WMM Playlist from July 7, 2021

Wednesday MidDay Medley
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Sara Swenson + Calvin Arsenia & Justin Randall + Brandon & Christena Graves

  1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
    from: Orig. Motion Picture Soundtrack All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
    [WMM’s Adopted Theme Song]
  1. Emmaline Twist – “Drugs”
    from: “Drugs” – Single / Black Site / July 1, 2021
    [The band is Meredith McGrade on vocals & guitar, Kristin Conkright on bass, Jonathan Knecht on drums, Krysztof Nemeth on baritone guitar, and Alex Alexander recently joined the band on synthesizers & guitar. Emmaline Twist, is a Kansas City based Darkwave / Post-Punk / Shoegaze project. This single was released with a new music video, directed by Matthew Dunehoo of Elk’s Pride Pictures. This is the first single from the band’s upcoming album release and follow up to their critically acclaimed debut LP, DISSIMULATION released August 24, 2018 from Black-Site Records. That album was recorded, mixed, and produced at Massive Sound by Paul Malinowski, and Mastered by Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering. In 2017 the band released “Dissimulation 1,” 4 songs in digital format, their first since their 2016 single release of “Vega” b/w “Moon Eyes.”]

[Emmaline Twist play recordBar on Friday, August. 20, supporting the release of Monta At Odds’ new album, “Peak of Eternal Li. More inflo at: http://www.black-site.org]

  1. Flare Tha Rebel & Bob Pulliam – “Child’s Play (Radio) feat. Joe Miquelon”
    from: “Child’s Play (Radio) feat. Joe Miquelon” – Single / Shafer / July 12, 2021
    [Lyricist and MC Flare Tha Rebel and beat producer Bob Pulliam team up for “Child’s Play” a track that feature Bob Pulliam’s father, Kansas City based Jazz Musician, Joe Miquelon who passed away on March 5, 2021. Joe devoted his life to music. He was a renowned piano and saxophone player; playing in bands such as Jim Sweeney and The Jumpshotz, The Zoo, The Blue Riddim Band, New Riddim, Boko Maru, Tony DiPardo’s KC Chiefs Endzone Pack Band, The Elders, and The KC Aces. He shared the stage with Bonnie Raitt, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughnn, Huey Lewis, U-Roy, Ida McBeth, Kevin Mahogany, Parliament Funkadelic, Mike Finnigan, Danny Cox, and many other stars. Joe also had a passion for teaching music. Spanning over 3 decades of private instruction, he taught hundreds of students and recently taught for The Kansas City Jazz Academy. In 2017, Joe wrote and released his piano book titled “The Beginner’s Emergency Handbook for Jazz Piano and Theory”. A celebration of his life will be held at Knuckleheads on July 21, 2021. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Joe’s name to The Kansas City Jazz Academy. The single will be part of their upcoming EP, THE REVOLUTION WIL NOT BE HASHTAGGED. Career and love brought hip-hop MC Flare Tha Rebel back to his hometown of Kansas City, MO, which created a second wind of new music. Noted by The Pitch, “As a member of hip-hop collective Anti-Crew, Flare Tha Rebel made quite an impact on the Kansas City hip-hop scene. After making the leap from KC to Chicago in the late ‘00s, he’s now back…” Known for a highly energetic live performance, Flare has shared the stage with artists such as Chance the Rapper, RZA of Wu-Tang Clan, Mac Lethal, Nappy Roots, and CES Cru. Although hip-hop at the core, Flare Tha Rebel’s versatility remains as he balances music with socially progressive themes that are still enjoyable enough to raise a glass to at a party. There’s also a duality to Flare’s approach. Many of his songs are connected to his Art to Empower initiative, raising awareness and funds for a variety of social justice causes and nonprofits, such as his Royalty EP poster designed by muralists JT Daniels, which raises funds for the Equal Justice Initiative. Currently, Flare Tha Rebel and Bob Pulliam are preparing for the release of his next social justice fueled EP, THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE HASHTAGGED, to be released Friday, July 9. Their first single from the EP “Child’s Play will be released July 2, 2021. Flare Tha Rebel & Bob Pulliam will be our guests on WMM on August 11. More information at: http://www.flaretharebel.com]
  1. Sara Swenson – “I Wont Let You Feel Alone”
    from: “I Wont Let You Feel Alone” – Single / Sara Swenson / March 26, 2021
    [Sara Swenson wrote to me that her new song is featured in her husband Michael Price’s film “The Hidden Pandemic” that premiered Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 PM on Kansas City PBS. The film is about the mental health crisis in KC – it’s a powerful film that also features Mark Lowrey’s piano playing. Sara’s song is featured in various parts of the film, and then also at the end. To see a trailer for “The Hidden Pandemic” you can visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nkd7046rPtU. Critically acclaimed singer songwriter Sara Swenson has released some of our most played and favorite recordings of the last 7 years. Her self titled debut ended up at the top of our list of The 100 Best Recordings of 2009. In 2010 Sara Swenson released her second full length recording, “All Things Big and Small” again working with Don Chaffer in Nashville who added new layers to Sara’s great songs and voice. In November of 2011, Sara released her 5 song EP called “Never Left My Mind,” featuring her band at the time, The Pearl Snaps. In that time frame, she also had picked up two Kansas City Singer-Songwriter of the Year awards, performed with Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair, and placed a song on the season finale of ABC’s “Private Practice.” Then after the school year ended in 2012, Sara Swenson left her job as a High School English and Journalism Teacher in Platte County High School, and left the Kansas City music scene, and she flew off to the United Kingdom, where she got married. In the spring of 2014, Sara returned to Kansas City and performed for the Folk Alliance International Conference. On July 18, 2014 she released her 4th album, RUNWAY LIGHTS that captures snapshots of her 18-month experience of living abroad, moving from dating to marriage and sorting through the accompanying transitions and emotions. Produced by Don Chaffer in Nashville.]
Sara Swenson

10:16 – Interview with Sara Swenson

Sara Swenson is one of our most played artists of the last 12 years. Her self-titled debut album was #1 on WMM’s 100 Best Recordings of 2009. In 2010 Sara released her 2nd full-length, ALL THINGS BIG AND SMALL, working with Don Chaffer in Nashville. In November of 2011, Sara released her EP, NEVER LEFT MY MIND featuring her band The Pearl Snaps. She won two KC Singer-Songwriter of the Year awards, performed with Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair, and placed a song on the season finale of ABC’s “Private Practice.” In 2012 Sara Swenson left her job as an English & Journalism Teacher in Platte County High School and flew off to the United Kingdom, where she got married. In the spring of 2014, Sara returned to KC and performed at Folk Alliance International Conference and then released her 4th album, RUNWAY LIGHTS that captures snapshots of her 18-month experience of living in the U.K., marriage, and transitions. On March 26, Sara released the single, “I Wont Let You Feel Alone”, with Mark Lowrey on piano, featured in her husband, Michael Price‘s film “The Hidden Pandemic” that aired on PBS. More info at: http://www.saraswenson.com

Sara Swenson, thank you for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley

Congratulations on the single “I Wont Let You Feel Alone” with Mark Lowrey on piano.

That track was also produced by Greg Lafollette.

From http://www.saraswenson.com

Sara Swenson’s new song “I Won’t Let You Feel Alone” (2021) embodies why she makes music – to bring people in and remind them of our shared humanity. In this song, as well as her others, you’ll find yourself in the company an old friend.

Originally Swenson was the high school English teacher who stumbled into a music career. Several albums and TV placements later, her work speaks for itself. Known for her warm, velvety outpouring, she uses her stripped down live sets to protect the space where her voice and lyrics steal the show.

Swenson’s successes include songs featured on the prime time American drama “Private Practice” (ABC), period drama “Reign” (CW) and Canada’s “Hello Goodbye” (CBC). She has performed opening sets for major artists such as Jakob Dylan, Katie Herzig, Gregory Alan Isakov, Peter Bradley Adams, and the Lilith Fair (with McLachlan, Emmylou Harris, Ingrid Michaelson and others.) She’s been voted Singer-Songwriter of the Year twice in Kansas City and has toured in several major cities in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Her previous projects include a full-length record “Runway Lights” (2014) and an EP with her band, The Pearl Snaps, released in November 2011 (“Never Left My Mind.”) Her other two full-length projects, “All Things Big and Small” (2010) and “Sara Swenson” (2008), have been widely loved and critically acclaimed.

Sara Swenson

Over the last 12 years we have watched Sara launch a musical life, playing live, releasing albums produced in Nashville, while also teaching English & Journalism at Platte County High School. We said goodbye as she move to the United Kingdom, got married, came home, released a third full length album and begin raising a family. Sara and her husband Michael Price have two children a two year old boy and a six year old girl named Lucy. You were pregnant with Lucy when you performed at Folk Alliance International.

Sara Swenson released her singles: “The Moment You Fall Asleep” and “For Eva Josephine” on June 4, 2021. More information at: http://www.saraswenson.com

“The Moment You Fall Asleep” was originally written in 2018
“For Eva Josephine” was originally written in 2017 and revised in 2021.

Mark saw Sara perform this song at recordBar, 4 years ago on July 6, 2017 in a show Sara did with Calvin Arsenia. Mark talked about how that was the first time he just broke down and started crying at recordBar, when Sara told her story about losing her baby Eva several months earlier and performed her song, “For Eva Josephine.” Mark talked about being blown away by Sara’s honesty and ability to share such a sad experience.

The Hidden Pandemic (the documentary about mental health by Sara’s husband Michael Price) has a YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=MQdKqakf7rQ&fbclid=IwAR0Ux97ZTR3I4BbNOEaKHJqc5PG82yiJWf3wKgutKATlCds1ctvJKcGTs-4

You can learn more about Michel Price and his films at: http://www.englishlandingfilms.com

For more than a year, COVID-19 has dominated headlines as it has steadily killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Behind the scenes, another deadly illness, already worsening dramatically in recent years, has spread like wildfire during lockdown. Kansas City PBS shines a light on this continued threat with The Hidden Pandemic, a documentary focusing on the lives of Kansas Citians navigating mental illness. Through personal interviews with patients and the health care professionals who treat them, The Hidden Pandemic uncovers challenges faced on the journey to improving and maintaining mental health.

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Michael Price heads into homes and through doctor’s office doors to capture local stories of mental illness. We will hear from a farmer, a fire chief, a psychiatric nurse, a college student, an IT expert, and many others, all of whom refuse to let their mental illness define who they are and dictate their futures.

Sara was scheduled Lemonade Park gig coming up on Monday, June 21 is an all-ages show! See you at Folk Alliance International’s Finest Folk: Make Music Day from 2:30-5:30 p.m. with sets from Kelly Hunt feat. Staś Heaney, Jessica Paige, Gerald Trimble & Jambaroque,

Sara Swenson, thank you for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley

10:30

  1. Sara Swenson – “The Moment You Fall Asleep”
    from: “The Moment You Fall Asleep” – Single / Sara Swenson / June 4, 2021
    [One of two new singles Sara Swenson is released on Friday, June 4, 2021. These follow an earlier release this year called “I Wont Let You Feel Alone” that Sara wrote and is featured in her husband Michael Price’s film “The Hidden Pandemic” that aired on Kansas City PBS, about the mental health crisis in KC. The song and the film also features Mark Lowrey’s piano playing. To see a trailer for “The Hidden Pandemic” you can visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nkd7046rPtU. Critically acclaimed singer songwriter Sara Swenson has released some of our most played and favorite recordings of the last 16 years. Her self titled debut album was at the top of our list of WMM’s 100 Best Recordings of 2009. In 2010 Sara Swenson released her second full length recording, “All Things Big and Small” again working with Don Chaffer in Nashville who added new layers to Sara’s great songs and voice. In November of 2011, Sara released her 5 song EP called “Never Left My Mind,” featuring her band at the time, The Pearl Snaps. In that time frame, she also picked up two Kansas City Singer-Songwriter of the Year awards, performed with Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair, and placed a song on the season finale of ABC’s “Private Practice.” Then after the school year ended in 2012, Sara Swenson left her job as a High School English and Journalism Teacher in Platte County High School, and left the Kansas City music scene, and flew off to the United Kingdom, where she got married. In the spring of 2014, Sara returned to Kansas City and performed for the Folk Alliance International Conference. On July 18, 2014 she released her 4th album, RUNWAY LIGHTS that captures snapshots of her 18-month experience of living abroad, moving from dating, to marriage, and sorting through the accompanying transitions and emotions. Produced by Don Chaffer in Nashville. Since 2014 Sara has performed less frequently and has been raising her family. More info at: http://www.saraswenson.com]
Sara Swenson, Brandom & Christena Graves on the July 7, 2021 edition of WMM.

10:34 – Underwriting

Christena Graves
  1. Christena Graves – “Give Me A Minute”
    from: Finding My Footing / Christena Graves / February 11, 2021
    [Christena Graves writes songs in order to make sense of her world. Her lyrics are a mixture of a heartfelt acknowledgment of the pain and suffering in life, balanced by the steadying force of committed relationships. Growing up in a coastal area of western Michigan, Christena draws from her deep connection with the natural world to help frame the difficulty of the human emotional landscape. “Nature brings focus for me. I rely on it to color my lyrics.” She found her musical beginning learning to sing harmonies with her older brothers and sisters. Music was an important part of her family and they would often sing hymns together. She fondly remembers the day her oldest brother sat her on the kitchen counter and taught her to sing harmony to Jingle Bells. It was a moment that gave fuel to her love of singing. // After leaving Michigan to attend college in Missouri, she met her husband Brandon and joined the band Waterdeep as the keyboard player. After touring for several years, she stepped away from the band to raise their children. Songwriting became a release to help process the struggles of life. Eventually, she was writing songs for her church community and helping lead music on Sunday mornings. Once the kids were old enough, Christena and Brandon decided to form a new project and return to making music in a bigger way. // 2019 marked the beginning of the Christena Graves Band and the ground work being laid for her return to the music industry. In mid 2020 Greg Lafollette, a long time musical friend, moved back to KC from Nashville where he had built a successful career as an artist and producer. Greg offered his help to record a collections of songs that have become her new record. The album is titled, Finding My Footing. A nod to the difficulty of reengaging in a music business that has changed dramatically over the last 20 years but also a humble acceptance that life can be hard at times but it is important to keep moving forward. // The release of Finding My Footing will mark her first full length solo album since 1996 and her first project ever as a band leader. The songs are stories of loss, fear, struggle, and joy. “This project ended up being much more than just making a good record. I spent a lot of time in self reflection—maybe I should call it a mid-life moment. I questioned my ability and worth as an artist, as a woman, and a human. It has been difficult to go through but I am learning so much about myself. I am happy with where I am and I am proud of what I’ve said with this album.” More info at: christenagravesmusic.com]

[Christena & Brandon Graves play a FINDING MY FOOTING, Album Release Show, Friday July 9, and Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 PM, at Vintage Church, 1501 New Hampshire St, Lawrence, KS. ]

Brandon & Christena Graves

10:40 – Interview with Christena Graves & Brandon Graves

Christena Graves & Brandon Graves join us live in our 90.1 FM Studios to share details about Christena’s new album, FINDING MY FOOTING. Christena grew up in western Michigan, and after leaving to attend college in Missouri, she met her husband Brandon and joined the band Waterdeep as the keyboard player. After touring for several years, she stepped away from the band to raise their children. Once the kids were old enough, Christena and Brandon decided to form a new project. In mid 2020 Greg Lafollette, a long time musical friend, moved back to Kansas City from Nashville and offered his help to record the new album, Finding My Footing. This is Christena’s first full length solo album since 1996 and her first as a band leader. Christena & Brandon Graves play a FINDING MY FOOTING, Album Release Show, Friday July 9, and Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 PM, at Vintage Church, 1501 New Hampshire St, Lawrence, KS. More info at: http://www.christenagravesmusic.com

Christena Graves thanks for being with us again on Wednesday MidDay Medley

Brandon Graves is a performer and educator based in Lawrence, KS. He has been performing and teaching for over 30 years. He is the Director of the Music School, Co-Director of the Recording Studio, and Faculty Percussion Instructor at the Culture House in Olathe, Kansas. In addition to a full teaching schedule, Brandon is an in demand clinician and performer on drum set. He can be seen playing drums locally with his band the Wrong Kata Trio as well as backing up local artists such as Christena Graves and Three Dollar Band. Brandon was a founding member of the band Waterdeep, with whom he spent many years touring the country and recording. Brandon can be found on his YouTube page Brandon Graves Music or on Instagram and Twitter @beatcaster.

Brandon Graves thanks for being with on Wednesday MidDay Medley

Christena & Brandon Graves play a FINDING MY FOOTING, Album Release Show, Friday July 9, and Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 PM, at Vintage Church, 1501 New Hampshire St, Lawrence, KS.

Christena Graves writes songs in order to make sense of her world. Her lyrics are a mixture of a heartfelt acknowledgment of the pain and suffering in life, balanced by the steadying force of committed relationships.

Growing up in a coastal area of western Michigan, Christena draws from her deep connection with the natural world to help frame the difficulty of the human emotional landscape. “Nature brings focus for me. I rely on it to color my lyrics.” She found her musical beginning learning to sing harmonies with her older brothers and sisters. Music was an important part of her family and they would often sing hymns together. She fondly remembers the day her oldest brother sat her on the kitchen counter and taught her to sing harmony to Jingle Bells.

Christena grew up in western Michigan, and after leaving to attend college in Missouri, she met her husband Brandon and joined the band Waterdeep as the keyboard player.

Brandon Graves has played hundreds of live shows across the country with artists such as Greg Lafollette, Waterdeep, Christena Graves, The Khrusty Brothers, Don Chaffer, Sara Swenson, Brian Baggett, Amy Marcus, Darrell Evans, Brad Kilman, Paul Clark, Tim Halperin, and Andrea Hamilton.

Brandon has recorded with artists such as Waterdeep, Cason Cooley, Caitlyn Smith, Don Chaffer, Lori Chaffer, Sara Groves, Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, Sara Swenson, Three Dollar Band, From the Woods, Paul Clark, Andrea Hamilton, and the Wrong Kata Trio.


Nashville based duo, Don & Lori Chaffer have been making music together for a long time. With over 15 full-length albums under their belt, they continue to write and record music and, as of the last 10 years, also musicals. Yep, musicals.

Waterdeep spent their early years as a renowned mid-western jam band–selling over 150,000 albums independently–but became nationally known when they signed to Squint Entertainment (Sixpence None the Richer, Chevelle) in 1999. A decade later, they relocated to Nashville, and employed their production and songwriting skills in service of other artists as well. In addition to their own songs, they’ve seen collaborations with Katie Herzig, Matthew Perryman Jones, Trent Dabbs, and others receive multiple placements in film and television.

Don, a record producer in Nashville, also produces lino-prints, poetry, musical theatre writing/arranging/ directing, and is a bit of a nerd about spreadsheets. Lori’s unique voice and multi-instrumental capabilities, have made her demand in Nashville as both a writer/singer/player, and producer. Recently, both have also been teaching as adjunct professors at Lipscomb University in Nashville.


After touring for several years, Christena stepped away to raise their children. Songwriting became a release to help process the struggles of life. Eventually, she was writing songs for her church community and helping lead music on Sunday mornings. Once the kids were old enough, Christena & Brandon decided to form a new project and return to making music in a bigger way.

2019 marked the beginning of the Christena Graves Band and the ground work for her return to the music. In mid 2020 Greg Lafollette, a long time musical friend, moved back to KC from Nashville where he had built a successful career as an artist & producer. Greg offered his help to record songs that have become her new record. Finding My Footing is a nod to the difficulty of reengaging in a music business that has changed dramatically over the last 20 years but also a humble acceptance that life can be hard at times but it is important to keep moving forward.

Finding My Footing marks Christena’s first full length solo album since 1996 & her first project as a band leader. The songs on Finding My Footing are stories of loss, fear, struggle, & joy. “This project ended up being much more than just making a good record. I spent a lot of time in self reflection—maybe I should call it a mid-life moment. I questioned my ability & worth as an artist, as a woman, & a human. It has been difficult to go through but I am learning so much about myself. I am happy with where I am & I am proud of what I’ve said with this album.”

Christena Graves and Brandon Graves, thank you for being with us today on WMM.

Christena Graves and Brandon Graves play a FINDING MY FOOTING, Album Release Show, Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 PM, at Vintage Church, 1501 New Hampshire St, Lawrence, Kansas. More info at: http://www.christenagravesmusic.com

10:45

  1. Christena Graves – “Home”
    from: Finding My Footing / Christena Graves / February 11, 2021
    [Christena Graves writes songs in order to make sense of her world. Her lyrics are a mixture of a heartfelt acknowledgment of the pain and suffering in life, balanced by the steadying force of committed relationships. Growing up in a coastal area of western Michigan, Christena draws from her deep connection with the natural world to help frame the difficulty of the human emotional landscape. “Nature brings focus for me. I rely on it to color my lyrics.” She found her musical beginning learning to sing harmonies with her older brothers and sisters. Music was an important part of her family and they would often sing hymns together. She fondly remembers the day her oldest brother sat her on the kitchen counter and taught her to sing harmony to Jingle Bells. It was a moment that gave fuel to her love of singing. // After leaving Michigan to attend college in Missouri, she met her husband Brandon and joined the band Waterdeep as the keyboard player. After touring for several years, she stepped away from the band to raise their children. Songwriting became a release to help process the struggles of life. Eventually, she was writing songs for her church community and helping lead music on Sunday mornings. Once the kids were old enough, Christena and Brandon decided to form a new project and return to making music in a bigger way. // 2019 marked the beginning of the Christena Graves Band and the ground work being laid for her return to the music industry. In mid 2020 Greg Lafollette, a long time musical friend, moved back to KC from Nashville where he had built a successful career as an artist and producer. Greg offered his help to record a collections of songs that have become her new record. The album is titled, Finding My Footing. A nod to the difficulty of reengaging in a music business that has changed dramatically over the last 20 years but also a humble acceptance that life can be hard at times but it is important to keep moving forward. // The release of Finding My Footing will mark her first full length solo album since 1996 and her first project ever as a band leader. The songs are stories of loss, fear, struggle, and joy. “This project ended up being much more than just making a good record. I spent a lot of time in self reflection—maybe I should call it a mid-life moment. I questioned my ability and worth as an artist, as a woman, and a human. It has been difficult to go through but I am learning so much about myself. I am happy with where I am and I am proud of what I’ve said with this album.” More info at: christenagravesmusic.com]

[Christena & Brandon Graves play a FINDING MY FOOTING, Album Release Show, Friday July 9, and Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 PM, at Vintage Church, 1501 New Hampshire St, Lawrence, KS.]

Christena & Brandon Graves, Sara Swenson, and Calvin Arsenia on the July 7, 2021 edition of WMM.

11:00 – Station ID

  1. Calvin Arsenia – “Scars & Stripes”
    from: Summer in Hindsight / Calvin Arsenia & Mike Dillon / October 16, 2020
    [Soundtrack by Calvin Arsenia and Mike Dillon for The West 18th Street Fashion Show’s 20th year as a feature-length film. COVID-19 changed everything in 2020. “We are moving it from the street to the screen,” says Peregrine Honig to inkansascitymagazine. “Mike Dillon and Calvin Arsenia will be scoring and performing in the film.” The film premiered October 16, 2020 at The Boulevard Drive-In. Honig wrote,. “We did this during a pandemic and a cultural revolution. I am not sure where else or how else this could happen at this moment in history.” Calvin Arsenia had recently been emotionally and greatly moved by the area and national Black Lives Matter Movement. His own research into his own family revealed that Calvin’s great, great, great grandmother Alice Gilliam Scott, was a former slave who lived to observe her 100th birthday as noted by a regional newspaper Calvin had written. In the summer of 2020 Calvin wrote “Revelation” an unreleased track inspired by Black Lives Matter. Calvin premiered the song on WMM on August 12, 2020. He later shared his other new songs, “Scars and Stripes” and “The Flying Monkees are Coming!” on our October 14, 2020 edition of WMM. Both of those songs ended up on Summer in Hindsight. Calvin Arsenia was our guest on WMM on August 12 and October 14, 2020, and May 5, 2021. Born in Orlando, Florida, Calvin’s creative journey really began when he moved to the KC suburb of Olathe, teaching himself the guitar, and eventually the harp. He learned his signature instrument at the age of 20 after he couldn’t find a harpist as determined as him to meld folk, rock, classical, rap and R&B into the irresistible fusion which has become his calling card in KC and beyond. His passion for stretching the boundaries of musical expression saw him transform a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival early in his career into a life-changing music mission, with an Edinburgh church offering him a role as musical liaison between the church and the city that would change his life. Two years and 300 shows later, Calvin returned to KC reborn as a humanistic songwriter / performer whose impassioned and conceptual stage shows (regularly sold-out in Kansas City, currently catching fire on the West Coast with a diverse following across Europe), are collaborative, costumed-culture-bridging spectacles which In KC Magazine has hailed as ‘equal parts opera, symphony, musical theatre, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-6-inch harpist with a natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies.’ Calvin’s 2018 national debut, Cantaloupe, September 15, 2018 on Center Cut Records, has been acclaimed for melding diverse textures into an alluring signature sound for the adventurous artist. On June 28, 2019 Calvin released Honeydew, an EP including a remix of three songs from Cantaloupe. On Dec. 13, 2019 Calvin released his full length Christmas album “all is calm.” Congratulations to Calvin & his fantastic team of co-conspirators & creators: Khitam Jabr, John P. Beatty, Ignacio Galarza III, Ashlee Fairchild Jones, production assistants, & crew. The Toxic music video earned its sixth set of laurels as an official selection of the L.A. Music Video Awards, where they were nominated for Best Music Video, Best Cover Song & Best Male Vocalist.]

[Calvin Arsenia plays Lemonade Park 1628 Wyoming, on Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 AM with The Black Mariah Theater. More info at http://www.calvinarsenia.com]

Calvin Arsenia art work created by Levi Miller http://www.levimiller.com

11:05 – Interview with Calvin Arsenia

Calvin Arsenia has been described as,”Jeff Buckley meets Nina Simone with the soul of Sam Cooke, and the sparkle of Bjork on a harp.” Calvin Arsenia is one of our most frequent guests who first appeared on WMM on July 25, 2012. Today marks his 18th appearance! Since signing to Center Cut Records, Calvin released the albums: Cantaloupe in 2018, L.A. Sessions in 2019, the EP HONEY DEW, and the EP with Quixotic, the Holiday album, ALL IS CALM. In 2020 Calvin collaborated with Mike Dillon on the Soundtrack to “Summer in Hindsight,” a feature-length film created by The West 18th Street Fashion Show that starred Calvin as an actor. Currently Calvin can be heard on the radio as a guest artist on tracks released by Rob Rice, Making Movies, True Lions, and others. Calvin is also the co-creator of a new podcast called “We Were Christian Kids” that Calvin created with childhood friend Justin Randall who is a stand up comedian working in New York City. The podcast dives into their pasts as super Christian kids, at church camp, speaking in tongues, and LOTS of sexual frustration, and explores how they’ve wrestled with their ideas of religion & deconversion in adulthood as queer entertainers. Calvin Arsenia plays Lemonade Park 1628 Wyoming, on Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 AM with The Black Mariah Theater. More info at http://www.calvinarsenia.com

Calvin Arsenia, thanks for being with us on WMM.

We just heard “Stars and Stripes” a track Calvin shared with us the last time he was on the show on October 14, 2020. This song was part of the “Summer In Hindsight” film. In 2020 Calvin collaborated with Mike Dillon on the Soundtrack to “Summer in Hindsight,” a feature-length film created by The West 18th Street Fashion Show & Film Society KC that starred Calvin as an actor. The film recently received the “Best Film Production Award” from the Barcelona International Film Festival.

Calvin recently played shows in Homer, Alaska and on the West Coast.

Calvin can be heard on several tracks currently on the radio:

Making Movies –”Listening Wind ft. Calvin Arsenia, Jeremy Kittel” (CD #3) (4:30)
From La Cuarentena EP / 3/2 Recordings / February 5, 2021

Rob Rice – “Tiny Window (feat. Calvin Arsenia & Ezgi Karakus)” (CD #11) (5:22)
from: “Tiny Window” – Single / Rob Rice / March 3, 2021
[1st single from the debut EP of Rob Rice titled, and the Devil’s Threesome to be released March 21, 2021.. Singer/songwriter Rob Rice is a Kansas City native with a spark of millennial magic, his dusty acoustic music transitions from barn-burning ballads to soothing serenades, all of which contain notes of love, loss, and lust whilst learning to live with oneself through it all. On his debut EP and the Devil’s Threesome, Rob humbly assumes the role of choirmaster to a caravan of iconic Kansas City artists and musicians (12 in total) to create unique trios for each song, meditating and musing on the woes and wins of yesteryear.]

Calvin is working on a new record with J Ashley Miller and Simon Huntley

Coming up we are going to welcome into the conversation… Justin Randall, Calvin’s childhood friend and co-host for their incredibly fabulous podcast “We Were Christian Kids.”

11:12

  1. Calvin Arsenia – “Headlights”
    from: Cantaloupe / Center Cut Records / September 15, 2018 (KC Release)
    [Born in Orlando, Florida, Calvin’s creative journey really began when he moved to the KC suburb of Olathe, teaching himself the guitar, and eventually the harp. He learned his signature instrument at the age of 20 after he couldn’t find a harpist as determined as him to meld folk, rock, classical, rap and R&B into the irresistible fusion which has become his calling card in KC and beyond. His passion for stretching the boundaries of musical expression saw him transform a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival early in his career into a life-changing music mission, with an Edinburgh church offering him a role as musical liaison between the church and the city that would change his life. Two years and 300 shows later, Calvin returned to Kansas City reborn as a humanistic songwriter / performer whose impassioned and conceptual stage shows (regularly sold-out in Kansas City, currently catching fire on the West Coast with a diverse following across Europe), are collaborative, costumed-culture-bridging spectacles which In KC Magazine has hailed as ‘equal parts opera, symphony, musical theatre, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-6-inch harpist with a natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies.’ Calvin’s 2018 national debut, Cantaloupe, September 15, 2018 on Center Cut Records, has been acclaimed for melding diverse textures into an alluring signature sound for the adventurous artist. On June 28, 2019 Calvin released Honeydew, an EP including a remix of three songs from Cantaloupe. On December 13, 2019 Clvin released his full length Christmas album “all is calm.” Congratulations to Calvin and his fantastic team of co-conspirators and creators: Khitam Jabr, John P. Beatty, Ignacio Galarza III, Ashlee Fairchild Jones, production assistants, and crew. The Toxic music video earned its sixth set of laurels as an official selection of the L.A. Music Video Awards, where they were nominated for Best Music Video, Best Cover Song and Best Male Vocalist. Calvin Arsenia will be participating in The West 18th Street Fashion Show’s 20th year as a feature-length film. “We are moving it from the street to the screen,” says Peregrin Honig to inkansascitymagazine. “Mike Dillon and Calvin Arsenia will be scoring and performing in the film.” The evening of October 16th at The Boulevard Drive-In will be the debut of the director’s cut of “Summer in Hindsight,” which Peregrine is currently working on with Justin Gardner,” Honig says. “We did this during a pandemic and a cultural revolution. I am not sure where else or how else this could happen at this moment in history.”

[Calvin Arsenia plays Lemonade Park 1628 Wyoming, on Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 AM with The Black Mariah Theater. More info at http://www.calvinarsenia.com]

11:16

This is Wednesday MidDay Medley on 90.1 FM KKFI. We are talking with Calvin Arsenia for the entire second hour! Calvin came home to KC in 2014 after working in Edinburgh, Scotland. His EPs: Moments, Prose, Catastrophe, Caviar, and album Catastrophe led to his signing with Center Cut Records where he released the albums Cantaloupe in 2018, and L.A. Sessions in 2019, along with the EP HONEY DEW, an EP with Quixotic, and the Holiday album, ALL IS CALM. In 2020 Calvin released new music on the Soundtrack to “Summer in Hindsight,” a collaborative feature-length film created by The West 18th Street Fashion Show and Film Society KC that also starred Calvin as an actor. Calvin was voted KC’s Best Musician in The Pitch in 2018, and 2020, and featured in Billboard, NPR.org, and GRAMMY.com, Calvin’s classically trained voice, visually striking 6-foot-6 presence, and deft harp playing have built his reputation as an incredible live performer. Calvin Arsenia plays Lemonade Park 1628 Wyoming, on Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 AM with The Black Mariah Theater. More info at http://www.calvinarsenia.com

Calvin Arsenia, thanks for being with us on WMM.

Calvin is also the co-creator of a new podcast called “We Were Christian Kids” that Calvin created with childhood friend Justin Randall. The podcast dives into their pasts as super Christian kids, at church camp, speaking in tongues, and LOTS of sexual frustration, and explores how they’ve wrestled with their ideas of religion & de-conversion in adulthood as queer entertainers. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and podcast platforms.

Justin Randall photo by Michael Kushner Photography

Justin Randall is an NYC based stand-up comic and actor who has appeared in Buzzfeed, The New York Post and whose tweets have been featured by Twitter in the London Tube. Justin performs stand-up all over New York City, and and has been seen onstage at Stand Up NY, The Bell House, Broadway Comedy Club, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, The Creek & The Cave and many more. He was a finalist in the Yaaas! Queer Comedy Festival and the Comedy Mob Competition. Internationally, Justin has performed in London and in Edinburgh at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Follow him on all social media at @imjustinrandal

Justin Randall, thanks for being with us on WMM.

Mark talked about his love of witnessing the arc of people’s lives. Comedian Justin Randall and musician Calvin Arsenia were seniors in high School in 2008 and in their podcast they dive into their pasts as super Christian kids — wild times at church camp, speaking in tongues, and LOTS of sexual frustration, and explore how they’ve wrestled with their ideas of religion and de- conversion in adulthood as queer entertainers. They also chat with other former Christian Kids.

Their individual stories have had similar benchmarks. Graduating from High School, Continuing their educations, launching careers in music and theatre and finding success, coming out, wrestling with your past.

Mark said; “I find this podcast to be healing, even for older Queers like myself. I came out at 19 in 1982, but was a former Nazarene who went to bible camp for several years was re-baptized in a lake, “Saved and Sanctified” during one of the nighty altar calls, held every night in the 3 hour church show/service where I was also taught the Olivia Newton John was a lesbian and I shouldn’t listen to her music. The We Were Christian Kids podcast helps heal the confusing wound of my childhood spiritual confusion.”

This is a weekly podcast.

30 weeks. 30 episodes there is so much ground to cover.

30 Episodes

Ep 1: Goin’ to Heaven, B*tch!
Justin Randall and Calvin Arsenia talk speaking in tongues, fasting, getting saved, family dynamics, being sheltered, trying to *pray the gay away* and much more in this week’s (very first!) episode of We Were Christian Kids.

Ep 2: Church Camp!
Justin Randall and Calvin Arsenia get INTO their church camp experiences, from “naked night” (see: homoerotic) and falling victim to pranks, to prayer and worship and spiritual experiences. They also discuss hell (fun!) and the fear of going there, as well as prayer lists filled with the names of their peers. As always, they talk about sexual confusion and the mixed experience they had with spirituality as kids.

Ep 3: Happy Birthday, Jesus!
It’s a Christmas episode of We Were Christian Kids! Justin Randall and Calvin Arsenia talk about MARIAH CAREY, childhood Christmas traditions, Santa Claus (and more importantly “Santa Daddy”), and having to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. They also discuss how their family Christmas dynamic shifted as they grew up and came out, and how they feel about the whole holiday now (Spoiler: Justin loves it?). Also: favorite Christmas movies! Ho ho ho.

Ep 4: We Were The Worst!
Justin Randall and Calvin Arsenia get REAL in this one, and open up about their high school evangelism, telling people they were going to hell, a disastrous morning at Bible study, and other things they regret. They also take a call from a listener in their first “Testimony Time!” segment and discuss their experience with the coming out process. Listen to this one if you wanna hear people getting honest, baby!

Ep 5: Sober from Jesus! (with Aaron Goldenberg)
Justin Randall and Calvin Arsenia have their first guest! Aaron Goldenberg is an actor, comedian, content creator and TikTok star and he comes on the pod to talk about his history with the church. They discuss the stigma of switching churches/denominations, coming out of the closet, and what life is like after the structure and security of religion is removed. Follow Aaron everywhere at @aarongoldyboy

Ep 6: The End Times!
Justin Randall and Calvin Arsenia explore the end of the world! They discuss the “Left Behind” series (both hilarious and terrifying), praying for Jesus to return and how the rapture was taught to them since they were tiny children. They also listen to a caller’s experience with End Times teachings. Also: Jesus in space!

Ep 7: Three Best Friends! (with Kasey Hammeke)
Best friend of the pod, Kasey Hammeke, joins Justin Randall and Calvin Arsenia to talk about their high school days together (largely spent in prayer). She shares her story of deconversion, having children, and how a church program she gave years of her life to turned out to be manipulative and destructive in many ways. They also talk about how BOTH Justin and Calvin ended up being gay and how Kasey had no idea!!!

Ep 8: “Sexual Purity!”
Justin Randall and Calvin Arsenia go deep in this episode. They discuss what “purity culture” was to them, how sex was often presented as an entirely “bad” and sinful thing, and whether they still feel the lasting effects of that conditioning. Plus Calvin tells the tale of his purity ring. And the episode is funny too, don’t worry!

Ep 9: I Can Be Completely Who I Am! (with Brian Falduto)
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) are joined by actor, singer-songwriter and life coach Brian Falduto (@brianfalduto)! They discuss questioning religion in college, searching for who you really are, and developing your own spirituality in adulthood. Brian also shares the inspiration behind his song “God Loves Me Too” and talks about what led him to begin working as a life coach. They also sing a bit while recalling favorite worship songs!!! It’s fun!

Ep 10: Worship Music!
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) reminisce on times of singing worship music in church. They chat about different music styles, raising hands while singing (or not), and also — Calvin sings for us! Like four different songs! If worship music ever got you in your FEELINGS, this episode is for you.

Ep 11: A Better Place for Our Younger Selves! (with Grace Semler Baldridge)
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) & Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) are joined by Grace Semler Baldridge (@gracebaldridge) who recently spent 4 days at the top of the iTunes Christian music chart with her new EP “Preacher’s Kid.” They talk about Grace’s upbringing in the church, an emergence of queer music in the Christian music industry, and how accepting our authentic self can help us connect w/ ourselves, others, & even God. This conversation is incredible & Grace is amazing. Stream “Preacher’s Kid EP” now!

Ep 12: Listening to Our Listeners!
This episode is alllllll about the listeners. Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) tune into listener voicemails and emails and it is an amazing time. They talk about being a kid in church, gay marriage and original sin, just to name a few things. If you’re a listener, call in or write us!! We love hearing from you!

Ep 13: High-Key Psychological Warfare! (with JJ Bozeman)
Actor and Renaissance man JJ Bozeman (@jjbozeman) joins Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) to talk about his journey as a Christian Kid. They get into psychological warfare in the church, being both gay and Christian — and gay and NOT Christian, and how being queer led them to more deeply examine and question their faiths. Plus: their Chipotle orders!!

Ep 14: Fear Tactics!
When the pastor says your eternity hangs in the balance, that it’s heaven or hell, and to come down to the stage if you want to get saved — that’s what we’re talking about! Altar calls, man. The fear tactics they employ and how the effects of them can linger years later. Calvin also discusses a “salvation play” he saw as a child, and how it scared the hell out of him (literally). We laugh, we lament, we come up with a drag show. Tune in!

Ep 15: The Pelican Flies to the Moon! (with Zach Zimmerman)
Comedian and writer Zach Zimmerman (@zzdoublezz) joins Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) to talk about devouring the Bible as a youth, the vast idea of eternity, and he even does a MAGIC TRICK. Find Zach’s comedy album “Clean Comedy.”

Ep 16: Missionary Style!
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) talk about sex positions! Wait, no, they talking about actually BEING a missionary. Youth group mission trips, extended stays as a missionary, and just generally trying to convert people around the world. They also discuss how problematic that is! Yikes! We know more now!

Ep 17: I Don’t Believe in Jesus Saves!
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) talk with Enrique Chi and Diego Chi (@iamdiego) from the band Making Movies (@mkngmvs). They discuss leaving the church, creating music and connecting with audiences, as well as the harm Christianity has wrought on humanity.

Ep 18: Listening to Our Listeners! Pt 2
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) & Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) read emails and listen to voicemails from their beloved listeners once again! They discuss growing up gay in the church & unwiring the teachings that were instilled at a young age. This is a particularly heartfelt episode.

Ep 19: Family Stuff!
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) talk about family stuff! Relating to still-Christian family members and friends, maintaining relationships when you fundamentally disagree, creating art and content that your loved ones don’t approve of, and staying sane through it all. All that and more!

Ep 20: Crazy Sh*t Our Pastors Said!
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) go through an actual LIST of crazy shit their pastors said in the past. From talking about Brokeback Mountain mid-sermon to telling crowds of millennials they are the “chosen generation,” things got weird. Let’s review! Also, write in and tell us crazy shit YOUR pastors have said. We wanna hear it.

Ep 21: Bibleman’s Daughter! (with Harleigh Ellsworth)
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) are joined by long-time pal and amazing human Harleigh Ellsworth (@dearharleigh)! They talk about coming out, purity rings, spiritual experiences (gold dust!) and what it was like to grow up in the spotlight of church ministry. They also, OBVIOUSLY, discuss what it was like being the daughter of iconic Christian superhero, Bibleman (think Batman but… Bible). One for the ages!!!

Ep 22: The Bible Doesn’t Say Anything About Being Gay! (with Brandan Robertson)
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) talk with author, minister and activist Brandan Robertson (@brandanrobertson), and boy do they learn a lot. They discuss the Bible and homosexuality (and how it’s not actually mentioned!), progressive Christianity, and being willing to embrace uncertainty. They also dive into the resurrection and the Apostle Paul. Guys, get into it!!!

Ep 23: We React to “Jesus Camp”!
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) react to the 2006 documentary, “Jesus Camp,” which focuses on a charismatic Christian summer camp for kids. It’s, uh… triggering, because they identify with so much in the film. From teaching kids to evangelize, leading them in worship and speaking in tongues, and compelling them “take back America,” there are manyyy subjects to discuss. Watch the film if you haven’t! Write and call in if you’ve had similar experiences! Let’s talk about it.

Ep 24: Forbidden Pleasures!
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) talk about allll the things they were forbidden to do as Christian kids. Some were self-imposed (in Calvin’s case) and some were off-limits by parental mandate. Harry Potter, Aladdin, Halloween, all non-Christian music and of course anything SEX related… we go down the list. See if you can relate!

Ep 25: Trauma Porn! (with Anna Joy Walker)
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) are joined by Anna Joy Walker, who grew up in a number of charismatic churches and went on to be a leader in ministry at an internationally-known 24/7 house of prayer and worship. She discusses trauma – largely religious – and the journey to recovering from traumatic experiences. We talk about a type of therapy called EMDR and how experiences from childhood are sometimes stored in the body until healed. Also: getting drunk in the Holy Spirit! This is a fascinating episode!!!

Ep 26: Coming Out Stories! (Happy Pride)
It’s Pride month!!! So Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) are sharing their coming out stories in all their Christian-kid detail! They also discuss what “pride” means to them and how being their authentic selves has changed how they see the world. They are glad to be gay, baby!!!

Ep 27: It’s Pretty Cool To Be Queer! (with Helmut Domagalski)
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) sit down with host of The Gayly Dose podcast, Helmut Domagalski (@helmut_smile)! They talk about his youth in the Church of Christ, his journey to coming out, and what it’s like being a gay dad in 2021. We also discuss the beauty of being queer and the unique gift it affords us!!

Ep 28: What Was The Question? (with Max Crumm)
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) are joined by the hilarious Max Crumm (@maxcrumm) in this delightful interview. They hear a new perspective: being a Christian kid but knowing it wasn’t a good fit all along. Also! Worship leading, coming out, and what the church needs to do right now. This is fun!!!

Ep 29: Cringey Christian Facebook Posts from 2008!
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) do the cringiest thing ever: they dive back into their super-Christian Facebook statuses from 2008, when they were seniors in high school and deeply brainwashed. This episode is hilarious if you like hearing what two nerds sound like!! They also dig into the background around each post… what they were probably thinking when they wrote each status. Praise God!

Ep 30: Gayvangelical!
Justin Randall (@imjustinrandall) and Calvin Arsenia (@calvinarsenia) discuss being “gayvangelical,” a term Calvin coined (we think, we didn’t Google it). How is the coming out process, the finding of new community and the attempt to bring others into your understanding similar to the conversion experience for evangelicals? And can we be PROUD gayvangelicals? Maybe — we might make shirts!!! We also dive into some emails and voicemails from our listeners. Yay!

Coming forth about being Christian Kids you both also have been very honest about the conflicts between your obsession with Bibles and Gay Porn.

“We learn and grow, and I was a child” – Justin Randall, after talking about shaking Mike Huckabee’s hand and hoping he would be the next President.

Calvin you’ve said on the podcast that it seems almost impossible to explain how you were brain washed and how you would have done anything in service to your religious teachings.

Calvin recently came out as a “Gayvangelical”

“Conversion” experience is similar to “coming out” experience.

Both Justin and Calvin have come face to face with the possibilities of “reparative therapy.”

Mission to help LGBTQIA people.

The podcast “We Were Christian Kids” with Justin Randall and Calvin Arsenia is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and podcast platforms.

Justin Randall is an NYC based comedian/actor/content creator/writer who is current;y working on a “Headliner Show.”

Justin performs stand-up comedy all over New York City, and hosts regularly at Stand Up NY. He has been seen onstage at The Bell House, Broadway Comedy Club, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, The Creek & The Cave and many more. He was a finalist in the Yaaas! Queer Comedy Festival and the Comedy Mob Competition. Internationally, Justin has performed in London and in Edinburgh at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Follow him on all social media at @imjustinrandall!

Justin Randall, thanks for being with us on WMM.

11:31 – Underwriting

  1. Calvin Arsenia – “Toxic”
    from: Cantaloupe / Center Cut Records / September 15, 2018 (KC Release)
    [Calvin Arsenia premiered these songs in a live show at recordBar in November 2016 in a stage show that involved a company of 50 people, dancers, stilt walkers, special lighting, back up singers, guest artists. Born in Orlando, Florida, Calvin’s creative journey really began when he moved to the KC suburb of Olathe, teaching himself the guitar, and eventually the harp. He learned his signature instrument at the age of 20 after he couldn’t find a harpist as determined as him to meld folk, rock, classical, rap and R&B into the irresistible fusion which has become his calling card in the Kansas City music scene and beyond. His passion for stretching the boundaries of musical expression saw him transform a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival early in his career into a life-changing music mission, with an Edinburgh church offering him a role as musical liaison between the church and the city that would change his life. Two years and 300 shows later, Calvin returned to Kansas City reborn as a humanistic songwriter/performer whose impassioned and conceptual stage shows (regularly sold-out in Kansas City, currently catching fire on the West Coast with a diverse following across Europe), are collaborative, costumed-culture-bridging spectacles which In KC Magazine has hailed as ‘equal parts opera, symphony, musical theatre, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-6-inch harpist with a natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies.’ Since Calvin Arsenia came home to KC after living in Edinburgh, Scotland, he has released his EP, Moments, in 2014, and his EP Prose in 2015, and his Folk Alliance exclusive EP Catastrophe in 2016. His full length album Catastrophe on February 14, 2017, His EP Caviar in Novenber 2017. Calvin’s 2018 national debut, Cantaloupe, was released on September 15, 2018 on Center Cut Records. On June 28, 2019 Calvin released Honeydew, an EP including a remix of three songs from Cantaloupe. On September 20, 2019 Calvin released LA Sessions. On December 13, 2019 Calvin released his full length Christmas album “all is calm.” Calvin is also a graduate of Artist INC. Since 2014 we have been celebrating the music of Calvin Arsenia. He has played Folk Alliance International, Kansas City Fringe Fest, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, The Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts, The Middle of the Map Fest., The Folly Theatre. Calvin was first on WMM on July 25, 2012.]

[Calvin Arsenia plays Lemonade Park 1628 Wyoming, on Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 AM with The Black Mariah Theater. More info at http://www.calvinarsenia.com]

Calvin Arsenia photo by Jenny Wheat

11:38 – More Interview with Calvin Arsenia

Calvin Arsenia is one of our most frequent guests who first appeared on WMM on July 25, 2012. Today marks his 18th appearance! Since signing to Center Cut Records, Calvin released the albums: Cantaloupe in 2018, L.A. Sessions in 2019, the EP HONEY DEW, and the EP with Quixotic, the Holiday album, ALL IS CALM. In 2020 Calvin collaborated with Mike Dillon on the Soundtrack to “Summer in Hindsight,” a feature-length film created by The West 18th Street Fashion Show that starred Calvin as an actor. Calvin is also the co-creator of a new podcast called “We Were Christian Kids” that Calvin created with childhood friend Justin Randall who is a stand up comedian working in New York City. Calvin Arsenia plays Lemonade Park 1628 Wyoming, on Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 AM with The Black Mariah Theater. More info at http://www.calvinarsenia.com

Calvin Arsenia, thanks for being with us on WMM.

Congratulations to Calvin and his fantastic team of co-conspirators and creators: Khitam Jabr, John P. Beatty, Ignacio Galarza III, Ashlee Fairchild Jones, production assistants, and crew. The Toxic music video earned its sixth set of laurels as an official selection of the L.A. Music Video Awards, where they were nominated for Best Music Video, Best Cover Song and Best Male Vocalist.

Born in Orlando, Florida, his creative journey really began when he moved to the KC suburb of Olathe, teaching himself the guitar, and eventually the harp. He learned his signature instrument at the age of 20 after he couldn’t find a harpist as determined as him to meld folk, rock, classical, rap and R&B into the irresistible fusion which has become his calling card in the Kansas City music scene and beyond.

His passion for stretching the boundaries of musical expression saw him transform a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival early in his career into a life-changing music mission, with an Edinburgh church offering him a role as musical liaison between the church and the city that would change his life.

Two years and 300 shows later, Calvin returned to Kansas City reborn as a humanistic songwriter/performer whose impassioned and conceptual stage shows (regularly sold-out in Kansas City, currently catching fire on the West Coast with a diverse following across Europe), are collaborative, costumed-culture-bridging spectacles which In KC Magazine has hailed as ‘equal parts opera, symphony, musical theatre, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-7-inch harpist with a natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies.’

Calvin’s 2018 national debut, Cantaloupe (Center Cut Records), has been acclaimed for melding diverse textures into an alluring signature sound for the adventurous artist. Calvin performed live at L.A.’s The Mint, showcasing the songs on LA Sessions with the musicians who collaborated with him on the album. Says Calvin: “It’s such a special experience to play with them. To be able to perform these songs in front of an audience and do this for a living – to have made a career out of something I love is so amazing – it is an honor that I never take for granted.”

On September 15, 2018 Calvin released Cantaloupe on Center Cut Records. Calvin released L.A. Sessions September 20, 2019 on Center Cut Records

Calvin Arsenia – Honeydew / Center Cut Records / June 28, 2019
[On September 15, 2018 Calvin released Cantaloupe on Center Cut Records. This new EP is a remix of three of the songs from Cantaloupe, plus a Talking Heads cover that was performed live in this style at a New Year’s Eve show at The Truman opening for Making Movies who performed the entire Talking Heads album, Remain in Light. The last three songs on Honeydew were from performed in this style at The Nelson Atkins 2019 event “Party Arty.” Honeydew was produced by Jametatone, Simon Huntley, Calvin Arsenia.

Quixotic & Calvin Arsenia – “Goddess – EP / Quixotic / May 17, 2019
[An innovative performance art collective that fuses imagination with technology, dance, projection, mapping & live music to create fully-immersive, multi-sensory experiences. Quixotic harnesses light, rhythm and expressive emotion. Quixotic was given Silicon Valley’s unofficial stamp of genius when they were invited to perform at the global TED Conference in 2012. A unique blend of performance art, technology & emotion. Quixotic fuses all these elements in to what the New York Times branded an “innovative circus performance,” and Men’s Journal declared “one of the best contemporary [cirque] acts.” They have performed for audiences worldwide & have helped launch brand products for companies such as BVLGARI, Faena Hotels, Garmin, HP, Smithsonian & Toyota.]

Calvin Arsenia – all is calm / Calvin Arsenia. / December 13, 2019
[Arsenia’s dreamlike whimsy shimmering through your favorite Christmas Classics. All proceeds for this album go towards the purchase of Calvin’s first harp. Featuring: Ben Muñoz on Cello, Shane Borth on Violin and Voila, and Luke “Skippy” Harbur on Beatbox. Mastered by Jametatone at the Infoaming Vertex and special thanks to Simon Huntley. Calvin wrote: “I recorded the majority of this album in my bedroom in between flights to and from KC and SF. I had my nephews and friend’s kids in mind and wanted an album of Christmas lullabys. I think it became just a little more sassy than anticipated, but I think you’ll enjoy it regardless.

Arsenia’s powerful vocals span a 4.5 octave range, playing piano, banjo, guitar & harp. Calvin has played Folk Alliance Int., KC Fringe Fest, Apocalypse Meow, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts, Middle of the Map Fest., The Folly Theatre. Last year he undertook a three month US/European Outlyre Tour playing San Francisco,Vancouver, NYC, Boston, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland and Paris.

This Summer we’re celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s Blue. Calvin talked about his love of Joni Mitchell.

11:46

  1. Calvin Arsenia – “River” from: all is calm / Calvin Arsenia. / December 13, 2019
    [Step into Arsenia’s dreamlike whimsy shimmering through your favorite Christmas Classics. All proceeds for this album go towards the purchase of Calvin’s first harp. Featuring: Ben Muñoz on Cello, Shane Borth on Violin and Voila, and Luke “Skippy” Harbur on Beatbox. Mastered by Jametatone at the Infoaming Vertex and special thanks to Simon Huntley. Calvin wrote: “I recorded the majority of this album in my bedroom in between flights to and from Kansas City and SF. I had my nephews and friend’s kids in mind and wanted an album of Christmas lullabys. I think it became just a little more sassy than i had anticipated but I think you’ll enjoy it regardless. Most of you may not know that I actually do not own a harp. The ones you’ve seen me play over the past ten years have all been on loan. Donations for this album will go towards the purchase of my very own orchestral harp.”]

[Calvin Arsenia plays Lemonade Park 1628 Wyoming, on Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 AM with The Black Mariah Theater. More info at http://www.calvinarsenia.com]

11:56

  1. Calvin Arsenia – “Painted Ladies”
    from: Kansas City Syzygy / Kansas City Syzygy / July 17, 2020
    [Born in Orlando, Florida, Calvin’s creative journey really began when he moved to the KC suburb of Olathe, teaching himself the guitar, and eventually the harp. He learned his signature instrument at the age of 20 after he couldn’t find a harpist as determined as him to meld folk, rock, classical, rap and R&B into the irresistible fusion which has become his calling card in the Kansas City music scene and beyond. His passion for stretching the boundaries of musical expression saw him transform a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival early in his career into a life-changing music mission, with an Edinburgh church offering him a role as musical liaison between the church and the city that would change his life. Two years and 300 shows later, Calvin returned to Kansas City reborn as a humanistic songwriter/performer whose impassioned and conceptual stage shows (regularly sold-out in Kansas City, currently catching fire on the West Coast with a diverse following across Europe), are collaborative, costumed-culture-bridging spectacles which In KC Magazine has hailed as ‘equal parts opera, symphony, musical theatre, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-6-inch harpist with a natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies.’ Since Calvin Arsenia came home to KC after living in Edinburgh, Scotland, he has released the EP, Moments, in 2014, the EP Prose in 2015, the Folk Alliance exclusive EP Catastrophe in 2016, the full length album Catastrophe on February 14, 2017, the EP Caviar in Novenber 2017, the 2018 national debut, Cantaloupe, released September 15, 2018 on Center Cut Records. On June 28, 2019 Calvin released Honeydew, an EP including a remix of three songs from Cantaloupe. On September 20, 2019 Calvin released LA Sessions. On December 13, 2019 Calvin released his full length Christmas album “all is calm.” Calvin is also a graduate of Artist INC. Since 2014 we have been celebrating the music of Calvin Arsenia. He has played Folk Alliance International, KC Fringe, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts, The Middle of the Map Fest., The Folly Theatre. // Kansas City Syzygy is a glimpse into the music created in the middle of the map in the middle of a pandemic. Mastered by J Ashley Miller, designed by JC Franco, with compilation direction by Robert Castillo. Over 25 Kansas City-based musicians came together to create “Kansas City Syzygy,” a compilation of music created during the shutdown of the world in April of 2020. The album can be purchased from Bandcamp All proceeds will be donated to KC Tenants, a local nonprofit organized to ensure that everyone in KC has a safe, accessible, and truly affordable home.]
  1. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
    from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Next week on WMM, on July 14 we welcome special guest: Stacy Busch, and also
Pure XTC the musical project of Taylor Hughes who releasing their debut single, “ghost,” on July 9. We will also talk with Jill McKeever and Jeremiah James Gonzales of Redder Moon. And Kian Byrne also joins us live in our 90.1 FM Studios.

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:
http://www.kkfi.org,
http://www.WednesdayMidDayMedley.org,
http://www.facebook.com/WednesdayMidDayMedleyon90.1

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