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Swans in Bloom

Thirty years after debuting, Swans are making the best music of leader Michael Gira’s career

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Somehow, more than 30 years after debuting amid the height of the No Wave movement, Swans are making the best music of their long, twisted existence.  

The Fall Guy

Cult legend Robyn Hitchcock delivers on latest “autumnal” album, The Man Upstairs

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Robyn Hitchcock, the British singer/songwriter whose intimately resonant, raspy voice and mysteriously peculiar worldview were shaped by such skewed troubadours of his youth as Nick Drake, Syd Barrett and the Incredible String Band, has long been said to make “autumnal” records. As in, “songs or singing that reflect on life with a bittersweet, melancholy wisdom coming from age and experience.”  

The Long Rider

For Willie Nile, Rock provides the reason to live

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Willie Nile, the long underappreciated, roots-rockin’ singer/songwriter from the streets of New York, has been on an incredible ride — an American ride — of late.
  

Revved Back Up

After a foray into straight Country, The Reverend Horton Heat returns to its rowdy Rockabilly-fueled sound

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 28, 2015
After cranking out eight studio albums over the first 13 years of a recording career that began with the 1990 release Smoke ‘em If You Got ‘em, the group’s most recent album, Rev, marks only the second studio release from the Dallas-based group since 2004’s Revival.  

Coming Back Down the Pike

Third lineup is the charm as Cincinnati’s Pike 27 returns after a six-year break

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The reanimation of Pike 27 is one of the most unlikely and welcomed Cincinnati-area band reunions in recent history (perhaps second only to The Warsaw Falcons’ recent resurrection).   

Reeling in the Years

A decade after the crackerjack 'Commit This to Memory', Motion City Soundtrack revisits its sophomore record

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 14, 2015
While Motion City’s origins date back to the late 1990s, 2005 was important one for the band, with the release of Commit This to Memory — its second album — on June 7.  

Ready to Happen

After two solid EPs, Cincinnati’s Let It Happen is prepared to take the next step with 'Cause + Effect'

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 7, 2015
The Cincinnati quartet may have taken five years to release their first full-length, last year’s bracing and infectious Cause + Effect, but the members seem as energetic and eager to move to the next phase as they must have been when they first coalesced as a band half a decade ago.  

Top Ten Albums of 2014

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 31, 2014
My 10 favorite albums of 2014 (minus Beyoncé’s last-minute 2013 surprise, the fascinating new D’Angelo record, which I’ve only listened to a handful of times since it dropped Dec. 15, and the new Spoon, which, though reliably stellar, sounds pretty much like the last five Spoon albums since D’s last one, Voodoo, hit 15 years ago).
  

Ten 2014 Albums or EPs You Should Be Embarrassed To Play

Either because of the pretentious title, the goofy name of the artist, the bizarre name of the record company or some combination of the three

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Please keep in mind they might actually sound wonderful, but I was too embarrassed to play them to find out.   

Top 10 Things I Learned from Top 40 Radio in 2014

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 31, 2014
It’s been many years since I’ve listened to Top 40 radio and while there are moments where I want to jump out of the moving car (the repetition is the worst part of it), it hasn’t been that bad of an experience.   

A Top Ten, or What I Did on My Bummer Vacation

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 31, 2014
This year held such promise on Jan. 1, 2014.  

Ancient Shades of Jade

Greater Cincinnati’s Jade gets the shot they never got with the Shake It reissue of its lone album

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Last month, Shake It Records co-owner Darren Blase reissued Jade's only album, Faces of Jade.
  

Dubbing the New Year

British Electronic artist Ott plays his only stateside show of 2014 New Year’s Eve in Covington

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Rave music, a pulsing subculture of sweaty warehouse basements and strobing audio-visual ritual, became widely popular in the U.K. in the 1980s.  

The Year in Local Recordings

A look back at some excellent 2014 releases by Greater Cincinnati musical acts

0 Comments · Monday, December 22, 2014
2014 was another excellent year for releases by artists from the Greater Cincinnati area.
  

Reality for the Holidays

Over the Rhine returns for another “reality Christmas” and news of a new venue

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 17, 2014
With Blood Oranges in the Snow, Over the Rhine treats the Christmas album as a major artistic statement that questions the holiday’s celebratory nature as much as it acknowledges it.