King Super and the Excellents Play Bad Songs Really Well
Published 4/18/2012 at 11:52 a.m. 2 comments
The first thing one notices about Knoxville’s King Super and the Excellents—winner of the Square Room’s most recent Sound Off battle-of-the-bands contest—is the mustache, that being singer Dave Bowers’ frontispiece facial hair. And a most Excellent cropping of lip plumage ...
Swedish Occult Band Ghost Reanimates the Sound and Image of ’80s Metal
Published 4/11/2012 at 11:18 a.m. 1 comment
The band Ghost is made up of six ghouls from Sweden. Seriously—the five musicians behind lead singer Papa Emeritus are officially credited on the band’s 2010 debut album, Opus Eponymous, as Nameless Ghouls. They’re inspired by classic heavy metal from ...
Knoxville’s Singular Mito Band Reunites to Record a New Album of Absurdist Synth-Pop
Published 4/4/2012 at 11:20 a.m. 0 comments
Travis Gray has a distinctive creative sensibility. Inspired equally by Stephin Meritt, Saturday morning cartoons, and the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Gray’s particular perspective is elegant and absurd, sly and yet still naive, childlike but sometimes heartbreaking.
Lil Iffy and Dude Source Take Wizard Rapping to New Heights
Published 3/28/2012 at 11:17 a.m. 0 comments
When the normally prolific Wil Wright went through a songwriting dry spell last summer, he took the opportunity to go out of his element with the help of ostentatious Knoxville DJ Tom Ato; the eventual result was Lil Iffy, a ...
Pink Martini Perfects Its Swinging UN Pop
Published 3/21/2012 at 12:15 p.m. 0 comments
There’s no easy definition for the kind of music played by the Portland, Ore., pop-orchestra Pink Martini. It’s a throwback, but not to any particular style or era. It’s jazzy, but not jazz; poppy, but not pop, at least by ...
Dan Baird Can’t Quite Get Out From Under the Shadow of the Georgia Satellites
Published 3/14/2012 at 10:19 a.m. 0 comments
When Dan Baird and the Georgia Satellites signed a deal with Elektra Records in 1986, they didn’t expect much. But something weird happened. The first single from the Satellites’ self-titled debut album, “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” turned out to ...
Kathy Mattea and Barbara Kingsolver Team Up to Protest Mountaintop-Removal Mining
Published 3/7/2012 at 10:41 a.m. 0 comments
Although she was one of the first country music stars to champion the fight against HIV/AIDS, Kathy Mattea says her interest in social justice was always just something that was just there, not at the forefront of her life. And ...
Henry Rollins’ Long March From Black Flag to Hollywood, and Beyond
Published 3/7/2012 at 9:44 a.m. 0 comments
Over the course of his 30-year career, Rollins has evolved from the sexy, muscle-bound psycho frontman for the incendiary proto-hardcore band Black Flag to today’s slightly more erudite persona.
Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom Finds Inspiration Through Isolation
Published 2/29/2012 at 11:28 a.m. 0 comments
On their stunning fourth album, Arrow, Austin-by-way-of-Cincinnati hard-rock warriors Heartless Bastards have beefed-up their bluesy sonic palette with rainbows of color, branching out with soulful, psychedelic textures as wide-open as a West Texas sky.
The Mutations Inject Punk Attitude Into ’60-Style Surf Rock
Published 2/29/2012 at 10:57 a.m. 0 comments
The members of the Mutations may not have illustrious wave-catching pedigrees (“I’ve been to the ocean,” offers bassist Joel Thompson) but they revel in the genre’s sunny imagery.
Kevin Hyfantis Steps Away From the Bishops Band (Sort of) For a New Solo EP
Published 2/15/2012 at 12:02 p.m. 0 comments
On Hyfantis, Hyfantis hasn’t completely abandoned the classic pop-rock sensibility that defined the Bishops Band’s 2010 CD, Carnival Authority. The jazzy arrangements have been pulled back, and the touchstones on the new EP seem to be artists whose pop is ...
All of Me: It's a Thin Line Between Nika Danilova and Zola Jesus
Published 2/8/2012 at 11:56 a.m. 0 comments
Nika Danilova hails from rural Wisconsin, where she began making music as a teenager under the intentionally provocative (for rural Wisconsin) name Zola Jesus.
Brandon Biondo and Coolrunnings Usher Local Label Dracula Horse Into a New Era
Published 2/1/2012 at 11:33 a.m. 0 comments
If you’re looking for any more evidence of how the Internet has altered the music business, consider this: Dracula Horse, arguably Knoxville’s most prominent record label, has spent the last two years giving its music away digitally in a pay-what-you-like ...
Prolific Electro-Funk Composer Dylan Dawkins Hides Behind Persona La Ave
Published 1/25/2012 at 10:53 a.m. 0 comments
Dylan Dawkins' tracks may be instrumental, but it’s rare to find electronic music this lyrical: Dawkins’ loose-limbed synthesizers, which stretch and crawl in luxurious waves, rarely sit in idle ambience, recalling at turns both the spacey fog of Animal Collective ...
Dumb Lunch's Contrarian Hip Hop Noisemaking May Work To Their advantage
Published 1/18/2012 at 1:00 p.m. 0 comments
In performance, Dumb Lunch’s stumbling beats take on a darker aspect, as the music collapses into a vortex of noise, volume, and 21st-century underground shock theater.