Area Kid Tries Too Hard

Kansas City - Sporting a jaunty neckerchief, thick black-framed glasses, a bowler hat (sometimes a trucker hat), a messenger bag, and a curly fauxhawk, KC-Area kid Phillip Brumsey manages to attract attention and claim his allegiance to punk/ska/indie/country/hardcore music, all at once. Often seen at local rock shows, standing about three feet from groups of people, his eclectic look ensures that no one can really pin down just where he belongs in the local music scene. The punk kids, for example, don't seem to be aware of his existence, though he sports the buttons of many a punk band on his black messenger bag. They made assurances that they would beat him up if they saw him, however. Nobody has been able to determine just which group he identifies with, though many are quick to lump him into one of the other music genre fanbases or mark him as some type of ill-advised undercover cop. Even the ska kids.

Nick Spacek swears he's never spoken to him, though he offers up the notion that Phillip may have been inspired by the "Avoid Demon Music" pamphlet, distributed by the Ninth St. Baptist Church. "Or, he just kinda threw everything together from something he saw in his mom's Redbook magazine. You know, that article on how to be a hipster? Not that I read it, of course. They were making fun of it in the forum."

"I first saw him at the Blood Brothers show at El Torreon, May of 2003", recalls Rodney Skaggs, who wished to be identified as 'anything but emo'. "Remember, the night the tornado went through Lawrence? I thought it was Jack Osbourne at first. He was kinda pudgy, had a yellow bandanna tied around his neck, that's all I really remember. Oh yeah, he was taking pictures of the band, too. With a disposable camera. I think he got elbowed out of the way by the singer a few times when he tried to give him a high-five between songs."

Ben Musser, a KU graduate who does not identify with any particular music genre but has a few friends who like Goldfinger, adds, "We saw him at the Fakebook show a couple of weeks ago. I don't know how he did it, but there's like an automatic three foot circumferential clearance around him at all times. It's amazing, the way he was able to interact with other people. He'd walk past a group of people, and invariably they'd clear the way for him. He must have walked up and down that sidewalk fifty times, just inadvertantly pushing the crowd along. Something about him just makes you step back, mainly so as not to have other people think he's with you."

Elusive as his musical ties, are the confirmed photographs of young Phillip. Though there have been many sightings, no one has managed to actually capture his unique-yet-somehow-generic look on film. Perhaps it's for the better. As former drummer for many local bands Jason Meier, sporting a Sister Mary Rotten Crotch workshirt, puts it, "That guy's never gonna get laid."