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The Deli KC

Album review: Cherokee.Rock.Rifle - Ta-Li

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
There are just not enough synonyms for blistering or scalding in the thesaurus to fully describe the sonic cock punch known as Cherokee.Rock.Rifle. Beloved by many for a bursting and no-holds-barred live show—described by the band as “a high energy show leaving you with the feeling of having been gently trampled by a herd of sonic buffalo somewhere in the untamed plains”—Cherokee.Rock.Rifle has somehow managed to adequately capture their scorching volcanic eruption on Ta-Li, a six-song EP released in April 2013.
This is your older brother’s dirty, unapologetically STD-laced riff rock still rolling after a weekend bender on the good shit, the stuff that even Lemmy would think is too strong. The guitars hit harder than any of that indie crap you’re SOOOOO into right now. The rhythm section of Brett Southard and EvanJohn Mcintosh somehow stakes the burgeoning cavalcade of guitars to the ground. Singer/wailer/screamer/guttural-hellfire-screecher Dutch Humphrey bends your ears over like a skanky White House intern.
If you know much of Cherokee, the lead track “Loose Talk/Noose Talk” seems almost like a joke at first. Slide guitar, a barely distorted, almost cowboy sound, rim shots? However, fear not troopers, as after a few minutes of slow and careful dynamic build all is put back in its rightful place with a trademark Cherokee ground-zero detonation of rock ‘n roll around the four-minute mark.
The other five tracks are much more straightforward outbursts of angst and grit. Doug Nelson, Scott Reed, Southard, and Mcintosh keep the blazing wildfire formula just varied and interesting enough to make you want to strap the gimp mask on and take another round of the switch. Humphrey continually shreds his vocal cords apart with slivers of glass and flaming sandpaper to pound the stories home. “Burn” stands out as the single of the bunch, but it would probably kick my ass for saying that.

The music Cherokee.Rock.Rifle presents on Ta-Li is not fancy. It’s not overly clever or new. But it will run your Prius off the road, pull you out of the driver’s seat and unmercifully thrash your skinny ass to a pulp before peeling out in a 1978 Mustang with a “My Kid Knocked Up Your Honor Roll Student” bumper sticker. And to think, their live show is even better.

You can bear witness to Cherokee.Rock.Rifle’s live show tomorrow night, September 5 at The Riot Room. The band will be partying with Coward (Columbia) and Austin’s Not In The Face!. Show starts at 9 p.m. with Coward. Facebook event page. You can also catch them at Crossroads Music Fest next Saturday, September 14 at The Brick. They will be the last act of the fest, playing at 1:30. You can buy tickets in advance at this link for $15, $20 at the gate.

--Zach Hodson

Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until "Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings" begins production.

He is also in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black & Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects.


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Album review: Molly Picture Club - I'm My Own Time Machine (EP)

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
Molly Picture Club’s third release, I’m My Own Time Machine, answers the prayers of wallflowers around the region. Finally, dance music for non-dancers. The tracks on Time Machine are so full of rhythm and fun beats that it doesn’t matter if you have two left feet or a Ph.D in jazz hands. No matter what varying level of awkwardness that will ensue, you will dance to this album, and you will like it.
And the movement won’t take long. For example, within the first 30 seconds of “Disconnected” your toes will start to tap and, as the song progresses, the rest of your limbs will join the party. And so on and so forth with the rest of the tracks.
“Dark disco,” as the band has coined their sound, is a blend of synthesizers, afrobeats, and ‘80s/’90s punk influences. That said, unlike the typical loosey-goosey disconnectedness of disco or other dance music, Molly Picture Club’s tempo and beats almost seem mathematical. Everything they produce sounds intentional and planned; they don’t miss a beat, which is especially apparent in the fifth track on the EP, “We Live Underground.”
Molly Picture Club is one of those bands whose “sounds like” list is distinct and obvious, as their music carries clarity and transparency. And though the group’s sound parallels that of The Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, and maybe even Animal Collective, it’s as if they take the best elements and characteristics of those groups and set out to carve a unique niche for themselves.
Molly Picture Club is:
Michael Tipton: vocals, guitar
Aniko Adany: vocals, synth
Matthew Hayden: percussion

I’m My Own Time Machine was recorded at Weights & Measures Soundlab by Duane Trower and Southland Studios by Matthew Hayden. It was mixed and mastered by Trower.


Make it a point to catch this infectiously dancey synth pop group live this Sunday, September 1, at The Riot Room, as it will be their final performance. The show kicks off at 8 pm with Molly Picture Club—who will be a five-piece group for the evening—followed by GRMLN and Geographer. Molly Picture Club will joined on stage by Andy Kirk on bass and keys, and Justin Skinner on percussion and samples. Facebook event page.

--Alex Peak

Alex Peak is a magazine designer by day and a music listener by night. To her, stumbling across great new music is even better than finding a $10 bill floating around in the laundry.

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August 2013
Tiny Horse
"Darkly Sparkly (EP)
One horse. Very small. Packs a wallop.
Chris Meck and Abigail Henderson have given way more than their lion’s share to the Kansas City music scene. Whether through past efforts like The Gaslights or Atlantic Fadeout or being some of the driving forces behind the Midwest Music Foundation, Apocalypse Meow, and MidCoast Takeover, they should receive the deep admiration of anyone that sets foot on a stage in this town. Their latest musical endeavor, Tiny Horse, is no exception. Darkly Sparkly is a gorgeous collection of songs.
In the simplest of descriptions, the duo plays dark Americana. Ticklers of atmospheric instrumentation, provided by Meck, gambol upon the background, occasionally throwing the ball over the fence to take the melody reins or mingle with Henderson’s haunting vocals, but are quick to slink back to further delighting the sonic landscape.
But as everyone’s mother will tell you, life is not simple. Tiny Horse is the unfortunate poster band for this sentiment. You probably know the back story, but in case not, here is a link to an article from late 2012 by Timothy Finn over at The Kansas City Star that paints the picture.
Especially in that light, there are next to no words I can come up with to adequately describe the impact provided by the vocal performance. Henderson is able to speak from a place that few of us have ever been and she seemingly welcomes the opportunity to embrace these experiences and provide the listener with a small bathroom window into what it all has come to mean for her. Her voice is so beautifully imperfect—an ideal combination of coying, sweet and sassy as worked upon by the old rusty wood rasp from your grandfather’s tool shed.
Her lyrics say it best:
(reviewer’s note: these are the best transcriptions these old damaged musician ears can figure out)
From “Ride”:
“There’s no one left to ask, pictures of the past just sit in boxes underneath the bed
Money’s just a noose, the old excuse that fooled you into what you did instead.
Ride with me tonight. Let’s remember what it means to chase a little something.”
From “Ghost”:
“Why do you need me? Why do you want me? Cause I’m not done here. Leave me alone.
Take your old songs. Take your old singers. Leave me to write. The only world I’ve known.”
From “Nashville Parthenon”:
“It’s been so dark since you left Nashville. I’ve read the same books again and again.
Makes me wish I wasn’t bashful when it comes to other men.
But if I could have my way, darling, you’d come home.”
“Softly We Fall” is a tender ballad reminiscent of the final song of a junior high school barn dance somewhere in dusty West Texas circa 1958. Meck doesn’t offer his voice up too often on these tracks, but they are used to great effectiveness here. His mimicking vocals follow along on the chorus, “Softly we fall into each other’s arms. It was your fault when we kissed,” further adding to the nostalgic remembrances of adolescent courting. His guitar works also particularly stands out on this track, beautifully crafted and culminating with a simple yet scathing solo to carry the song home.

All in all, the music presented by Tiny Horse is just simply triumphant, the work of carefully seasoned (and hardened) musicians, also including multi-instrumentalist Cody Wyoming, bassist Zach Phillips, and drummer Matt Richey. It is sorrow meant to be remembered, celebrated, and enjoyed. The EP’s title, Darkly Sparkly, seems most appropriate. The KC music scene would be a much darker and less sparkly place without the efforts of Meck and Henderson.

--Zach Hodson 

In Memoriam: Abigail Henderson, 1977-2013

(Photos by Todd Zimmer)

Music is an art. It’s something that needs to be tended, and the people who make it need to be cared for… The currency to building a city is investing in its artists.” —Abigail Henderson

The Kansas City music community has suffered an irreplaceable loss today with the passing of Abigail Henderson, who fought a long, courageous battle with cancer. With her husband Chris Meck, Abby co-founded Midwest Music Foundation when she was diagnosed in 2008, with the goal of providing health care assistance to musicians. Since then, MMF has given a number of grants to musicians with health emergencies. Apocalypse Meow, which began as a benefit for Abby, now benefits the musicians' emergency health care fund and will reach its sixth year in November.
With the conviction that musical talent from the Midwest rivaled that of anywhere else in the nation, she also helped create MidCoast Takeover, a regional music showcase at SXSW that reached its fourth and most successful year this past spring. The Deli named MidCoast one of the best unofficial showcases of 2012, and approached MMF to head up a Kansas City chapter. Thus, The Deli Magazine—Kansas City was born and thrives with Abby's goals in mind: to promote local music, foster talent, and provide a sense of community and inclusion among those who have a hand in KC music.
Abby was also frontwoman and songwriter of Tiny Horse, which began as a duo with Chris Meck and was eventually realized as five-piece band (link to video below). She was also in notable bands including Atlantic FadeoutThe Gaslights, and Trouble Junction.
I had the distinct honor and pleasure of interviewing Abby for The Deli KC last fall in preparation for Apocalypse Meow 5. If you want to know more about this amazing woman and read her words (because mine simply cannot do them justice), please click this link. And as a fellow musician/MMF staffer/friend, I want to personally thank Abby for her steadfast spirit, support, inspiration, beautiful stories and songs, friendship, and the wonderful people she's helped bring together as a result of all those things. And I'm certain that I'm one of a multitude of individuals that share this sentiment.
To commemorate Abby, please take a moment to find out more about MMF and its mission by clicking on the image below. Donations are always appreciated and will continue to benefit the musicians' emergency health care fund.

Thank you, Abby, for the effect you've had and will continue to have on the music community here. Kansas City has undeniably become a brighter, more vibrant place with you in it.

Tiny Horse "Ride" from Jetpack Pictures on Vimeo.


--Michelle Bacon

Album review: David Hasselhoff on Acid - Eudaimonia

The name David Hasselhoff on Acid grabs you. Unless you are from Germany, where he’s considered a rock god, David Hasselhoff is the dude that ran down the beach to judge “talented” people while sitting in his talking car drunkenly eating a cheeseburger off the floor mats. Wait, I got some shows mixed up there. Oh well.
The latest from the KC band David Hasselhoff on Acid Eudaimonia is a trip—a rapid-fire jazz-rock fire fight, blasting out of the blocks with “Breakfast,” a jam that must be of supernatural origin. It comes on like something The Sword would do if they spent quality hang time with Frank Zappa and Yes while expanding their imaginations to impressive heights.
Therein lies the rub. I sit listening, eating a burnt English muffin, lounging in flannel pants, needing desperately to shave. I love this record. What has happened to me? Historically, I am not a fan of long, self-important, drawn-out, seemingly improvised jams. I hate Phish, The Dead was overrated, I detest Widespread Panic, and Dave Matthews is the Antichrist.
I grew up listening to punk rock where if you could not get it done in three minutes or less, do not play it. On occasion, if the mood struck me, I would indulge a bit in progressive rock, but those times were as rare as seeing Bigfoot at a keg party.
However, DHOA has struck me differently; there is method to the madness, melody in the chaos—not just “look-what-I-can-do!” wankery. There is beauty lying in the eye of the storm.
“Tiny Bubbles” is an 8 minute, 8 second extravaganza that plays like a threesome between Primus, Metallica, and Carlos Santana. It just should not work in this or any other universe, but it does. However, it does push the limits of my ADD, so if you have similar issues, double up on the Adderall before pushing play.
“Someone Just Caught a Unicorn” is just plain cool. An interstellar trip on par with ‘70s tripout artists Captain Beyond, this is one of the most spaced-out tracks on Eudaimonia—Adrian Belew and Syd Barrett would be so very proud. Although, at over thirteen minutes, even the most dedicated Dungeons & Dragons player would reach their limit. Immediately following is “Noodly Appendages,” the 3:36 jam with Zach Legler doing his best Gene Krupa/Buddy Rich drum fill attack, bassist Erich Thomas blowing the funk out and guitarists Phil Wolf and Brandon Bamesberger alternating between subtlety and rocket blasts. This is a real gem among gems.
The closer “Sheep Led By Wolves Owned by Pigs” is straight-up weird; at times, creepy. DHOA is clearly the Mothership for some of the best musicians I’ve ever heard. Ever. Period. The players make their instruments do things that a precious few could or can do. KC, you should be glowing with city pride to have these prog champions in your borders. That said, my friends, be in the right headspace for Eudaimonia; wait until you are sufficiently lubricated to get sucked in, to get lost. Do not get in a hurry, enjoy it, and let it get under your skin, to take you away, as any good acid trip should.
Eudaimonia was recorded at Level Select Productions in Lee's Summit, and produced, mixed, and mastered by guitarist Brandon Bamesberger. It was engineered by the band: Phil Wolf, Zach Legler, Erich Thomas, and Brandon Bamesberger.

Physical copies of Eudaimonia will be released on Friday, September 6, at The Riot Room. The inside stage show kicks off at 9 with Opossum Trot, then Instant Empire (Denver), Janet the Planet, and DHOA. The patio starts at 8 with See the Elephant, Conflicts, and then TroglodyteFacebook event page. Also, check out their Kickstarter page and help them print off CDs at the link here. Only four days left!

--Danny R. Phillips

Danny R. Phillips has been reporting on music of all types and covering the St. Joseph, MO music scene for well over a decade. He is a regular contributor to the nationally circulated BLURT Magazine and his work has appeared in The Pitch, The Omaha Reader, Missouri Life, The Regular Joe, Skyscraper Magazine, Popshifter, Hybrid Magazine, the websites Vocals on Top and Tuning Fork TV, Perfect Sound Forever, The Fader, and many others

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