Four Local Songs for The Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is here. Whether you celebrate today by watching Independence Day, grilling, blowing up everything in sight, or some combination of all those three, there’s always the question of what to listen to. Have no fear! I have four songs to bump between rocket reports that not only will make the party stay cool but also support some fantastic artists around the city. From hip hop to prog rock, Kansas City has one of the most diverse music scenes (and one with a ton of death). When making this list, the hard part wasn’t finding four must play songs for America’s birthday, but narrowing it down. But without further adieu, the list.

First is BLK FLANL‘s “Frequent Flyer” off the hip hop duo’s latest effort Blkflanl II: For the Imperfect, For the Diligent. The song not only incorporates a hook-tastic beat from Conductor Williams (one made from vinyl purchased at Mills Record Company) but also Barrel Maker flowing hard–switching styles to make a song as danceable as it is soulful. The near perfect construction of “Frequent Flyer” combined with all the American cities listed makes the song a perfect barbeque banger.

What would America be without rock n roll? Less, that’s what. The Philistines revive classic rock tones throughout their debut album, The Backbone of The Night. The Kansas City six piece burns through style after style for an album that is eclectic and cohesive throughout. That said, “1971″ contains all the rock needed for an evening of setting fire, lighting a fuse, exploding in the sky. The two and a half minute anthem has it all–riffs that don’t quit, drums that punish, and vocal melodies that are as catchy as they are rockin’.

Going back to the golden age of soul, Numero Group issued Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label. Taking cuts from the label that gave James Brown Marva Whitney and established Kansas City as a musical hub, Numero reminds us that there’s a deep musical current in our city. One stand out track is “Lookin Good” by Lee Harris. The five minute jam boasts wild horns, drum breaks, bass walks, and Harris urging everyone to be happy with who they are. Put this bumper on and try to sit still. It won’t work.

Jazz is America’s genre. And Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7‘s is porch jazz at its finest. With Hazelton’s heated Hammond up front in the mix, “Alright Now!” bubbles with the electricity that only boogie jazz can summon. The song burns through its parts meshing the complex rhythms and harmonies with more accessible jazz tones. “Alright Now!” is basically the soundtrack for kicking back on a porch and watching the sky ignite.

Bump these locally made songs hard tonight during whatever Independence Day festivities you find yourself in. But remember to be safe–it takes all your fingers to flip a record.

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