Listen Local

Ed Frazier Davis
Jan 18, 2017

Ed Frazier Davis is an accomplished Kansas City composer, bass-baritone singer and conductor (among other pursuits) whose work has been commissioned and performed locally and internationally. His range of musical styles is staggering, covering everything from solo piano to choral, orchestral work and electroacoustic work. Currently the Composer-in-Residence for the William Baker Festival Singers, Davis's influences are all over the map, citing Stravinsky, Sweet Honey in the Rock and Iron Maiden as a few of his favorites. Davis was kind enough to share his thoughts on being a composer and performer in Kansas City and his eclectic list of book and music recommendations.

The UKs
Jan 11, 2017

Combining the best of Nuggets-era garage rock with a no-nonsense hard rocking energy reminiscent of The White Stripes, The UK's are one of Kansas City's most exciting bands. Comprised of Noah Bartelt (vocals and guitar), Scott Combs (guitar), Nick Brown (bass), and Tarquin Eugene Kellough (drums), the band are hot off the release of their excellent debut album Bad Seed. We are thrilled to share an interview with Noah and Scott in which they address the making of Bad Seed, their songwriting process and their numerous charity efforts.

Aaron Hill
Jan 5, 2017

Aaron S. Hill is an emerging classical composer and male soprano currently studying composition at UMKC's Conservatory of Music and Dance. His work, which includes a symphony, string quartets, a one-act opera and works for tuba, piano and voice, has been performed locally and internationally, most recently at the Zodiac Academy and Festival in Valdeblore, France. We are thrilled to share an interview with Aaron, as well as his book, music and movie recommendations.

Emmaline Twist
Dec 29, 2016

While Emmaline Twist is technically a new band, each of its four members is in some way a veteran of Kansas City music. Their combined powers are on full display in Emmaline Twist, a sonic amalgam of so many right elements: shoegaze, post-punk and atmospheric dance rock, for starters. While the band began only a year ago, 2016 saw the release of two songs, "Vega" and "Moon Eyes", that will make anyone eager for a full-length. We are thrilled to share an interview with Emmaline Twist's baritone guitarist, Krysztof Nemeth.

Wade D. Brown
Dec 22, 2016

The music of Wade D. Brown recalls both the prewar blues sounds of Skip James and Charley Patton and the more modern voices of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. His recently released EP of rough-hewn blues and folk, The Basement Demos, is Brown's first recorded collection of music, though he has been writing songs for two years.  We're excited to share an interview with Brown, along with his book and music recommendations.

Dec 15, 2016

Shaun Teemer aka Highwesthus is a highly creative rapper, illustrator, animator and director -- all facets of an artist with a distinctive style and ambitious vision. A 2012 graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, Highwesthus has since devoted himself to finding the best outlets for his art, whether it's co-founding Strange Paper Studio, an independent multimedia collective, or aligning himself with Shane Evans's Dream Studio LLC, or releasing the epic The Trilogy series of albums, the latest chapter of which was very recently released. We are proud to welcome Highwesthus to Listen Local.

Violent Bear
Dec 8, 2016

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.

Victor and Penny
Nov 29, 2016

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
Nov 21, 2016

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
Nov 14, 2016

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.