Show Review: Glass Animals @ The Midland, KCMO

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 4.12.50 PMPeanut butter vibes were abundant on Thursday evening as Oxford’s premier indie quartet, Glass Animals, entertained a sold out crowd at The Midland Theater. 3,000 people crammed into the room for an ambient evening of groovy indie-pop, preceded by a group of Spanish garage rockers.

Madrid’s Hinds warmed the crowd up wonderfully. Success has come swiftly to the all-female quartet, who sang upbeat garage rock while garbed in 90’s clothing with genuine smiles plastered on their faces. Hinds offered very little in terms of innovation, but were a fun opener. Vocalist Carlotta Cosials’s shrill croon was washed out in the large venue and ended up sounded more like a melodic yodel. The headbob-worthy guitar lines and cheeky harmonies more than made up for that.

After a 30 minute wait, Glass Animals emerged on stage shrouded by smoke, lights, and waves of jungle sounds. It was a fitting entrance for an aptly named band, and set the mood for the experience that was about to take place. Over the next 70 minutes, Dave Bayley pranced around the stage. His intense movement didn’t hinder his vocal quality, and the level of precision between the recordings and live product were impressive.

In an age where “real” instruments are becoming less than normal, it was refreshing to see the guitarist and bassist being engaged in the show by also playing synthesizers and controlling the accompaniment tracks when the guitars were not needed. They were obviously having as much fun as Bayley through a parade of colors and smoke that perfectly melded to the mood of each song.

Obviously, the highlights of the evening were crowd-favorites “Gooey” and “Black Mamba,” but the band unexpectedly covered Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” and “Gold Lime” by Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. By covering both RnB and indie, Glass Animals solidified themselves as one of the most impressive genre-melding acts at this time.

It was a nearly perfect evening in a room full of so much energy. At multiple points Bayley told the crowd that Kansas City was his “home away from home,” and while that may have been merely a nicety, he performed like it was the truth.

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Amateur Radio License examinations

The Kansas State University Amateur Radio Club and Manhattan Area Amateur Radio Society is hosting an event in Nichols Hall on Saturday, October 3rd which gives individuals interested in becoming certified by the Federal Communications Commission the opportunity to attain a license in amateur radio.

The cost is $15 cash(in exact change) and individuals must bring a photo ID.

If you have any questions, please contact Vern Wirka at 785-532-2332.


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#heARTmhk: So, what’s all the buzz about?

If you’ve been perusing local music Twitter lately, you’ve more than likely come across the hashtag “#heARTmhk.” Many may have put two-and-two together and assumed it was obviously something art-related; and while you’re not wrong, there’s much more to the story. KSDB met up with a few of the masterminds behind the project to dig a little deeper and learn more about how to get involved.

The #heARTmhk efforts were ignited by a small group of remarkably passionate individuals piqued with curiosity as to why Manhattan seems to have a lackluster arts (namely, live music) scene in comparison to comparable metro areas. In starting this digital and community-based movement, they hope to unite individuals in the Manhattan area that share this sentiment in order to gain traction to make a change.

The backbone behind the project at this stage is a brief, yet pivotal survey the team is putting together in order to gather data to leverage venues and promoters to take Manhattan more seriously. You can help advance the movement by taking 2 minutes to take the survey, which simply asks you to share your musical preferences and basic information about how and when you typically consume live music. Additionally–the team encourages the use of #heARTmhk freely; mark anything and everything that supports the mission of uniting the community around a strengthened arts scene.

For now, you can check out some of the ways the hashtag is being used in real-time below. Head over to @heARTmhk to keep up with all things local music, art, and culture–including two events tonight alone:

Did learning more about this excite you? If you are interested in getting more involved with the behind-the-scenes efforts of #heARTmhk, please leave us your information below. We look forward to engaging in this growing movement and as always, helping enhance all things local.

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Show Review: Rozwell Kid, Beach Slang, and The Hotelier

Jordan_Final The scenery in downtown Kansas City  is perfect for a late-summer  punk show. Rundown buildings,  questionable Mexican restaurants, and  shady dive bars craft a rustic Midwestern chic  that made Rozwell Kid’s  first performance in KCMO memorable.  Three up and coming indie bands from  the east coast decided to jaunt through  America’s heartland together on their  way to Denver’s Riot Fest this weekend and graced Davey’s Uptown Bar with their presence on Wednesday evening.

After a few local bands loosened the  crowd up, Rozwell Kid took the stage. I  had the opportunity to see this band last  November in Lawrence without knowing too much about them, but I fell in love. They might as well be Weezer, Jr. (in a Pinkerton/Blue Album sort of way), but their attitude on stage makes their shows some of the most entertaining in the scene at the moment. Singer Jordan Hudkins is like the Napoleon Dynamite of power-pop. He is completely unremarkable and average, which is reflected in the way his hair hides his eyes while and stoops over while strumming his Fender guitar.

While their music is overdrive-saturated power-pop, they add a bit of cheese to their shows with over-the-top soloing and some entertaining guitar stunts. They may sing songs about eating hummus or being depressed before their birthday, but it is executed so perfectly with authenticity and an obvious love for their craft.IMG_2566

“We’ve had a big year,” Hudkins said before their set. Big year is an understatement for a band who has toured the country almost nonstop  during  the last 12 months. Soon,  Rozwell Kid will be opening for The Get Up Kids. By this time next year, Rozwell Kid may be a household name. It’s a no-brainer why so many bands have recruited RK to open their tours these last twelve months, because often times they end up being the most interesting band with the tightest set.

Beach Slang turned out to be the lowest point of the evening after Rozwell Kid left the stage. Being the weakest group on a tour with two other excellent bands is never easy, and having an alcoholic in your band does not make it any better. Their fuzzy punk rock and overall attitude would come across as charming if James Snyder wouldn’t have spent the majority of their 40 minutes of allotted time telling lame jokes, and saying he was too drunk to tune his own guitar. The sound technician cut them off before they performed their fifth song. He did everyone at Davey’s Uptown Club a favor.

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When your favorite band is playing three feet in front of you, snap a quick picture then put your phone away. Enjoy the show.

Even with Rozwell Kid’s fun  performance, it’s hard to deny The  Hotelier was the highlight of the evening.  Hailing from central Massachusetts, the  emo band gained notoriety after  releasing the near-perfect Home, Like No  Place Is There in February of 2013. Their  music calls back alternative sounds from the mid-90s while also utilizing their own talent and signature blend of rough punk, emo, and tinges of emotive hardcore.

The album tells stories of domestic abuse, suicide, and gender dysphoria – most importantly, the band is able to reflect the imagery of their music in a live setting. Christian Holden’s nasally tenor has become a battle cry for fans, and the way he talks to the audience and even addresses his bandmates shows that he’s a compassionate person. The set was made up of favorites from Home Like No Place Is There along with a few songs from their first release, and I felt right at home as the room came alive while everyone belted every lyric as loud as they could.

I feel most at home in these dingy bars complete with checkerboard floors, dirty restrooms, and the smell of sweat and stale beer all overwhelming my senses. It rejuvenates my spirits when I get to see bands I enjoy so much grow. There were around 80 people at this show, and while that may pale in comparison to the people who will pour into the Sprint Center to watch Taylor Swift in a few months time, it’s a glimpse of what’s to come for Kansas City’s up-and-coming indie music scene.

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