Issue May 8, 2007

New Republic, Wealth releases, small fish, Kentucky home

 

Young Republic
Young Republic

  If he had to choose between Boston’s music scene and Louisville’s music scene, Chris Miller would pick his hometown, no contest.

    “It’s actually worse” in Boston, he said. “Most of the college kids would rather see a DJ than see a band. Most bands play to empty houses 90 percent of the time.”

    Miller, the bassist for Boston octet The Young Republic, is spending his two weeks off from music school to tour the South and East Coast, and next Wednesday, May 16, the band stops for a show at The Rudyard Kipling (422 W. Oak St., 636-1311).

    Young Republic cites the ’60s as the driving force behind its music. “As far as rock music goes, it didn’t get better than that for any of us,” Chris said. “All that ’60s type of music is what we really love.”

    Everyone in the band attends music school in Beantown, but the group never fights sonic overload. “It definitely has its ups and downs; we all do a pretty good job of separating the two, so neither affects the other too much.”

    The group is signed to the British label End of the Road Records, and scored a slot on the U.K.’s well-known Glastonbury Festival.

    Miller won’t have to “endure” Boston for much longer — he and the rest of his bandmates are moving to Nashville after they graduate in December. “It’s a lot warmer and it’s much, much cheaper.”
    Showtime is 8 p.m. and Foreign Oranges open.
•••
    Because of logistical issues, Friday night’s show featuring CocoRosie, Tez and Busdriver has been canceled.
•••
    “A minnow is this unobtrusive little fish,” says Minnow vocalist Rob Pennington. “We’re small fish, and we wanna stay small fish, and not have huge expectations of becoming a big shark one day.”

   

Minnow
Minnow

Pennington, who sings/screams for Black Cross, started Minnow with his wife, former Red Nails drummer Becca Lindsay, Second Story Man’s Carrie Neumayer and Douglas Maxson, who played in Your Food, one of the Louisville’s first punk bands.

    “He’s a great guy,” Pennington said of Maxson, who plays guitar. “He’s as much of an alien as the rest of us. He’s straightforward. What he’s playing is not complicated. He has a really nice feel to the songs, and that made us, as a band, keep that focus.”

    Pennington, a doctoral student at the University of Kentucky, is best known for his work in Endpoint and By the Grace of God. Minnow is a return to a lot of early ’80s rock and punk. “There’s a lot less belting, screaming and yelling,” he said. “Some of the lyrics might have a slightly sarcastic tone to them. A lot of these songs tend to tell stories.”

    Minnow joins Kangaroo and Follow the Train for a special show at 8 p.m. Friday on the roof of the Glassworks building at 815 W. Market St. Cost is $7.
•••
    If you’ve been to the Nachbar in Germantown, chances are Daniel Duncan has probably served you a pilsner or three. But that’s just his night gig.

    As a member of The Commonwealth, Duncan and the rest of his band keep their music fresh and shun predictability with a pleasant array of horns and strings in addition to regular rock instrumentation.

    Duncan says that writing with more classical instruments is easier for him. As a teenager, he was already starting to apply non-traditional “rock” instrumentation, and the musicians he plays with now approach every tune with an air of professionalism. “I could sing a part to them and they — you know what I mean.”

    Songwriting for him is a lesson in personal growth. “I’ve come more into the mindset that I am a songwriter. It feels really weird to say that. It’s a personal quest; it’s not necessarily therapeutic, but I still have a blast playing around with sounds. I’m always trying to outdo myself.”

    The Commonwealth plays a free show at 2 p.m. Saturday at ear X-tacy (1534 Bardstown Road, 452-1799).
•••
   

Emanuel
Emanuel

Emanuel resurfaces for a show Friday at Expo Five (2900 S. Seventh Street Road, 637-2518) with Chicago’s Madina Lake, Fightstar and Firescape. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 day of show. Emanuel has finished writing its follow-up to Soundtrack to a Headrush. Terry Date (Pantera, Soundgarden) is producing the new album, titled Black Earth Tiger, to be released on Aug. 6 by Vagrant Records (Dashboard Confessional, The Hold Steady).
•••
    Kentucky Homefront is putting on a jam-packed concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church (142 Crescent Ave.).
    The Homefront concert features Will Owen-Gage, John Harrod, Ellery, Jeff Walburn, Kentucky Wild Horse and Col. Bob Thompson. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $12.
    Owen-Gage has toured with Stephen Stills. Ellery was nominated for three Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in 2006, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. Walburn, who lives in Greenup, Ky., is touting his first solo offering, Coast to Coaster, and this concert is his first for Homefront. Named after an old Eastern Kentucky fiddle tune, Kentucky Wild Horse plays and sings traditional bluegrass and swing music as well as songs and dance music from the Civil War era. Harrod received the Folk Heritage Award in February for preserving the history of fiddle music in Kentucky, and has recorded fiddlers from around Kentucky playing and talking about their music.
    WFPK 91.9-FM broadcasts Kentucky Homefront at 8 p.m. every Wednesday.

Contact the writer at mherron@leoweekly.com