Mike Stern, Mindy Smith, Robert Pollard and Peter Mulvey

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Be warned: At least some of these CD reviews were written out longhand while I stared at beautiful Pickerel Lake while vacationing in northern Michigan. A good many of them were accompanied by a fairly well-stocked bar. For the Bob Pollard album, that was probably appropriate. I also check out new releases by Mike Stern, Mindy Smith and Peter Mulvey.  

Jockey Club Re-Reunion

Aug. 15 • Southgate House

0 Comments · Monday, August 10, 2009
First Aurore Press released 'Stories for Shorty,' recollections about Newport's infamous Jockey Club, which prompted a reunion show, which resulted in a live CD of the proceedings, 'A Jockey Club Reunion: Live at the Southgate House.' And now there's a "re-reunion" show to recognize the CD's release and to benefit "Handsome" Clem Carpenter, the Jockey Club's defacto "Master of Ceremonies" and a pioneering Punk radio broadcaster on WAIF.  

Damien Jurado with mewithoutyou and Psalters

Aug. 18 • The Mad Hatter

0 Comments · Monday, August 10, 2009
Good singer-songwriters make fans. Great singer-songwriters make friends. That's how Damien Jurado burst out of the Seattle scene and into the Indie spotlight a dozen years ago. Last year's 'Caught in the Trees' CD might well have been the best of Jurado's career so far, as he teamed with longtime friends to craft a noisier soundtrack that harkened back to his early days.  

The Donnas with Blondie and Pat Benatar

Aug. 15 • PNC Pavilion

0 Comments · Monday, August 10, 2009
Get ready for a blazing show at PNC Pavilion: The Donnas in live mode are like a Russian porn star, Rockyer Cockov. For evidence, check out the group's latest CD, the ironically-titled 'Greatest Hits Vol. 16,' which offers up freshly recorded and live versions of old songs, a few B-side rarities and some new material. Fellas, hold on tight. Ladies, keep track of your wigs and keys. It's going to be a Donnas kind of night.  

Tool with Tweak Bird

Aug. 7 • PNC Pavilion

0 Comments · Monday, August 3, 2009
Tool's viscerally shredding set is designed to elicit gyrational sweat even without the unrelenting, cloudless sun. The mayhem on stage is unstoppable — Tool ratchets up the volume and dark energy with almost psychopathic intent. Metaphorically, this is exactly how every Tool show has felt as the band agitates, cooks, refreshes, repeats. Thus may it ever be.   

Civil Twilight with Bad Veins, now, now every children and Hazle Weatherfield

Aug. 8 • Southgate House

0 Comments · Monday, August 3, 2009
Defined scientifically, civil twilight is the time of day or evening when the center of the sun is six degrees below the horizon and terrestrial objects are still visible without the sun's direct illumination. As defined by two South African brothers and their friend, Civil Twilight is a brilliant, thoughtful and energetic amalgam of Radiohead, U2, The Police and Jeff Buckley.  

Son Volt with Cary Hudson

Aug. 7 • Southgate House

0 Comments · Monday, August 3, 2009
Jay Farrar reformed Son Volt in 2005 and hooked up with Rhino Records to release 'A Retrospective: 1995-2000.' Four solid albums have followed, the latest being 'American Central Dust,' released by Rounder Records last month. The piano-driven "Cocaine and Ashes" makes for a buzzworthy single because it revolves around the rumor that Keith Richard snorted his father's ashes.  

I Love a Piano (Review)

Irving Berlin tunes make up an all-American revue at NKU

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Opening on the Northern Kentucky University campus a few days after America’s 233rd birthday, I Love a Piano is a reminder of things good, right and foursquare. Irving Berlin wrote tuneful, good-hearted and, well, all-American music.   

R.I.P. Michael Riley

4 Comments · Wednesday, July 1, 2009
It's often been said of larger than life characters that if they didn't exist someone would have had to invent them. Thankfully we had Michael Riley, because it's difficult to imagine the twisted cosmic novelist that would have been necessary to come up with him. Riley was the personification of dichotomy. He was a fixture as an employee in Clifton music stores, but a fatal stroke June 18 ended his reign as the unofficial Mayor of Clifton Music.   

The Tao of Wow

How downloading reconnected me with my inner record-collecting child

2 Comments · Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Don’t get me wrong: There is nothing tedious or unpleasant about my job as music critic, and I still have a great abiding love for music in all its complex and sometimes baffling forms. In a lot of ways, I think the problem is that, as a working journalist, I am overinformed. And now my son has introduced me to the world of downloading. Wow.