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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.