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Pressing 'Pause'

Boomboxes achieve collector status and offer a break from incessant multi-tasking

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Watching the unveiling of the new Apple iPad solidified my decision about the vintage boombox that I'd purchased off eBay. I had originally begun searching for a portable stereo cassette player to listen to old tapes. Since then, I've realized that I had unwittingly become a member of a worldwide subculture where vintage boomboxes are as good as gold.  

Digging Cole

Colemine Records has faith in Funk, Soul and 7-inch vinyl

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Between the teetering economy and the wildly erratic music industry, it would require balls of absolute platinum to start a record label now. And those shiny cojones in your Jo Boxers are likely to be the only platinum you’ll experience if your label deals primarily in 7-inch vinyl singles.   

Fishbone Skanks Down Memory Lane

The 25-years-young band keeps the old-school Ska rhythms moving

1 Comment · Monday, February 22, 2010
John Norwood Fisher remembers hearing Two Tone Ska for the first time. It was the early 1980s, and fellow Fishbone member/trumpeter "Dirty" Walter Kibby introduced him to The Selecter and The English Beat. The bassist's reaction? "I was disappointed. We didn't invent Ska?!" Fishbone barely profited from the cachet they earned as the style's U.S. elders (the cultural focus shone on younger bands like No Doubt and Mighty Mighty Bosstones), but the group has rocked steady for 25 years.   

500 Miles to Memphis' Evolution and Revolution

Cranking out a world-class album with their new release, 'We've Built Up to Nothing'

3 Comments · Tuesday, February 16, 2010
In a scene filled with nice guys, Ryan Malott might be their king. He's young, massively talented, tirelessly inspired and self-deprecating to a fault, as evidenced by the title of his latest foray with his astonishingly versatile outfit, 500 Miles to Memphis.  

Hip Hop (Un)scene: Online Etiquette

When on the 'Net, promote as you would in real life: Be coy, don't annoy

1 Comment · Tuesday, February 9, 2010
One thing I've learned to be careful of is killing an opportunity before you've even studied and realized exactly what it is. Social networking promotions and building is a chess game, not checkers: It's not about the immediate victory as much as it is the one three steps ahead.   

Home Stripped Home

Kentuckians Moore and Sollee team up to address unsound mining practices in Appalachia

0 Comments · Monday, February 8, 2010
Two years ago, regional Folk phenoms Daniel Martin Moore and Ben Sollee met at a Lexington show and began making small talk about music when the subject of Appalachian strip mining was broached. This mutual passion led to the collaborative album, 'Dear Companion.'  

Souther Man

JD Souther returns to the studio and stage after 24 years

1 Comment · Monday, February 1, 2010
If you were asked which "lady or gentleman of the canyon" — the iconic 1970s-era singer-songwriters of Los Angeles' Laurel Canyon — had recently delivered a late-middle-age masterpiece, you’d probably guess Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Carole King, Don Henley, CS&N ... basically anyone but JD Souther. That's because he'd stopped recording for 24 years before releasing 'If the World Was You' to such acclaim in late 2008.  

Rejuvenated Chaos from Cancer Bats

Toronto hardcore outfit aims to mesh the raw and the refined on new album

0 Comments · Monday, January 25, 2010
Singer Liam Cormier vows to expand his repertoire of aching, personal tracks on Cancer Bats' new album, due in April. He describes it as "Glenn Danzig going on a camping trip with Black Flag's Greg Ginn, a reanimated Vincent Price and the Beastie Boys." Despite that incongruous congregation, he swears the band's third CD is its most cohesive work yet.  

Solitary Refinement

Owl City and Lights find wide audience with their solo crafted Electronic Pop

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 20, 2010
From the humblest of beginnings Adam Young has built a 21st Century Pop juggernaut called Owl City that's traveled the information superhighway on a meteoric rise to fame and acclaim. Opening on Young's current tour is the lovely and talented Lights, whose birth name is Valerie Poxleitner. In a way, you could call her the female and/or Canadian version of Owl City. The similarities are striking.  

Hip Hop (Un)scene: The Future Is Unwritten

Dreams are great, but temper your excitement, be realistic and enjoy every moment

2 Comments · Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I have a theory: Your dream is kind of like the moon — the further away you are from it, the more beautiful it looks. The closer you get to it, the more you see the reality of it: the craters, the flaws, the reality. If "me" from 2002 could see me now, I'm sure he would be so excited that he finally "made it."  

Hot Live Singles!

Sarah Borges spreads beloved live presence around on stage and record

0 Comments · Monday, January 11, 2010
When Sarah Borges appeared in Cincinnati last September on the MidPoint Music Festival's closing night, she was ailing, her band was playing the unknown-to-them Know Theatre and they were following the rejuvenated Wussy, clearly one of the local scene's biggest names. Of course, Borges and the Singles retained nearly every Wussy fan and rocked the Know to its very foundation. Her comfort in front of unpredictable audiences comes to Borges naturally.  

Licensed to Till

With a new album at the ready, The Tillers have ambitious goals for 2010

0 Comments · Monday, January 4, 2010
It's been a good year for The Tillers. They won Best Folk/Americana at the recent Cincinnati Entertainment Awards and now are releasing their second album, 'By the Signs.' The Tillers also are excited about their inclusion in an upcoming USA Network documentary and series of reports about people who live along Route 50, produced and hosted by veteran TV newsman Tom Brokaw.   

The Year in Your Ear

A look back at the best of the year in local recordings

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 30, 2009
It’s a safe bet that “physical copies” of albums will become less common as we hit 2019. But format, shmormat. The real story this year isn’t how the latest music from Greater Cincinnati was delivered; it’s how it sounded. And 2009 sounded pretty kick-ass if you were a follower of local music.  

Sweet Child '09

CityBeat music writers get all list-y on 2009's ass

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 23, 2009
CityBeat's music writing brigade found a lot to love about music in the last year of the '00s. From locals to underground sensations to mainstream oddities and commodities, 2009 surely was something to write home about.  

Heroes of the Zeroes

Fifty reasons why real music fans were lucky to live in Cincinnati in the ’00s

3 Comments · Wednesday, December 23, 2009
As we approach the beginning of a new decade, I decided to try to think of 100 reasons why I've enjoyed covering Cincinnati music over the past 3,650 days. At first I was worried I might not be able to come up with enough. A couple of hours into an "off the top of my head" list, I considered changing it to 1,000 reasons. After some hard editing choices, I've managed to squeeze the decade down into 50 items.