NSFW JAZZ

On January 27, 2013, the notorious KC band Jazz Discharge meandered up on the stage of the RecordBar, effectively sabotaging Snuff Jazz’s gig with keyboardist Brian Hass, to present a surprise tribute/roast in honor of my husband’s 30th birthday.

They all wore pathetically ugly sweaters.

It’s taken me a month to try to write about it because, well, I’m a busy girl, and also, I was a little afraid that if I described the scene too accurately my computer might explode and/or I’d be struck by lightning in keeping with God’s typical wrath sequence, smoting, etcetera, what have you.

This surprise performance took a fair chunk of conniving on the part of the KC music crowd, involving some of its most creative and devious minds: Jeff Harshbarger, Brad Cox, James Isaac, Scotty McBee and Mike Stover, filling in for Matthew Brewer, away at sea.

JD hasn’t performed since February of last year, for their Resurrection performance, which followed their mock mass-suicide on Valentine’s Day 2006.

It seems that every gig is their last, citing progressing maturity and an ever-growing file of warrants for “Outrageously Lewd Public Offensiveness.” When Sam asked if they’d play for his 2013 mile-stone birthday, the answer was an unhesitant “no”: adamantly, irrevocably and repeatedly (Sam doesn’t abandon an idea easily).

But it was all a ruse and play they did, with motley parodies and their signature loony, cheeky dialogue. With impetuous, incorrigible demeanor, they launched into a series of wacked out tunes, banter and stage antics that defied any consideration for taste, decorum, or religious empathy.

At the beginning of the show, a fellow patron came over to Sam, just as they were starting into the act, and said, “Your mother should be here for this.” Later, that same patron looked at the stage and then at Sam again, “Are these guys friends of yours?!?”

 

Suffice it to say, these guys are. They are also evil, gleeful geniuses, exploring every which way one could possibly insult the Jewish people and heritage, including – but not limiting themselves to – inviting Sam to let Jesus into his heart, followed by a spot-on rendition of a Johnson County mega-church praise chorus, complete with stuttering drum beat.

My favorite bit was their going on about all the names you can call God without actually saying his name (of course, saying every single name in the process) and snowballing from a schtick about how “metal” the various names of God are – TETRAGRAMMATON – into a version of YMCA giddy with sacrilegious nose-thumbing.

Come on, it’s fun to try and say ‘Y’ ‘H’ ‘W’ ‘H’”. etcetra.

Sam was even gifted his own atrocious sweater, with appliques of “L’Chaim” and a crucifix painstakingly sewn with fishing wire by the very hand of Bradley Cox.

But we also danced the hora through the bar and lifted Sam up on a chair and carried him high, the boy who is now a man, thanks to Jazz Discharge.

Wait, that sounded wrong.

JD 1.27.13

Brad, Mark, Jeff, Sam, Scotty, James, and Mike.

[Special thanks to Mark Lowrey and the Majestic, and the drummers who volunteered at the jam so I could whisk Sam away: Joe Petrasek, Mike Shanks, Phil Wakefield, and Arnie Young. And extra special, special thanks to Snuff Jazz members Mark Southerland and Brian Steever and Brian Hass for graciously giving up a set of their gig for the festivities. And to everyone who got a message from a little birdie and came out to celebrate – it was one epic night!]

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