NORMA JEAN @ Diamond Pub Concert Hall – 8/1


It was some time in the early aughts when I was walking with a buddy of mine to our cars in a school parking lot in rural North Carolina. He told me to wait up and handed me a CD case with a statue of a cherub or something on the album cover. “Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child, you need to have this”, he said. He was right, and the ensuing 12 years since have seen an interesting evolution for Norma Jean. I’d be doing them a disservice if I didn’t mention their latest album, “Wrongdoers”, which came out last year. I really respect seeing a band take chances and change from album to album, and although there are some pretty drastic changes in their recent offering, there are some pretty solid hits and interesting work in the music. On a couple occasions the typically melodic post-hardcore arrangement sounds more like doom metal, and the sludgy bass harkens Sleep-esque stoner rock at times. The band’s current roster has only one thing remaining in common with that first album that got me hooked – guitarist, Chris Day. The other positions have been somewhat of a game of musical chairs, however the musical composition has that distinctive Chris Day style, from the unique guitar tuning and tone to the clever arrangements of riffs. Anyway, you can tell I’m a total nerd for this band. Norma Jean is er, was one of my all-time favorite bands. I haven’t seen them in their current manifestation but my hopes are pretty high after seeing a sneak peak of their setlist. Here’s a classic oldie to get you in the mood.

Joining Norma Jean are Night Verses, Gravemouth, Johari, and Great Floods. It’s been a while since I’ve gushed over Great Floods so here’s a refresher course: in a nutshell, they’re one of my current favorite bands, period (you can read a fuller account of my first impression here). They’re everything I hope rock to sound like, and they’re right on my wavelength lately as I’ve seriously lost patience for a lot of music that doesn’t instantly grab me. Good news on that front, their “long” songs clock in at just over two minutes. And they’ll grab you. Nice and mean like. Check out their latest music video for “Limbs”. Also they have free downloads linked from their Facebook page so don’t snooze on that.

Who: Norma Jean, Night Verses, Gravemouth, Johari, Great Floods
Friday, August 1, 7PM
Diamond Pub Concert Hall
$15, available in advance through Ticketweb

*This is an 18 and over show!

Permanent link to this article:

CROPPED OUT 2014 – September 26-27



WE’RE BACK. Mark your calendars. Water your plants. Buy a top hat for your newborn. Cropped Out 2014 is upon us, and with artists ranging from the Marshall Allen (born Louisvillian)-led Sun Ra Arkestra — also known as one of the greatest musical groups to have ever walked this planet, or any other for that matter — to the raw-nerve nuances of LA’s minimalist punk legends, the Urinals…there’s just really no way of turning back now.

Cropped Out is a 100% DIY, independently-developed gathering of musicians occurring annually in Louisville, KY, USA. Now in its fifth straight year (time flies when you’re lacking funds), this charmingly strange and truly unique event highlights the creative efforts of Louisville natives and fellow thinkers from the backwoods of Kentucky to neon glow of international metropolises.

Since the earliest baby-breaths of punk from within the walls of the now-defunct Louisville School of Art, recalling echoes of late-’70s proto-punks like No Fun, Babylon Dance Band, and our very own Cropped Out veterans The Endtables (not to mention the embryonic Squirrel Baits, Bastros, and Slints to come), it’s no secret that Louisville’s cultural contributions have long served as a significant influence on national underground art and music scenes.
What our “festival” (for lack of a better word) intends to define is a renewed sense of enthusiasm about Kentucky’s cultural offerings by pairing some of our favorite acts in the Bluegrass State with similarly progressive and expressive examples from alternate alleys of the world. The result? Well, one wild, wonderful weekend on the banks of the Ohio River, filled with food trucks, cheap drinks, vinyl vendors, art installations, merchant booths, tattoo artists, horseshoes, basketball, an idyllic backdrop of birds, boats, and barges, all while witnessing one-of-a-kind, intimate performances from artists like Jandek, Scratch Acid, Neil Hamburger, Lil B, Pissed Jeans, Wolf Eyes, Angel Olsen, Endless Boogie, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Mayo Thompson & so many more.
Cropped Out exists solely as a celebration of contemporary musicians, artists, and artisans whom we feel reflect a greater undercurrent of sonic, visual, and conceptual exploration. These are the minds most interesting to us, the minds most capable of emerging from and quickly returning to their lightlessness, to be briefly met by a niche appreciation if not a decade-spanning career. We’re the ones who are listening. We’ll be waiting on the boat dock with open beers, open ears, and open arms. Now you know where to find us…
Friday & Saturday, September 26th and 27th 2014
American Turners River Road
3125 River Road
Louisville, KY 40207
Sunday, September 28th 2014
Closing Party w/ White Reaper, Protomartyr, Tropical Trash, and Wishgift

at Fresh Start Growers’ Supply
1007 E. Jefferson St
Louisville, KY 40206
See you in the fall…



Permanent link to this article:

FORECASTLE Review: Day 2

Awaiting Slint…

Sam Sneed playing some PULP on a boat with mermaids. Living the life…

Ah, Day 2 of Forecastle. We couldn’t have had more perfect weather for a summer festival. Wasn’t too hot, didn’t rain, hell I didn’t even bring sunscreen. Shout out to Jay Cardosi!!!! But enough about the weather, for more info on that check out the Backseat Sandbar Weather Tumblr. Was the second day all about Jack White? Nah. Day 2 was about everything. Music, foodz, drinkz, weirdos walking around with signs and stuff. Yeah man, everything.

Anwar Sadat

START DAY 2 OFF LOUD OR LEAVE. Anwar Sadat. Allow me to repeat. ANWAR SADAT. The trio from Louisville kicked the day off in high gear by grinding away under a highway overpass. Or is it underpass? Doesn’t matter, after they played I’m pretty sure there’s structural damage to I-64. Hell yeah, man. If you like things loud and fast, go see them every time they do anything. If you don’t like things loud and fast, well then I’m sorry for you. After that set I had to sit down and process things for a while. What better way to do that than with food?! A really nice edition to the Forecastle App this year was food menus for the various face stuffing booths/trucks. Though I decided against the TGI Friday’s truck since it was Saturday and Guy Fieri was probably there.


Jalin Roze

Next up was to go catch Louisville’s own Jalin Roze. Jalin was joined by a slew of guests under the name “The Grand Nationals“, as well as some special guests from Nerves Jr. and The Pass.  A few months ago Jalin played a show with a full band over at Zanzabar and it was one of the best shows I’d seen in a long time. Somehow he went and topped that at Forecastle. He was bringing together every single person at the WFPK Port Stage, and it’s one of those performances people will be talking about for a while. At the end of the set he wasn’t giving up, he went off the stage and up to the crowd for the finale. Such a great set from someone you can tell is passionate about what he’s doing. Don’t take my word for it, relive the magic or hear if for the first time to make your life complete and go have a listen to his complete Forecastle set over here!


Sharon Jones

Now if you saw Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings without tearing up, or smiling, or dancing, then you are a fool with no feelings. Sharon was scheduled to play Forecastle a few years ago but was forced to stop her tour due to cancer. Well you know what, this woman beat the shit out of cancer and is out there giving her all by belting out songs for the thousands of people gathered to watch her. If that isn’t rad as hell and inspiring then I don’t know what is. She’s a true gem that we should be proud to see. At the end of her set she got the whole band dancing, and according to her there was “none of that twerkin’, none of that breakdancing.”. What a class act. More of this! More of this all the time!




Slint, man. Making Louisville proud. Anwar Sadat did their structural damage to the highway early in the day, and Slint helped build it back up with all the feels that were under that damn road. The pictures here won’t do them justice, and nothing I write could either. Enjoy that they were and are here again, and hope they come home again soon for another round.

Jack White (not pictured because reasons)
Louisville got treated to Nashville-via-Detroit neighbor and half of The White Stripes Saturday night. Now, I was a bit skeptical going in to this. I’ve been a diehard Third Man Records fan, going all over the place because of things this dude had created, but I just haven’t been digging the new solo stuff. That didn’t matter. Sure, I didn’t think The Hardest Button To Button needed more than Jack’s guitar and Meg on the drums, and that the old minimalistic set was enough to make Jack one of the biggest musical icons in the world. But hey guess what, all that stuff he created stands on its own. Those songs of his are still anthems that no matter how they are played are some of the greatest songs OF ALL TIME (Kanye style). As long as Jack is playing them, I’m on board. And you know what? Dude still shreds on everything he does. It hasn’t been Jack on guitar and Meg on drums in forever, and may never be again, but now it’s Jack finding his own top tier musicians and bringing them in for the ride. Not only does he create all this world of music, but he’s been playing talent scout by curating an entire brand of not only himself but a meticulous selection of sight and sound. From everything being in threes, or color schemes designated for each separate project. Whether it be a yellow record store in Nashville, or a stage on the Louisville waterfront being drowned in blue, all of it means something. This set at Forecastle meant something. I may have started out feeling like Jack White at a Cubs game, but ended the night with a huge smile on my face. Starting with Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, hitting later with Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Cannon and Astro (personal favs), to closing out with everyone in Louisville chanting Seven Nation Army, this dude still has it and won’t be stopping. Good! Don’t stop! But sometimes you might have to think of how you got started sitting in your little room.
Is it that obvious I miss The White Stripes? Smiley face emoticon.

Don’t even get me started on that afterparty at Haymarket with The Pass and Amtrac. We are all still feeling that.

We weren’t able to photograph Jack, so here’s a shot from the back of the Slint crowd.


Permanent link to this article:

Older posts «

» Newer posts