Author Archives: Jon Rooney

Ball of Wax 46 Songs: The Winterlings – Science

Veteran Seattle duo the Winterlings‘ “Science” is an enjoyable, confounding mix of styles. The song combines elements of classic pop with lo fi folk, like the Shangri-Las if they were an Elephant 6 band. The simple repeated drum part is paired … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 46 Songs: Karaoke Hottiez – Grandma, Grandpa

All around local treasure Matty P returns to Ball of Wax under the inexcusable moniker of Karaoke Hottiez with the lovely, nostalgia-rich “Grandma, Grandpa.” Is this a vaudeville ditty from ages long past? Is the Coney Island suitcase organ a stroke … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 46 Songs: Amanda Winterhalter – What’s This, Death?

Golden-throated Amanda Winterhalter returns to Ball of Wax with “What’s This, Death?,” a somber ballad in a traditional folk style that features only voice and finger-style acoustic guitar. “What’s This, Death?” is appropriately somber and menacing, issuing the warning “you don’t … Continue reading

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Sam Russell and the Harborrats release Born to Hurt single

Seattle-via-Kenosha, Wisconsin anachronistic troubadour Sam Russell just released a new single and it’s fantastic. The anthemic “Born to Hurt” feels like a defining statement for Russell, an artist with a body of work spans a live EP with his ace … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 45 Songs: Friendship Commanders/Levi Fuller and the Library/Terwilliger Curves

“Fighting Shape” by Friendship Commanders is fast, furious punk with a touch of rock heroics that blasts through the wall like so much Kool Aid Man in the guise of a rock band. Ball of Wax Volume 45 (One Minute Singles … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 45 Songs: GravelRoad/Harvey Girls/Darryl Blood

GravelRoad brings the sped-up scuzzy road rock with “Med Pass,” sounding like ’70s ZZ Top on bath salts. Ball of Wax Volume 45 (One Minute Singles II) by GravelRoad The Harvey Girls‘ “Butterfly2” is a haunted, back porch dirge, like … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 45 Songs: Luminous Craft/The Vanities

Luminous Craft‘s Dominick Campbell (performing the BoW 45 release show September 2nd) opens the fragile “Don’t Fret, Charlotte” with a groovy Fender Rhodes riff, which he quickly abandons for fingerpicked acoustic guitar and an electric guitar gently strumming chords with … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 45 Songs: Territory & Hombre/Sam Russell & the Harborrats

[Given the “One Minute Singles” theme of Ball of Wax 45, we here at the Blog of Wax have decided to embrace the spirit of brevity in our track reviews, which will come two at a time and one sentence … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 44 Songs: Ken Cormier – Auto Composition 27: Ding Dong

“Auto Composition 27: Ding Dong” is a goofy, free association little vocal ditty by one Ken Cormier, an unknown-to-me but accomplished Ball of Waxer from Connecticut. According to his bio, Ken is a teacher, performance poet, independent radio producer, and musician as … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 44 Songs: Karaoke Hottiez – Get on By

When I first wrote about Karaoke Hottiez (and that still-atrocious moniker) for volume 43, I had no idea that the band was the side project of one Matty P, he of the Foghorns choir, Plastic Jet Airline and all-around good … Continue reading

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