What should I be doing instead of this?
 
WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Cassie Lipp 01.27.2016 98 days ago
Posted In: Music at 04:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Slice of Cincinnati: WNKU

From a dark studio strung to the brim with Christmas lights comes a music that seems as if it could have originated in an Indian temple, yet it resonates with the charm of American Folk music. A barefoot guitar player taps his foot on a pedal as he strums along flawlessly next to his bandmate, who is playing an instrument of his own creation — a sitar with some strings and a bell removed, frets added and a homemade capo fashioned out of plastic rollers and a piece of a lampshade. As Dawg Yawp plays its song “I Wanna Be a Dawg” in WNKU’s Studio 89, the duo emits a powerful sound that blends together traditional Folk instruments with electronic elements. Their John Cage-esque ability to reinvent new ways to play music (minus slapping a dead fish on a piano) sets them apart from any other folk artist. It’s the perfect combination of worldly and psychedelic. “It sounds amazing to sit there and listen to all of the different elements coming together,” says WNKU’s sound engineer Matt Moermond as he watches a video of the performance on his iPad. “They did big things this year. Their new music has even more of an electronic side with a lot of samples and layers.” The video is part of the station’s promotion of local music. Dawg Yawp is one of the artists that has been featured as the station’s Local Discovery of the Month, an honor that has also been spotlighted other Cincinnati-based artists such as Jeremy Pinnell, Multimagic and The Yugos. Moermond remarks on how the Local Discovery videos — all filmed in Studio 89 — have become viral on social media. With the help of sharing and instant viewing on Facebook, a WNKU video of a Jeremy Pinnell performance has had more than 13,000 views. Along with the monthly spotlight, WNKU plays a song by a local artist at least once an hour. However, it isn’t just music from Cincinnati. For WNKU, local means as far as their radio signal goes out. Artists from areas nearby Cincinnati, such as Columbus and Indianapolis, can also enjoy being aired on the station. WNKU’s Assistant Program Director Liz Felix sees playing local music as the convergence of the station’s mission. “Ultimately our mission is two-fold: play awesome music that’s not necessarily exposed anywhere else and tying into the local community,” Felix says. “Playing local music is both of those things together, and I think that’s what exciting about it.” Both Felix and Moermond say they are blown away by the quality of recordings they receive from local artists. So much so, that it is difficult for them to pick who they will feature each month because there are so many great artists to choose from. “This is music that I would have no problem telling other people in the record industry, ‘Here are the great bands from Cincinnati,’ and I think they would stand up against any national release,” Felix says. The local artists featured monthly are chosen from the pool of local artists already being played on WNKU. The station also looks for artists who are actively releasing new music and who may be familiar, but not too widely known. “It is extremely important that we play the local artists and support the local scene,” Moermond says. “That’s one of the main reasons that we’re here. It gives bands a voice that they may not otherwise receive in broadcast. We were the first ones to ever air Walk the Moon.” Local artists can submit their music to WNKU in order to be played. Moermond says when he is listening to local music submissions, he looks for quality. While quality production is a requirement for airtime on WNKU, he says this does not mean that music has to be expensively produced, as there are ways to make quality recordings within your home. Moermond also explains that local music submission should clearly be marked as local recordings. The station receives so many submissions a day, it is easier to find local music that is marked as such. Aside from submissions, Moermund and Felix say they try to attend shows throughout Cincinnati at least a few nights per week to stay in touch with the local music scene and discover new artists. They enjoy artists who present lively, energetic performances no matter how small or large the crowd. Both agree it is as much fun as it is necessary to be in tune with the local music community. “I like how everyone seems to know each other, and builds off that,” Moermond says. “It’s fun to see everyone help each other to grow and expand. It’s neat to see how they work together.” The vibrant scene also gives them a unique sampling of the many local artists making great music. “There’s such a diversity of sounds that there doesn’t seem like there is an overarching sound of Cincinnati,” Felix says. “Everyone is kind of doing their own thing and there’s so much good stuff and so many different genres.”
 
 
by Cassie Lipp 01.13.2016 112 days ago
at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Slice of Cincinnati: Sabbath Records

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 next take. “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 are doing. “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 technicians.” 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 working with. 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.” Inquiries: sabbathrecording@gmail.com
 
 

Galactic with The Record Company

Tuesday • 20th Century Theatre

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 18, 2015
New Orleans is of course known for its musical history and for producing funky jams amidst the joyous chaos of the city.   

Red with Islander, 3 Years Hollow and Seven Circle Sunrise

Saturday • Thompson House

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Since its 2004 formation, Red has had a rather chameleonic presence.   

Goodbye June with Mamadrones

Friday • MOTR Pub

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 18, 2015
There’s a distinctively rootsy Americana vibe that snakes its way through the Hard Rock volume of Goodbye June, like a lazy southern river.  

Drive-By Truckers with Eric Church

Saturday • U.S. Bank Arena

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 18, 2015
English Oceans has become one of Drive-By Truckers’ most distinctive albums in a discography full of them.   

Justin Townes Earle with Gill Landry

Tuesday • Southgate House Revival

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 3, 2015
When you are Justin Townes Earle and you are the son of the famous musician Steve Earle, the bonus of name recognition soon gives way to overt scrutiny.   

The Church with The Sharp Things

Sunday • Woodward Theater

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 3, 2015
In the late ’70s, Australia exported a fair amount of bracingly unique Alternative Rock that rivaled anything produced by America or Great Britain.  

The Life and Times with Ashes and Iron

Thursday • MOTR Pub

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Indie Rock power trios are as common as crime, but the ones that rise to the top of the form defy the limitations of their numbers by sounding more expansive than the standard guitar/bass/drums set-up.   

Iris DeMent with Pieta Brown

Thursday • 20th Century Theater

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 3, 2015
In the Folk/Gospel/Country realm, few singer/songwriters are as acclaimed, respected and beloved as Iris DeMent by devoted fans as well as her adoring peer group.  

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