KC breaks bands

Haydon Wyant, Staff Writer

The music industry has been around for centuries. People look all over the world for the next big band and the next big break. In the past few years Kansas City has exploded onto that map. Every single day, radio stations such as KRBZ (96.5 The Buzz) take chances, risk losing listeners and play music by new artists. Not only does this make the dreams of artists come true by having their song played on the radio, it can also mean their shot at fame.

Possibly the most famous out of all of the bands Kansas City has broken in recent years, alt-J’ s most famous album to date, and what led to their breakout in 2012 was “An Awesome Wave.” Their lead single, Breezeblocks, was sent to The Buzz who played it on their weekly Friday mail segment. They instantly became a hit and their popularity grew throughout the KC Metro.
They also continued to grow in their home country, hitting number 13 on the UK’s top charts, but that does not mean they were not extremely grateful to the city that broke them to the world.
Despite being from the UK, alt-J has continued to come back to Kansas City, playing many different events and local venues such as the Midland and Starlight amphitheater.
After a few years of touring, they released their second album “This is All Yours,” which also found critical acclaim and allowed alt-J to continue their rise to fame. The latest addition to their discography was added just earlier this year in the form of a live album at Red Rocks amphitheater in Colorado.

The next band hits really close to home, considering every year we play football where they met. The four high schoolers that make up The Greeting Committee collided at Blue Valley High School in 2014. Their self-released EP, “It’s Not All That Bad”, made its way to Lazlo Geiger, radio personality for The Buzz’s “Church of Lazlo,” and he played their song Hands Down.
One of the most surreal things about this band is that they are still in high school, and are set to graduate in 2017.
This past month they have been touring throughout the United States with the band, Kitten.
The story of The Greeting Committee is the story not only of how a single play on the radio can change some high schoolers lives, but also why it is important to take chances on new music.
New York has it’s theatre, Chicago has it’s comedy, Los Angeles has their acting and Kansas City has it’s music.
“All the bands out of Kansas City are pretty down to Earth and very grateful for the opportunities given to them,” said Van Sickle.

Andrew McMahon has had many endeavors through the years, and has been really appreciative of the support the buzz has given his projects according to Mark Van Sickle, producer for 96.5.
Van Sickle said he loved McMahon’s music since he first started, which was about the same time that The Buzz started up in Kansas City, and he is proud to see the progress of his musical work.
“Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness,” is his most recent project, and their most popular song Cecilia and the Satellite reached number five on the US Alternative charts.
While Cecilia and the Satellite released in 2014, was his newest single to reach the top charts, Fire Escapes, plays on The Buzz to this day. McMahon is still having a lot of success even so many years later, through his passion for music, and gentle heart.
“[Even though} he would have been fine without the buzz,” Van Sickle said, “it’s cool he stays connected. He even sends a Christmas card to the station every year.”