Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chico Fellini has arrived...

If you live in Lexington, KY then you know Chico Fellini. You know Emily Hagihara’s bass, Brandon Judd’s drums, Duane Lundy’s guitar and Chris Dennison’s voice. Most definitely Chris Dennison’s voice.

Perhaps Lexington's most ambitious band since The Scourge of the Sea, Chico Fellini has been going full speed ahead since their inception in 2006. Shows haven't been abundant, yet they have spanned the country, with the band playing CMJ and any of the local and regional dives that were worthy.

Though they had been hard at work for over a year polishing and perfecting their sound, the band seemed to have truly come into their own through their preparation for and their performance at Lexington's Beaux Arts Ball in 2008 (they will reprise their victory with another set at this year's Beaux Arts!). Only one who has attended a Beaux Arts Ball can understand the magic that takes place there. It’s an alternate reality with everyone in a costume of their own making, engaging in what seems to be a nonstop dance party, with the drinks flowing freely… it's impossible to describe and a tragedy to miss. To imagine what it must be like on that stage with hundreds of the most devout fans that money couldn’t even buy, could blow one’s mind. The result skyrocketed Chico Fellini into the studio to finish writing and recording their super ambitious, self-titled debut album.

Chico Fellini consists of nine songs in total, running a mere thirty minutes in length. Though the album is brief, it packs an undeniable punch. Chris Dennison’s vocals are undoubtedly the star, ranging from operatic to soaring falsetto; Dennison covers the bases that no one else does. He seems able to channel a thousand genres with one note, creating a sound and style all his own. Dennison’s vocal style and range bring to mind some sort of androgynous alien being, whose goal is to simply rock our socks off! Imagine Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons) at his weirdest, David Bowie at his most theatric, and Matthew Bellamy (of Muse) singing his hardest and you might have an inclination as to what Dennison is capable of.

Of course, Dennison is only part of the equation. Without his band, his voice would fall flat and thin, and that is what makes Chico Fellini such an impressive machine. No one can exist without the other. The four work together for one common goal; it is a dark, persistent, pulsing, and forever melodramatic goal, which they reach hand in hand. With Lundy’s piercing lead guitar, never too shy to make its way to the forefront, and the thundering, yet understated bass and drum work laying everything down and then keeping it all in check, no stone is left unturned.

Fact is, Chico Fellini is not for everyone. The androgynous but overt sexuality of these songs aren’t fit for the faint at heart and despite the fact that songs like “Despite The Mix Up” and “Electrolyte” are just as infectious as any current pop offering their non-traditional delivery and content will leave some folks scratching their heads. However, somehow I don’t think that appealing to the masses is anywhere near this band’s goal. Simply put, their quirks and theatrics will inevitably drive some away while endearing them to others. Which one are you?

Chico Fellini - self-titled

1. Despite The Mix Up
2. Electrolyte
3. Can’t Deny
4. Hot
5. Prelude
6. Down The Up Ladder
7. Control
8. No Strata
9. Uli

Chico Fellini will be released to the world Tuesday, March 24th and the band is having their CD Release Party at The Dame in downtown Lexington tonight, Saturday, March 21st!

Chico Fellini with Jupiter One and Oblio
Saturday, March 21st
At The Dame
156 West Main St.
Lexington, KY 40507
Doors at 8 p.m.
Show at 9 p.m.

Facebook event

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

All In Endeavors all the time.

In Endeavors is none other than 5 strapping, young, future superstars from our own metropolis of Lexington, KY. Master songsmith and lead guitarist Clifton Keller never fails to impress with his hook-laden, dance rockers. The band is hot to trot as they perform in support of their You've Got Your Friends, I've Got Mine EP, featuring a bevy of tunes that channel The Strokes at their most inspired. If you want to remember what it's like to be moved to dance to rock music then don't miss In Endeavors.

As of tomorrow night the band is starting their marathon run of three shows in two nights, the last of which is the release show for their new EP. Don't miss 'em!

In Endeavors live:
Thursday, January 8th - C.P.R. (8 p.m.)
w/Noisycrane, Pineapple Explode, Blueberry Fist and Matt Katzenmeijer

Thursday, January 8th - The Dame (11 p.m.)
w/500 Miles To Memphis, Matt Duncan and Cari Clara

Friday, January 9th - CD Release Show @ The Oleika Temple
w/Emarosa, Of Machines, Very Emergency, etc.

Visit In Endeavors on MySpace for more info.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tonight in Lexington - E6 Holiday Surprise Tour!

The E6 Holiday Surprise Tour
Thursday Oct 26 at the Red Mile Round Barn
1200 Red Mile Road, Lexington, KY
All Ages - FREE - 8:30 p.m.

If you miss it, you be crazy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Some Kind of Salvation

So, I (obviously) haven't posted anything in donkey's years but this got me so excited that I just want to tell the world. Because, ya know people still read this blog and stuff.

I've been an a serious Features kick since seeing them at The Dame earlier this month and was pretty devastated when they didn't bring a stitch of merch with them. I would gladly give those boys all of my money if they would only let me.

Anyhoo, the band has been working on Some Kind of Salvation, their second full-length, for what seems like ages now and in my search to find something, anything out about the album I stumbled upon their page on the music trading and purchasing website Much to my delight I realized that they are streaming Some Kind of Salvation in its entirety. Joy! Unfortunately though, after you listen to a track once, you only get paltry 30 second clips after that. I haven't tried opening the page in a new browser though. I'm sure it's a fairly easy roadblock to get around.

The band has been performing about half these songs for months and months now and even included an updated mix of "Wooden Heart" from their Contrast EP. The songs are all freaking great, classic singalong Features fare, the high points being "Gmf," "The Temporary Blues" and "Lions." You really just can't beat those Features; they are easily the best modern rock band on the planet. Hands freakin' down.

There is still no release date for the album and the band is currently without a label. Perhaps they're shopping it around and that's what is causing the delay. The Features are real do-it-yourself kinda guys but I wouldn't blame them if they signed to a new label. It's nice to not have to do all the promo grunt work.

The Features - Some Kind of Salvation

1. Whatever Gets You By
2. The Drawing Board
3. Foundation's Cracked
4. Gmf
5. The Temporary Blues
6. Wooden Heart
7. The Gates of Hell
8. Still Lost
9. Baby's Hammer
10. Lions
11. Concrete
12. Off Track
13. All I Ask

stream the album on
"Gmf," "Baby's Hammer" and "Lions" are also currently streaming on the band's Myspace page

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The hills of Kentucky...

Dickie Haydon - Hunger Pangs EP review

To look at Dickie Haydon, with his shaggy hair and pointy-toed boots, you might think he would be writing songs that sounded more like Bishop Allen or Rogue Wave than oh, say… Willie Nelson, but you would be mistaken. Having lived in Lexington since he was 4, Haydon considers himself a bona-fide Kentuckian and has always been quick to cite the Bluegrass as being one of his greatest inspirations.

Haydon is also the primary songwriter in band Petticoat, Petticoat, which also includes Kristin Messina and Jackson Silvanik. While the music of P,P and Haydon’s solo fare are unquestionably the product of the same mind, it’s easy to see why they are two separate projects for the man. The songs on Haydon’s debut solo EP, Hunger Pangs, range from the exceptionally personal (“Tabitha,” an ode to Haydon’s beloved doggie that recently passed away) to those storytelling songs that invoke images of times long ago.

It’s the intimacy of these songs that ultimately make them so alluring; Haydon is first and foremost a writer, a poet even. The words and the cadence with which he sings them are what catches the listener’s ear and makes them long to listen again. Every one of Hunger Pangs’ six songs has a beautiful nostalgic air about it, and no one can resist a bit of heartwarming wistfulness.

Fetch a copy of Hunger Pangs, with artwork by Kristin Messina, at CD Central or directly from the artist.

1. Little Red Canteen
2. Miles
3. The Girl With Leather Teeth
4. Tabitha
5. Do You Truly Believe In Us??
6. No One Will Know My Name

Check out Dickie's myspace page for 5/6 songs from the EP and, while you're at it, check out
Petticoat, Petticoat's page as well.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It'll blow your mind away.

Noisycrane - Portmanteau album review

Noisycrane has evolved a lot over the past year; it started as the solo endeavor of lead singer/guitarist Cody Swanson, but soon grew with the accretion of Sean Rose on drums and Jon-Austin Tharpe on bass. In the early days of the band, with Swanson and Rose performing as a duet, they sweated post-punk rawness, but with additions to the band and the natural evolution of their combined songwriting, it has become clear that where there has always been depth, there is also a degree of inherent sophistication as well. The band’s self-recorded and produced debut album, Portmanteau, is proof of that.

“Carnival,” the album’s shortest and only instrumental track, features accordions, xylophones, and saws all singing together, embracing just the right amount of whimsy and mischief. “123” is a prime example of a band at their best; the music and vocals compliment one another perfectly and the d.i.y. production seems to lend itself perfectly to the tone of this specific song. Throughout the ten tracks on Portmanteau, Noisycrane has illustrated that music doesn’t have to be insufferable to be interesting! Far from it, in fact.

Portmanteau is for sale at CD Central and at

1. Trust The Moon
2. I'm Walking Through The Room And You're Asleep
3. Carnival
4. Hold Out Love
5. Room Alone
6. Your Shape
7. Walking And Stalking
8. 123
9. You Are Royalty
10. Smooth And Calm

Check the band's myspace page for musical samples.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Do do do do do doooooo

The High Water Marks - Polar album review

It’s been three years since The High Water Marks’ debut album Songs About The Ocean was released; at long last the follow up, Polar, is finally here. The disc is 13 tracks long and is being brought to you by Athens, GA label Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records.

Anyone who has ever heard the band before knows what they’re all about, the hook-laden, guitar-driven, bouncy pop tune. Polar delivers all that and more.

The fact that all four of the band members were involved in the recording process adds an obvious dynamic in the songs that some on SATO seemed to be missing. Per Ole Bratset and Hilarie Sidney both seem more comfortable in their singing here than ever before, regardless of which of them is taking the lead. Check “Galaxy Galaxy Galaxy” for a wonderful example of a pop band at their best, with everyone shining.

While Polar is ultimately following in the footsteps of its predecessor, it is also breaking a lot of new ground for the band with the slicker, more hi-fi recordings, and further incorporation of delightful alternative instruments.

Check out the band's myspace page for a preview of the title track and pick up your own copy of Polar at

1. Polar
2. The Leaves
3. Early Fall
4. Song For Emigrants
5. Simple
6. Galaxy Galaxy Galaxy
7. Finding Clovers
8. Dutch Tape
9. Roadside Revival
10. Poison Remedy
11. For Sirkel
12. Sirkel
13. Etter Sirkel

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I can totally feel it.

The Apples in Stereo recently launched "The Super Hi-Fi ReMix Contest" in which everyday folks like you and me are given the opportunity to download each separate audio track of the Apples single "Can You Feel It?" and mix and mash them as we see fit. The contest is being hosted at imeem (they make you sign up to participate) and it's there that you can find the tracks and upload your own personal "Can You Feel It" mix.
I made one myself last night and it was really fun! It's quite novel to be able to pick apart a song like that and truly see how everything is coming together. My version highlights the mellotron and piano in the song, utilizing the piano as the lead rather than the guitar. I for one find it quite refreshing.
There are some prizes for the winners (grand prize and runner up) of the contest, one being the inclusion of the #1 mix in the digital version of the Apples b-sides and rarities album download. But the prizes are sort of negligible in this case; it's the act of mixing itself that is the really fun part.

Without further adieu, the SuperDuperMellotronReMix:

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Introducing ...

Tony and I did a cover of The Apples in Stereo song "The Shiney Sea" (from Her Wallpaper Reverie) some months ago for an upcoming Apples Tribute (details are hazy). It wasn't really an IFD or Melody Function project so we chose the #1 in our running list of best band names ever and we are now The Veronica Vaughns. Expect more VV to come.

Until then, check the cover:

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

In the Courtyard

Optical Atlas has a great interview with Craig and Tony (isn't he attractive?) of the ever-amazing Ideal Free Distribution! It's very informative and illuminates much of the recording techniques used on the new album.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Give a little whistle!

i thought some of you might like this, it is pretty fun after all.
if you guys haven't heard "young folks" by peter, bjorn and john yet, i highly recommend it! i've been whistling it for 2 days straight now! it's so awesome!

yousendit link to download

WHISTLE IN! - a delightful mix cd featuring the art of whistling
compiled by sfh

1. Peter, Bjorn and John - Young Folks
2. Apollo Sunshine - Strange Things
3. Monty Python - Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
4. Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers
5. Paul Simon - Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
6. AIR - Alpha Beta Gaga
7. Lovin Spoonful - What a Day for a Daydream
8. Pat Benatar - Love is a Battlefield
9. The Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian
10. Beck - Sissyneck
11. Andrew Bird - A Nervous Tick Motion of the Head to the Left
12. The Seekers - Georgy Girl
13. Mama Cass - Dream a Little Dream of Me
14. Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry, Be Happy
15. The Tremeloes - Here Comes My Baby
16. Guns 'N' Roses - Patience
17. Gilbert O'Sullivan - Claire
18. The Shins - They'll Soon Discover
19. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Love Song No. 7
20. Scorpions - Wind of Change

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Best of 2006!

Top 10 albums of 2006:

1. Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
2. Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah
3. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
4. Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldier
5. Danielson - Ships
6. Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
7. The Minders - It's A Bright, Guilty World
8. Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
9. Tapes N Tapes - The Loon
10. Destroyer - Rubies

Top 5 eps of 2006:

1. BRMC - Howl Sessions
2. Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, & Wives
3. Pas/Cal - Dear Sir
4. Sambassadeur - Coastal Affairs
5. Dr. Dog - Takers & Leavers

Best cover art:

Beirut - Gulag Orkestar

Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

IFD at Athens Popfest 2006!

Ideal Free Distribution @ 40 Watt in Athens, GA 8.12.2006

More Popfest videos all recorded by Chris Yetter.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Athens Popfest 2006 scrapbook.

Optical Atlas has posted the Athens Popfest 2006 Scrapbook and it's quite delightful. There are quotes from both Tony and I included. The Ideal Free Distribution was lucky enough to play the Popfest (duh.) and there are some pretty pictures and comments about our set included as well. It's like reliving the whole weekend all over again!
Seriously, good work, Jeff. I appreciate all the hard work and love you put into OA.