Late last year, veteran multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter Chris Arduser released the latest addition to his stellar discography, a new solo album titled Flibbertigibbet (yes, it’s a real word, meaning “a flighty or excessively talkative person”). Arduser is known for his work as the drummer/singer/songwriter in psychodots and The Bears, as well as being the frontman for his own Roots Pop outfit The Graveblankets. Flibbertigibbet is his fourth solo effort.
Arduser is one of the city’s best drummers, a great vocalist and remarkably talented on mandolin, guitar and several other instruments (he plays a little of everything on the new album, but is also joined by guests like his Graveblankets mate George Cunningham and his fellow psychodots Rob Fetters and Bob Nyswonger, among others). But Arduser’s songwriting skills may be the sharpest tools in his ample toolbox, showcasing a fantastic sense of melody and some phenomenal lyrics.
Flibbertigibbet is an impressively dynamic Pop Rock album full of depth, soul and instantly unforgettable melodies. The album kicks off with the sparkling “Stalling,” a mid-life crisis-like tale about a person who’s stuck in life and “can’t move forward, can’t move back.” Arduser is known for trademark darkness in his lyrics, but “Stalling” shows glimmers of hope, a trend that pops up throughout the album. “Wake Up Screaming” is the album’s highlight, a gloriously arranged slab of Power Pop, shifting from an engagingly herky-jerky verse to a dreamy, ethereal chorus and sounding like a lost Elvis Costello track. Other album highlights include the propulsive “One Girl Show,” which rumbles like The Who; the gorgeous, airy “Dark Dream”; the rootsy “Stayed Too Long”; and the gentle, melancholic “Sharyn,” in which the narrator fondly remembers a teenage paramour who loses her life to a drunk driver.
Flibbertigibbet is available through most major online music retailers, as well as local-music friendly Cincinnati record shops, like Shake It Records and Everybody’s Records.
Catch Hot New Local Artists Next Weekend
Mark your calendars for Saturday, Jan. 17, as CityBeat presents the 2015 edition of our “Best New Bands” showcase at Bogart’s (2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com). Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and admission is just $5. The show is open to music fans 18 and up.
The showcase will feature the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nominees in the “New Artist of the Year” category — Noah Smith, Leggy, Elk Creek, PRIM, Honeyspiders and Dream Tiger. The bill will be rounded out with other great new local acts JetLab, Harbour, Near Earth Objects and Kate Wakefield.
Grab a copy of CityBeat next week for our Best New Bands issue, featuring profiles of all of the New Artist of the Year nominees and more.
The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards ceremony, featuring performances by nominees Young Heirlooms, Injecting Strangers, Buggs tha Rocka, The Cliftones, Electric Citizen and more, is Jan. 25 at the Madison Theater (730 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., madisontheateronline.com). Tickets for the 18th annual event are available through cincyticket.com for $20. There is still time to vote for your favorite CEA nominees; visit citybeat.com for a link to the ballot.
Support Music Education
This Sunday marks a great chance to catch the next generation of local musicians as Mason’s School of Rock presents a benefit concert to support the Rock School Scholarship Fund, which helps provide music education to young people who would otherwise not have access due to costs. The site rockschoolfund.org has details on the scholarship programs; money raised at Sunday’s benefit will be focused on helping Greater Cincinnati kids specifically. (The site includes a donation page if you are unable to make the show; be sure to mention School of Rock Mason with your donation.) Mason’s School of Rock provides lessons, workshops, live performance opportunities and more for students ages 7 to 18 and is part of a chain of more than 140 Schools of Rock located all over the world.
The show begins at 4 p.m. and will feature nearly half of the school’s 150 students throughout the event. The concert will consist of the best material from the School of Rock’s three most recent public performances — tributes to Blondie and The Police, The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and KISS. The show will also include appearances by participants in the school’s adult and beginners programs, as well as the school’s House Band, which contains some of the school’s best players and has been featured at the MidPoint Music Festival and Milwaukee’s huge Summerfest.
For more on the benefit and the school itself, visit mason.schoolofrock.com.