• The free “Tunes & Blooms” concert series at the Cincinnati Zoo kicked off last Thursday with Screaming Mimes and The Newbees, and this Thursday it returns with the teaming of local Pop/Rock legends psychodots and Gypsy Jazz masters The Faux Frenchmen. On April 23, Jake Speed and the Freddies and The Turkeys folk up the gardens at the Zoo, while Rumpke Mountain Boys and The Comet Bluegrass Allstars, two of the city’s best Bluegrass crews, close the series out on April 30. The shows run from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. It’ll cost you $6.50 to park at the Zoo, but (and you didn’t hear it from me) street parking around there is usually plentiful. (cincinnatizoo.org)
• Progressive, jazzy Reggae/Rock/Jam crew The Ohms celebrate the release of their new CD, the EP Resistance, with a show Friday at Play by Play in Silverton. The eight-year-old band (formerly The Four Ohms) will be joined by Reggae faves Super-Massive for the show. The new “sample” CD is in advance of a forthcoming long-player, which will be the band’s first since 2005’s Big White Truck. In other Ohms news, the group has announced dates for its annual “Ohmstead” outdoor music festival at Camp America near Oxford. The fest — which always features a diverse lineup of local and regional music — is set for Aug.
• Those on a tight budget these days who happen to be fans of atmospheric Indie Rock band Cari Clara will be happy to hear that the next CC album will be made available for free as a download. The release date is still up in the air, but expect it soon (we’ll keep you posted). While you’re anxiously awaiting the freebies, be sure to check out Cari Clara Friday at the Northside Tavern, with special guests The Koala Fires and Lexington’s Chico Fellini (who were a hit at last year’s MidPoint Music Festival). In keeping with the recession theme, Friday’s show is also free. (www.myspace.com/cariclara)
• Animal lovers that love local music will want to head to Stanley’s Pub Friday for a benefit show for the Safe Haven Spay/Neuter Voucher Program, which helps pet owners who can’t afford to have their animals spayed or neutered. The 9:30 p.m. show features Surf rockers The AmpFibians, Glam/Pop group Leisure and R&B/Funk crew Shake It Loose. The show is being organized by some of the same people behind the Free Lap Dances CD compilations, which feature music from local artists and benefit the Save Our Strays organization, which strives to humanely help control the Tristate area’s stray animal population. The CDs can be found at CDBaby.com, including the most recent edition, Volume 4: Heavy Petting, which contains music by The Beau Alquizola Band, Buckra, Cari Clara, Daughters & Sons, The Emeralds, 500 Miles to Memphis, Kelly Thomas & The Fabulous Pick-ups, The Koala Fires, The Newbees, Willy D and many others. (soscinci.org)
• PJ Herrington, a former local musician now based in Austin, Tex., swings back through town this Wednesday as a member of The Underground Township, an Americana group serving as the backing group for Graham Wilkinson (the Township’s frontguy), Chris Denny and Dany Malone, three rootsy singer/songwriters. Cincinnati’s Noah Sugarman has also been a part of the revue’s extensive tour, which stops by the Northside Tavern on Wednesday. (myspace.com/undergroundtownship)
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