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GFLou2016
GonzoFest Louisville
, Louisville’s annual celebration of its most famous 
literary son, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, returns to Waterfront Park’s Big Four Lawn to celebrate the life, work and legacy of Louisville’s own Hunter S. Thompson on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

GonzoFest Louisville, now in its sixth year, has stacked this year’s lineup with national and local acts. Nashville rockers with Kentucky roots, Fly Golden Eagle and rock & roll trio Natural Child, who are also from Nashville, will headline GonzoFest Louisville 2016. Old-school hip-hop artists Dr. Dundiff with Touch AC and Smoke Shop Kids, along with garage punk band Chrome Pony, and indie rock band Quiet Hollers are set to perform on the main stage.

Also on the bill is Frederick The Younger, a slinky vintage pop band from Louisville, local rockers Your News Vehicles, and acid country rock band The Bottom Sop. Along with Frogg Corpse & Mr. Stranger Present The End of The World on the Gonzo Today Stage.

In addition to music and spoken word performances, Tinderbox Circus Sideshow, the self-proclaimed “most mind-blowingly devilish backwoods troupe from the ground up”.will be performing at the Gonzo Today Tent Stage throughout the day.

Craft vendors, food, liquor, beer, will be available at the festival as well. GonzoFest Louisville 2016 will also feature a non-fiction literary contest and a satirical political portrait art contest. Submit literary entries to gonzoliterarycontest@gmail.com. Art entries must be sent to 4016 Summer Place New Albany, IN 47150. Literary and art entries must be submitted by March 15, 2016.

The official GonzoFest Louisville after-party at The New Vintage begins at 11:00 p.m.; featuring The Sundresses, Discount Guns, plus a very special jam session with festival musicians. Present your GonzoFest Louisville 2016 ticket stub for free entry to the after-party ($10 at the door otherwise).

Proceeds from GonzoFest Louisville 2016 will support the creation of a life-size bronze statue of Hunter S. Thompson. Sculptor, Matthew Weir will be present during the festival. GonzoFest Louisville is sponsored by Falls City Brewing and Four Roses Bourbon. Gates open at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at Eventbrite. Additional information, including details about the 2016 literary contest, vendor applications, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities can be found by visiting www.GonzoFestLou.com.

For the latest news about this year’s festival fans can visit GonzoFest Louisville on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About GonzoFest Louisville
GonzoFest Louisville is a literary and music festival honoring Hunter S. Thompson, as well as the lasting mark he has made on literature, art and music. Through poetry, spoken word, art and live music and more, GonzoFest Louisville celebrates the life and times of Hunter S. Thompson in his hometown. 2016 will mark the sixth year of the festival.

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What do you get when you take a couple of bands from the 502 and have them play with one the biggest bands from the LBC? Well, you have Louisville’s VilleBillies and Elephant Room opening for Long Beach, California’s Sublime with Rome. For those of you unaware, this is the new edition of the original Sublime from the 90’s. That show takes place this Sunday, July 10th at Iroquois Amphitheater on Louisville’s south side.

Sublime with Rome is set to release their highly anticipated debut album with new frontman and  guitarist Rome Ramirez. The new album is called Yours Truly and hits stores on Tuesday, July 12th via Fueled by Ramen records.

Rome, a 22-year-old northern California native, was introduced to the surviving members of Sublime, drummer Bud Gaugh and bass player Eric Wilson in 2008. Then jam sessions ensued, then a few impromptu shows, then an invite to a festival, then a Christmas gig for an LA radio station, then another big show – fittingly- on 4/20/10, and now here we are, a little over a year later and welcoming them to Louisville just before their new album release. Hunky-dory, right?

So, this new solution is now officially known as Sublime with Rome. The music seems to emphasize a little more of the band’s affinity for the hip-hop style of alt-rock, more so than the original Sublime did back in the 90’s. They even have a collaboration song called “Can You Feel It” with hip-hopper Wiz Khalifa. They also still offer plenty of that signature Sublime-style of ska and reggae instrumentation and way of playing.

Old school Sublime fans from the 90‘s; not to worry. You’ll be satisfied too. I’m sure they’ll break out “What I Got,” “Wrong Way,” or my personal favorite “Doin Time.” Hopefully, right?

“Our shows are full of surprises,” said Gaugh. “Sublime has never used a set list. We are performing songs off every album and mix it up from show to show, never delivering the same set twice. We’ve also been working on some new material and have put together a couple of songs with Rome. We want to celebrate the music and share the experience with our fans.”

Sublime with Rome / VilleBillies / Elephant Room
Sunday, July 10.
Iroquois Amphitheater
5216 New Cut Rd.
$35 advance purchase
$40 day of show
8:00 pm
All Ages
 Tickets at Ticketmaster.com.com and select Kroger stores
 or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

** This preview also posted at Louisville.com

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Circuital

by My Morning Jacket
ATO Records
Produced by: Tucker Martine & Jim James
Engineer: Kevin Ratterman
In Stores: May 31, 2011



One thing you can always expect from a new My Morning Jacket album is a redefining of all their previous work’s styles. On their sixth installment, Circuital, they continue to raise their own bar with more Pink Floyd-like experimentation of their sound, and this time opting to record in a Highlands’ church gymnasium instead of a traditional recording studio.

The opener, “Victory Dance,” starts somewhat creepy with the onset of Bo Koster’s gothic-like working of the keys, dare I say Nine-Inch-Nails’ish instrumentally, perhaps an immediate indication of how the Church’s surroundings influenced this album’s creative direction. James’ mellow vocals greets quickly, Two Tone Tommy lays in a dark and steady rhythm section, and Carl Broemel incorporates some fuzzed out guitars. All of the sudden, your lost in their canticle.

Six minutes later the opener fades right into the beginning of the title track “Circuital,” a 7+ minute epic song which shows their more whimsical and melodic side of song writing. Drummer Patrick Hallahan finally is able to turn loose a little on this song. Logging plenty of instrumental showcases for each member, James’ paramount tenor decrees how they are “ending up in the same place that we started out.”

An emotional roller coaster begins to take shape on “The Day is Coming,” another darker, more mysterious melody that Koster’s keyboards instrumentally take the lead on. Two Tone Tommy is impressive again on setting the rhythm.

Circling back once again to their musical past, “Wonderful (The Way I Feel)” is straight out of any album’s past with the slow and subtle sounds of James’ vocals and his acoustic guitar the focus.

“Outta My System” offers candid admissions from James lyrically (“they told me not to smoke drugs, but I wouldn’t listen…”) along with a dominant string section that keeps building on the climatic arc of the album. Your attention still firmly in place.

“Holdin‘ On To Black Metal” offers the album’s wildest climax, with a young female choir joining James during the song’s chorus in a jaunty manner.

The back half of the album carries through, still solid MMJ song-crafting, but not as easy to get lost in like the first half of the album. The album’s closer, “Movin Away,” yet another song that Koster’s keys establishes the melody for, also has some impressive steel guitar work by Broemel, while James’ cardinal aria soothes. Yet again, My Morning Jacket astounds.

Interview with Bo Koster on 5-26-2011

Circuital Track List:

1.    Victory Dance
2.    Circuital
3.    The Day Is Coming
4.    Wonderful (The Way I Feel)
5.    Outta My System
6.    Holdin’ On To Black Metal
7.    First Light
8.    You Wanna Freak Out
9.    Slow Slow Tune
10.    Movin’ Away

** This album review is also published at Louisville.com

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The VilleBillies 2011

To say the eight-member hip-hop-alt-country-rock band the VilleBillies are busy these days would be a drastic understatement, especially for two of the band’s most prolific members, Demi Demaree and Dustin “Tuck” Tucker, who are also in the midst of debuting and promoting their new hip-hop project called BassDrumAliens.

As for their self-proclaimed mothership of all projects, the VilleBillies are heating up once again after a two-year stint with a new album titled Appetite For Dysfunction (due out this summer) along with a few high-profile shows recently announced. The first will come Derby-eve on Friday, May 6th at The Vernon Club , and also the following Friday, May 13th, where they’ll be kicking off the Paddock Concert Series at Churchill Downs. At the Derby, on Saturday, May 7th, the VilleBillies will have a booth in the infield where they’ll be passing out free tickets to the May 13th show in the Paddock inside Churchill Downs.  No plans yet confirmed on whether they’ll be hitting the road for a tour to celebrate the release for Appetite for Dysfunction.

VilleBillies on the red carpet at Churchill Downs' opening night

‘Talk To Me’ is the album’s first single, and was debuted during their HullabaLou performance last summer, along with a video that followed shortly thereafter. If you haven’t yet seen the song’s video, it will more than likely leave you scratching your head once you do.

“The song is a dark song. It’s not happy like it sounds,” Tuck commented on the subject of ‘Talk To Me.’

Demi also added, “It goes through the emotions of love, from the most beautiful purest piece of it, to the darker side of it.”

Aside from the VilleBillies, other members of the band are also involved with a number of side projects like BassDrumAliens, Plan of Man, Gentlemen Hounds, Million Dollar Records, and Melted Clock Studios. Melted Clock Studios is a video production company that shoots and produces music videos for artists – including all the VilleBillies’ own music videos – along with a number of comedy skits that both Demi and Tuck are sometimes featured in. Just google “Melted Clock Studios” and let yourself be entertained.

As for what’s next for the VilleBillies, the focus right now is for the band to concentrate on finishing and releasing Appetite for Dysfunction this summer.

“We just have a lot of fun with this stuff, you know? Anyway we can be creative is what we’re going to do. We’re not stuck to one thing,” Demi commented on the band’s various side projects. “There is just so much creativity in us, and so many goals, and so many things we want to accomplish that if we weren’t working on new stuff, then we’d be depressed.

Tuck went on to say, “I’m happy where I’m at right now because I can make, record, and listen to my own music. If I couldn’t do that, then I’d be really depressed. All the other stuff is just bonuses. But I’m not going to lie. I’d really like to take it to that next level.”

**Please note this video was recorded prior to a recent venue change announced for the Derby-eve show on Friday, May 6th.

Churchill Downs Paddock Concert Series
The VilleBillies  


Friday, May 13th 

Churchill Downs

700 Central Ave.

8 pm 

All Ages

FREE

** This story is also published at Louisville.com

Photos: Courtesy of the VilleBillies

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Ratterman in the studio

Wax Fang’s Kevin Ratterman is a busy man in the music business these days. So busy that he never really got around to pursuing his family’s business of operating funeral homes in the Louisville area. Instead, he picked up on another family trait; music.

From the time he was a child he would aspire to his older brother Blaine, an “excellent drummer” as described by Ratterman, and his father’s band, The Epics’ drummer as well. So, growing up he essentially had ready access to full drum kit in his basement. No surprises that he too would learn to play drums. Led Zeppelin and Mötley Crüe were two bands he cited that he learned to play to growing up.

Today, not only is he Wax Fang’s animated drummer, but he’s started to take on a new endeavor in the world of music; album production. Some of his first two projects: My Morning Jacket’s Circuital and The Broken Spurs’ Natural Disaster, both of whose albums he played an integral role in developing the sound for. Not to shabby for a production-newbie, right?

“I essentially put the studio together,” Ratterman explained when talking about the make-shift studio he built in a church gymnasium to record Circuital, the new My Morning Jacket album due out May 31 on ATO Records.

“We were recording everything live, which means you have to automatically – when you’re doing stuff like that – ‘accept’ a lot of things you wouldn’t normally accept,” he explained about the sound output from the live recording process as compared to a studio. I can’t help but to think, at this point, that he must be a perfectionist, because when you listen to Circuital’s title track (released last week by MMJ) you can barely tell it was recorded live, in my opinion. They’re a few subtle hints, but nothing that the average listener will really notice. Just us music junkies.

Currently Ratterman has no future production plans with MMJ, but he described the experience with recording with the band as “one of my crowning achievements in my life.”

As for his own band, Wax Fang, Ratterman announced that they have recorded a new album and EP, and that they would probably be out later in the fall of 2011 once they have wrapped up the label shopping process. Apparently they have options. For more updates on Wax Fang, check the band’s website at WaxFang.com

Here is the raw video from my interview:

** This interview also posted at Louisville.com

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If you’ve lived here in our beloved Derby-city for a long time, then there is a good chance that you’re probably already over Thunder Over Louisville. It’s just a bunch of fireworks, right? Or maybe because it essentially generates Louisville’s biggest annual city-wide traffic jam, and packs the Jefferson County Detention Center to near capacity. Something of the sort.

But, hey, it’s also the kick-off of the Derby Festival here in the bluegrass state; our little annual tradition and time to shine, right? And, on the flip side it creates one of the city’s best few weeks of the year for live music and concerts across almost every conceivable musical style.

Friday night’s 
Thunder-eve celebration will bring us Louisville’s own Wax Fang at Zanzabar in Germantown. This wildly powerful psychedelic rock band produces a lot of sound for being a just a trio, and will be in the midst of a short mini-Kentucky tour hitting Bowling Green, Louisville and Lexington in a three-night stretch.

Still being a fairly young band by Louisville standards, Wax Fang has come a long way, and made a pretty bold statement about themselves as musicians. Led by Scott Carney on guitars and vocals, Kevin Ratterman on drums, and Jacob Heustis on Bass, you’ll surely get an intense and aggressive dose of guitars, while Carney’s impressive tenor will at-times bring a euphoric sense to their music, much like Pink Floyd did, a band Wax Fang has been often compared to.

Wax Fang landed an opening slot with fellow Louisville-counterparts My Morning Jacket on their fall tour, and then were basically handpicked by Spoon for another opening performance, and then received the opportunity to perform at SXSW, which eventually landed them their first record deal with Absolutely Kosher Records. 

They don’t play out that often, so this Friday’s show may be the last in Louisville for another 6-7 month stint. That is unless you can catch Scott Carney out playing a random solo acoustic gig, something that happens with a little more frequency than the entire band.

Wax Fang / The Features
Friday, April 15
Zanzabar
2100 South Preston Street
9:00
$10
21 and up

Checkout this Wax Fang performance of “Majestic”:

** This preview also posted at Louisville.com

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When Bowling Green, Kentucky-native Cage the Elephant released their self-titled debut album in 2009, some referred to them as saviors of the whole funk-punk music genre, thanks to hit singles like “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” and “Back Against The Wall,” a pair of songs that has virtually made the band household names after experiencing some moderate billboard chart success coupled with high profile gigs like Bonnaroo, Lallapalooza and an appearance on Late Show with Dave Letterman.

The band is making their return to Kentucky – this Friday April 1st at Headliners Music Hall – in support of their sophomore album Thank You Happy Birthday, which dropped this past January on Jive Records. Debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart, Cage The Elephant launched the new year with a ferocious kick of gut-grabbing rock & roll and an album that lead-singer Matt Schultz described as “bringing him back to life.” Whatever that means.

Schultz, who self-admittedly once struggled with a methadone addiction, also struggled to formulate coherent or somewhat interesting responses in a recent interview leading up to their sold-out Louisville show. And although he hinted at a 3rd album that is apparently already in the works, he stopped short of dropping any other interesting tidbits of information on anything he was asked about. Listen for yourself:



So, needless to say, Schultz and the rest of the Cage The Elephant crew will be looking to bringing themselves and their sound “back to life” by the time they take the stage at Headliner’s this Friday, the 3rd date on a lengthy summer tour which canvases the U.S. (including a return to Louisville on May 5th for the Derby festival) and also takes them to Europe, Canada, and Japan. That is of course as long as they can manage to moderate their substance intake while simultaneously building on their path to rock n‘ roll stardom.

Cage The Elephant / Biffy Clyro / Sleeper Agent
Friday, April 1st
Headliners Music Hall
1386 Lexington Rd.
7 pm
All Ages
SOLD OUT

** This preview is also posted at Louisville.com

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