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items tagged with Rozz Tox

Navigating a Journey: The Multiple Cat, “Intricate Maps”; February 12 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2016-02-05 11:26:43

Quad Cities musician and engineer Pat Stolley is not a good interview. He’s plain-spoken and blunt, and when asked last week about the origins of Intricate Maps – the new album from his band The Multiple Cat – his answer couldn’t be more ordinary and pragmatic: “I had a band that was doing stuff.”

In the past, the singer/songwriter/guitarist said, he had difficulty keeping a band together, with people moving away or being less than reliable. But following 2013’s The Return of the Multiple Cat, he had a solid ensemble that wanted to keep working. So it was as simple as the confluence of writing songs and having interest from the local label Cartouche Records in putting them out.

Chalk up Stolley’s manner to preferring creation over discussion. Starting with the opening seconds of lead tracks “Maps” and “David,” the record is dense with pop rock that is precise, detailed, and economical but also organically vital and often joyously catchy.

And while the eight tracks that fit that description would be plenty rewarding, the three “Theme”-titled pieces bridge songs and help shape Intricate Maps into a dynamic, breathing album. Listening to the record’s carefully modulated flow, it’s difficult to take Stolley at his word that his limited time dictates that he use just about everything he writes; it’s a triumph of songwriting, instrumentation, and arrangement dovetailing with smart sequencing and evocative connective tissue.


Read More About Navigating A Journey: The Multiple Cat, “Intricate Maps”; February 12 At Rozz-Tox...


Mining Moeller Monday: The Legendary Shack Shakers and the Yawpers
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2015-11-24 14:58:30

Daytrotter.com’s Sean Moeller isn’t announcing the acts for his Moeller Monday shows at Rozz-Tox (2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island; RozzTox.com), but band publicists have a way of undermining attempts at secrecy. So here’s a preview of a couple groups we know will be playing ... .

Shows start at 8 p.m., and admission is $8 to $12.

The Legendary Shack Shakers, The Southern Surreal; December 7

The Legendary Shack Shakers

One track on the Legendary Shack Shakers’ The Southern Surreal – the 20-year-old band’s first album in five years – is a spoken-word piece by actor Billy Bob Thornton concerning road patching and an injured dog. Backed only by a gentle guitar, he builds to the moment that he lifts his shovel to kill the animal. It’s an expert piece of lean storytelling.

“It looked up at me, kinda thank ya and f--- ya all at the same time,” Thornton says. “It knew what I was gonna do, and it knew why. The dog knew why.”

He concludes: “It ain’t like I don’t think about it. It ain’t like I wanted to.”

But just before that, he says, “You just can’t explain things to some people.” And I imagine that’s true for Shack Shakers mastermind J.D. Wilkes, who has crafted a collection brimming with idiosyncratic personality. The Southern Surreal is a masterfully seasoned deep-fried stew, but it’s nearly impossible to explain why its disparate components work so well together. Thornton’s short story is the most unusual ingredient, but throughout the record are surprising spices that give a sense of the thoughtfulness that went into it – which helps hold together what might otherwise feel like a fragmentary mishmash.


Read More About Mining Moeller Monday: The Legendary Shack Shakers And The Yawpers...


A Restless Spirit: Brooks Strause Plays the Devil’s Advocate in Song; October 23 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2015-10-15 11:38:44

Photo by Laura Heath

“It was not really a comfortable situation,” said Brooks Strause. “It was okay. It worked well, and it was worth it artistically.”

Such dull words suggest a mundane departure for a musician – an experimental song, the dipping of a toe into a new stylistic stream. But Strause – the prolific 34-year-old singer/songwriter from Muscatine now based in Iowa City – is not nearly so timid.

He was, in fact, talking about having a bucket of actual lamb’s blood dumped on him for a photo shoot for his second album. Differences in animal aside, Strause volunteered to be Carrie White – and it was his idea.

In that photo, Strause is foregrounded and exhaling smoke, with a couple clutching each other in the background. The concept, he said, “represented love in a way I haven’t seen it represented that much,” which made it a good match for the Strause-ian love songs that made up his album Dead Animals (whose first release was housed, it should be said, in actual animal fur).

In case you’re curious, Strause said “there wasn’t really time” for second thoughts at the shoot: “This photograph has to get done. Let’s do it.” And “it was kind of surprising – the texture. I definitely got some in my mouth very quickly. It wasn’t really as gross as I thought it was going to be.”

So he’s human after all – although that’s not necessarily apparent from the flood of work he’s been producing. His seventh album, the richly rewarding The Chymical Wedding of Brooks Strause, was released this month, and he’ll be performing October 23 at Rozz-Tox. Dead Animals was reissued earlier this year by the Maximum Ames label, and 2014 saw two new full-lengths, Acid Casual and Renaissance Beast.

Oh, but there’s more. He has a rock/folk opera, an album of electronic music, and a solo-acoustic record in various stages of completion, and he’s written all the songs for his next rock-and-roll outing with his band The Gory Details – with whom he’ll share the stage at Rozz-Tox.


Read More About A Restless Spirit: Brooks Strause Plays The Devil’S Advocate In Song; October 23 At Rozz-Tox...


Off the Main Road: MoZo, September 18 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2015-09-10 17:39:37

The Seattle duo MoZo will be releasing its new album at a September 18 show at Rozz-Tox, and in its home base at a show in ... November.

That sentence has several layers of oddness, especially considering that guitarist/singer/songwriter Moe Provencher and drummer Aimee Zoe Tubbs have no MoZo shows scheduled in between.

Let’s start with the band releasing its record here, despite never having played the Quad Cities area previously. Tubbs is from Eldridge, Iowa, and this will be her first hometown show – and her first show in eastern Iowa in six years. “I have played for family and friends before in other bands,” Tubbs said. “I’m more excited than anything else to share our material and have them listen to what we sound like now.” The Rozz-Tox concert will also feature the debut of Sheridan Drive – a duo that features the daughter of Tubbs’ childhood best friend.

And having two months between record-release shows – and two months between shows, period – is part of MoZo’s unusual character. The pair began busking together in Seattle roughly a decade ago, and although Tubbs and Provencher are full-time musicians, MoZo is more of an occasional outlet for their original music.


Read More About Off The Main Road: MoZo, September 18 At Rozz-Tox...


Moeller’s Moves: Daytrotter’s Founder Brings His Savvy and Connections to River Roots Live, the Ballpark (Maybe), a New Venue (Probably), and ...
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2015-08-20 11:42:28

Sean Moeller

In June, Codfish Hollow Barn in Maquoketa hosted a show with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. The concert didn’t have Sean Moeller’s or Daytrotter’s name on it, but the link was clear enough.

“I made that show happen,” Moeller said earlier this month.

Moeller founded Daytrotter.com in 2006 as a source for exclusive live-in-the-studio recordings, and the vast majority of its thousands of sessions over the past nine years have been recorded in the Quad Cities. But even though concerts are not Daytrotter’s product, they are an increasingly common and visible fringe benefit for the Quad Cities, and the Oberst performance illustrates the reciprocal relationship between the internationally known Web site and local shows.

Moeller said he’d been trying to get Oberst in for a session since Daytrotter began – but it only happened because of Codfish Hollow.

“I got a Daytrotter session out of Conor Oberst,” Moeller said. “That’s why I did it. ... I’m not going to not do that. ... I’m going to help make that happen so that I can get something for Daytrotter from Conor Oberst.”

Over the past decade, much of the impact Daytrotter has had on the Quad Cities has been easily discerned – although it’s infrequently been explicit, and often it’s indirect. Rozz-Tox’s lineup is littered with Daytrotter bands. Codfish Hollow concerts typically feature some of Moeller’s favorite bands.

More and more, however, Moeller is putting his name on his work. For nearly a year, he’s booked and hosted Moeller Mondays shows at Rozz-Tox. Last year he began shows at Davenport’s Renwick Mansion under the same banner, and this year he started doing concerts at the Village Theatre in Davenport.

“It’s a promoter thing,” he explained about the decision to create a Moeller brand. “It’s like a [prestigious] record label. People do believe in certain promoters. ...

“I think I tried to stay behind the name Daytrotter for the longest time. I’d go to places and I’d just be introduced as Daytrotter. ‘This is Daytrotter.’”

Of course, the Web site is more than just Moeller. He has a business partner and several engineers, and he said the work of illustrator Johnnie Cluney is essential to the identity. And because Daytrotter is a media company and not a concert organizer and promoter, the name doesn’t naturally fit with shows that Moeller books or otherwise helps with.

So he said he wondered: “Why the hell am I not building up my own name a little bit? ... I’m just trying to be a facilitator. I’m putting my name out there because why shouldn’t I? There has to be something I put it under. I want to be associated with the good things that I’m bringing to town, not for an ego situation. There has to be somebody to validate something that’s coming to town. ... You still need somebody to put a stamp on it.”

Daytrotter itself plans to get back into the business of one-time local shows with the opening (likely this fall) of its new recording studio and live-music venue in downtown Davenport – although that’s no guarantee given the history of the renovation project.

So Moeller’s behind-the-scenes work continues. He booked artists for the September 6 East Fest at Davenport’s BREW in the Village.

He and Quad Cities River Bandits Managing Partner Dave Heller are planning to present concerts at Modern Woodmen Park, possibly starting this fall.

And Moeller said he booked three of the four headliners for this year’s River Roots Live festival: rising country star Kacey Musgraves, legendary R&B singer Mavis Staples, and the indie-pop outfit Hellogoodbye. “If you look at this year’s lineup, there’s a lot of my fingerprints all over it,” he said.

That’s not modest, but the man has no reason to be. For all that he’s done with Daytrotter, Sean Moeller has also reshaped the local music scene when it comes to touring artists.


Read More About Moeller’S Moves: Daytrotter’S Founder Brings His Savvy And Connections To River Roots Live, The Ballpark (Maybe), A New Venue (Probably), And ......





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