Gig Seeker Pro


Lawrence, Kansas, United States | SELF

Lawrence, Kansas, United States | SELF
Band Rock Jam


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Cosmopolitics Mental Hygiene (2010)"

To play the game of some purists who, for once (or twice), point their finger at a frankly productive problem, god how nice it is to enjoy the scene's forefront spontaneity when you listen to this type of production! The American quartet keeps going, with an amazing grace and an unassailable assurance, with the values of improvisation and perpetual speech. Without ever falling into elevator music nor dullness,
everything is done so the musical ideas are not unnecessarily disguised.

After the first few notes, essential information such as the musicians' talent (what a rhythmic section !) and taglines themes may reach the
listener without having to ask any questions. Thus, the mind is free to host an anthology of progressive rock with everything implied in terms of diversity. But beware, there is no question of going round in circles on the classic lines and hints of fusion heard a thousand times : it is about research and reflection. Polyrythmic and harmonic twists are all at the service of a very precise language, structured around guiding principles that would not be disavowed by the Spock's Beard or even Tool. In addition to this paradox of spontaneity-calculation, these three men from Kansas treat themselves by plunging their instruments in some unfathomable abyss, between a couple of melodic-sound experiments, getting them close to Cynic at times.

The instrumentation is pretty straightforward, but the sound palette is wide enough to convince on almost any register, which brings clarity to the production. Everything is cleverly staged, always for a good reason, and also very accessible...far from free jazz 's obscurantism that may frighten quite a few persons. A perfectly mastered achievement which may only be lacking a few notes of aerial melody to get a perfect blend of what heavy progressive rock can be like in its broadest expression. A delightful trip with live accents that one should not miss, at least to give a few seconds of existence to these musicians who understood everything of the basics and much more. -

"Lost in the Cosmos"

During his weekly dinners at Ixtapa, Luke Stone developed a curious habit.

The Lawrence drummer made it a custom to pick up two Britney Spears stickers from a vending machine on the way out the door. He put them on his practice pad at home, inspiring him to practice his rudiments.

“She’s a big influence of mine — physically,” Stone says. “Is that weird?”

Musicians like Stone — who spend hours and hours woodshedding each day — have a unique distaste for pop stars like Spears. The floozy who spends more time shopping than rehearsing gets the fame and fortune, while the guy who’s mastered his instrument plugs away in his small college town for audiences who can’t figure out how to dance to his mathematically complex beats.

Stone’s band, Cosmopolitics, fits the profile of the latter. But while his group may be small potatoes in the national sense, it’s connecting with local listeners like Tommy Dimmel in a cosmic sense.

“They’re one of the best bands in the country right now,” says Dimmel, a friend of the group who plays drums for the Brody Buster Band.

“When people are (at their shows) and they get it, it’s one of those sort of magical evenings. Somehow the intention behind their music produces certain sonic vibrations which act as catalysts to chemicals inside people’s brains and they start firing off neurons and tryptamine compounds and whatnot.”

Dimmel says he considers Cosmopolitics “important players in the game of evolution.” He attends the group’s shows faithfully and praises its ability to push boundaries, even going so far as to say that he’s “robbing musicians like the Cosmopolitics” by playing in a workaday blues band.

“I’m under the suspicion that we’re living in a period of history that requires that people do things that have meaning of some type,” Dimmel says. “I see the Britney Spears-type of stuff as what the CIA would have called ‘useful idiots.’”

Not noodling around

Like their prog-rock forbearers in the ’70s, Cosmopolitics’ sole intent is to make music that blows minds. It’s an endeavor that’s fraught with challenges, perhaps none more so than getting people to dance in time signatures with 13 beats. Then again, people don’t go to a King Crimson concert to get their groove on, so maybe there’s hope yet.

Cosmopolitics’ new disc, “Mental Hygiene,” lives up to its title with a brain-flossing brand of instrumental fusion-rock inspired by acts such as Yes, Rush, Mr. Bungle and Genesis.

Just don’t call Cosmopolitics a “jam band.”

“Don’t ever even mention Phish and our band in the same sentence,” Stone asserts, shortly before revealing that he spent 12 years of his life obsessed with the band.

“If you compare yourself to Phish as a band, you’re a nerd, and you need to go home.”

In many ways, Stone is a musician defined by his contradictions. He loves Phish, but he wants no part of the hippie dippy noodle-jam scene. He hates the idea of “jam” bands, but he recognizes that those are the people who come to his shows.

“Your audience defines you as a jam band,” Stone says. “If you have a lot of hippies at your show, you’re a jam band. I’d say we’re in the jam scene, but we’re not a jam band. Our music is too composed.”

Cosmopolitics’ chartable compositions stem from the brain of bandleader Matt Gader. An equally accomplished drummer and guitarist, Gader is a prolific riff-machine who thinks in complex meters and three-part movements. His favorite Phish songs are 15 minutes long, and he’s the proud owner of a potent collection of Steve Vai DVDs.

“I see the world of progressive rock as unlimited,” says Gader, who plays guitar for Cosmopolitics and drums for Sonic Sutra. “I never think that there’s nothing new you can write, because you can take it in so many directions.”

Sober, clothed, more productive

With bassist Andy Kroeker and keyboardist Ken Lovern helping Gader realize his wildest musical fantasies, the Cosmopolitics bandwagon has been rolling for nearly five years now. The group has toured in Colorado and California, but its most memorable show occurred three years ago in its own backyard.

Booked for a prime 2 a.m. appearance at the Wakarusa Music Festival, the group was informed shortly before midnight that the music was being shut down due to curfew. So Cosmopolitics promptly did what any resourceful and slightly intoxicated festival act would do: The members stole a generator and set up shop in the campgrounds.

“We had at least 200 people circled around us,” Stone recalls. “We’ve played for people in California that are like, ‘Dude, we saw you set up in the campground at Wakarusa.’”

The show ended around 4 a.m. — approximately the time when a caravan of nudists joined the party.

“The sausage fest pulled into the station and then we left,” Kroeker recalls. “I had checked out long before then. We got pictures, so I know it happened.”

That experience aside, Cosmopolitics typically performs in a much more sober state.

“You can get a buzz on, but you don’t want to be hammered,” says Lovern, who also plays in Ken Lovern’s OJT, a local organ-jazz trio. “Learning to feel those weird time signatures naturally has been one of the most exciting things about this band for me. At some point they all start to feel just like music. Some take longer than others.”

Each member of Cosmopolitics dabbles in numerous projects. Lovern and Stone recently teamed up to form Sequel (a tribute to Medeski, Martin and Wood), and Stone is firing up an old-school funk band called Fuzz Nasty.

Rest assured that neither will be performing Britney Spears songs. - Richard Gintowt (


Heavily composed all original progressive rock, influenced by jazz fusion. Here you will find incredibly unique chord progressions, phrasings, and time signatures mixed with tight grooves and solos. - CD Baby

"Local album review: Cosmopolitics"

Ralph Nader is a player hater.

At least, that’s what Lawrence’s Cosmopolitics call the first track off their new album, Mental Hygiene. With this first track alone, the progressive rock/jazz fusion/funk band proves it’s here to provide fun, exciting grooves.

Prog rock isn’t an easy pill to swallow. Nor is jazz fusion. Marry the two with some funk licks, and you’ve got a brilliant ball of musical confusion. With 12 instrumental tracks averaging at least six minutes apiece, Cosmopolitics aren’t exactly looking to make converts to its style of music.

But for those seeking something different created by a group of highly talented musicians, Cosmopolitics deliver, as Mental Hygiene provides an entertaining eardrum adventure. Musical influences such as Rush, Yes, Umphrey’s McGee and King Crimson are evident, but Cosmopolitics’ cheerful, honest and unpretentious approach makes the music accessible and exciting.

Mental Hygiene, Cosmopolitics’ second album, includes older tracks from tours past, live favorites and new songs. One of the new numbers, “Robot Sex Junkie,” is possibly the funkiest track on the album. The song features a prominent bass undertone from Andy Kroeker and a masterful guitar sound from Matt Gader. This song, like many others on Mental Hygiene, holds the listener’s interest with varying grooves and head-turning rhythms from drummer Luke Stone.

“Random Acts of Vengeance” shows off the band’s atmospheric jam band side. The song starts out with guitar and bass arpeggios and an ambient keyboard riff from Ken Lovern. Each band member shows off his talents in this seven-minute-long song.

Cosmopolitics keep listeners bobbing their heads and dancing with a complicated formula of mixing lock-step melodies with time-signature changes and persistent, dynamic contrasts. - michelle o’brien { special to ink }


"Idio-Sin-Chronic" (2006)
"Mental Hygiene" (2010)



Cosmopolitics is a four piece band based out of Lawrence, Kansas founded by Matt Gader in 2004. They have played numerous local and Midwestern gigs including clubs in Kansas, Colorado, Missouri and surrounding states. Cosmopolitics has also played the Wakarusa Music Festival, a 15,000+ festival for three years running, as well as Summer Camp music festival. The band plays mostly original compositions which blend many diverse styles including progressive rock, jazz fusion, hip hop, funk, and electronica. Although they are known for playing a wide range of styles, they never lose focus on a strong groove and interesting melodic progression, which keeps their fans coming back for more. Cosmopolitics original compositions stylistically meld each member’s range of influences, including Umphrey's Mcgee, Rush, Frank Zappa, early Yes, Primus, Phish, and countless others. From time to time the band will incorporate various cover songs into their live shows, almost always drawing a fevered reaction from the crowd. Cosmopolitics is a band poised on the brink of something unique and creative and we hope to see you along for the ride!

Luke Stone