Cultural Shorts

Discussions about the artistic impulse and creative drive, these interviews and features bring a local focus on the global art community of artists, authors and musicians.

Michael Schwartz

Paula Poundstone has been active as a standup comedian for nearly 40 years. She is a panelist on the top-rated NPR show Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me! and host of the podcast Nobody Listens To Paula Poundstone. She is an author, most recently of The Totally Unscientific Study Of The Search For Human Happiness, and will perform at Wichita's Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 13.

When you're thinking about shows, where do you start with material?

Courtesy photo

Poor Until Payday is the brand new recording from Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band. The trio, which consists of the Reverend J. Peyton on guitar and lead vocals, his wife, Breezy, on the washboard, and drummer Max Senteney, has earned acclaim for its roots-oriented style, which married tradition with innovation.

The album spotlights the trio's ferocity and the Reverend's desire to write an album to lift the spirits. Reverend Peyton's Big Damn performs at Knuckleheads in Kansas City on Friday evening and at Blues, Brews & BBQ in Newton on Saturday.

Courtesy photo

Todd Rundgren's current tour, An Unpredictable Evening With Todd Rundgren, arrives at The Cotillion on Friday, Sept. 28. The current run of gigs happens before Rundgren, who has produced albums by everyone from Grand Funk Railroad and Psychedelic Furs while maintaining a prolific solo output, travels to Iceland for two dates in tribute to David Bowie featuring the late musician's former collaborator Adrian Belew as well as Fishbone's Angelo Moore. (The group will have a Los Angeles preview on Oct. 3.)

So, what does An Unpredictable Evening With Todd Rundgren mean?

Courtesy photo

Judy Collins and Stephens Stills briefly dated in the late 1960s, though their relationship has endured through song. Stills' "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" has become a staple of classic rock radio and one of his quintessential compositions. Though the two had bumped into each other occasionally, they'd never found time to do sustained work until 2017.

Henry Diltz

Gillian Welch remains a singular voice in American music. Her songs are never rushed, developing at a pace that is haunting; her albums arrive at a similarly sparse pace, each one commanding the listener's attention as they absorb her finely crafted lyrics and otherworldly tunes.

Pamela Littky

Rainier Fog, the latest album from Alice In Chains (and the band's third with vocalist/guitarist William DuVall), marks the first time the group has recorded in Seattle in more than 20 years. The quartet convened at Studio X (formerly Bad Animals) in the warmest months of 2017. It marked the first extended amount of time that DuVall, who came out of the Atlanta music scene, had spent in the city and the first time his bandmates—Sean Kinney, Jerry Cantrell, and Mike Inez—had recorded there since the band's acclaimed 1995 self-titled album.

Courtesy photo

Truth Has Legs is the brand-new recording from Wichita singer-songwriter Jenny Wood. The collection of songs was inspired by a variety of personal struggles and observations about the world surrounding her over the last few years. Joining Wood on this recording are drummer Will Erickson (Spirit of the Stairs, Team Tremolo), Caleb Drummond (Haymakers) and Thayne Coleman (The Travel Guide).

Wood celebrates the release of her new record, Friday, Sept. 7, at the Crown Uptown.

Courtesy photo

Echo is the brand-new release from Wichita-based band Vehicles. The group’s songwriter and co-founder, Cody Cloud, says that this album, like its predecessor, 2014’s This Bluebird Wants Me Dead, has thematic connections in its lyrics that listeners might not first expect.

Courtesy photo

On My Way is the first album in eight years from Split Lip Rayfield. The long-awaited recording was a welcome arrival for fans, but it also offered surprises for the Lawrence-based trio. The LP debuted at Number 8 on Billboard’s bluegrass chart. The band’s Wayne Gottstine says he expected the effort to do well but maybe after he and his bandmates had done some roadwork to support it.

Chloe Horseman

The members of Judah & the Lion met a little over five years ago while studying at Belmont University in Nashville. Though they wanted to play music together, the band’s banjo player, Nate Zuercher, says that finding a style that would represent the musical tastes of all four members was an early challenge.

“I was a punk rock metalhead kid from Colorado that also liked bluegrass,” he says.

Pages