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Artists on Trial: The Latenight Callers

Artists on Trial: The Latenight Callers

(Photo by Mat "Slimm" Adkins)

Five shadows emerge from a table in the corner of a dark room. The table is littered with empty liquor bottles, half-smoked cigarette packs, Zippos, playing cards, guitar picks. A Gretsch baritone crunches and rings out, followed by swaggering rhythms and vocals, dripping with sexual overtones. The sights and sounds you’re hearing are characteristically those of The Latenight Callers, Kansas City’s favorite noir band. We feature them in this week’s Artists on Trial, so pour yourself a glass of bourbon and read on.

The Deli: Gun to your head, 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?

The Latenight Callers: "The house-band at David Lynch's pool-party...and is that a Walther PPK?"

The Deli: Let’s talk about your upcoming shows or recordings. What can we expect? 

TLNC: We've got lots of shows in the next few months, but we're REALLY excited about hitting the studio during the dark days of winter. We're planning on 2013 being a lucky number for us.

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

TLNC: These days, it seems that the best definition would be to GO SEE bands performing live! It's great that you can download anyone's music, anywhere, anytime, online, but truly the only way to literally support the local scene is to be part of it by putting yourself in front of the bands, themselves!

The Deli: Who are your favorite “local” musicians right now?

TLNC: We're quite fond of a pretty broad variety of music, including The Quivers, The Cave Girls, Steady States, Federation of Horsepower, Victor & Penny, The Silver Maggies, The Hillary Watts Riot...but honestly, there are just too many to mention!

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

TLNC: We're in love with The Royalty (El Paso), which have an incredibly catchy 60s garage-soul-pop sound, and Overcasters (Denver), who have this huge and doomy Americana rock sound. Check them out when they come to town again!

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

TLNC: Oh, the two bands listed in the prior question! The Latenight Callers, The Royalty, and Overcasters would be crazy awesome, and as different as those two bands are, TLNC is sort of a crazy halfway point between them!

The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?

TLNC: It'd be easy to do both, but the stage is really where we really have the most fun... plus, no one can see you all dressed up in the studio, right?

The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?

TLNC: Tom Waits, Billie Holliday, Nick Cave, Patsy Cline... because you'd have to have big personalities up there that you'd never get tired of their influence.

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

TLNC: thelatenightcallers.com


Pretty much anything anyone needs to know about us.

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

TLNC: Stick with brown liquor.

The Latenight Callers are:
Julie Berndsen – lead vocals
Ellen O’Hayer – guitar, vocals
Nick Combs – keyboards
Gavin Mac – bass
Krysztof Nemeth – baritone guitar

You’re in luck, because you can catch TLNC tonight with two of their favorite local bands, The Quivers and The Cave Girls. KC Rockabilly is presenting this great show at Aftershock (FB event page). The Quivers take the stage at 8:30, TLNC follows at 9:30, and The Cave Girls at 10:30. Then, on Saturday, December 1, TLNC will be at recordBar with Deco Auto, Now Now Sleepyhead, and In Back of A Black Car (FB event page).  

--Zach Hodson

Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until "Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings" begins production.

He is also in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black & Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects.

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