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The Triumphant Andre Williams

After decades of struggle, R&B artist Andre Williams finds his way back into music’s good graces

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Andre Williams, also known as Mr. Rhythm, made several salacious R&B records for independent labels, produced Ike Turner, did live shows with Little Willie John and managed Soul singer Edwin Starr. He was slipped into drugs, alcohol and homelessness in the 1980s. But now at age 73, he is releasing a new album.  

Donald Fagen's Revue Redo

Steely Dan frontman hits the road with pals for the Dukes of September Rhythm Revue

1 Comment · Friday, September 3, 2010
As a student of musical history, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen knows that during the Great Depression musical revues were a popular form of live entertainment. So does that mean the 'Dukes of September Rhythm Revue,' coming to PNC Pavilion Sept. 10 and featuring Fagen, Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald, was launched in response to the ongoing Great Recession? "No, but it occurs to me that sometimes these things happen on an unconscious level," Fagen says.  

She Blinded Me With Scientists

Brooklyn trio looks to increase its American audience

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Dichotomy looms so large for We Are Scientists that it's almost a provisional member. They're a California band that's lived in New York for nearly a decade. The members are inveterate smartasses in interviews and between songs on stage, although their finely honed sense of humor rarely comes through in the music in any obvious way (like, say, They Might Be Giants).  

Fall Arts Preview: Classical Music

Jarvi bids CSO farewell, plus tons of chamber music

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Orchestras all over the world are still playing music from the 16th century; if The Beatles are being cited as an influence in 2310, that will be a good indication of Rock's timelessness. In the meantime, there's plenty of centuries-old (and newer) music coming this fall, starting with the world-renowned Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, in its final season under Maestro Paavo Jarvi.  

Jeff Daniels: Strum & Strummer

A-list actor uses musical talents to raise funds for his small-town theater

0 Comments · Monday, August 23, 2010
An elephant will be in the room Thursday when Jeff Daniels, the singer, songwriter and guitarist, performs at the Southgate House. That elephant is the simultaneous presence of Jeff Daniels, the acclaimed actor in such movies as Terms of Endearment, The Squid and the Whale, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Dumb & Dumber. Daniels, the musician, doesn’t try to pretend that his “other” career doesn’t exist. He performs Thursday at the Southgate House.  

Maps & Atlases & Great Music

Continuing to chart an interesting sonic course

0 Comments · Friday, August 13, 2010
When Maps & Atlases coalesced six years ago, they were four young art students steered by contemporary musical thought and informed by their parents’ record collections. In some ways, they’re not far from that model now but time and experience have brought the Chicago quartet into much clearer focus.  

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.