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Archive for December, 2010

Looking for something “original” to do this New Year’s Eve that won’t bust your bank account? Well I’ve got just the event for you. 91.9 WFPK is hosting their “New Year’s Eve Bash” at Headliners Music Hall for a mere $10 advance/$12 day of show ticket price. The event will feature a live broadcast by WFPK DJ’s Woodrow on the Radio and Matt Anthony along with a live performance by one of Louisville’s hottest up-and-coming original bands, The Pass.

The Pass, who recently just dropped their debut album “Burst” (click here to read the album’s review) on Louisville’s SonaBLAST! Records, will energize the night with their eighties style retro-pop-rock to ring in the new year. Having seen this band perform once before, I can contest that they are definitely an intriguing act who will synthesize their way to your heart and bring you to your feet with rhythmic & sultry electronic jams.

And once you’ve ran out of breathe from dancing all night, pony-up to an Airhead’s oxygen bar for a little reviving before you wet your whistle to a champagne toast at midnight. And to top it all off, there will be plenty of burlesque-style visual spectacles provided by the Cirque Airotic Performance Group.  Yep, all that’s included for only $10.

For advance tickets, get them at ear X-tacy, Headliners Music Hall, or at Louisville Public Media.

A New Year’s Eve Bash with 91.9 WFPK
featuring The Pass
Friday, December 31
Headliners Music Hall
1386 Lexington Rd.
8 pm
18 & up
$10 advance / $12 DOS

This preview is also posted at Louisville.com

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“Burst”
by The Pass
SonaBLAST! records
Produced by The Pass

Few musicians this day and age dare to try and resurrect – or should I say re-popularize – that whole new-wave retro-80’s era approach to music. That is until now. As soon as you pop “Burst” into your player, it’s immediately recognizable that The Pass clearly is attempting to do just that. From the album’s zesty opening track “Treatment Of The Sun” to the more sultry and smooth sound of “Criminal”, you’ll immediately be reminded of a time in music when bands like New Order, Dead or Alive, Talking Heads, Erasure and The Cure ruled the airwaves.

Since uploading “Burst” into my iTunes, I’ve been trying to figure out just why the hell I like it so damn much, considering my own musical palette is defaulted to more of a straight forward rock n’ roll sound. Maybe it’s because my baby boomer parents somehow etched this genre of music into my musical subconscious when I was a kid. Or maybe it’s simply because The Pass has created a refreshing and energized explosion of synthesized rhythmic hooks like no other Louisville-based artist has done since Big Head did it in the 90’s. Whatever the reason, “Burst” is a bit ground-breaking for Louisville’s usual style-based output.

So whether it’s because your baby boomer parents embossed this style of music into your musical subconscious while you innocently rode in the backseat of the car as a kid, or because you just like music that is thoughtfully composed and refreshingly different, “Burst” will satisfy with an energetic listening experience.

Pickup a copy at ear X-tacy.

This review is also posted at Louisville.com

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Ear X-travaganza, the benefit concert for ear X-tacy, is now officially logged into the history book as another classic Louisville music show, but this time around, for more of a somber reason. Preservation. Everybody at Headliners didn’t just come together on this night to only help keep a little record store we call ear X-tacy in business. It proved to be more than just that. Everyone at Headliners on this night also came because, in helping preserve ear X-tacy, they also help preserve their own cultural identity, which is shared to the rest of the world via our city’s musicians, many whom would not be known if it weren’t for ear X-tacy. Over the years, this little record store has became more of a Louisville-landmark and meeting spot than just another record store. It’s living proof that Louisville is far different from other cities, and that originality thrives here in many forms. We’re not just another city whose streets and way of life is 100% dictated by popular corporate culture and mass capitalism. No, Louisville is “weird” and musicians like Jim James, Patrick Hallahan, Ben Sollee, Scott Carney, The Watson Twins, and Cabin all in some way, shape or form, whether sung or spoken, reiterated that ideology throughout the night at ear X-travaganza.

Opening the night was Wax Fang‘s Scott Carney who gave a rowdy and raucous solo performance seated playing mainly a Gibson 335, I think. He never really introduced himself to the crowd and pretty much kept the focus on his voice through his music. He was gritty, greasy, and sounded damn near perfect for the relatively short time he was onstage.

Next up The Watson Twins, who literally are twins and Louisville-natives, gave a folky acoustic based performance that was filled with competing vocal abilities to ambient guitars.  About mid-set they busted out a pretty good cover of Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” to an appreciative crowd. I’ve never heard of them before and won’t soon forget them now.

Ben Sollee
was up next and came with much anticipation of who – if anyone – may join him onstage. After a few openers, Sollee took the opportunity to verse the crowd on the controversial mountain-top removal mining process which prompted Jim James to make his first appearance to the stage taking up bass guitar responsibilities for the next song. And although I don’t recognize most of Sollee’s songs, it’s not hard to recognize that this boy can really rock a cello like no other and performs with a lot of passion while onstage.

Cabin, a band known for a changing line-up, brought the fullest sound of the night, being the only time more than two people were onstage during the performance. Unfortunately I was busy during their set and can’t tell you much how they did, although I’m sure they were status quo for the evening.

And finally, Jim James and Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket closed out the night. James, opening up with “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” to a dark stage, quickly built the song into a rock n’ roll rendition of the christmas classic. He then transitioned into “Gideon” along with letting out a few other My Morning Jacket favorites like “One Big Holiday” and “Smokin From Shootin.” James made good use of having essentially the entire stage to himself and staggered around the entire set while showing his mastery of his arsenal of guitars. He was in rare form. Had the show not been all ages, I’m sure James and Hallahan would have played for a lot longer. James & Hallahan may be onto something with this two-piece percussion and chords assault they dropped on the lucky few this night. They absolutely killed it in sort of a Black Keys/White Stripes-ish kinda way.

John Timmons, owner of ear X-tacy, also took the stage for a bit and thanked everyone in the crowd for their support and reiterated what the musicians had been doing in between songs about supporting the local business community before we automatically buy from large corporations.  “Amazon.com doesn’t need your business, but ear X-tacy does” he declared at one point.

Timmons also spent a few minutes with me to chat about Ear x-travaganza and what the future holds. When I asked him about the possibility of having another Ear X-travanganza benefit concert like this, he stated “Well I don’t want to start a charity or benefit event or anything like that, but my staff planned this on their own. So I couldn’t say ‘No’ once they had it all done all the work and the musicians had already agreed to play.” Timmons continued by saying “This event is really speaking to me in a big way. It makes me feel like people still give a shit about what we do. Like the store can survive.”

This review is also posted at Louisville.com

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This Sunday’s ear X-tacy benefit concert dubbed “ear X-travaganza” is now officially a sold out show.  Slated for December 26th at Headliners Music Hall, the lineup features several Louisville and Kentucky-based musicians, and not surprisingly headlined by Jim James and Patrick Hallahan from My Morning Jacket, avid ear X-tacy supporters. Also joining onstage is Ben Sollee, Scott Carney from Wax Fang, Cabin, and L.A. based The Watson Twins, officially. Unofficially, hopefully the music won’t stop there, as there is the potential for a few unannounced performances and/or random onstage concoctions by other guest artists who are also supportive of ear X-tacy. There is a lot of potential for this type of show.

It’d be nice to see a few bands from Kentucky’s harder rock and/or alternative scenes be given the opportunity to perform to diversify the lineup. Of course you can’t put virtually every artist who feels an obligation to play on stage in one night, but the potential is there to allow the opportunity in the form of ad-hoc acoustic performances in between main sets.

It’s really sad to see one of our landmark music establishments, who was recently ranked #4 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s Best Record Stores in the USA, struggle like this, and for owner John Timmons having to resort to essentially begging for business. This goes without saying, but ear X-tacy has been a pillar to this city’s original music scene for many years, fostering and nurturing countless original bands across all genres of Louisville’s music scene. John Timmons and staff have created an opportunity for every musician in the city to be heard. And while you can’t deny the power that iTunes and other digital media outlets provide, you can’t exactly sit and here and say that Louisville’s music scene can continue to thrive and grow without ear X-tacy either, because it can’t. This also goes without saying, but Louisville musicians will never get the individual support from the larger corporate record stores that ear X-tacy provides. If Louisville loses ear X-tacy, then we lose an iconic symbol of our city’s originality. Period.

ear X-travaganza
Jim James & Patrick Hallahan / Ben Sollee / Cabin / Scott Carney / The Watson Twins / others TBA
Sunday, December 26
Headliners Music Hall
1386 Lexington Rd.
7 pm
$20 (SOLD OUT)

Check back here at TheScuttlebuttHour.com after the show for some post-show video footage along with a recap of the night.

This review is also posted at Louisville.com

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So back in April I get this email titled “M.I.A.” and it’s from ex-vocalist Chris Shewmaker from Flatlyne, a once popular original Louisville metal band that disbanded in 2004. The only message he sends is “I think I found Chris Shewmaker (ex-flatlyne)…” That’s it. No phone number left and no return email from him since.


Flatlyne in 2004 – Photo by Jason Ashcraft

Coincidentally, this email came a short time after I published a review of the Louisville Music Showcase 2010 event in which at some point during the review I referenced how I wish Flatlyne would get back together and be invited to be a part of the next LMS event. Now that review on LMS had also just published a few weeks after I had spoken with Flatlyne’s bassist, Tony Lee, and he specifically had commented how nobody in the band really knew where Chris Shewmaker was or what he was doing. The only thing that was speculated is that Shewmaker had headed south, perhaps to South Carolina soon after Flatlyne split. Well, based on his email signature, I can confirm that. West Columbia, South Carolina to be exact. Now, here we are today, 8 months after that review and email, and a Flatlyne reunion show is now upon us. They’ll be taking part of a reunion event with other once-popular original metals acts My Own Victim, False, Faceplant, Kallus and Incusrion this Friday, December 10th at Headliners Music Hall. A beast of a reunion show for the metal scene.


My Own Victim – File Photo

My Own Victim, self-proclaimers of being true Kentucky Hardcore, lead on vocals by fellow Jarhead David “Sailor” Bryant, will be your headliner and biggest draw for the evening. I’ll give Flatlyne a close second in terms most unlikely band to reunite, although they will likely be the opener for the show. But for that select group who used to get down with the F, this reunion show will prove to be an unforeseen opportunity to once again hear a band that was one of the top original never-left-Louisville bands to ever form.

Now I’ll just tell you up front that much of this show will be filled with vicious and intense instrumentation, with some of the artists literally assaulting their instruments, coupled with cookie-monsterish like vocals. There will be a few exceptions here and there from song to song, and band to band, especially with Flatlyne. A mosh pit may even erupt from time to time if the security staff tolerates it (just help each other up boys), which I doubt they will. No pun intended to any one performing artist on this bill by my pointing this out. They were all exceptionally good at their musical style and all of them amassed sizable fan bases, which I anticipate will pack Headliners to capacity as a result.

My only wish for this event is that newly reunited Factor9, another staple in that music scene six to eight years ago, would’ve also been part on this show. Rumor is that Factor9 will be recording some new material again after a recent performance together at the Rock For Kosair charity event they recently played. With all the first-time-in-many-years performances slated for this show, who knows what may turnabout after this thing blows over. This may just be the beginning of what once was, cause I doubt any of these guys are going to sell there instruments and totally quit playing something they obviously haven’t forgotten about.

My Own Victim/Flatlyne/False/Faceplant/Kallus/Incursion
Friday, December 10th
Headliners Music Hall
1386 Lexington Rd.
7 pm
18 and up
$10

This review is also posted at Louisville.com

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