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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.  

Hip Hop (Un)Scene: Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em

For artists, routine is vital to developing a sustainable daily/career flow

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 18, 2011
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.  

Homecoming Kings

Brooklyn-based Cincinnati natives The National headline MusicNOW

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 11, 2011
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.  

A Sound Rotation

Songs we want to see on Elvis Costello’s Spectacular Spinning Songbook

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 11, 2011
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.  

Beat Assembly

Hip Hop producers and spectators come together for The Beat Lounge

2 Comments · Wednesday, May 4, 2011
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.