Listen Local

Electric Orchids
Oct 24, 2016

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.

Brotha Newz the Ustadh
Oct 13, 2016

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.

Yes You Are
Oct 7, 2016

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.

Carswell and Hope
Sep 29, 2016

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.

Kalo Hoyle
Sep 22, 2016

Kalo Hoyle's music both deeply personal and wildly ambitious. His work with KC's premier post-rock band Riala is itself noteworthy but Hoyle is also a prolific classical composer, visual artist and collaborator on musical theatre and dance productions. His most recent work is "To Some Transparent End: A Ballet on a Bus". For this interview Kalo Hoyle discusses how he makes time to be creative, his inspirations and book, music and movie recommendations.

Kristie Stremel
Sep 15, 2016

Kristie Stremel has put out so much great music over the past twenty both as a respected solo artist and as a member of bands Frogpond and Exit 159. A Kansas City native currently living in Lawrence, Stremel's most recent song, "Orlando (Keep Dancing)", is a moving tribute to the lives lost and survivors of the mass shootings there in June. Stremel was kind enough to share some insights into her art and other current projects.

Chin Ting (Patrick) Chan
Sep 8, 2016

The music of Chin Ting (Patrick) Chan is as sonically adventurous and ambitious as it is visual and captivating. After five years composing, studying and teaching in Kansas City, Chan very recently left the area to teach at Ball State University in Indiana. In this interview, Chan illuminates his creative process, how he approaches the many different aspects of music composition he works in and what he appreciates the most about his time in KC.

Patrick Alonzo Conway
Aug 30, 2016

A master instrumentalist and composer whose musical reach extends far beyond his home of Kansas City, Patrick Alonzo Conway is one busy man. Currently the director of the KC-based Balinese Gamelan Semaradana community ensemble Gamelan Gentra Kasturi, Conway has also for decades been involved in many different projects as composer and/or performer with a focus on creating a fusion of music from Western, Asian and African elements. We are honored to share an interview with Patrick Alonzo Conway on Listen Local.

Isaac Barkley
Aug 22, 2016

We are excited share a new interview with Kansas City-area songwriter and composer Isaac Barkley. Isaac was the very first artist we featured on Listen Local back in January, 2015, and now has the honor of being our 100th. For this interview we catch up on what Isaac's been up to and how his craft has evolved over the past year and a half.

Dillon Henry
Aug 15, 2016

Kansas City composer Dillon Henry's mix of traditional analog instrumentation, electronic, digital and ambient sound sources needs to be heard to be believed. Currently a doctoral student in Musicology at UMKC, Henry's range as a composer covers everything from straight-up classical to kaleidoscopic solo piano to indescribable musique ;concrète. It's a pleasure to share an interview with the artist about his pop-punk roots in high school, his flexible approach to composition and what makes Kansas City a great place for music.