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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.   

The Opposite of ‘Vanishing’

After 15 years of independence, Ohio’s Red Wanting Blue labels up

4 Comments · Tuesday, January 10, 2012
During the past 15 years, Scott Terry, Red Wanting Blue’s frontman and only constant member, has self-released eight albums, welcomed and bid farewell to several members, enjoyed much critical acclaim, toured to within an inch of his sanity and amassed a rabidly dedicated fanbase that obsessively follows his Modern Rock outfit.   

Cellphones Killed the Rock Star

Technology is distorting and destroying music fans’ real-world memories

1 Comment · Tuesday, January 10, 2012
At the City & Colour concert at Bogart's a couple of months ago, I watched as a woman in the front row texted her way through both of the great opening acts. I glanced around and discovered that she wasn’t the only one. I figured everyone would surely stop when Dallas Green and the rest of C&C took to the stage. Three songs in and the crowd was still lit up by glowing phones.  

Life After Death

When the music stops, we’ll still have our memories and shared experiences

3 Comments · Tuesday, January 3, 2012
I retired this column a couple of months ago, but I really didn’t retire it on the proper note, so allow me this addendum. It is now 4 a.m. and I just woke up from a dream.
  

The Bitter Beginning

Messerly & Ewing return from the brink with hard-charging new LP

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 3, 2012
What happens when you cross a Folk duo with the architects and founders of the MidPoint Music Festival? You get a righteously pissed Folk duo.   

The Year In Your Ear

The top 100 local music releases of 2011

9 Comments · Wednesday, December 28, 2011
My master list for 2011 local releases, for the first time, easily reached 100. The fact that there were so many releases coming out of Greater Cincinnati in 2011 speaks to the increased accessibility and affordability of recording technology that has developed over the past few years. The fact that none of them were total garbage speaks to the wealth of talent in our music community.