Signed to Frenetic Records and publicized by Fanatic Promotion, local boysmadegroovy the Makes Nice are surprisingly mellow. Perhaps they've been consorting with a resurrected British freakbeat muse it's been "more relaxed than you'd think, given the name and all," vocalist-guitarist Josh Smith writes via e-mail, discussing the group's deal with Frenetic. The San Francisco label also home to releases by one of Smith's previous bands, the Fucking Champs is proving an ideal base for these kind and raucous rockers. Read more »
While the majority of techno and house music producers have been obsessed recently with exploring their genre's '80s and '90s origins via time-warp disco maneuvers, a select few dance connoisseurs have been making great leaps into the future. London artist Dave Taylor, who records as Switch for Freerange Records and his own Dubsided imprint, is at the forefront of pogoing, digitally chopped-up house music that sounds more like 2080 than 1980. Read more »
Imagine Klaus Nomi's more butch and less robotic brother riding the peaks and valleys of a Giorgio Moroder blip roller coaster, and you have a glimpse of the personality of this EP by Bernard Fevre, who sure looks cute in the (circa late '70s?) photo foldout within its shiny black jewel box. Was all of 28 After recorded 28 years ago, when Fevre was influencing what would become acid house, or was it spruced up recently? Whatever the answer, its six tracks are a treat. Read more »
What is space disco? Well, it's a term some people have thrown around when the music of Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is written about or discussed. What does the man from Oslo, Norway, think of the two-word catchphrase? "I guess the good thing is that some people are telling me, 'Hey, man, you invented a genre,' " he says, speaking from Oslo and capping the remark with a characteristic quiet, slightly jittery laugh. "If people think about it that way, it's fine for me, because I get mentioned. But I think it's limiting in terms of my music. Read more »
LOCAL LIVE The art of soul singing is far from dead, even if it's taken a backseat to hip-hop. The current chart successes of R&B singers such as Akon and Mary J. Blige surely provide proof of soul's vitality, as does the fact that most of the strongest contestants on American Idol, both black and white, are immersed in the tradition. Used to be, however, that budding Bay Area soul singers had plenty of clubs at which to hone their skills in public. Read more »
ON THE DOWNLOAD Don't doubt it: southern hospitality is real, and it's especially so in the rap game now that Lil Wayne and Chamillionaire have released free downloadable mixtapes of their latest rhymes on their Web sites. As mixtapes so often incorporate other rappers' beats without written permission, the circuit, despite its hype and promotional benefits, has become a sizable source of controversy in the recording industry following the Jan. 16 arrests of DJ Drama and Don Cannon in Atlanta. In a Jan. Read more »
Relationships can suck sometimes. You know, the drama the toxic chewing at the meat of a romance on the verge of imploding. Your nerves may feel destroyed after going a dozen rounds in an all-night bender over some questionable glance or wry crack, but love's hang-ups do make for the best songs.
Take it from Des Ark's Aimée Argote: she has no qualms about expressing herself and is no stranger to confronting her demons through song. Read more »
As all English majors know, beginning a sentence with a prepositional phrase can be problematic. Of Montreal the Athens, Ga., band headed by songwriter Kevin Barnes proves an exception to this rule, and if it's a beginning you need, look to Barnes, because it's starting to look like his finesse in penning clever pop records is boundless. Read more »
I guess I'm a snob. It's not easy to admit, since I like to fancy myself a salt of the earth type, but there it is. I'd just assumed that after making two albums for Fat Possum, 2005's Stairs and Elevators and last year's amazing All This Time; opening shows for the Drive-By Truckers and Lucinda Williams; and touring clubs relentlessly in the headlining spot, the next logical step for Cincinnati's Heartless Bastards would be a change of geography.
With so many duos still adhering to the muddied-guitar-and-drums style years after the White Stripes broke, it's refreshing to see local twosome the Finches reaching back to an earlier, folksier model wherein melody and songwriting win out over bombast and swagger.
"We actually tried to have our friend Justin play drums at the practice space with us once, and none of us really knew what we wanted at that point," guitarist-vocalist Aaron Morgan muses over tea at a noisy café a few blocks west of t Read more »