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Back in Record Time

Vinyl release sales spike, and it's not just for nostalgia's sake

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 13, 2010
It hasn't happened yet, but Shake It Records co-owner Darren Blase expects it to start occurring soon. "The next big thing will be people trading in their CDs to buy vinyl," he jokes. Yet as Record Store Day approaches on Saturday, new and used vinyl has become a booming growth area at Cincinnati stores observing the event. Shake It and Everybody's, in fact, have converted rooms entirely to vinyl.   

Rocky's New 'Devotion'

Seattle's Rocky Votolato is rejuvenated by the release of new album

0 Comments · Monday, April 12, 2010
The singer/songwriter's newest album, 'True Devotion,' is a semi-autobiographical Folk-centered collection, one that basically says, "Hi, I'm Rocky, and this is a snapshot of my life during a three-year hiatus." The new record offers a poet wielding an acoustic guitar, his warm storytelling lifted by an innocuous trifecta of drums, keys and strings.  

Crazy Like a Fox

Cincinnati's Foxy Shazam poised to break big with major label debut album

1 Comment · Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Foxy Shazam might have signed to super-conglomerate Warner Bros., but they're not reining in their enthusiasm for unhinged craziness and uniquely eccentric creativity. Witness the recurring lyric from "Bye Bye Symphony" from Foxy's about-to-be-released major-label debut, a line at once wildly hilarious, supremely confident and nonsensibly pragmatic: "Life is a bitch, but she's totally doable." That sentiment belongs on the bumper of every car in America.  

Tempering the Tantrums

The Bronx's raging, rafters-rattling clatter finds new angles

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Matt Caughthran's near-death life experiences tie into The Bronx's MO: seek destruction out, let destruction come to you and channel the havoc into Hard Rock-tinged Hardcore Punk. The band's sound is driven by the thrill that comes with spitting in the face of impending doom.  

Doom With a View

Weedeater is an inspiration to Doom Metal fans and bands alike

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 30, 2010
When "Dixie" Dave Collins ponders the question of how Weedeater has changed since its 1994 birth, he has an unusual answer. "We're definitely a lot more tired, beat up a little bit and minus one toe," Collins says in his dry North Carolina drawl. "I blew off half my toe about two months ago. I was getting ready to clean a shotgun and doing too many things at once, having drinks."  

Return to NOW

Bryce Dessner brings unique MusicNOW fest back for fifth year

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Cincinnati native Bryce Dessner's MusicNOW brainchild has evolved into one of the singular musical events in the Midwest, a multi-day festival featuring a like-minded collection of creatively adventurous musicians who relish the opportunity to partake in its laid-back, artist-friendly atmosphere. Dessner talks about his approach to MusicNOW, why Memorial Hall is the right venue and the upcoming album from his band, The National.  

Vinnie Vidi Vici

Annie Clark of St. Vincent is inspired by everything from Disney to Suicide

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 24, 2010
St. Vincent can be deceiving. First there's the name, which brings to mind a chanting religious dude in white robes (it's actually a reference to the hospital where poet Dylan Thomas spent his final hours). Then there's the physical appearance of the person behind the moniker, Annie Clark, a demure woman with a mop of curly, jet-black hair and a face that looks as innocent as Bambi's. She headlines the second night of MusicNOW.  

Yo Gabba Gabba: The Real Kid Rock

Unique children‘s TV show features an eclectic Indie Rock soundtrack

0 Comments · Monday, March 15, 2010
Of all the hot tickets on the spring concert circuit, one of the biggest draws might be DJ Lance Rock, host of Yo Gabba Gabba, the Indie Rock-fueled kids show on Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. cable channel. Musical guests/fans like The Flaming Lips, Weezer, The Shins and The Killers means that Yo Gabba Gabba’s target audience might not have to pester their parents to convince them to attend.  

Hip Hop (Un)Scene: Smells Like Scene Spirit

When artists don't reach outside their safety zones, music stagnates

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Why are local scenes so split? Not to say there aren't people who venture to other scenes in the city, but the majority stays put in their comfort zone. I could make this point for most music scenes in the city, but I'll stick to Hip Hop since that's what the column's title tells me this is about.  

Running Rampant

The Lions Rampant dials everything up a couple notches with debut album

0 Comments · Monday, March 8, 2010
After two excellent EPs, The Lions Rampant's full length album, 'It's Fun to Do Bad Things' (released next week), is a masterstroke of snarling, primal Garage Rock with extra helpings of deep fried Soul. "I can definitely see a change from the beginning to these songs," Stuart MacKenzie says. "This album is a lot more diverse than the EPs."  

Something Extra

Lagniappe's diverse Cajun gumbo has a completely unique musical flavor

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 2, 2010
In Cajun/Creole culture, "lagniappe" generally describes a tip for services rendered or additional items given to a customer in appreciation for a transaction. But the literal translation of the French-derived word is, as drummer/percussionist Yvan Verbesselt notes, "something extra, something special." That's precisely what the local Cajun-and-more sextet Lagniappe delivers on a regular basis.  

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.