Cincinnati-bred singer/songwriter Katie Reider passed away on the morning of July 14 after a two-year battle with cancer. In early 2006, Reider went to the dentist for a toothache, kicking off a long process that ultimately led to a diagnosis of a Myofibroblastic Inflammatory tumor. Reider fought the progressive cancer with grace and humor, detailing much of her journey in an online journal. The tumor gradually claimed her vision, voice, ability to perform and now, most tragically, her life. (To read up on Katie's courageous battle, go to katiereider.blogspot.com and 500kin365.org.)
Music was in Reider's blood. Her father Rob was a featured vocalist on the popular local TV variety show, The Bob Braun Show, and her older brother Robbie is a skilled guitarist (both helped out on her recordings).
Reider released her first album of gorgeous Folk Pop in 1998 and immediately began to grow a fanbase with her acclaimed live show, which exuded irresistible, irrepressible charm and sharp wit. Reider relocated to Columbus (and later New Jersey) and developed her career into a genuine independent, grassroots success story, selling thousands of CDs on her own and winning more fans over by opening for the likes of Catie Curtis, Teddy Goldstein and Antigone Rising.
Rest in peace, Ms. Reider. You will not be forgotten.
Biting Sweet Symphony
Indie Rock trio Knife the Symphony will host a release party for its new baby, the long-player Crawler, this Saturday at Covington's Molly Malone's. Locals The Read and Michigan's Hornet open the 9 p.m. show. The $5 cover charge includes a CD copy of the new disc.
A lovely vinyl version of Crawler is also available, which if fitting because the band blissfully recalls the heady days of late '80s/early '90s Indie/Post Hardcore, when vinyl was still the main means of delivery. (Likewise, the album is being released old-school D.I.Y. style by Phratry Records, the well-distributed label run by KTS drummer Jerry Dirr.) If the words Amphetamine Reptile, Dischord and Touch & Go trigger fond memories of Indie Rock's underground halcyon days, KTS's music will have you in musical heaven.
Rhythmically propulsive, Crawler is driven by Dirr and bassist Robyn Roth, who create a relentless backbeat that is both inescapably muscular and endlessly creative (Math Rock-y, but fast, pointed and switchblade-sharp). Guitarist Jeff Albers' guitar is lacerating, crawling and scratching between the adrenaline-laced grooves like a wild animal on the prowl. Albers and Roth provide vocals and their disparate, distinctive voices create an engaging duality -- Albers high-wire wail is anxious and heated, while Roth's lush, more mannered style recalls the female vocals of My Bloody Valentine.
The throttle remains on high virtually from start to finish on Crawler, which tends to make some of the songs indistinctly bleed into one. But the band's tightness and ability to blend instrumental precision with a "let it all hang out" fieriness is thoroughly engaging. (knifethesymphony.com)