Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spooky Sunday Scenester Selections / Special Guest Columnist Best-Kept-Secretary Reviews The Slasher Kings In KC

Readers, you might be tempted to take a break from your five nights of Halloween debauchery today and rest up for tomorrow's big night, but don't be a pussy. There are several activities worthy of your attention today.

First up, the Lawrence Art Walk. This is Chip's pick for the scariest Halloween event of the weekend.

Chip: "What could be more frightening than actually going into an artist's home and hearing them talk about their work in a one-on-one setting? People shell out big bucks for those KC spookhouses and none of them provide half the fright of sitting in a local artist's studio and listening to them tell you about their pottery."

And tonight brings Hammerlord's Misfit tribute, Fiend Club, to the Replay.

And the Granada offers at least the third local screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show within the last few weeks. We wandered by the line outside Liberty Hall last weekend and saw surprisingly few fishnetted dudes, so make sure to dress the part. We haven't seen Rocky Horror with an audience in too many years, but our personal favorite participatory moment has always been the first appearance of the narrator, when everyone shouts, "The man you are about to see has no fucking neck. WHERE is your fucking neck?" It makes us laugh every single time.


While we were all getting drunk in Larryville this weekend, our guest correspondent, Best Kept Secretary, was in KC at Union Station listening to The Slasher Kings play 70's-style rock while dressed as famous slasher movie villains! Luckily, the show runs through Nov. 6, so you've still got time to seek it out. Here's her review:

I'm not a slasher-movie fan--horror movies in general aren't my thing--but I do my best to support local musician friends. When a a guy I know mentioned he was in this show, I swung by their website and checked out one of their videos. Hooked . The music style leans more toward hard 70s rock with some fantastic harmonica riffs thrown in, and some super cheesy lyrics. Everyone’s in on the joke here, and the band offers up their homage to slasher films with tongues firmly in cheek. Might be someone else’s tongue, but hey.

You don't need to know the movies or the characters to enjoy the show, although it's a rare person who won't get the references to at least one or two of the personalities portrayed (Mike Myers, Jason Voorhees, Hannibal Lecter, and Buffalo Bill). The show starts with a short film. It’s a nice set-up for the live performance, with a closing shot that perfectly references the rock-star-walking-down-the-arena-hallway that appears in all rock documentary movies.

I know we’re not supposed to admit to really liking anything here, but the musical performance part of the show is basically 100% awesome. I'm not a fan of stage patter (just play the fucking music, guys), but the men playing Lecter and Bill were in character and entertaining--even when they needed to fill some unexpected dead air to resolve a couple technical difficulties.

I went to the show mostly to support Curtis Smith, on bass as Mike Myers. Smith’s part is by far the most disturbing of the four, and the fact that the bass guitar is the most subtle instrument in this band highlights the creep factor. He (nearly literally) sneaks up on you. I don't want to ruin too much of the experience, so I'll just say that Smith is the only character who doesn't remove his mask the entire show and that does a lot to encourage the sense of discomfort between him and the audience.

Matt Rapport, who plays Buffalo Bill, is an incredibly good performer. His characterization was excellent, his harmonica skills are ace, and damn if he doesn't give a wrenchingly emotive performance in the one part of the show that borders on seriousness (as well as earns it a mild R rating, btw).

Jason (on drums and, for one song, on tenor sax) is played by John Lenati. Blocked by a drum set and a hockey mask for 90% of the show, Lenati doesn't have the opportunity to exude the level of menace as the other guys, but he's a fine drummer, and shines on the song where he plays the saxophone. That song was the highlight of the show for me--a surprisingly heartbreaking piece performed sans drums or harmonica while Rapport gave a discomforting and silent performance downstage.

On guitar and main vocals, performing as Hannibal Lecter, is Ron Simonian. He also co-wrote and produced the show and wrote all the songs for the live part of show. This guy. Wow, this guy. He's got a good voice with a lot of character, and can sing several different styles (the songs are mostly hard rock, with some country, ballad, and punk influences thrown in the mix). He's not a stranger to the music scene in KC, and I'll be checking out more of the events/acts with which he's involved. Super talented (and really nice) guy.

My one quibble has nothing to do with the show, but rather with the venue. They didn’t have the downstairs bar open as they have for other events I’ve attended at City Theater. Bring a flask.

More show details, as well as a code for $5 off phone ticket orders can be found on the KC Horror Club website.
KC Star article highlighting frontman Ron Simonian here.
And of course, they're on Facebook.

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