Tony Ladesich is philosophical about the demise of his band, Pendergast.
"It’s the existential nature of what we do," he said. "You play gigs, you put out records, and eventually you go your separate ways."
The Kansas City-based band’s legacy includes "hundreds of shows" over six years and two exceptional albums. Its final performance is Friday at Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club.
Pendergast’s gritty, raw, roots rock careens between earnest twang and punk-informed thrash. The band’s repertoire includes tales of romantic heartbreak, bleary alcohol-fueled celebrations, grim stories of economic woe and the small shards of salvation harbored inside jukeboxes.
"It’s just American music with roots based in rock ’n’ roll, country and early folk music," Ladesich explained. "But a little Rolling Stones swagger (is) thrown in."
The older rock and roll gets, the more I realize that it no longer produces giants or pioneers, only astute revisionists and savvy opportunists. Wexler was a giant and a pioneer. Read his New York Times obit and remember how rich and exciting music was when he was exerting his instincts and expertise.
Also note how he was influenced by Kansas City. From the obit:
"In 1936, as something of a last-ditch effort to straighten out her wayward son, Elsa Wexler enrolled him at Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science (known today as Kansas State University) in Manhattan, Kan. There he first encountered a rural musical sensibility, and 100 or so miles away, in the lively musical scene of Kansas City, Mo., he could immerse himself in the blues."
Last week I sat in on the monthly meeting of the large and industrious committee that organizes the annual Kansas City Irish Festival. Here's what I learned about this year's fest, which is Labor Day Weekend (Aug. 29-31):
Membership passes are available to “The Snug,” where you can get the royal VIP treatment. Among the amenities when you buy an advance membership: Admission ticket to the festival. Access to the private Snug tent (which means shorter lines to beverages and bathrooms). Complimentary souvenirs (festival T-shirt, poster and membership card/lanyard), snacks and drink tickets.
According to the festival's organizers, Lawrence grunge kings Paw will perform for the first time in about seven years at this year's Wakarusa festival. The band is set to perform from 1:30 to 2:30 on Friday, June 6, in the revival tent. Above, the boys roar through "Jesse," which sounds better than ever.
Local actor/singer Danny Cox and five members of his family lost their home in a fire in Kansas City, Kan., on Sunday. Everyone is alive and safe but the home was destroyed, and Cox lost all of his belongings, including nearly all of his many instruments and recording equipment.
He still has a bounty of friends, though, and some have already come to his assistance. The first of several benefits for Cox and his family will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut St. Brewer & Shipley will headline the show, which will also include "assorted friends of Danny," according to Bob Walkenhorst, the benefit organizer and one of those many assorted friends. Tickets will be $20. You can get them at the door. Stay tuned for word on where to pick up advance tickets and for news on future benefits.
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