Recommended Shows (3/28 - 4/3)

Thursday: Murder By Death @ The Granada

One of my favorite live bands of the past few years is back again in Thursday. After a couple of appearances at Middle Of The Map in KC this time the band will be in Lawrence at The Granada. Make sure you get there early for the opener, Tim Barry.

Saturday: Split Lip Rayfield @ The Bottleneck

If you've spent any time in Lawrence or KC in the past 20 years and haven't been to a Split Lip show, what the hell are you doing with your time? The band is a live force and are always a good time if you can catch their show.

The Dandy Warhols @ The Riot Room

Although I've never loved this band, I know fellow JoC staff member Chris is a big fan. The Dandy Warhols do seem too big for a venue the size of The Riot Room, so if you want to catch this show get tickets early.



I want to say that when Matt hired me back, I was not given the impression that we were to contribute over three posts a month...

WHEW!!! Was I wrong!  Mr. Schram came down on me hard. I was brought into the office at 8:00 am, and it was just...it was just brutal. But, a well-deserved critique on my shortcomings as a writer AND a husband, apparently. I don't know how the meeting went with Witmer, but let's assume it was worse?

So, to half-ass the quota that's been assigned to me, I'm going to rip off a video Matt sent me and critique it. This will be followed in the next few days with the next "What the F##% is Wrong with You?".

The Video

Chicago "Look Away"

As a caveat to this post, I do not like Chicago- when I was 12 in 1988 they made me reminded me of my parents. That was where they were at on the cool spectrum to me in the music world.  I don't think that would change my analysis of this music video, but I wanted to point that out.

This video is so 80s it's like watching a scene from "American Psycho", where this is playing in the background. It's a spoof video made two years ago by Adam McKay, or an introductory skit on Jimmy Fallon to introduce Kevin Bacon or Josh Brolin. It's  too 80s to be 80s, but it was actually made in the 80s. And clearly, the director was an assistant DP on "Working Girl" or "Mannequin".

I also am assuming he went on to develop the story for "Pretty Woman".

Based on the lyrics, lame Don Johnson has been dumped by a lingerie model at the same time lingerie Model #2 dumps her sugar daddy CEO/mafia stereotype. They yell and scream at both of them, and Victoria's Secret #3 loses her haberdashery boxes,which leads straight to #4 blowing up a goddamn limo (I shall call her Patricia Bateman). #3 meets up with #5 to throw a watch away and spy on #6, and #7 carries flowers on a street and is them embarrassed when the wind catches her coat and reveals her garter, even though she was wearing only underwear the whole time. There's a 10-second clip of the band, which is the only time they appear in the video because this is art and it's not about the band. God, in 1988 they looked older than my dad. #8 walks in an elevator with a swimsuit on and then puts on power blazer, so  everything is fine

The Lame DJ is sad again, probably due to his 30 lb. rotary phone messing with his shoulder, and the video ends.

That would have been the pitch the director through the label, to which they did a line of coke off  #5's back and said "Let's do it!" and it probably cost $20,000 to make. God, the 80s  were so stupid. Wasn't this song about just a breakup? And just moving on? Instead the video is a sexist women's liberation statement about being yourself and not being defined by men as long as you;re also dressed in a fashion that would get you arrested today if you weren't performing on a stage.

This is why wishing you were in the 80s- assuming you're 50- makes you pathetic, misogynistic asshole. Or you're someone who actually is glad Fuller House exists for any reason other hate-watching.

To cleanse your eyes and remind you that the 1980s video scene should only be mocked, here's Robin Sparkles:

Please provide any suggestions of a quality 80s video that stands up to the test of time and taste...

See you in a few days. Go to Middle of the Map if you're in the KC area!



New Music: Parker Millsap

It took me all of two tracks into Parker Millsap's self-titled album to know I was going to be a huge fan. A friend recommended him to me a few weeks back and since then I've been basically obsessed. Hailing from Oklahoma, Parker is in his 20's but seems much older based off his voice and songwriting prowess.

He already has two albums under his belt and is readying the third, The Very Last Day, for a March 25th release. One of the tracks from The Very Last Day, 'Heaven Sent', has already been featured on NPR's "Songs We Love" and is about a young, gay man coming out to his preacher father. It's a really powerful song and hopefully is a good indication as to how great this new album will be.

You can pre-order the new album from his website and check out tour dates there as well. He's not currently coming to KC but if that changes, we'll let you know.

Check out the video for his single, 'Truck Stop Gospel', off his self-titled album below.



Recommended Shows (3/4 - 3/10)

Saturday: Kacey Musgraves @ The Midland

I can't remember a time in Country music where more artists are commercially and critical viable than right now. Kacey Musgraves is the perfect example of someone who is embraced by country fans and general music fans alike. Count me in as someone who's enjoyed her last couple of albums.

Saturday: Lee Fields & The Expressions @ The Granada

Also on Saturday in Lawrence is legendary soul artist Lee Fields. He's been recording music for decades, but his recent albums with The Expressions has brought him new mainstream attention. He puts on a great live show that's well worth the trip to Lawrence.

Thursday: Titus Andronicus / Craig Finn @ The Bottleneck

In Lawrence next week is a fantastic double bill featuring New Jersey's Titus Andronicus. Opening the show is Craig Finn who is better known as the frontman for The Hold Steady. Both bands on the bill have tremendous energy in their live shows so this should be a really good time.


Middle Of The Map Festival Announces 2016 Lineup

I've said this many times now, but the Middle Of The Map Festival is without a doubt one of my favorite weekends of the year. They announced the lineup this week and once again it shows what a force this festival has become for Kansas City.

Highlights for me include Aimee Mann, Vince Staples, Charles Bradley, The Besnard Lakes, Your Friend, Shy Boys, Berwanger and The Grisly Hand. However, spending the weeks leading up to the festival discovering new bands to check out is one of my favorite parts of the fest. Even if you haven't heard of a single band on the lineup, if you love music buy a ticket and I guarantee you'll have a blast.