Twenty four-year-old composer/performer Ólafur Arnalds has released two albums and three EPs since 2007 and toured with Sigur Ros. His music is infused with the kind of awe for nature one might expect of someone from a nation as beautiful, but cold, as Iceland.
These days, Freekbass’ outrage is contextualized by his formidable musical skills, particularly on bass, the instrument that has earned him global attention. His local back story is well documented — befriended by Bootsy Collins, band gigs with Sleep Theatre and SHAG, a burgeoning solo career, sessions and tours with the likes of Buckethead, Bootsy and countless others — but his most recent project might raise his profile to previously unimagined heights.
They say when times get lean it’s best to reel it in and stick together. Born and raised in post-industrial, Reagan-approved-crack-era Gary, Ind., Freddie Gibbs gets that. This would explain his grassroots approach to re-inventing a once-promising major-label-approved career into an independent DIY movement.
Terrible Things' debut is a concept album shaped around a series of arsons in the bands' hometown of Coatesville, Pa. The trio maps out hooky, soaring AltRock that moves competently, peppering through interesting shifts and twists.
At its most basic, Slothpop's sound is restrained Indie Pop. The arrangements are tempered and utilitarian in design, the melodies are sweetly sonorous but not overbearing and instruments move in and out with clockwork care. The overarching minimalism means you have to dig around for nuance and listen intently to soak it in. Slothpop's sound tends to not come to you; you have to get closer to it.
Neither hot producer nor veteran session musician, Gregg Gillis — recording as Girl Talk — is a brilliant sonic collagist with a gift for combining shards of existing and incredibly disparate work by renowned artists and turning them into supreme mash-ups.
A testament to the sheer quantity of quality releases by Cincinnati area artists this past year is the fact that before I went to the archives for a little memory jog about what came about in 2010, I did an off-the-top-of-my-head list and came up with 50. Immediately. In years past, the year in local recordings wrap-up has usually hovered around 40 or so releases. And that was post-archive scour.
What'cha wanna know? The best songs to walk your dog to? Some album that must be in your collection? The funniest anagram for the band name Freelance Whales? Or maybe you want to recall the best moments of Cincinnati music or MPMF. Whatever your motivation, we brought together local musicians and writers to create over a dozen top 10 lists for your amusement and delight.
Our Beautiful Dark Listed Fantasies: Local musicians and music scribes pick their fave moments of 2010. Whatcha wanna know? The best songs to walk your dog to? Some album that
must be in your collection
This wasn't a plentiful year for CD and DVD box sets, but there weren't many misses in this year’s crop of releases, either. Here are the best of the bunch to my ears and eyes, from Springsteen and Hendrix box sets to DVDs of legendary 'Soul Train' and 'T.A.M.I. Show' performances.
Dan Williams and Uncle Dave Lewis helped create the WAIF show 'Art Damage' about experimental music, and it eventually led to the creation of The Art Damage Foundation and Lodge. This outlet for experimental music is undergoing some changes, as The Lodge hosts its last shows this weekend. Lewis talks about 25 years of 'Art Damage' in Cincinnati.
Roger Klug is the first to admit that his recorded output has been somewhat sporadic over the course of his career, which started in the early '90s. His creative glacier finally began to move last year with the release of the startlingly great 'More Help for Your Nerves,' the album he'd been working on for several years. "I walk around with records playing in my head that I haven't even recorded yet," he says. "The bitch is getting it out into the tangible world."
Let’s start at one of the most basic concepts I can imagine about being a potentially amazing, well-rounded and successful artist in your own right, let alone by “industry standards.” This is the idea: As an artist, you have to be able to appreciate and respect the idea of music, even in music that you can’t stand. You have to be able to separate which music is made “for you” versus which music is made for other demographics of fans and consumers.
A ghost in its own right, the title track on The Hiders' new album, 'Four Letter Town,' is one that lead singer/guitarist Billy Alletzhauser kicked around for years before the band even existed. Although he calls it a "simple song," he recorded various versions, enveloped in a tricky, drawn-out struggle to harness and reveal the tune's true essence. Some songs sit and smolder before they rise up to burn and glow. Some apparitions do indeed come alive.
Although they didn't grab any mantle accessories at this year's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards ceremony, the audience reaction when Skeetones were announced for their nominations in the New Artist and Electronic categories is evidence that the band might consider drafting acceptance speeches for 2011. The band has been generating big buzz since its official debut just over a year ago, even though drummer Robby Brokamp says the guys have been playing together "for like eight years."