It is quiet. Tall and thin, Jason Ludwig’s blue eyes hide under prominent brows. His hair is long, light brown, tied back. Mellow, sipping a beer, wearing jeans and a T-shirt, when he talks, it flows, and he often moves his hands, easily gesturing and often guiding talk to the topic of music. Making solid eye contact, Ludwig periodically runs his fingers through his full beard. His dog, Rad, clearly likes women.
Brian Olive has plenty to be excited about these days, not the least of which would be his sophomore solo album, Two of Everything. The former Greenhornes/Soledad Brothers member is anticipating a busy summer, starting with the first leg of a two-month tour, punctuated by his imminent role as a member of a Rock legend’s band at Bonnaroo.
Legend maintains that Robert Johnson gained his talent by trading his soul to the devil at the crossroads. That crossroad has become a powerful metaphor for the paths ahead and no one knows that better than Kelly Richey. The Blues singer/songwriter/guitarist arrived at that divergence in 2008. After a 25-year career, seven studio albums, five live recordings and countless fans, music failed to motivate her.
Oh, the trouble Justin Townes Earle has seen. The 29-year-old singer/songwriter’s well-publicized drug and alcohol problems over the years have resulted in several rehab stints, the most recent coming last fall after an altercation at an Indianapolis venue which necessitated Earle’s return to treatment and the cancellation of his tour, including his scheduled appearance at Cincinnati’s MidPoint Music Festival. Thankfully, Earle is doing better these days.
As Raekwon told Red Bull Academy Radio in an interview earlier this year, his latest release, 'Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang' (named after Gordon Liu's 1981 martial arts flick), addresses the longtime infighting between himself and his group, Wu-Tang Clan. Metaphorically, the "hip-hopera" pits the group's collaborative roots against ever-present conflicts that disjointed the clan. But, musically it seems Raekwon's making peace with himself and, hopefully, his fellow Wu-mates.
I want to talk more about how to find a rhythm in your life and music cycle. I've been doing music full time for about two and a half years now (by the grace of God), and one of the first things I've learned in adapting to the change in lifestyle is the necessity of a daily and weekly rhythm.
The National is finally coming home. The Brooklyn-based band of Cincinnati natives are headlining this year’s MusicNOW festival, which, like The National’s slow, steady rise to prominence, has evolved into one of the more unique and anticipated musical events in the Midwest.
When Elvis Costello and the Imposters take the Taft Theatre stage Monday night, they’ll be toting — and touting — the Spectacular Spinning Songbook, a carnival-size, Roulette Wheel-like prop listing the titles of 40 of the hundreds of songs Costello has recorded and performed in his 30-plus years in music. Hits, obscurities, covers — anything is game. Audience members take the stage one at a time, give a spin and the band plays whatever song the wheel randomly selects.
When producer R.H. Valentino Sweeten, better known as “KontraX,” hosted the first Beat Lounge Beat Battle at Clifton Heights’ Baba Budan’s, he says he saw himself as a “people person” wanting to integrate local Hip Hop and not as a promoter. After the first Beat Lounge’s successful turnout, the bar booked the event every third Saturday for two years.
It's not often that someone sketches out his or her life path as a 13-year-old and sees the results materialize in adulthood, but Shilpa Ray is an exception. At that age, the New Jersey-bred, Brooklyn-based musician heard The Velvet Underground for the first time, an event that had a massive impact on her.
One of Kry Kids’ live trademarks is a structural complexity that finds everyone but Donaldson moving constantly between instruments and roles. Like a well-choreographed but also intuitive ballet, the switch-ups are planned and practiced but come across graceful and natural enough to not be a momentum killer.
Many adjectives accurately describe Tha Funk Capitol of the World, Bootsy Collins’ first new album in five years. “Commemorative,” “visionary,” “eclectic,” “explosive,” “star-studded.” But just one word embraces everything within Funk Capitol’s 75-minute duration: “conceptual.”
Jukebox the Ghost seems to be under so many influences that it should have a designated driver. Just two years after the band’s accomplished debut, Let Live and Let Ghosts, the Philadelphia trio’s sophomore album, Everything Under the Sun, was easily one of the most surprising albums of 2010.
The Black Angels’ music often sounds as if the world is coming to an end, which is just how singer Alex Maas likes it. The Austin, Texas-bred band has been spreading its ominous, reverb-drenched drones for more than five years now, along the way converting a flock of passionate followers who likewise believe that 1966 was popular music’s creative apex.
It's been 26 years since the Nintendo Entertainment System came to North America, accomplishing the kind of colossal feats that few products do. In another example of how profound the Nintendo's impact was, a thriving subculture is still dedicated to tapping into the machine’s rudimentary sonic palette to make new Electronic music compositions. Chiptune (aka Chip Music) existed before the NES, but today the genre is predominantly associated with that console.