The Freaks Came Out
It’s half-past 9 p.m., August 3, the night of the 2007 Pitch Music Showcase. In the cool, red confines of Karma, the night’s DJ stronghold, a rotating cast of four or five well-dressed women shake and bop on the dance floor alongside a lone, ponytailed older man.
You know this man.
As DJ duo Nomathmatics blast the PA with cold, funky, robotic techno beats, this man, clad in his familiar outfit of shorts, fanny pack and baseball cap, bounces and twirls unself-consciously among the ladies. He is Ricardo Mejia, lord of the dance, and he knows no fear.
That scene, which starred the Record Bar’s famous resident dancer, was just the beginning of a night of local music and mayhem. I was battling a bad case of the summer disco virus that’s been going around so, knowing I wouldn’t last long, I asked my nightclubbin’ associates, Justin Kendall (JK), Crystal Wiebe (CW) and Megan Metzger (MM), to write down what they saw and file their reports after their hangovers wore off.
Outside of Kelly’s, 9:45 p.m.: That ubiquitous bearded longhair is at it again. James Champ is out here on the sidewalk for every showcase, noodling on his electric guitar, even though he never wins. I admire his tenacity. (MM)
McCoy’s, 10 p.m.: In the Pines begins with a quiet dirge among a sea of Chatty Cathys. The band’s beautiful, haunting music loses all that haunting beauty when a bunch of people won’t shut the fuck up. But it’s a bar, and people are gonna talk, right? (MM)
Westport Beach Club, 10:07 p.m.: Technical
difficulties stop KC hip-hopper Approach from rocking the mic but can’t stop him from spitting so many rhymes that the vein in his temple looks ready to rupture. Thankfully, the sweat-soaked MC didn’t have an aneurysm while riffing micless under a cloudy sky. (JK)
The Hurricane, 10:15 p.m.: Brodie Rush does double time on skins and the mic for a downsized Be/Non. I spot a kid with a homemade shirt that reads “Non-Suckass Drummer Wanted.” It turns out that Derick Somner and his friend Saira Bottemuller are getting a band together, and they figure the showcase is the perfect place to find a drummer. “We knew there would be oodles of musicians tonight,” Bottemuller says. (MM)
The Beaumont, 10:33 p.m.: Suddenly, the weirdest people in the audience are onstage. Behold, the Popsicles. Some folks in cowboy hats — club regulars and would-be riders of the mechanical bull — enter through one door and immediately exit through the bar’s main entrance. (CW)
The Beaumont, 11:45 p.m.: The first pit of the night opens up as Flee the Seen starts into “I’ll Be Back On Sunday.” Kansas City Star music reporter Tim Finn runs for cover. (CW)
Blayney’s, 11:49 p.m.: Megan Birdsall‘s voice smolders like a freshly lit cigarette. Her sultry vocals move plenty of flower-print-shirt-wearing baby boomers to the dance floor, making it look like a Cialis commercial — we’re guessing the mood will be right after the performance. (JK)
The Beaumont, 12:20 a.m.: At the sinks in the ladies’ room, a mess of a woman gives herself a whore’s bath, spritzing her hair, armpits, ass and crotch with a travel-sized bottle of Salon Selectives hairspray. She gets my friend Brooke in the face and doesn’t bat an eye. (MM)
The Beach Club, 1:39 a.m.: During Bacon Shoe‘s usual, fucked-up set of hip-hop peppered with shout-outs to kitty cunts and sex with cheese, some young man storms the stage, drops trou and makes love to a stick pony. I get up closer to the stage and see that the pants-off dancer is wearing black see-through women’s panties. I also see a full-on display of his entire manhood. Here’s hoping he’s a grower and not a show-er. (MM)
Conclusion: What began with the refined, chaste figure of Ricardo Mejia engaged in courtly dances with the ladies ended with a young vulgarian in women’s panties storming the stage. And all that wasn’t even the half of it. Sounds like another thoroughly debauched — and, thus, successful — Pitch Music Showcase. (JH) The Freaks Came Out The 2007 Pitch Music Showcase rocked Westport like a shot of hairspray in the face.