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Hip Hop (Un)Scene: Be Here Now

Dwelling on unmet expectations can be a roadblock to finding one’s true path

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The word dharma is a term used in Eastern Philosophy, primarily in the Hindu faith. Its most literal meaning is "to act in accordance with one’s duty." Over the years, I’ve learned to live by this ideal. The most successful people I meet involved with music, or any industry for that matter, are the ones who let their profession choose them.  

Tegan and Sara Open Up

Defining their career playing for audiences other than their own

0 Comments · Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Most bands aspire to a large fan base that will eventually turn out in headliner-defining numbers, making its opening slot status a relic of leaner, hungrier times. The Canadian Indie/Folk/Pop twins of Tegan and Sara are certainly eager to attract more fans but they have absolutely no interest in abandoning their role as an opening act.  

Spoon Charts Its Own Course

Back-to-back Top 10 albums haven't changed its approach

1 Comment · Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Spoon is the Pete Rose of Indie Rock: Consistently strong performers year after year, album after album, show after show. The Austin-based quartet founded by singer/guitarist Britt Daniel has been forcing its will on discerning listeners for more than 15 years now, a slow build that culminated in its last two albums.  

Candye Kane Isn't Twisted

Adaptable Blues diva Candye Kane preaches inner strength

0 Comments · Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Since the mid-1980s, Candye Kane has been singing the Blues for the veritable Rainbow Coalition of fans that comprise her audience. She is a former adult model/porn star, a single mother, a self-proclaimed big, beautiful woman, an avowed bisexual, a cancer survivor and an unapologetic sexual, social and political free thinker. She'll be at the Cincy Blues Fest Friday.  

Hip Hop (Un)Scene: That's My DJ

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 28, 2010
This column is a sequel to one from last November in which I interviewed my homie Rare Groove, whom I consider to be one of the greatest DJs the city has ever witnessed, specifically in helping to build an artist's stage show into something more than five dudes rapping over vocal tracks, gunshots and tornado sirens. But that's not all a DJ does.  

Yo La Tengo Still Has It

A quarter century on, the legacy continues

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Yo La Tengo's recent album, Popular Songs, is widely regarded as one of the band’s best, with many of the Yo La Tengo originals being concise, melodic Rock songs with trenchantly observed lyrics that emerge from the textured soundscape. Yo La Tengo play Saturday at the Southgate House with Wussy.  

Hooked on Symphonics

Rock-meets-Classical collaborations broaden appeal for all involved

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Symphonic Pops concerts long ago discovered Rock, but now Rock and Pop musicians and orchestras are trying some interesting new experiments to try to keep fresh, and maybe reinvent, an approach that too often has become formulaic. One upcoming local example occurs Tuesday when Sting brings his own symphonic roadshow to Riverbend, reinterpreting his musical career with the 45-piece Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.  

Brave New Sisterworld

Liars flirt with 'traditional' but stay urgent and artsy on new LP

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Over the course of its now 10-year existence, Liars has gone from off-the-cuff Art Rock punks to, well, slightly more evolved Art Rock punks. Formed in 2000 by lanky Aussie native Angus Andrew and fellow Los Angeles art-school veteran Aaron Hemphill — the only constants in the band's shifting lineups — the band has transitioned to more "traditional" songwriting on its latest album, 'Sisterworld.'  

Back to Bass-ics

Classes now open at Bootsy Collins' online Funk U

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Bootsy Collins' latest project, Funk University, began classes July 1 and might just become the way to preserve Funk for the next generation to enjoy. "This Funk University will be the first of its kind to not only show love to the Funk but even more importantly to lift up live music in general," Collins says.  

No, Thank You, Mr. Frampton

Legendary rocker Peter Frampton drops one of his best albums yet

1 Comment · Monday, June 28, 2010
Peter Frampton's career spikes over the past four decades make our recent economic roller coaster seem like gently rolling countryside. His recent solo career has been climbing steadily: His 2006 instrumental album 'Fingerprints' won a Grammy; his latest album, 'Thank You Mr. Churchill,' is generating great press; and his ongoing tour with Yes is doing good business in a slumping concert economy.  

Hip Hop (Un)Scene: I'm Burnt

Artists can use 'burn-out' phases to refuel and reflect

1 Comment · Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I didn't like my last two columns. Straight up. What started out as lessons for independent artists felt like some holier-than-thou shit. And that's not cool. At all. So I'm sidestepping for a minute to write what will be the natural third arc in this column trilogy: the burn-out.  

Everything Old Is New Again in OTR

New Main Street shop Another Part of the Forest stocks hard to find vinyl ... and much more

0 Comments · Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Like many of the new businesses along Over-the-Rhine's Main Street, it's basically a neighborhood thing. It has a stellar lineage, and it's new and old at the same time. It's Another Part of the Forest, the used record store/Siamese twin of Iris BookCafe, with which it shares a leafy rear courtyard. The store takes its place alongside Everybody's Records, Mole's Record Exchange and Shake It Records as a local purveyor specializing in used vinyl, featuring some 8,000 LPs on display (with some 15,000 more titles in stock).  

Magnolia in Bloom

Magnolia Mountain goes lo-tech and high class on ambitious new album, 'Redbird Green'

0 Comments · Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Local Americana/Roots outfit Magnolia Mountain remembers the old days of record-making and wanted to connect with them in some significant way, so they're releasing their new ambitiously sized CD, 'Redbird Green,' in a double-album vinyl format. It was clearly a structure Magnolia frontman Mark Utley was working toward — the titles on the back of the CD are separated into four distinct sides.  

Pop Goes Cincinnati

40 years ago Cincinnati became part of Rock & Roll lore

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Forty years ago this Sunday, Iggy Pop — 23-year-old front man of The Stooges, a defiantly loud and grungy Detroit band — created Rock & Roll mythology at the Cincinnati Summer Pop Festival. Bare-chested, singing "T.V. Eye," he scrambled from the outdoor stage at Crosley Field and went into the crowd, climbing atop the shoulders of frenzied fans to stand above them, like Jesus on water, held up by their sea of hands as he pointed outward. The image, captured on video and still photography, has become iconic.  

A Summer to Remember

On the weekend of Bonnaroo, Cincinnati remembers a monumental Rock festival from 40 years ago

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The June 1970 Cincinnati Summer Pop Festival didn't take place on a farm, as Woodstock had the year before, but rather at a ballpark in the West End. At Crosley Field, home of the Cincinnati Reds, 14 Rock bands played a daylong festival. With new bands like Grand Funk Railroad, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Mountain and Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the performers didn't reflect the Age of Aquarius but of what was coming for Rock music in the new decade of the 1970s.