Violent Bear is a garage folk band with the kind of southern gothic touches one would expect from a band named after a short story by Flannery O'Connor. While married couple Tammy and Stephen Herzig are the band's musical and songwriting core, the duo recently expanded to a four-piece upon the release of their excellent Pink EP. We are pleased to help spread the word about this Kansas City band with an interview with Tammy Herzig, along with the band's book, movie and music recommendations.
The music of Victor and Penny is at once timeless, optimistic and infused with giddy energy, a sonic throwback to Prohibition-era swing that sounds startling fresh today. A duo since 2010, Jeff ("Victor") Freling and Erin ("Penny") McGrane tour relentlessly and are a highly regarded live act in Kansas City and abroad. If you're new to their music, you're in for a treat. Enjoy our interview and their book, music and movie recommendations.
MacKenzie Reed's classical compositions are adventurous and dazzling, which isn't so surprising considering that she is also a dancer, juggler, church organist and writer, as well as a member of Kansas City's Moondrop Circus live band. A recent recipient of a Charlotte Street Studio Residency, Reed describes her music as "narrative-driven performance art which invites the audience to participate in a positive, communal experience." We are fortunate to welcome MacKenzie Reed to Listen Local.
Chico Sierra is an accomplished and multi-talented artist whose poems, visual art, photography and music emanate from a desire for, as he puts it, "an open connection between the audience and myself." His music connects elements from acoustic folk and blues with spoken word poetry. We are grateful to share an exclusive interview with and recommendations from the artist himself.
Inspired by gaming culture, MineCraft and pop music in general, Olathe, Kansas-based Bobby Yarsulik's music is fun and adventuresome. The sounds are built around playful computer-based and acoustic instrumentation, with Yarsulik himself recording and playing every instrument himself. It's a pleasure to share his music and an exclusive interview on Listen Local.
The music of Ceddrick Newsome, aka Cedd the Light, reflects his many loves: of Kansas City, of life, and of music itself. A songwriter since the age of sixteen, Cedd's musical connection with Kansas City runs deep and he performs often in and around the city. We are fortunate to share an interview with the artist himself and introduce you to his music and book recommendations. Enjoy!
Describing their music as "new wave and surf with just enough garage," Electric Orchids' approach to creativity is collaborative and DIY, recording their beguiling new album, Plastic Heart, in the house of the group's two married members, guitarist Matt Mitchell and keyboardist and vocalist Valorie Engholm. We are fortunate to bring you an interview with the entire band (which also includes Chris Hutchings on bass and Hughes Pope on drums), in addition to their book, music and movie recommendations.
Shawnee, Kansas-based hip-hop artist Brotha Newz "The Ustadh"is David Muhammad, whose reach as an artist extends into everything he does, including teaching high school social studies at Shawnee Mission East and the martial arts (as a 5th Degree Black Belt). He describes his recently released "Construction Paper" EP as a "build up" to an upcoming album based on theHunger Games trilogy.
The music of Yes You Are is uplifting, melodic and danceable -- and definitely one of Kansas City's very best alternative pop bands. Fans of lead singer Kianna Alarid's previous band Tilly and the Wall will find much to like in Yes You Are's expansive choruses, positive energy and imaginative production.
The music of Carswell and Hope is a masterclass in classic chamber pop. Lovingly orchestrated and produced, with an emphasis on hushed melodies and inventive arrangements that recall everything from Wilco in their quieter moments to 1970s influences like Todd Rundgren and even Pink Floyd at their most pastoral, Carswell and Hope are cultivators of the timeless sounds of pop.