Justin Vellucci’s Year-Ending Top Ten: 2017 Edition

Yeah, yeah, putting the final nail in the coffin of 2017 is a little premature, seeing as there’s still more than 30 days left in the year. But, I’m the music writer compiling this list, so, here you go. It was an interesting year in underground music and, rather than present a conventional Top Ten,…

PROFILE: David Grubbs (2017)

Five days ago, David Grubbs released one of the best records of his storied career and a real contender, especially in avant-indie circles, for Record of the Year. The LP in question? Creep Mission, a collection of eerily emotive, eerily intuitive guitar pieces punctuated with careful interjections from drums, trumpet and electronics. The whole record hangs together and…

REVIEW: David Grubbs – “Creep Mission”

It starts with the guitar and the guitar alone, amplified slightly but not distorted, its complicated figures as crystalline as frosted glass. It advances, carefully, with the occasional pitter-patter of percussion and well-placed interjections of bass, both low in the mix, letting the real star shine. Two minutes in, it climbs a scale, there’s the…

REVIEW: Various Artists – “I Said No Doctors!”

Ugh. Just ugh. What more can I say about the compilation I Said No Doctors!, which takes a good premise – what if we recorded an alt record with alt instruments? – and stumbles around before falling short of its goals. The group String Noise impressively echoes Crumb, Oval has his moments, Dan Deacon comes…

Louisville-Born, Brooklyn-Based — PROFILE: David Grubbs (2006)

The classroom is empty, the students more than an hour away, but David Grubbs sits behind a console in an unassuming Brooklyn College radio laboratory, tinkering with faders and talking about the aesthetics of sound art as if one of his classes already was in session. In this performance space without an audience, he’s dressed…

PROFILE: David Grubbs of Squirrel Bait

Originally published in Popdose on July 30, 2014 Before Louisville was associated with Palace, though after, I suppose, Hunter S. Thompson chronicled its seedy decadence during the Derby, there was Squirrel Bait, a nascent punk group of area teens churning out intricately layered but surprisingly accessible post-hardcore gems, a group of seemingly-always-do-wells who drew rave reviews,…