Dark Satellites & Mars Lights Show Update

2016 August 6, Saturday – Dark Satellites at the Jackpot, Lawrence KS, with Way Back When, The Marshmallow Test, and Some Good News From Kansas.  9 PM, 18 & over, $5 ($7 for 18-21)

DS Jackpot Aug 2016

2016 August 17, Wednesday – Mars Lights at Davey’s Uptown, Kansas City MO, with 88er and You Monster You

daveys uptown

2016 September 23, Friday – Dark Satellites at Records with Merritt, Kansas City MO.  Free, all ages, 8 PM

2016 October 27, Thursday – Dark Satellites at Vega, Lincoln NE, with Briner

2016 October 28, Friday – Dark Satellites at Gillies, Kearney NE, with Evanoff

Buncha Upcoming Mars Lights & Dark Satellits Shows

2016 July 9, Saturday – Dark Satellites at Barley Street Tavern, Omaha NE, with Lodgings, Sweats, and Relax It’s Science. 7 PM doors, 9 PM show, probably 21+, $5.

2016 July 15, Friday – Mars Lights at Boobie Trap Bar (program note; not a strip club), Topeka KS

2016 July 16, Saturday – Mars Lights at Records With Merritt, Kansas City MO, with Red Cities and Bogusman.  Maybe 8 PM show?  Free! (buy records!)

2016 July 21, Thursday – Dark Satellites at Replay Lounge, Lawrence KS, with Varma Cross and Candace.  10 PM show, ? ages, $3

ON HOLD FOR CONFIRMATION as of 8 July: 2016 August 12, Friday – Dark Satellites at Replay Lounge, Lawrence KS, with Universe Contest.  10 PM show, ? ages, ? $

Dark Satellites ‘Be Still’ Vinyl Pre-Order

Dark Satellites’ Be Still vinyl is available for pre-order on Bandcamp (click “Buy” below) (you can stream the whole thing, too).

Drew has made an incredibly good record. It’s catchier, it’s heavier, and it’s synth-ier than 2012 Are Here.

If it matters to you, I played drums on “Strange Song,” bass on “Just Dropped Out,” and mastered the album. This is the first thing I’ve ever contributed to that’s been pressed to wax!

The vinyl is a cool gray and taupe splatter to match the cover art, and we should receive it in June. $25 shipped to the lower 48. Drew will break even when every record is sold, basically; we will not profit on this. It is the definition of a labor of love.

Upcoming Dark Satellites & Mars Lights Shows

2016 April 9, Saturday – Dark Satellites at Minibar, Kansas City MO, with Fullbloods and Noah Davis.  9 PM, 21+, $5

2016 April 30, Saturday – Mars Lights at The All Star Rock Bar, Kansas City MO, with Small Waves and The Oldfield Victory.  9 PM show.


2016 May 9, Monday – Mars Lights at The Riot Room, Kansas City MO, with MUST BE THE HOLY GHOST, Redder Moon, and Via Luna. We play at 8:30 sharp! 7 PM doors, 21+, $8


2016 July 16, Saturday – Mars Lights at Records With Merritt, Kansas City MO, with Red Cities and Bogusman

Mars Lights & Dark Satellites Shows

2016 February 26, Friday – Mars Lights at the Replay Lounge, Lawrence KS, with Red Cities and Hyperbor.  6 PM, all ages, ?$

2016 March 4, Friday – Dark Satellites at Frank’s North Star Tavern, Lawrence KS, with Braingea and Ask An Adult. ? PM, ? ages, ?$

2016 April 30, Saturday – Mars Lights at The All Star Rock Bar, Kansas City MO, with TBA

Booking: marslightsnoise (at) gmail (dot) com

Introducing the Kingman Anti-Drive

I breadboarded my first partly-original pedal design this afternoon, and it worked!


The Kingman Anti-Drive is a passive volume cut circuit based on the Kinman treble bleed. It’s designed to give guitarists a clean/clean-ish/cleaner sound when placed in front of a saturated amplifier or overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedal. Unlike turning down the guitar’s volume knob (which results in a dark, bass-heavy sound) or the Kinman circuit (which is optimized for only one particular point on the volume knob) the Kingman Anti-Drive offers a customizable frequency response with controls for volume, treble level, and treble cutoff frequency.

It’s simple (three pots, two capacitors, and wiring) but really, really useful. My basic live pedal setup for Mars Lights is an always-on treble boost and a Bass Big Muff Pi for choruses and big riffs, but I’m planning to replace that with an always-on Catalinbread Karma Suture (Happy Winter Non-Denominational Snow Time to me) and the Kingman in front of it for verses and quieter parts. (See how it works kind of backwards? You kick it *on* for “less”/quiet parts/cleaner sounds.)

It was really fun to play around with the volume turned pretty far down, the treble level about mid-way, and the cutoff anywhere at all. (Adjusting the cutoff is effectively a mids control, varying from a cool mid-scooped sound to a fairly flat frequency response.) Once I got the circuit in place I played Stones-y riffs for a solid 20 minutes just for kicks.

I’m also breadboarding on a new rig. The briefcase* and mounts for power, input and output jacks, and potentiometers, lets me store and transport breadboarded circuits safely. This first draft of the Kingman will be making its way to Mars Lights practice next week for a bit of testing.

A first test run on Kingmen will be completed in the next month or two I hope. Once everything is worked out I intend to open a store on Reverb.com with the first products being my “Jack of All” DS-1 mod and the Kingman.

Nice to have something work on the first attempt after some months of experimentation, frustrated Googling, and spending money on parts I wasn’t sure I’d need.

If you’re interested in the Kingman and have my email address, please reach out; I’ll be ordering parts this coming week. If you don’t have my email, I’ll be sure to announce the opening of the Reverb store here.

* My old pedalboard, back to howie&scott days