Wednesday 23 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Business opportunity

Business opportunity

J Roddy Walston went against God — or so his parents said — to pursue his heavenly brand of piano-based rock with The Business.

Joshua Boydston June 8th, 2011

J Roddy Walston and The Business
6 p.m. Tuesday
The Conservatory, 8911 N. Western, 607-4805
$10 advance, $12 door

That J Roddy Walston wanted to be a musician shouldn’t have come as a surprise, being born in a family more musical than most. Maybe it was being told at a young age that it was a sin to play music for any reason other than God or family that relegated him to privacy.

“It was kind of shocking to my family,” Walston said. “They didn’t see it coming. I had been doing all of it in secret, up in my bedroom or my friend’s basement. Then one day, I was like, ‘I have a show. Wanna come?’” Although not doing it for “the right reasons,” he realized how important music was to him at a young age.

He began writing lyrics at 10, learned guitar at 13, and piano — now his instrument of choice — a few years later by watching his grandmother.

“I guess I have a pretty deep, sentimental connection to music,” Walston said. “There are things about American music — country, soul and gospel — that kind of stirred something from way back in my childhood. I’ll play something and not know where it came from ... then it all comes back to me. It’s been fun exploring all that and digging in deeper.”

Moving from Tennessee to Baltimore, he found a group of musicians to act as his band, The Business.

The sound they formed — described as “simple rock ’n’ roll” — gave him more fits than starts; most promoters didn’t know what to do with a piano-driven rock act.

“I got put on a lot of bills full of emo bands,” he said. “The first year or two of us playing was us playing to a crowd that was there to hear something totally different from what we were putting out there. We’ve had to carve our own path, which is weird, since we are just a rock ’n’ roll band playing rock ’n’ roll.”

An infectious, near-spiritual live show helped him grind it out against the Fall Out Boy set, finally finding better-fitting audiences and a place on Vagrant Records’ roster alongside the likes of The Hold Steady. With his self-titled album released a year ago, Walston is prepping to record a batch of songs for another between summer festival dates, hoping to carry forward with what he learned to balance on the last disc.

“It’s been figuring out how to have high energy and a deeper level to it all. A lot of bands try to do both, and one of them gets in the way of the other,” he said. “The message gets in the way or the reverse of that. It took us a long time to figure out how to write that way, but I think we made a smart record that is also pretty rockin’.”

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