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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.  

Resting the Wicked

With sights set on Austin, Jason Ludwig goes solo, creating a Pop symphony

4 Comments · Wednesday, June 8, 2011
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.  

Olive the Above

Brian Olive hones in on his influences with the new album

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 1, 2011
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.  

Nouveau Richey

Kelly Richey finds success combining her Blues career with her new role as a life coach

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 1, 2011
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.  

Earle to Rise

Justin Townes Earle wrestles his demons and returns even stronger

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 25, 2011
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.  

Internal Bleeding

Wu-Tang Clan infighting inspires Raekwon's latest album

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 18, 2011
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.