I’ve been lucky enough to be accepted in to a family in Kansas City. Not your run-of-the-mill sit down at the dinner table for a nightly argument over food kind of family. I mean a family that will listen to each other bitch and moan, laugh and cry, spit and fight, raise hell and mend fences, if not several times a week, several times a month. I am talking about the Midwest Punk scene. I moved out here from Colorado back in September of 2011, having accepted the current corporate cube job in which I still reside. Is it fulfilling? Yes. Did I need something else to do? Absolutely. So after a rejected tryout with a local butt-rock band (blessing in disguise), I walked in to a garage about 30 minutes south of downtown Kansas City, stepped up to the mic, and was accepted as the lead singer of a punk band, something that I never thought I would be a part of.
Coming in I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. We played a couple of shows around this time last year and the more and more we played, the more I found myself becoming a part of something unbelievable. We HAVE SOMETHING HERE PEOPLE. The amount of talent that I was seeing and am seeing every night with every set, and every fucking song is only getting more and more obvious. I don’t need to say it but I will: The bands that I am lucky to play shows with is better than 90% of what I hear on normal airwaves and I believe that, if properly exposed, a lot more people would agree with me. The Rackatees, American Dischord, Documentary, 5 Star Disaster, Smash The State, Plug Uglies, The Uncouth, Four Arm Shiver, The Bad Ideas, Dead Ven, Dead Deer, The Shidiots, Hipshot Killer. I see these bands and I literally yell out, “WHAT THE FUCK!?! Why are these people playing to crowds of only 20 or 30 people a night? Most of which are the other bands playing?”. Well, I gave it some thought and came up with an answer: It was my fault. I had been staying in on Wednesday nights when I didn’t have to work. I had been sitting there on my couch, living vicariously through some dude on a T.V. show, when I could have been watching Kolin, Pattsy and Korey tearing up a set at The Newsroom, Schamle ripping off a bass solo, or Mike vocalizing his thoughts on the ignorance of a generation. This needs to change, I believe it can change, and it starts with us.
Now I understand that we all have jobs, families and other obligations to take care of and support, I get that, I understand, so do I. But I know there are times when we find ourselves on our couch, beer in hand, watching a machine, when we did that last night. What else can we do? We can tell our friends, we can tell our families and we have our friends tell their families! There is nothing more DIY than word of mouth. Point these people towards these band’s ReverbNation/Facebook/Soundcloud, whatever! Tell them to listen to Calvin on 90.1 KKFI, tell them to listen to Chris SLAM Radio on Sunday nights at 6! There is so much out there that isn’t being taken advantage of, so many different forms of Rock and Roll that we have some of the best of here on the Mid-Coast and any support that we can give to these people is deserved and you can do it from your phone, your computer, your couch and most importantly, by getting there and listening.
Day-radio music sucks. Modern Pop music sucks too, and it isn’t getting any better. This scene has the talent and the drive to change things. I know, I’ve seen it. Let’s make it happen and do more than just keep the scene alive.
Let’s make it thrive.