The cover for The War on Drugs’ latest album, Lost in the Dream,
finds frontman Adam Granduciel looking down pensively, his fuzzy,
mop-headed silhouette semi-obscured by light flowing through a window.
The gauzy image is the perfect encapsulation of the Philadelphia band’s
brand of melancholic Psych Pop, a sound at once familiar and tough to
entirely pin down.
When Keb’ Mo’ comes to our area this weekend, he does so 10 days before the
release of his first solo recording in three years. Titled BLUESAmericana, the album’s name captures the multi-genre lines that Mo’ has crossed throughout his career.
Punk Rock covers a lot of serious, meaty
topics — individualism, anger, materialism, rebellion. But as
Guttermouth has proven, Punk Rock can also be about spitting in the face
of propriety for the sheer pleasure of it: They are reportedly banned
in Canada and have a song about a donkey sex show.
One Pilots’ fervent fan base radiates outward from their Columbus
headquarters, so it’s no surprise that the faithful showed up in full force for 2012 Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati like a mellow Mongol hoard.
Metallers Bobaflex's most recent recording is last fall’s self-released and short but
shredding Charlatan’s Web, featuring the leering Kiss-meets-Van
Halen “School for Young Ladies” and the my-fist-your-cold-face
dirge/anthem “I’m Glad You’re Dead.”
For eight years, Dom Flemons was a part
of the retro-yet-groundbreaking Carolina Chocolate Drops. After a great run that included a Grammy and wide-spread critical acclaim, Flemons decided to break away last year and strike out on his
Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, is a
mysterious lady whose increasingly impressive musical output is informed
by her expressive guitar playing and catchy, intricately crafted songs.
St. Vincent’s just-released, self-titled fourth album is rife with
contradiction, syncopated rhythms and surreal flourishes, the work of an
artist who continues to expand her horizons.
Ben Chasny and Donovan Quinn, doing
business as New Bums, are the sound of Bob Dylan and Neil Young raised
as brothers on the mean streets of New York, singing dark songs of
contemporary survival and busking for change with a cardboard sign that
reads “Paul Westerberg Relief Fund,” although they’re spending the money
on 40s and weed.
It seems almost unfathomable, but
Johnette Napolitano has been a musical fixture for over three decades,
with her pummeling bass style, distinctive and alluring dusky vocal rasp
and an almost Zelig-like knack for aligning herself with some of Rock’s
more prominent personalities.
Veteran, multifaceted Cincinnati Hip Hop
artist/promoter Abiyah has teamed up with Brooklyn, N.Y.’s R&B/Hip
Hop vocalist Corina Corina (whose latest album, The Free Way, was
just released) for a two-week jaunt through the East Coast and Midwest,
which began on Corina’s turf in mid-March and comes to Abiyah’s home
base this week.
Young Arizona Roots/Bluegrass quintet Run
Boy Run clearly has a reverence for what’s come before them — most of
them grew up in musical families connected to the Arizona Bluegrass
scene. But the subtly integrated elements of Classical music, Jazz and
Pop give the group enough of a slant that they are often dubbed a
While Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest
extravaganza continues to jump the shark due to corporate excess and
misdirection, the capitol city continues to be an exceptional music
town. The Band of Heathens came out of Austin’s rich music scene with a
lot of buzz in the mid-’00s.
The legendary five-time Grammy winners
Blind Boys of Alabama have steadily brought inspired grooves to the
stage since the group’s beginnings in the 1930s. Greater Cincinnati has
witnessed some special shows by the group, especially their gig at the2006 Tall Stacks Festival, when lead singer Jimmy Carter was led
into the crowd with a mic where he proceeded to lift up
the audience with goodness and light and soul.
The story of Grouplove is like something
straight out of the ’60s. The band members met at an artist commune on
the Greek island of Crete. All struggling to pay their bills with their
various forms of art, they each stumbled upon the right people at the
right time. Eventually they found themselves living in a basement in
Crete, able to focus on art instead of working to pay rent.