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Rough Nostalgia

Car Crashes, Knife Fights and the Über-Cool Sounds of Hanni El Khatib

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Hanni El Khatib’s world is a dangerous place. The San Francisco-raised Los Angeles resident prefers to fill his musical terrain with outlaw characters and disastrous circumstances. At least three of Khatib’s releases, including last September’s full-length debut Will the Guns Come Out, have covers adorned with the mangled remnants of car wrecks.  

The Midwestern Thing

Cincinnati’s finest Americana ensemble, Magnolia Mountain, releases 'Town and Country'

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Thanks at least partially to our proximity to Appalachia, Greater Cincinnati has long had one of the finest Roots/Americana music scenes in the region. And the finest band from that impressive batch of artists right now is Magnolia Mountain, the band formed by Rock veteran and singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Mark Utley about five years ago.   

A Fine ‘Mess’

After a nationally recognized debut, Bad Veins’ new album could bring the world to their door

1 Comment · Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Some bands work for years for even the smallest scrap of national attention. For Cincinnati’s Bad Veins, that recognition came just after their second show in 2006 and has hardly abated in the subsequent six years. 
  

I Love Loosey

Pharaoh Loosey solidifies Prog/Post Rock sound in new album

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Sometimes the universe offers options you might never have otherwise imagined. Post Rock/Prog trio Pharaoh Loosey had already decided on the Mad Frog as the venue to celebrate the release of its debut CD, (h)wak formal, but when they ventured into the Corryville club’s catacombs, they found an ideal gig location.   

NOW … and Forever?

Bryce Dessner doubles down on his dedication to 7-year-old festival

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 27, 2012
MusicNOW is aptly named. Founded and still nurtured by local native Bryce Dessner, the festival has consistently delivered an eclectic mix of “contemporary music” since springing to life in 2006.  

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

A Place To Bury Strangers cranks up the volume and tears things apart

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Oliver Ackermann has a Cincinnati story he enjoys sharing: Back when his band, A Place To Bury Strangers, played the Contemporary Arts Center during the 2010 MidPoint Music Festival, Ackermann’s Shoegaze/Noise Rock band wreaked chaos on the Sixth Street space’s electrical system.    

Trademark Registers

Hip Hop’s Trademark Aaron accentuates the positive on latest stellar release

1 Comment · Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Rap MC Mark Aaron Glacken — aka Trademark Aaron — exudes quiet confidence, sharp focus and clear humility when discussing his music, life and goals.  

‘I’ on the Prize

Cincinnati’s The Pinstripes set the stage for their biggest year yet

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 6, 2012
It’s been three years since my introduction to The Pinstripes, interviewing the band in the cramped rehearsal space they dubbed “The Good Stuff.” We discussed their love of Ska, Reggae, Dub, Soul and all points between and beyond, as well as their recordings to that point (Higher Ground and The Decay) while downing a few lightly chilled Pabst Blue Ribbons.   

Back to the Noise

The Harlequins return to their signature sound with new album

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Mike Oliva and I agree — Batman is cool, but The Joker is simply badass, with his dark sense of humor and creepy, wide smile. There’s something intriguing about his slick, sarcastic ways, and, hell, there’s no forgetting that horrific laugh.    

Ride the Wild Surf

Though serious musicians, Cincinnati new-comers make decidedly not serious music

4 Comments · Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Five surf-rockers, two go-go dancers and a guy in a gorilla suit walk into a bar … That’s either the weirdest setup for a joke ever or it means that Cincinnati’s only Surf Rock band, Doctor Bombay and the Atomic Bachelor Pad, has arrived.    

Finding Jesus

Experimental singer/songwriter Zola Jesus comes to town for a special performance at the CAC

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Zola Jesus likes to have a lot of space. Born Nika Danilova in Wisconsin, Jesus recounts a childhood spent running around her slice of the Midwest with ample amounts of freedom and independence. She credits this freewheeling upbringing with helping her find out who she was at a very young age.    

Wells to the Wall

Natalie Wells channels the Rock of the ’70s with her head firmly in the now

2 Comments · Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Some guitarists form in the womb and emerge ready to push their instrument’s limits and in turn be pushed by them, using their childhoods as a proving ground for the brilliance to follow. That is not Cincinnati’s Natalie Wells.    

Electric Avenue, Acoustic Soul

Pete Dressman’s new album taps into his acoustic roots

2 Comments · Tuesday, January 31, 2012
One spin through Pete Dressman’s new album, Vol. II, might give the impression that the Cincinnati singer/songwriter and his band, the Soul Unified Nation, are unrepentant lovers of contemporary classic Rock icons like Pearl Jam who wouldn’t be the least bit out of place opening for locally-based Psych Rock trio Buffalo Killers. And you’d be right.   

People Who Need People

Jack’s Mannequin’s mere existence might be its greatest triumph

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 24, 2012
In an interview last year, frontman Andrew McMahon of Pop Rock band Jack’s Mannequin said the band’s mission was simply to get “people fired up for some new music.” That new music arrived in early October with People and Things, the third album from the group led by the piano-playing vocalist McMahon.   

WEBB 2.0

Forty years on, legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb finds his voice

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The AOL Music website describes Jimmy Webb as “that rarity in Rock music, a professional songwriter who achieved stardom in that capacity,” pointing out that almost all of Rock’s other great songwriters became well-known for their own versions of their material.