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items tagged with RozzTox

Destroy the Language: Matt Hart and the Poets of “Locuspoint: Quad Cities,” March 10 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Literature

2012-03-08 14:52:49

Matt Hart

Philosophy wouldn’t seem to lead naturally to poetry, but it can if you find the right philosopher. For Cincinnati-based poet Matt Hart – who will be reading from his work on Saturday at Rozz-Tox along with poets from the Quad Cities edition of the national journal Locuspoint – it was the 20th Century Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Hart fell in love with poetry as an undergraduate at Ball State University, but he studied philosophy. Pursing a graduate degree in the subject at Ohio University, though, “I really bought Wittgenstein hook, line, and sinker. As a result, I quit doing philosophy. One of his main ideas is that philosophy is a sort of mental illness; if you understand him, you quit doing it.”

And Wittgenstein offered an alternative to philosophy’s relentless rational argument, writing that “philosophy ought really to be written only as a form of poetry.”


Read More About Destroy The Language: Matt Hart And The Poets Of “Locuspoint: Quad Cities,” March 10 At Rozz-Tox...


Recording as Canvas: In Tall Buildings, February 15 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-02-12 01:53:21

Erik Hall. Photo by David Sampson.

Less than a minute into In Tall Buildings’ 2010 self-titled debut is a moment that hints at Erik Hall’s cut-and-paste method. New vocal lines burst abruptly from beneath the previous ones, as if overeagerly jumping their cue. But the music is so carefully constructed that it’s obvious this was a choice rather than a mistake, and the effect in an otherwise patient and gentle song is the understanding of a clear vision behind the music.

The album was crafted over four years, Hall said in a phone interview this week promoting his February 15 performance at Rozz-Tox. “I didn’t push it at all,” he said. “I didn’t work on it unless something came to me, unless I had an idea that I knew I wanted to apply to the music that I was already working on. So it was very gradual.”

While the album’s gestation period was long by music-industry standards, Hall’s composing and recording approaches were particularly unusual. He started out with a backbone – a chord progression or rhythmic pattern – and recorded it for the final product. “That’s it,” he said. “It’s not like a demo. ... Sometimes I have to sit and live with that for a good while before I figure out where the vocals are going to come from, what the song is going to be about, and what else sonically it needs.” He added with a laugh: “That can take anywhere from a week to a year.”


Read More About Recording As Canvas: In Tall Buildings, February 15 At Rozz-Tox...


Pop ... ish: Wet Hair, February 11 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-02-08 18:54:32

Wet Hair.For Wet Hair singer and keyboardist Shawn Reed, being experimental is the only thing he can do. “Unless it’s weird and challenging, I’m just bored with it,” he said in a phone interview this week. “It just doesn’t feel important to me.”

The surprise of last year’s In Vogue Spirit was that the Iowa City band produced a batch of songs that was – for it – downright poppy.

That might seem like a contradiction unless you’re familiar with Wet Hair’s previous work, or the output of Reed’s and bandmate Ryan Garbes’ previous noise-rock outfit Raccoo-oo-oon. Pitchfork.com wrote that “in both Raccoo-oo-oon and Wet Hair, Garbes and Reed have been uncompromising in their pursuit of the outer limits. ... That hasn’t changed. But with In Vogue Spirit, Garbes and Reed have delivered a more consistent, considered record. Space is still the place, but they’ve found shortcuts to getting there.”


Read More About Pop ... Ish: Wet Hair, February 11 At Rozz-Tox...


Channeling Doom: Deleted Scenes, February 3 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-01-27 16:19:41

Deleted Scenes. Photo by Laura Rotondo.

When the quartet Deleted Scenes recorded its second album, Young People’s Church of the Air, the atmosphere was “intense and pressurized,” resulting in a “doomed energy,” singer/guitarist/co-songwriter Dan Scheuerman has said.

In an interview this week promoting his band’s February 3 performance at Rozz-Tox, Scheuerman elaborated on those intriguing phrases. To start, the recording period was more compressed than for the band’s debut, he said: “We wanted the record to have a moment. Instead of being recorded over a year, it was recorded over more like three months. In that sense, it’s more identifiable as one piece of work.”

But the time frame was just one factor. “There was a weird vibe going on in the studio,” Scheuerman said. Producer L. Skell “is hard to read. So there was a lot of silence and glowering ... . And so we’d go in a direction and not be sure what was going on. And then when things seemed dark and we weren’t getting anywhere, everything would sort of snap together and ... [Skell] would come up with one or two really amazing suggestions to focus everything. There was a sense of ominousness to the proceedings, and that I think created a sense of doom. And there’s also a bit of doom in the songwriting as well. ... There was a high degree of tension.”


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Forcing Freshness: The David Mayfield Parade, November 1 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2011-10-25 20:50:24

David Mayfield.A lot of bands decide to track their albums largely live in the studio, but until I talked to David Mayfield, I’d never heard such a strong rationale. The typical goal (outside of saving money and time) is to capture a live energy, with the incidental benefit of retaining some charming flubs.

But for the self-titled debut of the David Mayfield Parade, this bandleader knew that live tracking – including recording the drums with a single microphone – would get the best out of the players.

“I think there’s some merit to limiting your options,” said Mayfield, whose band will perform as part of the Communion Tour at Rock Island’s Rozz-Tox on November 1. “It really helped to just put us in a mindset of pulling the trigger and making these choices early on. All the lead guitar, and drums, and bass are in the room together, and there’s so much bleed that you couldn’t go in and fix something. You had to just choose a take and live with it, which kind of made everyone ... more precious about their performance.”


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