyphia

                  Blending technical, weaving instrumentations with hip-hop, jazz and R&B influenced grooves, Polyphia has created a massively impressive sound that is all their own. At an average age of just 21-years old – Polyphia has established themselves early on as a force to be reckoned with and as a band that holds a truly unimaginable amount of potential.

                  The Dallas, TX-based instrumental outfit has just re-released their debut full-length, Muse, on Equal Vision Records. The album was originally self-released as an independent artist and is now available as a re-mastered, re-packaged release through the label. The new and improved release also makes Muse available at physical retail locations for the first time. Muse was produced by Nick Sampson [Of Mice & Men, Asking Alexandria] and is also available streaming in full at Polyphia.merchnow.com.

                  Upon its initial release last September, the full-length self-titled landed on several Billboard Charts including: No. 5 on Internet Albums, No. 6 on Hard Rock Albums, No. 13 on Independent Albums, No. 22 on Top Rock Albums, No. 71 on Top Current Albums, and No. 76 on Top 200.

                  OUR LINKS


                  Jason Richardson

                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                    Covet

                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                      Via Luna

                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                        3/13

                        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.



                          3/14

                          The Songs of Joy Division

                          Moving Units
                          Viktor Fiction
                          Soviet

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

                          BUY TICKETS!

                          The Songs of Joy Division

                          The club lights are low. The dance floor is a sweaty blur of shadows. You can feel the blood and adrenaline surging through the crowd. There’s a band on-stage and they are telepathically connected to the audience—making bodies bounce like it was a feat of mind control.

                          This is Moving Units and this is their natural element: unadulterated grooves and constant motion. Moving Units have bottled this chemistry since their self-titled 2002 EP debut. When Blake Miller first started writing demos and recruiting band mates to help expand his vision, the idea of fusing dance music and indie rock was practically alien.

                          Leading the way along with groups like The Rapture, Franz Ferdinand, The Faint and Bloc Party, Moving Units were at the vanguard of bringing body-rocking grooves to scythe-edged rock and roll. They pioneered a brand of “Dance Punk” that exploded into clubs and radio stations across the globe. “Back then, no one danced at shows in LA. People were trying to play it cool,” Miller says.” We wanted to shake things up and make people boogie.”

                          Tastes have changed. Members have joined and left the band. But the locomotion inspired by their music remains immutable. Credit the ease with which Miller has merged into contemporary dance culture.

                          A DJ himself, Miller’s remixes with Steve Aoki and Le Castle Vania have earned tons of spins worldwide. “I’ve never abandoned the concept that a live band can turn out a hot dance party,” Miller says. “It’s about conveying that energy and allowing people to have a visceral and euphoric connection.” April 8th 2016 sees the release of the band's 4th LP “Damage With Care”. Miller considers it their most engaging, aggressive and visionary work since the classic "Dangerous Dreams" LP dropped over a decade ago.

                          The perfect soundtrack for channeling urgent impulses and anxious adventures on a post punk millennial dance floor. 10 explosive tracks that wind their way up your spine and into your hearts and minds!

                          With “Damage With Care”, Miller says he wanted to invoke a naiveté and passion he felt when he wrote the first LP over a decade ago. Fashion always plays a part when it comes to Moving Units and you can feel it in the groves… everything from Alexander Wang, Vivienne Westwood, Warhol, Basquiat and even Patti Smiths “Just Kids” biography found ways to influence the look and feel of Damage With Care. With tracks like “Opposite of Rhyming”, Moving Units plaster their past all over the record, while songs like “Wishful Thinking” and “Fragile Magic” melodically wind their way to the dance floor with hooks you can’t shake. “There is a satisfying balance of raw punk influences from the 70’s and 80’s, as well as sexy bass lines and hi fi production value throughout” says Miller.

                          The live show has always been a crucial aspect of what Moving Units is all about. Miller describes how things have evolved live: “This spirit has remained constant over the years, however, our production has continued to evolve considerably. I've begun to utilize playback as a way to enhance the production value of the live show. Drums, bass, guitar and vocals are our most essential instruments. Playback production has enabled us to create an environment in which the crowd is engaging with us as live musicians while key production elements are being triggered in the mix. We're blending the excitement of electronic instrumentation and studio fx with the raw appeal of real instruments.”

                          There is a generational experience at Moving Units performances these days and Miller believes dance music and rock and roll resonates with people of all ages. “It's so primitive and organic. I also think kids are attracted to the rebellious attitude and open minded atmosphere our music cultivates. We're having fun riffing on fundamental concepts innovated by our favorite rock and roll, punk and dance music recording artists. And I think our fans respond to that sort of authenticity and humility. I believe music is bigger than the musician. It has a life of its own. And music fans love to share music, so it doesn't surprise me to see new faces at our shows. It's rad!”

                          Moving Units have called Los Angeles home and Miller has always had a love hate relationship with the city… “LA has changed radically. The indie music scene was a tiny bubble in 2002. Not a lot of variety and certainly not a lot of
                          hype. The exact opposite has occurred here since then. LA has emerged as a new mecca of American youth culture. Music, fashion, cinema and art are all mediums blowing up in this city and influencing the global scene.

                          LA is everything you dream a city could be and everything you dread a city can become. LA don't play, so love it or leave it; that's what I say”.

                          When talk turns of things to come, all Miller can say is: Blow minds with the new album. Tour constantly, anywhere and everywhere. Celebrate life. Repeat!

                          OUR LINKS


                          Moving Units

                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                            Viktor Fiction

                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                              Soviet

                              MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                3/17

                                Red Money

                                18 & Over | 8 pm

                                Red Money

                                The French Rock band duo, Red Money, began their musical journey in 2012. For two years, they composed music in their own studio and worked on defining themselves as a band. Red Money began performing in 2014, and by 2015, released their first 8-track album. In the midst of their growing popularity, they decided to take and extended stay to record and work in Nashville, Tennessee where they worked with Alabama Shakes’ producer Andrija Tokic. “After visiting Nashville, everything has really changed for us, it’s changed our way of thinking about our music; Nashville feels like home to us.”
                                Red Money’s spontaneous musicality and emotional pull is what makes their songs so relatable and gives them their authentic, raw garage rock sound. “It’s about humanity first; it’s about the music and a few words, then everything starts to make sense.” The band gets much of their inspiration for songwriting from artists such as Ty Segall, Dead Weather, Jack White, Led Zeppelin, White Stripes, and Velvet Underground.
                                The band just released in late September 2016 their newest track “Bones Are Shaking” and will be touring in Europe and the US during 2017. This was a follow up single to the successful first release ‘Drunk Love’, of which both tracks are on a new Red Money EP to be released in the coming months. “We always believe in what we do, and in our band, it’s most important to keep moving on and composing new songs.”
                                For more news/updates, music, videos, social media, and special promotions visit www.redmoneymusic.com.

                                OUR LINKS


                                3/18

                                Thieves of Sunrise

                                Ryan Manuel & the Getaway

                                18 & Over | 8 pm

                                Thieves of Sunrise

                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!

                                OUR LINKS


                                Ryan Manuel & the Getaway

                                MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                  3/22

                                  Gang of Thieves

                                  18 & Over | 8 pm

                                  Gang of Thieves

                                  Burlington, Vermont based Gang of Thieves have been touring non stop up and down the east coast, playing an exciting new breed of funky rock and roll for audiences of all ages.

                                  High energy and a good time is the hallmark of these Green Mountain rockers. “Funk-injected rock….a band whose sound brings to mind artists like Rage Against the Machine and Led Zeppelin.” (Donna Walker, Greenville online) The key to the Gangs universal appeal is the infectious sense of fun and showmanship, delivered with a hint of spiritual and political awareness that inspires and encourages positivity.

                                  The band just recently finished recording a brand new album in Wall, NJ with Steve Jankowski (Blood Sweat and Tears, Chicago), and will be performing the new material exclusively at live shows and festivals over the summer in preparation for its release this fall. Find out when and where the Gang will be near you to be a part of the excitement!

                                  “Infectious grooves...These hard working, Burlington-based musicians entranced the audience with their high-energy onslaught of funk/rock tunes...an amazing show” - Cider Mag

                                  “Rush meets Blood Sweat & Tears…..Gang of Thieves put on quite a show” - AXS

                                  OUR LINKS


                                  3/31

                                  Dolewite

                                  18 & Over | 8 pm

                                  Dolewite

                                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                    4/7

                                    Andy Frasco & The UN

                                    Lucas Parker Band

                                    $13 + F&T | All Ages | 7 pm

                                    BUY TICKETS!

                                    Andy Frasco & The UN

                                    Andy Frasco, the 27-year old Los Angeles, CA native singer / songwriter / band maestro / entrepreneur /

                                    party starter / everyday hustler, and his band of gypsies “The U.N.” have been cited frequently as “Party

                                    Blues,” but the band’s musical inspirations and influences run much deeper incorporating elements of

                                    Soul, Funk, and Rock as well as tones of Roots, and Americana, creating a much more diverse sound and

                                    style that is distinctly Andy Frasco & the U.N.

                                    Frasco’s shows have been described as infectious, entertaining, and feel good. His performances are

                                    recognized as orchestrated chaos, inciting frenzied, undeniable good times, dancing, and perhaps even a

                                    good ole fashion freak out.

                                    Touring independently across the U.S. and Europe since he was 18 years old, Frasco first got his taste of

                                    the music industry managing and promoting bands when he was 16 years old -booking bands like Hello

                                    Goodbye, and working with labels such as Drive Thru and Atlantic Records, as well as venues like The

                                    Key Club in Hollywood, CA.

                                    Since his start, Frasco has embodied a DIY attitude and work ethic, making the road his home; averaging

                                    200+ dates a year, trekking over 200,000 thousand miles spanning the country dozens of times over,

                                    blowing minds and building a loyal following everywhere he goes.

                                    2014 marked a breakout year for Frasco, highlighted by the release of the band’s 3 rd full-length studio

                                    album Half A Man, a host of high profile festival performances both domestically and overseas, and

                                    recognition from national press outlets such as Pollstar, Live For Live Music, and Relix.

                                    Produced by Grammy Award Winning, Charles Goodan, Half A Man received warm praise from press

                                    and fans alike, charting in the top 10 of Relix/Jambands.com Radio Chart for nearly 6 months, while the

                                    road highlighted featured performances on festivals like Wakarusa, Electric Forrest, and YSMB’s

                                    Harvest Festival in the US, and festivals like Zwarte Cross (NL), King’s Day Festival (DE), Bamberg Jazz

                                    Festival (DE), Guezenpop Festival (NL), and the COTAI Jazz & Blues Festival in Macau, China.

                                    To date, Andy has shared the stage and performed with artists such as Leon Russell, Galactic, Jackie

                                    Greene, Gary Clark Jr, Jakob Dylan, Butch Walker, Deer Tick, John Mayer, Karl Denson’s Tiny

                                    Universe, Fishbone, Lukas Nelson, JJ Grey & Mofro, Lettuce and more.

                                    Continuing to build off the success of 2014, Frasco & the U.N. continued to pick up momentum both at

                                    home and abroad in 2015 with featured performances at SXSW, Wakarusa, Phases of the Moon, and

                                    Backwoods Music Festival in the U.S., as well as Totaal Festival (NL), a return to Zwarte Cross (NL),

                                    Open Flair Festival (DE), and Open Air Gross Lindow (DE) overseas.

                                    Amidst another heavy year of touring the band also recorded their 4 th full-length studio album, “Happy

                                    Bastards”, set for release by Ruf Records on February 26, 2016 with producer Rick Parker (Lord Huron,

                                    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Sugarcult).

                                    OUR LINKS


                                    Lucas Parker Band

                                    Rock and roll for jazz people, jazz for rock and roll people.

                                    Hailing from Lawrence, KS, Lucas Parker Band is comprised of some of the area's favorite players taking on the compositions of guitarist, Lucas Parker, a Lawrence native. Comprised of Chris Handley on bass, Sam Goodell on keys, Taylor Babb on drums, and Carl Spaeth on Tenor Sax, the Lucas Parker Band will throw it down every time. So hard.

                                    OUR LINKS


                                    4/8

                                    KJHKs Farmers Ball

                                    All Ages | 8 pm

                                    KJHKs Farmers Ball

                                    This year, KJHK and SUA blowing up its annual battle of the bands beyond recognition. THE WINNING BAND RECEIVES $2,000, SECOND PLACE WINS $1,000, AND THIRD PLACE AND FOURTH PLACE WIN $500 EACH. The stake are high, so submit your music today!

                                    For more information on the process and eligibility rules head over to http://kjhk.org/web/2017/01/30/kjhks-2017-farmers-ball-presented-by-kjhk-and-sua/

                                    If you are in need of an accommodation due to a disability, please submit your request at least 7 business days in advance of the event to Michelle Compton. Email: mcompton@ku.edu. Phone (785) 864-7469. TTY: 711.

                                    OUR LINKS


                                    4/9

                                    The Goddamn Gallows

                                    Koffin Kats
                                    Viva Le Vox
                                    Feast Ov Fools

                                    $13 + F&T | All Ages | 7 pm

                                    BUY TICKETS!

                                    The Goddamn Gallows

                                    The Goddamn Gallows formed in 2004 by founding members and Lansing/Detroit natives Mikey Classic on guitar and vocals, Fishgutzzz on upright bass, and Amanda Kill on drums -replaced by current drummer Uriah Baker (aka; "Baby Genius") in 2006. The trio started out migrating around the West for a time, holing up in Hollywood squats and squalid apartments, before releasing several albums: The Gallows EP (2004), Life of Sin (2005), and Gutterbilly Blues (2007), and finally hitting the road nearly full-time to establish their presence in the psychobilly-country scene while honing their self-described "twanged-out punk rock gutterbilly".
                                    In 2009 the addition of Avery, a fire-breathing, accordion and washboard player, as well as Jayke Orvis (formerly of the .357 String Band) on mandolin and banjo, prompted The Goddamn Gallows to explore many new directions with their songwriting and in their live performances. As evidenced on their most recent 2009 album, Ghost of The Rails, and as witnessed by their spectacular and tireless live shows, The Goddamn Gallows began to forge a path founded on their very own brand of contagious primeval abandon: an unpretentious and from-the-gut carnivalesque smorgasbord of parts old time revival, circus sideshow, and good old-fashioned rock and roll. The result falls dead center into a head on collision between something like a Western honky-tonk impromptu parking lot rodeo, and Suburbia (the 1983 Penelope Spheeris cult classic film, not the location).
                                    Though still officially Michigan-based, they have toured relentlessly since 2007, practically living out of their van and regularly performing as many as 200 dates a year. They've supported such acts as Nekromantix, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Mad Sin, The Legendary Shack Shakers, and even the King of Surf Guitar legend Dick Dale. They continue to rapidly grow a devoted following built on their visceral and volatile blend of multiple American music styles, and frenetic live energy -but still with just enough hardcore and punk influence to make your parents hate it.

                                    OUR LINKS


                                    Koffin Kats

                                    MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                      Viva Le Vox

                                      MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                        Feast Ov Fools

                                        MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                          4/13

                                          Sunsquabi

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

                                          BUY TICKETS!

                                          Sunsquabi

                                          The 3 Piece Electronic Hydro Funk Experience from Boulder, CO known as SunSquabi is poised to break out in 2015. The group has performed at some of the country’s most notable music festivals (Wakarusa, Summer Camp, Euphoria Music Festival, Mcdowell Mtn Music Festival, Sonic Bloom, Snowball, SXSW and more). Since May 2012, the trio has been consistently touring the U.S. and rapidly gaining recognition from the ever-evolving EDM and Livetronica markets. SunSquabi has shared the stage with Big Gigantic, Pretty Lights, GriZ, Murphy of STS9, Up Until Now, Two Fresh, Conspirator, Michal Menert, Boombox, The Floozies, Archnemesis, Break Science, Minnesota, Ghostland Observatory and many more.
                                          Constantly on the studio grind, SunSquabi is always striving to change and mature their sound. They continue to break down and analyze the expectations of what a “Live-Electronic” band should be. Through their own studio recordings and collaborations with other artists such as Griz, SunSquabi is dedicated to their ever evolving craft in the studio and on the live stage.
                                          A recent overhaul on the live set has propelled the group into 2015, with plans to tour all over the U.S. They will be making appearances at several major festivals this summer, with an album release planned for late Summer 2015.

                                          OUR LINKS


                                          4/14

                                          Spoonfed Tribe

                                          Toxic Rhythms

                                          All Ages | 8 pm

                                          Spoonfed Tribe

                                          Formed in the Fort Worth area in 1999, Spoonfed Tribe is a musical/visual group known for mesmerizing live shows combining hypnotic walls of percussion, psychedelic sonics and mind-expanding visuals. Since their debut, the Tribe has remained on the road, building a sizeable fan base inspired by appearances at music fests including Lollapalooza, Joshua Tree, Voodoo Music Experience and Wakarusa, sharing bills with acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Flaming Lips, Nine Inch Nails, Blues Traveler, Galactic and many more.

                                          The band has released six albums, including 2010's Live from DFW and is in the process of recording the follow-up to 2007's Public Service Announcement, due in 2012.

                                          "To describe a Spoonfed Tribe gathering would take too many words, talking too small to measure what is gained by the actual experience of it all. So, to do our best, imagine a show that captures all senses, presents all musical styles, glows with a fluorescent fury, and creates space to be different and unique, all while making you dance like an idiot!"
                                          Josh Hogan - My Denton Music

                                          OUR LINKS


                                          Toxic Rhythms

                                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                            4/15

                                            KJHKs Farmers Ball

                                            All Ages | 8 pm

                                            KJHKs Farmers Ball

                                            This year, KJHK and SUA blowing up its annual battle of the bands beyond recognition. THE WINNING BAND RECEIVES $2,000, SECOND PLACE WINS $1,000, AND THIRD PLACE AND FOURTH PLACE WIN $500 EACH. The stake are high, so submit your music today!

                                            For more information on the process and eligibility rules head over to http://kjhk.org/web/2017/01/30/kjhks-2017-farmers-ball-presented-by-kjhk-and-sua/

                                            If you are in need of an accommodation due to a disability, please submit your request at least 7 business days in advance of the event to Michelle Compton. Email: mcompton@ku.edu. Phone (785) 864-7469. TTY: 711.

                                            OUR LINKS


                                            4/19

                                            Calliope Musicals

                                            Electric Love Machine

                                            18 & Over | 8 pm

                                            Calliope Musicals

                                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                              Electric Love Machine

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                                                4/20

                                                3 Son Green

                                                Gekko
                                                Dylan Guthrie and the Good Time Guys

                                                18 & Over | 8 pm

                                                3 Son Green

                                                Since 2007, 3 Son Green has been interweaving their vast web of sound, sense, and solidarity into the ever‐evolving architect it has become. Their RockJamJazzFunk style breaks genre bylaws, and pulls crowds out of their seats everywhere they play. 3 Son Green’s intricate songwriting combined with their natural improvisation is guaranteed to satisfy every music lover’s palette. Their well fueled, expanding flame has, even now, lapped at the feet of the music world at all manner of festivals across the Midwest. These Kansas City grown virtuosos are vaulting to new heights, and leaving no slack behind.

                                                Jamie Anderson – Guitar/Vocals
                                                Evan Carlson – Guitar/Vocals
                                                Steven Pearson – Drums
                                                Trey Green – Bass/Vocals

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                                                Gekko

                                                Formed in January of 2013 in KCMO, Gekko is a tight group with an unusually strong chemistry. With musical influences ranging from funk and soul to heavy metal and every thing in between, Gekko is a melting pot of different sounds. Dedicated to their craft, they strive for an intense live show.

                                                Gekko's first studio album: "A Gecko Named Terrance" (2014), marks humble beginnings for the band and a search for their sound (and name). Funky bridges with intricate melodies, followed by sweeping chorus' makes for an incredible music experience. The transition of sounds between funk, to rock, to jazz, to postmodern, tied together by a fat bass, a soothing guitar, and a high rainfall of pitter-patter drums, give this album a thick airiness. Provoked by confidence edged with self-doubt, and fueled by angst, Gekkos's first " ...record has the ultimate way of convincing you to just relax.".

                                                With a unique music style that is a mashup of many different genres. Their live performances are a combination of structured composition and free formed improvisation. Proficient with their instruments, Gekko introduces new concepts and melodies in their improvs with ease. Drifting in and out of thought-out melodic tunes and face-melting psycidellic improvisation, this band will keep you on your toes. Gekko is constantly bringing new songs into their ever growing grab bag of music, each performance is guaranteed to be one of a kind. Preforming on stages and for events such as the Wakarusa Music Festival, Paola Roots Festival, the Granada Theater, and many more, they are an experienced breed of musicians. Bringing the crowd into their world, there concerts are an experience that is not easily forgotten.

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                                                Dylan Guthrie and the Good Time Guys

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                                                  4/22

                                                  Split Lip Rayfield

                                                  Useful Jenkins

                                                  $15 + F&T | All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                  Split Lip Rayfield

                                                  The fire rages on for the powerhouse trio from Kansas, Split Lip Rayfield (SLR), as they celebrate the release of their new record, "I’ll Be Around." The new album showcases the songwriting talents of mandolin player Wayne Gottstine and banjo player Eric Mardis, tied together by the harmony and deep-bass licks of Jeff Eaton. Such songs as "Aces High," "Heart of Darkness," and "The High Price of Necromancy" will take listeners on a journey of love, loss, change, and dark powers, as they discover what lies in the mysterious minds of SLR. The song for which the album is named, "I’ll Be Around," serves as a tribute to the band’s fallen teammate Kirk Rundstrom, whose influence on the band and its path was great. Rundstrom’s legacy continues to live on in the new album and also the band itself as every live show is dedicated to his memory. Split Lip Rayfield has carved out their own genre of music with their unique sound and instrumentation. Often described as a mix of bluegrass and country with an accent of metal, no other band delivers the experience of the homemade gas-tank bass played by Jeff Eaton, sets the mandolin strings on fire like Wayne Gottstine, or makes the banjo sing like Eric Mardis. Together, they burn up speakers and stages alike providing an unforgettable experience.

                                                  OUR LINKS


                                                  Useful Jenkins

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                                                    4/27

                                                    Samantha Fish

                                                    Brody Busters One Man Band

                                                    $15 + F&T | All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                    Samantha Fish

                                                    Samantha Fish Is Playin’ Up a Storm on New Ruf Records CD, Black Wind Howlin’, Due September 10 Follow-Up Album to Her Blues Music Award-Winning Debut Was Produced by Mike Zito and Features Guest Appearances by Zito, Yonrico Scott, Charlie Wooton and Paul Thorn

                                                    KANSAS CITY, MO – Ruf Records announces a September 10 U.S. release date for Black Wind Howlin’, the new CD from blues-rock guitarist/singer Samantha Fish and follow-up to her 2012 Blues Music Award-winning label debut, Runaway. Produced by Mike Zito, who did the same honors on her last album, Black Wind Howlin’ was recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, Louisiana, and features Samantha’s blazing guitar and vocals backed by Mike Zito on guitar and vocals, plus his fellow Royal Southern Brotherhood members Yonrico Scott on drums/percussion and Charlie Wooton on bass. Special guests include Paul Thorn on vocals, Johnny Sansone on harmonica and Bo Thomas on fiddle.

                                                    Kansas City-based Samantha Fish has been on a major roll ever since she teamed up with Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde on Ruf’s 2011 release, Girls with Guitars, and fueled by the trio’s Blues Caravan tour of Europe and the U.S., created an international buzz in the blues world. Later that same year she recorded Runaway, her solo debut on Ruf, which mixed gutsy riff-blues rockers like “Down In The Swamp” with the mellow small-hours jazz of “Feelin’ Alright,” while marinating her songwriting in the groove of the Rolling Stones and even tipping a hat to Heart. “It’s all the sounds I grew up with,” she explained at the time, “with my own spin.” Earlier this year Samantha joined labelmate Devon Allman for a sultry duet of the Tom Petty classic, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” that appeared on Devon’s Turquoise CD and accompanying video.

                                                    Hitting a receptive international blues and rock press, Runaway was hailed as a thrilling opening statement, earning a string of rave reviews and radio airplay, climaxed by her winning the Blues Music Award (BMA) for “Best New Artist Debut” in 2012. “I’m truly humbled by the recognition,” Samantha said afterward. “I can barely wait to make record number two…”

                                                    Now, the wait is over, as Samantha Fish unleashes a major storm of her trademark guitar work and soulful vocals on Black Wind Howlin’. “It has a rebellious streak,” says the bandleader of her game-changing new album, “and a prevalent theme is, ‘I’m not gonna take your sh*t anymore…’”
                                                    No “sophomore slump” here, as Black Wind Howlin’ leaps from the speakers with 12 smoking tracks that chart Samantha’s evolution as songwriter, gunslinger and lyricist. “Since completing Runaway back in 2011, I’ve been on tour pretty much non-stop,” she proclaims. “I’ve spent a lot of time writing, playing and listening to music. I feel like the themes and the sound of my music have matured. To me, it’s about the human experience from my perspective, as well as people I’ve come into contact with over the last few years.”

                                                    Rather than trying to duplicate what she accomplished on her first success, Samantha re-defines her sound throughout the tracks on Black Wind Howlin’. She can be brutally rocking on cuts like the tour bus snapshot of “Miles To Go” (“Twelve hours to Reno/ten hours til the next show”), the swaggering “Sucker Born” (“Vegas left me weary, LA bled me dry/skating on fumes as I crossed the Nevada line…”) and the venomous “Go To Hell” (“Oh, this ain’t my first rodeo/You hit yourself a dead end/Your voodoo eyes, ain’t gonna cast a spell/So you can go to hell!”). “I’ve become tougher,” she notes of these head-banging moments, “and I think that was reflected in the sound we went for.”

                                                    And yet, elsewhere, backed by the versatile production of longtime collaborator Mike Zito, you’ll find Samantha shifting gears to the aching slide-guitar balladry of “Over You” (“Echoing words, said I’d never make it on my own…”) and the redemptive country song, “Last September” (“Don’t remember the curves of my face/Can’t feel the warmth in my embrace/Well I’m here to remind you…”).

                                                    She might stop off for a gritty cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking,” and co-wrote “Go to Hell” with Zito, but all other tracks are Samantha’s self-penned originals, and it’s a mix that will keep listeners on their toes. “I wanted this record to have a modern rocking sound,” she explains of the album’s vibe. “I also wanted it to have elements of Americana, country and roots.”

                                                    For Samantha, the recording sessions proved just as rewarding as the writing “I had a dream team of musicians and special guests,” she recalls. “And Dockside Studios quickly became one of my favorite places on earth.”

                                                    It hasn’t been that long since a teenaged Samantha Fish first started showing up at her local Kansas City blues club, Knuckleheads Saloon, and began soaking up the sounds of visiting modern blues guitar masters like Mike Zito and Tab Benoit, then going back to ’80s heroes like Stevie Ray Vaughan and following the lineage to the pre-war Delta masters. “I fell in love with it,” she told Premier Guitar of her growing passion for the form, “and started doing my homework by listening to the old guys like Son House and Skip James.”

                                                    With those influences as her template, Samantha incorporated the sounds of the classic rock of The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty, alongside contemporary artists like Sheryl Crow and The Black Crowes, in putting together a sound that would become her own.

                                                    By the age of 18, Samantha had settled on a searing lead guitar style that expressed her own voice rather than mimicking clichéd blues licks note-for-note. She quickly broke into a dues-paying period on the Kansas City jam circuit: an apprenticeship at the sharp end that tightened her musical chops, polished her stagecraft and gave her the grit to overcome occasional skepticism about her age, hair tone and gender. “I always hated the idea of the gimmick,” she told Premier Guitar. “People come out just because you are a girl, but then you have so much more to prove once you get them in the door.” And Samantha has delivered on that promise, as evidenced by one listen to the new recording. “I really got to do exactly what I wanted to do on Black Wind Howlin’,” she says, “and I’m incredibly proud of it.”

                                                    Samantha Fish will support the release of her new album with constant touring. For more information on the artist, visit www.samanthafish.com and www.rufrecords.de.

                                                    OUR LINKS


                                                    Brody Busters One Man Band

                                                    The Brody Buster Band is a Blues based Rock & Roll band out of Lawrence Kansas. Led by Brody Buster, a former child prodigy, who was featured on countless television shows growing up including the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Dateline, Crook & Chase, and the Jon Stewart Show. Even Baywatch Nights & Full House - Yes, Full House - showcased Brody's talents. He's shared the stage with Quincy Jones, Keb Mo, Chaka Kahn, Lee Oskar and was a regular performer at B.B. King's Blues Club. Brody's performed with B.B. several times and King was once quoted as saying, "Despite his age Brody Buster is one of the greatest harmonica players of our time."

                                                    Brody Buster has grown up. Formed a band and doing exactly what he knows how to do, play music. In 2011 he released "Will Die Young" to critical acclaim:

                                                    So whether it's a bar, a field, a festival or a church. A wedding, a schoolhouse or a courtyard, the Brody Buster Band knows it can tailor it's playlist to fit your needs & provide you with a full night's worth of entertainment.

                                                    Come and see what all the fuss is about!
                                                    -Boom



                                                      5/1

                                                      Whitney

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

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                                                      Whitney

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                                                      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

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                                                        5/11

                                                        The Wild Reeds

                                                        Blank Range

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

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                                                        The Wild Reeds

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                                                          Blank Range

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                                                            6/4

                                                            Face to Face

                                                            Counterpunch

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

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                                                            Face to Face

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                                                              Counterpunch

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                                                                The Bottleneck Interview with Jamie Laurie of Flobots

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                                                                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.

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                                                                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.  

                                                                RF2

                                                                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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