The Dust Feel frontman Mike Schalk takes another drag off his cigarette, smiles and says, "The last couple of months, I've been swimming in music." Yes, hard to leave the pool once you're in — the land of ever-cool, both darkness and light, both hazy and clear blue. If you love it, like us, why leave, really? Sometimes, sound is the greatest life preserver.
Dan Karlsberg has nearly a lifetime of experience on the piano. The 31-year-old Jazz pianist has been sitting at the keys since about the time he could reach them. His lifelong pursuit on the black and whites defines the Dan Karlsberg Group's sophomore album, 'Mission to Mars & Other Short Stories,' which displays his mastery of studied spontaneity.
Shawny Scott relates Chaselounge's goal in music to the song "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman. He heard the song one night on the radio and realized that this was what Chaselounge was aspiring to: songs that stand up to the test of time. "The goal day in and day out is to keep the band viable and creative," he says.
Happenstance. Seven years ago, two witty Geminis, Arianne Benick (vocals) and Julia Johanan (keys), met at a party. Soon they created a women's group, hit up yoga and one day randomly busted out "Takin It Slow," now track 5 on the debut EP from Cincinnati band iolite.
Spawned out of a Radiohead tribute show two years ago, The Guild of Calamitous Intent was born. Their vivid emotion pushes the structure. Intense drum parts creep in to bang-bang-shake things up, and then the mood settles into rich guitar riffs. The songs are long, around seven minutes each, but the multiple crescendos maintain a high suspense level.
Since The Dopamines got serious about spreading their Pop/Punk message to the wider world, the Cincinnati trio has notched some impressive accomplishments, from CEA nominations to relentless out-of-town touring. Their excellent sophomore full-length album, 'Expect the Worst,' is slated to drop at the end of the month in both vinyl and CD formats, and local fans can grab a copy at Friday's release show at the Southgate House.
Last year, following a particularly productive writing period, Ellery's married brain trust, Tasha and Justin Golden, hit the studio with renowned producer Malcolm Burn. But just months after finishing recording 'This Isn't Over Yet,' Tasha, who has dealt with mild depression for years, was overwhelmed by several personal and professional situations, leading to an almost crippling doubt about the future.
Singer/songwriter Kelly Thomas isn't particularly religious, but an element of spirituality motivates her. Early church/ vacation Bible school experiences comprise the bulk of her structured religious experiences, combined with a childhood penchant toward performing in public. But when she considers the creation of her new collaborative Gospel album, 'Gone Home by the Hayseed Tabernacle Choir,' it's hard to deny at least some divine intervention.
"We're there for us, and if the people like it that’s even better," says drummer Charles Hemlock. "We're not out to impress anybody, just having fun, and I think it shows when we're up there playing for each other." On and off stage, there's something underground, cloak-and-dagger mysterious about Incline District.
You'd never guess it, but Ryan Rockwell's all-time favorite band is Counting Crows. See, he has loads of tatas and his T-shirt has a gun on it. Long basketball shorts hang down his legs. His hair, dyed black. Rockwell smirks. "Can I just talk about local bands that suck and cause controversy?"
Like a bird, just follow the breadcrumbs. No No Knots' trail leads to four sharp, classically trained, College-Conservatory of Music junkies plus Molly Sullivan, one vivid vocalist. Call it Indie Rock or noisy Post Punk, but from Disco to carnival-style Electronic sounds, these tunes catapult into dirty Rock.
The Never Setting Suns have rocked out together since 2008. Their songs might have a structured backbone to begin, but then eight bars of chaos sneak in. They'll start with a melody, tear it up and then destroy it. "I'm just taking what I've loved from musicians like Isaac Brock and Jeff Tweedy," Corey Larrison says, "seeing the things they did, reciprocating that and recognizing that I'm continuing it."
The quartet is such a tightly knit and organic unit that no one really remembers whose idea it was to play together when their bands dissolved a year and a half ago. Almost effortlessly, the brothers and their cousins turned their family reunion jams and occasional musical get-togethers into an actual band.
Most local bands hit a nice area studio to record their first album. But The Ohms had a bigger impact in mind. After putting together a home demo and receiving a spectacular response to their set at their own annual Ohmstead music festival, the Reggae/Rock quartet cast its net farther from shore and ended up recording in L.A. with No Doubt producer Dito Godwin.
Steve Bowling has remained with the band Red Idle from its inception to its current cover band status, but he also continued to write Roots/Country songs that didn't fit the band. His bandmates' initial rejection inspired Bowling to christen his new side project Red Idle Rejects, who release their first CD on Saturday.