Laughing Stock: Merr's Addiction


Written by Tamara Styer | photographed by Matt Loveland

WITH THE EVER-GROWING music and arts scene in Springfield, Missouri, another art form has been popping up right alongside the rock bands and indie artists. Deitra Mag sits down with Mark Archambeault of Laughing Stock to discuss why Springfield could become a central hub for stand up comedy.
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Gary Bedell: Bump in the Night



Written by Tamara Styer

GARY BEDELL IS A NAME you'll hear often on the streets of downtown Springfield, Missouri. He is a staple of the independent arts scene, often doing live art in the window of a gallery called Canvass during First Friday Art Walk. He supports other artists and musicians and performs as a DJ, Agent Traxxident. He is one of the most sought-after artists in the area, doing everything from art for band posters to publishing his own books and creating video games. Deitra Mag sits down with Bedell to discuss his art, influences, dreams and upcoming plans, and why Springfield is where he wants to be.

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Videovamp: You vs. Me vs. Them



Written by Tamara Styer

With his CD Release coming up this Saturday, July 16, at the Outland Ballroom, Clancy Leakey of Videovamp is unleashing a completely unique sound into the Springfield music scene. The machine-rock sound is awash in metal guitars and an electronic beat indebted to industrial band KMFDM, Smashing Pumpkins, the Pixies and an array of rock and electronic music.  We meet at Grad School, an eclectic establishment located downtown that serves up specialty sandwiches and other tasty morsels in the setting of a boxcar. Leakey with his burger, me with my falafel, we discuss the progression of music over the last five decades, sci-fi films, gas station food and the release of You vs. Me vs. Them.

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David Samples: The True Artist


written by Tamara Styer / photographed by Tyler Hutcherson

SITTING IN A SMALL living room with the members of his band, David Samples is hunched over an electronic pad creating his latest artistic vision. As he zooms deeply into the drawing, scribbling little lines and blobs around the deepest layer of interior design, I cannot see the end result he has in mind. Then he zooms back out and I can see the subtleties of detail hardly visible to my untrained eye, hidden deep inside the figure head of Samples' creation.
     Later we meet about his upcoming interview and photo shoot. As I pull out my journal, ready to jot some notes, I notice Samples has one out as well – a thick book full of writings and drawings, worn with use and creative energies. He explains that this journal embodies his main sense of worth in his band, Assembly Line Gods.
       
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Troy: Music is Universal



Written by Tamara Styer | Photographed by Kali Fisher
It’s the night of Troy’s label showcase. The Ugly Mug is packed with an all ages crowd of well over 300. And the band is sitting upstairs in a tiny little room that resembles something like an office, chatting with Deitra Mag about the show, the debut of their new video and their new album.

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The Seed: A Better Way


written by Melody Alexander

IT'S NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO listen to The Seed without a smile plastered on your face. Filled with chilled out vibes, catchy lyrics, and a style inspired by the likes of Jack Johnson, Ben Harper and Bob Marley, the band is undeniably addictive.
     “I’ve always listened to Paul Simon and I’ve always loved Ben Harper,” says The Seed front man Lance Sitton. “And then I heard Jack Johnson’s first album. I knew that’s what I wanted to play. It’s so chill, and it’s my personality. It just came natural.”

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Enduval: No Apologies


Written by Eric Moody

     From gripping melody to ripping screams and guitar riffs, Springfield, Missouri band ENduVal has a sound that competes with many rock bands rising up over the last decade. Lead vocalist Josh Krone sings with the smooth movement of early Incubus front man Brandon Boyd and the intensity of Slipknot's Corey Taylor. Krone's lyrics hit a poetic note of this generation's emotional state: "Fight the world all alone / I am strong on my own / Fuel the fire that burns inside / Fear the day that I fall / I will die for it all / Let the anger within / Fall like dust from your hands."

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The Archimedian Point: Moving The Earth


by Tamara Styer

     Sitting down with Jeremy Shelton from the Archimedian Point is like catching up with an old friend. Though we have never met before, conversation flows easily, jumping from topic to topic, and we discuss everything including music, philosophy, college, journalism, creativity, poetry, film, Darren Aronofsky, Stephen King books, the Rib Crib and the Dharma Initiative. Shelton even announced, beaming, that he was going to propose to his girlfriend that very evening. This is not an unusual encounter with the front man of Archimedian Point. This is who Shelton is: personable, friendly, intelligent, opinionated and passionate about everything he does.

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The M.E.O. Podcast: From podcast to Radio



Written by Tamara Styer | Photographed by Kali Fisher

This Friday night, June 17, at the Outland Ballroom in downtown Springfield, Missouri, supporters of the M.E.O. Podcast are coming together for an all ages benefit concert with local musicians, comedians, artists and entertainers.

Since January 1, 2011, hosts of the M.E.O. Podcast, Eric Fisher and Merr, have gone from starting the podcast in Fisher’s apartment, to getting their own radio show on 99.9 KBFL, as well as 1060 AM and Springfield Web TV. Every week they came out with a new podcast without fail. They’re doing it for free, and they’re doing it on their own. Their rapid growth is indicative of their ambition and drive for what they do.

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The Power of a Voice: Brick Fields


by Christi Styer

     Brick Fields are comparable to neo-singer Joss Stone and retro-soul Adele. Rooted deeply in blues, the band's music combines the smooth rhythms of R&B with the upbeat vibe of jazz. Their album, titled Gospel Blue, is striking less for the classic blues songs than for lead singer Rachel Brick's voice: a voluptuous alto powerful enough to short out the on-stage speakers. Her raw vocal skills are impressive, fluttering in soft, flute-like expression that soars up and burns with passion as she gains momentum.  

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Gaspump Talent: Ruler of the Elves



Ty Hutchens and Austin Thompson of GasPump Talent. Photo by Blake Sellers.
by Tamara Styer

      Austin Thompson and Ty Hutchens of GasPump Talent are the epitome of indie music. Inventing a truly original sound, their latest album, No Place in History, available on iTunes, is full of songs that get stuck in your head with guitar-strumming, foot-stomping beats, and deep, gravely voices. Their songwriting is refreshing, full of stories and meaningful lyrics.
     The first song on the album, ‘Ruler of the Elves,’ paints a vivid picture of a young outcast boy who finds his identity in music. (Was always talking to myself / When everyone around was talking with somebody else / I send myself a letter and address it to the elves of the world I ruled in… I found a guitar in a room / Beside a book of letters that told me what to do / A wooden box with strings that made me feel I was in tune / With the world it was magic.)
     The intro to ‘Revolution’ showcases Thompson’s surprisingly beautiful, smooth, expressive vocal abilities, then jumps into Gaspump’s signature outlaw country beat and Thompson and Hutchens’ playful, raspy harmonies and melody.
     In the small, dim-lit establishments of Springfield, Missouri, they always have a great support group of fans. They have an incredibly unique sound, one that’s difficult to put a finger on, but once you’ve felt the pulse, you’ll find yourself singing along to their easy, laid back feel, indebted to Johnny Cash and reminiscent of the rhythmic accompaniment of railroad songs. It is fascinating music, and impressive to watch these two guys singing and simultaneously playing guitars, booming drums and harmonica.
     Deitra Mag sits down with the duo to discuss their songwriting, influences, and - the thing that makes it all happen - the fans.

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Groovement: Put This On Your Ears


by Tamara Styer

     The first time I saw Groovement live at the Rogue on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas, they had a female lead vocalist, and were a surprising find of funky original tunes that got the crowd boogying out of their seats, as well as some unique renditions of unexpected covers, such as “Caroline,” by Outkast. Through the tunes that made me shake my groove thang, it was hard not to notice, these guys are having the time of their lives. A mix of guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and horns, all of the members enthusiastically sing background vocals with their new lead singer, Alex Carr.
     Deitra Mag had the privilege of sitting down with Carr, Bryan Burkhart, Adam Becker, Randy Soller, Jacob Johnson and Trey Burkett of Groovement at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, Arkansas where the band performed in a benefit to support the families affected by the tornado that hit Cincinatti, Arkansas on New Year’s Eve. Local bands and community members came together for great music and a huge spread of barbecue.

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Speakeasy: Working on a Machine


Written by Tamara Styer

Shawn Eckels and his band Speakeasy are as well known on the streets of Springfield, Missouri as Paul McCartney and the Beatles. Performing in their hometown and touring nationally, Speakeasy has been around for 13 years, becoming a staple in the local music scene.

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Berch: Melody is King



Written by Tamara Styer

On March 18, 2011, Springfield, Missouri band Berch announced that two of their members, Matt and Daniel Potter, bassist and guitarist, would be parting ways with the band. When breaking the bittersweet news Berch wrote, “We are very excited about the opportunities Matt and Dan have but we will miss having them around. There is no doubt that we will miss their musicianship, but more importantly we will miss what they brought to the band as people and as great friends.”

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Making It Happen: Assembly Line Gods






Written by Tamara Styer | Photographed by Kali Fisher

It takes more than great music to draw a crowd. It’s the entire environment you are offering to people that will draw them. People having a good time, drinking, listening to music, making friends… It all adds up to the memorable experiences that make lasting fans. And lots of them. Deitra Mag sits down with David Samples, Bronson Cox and Carson Underwood of Assembly Lines Gods, who are about to start their tour with Austin, Texas band Squint. Find out how to bump your crowd from five to 500 and beyond.

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