Monday, October 16, 2017

Album Review: Cory Branan "Adios" LP

One could say that Cory Branan was Sturgill Simpson before  Sturgill Simpson. At least before Simpson became a recording artist.

Born in Memphis and raised in Mississippi, Branan cut his teeth during the early Outlaw Revival of the late 1990s and early 2000s with contemporaries like Scott H. Biram and Lucero (although yet to reach the same success or notoriety), self-releasing his first album, The Hell You Say, in 2001 before moving to the now defunct MADJACK Records in 2002 (the same path as Lucero) after which  landing at Bloodshot Records (same as Biram).

Branan's work has always towed the fine line between singer/songwriter and outlaw poet; half Waylon Jennings and half Nick Lowe. His earlier songs also see-sawed between heartbreaking and slapstick, such as the song Crush from his 1st album, with the sweet to goofy lyrics "Remember that Halloween when I went as Jimmy Dean? You were a princess, or a gypsy, or... whatever, I was James Dean! and I had a crush on you."

  His newest, Adios, released in April, is more focused, with the sweet and heartbroken Outlaw moments safely separated from the more goofy tracks instead of whipped up together.
Much like Sturgill Simpson, Branan mixes his southern Appalachian sentiment with southern gospel undertones, as evident on the track Imogene, with its blend of acoustic guitars and electric organ.

On Adios, Branan seems to come to terms with his place just outside of the spotlight in the ever increasing popularity of the Outlaw Revival movement regardless of being on the forefront all those years ago.
Then again with this more thought out offering with honest heartbreakers like Equinox and Cold Blue Moonlight, Adios may just deliver him into the light before long.

Cory Branan will be at Zanzabar on 11/4. $10)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Album Review: Watter 'History Of The Future' LP

In 2014 the Louisville instrumental group Watter broke onto the scene with the highly regarded 7 track "This World" LP on Jeremy DeVine's Temporary Residence record label. The 3 piece band consisting of Multi-instrumentalist Zak Riles (of Grails), drummer Britt Walford (of Evergreen, Breeders), and Tyler Trotter embody an indie rock supergroup; emboldened by their 2015 conceptual album with Bonnie "prince" Billy, The Devil Is People, under the name Bonnie Stillwatter.

Watter's place in Louisville music history will be solidified when their 2nd LP, History Of The Future is released on October 20th (also on Temporary Residence).

 At its core History builds on the lightly woven soundscape laid out on This World but is more dynamic sonically; borrowing from many genres including math rock, jazz, dream pop, electronic, and classical among others. "History" also takes on qualities of a film score; as if David Lynch and John Carpenter made a soundtrack backed by The Drift  and produced by Johnny Jewel (Symmetry, Chromatics).

The first 3 tracks are heavily influenced by Carpenter, especially the opener Telos, and mirror the soundtracks to Halloween or Assault On Precinct 13 with driving deep bass tones and ominous synthesizers before the album reaches a melodic center and settles into the calm Watter tones found on This World.

The list of guest appearances on History are a venerable Who's Who of Louisville legends, including Dom Cipola (Phantom Family Halo),  Todd Cook (Jaye Jayle), Nathan Salsburg, and Rachel Grimes (Rachel's). Grimes influence is especially present on the last track, Final Sunrise, an uplifting piano driven track that would be right at home on one of Grimes' solo efforts.

Overall, History Of The Future takes the listener on a sonic tour of the instrumentalist playbook, incorporating audio clips, live instrumentation, and a plethora of synthesized emotions. History is a must have for fans of Louisville's early 1990s experimental heyday and will no doubt find it's place on many End-of-the-Year critics lists. 

Order here

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

10/19: Amplify Peace at Faulkner Gallery

Amplify Peace: Saving Syrian Lives is a multi-city tour that aims to increase awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Syria and help gather support and resources to save the lives of Syrians affected by war. The tour kicks off on October 19th at the Tim Faulkner Gallery featuring Arab American artists Omar Offendum, Bassel & The Supernaturals, Kayem, Ronnie Malley & the Turath Ensemble and DJ Bella Loki and is sponsored by the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS).

Monday, October 2, 2017

10/7: The Lone Bellow at Headliners

 The Brooklyn/Nashville group Lone Bellow, fronted by singer Zach Williams is returning to Louisville on October 7 to play at Headliners Music Hall in support of their latest album, "Walk Into a Storm," which was just released Friday September 15th.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

New Release: Kendall Elijah Dynamite & House Ghost EP

Louisville Kentucky's own Kendall Elijah Dynamite just released a mini EP called sistersingles featuring fellow Louisville musicians House Ghost.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Review: Frankie Cosmos at Zanzabar

On September 25th, the relatively new band called Frankie Cosmos played at Zanzabar in Louisville Kentucky to a packed house. An amazing feat for any music group on a Monday night, much less a band that until recently only had a  presence on bandcamp that was limited to low-fi bedroom recordings.

The band Frankie Cosmos grew out of the solo work of 23 year old Greta Kline who began uploading songs she had written and recorded in her bedroom at the age of 15. In under 10 years Kline has released over 50 albums (all but 2 being digital only releases), first under the name Ingrid Superstar (her dogˈs name) and later as Frankie Cosmos; a nickname given to her by her boyfriend Aaron Maine.

Klineˈs earliest efforts resembled that of an audio diary accompanied by simple guitar riffs or chords from a childrenˈs keyboard. Her nearly unprecedented amount of  work in such a short amount of time gained her a loyal bandcamp fanbase that watched a young Klineˈs life unfold.  For those of us who kept track of her work over the years, we listened as Kline the musician  evolved from simple rhythms to her first attempts at guitar solos, into fully layered and structured songs. As a person we listened as she moved into adulthood through her deeply personal unfiltered songwriting. Her earliest songs revolved around issues that tweens deal with; nervousness about sexual identity and societal pressures, getting high, farts. Slowly she moved into the confusing world of adult problems... We listened as her world opened up, as she experimented with drugs and sex,  we listened to her fall deeply in love, and we also listened helplessly as her young heart was broken, and we stayed with her as she picked up the pieces.

I first came across her music by sheer accident about 4 years ago or so. I was working as a librarian in Appalachia, which, isn't as glamorous as it sounds; mostly just sitting at a desk in an office type setting which is just the worst kind of way to spend your days. So I mostly bounced around the online music platforms and came across a playlist that someone had made about New York which included the Frankie Cosmos song NYC is Cold from the superb 8 song 'im sorry im hi lets go' album and was instantly hooked.

In 2014 Kline moved from the singer/songwriter role into a full band aided by her boyfriend Aaron Maine for her first physical release Zentropy. It was at that time that she began using her real name Greta Kline and used the name Frankie Cosmos as the bandˈs name. This was a big step for someone who had chosen to stay anonymous and built a following on her talent and dedication instead of trading on the family name (she is the daughter of Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates).

Last year Frankie Cosmos released Next Thing to wide acclaim solidifying their status as a serious band with serious talent, and not just a novelty.
Ian Sweet (Jilian Medford)

On Monday night Frankie Cosmos the band took the stage at 9:45, After a exemplary set by Kline protege Ian Sweet (AKA Jilian Medford), with a selection of songs from Next Thing (which is a collection of full band renditions of earlier Cosmos work) such as On The Lips, Floated In, Sinister, and Fool.  Kline, in full-on 'confidently awkward' form introduced the entire band as well as herself as Greta (thus solidifying the recent choice to separate herself from character in her songs) and making the mistake of asking how to pronounce Louisville as the crowd offered a million answers all at once, while taking off her baggy sweater and looked down at herself and said "um, yes, I am wearing a child's shirt. I wish I had left my sweater on. That's ok, be your best self" before diving into  more tracks from Next Thing (What If and the dream pop ear candy Outside With the Cuties).

Frankie Cosmos merch table

Despite having 50+ albums to choose from, the band stuck mostly to tracks from the 2 physical releases, such as My I Love You and I Do Too from Zentropy, and some of the more popular tracks from Next Thing like Sappho and Is It Possible/Sleep Song as the cheering crowd excitedly sang the last line "I guess I just make myself the victim like you said,  that's why when you treat me shitty you get mad. It all makes sense now, thanks so much. Goodbye forever, what the fuck!"

There were a few exceptions at the end of the performance, including a new song introduced as 'this is a brand new song, so please don't record it." (so I did not record it), and an extremely fast paced version of Being Alive from 2014's Affirms Glinting (This song I did record).  Right before they played the song Greta announced to the band and to her friends in the opening act, Nice Try, that she always meant to ask them to sing the chorus but always forgot and asked if they could try it despite never practicing it, and to the crowd's and Greta's delight bandmates Lauren Martin and Luke Pyensonn obliged, as well as Madeline Robinson, from Nice Try, who ran up from the crowd for her turn at the chorus, making a perfect ending to a perfect monday night show.

Frankie Cosmos: Greta Kline (Left), David Maine (Center),
Luke Pyensonn (Right) and Lauren Martin (not pictured)
Listen to 37FLOOD's top 20 Frankie Cosmos songs here.

Monday, September 25, 2017

10/7: BOA & Church Friends at Zanzabar

Louisville band BOA will be playing an album release show at Zanzabar on October 7th. Church Friends  will be opening.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

20 Frankie Cosmos songs you should know before she plays at Zbar on 9/25

23 year old Frankie Cosmos (a.k.a Greta, the daughter of  Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates) has released over 50 albums. Here are just 20 tracks you should know before she plays Zanzabar this monday (all ages. 8pm. Get tix here).

Friday, September 15, 2017

9/16: Humans vs Zombies, Vinyl Swap, and Local Brews at ReSurfaced

ReSurfaced is partnering with Louisville Zombie Attack this Saturday September 16th for a game of Zombies vs. Humans. Winners can win a Louisville Zombie Attack Prize Box and other prizes throughout the games (Game Rules found here).

The event  begins with a Vinyl Swap Market starting at 6 pm with raffles of classic Louisville albums. DJ sets with Cal & John, hosts of WCHQ's 'Monday Night On The Hill' on 100.9FM Radio.

Against The Grain Brewery will be serving up some of Louisville's finest brews and 502 cafe will be serving a variety of beverages including Coopers' Craft Bourbon. Heine Brothers' Coffee Airstream will be on hand as well. Free and open to the public. 319 S. Shelby st. 6-11pm.

Monday, September 11, 2017

9/28: Sylvan Esso at Mercury

Sylvan Esso will be performing at Mercury Ballroom on Thursday September 28th in support of their new album 'What Now?'