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And the Fests Keep Comin'

By Mike Breen · September 30th, 2009 · Spill It

Early fall is starting to shape up as “music festival” time in Cincinnati. After another spectacular MidPoint Music Festival, you’d think folks might want some down time. Instead, they’ve got plenty of choices this weekend, in “fest” form.

• This Friday and Saturday, Fountain Square keeps the good vibes from MidPoint and this summer’s MidPoint Indie Summer concert series going with a new incarnation of the Popopolis event. Popopolis was founded in the late ’90s by yours truly and musician Jay Hopper as a way to bring the best in Power Pop and other versions of melodic Pop/Rock to Greater Cincinnati. The festival had a strong five-year run that put the best Pop/ Rock bands from the local scene onstage together at the Southgate House and also attracted big-name headliners like Nada Surf and Superdrag. Fountain Square point-person Bill Donabedian, who worked on the original festival (he and his MidPoint co-founder Sean Rhiney have said that Popopolis was part of the inspiration behind starting MPMF), is running the show this time around.

The event has been changed into a free two-night affair, with Friday being “reunion night,” featuring sets from some of the festival’s original performers (often with members coming in from all across the country to play). “Getting the band back together” Friday will be Saving Ray, Rhiney’s Clabbergirl (with various band alum joining in), Rockets to Mars (full disclosure: I play crappy guitar in this band) and Throneberry, the Alias Records recording artists and peers/pals of The Afghan Whigs. Throneberry’s show will be its first with its original lineup since 1996. Popopolis vets Mike Landis, Messerly & Ewing and Bri Love (aka Swarthy) provide acoustic sets on a sidestage throughout the night.

Saturday features the melody makers who have come into being post-Popopolis.

Bad Veins plays its first Fountain Square show (headlining at 10 p.m.) since packing it for the duo’s album release show earlier this year (singer/guitarist Ben Davis played Popopolis with his old band Giant Judys). Also playing Friday: State Song, The Seedy Seeds, Wussy, Jason Snell of The Chocolate Horse, Dan Mecher of the Turnbull ACs and Pomegranates.

Music kicks off at 7 p.m. both nights. Get details here.

• If you’re in the Clifton Heights/UC area this Friday, don’t miss the Clifton Heights Music Festival, taking place at four venues, all kicking off at 9 p.m. The lineup is stacked with quality entertainment from various genres. Baba Budan’s has Lazy D, F.R.A., Loudmouth, The Frankl Project, Stick Figures and Marmalade Brigade. Mac’s Pizza Pub hosts Madras Lounge, Brandon Meade, hip hoppers DJ Kyle Cannon, Wonder Brown, Eagle to Squirrel and Skandal Da Ruckus Man, plus Zoo Babies, Losanti and Eclipse.

Christy’s Biergarten kicks off with Hip Hop at 9 p.m. with DJ April Reign, Ill Poetic, Donte (from Mood), The Watusi Tribe, Grease, Da Mutts and Bullying Ben Jones. Daughters & Sons, Chick Pimp, Coke Dealer at a Bar and Molly Sullivan close out the night. Murphy’s Pub will have Wonky Tonk, Best Revenge, Bones Dupree and Wiseblood.

Get details at here.

• Now that the dinosaurs have left the building, the Museum Center at Union Terminal is getting ready to welcome another group of the long since dead: mummies. To celebrate the opening of Secrets of Egypt, Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science and the OMNIMAX’s Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs, the Museum Center is throwing Pharaohfest Saturday.

A big part of the day's activities — it's all free — will be live original music starting at 6 p.m. from The Kentucky Struts, The Sundresses, Eclipse and Mia Carruthers & the Retros. Also look for special guest appearances by Roxanne Qualls, Jean-Robert de Cavel, Bootsy Collins and more.

Get details here.

Jake Speed (founder of the annual Woodyfest, dedicated to music icon Woody Guthrie) is getting all Woody again Saturday for "This Land Was Made for You & Me: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie by Jake Speed & the Freddies." Speed and his band will be joined by MUSE: Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir and Mike Oberst from The Tillers for the 8 p.m. show at St. John’s Unitarian-Universalist Church in Clifton. Tickets are $15 and available at the door or in advance by calling 513-961-1938. Get details at www.stjohnsuu.org.


CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@citybeat.com



 
 
 
 

 

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