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Lara Kinne // Larisa Aral

Lara Kinne (also known as Larisa Aral) is a writer from Louisville, Ky. Since the launch of her independent music blog, "Huevos,” in 2007, Lara has written about the local music landscape and beyond. Her bylines include Louisville.com, LEO Weekly, Gonzo Today and Performer Magazine; additionally, Lara helped start the city’s first homeless street paper in 2014, Our Paper Louisville. She is currently a contributor at LEO Weekly and full-time proofreader with Kentuckiana Reporters. Follow her on Twitter @dangerboobs.



LEO Weekly
The 2019 LEO Playlist: Our Favorite Local Songs Of The Year - LEO Weekly

Art often reflects social concerns, and that can be seen in LEO's playlist of favorite local songs from 2019. There are some happy and optimistic songs, but from others, you can certainly piece together quite a few threads of worry about climate change, gentrification, chronic poverty, mental health and how technology is making us miserable, just to name a few.

LEO Weekly
The Midnight Hour's new album marries jazz and hip-hop - LEO Weekly

Adrian Younge, a multi-instrumentalist from Los Angeles, is a prolific composer and producer. And on his latest project, an orchestral collective called The Midnight Hour, Younge teams up with A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad to create a sound that pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance, while forging new avenues for his signature analog approach in a digital era.


LEO Weekly
Michael McDonald doesn't hold back on album 'Wide Open' - LEO Weekly

Between the Motown covers and Christmas compilations that have dominated his recent studio output, Michael McDonald was compiling demos for his first album of original material since 2000's Blue Obsession. The process for that resulting record, 2017's Wide Open, was more arduous than anticipated - redefining his identity once again proved difficult, because, after all, McDonald has been many things to music.

LEO Weekly
Kamasi Washington explains the spiritual journey on Harmony of Difference

The Los Angeles-born tenor saxophonist Kamasi Washington has become a beacon for the future of jazz. He started strong with the release of his sprawling, dream-inspired 2015 debut The Epic (released on Flying Lotus's Brainfeeder label), and, that same year, he played sidekick on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, lending a hand as one of the jazz savants who performed on the Grammy-winning record.

LEO Weekly
The long, winding journey of guitar mastermind Mdou Moctar

Three days marching across the Sahara to Libya, a roughly 1,000-mile journey through the scorched desert landscape. This is just a snapshot of the life-changing trek that 31-year-old Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar made two decades ago.


LEO Weekly
PeteFest uses music to fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues - LEO Weekly

"Stomp the stigma" is the motto of PeteFest, an annual music festival started in Louisville three years ago to foster the mission of the Pete Foundation for Depression Prevention. Named for 23-year-old percussionist Pete Jones, who died by suicide in 2016, PeteFest combines music, art and community engagement with the ultimate vision to fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

LEO Weekly
Twenty First Century Fox's latest record, 'New Energy' - LEO Weekly

Always upbeat and ready to step outside of the typical rock constraints, Twenty First Century Fox returns with their third full-length album, New Energy. According to them, it's their "most diverse" record, an expanded sound adopted in the three years they spent refining this 10-track follow up to 2016's Yr Welcome.

LEO Weekly
Five of our favorite local love songs from the last five years - LEO Weekly

Love songs can take a lot of shapes. Joy, grief, contemplation, lust and virtually every other emotion can be present, making the range of narratives and meanings extremely wide. And Louisville, with its always-growing music scene, has plenty. Here are five of our staff's favorites from the last five years.

LEO Weekly
Jacob Duncan takes risks on new album 'It's Alright to Dream'

Supergroup isn't far-off from describing the lineup of the new Jacob Duncan Quintet. The recently-formed jazz ensemble puts Duncan (alto saxophone) alongside JD Allen (tenor), John Goldsby (bass), Gabe Evans (piano) and Michael Hyman (drums). The group performs at Jimmy Can't Dance this Thursday, coinciding with the release of It's Alright to Dream, a compelling and risk-taking new album.

LEO Weekly
Major music acts made day one of Bourbon & Beyond worth the struggle

Opening day of Bourbon & Beyond on Saturday turned out to be the only day of the festival, as heavy rain forced the cancellation of Sunday's events. City officials and B&B promoters agreed to shut down Champions Park, deeming the grounds "unsafe" and even "dangerous."

LEO Weekly
Yoga Enigmatic engages with live music, improvisation and flow

Yoga Enigmatic is a new project by the local music collective, Orchestra Enigmatic, that matches an improvised orchestral performance with yoga. It's free, with a suggested donation and open to a range of skill levels, and it usually falls on the last Saturday of each month at the Art Sanctuary.

LEO Weekly
Curio Key Club tightened its focus on new EP, 'Zen America'

In a snug room above his family's carpet business, Drew Miller, the lead singer and alto saxophonist of the genre-defying Curio Key Club, workshops new material with his bandmates. Gig posters collected during Miller's tour stints with Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Houndmouth fill the room, while Brandon Bass' original illustration featured on the cover of Curio Key Club's debut album from 2016 hangs near the entrance.

LEO Weekly
Carly Johnson talks about her forthcoming album, The Believer

Sometimes, there are people who come along, singing in such a familiar way that the spirit of a soul legend seems to have manifested within them. For Carly Johnson, that would be Etta James, as the two share the sort of voice that can rile listeners into fiery elation, or ease them into a blue velvet-lined dream.

LEO Weekly
Temporal nature: novemberGroup carries on 'In C'

It's become a recurring gathering on Thanksgiving eve for the last three years. An array of local players come to contribute, with new ones always bound to show up. But what happens relies on the commitment of its implementors - united, willing and diligent in the task of upholding 53 musical phrases for an hour.

LEO Weekly
b-sides: Dick Sisto, Andy Laverne tribute Bill Evans

Just as the musical mystique of Miles Davis still rivets today's active ears, so do the harmonies of pianist Bill Evans. The former Kind of Blue sideman was a master of melodic lines, and like Miles, began his career playing original versions of popular jazz standards.

LEO Weekly
The fringes of Forecastle: What else makes a festival

Our coverage this last week has focused extensively on the art and music of Forecastle, so we at LEO decided to explore the festival's alternative aspects. We caught up with several groups, each unrelated to one another, but that share a desire to create a sense of community within the festival.

LEO Weekly
GonzoFest's new home, library wing may be named after Hunter S. Thompson

GonzoFest found a new home last Saturday at the Louisville Free Public Library's downtown branch. Mayor Greg Fischer, while speaking at the event, spoke of the early, fundraising stages of a three-step plan to renovate and rename the North Wing of the library in honor of Hunter S.

'We're here for the yazz yam' A round with Cher Von

(Photo by Jonas Wilson)"What time is it?""You said no hard questions!" Cher Von shot back.The two of us had stepped outside of Decca for some fresh air. The jazz was too hot, and in the moment, standing above and gazing into a healthy fire was the favorable choice.

Interviews & Profiles

LEO Weekly
Weaving sounds and cultures: A conversation with Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei - LEO Weekly

Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei are two string players from different, yet equally dynamic, backgrounds. Washburn, who lovingly clasps the stylings of clawhammer banjo, is a Grammy award winner and the marital partner of banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck. Fei, an accomplished composer and singer currently based in Nashville, wields her traditional Chinese zither called a guzheng.

LEO Weekly
Bill Frisell returns for the first Give-a-Jam of 2019 - LEO Weekly

Renowned jazz guitarist and composer Bill Frisell has a history of helping the homeless. He once did a string of shows supporting the progressive, Seattle-based, homeless advocacy newspaper Real Change. Now, Frisell is returning to Louisville for 2019's first Give-a-Jam, a benefit concert series for the Louisville Coalition for the Homeless.

LEO Weekly
Talk about the unknown: A Q&A with Alex Maas of The Black Angels

Black Angels frontman Alex Maas sings everything with his eyes closed, although you wouldn't ever know it behind the ever-present amalgamation of colors and visuals during their concerts. Their live performances, highlighted by the psychedelic Mustachio Light Show, are heightened sensory experiences paying homage to the mixed medias employed by Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and ...

LEO Weekly
Charlie Hunter continues to show his versatility

Charlie Hunter has spent more than two decades navigating parallel ventures as a solo artist and vital contributor to many avant-jazz ensembles. But the verbose guitarist is understated when it comes to talking about himself. "It's pretty boring," he said, laughing.

LEO Weekly
Haiti's Lakou Mizik rose from tragedy to help a country heal

"Go tell them." On the title track of Lakou Mizik's debut album, Wa Di Yo, the eight-piece weaves a positive, resilient energy into those words, reflecting the band's mission of helping Haiti heal after the 2010 earthquake. "Go tell them / Go tell them / We still there."

LEO Weekly
Expanding places and perspectives: A conversation with Adia Victoria

Adia Victoria recently took a dynamic turn. From her grimy, Delta blues-saturated debut album, Beyond The Bloodhounds, to her latest EP covering classic French pop songs, How It Feels, the 30-year-old South Carolina native, Nashville transplant has moved on without abandoning her roots. Forecastle will be her second Louisville appearance, after an electric performance at ...

LEO Weekly
Tobin Sprout talks about his new record, 'The Universe and Me'

A glance at the cover of Tobin Sprout's new album, The Universe and Me, will take any familiar fan back to the pop-infused, low-fi bits that framed his contributions as a significant member of Guided by Voices. And that remains within his modest solo offerings, since his songwriting is comparable to that of GBV's charismatic frontman Bob Pollard.

LEO Weekly
A conversation with Okilly Dokilly and Metalachi about obscure metal genres

Through metal's ever-expanding system of veins are routes to unhinged ideas. Mac Sabbath, a Los Angeles-based McDonald's-themed Black Sabbath tribute band, comes from this place. LEO has featured Mac Sabbath in its pages before, so we reached out to supporting bands Metalachi (a mariachi-metal cover band) and Okilly Dokilly (a metal outfit based on the Simpsons character Ned Flanders) for further input on these concepts.

LEO Weekly
Wycliffe Gordon talks about teaching jazz, playing with Wynton Marsalis

Trombone takes the lead this Saturday at the University of Louisville Jazz Fest, with a performance from Wycliffe Gordon (he'll also teach a master class). A son of the classical jazz era, Gordon enjoyed an extensive run with Wynton Marsalis before going on to become a bandleader.

LEO Weekly
Sophisticated jams: a Q&A with Funqquestra

From Brasilia, Funqquestra - an eight-piece ensemble (including two drummers) - unpacks sophisticated jams, intersecting funk, jazz and Brazilian pop rhythms. Their lively performances spread the message of instrumental music across borders, genre, and, on Friday, Nov. 4, to the Clifton Center for a performance hosted by the International Jazz Series.

LEO Weekly
Mick Foley, 'I meet some heroic people'

Hardcore wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley is retired from the ring, but he hasn't quit on wrestling or his fans. He's still on the road, appearing on TV every Monday night as general manager of "Raw," in addition with his new reality show, "Holy Foley."

LEO Weekly
Family matters: Talking with Femi Kuti

"Was I born to be my father?" Femi Kuti posed this question in the middle of piecing together what happened to his life between 1983 and 1986. His dad, the saxophone-playing, Nigerian government-damning father of Afrobeat and international star, Fela Ransome-Kuti, was imprisoned at one of the nation's toughest, Kirikiri.

LEO Weekly
B-sides: Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars

Living like a refugee isn't easy, but it's gotten easier for Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars. The music was passed around refugee camps during the country's brutal civil war from 1991 to 2002. Today, it has reached international stages. And this Sunday, May 22, the All-Stars will bring their uplifting spiritual jams to Louisville's Haymarket Whiskey ...

LEO Weekly
Wake-up call: Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes and the Raw Youth

Her mother always said: "If you're going to be a janitor, you have to be the damn best janitor." These words hold true for Teri Gender Bender, the guitarist and leader of Guadalajara rock band Le Butcherettes. Born Teresa Suárez, Teri was destined to be badass. She formed Le Butcherettes in her late teens.

GonzoFest 2016 Preview: Bottom Sop

Photo: (from left) Amber Nicole, C.B. Mauldin , Nick Beach, Matt Thomasson, Derrick ManleyIf you haven't heard about Bottom Sop, or seen them live, you've likely never been to GonzoFest, or gone out at all for the last six years. Since forming in 2010, the band released two full-length albums and have performed relentlessly in...

GonzoFest 2016 Preview: Frederick the Younger

Jenni Cochran is an ESL classroom assistant/tutor by day, and wicked singer/keyboardist for Frederick the Younger by night (unless otherwise asked to perform during the day, such as last week at the mayor's music & arts series). In such a short time, the band managed to catch the attention and ears of the anyone close...

LEO Weekly
b-sides: SFJAZZ Collective

Joe Henderson, Stevie Wonder and now Michael Jackson. Since its launch in 2004, the SFJAZZ Collective has used the music of modern masters to yield new arrangements and compositions within the jazz realm. Chick Corea and Wayne Shorter, among other greats, had a turn. But, in recent seasons, the collective has switched focus to artists ...

LEO Weekly
Back to the Beginning: A conversation with Honeychild Coleman

Carolyn "Honeychild" Coleman is a musician of many phases. Kentucky-born and Brooklyn-bound, Coleman started her music career playing underground in the subways of New York City. During this time - the mid-'90s - NYC was exactly where she wanted to be. These acoustic shows would attract the right crowd, but the truth was her scene ...

Live Reviews

SHOW REVIEW: Michael McDonald at Iroquois Amphitheater 8/14

Michael McDonald is credited for some of the best songs in the world ("What a Fool Believes," "Takin it to the Streets," Sweet Freedom"), incredible tunes that resonated for decades not only through the depth of the lyrics, but by the strength of his voice.

LEO Weekly
Concert Review: St. Vincent has reached new heights

Photos by Nik Vechery] "Do you wanna go faster?!" The illustrious performer known as St. Vincent (real name: Annie Clark), was deep into the second set of her show at The Kentucky Center's Whitney Hall last night. Nobody was looking at their phones.

LEO Weekly
What we learned at the Writer's Block Festival - LEO Weekly

"I go and I consume other people's art, because you can't become too saturated in your own thoughts - it just all starts sounding the same," poet Chelsea Tadeyeske said at last Saturday's seventh Writer's Block Festival.

LEO Weekly
Forecastle Day 3 Recap: PJ Harvey, Weezer and the greatness of Charles Bradley

Lara: On the third and final day of Forecastle, I started the day correct by visiting with Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires at the main stage. A scorching afternoon never felt so cool with that guy and his sassy band on stage - a brief sound blunder easily smoothed over by their slick momentum.

LEO Weekly
Bully, Caveman and a day of surprises

Lara: I was just trying to get out the door yesterday, when my neighbor showed up at the same threshold, asking about my lawn. He cradled a dirty weedwacker. A piece of grass stuck to his upper lip. I said, "OK, I'll give you the money up front." He perked up.

LEO Weekly
Teddy Abrams' Louisville shuffle and our other favorite sets

Scott: My three favorite sets from Day Two: 1) I'm glad Forecastle brought back the *insert-local-musical-mastermind-who-can-organize-a-full-hour-of-an-ever-changing-supergroup* portion of the festival. Last year, it was Dr. Dundiff & Friends, which paired the hip-hop producer with 1200, JaLin Roze, Jim James, Shadowpact and a bunch of other great rappers.

LEO Weekly
The brilliance of Femi Kuti and a day of exceeded expectations

Michael: The good: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Femi Kuti, Speedy Ortiz The bad: Ryan Adams The ugly: My hangover Pokemons caught: Like five rats, a Tangela with 210 CP As Sir Rob Thomas once sagely, pithily professed in "Smooth" by Santana, featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, "Man, it's a hot one."

Gonzo Today | My Morning Jacket Stops the Rain

Who is this guy? Standing on the side front lawn of his cozy Germantown home. Where is his family? Do they know their loved one is struck, standing outside like a turkey in the rain? Not quite there. This was probably just a spasm that happens every once in a while.

Contributions & Lists

LEO Weekly
10 of our favorite Louisville albums released in 2018 so far - LEO Weekly

There's never a shortage of new, local music coming from this city, and we're going pause to remember some of our favorite records of the year so far. We're roughly six months into 2018, so, below, our staff takes a look at new albums from scene staples (Joan Shelly, Touch AC x Dr. Dundiff) and new favorites (Rob Lee, Baby Bones).

LEO Weekly
A breakdown of the GonzoFest 2017 music lineup

For the seventh consecutive year, GonzoFest Louiville pays tribute to the iconic author and inventor of gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson. In addition to a day-long showcase of fantastic local acts, at its core Gonzo Fest is about keeping gonzo alive, using music, art and poetry.

Performer Magazine
Preparing for My Morning Jacket's Two Sold-Out Hometown Shows

Louisville-based My Morning Jacket returns to their hometown for two epic performances at Iroquois Amphitheater on May 12 & 13 with openers Twin Limb. It was is the echo chamber of MMJ's salad days, retaining all of the unrefined, crisp guitar and crooning James charm that further pushed them to international success.

LEO Weekly
The 2016 LEO Playlist: Our favorite local songs of the year

While contributing to this list and editing it, I noticed a few things: 1) There are a lot of different bands playing a lot of different styles of music in this town that are really well-versed at mixing experimental and catchy elements - individualistic and strange sounds, mixed with melodies, hooks and riffs that stick.

LEO Weekly
The 2015 LEO Playlist: Our favorite local songs of the year

Maximon - "Flame" Hearing Maximon's "Flame" for the first time feels like discovering something, like the feeling you get when you're 15 and it all sounds brand new and endlessly exciting. The fact that I've played it countless times on repeat only lends to that old realization.

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