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, November 17, 2021
New & MidCoastal Releases + Shaun Crowley of Manor Records
- “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
from: Orig. Motion Picture Soundtrack All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
[WMM’s Adopted Theme Song]
- Grant Klein – “Sleepwalking”
from: Nimbus MMXXI / Grant Klein / October 15, 2021
[Grant Klein released the 6-track EP, NIMBUS MMXXI on Oct. 15, 2021. Info at: http://www.facebook.com/grant.klein.3.%5D
- Waxahatchee – “Fire”
from: Saint Cloud / Merge Records / March 27, 2020 (More at: http://www.waxahatchee.com.)
[All songs by Katie Crutchfield. Recorded & mixed at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, TX & Long Pond in Stuyvesant, NY. Produced by Brad Cook. Engineered by Jerry Ordonez. Additional engineering by Jon Low. Mixed by Jon Low. Mastered by Brent Lambert at The Kitchen. KATIE CRUTCHFIELD on vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, keys; BRAD COOK on bass, acoustic guitar, piano, keys, synth; BOBBY COLOMBO on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keys; BILL LENNOX on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keys, percussion; NICK KINSEY on drums, percussion; JOSH KAUFMAN on electric guitars, piano, organ, percussion. Katie Crutchfield’s southern roots are undeniable. The name of her solo musical project Waxahatchee comes from a creek not far from her childhood home in Alabama.]
[Waxahatchee plays Thundergong! Saturday, November 20, at 7:00 PM Starring Jason Sudeikis. You cn go to http://www.Thundergong.org for more information.]
- Mensa Deathsquad – “Light (Radio Edit)”
from: Light – Single / Gran Cavalera / November 16, 2021
[This is the first single from the forthcoming album, YOU WILL HEAR THUNDER. Written, performed and produced by Mensa Deathsquad. Mastered at Element Recording and Mastering “The electronic music that I daydream about, always has that Stooges layer of dirt and shop grease on it. That’s what I want.” Follow up to CYCLIST, the second album from Mensa Deathsquad released February 23, 2021. The cyclist ws release with these notes: Brandon Phillips laid in a Kansas City hospital through the winter of 2019-2020 as his own album release (the unintentionally but appropriately named Patient Zero by his alt-synthwave band Mensa Deathsquad) passed by in the outside world. The first tracks from his debut album Patient Zero were premiering and, chained to a Luciferian merry-go-round of post-operative infections, Brandon strained through the pharmaceutical blur to do promotion for his record, emailing editors and scraping together the necessary pieces they needed. Since his surgery a month prior had gone sideways, and the time, energy, and planning for things like photos, videos and shows had been blown to smithereens, all he had left to look forward to beyond the IVs and the machines that go “ping” was this premiere and the street date. And then came COVID-19, like a rogue wave, to finish off the aimless Mensa Deathsquad sailboat. // But Brandon didn’t die and the boat didn’t sink. As the squall receded and the wanton eye of cruel gods passed over him, Brandon clung to the boat and swore revenge… // As the aphorism goes, “revenge is sweet” and thus Brandon and his Mensa Deathsquad will have the triumphant last laugh. Holed up in the spare bedroom of his apartment in Kansas City with an open wound in his abdomen, two surgical drains, and a severely compromised immune system, Brandon slipped back into his Mensa Deathsquad persona and began working on what would become his newest full length album, Cyclist. // The music that emerged from Brandon’s isolation and illness is a raw, nearly garage-rock take on darkwave and a perfect continuation of what he had begun on Patient Zero. Launching with the one-two punch of electro-punk noir in “Nothing Is Ever Enough” and “Therapist” before the pounding synth-rock of “The Disappointment Of The Christ,” Brandon fixes his furious eyes upon the provocative hypocrisy and violence that results from American Christianity. // A heady package of nudge nudges and intellectual ruminations (a trademark of Brandon’s past as a smartpunk upstart in such seminal bands as The Gadjits and Architects), Cyclist carries both a powerful music punch, a cultural rummaging through pop culture, and a run through his ever-evolving intellect. A knowing wink to fans of the seminal vampire flick The Lost Boy, “Join Us, Michael” is at once a seething appraisal of a world scorched and defiled by an older generation and a musical love letter to that pivotal ‘80s vampire movie soundtrack. “Leap Year (Chaos Reigns)” which began as a Siouxsie & the Banshees-inspired jam serves as Cyclist’s true north – the story of a drug-fueled wrinkle in time that brought the entire cyclical nature of existence into visibility one fateful night. “End Of The World” is dance-floor nihilist electro-rock blending angular post-punk guitar with the nostalgia of neon synths and electroclash drums, while “Takes One To Know One” slowly approaches the thunderstorm of toxic relationships, soulful vocals, tech house kick drums, and grimey-as-hell bass. // As a fitting conclusion to the tour de force through his psyche, Cyclist closes with yet another two-track charge, the swaggering post-electro sneer at celebrity social media, “Famous” followed by the throbbing Giorgio Moroder-via-Tech House cover of Iggy Pop’s classic “The Passenger.” “It was important to me that I cover ‘The Passenger’ as a letter of intent.” Says Brandon. “The electronic music that I daydream about, always has that Stooges layer of dirt and shop grease on it. That’s what I wanted for Cyclist.” The result is a triumph over the storm, as Mensa Deathsquad sails, unvanquished, into victory. More info at: https://mensadeathsquad.bandcamp.com or https://facebook.com/MensaDeathsquad.%5D
- Eels – “Good Night On Earth”
from: Extreme Witchcraft / E Works / January 28, 2022
[14th Eels album produced by E and PJ Harvey producer John Parish in their first collaboration since Souljacker. Eels (often typeset as eels or EELS) is an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1991 by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Oliver Everett, known by the stage name E. Band members have changed over the years, both in the studio and on stage, making Everett the only official member for most of the band’s work. Eels’ music is often filled with themes of family, death, and unrequited love. Since 1996, Eels has released thirteen studio albums, seven of which charted in the Billboard 200.]
- Kadesh Flow – “No Options (feat Jamar Rose)”
from: “No Options (feat Jamar Rose)” – Single / Ryan Davis / November 12, 2021
[Produced, Mixed & Mastered: Kadesh Flow. Lyrics and Vocal Performance: Kadesh Flow, Jamar Rose Kadesh Flow is Ryan Davis is a rapper with an MBA. He is an emcee, producer, & trombonist. At age 11, he began rapping and playing trombone within two weeks of one another. His music has been featured on network television in multiple countries and territories across Southeast Asia. Kadesh performs as a solo hip hop artist. He also plays with KC funk juggernaut The Phantastics, and Marcus Lewis Big Band. This is one of 20 singles and a 13 track album that Kadesh Flow has released so far this year. More information at Kadeshflow.bandcamp.com]
10:24 – Underwriting
- Sam Wells – “For The Deflated”
from: For The Deflated / French Exit Records / December 31, 2020
[Debut EP from Kansas City, based singer songwriter Sam Wells who has shared stages with Betsy Phillips, Kelly Hunt, Andrew Ryan, The Zack Pietrini Band, and The Phantastics. She was featured as a composer and performer in the Kansas City Repertory Theater production of “Ghost Light” performed on the lawn of The Nelson Atkin Museum of Art in October, 2020. Sam has also performed in Troostival (2020), Kansas City Porchfest (2019) and Jamdemic. In 2019, Wells released her debut single “Lesson Learned.” In early 2020 Wells released her second single “Sugar” producer and engineered by Riley Corbin at the Lawrence Kansas Public Library recording studio. It was only a decade ago, Sam Wells sat in her bedroom learning the Corrine Bailey Ray classic “Put Your Records On”. This was all it took to ignite a lifetime love affair with music. With her smooth and sultry voice and the warm tones of a baritone ukulele, she shares stories of love, loss and everything in between. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Sam Wells has lived in Lawrence, but now calls KC home. Info at: http://www.whoissamwells.com. Sam Wells was on WMM on May 13, 2020 and January 20, 2021.]
10:30 – Interview with Shaun Crowley
Shaun Crowley is a classically trained guitarist, and has studied at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory. Shaun is part of the band Momma’s Boy and is a co-founder of Manor Records, a music label that grew out of Manor Fest, the first festival sized “house show” Shaun and friends produced in their basement featuring 12 bands.
We first met Shaun as part of the band Rev Gusto with Peter Beatty and Quinn Hernandez and friends originally formed in high school at Saint James Academy.
Shaun Crowley join us today to share details about Manor Records becoming a non-profit organization that functions as a record store, record label, and neighborhood bar. The label hopes to turn proceeds into resources to support local musicians and the Strawberry Hill community. Manor Records plan to help local musicians physically release music, fund for press coverage, and navigate the booking of shows. In the KCK community Manor Records aims to do many things such as improving sidewalks, installing municipal grade public trash cans, and hopefully someday installing street lamps in the Strawberry Hill area of Kansas City Kansas.
More information at http://www.manorrecords.com
Shaun Crowley thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley
It’s been a while since we’ve had you on the show. I think it was July 31, 2019, you were here with Peter playing music from bands playing Manor Fest 3. We played music from some of these artists: Paul Cherry, Mouton, Shy Boys, Dreamgirl, Momma’s Boy, Drugs & Attics, The Phlegms, Shady Bug, The Golden Fleece, The Sluts, Pale Tongue, The Cavves, The Wild Type, LK Ultra, Buckle Up Baby, Toughies, Chloe Jacobson, Scruffy & The Janitors, Chase The Horseman, Bambis, Mild Cats, FaceFace, R.I.Peter, Big Water, Mason Blaize, Forest Porridge, Khrystal., No Magic, Charlotte Bumgarner, BigFatCat, and Dylan Pyles.
Mark Records is the label for: Blanky, Brat Pitt, Catty Cline, Charlotte Bumgarner, Chloe jacobson, Daniel Gum, Dylan Pyles, FaceFace, Forest Porridge, Jairy, Khrystal., Momma’s Boy, Pake Tongue, R.I.Peter, Scabb, Superflaw, True Lions, The Wild Type, and have recently added: Sam Wells, LK Ultra, Flooding, Fritz Hutchison, and Kat King.
Manor Records are very excited to announce that they are opening Manor Records, a non-profit record store, record label, & neighborhood bar in the Strawberry Hill area of Kansas City, Kansas.
Mission: Manor Records Fund is a non-profit organization that functions as a record store, record label, and & neighborhood bar that turns profits into resources to support local musicians & the Strawberry Hill community. They plan to help local musicians physically put out music, pay for press coverage, and navigate booking shows. In the KCK community they aim to do many things such as improving sidewalks, installing municipal grade public trash cans, and hopefully someday installing street lamps in the Strawberry Hill area.
Story: Manor Records started in a basement of “The Shawnee Manor,” a D.I.Y. venue located in Shawnee, KS. From Glass Animals to Shy Boys, the underground venue hosted numerous local acts, as well as some national touring acts. Then, founder Shaun Crowley got the itch to host a house show music festival with the creation of Manor Fest. It started with 10 bands in one night, then grew to a two night event featuring 20 local bands from Shy Boys to BLK FLANL. After years passed and a community was built, it was time for the boys to move out of the deteriorating house.
In October of 2017, they officially launched as Manor Records. A DIY record label based on the foundation of infamous D.I.Y. venue The Shawnee Manor. Manor Record is a label that takes no money or profits from our artists, is hands-on, and self-run, with intentions of good music from good people. We began by hosting showcases featuring local and regional bands in addition to putting out cassette releases. In the summer of 2019, after growing as a label for two years, they decided to bring back the idea of Manor Fest. Manor Fest 3 came to Kansas City with 33 bands spread across three nights in different regions of the city. they hosted showcases in traditional & non-traditional venues and featured up & coming locals such as bigfatcat and regional favorites such as Paul Cherry. After successfully putting on our first large sized festival, they realized that it was an event that helped promote and propel local artists to larger platforms. There was a need and hope to bring it as a regular event for the Kansas City music scene to look forward to every summer.
Alongside the festival, Manor Records has been actively providing booking, tour management, cassette releases, blog premieres/reviews, marketing and promotion services for indie acts all over the midwest. None of this would be possible without the addition of our their incredible teammates Wayne Moots & Skylar Rochelle who voluntarily joined the Manor Records team along the way. One of the relationships Manor Records began to build over their years of booking shows is with The Mockingbird Lounge over in Strawberry Hill.
In the Summer of 2021, the owner of the Mockingbird Lounge, Dan Castillo, approached Shaun Crowley with the idea of turning Manor Records into a non-profit organization that functioned as a record store/neighborhood bar in the KCK community where funds were put into putting out artists’ music & also the Strawberry Hill community.
Fundraising Transparency: Profits from the record store/bar will be put into two funds. One is the Manor Musicians Fund, which allows Manor Records to continue their mission as a record label. We will be supplying resources for local musicians such as physically releasing their music, covering the price of a press run, or helping manage their booking. We will allow open submissions on our website & choose what projects seem to fit our mission and our DEI&A stated below. The other fund that profits will be put into is the Strawberry Hill Community Fund. With this fund we plan to allocate funds towards improvements to the Strawberry Hill neighborhood where our record store sits. We will have the neighborhood vote on what they think is best for the neighborhood such as new sidewalks, community trash can, adding more streetlights, etc.
Donations from this GoFundMe will go into helping us open the doors to our storefront in Strawberry Hill this fall (build out, inventory, etc.)
DEI&A (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility) Statement: Manor Records aims to allocate 60% of the Manor Musicians Fund for musicians & artists that are POC or that represent the LQBTQ+ community. The Strawberry Hill Community Fund will be voted on my community members. Manor Record are a 50% minority owned organization and we aim to make diversity a focus in how we release music for local musicians.
Shaun Crowley will also share details about Manor Mix Vol. 2, a limited edition compilation cassette that is officially available for pre-order. All proceeds go towards the opening of Manor Records non-profit record store/neighborhood bar in Strawberry Hill. These tapes consist of tracks from Manor Records 2021 releases along with tracks from each of Manor’s newest additions to the label. The collection includes music from: Catty Cline, Charlotte Bumgarner, Daniel Gum, Dylan Pyles, Flooding, Fritz Hutchison, Jairy, and Kat King. More information at:
Shaun Crowley, thanks for being with us on WMM.
- Khrystal. – “Silence”
from: Life Be Life’ing / Khrystal. / September 22, 2021
[Surprise 8-track album release. On December 31, 2020 Khrystal. Released the single “Never” which followed Khrystal.’s. single “Magic” released on August 8, 2020 on limited edition cassette singles with her most recent single “You Again” as a B-Side by Manor Records. On September 1, 2017 Khrystal. released The Glow Up EP, Produced & Written by Khrystal Coppage and Duncan Burnett. This was follow up to Khrystal’s Debut EP, Quarter Century Living. Executive Produced By Duncan Burnett. Written By Khrystal Coppage & Duncan Burnett. Kansas City based Khrystal Coppage served as Editor-in-Chief of Khorage Magazine. She served as Production Manager at UMKC University News from 2015 to 2016. She graduated from UMKC in 2016 where she studied Family Studies. She graduated from Kansas City Kansas Community College in 2013. She is a graduate of Sumner Academy of Arts & Science, in KCK. ]
- The Grisly Hand – “On The Same Side”
from: “Why Make Me Cry” – Single / The Grisly Hand / August 20, 2021
[Since April 2021 the band has been in the studio working on a handful of tracks, with the intention of releasing singles over the summer & fall, and possibly a full-length release at the end of the year. On August 20 they released “Why Make Me Cry”. On May 14, 2021 they released the ingle “Now That You Know.”It has been four and a half years since The Grisly Hand has released new music. The band released Hearts & Stars on November 18, 2016, and Flesh & Gold on October 2, 2015. The band had spent a year with Joel Nanos at Element Recording and decided to split the songs between two CD/digital releases: and also release them both together as a double vinyl album release, called The Grisly Hand, released November 18, 2016 with a new reshuffling of songs for the vinyl LP format. Jimmy Fitzner on guitar & vocals, Lauren Krum on vocals & percussion, Kian Byrne on drums, Mike Stover on steel guitar, bass & vocals, Ben Summers on guitar, vocals & mandolin, Dan Loftus on bass, keyboards & vocals. For the double albums the recordings also featured: Rich Wheeler on tenor saxophone, Nick Howell on trumpet, and Mike Walker on trombone. More info at: http://www.thegrislyhand.com]
[The Grisly Hand play recordBr TONIGHT at 7:00 PM with Miki P. Proof of vaccination or recent negative Covid test required for entry.]
- Solohawk – “Memories Within Me”
[On April 28 we played “Wave” the first single from, The Radio Waves And Your Movies. It was backed by I Can’t Forget, recorded live at The Wright Opera House. Solohawk is: Steve Faceman on guitar & vocal, and Til Willis on guita & vocal & drums & bass. “Wave” was recorded and mixed by Til Willis at 1509 Recording Service. “I Can’t Forget” was recorded by Ethan and Eric Funk in Ouray, CO at the Wright Opera House.Mastered by John Hruska. Solohawk is an Indie-Folk duo consisting of Steve Faceman & Til Willis. Seeking refuge from their respective Rock bands, Faceman and Willis tour as an acoustically. A refreshingly stripped down adventure that both singer/songwriters enjoy, as it allows the camaraderie and personality of the songs to shine.More info at: http://www.solohawl.bandcamp.com]
11:00 – Station ID
Mark: I saw Krystle Warren in concert last Friday Night, November 13. 2021 at Greenwood Social Hall in a SOLD OUT benefit show with Jeff Harshbarger on Bass and backing vocals, Mike Stover on multiple instruments and backing vocals, Brad Cox onpiano and keyboards, and Mike Riddleberger on drums.
KC born and internationally known singer songwriter Krystle Warren is one of our most played artists of all time on the show. Krystle has appeared on WMM 15 times. Mark first interviewed Krystle Warren for The Tenth Voice, back 2002. Krystle’s critically acclaimed album, Three The Hard Way was #1 on WMM’s 117 Best Recordings of 2017. Wednesday MidDay Medley was the first to play tracks from Krystle’s album, before it was released. Krystle came on the show months before the release, to share music that was the inspiration for the recording.
Mark first interviewed Krystle Warren for The Tenth Voice, back 2002. Mark waited several hours, during a winter snow storm, at a huge party, where Krystle played with her band including her longtime friend Solomon Dorsey on bass, in a packed, smoke filled apartment near Community Christian Church across the hall from where Solomon lived, to be given a 2 song demo CD, that contained Krystle’s first recorded music, including a song called “Chanel #5.” Krystle has since gone on to be known all over the world, but still maintains contact with her hometown of Kansas City.
Warren began performing in her native Kansas City at the age of 16 before moving to New York City, where she started busking on the streets and later formed her regular band, The Faculty. She and the group have recorded several full-length albums, including 2009’s Circles, 2012’s Love Songs and 2017’s Three the Hard Way. Her EP THE CREW released September 15, 2020. Her band The Faculty is ready to release their new album EXTENDED PLAY
Krystle recently played the Stimmen Festival Ettiswill is Switzerland on May 8.
Krystle graduated from Paseo Arts Academy in 2001 and began her musical career in collaborating with area jazz and pop musicians. After living in San Francisco and NYC, Krystle was signed to a French label, Because Music, who gave her a one way ticket to France. Krystle moved to Paris to release “Circles” in 2009. Krystle played French & British TV programs, including Later with Jools Holland, garnering critical acclaim and traveling all over the world on tours with Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Norah Jones, and Joan As Police Woman.
Krystle left Because Music and created her own recording label, Parlour Door Music, to release “Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace / A Time to Refrain from Embracing” a double album recording from a 13-day session in Brooklyn, where she recorded 24 songs live with 28 musicians including her band, The Faculty, alongside choirs, horn and string sections. In 2019 The Kansas City based Owen/Cox Dance Group premiered a new dance piece titled “Love Songs” with choreography by Jennifer Owen, set to all 24 songs, in the order they appear in the recording,.
Krystle Warren has collaborated with Erykah Badu, Keziah Jones, Zap Mama, Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright, Brad Cox Amadou & Mariam, Lakecia Benjamin, Guarco, Teddy Thompson, Gwyneth Herbert, Hercules & Love Affair, and Joon Moon. Along with being included in the compilation “NYC Subway – Songs from the Underground,” and tribute recordings for Kate McGarrigle, and Nick Drake,
Warren has released the EP “Diary” on May 1, 2007; “The Up Series – EP” on November 10, 2008; “Circles” her 13-song full length on March 13, 2009; “A Time To Keep – Love Songs EP”, on August 12, 2011, The double album 24-song “Love Songs” released on vinyl in Europe on April 9, 2012 and as separate digital and CD albums in the U.S. as: “Love Songs: A Time to Embrace,” on March 13, 2012 and “Love Songs: A Time to Refrain from Embracing” on February 27, 2015; Krystle released “Three the Hard Way” on August 18, 2017.
Last time Krystle was on the show live, on October 16, 2019 with Brad Cox when she was here in KC to present LoveSongs with Owen/Cox Dance Group at Oct 19 & 20, 2019 at Polsky Theatre at JCCC.
In an article in SPIN Magazine, December 6, 2020, The 35 Best Lesser-Known Artists of the Last 35 Years, Picked by 35 Well-Known Artists, Krystle Was named twice!
Joan as Police Woman on Krystle Warren: “Most stellar voice, tender and strong in equal measure with a range nothing short of miraculous. Incredible writer of songs, the type of which used to get written and go on to become classics. Exquisite live performer in the way you forget completely where you are and what’s happening in your life.”
Rufus Wainwright on Krystle Warren: “Krystle Warren’s voice and performance style seared an indelible mark on me years ago when she joined Martha and I on tributes to our mom Kate McGarrigle in both London and New York. Her haunting interpretations, vocal timbre and singular look completely devastated all present, and soon after I had the honor of taking her out on the road with me. Be it covers, her own material or harmonizing with others, she is a true musician and should be considered an international treasure.”
From http://www.krystalwarren.com written by Phil Anderson:
From Diary EP to Extended Play A Truncated History of Krystle Warren & The Faculty
Krystle Krystle Warren met Solomon Dorsey some weekend at a high school debate competition in Kansas City. After she had trounced Solomon’s debate partner, the two ended up in an open classroom where they began playing music—Krystle had brought her guitar and was practicing chords, and Solomon, then an accomplished violinist, cellist, bassist, and singer likely had some sort of instrument on him, and even if he didn’t he had his voice.
Due to some specific details we’re not going to get into, Krystle was already living on her own; she was eighteen and he was seventeen. But she had a friend who had an apartment near hers, and this friend was having a party. “Wanna go?” she asked Solomon. And, as Solomon puts it, he has seen or spoken to Krystle every single day of his life since.
So when Solomon decided to attend the jazz program at New School in New York, he asked Krystle, “Wanna go?” And a few months after he moved, Krystle showed up. On her first night in the city, Solomon introduced her to Zach Djanikian, a saxophonist he’d become fast friends with at school. They lived in the same dorm, and Zach and Solomon took Krystle to a practice room in the basement and the three of them played musical games. According to Zach, “We’d sing as many melodies as we could over four open strings of the upright bass, plucked successively. ‘Norwegian Wood’ and the theme to Family Matters were a couple favorites.”
This led to busking as a trio, and each of them was hustling for gigs. An Italian restaurant that featured live music gave Krystle a regular night, and she often had Solomon and Zach play with her. Zach’s friend from Philadelphia, Ben Kane, would come to these nights, and he brought Mike Riddleberger.
In Philly, Zach was in a band called The Brakes, and Ben Kane was producing an album for Zach’s band in a windowless apartment that he shared with Riddleberger. Kane and Riddleberger had become friends a year earlier at NYU, bonding over their love of D’Angelo’s album Voodoo. Riddleberger says that even though he saw Krystle perform, he didn’t speak to her until after she saw him play with his band, Quintus. Zach had brought her, and she approached him after the show to play in a band she was starting.
The Faculty was formed with Krystle, Solomon, Zach, Riddleberger, and Dave Moore, a keyboardist from Kansas who was at New School, too. While the four boys had classes and gigs, Krystle floated around New York and made a lot of friends. She busked and wrote songs, and, with the help of her band members and Ben Kane, who had an internship at ElectricLady Studios and was sneaking them in at odd hours, Krystle turned those songs into an EP called Diary.
And it was a diary. The songs were about her daily experiences in this new place and with these new people. “I’ve Seen Days” has a title that implies a reflection, but it’s about how the world is new to her, how she’s “a frightened child” in a new city. “The New Astrologer” is about a new and exciting love, one that remains a good friend of hers. “A Song For Holly” is a letter to family explaining her new quotidien life (“your big sister / out in New York on some subway / your big sister, out trying to get paid”). And “Central Park” is a document of a night she had in Central Park with Zach and his boyfriend (now husband) Jesse, and how she is coming to embrace this new city, these new people, and this new chapter of her life.
If Diary, the Faculty’s first recordings, is Krystle’s “Songs of Innocence,” then Extended Play, the Faculty’s latest, is Krystle’s “Songs of Experience.”
Diary led to Circles, which Ben Kane co-produced with Voodoo engineer Russell “The Dragon” Elevado. Circles was bought by Because Music in France, and Krystle had her next move. She stayed in France even when her relationship with Because ended because she found Vanessa, and Vanessa was worth staying in France for. But Krystle still recorded Love Songs in New York, a double album that invokes a Blakean duality with its two subtitles, “A Time to Refrain from Embracing” and “A Time You May Embrace.” Love Songs was produced with most of the Faculty (Zach was on tour with Amos Lee) and a slew of guest musicians in Brian Bender’s Brooklyn studio. Bender’s assistant, Jonathan Anderson, would later go on to replace Dave Moore on keys in the Faculty.
The Faculty has always been a tenuous project for everyone involved because of the distance and the schedules. While everyone remains close friends, the band members are spread across the globe. Krystle in France. Riddleberger in New York and Zach in Woodstock. Solomon and Jonathan in Los Angeles. And then they are all working musicians, touring, recording, and collaborating with an impressive list of artists. Musicians like, in no particular order: D’Angelo, Hercules and Love Affair, Donald Fagen and the Nightfliers, Joan As Policewoman, Jose James, Emily King, Janet Jackson, Ron Sexsmith, The Dixie Chicks, Amy Helm, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Rufus Wainwright, Kylie Minogue, Sara Bareilles, Natalie Merchant, Kesha, Bleachers, Emylou Harris, Amos Lee, Lana Del Rey, Broken Social Scene, Teddy Thompson, Lakecia Benjamin, Jenny Lewis, and honestly that’s less than the half of it.
So they have been busy, and they have gained a lot of experience since the days of sneaking into ElectricLady late night or playing for meager pay and free wine at an East Village Italian resto. And while Diary and Circles and Love Songs were recorded with everyone in the same room (Three the Hard Way was just Krystle and Kane together), Extended Play was recorded disparately and assembled together by the steady hands and ears of Kane and Krystle. There is distance between the musicians in the recording process, but there is still a close emotional connection that can be heard in these songs.
And Krystle is writing with a close emotional connection to the distant past. The songs that make up Extended Play are songs of experience—the lyrics reflect on a crush from high school, a departed musical hero, and others who live in memory. There is nostalgia in Extended Play, and a forlornness. And these songs are filled with references, musical and otherwise, to those who have inspired Krystle over the years, from Les Mis (specifically the song adopted by the ACT UP movement) to Gregory Djanikian, Zach’s poet father, and Audre Lord.
Krystle describes “When I Look Back,” the last song of Extended Play, as “an apology to my teenage self.” Seventeen years ago she was writing songs about what happened day-of because being young is about immediacy and living in the present tense. Now the songs are about years past because life slows down, and we are allowed the time to “look back.”
But as Krystle sings in “Rising,” “Future lingers while past is present.” She’s writing about the past because we are all our collected histories—or as she puts it in “When I Look Back”: “there’s still something of her that stays.” The future, of course, still lingers, always there waiting for us, for the next move. The album ends with a recording of Audre Lorde’s gravelly voice. She says,
“I’m going on to something else, the shape of which I have no idea. ‘Only thing I know, is it’s going to be quite different. What I leave behind has a life of its own. I’ve said this about poetry… Well in a sense, I’m saying it about the very artifact of who I have been.”
Krystle Warren & The Faculty still have more to come. They have built seventeen years of memories, experiences, recordings, and shows, and with the release of Extended Play, they continue to show a commitment to growing as musicians together, even if apart. – Written by Phil Anderson
Krystle Warren & The Faculty are working on a new album, the first single “Rising” was included in the official soundtrack to the Ana DuVernay television series soundtrack for “When They See Us.” The single was released May 31, 2019. The Crew EP was released by Parlour Door Music on September 15, 2020. More info at http://www.krystlewarren.com.
- Krystle Warren – “Circles”
from: Circles / Because Music / March 13, 2009
[Krystle Warren was orn June 13, 1981 in Kansas City. A 2000 graduate Paseo Academy of Fine and Perfoming Arts. Krystle learned to play the guitar by listening to Rubber Soul & Revolver from The Beatles. Krystle graduated from Paseo Arts Academy in 2001 and began her musical career in collaborating with area jazz and pop musicians. After living in San Francisco and NYC, Krystle was signed to a French label, Because Music, and moved to Paris to release “Circles” in 2009. Krystle played French and British television programs, including Later with Jools Holland, garnering critical acclaim and traveling all over the world with Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Norah Jones, and Joan As Police Woman.]
- Krystle Warren and The Faculty – “I Worry Less” from: Love Songs- Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace (A Time to Refrain from Embracing) / Parlour Door Music / April 9, 2012 UK] [Krystle created, Parlour Door Music, to release “Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace” a recording from a 13-day session in Brooklyn, where she recorded 24 songs live with 28 musicians including her band, The Faculty, alongside choirs, horn and string sections.]
- Krystle Warren – “Learn To Bend” from: Three The Hard Way / Parlour Door Music / August 18, 2017 [Produced by Krystle Warren and Ben Kane (D’Angelo, Emily King, PJ Morton). Recorded, engineered, and mixed by Ben Kane. Written & performed by Krystle Warren. Mixed at The Garden, Brooklyn. Mastered & cut by Alex DeTurk at Masterdisk. Krystle Warren premiered this song and her other new songs from this album at the Middle of the Map Fest in a packed room at Californos in Westport and later at The Polsky Theatre for the Performing Arts Series of Johnsons County Community College. For this record Krystle decided to play every instrument and vocals & back up vocals, “playing bass, drums, lap steel, piano, guitar, and vocals directly to analog tape. She and Ben Kane recorded in Villetaneuse, France, a small town on the outskirts of Paris in a vintage 70s era studio that offered just the right, rich sound to suggest the musical foundation for the record, and to do justice to the duo’s carefully balanced arrangements.” On the Wednesday MidDay Medley radio show in 2016 Krystle shared inspirations for this record, early gospel recordings, that crossed over into Jazz from: Pharoah Sanders, Edwin Hawkins, and The Swan Silvertones. Originally from KC, Krystle learned to play the guitar by listening to Rubber Soul & Revolver from The Beatles. Krystle graduated from Paseo Arts Academy in 2001 and began her musical career in collaborating with area jazz and pop musicians. After living in San Francisco and NYC, Krystle was signed to a French label, Because Music, and moved to Paris to release “Circles” in 2009. Krystle played French and British television programs, including Later with Jools Holland, garnering critical acclaim and traveling all over the world with Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Norah Jones, and Joan As Police Woman. Krystle created, Parlour Door Music, to release “Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace” a recording from a 13-day session in Brooklyn, where she recorded 24 songs live with 28 musicians including her band, The Faculty, alongside choirs, horn and string sections.
- Krystle Warren & The Faculty – “Rising” from: Rising – Single / Parlour Door Music / May 31, 2019 [This single was produced by co-founding member of The Faculty, bassist Solomon Dorsey, and part of the new Krystle Warren & The Faculty album called, “Extended Play.” This album will now come out in 2022.]
- The War On Drugs – “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”
from: I Don’t Live Here Anymore / Atlantic Recording Corp. / October 29, 2021
[The War on Drugs is an American rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 2005. The band consists of Adam Granduciel (vocals, guitar), David Hartley (bass guitar), Robbie Bennett (keyboards), Charlie Hall (drums), Jon Natchez (saxophone, keyboards) and Anthony LaMarca (guitar). // Founded by close collaborators Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs released their debut studio album, Wagonwheel Blues, in 2008. Vile departed shortly after its release to focus on his solo career. The band’s second studio album Slave Ambient was released in 2011 to favorable reviews and a lengthy tour. // The band’s third album, Lost in the Dream, was released in 2014 following extensive touring and a period of loneliness and clinical depression for primary songwriter Granduciel. The album was released to widespread critical acclaim and increased exposure. Previous collaborator Hall joined the band as its full-time drummer during the recording process, with saxophonist Natchez and additional guitarist LaMarca accompanying the band for its world tour. Signing to Atlantic Records, the six-piece band released their fourth album, A Deeper Understanding, in 2017, which won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. The band released their fifth album, I Don’t Live Here Anymore, in 2021.
11:29 – Underwriting
- Pageant Boys – “Saint Peter”
from: Haunted / The Record Machine / November 19, 2021
[One of three singles released from the 10-track album HAUNTED. P “Past Life” on September 17, 2021 through The Record Machine. Alexander Sheppard is the musician behind the name Pageant Boys. In this new slow-burner he gets honest about heartbreak, the fallout of a failed relationship, and the relatable emotions that follow. This single will be part of the new 10-track albun from pageant BoysMore info at: http://www.therecordmachine.co]
- A.M. Merker – “Aligator Boots”
from: “Aligator Boots” – Singke / MASKT / November 12, 2021
[AThis is the 2nd single from his upcoming album, LAST CALL. The album features a host of local talent, including Jacob Horpinjuk (My Oh My), Brent Nohl, Sarah Wittman (My Oh My), Devon Teran (Timbers), Grant Buell (My Oh My, Kansas City Bear Fighters, Good Time Charley), Caleb Gardner (Konza Swamp Band), Matthew Hawkins, Havilah Bruders & The Matchsellers. It will be released this winter. More info at: http://www.ammerker.bandcamp,com.]
- Birdie – “Tricky”
from: Frail Branches / Birdie / October 14, 2021
[8-track EP Release. Birdie released the single “You Can’t Stop her on June 13, 2021. Power pop, punk, and echoes of the girl groups of our time intersect in Kansas City-based band Birdie. This energetic collaboration of local talent brings a fresh take on classic sounds. Birdie released the 7-track EP, CELLOPHANE HEART on June 4, 2021. Birdie is the musical project of Betsy Schwartze who lives in Stilwell Kansas. More info at: http://www.birdiesound.com]
- Low – “More”
from: Hey What / Sub Pop Records / September 10, 2021
[Focusing on their craft, staying out of the fray, and holding fast their faith to find new ways to express the discord and delight of being alive, to turn the duality of existence into hymns we can share, Low present HEY WHAT. These ten pieces—each built around their own instantaneous, undeniable hook—are turbocharged by the vivid textures that surround them. The ineffable, familiar harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker break through the chaos like a life raft. Layers of distorted sound accrete with each new verse – building, breaking, colossal then restrained, a solemn vow only whispered. There will be time to unravel and attribute meaning to the music and art of these times, but the creative moment looks FORWARD, with teeth. HEY WHAT is Low’s thirteenth full-length release in twenty-seven years, and their third with producer BJ Burton.]
- Nick Siegel – “Skate Date”
from: Skate Date – Single/ Darling Dear Records / November 26, 2021
[New single from Nick Siegel’s upcoming For You, Dear, Anything: Act Three. Nick Siegel, is a KC piano rocker with influences such as Ben Folds, Death Cab for Cutie and the Mars Volta. Nick writes aggressive piano rock music. He grew up playing music in Chicago and moved to Kansas City in 2010 when he joined The Casket Lottery. Now on my own as solo artist, Nick has released his debut solo album, “Awake from the Golden State,” on Aug. 25, 2017. His 8-song EP, “For You Dear, Anything,” was released April 10, 2020. It is the first act, of three-act series, he plans to release. Act One, is a modern take on the vibe of the 1920s. Nick released For You, Dear, Anything: Act Two on November 27, 2020. The first single from this EP was “No Love of Mine” was released November 13, 2020.]
- Reach – “Hood (Feat. Les Izmore”
from: Life’s One Valid Expression / Reach / October 29, 2021
[Produced by d’Jawnz. Featuring trumpeter Hermon Mehari, vibraphonist Peter Schlamb, vocalists JaySol (Kansas City) and Kayla Starks (Dallas), and longtime partner-in-rhyme Les Izmore. The project covers a lot of conceptual ground with topics such as love, loss, the American project, gentrification and race relations. The writing may well comprise the most revolutionary tone of Reach’s long career. The musical backdrop mines the best of the Boom Bap era filtered through a contemporary aesthetic. Over the past several years, Reach’s focus has been musical production and his maturation is evident on Life’s One Valid Expression. The musical wheelhouse for Reach the producer – credited on the album as d’Jawnz – is a confluence of Jazz, Traditional Soul and Contemporary R&B. It’s a fitting palette for an album with such mature content. More information at http://www.reach.bandcamp.com]
- Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]
Next Tuesday, Nov. 23, at 6:00 PM on 90.9 The Bridge Mark will be a guest on Eight One Sixty with Chris Haghirian sharing ten representative tracks from WMM’s 120 Best Recordings of 2021.
Next week on WMM, on November 24 we play WMM’s Favorite Singles of 2021 and for our entire second hour Michelle Bacon of 90.9 The Bridge joins us with her favorite releases of 2021.
In 2 weeks on December 1, on WMM, Tim Finn – Music Writer for In Kansas City Magazine, Marion Merritt – owner of Records With Merritt, Chris Haghirian – Host of Eight One Sixty on 90.9 The Bridge, and Fally Afani – Founder & Editor of I Heart Local Music share their Favorite Musical Releases of 2021.
And Starting December 8 thru Dec 29 we present our 4-week special: The 120 Best Recordings of 2021
Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web: