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Cover Story: MPMF Friday

September 22

By CityBeat Staff · September 20th, 2006 · Cover Story
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Bill Mike Band

Bill Mike Band



ARNOLD'S
9:15 p.m.

The Sloes (Cincinnati)

Acoustic Rock

A duo collaboration between longtime Cincinnati singer/songwriter Rick Lisak and Spookfloaters bassist Scott Carnder evolved into the wildly diverse Sloes in 2002 when Carnder picked up a mandolin for variety. By last year, The Sloes had filled out the line-up and recorded their acclaimed debut CD, Desperate Train.

You'll Dig It If You Dig: The melodic Pop of The Beatles, the lilting Bluegrass of Tim O'Brien, the transcendent songwriting of Bob Dylan, the delicate brushstrokes of Jazz. (Brian Baker)

10:15 p.m.

J.B. Beverley and the Wayward Drifters (Kensington, Md.)

Country

The summer of 2005 had the Drifters touring with Hank Williams III for a seven-week, cross-country tour in support of their self-produced and self-released album, Highball. They're currently supporting the spring release of their first full-length album, Dark Bar & a Juke Box. The music fuses traditional Honky Tonk, Rockabilly and Bluegrass to form an outfit that performs original tunes as well as standards by Jimmie Rodgers and Johnny Cash.

Dig It: Wayne "The Train" Hancock and Jimmie Rodgers. (Daniele Pfarr)

11:15 p.m.

Sally Spring (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

Americana

Spring has been wowing Folk/Rock audiences for the better part of 30 years. She learned how to play guitar at age 11 despite the congenital lack of a left hand, using open tunings to compensate. For three decades, she's become an indelible part of the L.A./New York Folk scenes and toured Europe while becoming an icon in the Carolinas. Her fourth album, Mockingbird, features appearances by Gene Parsons, Marshall Crenshaw, Tift Merritt, Caitlin Cary, Thad Cockrell and a host of others.

Dig It: Bluegrass, British Folk, Classic Rock, Pop, Country Rock and all the spaces in between, done well. (BB)

12:15 a.m.

Jake Speed & The Freddies (Cincinnati)

Folk

Speed has been taking on quite the musical endeavor this year. His New Year's resolution was to write one song a week, and so far he's met his goal (see

  Bill Mike Band
Bill Mike Band

Bill Mike Band



ARNOLD'S
9:15 p.m.

The Sloes (Cincinnati)

Acoustic Rock

A duo collaboration between longtime Cincinnati singer/songwriter Rick Lisak and Spookfloaters bassist Scott Carnder evolved into the wildly diverse Sloes in 2002 when Carnder picked up a mandolin for variety. By last year, The Sloes had filled out the line-up and recorded their acclaimed debut CD, Desperate Train.

You'll Dig It If You Dig: The melodic Pop of The Beatles, the lilting Bluegrass of Tim O'Brien, the transcendent songwriting of Bob Dylan, the delicate brushstrokes of Jazz. (Brian Baker)

10:15 p.m.

J.B. Beverley and the Wayward Drifters (Kensington, Md.)

Country

The summer of 2005 had the Drifters touring with Hank Williams III for a seven-week, cross-country tour in support of their self-produced and self-released album, Highball. They're currently supporting the spring release of their first full-length album, Dark Bar & a Juke Box. The music fuses traditional Honky Tonk, Rockabilly and Bluegrass to form an outfit that performs original tunes as well as standards by Jimmie Rodgers and Johnny Cash.

Dig It: Wayne "The Train" Hancock and Jimmie Rodgers. (Daniele Pfarr)

11:15 p.m.

Sally Spring (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

Americana

Spring has been wowing Folk/Rock audiences for the better part of 30 years. She learned how to play guitar at age 11 despite the congenital lack of a left hand, using open tunings to compensate. For three decades, she's become an indelible part of the L.A./New York Folk scenes and toured Europe while becoming an icon in the Carolinas. Her fourth album, Mockingbird, features appearances by Gene Parsons, Marshall Crenshaw, Tift Merritt, Caitlin Cary, Thad Cockrell and a host of others.

Dig It: Bluegrass, British Folk, Classic Rock, Pop, Country Rock and all the spaces in between, done well. (BB)

12:15 a.m.

Jake Speed & The Freddies (Cincinnati)

Folk

Speed has been taking on quite the musical endeavor this year. His New Year's resolution was to write one song a week, and so far he's met his goal (see citybeat.com for his "Speedy Delivery" audio column to check the results). With The Freddies, Jake takes a traditionalist approach to the old time washboard music that dates back to the Depression era. They're four-time winners of the Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best Folk musicians and a 2002 CEA winner for Artist of the Year and Best Singer/Songwriter.

Dig It: Woody Guthrie complete with a variety show. (DP)

1:15 a.m.

Joe Thompson (Astoria, N.Y.)

Americana

Mixing the blue-collar rollick and barroom reflection of Roots Rock and vintage Country, Joe Thompson sings of Pittsburgh steel mills and boozin' to forget with a rich, warm voice and a poet's insight. Thompson released his debut CD, the five-song Unraveling Tassel, this year. Not much more info is available on Thompson, but he does say on his MySpace page that he's influenced by Willie Nelson, the Democratic Party, Kurt Vonnegut, alcohol and "Ryan Adams eating a Steve Earle sandwich." My kind of guy. I think.

Dig It: Steve Earle, Counting Crowes, Merle Haggard. (MB)

BLUE WISP
9 p.m.

Kelly Evans (Cincinnati)

World/Folk/Jazz

Evans is one of Cincinnati's best guitar players. Chris Walker is a highly esteemed bass player in the area with past and current involvement in almost 20 bands. Chase Blowers has trained with some of the world's best Jazz percussionists. Together, the trio makes calming, distinct music and Evans' vocals add vibrancy to an original sound that's becoming widely accepted across town.

Dig It: Coffeeshops, Jazz, activism. (DP)

10 p.m.

B.J. Jansen (Philadelphia)

Jazz

Baritone saxophonist Jansen left Cincinnati to pursue his musical career on the east coast. Now based in Philly, the 25-year-old leads the Post Bop/Be Bop/Hard Bop traditionalists Conjura, an acoustic Jazz quintet whose performances have drawn comparisons to the peak output of '50s/'60s-era Blue Note Records. Jansen is also helping to keep classic Jazz alive via the Jazz Development Group, an organization he founded which provides Jazz clinics for schools.

Dig It: Gerry Mulligan, Pepper Adams, Serge Chaloff. (Mike Breen)

11 p.m.

John Goldman (Chicago, Ill.)

Contemporary Jazz

Goldman is a flutist, saxophonist and composer who plays frequently within Chicago's fertile Jazz scene. He moved to Chicago from Portland in the late '80s and has released three CDs, including his debut, For All the People, in 2001, which featured great local players like Bobby Broom and Ron Perrillo. Goldman is a versatile musician, playing with numerous Latin Jazz artists and shifting between Smooth Jazz and more traditional Bop.

Dig It: The smoother side of modern Jazz. (MB)

12 a.m.

TBA

1 a.m.

DLO (Da LEMMINGS OnSombol) (Cincinnati)

Jazz/Jam/Fusion

One of Cincinnati's longest running "Jam" ensembles, DLO is an improv-happy trio that's performed alongside the likes of Charlie Hunter, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and the Aquarium Rescue Unit in their 13-year existence. The band lineup has changed over the years, but the telepathic bond between amazing guitarist John Gentry Jr. and equally gifted bassist Andrew Scorti has been the constant, defining core. With influences ranging from Sun Ra and Frank Zappa to James Brown and The Meters, DLO makes blazing, progressive Jazz motored by a strong groove undercurrent.

Dig It: Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, John Scofield. (MB)

CHAMBER'S
9 p.m.

Complex Mold (Cleveland)

Alternative Rock

Starting with a quirky foundation of Alternative/Indie Rock influenced by a laundry list of quality artists, Complex Mold provides even more atmosphere, with touches of jazzy sax and flute. And that's just in the studio; they're a live juggernaut and one of Cleveland's favorite stage bands.

Dig It: Primus and Audioslave challenging Joshua Redman and Tom Waits to a battle of the cool hats. (BB)

10 p.m.

ease the medic (Columbus, Ohio)

Alternative Rock

The members of ease the medic are veterans of the Columbus scene who came together to explore the sonic territory between Post Hardcore's visceral power and Math Rock's cerebral impact. The band's debut EP, Riot on the Gold Coast, is attracting widespread attention and inspiring great press.

Dig It: Hardcore energy with Math Rock precision, like a listing on Cursive Street by a Sunny Day Real Estate agent. (BB)

11 p.m.

STATE (Indianapolis)

Rock

STATE was formed last year by singer/guitarist David Barajas, who had just left the popular, radio-friendly Pop crew Extra Blue Kind in favor of something teethier and more eclectic. The band quickly drew the attention of the local press and became favorites at some of Indy's most esteemed clubs. The band's explosive Rock has a dynamic drive and is highlighted by Barajas' sublime vocals, which move from sultry melodies to gut-tearing howls. Citing influences as varied as early Van Halen, Fantomas and Funkadelic, STATE combines them for a captivating, forceful and creative sound wholly their own, as evidenced on their debut, self-titled EP, released this spring.

Dig It: Queens of the Stone Age, Fugazi, Failure. (MB)

12 a.m.

The Defrost Star (Erlanger, Ky.)

Alternative Rock

The Defrost Star's Web site is calling their MidPoint appearance a "going away show," which would be a crying shame. After witnessing their adrenaline-soaked presentation numerous times, CityBeat has sung their praises for a couple of years now and it would be more than a little sad to think of them as a former band. If it's so, let's give them a proper sendoff, for those about to Rock and all that.

Dig It: Moody, anthemic and emotion-laden Post Punk/Pop played with neck-straining intensity. (BB)

1 a.m.

Bill Mike Band (Minneapolis)

Alternative Rock

Guitarist (and former Cincinnatian) Bill Mike utilizes a gauntlet of pedals and stompboxes to maximize his considerable prowess while bassist Chris Morrissey and drummer Steve Goold create a hybrid Rock/Soul/Funk storm behind him. It takes cojones to claim a range between Björk and Bad Brains, yet the Bill Mike Band stakes out that territory like a veteran surveyor.

Dig It: Everything between Björk and Bad Brains ... did you just start reading here? (Brian Baker)

CLUB DREAM
9 p.m.

Jitu tha Jugganot (Chicago)

Hip Hop

Yes, there's much more to Chicago Hip Hop than Kanye, Common and Twista. MC Jitu the Jugganot is the man to ask -- he's been a critical part of the scene since the early '90s, when he was a member of Ten Tray, the first Chicago Hip Hop group to get signed to a major label. Given the African name Jitu in 1995 (it means "a giant among men"), the rapper, who is also a youth program coordinator and community organizer on Chicago's south side, hit the battle scene hard in the '00s, winning many of the ones he entered. Jitu flashes his considerable skills, flexible flow and sharp social commentary on his recent album, Necessary Ingredients.

Dig It: Scarface, KRS One, smart Hip Hop that retains a grimy edge. (MB)

10 p.m.

Chestah T (Cincinnati)

Hip Hop

Cincinnati Hip Hop veteran Chestah T has been a club and radio DJ, manager, promoter and producer, but out from behind the scenes he's known as one of the best beat-box artists in the city. T calls his technique "Ear-Lusion," as he recreates the exact sounds of various drum machines. As an MC, T rhymes about everything from "spiritual struggles" to sexual exploits to his own skills as a performer.

Dig It: The beat-box gymnastics of Scratch from The Roots, Luther Campbell. (MB)

11 p.m.

Gyfted (Columbus, Ohio)

Hip Hop

Thoroughly immersed in the Hip Hop scene yet distraught at how the genre's use of profanity and vulgarity is accepted, Gyfted is out to set the record straight in a positive and peaceful way. At 21 years old, he's released an album (Best Kept Secret) and signed a two-year contract with TBG Promotions, a national booking agency in Miami.

Dig It: Eminem, The Game and Ludacris without the harsh words. (DP)

12 a.m.

Duwende (New York, N.Y.)

Rock/Pop

They're the only all "a cappella" band at MidPoint, but this six-member unit isn't doing Doo Wop or Barbershop music. Duwende are a legitimate Pop band, using their voices to make all of the sounds (drums and instruments included) on their albums and during their live shows. The group's CD Radio Screaming sounds as good as anything on Top 40 radio these days, mixing supercharged Hip Hop, funky, melodic Pop and heavenly R&B balladry. If no one told you in advance, you wouldn't notice the all-voice musicality of the band. But knowing makes it a more fascinating listen, and live they should be one of the more interesting acts to catch at MidPoint. Local hook: Duwende's baritone singer Geoffrey Barnes is originally from Cincinnati. Some bands say they rage against the machines; Duwende do it full-on by ignoring machines completely.

Dig It: Bobby McFerrin cloned and dropped smack-dab into the middle of the 2006 Pop landscape. (Mike Breen)

1 a.m.

da muttss (Cincinnati)

Hip Hop

One of Cincy Hip Hop's finest, da muttss have captured the hearts of the local music scene by playing to any audience they can get in front of, their skilled, diverse output drawing many fans from outside of their genre. The three-MCs/one-DJ crew's debut full-length, Conversations Over Blacks, Blunts, Sodas & Brews, was one of the best local albums released in Cincinnati in 2005. On that release, clever, cliché-free wordplay and creative, ambient soundscapes combine for an enthralling listen from start to finish, bringing a kaleidoscopic view of Hip Hop that takes influence from the best of the best, old and new. Their live show is equally entertaining and infectiously energized.

Dig It: A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, Mos Def. (MB)

COOPER'S ON MAIN
9 p.m.

Earle Grey (Cincinnati)

Pop Rock

Steve Earle is best known in these parts as the original drummer for The Afghan Whigs, playing on the local legends' first several albums. After being out of music for a few years, he pulled a Dave Grohl and stepped out from behind the kit to sing and play guitar for Earle Grey. Earle wrote all of the songs and got some help from some local music pals to record a 10-song CD, after which he assembled a live band and hit the local clubs. Earle's songs show an impressive knack for Pop melodies and his vocals are impressive, while the band provides a textured, powerful backdrop. Oh, and as he points out on his MySpace page, this is "The Other Steve Earle," not "the one who sings 'Copperhead Road.' "

Dig It: Buffalo Tom, Cheap Trick, drummers who defy the odds and show musical talent without sticks in their hands. (MB)

10 p.m.

Extra Blue Kind (Indianapolis)

Pop/Rock

After finding they didn't fit in with the Bloomington crowd, EBK ventured to the big city to share their different sound with the masses that might appreciate them more. They teamed up with Vess Ruhtenburg (Zero Boys) to release The Tide and the Undertow (2005) on Opulent Records and have been touring in support of the album while working on another EP with producers Ray Martin and Junior Sanchez (Gorillaz, Bloc Party, Madonna).

Dig It: A not-so-depressing Cure mixed with a not-so-electronic Republica. (DP)

11 p.m.

Clabbergirl (Cincinnati)

Pop/Rock

They've been in and around the scene for over 10 years now, and their only full-length release, I Feel Pretty (2001), was enough to grant them CD of the Year nomination at the Cammy awards and a Cincinnati Entertainment Award nomination for Best Rock Band. They had five appearances in WOXY's 97Xposure Top 20, with a Top 4 showing in 1996 and, in 2001, they won the whole shebang.

Dig It: Superdrag, GBV, sucking up to one of the MidPoint founders' band. (DP)

12 a.m.

SHIROCK (Nashville)

Pop/Rock

This emotive, "Progressive Pop" band gets its name from powerful singer/guitarist Chuck Shirock (much better than their original moniker: Chuck). The band's music is driving yet creatively layered, with strong hooks and honest lyrics, which go perfectly with Shirock's soaring, earnest vocals. The band is fresh off a successful college radio push and, showing ambition outside of the music realm, they spend their downtime working on their fashion line, IROCK Clothing, and the non-profit, Everything Burns, which raises money for supplies for a beleaguered town in Kenya.

Dig It: Keane with guitars, a still-hungry U2, Remy Zero. (MB)

1 a.m.

Casey Desmond (Boston)

Singer/Songwriter

Multi-instrumentalist Desmond (whose parents are members of Boston's hallowed Bentmen) has already made a substantial name for herself at home on her three indie albums (with a fourth in the works) featuring her Pop/Rock/Folk sensibilities, lyrical thoughtfulness and amazing four-octave voice. Desmond's 2005 eponymous album featured help from bass legend Tony Levin, David Bowie drummer Mike Levesque and acoustic guitar master Will Ackerman. Quality attracts quality, they say.

Dig It: The rootsy Rock of Sheryl Crow, the visceral Pop of Alanis Morrisette, the edgy flair of Garbage. (BB)

COURTYARD CAFE
9 p.m.

Jayne Sachs (Dayton, Ohio)

Pop/Rock

The one thing more powerful than a singer/songwriter passionately spilling her guts about the tribulations of being female is a woman who, all grown up, doesn't need to be misunderstood for edge's sake anymore. Sachs speaks clearly about heartbreak, with a hand well practiced in production. With a backing band that gets it, the overall effect is mature and to-the-point. A tough act to follow.

Dig It: The Corrs, Nina Gordon, Jill Sobule. (Hannah Roberts)

10 p.m.

Allison Tartalia (New York, N.Y.)

Rock

Tartalia is a classically trained pianist with a degree in theater, and it shows. The frenetic music, infused with Jazz and tribal beats, is eclectic, to say the least. Her debut album, Ready, has received airplay on college and indie stations across the U.S., and her next album is due this year.

Dig It: Tori Amos and Ani Difranco on Broadway. (DP)

11 p.m.

Liz Bowater (Cincinnati)

Acoustic

In just the span of five years, Bowater -- who recently moved to Cincy from Chicagoland -- has released three EPs and a full-length CD, with another album in the works.

She's had the pleasure of sharing a stage with Bill Mallonee, Denison Witmer and Sufjan Stevens and recently partnered up with two College-Conservatory of Music alums who have helped her extend the acoustics of her solo-charged tunes. It's heartfelt and beautiful, and her voice is captivating.

Dig It: Over the Rhine, Jewel before she became corporate. (DP)

12 a.m.

The Infinity Ball (Cincinnati)

Rock

Lead singer Rick Reed has a voice that channels Maynard from Tool, and the Infinity Ball's tunes are groovy, with funky melodies fused to melancholic stories. They describe their sound as infectious groove-based Rock with Jazz and Latin tonalities, plus memorable harmonies and lyrics steeped in dry humor. The band is currently recording tracks for their debut album.

Dig It: Barenaked Ladies on a lower dosage of Prozac. (DP)

1 a.m.

The Kevin Fox Band (Cincinnati)

Pop/Rock

"The Kevin Fox Band's music is about love, life and having as much fun as you can possibly have before you die" -- so reads singer/songwriter Kevin Fox's manifesto on his Web site, and it's a credo certainly reflected in his well-constructed Pop/Rock songs. A frequent presence on the local club scene and beyond (the band did over 200 shows last year), Fox mixes Roots Rock and Country influences into his Pop mix, enabling him to open for everyone from Tracy Byrd to Sister Hazel. The band's most recent CD, All Over the Place, came out last year.

Dig It: Tom Petty, John Mayer, Dave Matthews. (MB)

CRUSH
9 p.m.

Larry O. Dean and the Injured Parties (Chicago)

Alternative Pop

Michigan native/Chicago resident Larry O. Dean is a music journalist, cartoonist and longtime Pop purveyor with several acclaimed bands, including Post Office and The Me Decade. He recently put together the Injured Parties, yet another blessed-out Pop trio, and they're hard at work on their debut album.

Dig It: The Posies and Tommy Keene as docents for the Power Pop Museum's Badfinger/Big Star wing. (BB)

10 p.m.

7 Speed Vortex (Cincinnati)

Indie/Pop

This energetic, on-again/off-again foursome formed over a decade ago and came back strong last year with a new lineup. With former and current members of Cincy bands like Clifford Nevernew and Wussy, 7 Speed Vortex claims influence from everyone from Springsteen to Guided By Voices, and their playful sound is highlighted by singer Paris Trigger's ear-grabbing hooks and the band's loose but effective performance approach.

Dig It: Bands with fun "stage names," bands with fun "stage shows," bands with fun. (MB)

11 p.m.

Sleepybird (Dayton, Ohio)

Indie

Mixing acoustic instrumentation with modern, technologically-enhanced soundscapery, Sleepybird was formed in 2004 based around the songs of singer/songwriter Nick Tertel. When Tertel decided to flesh out his songs with a backing band, Sleepybird's unique, curiously layered sound took full shape, with the addition of samples, synths, violin and trombone. The band's 2004 CD No Flood was released to positive reviews and their forthcoming All Things Are Mine (due Oct.13) looks to follow suit. While MidPoint features some artists who sound or try to sound like everything else going on in popular music, check out Sleepybird's set if you're looking for something with a refreshing, avant spin that leaves the cookie-cutter in the kitchen drawer.

Dig It: Wilco at their most experimental, Sonic Youth and Modest Mouse jamming together for MTV's Unplugged. (MB)

12 a.m.

Jet Kid Committee (Dayton, Ohio)

Alternative Pop

Jet Kid Committee features four talented multi-instrumentalists within the quintet, making for a diverse and quirky musical experience combining JKC's synth-fueled Dance Pop balanced with Indie Rock melodicism. One of the highlights of JKC's live show is the ability of four-fifths of the band to change instruments as the song and soundscape dictate.

Dig It: The pastoral Indie Pop of Grandaddy melded with the manic Dance pace of Devo. (BB)

1 a.m.

The Green Room (Cincinnati)

Alternative Rock

Around in some form or another (save a two-year gap at the turn of the century) since 1993, The Green Room finally got around to releasing its debut album in 2005. The appropriately titled Waiting... (recorded in their own at-the-ready home studio over the course of three years) showcased the band's engaging slant on moody, dramatic AltRock, with spacious guitar textures and expressive vocals.

Dig It: Suede, Pulp, Placebo. (MB)

THE EXCHANGE
9:15 p.m.

Paper Airplane (Cincinnati/ Columbus)

Indie

Formerly called The Last Hotel, Paper Airplane's sound ranges from rough and tough to beautiful and melodic, all before you can even fully digest the former or the latter. They have been working with Relay Recordings' engineer, Jon Fintel, and their debut release (Middlemarch!) is due this fall. Paper Airplane has shared billing with national acts that include Mates of State, The Walkmen, The National and Dick Dale.

Dig It: The Beach Boys, but rougher. (DP)

10:15 p.m.

Ducksicle (Detroit)

Alternative

The band, for some reason, conjures internal thoughts of them running around in Devo-esque flowerpot hats whilst pushing their chins forward in an Egyptian sort of way. That's the way the music sounds, anyway. It's catchy. The band has a female bassist, a German guitarist and the rest of the members have diverse musical tastes. Together, it works.

Dig It: B-52s, Talking Heads and a less-Punk Dead Milkmen. (DP)

11:15 p.m.

Captain of Industry (Dayton, Ohio)

AltRock/Pop

Captain of Industry is a force to be reckoned with. With two full-length albums under their belts, they signed to Do-Tell Records (The Slackers, Enon, Skeleton Key) and have been touring ever since. In support of their most recent release, The Great Divide, Captain of Industry has graced the stages of such notable venues such as The Troubadour (Hollywood), Slim's (San Fran), The Bottom Lounge (Chicago) and the Knitting Factory (NYC). They have grown a second home here in Cincinnati, with avid fans always coming back for more.

Dig It: Happy Beatles in space with Blur along for the ride. (DP)

12:15 a.m.

Apollo 13 (Lawrence, Kan.)

Alternative

They're named Apollo 13 for a reason. Song intros will lead you to believe you're entering a musical space station, complete with an action-adventure awaiting. Dramatic, indeed. Their most recent release, Lovebomb, was made possible after they won the Dance/Electronica Grand Prize in the 2004 John Lennon Songwriting Competition. They've also received recognition from the International Songwriting Competition and the Independent Music Awards.

Dig It: Jack Johnson singing a James Bond theme song. (DP)

1:15 a.m.

The Vinyltones (Cincinnati)

Pop/Rock

In just a little over a year, the Vinyltones have been quite a busy foursome. After signing with Matt Senatore's (Blessid Union of Souls) newest label and production company, they got a deal with PureTone Music and Pete Ganbarg (Santana, Run DMC). They released their first full-length album, Memoirs of a Songbook. They have some of the most rotated songs on XM Radio's Unsigned Band Channel. They recently signed a deal with Quince Records to distribute their album in Japan. And they just returned from Afghanistan, where they played for the soldiers. Whew!

Dig It: Wilco, starring Jeff Tweedy as a lumberjack. (DP)

GUIDO'S CORNER TAP
9:15 p.m.

Jodi Jett (New York, N.Y.)

Alternative Rock

Jett's Kansas upbringing included church, church singing and little else. With no knowledge of contemporary music, she learned guitar well past her teenage years and still garnered comparisons to Liz Phair and P.J. Harvey; Grammy-winning producer Elliot Scheiner called her "the female Lou Reed," heady praise indeed. Considering her sheltered early life, her debut album, Revelations, more than lives up to its title.

Dig It: Cowboy Junkies and Mazzy Star on the rocks with a twist of Pretenders. (BB)

10:15 p.m.

Fairmount Girls (Cincinnati)

Indie Pop

This long-running Cincinnati band has had an ever-changing lineup that now includes members of The Tigerlilies, Ass Ponys and Lovely Crash. Female-fronted and sassy, to say the least, the five-piece has two full-length albums and are currently working on another slated for release in 2006. They've won Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Best New Artist and Indie Artist of the Year, as well as a Cammy award for Best Alternative act.

Dig It: The Go Go's and The Breeders. (DP)

11:15 p.m.

Winter Circle (Oklahoma City, Okla.)

Rock

Winter Circle has made quite a name for themselves in the past year, playing with Sum 41, Hawthorne Heights, Unwritten Law and Hinder. They've showcased at many festivals across the nation and heavy airplay on radio stations left listeners wanting more. The band is now rotating on XM Satellite Radio, and their music has been featured on MTV's The Gauntlet II, The Real World Key West and Cheyenne.

Dig It: Emo à la Jimmy Eat World with cherries on top. (DP)

12:15 a.m.

Exit Clov (Washington, D.C.)

Rock

Exit Clov is fronted by twin sisters and their newest demo, The Jolly Roget Sessions, enlisted the help of producer Roger Greenawalt (No Doubt, Ben Kweller, The White Stripes). Their Starfish EP was named one of 2004's best Mid-Atlantic releases by Left Off the Dial (an e-zine), and the band was nominated for a WAMA (Washington Area Music Award) in the Best New Artist category.

Dig It: Veruca Salt after eating loads of sugar cookies. (DP)

1:15 a.m.

The Libertines US (Cincinnati)

Alternative Rock

Thank the deity of your choice that the Libertines have returned to save us all. No, not that drug-addled collection of over-ponders; our very own Libertines from back in the glorious day when "Everybody Wants to Be My Sister" would come jangling out of WOXY or Nightwaves or WAIF and make everything all right. After 13 years, the Libertines (with US tacked on the end so Pete Doherty knows better than to show up to practice) reunite for live adventures and the possibility of a return to the studio. It really is a beautiful world.

Dig It: Early R.E.M. at their least cryptic, The Replacements at their most lovable. (BB)

J HALL
9:15 p.m.

for algernon (Cincinnati)

Indie

Fortunately for him, Jason Wells' midnight attic creations didn't fall prey to those common solo-turned-full-band disasters. His nearly-whispered vocals and DIY recording methods are still suggestive of a lone wolf, a characteristic that adds depth and credibility to lonesome songs about screwed up relationships.

Dig It: A sadder, acoustic Grandaddy. (HR)

10:15 p.m.

Bugs Multiply (Asheville, N.C.)

Alternative/Rock

Sing Matt Cox has been writing songs and performing in bands for almost 20 years and his band Bugs Multiply's newest self-titled album is gaining rave reviews and awards on GarageBand, a Web site dedicated to finding the best independent music and letting the listeners decide who is the best. Their single, "Shook Me Off," was voted "Track of the Day," with other honors in the areas of production, lyrics and originality.

Dig It: Foo Fighters, Pixies, NoFx. (DP)

11:15 p.m.

The Minor Leagues (Cincinnati)

Indie Pop

Where in the heck have I been? The Minor Leagues have been around since 2001, and after many lineup changes (56!?) the two founding members, Ben Walpole and Patrick Helmes, are still kickin'. The Pestilence Is Coming was released in June, and the band describes it as "a 51-minute assault of home-recorded melody, intricate arrangements boasting over 40 contributing musicians and a conceptual storyline of love, loss and French Canadians."

Dig It: Belle and Sebastian, Beulah, Apples in Stereo. (DP)

12:15 a.m.

TENKI (Chicago)

Indie Rock

Over the past seven or so years, TENKI has shape-shifted with lineup changes, but the personnel turnover (coupled with the core members' ceaseless curiosity, maturity and boundary-pushing) has greatly contributed to the band's sonic evolution, which has made a great band even greater as the years go by. Now a six-piece, TENKI's current sound is more spacious and compelling than ever, a stream-of-conscious dreamscape layered with spiraling textures and punctuated by unique, magnetic melodies. The group recently released an EP, We're Not Talking About the Universe Are We?, which will be followed up by a new full-length this fall.

Dig It: TV on the Radio, Aloha, Spoon stretching out. (Mike Breen)

1:15 a.m.

Stereo Deluxe (Indianapolis)

Pop/Rock

Stereo Deluxe's well-crafted Power Pop has helped make them one of the most popular bands currently playing in the Indianapolis music scene, winning the grand prize ($10,000) at last year's big Battle of the Bands contest at The Vogue. The young band formed in 1998 (mostly known as Unreel over the next several years) and did the usual local band "hobbyist" thing before deciding, in 2004, to take things more seriously and make a run at doing music for a living. So far so good -- they emerged from the studio with a tight, professional-sounding full-length and landed a deal with Indie500 Records.

Dig It: Fountains of Wayne, Cheap Trick, Fall Out Boy. (MB)

JEKYLL & HYDE'S 2ND FLOOR
9:15 p.m.

helicopters (Chicago)

Indie Pop

You say you want an evolution? This trio's path to their current Electro-fused, hookier-than-crack Pop sound began in 1997, when Jason Caldeira and David Moran were doing their acoustic thang at coffeehouses and clubs. They added a bassist and a rotating cast of drummers and did the Guitar Rock thing for a while before scrapping that model and drenching their hyper-melodic tunes with keyboard and synth quirks and programmed beats (don't worry, there's still plenty of cool guitar parts in the mix too). The trio released its debut, How to Fake Fall Asleep, in 2005.

Dig It: The Postal Service, Hot Chip, Thom Yorke's solo album on Prozac. (MB)

10:15 p.m.

The Station Myth (New York, N.Y.)

Indie Rock

It almost sounds like the high concept plot of an NBC comedy on the fall lineup -- four guys named Daniel in New York City start an Indie Rock band. Of course, on TV they'd be cruising chicks, looking for their "big break" and inflicting hijinks on the world. These four Daniels, as The Station Myth, are pursuing sonic textures in an experimental Rock atmosphere. There may be muted hijinks involved.

Dig It: Elbow's Indie ephemera, Radiohead's incessant need to be different. (BB)

11:15 p.m.

Coltrane Motion (Chicago)

Indie Rock/Electronica

Coltrane Motion is the brainchild of hypertalented frontman/programmer Michael Bond, who routinely writes new software and even constructs one-of-a-kind instruments to achieve his sonic needs. Assisted by guitarist Matt Dennewitz and a bank of laptops loaded with samples and other goodies, Coltrane Motion puts on a frenetic, booty-shaking live show.

Dig It: Laptop Dance Punk with power chords and breakbeats for all. Amen. (BB)

12:15 a.m.

Bebek (Philadelphia)

Electronic/Indie

Fresh off a successful South By Southwest appearance, Babek pushes both geographical and musical boundaries with the decidedly moody, esoteric amalgamation of Lynn Michalopoulos' catlike vocals and sampling interspersed through the band's atmospheric lounge creations.

Dig It: A less "jammy" Ani DiFranco, a grittier Mazzy Star. (HR)

1:15 a.m.

Le TechnoPUSS13S (Cincinnati)

Electronic Art Punk Disco

Part performance art, part Martian Disco house band, Le TechnoPUSS13S are hands-down one of the most interesting and original bands to ever call Cincinnati home. Fronted by outrageous frontwoman Vinnie Williams and solidly backed up by the beats and guitar work of rocker Jamie Thorman, the duo started as a "joke band" in 2002, but the strong reactions they conjured from the local scene (they've earned a couple of local music award nominations the past few years) turned them into a bonafide band. Known for their over-the-top live shows, the twosome has also released two brain-tickling albums and a third bun is currently in the oven.

Dig It: The Faint, Nina Hagen and Siouxsie Sioux wrestling in psychedelics-spiked Jello. (MB)

JEKYLL & HYDE'S 3RD FLOOR
9 p.m.

Lucas Cates (Madison, Wisc.)

Singer/Songwriter

Before Cates learned to play guitar in his sophomore year at Plymouth State, his musical experience was limited to trumpeting in his high school pep band. He's made up for lost time in a hurry; last year he met guitarist/producer Robert J., who signed Cates to his Popbomb label, joined his band and helped him record his stellar and acclaimed debut, Contradictory.

Dig It: Infectious Pop that swings like Jack Johnson and bites like Elvis Costello. (BB)

10 p.m.

Austin Willacy (San Francisco)

Roots Soul/Pop

Willacy (also a member of a capella group the House Jacks) plays percussive, groove-driven Pop/Rock with a soulful undercurrent. His diversity of sound and presentation is evidenced by the broad range of acts he's opened for over the years, including Ray Charles, James Brown, Chicago, Run DMC and Crosby, Stills and Nash. Willacy's earned plenty of accolades in the Bay Area and his music's been featured on MTV's Road Rules.

Dig It: Round robin sing-and-play-along with Lenny Kravitz, Seal, Stevie Wonder and Dave Matthews. (BB)

11 p.m.

Beau Alquizola Band (Cincinnati)

Acoustic/Pop

Alquizola started off as a Soul singer in Florida, but these days he's wowing crowds in his new hometown, Cincinnati, where he frequents the local clubs on a regular basis. Now settled into a magnetic, acoustic-based sound, Alquizola writes wistful Pop songs that are made transcendent by his spellbinding voice, a gently raspy instrument that has a little of Sam Cooke's soul-bleeding purr. Late last year, Alquizola released the impressive Please Keep The Door Closed CD, which featured excellent backing by various area musicians.

Dig It: Terence Trent D'Arby unplugged and humble, R.E.M. doing Neo Soul covers. (MB)

12 a.m.

Greenstreet (Troy, Mich.)

Pop Rock

Putting a little blue-eyed Soul into their radio-friendly Pop/Rock mix, Greenstreet have become fan favorites in the Detroit area. Though together only a few years, the core band members have known each other since grade school and they've already traveled cross-country on tour. In 2005, they completed the EP, Let's Talk About Some Music, a slick, funky collection of radio-ready Pop. Building a steady grassroots following, the band has earned opening slots for big-shot artists like O.A.R., Uncle Kracker and Run DMC.

Dig It: Maroon 5, Stevie Wonder jamming with The Click Five. (MB)

1 a.m.

Marking Twain (Cincinnati)

Rock

Although Marking Twain came together in Oxford as a quintet of Miami University students, the hard-charging outfit calls Cincinnati home. Formed from the ashes of young local Pop/Rock band Premium, Marking Twain's 2005 bow, The Identity Slip, was hailed in these pages as "a flawless, vibrant debut" (and we know what we're talking about). Fun fact: The boys of Marking Twain are just old enough to drink. Impressed? You should be.

Dig It: The Pop savvy of Maroon 5, the Jam crunch of Incubus. (BB)

KALDI'S
9 p.m.

Cheree Silcox (Nashville)

Country

Pensacola native/Nashville resident Silcox has a four-octave range and the kind of Country/Pop intuition that made stars out of Shania Twain and Faith Hill. Silcox has been singing since she was a child and her nearly lifelong experience singing in choruses, plays, musicals and as a soloist is plainly evident on her 2005 debut album, In His Dreams. Can chart success be far behind?

Dig It: Country with a sharp, shiny, Shania edge. (BB)

9:40 p.m.

Michael Joseph Ulery (Sunbury, Ohio)

World/Roots

On his Web site, Ulery states that his music is an "effort of combined and varied musical influences ... not meant to represent any one particular culture or medium." Indeed, the hypnotic instrumental album O-Glepi is a mélange of styles, with Spanish guitar flutters, Appalachian roots and, most prominently, Native American flute work. The end result makes for a tranquil listen, like New Age music with a pure, organic appeal.

Dig It: Music to take candle-lit bubble baths to. (MB)

10:20 p.m.

Andrea Davidson (Louisville)

Acoustic/Folk

What Davidson lacks in subtlety she more than makes up for in talent and potential. Influences from Jewel to Jack Johnson are evident, peppered with the fresh-faced concern of Michelle Branch. A deeply Southern timbre paves the way for Contemporary Folk messages not likely to be lost amongst the tangled thatch of Pop's all-glam, no-guts girls.

Dig It: Amy Ray (of Indigo Girls), Jack Johnson. (HR)

11 p.m.

Justin Lynch (Elsmere, Ky.)

Singer/Songwriter

Lynch uses a harmonica holder around his neck while playing solo, only he uses it to hold his kazoo. His solo work is very strong vocally, and his presence exudes an impression of a different era. His other project, as frontman for Wojo, celebrates the completion of its new album, Borderlands, during MPMF.

Dig It: If Neil Finn (Crowded House) was brought back in Marty McFly's DeLorean. (DP)

11:40 p.m.

Meg Allison (Chicago)

Folk/Pop

Taking cues from her favorite songwriters like Ray LaMontagne, Martin Sexton and Ryan Adams, Allison makes warm, cozy, grown-up Pop with journal-like, contemplative lyrics. She got her start playing the bars around Oxford while attending Miami University; after graduating, she realized she wanted to pursue a career in music and ultimately landed in Chicago. Allison recorded her debut disc, Missing Piece, with producers who have worked with Jason Mraz and Liz Phair, giving the songs a crispness that's perfect for Adult Alternative/Contemporary radio.

Dig It: Sarah McLachlan, Michelle Branch, The Cranberries. (MB)

12:20 a.m.

Ryan Adcock (Cincinnati)

Pop/Rock

At least Adcock has a sense of humor about his place in the music world, saying in his bio that white, male songwriters with acoustic guitars are today "about as surprising as finding a pigeon in New York." But, as he's proven with his charming live performances and passionate, commercial-ready CD releases, sometimes talent is all it takes to stand out. Earlier this year, Adcock released the EP Unfinished, the completed part of a planned full-length that never got finished (cleverly, Adcock posted demos of the remaining songs, so die-hard fans could combine them with the EP to make the LP, Finished).

Dig It: Glen Philips, The Fray, John Mayer. (MB)

1 a.m.

Jeremiah Birnbaum (New York, N.Y.)

Singer/Songwriter

Birnbaum's music is being heard on radio stations across the globe and he's becoming quite the MidPoint veteran. He is an ASCAPLUS Popular Music Award (an award for ASCAP writer members) recipient, he opened for Suzanne Vega and he's been featured as a Spotlight Artist on SonicBids (the popular Web site for musician press kits).

Dig It: John Mayer, Sheryl Crow. (DP)

KNOW THEATRE DOWNSTAIRS
9 p.m.

Policies and Procedures (Ontario, Canada)

Rock

This is a terrible name for a band that deactivates their Sonicbids press kit site and whose Web site apparently doesn't work. Google "Policies and Procedures" and note the number of governmental pissholes that come up. But they're smartass Canadians, after all; their MySpace page lists their influences as the lead characters from Beverly Hills Cop, Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, and their "Sounds Like" listing says, simply, "money." They have an imminent new album called Hit the Lights. I think.

Dig It: The tough/tender Punk ethos of Paul Westerberg, the elegant Pop/Rock of The Cars. I think. (BB)

10 p.m.

The States (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Indie Rock

Go to Harvard, get a degree, make beaucoup bucks. That game plan was sidetracked when Harvard students Chris Snyder (guitar) and Previn Warren (bass) hooked up and decided to give the Rock & Roll thing a go. Moving to Brooklyn, The States (rounded out by drummer Joe Stroll) mixed guitar atmospherics, Post Punk drive and soaring, romantic melodies, which they put to tape for their first CD, Multiply Not Divide. The album earned solid praise from print and online music outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, which featured the band in its "Download This" feature.

Dig It: Interpol, stellastarr*, We Are Scientists. (MB)

11 p.m.

Paperclip (Denver)

Rock

Paperclip began two years ago when a quartet known as The Meek shrunk to a trio with the abrupt departure of their lead singer. The reconfigured band honored their tour bookings and survived, utilizing the three members' vast musical experience to wander through genres as disparate as Punk, Country and Emo. Paperclip plays originals by the score but they also include a number of astonishing covers that sound like originals.

Dig It: Ween and Gomez in a tag team smackdown with Radiohead and Nirvana with Roger Waters as the ring announcer. (BB)

12 a.m.

Furvis (Cambridge, Mass.)

Rock

Part of the Boston music scene since they were 16 years old (the members are now in their 20s), Furvis have established themselves as worthy components of the scene. They have an impressively mature sound, with elements of many genres making their music very accessible. They released their Bunny EP in 2003 and are currently working on a full-length with Ed Valauskas (The Gentlemen, The Gravel Pit).

Dig It: Jeff Tweedy's voice, Old 97s enthusiasm, Grandaddy's melancholy. (Daniele Pfarr)

KNOW THEATRE UPSTAIRS
9:15 p.m.

Faith Gilmore (Nashville)

Singer/Songwriter

New Orleans native/Nashville resident Gilmore started out like many in the South, singing in church choir and school productions. But her early instructors saw her promise and steered her toward Classical vocal training, which she absorbed like a sponge. After a stint at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Gilmore began writing songs from her journal entries, learning guitar and performing while getting a degree in social work. She self-released her debut CD, Trip the Light, last year.

Dig It: Socially and spiritually conscious Folk music from a daughter of the Big Easy. (BB)

10:15 p.m.

Kim Taylor (Cincinnati)

Pop/Rock

Born and raised in Florida, Taylor has two albums and an EP under her belt. Her recent work, I Feel Like a Fading Light, was released just a week ago and was produced in New York by Jimi Zhivago, former guitarist for popular progressive Roots music act Ollabelle. She's also set to tape shows for an upcoming XM radio broadcast. Taylor has opened for artists such as Aqualung and Ben Lee, and she has toured as a backup singer, guitarist and opening act with Over the Rhine.

Dig It: Over the Rhine, Beth Orton, Fiona Apple. (DP)

11:15 p.m.

Kate Rogers (Toronto)

Singer/Songwriter

There's no easy way to classify Rogers' eclectic musical adventurism. Rootsy elements of Folk, Country, Blues, Pop and Jazz all surface intermittently in her sound, as do the mechanics of her time spent in Manchester, England's Hip Hop scene. When Rogers combines it all under her own banner, it is a fascinating and sophisticated hybrid.

Dig It: A Canadian Yankee in Beth Orton's Court, with Kate Bush producing. (BB)

12:15 a.m.

Ric Hordinski (Cincinnati)

Alternative

It's the mark of a great producer when even the most pedestrian music fan can pick out his or her recording projects based on a trademark sound. That's just what Hordinski has become over the years. And that rich, atmospheric vibe can be traced directly to his spacious guitar playing, which first came to the public's attention when he played in the original version of Cincy faves Over the Rhine. Since leaving that band, he's worked with Ben Harper, Richard Thompson and Victoria Williams (among others) and even scored a Grammy nomination in 2003 for his boardsmanship. Hordinski also remains a solo performer, exhibiting his ambient, elegant Pop songs on CD and in clubs, often under the name Monk.

Dig It: A quieter, gentler U2, Daniel Lanois, musicians who know the proper use of space. (MB)

MR. PITIFUL'S
9:15 p.m.

Matt Poss and the Wild Bunch (Effingham, Ill.)

Country

Poss wrote songs at 10, learned guitar at 14 and then became a high school biology teacher. Thankfully he never stopped writing songs; after returning to music in his late 20s, Poss fronted a traditional Country outfit called Lower Broadway, then left to do his debut solo album, Fool Enough, in 2003. He put together the Wild Bunch to support the album and their self-titled album came out last year, just in time to see Poss win VH1's "Song of the Year" competition.

Dig It: The tough Country heart of Steve Earle, the tender Bakersfield lilt of Dwight Yoakam. (BB)

10:15 p.m.

The Wrenfields (Dearborn, Mich.)

AltCountry

Formed in 2000, The Wrenfields mix Pop influences like Big Star with their love of Roots greats like Lucinda Williams, Gram Parsons and The Jayhawks. The international Americana press has embraced the quintet, with their first two albums (which sold a collective 10,000 copies) drawing praise from as far away as Spain and Japan. For their upcoming third album, the group headed to Minnesota to work with The Jayhawks' Gary Louris and Polara's Ed Ackerson, who were behind the boards for the most recent Golden Smog album.

Dig It: The Jayhawks, Gram Parsons if he were still kicking today, Tom Petty with more twang. (MB)

11:15pm

Kentucky Struts (Cold Spring, Ky.)

Americana

Three-year MPMF veterans Kentucky Struts are the band to see if you're ready to rock your socks off to high octane Country/Rock. The Struts have had a considerable year, with many shows supporting their late-2005 self-titled release. Recorded with engineer/producer Erwin Musper (David Bowie, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger), the album is set to be released in Europe, with extensive touring to follow.

Dig It: The best of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan all rolled into one band. (DP)

12:15 a.m.

Leo Clarke and Dave Murphy (Columbus, Ohio)

Americana

1:15 a.m.

The Stapletons (Cincinnati)

Roots Rock

The Stapleton brothers have become quite established in the Cincinnati scene since their formation in 2001. Two albums and many compilation tracks have garnered them attention over the years with four Cincinnati Entertainment Award nominations (two wins) and three Cammy nominations (two wins), along with invitations to play at a slew of festivals across the nation. They have shared the stage with Blondie, Peter Frampton, G. Love & Special Sauce, Ass Ponys, Buckcherry and many others.

Dig It: The Black Crowes stuck on a ranch with Creedence Clearwater Revival. (DP)

NEON'S
9 p.m.

Leigh Evin McCullough (Forest Park, Ill.)

Acoustic Rock

Blunt, brash singer/songwriter McCullough had a career as a college counselor in mind, but the musical muse stepped in her way instead and she's been following it ever since. Her songs are brutally frank, directly addressing sexual issues without pandering with "radio friendly" language (i.e., her lyrics are delivered like normal people talk). She even came out as a bisexual through her music and slapped a playful "Mental Advisory" warning on her 2001, self-titled debut. Her music is fairly straightforward, acoustic-based Rock & Roll, but the aggressive, confrontational tone of her voice and lyrics sets her apart from the usual coffeehouse divas.

Dig It: The fiery frankness of Ani DiFranco, Patti Smith and early Liz Phair. (MB)

10 p.m.

A.M. Elevator (Cincinnati)

Pop/Rock

A.M. Elevator has only been around since this past winter, and if you believe their bio they formed while recording their eponymous debut album. That's one way to fast track the process. Another is to generate great press and earn comparisons to everyone from The Beatles to Squeeze to Television. So, is the second album ready yet?

Dig It: That Police thing where the bass player sings, while Weezer adjusts Television with a Squeeze. (BB)

11 p.m.

Never the Nines (Hoboken, N.J.)

Rock

Piano-based Pop/Rock is bound to inspire a nod toward Coldplay, and Never the Nines is no different, but Charlie Irwin's grasp of melody and three-octave vocal prowess elevate the band to a new level. Irwin's rhythm section (bassist Tito, drummer Corby Hewson) create cohesive grooves and slippery patterns for Irwin's melodies, while newly installed guitarist Austin Briggs floats through it all with sinewy ease.

Dig It: A Jazz/Pop experiment where Chris Martin reinvents U2. (BB)

12 a.m.

ON A SUN (Milwaukee)

Alternative/Rock

The band is initially interesting because of the literal familial bond they share -- all three members are brothers. Growing up, their family influenced them extensively, and it's no surprise that they channeled the early influences to come together to make music. Their 2005 release of Watershed had its opening track ("Forgive") featured in the indie film Side Effects starring Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy).

Dig It: Soundgarden without Chris Cornell screaming so much. (DP)

1 a.m.

Manifold Stud (Youngstown, Ohio)

Rock

Manifold Stud's power and diversity is evident in the range of bands they've opened for, from the Pop of Marvelous 3 to the Metal brutality of Mushroomhead. Youngstownscene.com bestowed "Album of the Year" honors on the trio's debut, 2003's Phantasy Radio, and the glowing reviews confirmed that vote. Manifold Stud will bring the Rock, you bring the side dish.

Dig It: The Beatles and Stones babysit the Replacements and Goo Goo Dolls. (BB)

NEON'S COURTYARD
9:15 p.m.

sundayrunners (Chicago)

Alternative

Guitarist Randy Diderrich fronted his own Prog/Hard Rock band (Mas Optica), joined a Rock band (Front of Truck) and toured as a hired gun (Kevin Tihista, Tobin Sprout) before starting sundayrunners. All of Diderrich's various experiences and influences impact sundayrunners, including the British Invasion of the '60s, the Prog of the '70s, the Alternative sounds of the '80s and the resulting hybrids ever since.

Dig It: Pixies, Flaming Lips and Radiohead playing Red Rover with David Bowie, Marc Bolan and The Beatles. (BB)

10:15 p.m.

bulletproof charm (Cincinnati)

Alternative Rock

With the release of their new album, Reverse Engineer, bulletproof charm translate their dark and expansive melodicism to the studio with impressive results. Sadly, frontman Andrew Geonetta is relocating to Austin, Tex., meaning the end of the band as a local entity. This will be one of bulletproof charm's last local appearances, so catch them if you can.

Dig It: The moody explosiveness of Failure, the rhythmic heart tug of Coldplay, the experimentalism of Radiohead. (BB)

11:15 p.m.

The Payola Reserve (Baltimore)

Rock

The Payola Reserve received a lot of interest with their 2005 EP, Lay in Wait, but it was this year's One Long Apology that stormed into college radio with a vengeance. Cracking CMJ's Top 200 ahead of many better-funded and overproduced acts, The Payola Reserve earned a ton of great press and attracted a rabid following.

Dig It: Jeff Tweedy makes a quilt with Elvis Costello and David Bowie and has enough material left over for a Kinks pillow. (BB)

12:15 a.m.

Cari Clara (Cincinnati)

Alternative

Born from musical experimentation by Eric Diedrichs, Cari Clara was formed to give his recorded vision a reality. All six members have distinguished roots in the Cincinnati music scene, and their instrumentation adds depth to the poignant subject matter within the songs. Two albums and a few local music awards later, Diedrichs has set upon writing and recording new material for which many fans have been eagerly waiting.

Dig It: A Spiritualized latte, with a dollop of Air. (DP)

1:15 a.m.

TBA

NEON'S UPSTAIRS
9:15 p.m.

Kara Kulpa (Chicago)

Folk

When Kara Kulpa isn't out tearing up the Midwest Folk scene (she showcased last year at festivals in Indianapolis and New Orleans and was a sensation at 2005's MidPoint), she and duo partner Dave Golden are equally effective in Chicago Folk quartet Mercy Driver. She followed her Any Given Day demo last year with the compelling Incomplete, a live disc.

Dig It: Heartfelt Folk roundtable with Patty Griffin, Natalie Merchant and Shawn Colvin. (BB)

10:15 p.m.

John Allaire (Ontario, Canada)

Americana

Allaire is a 20-plus year veteran of a couple of extremely popular Canadian bands (Town Cryers, Mercy Miners), but his solo material is a far cry from the Rock and Pop/Punk sounds of his past. Opting for a more Dylan-esque Folk direction on his own, Allaire released Crime and Punishment in 2003, followed by his most recent album, Thank You Waitress, both of which have been glowingly received.

Dig It: Paul Westerberg ghostwriting songs for Neil Young and Elvis Costello. (BB)

11:15 p.m.

Dave Golden (New York, N.Y.)

Roots/Rock

Singer/songwriter Golden's career started strong, with early forays into everything from Punk to Jazz (his Jazz group at 18 was lauded by Downbeat Magazine and toured major Jazz fests), but he bagged it all for a job in a Finnish paper mill. Restless, he traveled the world and ultimately ended up back in music, this time as a raw, soulful Heartland Rock solo performer. Settled in New York City, Golden's career jumped right back on track, his riveting performances drawing attention not only from fans but by some big names in the industry as well. He recorded an entire album in New Orleans, but the tapes were destroyed by the devastating hurricane last year. Undeterred, he regrouped and recorded the intimate CD, How to Breathe.

Dig It: Bruce Springsteen, gruff Dylan, Country music stripped to its gritty essence. (Mike Breen)

12:15 a.m.

Greg Mahan (Cincinnati)

Acoustic/Folk

A captivating guitarist and equally magnetic songwriter, Mahan has been a favorite on the Cincinnati music scene for the past several years. An almost lifelong musician, he went public locally for the first time with his group banjo (featuring his brother Brian) before striking out solo in the late '90s. His debut album earned him several local music award nominations and showed the full-scope of his vision, built upon a rootsy foundation but filled out by some of the finest players in the city. Be it solo or with his "Indestructible Band," Mahan's showcase of honest, melodic Americana is always engaging.

Dig It: Dylan, poetic lyrics, dazzling acoustic guitar techniques. (MB)

1:15 a.m.

JoAnna James (St. Paul, Minn.)

Singer/Songwriter

After receiving a violin purchased from a nun when she was 7 years old, the musical spark was lit in James. Just a skosh into her twenties, she's been accepted to play at various renowned festivals across the states including the Midwest Music Summit (Ind.), South Park Music Festival (Colo.) and the CMJ Music Marathon (NYC). She won the 2005 Female Vocalist of the Year in the Minnesota Music Awards and her newest release, Desire, was named one of the Top 20 local albums of 20

 
 
 
 

 

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