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Venus Hum

Jan. 22 • The Monastery

By Brian Baker · January 19th, 2010 · Sound Advice
A decade ago, Cincinnati native Tony Miracle headed off to college in Nashville and wound up with more than a degree. A high school multi-instrumentalist, he crossed paths with vocalist Annette Strean and together the duo began creating songs and performing them around the Nashville scene. Adding second multi-instrumentalist Kip Kubin, the trio blended chilly ’80s Synth Pop with soulfully traditional Pop and came up with a sound akin to an Americanized Sugarcubes with a less quirky Bjork at the helm.

They named themselves Venus Hum, a slight misspelling of a non-lethal heart condition — venous hum — that afflicts Miracle, causing him to hear the pumping of blood in his ears. Given the band’s mechanized humanity, it seemed a fitting name.

“The Hum part was interesting because of the Electronic thing,” Miracle says. “And Venus was the feminine thing, the female-fronted Electronica group. It all kind of made sense. We literally came up with the name because we had a gig.”

Venus Hum released their eponymous debut in 2001 and Big Beautiful Sky in 2003, when they toured with Blue Man Group and Strean sang vocals on one of their biggest hits, “I Feel Love.” Shortly after, they were contacted by a fan with unusual connections; writer/director J.J.

Abrams approached VH about providing music for Alias and a long professional and personal friendship resulted.

“He’s just an enthusiast when he finds something he likes,” Miracle says. “He put us in an episode of Alias. He’s been a big supporter and fan of ours.”

Vocal nodes sidelined Strean for a spell, Kubin branched off into film territory (he provides the video backdrops for VH shows) and Miracle did a solo project before they reunited for 2005’s The Colors in the Wheel. The trio had done very little musically when Abrams once again contacted them about providing songs for his Star Trek movie. Although they weren’t used, it gave Venus Hum the impetus to finish their latest album, Mechanics & Mathematics.

The trio’s Cincinnati appearance is not merely a live gig. Venus Hum will be filming their show at Ric Hordinski’s Monastery Studio for a DVD they hope to have available in the next few months.

“It’s in between a concert and show taping,” says Miracle, who has relocated to Cincinnati (Strean is living in New York and Kubin is in Los Angeles). “We have fans from so many places who send e-mails saying, ‘When are you going to play Kansas City?” and ‘When are you coming to Brazil?’ and ‘When are you coming back to the UK?’ This concert movie is going out in our place, to all the places we can’t go.”

(Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.)



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