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she's a keeper

Crossroads Music Fest Highlights, 9.14.13

The beginning of fall also coincides with Kansas City’s Crossroads Music Fest, which entered its ninth year this past Saturday. This year, the fest covered six venues: Crossroads KC (behind Grinder’s), The Brick, Czar Bar, Midwestern Musical Co., Green Lady Lounge, and Collection.
Several local bands and a number of national bands graced each stage, a variety of music ranging from jazz to hard rock to soul to single acoustic acts to a 15-person outfit. Here are some of the highlights from earlier shows in the evening.

Crossroads Music Fest is organized by Bill Sundahl at Spice of Life Productions. It was co-sponsored by Midwest Music Foundation, Kansas City Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts, and FanAddict

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MidCoast Cares presents Rock For Relief: A Benefit for Moore, Oklahoma

Tonight, MidCoast Cares (who also raised money for the relief effort in the 2011 Joplin tornado) presents Rock For Relief: A Benefit for Moore, Oklahoma, which was recently devastated by a tornado.

Doors open at 5:30 and the show starts at 6, beginning with Ghost Town Heart, then She's A Keeper, Not A Planet, Antennas Up, Beautiful Bodies, and closing out with Cover Me Badd. The event is at KC Live! in the Power & Light District. There are NO presale tickets. General admission is $10; $20 will get you entry, two drink tickets, and access to the VIP Lounge. All proceeds will go to benefit the tornado recovery in Moore through Heart to Heart International. A silent auction will also be held, and the first 200 attendees will receive a buy-one-get-one-free card from Chipotle.

Join the Kansas City music community for a great cause to help our neighbors in Oklahoma. Here's the Facebook event page.

--Michelle Bacon

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Photos from MidCoast Takeover Fundraiser #1 at recordBar, 1.26.13

(Photo by Terra Peal)

The first MidCoast Takeover fundraiser show was a huge success, thanks to all of the great bands (She's A Keeper, Drew Black and Dirty Electric, Molly Picture Club, and Antennas Up) that performed, as well as Midwest Music Foundation, recordBar, and all of our sponsors!
Here’s a list of the MidCoast Takeover sponsors:
CM2 Audio
Taj Mattingly

She's A Keeper  

Photos by Todd Zimmer


Drew Black and Dirty Electric

Photos by Todd Zimmer



Molly Picture Club

Photos by Terra Peal





Antennas Up 

Photos by Terra Peal

Also, here's a video recap of the fundraiser from Nate Heavilin from Attic Wolves
And thanks to everyone who came to support the first fundraiser show! We hope you’ll join us for the next ones: Friday, February 1 at Czar; Saturday, February 2 at The Riot Room; Saturday, February 16 at The Brick; and Friday, March 8 at Uptown Arts Bar. MMF will be selling raffle tickets at each of the fundraiser shows for two pairs of VIP Kanrocksas tickets, which include a tour with the Kanrocksas founder!
--Michelle Bacon


Album review: She's A Keeper - Live at Midwestern (EP)

Not too long ago, I reviewed She’s a Keeper’s self-titled effort from 2011 (see the review here). And to put it plainly, it was just a wonderful little slice of folk awesome. However, too often bands pull off a sonically exciting and successful effort in the studio but suck up the joint when playing it live. I am glad to find that this is not the case for She’s a Keeper. The Live at Midwestern EP is just one more indication that this band has quickly become a local music force to be reckoned with.

As to be expected, the live renditions offer a little more bite than their record versions. The drums break through the arrangements more, and while diminishing the dynamic range that the studio album provides, they provide an extra kick to the gut.

Overall, it is good to hear the increased emotion of the live performance not affect the quality of musicianship. The vocals, one of the key strengths of this band, stay powerful and true throughout. The folks at Midwestern Music Co. who recorded it paid close attention to making sure the songs projected both power and clarity. Overall, it sounds better than a lot of local studio records I’ve heard. Big props to them on this.

From a personal standpoint, I am glad to see my favorite track from the self-titled album performed here. “Branches,” even with its somewhat stripped-down arrangement and cello in need of a slight tune, still comes across powerful, dynamic, and full of songwriting surprises.

Word from the band’s Facebook page seems to indicate the group is back in the studio and that the members “have a good feeling” about the new songs. Based upon this live EP, I’d have to agree with them. 

Though Live at Midwestern was released back in March, She's A Keeper will be celebrating the release with a party this Saturday, August 4 at Czar with Olassa and The Natural State. You can also check out our Artists on Trial interview with guitarist/vocalist Zac Jurden at the link here.

--Zach Hodson

Zach is a lifetime Kansas City resident who plays multiple instruments and sings in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black and Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to many other Kansas City music, art, and comedy projects.  He is very fond of edamame, treats his cat Wiley better than he treats himself, and doesn't want to see pictures of your newborn child (seriously, it looks like a potato).

Artists on Trial: She's A Keeper

She's A Keeper is one of Kansas City's youngest and quickly growing bands in the scene. The five-piece group has found some far-reaching success, most recently opening up for Josh Ritter at Crossroads on July 19. Today, guitarist/vocalist Zac Jurden visits with us.

The Deli: Gun to your head: one sentence to describe your music.  What is it?

Zac Jurden: Our music defies an easy description; in the same song, we’ll go from dynamic acoustic instrumentation to full-on folk rock. We like to mix it up.

The Deli:  Let’s talk about your latest release or upcoming shows. What can we expect?
ZJ:  We have our EP release show at Czar on August 4. We recorded a live set in January at Midwestern Musical Co and released it a few months ago. This show is the belated, official release of that project. We will be sharing the stage with The Natural State, which has all female members and a male cellist – the ironic opposite of us – as well as the Lawrence band Olassa. We are really looking forward to the show and it promises to be a great evening… so come. On another note, be on the lookout for our next full-length album! We just booked some time in a studio and we literally can’t wait to crank out another project. We like to think that we’ve matured, both personally and musically, since the release of our first album. This next project, I hope, will back that up.

The Deli:  What does “supporting local music” mean to you?

ZJ: A couple weeks ago, Chris Haghirian was talking about how everyone in Midtown is sharing the same 5-dollar bill. I thought that was a really great way to depict the support and mutually beneficial nature of supporting local music in KC. The way I see it, supporting local bands is a way for us to reciprocate the support that we have received thus far. We are still relatively new members of the music scene here but we already feel very much at ease within this community because everyone is so nice. There are some really great bands here and a very diverse collection of different styles and I think it’s important to bring attention to all of these different bands because they deserve it. It is my hope that, as a community, we are capable of putting KC on the musical map. It’s kind of like our shared mission and by supporting each other we can actualize that goal in the very near future. 
The Deli:  Who are your favorite “local” musicians right now?

ZJ: Favorite local musicians frequently shift with who we share bills with, but Making Movies has been high on our list lately. The Hearts of Darkness is also a static favorite. We were happy to see both of these bands, as well as our friends Quiet Corral, as nominations for the Pitch Music Awards this year.
The Deli:  Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?
ZJ: My favorite bands and musicians change on a monthly basis but right now I’d have to show some love to The Tallest Man on Earth, Radical Face, Glen Hansard and Fleet Foxes.

The Deli:  What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

ZJ: My dream show would be opening up for The Avett Brothers for a couple reasons. First, those guys put on a seriously kickass show and they are definitely a source of inspiration for us in the writing process and how we go about playing live. Second, I really want to know how their cello player manages to run around the stage with his cello, which seemingly levitates in front of his body.
The Deli:  Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
ZJ: I know that Kate would say the recording studio, but I think that the rest of us would choose playing shows. It’s just way too much fun. I can honestly say that playing music for people has to be one of my favorite things about being a human being. In this upcoming year I’m really excited to hit the road and start playing shows for strangers to see how well we are received outside of KC. Besides, you always meet a lot of great people at shows and get the chance to connect with other bands.

The Deli:
  A music-themed Mount Rushmore.  What four faces are you putting up there and why?
ZJ: I’ve put a lot of thought into this one but it’s still a tough decision. Since I have to choose though, I’d chisel out the faces of Glen Hansard, Robin Pecknold, Paul Simon, and Isaac Brock.
The Deli:  All right, give us the rundown.  Where all on this big crazy web can you be found?
ZJ: Hop on the information superhighway and go to www.facebook.com/shesakeepermusic! Our page is the most frequently updated site and it has all the information you need to keep up with shows and find our music. While you’re at it, hit that Like button!
The Deli:  Always go out on a high note.  Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?

ZJ: I’ll do my best to seem wise. If you’re reading this I’m sure you’re already on the right track. Sites like this that promote both local and national music are a fantastic place to find good music. Take some time to find local bands that you like and tell them that you like what they do, it really does make a difference on our end of it and it offers bands like us the motivation to keep going. On that note, if you’ve heard our music and like what you hear, come out and see us. I personally think that our live performance has a lot more to offer than our recordings and it would be a good way to determine for yourself what we are really about. Lastly, I’d like to show some love to everyone that has been so kind to us. We really appreciate the support and can’t wait to continue to make music, not only for our own satisfaction, but for your listening pleasure too.

Come see Zac and She's A Keeper as they celebrate the release of their Live at Midwestern EP this Saturday, August 4 at Czar.

--Zach Hodson

Zach is a lifetime Kansas City resident who plays multiple instruments and sings in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black and Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to many other Kansas City music, art, and comedy projects.  He is very fond of edamame, treats his cat Wiley better than he treats himself, and doesn't want to see pictures of your newborn child (seriously, it looks like a potato).

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