Twenty years ago, one of Cincinnati's most successful bands — Over the Rhine — signed a record deal with I.R.S. Records, the label founded by Miles Copeland (brother of Police drummer Stewart) and home to key "Alternative" music releases by R.E.M., The English Beat, Concrete Blonde, The Go-Go's and many others. Now, I.R.S. is back as a working label and its first signing is, coincidentally, eclectic/eccentric Cincinnati rockers Foxy Shazam. The new I.R.S. Records is being relaunched as a joint venture between Crush Management (whose founders have guided the careers of Train and Gym Class Heroes) and EMI. Foxy Shazam released two albums through Warner Bros./Sire, which — along with extensive touring — helped them amass a big following in the States and overseas.
The first sounds from the band's I.R.S. debut are available now via the band's Facebook. Click here to listen to or download your own MP3 copy of the muscular, powerful track "I Like It."
Cincinnati Rock foursome Wussy had its biggest year by far in 2012, as the band traveled extensively for the first time, securing some great opening slots on tours by The Afghan Whigs and The Heartless Bastards. The band also gained a fan base in the U.K., where the label Damnably Records issued an acclaimed compilation culled from the band's previous albums called Buckeye (frontpeople Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker traveled to the U.K. to tour and promote the release).
With their press kit more overflowing than ever with international reviews and a variety of key radio appearances, Wussy's members are in a grateful mood. To say, "Hey, thanks," to their fans new and old, the group has issued Berneice Huff and son, Bill sings… Popular Favorites, a free compilation download that includes demos, rarities, b-sides and more.
Berneice Huff and son (named for that irresistible album cover travesty) kicks off with an intro from NPR's Terry Gross, taken from when Fresh Air did a piece on the group in 2009. The rest of the collection is a treasure trove for Wussy completists, with live radio sessions and interviews, a few cover tunes and the initial three-song demo that Cleaver took to Shake It in 2003 looking for a record deal.
Click here to download Berneice Huff and son, Bill sings… Popular Favorites and read more about the material included.
Here's one of the track from the collection, Coltrane Motion's remix of "Maglite," from the remix compilation This Will Not End Well, which featured several local artists' reworkings of Wussy songs (Coltrane Motion is based in Chicago but originated in Cincy).
Music Tonight: Call it the New Wisp Jazz Club — iconic local Jazz venue the Blue Wisp reopens today at its new location at the corner of Race and Seventh streets, following its move over the past week from its old digs on Eighth Street. I’m psyched about the new location for selfish reasons — because it’s so close to CityBeat’s world headquarters (if you’re looking for a staffer after 5 p.m., check the new club’s bar area). Looking out the window by my cubicle, I can see that the hideously ugly sign from when the restaurant Bagpipes was in the space is still hanging up (for the record, purple, lime green and orange NEVER go together unless you are making pottery in a Southwestern desert). And The Blob that is Greater Cincinnati construction crews decided it was a good week to swarm Race Street … right in front of the new Wisp (leaving traffic down to just one lane). But the show must go on and the Wisp is on track to re-open today at 4:30 p.m.
Music Tonight: L.A.-based Electronic trio The Glitch Mob has capitalized on the strength and success of its Hip Hop/Dubstep/Electronica recordings — like last year’s acclaimed breakthrough LP, Drink the Sea — by touring fairly consistently. But, though the three are former DJs, a Glitch Mob show isn’t just a three-headed DJ set. That wouldn’t fly in a venue like Red Rocks in Colorado, but the Glitch Mob worked a packed house into a fervor there recently. The Mob is a live band, playing and controlling their instruments, be they electronic or otherwise.
Music Tonight: Smooth, soulful Cincinnati-based vocalist Dion performs at The Greenwich in Walnut Hills. Dion got off to a fast start in his career; after graduating college, he went to a talent showcase hosted by renowned DJ Hi-Tek (another a hometown hero). Dion won the contest/audition and Hi-Tek began to use him on some of the high-profile projects he was working on. He and Tek collaborated on the track "Runnin'," from Game's first album, The Documentary, which brought him to the attention of Game's label, Aftermath, founded by the legendary Dr. Dre (he's also worked with Talib Kweli, Xzibit, 50 Cent and others). But the deal didn't pan out (maybe Dre got distracted by his headphones company). Dion has continued to perform and work on new music; he released a mixtape this year (it came out in Japan on the Japan Entertainment Group label) called The Sample, which you can listen to here and download for free here. The gifted Neo Soul/R&B singer (if you dig D'Angelo and Musiq Soulchild, you'll likely love Dion) performs at 8 p.m. at The Greenwich tonight. Admission is just $3 (free appetizers included!). You can check out a fairly recent interview with Dion from the website boxden.com here. Below, enjoy the track "Let It Go," from Hi-Tek's Hi-Teknology 2 album, featuring Tek, Dion and Talib.
Next weekend, the Lollapalooza music festival returns to Chicago for its 20th anniversary extravaganza. CityBeat will have some reporters in the field covering the event, but most of us don't have the money for such a costly road trip this year. Thankfully, you can have a sort of "virtual reality" audio experience of Lollapalooza without leaving your bed or sweating more than a boxer in the final round. And you can do it all in under an hour.
Area Pscyh/Pop/Rock trio Buffalo Killers and vintage Rock/Soul/Pop master Brian Olive will be featured heavily on a new live album that includes tracks culled from performances at the 2012 Deep Blues Festival in Minnesota. The three-day, sold-out fest featured 26 bands, seven of which (including Olive and Buffalo Killers) record for the Alive NaturalSound imprint, which is releasing the live set.
Alive at the Deep Blues Fest is due Nov. 27 on CD, digitally and on "BBQ-sauce red colored vinyl" (the fest was presented by the owner of a BBQ joint near the Twin Cities). Brian Olive has the songs "Traveling" and "Bonelle" on the release; Buffalo Killers open the album with "River Water" and an epic version of "It's a Shame," which is available for free download. Give it a listen below and hit the download button for your very own copy.
Buffalo Killers headline the Ballroom at the Taft Theatre on Nov. 16 with Hollis Brown opening. Tickets are just $8 in advance. Click here for tickets and more details.
During the heat of the current presidential election, you can always count on Team Coco to keep those LOLs and ROFLs alive and well. For its weekly Rdio mixtape, Team Coco has procured the perfect songs for a Mitt Romney playlist. Featuring tracks such as Money, Money, Money, Polygamy Blues, I Gotsta Get Paid and many more, this playlist is sure to get anyone’s Romney on.Enjoy! Well, most of you. Forty-seven % of you can
Powerhouse area power trio Buffalo Killers will have their fourth album, Dig. Sow. Love. Grow., released nationally by Alive Naturalsound Records on Aug. 7. The album will be released on CD and digitally, with a limited edition orange vinyl version available through Bomp!
From the press release:
Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. is a heady synthesis of not only their own previous efforts, but also the many unique styles of music cultivated on American soil over the last five decades. From late '60s psychedelia, blues, Americana, garage rock and the folk-rock sounds that rolled out of Laurel Canyon in the early '70s like a sweet cloud of Acapulco Gold, brothers Zachary and Andrew Gabbard along with Joseph Sebaali have brought them all together to create an intoxicating album that sounds as timeless as it does remarkably fresh... and quite unlike anything else being released today.
Relix has your first listen to the album, a great heavy track called "Get It." The tune is available for free download through the site here.