We've all seen the TV commercial: An average-looking, mid-forties husband/dad-looking guy complains about not having enough energy to hang out with friends, or enough passion for the one he loves. The announcer suggests the symptoms might be associated with a treatable condition known as Low T (as in testosterone). Rumor has it that there's a similar condition known as Low H — as in “Hip Hop.”
The most important and familiar Guitar Rock song ever made — “Train Kept A’ Rollin,’ ” in which mimicking the rhythmic sound of that train has inspired electric guitarists in bands like The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and Aerosmith — started life as a King-released Jump Blues tune by Tiny Bradshaw and His Orchestra.
Sober now for 18 years, Earle has been on fire since cleaning himself up in rehab and prison. In fact, I would stand on Townes Van Zandt’s coffee table and argue that never before has an artist improved to such a degree after getting sober. The second half of his career has seen him release consistently great records.
It’s easy to think that Buffalo Killers stopped being a local band after Chris Robinson tapped them to open for the Black Crowes tour five years ago. The Gabbard brothers — guitarist/vocalist Zach and bassist/vocalist Andrew — and their drummer, Joey Sebaali, had recently retooled Thee Shams into Buffalo Killers, and their eponymous 2006 debut album was causing a big stir in Psych Rock circles.
While it would be an overstatement to say Americana was invented solely to describe Lucinda Williams’ groundbreaking mixture of literate singer/songwriter Folk and bluesy, energized Country Rock, delivered with a twangy and soulful enunciation, she had a lot to do with its creation.
Freddie Ross Jr., known to nearly everyone in his native New Orleans as Big Freedia (pronounced Free-da), is an iconic figure in several ways. On one hand, he is a flamboyant, larger-than-life representative of gay pride and member of the city’s Sissy culture, a local appellation denoting men with ambiguous sexual identities.
Like many of today’s bands, Umphrey’s McGee has found itself debating the question of how to best release new music into the market. Some musicians and industry professionals have gone as far as to declare the album a dying format. Especially with younger music fans, the iPod and similar devices has changed the way they listen to music.
Over the years, singers and songwriters found symbolism in Ohio. Maybe it’s just the fact that since kids learn to spell the state as “round on the ends and high in the middle,” Ohio has the kind of goofy geometric (and geographic) connotations that call out to be expressed in song. It becomes an easy target.
It’s occurred to me on a few occasions that it’s not so much the music we listen to that sucks, it’s the way we’re listening to our music that sucks. I won’t even get into the lowered quality of MP3s and iPod earbuds, or even the shitty laptop speakers, though all that plays a huge part in this. It’s the way we’re delivered music and begin to absorb it, especially folks in the music game, whether it be artists, bloggers, DJs, whatever.
Zoe Muth’s press kit for her new album, Starlight Hotel, reveals several impressive references — everyone from Emmylou Harris, Kitty Wells and Iris DeMent to Merle Haggard, John Prine and Hank Williams — concerning her songwriting ability and vocal prowess. Those are lofty comparisons for someone who’s promoting her sophomore album, but the correlations are completely warranted and hesitantly accepted.
It shouldn’t be assumed that Vaudeville Freud is simply a Foxy Shazam knock-off. The band’s debut full-length, the about-to-drop Tapdance! The Musical, reveals a group steeped in darker, more off kilter influences — Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Modest Mouse — that become even more distilled and intensified when filtered through O’Moore’s twisted musical vision.
Saturday's Aronoff Center show is a chance to look back and appreciate the cultural relevancy — even avant-gardism — of The Monkees in their heyday. Micky Dolenz reflects on the band's 1968 movie 'Head,' which came out after the TV series had ended and was so psychedelically surreal and narratively irreverent that it freaked out those who saw its initial theatrical release.
It’s a blistering evening in Northside as the four members of The Kickaways swelter in the apartment that they’ve dubbed the Kickaplex. Although only two of them actually reside there, it doubles as rehearsal space and crash pad for the quartet. But, tonight, “sweat lodge” serves as a functional description.
Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein knew each other for years and years before ever writing a thing together. More along the lines of acquaintances than friends, the two musicians were familiar through the Detroit music scene and maintained respect for the other’s output, but nothing ever clicked. Then 2009 came along, and their dynamic was totally revamped.
You might think you’re getting the joke in Soapland’s name, assuming it refers to the long and profitable presence of Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati. Soapland wouldn’t be the first to take a jab at P&G’s pervasive profile. When Wizard Records owner John James conceived his 1988 local album project, his original title concept was We Built This City on Pork and Soap.