The Record Machine

The Record Machine brings a formidable lineup to Crossroads Music Fest next Saturday

This week, we’ll be highlighting some of the events and artists at the 10th annual Crossroads Music Fest on Saturday, September 6. Please visit for more information.
This is the first year that The Record Machine will be curating its own stage at CMF. The record label, based in Kansas City, was launched in 2003, has released more than 50 albums, and has powered breakout area [and national] acts such as Cowboy Indian Bear, Minden, Soft Reeds, and Making Movies. The Record Machine also curated and has helped organize Ink’s Middle of the Map Festival each year since its 2011 inception. 
Today, Nathan Reusch (who co-founded TRM with Mike Russo and Richard Robinett) owns the label and works with more than a dozen indie acts, many of whom are based in Kansas City. By booking them on widely attended showcases, helping them with touring, putting out records, among other invaluable services, The Record Machine has been a viable resource for the KC/Lawrence music community. We ask Reusch a few questions about what we can expect at the fest and in the future.
The Deli: Do you have any surprises in store for the CMF showcase?
Reusch: We will be unveiling some new branding for the label and we are excited about it. We will be launching a new website and video series from footage that we’re going to be making that weekend. We will likely have a pinata or two to smash in between bands.
The Deli: The showcase includes five artists on The Record Machine label. Why did you choose these acts?
Reusch: We are excited to have Max Justus, La Guerre, The Noise FM (pictured above), Chambers, and Ghastly Menace all on one show. They all have new records that either just came out or about to come out next year. So it’s really an accurate picture of where the label is at.
The Deli: What are some of the label’s greatest accomplishments?
Reusch: We are lucky to have released great records over the last few years from some of our favorites like Capybara, Cowboy Indian Bear, Soft Reeds, Spirit Is The Spirit, and a lot more. Between the work we do with The Record Machine and curating Ink's Middle of the Map Fest, I feel like the label has hit a really great stride.
The Deli: Why did you decide to curate a stage at CMF? What value does it have for the KC music community?
Reusch: We were super honored to be asked to curate our own stage by CMF founder Bill Sundahl. I think it’s a great fest that shows a broad swath of what is going on in KC. It’s nice for us who have bands from around the region to join in the fest. A lot of our bands call KC a second home with The Record Machine being here.
The Deli: What else does The Record Machine have coming up that you’re looking forward to?
Reusch: We have an EP coming out this fall from Stolen Nations. It’s KC native Jon Terrey (The Chariot, The James Dean Trio). It’s really cool and fun to have Jon back on the label; he was in The James Dean Trio back in 2003 when we first started the label and was part of our first release. We also have new records coming out from Ghastly Menace, La Guerre, and Max Justus that we hope to have release dates for soon.
We’re currently starting work on 2015’s Middle of the Map Fest, which is always an exciting and fun event to plan but takes a lot of time for everything to come together. We also always try to throw a pretty sweet free Christmas party/winter showcase and looking at doing that in early December.
Be sure to make The Record Machine’s showcase one of your CMF stops on Saturday night. It takes place at Czar, with Ghastly Menace (6:00), La Guerre (8:00), Chambers (10:00), The Noise FM (12:00), and Max Justus (1:00). Facebook event page.

--Michelle Bacon


Free Web Counter



Akkilles wins The Deli KC's 2013 Emerging Artist Award!

Congrats to Akkilles, our WINNER of The Deli KC’s 2013 Emerging Artist Poll!
Akkilles is the project of songwriter David Bennett, who began by writing folk-inspired demos with his acoustic guitar. He is the sole musician on his debut EP, Demo Treasure, which is available at Bandcamp. But this isn’t your regular sleepy coffeehouse acoustic hour—not by a long shot. Bennett takes risks with his music, many of which are fully realized in his debut full-length LP Something You’d Say (see our review here), released in mid-2013 through The Record Machine. Bennett enlisted an accomplished cast of musicians (Nick Pick, Rachel Pollock, Jeff Larison, Isaac Anderson, and Mike Crawford) to carry out his compositions, influenced by folk but swathed in a snug blanket of ambient, chill indie pop. It's music that anyone can listen to, whether it's a listener who becomes unconsciously bathed in its warmth or one who gets swept away by its depth and texture.
The result is that Akkilles has won over KC audiences with its easygoing summer pop sound, tinged with subtle hints of psychedelia. Bennett, who sometimes performs with the full five-piece band or sometimes a stripped-down version, has the ingenuity to transform songs that began as minimalistic bedroom tapes into dynamically dominant indie pop arrangements that seem to catch the attention of anyone in earshot.
Akkilles performs next at Czar Bar on Thursday, February 20, with Rae Fitzgerald and Cleemann. Don’t miss it!
--Michelle Bacon
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays bass in The Philistines and Dolls on Fire, and drums in Drew Black & Dirty Electric 

Free Hit Counter


Album review: Spirit Is The Spirit - Baktun Baby (EP)

(Photo by Todd Zimmer)
It is practically inarguable to say that Sunflowers by Yellow Walrus sounds like the lost album from Death Cab for Cutie. What is a Yellow Walrus and why am I talking about it?
Two lives ago Spirit is the Spirit was known as the Yellow Walrus (Seafarer one life ago), of whom I had only seen once at the Mainstreet Café. Singer Austen Malone was clad in plaid, standing in replica Woody shoes from Toy Story—yes, even with “Andy” writing on the bottom. Malone’s thick-rimmed glasses draped the bridge of his nose, and the dead-ringer voice of Benjamin Gibbard echoed from his diaphragm at that show.
“Alright, alright, get on with it,” you’re saying. I will.
Spirit is the Spirit—a cog in The Record Machine—added Baktun Baby to their growing discography at the end of March. Baktun marks the sophomore release from the band—the first being the five-track Mother Mountain. And in my ears, as I’m sure it will be in yours, Baktun carries a much different vibe than Mother Mountain.
Plucking in with psych-rock tuned guitars, Spirit kicks off the record with spacy, indie riffs. Crisp, clean drums come in, throwing in the flavor of the four-song EP. A different flavor, mind you, than the first album, which had a more folk rhythm to it. You will not find that familiar sound here. The airy and cosmic dream sequence of home-opener “Only After Dark” will surely ignite your interest.
Don’t be startled, but your dream just took a wildly different turn. “45 Days” comes in fast and bouncy. A twisty and turny and unstable in terms of tempo is everything that “45 Days” is. Composed of synth racket, almost guitar solos, and an eerie effect of Malone’s prominent voice hits you hard and keeps you utterly involved through the whole song.
“I Believe That We Will Win”—a jam anthem. Again, embodying that same synth racket. This third track keeps your interest for a different reason. Sound bytes from public speeches blurt in and out of the first two-and-a-half minutes of the song. Soon enough, ambient, quiet vocals chime in.
“I feel like that train is getting closer,” says one band mate to his band mates. He is answered with a “Shhhh,” before the acoustic strumming starts in, marking the beginning of track four: “Lonely.” The brilliance of the band’s ability to harmonize shines on this track. Bringing a multitude of male voices to the sad lyrics boosts the somberness of the song. A sad way to end the dream sequence of an album.
There is no doubt that Spirit is the Spirit has the talent and ability to create dynamic pieces of work. Intricate instrumentation and the ebb and flow of the tempo ease the songs to an elite class of indie-rock. As I listen to Baktun Baby on repeat, I pick up something new in each song along the way.
Editor's note: Baktun Baby was recorded and produced by Danny Bowersox at Spirit House Recordings in Lawrence and mastered by Joel Nanos at Element Recording. It was released in March with The Record Machine.


Your last chance to see Spirit Is The Spirit is this Saturday, July 27 at Czar. The group is part of The Record Machine Summer Showcase with special guests Palace and Volcano. Facebook event page
--Steven Ervay 

Steven Ervay is super rad. 

Hit Counter


Latest News from The Record Machine

Two bands from Kansas City record label The Record Machine have released a couple impressive singles.

Making Movies has released its newest single, "Hangover Blues," off the 7"/digital EP Aguardiente. The Afro-Cuban/rock group, one of the most successful bands in Kansas City, has been on tour for the EP since the end of May. They come back through KC on June 25 at Jerry's Bait Shop in Lee's Summit and end the tour in Chicago on June 29. Stream the new single below.

La Guerre will soon be releasing a 3-song single, which includes the song "23" off the 12" collaborative effort between The Record Machine and Golden Sound Records, Secret Handshakes. La Guerre is the solo effort of singer-songwriter Katlyn Conroy, also of Cowboy Indian Bear. Conroy kicked off her Southern Projections tour last week, heading through Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.