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Is It Low H?

Not feelin’ the new Rap music on the radio these days? Maybe you have Low H

2 Comments · Tuesday, July 26, 2011
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 Song That Never Ends

Locals to celebrate enduring, seminal Rock song recorded in Cincinnati 60 years ago

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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.  

High Road to Redemption

Steve Earle continues to write one of the best second acts in music history

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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.  

Think Local, Rock Global

Buffalo Killers will always be a Cincinnati band, even after the release of their world-class new album

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 13, 2011
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.  

Blessed to Impress

Veteran Americana icon Lucinda Williams continues to develop her impeccable songcraft

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 13, 2011
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.  

More Bounce to the Ounce

Big Freedia makes a big Bounce noise from the Big Easy

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 6, 2011
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.  

Group (Re)Think

Umphrey's McGee is adapting to a changing musical landscape

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 6, 2011
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.  

State Songs

Ohio has inspired a wide range of musical expression

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 29, 2011
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.  

The Listening

Don't get so caught up that you stop hearing and enjoying music

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 29, 2011
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.  

Modest Muth

Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers cover the Americana waterfront

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 29, 2011
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.  

Pink Freud

Vaudeville Freud bring their big time audio oddity to a full boil on new disc

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 22, 2011
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.  

Still Monkeying Around

The Monkees celebrate 45th anniversary with tour

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 22, 2011
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.   

Kicking and Dreaming

The Kickaways are ready for their close-up with debut album

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 15, 2011
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.  

Off to the Races

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s whimsical Indie Pop aims for long-term viability

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 15, 2011
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.  

A Sudsy Salute

Soapland comes clean about its name and debut EP, The Inflatable Real

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 8, 2011
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.