12-6-11 Rock the Revolution Showcase – America’s Pub, Westport

Hey Everyone!

It has been a really long f-ing time since I’ve had a chance to publish on KC Underground.  Honestly, I’ve been traveling for work and writing a lot about how the economic and cultural revolutions that are changing the course of businesses and the customer experience  around the world.  As a result, I just haven’t had much time to go out and write about what’s going on in the music and art scenes of KC.  That is, until now. 

Last night was the Rock the Revolution event held at America’s Pub in Westport.  What a FANTASTIC show.  Super cool people, great VIBE and phenomenal talent.  I got there around 8.30 pm and was seduced out of my comfort zone onto the dancefloor with friend and all around awesome chick, Harmony.  The band was called Mute the Idol and they were a 4-man band with a grunge, metal and blues inspired garage rock sound.  Really raw, wreckless and sexy as hell. Dug them a lot. 

Next up was the incomprable Miss Conception.  Her inspiring brand of community-conscious rap helps remind us of our responsibility as individuals to give back what we take and enjoy each other while we’re at it.  Her delivery is masterful and executes her words about universal consciousness, kindness and perpetual evolution with the finesse of some of the most skilled hip hop artists I’ve ever heard.  Infectious.  Putting some crazy sexy beats behind all of this poetry was none other than Miss cQuence.  Damn this chick is on FIRE.  She just f-ing owns it like no other.  She is a soulful engineer of disc mixing creative chemistry who produced some envelope pushing arrangements that inspired us all to get out on the dance floor to shake it, hoop it and throw it.  Speaking of throwing it, one of the most skilled performance artists in KC was also on stage, dancing, styling and throwing her magic wand.  Meet Miss Mountain Chartier, she’s theatrical, precise and delivers a totally surreal and entertaining experience to all that watch.

Next on the stage was Harmony Mindzeye Lovellution singing her folk inspired anthems of peace, love and social equality.  Liquid vocals backed by acoustic guitar, Harmony rocked us all a little closer together!

This event also featured veteran guitarists Tom Bryant, Brian Maloney and Jason Beason.  Political candidates such as Jason Greene and supporters of Ron Paul were also there as were the KC chapter of NORML. 

Great event. Awesome venue. Beautiful people.

Sasha

8-20-2011 – Sour Babies, American Catastrophe, Randall Shreve and the Sideshow

Last Saturday night at Davey’s, I saw some of the most innovative, pushing-the-envelope of experimentation and genre obscuring bands. EVER.

Starting things off at around 10.30pm Davey’s time, was a band called Sour Babies.  While I didn’t show up until nearly midnight, everyone I spoke to LOVED this band and I got a chance to talk to lead singer and guitarist, Brent Jamison as well as violinist, Mary Sanders.  According to Brent and Mary, their sound is reminiscent of gypsy eastern Euro jazz, largely inspired by Stephane Grapelli and Devotchka.  The band wants their music to promote universal peace, individual freedom and wildin’ out fun. Everyone of the band members are the best of friends and get more out their collaboration than just great music.

Next up on the Davey’s stage was American Catastrophe.  This band has a cult following of Kansas City’s coolest, hypnotizing fans with their unique brand of railroad etheria.  All of the members of American Catastropheare rockstars, expressing their own, personal style of genius.  Penetrating guitars, pounding bass, solid right-on-time-everytime drums and and just the right amount of smokey distortion behind a Waits-inspired-gothic vocal.  Guitarist, blues harpist and banjo player, Terrence Moore is perhaps the most diverse member of AmCat, and perhaps in the KC music scene in general.  From this performance alone, I would guess his music appreciation spans a vast spectra of Woodie Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Howard Iceberg and Thom Yorke.  His midwestern country charm and a city boy edge give Terrence an earthy appeal that is at once approachable yet guarded if not reserved. His beautiful girlfriend, Elizabeth McEvers was at the show as well, working the crowd for sales of AmCat’s new 10″ vinyl EP and a box full of CDs.  The vinyl EP was the most popular swag and I was sure to quickly purchase a copy for myself.  Each EP is numbered when I handed Elizabeth my $6, the EP was already number 26.  While no doubt 26 was a great number for record sales, I just thought it was too young for me.  I ended up going home with 34 instead.

Last up on stage was Randall Shreve and the Sideshow.  The entire band delivered wild out crazy talent, energy and style.  It was spectacular.  Every single one of the guys in the band was a craftsman and a showman – who together put the classic Broadway sound through a “Decline of Western Civilization” kind of bootcamp.  I’m telling you this band transformed the classic show tune to make it relevant for modern theater.   Self-categorized as “vaudeville indie rock,” I would compare them to a cross between Taco, Social Distortion and T-Rex.  Don’t ask, just go see them perform live.

What an amazing show full of unexpected and thoroughly delightful surprises.

Sasha

8-15-2011 – Czar Bar

Monday night at the Czar Bar was the place to be.  

Opening band was Jessie Torrisi and the Please Please Me. Beautiful soulful Velvet-y Underground-y feel woven into an otherwise alternative edgy folk rock sound. Really pretty slide guitars and tinny drum treatments.  Big soulful voice out of a tiny feminine package.  She was singing, playing a cherry red vintage guitar that was alternated between an acoustic guitar, standup tom tom drum and blues harp.  I particularly loved their song, “Take Me to the Brighter Side.”  This song was played with just one acoustic and one electric guitar yet delivered an emotive cut right through to the core ballad that only few artists can seem to pull off.  It’s amazing how the un-accessorized song can have such a profound impact on the emotions.  Vocals so breathy, edgy, trampled by a life of soul crushing experience.  Think Johnny Cash’s Hurt.  That’s just how it’s fucking done y’all.

Next up was Atlantic Fadeout.  Melodic, straight ahead rock and roll that genuflects to power chord classics and draws inspiration from modern, etherial if not somewhat hypnotic stylings.  Solid all around musicianship, with particular mastery on lead vocals, slide guitar and drumming.  Dutch on bass pounded reliably but showed respectful restraint. Not sure why such a cool cat that borrows some of his fashion sense from Lemmy Kilmister can’t just wild the fuck out once in a set.

Headlining the night was The David George Band. David’s new CD is coming out soon and he played two new songs from it including Radiant Man. David opened up playing acoustic guitar, backed by a bass guitar, cello, drums and liquid gold female vocals.  This is David at his best: minimally accessorized classic, polished, radio ready pop.  This guy needs to play AT big venues. FOR large crowds. WITH crystal clear sound systems.  His brand of music is just too clean for gritty acoustics.  Either the bar scene needs to step it up or David needs to step on out.  Just sayin.

 

 

 

 

 

7-31-2011 — Enchanted Affair Fashion Show

It was real warm with a comforting, gentle breeze last Sunday evening.  As I began to approach the Xpressions Night Club in the River Market for the Enchanted Affair Fashion Show, it took a couple loops to find a parking space.  Alas, I was able to find a prime spot just a couple short blocks from the venue.  There, I began to unleash my parallel parking mastery. Yes, I am truly gifted with an exceptional talent in this domain.  Or maybe living in LA all of those years actually gave me at least ONE piece of luggage that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life unpacking.

Walking up to the Xpressions Night Club in the River Market was quite delightful.  The red carpet was out, with several people standing around outside, readying themselves to walk upon it.  When I sashayed up onto the carpet and proceeded to the check-in station, I explained that I was a blogger from KC Underground.  The smiling young woman standing behind the register said, “That’s awesome! That’d be $10.” 

Upon entering the club, there were hardly any good seats left. All of the prime real-estate had already been taken.  So, I went to the porch, grabbed a barstool and carried it back near the catwalk to a high top and settled in.  It was then about 7:15pm.

All of the designers and models that I interviewed during the casting call must have been back stage since there was nobody in the main club area that I recognized.  Too bad, I would have liked to have said hello to Ronnisha, ReeseBabe, Bri Miss Sunshine Lashe and Chris B among the many of the other beautiful people there that night. But I am RIGHT SMACK in front of the stage, possessing one of the best views of the catwalk in the venue, and I’m NOT moving for ANYONE.

There were a lot of photographers, including the lovely and talented, Masha Zhivago, standing along the periphery of the club. I was the only blogger that I could see.  I had my Macbook, ridiculously high Lady Gaga inspired palomino suede platform sling-back clogs and a grayish brown sequined mini dress.  Oh yeah, I was ready to rock this thing. 

At about 8.20pm, the show started.  The first models to rock the runway were dressed in black short sleeve tees with red sequined letters that together spelled Aura.   These were tightly fitted and very sexy.  The models were of all sizes and ethnicities.  Some were tall and lanky, others were petite and curvy.  It was all going on and it looked GREAT.

The next collection that hit the runway was designed by C.Broadnax of Your Fashion Frenzy.  This collection was made up largely of long flowing maxi dresses.  Bright colors paired with bold prints – all available in sizes XS to 4X.  Enjoying this collection was model, makeup artist and Kansas City diva, ReeseBabe.  According to Reese, “What’s so great about these maxi dresses is that I can wear them anywhere day or night.”  The designer, C. Broadnax, recalled her inspiration for the collection, explaining that it came from a critical gap she saw in many of the local fashions.  “I was having a really hard time finding something that would be unique and chic for the ladies of Kansas City.  This collection feels fresh, feminine and fun.” Not only does Your Fashion Frenzy have unique fashions, they are tailored for a variety of shapes, sizes and attitudes.”

Another collection to hit the Xpressions’ runway included a variety of black and white striped mini-skirts, bandeaus and tank tops, while another collection featured brightly colored print skirts, sundresses, bikini tops and bandeaus.  These pieces were very summery, sporty, youthful, sexy and sweet.  Perfect for an afternoon of cheerleading at the local basketball courts – providing parental supervision of course!  According to model, Casha, “This collection was so comfortable, form-fitting and fashionable. Wearing these clothes made me just want to go outside and play!”

The first musical interlude featured hip hop sensation, C-Jay, singing “Send in Me in Coach.”  C-Jay’s set was packed with a lot of energy, a lot of passion and a lot of fun. 

Next up on the runway was Junction City’s very own DeVeux Fashions.  This collection featured satin sleeveless blouses, Halston inspired satin jumpsuits and off the shoulder floral print mini dresses.  Evening cocktail dresses donned white with black inked detail.  Beautiful smock sundresses also appeared on the runway with contrasting black floral hems and shoulder straps.  A zebra striped maxi was shown adorning beautiful white sashes over the shoulders and down the back.  For the men, this collection introduced large short sleeve pinstripe button downs with baggy jeans.  White tanks paired with plaid pants also made its way down the catwalk. 

The collection from Natalia featured micro mini dresses with ballerina inspired tutus.  A bit short for the over 20 something woman, but damn these dresses were HOT.  So pretty, feminine and sexy.  Hippie chic minis and maxis had borrowed a smock pattern and updated it with oversized ruffles at the hem and wrist band.  Adding a plunging v-neckline turned this dress into something that was definitely country but not anywhere near the same zip code as your mother’s little house on the prairie.  In this same collection, backless halter maxi’s with hyper a-line skirting were risqué, albeit completely reflective of 70s Halston stylings.

Another collection premiered with white micro minis and flowing flared sleeves, designed for club wear and all that goes with it afterward. These dresses hugged tight and sparkled bright.  They also climbed adjacent to the nether regions of the thigh, though provided full coverage.  Barely.

Some of the men’s fashions included full satin sports jacket with either baggy bondage pants or semi fitted trousers.  A punk-inspired individualist attitude that was chic and ready to wear.

Local Kansas City designer, Meagan Stracey, featured a collection of disco inspired spandex pants in light blue with chiffon ponchos draping over a midriff.  Sexy, summery and sensational!  These models were absolutely loving these clothes.  Good luck with getting these outfits back Meagan!  Bri Miss Sunshine Lashae rocked the first pair of turquoise bike shorts with the poncho overlay.  Gorgeous!  Other standouts included a short jumper with a gold lamé vest and off the shoulder soft blouses with hand dyed pastel prints with open flared sleeves.  This entire collection was just so fashionable, flirty and fun. 

Oblivion Clothing was next.  Bondage style bustiers with ruffled skirts gave this tough girl look some feminine softness.  The flamenco red and black lace dress with ruffles was a showstopper.  And a bustier top with a just below the knee asymmetrical hem was daring, but it worked.  This collection also featured a classic black gown with a lacey bikini halter top.  All of the pieces in this collection were very unexpected and absolutely lovely.  Long formal gowns in red taffeta, horizontal stripes and tight bustiers with “Gone with the Wind” style skirting underscored the edge factor.  I’m truly blown away with this chocolate, white and sky blue maxi.  Similar bustier top that cinches down the waist but poofs out at the skirt to the floor.  This look was fitted, lacey and sexy at top front with a corset in the back and an Edwardian flare at the base.  The styling was innovative and fashion forward, yet totally wearable.

Aura Fashion Boutique was the last collection to hit the stage.  The first piece that was worn down the catwalk was a bold animal print micro mini with brightly colored flowers.  Second was a white, v-neck short sleeve lacy sundress.  There was also a black and pink floral micro mini tube dress followed by a gray micro mini that was tight on the bottom with Grecian bunching at the top.  A plunging keyhole at the neck with peek a boo openings on the sleeves was very feminine, sweet and flirty.  A delightful turquoise blue off the shoulder jumper was also a refreshing twist on this wonderful summer collection.  What stole the show in this collection was a white sequined tank dress.  Stunning!  I would ABSOLUTELY wear this on a tennis court or running trail.  AuraBoutique’s specialty was clearly the tank dress.  There were many options, several styles and a range of sizes to fit every woman comfortably and tastefully.  Lots of sexy off the shoulder ruffles on semi-fitted lacy tops.  A showstopper for me was a black t-strap sundress at a mid-calf length.  This model rocked that dress like a goddess.  To get in touch with your inner goddess, stop by Aura Fashion Boutique and put it on.  You just never ever know until you try. 

7-28-2011 – The Brick

Walked into The Brick around 9p, I missed most of the show. Caught the last song from David George, but glad I was able to see one of his new songs for his upcoming album.

Next up was 30-year old, Kansas City native, Marlon Issac.  With acoustic guitar and one of the most  soulful and emotive voices I’ve heard, Marlon can, in equal measure, bring his voice down soft and low or belt it out in a panther-like scream.  But it always comes back in rhythmic and melodic time. Marlon played his set, largely inspired by…himself.  He has been digging his own vibe for the past 2 years, only listening to his own sounds.  According to Issac, “By staying away from listening to a lot of other music, I feel my own sound becomes more sincere, genuine. I strive to create a unique sound and one that will hopefully be timeless.”

That’s not to say that Marlon never listens to other music.  In fact, some of the music that has inspired Marlon over the years includes Otis Redding, Norah Jones, Incubus,  Tool, Radiohead and Sublime.  I also heard some Lenny Kravitz in the vocals, but Marlon would beg to differ.

Donnetta, a close and personal friend of Marlon, showed up to support and play backup tambourine.  “The first time I’d ever heard Marlon was absolutely mesmerizing . His voice –  it was rock, pop, R&B…I didn’t know what to call it.  It was so different than anything I’d ever heard.  I really liked it.”  Everyone liked it.  It was f-ing phenomenal!

Tonight was Marlon’s third performance.  But a couple of weeks ago, Marlon and Donnetta hustled up bus fare to get to The Brick and play.  They were late and almost missed the open mic.  But they made it.  Thank goodness they did.

Marlon will be back for The Brick’s open mic next Thursday 7p-9.30p.  Stop by to check him out while enjoying the healthy and delicious food, drink specials and lemon water.

See y’all there!

7-16-2011 Sterling Witt’s 2nd Annual Birthday Bash

Wow…what an amazing weekend of great music, cool people and deeply meaningful connections.  

Last Saturday’s birthday bash for folk artist, Sterling Witt was in a word, surreal.  The setting was an artsy and ecclectic farm house – complete with a traditional, white woodframe exterior, a black stovepipe jetting out from the kitchen and up over the roofline, and interiors furnished with Sterling’s unique brand of drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture and CDs.   Comfortable, welcoming, visually stimulating–the perfect backdrop for connecting with art, people and organically grown, responsibly distributed and universally consumed positive energy.

Upon arriving at Sterling’s art farm, he and about 30 of his friends from 12 to 60 were hanging out in his house, on his property and around what would be a 50 foot bonfire built by nearly an acre of brush.  Never saw anything like it.  It was beautiful.  Raging flames that roared straight up to the sky, never to disturb a tree branch, a creature of wildlife or any of us.

After eating, talking, playing badminton and firegazing, the scene evolved into an intimate, accoustic concert.  On a platform situated between a cluster of tall trees on the left and a huge pile of burnt brush at right, was a set of drums, an amp and some speakers. Opening for Sterling on this stage was country balladeer, Jon Stubblefield.  With a midwestern, soulful drawl echoing sentiments of the modern day cowboy, Stubblefield displayed masterful guitar picking that produced a traditional country sound with elements of Spanish classical that were carefully woven through a fabric of thoughtfully selected bridges.  Stubblefield’s songs really touched the audience and his ability to connect his experiences to us engaged everyone throughout his entire set.  Accessorizing his guitar, Stubblefield wore the essential cowboy uniform of old jeans, workboots, a white ribbed wife beater and a plaid button down.  He also rode up in his big white truck and told stories of his dog, a floppy eared miniature schnauzer.  This guy was the brighter side of the sun on the eyes – but likely to be the darker side of hell on a woman’s heart.

Headlining this musical showcase was none other than the birthday man himself.  Backed by drummer Allan Winkler, Sterling Witt delivered his truly unique brand of folky pop, reminiscient of the younger versions of Donovan Leitch and Jonathan Richman.  His set was fun, energetic and whimsical.   Sterling was joined by his girlfriend, the lovely and talented Michelle Gormlie.  Together, they sang a duet of “You’re the One.” The audience was brought to its knees, believing, at least for the 3-minute song, that true love was actually possible and that this kind of magic was something to pursue –  even if you were 1,000 years old and you’ve been rejected for the last 999 years.

Sterling will be playing again soon so definitely go check him out!  In fact, you should mark your calendars now for Saturday night, September 3rd at Coda. Click here for details!

See y’all soon,

Sasha

7-15-2011 – Global Dance Festival at the Midland

Friday night at the Midland was THE place to be, especially if you were…ANYONE.  The Global Dance Festival made its way to Kansas City last night and created the most exhilarating, energizing and stimulating scene I have ever experienced.   While the crowd was mostly made up of early 20-somethings, there were people from 20 years-50 years old garbed in everything from gym shorts and 6-packs, tutus and tights, gothic boots and bikinis and everything in between.

There were guys dressed as dragons on stilts with saddles on their backs on which girls with leather micro miniskirts, fishnet stockings, motorcycle boots and mohawks rode from one end of the lobby to the other. Plain clothes guys on stair platforms twirled lighted cubes from the crowd.  On the main stage,  a series of brilliant, computer-generated lights flashed behind rockstar DJs who spun genius while gorgeous, sexy dancers, hoopers and mystic wand twirlers dazzled.

Vibe in this scene was welcoming, come as you are and stay as you want to be.  I really felt that the people here were all about the music, the scene and the dancing.  The movements were fluid, transcendental, unstructured and gave license to everyone to experience their own brand of ‘anything goes’ as long as it was inspired by the music, connected to the people and contributed positively to the scene.

Would really like to see more plugged-in and switched on 30s, 40s and 50-somethings get with this scene as these 20 somethings really have their finger on the pulse of what is cool, what is fun, and what is real.

Special thanks to Sara MisConception Glass and all the other performers who made this scene and everyone’s experience spectacular.

Sasha

7-9-2011 Enchanting Affair Fashion Show – Casting

Last Saturday’s modeling auditions for the Enchanting Affair Fashion Show were held at Xpressions Night Club in the River Market.  A gorgeous, warm and sunny afternoon was cooled down by the club’s AC – where hopeful Kansas City catwalkers, clothing designers, makeup artists, photographers and musicians were on hand waiting to be seen and cast.

Featured designers onsite were Nataliya Meyer with Oblivion Clothing, MGOT, Ronnisha with Aura Boutique, Meagan Stracy, Tine with Lights On, SJ, Angela with Angel Ice, and Minc to mention a few.

The atmosphere was all about fashion, fun and professionalism.  Not at all pretentious or rife with reality-show dramatics.  Here’s what some of the people there had to say:

Bri Ms’Sunshine Lashe, Model.  Bri is a 25-year old high fashion model who has legs that go on forever…and EVER.  While she is stunningly beautiful, she is as kind as the sun with a girl-next-door wholesomeness that is warm, welcoming and fun to be around.  A Kansas City native, Bri was encouraged by her family to start modeling and has really appreciated her family’s support.  Bri is the middle sibling among four other sisters and one brother. When asked what Bri likes most about her modeling career, “I love runway fashion.  When I’m on stage, I just love to feel the clothes and present fashions that most people would not normally see.”  Among Bri’s favorite designers, Bri adds, “Meagan Stracy is one of the best designers in Kansas City.  Her attention to detail and hand made tie-dyed clothing are amazing.”

Tonicia Barker, Model. Tonicia is a 26 year old model from Guyana, South America.  Again, with legs that could stop a truck – in two cities,  Tonicia works as a claims associate for an insurance company.  That’s probably a good thing, since I would imagine she has caused many accidents when people are watching her instead of the road! With her stunning beauty, Tonicia’s attitude toward fashion is pretty down to earth, and based on one fundamental premise, “I love to feel sexy.”  Tonicia showed up to the audition looking like a real pro.  Skinny Jeans, high heel strappy sandals, an off the shoulder printed and fitted tank.  Her hair was pulled back tight into a bun and her makeup was classic – deep color lip gloss, black/brown shadow with smoky pencil in the corners.

Calvin De Boe Meeks, Model.  Calvin is a 20-year old aspiring model, actor and personal trainer.  Yes ladies, this young man is F I T. While Calvin is somewhat soft spoken, he is focused and determined.  Calvin currently works at Isle of Capri as a Facilities Generalist, but in his free time, he spends lifting weights and auditioning.  With such a busy schedule, Calvin always finds ways to manage the balance.  “The key to achieving the balance for me is dedication, hard work  and staying motivated.  Each day, I look in the mirror and check results.  If there is something I don’t like, that’s what I work on until it’s where I want it to be.”  That’s great advice Calvin!  Good luck in the auditions.  I know we’ll see you in the fashion shows soon.

Vixxen Dakota, Model.  Okay folks.  Miss Dakota is the next “IT GIRL” of Kansas City.  She is absolutely lovely.  But at 18 years old, this young lady is just starting out.  Her look is chic, classy and rock and roll.  Born in Orlando, FL, Dakota came to Kansas CIty when she was only 10 years old.  Like Bri, she is the middle child among three other sisters and one brother.  According to Dakota, “My inspiration for being a model is to be noticed.  As the middle child, I often feel that I am overlooked and don’t get as much attention as I want.”  Well, if you saw Miss Dakota on the runway, I guarantee you will not notice too much else.  She is a petite, leggy glamorous siren.  Her personal style reflects a lot of musical influences from soul and hip hop, to pop and rock.  Some of her most current style influences are Rhianna and Janelle Monae.

ReeseBabe Lee, Makeup Artist.  What a delightful lady!  ResseBabe is a dedicated fashionista who definitely knows her makeup.  Glowing with insights into the latest makeup brands and trends, ReeseBabe loves working with shadows and lip colors in multiple spectra of shades and hughes.  Some of her favorite brands inlcude Shamy, NYX Products, MAC and Covergirl.  “I love makeup that is different, but accessible.  I like shopping at Big Two Brothers hair store and finding great deals on cool makeup.  I also like to buy makeup online and recently ordered 120 makeup shades from Amazon.”  Before becoming a makeup artist, ReeseBabe served in the US military.  She’s come along way from Airforce to Fashion Force and has helped both aspiring models and professional models who have graced the covers of fashion magazines such as Essence.  ReeseBabe’s favorite look is a natural look, adding drama with cateye liner and smokey shadows.  “The first thing we notice about people is their eyes.  And my approach to makeup is all about the eyes.  One of the key elements of the eye that most people overlook, is the brow.”  Do you want to create the perfect brow?  Practice these 3 easy steps that ReeseBabe recommends:

  1. Shape the brow – There are several options including waxing, threading and tweezing
  2. Clean the brow area – Using witch hazel, alcohol or other astringent
  3. Shade in with a pencil – ReeseBabe suggests using a pencil over shadow to avoid getting too much saturated color.  Start with drawing a pencil along the top line of the brow.  Then draw along the bottom line of the brow.  Finish by blending these toward the middle of the brow.

But what is a fashion show without music?  BORING!  Stevie B will NOT let this fashion show suffer for one second!  This R&B singer is going to perform at the Enchanting Affair fashion event and sing his own brand of R&B, pop and rock.  Stevie B is influenced by multiple styles, genre and artists, which is what gives his music a universal appeal to all types of audiences.  “I don’t want to have just one sound.  I want to reach a lot of different people in unique and powerful ways.”  Some of Stevie B’s current musical influences include Nerd, Tank and Brandy.

So there you have it folks.  Cool people. Talented artists.  Inspiring fashions.  This is mos def going to be a fabulous event.  So rock your own brand of chic and get with this!

  • WHAT: Enchanting Affair Fashion Show
  • WHEN: July 31st, 7pm
  • WHERE: Xpressions Night Club – 220 Admiral, Kansas City, MO (in River Market)
See y’all there,
Sasha

7-8-2011 Perspectives: Life, Love, Spirituality Oil Paint Exhibit

Friday night’s Perspectives art show at the Boiler Room was tremendous. The energy transferred from the paintings, building structures, artists and crowd sent a rush to the senses that felt warm, welcoming and beckoned to be noticed.

Bold, bright and deliberate.  The extremely diverse self-expressions from these artists were unified by their use of thick oil paint –  powerfully executed with a clear intention to stimulate deep thought and soul stirring emotion.  The crowd was loving it.  The vibe was real, gentle, fun and beautiful.  The food was divine.  Fresh fruit, chocolate and cheese. Nothing processed or preserved. Just sweet, fresh, wholesome deliciousness.

I deeply appreciate the come as you are attitude in Kansas City.  Especially areas like Midtown and the Crossroads, where conformity is frowned upon and –  love and kindness are mandatory.

Thanks so much to everyone who came out and experienced some modern thinking and feeling through these unique and poignant oil paintings.

Hope to see everyone at Rock the Crossroads tonight. At 7pm,  the 5K run/walk starts followed by music from Sons of Great Dane, The Expassionates and Atlantic Fadeout – bands go on at 8p and play until about 11p.  Should be f-ing awesome.

Sasha

6-26-2011 Beach Boys Tribute at The RecordBar

Last Sunday night’s tribute to The Beach Boys at the RecordBar was magical

SCENE

Eclectic crowd was garbed in every kind of beach gear imaginable. For the guys, there were a lot of board shorts, flip flops and straw hats as well as the always in style uniform of messy bed hair, vintage jeans, plaid button downs and t-shirts. Females fashioned everything from flower print sundresses and flats to a more grunge inspired look with skinny fit cutoffs, ankle boots, loose tank tops and long hair that was smooth around the face yet full and tousled in the back.

SOUND

First band to go on was a collaboration of musicians including Brodie Rush from Be/Non, Dan Talmadge of Soft Reeds, Casey Burge from Minden and Anderw Conner from Ghosty. These guys had somewhat of an Indie pop interpretation of The Beach Boys sound, incorporating etherial guitars and tribal drum beats. All very talented musicians and a lot of fun to watch.

Next band to grace the stage was Minden. Refreshingly obscure song selection that was a lot deeper and more edgy than the typical poppy hits that dominated radio at the height of The Beach Boys’ career. Alternative and somewhat ambient sounding guitars backed by upbeat drums gave their song treatments really good balance. The lead vocalist sounded more like Brian Wilson, than Brian Wilson and the bass guitar, played by Evan Houston, was sick.  Evan was all over his fretboard with the skill and finesse of a well studied and trained musician.  While Evan bears some resemblance to a young Sid Vicious, this midwestern version prefers Whole Foods over heroin and good friends and family over a blood sucking bitch girlfriend.

Last band I caught was Sons of Great Dane. I’ve seen these guys a few times now, and all I can say is if they’re not a household name where you live, then you’re in the wrong house! They opened up their set with the most electrifying version of “I Can Hear Music” that has ever been performed. EVER. Fuck it was magical. According to frontman and lead guitarist, Brent Windler, “We wanted to play ‘I Can Hear Music’ because it reminded us of something we could do in the same way we would play one of our own songs.”

Sons also covered the song “Vegetables” to show the really fun and quirky side of the Beach Boys. When asked for the reason they chose to play “Surfer Girl,” Brent stated “This song is a beautiful waltz– just a classic song that we all wanted to do, especially with the girls singing the back up parts.”  In addition to the classics, Sons really wanted to play songs like “Never Learn Not to Love” specifically written by Dennis Wilson. According to Brent, “this is  just a weird song that Dennis Wilson wrote and we all really wanted to do one of his songs, he was an extremely underrated songwriter. His solo record Pacific Ocean Blue is amazing.”

With Me Tonight” and “Mama Says,” were songs selected specifically for the Sons backup singers, Kenese Cartwright and Havilah Bruders. Kenese is a true soprano that delivers powerful and liquid vocals and Havilah is a mezzo soprano both with a broad spectra of musical influences spanning choral and gospel music, as well as legendary artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Patsy Klein, Etta James and Gillian Welch.

Summing up his experience, Brent confided, “I think everyone that night did a great job of playing everything from the obscure songs to the songs most of us grew up listening to. The best thing about learning those songs is that they’re not the easiest songs to play and they’re so fucking clever and full of changes that we are now probably going to be ripping them off from now on! It really inspired us. I know I haven’t set down the guitar or stopped running through those songs since the show. Also haven’t stopped listening to the Beach Boys for the last month either and doesn’t look like that will stop anytime soon………They are one of the greatest American bands.”

SENTIMENT

After the show, I had an opportunity to speak with an extremely intelligent and passionate Beach Boys fan, Michael Flores.   “The bands were playing a lot of material from “Pet Sounds” an album that The Beach Boys produced that is said to have influenced the Beatles’ album, Sgt. Pepper’s.”  According to Michael, “The Beach Boys had extremely complex arrangements, impossible harmonies and brilliant songwriting that were together, somehow rendered highly accessible and unifying to audiences around the world.  In the US in particular, The Beach Boys’ music helped to offset the intensity and harsh realities of assassinations, socio-political revolution, wars and the draft.”Because the Beatles pretty much dominated rock and roll during the 1960s, The Beach Boys never seemed to get the full respect that they deserved.  As music appreciation evolves, Michael believes that the unique and highly complex compositions of The Beach Boys music will soon play a very significant role in formal music appreciation and education.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the RecordBar last Sunday night. It was a lot of fun and hope to see everyone out tonight for First Fridays.  If you are not sure what to do, Brannock Device and Dead Voices are playing at the Midwest Musical Co. in the East Crossroads. Hope to see y’all there!

Sasha