· A new collective of musicians called United Nati Front -- interested in fostering local music in an effort to create a more communal scene -- is presenting a two-day music fest at Covington's Mad Hatter this weekend. While the UNF's mission states that it's open to artists of all types and genres, this weekend's UNF Punk Festival is heavy, obviously, on Punk and its various offshoots. The fest starts Friday at 5 p.m. and features Thee Alliance, The Frankl Project, Martin Luther and The Kings, There's No Tomorrow, Total Dudes, Dead! Serious, Now Entering Rehab, Backdoor Mafia, Means to an End and Scott Free and The Getaways. On Saturday (also starting at 5 p.m.), catch Eighty Sixed, The Serfs, Pumpkin Slut, The Zvills, Secondhand Sex, Hate The Living, The Buster League, Atomic Potato, The Columbines, FRA, Church Fire and Oddjob. Advanced tickets can be purchased at cincyticket.com. For more on the fest and the collaborative, go to myspace.com/unfpunkfest.
· Friday at the Southgate House, Metal, Hard Rock and Punk (and a little AltRock for good measure) are the focus of the Encore Music Fest, presented by the Web site cincinnatimusic.com.
The 8 p.m. show includes performances in the club's ballroom by American Hardcore (back after a hiatus and armed with new music; go to americanhc.com to download the single, "Drift Away"), Screaming Kings, Angels of Meth, Black Tie Affair and Holcomb.
Diet Audio, Bastion, Knife the Symphony and Mad Anthony hold it down on the parlour stage. Headlining the ballroom is Dandelion Death, the Metal pranksters who haven't been on stage together in over two years. According to the band -- known for classics like "Grandmaphilia" and an over-the-top, wildly entertaining live presentation -- they are currently recording their second greatest hits album. "If you're into chew, beavers, trolls, and all things that totally rule, including the infamous hot ass hoochie dancers and 110-year-old Grandma drummer," the band writes in a cryptic e-mail to CityBeat, "you cannot miss this show!" To hear the masterworks of DD, go to myspace.com/dandeliondeath.
· Saturday at the Southgate House, multi-band charity show vets of the Rivertown Music Club present the Dog Days of Summer show, featuring a mix of Roots, Pop, Rock and Country music. The show -- a benefit for the Save the Animals Foundation (a no-kill animal shelter) -- features music on all three of the Southgate stages. Slated to appear: 500 Miles to Memphis, Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups, Lunapollo, Sweet Ray Laurel, The Mudpies, Chakras, Silver Bridge Disaster, Beau Alquizola, Stick Figures, The Bad Words, Mack West, Bosco Rossi, Billy Catfish and Allison Hurt. Music starts at 8 p.m. (myspace.com/therivertownmusicclub)
· Mark your calendars for more diverse "fest" shows coming very soon. The first ever Cincinnati Salsa Festival takes place Sept. 6 at Sawyer Point, featuring local bands like Tropicoso and Son Del Caribe, as well as international acts like headliner Lalo Rodriguez and dance troupes from across the country. (Go to cincinnatisalsafestival.com for details.) The World Music Fest, which debuted last year, is set to return Oct. 11 to the Southgate House, with everything from Brazilian and African music to Jazz, Cajun and Native American sounds. Artists scheduled so far include Eclipse, Phil DeGreg, Poco Loco, Lagniappe, Basim Daoud and BB Blues. The fest site (worldmusicfest.org) has more info. And the MidPoint Music Festival is, of course, just weeks away. Go to mpmf.com for the latest updates.
Contact Mike Breen: firstname.lastname@example.org