Local Current Blog

Local Radar: Tickle Torture, Ben Rosenbush and Diver Dress

Local Radar highlights bands that the local team at The Current is spinning heavily at their desks. You’ll be able to preview a track from each as well as hear them on The Local Show and Local Current.

Tickle Torture
Tickle Torture has been busy the past couple of months prepping a new EP. The brainchild of Sleeping In The Aviary’s Elliott Kozel, this solo project is an uber-weird incarnation that might be the child of Tobacco and Black Bananas – cue the bizarre imagery and big beats. Or, according to his e-mail to us, it’s like “Justin Timberlake recording drunk on Vodka/Redbulls trying to figure out how to use a bunch of broken synthesizers.” That description also works.

You have to hand it to the guy: it takes a certain amount of confidence to appear so smarmy on the stage in his curious outfits and arrangements. But I suppose if your songs were as good as “Forgotten,” you could get away with just about anything. Kozel is really one of the town’s best songwriters, and his ability to shift between styles in various bands is an impressive trade to note.

Stream: Tickle Torture – “Forgottenfrom the Spiritual Machete EP

Ben Rosenbush and The Brighton
Ben Rosenbush is known as that guy who plays the cello with a few popular bands in town: Jeremy Messersmith and John Mark Nelson to name two of them. He also has his own project – it sounds like Jeremy or Rogue Valley, but it’s a little less folk-pop oriented and a little more experimental. And it’s really pretty darn good.

I’ve never heard Ben’s music before, and the ease with which he seems to have composed “This Fire” should propel him pretty quickly to the list of top songwriters to watch closely in the coming months. Like our own Rufus Wainwright without all that sass, Rosenbush is a more reserved talent and may not be used to having attention focused primarily on him and his band. This is the time for that to change.

His CD-release show with his band The Brighton will feature Rogue Valley and John Mark Nelson in support. It all goes down at the Cedar Cultural Center on September 6.

Stream: Ben Rosenbush and The Brighton – “This Fire” from A Wild Hunger

Diver Dress

And now for a change in pace, cue the lo-fi garage/punk rock with emerging band Diver Dress. Originally a solo project by Aaron LeMay (International Espionage!, Mark Mallman, Ruby Isle), it soon transformed into a quartet. Their first 7” – which is really a five-song EP of sorts – shows a lot of promise. Short and sweet is the name of the game when it comes to this first teaser of songs. Opener “Sink” is a quick introduction of what’s to come but by no means indicative of the rest of the record. Each track shows an effortless craft, and the band is able to pull back or stomp forward with ease.

This 7” won’t come out until LeMay is done touring with Mark Mallman in the fall – there’s a record on the way there, too – so we can expect a release some time in November or later. Until then, there are options to see them live in town on a semi-regular basis, the next time being September 1 at the Hexagon.

Stream: Diver Dress – “Sink” from their forthcoming 7″