Music to Your Ears
By Laura Marrich
Clawhammer or Scruggs? Bluegrass banjo players pledge allegiance to one of the genre's two major styles (which boil down to frailing in the former and arpeggiated picking in the latter), but they're not at odds. Folks from either camp would jump at an opportunity to see a pillar of modern bluegrass in action, regardless of style—especially when you're talking about Earl Scruggs himself. Sixty-plus years of refined innovation and the guy still chooses playing live over resting on his laurels, though he doesn't make it to our neck of the woods much.
It’s not like Sonny and Cher
By Simon McCormack
Mac McCaughan gave Baltimore’s folksy shoegaze duo Wye Oak the best Christmas present of its young career.
Flyer on the Wall
Evan Christopher Django à la CrÈole · The 2Bers Children of a Mortal Sun · The New Year The New Year
Albuquerque hip-hop tandem The 2Bers doesn’t pout or scream about its dissatisfaction with day-to-day annoyances. Instead, the chill-hop effused from The 2Bers’ cauldron is an intoxicating brew of keyboards, organic samples and programmed backbeat that’s never in a rush and always understated. The flows are decidedly downtrodden and self-reflective, electing to move slowly and carefully without a lot of flash or flourish. The rhymes are good, but the beats are better. In fact, a couple of the best tracks are the instrumentals. This is especially true of “The City is Still Blue,” in which the keyboard line of Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City” takes on a menacing, forceful and very engaging persona. (SM)
Courtesy of the Artist
Franks & Deans • punk rock, rock 'n' roll • Shrewd • Punctured Muffler • Silent Crush • metal
By August March
At some point during the progression of meta-ultra-postmodernism, it was only natural that a band covering Rat Pack tunes revisioned as rambling ska paeans or blisteringly buoyant punk anthems based on the imbibing and love-making habits of dudes like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin would rise from the rocanrol cauldron. Well it's 2017 and such has indeed come to pass. The name of the band is Franks & Deans. They've succeeded by inflecting the sweepingly romantic, sometimes melancholy and nearly always self-referential ditties of these post-war, pre-rock vocal heroes with good-natured rhythms and danceable guitar leads—as well as an updated fashion sense that seems to borrow more from ZZ Top's summer style guide than from Robin and the 7 Hoods—that adds affable nuance to legendary, mid-century American popular music. Band members Rob DeTie, Mike "Pip" Ullemeyer, Hoss and Sampson await your indulgence at Low Spirits on Thursday, Feb. 23, and the admission price of $5 sure as heck beats dropping “Three Coins in the Fountain.”
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