Plus, Metallica tribute band gets lawsuit threat, then apology, and a street artist sues over music video exposure
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Rapper Killer Mike makes a big impression working the spin room for Bernie Sanders after the most recent Democratic presidential candidate debate; a Metallica tribute band gets threatened with lawsuit, then offered an apology by the band itself for its "overzealous" representative's actions; and Dance Pop artist Kiesza gets sued by a street artist after daring to dance by his work on a public street while filming a video.
by Cassie Lipp
136 days ago
at 11:25 AM | Permalink
Guitarist Coleman Williams can barely see through his
overgrown hair as he leans over a 12-string guitar while he strums out “You
Knew This Was Coming” for local electronic act Dark Colour’s upcoming Animal EP. The song is the last to be
complete after two days of recording in Over-the-Rhine’s Sabbath Recording.
Williams lays down the finishing touches.
Although he can’t seem to play the chords right on his first try while the
sound engineer, Isaac Karns of the Pomegranates, records him, the chords
suddenly come flawlessly from Williams’ fingertips as he practices before the
“Cole is like an endangered species,” Karns says. “He plays this amazing stuff
when you’re not recording and then you’re like, ‘No! Do it again!’ ”For Sabbath Recording, late-night music means polishing tunes with intricate
details that dramatically transform songs, such as the 12-string guitar that
helped turn the aggressive, almost chaotic “You Knew This Was Coming” into a more
Poppy dance track reminiscent of Depeche Mode.
Jacob Merritt, also of the Pomegranates, came up with the idea for Sabbath when
he discovered a love for recording while in college about 10 years ago. Though
his interest in recording was put on hold while the band took off, Merritt
began investing in instruments and gear for a studio and started hunting for
the perfect space when things began to wind down.
Merritt and Karns hope that any artist who walks through their doors leaves
with a more defined or reinvigorated purpose for their music. The idea is for
the artists to feel refreshed and energized about who they are and what they
“If you work from that place, I think the other things are likely to fall into
place sonically or musically,” Karns says.
Merritt says he tries to make artists very comfortable and eliminate any
awkwardness from working with someone new. At Sabbath, the day always begins
with time to ask questions, read from a thought-provoking book and have
meaningful conversation meant to open the artists up.
“Bands consistently comment on how much more connected they feel with their
bandmates,” Merritt says. “If you aren't communicating as best you can, you
might be missing out on your best creative work. I really love seeing musicians
grow as songwriters and thinkers during their time at the studio.”
The goals of Sabbath Recording are just like the name suggests — it is a place
where artists can take time to rest, disconnecting from the stresses of
everyday life in order to focus on something they enjoy. To symbolize this,
artists leave their shoes at the door as they walk into the studio designed to
be a place of healing.
“Before starting, I always ask the artist if they love the songs, or their
voice, or instrument or whatever we will be working on that day and have them
respond,” Karns says. “It's small, but sometimes just saying aloud, ‘Yes, I
love my voice,’ can be a great way to internally prepare for the day.”
The intimate, uplifting recording sessions are what make Sabbath unique among
other studios and opportunities for musicians in Cincinnati. The team’s
dedication to giving every artist the best experience possible is evident in
even the small things they do, from strategically structuring sessions to
keeping the studio stocked with drinks and a snack pile so artists don’t have
to leave in search of nourishment.
“Jacob and Isaac put their hand in the creative direction of the music because
they feel so involved with the projects they bring in there,” says Dark Colour
vocalist Randall Rigdon. “Their connection with the artists set them apart from
other studios, where engineers can tend to act more exclusively as
In the two years that the studio has been open, artists from all over the
country have checked in. Merritt says they are open to working with anyone — and
taking the time before and during sessions to really understand who they are
While Karns is currently putting the finishing touches on Dark Colour’s Animal, which will be released with the
Montreal-based label Kitabu Records this spring, he is also excited to finish
up the quirky, trippy lounge-Punk debut album from S.R Woodward. Karns is also
developing a narrative-driven, collaborative experimental podcast project.
The team’s former bandmate from the Pomegranates Joey Cook will also check into
Sabbath to work on his fever-dream-Psych-Disco record, which Merritt says “will
be an odyssey.”
by Kerry Skiff
Posted In: Literary
at 01:26 PM | Permalink
Live Jazz at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s Main Branch
There’s nothing like being greeted by the bright echoes of music as you
step inside from the pouring rain. On this particular day I was visiting the
main branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for the
monthly Jazz of the Month Club performance, featuring the Jamey Aebersold
Quartet. It wasn’t hard to find the musicians, since their tunes bounced all around
the library atrium, and as I slipped into my seat I settled down and let the
warm jazz beats warm my cold body. The Jamey Aebersold Quartet, the third performer in the Jazz of the Month Club,
featured an extremely talented group of musicians, led by an award-winning Jazz
master and educator. Jamey Aebersold, who led the group on the alto sax, received
the 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award, the highest jazz
honor in America. A native of New Albany, Ind., Aebersold has been playing Jazz
for more than 50 years, and has gained international recognition as a Jazz
musician and educator. It was perhaps the educator in him that couldn’t resist
adding tidbits of the pieces and artists they performed.
The quartet played several Jazz tunes, including “Lament” by J.J. Johnson, “Hi-Fly”
by Randy Weston and “In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington, one of the most famous
Jazz compositions. As I listened to the lively beats I couldn’t help but look
around at the rest of the audience. While a couple people slept in the back
row, most were intently focused on the performers, nodding their heads, tapping
their toes or even dancing in their seats. Peeking out at passersby, I noticed
a few that were even dancing as they walked, and I saw more than one librarian
sneak a peek between tasks.
At one point, Aebersold pulled a Jamaican pianist into the performance and gave
him a rehearsal for their next song in “be-dos,” singing the melody in
gibberish. As strange as that seemed, Aebersold’s next instruction confused me
further: “There’s a two-bar break on bar…something. You’ll hear it.” While we
all laughed, I couldn’t help but wonder how the pianist could follow those
instructions, but to my amazement he jumped right in without missing a beat,
improvising as if he’d known the tune all along.
As a Jazz enthusiast, it was wonderful to hear the different styles of Jazz
played in a way that drew crowds from all sections of the library. Older adults
sat patiently through the program while younger audiences slipped in and out.
But no matter how long they stayed, all seemed to leave with an expression of
peace and pleasure at the simple but beautiful tunes wafting through the
building. It was evidence of what Aebersold described by saying, “The world’s a
mess. But we can make it better by playing some music.”
Did this event sound interesting? Check out similar programs at the Public
Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s Main Branch:
Cincinnati Music Reprise: Explore the musical history of Cincinnati with
Musicologist Uncle Dave Lewis.
Jazz Jam Session: Enjoy an evening
of jazz with the Blue Night Jazz Band.
Ring in the
Holidays: Listen to a holiday performance by the Pyropus Hand Bell Choir.
by Steven Rosen
Lekman, the acclaimed Swedish singer-songwriter whose weeklong residency at
Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center is now in its third day, has finished and
posted the first five songs in his Ghostwriting
hear them here.
Thursday, Lekman will be meeting with 11 people (it was supposed to be 12, but
one had to cancel) whose written entries about their experiences were selected
by him for song adaptations.
He will be
discussing their stories with them, creating lyrics and then recording — with a
small combo — songs that he posts for the world to hear. The participants
receive a USB copy in a gift box. Read more information about the project here.
to the five songs posted so far, one can hear that his knack for melody is up
for this challenge. “What Was Worth Saving,” “Cartwheels” and “The Love It
Takes to Get By” are particularly memorable. Because of an issue with one song
on Monday night, Lekman compensated by recording two versions of another,
“Northeastern Ascent.” Three more songs are scheduled to be finished and posted
online tonight and another three on Thursday evening.
at 8 p.m. at the Woodward Theater, Lekman will perform in concert with the
MYCincinnati Ambassador Ensemble, a string section
of Price Hill youth under the direction of local musician/composer Eddy Kwon,
who also adapted the arrangements. Some of the Cincinnati-composed songs will
are available at contemporaryartscenter.org for $20 (or $15 for CAC members) now and should still be
available at the door.
by Steve Rosen
Posted In: Literary
at 12:09 PM | Permalink
Mark Lewisohn discusses book Nov. 10
Mark Lewisohn, the internationally recognized Beatles historian
who is working on his epic All These
Years biography of the Fab Four’s story, will discuss the first book
completed and published in the planned trilogy — Tune In — at 7 p.m. next Tuesday in the Main Library's
Reading Garden Lounge, 800 Vine St., Downtown Cincinnati.
Lewisohn’s talk is free. No registration is required, and a book
signing will follow his appearance. Books will be available for purchase
courtesy of Joseph-Beth Booksellers.
Ten years in the making and consisting of hundreds of new
interviews and information learned from access to archives, Tune In follows the Beatles from their
childhoods through 1962 when their first hit record, “Love Me Do,” gives
indication of the greatness ahead.
The English author began writing about the Beatles in 1983, and
had previously published The Beatles
Live!, The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, The Beatles Day by Day and
the Complete Beatles Chronicle before
turning to this project.
He is now busily at work on the second volume and has come to
Cincinnati to do research at the Main Library.
0 Comments · Thursday, September 10, 2015
Motown: The Musical is one of those shows
that gets the moniker of “jukebox,” and this one totally deserves it,
since it offers nearly 60 tunes that cover a span of more than 30 years
of Pop music.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 29, 2015
He’s easy to miss but not hard to recognize. With a flat cap that never
seems to leave his head and a pair of khakis that usually complement a
playfully logoed T-shirt, Paul Strickland seems average.
Cincinnati Ballet closes its 50th anniversary season with local music heroes Over the Rhine
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Over the Rhine, the bluesy, jazzy, folksy
band headed by blonde chanteuse Karin Bergquist and real-life partner
Linford Detweiler, named after Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine
neighborhood where they once lived, this weekend will perform live with
Cincinnati Ballet dancers in the closing series of the company’s 50th