UPDATED:Forecastle Reviews Round-Up

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Jul 152013

Always a few more:
Michael Tierney posted his Forecastle commentary at InsiderLouisville.com this morning.

GetOutLouisville.com has a bunch of photos from the Fest.

American Songwriter has a batch of photos from the festival.
Spin Magazine has a batch of photos.

Per WHASTV, the initial crowd estimate was 65,000, up from last year’s 35,000.

Forecastle Fest is over for another year and the reviews have begun, more or less, some while it was still on.
Melissa Chapman at Insiderlouisville.com has her take on Days 1, 2 and some of 3. She calls it a “baby Bonnaroo,” with comfortable beds at home.
Matt at You Ain’t No Picasso reviewed Big Boi’s performance. That’s all.
At Bluegrass Catastrophe, Damien McPherson posted his final Day 3 review. There’s also reviews for Day 1 and Day 2.
Paste Magazine has a gallery of photos from Day 2, with thumbnail reviews.

That’s it for the moment. More to follow later, no doubt.

Review: Eluvium – Nightmare Ending

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May 102013

Eluvium Nightmare Ending

Louisville native Matthew Cooper, who works under the moniker Eluvium, recently released Nightmare Ending on Temporary Residence Records. Several singles from the records have already been noted in this space. Reviews are being posted; here are a couple:

Robert Ham at Willamet Week says this:
“Ambient music is a dangerous proposition for even the most studied of musicians. The combination of elongated drones, stillness and washes of synth has to be measured precisely, or the whole soufflé is going to collapse. For the most part, Matthew Cooper, the musician who records under the name Eluvium, has the formula down pat.
Yet on his latest collection, Nightmare Ending, far too many of the songs fail to cohere.”

Read the rest of his comments here.

Eli Kleman at SputnickMusic begins this way:
“When Nightmare Ending really hit me, I was driving down the freeway on a warm day with the windows rolled down. Strange, really, as connecting with ambient music has always been easiest in seclusion and isolation; introverted scenarios for introverted music. Yet Eluvium’s seventh album bucks such an idea, and with it, its very own beginnings. Nightmare Ending was a concept born from Matthew Cooper’s intense perfectionism. It stood as a way to loosen his hold on his music and embrace the inherent flaws within. Perhaps this is what gives the album its surprisingly open feeling. Rather than retract into himself, chasing after perfection that will always be from reach, Eluvium for once has laid himself bare for all to see. The result is a humanizing piece of work that shows us Matthew Cooper the man, as well as Eluvium the artist.”
Read the rest here

NPR has a stream of the whole album at www.npr.org/2013/05/05/180877593/first-listen-eluvium-nightmare-ending

Video of Monsters of Folk as KISS; Cartoons, Too

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Nov 052009

A user named djserch25 posted this video of Monsters Of Folk, dressed as KISS, from their Halloween show at the Louisville Palace. The video and audio are sketchy.
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The guys in My Morning Jacket will guest-voice (as themselves) on the TV cartoon show “American Dad” on November 22. Here’s the PR slug: “Stan becomes obsessed with the band My Morning Jacket (guest-voicing as themselves) and decides to become a groupie in the “My Morning Straitjacket” episode of AMERICAN DAD airing Sunday, Nov. 22 (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.”

Finally, here’s a review of MMJ’s Tuesday night show in Boston.

C-J Reviews MoF, Miley

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Nov 022009

Once more , the old LMN budget didn’t quite cover the costs of two big concerts for the weekend, but never fear, the C-J will review what’s big. Herewith, J. L. Puckett’s review of the Monsters of Folk Halloween show. Marty Rosen drew the short straw and had to go cover Miley Cyrus.

Monsters of Folk Reviews

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Sep 242009

It is certainly no surprise that the Monsters of Folk CD would attract a crowd of music writers. Herewith, a sampling:

From the New York Daily News – “Monsters of Folk offers both a variety and a sense of surprise in new album

Relix magazine has MOF on the cover.

California Chronicle gives the release two stars.

The College Media Network’s Jon Fox says “Members fight for attention in Monsters of Folk

The Philadelphia Daily News titles its review “The New Folk Scare

Finally, from ExpressNightOut.com, a feature called Liner Notes has an interesting background interview.

We’ll stop here, but there many more reviews out and about.

KANSAS Live At Belterra

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Mar 062009

Jason Koerner takes over the Editor’s Blog for this review of KANSAS at Belterra Casino:

Renowned rock group KANSAS took the stage at Belterra Casino on Saturday, February 28 for a spectacular performance. I was lucky enough to have seats to this sold-out show, but even luckier to have gained an inside-look at what KANSAS is up to these days through a recent interview with guitarist, Rich Williams. If that kind of good fortune were to follow me inside the casino after the show, I would have hit the jackpot. Sometimes two out of three isn’t so bad.

The show started off strong, and the early highlight was, “On the Other Side.” The hook for that tune is catchy beyond words. The band demonstrated from the start that there is no rust on this machine, even after 35 years (plus) of existence. “Tightness” is the strongest attribute of the group from a live performance standpoint, though great songwriting doesn’t hurt either. The word “tight” is thrown around loosely at times to describe bands who play well together and who have great timing with one another. Despite the fact that this is not an entirely original lineup, having 3/5 of the foundation was evident in the group’s ability to anticipate and feed off one another’s contributions on-stage. Tight is an understatement for the musicality of KANSAS.

The band led into their classic hit, “Dust in the Wind,” which gave a much-needed break to drummer, Phil Ehart. Phil was ripping it up and showed amazing rhythm and endurance throughout the night. The drums have always been one of my favorite parts of KANSAS compositions due to complicated time changes and jazzy elements. The hit ballad led to an array of light around the performance hall, not from lighters, but from the new concert “lighter” – the cell phone. Someone even commented behind me about this change in concert behavior. I’m sure KANSAS didn’t mind one way or the other what was being flashed about in the room, as long as the crowd enjoyed themselves.

“Song for America” was a crowd-pleaser, as was the violin (Dave Ragsdale) and guitar (Rich Williams) dual-leads that took place throughout the night. Ragsdale had much to offer during the show and sounded beautiful. Williams is unquestionably one of the best rock guitarists around, making it look easy to boot.

Bass player Billy Greer took the reins on “Down the Road,” offering outstanding vocals and an entertaining performance. While lead vocalist and keyboard player Steve Walsh is obviously the main source of KANSAS vocals, Greer worked the crowd well and introduced many of the songs to the audience that night.

The band said, “Thank you, good night,” but you knew it wasn’t over yet. Where’s “Carry on Wayward Son?” What about the big finish? No worries, it was on the way. As the band came back on-stage, a quip of “You guys still here?” started a two-song encore, which, of course, concluded with “Wayward Son.” Steve Walsh shined in this moment, delivering a big vocal to bring the night to a close. Aside from the lead vocals, the harmonies were terrific as well. It was a perfect ending to an already rock solid performance. KANSAS brought it to Belterra, and the fans loved every minute of it.

An extra special thanks goes to Mr. Blair Bendel of Belterra Casino for all his generosity and efforts, Jennifer Farhood of Chipster PR for review arrangements made, and Rich Williams of KANSAS for his time during our interview.

Powerman 5000 Review

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Feb 212009

Jason Koerner takes over the Editor’s Blog for this review of the Powerman 5000 show:

“”The show was on a Monday night, but you wouldn’t have known it if you were a calendar.

A decade after the band’s most popular release, Tonight the Stars Revolt!, Spider is still fronting a Powerman 5000 live show in front of several hundred eager fans. I spoke to Spider a few weeks ago about the band’s new initiative, but now I was able to see first-hand that PM5K has a high-intensity stage show as they performed an energy-packed set at Headliner’s on February 9. The crowd reciprocated that energy full-force.

The band played songs from several of their albums (if not all of them), so no matter when you became a PM5K fan, there was something for you. The show began when the lights were dimmed and a computer-voice set the mood for the show. We were told to enjoy and let loose, in no unclear terms. That is just what the crowd did as the band cranked out hits like “Supernova Goes Pop,” “Nobody’s Real,” “When Worlds Collide” and “Bombshell.” The band also played some lesser-known tunes from their catalog, as well as some brand spankin’ new ones. “Super Villain” seems to be the crowd favorite in terms of new tracks, but “V is for Vampire” also caught some attention. For me, it takes a few days to get “Super Villain” out of my head after hearing it just once. It is a pulsating, in your face (and in your head), driving, pop-meets-metal-meets-electronic smoothie of a tune. It calls back the old PM5K sound with a new finish.

The band’s sound is made fuller by the incorporation of samples and synth-tones to accompany the live instrumentation. The tone and mix was excellent that night, so “kudos” to whomever took part behind the board. Powerman’s live act sounded extremely close to the record, which is something I praise bands for being able to pull off… especially those with samples and more room for error (technologically). My only criticism of the set is that at times, it ran together due to similar sounding songs or similar tempos back-to-back. This would not affect any die-hard fan, but for an outsider looking in, a little more variety would have helped mix up the feel of the night. Saying that, the band did what the band does, and they did it well.

The conclusion of the show brought a twist to the visual element, as the band members did an encore wearing matching costumes that were topped off with light-emitting helmets. Think “Scuba Steve” (action figure from Big Daddy) only a scarier, tribal-looking, outer-spacier version thereof. Anyhow, it was interesting, and very PM5K-esque.

I enjoyed myself at the show, and wish Spider the best of luck as Powerman 5000 continues their tour and their work on a new album. Maybe we will see a return to radio-rotation and MTV, or maybe the band will continue to thrive off their rejuvenated underground following. If you read my interview with Spider, you’d know he’s a pretty happy guy doing what he is doing either way, as long as he is playing music in front of people. ”