NN PRESENTS

The NEVER NERVOUS GUIDE to
Summer Music Festivals in Louisville '16! → READ MORE

IN MEMORIAM

Jared Manning on the passing of Muhammad Ali → READ MORE

BEHOLD!

The POORCASTLE lineup and schedule
have been revealed! → READ MORE

Thursday, June 30, 2016

LISTEN: Baby Bones - "Pay Us In Dimes"


Fuck yeah! Our pal Dave Rucinski from the always awesome Gubbey Records has a righteous new band. Peep this with your ears in true listening fashion, true believers, but Baby Bones are boss hog and here to stay. Or I hope they are. This is a fantastic tune with a kind of punk spy vibe to it, although I'm not sure how to explain that qualification. The guitars are enormous, the bass is melodic, and the drums are plodding, all while the vocals float in and out of perception. There is more than a little hint of 90's throwback here, with an almost Archers of Loaf meets Fugazi kind of vibe going on in the music that is really hard to beat.

Seriously, this is some catchy music. Already on my fourth listen and I just want more. I think it's safe to say we can keep our eyes on Gubbey for more whenever that comes, and I hope it's soon. Listen below and try not to get too rowdy.

REVIEW: Brenda - "Night School"


BRENDA
Night School

Brenda aren't the easiest band to describe to friends and family. I mean, on the surface I guess you could quickly explain them as "indie pop" or something, but these folks are seemingly onto something much deeper than an arbitrary label. Their latest album Night School is more evidence of a band doing otherworldly things with a (mostly) conventional set up.  I put "mostly" in parentheses because their atypical two-drummer configuration, a unique design in a four piece "indie pop" band.

Ugh, there's that generalization again: "indie pop."  Sure, on the surface their music is mostly catchy and upbeat, but once you peel back a few layers a retro sci-fi vibe is revealed.  I'm hearing the dancey, imaginative feeling I get when listening to The B-52's; I'm getting the same feeling I get while getting immersed in the inventive weirdo rock with Oingo Boingo; and yeah, I can definitely hear a bit of the sci-fi/horror punk heard in the catchier side of The Misfits.  Whether they are aware of it or not, and regardless if it was intentional, Brenda has seemingly thrown three of my favorite bands into a punk rock blender in order to create one of my favorite albums of 2016.

Night School opens up with "Autoreply," an upbeat number that works for me as a surfed up Oingo Boingo inspiration. The vocals from Matt Horne are really overplayed and hammy ala Danny Elfman, and when you serve that over the dancetastic surf beats and hard hitting drums you get something that could play in the background of an 80's science fiction film. The vibe shifts with "Top Shelf" which is much more of a conventional pop song that emits a vibe of relentless fun-having and good times. Yes, please.

The title track maintains the that enthusiasm as an infectious toe-tapping jam that at one point unleashes a plentiful bounty of "ooh ooh's" and "shala la la's."  At this point, I'm truly smiling from ear to ear as I know I've found my new favorite hot track.  The closer, titled "Frogtown Brawl" is a straightforward rocker with harmonizing guitars and light synthesizer keeping me titilated and slightly aroused until the very end of the album.

At this point, I've already flipped my cards and revealed my hand: I fucking love this album.  I should also mention that Brenda are an amazing live band, so if you haven't already, be sure to check them out as soon as you can.  In the mean time, listen to Night School below:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

LISTEN: PRFBBQLOU 2016 BANDS!


Life giving you the blues today? Peep the PRFBBQ2016 sampler. Peep that shit with your ears and get ready to flip every table in site. Do a few jump kicks and karate chops. Think about defeating your enemies with your guile and wit. Bust out that Black Lotus in the first round and disintegrate your feelings. Today is your day to get mad rowdy and the boss hogs at the PRFBBQ Louisville want you to get your goddamned skis shined up in anticipation of their second annual early-September blowout.

You won't be surprised by what you find here. This is noise rock that comes with all the sharp angles. There are lots of folks hollering and undoubtedly a high percentage of amps and guitars that I want. I bet you there is at least one Travis Bean employed here and whoever has that is the belle of the goddamned ball. Bust this out right now and piss off your coworkers. Blast this in your cubicle, drink caffeine, and eat all the fucking doritos in the vending machine. Fuck you, Debbie from accounting. This is my day for all the Cool Ranch and I'll do what I want.

Get sassy below. Or don't. It's your world.

REVIEW: Dianthys - "Icefall"


Dianthus
Icefall

Almost immediately after the release of Trials, Dianthys, the solo project of Guy Kelly, dropped another full length release. Where Trials was a bit more of an intimate affair, varied by stylistically to include a number of genres, Icefall is a more focused and perhaps ambitious project in some respects. Here Kelly employs his full arsenal of skills as a multi-instrumentalist to create soaring sonic landscapes cinematic in scope and often magnificent in scale. The music contained here has a big sound of the sort not too often seen in modern indie/post-rock. There are elements of Explosions of the Sky or Mogwai here alongside noise rock bands like Shellac or Crain.

This is a remarkably cohesive album, one that sounds less like a collection of ideas, and more like a deliberate narrative, be that in terms of any specific lyrical content or tonally speaking. The album opener "Right Focus" sets the tone for the rest of the release perfectly by playing with tension and atmosphere to create something altogether moody and driving, but never unwelcome. The titular track "Icefall" has a plodding bass line and simplistic drums that speak to evoke a more primal vibe, cut nice by the spidery guitar work and ethereal vocals. On "Throw Away," Kelly tackles some big ideas, especially salient in light of current events, about reconsidering how you engage religion, if at all. The closer, "Tools," seems to have that same spiritual bent, at least in the sense that there is an obvious struggle here.

Kelly's compositions rest on the strength of his bass playing, which he supplements wonderfully here with some excellent guitar and drum work. Perhaps most surprising is his use of vocals, which he uses to powerful effect on the tracks that employ them. The melody work is simple and often double tracked, which renders his voice like another instrument, almost choral in nature, like a soft synth pad that kind of flits in and out from the periphery. It's a nice, if unexpected compliment to the music, which itself is often power and moving. This is heady stuff, smart but never pretentious or overwrought, and it shows throughout the entirety of the release.

You can listen to Icefall below and should consider buying it to support great art and the folks that make it. You can check out Kelly's other project Thousand Faces on July 30th with Visiting Nurse at The Cure Lounge.

WATCH: Never Nervous Visits Prince of the Deathmatch!


You may be reading this and thinking, "Why the fuck is Never Nervous writing about wrestling in New Albany?" That's a fair question with a simple answer: It should be here! If it weren't for poor legislation and shady athletic commissions, it certainly could be simply because wrestling in Kentucky is unfairly governed by the KBWA. They treat it as if it's a sport, but they also treat it differently than the other sports. What has happened over time is Louisville, a city that used to be home to premiere wrestling and wrestlers, is now virtually unable to have it. WWE refuses to run televised events here because of this reason and that's costing the city money.

It's also hurting local wrestlers and that's why I caught up with Reed "By God" Bentley, the current IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Champion. We had a fantastic discussion about IWA's history in Louisville and why they are unable to do it there now. The video also features highlights from their Prince of the Deathmatch Tournament and a few local "celebrities."

EDITORS NOTE: This video features blood and guts style wrestling, some of it may not be suitable for people with weak stomachs.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

LISTEN: Twin Sister Radio - ARTFM WXOX Unsolicited Jingle 97.1


Were you wondering when Art+FM aka WXOX would get a call track? Listen no further than this dubbed out, Kraut rock track by the local mad geniuses in Twin Sister Radio. I can't deny how absolutely catchy this song is for being essentially a minute and a half loop of the same thing on repeat. Billed here as unsolicited jingle, I think it's important to get the message out there that maybe this should be considered, at least sometimes, for the radio. This would be a nice hourly play or something like that. Not that I'm trying to get into programming; the good folks at Art+FM have that covered excellently already, proof here by local artists bringing the goods just because they like the station. They are definitely inspirational, which is what the music/art thing is all about.

Listen below and feel it (feel it). We dare you not to get this stuck in your head.

WATCH: Otis Junior & Dr. Dundiff - "Reaching"


I wake up a little groggy, head in the clouds from a good evening with friends (and milkshakes with the misses!), and what is this hotness in my inbox, but the new video from Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff. I didn't even realize that I needed this degree of smoothness until I sat down to watch this. Goddamn. Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff are a helluva pair, the Voltron of Louisville R&B and Soul if there ever were such a thing. I'm not sure which of them is the head part, but I bet they both have laser cannons in their wrist and access to a boss sword. Mainly just because they're bad dudes, and I have faith in their righteousness.

This track is sultry in that way that makes you feel cooler by proximity. Like, you because you know about this song, you're already doing a little better than your neighbor. It's the kind of track that instills in you that courage to put on your best threads and try to dazzle somebody sweet; putting this or any other track by the duo will undoubtedly end in a candlelit evening. There is a quiet cool here that evokes the spirit of Sam Cooke, Bill Withers, or Marvin Gaye, re-imagined here for a new generation. I submit that Reaching -the song or the video- has singlehandedly inspired in me the desire to own something velvet, because it is that fucking smooth.

The video is just as awesome. Did someone pass a folded twenty to a guard at The Palace, or do they just ball like that? Your guess is as good as mine, although frankly either/or is a perfectly acceptable answer. There are some pretty remarkable shots here, some of which involving drones, or at least someone with the ability to fly and/or levitate a camera. The end result is an omniscient third person view that imagines the pair at odds, likely over the lovely actor that joins Otis at the piano, for a sympathetic take on the burdens of relationships. Or so it seems. 

You can watch the video below and get into it.

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