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Dream Wolf

Artists on Trial: Dream Wolf

Imagine being able to soar across the night sky, weaving your way in and out of celestial bodies and dodging meteors. Listening to Dream Wolf is sort of like that—a refreshing trip through the atmosphere, with the help of bright synth hooks, propelling guitar solos and layered vocals. This 5-piece outfit has found local success and looks ahead to releasing its self-titled debut album this weekend. Let's hear what they have to say.
The Deli: Gun to your head, 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?

Dream Wolf: Catchy, quirky, space rock… or a laser beam hitting a gong!
The Deli: Let’s talk about your debut full-length album. What can we expect?
DW: Synths, guitar solos, the mother of all vocal harmonies, arena rock disco jazz, and a story about a boy named Crook who was raised by wolves and falls in love with a girl named Baby and then flies to the moon.
The Deli: What does “supporting local music” mean to you?

DW: Seeing some shows, kissing hands, shaking babies, and sharing the stage! It’s a big musical world in Kansas City right now.
The Deli: Who are your favorite “local” musicians right now?

The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?

DW: Dirty Projectors, Dr. Dog, Sparks, Van Halen, Deerhoof.
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

DW: Dirty Projectors, Dream Wolf, Steel Panther.
The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
DW: On stage!! Recording studios get really smelly after a while.
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?

DW: Brent: Ginger, Posh, Baby, and Scary. Why? Because I never cared for sporty spice.

The Deli: All right, give us the rundown. Where all on this big crazy web can you be found?

The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?

DW: Take it seriously like it’s your job or something. Avoid the clap, eat a lot of fiber, and thanks for reading! Hope you like our music!
Dream Wolf is:
Megan Zander – lead vocals
Chris Tady – guitar
Tess Jehle – drums
Katelyn Boone – synth/keys
Brent Jamison – bass
Dream Wolf is throwing a big party at The Brick this Saturday, and you’re invited. The group will be celebrating the release of its first full-length album, along with The Ned Ludd Band and Molly Picture Club. If this show doesn’t get you dancing, nothing will. 
--Michelle Bacon
Michelle is editor of The Deli Magazine-Kansas City. She plays in Deco Auto, Drew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. She is really grumpy today and has nothing prolific to put here.

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New singles from Radkey, Umberto, The Clementines, Dream Wolf

(Photo above of Umberto at Replay Lounge, taken by Michael Byars)

Radkey - "N.I.G.G.A. (Not Okay)"

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding young rockers Radkey. The group's new single “N.I.G.G.A. (Not Okay)” is testament as to why that’s deserved. The song would fit very comfortably tucked away in a Misfits or Ramones playlist. Fuzzed-out guitars, a driving beat, and some impressively strong vocals make this rocker aggressive, while the infectious fist-pumping chorus allows for repeated listens.

--Travis Stull

Umberto - "The Investigation"

On its Facebook page, Umberto is listed as a four-piece electronic-rock band whose home base is Carson City, NV; recently Matt Hill took a solo turn behind the laptop as opener for Moon Duo at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence, KS. “The Investigation” starts off as homage to Nine Inch Nails with its slightly-slower “Closer” marching tempo, which gives way to the more ethereal sounds of bell-like keyboards and distant, tortured choirs about a third of the way through. The rest of the track includes 80s synthy effects given a modern heartbeat – overall, a hauntingly captivating effort.

--Michael Byars

The Clementines - "Bayou"

The Clementines have made strides since emerging as an acoustic duo in 2011. Since then, they’ve become a 4-piece, filling up a bluesy rock sound with a propelling rhythm section. "Bayou" begins with drummer Stephanie Williams’ consistent driving beat, and eventually is carried out by the soulful, blues-influenced voice of Nicole Springer.

--Michelle Bacon

Dream Wolf - "Astro Wolf"

"Astro Wolf" feels like a psychedelic excursion onto the moon. Galactic high-octave keyboards kick off and soar across the song. Elements of glam and prog rock enter in, gravitating the listener between a slow journey and a rapid ascent. A confident vocal delivery from Megan Zander and backup vocals from Katelyn Boone and Chris Tady only add to the song’s ecstatic, harmonious voyage through the cosmos.

--Michelle Bacon

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Album review: Dream Wolf - Learn To Survive (EP)

One of my pet peeves as a lover of all types of music is when you mention a band to someone and their immediate reaction is, "Oh yeah, those guys sound like…" I mean, I get it. Our culture is full of musical references. I, for one, don’t think it’s a bad thing. To be influenced by other people’s art is natural for an artist. Most of the music we grew up listening to was a direct descendent from something else; we just don’t know about it, so we think it’s “totally original.” No one on the planet can convince me they are playing something that isn’t derivative of something else. All that being said, I admire bands that wear their influences on their sleeves. Not to replicate it, but to push it along and give it new life in a new context. Dream Wolf’s three-song EP, Learn To Survive, does exactly that and does it well.

"Future Man" is a really the perfect opener for this set because it sums up the band’s idiosyncratic take on '70s prog-glam rock. Pushed along by Kansas-ish keyboard tones and some laser-focus guitar playing, the song sets the pace while spinning a Bowie-like lyrical yarn ("Circle now, around the Sun/What you’re seeing now, son, are things you don’t understand/But they will make you a man").

"All Time" starts off with an on-the-verge waltz feel, highlighted by chimes and terrific vocal work by Megan Zander and Katelyn Boone. Around 1:13, the song takes a veer into a shuffle hook, reminiscent of Meatloaf or Hedwig and The Angry Inch, before falling off into a quiet vocal round that builds back into a climax that should prove at least one member of Dream Wolf is related to Freddie Mercury.

Rounding out Learn to Survive is "The Water is Full of Lead," which invites us to join them in a swimming pool full of disease. However, it may be safer to stand around the pool and bask in the band’s ability to shift into more jazz-oriented playing styles, with a very nice piano solo to boot. Although stylistically these songs are obviously pure Dream Wolf, each one has an ability to spotlight the diversity of the band without losing track of what it is at the core.

I saw Dream Wolf play last fall and their live show was filled with thematic, over-the-top melodies and grooves that made me an instant fan. The expert musicianship of every member is evident on this recording as well as their exuberant imaginations that take the listener into strange situations. With another album coming up in the near future, this band will be one to watch as they reinvent their own versions of operatic rock and take it in new directions.

You can catch Dream Wolf tonight at Coda, headlining the show with guests Modern Arsonists and Sundiver. .

-Mike Tipton

Mike is a KC native that enjoys new music and playing with his band, Molly Picture Club. He also enjoys people watching and documentaries by Ken Burns.



On The Beat with Tess Jehle

We're proud to launch our very first weekly feature, On The Beat with Sergio Moreno! Our first interview features Tess Jehle, drummer for The B'Dinas and Dream Wolf. Catch the beat here at the link.

On The Beat is written by drummer Sergio Moreno (from Hillary Watts Riot and Alacartoona), and features some of the many talented drummers in the Kansas City area.



On The Beat with Tess Jehle


Tess Jehle's recipe for drumming delight is simple: a dash of metronome, a serving of fun, and a big-ol’ helping of listening. Whether listening to different styles and new music, or listening to bandmates and the audience, listening is the key ingredient. The result is Tess’s sublime combination of rhythms and textures with a tangy, yet delicately measured, zip. This St. Charles, MO native came to UMKC in 2005 and has been drumming – and listening – in the KC music scene for 3 years.

The Deli: Who are you playing with these days, and what makes them worthy of your skill?

Tess Jehle: I currently play in two bands. The B'Dinas, which I started with four of my friends at UMKC in 2009 and Dream Wolf, which I joined about a year and a half ago. After seeing them perform and really liking their music, I was lucky enough to be asked to join.

Honestly, I have the privilege of playing with some of the best musicians in Kansas City. I feel like I'm not worthy of them sometimes.

The Deli: Tell us about your process. How do you create your drum parts?

TJ: I definitely have a connection with my guitarists. I know there is supposed to be a bond between drummer and bassist, and don't get me wrong I love my bass players (Peter Lawless and Brent Jamison), but I really connect with my guitarists. I almost always use guitar riffs and melodies as the inspiration for my beats and drum parts. And I am fortunate enough to play with two of the best guitarists I have ever seen: Katy Guillén in The B'Dinas and Chris Tady in Dream Wolf.

The Deli: How did you get started on drums?

TJ: My parents encouraged me when I showed an interest in music. They are the reason I was able to start playing. My dad signed me up for drum lessons at a local music store when I was 11. I loved drumming from the minute I sat down at the set. I begged for my own drum set and he told me if I stuck with the lessons for 1 year then he would buy me one. Sure enough, he bought me my first kit a year later.

I took lessons for 3 years until high school. Then I joined the marching band. Oh yeah, I was a total band nerd. My drumline coaches in high school, Mark Thomas and Mike Davis, were amazing drummers and taught me so much not only about playing, but also about performing.

The Deli: Would you rather be a cymbal or a drum?

TJ: I think I would be a bass drum. It's always been my favorite. It's the biggest and the baddest.

The Deli: Of the music you've recorded, what's your favorite song? Did you have any particular inspiration for it?

TJ: “Movin' Movin” off The B'Dinas latest EP, Morning Party. I mainly used the guitar licks of the song to develop the beats that I play. Katy Guillén wrote that song; it has a great feel to it, and I had a lot of fun with it. 

These sounds tend to pull me in and out of being present. At times they distract me from the task or conversation at hand, and at other times they serve as reminders to stop, take a moment and remember that I am alive. I guess I hear them as an invitation to slow down.

The Deli: Obligatory question…drumming heroes?

TJ: Chris Coleman – he plays with amazing style and precision. Benny Greb – he's an awesome, grooving, funky drummer out of Germany. Carter Beauford – he's just an awesome drummer. I loved Dave Matthews Band when I was younger, and he has always been a drum idol of mine.

The Deli: When are you happiest?

TJ: When I can balance my playing and time with my fiancé, family and friends.

The Deli: Studio or live show?

TJ: That's tough. I like recording because there is something about being in the studio that makes me focus…because you know what ever you play that day will be the way people will hear the song over and over. It throws me into intense focus. I also really love playing live. There is a spontaneity in the playing that is always fun. There is nothing like the energy you get from a crowd of people dancing to your music.

You can be one of those people dancing to Tess’s music by catching her in action at The Brick with The B'Dinas on June 22 and with Dream Wolf on June 23.

 -Sergio Moreno

Sergio is a drummer drone for The Hillary Watts Riot and a contraption set buffoon with Alacartoona. He wishes he could get paid to practice meditation, do yoga, and drink white tea all day long. But in the meantime he earns his keep making greeting cards in Spanish.


Tess Jehle


The B'Dinas
Morning Party

Morning Party

Dream Wolf




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