Grading Brooklyn’s Northside Festival

If you ever get the chance to spend time in north Brooklyn, do it. In particular, the neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Bushwick are two of the great havens of indie music, art, and culture. It’s the kind of place where every street corner is either a record store or an organic pharmacy. It was in this environment that I had the pleasure of seeing part of the Northside Music Festival last weekend.
The festival’s main stage, nestled up against the banks of the East River, featured seven fantastic artists on Saturday and Sunday nights.


Read More

Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color

ashakesBoys & Girls, the breakthrough 2012 debut from Athens, AL based Alabama Shakes didn’t exactly feel like a fluke, but it didn’t feel sustainable, either. Lead singer Brittany Howard was undeniably charismatic and the motown/soul vibes were a nice change of pace, but I wasn’t sure I’d ever hear from the band again.

That makes Sound of Color, an improvement on their debut, even more enjoyable. Sonically, it’s a very different record. While Howard’s Winehouse-esque vocal deliver remains, the motown sound is replaced by hook heavy southern rock (think Allman Brothers meet The Strokes).

Lead single “Don’t Wanna Fight” stacks up favorably to the Shakes’s 2012 hit “Hold On,” and deeper cuts “Shoegaze,” “I Ain’t The Same,” and “You Ain’t Alone” combine to create a well rounded album. I’ll try not to sleep on this band moving forward.

Read More

The Classroom Series – Black Luck

At long last, KSDB welcomed Lawrence garage punk group Black Luck to the McCain studios for a Classroom Series set. Longtime friends of 91.9, the quartet played a brisk, hard hitting set before heading to Aggie Central Station for a show hosted by KSDB. The group has released 4 e.p.’s since their inception. They can be heard regularly in KSDB’s local music rotation, and found here:

Set list:

Nothing Complete

Butcher’s Block

The Good Fight

Time Elapsed


Read More