#389 – October 5, 2011 Playlist

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, October 5, 2011

New & Local Releases + Laurie Anderson in Kansas City
+ Spinning Tree Theatre’s “Year of Magical Thinking”

1. The Coathangers – “Shake, Shake”
from: Shake, Shake (Single) / Suicide Squeeze Records / 2011
[all female punk group quartet from Atlanta, Georgia, includes: lead vocalist – Julia Kugel, drummer – Stephanie Luke, keyboardist – Candice Jones and bassist – Meredith Franco. They’ve recently released their 3rd album, Larceny and Old Lace.]

2. Veronica Falls – “Veronica Falls”
from: Veronica Falls / Slumberland Records / Sept. 20, 2011
[self-titled debut record from a UK band that daringly recruited a bass player that didn’t know how to play until joining the group. Their first live performance was opening for Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.]

3. Wilco -“Born Alone”
from: The Whole Love / dBpm Records – Epitaph Records / Sept. 23, 2011
[8th album by Chicago based band was formed in 1994 by the remaining members of Uncle Tupelo following Jay Farrar’s departure. Wilco’s lineup has changed frequently, with only singer Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt remaining from the original incarnation. Since early 2004, the other current members are guitarist Nels Cline, multi-instrumentalists Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen, and drummer Glenn Kotche. Wilco has released 8 studio albums, a live double album, and three collaborations: two with Billy Bragg, and one with The Minus 5.]

10:13 – Underwriting


4. Soley – “Blue Leaves”
from: We Sink / Morr Music / October 3, 2011
[From Iceland comes Soley, an introverted singer-songwriter who was recently featured in “Backyard” a documentary about the influential Iceland music scene.]

5. St. Vincent – “Cruel”
from: Strange Mercy / 4AD / September 13 , 2011
[Manhattan based Annie Clark’s 11-song follow up to her critically acclaimed release “Actor” from 2009. Strange Mercy was recorded in Dallas, TX. St. Vincent will play Liberty Hall in Lawrence, KS on October 7.]

6. Little Dragon – “Ritual Union”
from: Ritual Union / Peace Frog / July 26, 2011
[From Gothenburg, Sweden. This is the 3rd release frpm the four-piece band that blends R&B, new wave, electronica and experimental pop with the lead vocals of Yukimi Nagano.]

7. Laurie Anderson – “The Beginning of Memory”
from: Homeland / Nonesuch Records / June 21, 2010
[Laurie Anderson will be in Kansas City to kick off the Vanguard Series at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, on Sunday, October 9, at 7:00 PM in Helzberg Hall. For more information kauffmancenter.org or 816-994-7222.]


8. Laurie Anderson – “Only An Expert”
from: Homeland / Nonesuch Records / June 21, 2010
[Laurie Anderson will be in Kansas City to kick off the Vanguard Series at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, on Sunday, October 9, at 7:00 PM in Helzberg Hall. For more information kauffmancenter.org or 816-994-7222.]

10:38 – Interview with Laurie Anderson (& Bess Wallerstein)

Bess Wallerstein joined us from the Kauffman Center for The Performing Arts. Bess has worked in the KC Theatre as an artist, administrator, producer & teacher. She has worked for The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and for Theatre League. In 2005, she founded One Time Productions with KC visual artist, Johnny Naugahyde. In 2008, she directed True West by Sam Shepard in an airstream trailer outside in a backyard in Brookside. In 2009 she directed the KC Premiere of Arts or Crafts, at the Bloch Art Center, in collaboration with The Kansas City Art Institute. She is the founder of CounterClockwise Comedy, an experimental comedy group which performs comedy shows and live comedy movie roasts at Screenland Theatre. Last winter Bess also was a performer in “A White Nose Christmas” a show she created with David Wayne Reed and Heidi Van for The Fishtank Performance Space. The trio will be creating a new show this fall called Anchor Baby. Bess made our interview with Laurie Anderson possible. Thank you Bess!

Laurie Anderson is an American experimental performance artist, composer and musician. She began studying classical violin at five and performed with the Chicago Youth Symphony. In 1966 she moved to New York City, where she received her B.A at Barnard College in 1969 and her Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia University in 1972. For two years she taught art history at the City University of New York. One of her early performance art pieces was titled: Automotive (1972), for which she orchestrated car horns. In Duets on Ice, another early piece, she wore ice skates frozen in blocks of ice; and then proceeded to play a duet with herself on an altered violin. Laurie Anderson became widely known outside the art world in 1981 when her single “O Superman” reached number two on the UK pop charts. The success of O Superman, led to Laurie Anderson’s long and critically acclaimed recording career that has produced 8 studio albums, several live albums including the amazing 4 cd set of United States and her 2002 release Live in New York, her retrospective compilation: “Talk Normal,” several soundtrack albums, and musical collaborations with Brian Eno, William S. Burroughs, Peter Gabriel, John Zorn, Antony Hegarty and Lou Reed who she married in 2008. Laurie Anderson, performs her show “Transitory Life” as part of the Vanguard Series at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts this Sunday, October 9, at 7:00 PM, in Helzberg Hall. more information kauffmancenter.org

We talked with Laurie Anderson, on the phone, LIVE from Montreal where she was in rehearsals for a performance she would be doing in Montreal with Rufus Wainwright.

In the liner notes to “Talk Normal” the 2-CD retrospective collection of 35 songs from Laurie’s first seven studio albums, Laurie is quoted as saying: “I’m not really a professional anything,” “Well, maybe a professional storyteller. But all the music and the pictures are just ways to tell the stories.”

Laurie has called “Transitory Life” a survey of themes from her life, a mental movie that includes stories and characters from her adventures. Some of the stories in Transitory Life are inspired by Laurie Anderson’s “Happiness Project” where she worked on an Amish farm, at a McDonald’s in Chinatown in NYC, and when she hitch-hiked from her neighborhood in NYC to the North Pole.

“Transitory Life” is the opening track from Laurie’s critically acclaimed 2010 release: “Homeland” which she produced with Lou Reed and Roma Baran, and which was created over several years from improvisations on tour.

The themes explored in Homeland include: US foreign policy, torture, economic collapse, the erosion of personal freedom, medical malpractice, religion and cynicism. You approach these themes as journeys, asking where we are going, what we are doing, translating the headlines of today into perspectives that are haunting, but also demonstrate her great sense of humor.

Laurie Anderson is currently touring North America, performing her piece “Delusion” in Montreal and presenting your exhibition “Forty-Nine Days in The Bardo” in Philadelphia.

Laurie Anderson has described the violin as an alter ego of herself, where she does the talking and the violin does the crying. Another of her alter ego characters is achieved by her use of filters that alter her own voice to create what her husband, Lou Reed, has named: Fenway Bergamot. Fenway Bergamot appears on the cover of her critically acclaimed 2010 release HOMELAND. This character also played a role in the television series she did for PBS in the 1980s and he has made appearances in many of her live shows and recordings over the years. Laurie calls it: “Audio Drag”

You can learn more about Laurie Anderson’s release Homeland at: laurieanderson.com

The Vanguard Series at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts starts with Laurie Anderson, on Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 7:00 PM in Helzberg Hall. For more information kauffmancenter.org or 816-994-7222.


The Wilders, The Grisly Hand and Howard Iceberg will all be in concert TOGETHER that will be recorded LIVE on Friday, October 7 at Davey’s Uptown at 3402 Main Street, KCMO. More info at: daveysuptown.com.

9. The Wilders – “Things They Say About Home”
from: The Wilders / Free Dirt Records / June 21, 2011
[The 10th release from Ike Sheldon- Guitar, Lead Vocals, Betse Ellis- Fiddle, Vocals, Phil Wade- Dobro, Banjo, Mandolin, Vocals, Nate Gawron- Bass, Vocals. Sarah Carpenter also sings back-up on this track.]

10. The Grisly Hand – “The Good Wife”
from: Safe House [EP] / Independent / November 2, 2010
[The Grisly Hand are: Jimmy Fitzner, Johnny Nichols, Chas Snyder, Lauren Krum, Ben Summers, Mike Tuley & Kian Byrne. They played their first shows in January of 2009 and have since performed throughout the Kansas City/Lawrence area winning a 2010 Pitch Music Award. The entire band climbed into our studios and performed live on our Nov. 10 2010 show. Safe House was released on vinyl. For more info: myspace.com/thegrislyhand.]

11. Howard Iceberg & The Titanics – “Jacksonville”
From: Welcome Aboard! Vol. 2 / Independent / June 26, 2011
[7-CD set, includes over 100 new songs, featuring The Titanics: Gary Paredes on lead guitar, Dan Mesh on rhythm guitar, Scott Easterday on bass, Pat Tomek on drums. With contributions from over 70 local artists, who’ve joined in on Howard’s “never-ending recording project” conducted in Pat Tomek’s home studio. ]

12. Tom Russell – “Furious Love (For Liz)”
from: Mesabi / Shout! Factory Records / Septenber 5, 2011
[Playing Knuckleheads Thursday, October 6, at 8:00 PM]

11:15 – Interview with Peggy Friesen & Michael Grayman

Peggy Friesen & Michael Grayman joined us to discuss the KC premiere of Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking,” produced by Spinning Tree Theatre, and running October 12-23, at The Living Room, 1818 McGee in KC.

Peggy Friesen has been a professional actress in the Kansas City for over 25 years. She received her masters of Fine Arts from Ohio State University and has performed in over 50 productions at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and dozens of productions at the Unicorn Theatre where she won Best Actress Award from The Pitch in 2000 for the play “Wit.” On film, Peggy Friesen has appeared in many films and has worked with Directors: Robert Altman, Steven Soderbergh, and Ang Lee. Peggy is also a professional harpist, playing both concert and Celtic instruments. She shares an old house with her husband, musician, photographer, and T’ai Chi instructor, Royal Scanlon.

Michael Grayman is the Artistic Director at Spinning Tree Theatre. Michael most recently directed Spinning Tree Theatre’s inaugural production of “Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn” at Kansas City Crown Center’s Off Center Theatre. As a resident director at The Barnstormers Theatre in New Hampshire he Directed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Brigadoon and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. In the Fall of 2010 he was represented as Associate Director of Sylvia at The New Theatre in Kansas City. He is a teaching artist for Coterie Theatre and Accelerated School Overland Park. As a member of Actors’ Equity Association, he made his national tour debut at age 14 with The King and I. Other Broadway national tours include Mamma Mia! and the 40th anniversary production of West Side Story. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Michael is a graduate of the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts. Michael holds a BFA from The Boston Conservatory and is also a member of Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Michael Grayman, after many years working in New York City and in Delaware, started Spinning Tree Theatre, with his partner Andy Parkhurst, here in Kansas City. Michael told us that the name Spinning Tree after a long brainstorming session to find a name that evoked the spirit of their theatre vision.

Michael talked about seeing the Broadway production of Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking” starring Vanessa Redgrave.

KC premiere of Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking.” The play will run October 12-23, at The Living Room, 1818 McGee in Kansas City. Performances are Wednesdays through Sundays. For info: spinningtreetheatre.com for tickets: thelivingroomkc.com

The last time Peggy Friesen was a guest on Wednesday MidDay Medley was when she visited us to discuss “Nickel and Dimed” a show produced by The Unicorn Theatre, another play, based on a popular book, written by another fierce female author/journalist. Peggy Friesen has been able to bring to life on the stage, many amazing female characters. Michael talked about how this play seemed to be perfect for Peggy Friesen. Peggy Discussed the challenges of a one-woman-show and how she uses the audience, as a character, she plays to, in her performances.

The Year of Magical Thinking is written in a stream-of-consciousness style, in which ideas are introduced and repeated, images and memories get triggered unexpectedly, and information is processed in real time and then integrated into the overall narrative. In this book, Didion doesn’t simply tell us how she thinks: she shows us.

The Year of Magical Thinking documents Didion’s experience of grief after losing her husband John, and also serves as a memorial to their relationship and forty-year marriage. At the same time, she is dealing with her daughter Quintana Roo Dunne, who spends most of the book in either a coma or a state of slow recovery. Her daughter Quintana also eventually dies, in a tragic postscript.

In the 2005 NY Times review of this book, critic Robert Pinsky wrote, “”The Year of Magical Thinking” is not a downer. On the contrary. Though the material is literally terrible, the writing is exhilarating and what unfolds resembles an adventure narrative: a forced expedition. As in Didion’s previous writing, her sense of timing, sentence by sentence and in the arrangement of scenes, draws the reader forward. Her manner is deadpan funny, slicing away banality with an air that is ruthless yet meticulous.”

The Book won the National Book Award in November 2005 and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography.

On March 29, 2007, Didion’s adaptation of her book for Broadway, directed by David Hare, opened with Vanessa Redgrave as the sole cast member. The play expands upon the memoir by dealing with Quintana’s death. Redgrave reprised her role to largely positive reviews at London’s National Theatre.

Spinning Tree Theatre aims to produce works which celebrate and reflect the diversity of KC itself by exploring a variety of cultures & art forms through theatre, music and dance. Their goal is to present new, contemporary & classic pieces that are relevant, thought-provoking & entertaining. We hope to educate, challenge, stimulate & inspire audience & artist alike.

The KC premiere of Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking,” produced by Spinning Tree Theatre, will run October 12-23, at The Living Room, 1818 McGee in KC. Performances are Wednesdays thru Sundays. For info: spinningtreetheatre.com For tickets: thelivingroomkc.com


13. Greg Brown – “Lovinest One”
from: Freak Flag / Yep Roc Records / May 10, 2011
[Greg Brown will be in concert in a rare KC performance with his wife Iris Dement, on 11-11-11 at The Folly Theatre to honor and benefit United Inner City Services home of St. Mark Child and Family Development Center. For more info you can call 816-994-5400 or visit: irisandgregbenefitconcert.com]

14. Jono McCleery – “Fears”
from: There Is / Counter Records / Sept. 26, 2011
[London based singer-songwriter new album opens with ‘Fears’ and includes collaborations with Fink and Vashti Bunyan.]

15. Kristie Stremel & The 159ers – “Clementine”
from: Color of Stars / Stremeltone / 2010
[Kristie Stremel & The 159ers will play the RecordBar Saturday Oct. 8 at 8:00 PM]

11:45 – New Electronica from: Neon Indian, Com Truise and Purity Ring

Neon Indian, Com Truise and Purity Ring will be in concert together, Tuesday October 11, at The RecordBar, 1020 Westport Road. in a show that starts at 8:30 PM

16. Neon Indian – “Hex Girlfriend”
from: Era Extrana / Mom + Pop / September 13, 2011

17. Com Truise – “Futureworld”
from: Galactic Melt / Ghostly / July 2011
[Com Truise, is New Jersey based designer and musician named Seth Haley, who said he envisioned this record as a “sort of film score…from the mind,” chronicling the life and death of Com Truise, the world’s first robotic astronaut, from his creation and life on Earth to his subsequent mission to a newly discovered galaxy called “Wave 1.”]

18. Purity Ring – “Ungirthed”
from: Ungirthed 7″ / Independent / Jan. 14, 2011


19. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Sources for Notes: Artist’s websites noted above and wikipedia.org

Show #389


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