#609 – December 23, 2015 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, December 23, 2015

The 115 Best Recordings of 2015
(Part 3 of 4)


Wednesday MidDay Medley presents part-three, of our four-week special: The 115 Best Recordings of 2015. Based on playlists of this little ole radio show, we’ve compiled representative tracks from our favorite full-length and EP recordings of the year.

We realize that these “Best of” lists can seem very subjective, however we ask that you please accept our list as a celebration of the year of music.

In 2015 we’ve played over 1000 songs on the show, and from over 300 New & MidCoastal Releases. Over 40 of the bands and artists in our list have joined us live on the show. We’ve interviewed over 200 local and national guests. 70 of the representative recordings on our “Best of” list were produced by artists based here in the area. It’s all good!

1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
from: Motion Picture Soundtrack to All That Jazz / Universal / Dec. 20, 1979
[WMM’s theme]

(58.) Low – “What Part Of Me”
from: Ones and Sixes / Sub Pop Records / September 1, 2015
[11th studio album by Low, indie rock group from Duluth, Minnesota, formed in 1993. As of 2010, the group is composed of founding members Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals), joined by newer addition Steve Garrington (bass guitar). Music writer, Denise Sullivan writes that Parker and Sparhawk’s vocal harmonies are “as chilling as anything Gram and Emmylou ever conspired on—though that’s not to say it’s country-tinged, just straight from the heart.” Ones and Sixes was co-produced by the band and engineer BJ Burton, at Justin Vernon’s April Base Studios in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.]

(57.) Pops Staples – “Somebody Was Watching”
from: Don’t Lose This / dBPM – Anti / Expected: February 17, 2015
[Previously-unreleased music with new production by Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. The album features 10 songs, originally recorded and produced by Pops in 1999, but left unfinished at the time of his death in 2000. The album, which also features newly recorded vocals by Mavis Staples, takes its title directly from the instruction Pops gave to his daughter as the two listened to the unfinished recording before his death: “Don’t lose this.” Mavis didn’t, and in 2014 brought the tapes of her father’s last work to her recent collaborator, Tweedy, for completion. The two had previously teamed up on Mavis’ recent solo releases, One True Vine and the Grammy-winning You Are Not Alone.]

(56.) The Matchsellers – “Wake Me, Oh Wake Me”
from: Kosciusko County / Independent / December 27, 2014
[First full-length original album from The Matchsellers. Classically trained violinist Julie Bates from Kansas City, and a Chicago blues guitarist from Warsaw, Indiana, Andrew Morris. Kosciusko County is a county in Indiana with a town called Warsaw as it’s county seat. Formed in 1836. It was named after the Polish general Tadeusz Kościuszko who served in the American Revolutionary War and then returned to Poland. The Matchsellers played live on WMM on July 22.]

(55.) Victor & Penny – “Elaine, Elaine”
from: Live At the Living Room Theatre / Independent / January 10, 2015
[3rd release for KC based duo, sometimes quartet with their Loose Change Orchestra. Victor & Penny are: Jeff Freling (Blue Man Group, Chicago) who attended Berklee School of Music, and Erin McGrane (George Clooney’s, “Up in the Air” and the cabaret troupe, “Alacartoona”). Erin is a recipient of an Inspiration Grant from the Arts Council of Metropolitan KC as well as a Mid-America Arts Alliance Grant for Professional Development. Victor & Penny have been touring the USA for the last 4 years and were awarded a 2013 Escape to Create Artist Residency.]

[Victor & Penny and the Loose Change Orchestra play Green Guitar Folk House, Jan 23, 2015 at 7pm.]

(54.) Joanna Newsom – “Leaving the City”
from: Divers / Drag City / October 23, 2015
[4th album from harpist, keyboardist, vocalist, songwriter and actress, Joanna Newsom who was born and raised in the small town of Nevada City, California. Speaking about the album’s creative process in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she said “I … spent a year or two on the instrumental arrangements and overdubs. I wanted the character and colors of the instrumentation to shift definitively, from song to song, which entailed a wide pool of collaborators and a lengthy collaborative process with each person.” She further described the process of making the album as “probably the most fun I’ve had making a record”. Entertainment Weekly also reported Newsom “as using an arsenal of nearly a dozen keyboards and synths including clavichords, mellotrons and Marxophones” for the album while members of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feature as players on the album.]

(53.) Barrel Maker & LION – “Too Soon” (clean edit)
from: Continuity EP / Intelligent Sound / October 30, 2015
[Barrell Maker is Morgan Cooper, who is 23, and grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood in Grandview, Missouri. He first started writing poetry and music in middle school and after high school he began apprenticeships in film and photography instead of college. He recorded and released his debut record Blk Flanl, earlier this year with area producer and hip hop artist D/Will, (Denzil Williams). LION is Brian Rogers an Electronic Hip Hop multi-instrumentalist and producer from Lawrence, Kansas. More info at https://soundcloud.com/thereallion. Continuity was recorded at Prosidio Records in Lawrence, Kansas. Produced by LION. Mastered by Approach (Sean Hunt).]

[Barrel Maker & LION will both be performing at the Intelligent Sound Producer Showcase, Saturday night, December 26, at 9:00 pm at Uptown Arts Bar.]

(52.) Sinple – “She Burns Flags”
from: “0” (Zero) / Independent / June 26, 2015
[Sinple is the electronic music project of Jesse Bartmess who plays synths, drum machine, and vocals. The project has recently grown to include: Natasha Derakhshanian on violin, Chris on guitar, and Allan Jones on vocals. Sinple played a special “O” Album Release Show at The Brick, on June 26, with La Guerre, and Jorge Arana Trio. More info at sinple.bandcamp.com. Members of Sinple joined us on WMM on June 24. Jesse Bartmess recently joined the band Rachel Malin and the Wild Type, where he plays keyboards.]

10:30 – Underwriting

(51.) Sleater-Kinney – “Surface Envy”
from: No Cities To Love / Sub Pop Records / January 20, 2015
[8th studio album from Sleater-Kinney, formed in early 1994 in Olympia, Washington, by Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein. The group’s name is derived from Sleater Kinney Road, Interstate 5 exit number 108 in Lacey, Washington, the location of one of their early practice spaces. Tucker was formerly in the influential riot grrrl band Heavens to Betsy, while Brownstein was formerly in the queercore band Excuse 17. They often played at gigs together and formed Sleater-Kinney as a side-project from their respective bands. When Heavens to Betsy and Excuse 17 disbanded, Sleater-Kinney became their primary focus. Janet Weiss of Quasi is the band’s longest lasting and final drummer, though Sleater-Kinney has had other drummers, including Lora Macfarlane, Misty Farrell, and Toni Gogin. Upon Tucker’s graduation from The Evergreen State College (where Brownstein remained a student for three more years), she and then-girlfriend Brownstein took a trip to Australia in early 1994. Their last day there, they stayed up all night recording what would become their self-titled debut album. It was released the following spring. They followed this with Call the Doctor (1996) and Dig Me Out (1997), and became critical darlings. The lineup features: Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar), Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals), and Janet Weiss (drums). Sleater-Kinney played The Uptown on April 26.]

(50.) the author and the illustrator – “Paper Faces”
from: A Minor Component to a Cold November EP / Independent / January 6, 2015
[Alternative dreamo indie rock midwest post punk shoegaze from Kansas City based The Author and The Illustrator: Schuyler Bates – Bass, Ian Dobyns – Drums, Zack Hames – Vocals / Guitar, Josh Legler – Guitar. Recorded Live at BRC Audio Productions in Kansas City, Kansas October-November 2014. Recorded/Mixed/Mastered by The Author and The Illusrator and Chris Schmidt.]

(49.) Mbongwana Star – “From Kinshasa to the Moon
from: From Kinshasa / Nonesuch – World Circuit / May 5, 2015
[Mbongwana Star is a band from Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of the seven members of the band, two of them (Coco Ngabali and Theo Nzonza) were among the founding members of Staff Benda Bilili. The band is signed to the World Circuit label, on which they released their debut album, From Kinshasa, in 2015. The album received “universal acclaim” from critics, according to Metacritic. Mbongwana means ‘change’.]

(48.) Sufjan Stevens – “No Shade in the Shadow of The Cross”
from: Carrie & Lowell / Asthmatic Kitty / March 31, 2015
[Seventh studio album from Sufjan Stevens, born in Detroit, Michigan, July 1, 1975 Stevens first began releasing his music on Asthmatic Kitty, a label co-founded with his stepfather, beginning with the 1999 release, A Sun Came. He is best known for his 2005 album, Illinois. Unlike Stevens’ last studio album, the electronic Age of Adz, Carrie & Lowell is sparsely instrumental and returns to the performer’s indie folk roots. The album was recorded in 2014 at Stevens’ home studio in Brooklyn. The songs were inspired by the 2012 death of his mother Carrie (the album title also references his stepfather) and the family trips they took to Oregon in Stevens’ childhood.]


(47.) Courtney Barnett – “Depreston”
from: Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit / Mom+Pop / March 23, 2015
[Debut full-length from Singer-songwriter and guitarist from Melbourne, Australia. In 2012 Barnett started her own label, Milk! Records, and released her first EP I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris to glowing reviews around Australia. From 2011 – 2013 Barnett was a member of Australian psych/country band Immigrant Union, a musical project founded by Brent DeBoer of The Dandy Warhols and Bob Harrow. Along with sharing vocal duties Barnett predominantly played slide guitar and features on their second studio album ‘Anyway’. DeBoer also played drums on her first EP ‘I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris’. Barnett received international critical acclaim in 2013 with her second EP How To Carve A Carrot Into A Rose. Barnett combined these two releases into one and called it The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas. Courtney Barnett played The Uptown Theatre on June 18, 2015 opening for Belle and Sebastian.]

(46.) Connor Leimer – “Keep Knocking (with Gracie Schram)”
from: Postcard / Like It’s June / October 2, 2015
[Musician, singer, songwriter Connor Leimer released his debut EP “Like It’s June” on November 1, 2013. His follow up EP “Coast To The Sea” came out Sept. 24, 2014. While finishing his senior year in high school, Connor Leimer was adding the finishing touches on his debut album, Postcard, recorded at Weights & Measures Soundlab studio in Kansas City. With contributions from KC based singer Gracie Schram, 21 year-old producer Max Griffith, banjo player Fritz Hutchison (She’s A Keeper) and a three-piece horn section of UMKC Music Conservatory graduates, Connor calls his new release a “team effort.” Connor Leimer played The KCPT Stage at The Tank Room, Saturday, September 12, as part of the 11th Annual Crossroads Music Fest. More info at: connorleimer.com. Connor Leimer joined on WMM on June 3, and on September 9.]

(45.) Jessica Paige– “Beautiful Life”
from: Sweet Nothings / Independent / September 18, 2015
[Jessica’s band includes: Jessica Paige- on vocals & guitar, Coleen Dieker on keysboards & violin, Jerod Rivers on drums, Damon Bailey on guitar, and Ben Byard on bass & viola.]

11:00 – Station ID

(44.) The AM Trio – “Fall Awake”
from: As of Now / Independent / June 30, 2015
[Alyssa Murray (Vocalist/Pianist/Songwriter), Joel Stratton (bass), and Josh Blythe (drums/vocals) have crossed paths and joined forces to create unique, multi-dimensional songs. Murray’s writing style has drawn comparison to Joni Mitchell as well as Fiona Apple. Alyssa Murray joined us on WMM on October 21.]

(43.) Heidi Lynne Gluck – “The Only Girl in The Room”
from: The Only Girl in the Room – EP / Lotuspool Records / April 28, 2015
[Debut solo release from Lawrence, KS based songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist originally from the middle of Canada. After transplanting herself from the plains of Manitoba to the midwestern United States, Heidi quickly became an in-demand player, performing on stage and in the studio both as a solo artist and with renowned musicians including Juliana Hatfield & Some Girls, Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos, Lily & Madeleine, The Pieces, The Only Children, and others. Heidi Lynn Gluck also plays bass in The Roseline.]

(42.) Leon Bridges – “Better Man”
from: Coming Home / LisaSawyer Records – Columbia / June 23, 2015
[Gospel and soul singer from Fort Worth, Texas who began his career by writing songs and learned guitar in order to play simple chords to accompany his lyrics. He played locally at open mic nights in the Fort Worth area while working as a dishwasher until being signed by Columbia Records in 2014. It was his song Lisa Sawyer, a soul song he wrote about his mother’s baptism in a river, that became his music style. Bridges began writing and performing 1950s and 60s style soul music that was described by Austin 360 as “a transmission straight from the heart.” Bridges’ began his first national tour in January 2015, playing shows in Texas as well as playing support for Sharon Van Etten in New York. His first official single, Coming Home was released on Columbia Records in February 2015.]

(41.) The Fog – “Evol”
from: Darkness USA / High Dive Records / December 11, 2014
[Ian Teeple on guitar & voice, Brendan Dulohery on bass, Frazier Krohn on drums. Featuring Fritz Hutchison on backup on Evol. Recorded in 2014 with J Ashley Miller & Jonathan Kraft at Infoaming Vertex in KCMO. The Fog also released: THE FOG ON TOUR IN AMERICA, Independently on March 20, 2015. All of the members of The Fog joined us on WMM on June 10, 2015.]


(40.) Yo La Tengo – “Automatic Doom”
from: Stuff Like That There / Matador Records / August 28, 2015
[Formed in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1984. Since 1992, the lineup has consisted of Ira Kaplan (guitars, piano, vocals), Georgia Hubley (drums, piano, vocals) and James McNew (bass, vocals). Their new record, the band;s 14th, features re-recorded versions of some of their old songs as well as covers of the Cure, Hank Williams, the Parliaments, Sun Ra, the Lovin’ Spoonful, Darlene McCrea, and others. “Automatic Doom” isa song by Special Pillow, a1990s Hoboken band that featured Yo La Tengo’s James McNew.]

(39.) Ivory Black – “Ready Get Set”
from: Ready Get Set EP / Independent / June 23, 2015
[Ivory Black was born in 1986 in Peoria Illinois, as Devin James Miclettet. Ivory’s birth mother put her up for adoption at the age of four. Ivory speaks about how it was difficult to find trust in people offering their home to someone denied of it for so long, Ivory had lived with eight different families, before running away at 15, moving from Indiana to Oklahoma and eventually ending up in Seattle. In 2011, after a friend sent a plane ticket, Ivory landed in the Kansas City area, and became a part of new family where she was able to have solid ground and over the past several years has been performing in singer-songwriter showcases and in June released her debut EP, Ready Get Set. Ivory Black joined us on WMM on May 6, and September 23.]

(38.) Good Time Charley – “Drunkards”
from: Cautionary Tales / Good Time Charley / March 3, 2015
[Debut album from KC based 6-piece with: Barb Corley on vocals & ukulele; Melissa Butler on vocals, guitar, & kazoo; Matt Cathlina on bass; Grant Buell on keyboard & accordion; Shawn Wright (Klaus) on drums.]

(37.) Kodascope – “It’s Alright, It’s Ok”
from: Kodascope EP / Independent / May 12, 2015
[Debut release from six-piece KC band. Matthew Hayden on drums, percussion; Justin Skinner on percussion, drums; Michael Tipton on vocals, guitar; Ashleigh Guthrie on keyboards; Brent Jamison on bass; and Andy Kirk on guitar. Joining the band for selected tracks, on backing vocals: Megan Zander (Dream Wolf, REN) and Camry Ivory (Found A Job). Members of Kodascope joined us on WMM on May 20.]

11:30 – Underwriting

(36.) Psychic Heat – “Stargazer (live)”
from: Lighter and Brighter / Whatever Forever Tapes / March 13, 2015
[Cassette reissue of Psychic Heat’s 2013 EP “Lighter and Brighter” re-release with bonus track ‘Waters’ and full “Live EP” performance on side B. Put out through Whatever Forever Tapes. Limited physical run of 200 Cassette Tapes (100 White tapes and 100 Pink tapes.) Original cover art by Tanner Spreer Lighter and Brighter Recording Musicians: Steve/Evan Herd – Guitar/Vox, Tanner Spreer – Guitar , Sam Boatright – Bass , Joel Coon – Drums/Keyboards/Guitar/BackingVox/Production. Several other drummers have played with the band including Ricky Barkosky and Kliph Scurlock. You can learn about their music at: psychicheat.bandcamp.com. Psychic Heat played live on WMM on March 11.]

(35.) The Electric Lungs – “Time Whiskey & The Lord”
from: Don’t be Ashamed of the Way You Were Made / Independent / October 20, 2015
[Their new album recorded mastered with Joel Nanos of Element Recording. KC based 4-piece band formed in 2012 by Tripp Kirby, Marc Bollinger, Eric Jones, and Jason Ulanet The Electric Lungs play a special CD Release show, at Davey’s Uptown Rambler’s Club, Friday, November 13, at 8:00 pm, with Bone Spur, Haunted Creepies, and Kodascope. The Electric Lungs joined us on WMM on April 8.]

(34.) Sterling Witt – “Perception Deception”
from: Satyagraha / Grand River Records / October 17, 2015
[Produced by Steve Albini in Chicago. Sterling Witt on vocals & guitar, Davy Langerak on bass, Jesse Gilpin on drums. Satyagraha, (Sa tea yah gra ha) is loosely translated as “insistence on truth” or “holding on to truth” (satya “truth”; agraha “insistence”), a particular philosophy and practice within the nonviolent resistance or civil resistance. The term satyagraha was coined and developed by Mahatma Gandhi. He deployed satyagraha in the Indian independence movement. Satyagraha theory influenced Nelson Mandela’s struggle in South Africa under apartheid, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaigns during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and many other social justice and similar movements. Sterling Witt joined us on WMM on Aug 12.]

(33.) Shamir – “Make A Scene”
from: Ratchet / XL / May 19, 2015
[Debut album from Shamir Bailey, born November 7, 1994, known by his stage name Shamir. An American singer and songwriter from Las Vegas, Nevada, his debut EP, Northtown, was released in June 2014 to positive reviews. In October 2014 Shamir signed to XL Recordings and released the single “On the Regular.” Shamir is known for his androgynous countertenor voice. Radio.com wrote that his singing voice, “like Joplin’s, stops you in your tracks.” Shamir has said that he does not mind having his voice described as androgynous, but notes that “countertenor” is the correct term: “It’s not feminine, it’s not masculine. It’s a happy medium … I feel like if the world was more like that, our problems would be gone.” Shamir played The Tank Room, Oct 5, 2015.]


(32.) She’s A Keeper – “Pennsylvania”
from: Westside Royal / Independent / January 17, 2015
[KC based band includes: Fritz Hutchison – vocals, banjo, percussion; Zac Jurden – vocals, guitar; Colin Nelson – vocals, guitar; Elliott Phillips – bass, mandolin. Recorded and produced by She’s A Keeper and Joel Nanos at Element Recording in KCMO. She’s A Keeper played the Wednesday MidDay Medley – 90.1 FM Day Party at Middle of The Map Fest, April 25, at The Westport Saloon.]

(31.) Betse & Clarke – “Give the Fiddler a Dram-Pig on a Stone”
from: Bird Notes EP / Independent / June 4, 2015
[Betse Ellis on fiddle, and Clarke Wyatt on banjo. Recorded at home by Clarke Wyatt, mixed by Clarke Wyatt, and produced by Clarke Wyatt and Betse Ellis. Includes the traditional “Give the Fiddler a Dram” with Btese’s original song “Pig on a Stone.” ] [Betse & Clarke also released Two Forks Acrylic on Cardboard, Independently, in very limited release,during Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2015. Betse Ellis on fiddle, and Clarke Wyatt on banjo. Recorded January 2, 2015. Arrangements by Betse & Clarke. Engineered and produced by Clarke Wyatt. Betse Ellis joined us on WMM on Feb 4, June 3, October 7.]

(30.) GAV7D with: Victor & Penny – “The Privilege”
from: GAV7D – Thanks for Everything / Independent / June 21, 2015
[This song was inspired by Anne Winter. Johnny Hamil is one of the founding members of Mr. Marco’s V7, a band that has reinvented themselves with each release, and changed and evolved with different line-ups. Johnny told us that for ALL of the music he has composed for the band it originally came to him in his dreams. 4 years ago Johnny’s dream compositions included lyrics for the first time, and this set him on a new path to create, the GAV7D project, which is not Mr. Marco’s V7 proper, but includes members of the V7, from throughout the long history of the band. The concept was to collaborate a vocal version of a composition with musical friends and then have various lineups of the V7 family interpret the material in different ways. Selections from the GAWD project first premiered at the Folk Alliance International Conference. One particular song features Anna Cole, Steve Tulipana and 25 others – “For Those Who Breathe” which was inspired by Abigail Henderson. Victor & Penny join in to sing “The Privilege” a song inspired by Anne Winter. This collaborative work of art was written & arranged by Johnny Hamil, and produced by Chad Meise. Johnny Hamil joined us on WMM on February 18, and June 17.]

[Johnny Hamil reunites with the band Pamper The Madman to play recordBar, Tuesday, December 29, at 9:30 PM with Cher UK.]

[Johnny Hamil tells us that the GAV7D show will be the following night, December 30, at The Brick. This will be the live recording of the cartoonnoirjazz version of GAV7D with Jeff Freeling, Kent Burnham, Mark Sutherland, Nick Howell, Kyle Dalhquist playing as the main V7 band, with even more friends dropping by to sit in. Chad Meise will be recording. Also since it’s Wednesda, a DJ will be spinning exotica for nod to the old days when Mr. Marcos V7 used to play at Davey’s every Wednesday!]


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

Next week, on Wednesday MidDay Medley, on December 30, we continue with part 4 of our 4 week series, the grand finale of, “The 115 Best Recordings of 2015” on December 30th, we’ll play representative tracks from: The Grisly Hand, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Pink Royal, Dolls on Fire, Radkey, Mikal Shapiro, The Architects, Digital Leather, Beautiful Bodies, Berwanger, Lauren Anderson, La Guerre, Rev Gusto, Mat Shoare, Calvin Arsenia, Howard Iceberg & The Titanics, Barrel Maker, Be/Non, Dreamgirl, bloodbirds, Iris DeMent, Scott Hrabko & The Rabbits, Light Music, John Moreland, Alabama Shakes, Julia Holter, Beirut, Viet Cong, and The Decemberists.

Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org

For our complete list of “The 115 Best Recordings of 2015”
visit: http://www.wednesdaymiddaymedley.org

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:



Show #609