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Music News & Reviews

WCBE is proud to be a sponsor of Firebase-Rock: An Evening Of Music To Benefit Afghanistan And Iraq Veterans on Saturday, February 7th at King Ave. 5!

Please join us along with Columbus Love, Four String Brewing Company for an evening of great music and fundraising with proceeds going to VETMotorsports!

WCBE proudly presents Charlie Mars on Saturday, February 7th at Woodland's Tavern

Please join us for Winter Wednesdays at Woodland's Tavern with FREE shows 6:30-8:30 from some great acts!

February 4th - Big Leg Emma

February 11th - Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers

February 18th - Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle

The songs of Elliott Smith are widely revered — especially by those who came of age in the '90s — but a new generation of listeners is only beginning to discover him. Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith is likely to expose new fans to the great singer-songwriter. Smith released five albums in his lifetime and died in 2003 from two stab wounds to the chest; he'd left a suicide note. His songs, which often dealt with depression and desperation, were beautiful and frequently quiet.

Please join us for Winter Wednesdays at Woodland's Tavern with FREE shows 6:30-8:30 from some great acts!

January 7th - Bummers

January 14th - Electric Orange Peel

January 21st - Michaela Anne

January 28th - Dangermuffin

WCBE proudly presents roots/soul/blues rocker Patrick Sweany at Skully's on Friday, December 12th! Cincinnati's Buffalo Killers will support! 

WCBE proudly presents the return of southern rockers Gov't Mule to The LC Pavilion with special guest John Scofield, the Ohio born jazz-rock guitarist and composer.

Damien Rice's creative ambition has always outstripped his personal ambition: The Irish singer-songwriter's 2002 debut O yielded many lavish orchestral flourishes, and even a foray into opera near the end, but Rice himself always seemed a reluctant star. After 2006's 9, he quietly retreated from the public eye and relocated to Iceland, barely popping up publicly since, so the arrival of these eight new songs comes as a welcome and periodically thrilling surprise.

It's rare that a record lays out a mission statement as efficiently as the new supergroup Thompson does in the first 60 seconds of "Family." Here's Teddy Thompson, singing about the perils of being surrounded by his particular relatives:

My father is one of the greats to ever step on a stage

My mother has the most beautiful voice in the world

And I am betwixt and between

Sean Lennon, you know what I mean

For a record about journeying deep inside the darkest recesses of the mind, there's nothing introverted about the Cleveland duo Mr. Gnome's new album, The Heart Of A Dark Star. Named for an evocative phrase in a Neil Gaiman book, The Heart Of A Dark Star is a bold and blustery hurricane of guitars, organs and voices, all swirling around in the night air.

First Listen: Bryan Ferry, 'Avonmore'

Nov 10, 2014

Bryan Ferry rolls back the years with Avonmore, an album with eight original songs that recall his classic mid-'70s albums with Roxy Music, as well as two covers that are by themselves worth the price of admission.

Attention Hard Working WCBE members...this one's for you!  It's a FREE event if you've donated to WCBE in the last year!

This is not Dueling Banjos: The Married Couple Edition. You won't find the careening energy of the mano-a-mano from the Deliverance soundtrack, or of the Flatt and Scruggs classic "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." Outbreaks of dazzling, speed-demon technique are few.

Review: King Tuff, 'Black Moon Spell'

Sep 16, 2014

Vermont native King Tuff, a.k.a. Kyle Thomas, has been prowling the corners of the D.I.Y. scene for years, both in this solo guise and as a member of several vastly different acts: the freak-folk outfit Feathers, the wunderkind pop band Happy Birthday, the doom-metal burner Witch. But until Black Moon Spell, he hadn't really pushed his persona so far in a single direction. On his third full-length album, Thomas re-brands himself as some sort of demonic teenager, out for kicks, laughs, and maybe a little mailbox baseball, as opposed to bloodshed and the apocalypse.

A clue about the scruffy aesthetic of Sukierae arrives at the 2:27 mark of "World Away," one of 20 (!) songs on the first family-band album from Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Until this point, the tune — a variation on the Bo Diddley beat strummed on acoustic guitar, with Tweedy's sleepy voice distantly implying a blues cadence — has been fairly straightforward.

Leonard Cohen is not a man for manifestos. Peripatetic bohemian, Montreal native, Zen meditator, diaspora Jew: Rock's almost-octogenarian philosopher emeritus inhabits identities that are multiple, contested, and resistant to orthodoxy. He is, however, willing to lay some things on the line. "I'm slowing down the tune, I never liked it fast," he intones over a burlesque blues line in the first track on his 13th studio album, Popular Problems. "You want to get there soon; I want to get there last."

FEMMEFEST!

ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT OHIO ALLIANCE TO END SEXUAL VIOLENCE! 

Lydia Loveless On World Cafe

Aug 12, 2014

Lydia Loveless released her third album, Somewhere Else, early this year. The 23-year-old released her first album when she was 19, though it was filled with songs she'd written early in her teenage years. By any measure, that's a lot of music in a short amount of time.

The word "charisma" is often used to imply a certain kind of attention-grabbing showiness, or even neediness. But it can also suggest subtle ease; a simple gravitational pull that draws people in by making them feel comfortable and at home.

First Listen: Phish, 'Fuego'

Jun 16, 2014

Whether you know its work or just its reputation, you've probably already made up your mind about Phish. Maybe you love the band and its music, maybe you can't stand them, or maybe you liked them and have since moved on to other things. Phish is one of the most dynamic and celebrated live acts in all of music, with a loyal community any artist would envy, but it's also divisive. This is a band that inspires passion with its multipart compositions, meandering improvisations, playful (often nonsensical) lyrics and unwavering positivity.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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