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items tagged with RozzTox

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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Unearthing an Old Soul: Anna Ash, December 16 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-11-29 11:09:09

Anna Ash

The first impression of Anna Ash’s These Holy Days album is her distinctive, boldly quirky singing – soulful, pliable, and off-center, comfortable in breathy coos and pointed, high-pitched peaks. The title track features a piercing vibrato that’s ethereally visceral, both heavenly and a bit frightening. That’s the kind of voice that sounds like a natural extension of personality honed over a lifetime, an idiosyncratic instrument that nobody ever had the heart to constrain or correct.

But in a phone interview this week, Ash – who will be performing at Rozz-Tox on December 16 and recording a Daytrotter.com session the next day– revealed that she only discovered this marvel over the past five years, and she’s still exploring it.

“I didn’t really even know what my voice sounded like until I was like 19 or 20 years old,” she said. “ I was very shy about singing as a kid. I was never very good because I was so scared and so nervous.”


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A Novelty, but Not a Novelty Act: Jeff Wichmann, October 26 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-10-18 11:01:10

Jeff Wichmann

In what is likely a statement of the painfully obvious, Jeff Wichmann said that his new album Ahhhhh!!!!! is “something that, as far as I can tell, no one’s ever created before, which is a koto/trumpet album with a lot of electronic blips and bleeps.”

And that’s not all. “I wanted to create an experimental rock album using the koto and the trumpet, as opposed to recording a koto album” of traditional compositions, Wichmann said in a recent phone interview. “Most koto players just do that. I found that limiting ... .”

Wichmann, a former Quad Citian (and former Reader employee) now based in Chicago, will be headlining the official release show for Ahhhhh!!!!! at Rozz-Tox on October 26, and it’s almost certain to be a unique experience. The trumpeter and koto player will be joined by guitarist Jeff Kmieciak (a bandmate in Tenki, which plans to release its final album next year) and, on at least one song, Konrad (the Quad Cities electronic-music artist whose remix of the title track is included on the new record).


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