I’ve been writing this blog for about a year now. Rather than run out of ideas, I’m just scratching the surface. Mostly I try to focus on small businesses and creative types in the core of city (Clifton, Northside, Over the Rhine, downtown, etc.) with particular emphasis on spreading the word about people who are either the new kids on the block – like Mediterranean King, for instance – or below the radar, like the Loft Society. It’s actually gotten to the point where people are contacting me to tell me about their new album, book, store, etc., which is great – and I encourage anyone reading this to do the same. My name is Jeff Wilson; call me at 513.281.3266 or email me at email@example.com, and I’ll be happy to give you some publicity. As for subscribing, there’s a place to do that on the right side of this page, where it says Subscribe to Blog via Email. I update three times a week normally, and I promise to keep it informative and entertaining. Some folks ask me how I can be an expert on both avant-garde jazz and turncoat football coaches (Brian Kelly, for instance), and I don’t know how to explain it; it just is. I also like to write about apartments in Clifton, especially the ones connected with Gaslight Property, and you’ll see more of that.
Often I receive review copies in the mail of upcoming releases, and there’s some entertainment value in opening the mailer and discovering what’s inside. As you might imagine, they’re not all masterpieces—but occasionally you end up with some nice surprises. Yesterday something showed up called Hipshakers, Vol. 3: Just a Little Bit of the Jumpin’ Bean. While the title didn’t give it away, I could tell by the 45 labels plastered across the cover that it was a King Records compilation (more accurately, King Records and its subsidiary Federal).
That’s the third compilation in a series devoted to songs released on a Cincinnati label whose depth of talent was remarkable. This Hipshakers includes some of the better-known artists— Little Willie John and Freddy King, for instance—as well as a bunch of names that, for me, were either less familiar or totally unfamiliar.
For me, that’s much of the fun of the compilation—tuning into artists whose output was sometimes limited to a handful of singles (or in some cases one). People like Tiny Topsy, a female singer who belts out “Just a Little Bit” like it was nobody’s business. Or El Pauling and the Royalton, a 5 Royales spinoff; their “Solid Rock” has a mean guitar lick and is a much an early rocker as it as an R&B dancer. Continue reading “A New King Records Compilation”
Monday at 9 pm a New York band called The Kissing Club will be performing at Sitwell’s Coffee House. Their music has been described as “two people making music with guitar, cello, electronics, and voice. Quiet, intimate, and explosive. Like Philip Glass, Nick Cave, and CocoRosie sharing a French cruller while reviewing divorce papers.” Word has it that the Kissing Club just released Tapdancer, which probably has something to do with the fact that they’re hitting the road to play some shows in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Even though their competition included bigger names, Little Acorn by The Kissing Club managed to show up on this best-of list for 2011. In the reviewer’s words, “This little four-track EP is like a handcrafted invitation to a divorce, or perhaps a peace offering of love gone awry. While the very slow songs scratch at the bones, a classic-rock-style guitar solo on “Someone Else” breaks the supposed tranquility and reminds us just how purposefully restrained these “sweet” songs really are.” Continue reading “The Kissing Club to Play Sitwell’s Coffee House Monday”