Music » Wayward Son

Monkey Business

Black Clover Records' party at the Flying Monkey Brewery brought together unexpected allies: Kansas beer and KC hip-hop.



On Saturday, Black Clover Records, the homegrown imprint of Kansas City rappers Joe Good and Mac Lethal, held its third party with Flying Monkey beers. The festivities, which cost $25 a ticket, were at the Flying Monkey brewery in Olathe. Mac and Joe performed. DJ Sku spun records. Everyone got to drink as much beer as they wanted until men shouting into megaphones made them leave.

I've decided to go all Page Six and tell the story of the party through a few of the personalities in attendance.

Robert Eilert: The owner of Flying Monkey wore a baseball cap, a grubby white Flying Monkey T-shirt and jeans. His long hair and vaguely defined Fu Manchu make him look more Skynyrd than Wu-Tang, but he deflected my every attempt to cast him as a different breed from Mac and Joe.

"Beer is a universal. Beer is a uniter," he proclaimed. He's been making Flying Monkey since 1996, and he sells it to 111 area restaurants and bars.

His newest brew: Joe Good Pale Ale. Mix it with the Four Fingers Stout, and you have the seasonally appropriate concoction "Black Jesus."

Jeremy Willis: The owner of Datura Records (home to Approach, Archetype and Deep Thinkers) wouldn't explain his affiliation with Black Clover to me, but he was the one who introduced Eilert to Mac and Joe. He works his day job at Lukas Liquors and, like Eilert, his favorite non-Monkey brew is the small-batch Breckenridge 471 IPA.

Joe Good: Abstaining from beer before the show, Joe manned the merch table with his game face on (while I was around, at least). He was one guarded dude. He wouldn't clown for anybody, and I respect that. But I'd give him $50 to go to a party in a pink bunny suit.

His solo set, which began shortly after 10 p.m., climaxed with his masterful "In Ya Mouf," its famous chorus admonishing our burg to remove the male members of all other American regional hip-hop scenes from its collective mouth.

Mac Lethal: Mac got more than a few beers raised — and spilled — as he and Joe performed probably the most fun and lighthearted set I'd seen him do. It started around 11 with a song that sampled Bjork's "Human Nature," to joint-loosening effect.

One highlight was Lethal's apropos-of-nothing declaration "I do not look like Elijah Wood! I do not look like fucking Frodo from Lord of the Rings!"

The Mercy Seat contingent: Several tattoo artists and hangers-on from this Crossroads ink parlor were in attendance, including owner Chet Duvenci and receptionist Ryan Mattes, who knows Joe Good from when the rapper performed with Mattes' band, the Last of the V8s, behind the Seat one First Friday. Plans for a V8s show with Mac Lethal are in the works, as are plans for my next tattoo.

Shannon Schlappi: The co-owner of Drama Club Records, home to excellent Chicago band the Changes, was rocking out in a New York Yankees cap and telling me that my "Running Man" dance was actually "The Roger Rabbit." OK, then, expert!

Guy Who Looks Like Rob Thomas: I didn't notice it at first. I was talking to him in the bathroom line, when a woman walked by and said something in his ear. "What'd she say?" I asked. "She said I look like Rob Thomas! I do everything I can to avoid that!" Note to guy: The beard is not enough.

Doug the Off-Duty Cop: This jovial ossifer found out who I was, then asked me, "as a member of the media," why there are so many stories about bad cops. A fight broke out shortly after, and Doug went over, body-slammed one of the brawlers and came back smiling. I want Doug on my side.

The Metal-Faced Misfit: Self-named for the piercing in her lower lip, the Misfit is one of the most prolific MySpace bulletineers I've ever known. I even knew from her bulletins when this 21-year-old hottie broke up with her boyfriend. I have yet to make use of this particular piece of information.

Jason Harper: Blogger, critic, adventurer. Drank seven beers, danced on the beer-soaked floor, had a blast.

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