Cover Story: Highlight Real

Local artists and music world heavies pick their 2002 favorites

 
Ryan Adcock



The end of the year is the list-iest time of the year. This year we've once again turned to the local music scene for a round-up of what didn't suck about music in 2002. Every year I'm thrilled to receive such a great response from the local scene. Not only is it thoughtful writing and intriguing choices, but I'm always turned on to something I hadn't heard or thought of before (there goes all my X-mas spending money ­ ouch!). This year's collection is one of the best we've done so far ­ take these folks' advice and explore beyond what you already know.

Matt Sledge
97X/WOXY assistant program director/ local music director

1) The MidPoint Music Festival

What hasn't been written about this already? Great shows, great panels, and I got to meet my evil twin again, Pat Dinizio.

Kudos to everyone involved with this!

2) Popopolis

Jay Hopper has to be given some kind of award for organizing this festival, year in and year out, with his cohorts. It was another rousing success with too much music. That's not a bad thing at all, because there were plenty of bands to discover on that night. Plus Swarthy joining Clabbergirl on stage for "Whites of Your Eyes" was pure genius.

3) Eels — Electro-Shock Blues

One of the most "radio-unfriendly" albums of the year, but every song on this effort is just brilliant to chill out to.

4) Doves — The Last Broadcast

Call this a continuation of "Lost Souls," their first album. Lush, extravagant and a few other four-syllable words I can't think of, have put this record in my CD player a lot this year.

5) Moth — Provisions Fiction And Gear

These Cincinnati men did us proud, but corporate radio ignored them altogether because they have their collective heads up their butts. A solid major-label debut, it's a shame this release didn't break because it was one of the best of the year.

6) Ryan Adcock — From Silence and Joy

Every time I've provided the gang at CityBeat a year-end Top 10, Ryan has landed on it with his most recent effort. Simply put, this singer/songwriter can tell a story in a song like no other.

7) The Swarthy Band — Play This In Front of Your Cool Friends

I've been waiting for this release for a LONG time, and it didn't disappoint. Robert Pollard is his main influence, and it shows on this release — in a good way.

8) 97Xposure 2002

So yes, I'm biased and a self-promoting machine, but what other commercial radio station in Cincinnati has the cajones to pull off something like this every year? We received 172 entries this year, and the Top 20, Semifinals and Finals were solid. Congrats again to Messerly & Ewing for getting all the marbles!

9) Readymaid — This View Should Never Change/Images of the Floating World

Two releases from Readymaid in one year? Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and it's this band. From their Art Rock playings to their statements about Thomas Condon, these guys crank out some great tunes that would make the average Britney Spears listener go "HUH?!?!?!" A needed and very good change from the normal stuff that gets put out today by the collective mainstream.

10) The 2002 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards

OK, so I'm pandering to CityBeat now, and, yes, I am shameless. But where else can one hang with Bootsy Collins backstage, turn around and then commiserate with some of the city's theatrical finest? Only right there, kids. A great night for music and theatre, and only CityBeat could pull it off at Old Saint George.

Boom Bip
Warp Records recording artist

1) Boards of Canada — Twoism

Boards of Canada can really do no wrong in my book. Everything they put out is amazing, not to mention they are the nicest guys on the planet. This is actually an older release that was put out in a very limited number to begin with, but is now available to the masses. Thank you, Mike and Marcus.

2) Bjork — Family Tree

Bjork is the most amazing artist of our time. There is no one that compares to the raw emotion and childlike, sexual energy this woman embodies. To hear these raw stripped down versions of her songs only accentuates her talent and importance in music today. Does she even need music behind her any more? This collection is amazing and completely fulfilling.

3) Beck — Sea Change

This album makes me want to break up with my girlfriend so I can make an amazing record. Of course, I may have to get Nigel Godrich to give it that full, warm sound to make it compare to this one. Very mature and subtle record from Beck. He left the sense of humor at the door on this one, but I like it.

4) Mum — Finally We Are No One

Beautiful album that put me to sleep almost every night this summer. I can only make out a few of the words from the Icelandic queen, but whatever she is saying is comforting and gorgeous.

5) Clue to Kalo — Come Here When You Sleepwalk

I don't know much about this kid, other than he popped up backstage at a Dose One show in Australia and gave Dose this disc. It was unsigned at the time, so Dose brought it back to Mush records. Mush has just released it, and I think it is the best release yet on a great label. Beautiful melodies and wonderful drum work. Watch out for this kid.

6) Themselves — The No Music

This album features Dose and Jel of Anticon. The two of them have come up with a classic album that once again sounds like nothing I have ever heard before. John Peel is a big fan of this album.

7) Various — Blue Skied An' Clear

On this lovely two-disc set celebrating the label's 30th release, we are presented with one CD of enthusiastic Slowdive covers and another of new upcoming material from the label. A real treat, indeed.

8) Various — Movern Callar Original Soundtrack

Warp released this soundtrack recently, and it is essential in anyone's CD collection. With names like Lee Hazelwood, Lee Scratch Perry, Broadcast, The Velvet Underground and Can, how can you go wrong? Tasteful marriage of new and old.

9) The Breeders — Title TK

I listened to this record a lot when I was on tour this summer. There is something very innocent and playful about the Deal sisters and everything they do is interesting, no matter how complex or simple it is ... usually simple, but that is a good thing.

10) Vincent Gallo — Recordings of Music for Film

Yes, another Warp release. I can't help it, I work for the bastards! This truly is a cherished record though. It is short bits of soundscapes from Vincent that were in his films and other short projects he has done over the years. It is nice to just pop it in and go for a drive.

Kathy Y. Wilson
CityBeat

The ONLY year-end music list you'll need. Sorta.

1) Meshell NdegeOcello — Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape

It satisfies the body, the mind and the spirit and leaves no gimmick unturned. No longer bitter, NdegeOcello's bass is loaded and aimed at social commentary. No one's safe — not lying politicians, lying lovers, lying gods or lying niggas. Soundtrack for a revolution.

2) Donnie — The Colored Section

Channeling Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and the Rev. James Cleveland in a chorus of life-changing instant vintage vignettes that hasn't yet left my CD player. In a word — reparations. Mmm, good.

3) Various Artists — Red, Hot & Riot

The latest (and best) in a series of discs benefiting AIDS research and awareness. This celebrates and expands the genius of Afro Pop pimp Fela Kuti who died of AIDS-related causes. Nothing is lost in translation as D'Angelo, Bilal, Macy Gray, Talib Kweli and several of Kuti's original band members get up on the one.

4) Talib Kweli — Quality

Who's underground? Kweli is the best working at wordplay with an unflinching opinion of the industry that sustains him. Like The Roots, who cares if he never really breaks on through to the other side? We know what it is.

5) The Roots — Phrenology

Slicker than most, The Roots back that thang up away from bling-bling identities that have nothing to do with beats, rhymes or life. A masterpiece.

6) N.E.R.D. — In Search of...

Chocolate genius. Wink-wink.

7) Mike Wade and Melvin Broach — The Broach Approach

Taken together, the Nov. 30 CD release performance at the Blue Wisp and the CD collide in my subconscious, and I have not recuperated. And that, I believe, is the point.

8) Sweet Honey in the Rock — Jan. 26, the Aronoff Center

God spoke peace to a sin-sick, mixed-race/gendered/sexuality, cross-denominational group of brave souls who crossed picket lines to hear a word from a group of sisters who've never stopped living up to their name. A shame our mayor missed a chance to get in some guidance.

9) Floetry — Floetic

Swirling words, beats and singing isn't new but black Brits have been trying to elbow in on American Soul for decades, with little and/or fleeting success. It took a TransAtlantic move to Philly and the nearness of Jill Scott, but these two women pull off a new school Sound of Philadelphia with style, originality and chops.

10) Napoleon Maddox and Hamid Drake — May 22, Cincinnati Art Museum

The master hummer and the master drummer percussifyin' in an art-drenched gallery. Too much sugar for a dime; too much knowledge at one time.

Ryan Shoemaker
Galaxy CDs

Top 10 Music Related things for 2002

1) MidPoint Music Festival

I can't imagine anyone locally who wouldn't put this at the top of their list. This was an amazing event, not only for the level of talent it brought to the city, but for the incredible smoothness with which the whole show ran. I don't think one can say enough about the job that Bill Donabedian and Sean Rhiney did in putting this together. The good will, positive exposure and economic impact this event can have on the region in the future is almost immeasurable.

2) Chevelle — Wonder What's Next

Hard and aggressive, but with Indie Rock undertones and undeniably accessible songs that made this one of my favorite releases of the year.

3) Queens of the Stone Age — Songs for the Deaf

Easily one of the top Rock releases of the year, this CD shows the band's continuing development. In the current state of radio where so much music sounds the same, it was nice to hear something as unusual as Queens get some play.

4) Joseph Arthur — Redemption's Son

Wow! This has only been out a few short weeks, but is easily one of my favorite records this year. It's also one of a very few albums that, virtually every time we spin it in the store, people ask what it is. It's that good.

5) Katie Todd — Changing Faces

A MidPoint discovery, it's a crime that this Chicago-based artist has not been signed to a major label (unless it's by her choosing). Wonderful piano-based Pop songs, and, man, can she bang the keys and belt out a tune.

6) 1 Giant Leap — 1 Giant Leap

A collaboration of two producers who traveled the world recording artists as diverse as Baaba Maal and Michael Stipe, sometimes in their own living rooms, having each add something to another's work, then mixing it all into 12 universal Pop songs. An amazing project that delivered remarkable results, and a great story of the power of music.

7) Clayhenry — Clayhenry

No, not the Subway-eating fire fighter. This California-based band was another MidPoint discovery, and their disc has rarely left my player since. Great, well-written Rock songs, delivered with, at times, Jeff Buckley-esque vocals. This is a terrific CD.

8) Enon — High Society

Former members of Brainiac, Skeleton Key and Blonde Redhead make up this band that released a CD of mesmerizing, quirky Pop gems. A very fun record.

9) Ryan Adcock — From Silence and Joy

If John Mayer can go Platinum, this guy should be a star. Amazing stories and songs brought to life by his shockingly good voice make this one of my favorite singer/songwriter albums not just of this year, but ever. He literally gave me chills when he opened up his set at the release party for the record.

10) Michael Jantz performance at the Barrelhouse during the MidPoint

Holy cow, one of the best and most inspired sets I've ever seen. The presence and power they brought to the stage, coupled with their absolutely magnificent playing made this easily the high point of MidPoint for me. They owned that crowd, and Jantz has a voice that is so good it's almost surreal. I just stood there, shaking my head, tapping my feet and smiling like the enraptured fool I was. Absolutely incredible. There's a lot wrong with the music industry these days, but it's the ongoing occurrence of moments like these that remind me that there's nothing else in the world I'd rather be doing. Here's to an even better 2003!

Napoleon Maddox
(Iswhat?!)

My Top 10 for 2002 — but not in this order. Each moment stood alone.

J Live — All of The Above

J Live is no joke! Please discover him! He produces, DJs and emcees with immaculate style and you can hear his seasoning all over All of the Above. He is from a team called 7 Heads. For now, respect this name. I hope 7 Heads, J Live and family do not become the next independent to go major and lose sight of any reason to create quality Hip Hop. They are definitely next up!

Ming and FS — Subway Series

Subway Series is an adventurous album that goes lots of fun musical places. There are certain cuts that grab me right away, like "Jingle Hell," that I play over and over. But what I like the most about this is it's not a bubble gum album, but you can tell Ming & FS had fun making it.

Jurassic 5 — Live show on tour at BOGART'S

This was the best I've seen Jurassic, although Akil didn't break dance this time and there wasn't the big freestyle cipher near the end of the show. These cats have been honing their craft on stage, and it shows. If they continue with the passion they had that night, there's no stoppin' em.

Charlie Water Trio with guest Ken Vandermark — Live show at North Star

I was pleasantly surprised to run into Ken Vandermark playing with three New York cats in the basement of a Brooklyn venue called North Star, where DJ Spooky and I would later play upstairs. The entire quartet (tenor, reeds, bass and drums) was dope and sounded good together, but the drummer really had me noddin' my head, pumpin' my fist and shouting salutes of gratitude. Of course, Vandermark played plenty of head-crackin' lines throughout.

Nas — "Doo Rags" song from the album The Lost Tapes

This is the Nas I love. This is same Nas that wrote the classics on albums, Illmatic and It Was Written, and guest verses on "Verbal Intercourse" with Raekwon and "In Between Us" with Scarface. If everything Nas wrote and performed sounded this good, had this much relevance with music and was as beautifully composed as "Doo Rags," I'd be listening to Nas every day of the week.

Ken One and DJ Shun — Live show at We Nod in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

These two DJ s were not only DMC finalists with skills to prove it, they also hyped each other up and were unassuming about their fame and status. DJ Shun did sharp cuts and tricks on two decks and Ken One used a pedal rack, triggering beats/loops while he exhibited some of his signature cuts, juggles and scratches. Later we did a 30-minute set — backspin vs. human beatbox. It was a hootin' half.

Hamid Drake — Live show at Top Cat's

Whoa! I don't know who to give bigger props to — Hamid for being a supreme drummer/percussionist and being gracious and open to playing Top Cat's with us on a Hip Hop night? Cincinnati Hip Hop headz for showing so much appreciation and positive energy toward Hamid and Iswhat?!'s performance? Or ... do the props belong to Tony Heitz and the Animal Crackers for setting the stage and welcoming this experience with excellent Cracker style? Much respect to all involved that night! One of the best times of my life.

Unspoken Heard —Soon Come

Once again 7 Heads! The crew to watch! Asheru and Blue Black are Unspoken Heard and the rhymes they spit on the new album, Soon Come, are ridiculous! Oh yeah, the production happens to be top shelf, too! The track stuck in my head right now is called, "Live At Home." Oh bouye! I tell you what! Richy Pitch is the producer. I think he knows where the sweet spot is.

DKV — Trigonometry

Drake, Kessler and Vandermark toured and recorded live shows in 2001. This two-disc set is from two dates on that tour, the Rochester show and the Kalamazoo show. The records exhibit DKV as the improvising masters they are. They weave in and out of pieces based on tunes and bring the passion home with captivating solos, pairings and intricate group-play. Some of their tools of improv were pieces by Joe McPhee, Albert Ayler and Don Cherry. Go grab this one at Shake It Records — it's worth every cent!

Antibalas — Live show at the Southgate House

Who let these cats loose and what time did their set start? Antibalas is sick! There are a gang of them and all of them are funky together. Matthew told me one of the sax players was from Chicago, and I knew which one right away. If everybody else on stage was seriously funky, the Windy City cat was pissed off and funky, playing wild and hard with muscles and control. This was definitely a top 10 moment for me in 2002.

Puck Dunaway
DJ in Boy Radio and local musician

10) Mallory — the first one hundred years

This compact three-piece band delivers a more lush and richer soundscape than SUV-sized bands with twice the number of members. Test drive Mallory's debut LP, The First One Hundred Years, and you'll find you love the way it handles.

9) Underwoods new drummer brings new attention

Don't get me wrong, I liked this band before. But now with Todd Drake on skins, the formula is complete: simple, angular Pop plus harmony multiplied by tip-top percussion equals one lovely Pop band.

8) Rookie bands of 2002 that don't suck

Youngsters the Giant Judys turned heads at Popopolis; Morals Galore becomes this area's answer to Weezer; plus the spirit of '60s songwriting is alive and kicking with bands Color Test and The Insect Clicks.

7) Readymaid releases the Images of the Floating World EP

Aliens have landed and taken the human form of the five (sometimes six) members of Readymaid. Earthlings don't use banjo, French horn, vibes, saw, lap-steel and beatbox in our blend of Rock music. It just would never work, right?

6) Opi Yum Yum kick the habit

I know bands break up, but I'm taking this band's split very personally. They were it — they were the band that had the future sound of Indie, underground and lounge. Who do I have to pay or sleep with to get this group back together? I'm not kidding.

5) Brian Olive (Soledad Brothers and ex-GreenhornE) and Meg White (of the White Stripes) become a couple

Call Entertainment Tonight because the Cincy music scene has its first Camelot couple. And, damn, don't they look great together.

4) Jake Speed & the Freddies get more awards than they can carry

They were winners of CEAs for Best Folk Act, Best Songwriter and Artist of the Year. And if there was an award for flat-out coolest bunch of guys that you could know, Jake and his band would have won that, too.

3) The Midpoint Music Festival becomes new stomping ground for gifted out-of-town bands

MPMF was a hit in my book. It brought a multitude of talented non-Cincy bands that would have never reached this area otherwise. On the MidPoint Web site, check out acts such as Jettison Red, Ellen Cherry, Tenki, the Possibilities, Noisecat and the Letdowns. Let's invite these groups back to the Queen City, pronto!

2) The Fairmount Girls new line-up invades the Plush lounge

"Girls & Boys" Indie/BritPop nite was never hotter than the time the Girls debuted the new Fairmount Boys Gregory and Mark. Another debut that night was tin-foil suits and accessories. Will the trend catch on? We'll see.

1) Fabulous new area venues open their doors to original music

The Madison Theater, Plush, Northside Tavern, The Cavern — have you been to these places yet? They are sweeeet! In 2003 it's time for me to start a new band just to get on stage at these grand venues.

Jeff Roberson
Len's Lounge

Ten Things That Got Me Thinking and Writing In 2002:

1) My daughter can sing in key

And she moves like a Disney cat.

2) Me or the Moon

This Cincinnati music duo redefines what Folk music is and could be.

3) The Mice — Scooter

While going through my LPs I rediscovered this fantastic slab of vinyl from the '80s Cleveland garage band The Mice.

4) John Hartford's song "Gentle on my Mind"

The most beautiful love song ever written. The Comet All-Stars have a version that will make you shake with joy.

5) Post-modernism, the chords G, C, D and quarter-beat bass notes

Sometimes the song IS everything.

6) The coast of North Carolina, Where I'd be if I wasn't here

7) Kudzu

Insidious, pervasive, beautiful in moonlight.

8) Northside White Castle

Coffee and humanity.

9) Mohenjo Daro

Bebop flute riding atop Middle Eastern picking, buoyed by Tablaa drum. Holy shit! WOW!

10) Irony and leadership

The architect of the illegal bombing of Cambodia, Henry Kissinger, heads 9/11 commission to investigate intelligence shortfalls preceding the WTC bombing. Admiral Poindexter, the most senior Reagan official in the Iran-Contra scandal to be convicted of a crime (overturned on appeal on a technicality), has been advanced as the man to head federal information-gathering on American citizens.

Lou Larson
Kailip, 3 Legged Stella

1) Nels Cline Singers — Instrumentals

This is the future of modern Jazz. Influenced equally by Stockhausen, Sonic Youth and John Coltrane, Nels and company serve up an amazing record that showcases technical compositions, and elements of experimentalism side-by-side, and demonstrates why Nels Cline is one of the best guitarists in the world.

2) Aesop Rock — Labor Days

I know this was released in December 2001, but it has been a mainstay of my musical experience in 2002. Aesop Rock redefines intelligent Hip Hop. His control of the time and arranging skills are amazing. The wordplay is even better ("Who am I?" he asks, then answers: "Jabberwocky Superfly!"). And his flow is clear, even when he is "fast rapping."

3) Bellini — Snowing Sun

Don Caballero drummer Damon Che teams up with Noise-Rock guitarist Agostina Tilotta and vocalist Giovanna Cacciola of the Sicilian group Uzeda. They get Matt Taylor to play bass, and they all go over to Steve Albini's house to make a CD. This is my favorite Rock CD of 2002. Influences of Scratch Acid and US Maple run throughout.

4) Chicago Underground Duo — Axis and Alignment

If you have never seen Chad Taylor play drums and vibraphone at the same time, you won't believe that they can play these tunes live, but I have witnessed it. Rob Mazurek grabs his cornet and teams up with Taylor to improvise freely over Chad Taylor's huge beats and Mini-Moog sequences.

5) Buck 65 — Man Overboard

Intelligent Hip Hop from Canada. Buck 65 rhymes across the bar-line and in odd meters without ever slowing down, and he does his own beats at the same time.

6) John Adams and the Los Angeles Philharmonic — Naive and Sentimental Music

John Adams gets back on track with this piece (his best since the 1993 Violin Concerto). Writing music that shows his influences of minimalism, atonal-ism, serialism and folk-ism, which is best described as "post-post-modernism."

7) Peter Brontzmann Chicago Tentet — June 12, Memorial Hall, University of Kentucky

Peter Brotzmann, Ken Vandermark, Mars Williams, Mats Gustafsson, Joe McPhee, Jeb Bishop, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kent Kessler, Michael Zerang and Hamid Drake playing Free Jazz for free. This show was sponsored by UK, and the admission was free. The show was so intense I thought I was having an out-of-body experience at one point.

8) Acid Mothers Temple & and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. — Electric Heavyland

This record should be called "music to murder by." I can't decide if I hate it or love it, but I can't stop listening to it. This is best listened to when you are driving in traffic, you're late for work, in the fast lane going 50 mph behind some lawyer in a SUV talking on his cell phone.

9) Rjd2 — Deadringer (Def Jux)

Instrumental sample based Hip Hop. While often compared to DJ Shadow, this CD shows that Rjd2 is his own man.

10) John Scofield — 20th Century Theater, Oakley Square

John Scofield demonstrated why he is considered one of the most important guitarists in Jazz during this three-hour show.

Jamie Mandel
Nice Guy Records founder

1) Jets to Brazil — Perfecting Loneliness

This might actually be the perfect album. Hands down the best of 2002.

2) The Lawrence Arms — Apathy & Exhaustion

The Arms prove that straight-forward Punk Rock can still be great.

3) New Amsterdams — Para Toda Vida

It was very refreshing to hear this from Get Up Kids frontman Matt Pryor, especially since the new Get Up Kids album sucked so badly. Para Toda Vida is stripped down and sounds like Matt just sat down in front of you and played you an acoustic set.

4) Bad Astronaut — Houston We Have a Drinking Problem

OK, I don't even like this record that much. But that's just the best album title ever.

5) Piebald — We Are the Only Friends We Have

This one really grew on me, especially the re-recording of "American Hearts." In a better music year, this might not have made it, but in 2002 it does. Solid release from a great band.

6) Bottom Line tours Japan with Midtown

This is probably the coolest tour any Cincinnati band has ever gone on, especially any Cincinnati Punk band. It's nice to see that good things come to hardworking bands sometimes.

7) Warped Tour 2002

Not only was it a blast getting to work a couple of shows, but it was fun to see the Cincinnati date double Columbus in attendance.

8) The Void re-opens

This had better make any Punk rocker's top list for 2002.

9) Def Leppard plays Wal-Mart parking lots

I received a link to this headline in an e-mail. After laughing my ass off, I laughed even harder when I realized it was true.

10) Bottom Line cooks at Bogart's ... literally

Before rocking with Hot Rod Circuit and Further Seems Forever, Bottom Line grilled out in the backstage area of Bogart's, making the entire place smell like tasty food.

Steve Sauer
Promenade

10) Giant Judys — Take My Pulse

The best song this town has heard in years.

9) The Doves — The Last Broadcast

8) Wilco — Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

I think it was officially released this year, so it counts. Either way, it's so damn good it deserves to be on a best-of list two years in a row.

7) Cari Clara/Eric Diedrichs

I told Eric he was a big turd for pulling the secret identity thing. But the album is great, and I'm really proud of him.

6) Coldplay — A Rush Of Blood To The Head

5) Scott, Brad, Michelle and everyone at The Overflow

For having an outlet for Indie Rock, Hip Hop and original music down on Main Street.

4) Mike Landis

How does a guy with an immense talent in voice, songwriting and guitar let ME tell him what to play onstage with us? It can't be the money. Thanks, Landau.

3.) U2 at the Superbowl

That's how you put on a halftime show with taste. No little midgets in Uncle Sam uniforms spelling out USA. Just a straight up Rock show.

2.) Bob Dylan

I realized why he's a genius this past spring and I haven't stopped listening to him since ... to the dismay of my friends.

1.) Group Effort Sound Studios

Thanks to Jeff Monroe, we are finishing up the album that we started three years ago, and it will be out by February ... maybe March.

Tim Heyl
Datawaslost/Swissfarlo

10) Hilltop Distillery — ... died in the woods

There are a few points on this amazing album that get even a bit too "skronky" for my tastes, but all in all, this is great stuff. And as far as production goes, this one takes the cake.

9) Sonic Youth — Murray Street

Sure, that Jim O'Rourke guy produced another album (hint: Wilco) this year that was just as good as this, but in my mind, Murray Street inches ahead. One of the better albums of their impressive and untouchable career; the old-timers can still rock with the best of 'em.

8) Midpoint Music Festival

A no-brainer if I've ever heard of one: a well-organized weekend-long music fest showcasing the local/regional/ national talent. Here's to many more years of success.

7) Sixteen Horsepower — Folklore

I've been a big fan of Sixteen Horsepower since I first heard them live at Jammin' on Main a few years back. This disc is their best yet, perfectly combing the raw elements of their trademark Goth-inspired Folk into one thoroughly consistent (and great!) album.

6) Spectacular Fantastic — s/t

This side project from Mike Detmer might actually be more impressive than his full-band, Folk?. This disc certainly proves he's one of the areas best songwriters.

5) Minor Leagues — Be Kind to Beginners

It was recorded in a bedroom with a few crappy mics, and it still blows away most of the other national stuff I've heard this year. Songs like "Bohemian by the Numbers," "Only the Beginning" and "Easy Out to an In" showcase the band's catchy arrangements, and "Nothing's Shocking" has to be the best bridge I've heard in quite some time.

4) Bright Eyes — Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground

Initially, I was a tad put off by the Emo-drenched lyrics that this guy insists on filling his records with. I can't hold that against him, though — this is a great album full of interesting arrangements and solid songwriting.

3) The Greenhornes — Dual Mono

A Garage powerhouse. Maybe even the best in the nation.

2) Mallory — The First One Hundred Years

This disc rocks. If you've seen them live, you already know this. If you've yet to see them live, please do so.

1) Interpol — Turn on the Bright Lights

Yeah, I know, they're THE band that everyone's talking about right now and rightfully so. The hype is right on. The album is solid throughout, and it hasn't moved out of my rotation for a few months now.

Chris Lee
16 Piece Bucket

10 Albums that Completely Ruled in 2002 (listed alphabetically)

Abominant — Upon Black Horizons

Louisville's Abominant combine Death Metal, Thrash Metal and classic Metal on this awesome follow-up to their now classic Ungodly (check out my Best of 2000 list for info on this album). Can you really go wrong with that combination? Not when it is done the way Abominant does it. One of the best bands in the Midwest, if not THE best! Why isn't this band signed to a big label?

Brave — Searching for the Sun

Female-fronted atmospheric metal captured brilliantly on this release. Catch them next time they come around to Cincinnati. Fans of Lacuna Coil, The Gathering, Theatre of Tragedy, and on a local level Snaggletooth and Fetish, should check this out.

Dio — Killing the Dragon

Another great album from the legend. I think Ronnie James Dio has sung on more great Metal albums than any vocalist in the history of Rock, dating back to his early '70s days in Elf (It's gotta be either him or Ozzy). A nice follow-up to his 2000 release Magica.

Estuary — Riding the Tides of Malice

Best local release of 2002. Estuary loses its keyboardist and adds a new singer and somehow rocks even harder than before on this three-song CD of dark Metal madness. Cincinnati's best band gets even better.

Joe Stump's Reign of Terror — Conquer & Divide

Joe Stump and Reign of Terror return with the follow-up to their 2001 release, Sacred Ground (see my Top 10 of 2001 for more on this album). Stump's Yngwie-esque type guitar playing is incredible. I am always amazed watching him play guitar when he comes through town. Completely phenomenal. Mike Vescera's vocals are incredible. Matt Scurfield and Jay Rigney rock as a rhythm section.

King Diamond — Abigail II: The Revenge

It's King Diamond — need I say more?

Opeth — Deliverance

Opeth are another band that release one great album after another. They delve more into the Death Metal world on this release while keeping the classic Opeth-ness about them, which is well crafted Metal anthems that go beyond any immediate classification or labeling. I wish some of these bands would come to Cincinnati. But since no one goes when they do come, everyone loses money and the clubs don't want the genre back. Plus the bands don't want to come back. Such is life, living in Cincinnati.

Rush — Vapor Trails

Future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers went on a bit of a hiatus while drummer Neil Peart dealt with personal family tragedies. But now they are back for the attack with yet another monstrous rocker. This one leans towards their more commercial side of the late '80s and '90s, but it has a new-found heaviness that they displayed on their previous epic "Test for Echo." Rush rules!!!

Sentenced — The Cold White Light

Sentenced have been around forever and deserve WAY more attention than they have gotten. One great album after another keeps this band amongst my favorites. Classic Metal done with a bit of a modern feel.

Trail of Tears — A New Dimension of Might

I had not heard this band until a friend sent me this album and man was I blown away. Dimmu Borgir meets Nightwish. Dark Metal and Thrash meets Operatic Metal. My favorite new find of the year.

Cynthia Dye Wimmers
WAIF's "Kindred Sanction"

My 2002 Top Ten Music News/Releases/Events (in no particular order)

· Top Cat's Announces Closing

Owner Bobby Nicholas announced in October that Top Cat's would close its doors on Dec. 1. Now comes word that they might stay open after all. Let's hope Cincinnati doesn't lose one of the best places to see local and national original music and that more people will go out to see them.

· Queen City Blues Festival

A downpour and a steamy, sticky afternoon couldn't put a damper on Saturday's performances. This year's festival was better than ever with the addition of a Gospel stage, and three days of some of the best Blues musicians around. Who needs Chicago?

· WAIF Radio purchases new home

After 27 years at the Alms Hotel/Apartments WAIF, the best damn radio station in Cincinnati, comes out of the basement with the purchase of a new location at 1434 E. McMillan in East Walnut Hills.

· Heinrich — The Scarlet Fever

This release definitely gets my vote for the best regional (Westlake, Ohio) release of 2002.

· Benj Clarke — Out Through The In Crowd

The "with appearances by" list on this CD reads like a who's-who of Greater Cincinnati musicians proving that we can all get along.

· Readymaid ­ This View Should Never Change

The best local release of 2002.

· CEAs

The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards outdid themselves this year, with performances from Jake Speed, Kim Taylor, Readymaid, Thee Shams and more — humble acceptance speeches from Bootsy Collins and Jake Speed, and a great light show. A good time was had by all!

· Hidden Treasures, Cincinnati's Tribute to King Records' Legacy CD.

Fifteen songs performed by some of the best musicians in town, in loving tribute to King Records and all the great music that came out of there. Now, let's restore the building!

· MidPoint Music Festival

150 bands, music conferences, a compilation CD ... how did these guys pull it off?

· Festival seating returns to Cincinnati

In November, Bruce Springsteen came to US Bank Arena and played to a crowd that included 1,800 general admission floor seats for the first time in 23 years. In 1977, while waiting to get into a sold-out Led Zeppelin concert at Riverfront Coliseum, I was almost crushed when the dumb-ass security people decided to open one set of doors for thousands of people. It's about time that Cincinnati realizes that festival seating can work. Just open enough fucking doors!

Jacob Heintz
Buckra

10) R.I.P Jason Mizell

Jason Mizell, better know as "Jam Master Jay," one third of the archetypal Rap group Run-DMC, was killed with a single bullet. With Rap and Hip Hop acts all over the charts today, it is hard to remember how groundbreaking and influential Run-DMC was, but it is something we should never forget.

9) 12 Rods — Lost Time

After disappointing sales of their Todd Rundgren-produced Separation Anxieties and being dropped from V2 records, these former Oxford, Ohio upstarts, now Minneapolis mainstays, independently release their best CD yet.

8) Cee Lo

Cee Lo, formerly of Goodie Mob, releases Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections. Not a perfect CD, but no other Hip-Hop artist this year had the raw ability or willingness to explore the Hip-Hop horizons like Cee-Lo.

7)

 
Ryan Adcock



The end of the year is the list-iest time of the year. This year we've once again turned to the local music scene for a round-up of what didn't suck about music in 2002. Every year I'm thrilled to receive such a great response from the local scene. Not only is it thoughtful writing and intriguing choices, but I'm always turned on to something I hadn't heard or thought of before (there goes all my X-mas spending money ­ ouch!). This year's collection is one of the best we've done so far ­ take these folks' advice and explore beyond what you already know.

Matt Sledge
97X/WOXY assistant program director/ local music director

1) The MidPoint Music Festival

What hasn't been written about this already? Great shows, great panels, and I got to meet my evil twin again, Pat Dinizio.

Kudos to everyone involved with this!

2) Popopolis

Jay Hopper has to be given some kind of award for organizing this festival, year in and year out, with his cohorts. It was another rousing success with too much music. That's not a bad thing at all, because there were plenty of bands to discover on that night. Plus Swarthy joining Clabbergirl on stage for "Whites of Your Eyes" was pure genius.

3) Eels — Electro-Shock Blues

One of the most "radio-unfriendly" albums of the year, but every song on this effort is just brilliant to chill out to.

4) Doves — The Last Broadcast

Call this a continuation of "Lost Souls," their first album. Lush, extravagant and a few other four-syllable words I can't think of, have put this record in my CD player a lot this year.

5) Moth — Provisions Fiction And Gear

These Cincinnati men did us proud, but corporate radio ignored them altogether because they have their collective heads up their butts. A solid major-label debut, it's a shame this release didn't break because it was one of the best of the year.

6) Ryan Adcock — From Silence and Joy

Every time I've provided the gang at CityBeat a year-end Top 10, Ryan has landed on it with his most recent effort. Simply put, this singer/songwriter can tell a story in a song like no other.

7) The Swarthy Band — Play This In Front of Your Cool Friends

I've been waiting for this release for a LONG time, and it didn't disappoint. Robert Pollard is his main influence, and it shows on this release — in a good way.

8) 97Xposure 2002

So yes, I'm biased and a self-promoting machine, but what other commercial radio station in Cincinnati has the cajones to pull off something like this every year? We received 172 entries this year, and the Top 20, Semifinals and Finals were solid. Congrats again to Messerly & Ewing for getting all the marbles!

9) Readymaid — This View Should Never Change/Images of the Floating World

Two releases from Readymaid in one year? Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and it's this band. From their Art Rock playings to their statements about Thomas Condon, these guys crank out some great tunes that would make the average Britney Spears listener go "HUH?!?!?!" A needed and very good change from the normal stuff that gets put out today by the collective mainstream.

10) The 2002 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards

OK, so I'm pandering to CityBeat now, and, yes, I am shameless. But where else can one hang with Bootsy Collins backstage, turn around and then commiserate with some of the city's theatrical finest? Only right there, kids. A great night for music and theatre, and only CityBeat could pull it off at Old Saint George.

Boom Bip
Warp Records recording artist

1) Boards of Canada — Twoism

Boards of Canada can really do no wrong in my book. Everything they put out is amazing, not to mention they are the nicest guys on the planet. This is actually an older release that was put out in a very limited number to begin with, but is now available to the masses. Thank you, Mike and Marcus.

2) Bjork — Family Tree

Bjork is the most amazing artist of our time. There is no one that compares to the raw emotion and childlike, sexual energy this woman embodies. To hear these raw stripped down versions of her songs only accentuates her talent and importance in music today. Does she even need music behind her any more? This collection is amazing and completely fulfilling.

3) Beck — Sea Change

This album makes me want to break up with my girlfriend so I can make an amazing record. Of course, I may have to get Nigel Godrich to give it that full, warm sound to make it compare to this one. Very mature and subtle record from Beck. He left the sense of humor at the door on this one, but I like it.

4) Mum — Finally We Are No One

Beautiful album that put me to sleep almost every night this summer. I can only make out a few of the words from the Icelandic queen, but whatever she is saying is comforting and gorgeous.

5) Clue to Kalo — Come Here When You Sleepwalk

I don't know much about this kid, other than he popped up backstage at a Dose One show in Australia and gave Dose this disc. It was unsigned at the time, so Dose brought it back to Mush records. Mush has just released it, and I think it is the best release yet on a great label. Beautiful melodies and wonderful drum work. Watch out for this kid.

6) Themselves — The No Music

This album features Dose and Jel of Anticon. The two of them have come up with a classic album that once again sounds like nothing I have ever heard before. John Peel is a big fan of this album.

7) Various — Blue Skied An' Clear

On this lovely two-disc set celebrating the label's 30th release, we are presented with one CD of enthusiastic Slowdive covers and another of new upcoming material from the label. A real treat, indeed.

8) Various — Movern Callar Original Soundtrack

Warp released this soundtrack recently, and it is essential in anyone's CD collection. With names like Lee Hazelwood, Lee Scratch Perry, Broadcast, The Velvet Underground and Can, how can you go wrong? Tasteful marriage of new and old.

9) The Breeders — Title TK

I listened to this record a lot when I was on tour this summer. There is something very innocent and playful about the Deal sisters and everything they do is interesting, no matter how complex or simple it is ... usually simple, but that is a good thing.

10) Vincent Gallo — Recordings of Music for Film

Yes, another Warp release. I can't help it, I work for the bastards! This truly is a cherished record though. It is short bits of soundscapes from Vincent that were in his films and other short projects he has done over the years. It is nice to just pop it in and go for a drive.

Kathy Y. Wilson
CityBeat

The ONLY year-end music list you'll need. Sorta.

1) Meshell NdegeOcello — Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape

It satisfies the body, the mind and the spirit and leaves no gimmick unturned. No longer bitter, NdegeOcello's bass is loaded and aimed at social commentary. No one's safe — not lying politicians, lying lovers, lying gods or lying niggas. Soundtrack for a revolution.

2) Donnie — The Colored Section

Channeling Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and the Rev. James Cleveland in a chorus of life-changing instant vintage vignettes that hasn't yet left my CD player. In a word — reparations. Mmm, good.

3) Various Artists — Red, Hot & Riot

The latest (and best) in a series of discs benefiting AIDS research and awareness. This celebrates and expands the genius of Afro Pop pimp Fela Kuti who died of AIDS-related causes. Nothing is lost in translation as D'Angelo, Bilal, Macy Gray, Talib Kweli and several of Kuti's original band members get up on the one.

4) Talib Kweli — Quality

Who's underground? Kweli is the best working at wordplay with an unflinching opinion of the industry that sustains him. Like The Roots, who cares if he never really breaks on through to the other side? We know what it is.

5) The Roots — Phrenology

Slicker than most, The Roots back that thang up away from bling-bling identities that have nothing to do with beats, rhymes or life. A masterpiece.

6) N.E.R.D. — In Search of...

Chocolate genius. Wink-wink.

7) Mike Wade and Melvin Broach — The Broach Approach

Taken together, the Nov. 30 CD release performance at the Blue Wisp and the CD collide in my subconscious, and I have not recuperated. And that, I believe, is the point.

8) Sweet Honey in the Rock — Jan. 26, the Aronoff Center

God spoke peace to a sin-sick, mixed-race/gendered/sexuality, cross-denominational group of brave souls who crossed picket lines to hear a word from a group of sisters who've never stopped living up to their name. A shame our mayor missed a chance to get in some guidance.

9) Floetry — Floetic

Swirling words, beats and singing isn't new but black Brits have been trying to elbow in on American Soul for decades, with little and/or fleeting success. It took a TransAtlantic move to Philly and the nearness of Jill Scott, but these two women pull off a new school Sound of Philadelphia with style, originality and chops.

10) Napoleon Maddox and Hamid Drake — May 22, Cincinnati Art Museum

The master hummer and the master drummer percussifyin' in an art-drenched gallery. Too much sugar for a dime; too much knowledge at one time.

Ryan Shoemaker
Galaxy CDs

Top 10 Music Related things for 2002

1) MidPoint Music Festival

I can't imagine anyone locally who wouldn't put this at the top of their list. This was an amazing event, not only for the level of talent it brought to the city, but for the incredible smoothness with which the whole show ran. I don't think one can say enough about the job that Bill Donabedian and Sean Rhiney did in putting this together. The good will, positive exposure and economic impact this event can have on the region in the future is almost immeasurable.

2) Chevelle — Wonder What's Next

Hard and aggressive, but with Indie Rock undertones and undeniably accessible songs that made this one of my favorite releases of the year.

3) Queens of the Stone Age — Songs for the Deaf

Easily one of the top Rock releases of the year, this CD shows the band's continuing development. In the current state of radio where so much music sounds the same, it was nice to hear something as unusual as Queens get some play.

4) Joseph Arthur — Redemption's Son

Wow! This has only been out a few short weeks, but is easily one of my favorite records this year. It's also one of a very few albums that, virtually every time we spin it in the store, people ask what it is. It's that good.

5) Katie Todd — Changing Faces

A MidPoint discovery, it's a crime that this Chicago-based artist has not been signed to a major label (unless it's by her choosing). Wonderful piano-based Pop songs, and, man, can she bang the keys and belt out a tune.

6) 1 Giant Leap — 1 Giant Leap

A collaboration of two producers who traveled the world recording artists as diverse as Baaba Maal and Michael Stipe, sometimes in their own living rooms, having each add something to another's work, then mixing it all into 12 universal Pop songs. An amazing project that delivered remarkable results, and a great story of the power of music.

7) Clayhenry — Clayhenry

No, not the Subway-eating fire fighter. This California-based band was another MidPoint discovery, and their disc has rarely left my player since. Great, well-written Rock songs, delivered with, at times, Jeff Buckley-esque vocals. This is a terrific CD.

8) Enon — High Society

Former members of Brainiac, Skeleton Key and Blonde Redhead make up this band that released a CD of mesmerizing, quirky Pop gems. A very fun record.

9) Ryan Adcock — From Silence and Joy

If John Mayer can go Platinum, this guy should be a star. Amazing stories and songs brought to life by his shockingly good voice make this one of my favorite singer/songwriter albums not just of this year, but ever. He literally gave me chills when he opened up his set at the release party for the record.

10) Michael Jantz performance at the Barrelhouse during the MidPoint

Holy cow, one of the best and most inspired sets I've ever seen. The presence and power they brought to the stage, coupled with their absolutely magnificent playing made this easily the high point of MidPoint for me. They owned that crowd, and Jantz has a voice that is so good it's almost surreal. I just stood there, shaking my head, tapping my feet and smiling like the enraptured fool I was. Absolutely incredible. There's a lot wrong with the music industry these days, but it's the ongoing occurrence of moments like these that remind me that there's nothing else in the world I'd rather be doing. Here's to an even better 2003!

Napoleon Maddox
(Iswhat?!)

My Top 10 for 2002 — but not in this order. Each moment stood alone.

J Live — All of The Above

J Live is no joke! Please discover him! He produces, DJs and emcees with immaculate style and you can hear his seasoning all over All of the Above. He is from a team called 7 Heads. For now, respect this name. I hope 7 Heads, J Live and family do not become the next independent to go major and lose sight of any reason to create quality Hip Hop. They are definitely next up!

Ming and FS — Subway Series

Subway Series is an adventurous album that goes lots of fun musical places. There are certain cuts that grab me right away, like "Jingle Hell," that I play over and over. But what I like the most about this is it's not a bubble gum album, but you can tell Ming & FS had fun making it.

Jurassic 5 — Live show on tour at BOGART'S

This was the best I've seen Jurassic, although Akil didn't break dance this time and there wasn't the big freestyle cipher near the end of the show. These cats have been honing their craft on stage, and it shows. If they continue with the passion they had that night, there's no stoppin' em.

Charlie Water Trio with guest Ken Vandermark — Live show at North Star

I was pleasantly surprised to run into Ken Vandermark playing with three New York cats in the basement of a Brooklyn venue called North Star, where DJ Spooky and I would later play upstairs. The entire quartet (tenor, reeds, bass and drums) was dope and sounded good together, but the drummer really had me noddin' my head, pumpin' my fist and shouting salutes of gratitude. Of course, Vandermark played plenty of head-crackin' lines throughout.

Nas — "Doo Rags" song from the album The Lost Tapes

This is the Nas I love. This is same Nas that wrote the classics on albums, Illmatic and It Was Written, and guest verses on "Verbal Intercourse" with Raekwon and "In Between Us" with Scarface. If everything Nas wrote and performed sounded this good, had this much relevance with music and was as beautifully composed as "Doo Rags," I'd be listening to Nas every day of the week.

Ken One and DJ Shun — Live show at We Nod in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

These two DJ s were not only DMC finalists with skills to prove it, they also hyped each other up and were unassuming about their fame and status. DJ Shun did sharp cuts and tricks on two decks and Ken One used a pedal rack, triggering beats/loops while he exhibited some of his signature cuts, juggles and scratches. Later we did a 30-minute set — backspin vs. human beatbox. It was a hootin' half.

Hamid Drake — Live show at Top Cat's

Whoa! I don't know who to give bigger props to — Hamid for being a supreme drummer/percussionist and being gracious and open to playing Top Cat's with us on a Hip Hop night? Cincinnati Hip Hop headz for showing so much appreciation and positive energy toward Hamid and Iswhat?!'s performance? Or ... do the props belong to Tony Heitz and the Animal Crackers for setting the stage and welcoming this experience with excellent Cracker style? Much respect to all involved that night! One of the best times of my life.

Unspoken Heard —Soon Come

Once again 7 Heads! The crew to watch! Asheru and Blue Black are Unspoken Heard and the rhymes they spit on the new album, Soon Come, are ridiculous! Oh yeah, the production happens to be top shelf, too! The track stuck in my head right now is called, "Live At Home." Oh bouye! I tell you what! Richy Pitch is the producer. I think he knows where the sweet spot is.

DKV — Trigonometry

Drake, Kessler and Vandermark toured and recorded live shows in 2001. This two-disc set is from two dates on that tour, the Rochester show and the Kalamazoo show. The records exhibit DKV as the improvising masters they are. They weave in and out of pieces based on tunes and bring the passion home with captivating solos, pairings and intricate group-play. Some of their tools of improv were pieces by Joe McPhee, Albert Ayler and Don Cherry. Go grab this one at Shake It Records — it's worth every cent!

Antibalas — Live show at the Southgate House

Who let these cats loose and what time did their set start? Antibalas is sick! There are a gang of them and all of them are funky together. Matthew told me one of the sax players was from Chicago, and I knew which one right away. If everybody else on stage was seriously funky, the Windy City cat was pissed off and funky, playing wild and hard with muscles and control. This was definitely a top 10 moment for me in 2002.

Puck Dunaway
DJ in Boy Radio and local musician

10) Mallory — the first one hundred years

This compact three-piece band delivers a more lush and richer soundscape than SUV-sized bands with twice the number of members. Test drive Mallory's debut LP, The First One Hundred Years, and you'll find you love the way it handles.

9) Underwoods new drummer brings new attention

Don't get me wrong, I liked this band before. But now with Todd Drake on skins, the formula is complete: simple, angular Pop plus harmony multiplied by tip-top percussion equals one lovely Pop band.

8) Rookie bands of 2002 that don't suck

Youngsters the Giant Judys turned heads at Popopolis; Morals Galore becomes this area's answer to Weezer; plus the spirit of '60s songwriting is alive and kicking with bands Color Test and The Insect Clicks.

7) Readymaid releases the Images of the Floating World EP

Aliens have landed and taken the human form of the five (sometimes six) members of Readymaid. Earthlings don't use banjo, French horn, vibes, saw, lap-steel and beatbox in our blend of Rock music. It just would never work, right?

6) Opi Yum Yum kick the habit

I know bands break up, but I'm taking this band's split very personally. They were it — they were the band that had the future sound of Indie, underground and lounge. Who do I have to pay or sleep with to get this group back together? I'm not kidding.

5) Brian Olive (Soledad Brothers and ex-GreenhornE) and Meg White (of the White Stripes) become a couple

Call Entertainment Tonight because the Cincy music scene has its first Camelot couple. And, damn, don't they look great together.

4) Jake Speed & the Freddies get more awards than they can carry

They were winners of CEAs for Best Folk Act, Best Songwriter and Artist of the Year. And if there was an award for flat-out coolest bunch of guys that you could know, Jake and his band would have won that, too.

3) The Midpoint Music Festival becomes new stomping ground for gifted out-of-town bands

MPMF was a hit in my book. It brought a multitude of talented non-Cincy bands that would have never reached this area otherwise. On the MidPoint Web site, check out acts such as Jettison Red, Ellen Cherry, Tenki, the Possibilities, Noisecat and the Letdowns. Let's invite these groups back to the Queen City, pronto!

2) The Fairmount Girls new line-up invades the Plush lounge

"Girls & Boys" Indie/BritPop nite was never hotter than the time the Girls debuted the new Fairmount Boys Gregory and Mark. Another debut that night was tin-foil suits and accessories. Will the trend catch on? We'll see.

1) Fabulous new area venues open their doors to original music

The Madison Theater, Plush, Northside Tavern, The Cavern — have you been to these places yet? They are sweeeet! In 2003 it's time for me to start a new band just to get on stage at these grand venues.

Jeff Roberson
Len's Lounge

Ten Things That Got Me Thinking and Writing In 2002:

1) My daughter can sing in key

And she moves like a Disney cat.

2) Me or th

Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.