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Michael Atchison

In Case You Missed It: Spring 2017 Edition


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Above image: The Districts, who are set to release their third album later this year. | Photo: Pitch Perfect PR It’s time for our periodic survey of new music that you might have missed. Today, we start with a quartet… [Read More]


The Texas Invasion: Doyle Bramhall II and Hayes Carll Bring Lone Star Style to Kansas City


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Above image: Doyle Bramhall II (left), photo by Danny Clinch | Hayes Carll, photo by Jacob Blickenstaff Texas contains multitudes. More than a quarter-million square miles of hills and plains and long, lonely highways, the Lone Star State is a… [Read More]


The Bends or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Radiohead


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I bought “OK Computer.” Everyone bought “OK Computer.” It was the album that no one saw coming, the one that re-engineered everyone’s thinking. The one that moved past the brutal limitations of grunge and ushered in the post-rock world, even… [Read More]


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]