Like a bad-for-you woman, sporting tattoos and an eyebrow-piercing, the kind that you might spy across the bar - it was love at first sight for me and Black Planet. In truth, there is very little about Black Planet and their 5-song EP Female Hysteria that is not completely adorable and endearing.
Anyone who has ever seen a live show at The Comet in Northside knows what a close, tightly-packed and intimate audience the venue often generates. That is where I received my introduction to Lousiville's Anwar Sadat. As the band set up their drum kit and amplifiers that were almost as tall as I am, I knew that I was in for a show that would fill the room with sound. The band was brought to town at the invitation of Cincinnati's Gazer, who also invited their friends Mardou to join the bill. What resulted was an entire evening of magnificently loud and powerful music.
It's Good to Be Back, the first full-length release from Cincinnati's The Vains, is an album created by struggle, tempered by compromise and forged in defiance.
Fans of Social Distortion, Bad Religion or even The Gaslight Anthem should stop what they're doing and go grab a copy of It's Good to Be Back, not only to help support the local music scene, but simply because it is a great album performed by a damn fine band.
If you were to Google the phrase "great rock storytellers" you'd get... well, a list of useless garbage. But, if you were to ask me, I would probably give you a list of names like Pete Townshend, Shane MacGowan, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Neil Young... and I would then find some way to include the names of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Willie Nelson because, although they are not rock storytellers, they are probably the greatest American musical storytellers of all time - and their influence of those listed previously is undeniable.
The latest release from Northside Garage, All the King's Horses, is a 2-track sampler of modern-day garage rock that unites the raw, unbridled energy of punkabilly with the straightforward groove of roots-rock. Eddy Mullet of ClassX Radio called Northside Garage, "One of my favorite local bands in town to go out and see."