So, the fair trio of DJs returned from Omaha, and let it be known there was in fact quite a bit of corn to be had. Maha Music Festival topped off a solid summer of local music — with multiple shows at the Aquadome to tide people over until the semester started — and there was always something to do for those of us that stuck around Kirksville.
Right after everyone left for the summer, Terror Pigeon and HardJay played with Aquadome favorite Curt Oren May 26. Local regulars Two-Headed Cow, Busted String Band and Mucker Futhers played with the Madison, Wisconsin, band Wood Chickens July 7. The Wood Chickens featured Alex Wood when he came through town with his other project, the Minotaurs. Black Daniels and the Bears played a charity show in support of the Aquadome and the local music scene July 30, and it was a properly insane party.
The Aquadome hosted the annual Welcome Back Extravaganza Aug. 26, and it was quite the affair. The crowds fluctuated throughout the evening, but the headcount stuck to around 50 people listening to half a dozen groups play throughout the night under the freshly hung rope lighting that focused on the stage. Aquadome Vice President Dennis Baker was the brains behind the lighting operation, as well as a last minute addition to the handbill.
Secular Era was the next act, and their mix of metal and punk was the loudest set of the evening. Lead guitarist Mike Sullivan paired with his brother Matt’s rolling drum solos to force a mosh pit into existence in the small confines of the Aquadome.
Two-Headed Cow played a purely midwestern set in typical fashion — even with members of their band having graduated last May, they still have a fully developed alternative country sound.
Kirksville expatriots Comrade Catbox brought their psychedelic punk sound in as the next act, and having seen them for the first time, I can only hope they make a return visit to Kirksville in due time. Many members of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity were in attendance, as the members of Comrade Catbox were fraternity brothers to the Phi Sigs. Their audience of fraternity brothers seemed to be the most excited of the evening’s events, as they rightly should have been — Comrade Catbox put on a show that could be described as a harder, fuzzier Radiohead, with the speed and swagger of the Arctic Monkeys.
American Basswood was the penultimate act of the evening. The high school band is now half in and half out of college, as freshman Matt Sullivan and freshman Jon Self are starting their first year of college at Truman State University, leaving Matt McFarland and Scott Krause as the only ties to Kirksville High School. Basswood is hot off the release of its summer extended play, “Today I Laughed A Lot and I Feel Good.” I caught them at Fubar in St. Louis, where they played an energetic set to a crowd that was not totally tailored to their style of music. It was business as usual for the young players though, as they played an electrifying set that proves they only get better and better with age. Seeing as the entire quartet is within the 17-18 age range, it’s hard to say where they’ll land in the next few years — without a doubt they are destined for the big leagues. Dreaming Fire ended the evening with what was a loud rock act.
Kirksville’s music is just starting for the semester. Thursday night at the Aquadome will be a great chance to dip your feet in the waters of the local music scene, as Des Moines extraordinaire Ryan Stier is back as Extravision. He’ll be playing with Aquadome President Josh Brumfield, as well as Reagan Goes to Lunch, a native to Columbia, Missouri, and a newbie to Kirksville.
Friday will provide back-to-back nights of action at the Aquadome with a battle of the bands format — Kirksville staple Conman Economy will be playing with American Basswood, as well as the Skagbyrds of St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri’s The Many Colored Death. Get out of your house and go see these shows!
As always, voice your comments and concerns to me at email@example.com, and drag your day across the finish line by listening to “THE CHECKERED FLAG” on KTRM 88.7 the Edge, Monday through Thursday from 4-6 p.m.
This appeared in the Sept. 8 Index.