The Messthetics isn’t Fugazi 2.0. Yes, the same rhythm section that drove Fugazi's influential punk/hardcore sound now drives the experimental rock of the Messthetics. And yes, many Fugazi fans are thrilled the quartet has partially reassembled into an instrumental trio.
When Naia Izumi was announced the winner of the 2018 NPR Tiny Desk Contest, five central Illinois artists said they weren't surprised they were not chosen, as they were among nearly 5,000 entries from all 50 states.
Trombonist Mason Riedel laughed when asked how his Illinois State University Jazz Combo acquired its name. He had just been called by Jazz Up Front owner James Gaston about filling in last minute on a Thursday night.
Owner James Gaston was sitting at a four-chair circular table in his club on Front Street across from the McLean County Law and Justice Center in downtown Bloomington. It’s been nearly three years since Jazz UpFront opened, and despite the immense pressures of running a live jazz club anywhere in America, jazz is still a staple in his club every Friday and Saturday night.
In 2016 streaming services became the primary way Americans listened to music. But Bloomington-Normal still has three independent record stores, where physical music, mostly vinyl, makes up the vast majority of their sales. Indeed, record stores in the Twin Cities have bucked the current, rising in popularity from a low point about 15 years ago.
Don rings out 2017 and also closes a 58 year career on this week’s Radio Munson with music from some of his favorites—Count and Duke, Sassy and Satchmo, Ella and Frank, Lady Day and Tony—and a heartfelt thank you to generations of faithful listeners.
“An older cousin would visit from Thunder Bay, Ontario,” said Holmes-Hicks. “She played Canadian-style fiddle. There was something that just drew me to that music, so much I was just glued to her and I think my parents noticed that.”
Kurt Elling is on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson along with Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Keely Smith, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, plus Wynton Marsalis and friends with a rousing version of “Go Tell It On the Mountain".