Music News & Reviews

First Listen
5:51 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

First Listen: The Antlers, 'Familiars'

The Antlers' new album, Familiars, comes out June 17.
Marc Lemoine Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:34 pm

The 2009 album Hospice sparked a major breakthrough for The Antlers, but it's not the sort of success a band would want to duplicate, even if it could. As the title suggests, Hospice was built around a dark unifying theme — an examination of the events surrounding the slow death of singer Peter Silberman's friend — so the record comes by its desolate, life-and-death intensity honestly.

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First Listen
5:01 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

First Listen: Willie Nelson, 'Band Of Brothers'

Willie Nelson's new album, Band of Brothers, comes out June 17.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:33 pm

When Willie Nelson was a young hustler selling songs to Patsy Cline's people, he probably never thought he'd become the crowd-anointed sage of country music. But that's what happened as the Redheaded Stranger went gray, turned smoking weed into a brand and a virtue, and produced a discography that added up to its own American Songbook.

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First Listen
3:54 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

First Listen: Meridian Brothers, 'Salvadora Robot'

Meridian Brothers' new album, Salvadora Robot, comes out June 16.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:34 pm

It takes just two words to sum up Salvadora Robot, the new album by the Colombian band Meridian Brothers: "happy weirdness."

Last year's release of the anthology Devocion: (Works 2005-2011) introduced the quirky group to audiences beyond avant-garde circles in Bogota, and Salvadora Robot reiterates that these free thinkers don't merely throw out tradition. They make it sound, well, weird.

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First Listen
3:49 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

First Listen: Sam Smith, 'In The Lonely Hour'

Sam Smith's new album, In the Lonely Hour, comes out June 17.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:32 pm

British singer-songwriter Sam Smith isn't shy. With a steady, well-trained swell of a voice and a knack for whipping in and out of his falsetto in a hairsbreadth, he doesn't feel the need to hide — not by stifling his vocal abilities and not by ducking beneath distracting, colorful production. But on his full-length debut, In the Lonely Hour, he proves that he can play that game when he feels like it.

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Music
4:17 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Bob Mould's Beautiful, Ruinous Life In Punk

Bob Mould's latest album is Beauty & Ruin.
Jay Blakesberg Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 3:26 pm

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First Listen
6:47 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

First Listen: Mary Gauthier, 'Trouble & Love'

Mary Gauthier's new album, Trouble & Love, comes out June 10.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 12:13 pm

The breakup songs that offer instant gratification, to songwriter and listener alike, are often the ones that either strike while the anger is hot or skip right to the part where a busted old love is replaced by a new one. Those are the fast-paced action scenes of romantic dissolution. Who would want to dwell on the quietly agonizing, drawn-out times between; the times when a person can feel like a broken record of heartache?

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First Listen
6:43 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

First Listen: Jose James, 'While You Were Sleeping'

Jose James' new album, While You Were Sleeping, comes out June 10.
Janette Beckman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 12:13 pm

When the spirit of Nirvana surfaces in a song, the artist paying tribute almost always shares style points with that treasured band. The hair is shaggy, the clothes a little ragged; the lineage unfolds, relatively neatly, from punk to the present.

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First Listen
4:55 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

First Listen: First Aid Kit, 'Stay Gold'

First Aid Kit's new album, Stay Gold, comes out June 10.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:35 pm

Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg first made their names with feather-light chamber-folk confections that echoed the soaring sweetness of Fleet Foxes. A cover of that band's "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" even helped launch the then-teenagers to YouTube fame back in 2008. But in 2014, styles have changed and so have the Söderbergs: First Aid Kit's major-label debut, Stay Gold, moves well beyond the portentous prettiness of the pair's 2012 breakthrough, The Lion's Roar.

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Music
4:38 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

WCBE Presents Old 97's w/ Lydia Loveless Fri. June 6, 2014!

WCBE Presents the Old 97's with Lydia Loveless!

WCBE proudly presents Dallas' Old 97's with local great Lydia Loveless and her band at The Newport on Friday, June 6th! 

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Music
5:25 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Jack White's 'Lazaretto': The All Songs Interview

Mary Ellen Matthews Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:29 pm

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First Listen
4:02 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

First Listen: Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, 'Dereconstructed'

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires' new album, Dereconstructed, comes out May 27.
Wes Frazer Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 12:08 pm

In north central Alabama, punk rockers often know as much about football as they do mosh pits. A guy with an arm-sleeve tattoo will open the door for a woman and call her "ma'am." Self-identifying as a blue dot in a red state doesn't preclude Sunday brunch with relatives whose own cars boast confederate-flag stickers. Such differences can arise anywhere, but they can feel more pressing in the Deep South, where history is sticky, like a 90-degree rainy day, and intimate, like Grandma's questionable advice.

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First Listen
3:58 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

First Listen: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, 'A Long Way To The Beginning'

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80's new album, A Long Way to the Beginning, comes out May 27.
Johann Sauty Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 12:07 pm

Here's the starting point for the story of Seun Kuti: He's the youngest son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. He began playing with his father's band Egypt 80 at age 8 — and took it over upon his father's death just six years later.

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First Listen
3:54 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

First Listen: Lee Fields, 'Emma Jean'

Lee Fields' new album, Emma Jean, comes out June 3.
Danny Miller/Leon Michels Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 11:55 am

Press play on any of the songs from Lee Fields' new album, Emma Jean. It'll take just a few moments for you to connect his sound to that of decades past — but in all fairness, he's lived through it. Now 63 years old, Fields has been pumping out soul, funk and Southern blues since he was a teenager.

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Music
5:38 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

WCBE Presents Americana Whiskey Wednesdays @ Park Street Patio

WCBE Presents Americana Whiskey Wednesdays at Park Street Patio

WCBE presents Americana Whiskey Wednesdays every week at Park Street Patio

These are FREE events and will take place from 6-9PM!

Park Street Patio is located at 533 Park St. Columbus, OH  43215

Artist Schedule:

5/7     Holy Ghost Tent Revival

5/14   Rice Bros. w/ Clear Blue Sunday

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First Listen
4:59 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

First Listen: Pacifika, 'Amor Planeta'

Pacifika's new album, Amor Planeta, comes out May 6.
JP Carousel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 3:20 pm

The music of Pacifika draws you in almost immediately: The Vancouver trio's musicianship is superb, buoyed by a voice that stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it. Pacifika's sound has been labeled as world fusion, but that label is more of a restriction than a description. The group's acoustic base and subtle electronic flourishes provided a great way to start its musical journey, but Amor Planeta raises the stakes with an electric-guitar bite that adds a crucial dimension.

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First Listen
4:54 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

First Listen: Lykke Li, 'I Never Learn'

Lykke Li's new album, I Never Learn, comes out May 5.
Josh Olins

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 12:14 pm

Lykke Li is a pop star looking to change the pop conversation. The Swedish singer's new third album, I Never Learn, forms the final installment in a conceptual trilogy — and it's extraordinary as both a collection of songs and a tactical re-wiring of her genre's circuit board.

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First Listen
4:40 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

First Listen: Nikki Lane, 'All Or Nothin"

Nikki Lane's new album, All or Nothin', comes out May 6.
Chuck Grant Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 12:16 pm

Many young singers are stalked by an ill-fitting, virtually unshakable descriptor, whether it's a limiting and vaguely dismissive adjective ("quirky," for example) or a limiting and vaguely dismissive noun ("songstress," to pick one that should be banished from the language and buried under 10,000 pounds of rock salt). For Nikki Lane, that descriptor seems to be "outlaw country" — a generally defensible expression, but one that can subtly imply an element of posturing, even posing.

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First Listen
4:17 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

First Listen: Dolly Parton, 'Blue Smoke'

Dolly Parton's new album, Blue Smoke, comes out May 13.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 3:31 pm

The cover art of Dolly Parton's latest album looks like an airbrushed T-shirt design you might find in a souvenir shop at Dollywood. Both her flawless, beaming close-up and the mountainous skyline behind are her ringed in artist-rendered ribbons of mist, and the rising sun has a painterly, paradisiacal look to it. What gives her Smoky Mountain theme park its character is a combination of rural resilience, commercial sheen and aspirational sensibility.

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First Listen
4:16 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

First Listen: tUnE-yArDs, 'Nikki Nack'

tUnE-yArDs' new album, Nikki Nack, comes out May 6.
Holly Andres Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 12:13 pm

The creators of pop music are usually able to break down the fundamentals of their craft — that search for the clever rhyme, the killer beat, the singable chorus. They are less articulate, understandably, about the other quest, the one that powers those everyday searches: the pursuit of ecstasy in sound. There's something almost paranormal about that part of the creative process, yet we know those moments, instantly, when we hear them.

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First Listen
5:42 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

First Listen: The Afghan Whigs, 'Do To The Beast'

The Afghan Whigs' new album, Do to the Beast, comes out April 15.
Piper Ferguson

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:27 pm

A lover's obsessiveness may charm at first, but it can soon turn frightening. For an artist, the relentless pursuit of one object — a sound, a memory dragged up and reshaped, a fantasy that makes the long hours of work feel intimate — feeds creativity or freezes it. Greg Dulli has been chasing the same seductive nightmare since he was 22, when his band The Afghan Whigs formed. Next year, he'll turn 50. He's spent a long time, in his mind, sitting in a darkened car in front of the same house.

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