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items tagged with RIBCO

Setting the Scene: “Hello Quad Cities – Volume 1”
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-08-29 14:34:23

The first thing to stress about Hello Quad Cities – Volume 1 is that as compilations go, it’s strong from front to back and varied without feeling scattershot. The challenging format tends to result in well-intentioned hodgepodges of second-rate leftovers, but the tracks here – from 12 area bands – are all exclusive, and most were written specifically for the compilation. More importantly, while you might not find all of them to your liking, there isn’t a weak link.

The second thing to emphasize is that if you’re curious about the project, you shouldn’t dawdle. The release is available only on vinyl, and a mere 350 copies were pressed. (Each album includes a download code, but there will be no separate digital or CD release.) And they’ll only be sold at a pair of record-release shows, by the featured bands, and at Ragged Records.

Read More About Setting The Scene: “Hello Quad Cities – Volume 1”...

Poised to Conquer: JEFF the Brotherhood, July 27 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-07-18 15:05:43

Triple Play

Over the course of a week, from July 21 to July 27, RIBCO will offer an impressive array of acts: half of The Sea & Cake on Saturday, the national-pastime-themed supergroup The Baseball Project on Thursday, and the up-and-coming garage-rock duo JEFF the Brotherhood on Friday.

An interview with The Sea & Cake’s Sam Prekop can be found here, and an interview with JEFF the Brotherhood’s Jake Orrall is below.

The Baseball Project. Photo by Michael E. Anderson.We interviewed The Baseball Project’s Scott McCaughey last year, and that article can be found at In addition to McCaughey – known for the Young Fresh Fellows and the Minus 5 – the band includes Steve Wynn (of Dream Syndicate and Gutterball), Peter Buck (of R.E.M.), and Linda Pitmon (who has regularly worked with Wynn).

As we wrote last year, songwriters McCaughey and Wynn help the band transcend gimmickry: “The songs don’t settle for easy recitations of historical highlights. Some are pure celebrations – such as the punky ‘Ichiro Goes to the Moon’ – that exude a love of the game through their understanding of it. But most of the songs are more complicated.”

More information and tickets for all these concerts are available at

JEFF the Brotherhood. Photo by Jo McCaughey.

Jake Orrall said that major labels these days wouldn’t put out something like Hypnotic Nights, the just-released album from JEFF the Brotherhood.

They might have in 1994, he said in a phone interview last week, in advance of his band’s July 27 show at RIBCO. And if that seems an odd date to choose, consider that was the year DGC released Weezer’s self-titled debut, popularly known as the Blue Album.

You’ll have no difficulty making the stylistic link between the two records, both packed with candied rock hooks, punkish drive, infectious melodies, and gleefully arrested development. As Stereogum casually put it: “Whenever people say to me, ‘Man, I miss Blue Album-era Weezer,’ I reply, ‘Then why the hell aren’t you listening to JEFF The Brotherhood already?’” To which the A.V. Club added (discussing JEFF’s 2011 album): “They’ve sidestepped Rivers Cuomo and created the album he’s no longer interested in making.”

The irony is that Hypnotic Nights was released by Warner Bros.

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Constant Reinvention: Sam Prekop & Archer Prewitt, July 21 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-07-17 21:52:32

Archer Prewitt and Sam PrekopThe venerable Chicago band The Sea & Cake will release its 10th album in September. Singer/guitarist/songwriter Sam Prekop told me it will be called Runner. And ... well, that’s about all he offered initially.

“I haven’t actually listened to it,” he said in a phone interview last week, promoting his July 21 RIBCO show with The Sea & Cake bandmate Archer Prewitt. “It’s like a really fond memory already. I’m like: Why listen to it and attempt to take it apart?”

Prekop said he’s in the “recovery period” for the album – the time between when it’s finished and when he and the band need to learn the songs for live presentation and to prepare a new show. He said that at first he dreads reworking the songs for concerts, comparing the process to how most people feel about (and procrastinate with) taxes and homework.

But something with deeper roots could be contributing to his ambivalence about The Sea & Cake. The long-running outfit – which the All Music Guide called “the elder statesmen of impressionistic indie rock” – might just be inherently frustrating to Prekop’s admittedly “restless” nature.

Read More About Constant Reinvention: Sam Prekop & Archer Prewitt, July 21 At RIBCO...

Maturity and Grace in Rough Packages: Scott H. Biram and Lydia Loveless, June 6 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-05-17 14:47:31

Scott H. Biram. Photo by John Pesina.

RIBCO’s June 6 show features two Bloodshot Records artists, and there the surface similarities end. Scott H. Biram is a 38-year-old one-man-band road dog from Texas whose music draws from the blues and hard rock, and Lydia Loveless is a 21-year-old singer/songwriter from Ohio pulling from country and punk.

“We’re quite a bit different in our musical styles,” Biram said in a phone interview earlier this month, “but as far as our attitudes go, it’s pretty close.”

They both write and record quickly, yet their songs match an inherent urgency with unpretentious and unforced maturity and grace – nestled among lots of rough edges. And they share a boldness of musical personality.

Read More About Maturity And Grace In Rough Packages: Scott H. Biram And Lydia Loveless, June 6 At RIBCO...

Realization Over Reinvention: Lucero, April 3 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-03-28 12:20:04

Lucero. Photo by Brantley Gutierrez.

It’s rare when critics and artists see eye-to-eye, as an external perspective often misses intent and the nuances of creation, and the view from inside is often too close to see the bigger picture. But with Lucero’s Women & Work, the Memphis-based band and its reviewers are seeing the same things from their respective vantage points.

In a phone interview earlier this month promoting his band’s April 3 performance at RIBCO, bassist and founding member John C. Stubblefield said that the new album – released March 13 – is distinct from Lucero’s previous studio records: “Every album before [2009’s] 1372 [Overton Park], we’ve always kind of gone in and reinvented to a certain degree. ... Rather than reinvention on this one, I think it was more realization ... .”

That was echoed by’s Thom Jurek, who wrote: “It’s as if this sound was always there just waiting for them to mature enough to let it breathe. ... Women & Work is the sound of a ... confident band, fully embracing their hometown’s musical legacy, and wrapping it inside their own sound, making each both larger and deeper.”

Stubblefield said that the album has added a “strong sense of regionalism” to Lucero’s punkish alt-country barroom brawn, most obviously with the soulful horn section that debuted on 1372. That album, he said, was “kind of Lucero with horns on top of it, where it was hinting at this certain thing. On this entire record, now that the horns have been playing with us for a couple years, it’s more integrated and more organic ... .”

And Women & Work also touches on the blues and spiritual traditions of north Mississippi. “It was cool to realize all the different musical styles of the region and pull it off on one record,” Stubblefield said.

(Some have found fault with the album’s love-letter-to-Memphis approach. The A.V. Club thought the band took the homage too far: “It all sounds familiar, and that’s the problem ... : Lucero has never sounded so assured or less distinct.”)

Led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Nichols, Lucero since its 2001 self-titled debut has established twin reputations as hard-working road dogs and sterling songsmiths. You can hear both in Nichols’ authoritatively weathered and abused voice, as he infuses the album’s titular themes with both art and experience. (There’s probably something in his genes, too, as he’s the brother of writer/director Jeff Nichols, whose two feature films thus far are grimly rich, daring, and humane. Lucero scored his Shotgun Stories.)

After a brief introduction, “On My Way Downtown” kicks off Women & Work with a bright boogie, and the title track continues the party vibe.

The tempo slows and the mood darkens on “It May Be Too Late” – “Now I could get better / Or I could get drunk / Two doubles for the road / Reckon I’m done” –but Nichols infuses the words with an undeniable rhythm that buoys it.

On “I Can’t Stand to Leave You,” he sings with a downbeat resignation that’s leavened by a certain hopeful sureness, and the latter is matched by every instrument – the rhythm section, the female backing vocals, the keys, and the horns. The band expertly draws from opposing feelings and somehow makes that feel natural rather than ambivalent.

The album, Stubblefield said, was developed over two months, and he said the process involved “exploring every idea and every riff. ... A couple of songs, the bridges became whole other songs. Kind of our most collaborative effort.”

The productive labor is evident on Women & Work, which often creates resolution where there should be loose ends and tension. As Paste wrote, it’s ultimately “a mixture of a retrospective eye and [the] solace of the future.”

Lucero will perform on Tuesday, April 3, at RIBCO (1815 Second Avenue in Rock Island). The 8 p.m. all-ages show also features William Elliott Whitmore. Tickets ( are $16 in advance and $20 the day of the show.

For more information on Lucero, visit

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