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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.
  

Almost (Accidentally) Famous

The Dopamines celebrate five years of hard work, lucky breaks

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Conventional wisdom would tell you that The Dopamines did everything they could to guarantee their descent into oblivion. Tour the country without a big, local following? Check. Create a band with goals that didn’t go past hanging out with friends? You bet. Recording an album simply for the hell of it? Of course.   

You Can’t Unwrap a Download

Last-minute ‘hard copy’ gift ideas for the music lovers in your life

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Music always makes a great holiday gift, and this year the record industry has again put together a wide selection of box sets and other collections to please fans of just about any style of music. Here are some excellent options if you’re stuck and looking for a last-minute present.
  

Bipolar Express

Local writers and musicians offer their highlights from a topsy-turvy 2011

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 21, 2011
A wise man (or woman, for all I know) once said, “You take the good, you take the bad/You take them both and there you have/The facts of life.” Life is, essentially, those ups and downs and how you respond to them in the spaces between. Though always true to some extent, in 2011 the good news/bad news balance was as evident as it’s ever been.  

Getting Over Going Under

Grappling with the loss of two seminal local music venues in 2011

3 Comments · Wednesday, December 21, 2011
There’s something about the written word that adds finality to a subject. Contracts are finished with a signature, newspapers are often considered bastions of truth and obituaries often put a person’s death in perspective for their loved ones. Perhaps this is why I put off writing this story for so long.  

They Save Horses, Don’t They?

Kentucky Struts release great album with a great concept for a great cause

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Todd Lipscomb didn’t deliberate very hard or very long in conceiving the concept around the second album from his locally based band The Kentucky Struts. Like most great ideas, it was a flash of illumination in a contemplative moment.   

Beyond the Grave Concerns

The Koffin Kats aim for life beyond blood, guts and just getting by

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 14, 2011
For a show focused on two skeevy, aimless teenagers, Beavis and Butt-Head sure has done a lot of good for the world. In its original run, the MTV program delivered endless numbers of gloriously stupid dirty jokes, set the stage for Daria, and gave hundreds of musicians exposure by way of playing music videos alongside the duo’s inane commentary. That last practice inadvertently led to the creation of The Koffin Kats.