Thursday, September 3, 2015

New Video: "Paula Dean" by Goodbar

Today Local hip hop artist Goodbar (of the group Skyscraper Stereo) released a new video from his upcoming "Good N Filthy" EP  which is scheduled for a Black Friday release on the label Little Heart Records.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: Joan Jett 8/29/15

Joan Jett: five feet of pure Rock N' Roll

   5 years ago Joan Jett graced the Kentucky State Fair on my mother's birthday, August 19th, and when I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday there was only one answer: Go see Joan Jett! Of course! it was great show, even when Joan was having health issues and had to take a brief break, she powered through, playing a masterful hour and a half set, read the review here.
   So when it was announced that Joan Jett and the Blackhearts would be playing again at the Kentucky State Fair, this time on my birthday, August 29th, it was a no-brainer, even though as many of you know for the last decade I have hosted the Louisville Zombie Attack on that day. The truth on that is, I had been coming up against internal disputes with the co-organizer over logistical aspects of Zombie Attack, so why be where you aren't wanted, when instead you can be with your loved ones at a Joan Jett show? I have heard that Zombie Attack this year didn't go smooth and all I can say about that is I wasn't involved, not really by choice, but still I was sorry to hear it wasn't what everyone expected, especially for the residents of the Highlands.
    When we arrived at Cardinal Stadium I could hear my name echoed on the walkie-talkies of the crew, and was asked to follow a security guard to the stage. My girlfriend and I were then whisked onto the stage where 2 chairs were waiting for us on the left side of the stage! Joe Site the head sound engineer at Zanzabar had set up a wonderful birthday surprise for me, and we got to watch the entire show from the stage!

      Joan Jett and company hit the stage promptly at 9pm starting with Bad reputation, from her debut solo album of the same name, followed by Cherry bomb, originally played by Jett's first band The Runnaways, written in 1976 by an 18 year old Joan Jett.
 For the 3rd song, Do You Wanna Touch (oh yeah), originally by the infamous and disgraced Gary Glitter, Jett led the Audience in a build up of the chorus before the band kicked in. It was one of those guided audience participation moments that actually worked. The crowd sang the chorus for Do You Wanna Touch through the whole song, to much delight. The band followed this up with TMI, Soul Mates to Strangers, and You Drive Me Wild;  The first song she ever wrote and originally preformed with the Runaways. Ambiguously sexy Joan Jett jumped all over stage with as much enthusiasm as ever, with no notice of her previous health issues.
 Jett and Co. also played new tracks, such as Make it Back, written about living through hurricane Sandy and seeing so many people working together to survive, as well as old hits including Light of Day written by Bruce Springsteen as the theme song for a movie Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett stared in by the same name. Recorded by Jett and the Blackhearts it reached 33 on billboard in 1987; credited as The Barbusters, the band name from the movie.
   Other songs included Fragile, Love is Pain, Hard to Grow Up, Sick Friends, and Any Weather written with Dave Grohl. After an hour Jett brought out the heavy hitters including I Love Rock n Roll and Crimson and Clover, in which the band drops out so the crowd can sing chorus before jumping back in for an explosive ending to their signature cover of the Tommy James song, before ending the set with Hate Myself for Loving You. After the band leaves the stage. The crowd chants Joan - Jett - Joan - Jett until she returns for the encore. The drummer, Thommy Price, comes out first to lay down a drum beat before the rest of the band joins him to play several songs in quick succession including Different and Real Wild Child before concluding the night with her cover of Everyday People.

Monday, August 31, 2015

9/4-6 PRF BBQ

Steve Albini's annual barbecue rock n roll party PRF BBQ is taking a detour out of chicago this year, and landing in several spots around louisville this weekend. The party kicks off this friday (starting at 3pm) at Mar Bar with many bands including the masterful American Lesions, and Saturday and Sunday at The Cure  (starting at 2 pm) with many bands including Waxeater, trophy Wives, Knife The Symphony, plus a screening of Burn To Shine Louisville. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: Langhorne Slim @ Headliners

On Thursday 8/20 Langhorne slim played (on his 35th birthday) at Headliners with opening act Clear Plastic Masks from Nashville.
Clear Plastic Masks started at 8:20 with a blend of 60s psychedelic and 50s standard Rock. Lead man Andrew Katz rambled on between songs about his observations of Louisville, including not knowing how to pronounce the town name and how people here love horses, and at one point sneering at and harassing audience members for talking during the set. Multi-instrumentalist Matt Menold was the saving grace for this off-start by jumping seamlessly back and forth from keys to guitar and presenting the best performance of the band, aside from the talented drummer Charles Garmendia from the Dominican Republic.

Andrew Katz and Clear Plastic Masks

Langhorne Slim and The Law
Langhorne Slim and the Law took the stage at 9:30, thanking headliners for a birthday cake and gift of a personalized Louisville Slugger before breaking into title track from the new album The Spirit Moves, emulating the horn section from the recording by singing "bam bam bah bam!" to great applause. The second song of the night, Pull it Together, also from the new album, was in turn followed by favorites from his seven album catalog.
Langhorne Slim took command of the stage working the crowd into a frenzy as only a master performer can, and at times embodying the spirit of Marvin Gaye; howling and rolling about the stage before dropping into a very quiet and intimate rendition of Wolves, the last track from The Spirit Moves.
At one point the band went back stage as Slim serenaded the audience with just his guitar and several songs before the band returned for an explosive encore, beginning with the song The Way We Move; and ending the evening with the song Fire (from the album The Way We Move) while parading through the crowd in a masterful finale to a fine crafted performance.
Langhorne Slim singing FIRE from within the audience during the encore.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

8/23 The Psychedelic Furs & The Church @ Mercury Ballroom

On Sunday Aug 23 at 8PM The Psychedelic Furs & The Church play the Mercury Ballroom, in Downtown Louisville. Tickets are around $40 which is kind of a shock but then you realize these two bands brought us songs like these:

Friday, July 31, 2015

8/2 Fresh Fest

The 3rd annual Old Skool Hip Hop festival, Fresh Fest, is happening Sunday August 2nd at the Belvedere. This year's fest is hosted by Ed Lover (of Yo! MTV Raps and C'mon Son fame) and will feature Kid N Play and Rakim (without Eric B.) and others as well as rap battles, B Boys (and gals), art, and what seems to be lots of fun. The price is a little steep at $40, but may be worth it.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Forecastle 2015 Photo Review


Modest Mouse
Sturgill Simpson
at the Camel Tent

Cage the Elephant

Mast Stage

My Morning Jacket


Tyler of Dr. Dundiff and Friends

Best performance of Forecastle: Jim James with Dr. Dundiff and Friends

Love at Forecastle

Ocean Stage Overpass

Ocean Stage

Funanas the Seahorse 

Beating the Heat

White Reaper with a reaper

Forecastle After-Parties

The Pass at Haymarket

Private Party at La La Land

La La Land

Saturday Night at Haymarket

The Pass

Man of the Hour Jim James on Sax

8/22 Seven Sense Fest FREE

On Saturday August 22, on the block between New Vintage and Zanzabar (and also including inside these bars) on Preston street will be a multistage FREE music event to benefit the Boys and Girls Haven. The event will host over 40 regional bands including Scott Carney, Jonathan Glen Wood Ensemble (of Old Baby),  Alex Wright & Maven Down, Quiet Hollers, The Hot Wires, The Bottom Sop, Adventure, Brother Wolves, Black Birds of Paradise, Tall Squares, and Satellite Twin.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Forecastle Day 3 Review

         It was blistering hot from the start on Sunday, but it didn't seem like anyone cared at the White Reaper set. Especially not the band, who were wearing black almost exclusively. The crowd grew as the set went on. Sometime in the middle they did a cover of "Rock n' Roll Part 2" by Gary Glitter, it seemed like more and more people were on stage as the set went on too, random kids just grabbing the mic and singing the lyrics or screaming. At one point a guy in a giant grim reaper costume came on stage and danced around. The energy at this show both on and off stage was pretty nuts.
White Reaper

         One much needed change that Forecastle made this year was shrinking the VIP section at the Boom Stage. In years past, the front of this stage was divided in half by VIP ticket-buyers and regular ticket-buyers. This led to a tighter crowding of people not on the VIP side where I watched a few people get hurt. This year, the VIP section was smaller and further stage right so that the whole front barrier was occupied by non-VIP ticket buyers, who weren't as packed together as they had been before. It didn't seem to make much of a difference for the VIP concertgoers either. There were about the same amount of them as previous years, showing about the same level of engagement. Altogether it just looked like a safer environment for everybody. 
Portugal. the Man

         That being said, Portugal. the Man's performance was full of surprises. I was planning on skipping the second half to catch the beginning of Modest Mouse's set just because I've seen Portugal so many times, but halfway through their opener "Hip Hop Kids," when I noticed that Nick Reinhart (of Tera Melos, Bygones, and more recently Death Grips fame) was standing in on second guitar, I got comfortable. Though they did mostly pull from their latest album "Evil Friends," they threw a couple surprises into their set like "Floating," from In the Mountain in the Cloud, and "Chicago," from Waiter: You Viltures! and even "Day Man" from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Over the past few years I've seen them focus more and more on stringing their songs together so they don't have to stop as much during their set. When they closed, they covered "Another Brick in the Wall" into their recent single "Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue."
Modest Mouse... all of them
         I'm not a huge fan of the new Modest Mouse stuff, too many people in the band and all that, but they threw a few of the older songs into this set like "Styrofoam Boots," "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes," and "Shit Luck." The whole set seemed impersonal, but what can you expect from a main-stage performance. Still it was really nice to see them play with everyone singing along to "The Good Times are Killing Me."

         The Tallest Man on Earth took the stage as a full band, but halfway through the set Kristian Matsson played a few by himself including "Love is All," and "Lion's Heart." For "The Gardener," he brought out First Aid Kit to sing backup, then the full band took the stage again.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Forecastle Day 2 Review

Dr. Dundiff and Friends including Jim James 
I am going to go out on a limb (before the festival has ended) to say that the big Surprise hit of Forecastle 2015 was local hip hop act Dr. Dundiff (billed as Dr. Dundiff and Friends, which may have been an understatement with every inch of the stage covered with dozens of 'friends' including the very talented Tyler from 1200 music) who hit the Ocean Stage from 4:15-5:30. Dr. Dundiffs various mixtapes of patchwork 90s style beats such as Alphabeats vo.1 or verse heavy stylings of Page of Cups do not at all represent the electrified energy Dr. Dundiff delivered onstage on Saturday afternoon; as if 1980s era Beastie Boys and double ought era Andrew W.K. hosted the biggest house party that could fit under an expressway overpass.
Speaking of overpasses, I truly love that Forecastle has a dedicated Hip Hop stage, But I can't think of a worse genre to put under a concrete block than hip hop. The natural reverb  could work if it was an acoustic folk or Americana stage, but for hip hop it destroys the sound too much.
Dr. Dundiff and Friends and concrete overpass

This distortion was barley noticeable during Dr. Dundiff due to the excitement onstage, especially during the last song when surprise guest Jim James appeared onstage to supply vocals to a very enthusiastic crowd. The natural distortion of the underpass was much more noticeable for the next act, california's IloveMakonen, which began around 6:45 to many false starts and half songs (including The Next Episode from Dr. Dre's Chronic 2001). All these false starts and half songs may have been due to  the sound quality being poor, but Makonen kept at it, with his patented off-the-cuff style of raping over treble heavy beats. I was surprised he didn't play   "Wishing You Well" but he managed to play his hit single Tuesday (albeit in 2 segments spliced into the set) as well as brand new unreleased tracks.

Crowd at My Morning Jacket
The real draw on Saturday was, of course, hometown heroes My Morning Jacket, who played for an electric 2 hours to end the day. The band kicked off the set with Believe (Nobody Knows) the first track from their new album The Waterfall to a very enthusiastic crowd and continued on a romp through their impressive catalogue including 2005's Off The Record as well as their new single Spring (Among the Living). The band ended their set just after midnight to a packed crowd with the explosive One Big Holiday from 2006's Okonokos album. It was great finale to Day 2 of Forcastle 2015!

My Morning Jacket into the night

 My Morning Jacket finale: One Big Holiday