Wednesday MidDay Medley
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Tributes to Iris DeMent & David Bowie
+ Michelle Bacon & Katy Guillen of The Band That Fell To Earth
In our 1st hour, we celebrated the birthday of Iris DeMent, born January 5, 1961, in rural Paragould, Arkansas. She was the youngest of 14 children. At the age of 3, her devoutly religious family moved to California, where she grew up singing gospel music. During her teenage years, Iris was exposed to country, folk, & R&B, drawing influence from Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, & Joni Mitchell.
Iris moved to the midwest and after a series of jobs as a waitress and typist, she wrote her first song at the age of 25. She moved to Kansas City and played Harling’s Upstairs and open-mic nights alongside Scott Hrabko and Howard Iceberg. Iris met producer Jim Rooney in Nashville, in 1988, who helped her land a record contract.
Iris Dement made her recording debut in 1992, with her independently produced album, “Infamous Angel.” The record won critical acclaim and John Prine mentioned Iris in his list of favorite recordings of the year published in Rolling Stone. Despite a complete lack of support from country radio, the word of mouth praise for Iris DeMent’s “Infamous Angel” earned her a deal with Warner Bros Records, which reissued “Infamous Angel” in 1993. We started the show with a song originally from that album called, “Let The Mystery Be” that was lovingly covered by her husband, the great folk singer songwriter – Greg Brown. “Let The Mystery Be” has also been covered by David Bryne, 10,000 Maniacs, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, and it was the theme song for the second season of The Leftovers.
1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
from: Motion Picture Soundtrack to All That Jazz / Universal / Dec. 20, 1979 [WMM’s theme]
2. Greg Brown – “Let The Mystery Be”
from: Freak Flag / Yep Roc / May 10, 2011
[Iris Dement’s song “Let The Mystery Be” from her debut Infamous Angel, from 1992. This song was covered by David Bryne, 10,000 Maniacs, Bun E. Carlos, and many others, it also became the theme song for the 2nd season of The Leftovers.While Greg Brown was recording this album, lighting hit the studio where Greg Brown he was recording songs for his 24th album: Freak Flag, the title track was all that remained of the lost original album. Greg wrote ten new songs, recording them at Memphis, Tennessee’s legendary Ardent Studios. Produced by Bo Ramsey, the album also includes a cover of Pieta Brown’s song ”Remember the Sun.”]
Full disclosure, I love Iris DeMent. I’ve seen her live, in-concert, over 8 times. I met Iris DeMent when I was working at Kinkos at 39th & Rainbow in 1992. Iris came in to copy press clippings, she was in the process of releasing her debut album. I wasn’t familiar with her music until I saw her on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 1995, where she performed her song, “My Life.” I was blown away. I had video-taped the show, and I would replay that song for everyone that came to visit. I wanted everyone to know about Iris DeMent.
I ran into Iris at Classic Cup in Westport. By this point I had become a big fan of her music and I was sort of star stuck, but she approached me and asked, “How do I know you?” Our friendship was able to continue because we shared a mutual friend named Anne Winter, who invited me to a holiday party in Iris Dement’s River Market condo where we sang old fashioned hymns, with members of The Wilders. Anne Winter had become a close friend of Iris and even went out “on the road” with her at one point. Because of Anne, I stage managed a show at the Uptown Theatre with Michael Moore, Iris deMent and the Wilders all performing. Anne Winter also helped arranged for Iris to play one of our Big Bang Buffet shows in 1999 at The Hobbs Building. In 2002 Iris agreed to do a benefit show for Friends of Community Radio. At this point she was living in Coleman Heights in Kansas City and invited Linda Wilson and I to a home-cooked meal at her house, to talk aver the details of the show. In 2004 Iris and Greg Brown performed together in a show with Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!” to raise over $10,000.00 for KKFI. Iris never took a penny from any of these shows, and has always been such a generous supporter of 90.1 FM. She recognized as a singer songwriter how important community radio is for independent artists like herself, and she has always given back, to help keep this radio station alive. Because of Iris DeMent’s generosity, and in honor of our dear friend Anne Winter, who we lost in 2009, I vowed to pay tribute to iris on her birthday, each year, with this radio show.
3. Iris DeMent – “My Life”
from: My Life / Warner Brothers / 1994
10:12 – Influences of Iris DeMent
Iris DeMent represents that place in the road, where Country and Folk music merged with honest stories, of working class people, not afraid to tell the truth about the times they are living through. Iris DeMent grew up singing gospel music, but in her teenage years, she discovered other music through the radio: country, folk, and R&B, and the music of Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell.
4. Loretta Lynn – “You Ain’t Woman Enough To Take My Man”
from: Legends of Country Music / Columbis Legacy / 1997
[Live performance for Austin City Limits taped in 1983. Loretta Webb was the second of 8 children; grew up in Butcher Holler, a section of Van Lear, a mining community in Kentucky. Growing up with such humble roots had a huge effect on Lynn’s life and heavily influenced her music as an adult. Her autobiography describes how, during her childhood, the community had no motor vehicles, paved roads, or flush toilets. She married Oliver Vanetta Lynn, known as “Doo,” on Jan. 10, 1948, at age 13. In an effort to break free of the coal mining industry, at 14, Lynn moved to the logging community Custer, Washington, with her husband. The Lynns had 4 children – Betty Sue, Jack Benny, Cissy and Ernest Ray – by the time Loretta was 18, and in her early 20s she then had twin girls, Peggy & Patsy. No stranger to controversy, Loretta Lynn possibly had more banned songs than any other country music artist, prior to The Dixie Chicks, including “Rated X,” about the double standards divorced women face, “Wings Upon Your Horns,” about the loss of teenage virginity, and “The Pill,” lyrics by T. D. Bayless, about a wife and mother becoming liberated via the birth control pill. Her song “Dear Uncle Sam,” released in 1966 during the Vietnam War, describes a wife’s anguish at the loss of a husband to war. It has been included in live performances during the US – Iraq War.]
5. Merle Haggard – “Workin’ Man Blues”
from: Oh Boy Classic Presents Merle Haggard / Oh Boy Records / 2000
[Originally released in 1969, a tribute to a core group of his fans: The American blue-collared working man. Backed by an electric guitar that typified Haggard’s signature Bakersfield Sound, he fills the role of one of those workers expressing pride in values of hard work and sacrifice, despite the resulting fatigue and the stress of raising a large family. Included on Haggard’s 1969 album “A Portrait of Merle Haggard.” Included in this collection on John Prine’s Oh Boy Records.]
6. Johnny Cash – “Ring of Fire”
from: 16 Biggets Hits / Columbia Legacy / 2007
[co-written by June Carter (wife of Johnny Cash) and Merle Kilgore. The song was recorded on March 25, 1963 and became the biggest hit of his career, staying at #1 on the charts for 7 weeks. “Ring of Fire” refers to falling in love – which is what June Carter was experiencing with Johnny Cash at the time. Some sources claim that June had seen the phrase, “Love is like a burning ring of fire,” underlined in one of her uncle A. P. Carter’s Elizabethan books of poetry. She worked with Kilgore on writing a song inspired by this phrase as she had seen her uncle do in the past. In the 2005 film, Walk the Line June is depicted as writing the song while agonizing over her feelings for Cash despite his drug addiction and alcoholism as she was driving home one evening. She had written: “There is no way to be in that kind of hell, no way to extinguish a flame that burns, burns, burns”. Cash claims he had a dream where he heard the song accompanied by “Mexican horns”. Four years after the song was released, Carter and Cash were married which Cash states helped to stop his alcohol and drug addictions. Cash’s daughter, Rosanne has stated, “The song is about the transformative power of love and that’s what it has always meant to me and that’s what it will always mean to the Cash children.]
7. Bob Dylan – “I Shall Be Released”
from: The Essential Bob Dylan / Columbia – Sony / 2000 [Originally recorded October, 1971. ]
8. Joni Mitchell – “For The Roses”
from: For The Roses / Asylumn / 1972
[Released between her 2 biggest commercial and critical successes – “Blue” and “Court & Spark”. In 2007 it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. “For the Roses” was Mitchell’s farewell to the business; she took an extended break for a year after. The album was critically acclaimed with The New York Times saying “Each of Mitchell’s songs on For the Roses is a gem glistening with her elegant way with language, her pointed splashes of irony & her perfect shaping of images. Never does Mitchell voice a thought or feeling commonly. She’s a songwriter and singer of genius who can’t help but make us feel we are not alone.” A nude photograph of Joni Mitchell was included on the inside cover of the original LP and is included in the CD booklet. The photograph shows the singer from the rear & was taken from a considerable distance; she is shown standing on a rock and staring out at the ocean. This created some controversy at the time.]
10:26 – Underwriting
10:28 – Collaborations with Iris Dement
9. Nanci Griffith w/Iris & Emmylou – “Are You Tired of Me Darling”
from: Other Voices Other Rooms / Elektra / 1993
[High Harmony – Iris / Low Harmony – Emmylou Harris] [Nanci Griffith’s 10th album. Here she pays homage to other songwriters who have influenced her own career.]
10. John Prine w/ Iris Dement – “We’re Not The Jet Set”
from: In Spite Of Ourselves / Oh Boy / 1999
[In 1968 country superstar George Jones witnessed a fight between Tammy Wynette and her husband Don Chapel. At Jones’s urging, Wynette and her daughters drove away with him. Wynette and Jones married Feb. 16, 1969, and Wynette’s 4th daughter, Georgette, was born in 1970. Jones and Wynette, were nicknamed the “President and First Lady” of country music, and they recorded a string of hit duets that seemed drawn directly from their volatile relationship, which resulted in their divorcing in 1975. Their classic recordings included “Two Story House,” “Golden Ring,” and the humorous “(We’re Not) The Jet Set.” ]
Iris DeMent’s first three releases, all on Warner Brothers records, were critically acclaimed, and she received two Grammy nominations during this time, in the “Folk Music” category. Meanwhile country radio completely overlooked her original songs, and amazing voice, that has been compared to Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. For her 1992 debut record John Prine wrote the liner notes. [Read the liner notes from John Prine]
“One night after receiving a copy of “Let the Mystery Be,” I was listening to the tape while frying a dozen or so pork chops in a skillet. Well Iris DeMent starts singing about “Mama’s Opry,” and being the sentimental fellow I am, I got a lump in my throat and a tear fell from my eyes into the hot oil. Well the oil popped out and burnt my arm as if the pork chops were trying to say, “Shut up, or I’ll really give you something to cry about.” Of course, pork chops can’t talk. But Iris DeMent’s songs can. They talk about isolated memories of life, love and living. And Iris has a voice I like a whole lot, like one you’ve heard before— but not really. So listen to this music, this Iris DeMent. It’s good for you. And if pork chops could talk, they’d probably learn how to sing one of her songs. Then we’d all have something to cry about.” – John Prine, Songwriter, musician & president Oh Boy! Records”
11. Iris DeMent – “Infamous Angel”
from: Infamous Angel / Warner Brothers / 1992 / 1993
[Debut studio album. In 1995, her song “Our Town” was played in the closing moments of the last episode of CBS TV series Northern Exposure. “Let the Mystery Be” became theme for the 2nd season of The Leftovers.]
10:40 – Greg Brown
Iris followed up her debut record with the autobiographical, “My Life,” released in 1994 and quickly followed with her third Warner Brother’s release, “The Way I Should,” released in 1996, which contains some of Iris DeMent’s most political songs.
In the 2002 Iris DeMent did a benefit concert for The Friends of Community Radio at Unity Temple on The Plaza. I remember when Iris asked us if it was okay that she have a musician friend open the concert for her, we agreed because Iris was donated her talent to the cause of community radio. And then she told us that this musician friend was Greg Brown, who at this point was know all over the country, but had never before played KC.
Later that year, on November 21, 2002 Greg married Iris DeMent in a private ceremony in the office of Rev. Sam Mann of St. Mark Church in East KC.
Grammy Nominated Greg Brown is one of the most respected singer songwriters working in music today. He started singing professionally at the age of 18 organizing early folk concerts in New York City, Portland, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. In the 1980s, he worked and toured extensively as musical director for Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio program. He also founded his own record label, named Red House Records after a home in which he lived in Iowa. Greg Brown has released over 30 recordings and has allowed much of his music to be used to raise funds and awareness for environmental and social causes. His songs have been performed by Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, Carlos Santana, Michael Johnson, Ani DiFranco, Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Iris DeMent and Joan Baez.
12. Greg Brown w/Iris -“Jacob’s Ladder”
from: Honey in The Lion’s Head / Trailer / 2003
13. Greg Brown – “Bucket”
from: Evening Call / Red House / 2006
[The Washington Post writes, “The singer-songwriter from Iowa has a baritone as rough and chunky as Thanksgiving gravy with the turkey bits still in, and that’s just how his words drip out on his album, “The Evening Call.” on “Whippoorwill” he sing as sweetly as his lover down in KC. That’s his wife, Iris DeMent, and on “Joy Tears,” he tells her, “When you start your singing, honey, the heavens open up with grace.”]
In 2015 Iris DeMent released her 6th album, with national acclaim, and a #5 spot on WMM’s 115 Best Recordings of 2015. The Trackless Woods sets 18 poems by acclaimed 20th century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to life. Hailed as one of Russia’s finest poets, Akhmatova survived the Bolshevik Revolution, both World Wars and Stalin. When Iris randomly stumbled upon Akhmatova’s work in a book of poetry a friend sent as a gift, she was immediately taken by the sorrow and burden of the poems. Iris recorded the album with co-producer Richard Bennett in her living room over a five-day period. The project also fulfilled a long yearned-for desire to connect with her adopted daughter’s culture and history. Iris and her husband Greg Brown adopted their daughter from Siberia in 2005, when she was 6, and Iris says ”I’d never have made this record were it not for her.”
14. Iris DeMent – “Listening to Singing”
from: The Trackless Woods / FlariElla / August 7, 2015 [6th album from Grammy nominated Iris DeMent who NPR said was ”one of the great voices in contemporary popular music.” The Trackless Woods sets 18 poems by acclaimed 20th century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to life. Hailed as one of Russia’s finest poets, Akhmatova survived the Bolshevik Revolution, both World Wars and Stalin. She lost family, friends & fellow writers to political killings and labor in the gulags. When Iris randomly stumbled upon Akhmatova’s work in a book of poetry a friend sent as a gift, she was immediately taken by the sorrow and burden of the poems, juxtaposed with Akhmatova’s lightness and transcendence in the face of inhumanity. ”Anna’s gift of song is so strong, about alI I had to do was get really quiet and listen,” says Iris. After reading that first poem the melodies began pouring out of her, and before she even fully understood what was driving her, Iris was gathering musicians & friends, including co-producer Richard Bennett (Emmylou Harris, Neil Diamond, Steve Earle), to record ‘The Trackless Woods’ in her living room over a 5-days. The result is a pairing of piano and voice in Iris’ style with timeless melodies that are rooted in the American South.]
In his review for WHYY’s Fresh Air, Entertainment Weekly Music Editor – Ken Tucker wrote: “Iris DeMent possesses one of the great voices in contemporary popular music: powerfully, ringingly clear, capable of both heartbreaking fragility and blow-your-ears-back power. Had she been making country albums in the ’70s and ’80s and had more commercial ambition, she’d probably now be considered right up there with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. Instead, she’s lived a contemporary life, a somewhat private life. As she recently told an interviewer, “There’s a lot that goes into life besides songwriting.” And she’s taken her time in composing songs that fit into no genre easily.”
Iris released her 5th album, “Sing The Delta” in 2012, to glowing reviews from the UK publication UNcut, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and was #1 on WMM’s 112 Best Recordings of 2012. And Because we have lost so many great folks in 2016, I find it fitting to end this hour long tribute with “Go On Ahead and Go Home” from Iris DeMent’s album, Sing the Delta. Happy Birthday Iris DeMent. We love you!
15. Iris DeMent – “Go on Ahead and Go Home”
from: Sing The Delta / Flariella / Oct. 2, 2012
[Her first full-length release of original songs since 1996. Iris was our special guest on our Oct 10, WMM.]
11:00 – Station ID
Wednesday MidDay Medley Celebrates Bowie
16. Nico Gray’s Bowie Story – “Thank you Bowie!”
recorded by Nico Gray, Sunday, February 28, 2016
17. James Murphy – “Golden Years”
rom: While We’re Young (Original Soundtrack) / Power Elite / March 23, 2015
[Born February 4, 1970. James Murphy is a musician, producer, DJ, and co-founder of record label DFA Records. His most well-known musical project is LCD Soundsystem. James Murphy was influenced by Bowie and remixed songs for Bowie’s The Next Day Extras, and is credited as a percussionist on Bowie’s Backstar.] [“Golden Years” was written and recorded by David Bowie in 1975, and originally released in a shortened form as a single in November 1975, and in its full-length version in January the following year on, Station to Station. It was the first track completed during the Station to Station sessions, a period when Bowie’s cocaine addiction was at its peak. “Golden Years” was more similar in style to the Young Americans funk/soul material from earlier in 1975 than the rest of Station to Station, that foreshadowed the Kraftwerk-influenced Euro-centric and electronic music that Bowie would move into with his ‘Berlin Trilogy’.]
David Bowie seemed to be from another world. I thought he was immortal. His art kept coming. His influence so vast. He was a guide. So much of my journey, as a queer kid finding my way in the world, was influenced by Bowie.
David Bowie was born January 8, 1947. In school he studied art, music, and design before embarking on a music career in 1963. Over a span of 5 decades, he sold over 140 million records and released 27 studio albums, if count Tin Machine, which you should. His career is notable for his reinvention, his pushing of the boundaries of gender, art and music. He was the first to create a concert tour that was a big as a broadway touring show. He was also an actor in many influencial films including: The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Hunger, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Basquiat, and 20 other films. He also played John Merrick in The Elephant Man on Broadway. He influenced multiple generations with his music, films, music videos, and concert tours.
Bowie was a gateway to other discoveries: The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, T-Rex, Iggy Pop, Andy Warhol, Glam Rock, Electronica, Brian Eno, William S. Burroughs, Kraftwerk, Mick Ronson, Tony Visconti, Klaus Nomi, Bauhaus, Gender Expression, and much more.
A year ago on January 10, 2016, two days after he released his 25th solo album, Blackstar, on his 69th birthday, David Robert Jones passed away at home surrounded by his wife Iman, son Duncan Jones from his marriage to Angela Bowie, and daughter Alexandria from his marriage to Iman. David Bowie’s death sent shock waves of grief across the world.
For his song, “Sweet Thing,” Bowie first used the William S. Burroughs’ “cut-up style” of writing. Sweet Thing was from Diamond Dogs, Bowie’s 8th album, released May 24, 1974.
18. Joan As Police Woman – “Sweet Thing”
from: Real Life (B Sides) – EP / Cheap Lullaby Records / June 12, 2007
[Extra tracks from the solo debut recording of Joan Wasser, born July 26, 1970, known by her stage name, Joan As Police Woman. She is an American musician and singer-songwriter. She began her career playing violin with the Dambuilders. Throughout her career, she has regularly collaborated with other artists as a writer, performer and arranger. Kansas City artist Krystle Warren has toured around the world with her.] [“Sweet Thing” or “Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise)” is a suite of songs written by David Bowie for the album Diamond Dogs. Recorded in January 1974, the piece comprises the songs “Sweet Thing” and “Candidate” and a one-verse reprise of “Sweet Thing.” In the opening line, “Sweet Thing” contains the lowest note Bowie had recorded in a studio album (C2) until “I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spacecraft” for the album “Heathen” (2002), where he growled the word “Well” (G1) towards the end of the song. Diamond Dogs was the 8th studio album from Bowie, was released May 24, 1974, after the ‘retirement’ of Bowies’s Ziggy Stardust, character. Diamond Dogs featured a new lead character named Halloween Jack, “a real cool cat,” who lives in the decaying “Hunger City”. Bowie, however, still wore the Ziggy haircut on the cover of Diamond Dogs, and the first single, “Rebel Rebel” continues his glam rock sound. However, with the rest of the album, music writers noticed a new Bowie. For his song “Sweet Thing” / “Candidate”/ “Sweet Thing (Reprise)” Bowie first used the William S. Burroughs’ cut-up style of writing. The song “1984” reflected the “plastic soul” sound of Bowie’s next release, Young Americans, from 1975. The Diamond Dogs Tour of 1974 was one of the first huge Rock and Roll, bus and truck tours. Bowie produced the show with a giant set, like a big Broadway production.]
David Bowie’s song ”Lazarus” was released on December 17, 2015, making it the second single from his twenty-fifth studio album “Blackstar”, as well as his last single released before his death on January 10, 2016. The track is used in Bowie’s off-Broadway musical of the same name. “Lazarus” was Bowie’s first top 40 hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 in more than 28 years. According to Bowie’s producer Tony Visconti, the lyrics and video of “Lazarus” were intended to be a self-epitaph, a commentary on Bowie’s own impending death. In November 2015 during the week of shooting for the Lazarus video, doctors reportedly informed Bowie the cancer was terminal and that they were ending treatment. The video features Bowie, appearing with a bandage and buttons sewn over his eyes, lying on a deathbed and finishes with Bowie retreating into a dark wardrobe. In the scenes featuring the wardrobe, Bowie is wearing a diagonally striped suit referencing the back cover of the 1991 CD reissue of the Station to Station album, where he is pictured sitting on the floor drawing the kabbalistic Tree of Life.
19. David Bowie – “Lazarus”
from: Blackstar / ISO Records – Columbia / January 8, 2016
[Lazarus features David Bowie on vocals, acoustic guitar, and Fender guitar; Donny McCaslin on saxophone, flute, and woodwind; Jason Linder on piano, Wurlitzer organ and keyboards; Tim Lefebvre on bass; Mark Guiliana on drums. McCaslin and the rest of the jazz group recorded their parts in the studio over a period of about one week a month from January to March 2015, and until later in recording were unaware of Bowie’s declining health. The song “Lazarus” is part of Bowie’s Off-Broadway musical of the same name. The album has received universal critical acclaim and commercial success, reaching the number one spot in a number of countries in the wake of Bowie’s death and becoming his first album to reach number one on the Billboard 200 album chart in the U.S. Blackstar is the twenty-fifth and final studio album by musician, writer, actor, chameleon, David Bowie. It is the 27th when you count the Tin Machine records, which you should. The album was released worldwide on January 8, 2016, on Bowie’s 69th birthday, and just two days later David Robert Jones passed away at home surrounded by his wife Iman, and his son Duncan Jones from his marriage to Angela Bowie, and daughter Alexandria from his marriage to Iman.]
[The Band Who Fell To Earth – A Tribute to David Bowie, is Saturday, January 6, at 8:00 PM, at recordBar, 1520 Main St.]
10:18 – Interview with Michelle Bacon & Katy Guillen
Multi talented, musician and writer, Michelle Bacon, is Content Writer at 90.9 The Bridge, where she helps to shine a light on area musicians and events. Michelle Bacon works as a freelance writer and has written for The Kansas City Star, The Deli Magazine KC, and Folk Alliance International. Michelle Bacon plays drums and sings harmony vocals with Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds. She also plays with Heidi Lynne Gluck. Last year she also performed and recorded music with, Erica Joy, The Blackbird Revue, John L. Johnson, and Nathan Corsi.
Michelle Bacon is the producer and organizer of The Band That Fell To Earth: A Tribute to David Bowie, Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 8:00 PM, at recordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd, KCMO. A portion of ticket sales will benefit Harmony Project KC, a music education and mentorship program for children in underserved communities in KCMO
Michelle Bacon, thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley
Katy Guillen is known as one of Kansas City premiere musicians and the lead singer and guitarist for the critically acclaimed blues influenced roots rock trio, Katy Guilen and the Girls, formed in September of 2012. On November 11 Katy Guillen and The Girls released their newest full length release, “Remember What You Knew Before.” a collection of reworked songs from the 2012 album Katy & Go-Go, the 2014 Katy & The Girls debut album, and from theoir 2016 “Heavy Days” with one new song.
Katy Guillen, thank you for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley.
The band was curated by musician/writer Michelle Bacon to pay homage to the groundbreaking artist while showcasing talent across Kansas City’s vast musical spectrum.
The thir annual With Bowie’s untimely passing only three weeks before the inaugural concert, the event garnered an attendance of more than 800 at the Uptown Theater, and generated press from KCPT, The Kansas City Star and various radio stations, along with high demand for an annual show.
Alex Alexander – guitar
Michelle Bacon – bass
Nathan Corsi – vocals/guitar
Kyle Dahlquist – keys
Katy Guillen – guitar
Steve Tulipana – vocals
Stephanie Williams – drums
2017-18 auxiliary members:
Christine Broxterman – cello
Havilah Bruders – backing vocals
Betse Ellis – violin (2016-18)
Camry Ivory – backing vocals
Matt Ronan – percussion
Rich Wheeler – saxophone (2016-18)
20. David Bowie – “Boys Keep Swinging”
from: Lodger / RCA / May 18, 1979
[Written by David Bowie. It was released as a single from the album Lodger on April 27, 1979. During the Lodger recording sessions, Bowie had wanted to capture a garage band style for the track, and agreed with Brian Eno that the best way to achieve this sound was to get the band to swap instruments after this was ‘suggested’ by Eno’s deck of ‘Oblique Strategies’ cards which supplied the suggestion “Reverse Roles”. Guitarist Carlos Alomar played drums and drummer Dennis Davis played bass. RCA decided against releasing the single in the US, choosing “Look Back in Anger” instead. Bowie performed the track with a puppet body special effect on Saturday Night Live on December 15, 1979, joined by Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias as backing singers. During the broadcast NBC censors muted the lines “life’s a pop o’the cherry” and “other boys check you out”, but failed to notice the puppet’s bouncing phallus at the close of the song. It was performed only during one tour, the 1995 Outside Tour. Interviewed in 2000, Bowie said the following about the song: “I do not feel that there is anything remotely glorious about being either male or female. I was merely playing on the idea of the colonization of gender.”]
We are talking with Michelle Bacon & Katy Guillen about The Band That Fell To Earth: A Tribute to David Bowie, Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 8:00 PM, at recordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd, KCMO. A portion of ticket sales will benefit Harmony Project KC, a music education and mentorship program for children in underserved communities in KCMO
Michelle Bacon & Katy Guillen, thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley
“Bowie is a reminder that art and music and life are about adaptation, change and exploration,” said Steve Tulipana, one of the group’s lead vocalists.
American Sign Language interpretation: E. Peige Turner
Video projections: Steve Gardels (XO Blackwater)
Sound engineer: Mark “Buzz” Collins
Lighting: Canyon McClung
Last year, on the second annual show on January 7, 2017, at recordBar, the sold-out raised nearly $1000 that was donated to the AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
Michelle Bacon & Katy Guillen thanks for being with us on Wednesay MidDay Medley
The Band That Fell To Earth: A Tribute to David Bowie 2017, Saturday, January 6, at doors open at 8:00, at recordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd, KCMO.
21. David Bowie – “John, I’m Only Dancing”
from: John. I’m Only Dancing – Single / RCA / April , 1973 (sax version)
[“John, I’m Only Dancing” is a single by David Bowie, released in two versions — entirely different recordings, but carrying the same catalogue number — in September 1972 and April 1973. Bowie later re-worked the song into the disco-influenced “John, I’m Only Dancing (Again),” recorded in 1974, but unreleased until 1979. The song is widely believed to be concerned with a gay relationship, the narrator informing his boyfriend not to worry about the girl he’s with because he’s “only dancing” with her. Bowie had been ‘out’ as bisexual since an interview with Melody Maker in January 1972, and the subject matter did not affect the single’s radio airplay in the UK, where it and the earlier “Starman” became his first back-to-back hits. However, the original video directed by Mick Rock, featuring androgynous dancers from Lindsay Kemp’s mime troupe, was banned by Top of the Pops. The single was not released in America, being judged too risqué by RCA and did not officially appear stateside until it was finally issued on the compilation Changesonebowie in 1976. While the hook (“John, I’m only dancing / She turns me on / But I’m only dancing”) has long been considered a gay tease, author Nicholas Pegg asserts that the song’s narrator “could just as easily be a straight man reassuring the girl’s lover”. Alternatively, it has been suggested that Bowie wrote the song in response to a derogatory comment made by John Lennon about Bowie’s cross-dressing. Musically in a light R&B style, the track was recorded on June 26, 1972, released as a single, and then re-recorded on January 20, 1973 during the Aladdin Sane sessions, in a slightly different arrangement featuring Ken Fordham on saxophone. Often called the “sax version”, the second recording was issued as a single in April 1973 with exactly the same catalogue number as the first release, causing difficulties for collectors. Generally held to be superior to the original cut, the sax reworking also appeared on early pressings of Changesonebowie before it was replaced with the original single version. In 1974, a completely reworked funk-influenced version was recorded as “John, I’m Only Dancing (Again)”, made during the sessions for the album Young Americans. Released in December 1979, the re-recording featured a much more funk-influenced take on the track, and has some similarities with the song “Stay” recorded for the Station to Station album in 1976. Originally running at 6:57, the track was cut for a 7″ single release, but the full version was issued on 12″ vinyl – the first Bowie single to have a regular 12″ release in the UK. For the B-side, the original version of “John, I’m Only Dancing” was remixed. After the relative disappointment of the singles from Lodger on the charts, the single gave Bowie some greater degree of mainstream exposure during a period when his work was increasingly being perceived as esoteric and experimental. The long 12″ version was included as a bonus track on the 1991 Rykodisk/EMI remaster CD of Young Americans, on the 2007 collectors edition of the album, and on The Best of David Bowie 1974/1979. The 7″ single version was not released on CD until 2016’s Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976).]
You are listening to Wednesday MidDay Medley’s Tribute to David Bowie on 90.1 FM. Our next story comes from our talented friend, singer, songwriter, Krystle Warren, who has worked with some of the musical artists we’ve played today, including Joan As Police Woman. Krystle sent us her story from France, where she now lives.
22. Krystle Warren’s Bowie Story – “Always be genuine in your expression”
recorded by Krystle Warren in Paris, February 2016
Our next story, about Bowie, comes from one of his biggest fans, Ben Grimes, founder of two influential KC bands: Soft Reeds and The Golden Republic. Ben Grimes now lives with his family in Los Angeles, where he recorded this story for us, along with sharing a special track, written by Bowie, from the 1977 album Low, of the Berlin Trilogy, and recorded by Ben’s band Soft Reeds.
23. Ben Grimes Bowie Story – “You are Never Stuck In One Thing”
recorded by Ben Grimes, Sunday, February 28, 2016
24. Soft Reeds – “Sound and Vision”
from: unreleased track recorded during the sessions for Soft Reeds album ‘Blank City’
[Blank City was Soft Reeds second album, released by The Record Machine on April 23, 2013. Produced at Element Recording with Joel Nanos. Soft Reeds is the brainchild of Ben Grimes (formerly of Astralwerks’ The Golden Republic), a Chicago native whose roots grip firmly in the ’77 Berlin sounds of Brian Eno, David Bowie and Iggy Pop, with Austin, TX native Josh Wiedenfeld on drums, Beckie Trost, a fellow Chicagoan and childhood friend of Grimes on bass, and KC native John Mitchell on guitar, saxophone, keys.]
10:52 – Underwriting
We end the show with one of my favorite Bowie songs, from one of my favorite Bowie albums, from 1971’s, Hunky Dory, here’s “Kooks.”
The Band That Fell To Earth: A Tribute to David Bowie, Saturday, January 6, at 8:00, at recordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd, KCMO.
For Wednesday MidDay Medley I’m Mark Manning. Thanks for listening!
25. David Bowie – “Kooks”
from: Hunky Dory / RCA / June 11, 2002
[“Kooks” is a song written by David Bowie, which appears on his 1971 album Hunky Dory. Bowie wrote this song to his newborn son Duncan Jones. The song was a pastiche of early 1970s Neil Young because Bowie was listening to a Neil Young record at home on 30 May 1971 when he got the news of the arrival of his son. British indie band The Kooks named themselves after the song. Hunky Dory is the fourth studio album by the English musician David Bowie, released on 17 December 1971 by RCA Records. It was his first release through RCA, which would be his label for the next decade. Hunky Dory has been described by AllMusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine as having “a kaleidoscopic array of pop styles, tied together only by Bowie’s sense of vision: a sweeping, cinematic mélange of high and low art, ambiguous sexuality, kitsch, and class”. The album has received critical acclaim since its release, and is regarded as one of Bowie’s best works. Time chose it as part of their “100 best albums of all time” list in January 2010, with journalist Josh Tyrangiel praising Bowie’s “earthbound ambition to be a boho poet with prodigal style”. The style of the album cover, designed by George Underwood, was influenced by a Marlene Dietrich photo book that Bowie took with him to the photo shoot. With new bass player Trevor Bolder replacing Tony Visconti, Hunky Dory was the first production featuring all the members of the band that would become known the following year as Ziggy Stardust’s Spiders From Mars. Also debuting with Bowie, in Visconti’s place as producer, was another key contributor to the Ziggy phase, Ken Scott. The album’s sleeve would bear the credit “Produced by Ken Scott (assisted by the actor)”. The “actor” was Bowie himself, whose “pet conceit”, in the words of NME critics Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray, was “to think of himself as an actor”.]
31. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]
[WMM Closing Theme]
Next Week on Wednesday, Jan 10, we present: “Remembering MLK” to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., born January 15, 1929. We’ll play music from: The Isley Brothers, Curtis Mayfield, Mahalia Jackson, Sweet Honey in The Rock, Tramaine Hawkins, Ella Mitchell, Billy Porter, Solomon Burke, Nina Simone, Pops Staples, Mavis Staples, The Staple Singers, Thelonius Monk Septet, Pete Seeger, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Labelle, Darwin Hobbs & Karen Clark-Sheard, Bobby Watson & The I Have a Dream Project.
Our Script/Playlist is a “cut and paste” of information.
Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org
Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web: