Friday, November 30, 2012

Luke Winslow-King's The Coming Tide

Luke Winslow-King has been gently rocking the New Orleans music scene with his elegant mix of blues, folk, ragtime, and old-timey.  His latest album The Coming Tide, featuring Esther Rose, has made waves across the country, enough to be signed to Chicago-based label Bloodshot Records, joining the likes of The Riptones, Bobby Bare, Jr., Bryan Adams, Neko Case, Ha Ha Tonka, Kelly Hogan, and other incredible acts.  Under the new label, he'll be re-releasing The Coming Tide with bonus tracks in March of next year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Want To Be the Girl On Fire

"I want to be Alicia Keys!" Katie Couric declared on her show last week. Keys was a guest and had just performed a song from her new album, Girl on Fire (released today: 11/27). At this point you can probably guess that this post isn't about my desire to be Katniss Everdeen (not this time at least).

Admittedly, I've never considered myself a big Alicia Keys fan. True, I love many of her singles and find her vocal and musical talent incredible. Still, it wasn't until learning more about her last week that I began to think we should all be more like Alicia Keys.

I realize not all of us can sing like she can or play piano like she can or even write songs like she can. We can't all produce our own music either, or were the valedictorian of our high school class, but I'm not talking about all that. Last week I learned more about her philanthropic efforts and found myself inspired, impressed and a little surprised that I didn't already know all she does. But, maybe that's intentional: Keys not telling her right hand what the left is doing. Gotta love that.

Celtic Corner: Mike Vass' December Well

As reported last year, Mike Vass was working on a project called December Well, in which he wrote and recorded tunes inspired by the Scottish December. The result is an album of wintry wonder that is available on December 10.

Cincy ComiCon: A Comic Nerd's Dream Con

The Greater Cincinnati area is getting ANOTHER comic con, you guys!  That's how great Cincinnati is!  But the reality is: the new Cincy ComiCon will be vastly different.  I want you to think about your favorite aspect of a comic convention really is.  Do you want the maze of insanity that is (now) Comic Con International (CCI) or New York Comic Con (NYCC)?  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shakespeare's Sonnets in Song

In an exciting effort to bring the past to the present, Shakespeare: The Sonnets sounds out Billy's finest 14-liners as contemporary music played with traditional Elizabethan instruments.  You know those classic songs that are written so simply that they can be interpreted in many ways by different artists?  That's what's happening with Shakespeare's work on this album. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why Marvel NOW! Will Succeed

With DC Comics' New 52 having launched recently, Marvel needed to up their game somehow with numbers lower than DC.  Clearly there's a problem if Aquaman is beating X-books.  Aquaman.  Having just had Schism in X-books, it was a surprise that Marvel would do this.  But it was transitioned so well, that the typical X-reader somewhat forgets that Schism was only a year ago.  Now X-Men and Avengers are united, despite some bruises still showing from AvX.  Marvel's NOW! initiative will turn out better in the long run.  It may not be as accessible as New 52, where DC characters are re-imagined, much like Marvel's Ultimate Universe; but Marvel NOW! is certainly a jumping on point, where characters in continuity are introduced to new readers and slowly developed even more while touching on a character's history throughout.  They're allowing writers and artists to flourish in their team ups, and encouraging them to stay on as a team for the long run, unlike the New 52.  In addition, they're avoiding events at the editorial level.  If writers want to do an event in a natural progression, then it'll be fully supported.  That's the Marvel plan with NOW! concerning the creator approach.