Antennas Up

MidCoast Cares presents Rock For Relief: A Benefit for Moore, Oklahoma

Tonight, MidCoast Cares (who also raised money for the relief effort in the 2011 Joplin tornado) presents Rock For Relief: A Benefit for Moore, Oklahoma, which was recently devastated by a tornado.

Doors open at 5:30 and the show starts at 6, beginning with Ghost Town Heart, then She's A Keeper, Not A Planet, Antennas Up, Beautiful Bodies, and closing out with Cover Me Badd. The event is at KC Live! in the Power & Light District. There are NO presale tickets. General admission is $10; $20 will get you entry, two drink tickets, and access to the VIP Lounge. All proceeds will go to benefit the tornado recovery in Moore through Heart to Heart International. A silent auction will also be held, and the first 200 attendees will receive a buy-one-get-one-free card from Chipotle.

Join the Kansas City music community for a great cause to help our neighbors in Oklahoma. Here's the Facebook event page.

--Michelle Bacon

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Photos from MidCoast Takeover Fundraiser #1 at recordBar, 1.26.13

(Photo by Terra Peal)

The first MidCoast Takeover fundraiser show was a huge success, thanks to all of the great bands (She's A Keeper, Drew Black and Dirty Electric, Molly Picture Club, and Antennas Up) that performed, as well as Midwest Music Foundation, recordBar, and all of our sponsors!
Here’s a list of the MidCoast Takeover sponsors:
CM2 Audio
Taj Mattingly

She's A Keeper  

Photos by Todd Zimmer


Drew Black and Dirty Electric

Photos by Todd Zimmer



Molly Picture Club

Photos by Terra Peal





Antennas Up 

Photos by Terra Peal

Also, here's a video recap of the fundraiser from Nate Heavilin from Attic Wolves
And thanks to everyone who came to support the first fundraiser show! We hope you’ll join us for the next ones: Friday, February 1 at Czar; Saturday, February 2 at The Riot Room; Saturday, February 16 at The Brick; and Friday, March 8 at Uptown Arts Bar. MMF will be selling raffle tickets at each of the fundraiser shows for two pairs of VIP Kanrocksas tickets, which include a tour with the Kanrocksas founder!
--Michelle Bacon



Artists on Trial: Antennas Up

(Photo by Gene Smirnov)

For the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring artists playing the MidCoast Takeover fundraiser shows, sponsored by Midwest Music Foundation.
Antennas Up has found local and national success since its formation in 2008, touring with bands like Girl Talk, Flogging Molly, Company of Thieves, and others. The four-piece band has played official SXSW and CMJ showcases, and its music has been featured in ads and TV shows. In 2012, the energetic synth pop band released The Awkward Phase, which spent over 10 weeks on CMJ’s Top 200 list and was lauded by critics. We talk with lead vocalist and bassist Kyle Akers about what Antennas Up has going on right now.
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?

Kyle Akers: An electro pop-rock band from Kansas City that fuses post-new wave guitar hooks with vocoder synths.
The Deli: Tell us about what Antennas Up has going on. What can we expect this year?
Akers: Right now we're working on music videos, booking tours around the Midwest and up to New York, and always writing and recording. Keep your eyes on our Facebook and Twitter for announcements as they come.
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?

Akers: I'm a big fan of sharing other bands accomplishments, songs, videos and anything else cool that local bands are doing on the Internet. It feels great to help spread the local bands we love to our fans. Everyone in KC benefits when the listeners get more opportunities to find out about all the other great bands around here.
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?

Akers: Hidden Pictures and Not A Planet always hit me in the right place. I'm really anticipating the new Republic Tigers album too. It's going to be a monster, I hear.
The Deli: Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the upcoming MidCoast Takeover fundraisers?
Akers: Honestly, I am just excited to see so many great lineups all focused around supporting a huge showcase of Kansas City and Midwest music. It's a great way to show off what we can do here in KC at one of the biggest music festivals around.
The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?

Akers: I've hit a rash of female-vocal led bands that have been tugging on my ears recently, most noticeably this band called HAERTS. They've got a song called "Wings" that you have to go listen to right now.
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

Akers: Well, if we could totally throw out the idea of making a cohesive bill, right now it'd have to be Prince, Electric Light Orchestra...wait. I really think just playing the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction for George Harrison performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" would do it for me.
The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
Akers: On stage. Although the day-to-day necessities of life would probably be harder to come by on a stage than in a studio.
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?

Akers: This question worries me, because it's asking me to pick the four most important people in music history, and I think that's an impossible task. I'll just take the easy road and pick The Beatles. We all know that the project would only get about 1/5 of the way done and run out of funding anyway. It'd just be a mountain with four mop-top haircuts on it.

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

Twitter: @antennasup

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

Akers: You can spend all day long researching and learning HOW to do things, but that can only get you so far. Just go out and do things. I'll quote Adventure Time: Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.
Antennas Up is:
Kyle Akers – lead vocals, bass
Jon Ulasien – guitar, keys, vocals
Bo McCall – guitar, vocals
The Ryantist – drums, vocals
You can see Akers and his crew this Saturday, January 26, where they will headline the first MidCoast Takeover fundraiser at recordBar. Antennas Up will play at 12:15, after a lineup starting with She’s A Keeper, Drew Black and Dirty Electric, and Molly Picture Club. The band was also one of over 40 KC artists selected to play the 2013 MidCoast Takeover showcase at SXSW from March 13-16 at Shangri-La in Austin, Texas.

--Michelle Bacon



Show review: Midwestern Audio Compilation Release Party, 9.23.12

(Photo of Everyday/Everynight)

More often than not, a bill of diverse acts just doesn’t work. When you're a show promoter, you typically don't set up a group of guylined cock rockers with a charming folk duo. 

Fortunately, sometimes it runs smoothly and flows naturally. The Midwestern Audio, Vol. 1 double CD compilation from Midwest Music Foundation glides smoothly along, just as its release party did on September 23, featuring six acts featured on the compilation.
Gemini Revolution, opened up the night with an avant-garde, psychedelic, chilling performance. The trio returned only days before from performing POP Montreal, and left the trickling-in crowd wanting more. Dedric Moore, Delaney Moore, and Mika Tanaya are also part of the experimental and somewhat more accessible Monta At Odds, and brought an otherworldly, intergalactic vibe to their music. Whether this form of free jazz infused with electronic pop is your cup of tea or not, there was no doubt that Gemini Revolution played music on its own terms, and brought an eerie, nail-biting soundtrack to get the evening started.
While Gemini Revolution set up the scene for the evening’s festivities, the next act took it to an exhilarating apex. Reach brought a compelling performance with help from the Diverse jazz trio. Witnessing each act on its own is a spectacle of musicianship, ingenious lyrics and astounding rhythms, but the combination of the two put the audience in awe of its splendor. While Hermon Mehari supplied smooth, poignant trumpet melodies, the rhythm section added a compelling, vital component that the audience couldn’t take its eyes off of. And then there’s Reach, who has proved in his years of being an emcee in Kansas City that he has true starpower and talent, with the rare ability to keep a crowd energized while depicting real life in brilliant rhyme schemes.
The natural progression of a psychedelic trio to a jazz/rap collective to jazz/blues swing group may seem like an odd mashup, but Grand Marquis provided a refreshing backdrop to a lineup that continued to build in dynamics and potency. This five-piece group—who recently recorded a session at the historic Sun Studio in Memphis—made sure the mostly indie pop/rock audience would take notice and spring to its feet. Dressed to the nines, Grand Marquis helped transform the recordBar into a speakeasy for about 45 minutes. The group played a mix of big band standards and originals with a swinging New Orleans jazz flair. Like Diverse, Grand Marquis reminded us of the vibrant history of Kansas City music, but also showed us how the sound remains relevant today.
The last two bands of the night provided the crowd with the heaviest dose of indie pop and rock. Antennas Up highlighted the show with its signature dancey, mind-melding synth pop power. Complete with The Ryantist’s Space Invaders drum kit, the energetic four-piece took us on a stellar ride through the universe, but not in the same way as Gemini Revolution. As the night’s opener astonished the audience with its finesse of taking unstructured music and making it accessible, Antennas Up blasted the crowd into space with clear vocal harmonies and plenty of boops and beeps to keep listeners intent on their aural surroundings.
Everyday/Everynight wrapped up the evening in true form to any headlining act. Shimmering guitars, echoing vocals, and enormous atmospheric noises made the group’s music simultaneously beautiful and excitingly aggressive. Frontman Jerad Tomasino took a moment to acknowledge Midwest Music Foundation for putting together a free local compilation, which includes 41 tracks from some of the most talented musical acts in the area.
You can find tracks from all of these acts on the Midwestern Audio, Vol. 1 compilation. It's available for FREE at Love Garden Sounds in Lawrence and other stores around the Kansas City. Brenton Cook, who compiled the CD, will be handing out copies this Saturday at Earwaxx Records during an in-store event with featured bands Be/Non and Appropriate Grammar. It's also available for download at the Bandcamp link below.

--Michelle Bacon

Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She also has a weekly column with The Kansas City Star and reviews music for Ink. She plays with Deco AutoDrew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. She flosses daily. Do you?

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May album releases

(above: The Doo-Dads)

 ...and if you have more releases we need to know about, email us here.

The Brannock Device: Into the Witness Chamber, 5.15.12

Antennas Up: The Awkward Phase, 5.15.12

The Doo-Dads: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!, 5.11.12

The Rumblejetts: Motor Honey, 5.9.12

Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats: Lather Rinse Repeat, 5.4.12

Dr. Wizard: Dr. Wizard, 5.4.12

 Genessee: Genessee, 5.4.12