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Album review: The Great Vehicle - The People's Cathedral of Wavelengths (EP)

Described as “a guided tour of performance, technical, and philosophical minutiae,” The Great Vehicle’s The People’s Cathedral of Wavelengths journeys down an experimental and rock-infused path to deliver a fresh sound that help gives the “progressive” genre a good reputation.

The People’s Cathedral of Wavelengths opens abruptly with “Bald Chemist,” a track that sets the dynamic and progressive tone for the rest ofthe EP. A guitar solo about two-thirds of the way in provides a throwback feeling reminiscent of early/mid-’90s rock, but in the best way possible. “Touched in the Head,” a proclaimed “disparate mismatched junk glued together with industrial-strength adhesive—in the best way possible,” builds upon itself with ascending and descending scales and an introductory riff that supposedly has been in the works for years. “Swan Meat (Slight Reduction)” closes out the EP on a strong note. Though there is an overarching heavy guitar sound throughout all of The People’s Cathedral of Wavelengths, the song has a contagious tempo and beat that makes it the most catchy track of them all. Strong percussion coupled with some random hollering from “an unknown preacher from an unknown cable channel” that the band tossed into the mix make “Swan Meat” a favorite on the EP.
It can be a rare case to find progressive rock songs that are less than 10 minutes long and actually “progress” from start to finish. The Great Vehicle does a great job at keeping listeners’ attention in their tracks and giving them a beat to dance to.
The Great Vehicle is composed of Mason Fann, bass; Gregg Todt, drums; and Troy Van Horn, guitar. The People’s Cathedral of Wavelengths is the band’s first EP, released January 22 and recorded at Sandusky Sound Co by Erik Voeks. The six-track EP can be purchased and downloaded at Bandcamp. Also on this site, the band gives fan some added insight by sharing the backstories to all the songs. 
--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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The Deli's Emerging Kansas City Artist of 2012: #1 - Radkey

What do you get when three teenage boys decide to start making music together? Well, you usually aren’t lucky enough to get anything like Radkey. Fortunately, the Kansas City music scene is. The three brothers—Dee (19), Isaiah (17), and Solomon Radke (15)—hail from St. Joseph and have been creating music catchy enough to be received by a broad audience and heavy enough to be affirmed by more experienced rockers and punkers alike. Though the brothers have only been playing music for 3 years, they portray a mastery of their instruments and a deep understanding of their influences, which include bands like The Misfits, The Ramones, Bad Brains, and Jimi Hendrix.

Radkey has found an unbelievable amount of success in its short amount of time as a band: the trio has performed at the Afro-Punk Festival in Brooklyn (also including the likes of Erykah Badu and Reggie Watts), recorded a video at the Wreck Room in Brooklyn (founded by Adrian Grenier of HBO’s Entourage), and will be performing an official showcase at SXSW in March, as well as others (including Kansas City’s MidCoast Takeover showcase). Congratulations to Radkey for being The Deli’s Emerging Kansas City Artist of 2012!
Radkey is:
Dee Radke – vocals, guitar
Isaiah Radke – bass, vocals
Solomon Radke – drums
Check out Radkey’s Daytrotter session, which was just released today!
Radkey has a number of performances coming up, the next of which is tomorrow, Thursday, January 31, at Eighth St. Taproom in Lawrence, with Bloodbirds and Ponyboy (the band will be recording a music video at this event). The boys will also appear at The Riot Room this Sunday, February 3, with The Growlers and UZIS. Radkey will release a 7” on Friday, March 1 at Replay Lounge with Stiff Middle Fingers. If you’re in Austin in March, the trio will be playing an official SXSW showcase as well as others (including MidCoast Takeover at Shangri-La).
(Photos by Todd Zimmer)
--Michelle Bacon 


On The Beat with Liam Sumnicht

(Photo by Jodie Platz Photography) 

From promoting local music by presenting it on the radio or pounding on a kit on stage, Liam Sumnicht is a loud proponent of the Kansas City music scene. His band Not A Planet is getting its name known in the area with an album release in the next month, and is playing one of the MidCoast Takeover fundraisers this weekend. To find out more about Liam, catch the beat right here!
--Michelle Bacon
On The Beat is an exclusive feature from The Deli Magazine-Kansas City that showcases many of the talented drummers in the Kansas City area. 

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On The Beat with Liam Sumnicht
An important part of the Kansas City music scene, Liam Sumnicht supports the community as drummer for rock band Not A Planet and as co-host of a radio show devoted to presenting local talent. We catch up with Liam and learn a bit more about the man behind the scenes.

The Deli
: How did the drums find you?
Liam SumnichtMy parents swear that when I was in the womb, my dad would tap a specific beat on my mom's stomach, and I would tap it back exactly as he had. Aside from that and banging pots and pans as a child (bless my mother for her patience), I started drum lessons in elementary school, right before I was old enough to join the school band. My teachers had me develop my hands for 2 to 3 years before I moved to the kit.
The Deli: Other instruments?
LS: Nothing major. My stepbrother was in a metal band that was touring stadiums in the '80s, and he let me make noise on his guitars at a young age. My mom played the harp for a living as I grew up, and felt music was an important part of life. Between maybe, 5 and 10 years old, she taught me some very elementary things on the harp and the recorder, as well as how to sing rounds and carry a tune. My family instilled a cool and diverse groundwork for me, which I'm thankful for.
The Deli: What type of kit(s) do you use?
LS: I play and endorse C&C Custom Drums. My kit has a green sparkle stripe on white background, with white powder coated rims. It looks nice, but more importantly, it sounds great. I have a lot of pride for the company: their quality in new vintage drums, and the waves they are making for our town. It can be a challenge for a business to represent KC nationally or globally. But when my band hits the road to a coast, no matter where we go, it seems like every drummer I run into that sees my kit tells me everything they know about C&C, and how they are planning to get theirs designed when they get one. It's an integral piece of my KC pride.
The Deli: Biggest influences?
LSMy goal is to play drums to the song. Musicians I've played with have influenced how I play, and drum teachers and producers have taught me a whole stinkin' lot about doing it better. As far as national drummers (or national records with multiple drummers) that have left their mark: Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), John Pike (RIP) (Ra Ra Riot), John Bonham (Zeppelin), Worship and Tribute by Glassjaw, As Tall As Lions by As Tall As Lions.
The Deli: Tell us about some of the bands you’ve been in.
LSI started in high school with a band called Plain Wight. We were together for several years. That experience taught me a lot about how to be in band, write together, approach the business aspects, and work as a team. When that band's time came to an end, I didn't play with anyone for several months and it started to bug me. So I decided to fill in with as many groups as possible, in as many genres as possible. One of those was The Tambourine Club. That was fun. The main brain behind the project is Bryan Lamanno, and he writes this cool, indie, lo-fi garage rock. After a few months of playing all different styles, I needed one to call my own. Not long after, Not A Planet was formed.
The Deli: What is your approach to drumming? Has it evolved much since you started playing?
LS: In the beginning, I just wanted to hit hard, loud, and play as many things at once as possible. I still love playing hard and loud, but over time, I've grown to have an affection for the beauty of dynamics and negative space. I think the goal is and always was to make things big. It's just the approach that changes, and learning more about how to do it better.
The Deli: Okay, let’s say you get to pick a group of KC/Lawrence drummers to make a drum circle with. Who would they be?
LS: You're telling me I get to pick a bunch of drummers to play with? Let's do eight: all kit players, and all with different backgrounds.
Billy Johnson (Shots Fired, many more) to bring the heavy hitting
Josh Enyart (Jorge Arana Trio, Various Blonde) to bring the syncopation
Lennon Bone (Ha Ha Tonka) to bring the dynamics
Aaron Crawford (Flee The Seen, Beautiful Bodies) to bring the speed
Thomas Becker (guitarist, Beautiful Bodies) to bring the party
The Ryantist (Antennas Up) to bring the funkiness
Tim Cote (Me Like Bees) to bring the creativity.
I can't imagine what a challenge it would be to keep eight set players of different in the pocket together, but that'd part of the fun.
The Deli: You’re not only a drummer; you co-host Homegrown Buzz on 96.5 on Sunday nights. Tell us a little bit about that and who some of your favorite KC bands are.
LS: A little over four years ago, I started going to a lot of shows, and the talent in the area was glaringly obvious. But, for whatever reason, labels tend to avoid Kansas City. And as the curse of the local band tends to go, if the record label doesn't care, most townspeople don't care. That was frustrating for me, and I wanted to share my excitement for the talent here. So, I stumbled my way onto Homegrown about three-and-a-half years ago, and I’ve been able to share a little love for some of the great area bands ever since. I've got a lot of favorites in many genres, but I've been on a folky/indie, "quiet" kick recently. The bands I'll list here either do that exclusively, or have bits and pieces of it. They are all amazing. Eyelit, The Blackbird Revue, Me Like Bees, Towers, O, Giant Man, Cowboy Indian Bear, and Quiet Corral.
Sumnicht will join his band Not A Planet on Saturday, February 16 for the fourth MidCoast Takeover fundraiser at The Brick. The group will be playing at 12:30, along with Rev Gusto, Cherokee Rock Rifle, and David Hasselhoff on Acid. Facebook event page here. You can also catch him on Homegrown Buzz on Sundays at 8 pm on 96.5 The Buzz. Not A Planet was also one of over 40 KC artists selected to play the 2013 MidCoast Takeover showcase at SXSW from March 13-16 at Shangri-La in Austin, Texas.
The Deli: What other plans do you have for the bands this year?
LS: We just finished tracking our debut full-length record. This is a proud moment for us. We recorded at Black Lodge, fearlessly led by the charming and talented producer, Michael Stout. It's a concept record involving the seven stages of grief, life, death, and reincarnation, and will release in March. Also in March, I'm thrilled to say that we are headed to SXSW to play Midwest Music Foundation’s Midcoast Takeover showcase. What a great thing to be a part of. The work that MMF does for our scene is another piece of my KC pride. And in the coming months, we'll be back out on the road, in our dingy, trusty van, Gertrude, spreading the word of the new record, one city at a time.
--Michelle Bacon 
Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She plays with Deco AutoDrew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. She just finished eating jalapeno bourbon bacon from Local Pig, but is not a cannibal.
Liam Sumnicht
Photo by Todd Zimmer
Not A Planet
 Photo by Todd Zimmer


Album review: The Lucky - The Lucky (EP)

The Lucky does not waste anyone’s time getting into the nitty-gritty of its self-titled EP. A four-count of fast, punky guitars drives you straight into the opening track, whimsically titled “Lalalalike You,” a cute little diddy about—not love—simply lalalaliking someone. Lead primarily by the vocal work of Jason McKee, his female counterpart Camilla Camille, chimes in every now and then to boost the anthem into a high-speed duet.

“Lalalalike You” is promptly followed up with “Owl & Me.” This song slows things down a bit… but only a bit. Camille’s sensual, breathy vocals on the verses transmute into a full-blown rocker-chick sound for the chorus. “Can’t Shake You” is next. Again, Camille voices this song. It’s equally as charming as the first song. With a chorus of “la la la’s,” the song quickly anchors itself into that part of the brain where songs tend to get stuck.
The final track, “Mad One,” brings up the lively grungy guitars every loves (to some degree). A classy guitar solo spins the song into something that can easily be taken as a single. This song is easily a depiction of what The Lucky is all about.
I have yet to mention drummer Jonathan Thatch’s work on these tracks. The drum work is as simple as you’d want it to be—consistent throughout the entire four-track EP. Executed flawlessly to maintain the powerful punk sounds of the songs, the drums add a powerful element.
If you’re not listening for it, you won’t miss the bass riffs. The band is simply a three-piece, omitting the bass. The guitar work keeps the listener at full attention. The album sounds ultimately lo-fi, in terms of recording quality. But you wouldn’t want to listen to The Lucky any other way. The fast-paced rock ‘n roll songs are boosted with a lo-fi sound, making it seem as though The Lucky is performing right in front of you, at a bar or in your garage; a more intimate sound for the band.
The Lucky’s self-titled album was recorded by Paul Malinowski at Massive Sound and mastered by Duane Trower at Weights and Measures Soundlab.
The Lucky will release its debut EP tomorrow night, Friday, February 15, at recordBar. The Lover’s Rock show begins at 10:00 pm with The Heavy Figs, followed by The Lucky, and rounded out by Schwervon!. Tickets are available at the door or purchase here for $7.

--Steven Ervay

Steven is the intern of Midwest Music Foundation and The Deli - Kansas City. He can't go to 21+ shows yet and that bums him out.  

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