Best of KC 2020: The astonishing prolificity of quarantined musicians puts the rest of us to shame
This month, we published The Pitch’s annual Best of Kansas City issue. You can browse the results of the readers’ poll here. The issue also included a list, compiled and written by our editorial staff, of some of our current favorite things about Kansas City in 2020. We’ll be publishing these items online throughout November.
Thanks to Bandcamp Fridays, wherein the music hosting and streaming site waives all their fees the first Friday of each month, musical artists were presented with a real incentive to regularly release music over the course of the last year. While it seemed like every month brought a robust collection of local artists’ new tunes, there were a few who really seemed to embrace the possibilities of monthly hordes looking to support musicians.
Lawrence’s Til Willis dropped new music every month, be it on his own, as part of Erratic Cowboy full-band project, or as Solohawk, the acoustic duo he has with Steve Faceman. Willis wasn’t content to stick to singles, either, releasing a live album each with Solohawk and Erratic Cowboy, as well—Live at the Wright Opera House and Live at KVPH, respectively—no mean feat. Then came Brandon Phillips and the Condition’s summer singles series, where the power-pop group dropped a new cut every single month on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and even a music video for the soulful “Sunrise.” The welcome regularity of what we knew would be a jam, even if we didn’t know the tempo or the topic, made BP+TC’s socials a must-watch for months.
And, finally, while Jason Beers is prolific even outside of a pandemic, at the time of this writing, the genre-hopping musician had already dropped 12 albums on Bandcamp this year, ranging from fuzzed-out ‘60s biker movie worship to a Halloween album to several “lost” recordings from the fictional Quilt Records. It’s an embarrassment of riches.