#414 – March 28, 2012 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, March 28, 2012

Bobby Asher of Hearts of Darkness + Elsa Rae
+ Guest Host Philip Hooser & The New Century Follies

1. Seun Kuti – “African Soldier”
from: From Africa with Fury: Rise / Knitting Factory Records / June 21, 2011
[Nigerian musician, and the youngest son of legendary afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. After Fela’s death of AIDS in 1997 Seun, then only 14 years old, became the lead singer of Egypt 80. While in school Seun had to choose between a career in music and one in American Football for which he has an outstanding talent. About three-fourths of the current Egypt 80 line-up consists of musicians that not only played with Fela Kuti, but often were arrested and harassed alongside the founder of the Afrobeat movement. Live sets consist of both new material and originals from Seun’s father. During his lifetime Fela Kuti never performed songs he had recorded, so for many fans this is their first chance to hear many Kuti classics.]

[Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, will be in concert this Friday night, March 30, at The Granada in Lawrence, Kansas. The Hearts of Darkness will open the show.]

Making Movies last full length recording, “In Deo Speramus” was part of our 100 Best Recordings of 2010. The band re-mastered and re-released the album in 2011 to much critical acclaim. Self identified as an afro-cuban indie latin alternative rock band, Making Movies have been currently recording their new album with Steve Berlin of the Grammy Award winning Los Lobos serving as producer. According to their Facebook page, they have spent the last three days of tracking the new album and are headed home to KC, for their shows Saturday night at the recordBar with the Hearts of Darkness. There are two sets, an early All Ages set starting at 9:00 with Hearts of Darkness opening for Making Movies and a late 21+ show starting at 9:00 with Making Movies opening for Hearts of Darkness more information at therecordbar.com.

2. Making Movies – “Sirena”
from: Single / Appeal Latino / Feb 2011
[More info at makingmoviesband.com]

3. The Hearts of Darkness – “Numeration”
from: Numeration / Bad Way (Split Single) 7″ Vinyl / Shipshape Records / Feb. 18, 2012
[The Hearts of Darkness will play this year’s Wakaursa Festival. The 15 piece ensemble includes: Les Izmore – Vox, Percussion; Brandy Gordon – Vox; Erica Townsend – Vox; Rachel Christia – Vox; Brad Williams – Drum Kit, Percussion; Sean Branagan – Kit, Percussion; Miko Spears – Congas; Pete Leibert – Bass Guitar; Richard Gumbel – Rhythm Guitar; Jolan Smith – Tenor Sax; Shawn Hansen – Alto Sax, Sam Hughes – Baritone Sax; Andrew Ford – Slide Trombone; Ken Walker – Valve Trombone; Bob Asher – Trumpet. The band blends American funk & soul, hip-hop & KC jazz big-band traditions into an afrobeat-based foundation to create a huge sound. Bobby Asher tells us that the band expects to release the 2nd full length vinyl later in the Spring.]

10:17 – Interview with Bob Asher of The Hearts of Darkness

Hearts of Darkness is an 15-piece afrobeat, hip-hop, funk, soul collective formed in 2007 in KCMO. They describe their sound as “a hybrid from the roots of ’70s afro beat & building off of the traditions of KC big-band jazz as well as American funk & rock w/ hip-hop on top.” The band produces an incredible live show that brings out diverse audiences who want to dance. Their debut album, “Hearts of Darkness,” released on July 10, 2010 on Shipshape Music was #1 on our list of the 100 Best Recordings of 2010. In 2011, the band opened for Huey Lewis and Snoop Dogg, played w/ Willie Nelson & Neil Young at Farm Aid and performed at the Kanrocksas Music Festival. They won “Best Jazz Ensemble” in 2011 by the Pitch Music Awards. This year they are back with a new single, and are getting ready to release a new full length album, and after just returning from the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas, the band will share the stage w/ Seun Kuti & the legendary Egypt 80, this March 30, at The Granada in Lawrence, Kansas. On Saturday, March 31, the band is part of the Super Duper Double Feature concerts with Making Movies at the recordBar. Here to fill us in on all the details is Bobby Asher, one of the driving forces behind The Hearts of Darkness.

Bob Asher talked about The Hearts of Darkness participating in this year’s MidCoast Takeover at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas and what it was like traveling to Texas with the 15 member tribe.

Bob also talked about the band’s big weekend of shows: This Friday, the band shares the stage with Seun Kuti & the legendary Egypt 80, at The Granada in Lawrence, Kansas.

Hearts of Darkness & Making Movies

This Saturday: Super Duper Double Feature:
1. (all ages dinner show) Hearts of Darkness at 6:15 PM and Making Movies at 7:30 PM.

2. (21+) Show w/ Making Movies, at 9:30 PM & Hearts of Darkness at 11:15 PM.

The Hearts of Darkness expect to release the 2nd full length vinyl later in the year.

The Hearts of Darkness will play Bill Sundahl’s 2nd annual Spring Dance, May 5, at the KC Crossroads with The Grisly Hand and The Good Foot. last year’s dance was attended by over 1000 people.

The Hearts of Darkness will play this year’s Wakaursa Festival.

The current line up for The Hearts of Darkness:

Bob Asher – Trumpet
Sean Branagan – drums and percussion
Rachel Christia – Vocals
Andrew Ford – Trombone
Brandy Gordon – Vocals
Richard Gumbel – Rhythm and Lead Guitar
Shawn Hansen – Alto Saxophone
Sam Hughes – Baritone Saxophone
Les Izmore – Vocals
Pete Leibert – Bass Guitar
Jolan Smith – Tenor Saxophone and Vocals
Miko Spears – Congas
Erica Townsend – Vocals
Ken Walker – Valve Trombone
Brad Williams – drums and percussion


Currently working on the second album, to be released in early 2012

Numeration / Bad Way – Split single released Feb. 2012 w/ KC soul band The Good Foot

Debut album, “Hearts of Darkness” released on July 10, 2010 on Shipshape Music.

Single release, “Danse Fambeaux” from”I Heard it on 18th St. II” released Feb 2010. 10:34

The Hearts of Darkness share the stage with Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, this Friday, March 30, at The Granada in Lawrence. On Saturday The Hearts of Darkness participate in the Super Duper Double Feature with Making Movies at the recordBar, Saturday, March 31, with shows at 6:00 and 9:00 PM. More information at heartsofdarkness.net

Music writer Bill Brownlee, a contributing reviewer to The Kansas City Star wrote on his blog “Plastic Sax”: “Far from a musty academic exercise, the Hearts of Darkness convey the spirit, if not the sound, of Kansas City’s heyday. The Hearts of Darkness deserve recognition from the jazz audience because their visceral big band power is the soundtrack to the same exuberant scenes that undoubtedly accompanied the bands of Benny Moten, Harlan Leonard and Count Basie.”

10:35 – Underwriting

10:37 – Interview with Elsa Rae

Elsa Rae

20 year old Elsa Rae has lived in KC for only eight months, but has already participated in the Human Rights Campaign’s Battle of the Bands, in January, and she recently played shows in Austin during the SXSW Music Festival. Elsa Rae grew up in Souix Falls, South Dakota, where she recorded her debut recording “Elsa Rae Plays Tiny Instruments” just days before moving to Kansas City. Elsa plays her original songs with Vincent her Ukulele, Mozart the Toy Piano, and Sebastian F. Schwartz the Kazoo. Elsa Rae joins us today to talk about her new recordings, her performances at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, and she will perform a few of her songs live in our 90.1 FM Studios.

Elsa Rae has been playing the Ukulele for 3 years now.

After she graduated from High School she moved to Minnesota to go to college. Before moving to KC she spent some time in Fairfax, Virginia.


4. Elsa Rae– “Don’t Move To Minnesota” (LIVE)
also available on: Plays Tiny Instruments / Independent / August 16, 2011
[Recorded at Cathouse Studios in August, 2011. All songs recorded and mixed by Mike Dresch. All songs written and performed by Elsa Rae. ]

Elsa Rae has been re-recording her songs with William Saunders at Saunders Street Records.

Elsa traveled to Austin for the SXSW Music Festival.


5. Elsa Rae– “For You I’ll Pretend to Be A Woman” (LIVE)
also available on: Plays Tiny Instruments / Independent / August 16, 2011
[Recorded at Cathouse Studios in August, 2011. All songs recorded and mixed by Mike Dresch. All songs written and performed by Elsa Rae. ]

Elsa will eventually release her newly recorded album with Saunders Street Records.

Elsa wants to eventually work with a band.

You can learn more at: elsarae.bandcamp.com and reverbnation.com/elsarae

11:00 – Guest Host & Producer Philip blue owl Hooser

6. Hugh Jackman – “Everything Old Is New Again”
from: The Boy From Oz Original Cast Recording / Decca / 2003

Philip explained that he intended to be like a stripper for our listening audience. Peeling away layers so we can see all that can legally be seen… over the radio. Philip is involved in a project called “The New Century Follies,” which will premiere April 6th in this still-new Century… at the Folly Theatre. When Philip first moved to Kansas City, there was a large-scale effort to restore and reopen the Folly. The Folly become a kind of symbol of Kansas City for him, in a way, his mental folly.

BUT WHAT IS this word “Folly”? It can mean the state or quality of being foolish, of lacking understanding or sense. It can be a costly undertaking, or a whimsical building. In the world of the theatre, it is also a theatrical revue. For those of us in Kansas City, of course, it is all those things in a different order– a theatrical building that proved a costly undertaking to restore in order to bring some very foolish goings-on to the stage.

But it wasn’t always that way. I mean, of course, it wasn’t always known as The Folly. It used to be something … more Standard. Maestro, a little traveling music, if you please….

7. Scott Joplin – “The Entertainer”
from: The Entertainer / Shout Factory Records / Jan. 10, 2003

The Folly Theatre

Philip talked about the Architect, of the Folly Theatre, Louis Curtiss, who was described as “the Frank Lloyd Wright of Kansas City” who was born in Canada, studied architecture at the University of Toronto and in Paris before coming to Kansas City. There are still about 30 buildings he designed in the area, including the Boley Building, at the corner of 12th and Grand — “one of the first glass curtain-wall structures in the world.”

Philip welcomed special guests: Felicia Hardison Londre of UMKC, Gale Tallis the Executive Director of the Folly, and Steve Irwin the Folly’s Development Director.

Felicia Hardison Londre is the Curators’ Professor of Theatre at the UMKC and Honorary Co-Founder of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Dr. Londré has taught at UMKC since 1978, with visiting professorships at Hosei University, Tokyo; Marquette University, Milwaukee; and lecture tours to universities in Hungary and France, including the Sorbonne. She often lectures on the Shakespeare authorship question and on Kansas City theatre history, and can be seen this summer at the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Among Felicia Londré’s fourteen books are Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy, as well as books on playwrights: Tennessee Williams and Tom Stoppard. Her most important book is “The Enchanted Years of the Stage: Kansas City at the Crossroads of American Theater,” 1870-1929 (University of Missouri Press, 2007, 83 illustrations), which every Kansas Citian needs to read. It was awarded the Theatre Library Association’s George Freedley Memorial Award at Lincoln Center in New York and Jackson County Historical Society’s Education Award.

The Folly wasn’t always known as the Folly.

Throughout the years (1900-1932) The Folly was known as: The Standard, The Century, The Lyric, The Century again, and Shubert’s Missouri.

The Folly offered, “Refined Musical Extravaganza, Musical Novelties, and Polite Farce,” and also… boxing. But no smoking, originally.

Colonel Edward Butler of St. Louis, MO built The Folly at a cost of $250,000 for his son to present shows on the Empire vaudeville circuit.

A 1901 fire at the nearby Coates Opera House caused opera and comic opera performances to be moved to the Standard, featuring such performers as Sarah Bernhardt, Richard Mansfield and Maude Adams.

The theater’s name changed to the “Century” in 1902. The Century featured acts from the Empire burlesque circuit, including Al Jolson, Fannie Brice and Eddie Foy. In addition to theater acts, the Century featured prizefighting and wrestling, with appearances by Jack Johnson and Jack Dempsey.

Felicia discussed Kansas City’s place in US entertainment during this period.

Philip and guests talked about vaudeville, where each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Types of acts included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, female and male impersonators, acrobats, illustrated songs, jugglers, one-act plays or scenes from plays, athletes, lecturing celebrities, minstrels, and movies.

Philip and guests talked about vaudeville fading, legit theatre and light opera, and the Depression.

The Shubert brothers bought the Century in 1923 and renamed it “Shubert’s Missouri” after extensive renovations by Shubert architect Herbert J. Krapp. The Shuberts booked dramatic productions including Shakespeare and O’Neill plays.

The Marx Brothers performed “I’ll Say She Is” for three weeks in 1923-24, the long run convinced the Shuberts to continue operating the theater. “I’ll Say She Is” led to the Marx Brothers’ rise out of vaudeville into stardom in the Broadway theatre and later in motion pictures, and came at a time when they had gotten themselves effectively banned from the major vaudeville circuits.

After 1928 business fell off and the theater was used for touring shows on an intermittent basis until it closed in 1932.


8. Fanny Brice – “Second Hand Rose”
from: The Original Funny Girl – Sings The Songs That Made Her Famous / Charly / 2010

9. Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra – “Moten’s Stomp”
from: Roaring 20s Review Volume 1/ Van Up Records / 2009

11:18 – Underwriting

10. Andrews Sisters – “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”
from: The Andrews Sisters Collection / TMS / 2009

11:21 – Part two of Philip’s interview with Felicia Londre, Gale Tallis, and Steve Irwin

Philip and guests talked about how The Folly was reborn as the Folly!

Philip and guests talked about the theatrical definition of “burlesque” and its relationship to burlesque dance. Felicia discussed how burlesque was originally a parody or comically exaggerated imitation of something, especially in a literary or dramatic work. Burlesque overlaps in meaning with caricature, parody and travesty, and, in its theatrical sense, with extravaganza, as presented during the Victorian era.

While burlesque went out of fashion in England towards the end of the 19th century, to be replaced by Edwardian musical comedy, the American style of burlesque flourished, but with increasing focus on female nudity. Exotic “cooch” dances were brought in, ostensibly Syrian in origin. The entertainments were given in clubs and cabarets, as well as music halls and theatres. By the early 20th century, there were two national circuits of burlesque shows competing with the vaudeville circuit, as well as resident companies in NYC, such as Minsky’s at Winter Garden.

Philip and guests talked about how burlesque was a sensation and brought to America from Britain in the late 1860s by Lydia Thompson and her British Blondes, a troupe who spoofed traditional theatrical productions and featured ladies performing men’s roles, in costumes considered revealing for the time period.

American burlesque soon assimilated music hall, minstrel shows, striptease, comedy and cabaret style to evolve from the follies of the twenties and thirties to the girlie shows of the 40s and 50s, which eventually gave way to the modern strip club. The striptease element of burlesque became subject to extensive local legislation, leading to a theatrical form that titillated without falling foul of censors.

By the late 1930s, a social crackdown on burlesque shows began their gradual decline. The shows had slowly changed from ensemble ribald variety performances, to simple performances focusing mostly on the striptease.

In New York, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia clamped down on burlesque, effectively putting it out of business by the early 1940s. Burlesque lingered on elsewhere in the U.S., increasingly neglected, and by the 1970s, with nudity commonplace in theatres, American burlesque reached “its final shabby demise.”

Philip and guests talked about how audiences generally preferred their local talent, including: the World’s Tallest Exotic, Miss Perpetual Motion, Marie Antoinette, Russian Girl Cossack

Other theaters converted to movies, but the Folly specialized.

Gale talked about the Ghosts that haunt the Folly. After the theatre was restored to it’s original state, employees and visitors alike report strange happenings in and around the theater. Many have seen a mysterious male figure in a bowler hat, who is believed to be the ghost of Joe Donegan. Others have also seen a woman in a long, flowing gown rushing toward the stage.

Philip and guests talked about the decline of downtown and once again, the Folly was forced to close.

Following the Folly’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, a “Strip the Folly” fundraiser was held featuring Sally Rand, who had performed at the Folly. After seven years a full renovation was completed in 1981, including the construction of an annex on the site of the former Edward Hotel.

A new lobby, restrooms and second-floor Shareholders’ Room were added. The auditorium’s original color scheme was restored. Plans are now under way, and approval has been granted by the Kansas City Landmarks Commission, to install a marquee sign that closely mimics the original Folly signage.

The Folly Theater is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation whose mission is “to preserve Kansas City’s oldest historic theater as a premier performance venue by presenting, producing and hosting a wide range of quality events for the community”. The Folly produces a Jazz Series, a Kids Series, and Cyprus Avenue Live! performances by artists ranging from blues to rock and country. It hosts the Harriman-Jewell Series of classical performers, the Friends of Chamber Music series, and the Heartland Men’s Chorus.


11. Grand Marquis – “After You’ve Gone”
from: Hold On To Me / Grand Marquis Music / 2010
[The 5th CD from Bryan Redmond – saxophones, vocals / Chad Boydston – trumpet / Ryan Wurtz – guitar / Ben Ruth – upright bass, sousaphone / Lisa McKenzie – drums, washboard, marimba. More info at grandmarquis.net or extravirginkc.com]

11:37 – Underwriting

12. The People’s Liberation Big Band – “…in the rumpus room…”
from: The People’s Liberation Big Band / Tzigane / November 7, 2010
[Recipient of the 2010 Charlotte Street Generative Performing Award, Brad Cox is founder of The People’s Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City.]

11:38 – Interview with Annie Cherry, Damian Blake, Daisy Bucket

Damian Blake and Annie Cherry

At the age of six, Annie Cherry mortified her mother in a high-end department store by belting, at the top of her lungs, Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” That’s surely the kind of chutzpah that got Annie Cherry into the Kansas City Middle School of the Arts and high school at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts. She is an actress, vocalist, burlesque and belly dancer, vaudeville performer, and pin-up vixen. Annie can most often be seen performing with the Kansas City Society of Burlesque.

Damian Blake, is a man of a thousand faces… or at least a good dozen. At the tender age of three, his fate was set when he saw the Charlie Chaplin movie “The Gold Rush” and became obsessed with clowning and silent film, and most importantly, Chaplin himself. Using the skills he honed as a sideshow/variety performer, Damian has appeared on stage, in print, on film, as a variety entertain, a character actor, and celebrity impersonator. He also appears regularly and quite successfully at the Fishtank Performance Space with Arty Vulgaris.

Spencer Brown aka Daisy Bucket

Daisy Buckët aka Spencer Brown took to the spotlight in The Girly Show at Bar Natasha in 2006. Since then, she has been a force to be reckoned wit, with awards including the Pitch’s “Best Cabaret Show 2007”, “Best Vocalist 2008” Zoey Award), she was crowned Queen of Kansas City Gay Pride 2008, and ran a year-long drag variety show at Sidekicks Saloon known as Daisy’s Twilight Madness. When she’s not supporting local charities like the AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and Passages LGBT Youth Center, she is touring the country disguised as Trampolina in the Kinsey Sicks, America’s Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet. Spencer brown also wrote and starred in the “The Rose: A Rock Tragedy” produced at La Esquina here in Kansas City.

Philip and guests talked about how like the Folly, Burlesque has re-invented itself. The “New Burlesque” movement, is the revival and updating of the traditional burlesque performance. Though based on the traditional Burlesque art, the new form encompasses a wider range of performance styles; anything from classic striptease to modern dance to theatrical mini-dramas to comedic mayhem. As with the earlier burlesque, neo-burlesque is more focused on the “tease” in “striptease” than the “strip”. Audiences for neo-burlesque shows tend to be mixed gender, age, race, and class.

Modern burlesque has taken many on forms, but it has the common trait of honoring one or more of burlesque’s previous incarnations. The acts tend to put emphasis on style and are sexy rather than sexual. A typical burlesque act may include striptease, expensive or garish costumes, bawdy humor, cabaret and more. Unlike strippers who dance in strip clubs to make a living, burlesque performers often perform for fun and spend more money on costumes, rehearsal, and props than they are compensated.

The New Century Follies

The New Century Follies begins April 6th and continues every month. Bandleader Brad Cox provides the soundtrack with The People’s Liberation Big Band, with a FULL BAR, and the rotating lineup includes performers such as Annie Cherry, Damian Blake, Alex Espy, Jason Divad, Violet Vendetta, Opal Malone, Phillip Hoosier, Voler Aerial Acrobats, Sweet Louise, Daisy Bucket, Ruby von Blush, Vlad Fortuna, and many, many more!

Expect jugglers, hoopers, aerial acrobats, burlesque gals and guys, big musical numbers, authentic vaudeville style skits, comics, special out-of-town guests, magic, and other bits of business!

No advance tickets, no fuss, just come as you are, pay a modest cover charge, and enjoy with your friends. Celebrate the New Century!

The New Century Follies at the Folly Theater, Friday, April 6, 2012, at 9:30pm.


13. Hugh Jackman – “Everything Old Is New Again”
from: The Boy From Oz Original Cast Recording / Decca / 2003

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

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:

Thanks for listening!

Show #414


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