ilyAMY at PORT CITY JAVA, October 14th; THE SOAPBOX, October 16 and COSTELLO'S On October 17th

SNAKE OIL MEDICINE SHOW
at THE SOAPBOX, October 15th

MEDUSA'S STONE
at KEFI, October 16th

THE THRILLS
at THE VOODOO MUSIC FEST, New Orleans, LA Oct. 16-17

  CD & CONCERT REVIEWS

WANT COVERAGE FOR YOUR BAND'S NEXT LIVE SHOW? email us!


MUSIC ARCHIVES

SEPTEMBER 2004
BROKEN DOWN
SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS
TIFT MERRITT
TURNER SLICKO
TRENT DABBS
HUNGRY MIND REVIEW
DAREDIABLO
SWAMP CABBAGE
THE FIVE L'S
INDIGO GIRLS
THROWIN PISTOLS
REV. HORTON HEAT
TIM LEE
SCHOONER
PERCEY SLEDGE
THE ROSEBUDS
SOMEBODY'S CLOSET
FASHION BRIGADE and THE TALK

AUGUST 2004
HOUSTON PERSON
ALANIS MORRISSETT/BARENAKED LADIES
POLEMIC

JULY 2004
JAH CREATION
STOCKHOLM SYNDROME
ADDISON GROOVE PROJECT

JUNE 2004
GALACTIC
• JESSICA SIMPSON
SHALINI
MIKE GEARY
KOTTONMOUTH
MYSTIC VIBRATIONS

PETER FRAMPTON
LAST TRAIN HOME
BRIAN VANDER ARK


MAY 2004
DON DIXON
DAVID DONDERO
EVER-G
RANDALL BRAMBLETT

APRIL 2004
MATT SHARP
CTRL+ALT+DELETE
PRAYERS AND MOANS
4TH AND DOCK
THE MALARKIES
BUTCHIES
THE LEGENDARY WAILERS
SNAKE OIL MEDICINE SHOW

MARCH 2004
GRANDADDY
THE STROKES-
FIRE PARADE

FEBRUARY 2004
SAUNTER
MAYBE SUNDAY
RICHIE HAVENS
HUNGRY MIND REVIEW

O.A.R.
SWELLMOE
DARK STAR ORCHESTRA

JANUARY 2004
M12
SUMMER SET and MISHKA SHUBALY


2003 ARCHIVES

It’s a Yaimy Party:
From one Port City to another, ilyAIMY plays in threes

By: Shea Carver


When I received the mini-package for ilyAIMY, a band out of Baltimore, I just assumed they were a metal act. Maybe it was the astute graphic design of their mini cd cover, predominantly black with a very romantic font and altered photos of a gentlemen who resembled a cleaned-up version of Rob Zombie. When I heard their demo, I was wrong on every assumption. There was nothing metal about their acoustic sound at all. Yet, it did rush out of my computer’s speakers with staccato force and an impression that was long lost.

ilyAIMY is a male/female duo, made up of Rob Hinkal (frontman/primary songwriter) and Heather Lloyd (singer/songwriter/guitarist). And what both of these highly talented folks bring to music is passion and innovative guitar playing. To categorize them is useless. Let me put it this way: If you were to buy a surprise bag, filled with music that encompassed mixed genres, ilyAIMY would be in it. They’re acoustic all around, and the exude hints of grunge-rap, folk, rock and even classical. If you plugged them in, they would be hard rock. Yet, there is a subtlety about their music that counteracts the rushed, fast-paced timing and lyrics of their songs.

With Rob’s uncanny silimarity to Lindsey Buckingham on vocals and Heather’s crying belts of range, the two play off each other like two peas in a pod. There’s an urgency apparent in the way they sing together, between Rob’s distinctive annunciation and Heather’s angelic back-up credences that carry over the lyrics. Pair the vocals with the unbelievable percussive playing style, and there’s a lot to listen to from this duo.

Rob’s fingers are quick on the scales, and it’s quite enigmatic to try and listen as fast as the notes are being played. To see this live, would be an amazing experience, at best.
Not only do you have a chance to hear them and see them, you can choose one of three different occasions this week (or go to all three): October 14 at 7pm at Port City Java (21 N. Front Street); October 16 at the Soapbox at 9pm ($5); and October 17 at Costello’s at 9pm.
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Sly Like a Snake: The Medicine Oil show returns

By: Lindsey D'Emilio


I was not surprised when I found out Snake Oil Medicine Show’s album Blue Grass Tafari was as vibrant and colorful as the cd case it came in. The band is as creative as its name and their art and music are said to be: vivid expressions of love.

The band’s bright clothes and joyful artwork, along with their zany, positive music almost makes you feel bad for ever being sad. Snake Oil is comprised of founder George Pond on guitar, as well as Caroline and Andy Pond, Billy Seawell and Phil Cheney. Having debuted their first album in 1997, the group has not only played clubs all over North Carolina, but has also made headway around the rest of the U.S. and England.

There is definitely nothing out there to compare Snake Oil to. When the first track, “Is it True?” began, I thought they had a distinctive Bob Marley sentiment about them. However, by the track “Lately,” I was confused under what genre to file this band. With a lot of “bop bop’s,” “do wop’s” and “la la la’s,” the song makes you feel like you are on the beach, with Frankie and Annette, until it explodes into a trumpet/piano jam session. The album’s title track “Bluegrass Tafari” is a bluegrass hoedown without the rudimentary Southern twang in the vocals.

As bands often work to practice and master their songs, two of the tracks, “Ras Tabla” and “Purple Purple,” are a creation of total band improv that just seemed to work. Sticking with the creativity that surrounds thes musicians, “Burying Ground” portrays a musical show tune, with choreographed dialogue and scene changes. While I give kudos to the foundation and premise of the song, I felt it was too long to tolerate, seeming like 30, when, in fact, it was only five.. Yet, “Love Tea Party” was so sweet, I am surprised it didn’t give me a cavity. Its declaration of finding and nurturing true love could have lasted forever, and I would not have minded.

It is obvious Snake Oil Medicine Show is a band of very talented musicians and artists. With so many styles (reggae, jazz, Latin, eastern Indian, Irish, etc.) influencing their sound, they manage to not lose the heart and affection that obviously makes up a great part of their synergy.
I don’t doubt the talent of this band, but in the end I felt it was a little to reggae-meets-Rafi, and I know you all remember Rafi. There were points when I felt I should have been listening to this album on a cassette tape in my Sony Karaoke Machine.

Although I am not Snake Oil Medicine Show’s biggest fan, I encourage anyone who is out to have a laid-back good time to check them out at The Soapbox on October 15 with Cletus and the Burners. Doors open at 8:30pm. For more information on the band be sure to check out their website at http://www.snakeoilmedicineshow.net/


A Name Change and New CD: Medusa's Stone is the new Catfish Lane

By: Alan Maready

It’s frightening to me just how jaded and cynical I have become when it comes to music. Every time I am handed a CD to review, I always expect nothing but the absolute worst. So, this week when I was assigned to review Hampstead-based Medusa Stone, my first thought was pretty much, “Hampstead? What the hell band comes from Hampstead?” I have to admit, however, that I was mildly surprised when I listened to their recently recorded self-titled, full-length album.

Medusa Stone, who recently changed their name from Catfish Lane (smart move), consists of Justin Fox on guitar and lead vocals, Dave Morse on bass and backup vocals, and Jeremy Summers on drums and backup vocals. Their sound is a sort of a soulful rock-n-roll somewhat in the vein of Hedrix, but more so of Lenny Kravitz. While this kind of music really isn’t my thing, I cannot deny the level of talent possessed by all three members of this band. They are all very proficient at their respective instruments and, structurally at least, their song writing abilities are very solid.

Fox’s style of playing is simple but effective; some solid chords interspersed with some pretty good solo work here and there. Couple this with Morse’s solid bass lines and Summers‚ impeccably on time beats, and you have a very well-balanced rock band.

I was amazed when I found out that these guys are only a three-piece band. Some of the guitar work that Fox is able to pull off while his is singing is, in one word, impressive. There are parts of a few songs on the album where he is actually playing solos and singing simultaneously, which is hard as hell to do. Fox’s voice is very strong and is particularly well suited for this type of music. It sounds a bit like a mixture of aforementioned artists, only a little more falsetto.

Though it’s nothing really new or innovative, there are some really solid rock-n-roll songs on this album. A couple of my favorites are “Whisper to Me” and “Stay the Night,” both of which feature some dazzling guitar work by Fox. Also, “Stay the Night” has a cowbell in it, and, in my book, any song that utilizes a cowbell has to be good.

Medusa Stone recorded this album back in May in Birmingham, AL. They are not currently on a record label and are self-releasing it. The quality of the sound on the recording is noble, something that is quite rare with many self-released albums. Their press release mentions that, in addition to the recent name change from Catfish Lane, they have also changed their sound quite drastically. I have no idea what they sounded like before, but if they keep it up, especially with songs like “Whisper to Me” and “Stay the Night,” I can definitely see them going places. It is unfortunate, however, that they live in Hampstead. If they want to get anywhere with this kind of music, they’re going to have to get the hell out of there. Just a suggestion.

Medusa Stone will be playing at Kefion October 16th. This is their cd release party, so it would totally be in your favor to go grab a few discs for yourself and some friend. They will be playing with Machine Gun. I wish them all the best.—A. Maready.


A Thrilling Sophomore Release: Let's Bottle Bohemia now available by The Thrills

Let’s Bottle Bohemia is the latest album from a band you should have heard of but, as always in America, has been overlooked. The band in question: The Thrills.

This Dublin quintet starts strong on their sophomore album with “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.” Instantly, the electric guitar pulls you in, with the clapping of the drums enticing you to stay, followed by the sophisticated lyrics and harmonies. Just when you try to think of what could possibly make it better, in comes the piano and you realize this band has dynamic talent.

The Thrills do not rely on one facet of their band to carry the rest—this album emulates it all—each part is equally illustrious and impressive. At a time when American society is over run with reality television and absolutely no artistic credibility on our air waves, The Thrills step forward and bring back music once again.

Their humorous account of “Whatever Happened To Corey Haim?” is not a jab at one of my favs, but the breakdown of the purity of the industry and the loss of all things real. Over the last year, The Thrills have toured nonstop and as a band, they have grown stronger and more secure in their music. They had the opportunity to work with the legendary Van Dyke Parks (Beach Boys, Little Feat), who arranged the strings for my favorite track “The Irish Keep Gate Crashing.” Parks played accordion on the same track that Peter Buck (R.E.M.) played mandolin on “Faded Beauty Queens.”

Probably one of the most interesting songs, hidden and purely instrumental, is arranged so well, you could easily decide for the song to be last one you hear on your death bed. On the opposite spectrum, I could definitely do without “You Can’t Fool Old Friends With Limousines.” Not one to blow smoke where it doesn’t belong, from the opening music to the opening lyric, “A Hooker with a heart of gold...”, I wonder: Where did this song come from and why would it be allowed to stay on the album?
Outside of this one cd distraction, I have no complaints. And, fortunately, the track is followed by “Found My Rosebud,” where the music tells the story, and the lyrics and the voice compliment the track: “For the first time in my life/felt like a country boy caught in headlights.” Indeed a treasure, and mysterious at the same time.

I must admit: I cannot get enough of this band. That being noted, I have to plug their first cd So Much For The City, because if it were not for “Say It Ain’t So,” I would have never taken the time to dive deep into The Thrills—a band worth taking time out to listen to.

Currently, The Thrills are touring the states supporting the Pixies on their highly anticipated return, and you can catch them at The Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleans on October 16, along with other bands like Velvet Revolver, Polyphonic Spree, Pixies, Sonic Youth, De La Soul, Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, among many others.