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, May 15, 2013
I’ll Take You There – Conversations with Mike Webber
+ Patrick Alonzo Conway & Gamelan Genta Kasturi
+ Spinning Tree Theatre’s “Hello Again”
1. Bloodbirds – “What Goes On”
from: Covers / Independent / July 30, 2012
[Originally recorded by Velvet Underground brought back to life by: KC based Psychedelic post-punk trio Mike Tuley, Brooke Tuley and Anna St. Louis. The band writes on their Bandcamp page that these are: “Various covers recorded at various times when we became frustrated with our own music during recording.”]
[Bloodbirds plays this year’s KC Psychfest, May 17 and 18, at FOKL, 556 Central Ave, Kansas City, Kansas, and Monta HQ in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. More info at: KCPSYCHFEST.COM.]
2. Monta At Odds – “in Six Measured Steps”
from: Midwestern Audio Vol. 1 / Midwest Music Foundation / September 23, 2012
[Monta At Odds’ main men, brothers Dedric & Delaney Moore, work with ambient textures, vintage keyboards in states of disrepair, guitars, melodic bass, and a variety of other found instruments that create their “technicolor sound.” Constructed to include diverse elements of detailed beats, quiet sparseness, Bollywood funk, Italian ‘60s cinema and outthere jazz. Now recording with Upstairs Recordings.]
[“Midwestern Audio Vol. 1” is a compilation assembled for Midwest Music Foundation by Brenton Cook and co-sponsored by Ink Magazine featuring over 40 bands. More information at MidwestMusicFound.org Brenton Cook will be at KC Psychfest with this new compilation.]
[Monta At Odds plays this year’s KC Psychfest, May 17 and18, at FOKL, 556 Central Ave, Kansas City, Kansas, and Monta HQ in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. More info at: KCPSYCHFEST.COM.]
3. Gamelan Genta Kasturi – “Angels and Demons At Play”
from: Angels and Demons At Play / Independent / February 27,2011
[“Angels & Demons at Play” was originally produced, Feb. 25, 26 and 27, 2011, at La Esquina (an Urban Culture Project venue) 1000 West 25th Street, KCMO. The work included original compositions written by Patrick Alonzo Conway for the Gamelan Orchestra, performed by Gamelan Genta Kasturi. The performance included Dwight Frizzell (clarinet & altoclarinet), & Shawn Hansen (piano, toy piano.) It also featured shadow puppets by Allan Winkler, original choreography, electronic visual media, original lighting design]
10:15– Interview with Patrick Alonzo Conway
KC’s community Balinese gamelan orchestra, Gamelan Genta Kasturi, is celebrating 10 Years, with a special concert, Sat May 18, 4:00 pm, in the Truman Forum of the Plaza Branch of the KC Public Library, 4801 Main St, showcasing material from 10 years.
Director Patrick Alonso Conway joined us to share information on this special concert from Gamelan Genta Kasturi.
“Angels and Demons at Play” was composed by Patrick Alonso Conway for Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project, in partnership with ArtSounds (a collaboration between the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and the Kansas City Art Institute.)
Gamelan Genta Kasturi, is celebrating 10 Years, in a special Concert, Saturday May 18, 4:00 pm, in the Truman Forum of the Plaza Branch of the KC Public Library, 4801 Main St, KCMO, showcasing material from 10 years, including traditional Balinese and original compositions by founder I Ketút Gedé Asnawa and current director Patrick Alonzo Conway, with visual images by artist Jennifer Lynn Williams and shadow imagery by artist Nihan Yesil.
A gamelan is a traditional musical ensemble from Indonesia, typically from the islands of Java and Bali, featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, kendang (drums) & gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed & plucked strings. Vocalists may also be included. For most Indonesians, gamelan music is an integral part of Indonesian culture.
The term refers more to the set of instruments than to the players of those instruments. A gamelan is a set of instruments, as a distinctentity, built and tuned to stay together – instruments from different gamelan are generally not interchangeable.
Bali is a province of Indonesia. The province covers a few small neighboring islands as well as the isle of Bali. The main island is located in the western most end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Javato the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country’s 34 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the S. of the island.
Patrick Alonzo Conway went to Bali.
With a population recorded as 3,891,428 in the 2010 census, and currently 4.22 million, the island is home to most of Indonesia’s Hindu minority. In the 2000 census about 92.29% of Bali’s population adhered to Balinese Hinduism while most of the remainder, follow Islam. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metal working, and music. A tourist haven for decades, Bali has seen a further surge in tourist numbers in recent years.
Kansas City’s community Balinese gamelan orchestra, Gamelan Genta Kasturi, is celebrating 10 Years, with a special concert, Saturday May 18, 4:00 pm, in the Truman Forum of the Plaza Branch of the KC Public Library, 4801 Main St, KCMO, showcasing material from 10 years, including traditional Balinese and original compositions by founder I Ketút Gedé Asnawa and current director Patrick Alonzo Conway, with visual images by artist Jennifer Lynn Williams and shadow imagery by artist Nihan Yesil. Info:gamelangentakasturi.org.
10:29 – Underwriting
4. David Evans, John Cameron Mitchell – “Listen to The Music”
from: Hello Again (Original Cast Recording) / BMG / June 28,1994
10:30 – Interview with Andy Parkhurst and Charles Fugate of Spinning Tree Theatre
Spinning Tree Theatre‘s is presenting the Kansas City premiere of “Hello Again,” an Obie-winning musical that first premiered off Broadway in 1993. Adapted from Arthur Schnitzler’s play “La Ronde,” written in 1903, which depicts a chain of relationships. The musical open last friday and show runs through May 26 at the Off Center Theatre on the third level of Crown Center. For more information: Call 816-842-9999 or go to spinningtreetheatre.com.
“Hello Again” Co-Director and Spinning Tree Theatre Managing Director, Andy Parkhurst and Kansas City based professional actor, Charles Fugate who plays the role of The Senator in Hello Again, joinedus on Wednesday MidDay Medley.
“Hello Again” is the 6th show of Spinning Tree Theatre. Andy founded this new professional theatre company with partner Michael Grayson and have produced several shows and musicals that have made their Kansas City debuts. Andy talked about what moved the company to produce “Hello Again” here in Kansas City.
Produced 20 years ago, this show featured John Cameron Mitchell who later went on to create a little show called “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Short Bus,” along with Broadway queen, Donna Murphey, and Malcolm Gets.
“Hello Again” is billed as an “Adult Musical”
Charles most recently performed in Spinning Tree Theatre’s Kansas City Premiere of “Shipwrecked! last February. Charles has worked at almost every theatre in Kansas City. Charles talked about his experience with Spinning Tree Threatre.
Charles Fugate plays the role of The Senator. The characters in the show all have names like: the Young Thing, the soldier, the whore
The Spinning Tree production features: Lena Andrews, Jerry Jay Cranford, Jacob Aaron Cullum, Tyler Eisenreich, Steven Eubank, Shelby Floyd, Charles Fugate, Seth Jones, Julie Shaw and Stefanie Wienecke.
Playwright Michael John LaChiusa is coming to Kansas City, May 24
Spinning Tree Theatre’s “Hello Again,” runs through May 26at the Off Center Theatre on the third level of Crown Center. For info: Call 816-842-9999 or go to spinningtreetheatre.com
10:45 – “I’ll Take You There – Conversations with Mike Webber”
5. The Staple Singers – “I’ll Take You There”
from: The Best of The Staple Singers / Stax / 1972
[featuring: The Memphis Horns]
Mike Webber is an encyclopedic musical jukebox, a music lover, you met at that record store, that helped you find that special song, that you could only hum a few bars for him to hear. His faith in music and truth guided him as he grew up in KC, spent childhood Summers in the Mississippi Delta, “came of age” working in area record stores, of the 70s and 80s, including: Caper’s Corner Records & Tapes at 47th & Mission, PennyLane, and Music Exchange. Mike went to college at KU and TulaneUniversity. He has chronicled and sometimes photographed many musical greats. Mike got married, raised a family, served time in Iraq, and has continued lifelong friendships with many local and national musicians. Mike and his wife Marta are moving to Austin, Texas in June.
Mike Webber grew up in KC but talked about his summer childhood experiences in the Mississippi Delta (Cleveland) as part of the Memphis media market listening to WHBQ in Memphis. In the late 1960’s to early 1970’s, the radio informed his musical tastes, but also influenced social/political outlook. Mixed in with some great childhood memories were many moments that made us wince even then.
Mike returned to live in Mississippi (Jackson) again in the early 90’s and had the chance to see BB King, the Staple Singers & others perform hometown gigs.
Mike Webber told us the story about photographing Pops Staples in Drew, MS and giving the photograph to Mavis Staples at the Kaufman Center last year.
“P.S. I Love You” – The Beatles – The Big Bang!
Mike Webber was born in March 1964, one month after the Beatles arrived in America. He discovered that the first albums in the house that weren’t children’s records were his brother’s copies of “Meet The Beatles” and “The Early Beatles.” The first record he ever asked for was the 45″ of “Hey Jude” when he was 4. Mike started asking for nothing but Beatles records for every birthday and Christmas. He had a check-list provided by Capitol Records, which is how he learned of things like non-LP B-sides. While he thought he had all of the Beatles records “inexistence,” he discovered bootlegs at a flea market in Memphis and then imports at Capers Corner! He realized that he’ll never have EVERYTHING. Everybody who knew Mike, his family, teachers & classmates – identified him with his fanaticism for The Beatles. All these years later, they still do.
6. The Beatles –”P.S. I Love You”
from: Please, Please, Me / Parlaphone – Capitol / March 22, 1963
[In February 1963, the Beatles recorded 10 songs during asingle marathon studio session for their debut LP, Please Please Me. The album was supplemented by the 4 tracks already released on their first 2 singles. Parlophone rush-released the album in the United Kingdom to capitalize on thesuccess of singles “Please, Please, Me” and “Love Me Do.” Of the album’s 14 songs, 8 were written by Lennon–McCartney.]
11:00 – Station Identification
“I’ll Take You There – Conversations with Mike Webber”
Mike talked about a story specific to “PS I Love You”, related to a skating rink in Mission, where a 10-year old Mike Webber decided to himself that if the skate parlor deejay played a good song, he would ask a girl to skate with him. The Deejay then played the Beatles,”P.S. I Love You,” Mike took the sign and headed toward the young lady to propose, but he slipped and took a header on the concrete bench.
Capers Corner provided a spontaneous meeting place for grieving Elvis & John Lennon fans who needed some kind of communal feeling and didn’t know where to go but knew they wouldn’t be judged in a place like that.
“Go Now” from Wings, but sung by Denny Laine, formerly of the Moody Blues, on Wings Over America, the live recording of Wings 1976 concert. This concert is still Mike’s all-time favorite live music event and certainly among the most memorable in Kansas City concert history. McCartney & Wings played the Kemper Arena in 1976. Mike’s first and third concerts were Elvis Presley at Kemper Arena. He was so glad to have seen the King, but he was always first and foremost a Beatles fan, so seeing McCartney – the first Beatle in KC in 12 years at that point – was earth shaking. McCartney was riding a wave of success with “Silly Love Songs” and “Let ‘Em In” both in the charts and in those pre-internet days, we didn’t need “spoiler alerts”. McCartney hadn’t toured America as a solo act before, and in his earlier European tours he hadn’t played any of his Beatles era compositions, so when he played that familiar piano intro to “Lady Madonna”, Kemper shook. In a long set-list full of solo and Wings hits, he only played four Beatles songs total but that was enough. Former Moody Blue Denny Laine was a member of Wings, so it was a huge bonus to also get to hear “Go Now” one of Mike’s favorite songs – live as well.
7. Wings – “Go Now”
from: Wings Over America / MPL Communications – Capitol / December 1976
[A song composed by Larry Banks and Milton Bennett. It was first recorded in 1964 by Bessie Banks, and then most successfully by The Moody Blues. Wings over America is a live album by the band Wings, in its initial release, it was a triple album and included a poster of the band, which peaked at number 1 in the US. The album was a collection of recordings gathered from Wings’ Wings Over America part of their world tour. A re-mastered recording, is set to be released, in May 2013. Denny Laine sang this song with The Moody Blues and also on tour as a member of Wings.]
That Wings show was atypical in that instead of the usual ticket outlets, the initial ticket sales were entirely at Kemper Arena. Mike’s brother & his friend Keith Copaken’s father, Paul Copaken, went to wait for tickets but the show sold out. They were crushed. Later, the Copakens were able to get “limited view” tickets behind the stage. Mike was already a customer at Capers Corner, barely 12 years old, but he used to spend all of his lunch money there, and they knew how badly he wanted to see Wings. A couple of weeks before the show, the guy who always helped Mike buy import EPs there (locked in an under bin) called Mike’s home to say he’d found a couple of great lower level tickets at face value. So Mike and his friend Keith wound up in Section 120, Lower Level and Corky Carrel became a lifelong friend with whom Mike is still in weekly contact.
Mike’s other memorable Kansas City concerts of the period:
1) Rolling Stones’ “Tattoo You” shows, in 1981, with the Mick Taylor appearance, which Mike and his friends had been told, might happen by Mick Taylor, himself, whose autograph they sought, at an Alvin Lee concert at the Uptown.
2) Elton John’s “Jump Up” show at Starlight Theater that was broadcast worldwide on Westwood One Radio Network.
3) The Kinks’ “Low Budget” shows at Memorial Hall- twice on the same tour’s beginning and end.
4) The Jacksons’ “Victory Tour” – which was really more memorable as Michael Jackson’s Thriller tour.
“Cynical Girl” – Marshall Crenshaw – While Mike was working at Capers, Marshall Crenshaw released what many still consider one of the best debut albums that anyone ever made in any genre. That song – and the album on which it appeared – still puts Mike’s head back in high school. Mike took some photos of Crenshaw playing the old Parody Hall a few years laterand last year when he played a solo show at Knuckleheads, Mike gave him copies. Crenshaw was genuinely moved by the images and appreciative of the set Mike gave him. Mike also had one that he’d taken with Crenshaw when he did an in-store at Capers Corner that had been so poorly attended that Mike had tocall his high school classmates and tell them to come in and act like fans.
8. Marshall Crenshaw – “Cynical Girl”
from: Marshall Crenshaw / Warner Brothers / April 28,1982
[Born in Detroit, November 11, 1953, singer, songwriter andguitarist best known for his song “Someday, Someway.” Crenshaw’s music has roots in classic soul music, British Invasion song craft, Burt Bacharach and Buddy Holly — the latter to whom Crenshaw was often compared inthe early days of his career, and whom he portrayed in the 1987 film La Bamba. Crenshaw is also a noted guitarist who uses off beat chord progressions (almost verging towards jazz) and concise solos.]
Capers Corner was the best job any kid could have had during that period in this town. Mike would go hang out at his job on his off-days. Reliable access to concert tickets improved his high school dating average. Bars would let them in without ID, albeit you could drink at 18 then, so Mike was only cheating by two years. Mike got jobs for a couple of his best friends from high school and was hanging out with the older guys who worked at Capers. Being over in Wyandotte County, you met a different group of people than over in Shawnee Mission East, so it just had everything going for it. When Mike gets nostalgic for those years, it’s really less about high school than about working at this really great record store where he got to hang out with his friends, meet touring artists, had the best possible influences for budding tastes in any genre of music, and then all the intangibles.
Mike Webber shared a few stories about the Kansas Bureau of Investigation undercover agents trying to bust the head shop inside Capers. Mike also talked about his high school counselor wanting Kenny Rogers tickets.
We didn’t have time to hear Mike’s stories of partying with the Grateful Dead and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
11:19 – Underwriting
11:20 – “So Blue About You” – True Believers
Mike stopped working at Capers when he started college at KU and he wanted a job where he could work in Lawrence during the school year and in KC during the summers, so he started working at PennyLane. Mike worked for and with a lot of great characters: LeRoi, Saul Tucker, April Fletcher, and Mike Soden who now lives in Austin. Capers always held a unique place in Mike’s heart, but PennyLane was great and had so many different locations. It was never boring. Working in downtown Lawrence wasn’t much like working at the Broadway store. They had in-store appearances by bands like Camper VanBeethoven, but then Mike also learned that the first time David George ever played an in-store, it was our Broadway location.
While Mike was working at PennyLane on Broadway, He heard about this great band that was playing around the corner at the Lone Star. He had actually met one of the guys – Alejandro Escovedo – when he was in Rank & File but hell, he had barely been old enough to drive at that time. So by now, Mike was in college and after that poorly-attended show at the Lone Star, what seemed like all of the coolest people he knew from here, and the guys in True Believers, started this friendship that continues through to today. They’d come through town pretty regularly until about 1987 and Mike would get together with them every time. They had some incredibly memorable moments – not least being an occasion when they hung out with Martha Reeves, Mary Wells, David Ruffin & Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations – who happened to be staying at the same hotel. Like Marshall Crenshaw, True Believers seemed like a “can’t miss” act that somehow just couldn’t get over the hump at the time. Now, they’re playing together again in Austin and Mike is still in touch with them, so the last page on all this hasn’t been written yet.
9. True Believers – “So Blue About You”
from: Hard Road / Warner Bros /
[1980s Texas band led by Alejandro Escovedo & Jon DeeGraham.]
After PennyLane (and KU), Mike worked at Music Exchange for a year while not planning his next move. On a whim, Mike took the GMAT and did well enough that Tulane University in New Orleans offered him a full academic scholarship, so Mike moved to New Orleans and never again drew a paycheck from the music business, but remained an ardent music fan.
“Message to Michael” – Dionne Warwick – was co-written by Kansas City-born Burt Bacharach. Mike’s habit of championing all things Kansas City really was pronounced whenever he lived away from KC. At Tulane, Mike had a fellow student ask, “what in the hell is wrong with you?” that he was such a partisan of his hometown. Mike was born and mostly raised in KC and although he had left before and is now leaving again, Mike has never regretted having grown up here. Unfortunately, Kansas City happens to straddle two dysfunctional states, but the impression left by when and where Mike grew up is what caused his wife & he to move back to KC about 9 years ago to finish raising their kids. Oh yeah, the wife and kids …Tying back to that Dionne Warwick recording, the first line of that song is “spread your wings for New Orleans” and that’s really what Mike did.
10. Dionne Warwick – “Message to Michael”
from: The Dionne Warwick Collection: Her All-Time GreatestHits / Warner / 2005
[1966 “Top Ten” hit by Dionne Warwick, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The song’s lyrics, are addressed to a bluebird, by a woman, in Kentucky, whose sweetheart is vainly pursuing musical stardom in New Orleans. The woman asks the blue bird to take a message to Michael, asking him to return to her.]
Coincidentally, the two gender-specific versions of that song are “Message to Michael” and “Message to Martha” and New Orleans is where Mike would meet his wife, Marta, and where their first-born arrived. Their second child was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Both finished high school at Shawnee Mission East where Mike had graduated in 1982. New Orleans was transformative. Mike really went down there still a kid in very many ways, but he left with a wife and daughter. That city and the woman he married there, turned the boy into a man.
“Rosalie” – Alejandro Escovedo – Mike’s wife is Mexican and this song is one of Marta’s favorites, written by Austin, Texaslocal legend Alejandro Escovedo – previously discussed as a True Believer – whore mains a friend of theirs. Austin is the city where Mike most wanted to live but hadn’t until now.
Austin is also near where Marta was raised in San Antonio, so they’ll be near some of her family. They’ll be straight down I-35 and will still see a lot of their KC friends when they play in Austin – many during the MidCoast takeover at SXSW. That means a lot to Mike because particularly during this last 9-year stint in KC, they’ve made so many very dear friends, including a lot of KC’s music scene. Mike has been watching the KC music scene for over 30 years and it is his considered opinion that KC has not had a comparable level of local talent, like it currently possesses, since he’s been aware. Itis the one thing that he feels is so much better than when he was working in the record stores here. Mike is comforted by the knowledge that their couches and spare rooms will be a destination for many touring KC acts in years to come.
11. Alejandro Escovedo – “Rosalie”
from: A Man Under the influence / Bloodshot Records /April 21, 2001
[San Antonio, Texas native, singer/songwriter. Alejandro Escovedo enlisted the help of John Velghe and the Prodigal Sons for a few showsin Austin, Texas, during the SXSW Music Festival.]
11:39 – I’ll Take You There – Conversations with Mike Webber
We’ve been playing songs to help move the conversation along but while all of them are favorites, several songs that automatically feature in any list Mike makes have not been played, so perhaps we could wind up with three that usually go 1-2-3 in my all-time list of favorites (which bars Beatles songs as part of my own personal Fairness Doctrine).
All three of these songs have always had a hold on Mike, even before he was experienced to know what they really meant. A couple of notes from any of them and he is back in his dad’s car in the 60’s, hearing music on a single speaker in the dashboard and probably waiting for burgers and onion rings at Sydney’s on the Plaza. Mike loved these songs as a toddler but only when he got a little older and your heart gets broken, a parent dies, other loved ones die, you talk to a doctor about a tumor … those are the experiences that will cause you to get in a car, happen to catch one of these songs on the radio and just melt in a way that is crushing yet reminds you that you’re alive as well.
12. The Left Banke – “Walk Away Renee”
from: There’s Gonna Be a Storm – The Complete Recordings 1966-1969 / Island Def Jam / 1992
[Formed in NYC in 1965, disbanded in 1969, and reformed in 2011. The band often utilized “baroque” string arrangements, which led to their music beingvariously termed as “Bach-rock”, “baroque rock” or “baroque ‘n’ roll”. The band’s vocal harmonies borrowed from: The Beatles, The Zombies and British Invasion groups.]
13. The Walker Brothers – “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”
from: Scott Walker & the Walker Brothers – 1965-1970 / Island Def Jam / Feb 17, 2009
[Originally released in US in 1966. The Walker Brothers were an American pop group of the 1960s and 1970s, comprising Scott Engel (eventually known professionally as Scott Walker), John Walker (born John Maus, but using the name Walker since his teens), and Gary Leeds (eventually known as Gary Walker). Formed in 1964, the three unrelated musicians adopted the ‘Walker Brothers’ name as a show business touch—”simply because we liked it.” They provided a unique counterpoint to the British Invasion in that they were a group from the United States that achieved much more success in the United Kingdom than in their home country, during the period when the popularity of British bands such as The Beatles dominated the US.]
14. The Faces – “Ooh La la”
from: Rushmore / Island Def Jam / September 20, 2011
Personal notes about Mike Webber’s life experiences were taken directly from Mike Webber’s show notes.
Sources for notes on tracks: artist’s websites and wikipedia.org
Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web: