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items tagged with RozzTox

The Reluctant Entertainer: John Fullbright, May 30 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-05-23 14:09:45

John Fullbright. Photo by Vicki Farmer.

When John Fullbright plays at Rozz-Tox on May 30, expect a certain amount of ambivalence from the songwriter and musician.

I asked him in a recent phone interview whether he considers himself a good performer. “I think sometimes I am,” he said plainly.

It’s not that the 25-year-old Oklahoma native and resident doubts his chops, which earned him a Grammy nomination for his debut album, From the Ground Up. Rather, he’s not particularly comfortable in front of an audience.

“I don’t like getting on stage and saying the same jokes and doing the same thing and having a show,” he explained. “But at the same time ... that’s what people are paying for.”


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The Ordinary (but Really Good) Band with the Exotic Story: Brett Newski & the Corruption, May 28 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-05-20 11:33:51

Brett Newski & the Corruption. Photo by Sweet Chucky B.

Brett Newski & the Corruption bills itself as “a band from Saigon, Vietnam,” but before you imagine some sort of Eastern-Western mash-up, know that Newski comes from the exotic environs of ... Milwaukee.

It’s true that the band lived and recorded its album Tiny Victories in Saigon, and that Newski and his collaborators are an international cast – albeit entirely from North America and Europe. But when the band plays Rozz-Tox on May 28, don’t expect any divergence from poppy Western guitar rock. Outside of lyrics based on travels and life abroad, the influence of southeast Asia, Newski said in a phone interview last week, is limited to the invigorating hullabaloo of the city.

“It’s indie rock,” Newski said. “We’re not rocking any sitars or anything. But the energy that the city brings that we’re constantly surrounded with I thought translated well into the energy of the album.”


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At Home in Two Worlds: The Lonely Wild, May 4 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-04-30 22:49:12

The Lonely Wild

On the Web site of the California band The Lonely Wild is a country-rock-stomp version of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus,” notable for its clarity, the way it bends the song to the band’s style while remaining true to the original, and some Michael Stipe-like vocals. But what will strike most people forcefully and immediately is the jarring segue into the guitar solo from Pink Floyd’s “Money,” with motifs from both songs intertwined for the remainder.

It’s a small, natural leap between the central riffs, but it’s an inspired pairing. And on its debut album, The Sun as It Comes (released April 2), the quintet shows a similar skill at combining disparate elements into a natural but distinctive whole – explosive desert gothic, with Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western soundtracks blended with modern indie rock.

The band will be performing at Rozz-Tox on May 4, and singer/songwriter Andrew Carroll said the band grew out of a solo project. His previous band had been a collaborative songwriting outfit, he said, and writing alone was “kind of liberating, not having to ask for other people’s opinions, or having to work with four different people ... . It gets difficult to produce material that way.”


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Just Enough Turmoil: Day Joy, March 8 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-03-02 19:36:53

Day Joy

The vibe of Day Joy’s debut album is undoubtedly dreamy. The Florida-based band intends that literally – but not quite in the obvious manner of gentle, mild, peaceful sleep.

Yes, it has cool cello, some warm organ, and spare banjo and guitar in wispy, atmospheric, reverb-heavy arrangements. There are lovely harmonies articulating what Michael Serrin – who founded the band with Peter Michael Perceval III – called “soft-spoken melodies.” It usually moves at an aimless pace toward no clear destination.

But the opening track, with the appropriate title “Animal Noise,” closes with an aggressive cacophony from nature. The next song is “Bone & Bloody,” followed by “Talks of Terror” – which teeters on the edge of a climactic cliff but never leaps off, denying a catharsis that had seemed inevitable. The penultimate song is “Splattered Like Me.”

Sweet dreams might dominate, in other words, but they’re swirled with nightmares.

Day Joy, on its way to South by Southwest later this month, will perform at Rozz-Tox on March 8, and Serrin said in a phone interview that these contradictions were intentional. The tantalizingly titled Go to Sleep, Mess – released in February on Small Plates Records – was crafted as a concept album. “The idea of it was the mental turmoil that you may have when you can’t sleep at night,” he said, also comparing it to “that contrast between that beautiful dream and that terrible nightmare you have right after it.”


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The Art of Sturdy Songs: Dan Hubbard & the Humadors, February 8 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-01-31 11:53:45

Dan Hubbard & the Humadors

The Web-site bio of Dan Hubbard & the Humadors says the band builds its music on “the classic sounds of Tom Petty, Van Morrison, Neil Young, and Jackson Browne.” That’s a pretty common set of influences, and one that has produced plenty of earnest but dull music in the hands of less-skilled singers/songwriters.

But with Hubbard and his band – playing their first headlining gig in the Quad Cities on February 8 at Rozz-Tox – those forebears mostly hint at an unpretentious, straightforward, gimmick-free, and song-based style. And when the hooks are plentiful and the arrangements are thoughtful and performed with vigor – as they usually are – the guys pull it off.


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