How Iowa football's defense plans to stop Kentucky's new quarterback – Hawk Central

NASHVILLE – Iowa football’s defense has been the backbone of its 2022 campaign. Despite a disappointing 7-5 regular-season record, the defense was stellar as it finished in the top 10 nationally in total defense, scoring defense, yards per play among other statistics.
And the group has one more goal this season: Finish the year with one more strong performance in the Music City Bowl against Kentucky (Saturday at 11 a.m. on ABC).
Hawkeye players point to preparation as the central reason for their success this season. They faced Kentucky in last year’s Citrus Bowl but this year presents a completely different set of challenges. Pre-bowl game transfers and NFL Draft opt-outs have drastically shifted how teams must prepare for their opponents. The Wildcats saw nine offensive players enter the transfer portal but two NFL opt-outs are marquee absences: quarterback and projected first-round pick Will Levis and leading rusher Chris Rodriquez. Add in second-leading rusher Kavosiey Smoke (transfer) and Kentucky will be without nearly 90% of its offensive output this season.
Related:How to watch Iowa football vs. Kentucky in the Music City Bowl
“I feel like this challenge is like playing the first game of a season,” linebacker Jack Campbell said. “It’s something I can compare to playing Iowa State this year, it was (Cyclones quarterback Hunter Dekkers) first year starting. So kind of a challenge like that, not knowing exactly what a guy likes to do, but we’re going to have to prepare for whoever’s going to be in there.”
The Hawkeyes will prepare for Kentucky’s run schemes as normally planned but preparing for the starting quarterback is the unit’s biggest challenge. Of the Wildcats’ possible options, only one, redshirt freshman Kaiya Sheron, has played in a college game (he has 29 career pass attempts). The other options are true freshman Destin Wade and former Hawkeye Deuce Hogan, who transferred to Kentucky last off-season.
More:Hawkeyes QB Spencer Petras to return to Iowa football roster with an eye on coaching
There’s growing buzz that Kentucky is leaning toward Wade for his first career start. A four-star recruit in the 2022 class, Wade won the Tennessee Mr. Football award in 2021 after leading Summit High to a 14-1 record and a Class 6A state runner-up finish. He accounted for 3,748 all-purpose yards (1,436 passing, 2,312 rushing) and 49 total touchdowns. Iowa’s defense has gotten well acquainted with his high school film.
And Iowa defenders noted that they’ve watched some of Hogan’s practice film from his time in Iowa as a scout-team quarterback should he play in an emergency situation.
“(Wade) has no college film so you have to look at his Hudl (a popular platform for high school game tape),” cornerback Riley Moss said. “It’s tough when you know it could be two or three guys but you have to prepare for everything. We started on (Kentucky game planning) last week so we have a pretty good idea of some stuff.”
Defensive back Cooper DeJean noted that even in the absence of key players in the backfield, Kentucky still has dangerous perimeter weapons. The Wildcats’ top four pass catchers are expected to play on Saturday, including a trio of receivers: Barion Brown, Dane Key and Tayvion Robinson, who are all averaging at least 13 yards per catch. And without starting safety Kaevon Merriweather (NFL Draft opt-out), the Hawkeyes are emphasizing sound communication and identifying assignments to prevent big plays.
Without a clear idea of who will take snaps under center, the Iowa defenders are focusing on controlling what they can control. Campbell noted that the game itself likely won’t come down to anything special, and the key for the defense is to continue being what it’s been all season.
“This game is going to be about fundamental football,” Campbell said. “That, communicating at a high level and just doing your job. It sounds simple but in all our games we’ve played those are the things that matter. It’s easy at bowl games, because there’s inherent distractions that you can lose focus and some of those fundamental things so that’s what we’re focused on.”


Five Things Electric Mob’s Renan Zonta learned recording music … – Metal Insider

Posted by Zenae Zukowski on December 29, 2022

On January 27th, 2023, Electric Mob’s sophomore album, 2 Make U Cry & Dance, will arrive via Frontiers Music Srl (pre-order here). Vocalist Renan Zonta explained to Metal Insider five things he learned recording new music during the covid-19 pandemic.  
WE’RE A LIVE BAND: Before COVID we did things the old-fashioned way: getting together in a room and slamming ideas as loud as we could. “Discharge”, our debut album, was made like that. With the pandemic we had to try remote video calls and remote open sessions, all the new era tech tools. It didn’t work haha! The only way we found to make it happen was to lockdown ourselves in our producer’s (Amadeus de Marchi) little farm for several days so we could be together and let the magic of a live band happen.
ELECTRONIC DRUMS SUCKS: Look, they’re really helpful for demos and for noise control, of course. Our new album (“2 Make U Cry & Dance”) was all written on an electronic set, but we could feel Andre’s disappointment when we were tracking the demos. Especially because the e-drum kit we had wasn’t the greatest one. We really had to internalize “when we cut the real tracks it will sound the way we want”, haha!
LIFE’S MORE THAN WE THOUGHT IT WAS: We had to deal with several personal losses during the process. Ben lost his father to COVID, I lost my best friend to depression, and we saw close people lose loved ones in these dark times. Writing an album in those circumstances was pretty heavy. It made us think a little deeper and look inside ourselves as human beings and artists.
WE’RE GETTING OLDER: We got angry and disappointed, of course, because we had a great album in our hands and were forced to delay every plan and the possibility of touring outside Brazil for two years, plus everything we were thinking of doing, and this momentum won’t happen again. Now, with a new album, and greater expectations, things are starting to happen. This album reflects this overcoming, this crazy bad experience everyone had, and the hope for a new beginning. The fans will get the change of subjects and priorities in the lyrics.
GOOD DEMOS ARE ESSENTIAL: The first album suffered some sad cuts in the final tracklist because we didn’t give the special treatment to the demos back then. We knew what we wanted to do and how we wanted to sound, but the demos didn’t capture it and when we sent the overall material to the label, some songs we love became passes. With “2 Make U Cry & Dance” we did everything to make the demos sound as close as we could to the final versions in terms of structure, lyrics, effects… And it worked!

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Grammys: How did Record of the Year nominees fare on Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 Songs chart? – Gold Derby

Billboard has released their year-end charts for 2022 and Glass Animals‘ “Heat Waves” tops the Hot 100 singles. Released in 2020, the song enjoyed the longest journey to the top spot in Billboard history: 59 weeks. At 91 weeks, it is the longest charting song on the Hot 100 of all time, surpassing “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd. But how did this year’s Record of the Year Grammy nominees fare?
SEE Will the Grammys do something ‘Unholy’ for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance?
Of this year’s contenders, “As It Was” by Harry Styles came out on top as the #2 song of the year. It topped the charts for 15 weeks, marking the longest-running #1 song by a UK act and the fourth overall in history. Not far behind was “Easy On Me” from Adele at #4. The lead single from her fourth disc, “30,” the song spent 10 weeks atop the chart, the longest of any female artist in the 2020s.

Lizzo‘s “About Damn Time” comes in third place with a 12th-place rank on the year-end chart. Released April 14, 2022, the single became the singer’s second #1 hit and stayed on top for two weeks. Next is “Woman” by Doja Cat, which finished out the year at #21. The song lingered for several months on the charts before climbing to #7 on the Hot 100 nearly a year after it debuted. Steve Lacy rounds out the top five on this list with “Bad Habit” landing him at #28. The second single from “Gemini Rights” was his first chart entry in the U.S. and peaked at #1 on the Hot 100. It was the first song to top the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot R&B Songs and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs charts simultaneously
SEE Grammy predictions: Can Harry Styles or Steve Lacy stop Adele from winning Best Pop Solo Performance again?
Further down the chart is Beyoncé, whose “Break My Soul” finished out the year at #38. Released in June as the lead single of her seventh studio album, “Renaissance,” it samples Big Freedia‘s 2014 track “Explode.” It topped the Hot 100, Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.
“Don’t Shut Me Down” by ABBA, “Good Morning Gorgeous” by Mary J. Blige, “The Heart Part 5” by Kendrick Lamar and “You and Me on the Rock” by Brandi Carlile did not have the cross-over chart success to land among the year’s 100 most successful singles.
If you’re wondering if the overall chart success corresponds to winning Record of the Year, the answer is, not really. Last year’s top ranking nominee was the year-end #6 single “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat and SZA. It was edged out by “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic, which finished out 2021 just one slot behind it at #7. 2021’s Record of the Year was “Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish. It was #18 on the year-end Hot 100 Songs for 2020, behind competitors “Circles” by Post Malone (#2), “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa (#4), “Rockstar” by DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch, “Say So” by Doja Cat (#11) and “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé (#15).

PREDICTthe Grammys now; change as often as you like until winners are announced on February 5Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify record executives and music stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where thousands of showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?

Watch our lively chats with Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once” and over 150 other 2023 Oscar contenders, including…
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Take a trip back to the Academy Awards ceremonies of the recent past with Gold Derby’s Oscars Playback series. Hosts Joyce Eng and Christopher Rosen recap every Oscar ceremony of the 1990s — as well as some added bonus shows. Joyce and Chris tackle the highs and lows of each show and see how the winners aged. It’s a wonderful night for Oscar, whenever you watch!
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Megan Thee Stallion Gains Early Victory in $1M Contract Battle With Record Label – Entertainment Tonight

Megan Thee Stallion has scored an early victory in the legal battle with her label, 1501 Certified Entertainment. According to Rolling Stone, a Texas judge sided with the Houston rapper on Wednesday by denying the label’s request that her 2021 album, Something for Thee Hotties, be declared something less than an album under her contract.
The label had filed its request on Sept. 14, arguing that Something for Thee Hotties shouldn’t be ruled an “album” under the rapper’s contract because it includes previously available recordings and allegedly “failed to follow the proper approval procedures.” The request asked that the court bypass a trial completely. 
Megan, born Megan Pete, replied to the motion on Dec. 19, arguing that she fully complied with the terms of her deal and deserved a chance to argue her case at trial.
The Harris County judge rejected the motion for the pre-trial ruling in a one-page decision, which means the GRAMMY winner’s $1 million lawsuit against 1501 will proceed to trial intact.
Megan filed her underlying lawsuit against 1501, founded by former professional baseball player Carl Crawford, back on Feb. 18. The label filed a countersuit in March. 
In August, the rapper filed a new amended complaint requesting $1 million in relief from the record label after her original lawsuit asked for non-monetary damage. In court documents obtained by People, Megan claims that her last two albums, Something for Thee Hotties and Traumazine, have fulfilled the requirements of her contract with 1501, which she has called “unconscionable.”
“Over the past two (2) years, Pete and 1501 shared a long and tortured history of disputes with each other concerning Pete’s recording agreement, including the unconscionability of the agreement in its original form, as well as disputes concerning the release of Pete’s music,” the complaint reads.
“The two have been able to resolve some of the disputes through the issuance of multiple temporary restraining orders against Defendants from this Court,” Megan’s attorneys added. “But a new dispute has arisen requiring further assistance from the Court.”
“1501’s new position, taken months after the album’s release, is clearly a ruse in an effort to try to take further advantage of Pete, at great expense and in bad faith,” the complaint continued.
1501 attorney Steven M. Zager told People that the label is “evaluating” whether Megan’s recently dropped Traumazine qualifies for album criteria, but stated that there is “no way” Something for Thee Hotties meets the definition of album outlined in her 1501 contract. Zager asserted that the rapper still owes the label “one more album, at least.”
“For a host of reasons, we feel that our position is justified and based on the contracts. We’ve tried to work with Megan, and we want Megan to be successful,” Zager concluded.
This is one of several legal battles Megan has waged against 1501. Last year, a judge ruled in the rapper’s favor after she claimed that 1501 and CEO Carl Crawford were doing everything they could to stop her from putting out her remix with BTS, “Butter.” Megan asked for emergency relief from the court to allow her new music to be released as previously scheduled, stressing the importance of dropping the track and how it would expand her international fan base.
In 2020, she sued 1501 for allegedly preventing her from releasing her EP, Suga, and was granted a temporary restraining order. Although the legal proceedings are ongoing, she remains under contract with 1501, with recordings continuing to be distributed by 300 Entertainment.
More recently, Megan was granted a temporary restraining order from her label after she “provided evidence” that 1501 “recently engaged and will continue to engage in threatening and retaliatory behavior that will irreparably harm” her music career. 
The “Savage” rapper successfully claimed 1501 “unlawfully” took steps “to block or interfere with Pete exploiting, licensing, or publishing her music” in the lead-up to this year’s American Music Awards. 
Megan’s legal victory comes on the heels of an even bigger win in court. On Dec. 23, Tory Lanez was convicted of shooting her in the feet two years after the 29-year-old accused him of assaulting her after a pool party at the home of Kylie Jenner in July 2020.
Lanez — born Daystar Peterson — was found guilty of all three charges: assault with a semiautomatic firearm, discharging a firearm with gross negligence and carrying a loaded unregistered firearm in a vehicle. He faces more than 22 years and eight months in federal prison, as well as deportation to Canada. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23.
Adele Sends Megan Thee Stallion a Message After Tory Lanez Conviction
Tory Lanez Assault Trial: Everything You Need To Know
Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Felony Assault Trial
Megan Thee Stallion’s Boyfriend Speaks Out Amid Tory Lanez Trial
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Exhibit shows women’s impact on country music | Arts & Entertainment – The Daily Record

Taylor Swift, Deering banjo used in ‘Mean’ music video, 2010 (Courtesy of theGRAMMY Museum/Rebecca Sapp).
Wanda Jackson’s signature Daisy Rock guitar. (Courtesy of the GRAMMY Museum/Rebecca Sapp)

RALEIGH — The Power of Women in Country Music explores the impact that women have made on the genre despite their systematic exclusion from mainstream radio airwaves. The exhibition, on loan from the GRAMMY Museum, is open at the North Carolina Museum of History and moves visitors through the country music genre from past to present.
Taylor Swift, Deering banjo used in ‘Mean’ music video, 2010 (Courtesy of theGRAMMY Museum/Rebecca Sapp).
Kelsey Goelz, a lead curator at the GRAMMY Museum, describes how the exhibit seeks to examine the discrepancy between airtime and impact. Recent research found that women artists are played almost 10 times less often than male artists and, as a result, are less likely to appear in top spots in the year-end reports.
“We were looking at GRAMMY nominations and streaming records and chart-topping hits,” said Goelz, “and we realized that these don’t match up.”
Within the country music genre, women are trailblazers who often use their platforms to share their stories and experiences as women. From Loretta Lynn’s “The Pill” to Mickey Guyton’s “Love My Hair,” the exhibit highlights how women have utilized music to bring honest and moving stories to audiences worldwide.
Wanda Jackson’s signature Daisy Rock guitar. (Courtesy of the GRAMMY Museum/Rebecca Sapp)
The exhibition, on display through Feb. 26, 2023, also features women of North Carolina that have shaped country music. Throughout the years, these North Carolina women have moved the genre forward by sharing their unique perspectives via their music. Visitors can view artifacts from Rissi Palmer, Rhiannon Giddens, Emmylou Harris, and more.
Whether you’re hosting family for the holidays, looking for a date night, or wanting to discover more about the genre, “The Power of Women in Country Music” makes the perfect activity for all interests and ages. To learn more, plan your visit, and buy tickets, access
About the museum
The North Carolina Museum of History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, fosters a passion for North Carolina history. This museum collects and preserves artifacts of state history and educates the public on the history of the state and the nation through exhibits and educational programs. Admission is free.
The N.C. Museum of History is located at 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh.
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Let's party! Record New Year's Eve crowd expected at Victoria Park – The London Free Press

The biggest bash of the year returns to London’s Victoria Park after a two-year hiatus.
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The biggest bash of the year returns to London’s Victoria Park after a two-year hiatus.

The New Year’s Eve party that draws more than 10,000 people to the park will feature two rounds of fireworks and a musical lineup including children’s entertainers and some of the region’s most talented musical acts.
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It’s the first New Year’s Eve gathering in the park since 2019, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Family-oriented fun begins at 7 p.m. with the Thinking Caps, an ensemble of costumed players performing music and skits, followed by a performance from 519 School of Hip Hop and then fireworks at 9 p.m.

You’re invited to Victoria Park for London’s free New Year’s Eve in the Park celebration!

Enjoy dazzling fireworks at 9 p.m. and midnight, performances from London’s hottest musicians, outdoor skating and free hot chocolate.

Learn more: #NYE

There will be free hot chocolate, costumed characters interacting with the children and food trucks on site, including Big Daddy Bacon and Donut Diva.

“It’s going to be a real celebration of who we are when it comes to London music,” said organizer Mario Circelli, co-founder and chair of the Forest City London Music Awards.

“We are going to prove why we are a UNESCO-designated City of Music.”

After the early fireworks, several bands take the stage, including 2022 Battle of the High School Bands winners Full Throttle, Lindsey & The Lonelies, Nameless Friends and the Forest City London Music Awards All-Star Band, led by musical director John Brocksom and featuring such luminaries as Jenn Marino of The Hearts and Kate Channer.

4️⃣ MORE SLEEPS until NEW YEAR’S EVE 🎉✨👑 We can’t wait to rock the big stage in Victoria Park for #LdnOnt #NYE, and if our emojis in this caption mean anything, you’ll want to be there too 🤘🏻Event details at link in bio, 📸 Virginia Marie Photography

“It’s a really diverse and talented collection of players – 12 of the best musicians in this region – and they’ll be playing 90 minutes of hits everybody will know and want to sing along with,” said Circelli.

One London musician who won’t be joining the All-Stars is Chad Price, winner of the 2022 CBC Toyota Searchlight cross-country talent search. He’ll be on CBC-TV’s national New Year’s Eve Celebration, hosted by comedian Rick Mercer, at 11 p.m.

Price couldn’t immediately be reached, but Circelli wasn’t surprised.

“I’m so happy for Chad Price, because not only is he a talented songwriter with a great voice, but he’s a really, really nice human being, secure in his talent but never arrogant,” said Circelli.

There will be another firework display at midnight, sponsored by Drewlo Holdings.

Londoners are urged to bring their skates – rentals will be available for $7 a person – to enjoy the park’s rink.

London Transit will offer free bus service after 8 p.m. On-street parking downtown will be free after 6 p.m. and all day on New Year’s Day.

London Transit will operate on regular weekday schedules today until Friday December 30th. Check out the extended schedules for New Year’s Eve with free service starting at 8PM: #LdnOnt

“It looks like the weather is going to co-operate, too,” said Circelli, with above-freezing temperatures in the forecast.

“We’re expecting a record crowd, so get your party hats on and grab your merry-makers because this will be the largest, free celebration of the New Year in the region.”

What: London’s New Year’s Eve celebration with live music and fireworks at 9 p.m. and midnight.

When: Saturday at 7 p.m.

Where: Victoria Park, London

Admission: Free

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The year in music 2022: One guy's opinion – Fayetteville Flyer

Celebrity has never held much appeal for me. Chasing autographs. Intrusive selfies. Worming my way onto tour busses. Not for me. The one glaring exception was when I met Tori Amos in Kansas City. We hugged and I remember babbling something about how much I loved her and asking if she would sign my concert poster.
As I drifted away down the hall, I realized my signed poster was left sitting on the seat next to her. I was embarrassed but had to go back. Tori (we’re on a first name basis now) was patiently waiting and handed me the poster with a wry smile that was equal parts gratitude and amusement. Her body sparkled like a vampire in the sun. Stunning.
But why her? It’s all about that emotional connection. She pours herself into her music. Her fans know her, and on some level she knows us too. It’s intimate. The unfortunate flip-side of this connection is celebrity death. The loss of Low’s Mimi Parker in early November hit unexpectedly hard. The band pumped out so much quality music over the years (thirteen albums over twenty-seven years).
But we’re not here to get all sappy & depressed. Instead, I want to encourage everyone to check out their catalog. From the slowcore classic debut, “I Could Live in Hope,” to the last year’s final-act masterpiece, “Hey What,” there is plenty to celebrate.
Alright, let’s get to this year’s music. The best part about writing a piece like this is I don’t have to review albums I don’t like. I listen to literally hundreds of new releases each year. For every 2022 release on this list, there’s a steaming pile of albums cast to the wayside. Hours and days of my life spent wading through the sludge. I do this for you, dear reader. Psyche! I do it because that’s the way I’m wired. I’m an “Okay, what’s next?” type of listener. Luckily, I don’t have to waste time writing about art that wasn’t made for me. It’s all subjective anyway. One person’s butt-rock is another person’s party anthem.
My goal here is to feature great albums in various styles that you won’t see on every other year-end list. Did I intentionally set out to load the list with female artists? No. Did I lean into it when I realized it was coming in girl heavy? You’re damn right I did. It’s been a particularly rough year for the ladies. They deserve an extra bit of recognition.
As always, for each album selected I try to include an official music video whenever possible in an effort to keep the artform alive.

Grace Ives makes unconventional pop music. In the follow-up to the 2019 album 2nd, Ives took a huge step forward with Janky Star. It’s an album full of layered, catchy beats. The songs never get stale due to diversity in beat composition and the way Ives keeps her songs short enough to avoid repetition. The 10-track album has a run time of only 27 minutes.
Standout tracks include “On The Ground” highlighting Ives vocal talent and “Loose” with its fuzzed out synth beats. Janky Star saves the showstopper for last. The final track, “Lullaby,” is flat out one of the best songs of the year. Through it all, Grace Ives seems like she’s having a lot of fun. 
If you like this, you might also dig:  Phoebe Green – Lucky Me, Jenny Hval – Classic Objects, AURORA – The Gods We Can Touch

Unique sounds are hard to come by these days. It’s all been done before, right? Wrong. Gabriels is undeniably breaking new ground. The band delivers a haunting mix of piano, strings, & brass. All showcasing the otherworldly falsetto vocals of Jacob Lusk. Where did this guy come from?
Come to find out, Lusk was a finalist in the tenth season of American Idol. Wait, what? The pretentious music snob in me was floored. I felt betrayed. Bamboozled.
That’s not my bag. But I’d be an insincere hack if I let a little taste of mainstream success cause me to turn my nose at this captivating debut album.
We need to let the ego die to preserve objectivity. Angels & Queens, Part 1 is an objectively great album.
If you like this, you might also dig:  King Hannah – I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me, Saba – Few Good Things, Aldous Harding – Warm Chris

Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The expression proves true for indie folk artists Katie Crutchfield (aka Waxahatchee) and Jess Williamson. The two teamed up to make a traditional country album under the band name Plains. I’ll admit I had low expectations for this album. As usual, my assumptions made an ass out of me. These girls go together like pizza & potato chips (trust me. it’s good). I Walked With You A Ways isn’t an album that’s trying to be country. It’s an album that is country. The vocal harmonies feel organic and familial, which is immediately on display in the opening track, “Summer Sun.” The duo sound equally at ease making catchy, radio-friendly tunes like “Problem With It” as they do with slower, story-telling ballads like “Bellafatima.”
Plains was designed to be a one-and-done project. Based on how well it worked, here’s hoping there’s a reunion (and follow-up album) somewhere down the road.
If you like this, you might also dig:  Kelsey Waldon – No Regular Dog, The Dead South – Easy Listening for Jerks, Pt 1 & 2, Silvana Estrada – Marchita, Arlo McKinley – This Mess We’re In

You can’t really say Japanese-Canadian artist Saya Gray “burst onto the scene” with her debut album. It’s more accurate to say she drifted through the scene, careening off walls and opening doors that lead to ever smaller doors. 19 MASTERS is a quicky little album of dream-state ditties. It’s impossible to predict where this album is going from one track to the next, or even within an individual song. My advice: Don’t try. Enjoy the ride. The album exists beyond genre labels and without any semblance of accepted structure. Yet somehow 19 MASTERS works as a cohesive album. Just when you think you’re meandering with no purpose, there are moments that pull it all together. One such moment occurs in track 6, “GREEN APPLE (EVERY NIGHT I RIDE NIGHT MARES).” The song features Gray’s flowing vocals over understated, warbly acoustic guitar. A soaring electric guitar kicks in and the drum & bass build foreshadows an inevitable drop. But the drop never comes. She simply moves on. I don’t have the training or audacity to psychoanalyze Gray’s album. This is one that’s meant to be appreciated, not understood. Don’t overthink it.
If you like this, you might also dig:  Jockstrap – I Love You Jennifer B, Goat – Oh Death, Tomberlin – i don’t know who needs to hear this, Dehd – Blue Skies

It appears the demise of punk has been greatly exaggerated. Soul Glo is here to kick in the door and post up at the bar of a genre historically lacking in racial diversity. The band is cranking out seriously hardcore, in-your-face jams. Released under legendary punk label, Epitaph Records, Diaspora Problems feels spontaneous and, believe it or not, funny at times. Songs like “Driponomics” mix in hip-hop elements with slick guest rhymes by Mother Maryrose. While other tracks like “Jump!! (Or Get Jumped!!!)((by the future))” sound as manic as Death Grips. Soul Glo finishes us off with ”Spiritual Level of Gang Shit,” a track that could be the twisted lovechild of Rage Against the Machine and Sublime. There are no rules to punk. Make it loud (check). Make it hard (check). Make it fun (check!).
If you like this, you might also dig:  Gilla Band – Most Normal, Mindforce – New Lords, PUP – THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND

If you’re into rowdy jazz screamo (who isn’t, right?), then you’re going to love foxtails. The band was putting out interesting work with their early catalog. Adding violinist Jared Schmidt to the lineup has taken foxtails to another level. Blue Luno Solaz dazzles on lead, switching effortlessly between soft, traditional vocals and raw, vulnerable screams. June Benham on guitar and Michael Larocca on percussion round out the quartet. The musicianship is tight and wonderfully disjointed. 
Lyrically and thematically, foxtails is a band with one finger jabbed firmly into the open wound of society. They’re frustrated and mad as hell, but not without hope. They aren’t screaming into the void. They’re screaming in chorus with us.
If you like this, you might also dig:  Black Dresses – Forget Your Own Face, Gospel – The Loser, Nova Twins – Supernova, Black Midi – Hellfire

Are you bored? Low energy? Unmotivated to bust a move? Well not anymore. Ibibio Sound Machine is here from the future to get your booty shaking. With members hailing from the UK, Nigeria, Ghana, & Brazil, ISM is a fun international project that pulls in elements of afrobeat, funk, disco, and drum & bass. On Electricity, their 4th full length album, the band recruited the production skills of synthpop mainstays Hot Chip. As expected, the partnership takes the band in a more synth-heavy direction, but without overshadowing the musicianship showcased in their earlier work.
The name Ibibio comes from frontwoman Eno Williams’ native Nigerian tongue, and she slides fluently between English and Ibibio vocals. I’ll go out on a limb and say you probably don’t speak Ibibio. Don’t let that detract you. The feeling comes through, and the groove transcends language. Right out of the gate, Electricity gets you moving with “Protection From Evil” (video link below), a track that perfectly sets the stage for the upcoming auditory journey. Another favorite is “Something We’ll Remember,” propelled by an infectious funk bass line. There are a few more subdued tracks mixed in, but the album is at its best when ISM delivers the beats. Electricity brings a much needed hopeful and uplifting vibe to a world overstocked with negativity.
If you like this, you might also dig:  Sudan Archives – Natural Brown Prom Queen, Loyle Carner – hugo, Meridian Brothers – Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento

Finally, it’s metal time! Sometimes heavy supergroups work (Down, Bloodbath) and sometimes they don’t (looking at you, Metallica / Lou Reed). Absent In Body falls easily into the former category. Comprised of members of metal heavyweights Sepultura, Neurosis, & Amenra, the band somehow manages to sound like none of them. Plague God is a dark, atmospheric album. It’s a horror film in music form. The mood is driven by the brutal riffs of Mathieu J. Vandekerckhove (Amenra) and haunting, sludgy drums of Iggor Cavalera (Sepultura). They form the ambience without relying on speed guitar or double bass drumming, proving metal doesn’t have to be fast to be heavy. The vocals, handled by Colin H. van Eeckhout (Amenra) with support from Scott Kelly (Neurosis), transition in & out from blood-curdling shrieks to clean vocals to spoken word. Individually, these dudes all know what they are doing. The most impressive aspect of Plague God is how well the members coalesced around a common vision. They set out to create a dystopian hellscape album and executed the concept to disturbing perfection.
If you like this, you might also dig: – This World Is Going to Ruin You, Chat Pile – God’s Country, Thou / Mizmor – Myopia

With members residing in Arkansas and Texas, I’m not sure if Sad Daddy is considered a true “local” band, but they undeniably have roots in NWA and their latest album was recorded in Greers Ferry, AR. I think that counts. Many of us have watched Sad Daddy play and grow over the years at local mainstay venues like Chelsea’s in Eureka Springs and Smoke & Barrel here in Fayetteville. They always deliver a good time and an opportunity to hit the dance floor (Watch out! I’m all knees & elbows).
Given their geographic challenges, all four band members have side projects, but there is no denying the chemistry when they team-up. For Sad Daddy, making an album is a true team effort. Each person is involved in the song writing and composition. Way Up In The Hills is their best album to date. They managed to capture a sound that is both old-timey and innovative.
The album integrates so many different elements. Everything from stomp percussion to kazoos to sizzling bacon is utilized. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if the literal kitchen sink was worked in somehow. The result is an album that pays homage to classic country, bluegrass, & Americana, while blazing a trail that is uniquely their own.
Other local(ish) releases to check out:  Modeling – Somewhere Before, Rocket Coma – Vs. The End of the World, Whoa Dakota – Rhinestones & Rodeos
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Album Review: Mick’s Jaguar – Salvation –

December 29th, 2022 – 9:00 AM
Revamped Classic Rock, Brooklyn Style
Although the name sparks images of Mick Jagger sinfully clad in skin-tight leather, Mick’s Jaguar has their own special blend of rock and roll, completely original from anything set forth by “His Majesty.” And while Mick’s Jaguar broke into the music scene as a Rolling Stones cover band, they swiftly threw caution to the wind, rising from the pyrotechnic-induced ashes of their classic rock forefathers like a rock god phoenix ready to shred.  
The hard rock band’s most recent release, Salvation, delivers dynamic guitar riffs and an energy other bands only wish they could siphon for themselves, complete with vibes straight from an AC/DC LP. Mick’s Jaguar calls forth a multifaceted approach to all things rock and roll while still paying homage to their hard rock predecessors, but they do so in an inventive way that’s 100% their brand. 
Songs such as “Man Down” demand attention from start to finish, opting for spoken lyrics over a more traditional approach, and set Mick’s Jaguar apart from corporate, and quite frankly, overdone rock. Whether Mick’s Jaguar is laying down tracks to summon the gods of Detroit Rock City or simply wants to tear up the rosewood with guitar solos as dynamic as they are catchy, there’s no disputing that this band knows how to dominate the hard rock scene. 
Salvation has a palpable energy that garners attention the second Mick’s Jaguar enters the room. Opting to forego a bassist but instead incorporating three killer guitarists, a decision that can only be described as genius, Mick’s Jaguar packs a powerful punch and plenty of entertainment. “Free on the Street” offers punchy riffs with a catchy tune, and songs such as “Molotov Children” are even more reminiscent of their classic rock counterparts, complete with choir effects as the whole band shouts out a collective “Woah oh oh.” Lyrics such as “Burn that city down” pay even more tribute to Detroit Rock City, with a sound that’ll make any fan nostalgic for classic hard rock but equally elated for a chance to rock out to Mick’s Jaguar.
There’s no need to throw up the class rock bat signal because Mick’s Jaguar’s relentless guitar licks are here to answer those calls. A band can rarely recreate a sound as iconic as the style set in motion by AC/DC, but Mick’s Jaguar found a way to fabricate classic hard rock while still retaining their own sound. Are they bound for their own “Brooklyn Rock City” cult-like following? In the words of Mick Jagger, “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing,” and Mick’s Jaguar has the tenacity, ingenuity and outright talent to go the distance.
Kelly Catlin

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