Author: Chip Midnight

Look Who’s Talking: Sponge’s Vinnie Dombroski

(Photo: Tracy Ketcher) If you listened to alt-rock radio in the mid-90s, you should have this gig circled on your calendar and tickets in hand. Detroit’s Sponge is rolling into the A&R Music Bar on Thursday night to perform most of the material from their 1994 debut, Rotting Piñata, although, as singer (and lone remaining founding member) Vinnie Dombroski told me when we talked on Tuesday, it won’t be played in sequential order (more on that in the interview below). While Kyle Neely (guitar), Andy Patalan (guitar), Tim Patalan (bass) and Billy Adams (drums) didn’t play on Sponge’s three major...

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Monday: Shilpa Ray @ Rumba Cafe

Shilpa Ray and Comrade Question play Rumba Cafe on Monday, November 6. Doors are at 8pm and tickets are $12. Shilpa Ray’s latest album, Door Girl, is an unflinching examination of every day New York City through the eyes of a (struggling?) artist; in the land of dreams, the day-to-day struggles are real but worth it to be given the opportunity to share your art. Ray’s a by-product of a gritty NYC punk rock scene birthed in the ’70s, revolutionary in it’s style and substance and an era that will forever be revered in the annals of rock history....

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Opening Act: Mavis Staples

(Photo: Chris Stong) On Sunday night, Mavis Staples will open the sold-out Bob Dylan show at the Palace Theatre. We don’t deserve the musical marriage between legendary soul singer Mavis Staples and alt-country superstar Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) but I’m awfully glad the two have seen fit to collaborate on three albums including Staples’ latest, If All I Was Was Black (Anti- Records), hitting store shelves and online outlets on November 17. Subtle, yet strong, the album is one of the most socially and politically relevant releases of 2017 with Tweedy writing lyrics from Staple’s perspective as an African-American entertainer who...

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Look Who’s Talking: Jordan Miller of The Beaches

Toronto’s The Beaches are ready to give rock n’ roll a shot in the arm – and look good while doing so. Formed in 2012 after Jordan Miller (bass/vocals), Kylie Miller (guitars), Eliza Enman McDaniel (drums) rebranded their teen pop band (Done with Dolls), added Leandra Earl (keys) and started incorporating influences ranging from alt-rock to punk, The Beaches just released their long-awaited debut full length, Late Show, produced by Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw of Metric. The Beaches are currently on their first U.S. tour, serving as opening act for Death from Above, and will make their Columbus...

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Interview: Eric Wagner (The Skull)

Nearly 40 years ago, an early doom metal band with influences ranging from Black Sabbath to The Doors formed in Chicago. While never reaching the tops of charts or scoring any hit singles, Trouble was hugely influential in the hard rock scene and continues to put out music. Lead singer Eric Wagner had two stints with Trouble (1979 – 1997, 2000 – 2008) before leaving for good. In 2012, Wagner formed The Skull, named after Trouble’s 1985 release, with the idea of playing material from his former band’s first two records, material that his former bandmates didn’t want to play...

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