Hidden Pictures, The Kickback, Fullbloods
1531 Grand Blvd.
Kansas City, MO, 64108
Skypiper has spent the past 5 years forming their own sound and now this 5-piece party has their ducks in a row. Somehow Skypiper has managed to squeeze in all of their musical interests and influences into their songs, and even though they have steadily become a louder presence, Skypiper has been able to stay as dynamic as ever. (or so they think, anyway). Twin brothers, Graham and Gabriel Burkum head the stage with their 60’s guitars and a giant orchestral upright bass, while Kyle Christensen pours a cocktail of swirly twirly left-handed guitar potions, Conner Giles plays every instrument known to man (at the same time) and Ryan Menchaca plays… the… drums. Over the past two months they’ve written and recorded a new EP that is set to drop in spring 2013.
Released July 2012 on newly minted Kansas City label Golden Sound Records, Hidden Pictures' third LP Rainbow Records is a festival of open-window jams and summery anthems that finds the band hitting a high-spirited, fresh, and powerpop-inflected stride.
The distinctive chemistry of Richard Gintowt and Michelle Sanders is still the heart of Hidden Pictures' songcraft, but Rainbow Records benefits from the added rhythmic firepower of drummer Cameron Hawk (better known as the reckless frontman of The Dead Girls) and bassist Erik Voeks (also a first-order songwriter in his own right). The whole mess was mixed to a sonically perfect wonderstew by Ed Rose, man-at-knobs for celebrated popsters like the Get Up Kids and Ultimate Fakebook.
While all of Richard's shrugging romanticism is still intact, Rainbow Records touches on a new theme: the bittersweet decline of the music industry. "Calling Christine" salutes an aging partygirl who gets drunk and dances to '80s music to the chagrin of lookers-on. "Solo Record Shop" is an elegy to once-great songwriters who have lost their touch. "Oldies 104.3" lambastes the oldies format for becoming watered down with bloated '70s megahits. "Rainbow Records" contemplates the death of the CD while paying homage to the suburban Chicago record store Richard frequented as a teenager.
Most importantly, Rainbow Records is a heartening, sophisticated, and riotously fun record from a band that has consistently demonstrated a knack for perfect pop portraiture.
Familiarizing oneself to The Kickback may seem like an exercise in confronting consistent sets of seemingly opposing ideas: A band that prides itself on its love of Muppet Christmas specials and youthful naiveté but has no problem admitting to a paralyzing fear of death and decline. The group seems to strive for brutal honesty, all-the-while realizing they’re a pop band playing pop music. Even the membership of the group itself may seem odd: one-half brothers from South Dakota, one-half Chicago transplants from Washington D.C. and Mexico.
Comprised of brothers Billy (vocals, guitar) and Danny (drums) Yost, Eamonn Donnelly (bass) and Jonny Ifergan (guitar), Chicago’s The Kickback is a result of the brothers’ emigration to The Windy City from rural South Dakota in late 2009 and the subsequent Craigslist pleas seeking out band members. The group’s music (with songs exploring journalists banding together in the early 1980s to battle the decline of print journalism through sheer ultra-violence to the emasculation of trying to protect the woman you love in a city you don’t understand in a body you know is eventually going in the ground) have earned the group wide praise from Rolling Stone, Sound Opinions contributor Jim Derogatis, You Ain’t No Picasso, the Chicago Tribune, and many more.
After a steady two years of touring and supporting acts like White Rabbits, Smith Westerns, Here We Go Magic, Tapes ‘n Tapes, and Telekinesis (all-the-while earning a reputation as a stellar and explosive live act), the band has released Kill Fee, an EP of live takes and studio recordings in the Fall of 2012. The group is currently working on their debut LP at Public Hi-Fi Studios with Jim Eno. Tentatively titled Sorry All Over The Place after a footnote in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, the group hopes to release the album sometime in early 2014.
To document their travels, the band began recording their podcast, DISASTOUR, in December of 2010. They are nearing their 80th episode. The show attempts to address the far-from-glamorized lives of a band on the road and the arrested development indicative of the lives they have chosen.
Original song rockers from Kansas City.
Fullbloods is a rock and roll band – in the traditional sense – pulling inspiration from all corners and time periods of the genre. The band consists of four trained audio engineers who pay respect to conventional rock and roll and aren’t afraid to beg borrow or steal, consulting a smattering of western and surf music along the way.
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