WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by mbreen 08.23.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Reviews, Local Music at 09:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Koala Fires Release Final LP, Play Final Show

Cincinnati band calls it quits with new album 'Doom of the Norns' and farewell show Saturday

Saturday at Mayday in Northside, the great Cincinnati Indie Rock band Koala Fires will be performing for the last time. But the band is also saying goodbye with a gem of an album, Doom of the Norns, the band's second full-length, which will be officially released tomorrow in conjunction with the show. The Fires will be joined by Chicago's Brighton, MA and Cincy's Jody Stapleton and the Generals. Performers from Cin City Burlesque will also entertain between sets. Doors open at 8 p.m. and admission is $7. (Koala Fires will donate half of their merchandise sales Saturday night to help relocate the women of the Anna-Louise Inn.)Doom of the Norns is a compelling piece of art, an Indie Pop/Rock record with a hefty emotional weight. Singer/songwriter Matt Mooney's vocals have never sounded better, his honey-dipped instrument crooning the album's up-and-down tales of finding love and losing it. It's not a unique concept, but in Mooney's hands, it feels real, raw, somber and often explosive. (Mooney wrote the record to help him get through the demise of his 10-year marriage.)Mooney and guitarist Ben Evans play beautifully off of each other, their intertwining fretwork creating a wash of dynamic sound. Drummer Matt Retherford and bassist Matt Zink fuel the songs with precision and a distinctive flair; Retherford's fiery yet intuitive playing, in particular, is a crucial part of the albums success. But the heart of the album is the passionate songwriting. These are Pop/Rock songs, but Mooney's melodies wind in unexpected directions and the songs themselves are dynamically structured. "Grim is the Doom of the Norns" sets the tone, building with twinkling guitars and Mooney's voice showcasing that early-love "head in the clouds" state of mind, before ripping into a big, exuberant chorus. "Nuckalavee" bops along on a jaunty rhythm, undercut by cutting lyrics like, "Do you want control of me? That might be nice/But after years and years he'll escape one night/He will terrorize, drink tears from your eyes and then scare your pain away."Doom of the Norns by Koala FiresMooney may just be one of the best Rock lyricists in town. The powerful "Valley of the Kings" begins with the lines, "There used to be a thousand ways to tear this down and start again/But, now it seems there's just one way and it involves a match and some kerosene." The album gets progressively dark, but the words aren't defeatist — they sound like the kind of lyrics someone would write to come to terms with the ending a long relationship. It's artistic therapy. By the last couple of tracks, there is hope and resolve. There is emotion to spare on Doom of the Norns, but this ain't no wallowing Emo spew. Mooney delves into his despair and writes about it smartly and poetically, making it the kind of album that would fit in your record collection perfectly alongside LPs by The Afghan Whigs, later Superchunk and Cari Clara. When you fall in love with Koala Fires after hearing this album (if you aren't already in love with them), don't be too sad. Mooney has a new-direction project in the works, Retherford and Evans play together in the Cincy band House of Feeble Minds and Zink is a member of up-and-comers The Future Strikes. The Fires will burn on. (Click here to purchase the album digitally.)
 
 
by Mike Breen 03.09.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 01:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
young-jeezy

Music Tonight: Young Jeezy, Brighton MA and More

Hip Hop star Young Jeezy performs tonight in Corryville, bringing his tour behind the recent Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition album to Bogart's for an 8 p.m. show. The Def Jam Records recording artist released his major label debut, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, in 2005, spawning the hit single "Soul Survivor," featuring singer Akon. The South Carolina-born, Atlanta-based MC (once a member of the group Boyz n da Hood) put out two more albums — The Inspiration and The Recession (in ’06 and ’08, respectively) — which featured guests from R. Kelly and Keyshia Cole to Nas and Kanye West (their collabo "Put On" was nominated for a Grammy), and he's appeared as a guest himself on singles by Usher ("Love in This Club") and Rihanna ("Hard"). The Thug Motivation masterclass skipped ahead to 103 (perhaps Thug Motivation 102 is audit-only?) and was released late last year after several announced release dates came and went. The album landed at No. 3 on the album charts its first week out (in the midst of holiday shopping fever, making it more impressive). TM 103 once again features a pretty heady guest list, with cameos by Yo Gotti, Lil Wayne, Freddie Gibbs, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Jill Scott, Snoop and Ne-Yo, who appears on the most recently released single "Leave You Alone."  Check the video below (NSFW for language, excessive head tattoos and gratuitous product placement for Crown Royal and Ciroc vodka). Tickets for tonight's show are $25 (plus fees). Read more about Jeezy here.• Indie rockers Brighton MA — neither from Brighton nor Massachusetts — hit MOTR Pub tonight for a free show with great locals The Mighty. The Chicago band was formed by two members of Scotland Yard Gospel Choir upon their departure from that acclaimed Indie Pop ensemble, emerging as a successful and acclaimed unit in its own right not long after. An intense mesh of Folk, Rock and Pop, the band's songs have been used on TV shows (like Gossip Girl and Community) and in a successful Jack Daniels ad campaign last year during the holidays. The band also scored a sweet tour van to take a trip on Route 66 for an extensive promotional web series called "Rock the Route," which was sponsored(-the-hell-out-of) by Red Bull. Earlier this year, the group released a new 7-song EP called Billboard Sun, a warm-up for their second full-length, due later this year. Tonight's show starts around 10 p.m. Oh, and Brighton, Mass., is the neighborhood in which singer Matt Kerstein was born (in case you were wondering). Here's the band's "Good Kind of Crazy" (aka "the song from the Jack Daniels commercial"):• Veteran Country star Marty Stuart plays the Newport Syndicate tonight, part of the club/restaurant's concert series that matches musical performances with a dinner buffet (the successful series has featured artists like John Waite and Little River Band in the past). Read more about Marty here then get to the club by 6 p.m. for your meal. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. (For more food/show details, go here.) And check out a video for "Tear the Woodpile Down" from Stuart's forthcoming Nashville, Volume 1: Tear the Woodpile Down (due April 24). Stuart's career has crossed lines and touched on Rock & Roll and Bluegrass over the years, but Woodpile looks to be straight-up Country. Here's a great press-release quote from Stuart about the new effort: "When I first came to Nashville the most outlaw thing you could possibly do around here was to take Country music and blow it up into Rock & Roll. Mission accomplished! Today, the most outlaw thing you can possibly do in Nashville, Tenn., is play Country music.”• Equal Vision recording artists We Came As Romans (cover models for the April edition of Alternative Press magazine) will rock Covington's Madison Theater tonight with guests Emmure, BlessTheFall, Color Morale and Woe is Me (all on the road together currently as "The Fire and Ice Tour"). Doors open at 6 p.m.; showtime is 7 p.m. Admission to the all ages show is $19. Read more about the Romans here and check out their most recent music video, "Understanding What We've Grown to Be," below.• Syracuse, NY, native (boo! Go Bearcats!) Martin Sexton comes back to Greater Cincinnati tonight, performing at Oakley's 20th Century Theater "An Evening with …"-syle (meaning no opening act and lots of Martin all night long). The folksy Americana singer/songwriter is known for his fingerstyle guitar playing, skilled songwriting and soulful singing, as well as his "guitar-solo vocals," where he mimics guitar leads, Peter Frampton-style (at the 2006 Jammy Awards at Madison Square Garden, he had a sung-solo sing-off with Frampton — maybe Pete will show tonight?). Read more here. Tonight's show is at 8 p.m. and admission is $22. Below is the official video for Sexton's title track off of the recent 5-song EP, Fall Like Rain:

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