What should I be doing instead of this?
 
 

Music: Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 18, 2016
It is always interesting to see what the spawn of legendary musicians will come up with when moving into the family business.   

The Art of Perpetual Curiosity

At 75, experimental Jazz legend Peter Brötzmann remains prolific in his quest for new challenges

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Since emerging from Germany in the 1960s, Peter Brötzmann has become one of the titans of avant-garde Jazz.  

Music: Sugar Candy Mountain

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 18, 2016
California’s Sugar Candy Mountain is one of the new breed of Pysch Rock's top artists to keep an eye on if you’re a fan of modern Psych Pop and Rock.   
by Nick Grever 05.13.2016 17 days ago
Posted In: Local Music, New Releases, Playlist at 11:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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REVIEW: Valley of the Sun’s 'Volume Rock'

Cincinnati rockers switch gears on second full-length for Sweden’s Fuzzorama Records

There are times in some bands’ careers when, in order to take the next step forward, it first has to take a step back. That is what has occurred with Cincinnati-based desert-rockers Valley of the Sun between the release of 2013’s Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk and the recently-released album Volume Rock. For the new full-length (issued in late April through Swedish-based label Fuzzorama Records), the duo — guitarist/vocalist Ryan Ferrier and drummer Aaron Boyer — has toned down some of Thunderhawk’s more eclectic and intricate tendencies in favor of bombastic and driving rhythms. This has resulted in album that has lost a little musical depth, but has gained a far greater grip on the listener’s ear.Volume Rock establishes its tonal shift right out of the gate with a trio of absolutely monumental Rock & Roll bangers. “Eternal Forever,” “Wants and Needs” and “The Hunt” showcase the strengths that Valley has spent so much time and effort honing. Ferrier’s soaring vocals have a range and power that commands the listener’s attention, while Boyer hits his cymbals with the strength of a meteor crash, his playing drawing your attention whenever Ferrier isn’t on the mic. Weaving throughout is Ferrier’s clean and infectious guitar work, with riff layered upon riff and crafting an auditory sandwich that headbangers are sure to want of bite of. But VotS retains its deeper side on Volume Rock, with Ferrier’s lyrics carrying many of his ongoing themes of higher consciousness, personal introspection and Earth’s natural beauty. It’s just that on this go around, the lyrics are wrapped in even more hooks, making the tracks more instantly and irresistibly sing-along-worthy.Volume Rock by Valley of the sunThis isn’t to say that Volume Rock is simple or toned down. It’s just that the flourishes found within seem designed to be more easily replicated (and perhaps more impactful) live, and overall there is a more natural feel to the songs. Hand claps, tambourine, a 12-string guitar interlude in “Land of Fools” and other ornamentation give the album a fresh sound while still keeping the tonal theme running through the entirety of its nine tracks.Like Thunderhawk, Volume Rock features a reworking of a track from VotS’s first EP, 2010’s five-song Two Thousand Ten. But whereas Thunderhawk’s version of “Centaur Rodeo” added different drumming parts and a few other embellishments, Volume Rock’s re-do of “I Breathe the Earth” is more heavily tweaked, bolstering the song’s strengths and mending some weaknesses, while also adding more than a minute to its original running time. The backing vocals are stronger and more dynamic, the guitar tone has more depth and the drumming sounds fuller. With “Earth,” Valley of the Sun was able to take a song that longtime fans already loved and make it even better.Volume Rock by Valley of the sunWhile Volume Rock is undoubtedly a fast and furious LP, fans of the VotS’s more expansive work will still find plenty to love. Of special note is “Speaketh the Shaman” and album closer, “Empty Visions.” Both songs exceed the five-minute mark (not uncommon for the band), showcasing Ferrier’s guitar work by giving the licks more room to breathe. Ferrier’s vocals also expand to throat-ripping levels, and the combination of his guitar and voice swirl through the tracks like the smoke from a, uh, “cigarette,” filling your speakers with righteous Desert Rock majesty.Volume Rock by Valley of the sunIn many ways, Volume Rock’s name says it all. This is an album that deserves to be turned to 11. It’s the perfect accompaniment to rolled-down windows, long stretches of highway and summer heat. Valley of the Sun spent three years between releases and the musicians used the time to focus on what made the band what it is, and then pushing those qualities to the forefront. In that respect, Volume Rock is a success — while there may be less going on in each song, there’s more of the band’s essence and identity throughout the album. And that identity is too loud to be snubbed.Valley of the Sun is currently on another extensive tour overseas promoting Volume Rock, which is available in the States on most major digital platforms (like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Spotify). Certain mail-order services (like Amazon and musicdirect.com) also offer the hard-copy versions on CD and vinyl. You can also stream or purchase the album at Fuzzorama’s Bandcamp site here, or by clicking one of the embedded tracks above.
 
 

Music: The Howlin' Brothers

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 11, 2016
The conversion from Rock and Punk to Bluegrass and Folk is an oft-told band tale in today’s music world. And so it is with The Howlin’ Brothers, an adrenalized trio that plays Bluegrass with the passion and verve of an amped-up Rock outfit.  

Music: School Dance

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Fans of dreamy, quirky Indie Pop are in for a tasty (and free) treat as Dayve Hawk brings his acclaimed Memory Tapes project to town with on-the-rise special guest School Dance.  

Sound Advice: The Howlin’ Brothers with Ian Mathieu & Scott Risner

Saturday • Southgate House Revival

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 11, 2016
The conversion from Rock and Punk to Bluegrass and Folk is an oft-told band tale in today’s music world. And so it is with The Howlin’ Brothers, an adrenalized trio that plays Bluegrass with the passion and verve of an amped-up Rock outfit.   

Sound Advice: Snarky Puppy with Charlie Hunter

Thursday • Madison Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Snarky Puppy is a band of reference. It’s a band that other groups point to for a certain approach to modern, funky music.   

Sound Advice: Hayes Carll with Emily Gimble

Thursday • 20th Century Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Like the best singer/songwriters, Hayes Carll has a wickedly pointed sense of humor, a devastating observational eye for humanity’s flaws and an unfailing hope for its redemption.   

New and Recent Local Music Releases

News on new recordings by One Day Steady, Charlie Millikin and Valley of the Sun, plus a cassette rerelease from The Sundresses

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 11, 2016
AltRock foursome One Day Steady is set to release its new album, My Real Problem, Friday: Charlie Millikin releases his first recording, a four-song, self-titled EP; Valley of the Sun tours behind its latest album, Volume Rock; and The Sundresses' latest album, This Machine Kills, is being rereleased on cassette.  

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