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MPMF.09 Bands P-Tg

By Staff · September 11th, 2009 · MPMF
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Pale Hollow
(Cleveland) Folk/Roots/Rock
This quartet's music has an Americana base, but there is too much going on in Pale Hollow's delicate songs that limiting descriptions to one word can only end up coming up short. The band has been understandably compared with Nick Drake, The Verve, The Kinks, Neil Young and Oasis, but even then, the group's slow-mo, glimmering sway deserves its own category. Dreamericana TwilightPop? Sure, why not.
You'll Dig Them If You Dig: Wilco with a BritPop fetish playing during a spectacular sunset at Joshua Tree.
Javier's Mexican Restaurant
Saturday, Sept. 26, 10:00

Pamela Richardson
(Chicago) Indie/Roots
With a low, smoky voice, singer/songwriter Pamela Richardson delivers melancholic songs of love and lost over a hazy, spectral backdrop. Performing and recording both solo and with her band The Pralines, Richardson's three releases have been lauded for their variety. The eclectic sonic approach never gets in the way of Richardson's moody melodies and her mesmerizingly unique vocal style has a smoldering, exotic quality that is hard to resist.
Dig: Cowboy Junkies, Nico, slow-burn French Pop reworked in a '60s Pop style.
Washington Platform
Friday, Sept. 25, 10:30

Paper Airplane
(Columbus, Ohio) Indie Pop
Paper Airplane was an undeniable highlight at last year's MidPoint festival, playing a tight set of its vintage-to-modern Pop, which is more infectious than H1N1 and more addictive than Facebook. The band's vibrancy shines from every drop-dead-perfect hook and the vocal, instrumental and song arrangements show an encyclopedic sense of classic Pop music, proving the Airplane to be about as good as things get in the Indie Pop universe, at least ranking next to masters like Beulah and The Apples in Stereo. But the band manages to not sound like a throwback, something driven home on its latest release, White Elephants, which gets its official Cincy release party at MidPoint.
Dig: The most sophisticated of Elephant 6 bands, Nilsson meets Big Star at The Beach Boys' beach house.
The Lodge Bar
Saturday, Sept. 26, 10:00

Parachute Musical
(Nashville) Rock/Pop
This foursome makes piano-led Rock music that actually sounds like neither Coldplay nor Ben Folds, a rarity these days. Not to say that the band doesn't have similar aspirations, Parachute Musical's music is emotionally-driven and inescapably melodic. The group has kept busy with touring and promotion since the release of Everything Is Working Out Fine in Some Town last year.
Dig: Phantom Planet, Squeeze finding the Fountain of Youth and modern Pop Rock.
The Lodge Bar
Saturday, Sept. 26, 9:00

Persona Grata
(Pittsburgh) Indie/Post Punk
Like Fugazi, the members of this trio make intricate, minimally textural Post Punk, delivered not only like they mean it, but as if their life depended on it. With crafty guitar work ranking with the best in the Math Rock field, some low-key but effective electronic decoration and vocals that are commandingly urgent, Persona Grata's music is laser-focused and cerebrally exploratory.
Dig: Math Rock that doesn't require a calculator, Progressive Rock that doesn't require a cape.
Below Zero Lounge
Saturday, Sept. 26, 9:30

Pomegranates
(Cincinnati) Indie Pop
It's been a good year for our young local heroes. In April, the quartet dropped its second full-length, Everybody Come Outside, a dynamic slab of Indie Pop anchored by the album's shimmering centerpiece,"Corriander." Positive notices (and a CityBeat cover story) followed, as did an extended tour that brought in even more converts via the Poms' infectious, sweaty live shows. These guys are going nowhere but up.
Dig: A less precious Vampire Weekend, Eno-era Talking Heads, Wolf Parade on a sugar high.
Know Theatre
Friday, Sept. 25, 12:00

Proud Simon
(Brooklyn, N.Y.) Americana/Roots Rock
If all they did was toss out a magnificent take on Americana, New York's Proud Simon would be head and shoulders above most bands doing the same thing. But then they add in the swirling sonic textures that set them further apart from the standard Roots Rock crowd.
Dig: Ryan Adams in a therapy jam with Pavement and Echo and the Bunnymen, with Brian Eno running the session.
Arnold's Bar and Grill
Friday, Sept. 25, 8:00

Rebel Red
(West Brooksville, Maine)
Americana
New York City born and London bred, Red Peralta honed her Americana chops with a 10-year run on the European circuit. After a move back to the States and time off to raise two kids, the flame-haired guitar slinger resurfaced in 2008 with Sex, Religion, Politics, an album of Texas-flavored ditties about sex, religion and politics.
Dig: Bonnie Raitt, Grace Slick weaned on Levon Helm.
Madonna's Bar & Grill
Saturday, Sept. 26, 11:00

Red Card Royale
(St. Louis) Alternative/Funk
The boys of Red Card Royale may have been on the student rolls at Webster University, but they were majoring in Rock Out with Your Cock Out, easily devoting more time and attention to their Chili Pepperish brand of heavy groove Rock. The band's latest album, Cover Your Ears, came out during finals week. Guess which took preference? Hey, a dual major is pretty impressive.
Dig: The Chili Peppers make a Royal Crescent Mob cake with Dictators icing.
Mainstay Rock Bar
Friday, Sept. 25, 12:00

Rego
(Chicago) Folk/Pop/Rock
Rego, the band, is named after its main creative visionary, Rebecca Rego, who ditched her solo guise after her debut solo EP and formed a band to give her songs a bigger sonic attack. She succeeded with a talented quartet of backing players, but Rego isn't named after its frontwoman for no reason, her songs are passionate, memorable slices of folksy Pop/Rock music and her voice has that singular, soulful quality that the only the best, most instantly-identifiable vocalists have. The band's debut LP, Learning to Be Lonely, shows Rego to be a Folk/Rock juggernaut with a good chance of crossing over to the Pop/mainstream realm.
Dig: Joni Mitchell born a couple decades later, Beth Orton born a couple decades earlier.
Washington Platform
Thursday, Sept. 24, 11:00

Return of Simple
(Cleveland, Ohio) Indie Pop
Having a piano-based combo opens you up to certain comparisons and while Cleveland's Return to Simple absolutely lives up to those yardsticks, there's no doubt they bring something unique to the table. Would Chris Martin claim Steve Reich and Debussy as influences? I think not.
Dig: Spoonbending, Ben Foldsing, Coldplaying.
The Lodge Bar
Thursday, Sept. 24, 11:00

Rosella
(Cleveland, Ohio) Rock/Pop
Together for just three years, Rosella has already received a lot of attention in its hometown, the band received "Best Cleveland Rock Band" honors from the Cleveland Free Times and invitations to open for big shots like Creed, Paramore and O.A.R. Rosella sounds like what most Rock radio sounds like right now, an enviable position for a band to be in.
Dig
: Carolina Liar, Gin Blossoms, Fall Out Boy.
Mainstay Rock Bar

Thursday
, Sept. 24, 12:00

Anni Rossi
(Chicago) Indie/Art Pop
An almost lifetime musician with classical training, singer/songwriter Anni Rossi has lived in Los Angeles, Minnesota and Chicago, where she is currently headquartered as she works on her burgeoning music career which is off to a great start (Rossi is just 23). Her minimalist approach (light cello and acoustic guitar only occasionally get percussion accompaniment and when they do it’s usually just soft clicks) gives ample space for her flexible vocals, which deliver elastic melodies that climb, jerk and trickle. Rossi records for 4AD/Beggars, and her latest release is the Steve Albini-helmed Rockwell.
Dig: The long-awaited Tom Waits/Joanna Newsom collaborative project, Liz Phair’s first acoustic demo, Feist with a raging case of music hiccups.
Mr Pitiful's
Friday, Sept. 25, 12:00

Rubber Knife Gang
(Cincinnati) Roots/Bluegrass
The Rubber Knife Gang evolved from bonfire party jams and the band's name came from an offhand comment about a group of adults riding mini-bikes. But as much fun as they're having, they're serious about the music. The trio's debut CD, A Rubber Knife Life, is a perfectly spontaneous living room recording that delivers like an obstetrician on steroids.
Dig: The ghost of Bob Wills hits the ouija bong of Waylon Jennings and writes the hillbilly version of "Purple Haze."
Madonna's Bar & Grill
Thursday, Sept. 24, 10:30

Ruetschle
(Dayton, Ohio) Pop/Rock
Dayton, Ohio has produced some of the best Pop bands in the Indie universe, from Guided By Voices and The Breeders to lesser-knowns like Real Lulu and Mink. You can certainly add the trio-recently-turned-quartet Ruetschle (named for singer/songwriter/guitarist Mike Ruetschle) near the top of that list. The band added new guitarist Shawn Johnson (formerly of Gem City Rockers and Morella's Forest) for its latest album, Exotic Destinations, the group's third long-player. Ruetschle has been a highlight band of past MPMFs and, given the strength of Destinations, this year shouldn't be any different. If you like melodic songs that stick with you like Lassie, don't sleep on this one.
Dig: Classic Brit Pop with that certain Dayton je ne sais quoi.
Blue Wisp Jazz Club: Thursday Sept.

24 8:00

Salient
(Nashville) Rock
Salient make earnest Radio Rock with an uplifting, redemptive slant. The band has been at it since 2002, releasing its own recordings and having some success pushing the music to radio. This year, the group was signed to ToneCrash Records and the members have spent this year preparing a new album with Grammy/Dove Award winner Barry Blair of Christian Rock faves Audio Adrenaline.
Dig
: Stone Temple Pilots with a sober, saved and non-cynical Weiland.
Mainstay Rock Bar
Friday, Sept. 25, 8:00

Samantha Tieger
(Cincinnati)
While most of us spent high school trying to figure out how to get beer and how not to get busted, Samantha Tieger is spending her teen years working on her musical career. And it's off to a hot start. The 16-year-old singer/songwriter, who makes Pop songs with a '60s influence, has Adrian Belew's manager, worked with Grammy-nominated producer Ric Hordinski and signed on with Brian Bacchus (former A&R at Blue Note) and Jay Newland (Norah Jones) to work on her debut full-length. Word is her first record deal is already in the works.
Dig: Michelle Branch, Kate Voegele, Vanessa Carlton.
Cadillac Ranch
Thursday, Sept. 24, 8:00

Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles
(Boston) Americana/Rock
After a couple of albums of reflective AltCountry introspection, Sarah Borges decided it was time to steer her band, the Broken Singles, in a new and slightly more visceral direction. There are still hints of Borges' plaintive Americana roots in her new album, The Stars Are Out, but there's also the unmistakable howl of Rock volume ("Do It for Free"), the freewheeling energy of roadhouse Country (the full throttle cover of NRBQ's "It Comes to Me Naturally") and the infectious joy of '60s Pop ("Stop and Think It Over," "Me and Your Ghost"). On The Stars Are Out, Borges and the Broken Singles bristle with the prickly power of Crazy Horse, the ass-motivation quotient of The Kinks, the revved-up honky tonk head snap of X, the twangy, soulful Pop ache of Big Star and the crotch-kicking swagger of The Stones. Hold onto your wigs and keys: The Broken Singles have come for your central nervous system.
Dig: Sheryl Crow and Joan Jett arm-wrestling for the right to open for Lucinda Williams.
Know Theatre
Saturday, Sept. 26, 12:00

Say It With a Smile
(Champaign, Ill.) Indie/Acoustic
Another example of the strange rise of Soft Rock influences in the Indie music world, Say It With a Smile is an acoustic-based five-piece that makes light-as-air Pop with rainbowing harmonies and sunset ruminations.
Dig: Indie version of America, acoustic Nada Surf on a beach, Fleet Foxes stuck on AM.
The Segway Room
Friday, Sept. 25, 11:00

Scotty Lust and the Two Timers
(Louisville, Ky.) Punk/Blues
If you're looking for primal, hard-driving garage Blues, Scotty Lust & the Two Timers might just be more than you've bargained for. Check out their video from The Gypsy Hut on their MySpace page; barely lit and howlingly distorted in every way, vocals, guitar, performance, recording, it's a visceral document of the Two Timers' Stooges-like fury. And power, raw power.
Dig: The Legendary Shack Shakers in a Texas cage death match with Jon Spencer's Blues Explosion.
Blue Wisp Jazz Club
Friday, Sept. 25, 10:00

Section 4
(Chicago) Trip Hop/Alternative
While trying to figure out the best way to describe itself to the uninitiated, the members of this Windy City quintet decided "non-electronic Trip Hop" did it best. Over dark soundscapes that move with a jazzy slinkiness singer Serena Romero adds another texture of sensuality and mystery with her evocative melodies, which float in the realm of Cocteau Twins, St. Vincent and, yes, Portishead (from the sound of it, that band's Beth Gibbons has been a comparison a few too many times in the band's life span).
Dig: Members of Sneaker Pimps and Portishead attempt to make a Noir Jazz soundtrack for David Lynch's Fire Walk With Me sequel.
Below Zero Lounge
Saturday, Sept. 26, 8:30

Sexual Disaster Quartet
(Lexington, Ky.) Soul/Rock
When Lexington's Sexual Disaster Quartet opens up the throttle, they roar headlong into unblazed Funk/Soul territory. When they dial it back, they exude a soulful Jazz sound that nips at the edges of Frank Zappa and Stanley Clarke. At either extreme, Sexual Disaster Quartet brings the Funk, the noise and the passion.
Dig: Rare Earth meets the Royal Crescent Mob in the 21st Century to do battle with Dr. Funkenstein.
Blue Wisp Jazz Club
Saturday, Sept. 26, 9:00

Shiny and the Spoon
(Cincinnati) Folk/Pop
Depending on who and when you ask, self-proclaimed ‚ukulele singer/songwriter, Amber Nash is Shiny and Magnolia Mountain's Jordan Neff is the Spoon (better than Hootie and the Blowfish, where neither were in the band). The pair met at last year's MidPoint festivities, and it's been a professional/personal partnership ever since. Whoever's who, Shiny and the Spoon are well on their way to wherever they want to go, preferably the big time.
Dig: Johnny and June as steered by Elvis Costello and Gram Parsons.
Madonna's Bar & Grill
Friday, Sept. 25, 10:00

Sinker
(Toledo, Ohio) Electro Rock
A common complaint from non-fans about Electronic Rock and Pop music is that there is no soul, that somehow artists are incapable of making anything other robotic coldness once they submit to using synths. But there is a grand tradition of Electro music that puts that snap judgment to shame, from Suicide and New Order back in the day to the ever-growing crop of contemporary practitioners like M83, LCD Soundsystem, Of Montreal and a slew of others. Sinker is an upper-Ohio duo that deserves mention in the same breath as all of those acts. With bouncing, new-waving rhythms as well as live guitar and drums and gritty, Indie-style vocals, Sinker's "Dirty Electrorock" will, according to the duo, "make you shit your pants and dance like you fucking mean it." So, uh, wear a diaper and comfortable shoes.
Dig: Datarock, Chromeo, MGMT sticking to its Electronica guns.
The Segway Room
Saturday, Sept. 26, 12:00

Sirens on Sunday
(Lebanon, Ohio) AltRock
Three years ago, singer/songwriter Nick Baker began writing songs that transcended his band at the time so he formed acoustic duo Ok to Drive with guitarist Shawn Steele to perform them. Since then, the pair has added bassist Alex Fraser and drummer Chris Cox and just days ago the band changed its name to Sirens on Sunday to reflect a commitment to a fresh direction. This show represents Sirens on Sunday's official launch.
Dig: Pearl Jam on a steady diet of the Marshall Tucker Band.
Havana Martini Club
Saturday, Sept. 26, 12:00

Sohio
(Seven Mile, Ohio) Indie Rock
Sohio hails from a small village in Butler County that, as of the 2000 census, boasted a population of around 700. Members of the quintet bring big talent to their small-town vibe, seemingly inspired both by their isolation and their easy access to Dayton and Cincinnati. The band manages to sound very of-the-now (you can hear some similarities to everything from The White Stripes to The Strokes), but their songs have a more natural energy.
Dig: Bob Pollard and Jeff Tweedy talking shop with The Raconteurs.
Javier's Mexican Restaurant
Saturday, Sept. 26, 11:00

Son Del Caribe
(Cincinnati) Salsa/Latin
If you need a little break from all the running around tonight at MidPoint, and you want to keep your energy up and get all sassy/sexy feeling, what better way than to do a little Salsa dancing? Son Del Caribe is one of the leading lights in the local Latin/Salsa scene, a scene that continues to get more popular by the day in the Cincy area.
Dig: Getting close and physical with strangers under the guise of exotic dancing.
Javier's Mexican Restaurant
Friday, Sept. 25, 9:00

Son of the Sun
(Buffalo, N.Y.) Rock
A flood of adjectives immediately comes to mind upon exposure to Son of the Sun's music, lush, affecting, shimmering, languid, dreamy and ethereal, to name a few, via five guys who surely have albums by everyone from Gram Parsons to the Velvet Underground scattered amid their Buffalo practice space. Truth in advertising: If the son of the sun actually formed a band, this impressive sonic sigh would probably what it would sound like.
Dig: Mazzy Star fronted by a dude, The Beatles in slow motion, lazy Sunday mornings.
Below Zero Lounge
Saturday, Sept. 26, 10:30

Sparrow Bellows
(Cincinnati) Rock
Instant potatoes don't get done much quicker than the assembly of Sparrow Bellows (until recently known as The Emeralds) last year. A friendly jam turned into a band and tour in about the time it takes Axl Rose to clear his throat. Over the past year and a half, the band has recorded, toured, rinsed and repeated repeatedly, better each time around. Last September, the band was one of the highlights of MidPoint, and while they're down to a trio this year Sparrow Bellows remains fully prepared, Bon Jovi-like, to see a million faces and Rock them all.
Dig: The spirit of Frank Zappa and the concept of Keith Richards, Bob Dylans and Willie Nelsons as many as you've got.
Courtyard Cafe On Main
Saturday, Sept. 26, 9:00

Spookfloaters
(Cincinnati) Rock/Jam
The Spookfloaters are the longest-running Jam band in Cincinnati and the group's 22-year tenure might just make them one of the longer running bands of its kind in the country. Though they haven't put out an album in 13 years, the 'Floaters remain a popular draw on the local club scene.
Dig: The Allmans, The Dead, hypnotizing guitar noodling.
Arnold's Bar and Grill: Thursday Sept. 24 11:00

State Song
(Cincinnati) Indie/Post Punk
This new trio began creating a buzz almost immediately after debuting thanks to an engaging sound that is loaded with swept-away dynamics and emotive (without being "Emo") vocals. Creating some big audio dynamite for a band its size (thanks to the incorporation of samples and keys and the aforementioned dynamicism), State Song's Post Punk approach is equally mesmerizing and jarring.
Dig: Dinosaur Jr. without the loud relentlessness, Sunny Day Real Estate in its forcefully passionate formative years.
Southgate House
Saturday, Sept. 26, 9:00

stephaniesid
(Asheville, N.C.) Indie Pop
The MidPoint vets of stephaniesid have provided a lot of highlights to the festival over the years, and 2009 should be no exception. The group’s exuberant, creative and colorful Pop has earned them a phonebook’s worth of positive reviews and other accolades, including winning “Best Rock Band” and “Best Indie Band” honors in its hometown and getting spins on radio stations all over the country.
Dig: Regina Spektor and Bjork meet up in a magic kaleidoscope and write Pop gem after Pop gem.
Know Theatre
Saturday, Sept. 26, 10:00

Stereo Deluxe
(Indianapolis) Pop/Rock
The childhood friends who comprise Stereo Deluxe have been making music together since their early teens. Experimenting with sounds, styles and band names for the past decade, the group landed on a melodic and accessible Rock vibe that has led to gigs with Kings of Leon, Augustana and Marah and a chance to record its latest album, When the Party’s Over, with top-notch producers who have worked with the likes of Jurassic 5 and Supergrass.
Dig: Power Pop with light hints of Blues, Metal and Jeff Buckley.
Mainstay Rock Bar
Thursday, Sept. 24, 9:00

Stick Figure Drawings
(Cincinnati) Indie Folk
Stick Figure Drawings began as a back porch diversion for Max Fender and Sarah Davis, away from their louder activities with Alone at 3am, but soon grew to a band of equal importance. With the addition of drummer Colina and Wonky Tonk's Jasmine Poole on bass, Stick Figure Drawings is becoming one of the city's hottest new folkers.
Dig: Sepia photographs of Jay Farrar and Eef Barzelay.
Arnold's Bar and Grill: Thursday Sept. 24 9:00

Straw Boss
(Newport, Ky.) Rockabilly/Honky Tonk
These cats have won the Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best Country act, but Country is only a rough descriptor of the band, as they connect the dots between vintage Honky Tonk and Rockabilly. The group has become a local favorite, performing many shows at the Southgate House, and they always bring the "real" when they play. Authentic and downright addicting, Straw Boss will surely swing its way into your heart.
Dig: Johnny Cash, Elvis, BR5-49.
Southgate House
Thursday, Sept. 24, 9:00

Stucco Jones
(Columbus, Ohio) Garage Rock
Just when you think the guitar/drum duo has been done to exhaustion, along comes Stucco Jones to show there's still plenty of stomp left in the concept. The hook? Both play drums and guitars and sing so there's lots of turnover. Stucco Jones' range is somewhere between dusting the rafters and blowing the shingles clean off the roof.
Dig: Half of Jane's Addiction playing in twice the garage.
Courtyard Cafe On Main
Saturday, Sept. 26, 10:00

Sweet Cyanide
(New York) Glam Rock
Sweet Cyanide digs through the Glam costume trunk of David Bowie and pilfers the Arena Rock set list of KISS, slamming it together in an amazing hybrid that offers up 110 decibels of sleazy, slutty and swinging Rock & Roll, American style, baby.
Dig: "All the Way from Texas" by ZZ Mott.
Mainstay Rock Bar
Saturday, Sept. 26, 11:00

Telling On Trixie
(New York City) Indie Rock
Combining flawless Pop melodicism with Emo passion and Prog intricacy and bombast, Telling on Trixie swing and swagger with anthemic power on every track of their latest album, Ugly, Broke & Sober. Derek Nicoletto is a compelling frontman with a voice that suggests David Bowie's soulful Rock period while the rest of TOT grinds out an edgy Pop groove that's as sweet and crunchy as chunky peanut butter. Telling on Trixie already has the sound of some of Rock's biggest names, now they just need the exposure.
Dig: The band Live with an even more finely tuned dramatic sense.
Below Zero Lounge
Saturday, Sept. 26, 12:30

Terribly Empty Pockets
(Columbus, Ohio) Indie Pop/Rock
Hailing from our state capital, Terribly Empty Pockets hearkens back to the halcyon days of late '70s New Wave, when quirky melodicism's peanut butter crashed headlong into frenetic angst's dark chocolate. TEP's initial indie releases garnered them a contract with Nettwerk for their semi-major label debut, the much-acclaimed Cat Mountain. Set the ship's control for 1979 and chart a course for fun; Terribly Empty Pockets is in town.
Dig: The Cure and The Smiths, influenced by roller-rink Punk and produced by Here Comes the Warm Jets-era Brian Eno.
Know Theatre
Friday, Sept. 25, 9:00

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