Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Annual Manual

Posted January 14, 2015in The Sound

Still Reeling

Reel Big Fish is one of those bands that you look at and think, “Man, have they really been at it for that long?” On one hand, it feels like the California ska act has always been there, doing their thing. On the other, it seems strange to actually say

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Posted January 07, 2015in The Sound

Roots music

Rusted Root has the feel of your hippie neighbor’s campfire drum circle that got a record deal and made it kind of big. They have a kind of amorphous lineup, the overall sound is jammy and loose, and the songs make it feel like the journey is more important than

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Posted December 31, 2014in The Sound

On the road again

Whitey Morgan just spent part of his Christmas week stranded in the Rockies with a broken down car. It was a minor set back, and one that the Flint, Michigan, native takes in stride. But after singing the praises of AAA, the conversation quickly switches to the state of pop

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Posted December 24, 2014in The Sound

The sound of one hand clapping

  We live in a fickle world. There are few acts that understand this in the way that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah do.   With the release of its 2005 self-titled debut, the Philadelphia based five-piece seemed poised as the next big thing. They were supposed to be the

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Posted December 17, 2014in The Sound

Steamrolling Christmas

Mannheim Streamroller is, perhaps more than any other pop sensation, the brainchild of one man. The whole concept started back in 1974 when Chip Davis — who was also busy at that time penning songs for novelty country act C.W. McCall — decided to create an outlet to showcase his

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Posted December 10, 2014in The Sound

Carrying a legacy

Iowa may be best known for corn and Slipknot, but make no mistake, Pieta Brown is one of our greatest exports. The 41-year-old Iowa City native spent much of her formative years living in Alabama, but her ties to the state are indelible. Her 2002 self-titled debut came out on

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Posted December 03, 2014in The Sound

Trees keep growing

The past couple years have been about growth for Neon Trees in general, and for their front man, Tyler Glenn in particular. As the man who handles the lion’s share of the songwriting duties, much of the band’s success or failure rides on his shoulders. On that front, he has

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Posted November 26, 2014in The Sound

Bringing the Thunder

Since the group’s inception in 2007, Celtic Thunder’s calling card has been a live show with an eclectic, wide-ranging sound and sweeping theatrical look. This is largely possible thanks to the age ranges of the band’s component members: Celtic Thunder’s producers have always allowed talent and personality to trump age,

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Posted November 19, 2014in The Sound

Being a woman

Any musician worth his or her salt — and several of them who aren’t — will say that the biggest thing an artist needs is continual growth. Minneapolis-based Caroline Smith, however, has taken that idea almost to its extreme and has completely reinvented herself the past couple of years. Smith

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Posted November 12, 2014in The Sound

Life after ‘Idol’

The honest truth is that, despite what the show would like you to believe, winning “American Idol” has never been a surefire path to success. Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson has certainly done OK for herself, and she and Carrie Underwood probably stand shoulder-to-shoulder as the show’s biggest successes. But

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