REVIEW: Watter – “History of the Future”

Watter – a Louisville post-rock band that’s high in promise due to its parentage, if nothing else – simply fails to deliver on the oft-disjointed but occasionally ambitious History of the Future, its sophomore full-length, out today on Temporary Residence. It’s not that there are not great moments on the record. It’s just that their…

PROFILE: King G and The J Krew

Twenty five years ago today, the beat was born. It was the sound of young adults from Louisville – a sprawling collection of collaborators, most of them close friends since childhood – surging with ideas, and busting out with a declaration that they intended to live an unfiltered, untethered life of art and music. It…

REVIEW: Radon Chong – “I Keep On Talking To You”

Captain Beefheart devotees, rejoice! Shape-shifter Don van Vliet might be deceased but his spirit – and that of his ever-evolving Magic Band – is alive and well in Pittsburgh. Local band Radon Chong channel the Captain with passionate precision, vibrant originality, and colorful flare on its nine-song debut, the mind bogglingly good I Keep On…

REVIEW: Heron – “You Are Here Now”

To hear some good reverb-drenched post-rock on the radio dial or the event horizon, you can do a heck of a lot worse than Heron, the Pennsylvania quartet that made its debut recently with the engaging and shimmering full-length You Are Here Now. On the record, which they self-released, the band situates itself comfortably near…

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…

REVIEW: Papa M – “Highway Songs”

At first blush, Papa M’s Highway Songs LP is a mess or, at best perhaps, unbalanced. But first blushes, like a journalist’s first drafts of history, are frequently pockmarked with misconceptions and quotes demanding corrections. Many watched as Papa M’s sole member and primary muse, the Slint and Tortoise alum David Pajo, struggled with god…

REVIEW: HC-B – “Rough”

It takes a great record to remind me how awkward it can be — yes yes, like dancing to architecture — to write about really good instrumental rock music. For the moment, the band putting me in said position is HC-B, the record is the group’s latest Hidden Shoal release, Rough, and both are terrific, sometimes bordering on breathtaking….

REVIEW: We Only Said – “Boring Pools”

It’s hard to believe We Only Said operates nearly 4,100 miles outside Louisville, once- and always-home of post-rock icons Slint and Rodan. They just sound so downright Louisvillian. But so it goes for the reigning post-rock champions of Rennes, France. The group – whose second full-length, Boring Pools, was released by Les Disques Normal earlier…

PROFILE: Rachel Grimes

Rachel Grimes knew how to play the piano before she learned to walk. “My dad and grandmother played, so I was always sitting beside them following along, watching and listening in wonder at how they could make that magic,” the composer/pianist told me recently from the home she and her husband, educator Alec Johnson, share…

REVIEW: Bedhead – “Bedhead: 1992-1998” Boxed Set

The single guitar note, all fragile and frosted glass, falls on the foot of the kick drum. And then, as the notes continue to unfurl and the metronomic drum spurs a succession, we first hear that voice, sleepy but somehow still resolved and engaged, lingering above a whisper and below a murmur. “More than ever…