New Wax Fang shows

wax fang

Wax Fang has announced three new shows for January 2016:
1/9: Louisville, KY @ Brown Theater (WFPK 20th anniversary celebration) w/ Houndmouth, Ben Sollee, Twin Limb
1/22: Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall w/ The Features, Ancient Warfare
1/28: Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop

Mirror, Mirror 12″ LP out now.

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Five Voices: Suki Anderson

suki anderson

Suki Anderson

Designer and illustrator Suki Anderson has performed for years as one-third of the experimental a cappella group Sandpaper Dolls and more recently Big Momma Thorazine. We asked Anderson to list five singers who have inspired her most. —Mat Herron 

  • Aretha Franklin: I really fell for Aretha after hearing her gospel album, Amazing Grace. I never tire of her. I don’t think I would have become a singer had I not spent most of my life trying to sing along with her. She is my coach. Her high notes are so damn powerful. Such a talent.
  • Carmen McRae: Her voice is so intimate. She is so relaxed and still so precise. Carmen doesn’t have anything to prove, and you believe every word. She’s like your best friend at a party or when you are feeling blue. She’s a little tipsy and knows just what you’re going through.
  • Mavis Staples: Sound bubbles and pops up out of Mavis. She ruminates in these lower notes that rise up and explode with a HA! Not just because she can, but because she means it — whatever she is singing, she means it. No one can do what she does.
  • Betty Carter: Betty’s control and dynamics are impeccable. The lungs on this lady!
  • The Pointer Sisters: The early albums glorify these ladies funky chorus. “Betcha Got a Chick on the Side” and “Grinnin’ in Your Face” are great examples. The musicianship of all their contributors is inspiring.

Sandpaper Dolls’ self-titled digital album is out now on iTunes.

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On books, basketball and black holes: Billy Nelson

Billy Nelson

Billy Nelson performs on Friday, Dec. 11 at Haymarket Whiskey Bar. His solo album is due out in 2016. The first single, “We Could Be Friends,” is out now on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter.

Mat Herron: You have three books you can take with you to outer space. What are they?
Billy Nelson: I suppose if I’m in outer space, I may want some books that feel familiar or remind me of home and the life I once knew. I’d probably take some Raymond Carver, a Borges collection or some fat Russian novel. I’m reading Ta-nehisi Coates right now, and I don’t want to put that down. I also want to read Robert Reich’s new book, Saving Capitalism. I guess that’s five.

MH: How often have you used a semicolon?
BN: Well, I am an English teacher so I use them quite frequently, actually. I am a big proponent of punctuation and extended pauses. I even use them in text messages and Facebook status updates, which is probably a bit snobby.

MH: What is it like to run on purpose?
BN: Sometimes it’s terrible when you start, but you always know you are going to be happy you did it. Sometimes it takes running four miles before you think, “Hey, this ain’t so bad, I’ll go four more.” It’s a good excuse for me to get out of the house and just let my mind wander. I look at trees or other runner’s butts or listen to a song I’m working on repeatedly. Also, because of my diabetes, it makes me feel better when my sugar is running high.

MH: What toys do kids have now that you wish you had when you were a kid?
BN: Smartphones and Netflix.

MH: Pick the most underrated Thanksgiving dish.
BN: Corn pudding.

MH: How do you cope with being a UK fan in U of L territory?
BN: It’s all I’ve ever known. There seems to be a lot of UK fans in Louisville, they say 50-50, but in my social groups it’s more like 20 percent Cats fans. The hardest part is all the negativity can hurt my feelings. I avoid Facebook after tough losses. The gloating sucks, especially when it’s coming from someone whose team sucks 😉. And oftentimes I can’t find anyone to watch a game with me.

MH: What is the problem with emojis?
BN: The fear of judgment. In the last couple years, I have come around. But as a 37-year-old man, sometimes it feels slightly ridiculous. I mostly only use them in conversation with females, but definitely not before they use one.

MH: This month is National Diabetes Month. What are some common misconceptions about diabetics you would like to squash right now?
BN: That you have to be fat to be diabetic. There is a difference between Type 1 and Type 2. Poor diet and lack of exercise can cause Type 2, but Type 1 is genetic. You are born with it. So it can be slightly frustrating to have your lifelong, incurable disease lumped in with a variation that is easily cured by taking better care of your body.

MH: Currently watching …
BN: Masters of Sex, UK basketball and Bernie Sanders speeches.

MH: NASA found something exiting a black hole the other day. Are we, in fact, screwed?
BN: Who knows? I’m more scared of all the crazy shit on this planet than what is out there. Believe me, I’ve had my share of existential rumination on what it all means and how small my part is in it, but honestly I’m more scared by how detached politicians and the media are from my life experience. Meanwhile they’ve worked my neighbor up into a tizzy because gay Mexicans are coming to steal his bazooka collection. The more I think of it, a black hole sounds nice. I’d like to see this other dimension Stephen Hawking has been talking about.

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