Tag Archives: kansas city

Teen daze.

It’s not everyday that I find an artist like Jamison Isaak. He releases music under the name, Teen Daze. It’s not merely that he writes great pop hooks or creates luscious soundscapes (both of which he does exceedingly well), it’s that I get this irrational feeling that he understands me.

I know, I know, this is a weird thing I project on some artists. Sure, I’d like to think that some of my favorite songwriters would get me, but that’s purely one-sided. If I found myself in a room with, say, Paddy McAloon or Tracey Thorn, I wonder if we’d really have any fruitful conversation. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’d just stare at the carpet and wonder when we can go home. But I digress.

With his Teen Daze project, Isaak has been refining his idea of what pop songs and electronics can be, not unlike how the mid-nineties group Virus tried to reconcile techno, mid-tempo pop songs, and ambient music. I feel like he references a lot of sounds I enjoy: from new age music to Aztec Camera to Durutti Column and maybe a little like Sound of Ceres. Soothing electronic music with lots of major sevenths and pop hooks.

And just last week, Isaak released an EP under his own name. From the beginning with acoustic piano and pedal steel, it’s obvious why this is not a Teen Daze release. Nothing synthetic here, but it’s still that melodic wallpaper that I love.

As a special education teacher, I do a lot of paperwork and need zen-like ambient music for hours of work alone on student plans and progress reports. And as it feels like the world seems to get louder and more chaotic, I need artists like Jamison Isaak who encourage us to sit back and listen.

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Regional rail.

Yesterday, one of my wife’s long-time friends was in town with her family.  To give her time to visit with Katy, I took her six-year old daughter for a walk.  When we crossed the 63rd Street bridge, I hoisted her up over the side to see the railroad below.  She remarked, “I know why they don’t use those train tracks down there.  There’s grass all over them.”

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Last week, I attended a presentation by folks analyzing options for better public transportation in the Kansas City area.  (This isn’t just another Clay Chastain pipe dream; it’s a proposal set forth by Jackson County executive, Mike Sanders.)  Since they’ve found that the Federal government could pay up to 50% of the cost for a project like light rail, they feel compelled to formally weigh their options.

I figured I’d pass along information so you can learn about their work and, perhaps, get involved.  Here are sites regarding Jackson County Regional Rail:

Official web site to follow the process – www.kcsmartmoves.org/projects/jacksoncounty

You can also join the KCRRR: Kansas City Regional Rapid Rail group on Facebook.

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DJG Ate Eight

Danny J. Gibson is a dude you need to know about.

He used to design some really cool album artwork for (mostly) local bands and concert posters (for mostly local shows).  You couldn’t walk into Recycled Sounds five years ago and miss his work.  He created the look of much of the indie rock scene in Kansas City and Lawrence.  He work was so cool that I’d buy CDs he designed, even if I didn’t really care for the band.

Nowadays, I think he’s got something close to a real job and his output has slowed.  But he still shows art the end of every year at The Brick.

At any rate, there’s no better opportunity than this show to meet the man and to see what he’s up to now.  I’ll just copy and past from his e-mail:

DJG Ate Eight: An Art Show
All Month of December 2010 at The Brick
1727 McGee St. in Kansas City, MO  USA

Official Opening: Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 6pm.
Prints and original art will be for sale on opening night only.

Starting around 7pm will be music by Kansas City area talent:

Follow DJG on Twitter for art updates and more!

Thanks! -djg

DJGDESIGN.COM

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Episode #17: Monkey Gone to Heaven

I didn't have the foresight to take a picture of Recycled Sounds before it closed, so I found this picture on flickr by Brett Wilms.

Have you ever tried to understand a friend by meeting that friend’s relatives and friends?  I invariably remark, “Oh, that’s where so-and-so got that saying” or “That makes sense now that I met so-and-so’s brother.”

Yesterday was like that for me, as I attended Anne Winter’s funeral.  I first knew her through her work as owner of Recycled Sounds, then I saw her in action at the International Association of Assessing Officers, as my wife’s boss.  (I remember her coming home from the interview, excited that the lady who just interviewed her knew all about the magazines for which she had done freelance work.  That was for good reason; Anne sold Copper Press, Bandoppler and Paste in her store.)  I knew Anne was involved in the community, but I had no idea the many, many things she did until the past few days.

At any rate, Episode 17 is in memory of Anne.  All of the music is from albums I bought at her store.  As I think on her funeral, I realize how this show only represents a very small piece of who she was. I guess I shouldn’t apologize.  Anne would have loved to hear this show.

  1. The Boo Radleys – Upon Ninth and Fairchild (Giant Steps 1993)
  2. Trans Am – Let’s Take the Fresh Step Together/I Want It All (Red Line 2000)
  3. Jud Jud – side two of No Tolerance for Instruments 1988
  4. Ugly Duckling – Fresh Mode (Fresh Mode EP 1999)
  5. Pixies – Monkey Gone to Heaven (Doolittle 1989)

I should also mention that the background songs, “The Jaunt” and “Survival of the Freshest,” are taken from Poets of Rhythm’s 2001 album, Discern/Define (also purchased at Recycled Sounds).

Radio Free Raytown – Episode 17 (10/28/09)

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