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Playing By Heart

The Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd releases first solo effort

1 Comment · Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Though he started out playing drums with The Flaming Lips, in recent years Stephen Drozd's role as cosmic tinkerer has expanded to include invaluable multi-instrumental contributions to the band’s sound. His recent soundtrack album is very much like an instrumental Flaming Lips record, but Drozd alone has crafted something here that is much more fun and engaging than the band’s recent output.   

‘Darkness’ Prevails

Icelandic composer brings fresh blast of Neo Classical air

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Twenty four-year-old composer/performer Ólafur Arnalds has released two albums and three EPs since 2007 and toured with Sigur Ros. His music is infused with the kind of awe for nature one might expect of someone from a nation as beautiful, but cold, as Iceland.  

’Tronic Boom

Improv meets Electronic cool in latest project from resident bass genius Freekbass

0 Comments · Monday, January 24, 2011
These days, Freekbass’ outrage is contextualized by his formidable musical skills, particularly on bass, the instrument that has earned him global attention. His local back story is well documented — befriended by Bootsy Collins, band gigs with Sleep Theatre and SHAG, a burgeoning solo career, sessions and tours with the likes of Buckethead, Bootsy and countless others — but his most recent project might raise his profile to previously unimagined heights.  

Freddie Gibbs Builds Buzz

Hip Hop artist goes back to Indie roots

1 Comment · Wednesday, January 19, 2011
They say when times get lean it’s best to reel it in and stick together. Born and raised in post-industrial, Reagan-approved-crack-era Gary, Ind., Freddie Gibbs gets that. This would explain his grassroots approach to re-inventing a once-promising major-label-approved career into an independent DIY movement.  

Terrible Things Respond to Tragedy with Concept Album

Band's debut explores the consequences of destruction and change

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Terrible Things' debut is a concept album shaped around a series of arsons in the bands' hometown of Coatesville, Pa. The trio maps out hooky, soaring AltRock that moves competently, peppering through interesting shifts and twists.  

Slothpop Isn't Slouching

Indianapolis Indie ensemble takes hold of imagination and ambition

0 Comments · Monday, January 10, 2011
At its most basic, Slothpop's sound is restrained Indie Pop. The arrangements are tempered and utilitarian in design, the melodies are sweetly sonorous but not overbearing and instruments move in and out with clockwork care. The overarching minimalism means you have to dig around for nuance and listen intently to soak it in. Slothpop's sound tends to not come to you; you have to get closer to it.  

Girl Talk Is a Mash Monster

Gregg Gillis makes bold new sounds out of existing music

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Neither hot producer nor veteran session musician, Gregg Gillis — recording as Girl Talk — is a brilliant sonic collagist with a gift for combining shards of existing and incredibly disparate work by renowned artists and turning them into supreme mash-ups.  

2010 All Over Again

The year in recordings, Greater Cincinnati-style

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 29, 2010
A testament to the sheer quantity of quality releases by Cincinnati area artists this past year is the fact that before I went to the archives for a little memory jog about what came about in 2010, I did an off-the-top-of-my-head list and came up with 50. Immediately. In years past, the year in local recordings wrap-up has usually hovered around 40 or so releases. And that was post-archive scour.  

Our Beautiful Dark Listed Fantasies

Local musicians and music scribes pick their fave moments of 2010

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 22, 2010
What'cha wanna know? The best songs to walk your dog to? Some album that must be in your collection? The funniest anagram for the band name Freelance Whales? Or maybe you want to recall the best moments of Cincinnati music or MPMF. Whatever your motivation, we brought together local musicians and writers to create over a dozen top 10 lists for your amusement and delight.  

A Year in Film and Music

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Our Beautiful Dark Listed Fantasies: Local musicians and music scribes pick their fave moments of 2010. Whatcha wanna know? The best songs to walk your dog to? Some album that must be in your collection  

The Promise of Music Box Sets

Last-minute holiday present needs? You can't go wrong with these music collections

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 21, 2010
This wasn't a plentiful year for CD and DVD box sets, but there weren't many misses in this year’s crop of releases, either. Here are the best of the bunch to my ears and eyes, from Springsteen and Hendrix box sets to DVDs of legendary 'Soul Train' and 'T.A.M.I. Show' performances.  

Art Damage Going Dark

Longtime experimental music supporters face transition in hard times

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Dan Williams and Uncle Dave Lewis helped create the WAIF show 'Art Damage' about experimental music, and it eventually led to the creation of The Art Damage Foundation and Lodge. This outlet for experimental music is undergoing some changes, as The Lodge hosts its last shows this weekend. Lewis talks about 25 years of 'Art Damage' in Cincinnati.  

Searching for Klugs

The faithful rejoice as Roger Klug finally returns with new musical identities

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Roger Klug is the first to admit that his recorded output has been somewhat sporadic over the course of his career, which started in the early '90s. His creative glacier finally began to move last year with the release of the startlingly great 'More Help for Your Nerves,' the album he'd been working on for several years. "I walk around with records playing in my head that I haven't even recorded yet," he says. "The bitch is getting it out into the tangible world."  

Hip Hop (Un)Scene: Respect My Mind

Bashing others’ music and reacting to it with yours limits an artist’s creative potential

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Let’s start at one of the most basic concepts I can imagine about being a potentially amazing, well-rounded and successful artist in your own right, let alone by “industry standards.” This is the idea: As an artist, you have to be able to appreciate and respect the idea of music, even in music that you can’t stand. You have to be able to separate which music is made “for you” versus which music is made for other demographics of fans and consumers.  

Capturing the Hiders

The Hiders' new album is a secretive, intricate place and an artistic web of sound

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 1, 2010
A ghost in its own right, the title track on The Hiders' new album, 'Four Letter Town,' is one that lead singer/guitarist Billy Alletzhauser kicked around for years before the band even existed. Although he calls it a "simple song," he recorded various versions, enveloped in a tricky, drawn-out struggle to harness and reveal the tune's true essence. Some songs sit and smolder before they rise up to burn and glow. Some apparitions do indeed come alive.