BLACK STEEL IN FLYOVER COUNTRY

“Armageddon, Been in Effect. Go get a late pass. Step.” My local newspaper once highlighted a local hair band, quoting the lead singer snottily saying, “Rap has never been popular in Dubuque.” While The Summer of 1988 was a seminal point in the history of Hip Hop, a time when old school rap stars—at that point, the rap artists of only …

NO LIMITS FOR ADDERALL CANYONLY

Adderall Canyonly - Limits of All Known Ice (Lighten Up Sounds) I don’t know Adderall Canyonly personally but I’m well aware of his work via past tapes, and his excellent curation of the mind bending Field Hymns label.  Yet, I’m trying to come in on this one as free of bias as possible (difficult these days)!  Alas, music reviews is a …

LEAAVES TURN INSIDE YOU

Leaaves - Panacea For Lightweights (Katuktu Collective, 2018) Within the sparse liner notes for Leaaves’ latest release, a line reads simply ‘[i]ntended for long-form active listening’. This ultimately proves a challenging request to honour, but not because its contents are of poor quality, ineffective, or otherwise deficient. Rather,…

KAREN MEAT GETS UGLY

As Karen Meat, Arin Eaton has performed with various permutations of backing bands - usually as Karen Meat & the ___ - each possessing their own unique sonic qualities. While most recently and often releasing recordings as Karen Meat & the Computer, You're An Ugly Person is credited solely to Karen Meat, and is ostensibly a duo project…

CLAIRE SAYS

(Photograph by Dasha Denger) Here's an interview with Claire Lambach (bass, vocals) of Chicago minimalist psych-pop duo GOSH! I first heard GOSH! in 2015 when Ruix booked them at our old space, and was lucky enough to have done some tour dates with them last fall. It's been rad to see them change and grow over those few years. The group has …

Thollem’s Hot Pursuit of Happiness

  For our first entry in Ruix's archival series, we have an essay from 2013 about the prolific musician and peripatetic traveler Thollem McDonas. Thollem is presently on tour, playing and singing his songs, presented under the name Hot Pursuit of Happiness.  With Thollem playing at Monk's Kaffee Pub in Ruix's home base of Dubuque, I…

it pays to be niiice.

So, I guess emo is back? Bears to reason, between the general cyclical nature of things and the ever-present angst and urgency of youth. If self-described ‘queer punk/emo’ band niiice. is any indication of the resurgent genre’s quality control, however, I’m cool with traveling back to my tragic youth. While niiice. (yup, three i’s, one…

INTO THE VOID

Voiddweller - Illegal Content (self-released) A likely commentary on the legalities surrounding sampling, each of the 40 copies of the aptly named Illegal Content comes packaged with one of the source CDs containing samples used on the album. My copy arrived bundled with Nirvana’s Bleach, which took me down its own interesting rabbit hole, recal…