#816 – December 18, 2019 Playlist

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, December 18, 2019

The 119 Best Recordings of 2019
(Part 3 of 4)

The 119 Best Recordings of 2019 are based on playlists of Wednesday MidDay Medley. We’ve compiled representative tracks from our favorite full-length and EP recordings of 2019 (and a few that came out late in 2018). We realize these “Best of” lists can seem subjective, so we ask that you please accept our list as a celebration of the year in music.

In 2019 we have broadcast nearly 800 musical recordings through our 90.1 FM Community Radio Airwaves, powered by our 100,000 watt transmitter. Over 400 of these tracks were from New & MidCoastal Releases. We played tracks from 145 National Releases, and 183 MidCoastal Releases. 75 of the representative tracks in our “Best of” list are from MidCoastal Releases. In 2019 we conducted 127 interviews, with 209 special guests. 43 of the bands and artists in our “Best of” list have joined us as guests on WMM.

All throughout December on the 4th, 11th, 18th, and today on the 25th, Wednesday MidDay Medley is presenting our 4-week series: The 119 Best Recordings of 2019. We’ve worked like holiday elves packing 8-hours of radio with music that represent: The 119 of Best Recordings of 2019!

We count down #60 through #31 on our list with representative tracks from: The Sextet, Violet and the Undercurrents, Other Americans, Yes You Are, Fathers, Akkilles, Volker Brothers, Ensemble Iberica, Simon Fink & The Wires, The Greeting Committee, The UK’s, Radar State, Headlight Rivals, OLIVIA FOX, Berwanger, Radkey, Hipshot Killer, Nan Turner, LK Ultra!, Florist, Hadiza., Shiny Jets, Our Native Daughters (feat. Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, Amythyst Kiah & Allison Russell), Brittany Howard, Durand Jones & The Indications, Big Thief, Hand Habits, Cass McCombs, Michael Kiwanuka, and Yola.

10:00 – Station ID

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

2. (60.) Fathers – “Natural Facts”
from High Horses / Fathers / March 1, 2019
[Formed in 2017 the band includes: Kenneth Storz on vocals, guitar, & keyboards; Brooke Honeycutt on vocals, bells, & percussion; David Vava Littlewood on vocals, keyboards, & bells; Matt Guilliams on bass, & percussion; Bryce Veazey on vibraphone, voice, & percussion; Josh Seerden on guitar, keyboards, bass, & percussion; Celeste Tilley on trombone, vocals, & percussion.]

3. (59.) Yola – “Faraway Look”
from: Walk Through Fire / Easy Eye Sound – Nonesuch Records / February 22, 2019
[Yolanda Quartey was born 1984. Known professionally as Yola. She is an English singer-songwriter, from Bristol, England. She became the lead singer of the band Phantom Limb, who released their first album in 2010. She also sang backing vocals for Massive Attack. Yola released her first EP, Orphan Offering, in 2016. In February 2019, she released her debut album Walk Through the Fire on Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound label, to much acclaim. AllMusic called it “an extraordinary record, one designed to be part of a grand musical tradition, and it contains enough emotion and imagination to earn its place within that lineage.”]

4. (58.) Akkilles – “Your Ghost”
from: Your Ghost / David Bennett / November 8, 2019
[Akkilles is the music project of David Bennett. He also helps other people make music. For this recording: All songs written & performed by David Bennett. All songs produced by David Bennett & Joel Nanos at Element Recording in Kansas City. Drums by Isaac Anderson. Bass by Nick Pick & David Bennett. All other instruments by David Bennett. Artwork by @mattschmitzillustration. David Bennet writes on Instagram that this release features, “Some new old tunes…” and that he “Wrote these tunes in 2013 and 2014, and that they were all recorded with Joel Nanos at Element Recording.” In 2019 Akkilles also released three singles with one of them appaering on the new EP. “Feelin’ My Self” was released February 1, 2019. “Meet in the Middle” was released October 25, 2019. “By Myself” was eleased Nov. 1, 2019 Akkilles released the critically acclaimed debut record “Something You’d Say” on July 2, 2013.]

5. (57.) Shiny Jets – “Aliens in the Mind”
from: EPs 1 & 2 / Shiny Jets / June 4, 2019
[On June 4 , 2019 Shiny Jets released EPs 1 & 2 on 12″ vinyl and also EPs 3 & 4 and a second 12″ vinyl. All songs written, recorded and mixed by Shiny Jets. Mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Studios. Shiny Jets is an experimental rock band formed in Chicago in 2004. The band began when drummer Tucker Slough encountered Singer/Guitarist Shanté Clair performing at a party thrown by a mutual friend in the Rogers Park area. The two struck up a friendship and began trying to incorporate Tucker’s drumming into Shanté’s existing solo project, The Maybe. Soon they began writing new songs and pushing their musical ideas further, incorporating looping pedals and other electronics until they had compiled a number of songs. Some time afterwards, Tucker moved back to his hometown of Kansas City and Shanté left Chicago to live in New York for a number of years. Around 2014, the two began working on new songs together, with Shanté writing songs that Tucker would then add drums parts to and send back via Dropbox. Within a short time the material they were creating began to take shape and discussions began about re-establishing the band. In March of 2015 Shanté packed up and moved to Kansas City to begin work on the project that would assume the moniker Shiny Jets. Incorporating songs written back in Chicago and those songs written long distance between New York and Kansas City, the two began adding layers of sampling and further experimentation with even more complex looping and arrangements. Currently Shiny Jets are currently based in Kansas City where the band rehearse, perform and record. More info at: http://www.shinyjetsmusic.com]

6. (56.) Ensemble Iberica – “Danza Del Hacha”
from: Live Recordings / Tzigane Music / July 19, 2019
[One of two different volumes of live recordings release this Summer from the collective.Kansas City based Ensemble Ibérica performs the music of Iberia (Spain and Portugal) and their former colonies. Programs explore diverse time periods, styles and locations including the Spanish Baroque, Portuguese Fado and Argentine Tango. Ensemble Ibérica features extraordinary musicians from classical, jazz and urban folk music traditions giving the audience something that is truly unique. Band Members include: Beau Bledsoe, Victoria Botero, Karim Memi, Rich Wheeler, Brandon Draper, Victor Penniman, Jeff Harshbarger, Jordan Shipley, and Michael McClintock. Live Recordings (Vol 1) features highlights from our 2015 and 2016 Concert Series. Ensemble Iberica records every concert, and this collection was edited down from approximately fifty hours of recordings in concert halls, theaters, and intimate clubs. The energy and mutual engagement between musicians and a live audience is an irreplaceable experience for all involved. This spontaneous dynamic allows a musician to embrace an unscripted accident or to extend an improvisation into unimagined territory. A live recording can transmit these aspects of performance much more than a studio recording can ever attain. Performers include: Nathalie Pires on vocals, Mireya Ramos on vocals & violin, Shae Fiol ob vocals, Bruno Bessa on vocals, Victoria Botero on soprano, Fedra Cooper Barrera on vocals, Beau Bledsoe on guitar, Michael McClintock on guitar, Jeff Freling on guitar, Jordan Shipley on guitar, Rod Fleeman on guitar, Clarke Wyatt on banjo, Victor Penniman on viola da gamba, Christian Fatu on violin, Betse Ellis on fiddle & vocals, Norma Pacheco O’Neil on castanets, Amado Espinoza on charango, flutes & percussion, Brandon Draper on percussion, John Currey on percussion, Pat Conway on percussion, Zsolt Eder on violin, Rich Wheeler on Saxophone, Jeff Harshbarger on bass, Dominique Sanders on bass, Pedro Pimentel on bass, Hermon Mehari on trumpet, Mark Strozier on flute. More info at: http://www.ensembleiberica.org]

[Ensemble Iberica presents “Cruzando” Friday, December 20, at 8:00 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 11 E 40th St, KCMO. Cruzando (crossing) features music from before and after the European colonization of the New World. This innovative program explores the complex mixture of indigenous and European music, instruments from both Europe and South America.With Amado Espinoza on flutes, charango, percussion; Beau Bledsoe on guitars, Molly McLaughlin on vocals & flute, Brandon Draper on percussion; Coleen Dieker on violin; and Special Guest: Soukayna Jamali from Morocco.]

7. (55.) Simon Fink and The Wires – “Old Chairs”
from: Lullabies Till Dawn / Sinon Fink / June 8, 2019
[Simon Fink is a composer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. His music has been called “delicate, intriguing, shadowy, (and) suddenly new” (NPR) and “refreshing” (The Kansas City Star). He brings a wide-ranging background and classically-trained ear to genres from opera to electronic music to the American folk song. His music has received honors from the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Aspen Music Festival, the Academy of Arts and Letters, the MacDowell Colony, the Mellon Foundation, and the ASCAP Foundation. He currently writes and performs with the folk/bluegrass quartet Under the Big Oak Tree. Lullabies Till Dawn is an illustrated songbook with songs and narrative by Simon Borman Fink and art by Benjamin Parks. The accompanying CD features performances of the lullabies by Simon Fink with The Wires string duo (Laurel Morgan Parks and Sascha Groschang) and harmony vocals by Cheyenne Dorrell. ]

8. (54.) Durand Jones and The Indications– “Too Many Tears”
from: American Love Call / Dead Oceans / March 1, 2019
[Bayou-born soul sensation, Durand Jones got his start in the church, after being forced to sing in the choir of his rural hometown Hillaryville, Louisiana because his Grandmother thought he sang too much at home. When his music career took him to Bloomington, Indiana, he was selected to join the legendary Indiana University Soul Revue, and it was through his involvement that he met writer/producer duo Aaron Frazer and Blake Rhein. The three began writing original soul music, recording themselves straight to tape in the basements of Bloomington – and their debut album is now available on Colemine Records.]

9. (53.) The Greeting Committee – “What If Tomorrow Never Comes?”
from: I’m Afraid I’m Not Angry – EP / Harvest Records / October 17, 2019
[Formed in Kansas City in 2015 with Addie Sartino, Brandon Yangmi, Austin Fraser, and Pierce Turcotte. This new EP is a follow up to their October 26, 2018 full length vinyl release “This Is It.” The band has previously released the EP “Meeting People is Easy” in 2017, and “It’s Not All That Bad” in 2015.]

[The Greeting Committee are opening for Mt. Joy at The Metro Chicago
3730 N Clark St, Chicago, Illinois, Monday, December 30, 2019 at 8:00 PM in a SOLD OUT SHOW]

[The Greeting Committee play The Uptown Theater 3700 Broadway Rd, KCMO on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 8:00 PM with Samia.]

10:29 – Underwriting

10. (52.) Volker Brothers – “Turn It Up”
from: Wrecking Ball / Volker Brothers / June 28, 2019
[2nd EP from Erik Voeks and David George, two rock and roll brothers who play guitar and harmonized on their own pop-folk-rock songs influenced by The Everly Brothers to Elvis Costello from XTC to the Finn Brothers. The new Volker Brothers EP was recorded at Weights and Measures Sound Lab with engineer Duane Trower, with Matt Richey on drums, Lin Buck on keys, and Rick Willoughby on bass. Singer, songwriter, producer, rock and roller, musical theatre creator, David George has toured all over, played on national television, has written a Christmas Musical about a Drag Queen, and has performed at The Missouri Repertory Theatre. David George also had a recent release — three EP’s over a twelve month period. Here I Go Again, Won’t Let Go, and Lesson Of Love, with each album adding to the previous (acoustic, band, horns). George gained national attention when the Kansas City Chiefs chose his song “Hey, Kansas City!” to be their touchdown anthem in 2015-16 season. He also toured with the legendary John Fogerty, performing sold out arenas and the “late night” circuit (David Letterman, Jay Leno). Erik Voeks recently released full length album So The Wind Won’t Blow It Away in 2017 on Hanky Panky Records, a label based in Bilbao, Spain. It is the highly anticipated follow up to his 1993 album, Sandbox (Rockville Records) “A pervasively melodic collection of power-pop – a lost masterpiece” (Fresh Air KCUR). This doesn’t mean Voeks wasn’t busy. He has been a very in demand bassist in the Midwest and tours in Europe. The word “Volker” comes from the Germanic word “Fulc” meaning people. It is also the name of a neighborhood in KC where Erik Voeks & David George met. Volker Brothers are an acoustic duo that share lead vocals & background harmonies influenced by the likes of The Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel, The Eagles, Tom Petty, and Elvis Costello to Crowded House, XTC, and The Beatles. Voeks and George first started playing together when one would fill in with the other’s band. Whether it was Erik playing bass and singing backup in David George & A Crooked Mile or David playing guitar and singing backup in Erik Voeks & The Vague Lakes, the two realized they had a musicality in common. Stripping the band back to just the two of them on acoustic guitars enabled them to do a weeks worth of shows in Seattle. They began performing intimate shows around Kansas City, including house concerts and private events, and spreading the word on their melody driven, harmony enriched, acoustic based music. It’s not pop and it’s not folk, but a blend of the two.More info at: http://www.volkerbrothers.com]

11. (51.) Radar State – “Strays”
from: Strays / Wiretap Records / January 11, 2019
[Radar State features Josh Berwanger (The Anniversary, Berwanger) and Jim Suptic (The Get Up Kids, Blackpool Lights) trading off lead and rhythm guitar duties, with Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids, The New Amsterdams) on bass, and Adam Phillips (The Architects, The Gadjits) on drums. Berwanger, Pryor, and Suptic all take turns on lead vocals.]

12. (50.) Brittany Howard – “Stay High”
from: Jaime / ATO Records / September 20, 2019
[Brittany Howard writes, “I wrote this record as a process of healing. Every song, I confront something within me or beyond me. Things that are hard or impossible to change, words and music to describe what I’m not good at conveying to those I love, or a name that hurts to be said: Jaime. // I dedicated the title of this record to my sister who passed away as a teenager. She was a musician too. I did this so her name would no longer bring me memories of sadness and as a way to thank her for passing on to me everything she loved: music, art, creativity. // But, the record is not about her. It’s about me. // It’s not as veiled as work I have done before. I’m pretty candid about myself and who I am and what I believe. Which, is why I needed to do it on my own. // I wrote and arranged a lot of these songs on my laptop using Logic. Shawn Everett helped me make them worthy of listening to and players like Nate Smith, Robert Glasper, Zac Cockrell, Lloyd Buchanan, Lavinia Meijer, Paul Horton, Rob Moose and Larry Goldings provided the musicianship that was needed to share them with you. // Some songs on this record are years old that were just sitting on my laptop, forgotten, waiting to come to life. Some of them I wrote in a tiny green house in Topanga, CA during a heatwave. // I was inspired by traveling across the United States. I saw many beautiful things and many heartbreaking things: poverty, loneliness, discouraged people, empty and poor towns. And of course the great swathes of natural, untouched lands. Huge pink mountains, seemingly endless lakes, soaring redwoods and yellow plains that stretch for thousands of acres. There were these long moments of silence in the car when I could sit and reflect. I wondered what it was I wanted for myself next. I suppose all I want is to help others feel a bit better about being. All I can offer are my own stories in hopes of not only being seen and understood, but also to learn to love my own self as if it were an act of resistance. // Resisting that annoying voice that exists in all of our heads that says we aren’t good enough, talented enough, beautiful enough, thin enough, rich enough or successful enough. The voice that amplifies when we turn on our TVs or scroll on our phones. // It’s empowering to me to see someone be unapologetically themselves when they don’t fit within those images. That’s what I want for myself next and that’s why I share with you, “Jaime”.”]

13. (49.) Headlight Rivals – “Stuck”
from: Mattson / Black Site Records / November 1, 2019
[Manhattan, Kansas based band formed by Eric Kleiner on guitar & vocals, Seven Black on bass, and Kris Kleiner on drums. With Pete Boulger on accessory percussion, Rich Mattson on backing vocals & slide guitar, Kate Trimmell on backing vocals, and Jeff Denney on all air guitars. All songs written by Headlight Rivals. Produced by Rich Mattson and Headlight Rivals. Digital mastering by Duane Trower at Weights and Measures Soundlab. Vinyl mastering by Chris Muth at Taloowa Corp. Photos by Carlos Salazar © 2019 Headlight Rivals. All Rights Reserved. The band previously released the EP Juliette on June 29, 2017. ]

14. (48.) Olivia Fox – “Across The Water”
from: Carbon / OLIVIA FOX / August 23, 2019
[The Kansas City based band, OLIVIA FOX is Lauren Flynn, Aubrey Callahan and Tiffany Smith. The trio recently released their full length album “Carbon” on August 23, 2019. The band has previously released multiple singles and two EPs. OLIVIA FOX create music that is a unique marriage between classic folk instrumentation, vocals, and harmonies to modern programmed beats and synth pads.]

15. (47.) Berwanger – “Friday Night”
rom: Watching A Garden Die / Wiretap Records / June 28, 2019
[4th full length album from Berwanger the band fronted by rock & roll singer songwriter Josh Berwanger. Josh Berwanger was in The Anniversary, a Kansas band that released, 2000’s Designing a Nervous Breakdown & 2002’s Your Majesty and sold over 100,000 records before breaking up on tour in Japan. The band recently reunited for new shows and a tour this year. Berwanger was also in the band, The Only Children, and released, 2004’s Change of Living & 2007’s Keeper of Youth. When Keeper of Touth ended Josh Berwanger took a break and became a high school basketball coach. In the 2012 Josh formed the Josh Berwanger band. Berwanger released Strange Stains in April 2014, the EP Demonios November 11, 2016, Exorcism Rock in October 2017, and The Star Invaders October 2017. Josh Berwanger also plays in the band Radar State.]

[Berwanger plays The Night The Buzz Stole Xmas Night 3, Fri, Dec. 20, at 6:30pm, at The Midland Theatre, 1228 Main St, KCMO with Cold War Kids, Lovely The Band, and She Wants Revenge.]

16. (46.) The UK’s – “Freightliner”
from: Basement Mondays – EP / The UK’s / October 26, 2019
[Kansas City based 4-piece alternative/rock/punk/garage band with Noah Bartelt on lead vocals & guitar, Scott Combs on guitar & vocals, Katelyn Miles on bass, and Tarquin Eugene Kellough on drums. Last year The UK’s released, “American Way of Death” on November 17, 2018. This was a follow up release to their 2016 debut album “Bad Seed.”]

[The UK’s play the New Year’s Eve show at Colony KC, 312 Armour Rd, NKC, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019 at 8:00 PM with The UK’s at 9:00, The Way Way Back at 10:00, and Late Night Cavalry at 11:00 PM ]

17. (45.) Big Thief – “UFOF”
from: U.F.O.F. / 4AD / May 3, 2019
[Indie rock band with folk roots based in Brooklyn, New York. Adrianne Lenker on guitar & vocals, Buck Meek on guitar & backing vocals, Max Oleartchik on bass, and James Krivchenia on drums. All four members of Big Thief attended the Berklee College of Music, but only formed a group after each had graduated. The band’s first album, Masterpiece, was released on Saddle Creek Records on May 27, 2016. On April 4, 2017, Big Thief premiered a new single, “Mythological Beauty,” on NPR. The following day, the band released the single’s official video and confirmed that the song would appear on their next LP, Capacity. The full album was released on June 9 via Saddle Creek. In 2019, Big Thief released two albums and several singles. In the lead up to their third album, U.F.O.F., the band released three singles, ”U.F.O.F”, “Cattails”, and “Century.” The album was released on May 3, 2019. The band’s fourth album, Two Hands, was later released on October 11, 2019. Its release was preceded by the singles “Not” and “Forgotten Eyes.”.]

11:00 – Station ID

18. (44.) Hand Habits – “can’t calm down”
from: placeholder / Saddle Creek Records / March 1, 2019
[Meg Duffy grew up in a small town in Upstate New York and they cut their teeth as a session guitarist and touring member of Kevin Morby’s band. The Hand Habits project emerged after Meg moved to Los Angeles; it started as a private songwriting outlet but soon evolved into a fully-fledged band with Meg at the helm. Hand Habits’ debut album, Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void), was released by Woodsist Records in 2017. The LP was entirely self-produced and recorded in Meg’s home during spare moments when they weren’t touring. Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) is a lush, homespun collection of folk songs that found Meg in an exploratory state as an artist moving out on their own for the first time. Two years later, Hand Habits has returned with their sophomore album, placeholder. To make this album, Meg chose to work in a studio and bring in collaborators, entrusting them with what had previously been a very personal creative process. Over the course of 12 tracks, Meg emerges with new confidence as both a bandleader and singer. This album is as tender and immediate as anything Meg’s ever written, but it’s also intensely focused and refined, the work of a meticulous musician ready to share their singular vision with the world. The name placeholder stems from Meg’s fascination with the undefinable. Their songs serve as openings — carved-out spaces waiting to be endowed with meaning. As a lyricist, Meg is drawn to the in-between, and the songs on this new album primarily confront the ways in which certain experiences can serve as a stepping stone on the road to self-discovery. “A big aspect of my songwriting and the way I move through the world depends on my relationships with people. The songs on placeholder are about accountability and forgiveness,” Meg says. “These are all real stories. I don’t fictionalize much.” Meg describes these songs as their most direct to date, crafted with clear intention, and unlike Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void), placeholder doesn’t meander. “It’s less of a submerged landscape and more a concise series of thoughts,” Meg explains. Instrumentally, placeholder can be situated alongside some of Meg’s folk-adjacent contemporaries like Angel Olsen or Big Thief, and the guitar work on this album proves that Meg continues to be one of the finest young musicians working today. placeholder is another entry in the Hand Habits songbook, but it’s also a valuable testament of our time. While placeholder inspires a sense of ease, simple questions rarely beget easy answers and Meg honors the indescribable joy and profound sorrow that comes with figuring things out, one step at a time.]

19. (43.) Cass McCombs – “Absentee”
from: Tip of the Sphere / Anti / February 8, 2019
[Produced by Cass McCombs & Dan Horne. Engineered by Sam Griffin Owens. Mixed by Dan Horne. Mastered by Heba Kadry. Vinyl cut by Carl Rowatti. Recorded at Figure 8 Studios, Brooklyn NY. Additional engineering on The Great Pixley Train Robbery by Jason Quever. All songs Cass McCombs (BMI)Cass McCombs was born 1977 in Concord, California) is an American musician, best known for blending genres such as rock, folk, psychedelic, punk, and alt country, he has played in numerous bands in the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest during the 1990s, often in DIY spaces, before relocating to New York City. He moved to San Francisco in 2001, where he recorded his debut E.P., entitled Not the Way E.P., released on Monitor Records in Baltimore. McCombs then recorded a Peel Session for John Peel in 2003, and that year released his first LP A, also touring with Baltimore’s OXES as his backing band. McCombs and his band spent much of 2003 and 2004 touring, performing everywhere from the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival to house shows. McCombs otherwise divided his time amongst the Pacific Northwest, England and Baltimore. In spring 2005 he released PREfection on Monitor Records and 4AD, and in support of the album he toured with Modest Mouse. Later that year, he moved to Southern California to begin work on his third full-length, Dropping the Writ, which was released on October 9, 2007, by Domino Records. It was named one of Amazon.com’s Best Albums of 2007. Also in 2007 he toured with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. He signed a multiple-album deal with Domino Records, who released his following four records including Catacombs (2009), which was voted one of the “50 Top Albums on the Year” by Pitchfork. It was followed by Wit’s End (2011), Humor Risk (2011), and Big Wheel and Others (2013). He toured with John Cale in 2012, and also performed at the benefit concert Occupy Sandy. Other bands he has performed or toured with include Ariel Pink, Cat Power, Band of Horses, Andrew Bird, The Decemberists, Arcade Fire, Peter Bjorn and John, Papercuts, The Shins, Iron and Wine, Deerhoof, The Walkmen, Jana Hunter, Thurston Moore, Joe Russo and The War On Drugs. His single “Bradley Manning” premiered on the Democracy Now News Hour in 2012. His songs have been featured in films including the surf film The Present (2009), and Ralph Arlyck documentary Following Sean, as well as notable skate videos featuring Jason Dill, Jerry Hsu Chima Ferguson and Dylan Rieder. His song “Bobby, King of Boys Town” appeared in HBO show Girls (Season 2, Episode 9 – “On All Fours”). In 2014 he did a co-headlining fall tour with the Meat Puppets. McCombs is a member of The Skiffle Players, who released their debut LP, Skifflin’ on February 12, 2016. In June 2016, McCombs performed at the Primavera Sound and Field Day music festivals. McCombs ANTI- Records debut, Mangy Love was released on August 26, 2016.]

20. (42.) Michael Kiwanuka – “Rolling”
from: KIWANUKA / Interscope Records / November 1, 2019
[Michael Samuel Kiwanuka (born 3 May 1987) is an English indie and folk rock singer-songwriter and record producer who is signed with Polydor Records. His 2012 debut album Home Again went gold in the United Kingdom and his second album, Love & Hate, debuted in 2016 at number one. He has been nominated for numerous honors, including the Brit Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, Mercury Prize, BBC Music Awards. In January 2012, he won the BBC’s Sound of 2012. Born and raised in Muswell Hill, London, Kiwanuka is the son of Ugandan parents who escaped the Amin regime. He attended Fortismere School, leaving there in 2005 after completing his A-Levels. He went on to study at the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster. Kiwanuka worked as a session guitarist, playing with Chipmunk and Bashy before working as a solo artist. His first proper gig was at The Oxford in Kentish Town at age 22. He came to the attention of Communion Records, which released his first two EPs, including his debut Tell Me A Tale on 13 June 2011. Kiwanuka supported Adele on her Adele Live 2011 tour, as well at her iTunes Festival 2011 gig, and played at the 2011 Hard Rock Calling. In 2011, he signed a deal with Polydor Records. He was included in the BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll and was named as the winner on 6 January 2012. In June 2012, he was illustrated in a BBC article regarding Spain vis-à-vis Uganda during the Eurozone crisis; his putative counterpart was actress Penélope Cruz. Kiwanuka released his debut studio album, Home Again, in 2012 to positive reviews from critics. The album peaked at number 4 in the UK and, as of 2012, has sold over 70,000 copies in the UK. In 2016, Kiwanuka released his follow-up to Home Again, Love & Hate. The album was a critical and commercial success, reaching a peak at number 1 on the UK albums chart. The album was produced by Danger Mouse and spawned several singles. The HiPipo Music Awards honoured Kiwanuka with the Best Global Act award for his Love & Hate album success and musical accomplishments since his 2012 debut album Home Again. Kiwanuka has acknowledged influences from musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Bill Withers, Otis Redding,Jack Johnson, Pops Staples, The Band, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Eric Bibb, Tommy Sims, Wham!, Richie Havens and Funkadelic. He’s played with James Gadson, drummer for Bill Withers.]

21. (41.) Nan Turner – “Double Heartbreak”
from: For Champs and Losers, Version 2 / Nan Turner / July 12, 2019
[All songs by Nan Turner. Recorded, Mixed, and Co-Produced at Winky World in Kansas City, by Chase Horseman. Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, New Windsor, NY. Ian Dobyns plays drums and Chase Horseman plays bass. Nan Turner is one half of the critically acclaimed band Schwervon! Nan has been called the “Lucy Ricardo of Indie Rock.” She also performs as Nan & The One Night Stands. Nan wrote on Facebook about her new EP: “This whole thing started out as an experiment, but I have to say I’m proud as hell with how it turned out. I was just going to record one or maybe two songs. HA HA Welcome to my FIVE SONGER!!! Some songs were written out of heartbreak and some just made me laugh. Just doing this was transformative…stuff was moving around, it was cathartic. I allowed myself to “write bad songs”. I highly recommend doing that because there’s bound to be a gold nugget somewhere in the bunch if you give yourself permission. Me and my guitar got reacquainted. We were “dancing in the dark.” I’ve never quoted Bruce Springsteen before,. but also I didn’t know I was going to record this EP, so you know. I’m rolling with shit. I had the luxury of working with Chase Horseman every week or two…giving myself ample time to add/rework stuff. I took the slow road and enjoyed the process. Chase has great ears and is uber talented in his own right. He & Ian Dobyns (Dreamgirl, Chase The Horseman) were my rhythm section on a few of these tracks.” More Info at: http://www.nanturner.bandcamp.com]

[Schwervon! plays The Brick, 1727 McGee St, KCMO, Saturday, December 28, at 9:00 PM, with The Black Creatures, and Casey Guest.]

22. (40.) Kill Vargas – “What We Don’t Know”
from: Laugh It Off / Kill Vargas / April 2,, 2019
[Wichita, Kansas based band with Logan Bush on drums, Austin Engler on bass, Griffin Bush on guitar & vocals, and Trent Gaddie on guitar]

[Kill Vargas play The 5th annual Jingle Jams Holiday Show at The Rino 314 Armour Rd, NKC, Saturday, December 28, 2019 at 7:00 PM with Kid Computer, Oxford Remedy, and Quasar.]

23. (39.) Radkey – “Basement”
from: No Strange Cats…P.A.W. / The Century Family / February 22, 2019
[This new 7 song EP is essentially a collection of the band’s most recent singles. It comes after the January 11, 2019 release of No Strange cats…Spiders – EP a 6 song EP of several new songs mixed with several singles from late 2018. Isaiah, Dee, and Solomon Radke of the critically acclaimed rock trio Radkey joined us live in our 90.1 FM studios on September 5, 2018 to talk about their performance at recordBar with Quixotic Performers, as headliners for the 14th Annual Crossroads Music Fest. Radkey was formed in 2010 in St. Joseph, where the brothers were raised. The family moved to Kansas City several years ago. The band has released two full-length recordings — “Dark Black Makeup” in 2015 and “Delicious Rock Noise” in 2016 — plus multiple EPs and singles, and recently were part of a MasterCard advertising campaign on digital billboards in NYC along with a national television commercial that aired during the Grammy Awards that brought the band to the attention of Jack White who asked the band to tour with him. After Crossroads Music Fest the band went back on the road playing shows with The Damned throughout the United States. In December they went back into the studio to record songs for this release with producer Bill Stevenson of the California punk rock group Descendents. In early 2019 they played shows in Amsterdam and Stockholm. Last year the band released “Basement” , “St. Elwood” “Rock & Roll Homeschool” as well as several other singles.]

[Radkey plays recordBar, 1520 Grand, KCMMO, Friday, December 20, at 8:00 PM, with The Many Colored Death (Columbia) and Hot Suede.]

24. (38.) LK Ultra – “Two Spirit”
from: Demos For Bengal / LK Ultra / March 19, 2019
[Lawrence, Kansas based 4-piece indigenous-fronted, queer music, straight from the birthplace of emo. Formed by Lily Pryor, Inez Robinson, Aoife Conway, and August Hyde. Their EP release was mixed and recorded by Mitchell Hewlett in The Coop.]

[LK Ultra play Revolution Records, 1830 Locust, KCMO, Fri, Jan 17, 2020 with Sarcasm, Benadrill, and Oxford Remedy.]

25. (37.) Florist – “Time is a Dark Feeling”
from: Emily Alone / Double Double Whammy / July 26, 2019
[Florist is an American indie pop band from Brooklyn, New Yorkformed in 2013 with the release of a six-track EP titled We Have Been This Way Forever. Florist recorded another six-song EP, titled 6 days of songs, in May 2014, after lead vocalist Emily Sprague was severely injured in a hit-and-run while riding her bicycle. In October 2015, Florist released another EP titled Holdly on Double Double Whammy. Also in 2015, the band was listed on Stereogum’s “50 Best New Bands Of 2015” list. The band was also featured as one of Stereogum’s “Band To Watch” in 2015. In January 2016, Florist released their debut studio album titled The Birds Outside Sang on Double Double Whammy. The album was listed at number 34 on Noisey’s “100 Best Albums of 2016” list. Band members include: Emily Sprague, Rick Spataro, Jonnie Baker, and Felix Walworth. Sprague is an avid modular synthesizer collector and has made a number of YouTube videos showcasing her equipment. She self-released her debut solo album Water Memory, an ambient album composed with these instruments, in December 2017 with a follow-up album “Mount Vision” released in September 2018. In 2019, Beyonce used an instrumental portion of Florist track “Thank You” from their 2016 release The Birds Outside Sang in her Netflix concert movie Homecoming. Florist’s latest album, Emily Alone, was released was granted “Best New Music” by Pitchfork.]

11:28 – Underwriting

26. (36.) Hadiza. – “Reactions!”
from: Shadow Weight / Hadiza. / November 22, 2019
[Hadiza released her Ep “Gone” on December 29, 2018 with Madi Mclaughlin on bass & guitar, JL Bolinger on drums, and Hadiza Sa-Aadu on keyboards & vocals. Recording & Engineering: JL Bolinger & Madi Mclaughlin. Mixing & Mastering: Madi Mclaughlin. Hadiza. is a singer-songwriter who is based in Kansas City. Previously based in her hometown of Iowa City, she has spent the past year slowly but surely carving out her place in the Kansas City scene both as a solo performer (as Hadiza.) and as lead vocalist and songwriter of experimental electronic group Collidescope. Blessed to have had parents who are very much NOT students of music, but recognized the importance of music education, Hadiza spent her childhood and adolescence in part as a student of piano. Vocally, Hadiza takes her cues from American artists including Fiona Apple, Tracey Chapman, and Billie Holiday and African artists including Angelique Kidjo,. Her sound/genre is best described as an eclectic blend of blues, soul, folk, jazz and classical. Her songwriting is a process of release and acceptance of life events navigating an often brutal bleak and harsh world and is a form of therapy. If you don’t relate to the content, you just don’t relate. Oh well. The most amazing experience however is when a stranger in the audience connects with a song in their own way and is courageous enough to share that with her. Aside from the therapeutic aspect of creating music, this is why she continues to write and perform.]

[Hadiza plays a Shadow Weight Release Ritual at miniBar, 3810 Broadway, KCMO on Saturday, January 25, at 9:00 PM with Babydoll, Les Izmore and the Gods, and The Black Creatures.]

27. (35.) Our Native Daughters – “Mama’s Cryin’ Long (feat. Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, Amythyst Kiah & Allison Russell)”
from: Songs of Our Native Daughters / Smithsonian Folkways Recordings / February 22, 2019
[Our native Daughters is: Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, Amythyst Kiah & Allison Russell (of Birds of Chicago). This song features all of their voices. Songs of Our Native Daughters’ gathers together kindred musicians in song and sisterhood to communicate with their forebears. Drawing on and reclaiming early minstrelsy and banjo music, these musicians reclaim, recast, and spotlight the often unheard and untold history of their ancestors, whose stories remain vital and alive today. The material on ‘Songs of Our Native Daughters’ — written and sung in various combinations — is inspired by New World slave narratives, discrimination and how it has shaped our American experience, as well as musicians such as Haitian troubadour Althiery Dorval and Mississippi Hill Country string player Sid Hemphill, and more. Rhiannon Giddens is the co-founder of the Grammy Award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, was awarded a 2017 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and won the 2016 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Bluegrass and Banjo. She has performed for President Barack Obama, appeared on The Late Show, Austin City Limits, CBS Sunday Morning, and has played a recurring role on the television drama Nashville in the role of Hallie Jordan, a young social worker with “the voice of an angel.” For her project with Our Native Daughters, Giddens brought together three other black female roots artists. “Gathering a group of fellow black female artists who had and have a lot to say, made it both highly collaborative and deeply personal to me,” she explains. “It felt like there were things we had been waiting to say our whole lives in our art; and to be able to say them in the presence of our sisters-in-song was sweet, indeed.” Their debut recording, Songs of Our Native Daughters, is a stunning thirteen-track album. Produced by Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell. Engineered and mixed by Dirk Powell. Recorded at Cypress House Studio, Breaux Bridge, LA. Mastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge NY. Assisted by Chris Allgood. Annotated by Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell, and Dirk Powell.]

28. (34.) Violet and The Undercurrents – “Never Meant to Let You Down”
from: The Captain / Violet Vonder Haar Music / March 1, 2019
[Columbia, Missouri based 4-piece band made up of Violet Vonder Haar on lead vocals & guitar; Linda Bott on bass guitar; Phylshawn Johnson on drums, and Lizzy Weiland on lead guitar. The quartet is anchored by the intrepid songwriting of Violet Vonder Haar and enriched by the creative energy of her musical counterparts. Raised in a small town at the edge of the Missouri River and nurtured by a thriving folk music-centered community, Vonder Haar started honing her craft as a songwriter, performer and vocalist at an early age. She was inspired by her father, a riverboat captain who introduced her to the music of folk legends and encouraged her journey as an artist. More information at: http://www.violetandtheundercurrents.com]

[Violet and the Undercurrents play the Byron Amps Holiday Party: A Benefit for True North at Rose Music Hall 1013 Park Ave, Columbia, MO., Thursday, December 19, at 7:00 PM – 11 PM with Jessy Johnsen Band, Rae Fitzgerald, and Ruth Acuff.]

29. (33.) Other Americans – “Neon Sunrise (Glitchjoy Remix)”
from: OA2 / AWAL Records / October 19, 2019
[New EP follow up to the band’s debut self-titled EP from June 29, 2018. Julie Berndsen on lead vocals, Adam Phillips on drums, Brandon Phillips on guitar, Michelle Bacon on bass. Produced by Brandon Philllips. Engineered by Joel Nanos. Recorded at Element Recording Studios in Kansas City. All remixes by Mensa Deathsquad. Hailing from the musical hotbeds of Kansas City, MO, and Lawrence, KS, the electro-alternative OTHER AMERICANS are comprised of members of such regional luminaries as The Architects, Latenight Callers, The Philistines, Radar State and Brandon Phillips and The Condition. Other Americans is a virtual Midwestern supergroup. The cohorts first crossed paths in when a mutual friend and matchmaker introduced Brandon Phillips to vocalist Julie Berndsen “We were all looking for something new to do musically, recalls Brandon. “The way I remember it, a mutual friend (KC music producer Joel Nanos) told me that Julie was looking to start something new and I sent her a note about it. We had tacos to see if we liked each other.”]

[Other Americans play recordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd, KCMO, on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 7:00 PM for 3 Deep Presents with Monta At Odds, Emmaline Twist, and Pageant Boys. 3 Deep – A Chromadepth 3D Concert, Presented by The Record Machine, Sound Machine KC and Kosmic City with visuals by XO Blackwater.]

30. (32.) Yes You Are – “Comet Bicycle”
from: Here’s To The Great Unknowns / Yes You Are / November 15, 2019
[Kianna Alarid on vocals, Jared White on rhythm guitar, Jacob Temeyer on guitars & keyboards, and Willie Jordan on bass. “We play black pop.” says Kianna Alarid, Yes You Are’s intense front woman, “It implies that there might be shadows lurking, even in the shiny places.” Listening to their upcoming album, it IS essentially pop, but they redefine the genre with each and every song. From gospel choirs to guitar-heavy rock to synth-covered dance rhythms, the mainstay (and mainstream friendly) sing-along hooks are what binds all of their work together. Alarid cut her teeth in the critically-acclaimed indie band Tilly and the Wall, touring through the mid to late aughts with bands such as She and Him, Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, Of Montreal and CSS, playing venues around the world and hitting major festivals like Coachella, Japan’s Summersonic, Iceland Airwaves, Reading, Leeds, Scotland’s T In The Park and Australia’s Splendor In The Grass as well as performing on Late Night with David Letterman and Sesame Street. You’ve probably already heard Yes You Are, as their first single debuted on Pepsi’s Superbowl 51 commercial, as has played over 15,000 times since, all over the world. The song was also featured in the hit movie Bad Moms, as well as FX’s Tyrant and MTV’s Scream. Yes You Are has shared the stage with the likes of K. Flay, Moon Taxi, Marion Hill, Lucius and Neon Trees.]

31.(31.) The Sextet – “Clare de Lune”
from: Among Friends / ARC / September 15 , 2019
[The title of the band’s third release refers to the collaboration of nine other musicians & artists who joined the six members of The Sextet: Joe Tesoro on soprano sax, Max Levy on tenor sax, Trevor Turla on trombone, Forrest Fowler on guitar, Nik Douglas on drums, and Robert Castillo on bass, in the studio to create this new 15 track release. Engineered and Mixed by J Ashley Miller. Produced by J Ashley Miller, Robert Castillo, & The Sextet. Mastered by Duane Trower @ Weights and Measures Soundlab. Recorded Jan. 17,18, & Feb. 1, 2019 @ The Infoaming Vertex. Cover Image: “Circle and Square” by Wassily Kandinsky 1943]

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

Next week on December 25, we bring you part 3 of our 4-week special, the 119 Best Recordings of 2019. We will count down #30 to #1 with representative tracks from: Hembree, Mess, The Black Creatures, Making Movies, Calvin Arsenia, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Hipshot Killer, Gav7d, The Sluts, The Creepy Jingles, Julia Othmer, Kelly Hunt, Kevin Morby, Dead Voices, The Get Up Kids, Samantha Fish, Scott Hrabko & The Rabbits, Short Round Stringband, Mike McCoy’s Trompe-l’œil, Mavis Staples, FKA twigs, Bon Iver, Solange, Lomelda, J.S. Ondara, Deerhunter, Helado Negro, The Highwomen, Black Belt Eagle Scout, and Cate Le Bon.

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:

On your local radio dial 90.1 FM or
STREAMING LIVE at: kkfi.org

Show #816