Sound Advice: Hopsin with SwizZz, Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton and DJ Hoppa

Thursday • Bogart’s

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2015
At 30, Hopsin is one of second-generation Hip Hop’s old guard, a genre veteran for nearly half his life who has used devices both fresh (white contact lenses that give him the appearance of an extra in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, YouTube promotion, a positive spin in his lyrical message) and time-tested (artist feuds, label conflicts, a fake retirement announcement, run-ins with the law, an acting career) to widen his exposure.  

Sound Advice: Futurebirds with Harpooner and Wilder

Wednesday • Southgate House Revival (Sanctuary)

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Futurebirds are the first to admit that their six members offer up an array of influences — from ’80s Pop to Country of every stripe to Psych-infused Indie Rock — that coalesce around one common thread: Athens, Ga. and its rich musical heritage.  

Embracing the Weirdness

With Helado Negro, Roberto Carlos Lange uniquely explores art, Electronic music and his Latin heritage

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Roberto Carlos Lange’s music, performed under the moniker Helado Negro, celebrates his Latin heritage in ways both obvious — he often sings in Spanish and there’s a breezily funky vibe to his textured electronic soundscapes — and subverting — his lyrics tend toward personal ambiguities and his song structures frequently jump off in unexpected directions.  
by P.F. Wilson 06.01.2015 128 days ago
Posted In: Live Music, Reviews at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Review: Marina and the Diamonds at Bogart's

There were diamonds everywhere at Bogart’s this past Friday (May 29), about 1,500 of them. Marina and the Diamonds is not a band, but the artistic umbrella for Welsh singer/songwriter Marina Diamandis. She says she created the solo-guise “band” moniker because she didn’t want to be seen as a solo Pop star, and wanted to “involve people” with a name that didn't make anyone feel excluded. So, you see, we are all diamonds. Most of the diamonds at her Cincinnati show were teenage to college-age girls with a smattering of parents in tow. Many had travelled a few hours to see their hero. It was a sadly homogenous audience, given the scope and talent of Diamandis and her three-album catalog, but an enthusiastic lot nonetheless.Her set started with “Bubblegum Bitch,” the power cut from her second album Electra Heart, and from there the party never stopped. The latest single, “Forget,” followed before she and her touring backing band launched into “Mowgli’s Road.” After that trio of songs, Diamandis chatted with the crowd telling them how happy she was to finally make it to Cincinnati. Though she was preaching to the converted, Diamandis proved to be no-less charming and engaging.“I am Not a Robot,” a U.K. Top 40 hit from 2010, followed and, as with the entire set, Diamandis’ voice soared effortlessly as she glided across the stage. About half way through, an additional keyboard was brought on stage. Diamandis proceeded to take a seat at it and play “Happy,” whilst her backing Diamonds looked on. It was a nice respite before the title track from her current album, Froot.While every song received a loud cheer, it was the two biggest hits that really got the diamonds in attendance particularly fired up. “Hollywood” (a No. 12 hit in the U.K.) was her breakthrough single in the in 2010 and is based on her observations of the U.S. “I’m obsessed with the mess that’s America,” she sings, though it’s not meant to be a criticism. (“It was written way before I got signed," she told me in an interview a few years ago. "It's funny because I wouldn't describe my relationship with America as love or hate. Anything that has an element of illusion naturally fascinates people. I absolutely love America.”) Live, the song was keyboarded-up nicely, though the album version echoes the synth sound of the ’80s effectively. Her guitar player strummed an acoustic guitar, providing a nice counterbalance.“Primadonna,” her other big single came next, and it too had a brighter and livelier sound on stage, sounding a little like an EDM track in spots, but not too heavily. Sadly, “Teen Idle,” a stand-out track from Electra Heart was left off the set list. “How to be a Heartbreaker,” finished the encore-less set, but the crowd seemed quite satisfied with the performance as Marina bade farewell to her diamonds to thunderous applause. Oddly, professional photographers were not allowed to take pictures of Diamandis (as is customary for just about any concert review), something that wasn’t revealed until just before the doors opened. It is unclear who made that decision. (Primadonna indeed?)

Mandolin Orange

Tuesday • Madison Live

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 20, 2015
If Robert Earl Keen and Kathleen Edwards formed a Bluegrass/Americana duo and managed to retain their individual identities while combining their collective talents into a distinct third direction, they would sound a lot like Mandolin Orange.   

The Charles Walker Band

Saturday • MOTR Pub

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Identifying Charles Walker’s influences doesn’t require prolonged exposure or intense examination. The Milwaukee native grew up with a love of the Blues, Funk, Pop and Motown, as evidenced by his devotion to Luther Allison, Prince and Stevie Wonder, and the sound that he’s developed with his latest outfit, appropriately tagged the Charles Walker Band.   

Steve Katz

Friday • Southgate House Revival

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 20, 2015
According to Publishers Weekly, Steve Katz’s new memoir Blood, Sweat, and My Rock ’n’ Roll Years: Is Steve Katz a Rock Star? has maybe the most spectacular revelation yet of any Rock memoir.  

The Infamous Stringdusters

Wednesday • Madison Theater

0 Comments · Monday, May 18, 2015
The Infamous Stringdusters are one of the more high-powered acts that exist on the fringes of Bluegrass music. Ten years as a band, the Stringdusters have built up an impressive following with albums and live shows that are upbeat, fun and fueled by amazing musicianship.  

Rudd, Wiser

With his new multi-cultural band and new album Nanna, Xavier Rudd is ready to show the world what’s up

0 Comments · Monday, May 18, 2015
Successful Australian singer/songwriter Xavier Rudd was compelled to push his art in new and interesting directions. Long desiring to assemble an Impossible Missions Force of global musical talent with the express purpose of refracting his ideas through fresh contextual prisms, for his new album, Nanna, Rudd achieved his goal with a new band that he's appropriately dubbed the United Nations.  

Agent Orange with In the Whale and Bearer of Bad News

Tuesday • The Drinkery

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 13, 2015
In a world where Punk has become a commodity on a par with soy lattes and $500 tennis shoes, it’s comforting to know that Agent Orange is still prowling the wastelands and kicking the universe in its rapidly descending ballsack.