kansas you sly charmer

Right now it’s an overcast day but out the living room window I can see green grass lawns and trees and birds are chirping. Green grass! I hear the train go by occasionally. Matt heard one siren the first night and thought the cops were after us cause we were having a band practice in the living room. They weren’t.
Gummo is sitting on the window seat watching birds. He is alert and active -There is so much to explore here….all the rooms and nooks and we haven’t even taken him outside yet.

So last night we played at Matt’s friend Darren’s (now my friend too) Music Store – called Midwestern Musical Co. Let me take a moment and just say that Darren is kind of like our friend Klaus in Regensburg – he is the musical mayor of Kansas City – he knows everyone! He’s also known Matt since high school. He and Matt learned how to play music together right in the basement here where we’re staying and they were in Dracomagnet together.    I love watching these two talk together….they share a lot of slang terms. Darren has a patience about him I like – and so does Matt….a gentleness. I could tell they really influenced each other – and maybe still do. Cathy his wife is really cool too -warm and easy to talk with.

So anyway Darren and Cathy put on these monthly nights at the music store called First Fridays where one artist presents their work and two bands play.
The store has all these vintage guitars and amps and records and cool STUFF in the corners to look at. Steve from Goodbye Blue Monday would love it I think. The place filled up to the gills as we started our first song – Darren wasn’t kidding about people coming out to this event. Lots of college kids and fans as well of the band that played after us called “She’s a Keeper”. Their drummer with a crazy hairdo called Fritz even got people dancing on a couple of our tunes. (side note: she’s a keeper were awesome- kind of kicking fleet foxes’ ass).
We had a really fun set – I think we were warmed up from the festival show the night before – I felt more relaxed and we played some of the slower singy songs like Cyclone and Cougar. I kept meeting sweet people all night who welcomed us to kansas city and talked about all the cool art galleries and music stuff happening here. One of the bartenders who was helping me sell merch owns a hair salon in town and said they give free bang trims. Score! I’m getting set up already.
After the show we were starving and went to an a little cafe open all night…called Ly’s i think? The food they have is whatever they decide to make that day.
I had a homecooked meal of mac n cheese, mashed potato, curry green beans, jerk chicken, and corn. That’s what I’m talking about!!! I’m going back for pie soon.

The first show we played in Kansas City was for Middle of the Map Festival – which I haven’t even talked about yet…
This night we played was a sort of reunion show for these local KC bands like Cher UK (who I really liked with their singer who sounded a little like squeeze), Molly McGuire, and Season To Risk (both mmguire & STR are hard head bang rockness – their drummers were INSANE –  something is in the water for drummers here). These bands were pretty popular at the time Matt left Kansas for NYC….so it was a real trip for him to see them again. To talk to people he’d known from 18 years ago. When we first arrived at the club I was a little intimidated – the venue was huge and the other bands were soundchecking with balls of fierce rock and I was thinking, “oh man, they are not gonna be into us….like they might think we’re too cute or something.” And right after our set I was like “what just happened?”  I think Matt and I were in a dreamlike-energy-amped state. My pre show assumptions about the scene were totally flipped over the course of the night as some of the beefiest, beardly-est, dude-liest guys in the place came up to me and said, “good show. I dug that. thanks.” yes!
It is so great that we played shows right off the bat and were talking and meeting people – the move seems less scary somehow with music as my center….
So what next?
We just dropped the uhaul off and got a rental car for a week. This will help a lot so we can get to the grocery store and also start our tour van hunt.
Matt’s dad is still in Florida recovering from pneumonia for another couple weeks so we haven’t moved into the basement just yet- still on the ground floor.
Matt is right now trying to fix a leak from behind the fridge that’s dripping through the basement ceiling. woops. I think he figured it out – it’s the ice machine. Who needs ice? There is some work that has to be done in the basement…..there’s one giant room in good shape with crimson carpet I call “the red room” where we’re going to put most of our stuff – it’s probably the size of a studio apartment. But the bedroom in the basement is in poor shape so until we fix it up we’re going to sleep in the red room.
There are a lot of appliances here. I want for nothing in terms of kitchenware. Also there’s a dresser in the “office” guest room and all my clothes fit in there. I haven’t had this much space in years. It’s insane!

I have to get my ass in gear with tour booking again. Monday I’ll get into high gear. High gear! Who talks like this except Jon Spencer when he is singing his “high gear” song?
Lots to do which is good. And try to sit in the tree swing as much as possible. Tree swing! here are a few pics.

the house

the street

tree swing

living room practice the first nite we arrived.

a pic of matt in the basement. i know!

midwestern musical co.!

middle of the map fest.


About ntwildstyle

I am a musician, writer, singer, improv actor, dancer and a virgo. I live in Kansas City, MO after many years in NYC.
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