Pop waltzing beneath psychedelic clouds

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Rochester’s sensational multi-instrumentalist and future space cowboy Sam Nitsch released “Neowise” on Oct. 1.

“Neowise” is a study in balance between the snap and the crackle. Upon deeper reflection, the pop is there, but it’s kinda busy waltzing with and beneath the psychedelic clouds. Put it all together and you get a very listenable record.

Nitsch spent some time in New New England sorting out the particulars and getting it all to tape. What keeps his self-induced chaos alive (think the Beach Boys or the Polyphonic Spree) is his upper-register vocals, which croon between smooth and falsetto. 

Live, there’s a lot going on with Nitsch as the looping  ringleader of the multi-instrumental solo sounds sandwiched in and just a-flyin’ around from Nitsch’s well- fortified quiver of arrows.

“Love Lives Here”

I saw The Brian Lindsay Band last week swinging the hammer for a conservative collection of guests who accounted for the whoops and hollers as if it was a bigger collection of souls. Every one of his shows goes like this, with patrons finger-pointing in amazement: “Who is that man beneath chapeau du jour?”

Despite his lanky frame, Brian Lindsay consistently comes on 20 tons tough, white-knuckle fast, unabashedly cool. Singing about as tough as a man can get, Lindsay waxes positive and hopeful on his new single “Love Lives Here,” a song that is actually a release from last year caught up in a COVID delay.

It serves as a passionate battle cry, not just of a man fed up but rather a man who still believes and continuously conjures belief as if he’s run out of hearing the world’s excuses. Love may live here, but it rarely opens its door any more. Play it safe, Jack, and get your love from Lindsay.

Nuclear Assault

Formed in 1984, Nuclear Assault quickly rose to become one of the quintessential thrash metal bands in this heavy and breakneck genre. 

The band boasted in its lineup original Anthrax bassist Dan Lilker, the now long and lanky bassist and Rochesterian who left the band after the first Anthrax album dropped. They broke up in 1995, briefly returned to the scene in 1997, only to break up for good in 2002.

In analyzing these hard and heavies, which includes guitarist Erik Burke, another Ra-cha-cha player and head-banger in the bunch, the argument could be made that they are not actually as much thrash as you might think and more as a heavy, heavy rock band, especially with LiIker flailing in bass clef territory. Duck!

Catch Nuclear Assault tomorrow with special guests Rotten UK, Kryst, Moment of Truth at Photo City Music Hall  543 Atlantic Avenue. Tickets: $15

Johnny Cash birthday bash

The heartbeat of American music palpitates between the two and the four. And that time signature was brought to you thanks to the man in black, Johnny Cash. 

When describing Cash, many musicians credit Cash’s time signature to the country-fying of punk or the punk-ifying of country or stay neutral. The black duds helped drive home his image of preacher-of-the-people.

Some may say Cash wrote the same song time and again. If he did, and I’m not going to dispute it here, it sounded great at every take. My favorite of that Johnny Cash song? “Long Back Veil.”

Celebrate Johnny Cash’s birthday with the Abilene Three on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022 at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 LIberty Pole Way.

Frank De Blase is Rochester Beacon music writer.

Here’s a comprehensive list of live shows in and around Rochester: Get Your Gig On

One thought on “Pop waltzing beneath psychedelic clouds

  1. My fave Johnny Rivers covered Long Black Veil on an early Capitol record. I then traced it to Johnny Cash, among others. Great song, by all!

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