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Michael Atchison

Art Appreciation: Bryan Ferry and Adrian Belew descend on Kansas City (and Farewell, Chuck Berry)


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When it comes to music, Kansas City’s reputation is pretty meat and potatoes. We like our blues and country to be traditional. We like our rock and roll to be hard and direct. We’ve always been more prose than poetry.… [Read More]


On The Way: Shovels & Rope and The English Beat


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For the music fan, there is no greater sin than prejudice. I know because I have sinned, over and over again. I have judged music without hearing it, based on image or genre or any number of things that bear… [Read More]


Monsters of Folk: John Prine, Amanda Shires and Conor Oberst come to Kansas City


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I recently met a young woman who had an unconventional tattoo on her shoulder. It was an orb with a dimpled surface and a large, amorphous dark spot in the middle. I asked about her ink. “It’s a bruised orange,”… [Read More]


The African-American Musicians Who Made the Modern World


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Recently, “The Undefeated,” ESPN’s online platform devoted to the African-American experience, posted this terrific piece on 44 black Americans who shook up the world. It’s a dazzling list of writers and athletes, politicians and performers, activists and scientists. While lists… [Read More]


Valerie June and Dropkick Murphys: The Untraditionals


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At first glance, Valerie June and Dropkick Murphys — who each play shows in Kansas City in the coming week — bear little in common despite a devotion to music. June, an African-American woman from the South, possesses a reedy,… [Read More]


The Several Styles of Sting


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Between 1978 and 1983, through five albums with The Police, Sting established himself as one of the titans of rock songwriting. The trio of “Roxanne,” “Message in a Bottle” and “Every Breath You Take” alone cemented his status, but he… [Read More]


On the Way: Galactic and Ladysmith Black Mambazo


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For a group that often gets classified as a jam band, Galactic has a way of getting to the point. They do not meander. They do not noodle. They do not wander out into the musical soup and wait for… [Read More]


In Case You Missed It: January’s New Music


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The music has come in waves in the new year. In the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard much of it on The Bridge — Spoon, Laura Marling, Temples and Middle Kids to name but a few. Still, there’s plenty… [Read More]


American Bliss: The Lumineers and company go back-to-basics and rule the week in KC


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If The Bridge had its own mini-Woodstock, the lineup might look a little like this. The station’s listeners don’t have a favorite artist, of course, except when they do. And in 2016, that distinction belonged to The Lumineers, who placed… [Read More]


Musical Resolutions for 2017


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Happy New Year! Along with that new gym membership and your pledge to spend more time with family, it’s time to make some musical resolutions for 2017 that will be easy to keep. You were going to enjoy music anyway.… [Read More]