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Down On The Corner
The early winter music lull is about over for Louisville music fans – February is jam-packed with shows worth going to see, ranging from mega-baby-boomer legends The Who to Matchbox 20 and 3 Doors Door; Iris DeMent to P am Tillis; Kathleen Edwards, Tift Merritt, Citizen Cope; Ed Sheeren and on and on. Go check the center section of the paper for a partial list. It's really quite phenomenal, but also consistent with the more recent trend, not only here, but across the country, as musicians have to tour to make their living, rather as it was prior to the rise of the recording industry. (The Steely Dan notion of a "recording artist only" model is dead, dead, dead.) Show announcements now come months ahead, with ticket sales selling out very early for some shows. (Forecastle Fest pre-sale tickets were sold out by January 11.)
The impact on local players is also very clear – paying jobs are few and far between, as audiences are tapped out by the big shows and only those young bands willing to hit the road are likely to find musical ssuccess. Nevertheless, players keep trying. Here's a round-up of recent music news about Louisville-area artists:
New Albany's Houndmouth is quietly "making some noise" out there on the national music scene. They've been touring with Drive-By Truckers , getting some chatter in the music blogosphere and got signed by Rough Trade Records, which will soon release their debut CD. To top it all off, they've got an European tour lined for February. Not to shabby a start.
Former Louisvillian and YPAS grad Nicole Sherzinger, who has been doing well in Great Britain with the British version of "The X-Factor," has released the first single, "Boomerang," from her new solo album to mixed reviews. While the Brits seem to love her death – particularly the British tabloids – here at home, she's not been successful with singles from her first solo effort. However, she's working and grabbing tons of press, which, for the field she's in, is success in and of itself.
Chamber music fans, listen up! There's a new chamber music ensemble in Louisville called Orchestra Enigmatic. Check them out at their facebook.com/OrchestraEnigmatic page.
The benefit of being signed to SonaBLAST! is clear to The Pass . They wound up on the ABC show "The Neighbors" back on January 23. They also got a tune on a FedEx commercial.
WHAS 11' s morning show "Great Day Live!" has been featuring Louisville artists frequently of late. It's one of the best ways to check out an artist without hitting the clubs.
Local singers Remington Maxwell, Brandy Neely and Georgetown's Emily Bodner accepted American Idol "Golden Tickets" after auditioning for the show in Chicago, IL and will go on to compete in the show's Hollywood round. It's the new path to possible stardom.
The Abromavage brothers Mark and Chris, longtime players on the punk scene (Mark was in Kinghorse), have put together a new band, The Decline Effect, with The Glasspack's "Dirty Dave" Johnson and Jae Brown on drums. They're working on a new record, tentatively title Land Of Isms.
Jim James has begun scheduling dates for his solo tour promoting his new album, Regions of Light and Sound of God. Thus far, only a few have been announced but the promise is of many more to come. We hope Louisville is on that list. The dates so far are February 18 in Philadelphia at Johnny Brenda's, February 19 at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg, and February 20 in New York City at The McKittrick Hotel.
Hardworking metal trio Coliseum has a new record, Sister Faith, set to be released by Temporary Residence Records about April 30.
The Sandpaper Dolls self-titled album on Karate Body Records is now available on iTunes.
Storefront Congregation won't be around for the next few months – they've got a series of gigs on Mississippi riverboats. Cool.
French, John Raymond , 61, died on January 17, 2013. He was at rumpet player with The Masterpiece Brass Quintet, The Phoenix VII, The Pete Willinger Orchestra/Early Autumn and the Holy Name Band.
Hawley, Janis Lamar, 57, died on January 17, 2013, She was a singer with Voces Novae.
McMahel, Donald E. 82, died on January 10, 2013. He was Principal Clarinetist with the IU Symphonic Band, the IU Philharmonic Orchestra and IU Opera Orchestra. He performed with the Louisville Orchestra, the Kentucky Opera and local jazz bands. He was a co-founder and co-director of the Floyd County Youth Symphony.