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The Deli KC

The Deli Readers' Kansas City Artist of 2012: #1 - Dollar Fox

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)

Congratulations to Dollar Fox, The Deli Readers’ Best Kansas City Artist of 2012! 

Dollar Fox is a five-piece Americana collective that bursts with talent, energy, and depth. Made up of Tommy Donoho, Justin Penney, Ryan Watkins, Nick Dothage, and Ethan Taylor, the group was featured as The Deli KC’s first Artist of the Month. This multi-instrumental band has found success across the KC region and beyond, with engaging live shows that can range from a folky, stripped-down string set to a bombastic rock show.
Dollar Fox has released two LPs: Close To Home and its most recent effort Little Mother’s Things I Am Keeping, released in October 2012 (see our review of the album). The band also released a split 7”, Big Rock Candy Mountain, with labelmates The Peculiar Pretzelmen. As the flagship band on Money Wolf Music, Dollar Fox has amassed a loyal following, which makes it easy to figure out why readers have chosen this talented band as their #1 artist of the year. Congrats, guys!
--Michelle Bacon

The Deli Readers' Kansas City Artists of 2012: #2 - Gentleman Savage

(Photo by Jason Comotto)

Gentleman Savage has only recently been making waves in the Kansas City music scene, but has already made an indelible impression. The second place group’s psych-pop sensibility appeals to wide audiences with its tightly composed hooks while channeling pop greats like The Beach Boys, The Zombies, and Big Star. The group, made up of Holden Simpson, Kyle Anthony, and Nick Talley, released its debut EP Open Eyes in October 2012 (see our review of the album). They are currently in the studio working on new material, which promises to be another solid release and expand its audience.
Note: Gentleman Savage placed third in Open Submissions poll for emerging Kansas City band.
Gentleman Savage will be performing at recordBar next Saturday, February 2, with The Casket Lottery and The Dead Girls.

Today I Realized from Gentleman Savage on Vimeo.

--Michelle Bacon

The Deli Readers' Kansas City Artists of 2012: #3 - We Are Voices

(Photo by Sandy Rushing)

Rounding out The Deli readers’ top 3 is We Are Voices, an atmospheric indie rock quartet whose songwriting continues to grow with each release. The band’s debut release, What Makes Us So Alive?, peaked the interest of indie lovers across the area, while its second album Fighting Fires established its reputation as a polished Kansas City mainstay. Its anticipated third album Tread Lightly (here's our review),  which was released last month, garnered rave reviews inside and outside of Kansas City. The group includes Lucas Larson, Eric Baldwin, Joshua Greenlee, and Carson Land.
Today it was announced that We Are Voices will be among over 40 KC-area bands featured at MidCoast Takeover at SXSW this year. This will be the band’s third showcase at MidCoast.
Note: We Are Voices placed second in the Open Submissions poll for emerging Kansas City band.
This Saturday, January 26, We Are Voices is playing at the Jackpot with Grenadina and Forrester.

Album review: Olassa - I Love You Come Back To Me (EP)

As a music journalist of nearly eight years, it has become rather noticeably difficult to stumble across new “firsts.” There comes a point where everything to be seen has been witnessed and everything to be discovered has been found. At times music begins to just feel played out—the bucket lists slowly start to lean towards being more completed than unchecked and everything becomes rather redundant. Then just when I stop looking, someone throws a tuba into the mix and shifts my perspective of everything.

In this instance that band is Olassa.
With a Midwest, alt-country impression of Gogol Bordello a la The Moldy Peaches (yes kids, that is that band from the movie Juno), Olassa brings an updated thrift store charm and chemistry to the otherwise straightforward, blue-collar Lawrence/Kansas City music scene. Packing a pretty hefty collection of bass and catchy song-styling, the band’s male to female vocal structures allow them the ability to come out swinging and sock their audience in the teeth, with enough talent and ability to leave a listener enamored with a song. Quite honestly, Olassa is the type of band that is easy to become completely smitten with.
Upon first spin of the album I fell in love with five of the six cuts on I Love You, Come Back to Me. “Where Will I Live,” the album’s opening track, sets the stage for Olassa’s unique style. With tuba breakdowns providing the bass and accordions replacing the lead guitar (or organ) parts, the cut provides an interesting and intriguing lo-fi gypsy punk feel. The song also gives us our first glimpse at the blended co-ed vocals, before shifting into the fully female-fronted “Sloe Gin.” With a beautiful front porch guitar intro and a truly Americana vocal structure, the album’s second track strives to give Beth Orton and Emmylou Harris a run for their money (long-term). The song is secured in its deep, stable songwriting as it builds and progresses slowly and accurately. The track shuts down suddenly before reentering with a flawless accordion and cello combo, which closes out the number. Overall, the track does wonders in terms of setting the tone of where Olassa is headed in 2013. If “Sloe Gin” is an indication of their future to build upon, I expect nothing but an upward swell.
Unfortunately, “Sloe Gin,” the album’s strongest track, lands coupled with the somewhat disappointing “Vega.” Feeling a bit incomplete and unfinished, regardless of its obvious intentions of being this way, the song seems to lack the lyrical strength and structure of the whole of the album. However, Allison Olassa’s beautiful vocals remain intact as she uses gorgeous vibrato as the song swells around her. While the song itself is not a total waste, it is certainly the weakest cut on the otherwise flawless EP.
The final three songs on the album, “Little Darlin’,” “Ponder,” and “Pretty Flowers,” close out the impressive early-season release. “Pretty Flowers” slams the door on the release in a solid and impressive way, combining the glimpses of Americana noise with the rapid use of tuba and accordion filtered throughout the album. The song has a sunshiny feel to it with an elegance highlighted previously through “Sloe Gin.” With split vocals attacking each ear equally through the headphone of the listener, the song manages to surround you with its flawlessness.
The same can be said for the album as a whole. With the band dropping such a well-crafted album so early in the new year, the bar has clearly been set to a higher level in the area for local album of the year. I personally want to thank Olassa for throwing out such a challenge to their peers and fellow mates in the scene. I am wholeheartedly looking forward to watching each of them try to keep up.
SCORE: 9/10
Catch Olassa this Saturday, January 26 at Replay Lounge when it releases I Love You Come Back To Me at a special release party. The band will be joined by The Calamity Cubes, KC Bear Fighters, and Alex Law.
--Joshua Hammond
After stints drumming for both The Afternoons and Jenny Carr and the Waiting List in the Lawrence/Kansas City music scene, Joshua Hammond found his footing as a music journalist, launching the national publication Popwreckoning. After running the show as Editor in Chief for 6 years, Hammond stepped away from the reigns to freelance for other publications like Under The Gun Review and High Voltage Magazine. This shift allowed the adequate amount of time for him to write passionately, allow the Kansas City Royals to break his heart on a daily basis and spoon his cats just enough that they don't shred his vinyl. 

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MidCoast Takeover Fundraiser Concert Series

The MidCoast Takeover fundraiser shows have been announced, with 5 incredible local lineups. Proceeds from each fundraiser will go to the Midwest Music Foundation for the local showcase at SXSW. The showcase will take place from March 13 through 16 at Shangri-La on East 6th Street, and will include around 40 bands from the Kansas City region. All shows are $10 in advance or at the door. Here is the full lineup:

Saturday, January 26recordBar
9:45     She’s A Keeper
12:15   Antennas Up
Friday, February 1Czar
9:45     Jorge Arana Trio
10:30   Eyelit
11:15   Tiny Horse
Saturday, February 2Riot Room
9:45     Various Blonde
10:30   Drop A Grand
12:15   Six Percent
Saturday, February 16 The Brick
10:00   Rev Gusto
12:30   Not A Planet
Friday, March 8 Uptown Arts Bar (acoustic show)
8:00     Cadillac Flambe
9:00     Sons of Great Dane
10:00   Clairaudients
We will be featuring some of the artists playing these fundraisers in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for this and the announcement of band selections next week!
For more info on MidCoast Takeover, visit http://midcoasttakeover.com and Midwest Music Foundation: http://midwestmusicfound.org.
--Michelle Bacon

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