Michelle Bacon (above) is editor-in-chief of The Deli KC, a website dedicated to local music. She also plays drums in two bands: Deco Auto and Drew Black and Dirty Electric. The Deli is throwing a local music showcase Friday night at the RecordBar, 1020 Westport Road. Photo by Todd Zimmer.
Like most weekend nights, this Friday poses several choices for anyone who wants to get out and hear some live music. Here, we're spotlighting two shows that will feature some of the better bands and performers in Kansas City.
The Deli KC Music Showcase
10 p.m. Friday; $8
RecordBar, 1020 Westport Road
Three local bands will perform at this showcase, sponsored by the Deli KC: Tiny Horse, the Wooden Sky and Spirit is the Spirit (in video above). Michelle Bacon, editor-in-chief of the Deli (and a drummer in two local bands) had this to say about the showcase and the Deli KC and how it became her most recent pet project:
"The Deli is a national publication based in New York and featured in 11 other cities, including Austin (New York and Austin have monthly print editions; the other cities are strictly web).
"This year at South by Southwest (Music Festival), the Midwest Music Foundation put on MidCoast Takeover and brought a Kansas City presence to the festival. The Deli named MidCoast one of the top unofficial showcases of SXSW, and asked if MMF wanted to head up a Kansas City chapter of the Deli. Rhonda Lyne asked if I'd be interested, and I jumped on board because I've wanted to be more involved on the press/promotion side of the local music scene. The Deli is strictly a publication to spotlight local artists, so we focus only on the Kansas City/Lawrence and surrounding area.
"We launched the site in June of this year. It's not a periodical; honestly, I post content when time between my day job and bands and other responsibilities allows me to. We include standard album/show reviews, a comprehensive gig calendar, special interviews/features like 'On The Beat' (with a drummer) and 'Artists on Trial' and more.
"My main goal is to highlight as many local artists as possible in as many different ways as possible to show how much musical talent exists in this city. I want this talent to be recognized on a local and a national level, which is also part of why I'm putting on the showcase at RecordBar this Friday.
"There is prolific songwriting, brilliant melodies, genius instrumentation happening all over this town and I hope people will come experience a fraction of it with me this weekend.
"Since I took on this position, I've learned that there are far more fantastic musicians pouring out their hearts and souls for their craft than I could have imagined. I've learned that this is a big job all on its own, but I've had an outpouring of help. I'm so appreciative to have individuals who share my passion for local music and are willing to donate their time and abilities to this effort. I've learned that there are people who want to know more about the local music scene, but don't have a good, exclusive source for it. I hope The Deli KC can provide that to our readers."
Katy Guillen Trio with the Heavy Figs and Brandon Phillips
10 p.m. Friday
The Brick, 1727 McGee
Katy Guillen had become a regular at the Brick during its Saturday matinees, playing as part of the rock-blues duo Katy & Go-Go, with drummer extraordinaire Go-Go Ray. Early this spring, the two released a recording. But Ray has been called to other duties with other bands, including Samantha Fish, so Guillen has started another band, a trio featuring drummer Stephanie Williams (the Clementines, David George Band) and bassist/vocalist Claire Adams (Appropriate Grammar, Claire and the Crowded Stage). Guillen had this to say about her former band and her new project:
"Katy & Go-Go was a project and opportunity for me to expand and it was another outlet for my songwriting. The duo was a result of me wanting to steer my own guitar-licking, bluesy rock band. At the time, Go-Go was ready to jam and start playing on something new.
"The project has unfortunately been in limbo since shortly after we released the album in March, due to Go-Go's ever-growing and demanding schedule, making him virtually unavailable to me. Essentially, he straight up told me that I should start thinking about pushing forward without him. He recommended a fill-in drummer that he'd used and suggested that I try out a bassist, which I'd been contemplating, also.
"Over the summer I practiced with Kelsey Cook on drums, and Tim Braun (Good Foot) on bass. We played a couple of shows together and they were great, but both players were extremely busy at the time. Since they couldn’t fully commit, I started again.
""I got offered a slot opening for the Royal Southern Brotherhood at Knuckleheads back in September. I said yes, not knowing who was going to play with me. I asked Stephanie and Claire, who'd both expressed interest in playing with me before, if they were available. We had a couple of practices, and the dynamic was immediately the most comfortable I've felt playing with other people on my songs since Go-Go and I were playing.
"The trio has definitely put a fun new twist on some of the Katy & Go-Go songs; we've revamped a couple of them also. Only in the last couple of weeks, have we had a chance to work on some new material. We will be playing a new song on Friday night.
"The difference between the trio and the duo is in Stephanie's interpretation of Go-Go's parts, and in her ability to be as technical as Go-Go but creative at the same time. She definitely lets go a little more than him at times, and plays the feeling. It is in the new fullness that the low end of the bass provides, changing the way I've gone about my guitar playing -- ever changing. Also, Claire adds a harmony vocal occasionally that adds to the impact of the vocal hooks. It is ultimately a new band, a new dynamic and new stage for me personally."
Brandon Phillips, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the Architects will open the show with a solo set of covers and originals: "I do a couple original songs that are non-Architects, maybe a scaled-down Architects song or two but mostly covers of songs I would never get the chance to sing otherwise. Ben E King, Lucinda Williams, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding ... whatever has my attention the most. Given how swamped we've been preparing our new releases for next year, I would not bet heavily on a full-fledged side project. I do enjoy making an opportunity to sing clear and loud every now and then though."