Friday, July 22, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

Rooftop Vigilantes - “Oracle Cop” (After forming in 2008 and attracting then losing the attention of major labels, the Lawrence-based garage-punk band has finally found a home in High Dive Records for their third album, Let It Be.  Appropriately self-proclaimed as the “punk rock Zombies”, the quartet blows through 14 tracks that combine insanely catchy Beatles-esque melodies with punk-inspired shouted hooks and layers of  psych and surf-rock-inspired guitar and organ riffs for their best album yet.)  

Jill & Micah – “Grew On Me” (The emerging Dayton indie-folk duo are set to release their debut album, Slowly But Surely today via local label Poptek Records.  With their quirky, melancholic yet highly-melodic brand of folk-pop combined with their catchy, closely-knit vocal harmonies, the husband and wife duo’s promising debut has set them up for success.)   

Save The Lost Boys – “Nothing’s Real Outside (Blending the dual vocalist approach and humorous catchy melodies of Blink-182 and the crunchy, heavy guitar riffs of A Day To Remember, the Dayton-based pop-punk quartet are primed and ready to explode with their excellent debut album, Temptress, out now via Victory Records.)    

Friday, July 15, 2016

SHOW ALERT: Digable Planets at Woodward Theatre Monday, July 18

Digable Planets - Credit: Chris Lee

If I had to choose just one rap album to listen to for the rest of my life it would be 90’s hip-hop trio, Digable Planet’s debut album, Reachin' (A New Refutation Of Time And Space).  Released is 1993 - when I was in eighth grade - the album was an instant favorite for its cool jazz-inspired samples and abstract yet positive-minded lyrics.  The album was led by the smooth, Grammy-winning single, “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat” but became a cult classic in the years since.  The NYC-based trio – consisting of Butterfly (Ishmael Butler also of Shabazz Palaces), Ladybug (Mary Ann Vieira) Doodlebug (Craig Irving) – split up after releasing Blowout Comb, their just-as-great sophomore album in 1994 and were long dormant except for a handful of reunion dates scattered over the years. 
In celebration of 25 years as a band, Digable Planets have reunited this year for a lengthy tour this spring and summer that includes a stop at the Woodward Theatre in Cincinnati on Monday, July 18.  Likeminded rap group Camp Lo will perform as well.
For tickets and more info:

Watch Reachin’ track “Where I’m From” here: 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat - Promowest Fest Edition

The inaugural Promowest Fest will be held this weekend in Columbus, Ohio.  The first time event is organized by Columbus’s Promowest Live, owners and operators of Express Live (formerly LC Pavilion), Newport, The Basement, The A&R Bar, and the successful Bunbury Music Festival.  They have secured a top notch bill with headliners The Flaming Lips, Modest Mouse, Snoop Dogg and Brand New along with Ryan Adams, Garbage, LL Cool J, The Decemberists and 30 more great artists.  Locals such as Way Yes, The Worn Flints and Nick D’ & The Believers will be represented as well.   
For tickets and more info:
Check out music from 3 of the bands playing Promowest Fest here:
Brand New – “I Am A Nightmare” (After a long hiatus, the emo-era favorites returned to touring in the last couple of years and have also very slowly released new music  in the form of two singles, the latest of which is heard here and was released in May.  Anthemic and energetic, the band is back in full form and will be on display on Sunday night.)

The Wombats – Give Me A Try" (The Liverpool-based trio The Wombats released their third album, Glitterbug last year to great praise via Bright Antenna Records and their infectious, festival-ready synth-driven indie-pop will be the perfect way to start the fest off on opening night!)

Atlas Genius – “Molecules” (The L.A.-by-way-of Australia alt.rock duo consisting of brothers Keith and Michael Jeffrey – whose stellar sophomore album, Inanimate Objects was released last year via Warner Bros Records - will bring their danceable rhythms and bright synth-pop melodies to the Promowest Fest stage on Sunday.)

Friday, July 08, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

BADBADNOTGOOD – “Confessions Pt. II” (The Toronto-based progressive-jazz quartet have released their stunning new album, IV today via Innovative Leisure.  The retro-minded yet forward-thinking band continues to stretch the boundaries of the jazz genre on their new album with the incorporation of electronics, krautrock and hip-hop inspired rhythms and for the first time, guest vocalists including rap verses from Mick Jenkins, soulful vocals from Charlotte Day Wilson and the haunting baritone of Future Islands’ Sam Herring.  Also, Colin Stetson brings his skronking bass saxophone to the Weather Report-like, 70’s fusion-informed single heard here.)  

Inter Arma – “The Paradise Gallows” (The Richmond avant-metal band returns with their highly-anticipated new album, Paradise Gallows, out today on Relapse Records.  Their epic hybrid of monolithic doom, stark sludge and progressive post-metal is laced with layers of beauty, psychedelia and melody for the perfect balance, like a ray of sunshine in a post-apocalyptic world.)   

The Julie Ruin – “I Decide” (Led by Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre and featuring Kathi Wilcox of Bikini Kill, Carmine Covelli, Sara Landeau and Kenny Mellman of Kiki and Herb - The Julie Ruin are set to release their sophomore album, Hit Reset, today via Hardly Art.  The new album comes hot on the heels of the biographical documentary, The Punk Singer, which depicted Kathleen Hanna's long-running music career and in the same vein, remains personal and empowering in nature.  Musically, Hit Reset is filled with the catchy, fun dance-punk that has become Hannah’s calling card mixed with doo-wop vocals, synths and surf-rock rhythms for good measure.)

Friday, July 01, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

Sara Watkins – “Young In All The Wrong Ways” (After ending a lengthy hiatus and recently reuniting with Nickel Creek, singer and multi-instrumentalist Sara Watkins returns with her new solo album, Young In All The Wrong Ways, out today via New West Records.  The new album is the first that she has written on her own and naturally, the songs lean more toward personal themes.  Musically, Watkins’ virtuoso fiddle skills and bluegrass and country-leaning folk-rock sound are matched with layers of vintage organ and electric guitars like on the statement-making title track heard here.  Guests such as Jon Brion, Benmont Tench and Jim James of My Morning Jackets lend their talents as well.)

Saosin – Racing Toward A Red Light” (The last few years have given us many great reunions and you can add one more to the growing list.  The post-hardcore band, Saosin, recently reformed with original singer Anthony Green of Circa Survive and released their first full-length album together, Along The Shadow, via Epitaph Records.  They triumphantly deliver on the promise of their 2003 debut EP with the perfect blend of searing melodies and heavy, metallic riffs.  And it just sounds great to hear Green scream again.)

Kalispell – “Windfall” (Kalispell is the moniker for sought after multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Shane Leonard of Field Report, who has also worked with Sara Watkins and S. Carey among others.  On his own, Leonard crafts a beautiful brand of art-folk with clever percussion, poetic lyrics and lushly-layered arrangements on his new album, Printer’s Son, out now on Cartouche Records.)