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Jason Ludwig’s 2 new albums / Dave Douglas boxset

20th Oct 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

This fall is turning into a flippin’ brilliant season for new music… My Brightest Diamond, Wussy, and Puscifer… all gems.  Now some more…

Cincinnati-based singer-songwriter Jason Ludwig (formerly of Noctaluca) released two new albums last Friday.  I’ve spent a few days with them, and I LOVE-love-LOVE them.  I can’t say which one, Lost in Love or Tanglings, that I like more – but they’re both vying for a spot on my Best Albums of 2011 List.  They’re only available as a digital download (mp3 or FLAC) via Jason’s bandcamp page, but the awesome part… they’re only $5 each.

 

Go to jasonludwig.com for samples and then buy them.  Well-produced, well-arranged, creative singer-songwriter that reminds me of a cross between the pop of Glen Hansard (of the Swell Season and the Frames) and the creative of Daniel Johns (of Silverchair).  If you don’t like them, I’d be surprised.

More new music news…

My favorite living trumpet-player/composer, Dave Douglas, started a new digital download music series this year on his record label, Greenleaf Music, called GPS (Greenleaf Portable Series).  Greenleaf recently launched a cloud player with their entire catalog, they’re putting out an iPad/iPhone App, and they just announced that they’re going to put out the three GPS releases thus far (Rare Metals, Orange Afternoons, Bad Mango) as an extremely limited 3-CD boxset called Three Views.

More info coming soon from Greenleaf, but it’s expected before year’s end.

~Dan – np: My Brightest DiamondAll Things Will Unwind

Noctaluca’s final show

10th Jun 10 (Thu) Leave a comment

So, this came as a MySpace bulletin from Cincinnati rock outfit Noctaluca‘s profile last weekend, but hasn’t surfaced anywhere else… it’s sad news, and I hope it’s not true (but assume it is)…

Allow me to apologize for the last minute notice of Noctaluca’s last show, taking place TONIGHT at Play By Play Cafe in Cincinnati. I am personally not happy about this decision and I am VERY grateful for all of your love and support over the past 8 years. Rest assured, from the ashes of Noctaluca, a new project or projects shall emerge. The bar of songsmithery and sound quality has been raised by this band, and we will all take that with us wherever we go. There are unreleased tracks from the album we were working on floating around, so stay tuned for possible uploads, as well as new recordings by Jason, Aaron, Brandon, and Donovan. We could not have lasted this long without all of the encouraging words and love you all have given us. I personally thank you from the bottom of my heart. So, once again, I apologize for the last minute update, and try your damndest to make it to Play By Play Cafe tonight.

http://www.noctaluca.com doesn’t have any info yet… but again, it seems legit.  I hope Jason Ludwig and the rest of the guys do something creative together in the future.  For the photoset from their last show, check out Pat Strang’s flickr set.

~Dan – np: IsisOceanic

Latest: Noctaluca, Puscifer/Lustmord, David Bazan’s Xmas

20th Oct 08 (Mon) 3 comments

In order of awesomeness…

Noctaluca, one of my favorite Cincinnati-based rock bands (and quite frankly, one of my favorite rock bands regardless of local flavor) just put out their newest CD, Still the Wicked Rest.  I ordered it the same time as their Live DVD, and somehow thought that the new CD was just a live thing, too.  Well, when it showed up, I was all like, “hmmm… this looks like a legitimate studio CD.”  And, well, it is a new studio CD.  And it’s awesome.  Think two-guitar hard rock (with a sound that’s equal parts Led Zeppelin & early Alice in Chains) with a strong singer-songwriter core, powerful vocals, and lyrics for the Rage Against the Machine set…

Noctaluca is fronted by singer-songwriter Jason Ludwig.  His solo debut, PeLL MeLL, was one of my Top 10 from 2003.  Right after he got a lot of local acclaim for this, he ditched gigging by his name and started gigging his new band, Noctaluca.  In 2003, I snagged a copy of of the “Monkey Moon” radio single they had at a table at the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards.  This was the only recorded Noctaluca until 2006’s long-awaited Towering the Sum.  Towering the Sum was in a good group of favorite local CDs that year, as well as being in my Top 10 vocal CDs in 2006, too.  All this to say that I LIKE NOCTALUCA.  Being surprised with a new studio CD is well, awesomes…

And they start the new Still the Wicked Rest CD off with a re-recording of “Monkey Moon“… natch.  It deserved to make its way onto an official CD… finally.

Check ’em out!
http://www.noctaluca.com/
http://www.myspace.com/noctaluca

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Next up in awesomeness… getting endless mileage out of the same songs, there’s a new download-only dub mix of Puscifer songs by the dark & ambient Lustmord.  Puscifer is Maynard James Keenan (from Tool & A Perfect Circle).  Lustmord has had his hand at remixing the Melvins, Puscifer music previously releases, as well as maybe A Perfect Circle song(s).  My mind fails me, and I’m too lazy to check at this point. :)  The new album is 53 minutes, 8 songs… and fits in with the Puscifer album as well as a darker dub sound.  I’d recommend it if you like Maynard’s music, Lustmord’s music, dark dub, or remixes…

It’s available only at Puscifer’s store for now:
https://store.puscifer.com/

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Next up in awesomeness… still awesome, but it is Christmas music (of which I usually don’t like); so it gets last billing.  David Bazan of Pedro the Lion put out another holiday-themed 7″ vinyl – a split of melancholy Jingle Bells & All I Want for Christmas.  This was the first one since I’ve lived on the West Coast.  The East Coast people got a 3 hour jump on the overnight email he sent out, and they snatched them all up… except for a few on Suicide Squeeze‘s website.  I scored one… but barely.

A 1,000 quantity pressing may not be enough, bro.

~Dan – np: TeslaForever More

Favorite Concerts of 2007

24th Dec 07 (Mon) 2 comments

Well, there are still some 2007 CDs that may or may not arrive in my hands before the year’s over (specifically Eyvind Kang, Dave Douglas, Greydon Square, Radiohead, Doug Pinnick & La Mar Enfortunaall of which have Top 20 potential); so I’m not ready to post my “Best CDs of 2007” list, yet. Look for that one sometime in early 2008…

This blog is for my favorite concerts of 2007. I went to too many to recount in detail, but these are the tip-top ones…

  1. Music Now Festival 2007 (Pedro Soler, Bryce Dessner, David Cossin, the Clogs, the Havels, Osso, Amiina, My Brightest Diamond, Sufjan Stevens) at the Memorial Hall, Cincinnati-OH (4/5/07 to 4/7/07) my review
  2. Masada (John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron) at the Rose Theatre at the Lincoln Center, New York-NY (3/10/07) my review
  3. Nellie McKay at the Shedd Institute, Eugene-OR (10/5/07) my review
  4. Silverchair at the Fillmore @ the TLA, Philadelphia-PA (7/28/07) review snippet
  5. Secret Chiefs 3 at the Bowery Ballroom, New York-NY (3/15/07) my review
  6. John Zorn’s Moonchild (Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, Joey Baron) at the Moore Theatre, Seattle-WA (11/4/07) my review
  7. Holy Fuck at the Southgate House, Newport-KY (4/1/07) my review
  8. Antibalas at the Southgate House, Newport-KY (4/29/07) review snippet
  9. Noctaluca at the Taste of Cincinnati, Cincinnati-OH (5/28/07)
  10. Blackfield (Steven Wilson & Aviv Geffen) at the Bowery Ballroom, New York-NY (3/16/07) my review

OK, I guess I’ve still got coming up in 2007 Iron & Wine in Portland (12/2) and maybe David Bazan (Pedro the Lion) in Eugene (12/14); but the above concerts were my favorites of 2007…

Happy thanksgiving, yo! One thing I’m thankful for is definitely music… :-)

~Dan – np: npr jazz profiles (podcast) – duke ellington: the bandleader, pt. 1

12/24 Update: wow… I totally forgot the kick ass Zappa Plays Zappa show at Moonlite Gardens in Cincinnati, OH on 7/24/07. I think I forgot because I didn’t blog about it when it happened (gettin’ ready to quit my job and pack up and head west at the time)… but now reading this week’s CityBeat, tons of people listed it as a favorite, and man, I was at that show, too… Dweezil = awesomes! Ray White = awesomes! Frank on a big screen behind the band, singing and soloing with the live band = awesomes! 2nd time seeing the ZPZ tour in 2 years (completely different setlist, too). I think it needs to be a once-a-year thing… in perpetuity.

Favorite Local Artists’ Albums of 2006 (Cincinnati, OH)

30th Nov 06 (Thu) Leave a comment

FAV Albums of 2006 coming in a month or so…

My Favorite Local* Artists’ Albums for 2006:
* – local for me equals the Dayton/Cincinnati, OH-area.

1) NoctalucaTowering the Sum ~ Long, long, long awaited debut album from Jason Ludwig-fronted rock band Noctaluca. Solid, powerful, well-crafted rock songs in a loose-concept album. Overall, a crowd pleaser. I loved Jason Ludwig solo, but I’m really digging his band — and his vocals are superb. The only dissappointment with the album is that it didn’t include the early Noctaluca song “Monkey Moon.” Kim Taylor also makes an appearance on backup vocals on the sprawling “My Magic Hour.” All of the album’s artwork is from (legendary?) Gottfried Helnwein. If you love good rock music, this is one of my favs this year.

2) (tie) ElleryLying Awake ~ Ellery are quickly becoming my new favorite wife-husband duo from Cincinnati. Eh… sue me, Apples. Passionate, well-crafted pop songs… and Tasha’s vocals are simply surreal. Former-Over the Rhine guitarist Ric Hordinski and (Cincinnati drummer/percussionist-extraordinaire) Josh Seurkamp appear on the album (Ric produced half of it). I first heard (of) Ellery when they opened up for my friend Ashley Peacock in 2005, and then I first heard them (for real) when they opened up for the ever-wonderful Ryan Adcock at his EP-release party earlier in 2006 (see below). Anyway, I think I’ve seen Ellery 4 or 5 times since then… and I’ve got ’em on my calendar 2 more times for the month of December… rolleyes.gif You all owe yourself a new fantastic CD by Ellery.

2) (tie) Kim TaylorI Feel Like a Fading Light ~ Kim’s debut album (So Black, So Bright) was fantastic. Her extended play, also fantastic, gave us a glimpse of what Ric Hordinski could do for her… then she toured a-plenty in 2005 with Over the Rhine, which made the “production by Ric” somewhat of a difficult scheduling situation. In September of 2006, after re-recording with a new producer (Jimmy Zhivago), her sophomore full-length album finally dropped. It was worth the wait. While I’m missing the Ric & Josh element in Kim’s live sound… her songwriting and vocals are still what make her a special artist. Josh Seurkamp does drum & “percuss” on some tracks… which makes all three of these “Favorite Local Albums of 2006” connected… or incestual, perhaps. I look forward to more Kim Taylor in the future.

All three of which have a serious chance of being in my Top XX list for 2006 overall…

Favorite Local -EP- for 2006:
?) Ryan AdcockUnfinished -EP- ~ Ryan’s first two albums (Like Orville Stared at Air -and- From Silence and Joy) remain frequent “pull out and listen” albums in our house. Unfinished is comprised of 5 songs — full-band “singer-songwriter in rock mode” songs that expand upon his great songwriting from his first two albums. The only problem is that you’re actually wishing it were a full album. Here’s where Ryan got clever… on the actual slipcase for the -EP-, he’s got the missing tracks listed, and you can download the 5 acoustic tracks from his website and put them all in order and viola… a full-length album (with new artwork on the site, too). My run-on sentences notwithstanding, it’s a solid EP with a little web add-on that makes it bigger. In other Ryan releases this year, he was on a Cincinnati Reds album called Cincinnati Clutch Hits. The album (as a whole) is on par with “would someone do me a courtesy and keeeeeeeellll meeeeeee!!” (to quote the “having a bad time in the bathroom” rabbit on TV’s Greg the Bunny). However-however-however, Ryan Adcock’s song (“The Cul-de-sac League“) is brilliant, funny, and well… sweet. Ryan’s and Greg Mahan‘s songs are the only ones I enjoy on that album, and luckily can be bought online by themselvessmile.gif

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Website: http://www.ryanadcock.com/
MySpace: http://myspace.com/ryanadcock ?disappearing myspace page?

~Dan – np: XtatikaTongue Bath
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