Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review: Twin Limb "Haplo" LP

This friday, October 28th, the highly (highly) anticipated full length album, Haplo, from Louisville darlings Twin Limb hits the streets. Original members Maryliz Bender and Lacey Guthrie have brought producing/engineering legend Kevin Ratterman in as a full member, blending the solid duo vocal melodies we have seen on earlier Twin Limb albums (such as the solid Anything Is Possible And Nothing Makes Sense EP) and Ratterman's mix magic and composition skills heard on his early 2000's rock group Elliot and his solo efforts as Boundless and Starstruck, to create Haplo, a perfect mixture of a haunting old world and a bright unending future.

The first track is a version of Long Shadow, first heard as an early 2015 single that has resurfaced as extended remixes and psychedelic experiments before returning to form as a perfect resemblance of the beginning and future of group.

Ratterman's mix-mastery is heard on tracks like Luca and Gold From Teeth that howl and haunt with sounds from another world. Other tracks hit like a brick due to the heart pounding honesty, with lyrics like "Everything is gonna be alright... someway" or  "I love her like wine/ the shadow is long/ you can see it from space/ and you can see it on my face/this too shall pass/ this too shall pass over you"  delivered by Bender and Guthrie's delicate vocals followed by their feverish percussive assault, that at once seems like it could reverberate forever but leaves you needing more.

The future could very well revere Haplo as an important effort from the trio and in pop music in general; free from current trends or values and brutally honest in all the ways the count.

Twin Limb Haplo release party with James Lindsey & Teach Me Equals 9:00 pm $10 Headliners 18+

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

10/31 Lucius & The Cactus Blossoms at Headliners (FREE Download)

Brother duo, The Cactus Blossoms, will be joining Lucius at their Halloween show on Mon, Oct 31st at Headliners, and they are offering you an early Halloween treat of a FREE MP3 of their single “Stoplight Kisses” from the 2016 album 'You're Dreaming'.
Download the single here and  find the album here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Editorial: If Your Friends Jumped off a Building Would You?

I am not a thrill seeker or adrenaline junkie by any means, nor have I ever rappelled anything in my life, much less a 16 story building. But if this is the way I can do my part to help a great organization such as the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana, than how could I say no?

Growing up downtown in the 1980s was a unique experience for me. It was a very different landscape than it is now. Of the few families that lived there, most were working class just trying to survive. We were lucky enough to have the East End Boys and Girls Club in my neighborhood (Butchertown), as well as the Wesley House that had been working in Butchertown for over 100 years. Both offered services and programs for children and families of the Butchertown and East Downtown Districts (now referred to by some as NuLu).

Both the East End Boys and Girls Club and the Wesley House closed it's operations in Butchertown as the area became gentrified and the working families were pushed further south. Both organizations have since opened new locations in South Louisville to help accommodate the dispersed community. Not only are organizations like these necessary for working communities, but it is also a way to understand what is happening to the hard working families in our community.

I think it is a normal reaction to see the transformation of neighborhoods like Butchertown, Nulu, and Old Louisville and the plethora of new restaurants, Bars, and shops and believe it is a positive change for the city. Unfortunately without proper social and government programs, as well as a properly informed public, there are massive negative repercussions that fall unfairly on Louisville's working classes. Areas like Portland (and Butchertown a decade ago), had very low property values that are very enticing for property speculators hoping to double or triple their investments.

Unfortunately most working class families in these areas are renters despite being in the neighborhood for decades or generations. Areas are targeted due to their proximity to downtown or the river and become gentrified pushing the original population further away from the city center. This means an unfair burden to these families with longer commutes, higher rents, less work opportunities, as well as isolation and a severance to their schools, communities, churches, and ancestral roots.

Community Organizations like the Boys and Girls Club have the opportunity to enrich, strengthen, and educate neighborhoods that are at risk to the extremely harmful effects of gentrification, hopefully preventing more families from being marginalized by the population boom that Louisville is now facing. We can only survive by working as a community, and I believe the Boys and Girls Club helps provide this.

This is why, when the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana asked me to jump off a building, I said yes. Am I terrified? You better believe it! But it is far less terrifying than the idea that the hard working families in our fair city are being left behind in the race to become a global metropolis.

So on Friday October 28th at 1pm I will rappel down the side of the 16 story Marriott Downtown Hotel, at 280 West Jefferson Street, and I hope you all can come and watch me panic.

The purpose of this stunt is to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana, so if you have ever been a member of the Boys and Girls Club, or just know how important community programs are for our fellow Louisvillians, perhaps you could toss in a dollar or two. Any amount is better than no amount as they say, and you know it'll go to some good use. Here's the link to donate.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Louisville Babylon: A Tribute To The Misfits reissued for Halloween

Louisville Is For Lovers and the Louisville Free Public Library announced today that as part of their partnership they will be reissuing the 2007 local music compilation, Louisville Babylon II, on LFPL's  new free local music streaming service 'Louisville Mix'.
 The  Louisville Is For Lovers compilation LOUISVILLE BABYLON II: A Misfits Tribute was originally released in October of 2007 and includes over a dozen Misfits covers by Louisville artists such as My Morning Jacket, Wax Fang, Dave Pajo, and many more and will be available to stream for free at on October 28th just in time for Halloween!

If you can't wait until Halloween, you can hear a exclusive sneak preview of Louisville Babylon right now at!

As an added bonus, Louisville Is For Lovers is taking pre-orders now for a digital download of the 2007 Misfits tribute album  for just $1.38, and on Oct. 31st the download will sent you or as a Halloween gift to the special ghoul of your choosing!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Editorial: How to deal with Louisville's Refuges of Economicide

John King with his 'My Dream For Lou' photo and essay
(with white bar covering Gill Holland's name) at Muhammad Ali Center 

Reading last week's 'Reader's Choice' edition of The LEO I was surprised by comments made by Executive Editor Aaron Yarmouth when describing Gill Holland's Award for Best Entrepreneur.   Yarmouth lays out his reasoning why 'We all owe' Holland 'a huge thank you' for transforming the East Market District -what Yarmouth called a 'drive-past territory'- into a 'thriving hub' that Holland renamed 'NULU'.

     At first glance I am sure many readers didn't catch the comment that is so shocking to me, and I am sure Aaron Yarmouth didn't realize himself the implications he was making.  As a contributing writer for the LEO I know first hand how compassionate and thoughtful the young Editor is; as is evident in his actions, after reading this essay of giving his blessing for me to air my grievance in calling my childhood home a 'drive-past territory'. I think it would have been more meaningful if the LEO had published this letter themselves, but after losing one job recently for my political views, I really don't need to lose the other..  And I think the Leo is already learning a big lesson in undermining their reader's voice,  after the fallout of them vetoing the reader's choice of Amari King's award.

 Regardless of how you feel about the gentrification of the East Market District, and the replacement of it's people and businesses with more 'acceptable' people and businesses, surely you would take exception to anyone referring to your neighborhood as not worth noticing.

     I grew up at Clay and East Market st, and as the popularity of the neighborhood grew I was slowly pushed outward (living at times on main st, Washington st, and Franklin st) until I could no longer afford to live in the area I called home. It is heartbreaking that a respected media outlet like the LEO  would so casually suggest that my home, my family, my friends, are not worth acknowledging.  Unfortunately the casual dismissal of Louisville's poor has become all too common in recent years and lately becoming outright hostile at times as we have seen with residents in the Norton Commons neighborhood coming together in an effort to stop anyone who makes less than $50,000 a year from living there. Which, by the way, is no where even close to the poverty line,  but shows the contempt that some members in our community have for those who even slightly do not resemble Privilege.
  Even in well meaning efforts to help those targeted and displaced by the Gentrification of urban Louisville come across as insulting. Last Thursday I attended the 10th annual Center of Health Equity's public forum with the Mayor. Concerns about poor people displaced by the gentrification of Louisville's Downtown were raised, and the most popular solution was that the city build 'Affordable Housing Units' in every neighborhood so that the burden of housing poor folks would be equal across the city. Now, I've attended the Center's meetings before, and most of the members are truly well meaning, but as someone who has never crossed the poverty line, I am tired of being referred to as a burden, as not worth noticing, or as not being good enough to live in certain parts of my own city.

       But the main issue I see with all the recent conversations in the media over gentrification and displacement of poor people is this: Louisville's poor aren't allowed in to the conversation about what is happening to them and what should be done for them.  I don't want to be warehoused in an 'affordable housing' project in a neighborhood that I have no ties to and that doesn't want me anyway. I want to be in my neighborhood where I grew up, where my family and friends live, and worship at the spiritual center of my choice, but I can't because that neighborhood no longer exists.      
 Real estate speculators started buying up cheap properties and replacing poor tenants with those who could pay 3 or 4 times as much on rent, and this happened long before Holland took it upon himself to change the name of my neighborhood and aggressively began seeking investors in property speculation. But he does deserve some credit to the dismantling and displacement of an entire community.  For changing the name of a place does a lot when trying to assume control of a people. Erasing the history of a people is the first step in conquering them. We see this quite often, especially recently by the Islamic State by destroying the cultural heritage of the people of Iraq, Syria, and Libya. By erasing a community's history we devalue their social capitol making it easier to divide and conquer them. Holland's actions are no different.

      Some have argued that the quality of the structures in the East Market District and also in Portland were poor, and the gentrification of these areas are saving the historical buildings. But you must keep in mind that poor people by and large do not own the houses they live in. Rich people do. If the state of the buildings are sub-standard it is not the fault of the occupants but the landlords. Despite popular belief poor people do not enjoy living in squalor, we are forced to by lack of options, opportunity, and the support of the governing body.

    What is happening to the poor neighborhoods by property speculators such as Gill Holland (or how he describes it "private-sector community revitalization") is deplorable, and the health and well being of a community should not be in the hands of the private sector but in the hands of the community itself.  But the true extent of what is happening is not widely known because the local government and the city's media outlets refuse to allow those who are being exploited a voice. How can opponents of gentrification speak out against Holland's efforts when he himself is on the Board of Directors at Louisville Public Media, and has been publicly endorsed by the LEO in the very article thanking him for 'transforming a drive-past area'?
(Full disclosure I worked at Louisville Public Media until last month when I was abruptly let go).

         To toot my own horn for a minute, during the Health Equity Meeting on Thursday several photographs and essays were on display for the 'My Dream of Lou Photovoice' exhibit at the Muhammad Ali Center, and two photos and two essays I submitted were chosen for it.
In one essay I wrote about the issues surrounding gentrification and I mentioned Greg Fischer and Gill Holland by name; specifically Fischer's promise to veto any minimum wage increase over $9/hr, as well as Holland's recent targeting of Portland for 'private sector revitalization'. When the essay was displayed a bar was added covering Holland's name (see photo above). Too be fair, the government office in charge informed me they would be redacting  Holland's name from my essay, but this sort of behavior is not democratic and is teetering into some very dark waters. Especially since Gil Holland is not just a public figure but also (since January of this year) has been running for public office.

Holland announced his bid for city council representing District 16; which is not the district where Portland is located (were he claims to be helping), but the district where Norton Commons is located (further speaking to Holland's motives of revitalizing poor neighborhoods).

      Questioning and voicing opposition of public officials and those running for office is protected by the First Amendment and at the very least our governing body cannot censor speech critical of itself, and for that matter media outlets should allow more than one side of the conversation to be voiced.

     My intent here is not to try and connivence you that Gill Holland's actions have caused immeasurable harm to entire communities for profit and personal benefit (although I firmly believe this). But no matter how you feel about someone,  no public figure or a candidate for public office should be untouchable from critical debate, and no community should be ignored. My hope is that as a community we realize that the most affected group in this situation is being ignored and dismissed and that as Louisvillians we realize that all of us deserve dignity, protection, and a voice.

Editor's Note: You can help by reaching out to your Louisville councilperson asking for more oversight in 'revitalization' efforts, Government policies that protect and help low income families, and an end to government censorship of oppositional voices. You can email your councilperson by following this link. You can contact local media outlets asking for equal representation for opponents of Gill Holland and his For-Profit Business practices, and to release public support of public officials or those running for office as board members of media outlets in the name of transparency and democracy.  Here is a list of local media outlets you can reach out to: Louisville Public MediaLEOCourier Journal.

One of King's photo/ essays chosen for the
My Dream For Lou exhibit at the Muhammad Ali Center

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

FREE TICKET GIVE A WAY: Tobacco at Zanzabr 10/20

Ghostly International electronic producer Tobacco will be playing tomorrow on 10/20 at Zanzabar, on a national tour to support his recent release 'Sweatbox Dynasty', and we have 2 tickets to give away!  (Update: Congrats to Nik V! He has two shiny new tickets to Tobacco at Zbar!)
10/20 at Zanzabar with HIGH TIDES, Odonis Odonis. $15. 9PM.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Holloween Weekend Events

Friday October 28th at Zanzabar:  "Ville Communication"  Jaxon Swain (of Ladybirds fame) with members of BRENDA and Cat Casual recreate the music of THE BEASTIE BOYS  as well as
Twenty First Century Fox covering The B-52s and Voodoo Economics become the The White Stripes. $10. Cash prize costume contest.

Saturday October 29th at Haymarket Whiskey Bar  Brenda as Pixies, The Winger Brothers as Dixie Chicks, and Projector as Radiohead. FREE.

Friday, October 7, 2016

6 songs by Electric Six you should hear

The new Electric Six album, Fresh Blood For Tired Vampyres, hits the shelves today (containing the danceable track [be my] skin caboose)  & will be burning through town in 2 days, October 9th,  at Zanzabar.
The first Electric Six album, Fire, hit the world by surprise in 2003, and the band has released an astonishing 1 album a year since (as well as front man Dick Valentine's solo LPs).
To help get you ready for Sunday here are 6 danceable Electric Six songs you should know before the show:

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Open Call: Louisville Is For Lovers 2017 Valentine's Comp Now Taking Submissions

Local record label Louisville Is For Lovers, now in it's 15th year,  is currently taking submissions for the Louisville Is For Lovers 2017 Valentine's Compilation. Started by John King, the first Valentine's compilation was released in 2001, and the label has since released 11 valentine's comps and over 20 other releases including music by My Morning Jacket, Bonnie 'prince' Billy, White Reaper, and hundreds of other Louisville artists.
Visit the Louisville Is For Lovers  site for details.

Monday, October 3, 2016

10/3 New Louisville Music Archive unveiled by Louisville Free Public Library
The Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL) has started a new program entitled Louisville Mix,  a free streaming service unveiled today (October 3rd) on their Website  that will archive and stream music by Louisville bands. To start there are over 50 full releases by Louisville bands including Twin Limb, Andrew Rinehart, Team Totoro, Cheyenne Mize, 23 String Band, Mudcat Blues Band, and others.
LFPL has also teamed up with Louisville Is For Lovers and  the entire LISFORL collection will be available to stream through Louisville Mix. All of the Louisville Is For Lovers Valentine's releases will be available to start, and the entire 15 year catalogue will be available by January 20th, when the Library will release the full archive to date (with music added continuously after).

 The Louisville Free Public Library has also paired up with 37FLOOD to help recruit local bands for the Louisville Mix Project. In January for 37FLOOD's 10th Anniversary (yep! we've been doing this for almost a decade!) We will be co-hosting a live Louisville Mix Showcase at the LFPL main branch with Louisville bands playing an 'After Dark' event. And in February Louisville Is For Lovers in partnership with Louisville Free Public Library will unveil the 2017 Valentine's release.
To commemorate the partnership with LFPL, Louisville Is For Lovers has released  Vol. 1 & 2  of it's Valentine's series digitally here.