Heartfelt, honest and influential as hell, the Get Up Kids are best known for the well-loved landmark 1999 album i>Something to Write Home About. The five-piece group — Matt Pryor, Jim Suptic, James Dewees, Ryan Pope and Rob Pope — crafted spunky indie-pop anthems from 1995 until bowing out in 2005 in front of a jam-packed crowd at the Uptown Theater in their hometown of Kansas City.
After four years of pursuing other projects — including the New Amsterdams, Spoon and Reggie and the Full Effect — the Kids are playing reunion tour dates around the world to mark the tenth-anniversary reissue of Something (now including a live DVD).
The Pitch, the Houston Press's sister paper in Kansas City, recently chatted with lead singer Matt Pryor as he chilled on his front porch in Lawrence, Kansas.
Get Up Kids
With Kevin Devine and Mansions, 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 17, at House of Blues, 1204 Caroline, 888-402-5837 or www.hob.com/Houston.
Chatter: So now that you've been out on the road a bit, do your shows feel different than they did when you toured before?
Matt Pryor: Everybody's just a lot more level-headed. Sometimes when you're out on the road, a good show can be the best thing in the world, but a bad show the next day can be like the end of the world. And, after 14 years of touring experience, you realize that a bad show is just a bad show, and you just move on to the next one.
C: Looking back, what do you think your biggest nonmusical influence has been?
MP: Collectively as a band, it's been the crazy adventures that we've had on the road. The silly things we've done and the weird places we've seen and the strange people we've met.
C: What are some of those crazy stories?
Oh, like the time we played a house show in Iowa, where the mom of the kid who was putting on the show had a tube in her stomach. She was mainlining peppermint schnapps directly into her stomach. That was kind of fucked up. She was a lifer.
C: Out of curiosity, what interview questions are you most tired of answering?
MP: I don't know! The only ones I ever have any trouble with are describing the sound of the band or "How do you see yourself as an influence?" People cite us as an influence, and they want to know how that makes me feel. I don't really care. It's nice to be liked, but it doesn't really make or break anything.
C: Do you find your influences changing as your life is changing?
MP: Yeah, I mean — I'm really happy in my life right now, and no one wants to hear a rock song about "I love my wife, I love my kids and everything's great."
C: Do you think that rock is centered on a certain type of angst?
MP: To a certain degree — it doesn't have to be. But it's certainly not about being happy all the time.
More than a dozen local blues artists, including the James Reese Band, John McVey & the Stumble, Texas Johnny Brown, Sonny Boy Terry and Snit's Dog and Pony Show, will gather at Shakespeare's Pub (14129 Memorial Dr.) Sunday for the annual Blues for Food Festival. All proceeds benefit the Houston Food Bank. Bring as many nonperishable food items as you can carry and plenty of cash, either to donate outright — everyone who donates gets a free barbecue plate — or enter the raffle or bid in the silent auction. In its 20-year history, Blues for Food (which led to the establishment of the Houston Blues Society) has raised almost $100,000 and donated more than 150,000 pounds of food. Music starts at noon; see www.myspace.com/houstonbluesforfood for more information.
Vinal Edge Records
13171 Veterans Memorial Dr., 281-537-2575
1. Nurse With Wound, Flawed Existence (box set)
2. Nurse With Wound, Chance Meeting (box set)
3. Municipal Waste, Massive Aggressive (picture disc)
4. Pelican, Ephemeral
5. Pelican, What We All Came to Need
6. Slayer, World Painted Blood
7. Sunn O))), Monoliths & Dimensions
8. Sparklehorse & Fennesz, In the Fishtank
9. Flaming Lips, Embryonic
10. Do Make Say Think, Other Truths
The Gulf Coast Rocker
KACC, 89.7 FM, www.kacc.com
Selections from the station's November 5 log, 3-4 p.m.
1. Fleetwood Mac, "Dreams"
2. REO Speedwagon & Styx, "Can't Stop Rockin'"
3. Jefferson Airplane, "White Rabbit"
4. The Octanes, "Brandin' Iron Blues"
5. The Allman Brothers Band, "Blue Sky"
6. Reel Big Fish, "Party Down"
7. Incubus, "Black Heart Inertia"
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8. Mark May, "Doll Maker"
9. The Cult, "Rise" (album version)
10. Devo, "Whip It"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)