Sunday (12/6) Bryan McPherson will be in Kansas City and he’s super rad. His fiery acoustic tunes have taken him around the world, including long runs with The Dropkick Murphys. His new album, Wedgewood, was inspired in party by Occupy and got him banned from Disney. He’s just the right kind of nice guy rabble–rouser. The show will be at Records With Merritt, which is an amazing record store and one of the best places to see all-ages music in Kansas City. I’ll be playing, along with other locals Dead Ven (2 piece version) and Slow Motion Commotion. More info about all the bands are below.
Bryan McPherson is originally from Boston but we met years ago on the West Coast. His humble, passionate honest songwriting is contagious and I’m excited he’s coming back to Kansas City.
Traveling troubadour Nate Allen is better known as one-half of the uplifting, neon-hued folk punk duo Destroy Nate Allen. Backed by his sometimes-band The Pac-Away Dots, Take out the Trash is his first solo effort since 2006. Its ten stripped-down tracks marry his authenticity-over-polish musical sensibility with introspective, socially aware lyrics that pack an emotional wallop without sacrificing his trademark sense of fun. Tracks like “Hunger Pains” and “We Don’t Even Know” challenge listeners to reevaluate their privilege and preconceptions while boasting gang vocals and chord progressions reminiscent of the “kids songs for adults” vibe made famous by Destroy Nate Allen. With plenty of raucous barnburners (“More Money”), quiet and evocative soul-searching (“Photograph”), and even some uncharacteristic darkness (“Goodbye Letter”), Take out the Trash is an eclectic and cathartic must-have. – Kelley O’ Death / Razorcake
Nate’s thoughts on Take Out The Trash:
I had planned to take 2013 off from touring. I was burnt-out, unemployed, and living in my parents’ spare bedroom. I had finished yet another tour with just enough gas money to get home.
Something needed to change. I needed to slow down and apologize for the nonstop pace I had dragged my wife/bandmate, Tessa, through. Staying constantly busy (including going back to college, recording MANY albums and playing over 800 shows since 2007) had earned me press quotes like this: “The stats on local folk-punk duo Destroy Nate Allen are daunting and damn near exhausting even to contemplate” – Willamette Week.
Tessa told me to start a solo project so she could have a break. I listened to her, and in short time wrote an entire album in stark contrast to our bubbly Destroy Nate Allen persona. “Open To Everything” begins the collection of songs with the lines “hating myself for what I have done…” Like much of the album, it’s a song that balances optimism and frailty. “I want to be open to everything, but I don’t want to be broken.” Apparently I have limits.
During this writing season we attended a small, multiracial community group where stories of people’s pain and privilege hit me in new ways. As my friends told me their stories, these songs were my response. I grew up as a 3rd generation timber worker in a very white, working class, West Coast small town. In much the same way that living in San Francisco and reading Shane Claiborne’s The Irresistible Revolution had opened my eyes to homelessness and poverty, I was now becoming aware of how cultural biases and skin color affect people’s experiences in ways I would never have imagined on my own.
On “Social Equality” I contrast my experiences with those of my friends as we share the same streets. “Blinded by innocence, not fearing anyone, walking with great confidence. Chosen by providence, raised with such ignorance, vindication I do seek.” The upbeat “We Don’t Even Know” contains realizations such as “if climbing the ladder defines success, I know I have stepped on someone.” These songs sit next to reflective and mournful tracks about life, death and friendship like Death Is Overrated and Goodbye Letter.
Underneath the bummer is a ribbon of silliness. “More Money” is a goofy blues number mixing real life need with frivolous desire. “Wanted to buy a satellite TV, wanted to buy a VCR, wanted to buy an ice cream sandwich, but no money doesn’t go far!” Throughout the album, when the lyrics take you down, the music is quick to bring you back up again.
As I focused intensely on looking for work, Portland doors kept shutting but Kansas City seemed to open up. There was work to be found, a cheap place to live and an unknown land. We took the jump. Before moving, I dived into recording with a full band, wanting to document what the songs had become. This was a Portland record, and I had no idea how relevant it would be to my new home, or to the rest of the country for that matter.
Other Points of Note:
Take Out The Trash was funded via Kickstarter pre-orders.
This is Nate’s first non-Destroy Nate Allen since 2006.
The Pac-Away Dots are Nate’s backing band when he has one.
Nate will be touring the album starting in October around the US.
Initial Release Information:
Vinyl: 300 (100 Black / 100 Clear / 100 Multicolor)
Ronald LeRoy McKinnis died August 8, 2014 in Springfield, Oregon at the age of 67. He was born February 19, 1947 in Eugene to L. B. and Charlotte (Rardin) McKinnis. He went to Oakridge High School and Eugene Bible College. He married Jane on September 15, 1973 in Rogue River, Oregon and was married for 41 years. They had a son Rick and a daughter Robin. Ronald was in the army and worked as an auto mechanic, a police officer and hobby machinist. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and was a slot car enthusiast. Ronald is survived by his wife Jane, son, Rick McKinnis and daughter Robin(McKinnis) Brey and a sister Shirley Sehorn of Eugene, three grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren A Memorial Service will be on Friday, August 15, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at Lane Memorial Gardens. Arrangements entrusted to Lane Memorial Funeral Home.
I moved to Kansas City, Missouri from Portland, Oregon with some hesitancy. I’d never lived in the Midwest before, we didn’t know many people and our shows here over the years had rarely been amazing. But a chance to have our own apartment and enjoy a change of pace helped motivate us to pack our vans and head east. After about 10 months Kansas City has grown on me in surprising ways.
Here is my list of 5 Things I Love About Kansas City.
1. This is sports town. I get to go to Kansas City Royals games for a reasonable price. I can’t think of a better way to relax after a long day than watching a baseball game. I hope I can make opening day 2014.
2. The art scene is very vibrant here, more than I ever imagined. There is a lot of fine art (world class ceramics, free museums – the Nelson Atkins Museum) and the music scene is small enough that is easy to get to know people.
3. Our friends in Bent Left said this is a town you can make things happen in and I agree. If you want to build something in Kansas City you totally can.
6. It’s centrally located for easy weekend tours and travel like this one:
I am doing a full band tour as Nate Allen & The Pac-Away Dots. The set will consist of mostly non-Destroy Nate Allen songs. I’ve never done this before. It’s exciting and scary. The songs I’ll be playing can be described in part as bluesy, folk-punk with a heavy dose of honesty, introspection, and accessibility. They have more of a straight ahead rock n’ roll feel than anything I’ve played in a long time.
I’m a husband, communicator, teacher, consultant, musician and extrovert who just moved to Kansas City from Portland, Oregon. This is my new website. When it’s done it will look very different. Check back often for updates. If you want to collaborate on a project or have me play a solo or duo show (as destroy nate allen) drop me an email. Until then here is a song I played a few times in Portland.