In addition to having arguably one of the cooler band names in all of Smugtown, The Mighty High and Dry is the sum of some impressive parts. Members of this elite ensemble have flexed in the wall-o-brash brass that was The Po' Boys Brass Band and the funky-as-it-gets boogie of Street Level.
Blasting the blues
Anticipation ran high amongst the glitterati and the black-clad hoi polloi as Rochester rocker Greg Prevost mounted the Skylark Lounge stage in his high-heeled shoes. A few in the joint had laid ears on his new bluesy solo disc, "Mississippi Murderer," but most were in the dark, not knowing what to expect on this chilly late March evening.
New wave pop and its underground counterparts from the 1970s and 80s have attained vintage status by now, but their influence remains, decades later, in today’s indie cutting edge. The UK’s China Crisis is of this original vintage period, infusing the mood and effect of the new wave aesthetic with a post-punk lyrical sensibility.
Bassnectar may not be a household name, but for underground electronic fans, he's a musical maelstrom. He's a painter whose canvas is musical waves and ambient beats. He's half metal, half underground-style aficionado, collector, and librarian, and all electronic-music guru. And when that bass drops, watch out. The fans lap it up.
Guitarist Joel Harrison may have made his name in the jazz world, but when you go to hear him don't expect perfect bebop runs. "I approach the guitar as an orchestral instrument in the group, not as the star soloist," says Harrison, who plays at the Bop Shop on Friday, April 26, "so when I'm writing music that involves the guitar, the guitar just becomes part of the ensemble."
Forever for now
While driving to Petco the other day, I shoved the Ginger Faye Bakers' boss disc, "Feast," into my dashboard, cranked the volume, and did a double take. I could've sworn I heard the ghost of Ron Asheton haunt the speakers amidst this Rochester band's heavy jam.
Big voice, big drive
We all remember our first time. Some persuading, a little awkward fumbling, bated breath, high expectations, followed by a sense of elation and perhaps an apology.
It's easy being Green
A Green Day show is simply spectacular, but without too much emphasis on spectacle and fluff. Green Day just digs in and goes, plugs in and peels out.
Playing it straight
Houston Person still remembers the day in 1950 that changed his life. He was a typical 16-year-old in his hometown of Florence, South Carolina.
Local musician Jesse Sprinkle has been going on humanitarian trips to Africa since 2008. But last year he realized that his unique skill set as a musician and producer could allow him to help the millions of orphans in Uganda in a very different way. By teaching these children about music, he and his musical partner Kurt Johnson are hoping to make an impact on their lives.
Soviet Dolls is a cool cocktail: two parts rocker, one part young lady who makes YouTube videos. It's a delicious meld of synthetic pop served over organic rocks.
Sure, it neatly sums up everything with a beard, a flannel shirt, at least one acoustic instrument, and an allegiance to Johnny Cash. But perhaps when you're done reading this article you can join me in putting the term "Americana" to bed.
Goddesses of thunder
Amy Ray's voice does it for me every time. Whether it's delivering a pounding indictment of Holocaust complicity or letting her heart bleed all over an old lover, the sound that claws out of her throat is by turns plaintive, playful, violent, and raw — never passive or ambivalent.
In its mid- to late 90's prime, Bakersfield, California's Korn helped forge the nu-metal genre by not only incorporating its heaviest and loudest aspects but also going outside — way outside — to untapped sources like hip-hop and electronic music. The band became huge and earned Grammy Awards in the process.
The Pink Elephant in the room
Like a fat lady in skinny jeans, bands spend a great deal of time forcing themselves into genres, shoehorning the music into classifications that don't fit, or shunning genres altogether. Nobody wants to be pigeonholed; they want to be unique, creating their own music with their own custom caption.