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Fest Scales New Heights

By Mike Breen · March 30th, 2011 · Spill It

The biannual Clifton Heights Music Festival returns this weekend for its fourth edition, taking over seven venues around the University of Cincinnati for two days of diverse, quality local music. Launched a year and half ago, the fest has become the best all-local musical showcase in town, growing from 35 acts to this year’s 80-plus (including comedians, MCs and more). Last year’s attendance peak (around 7,500 music lovers reportedly attended) should be easily topped this year.

For Friday’s opening night, Rohs Street Café has local artists like Marmalade Brigade and Shiny and The Spoon, while Baba Budan’s hosts, among others, Hazle Weatherfield, The Minor Leagues and a Hip Hop jam showcasing Trademark Aaron, Da 3rd Element, Citoak, Camp David, Moxy Monster and Skandal Da Ruckus Man. At Uncle Woody’s, Waiting On Ben, Mia Carruthers and The Retros and Frankly Speaking are among the performers, and Mac’s Pizza Pub has acts like Sassy Molasses, Kelly Fine and You, You’re Awesome. Friday’s lineup for Christy’s Biergarten includes Josiah Wolf (of Why?) and Liz Hodson, Perfect Norm and Walk The Moon, while Murphy’s Pub’s has artists like Oso Bear, J. Dorsey Blues Band and Skeetones. The Mad Frog features great Rock from the likes of The Kickaways, The Upset Victory, Mad Anthony and Bottom Line.

Saturday night, the fun continues at Rohs Street Cafe with Shiny Old Soul, iolite and others; Baba Budan’s follows an 8 p.m.

“Stand-Up Comedy Block” with sets by performers like The Guild of Calamitous Intent, Loudmouth and The Frankl Project; Mac’s Pizza Pub presents and eclectic night that includes Vaudeville Freud, The Cliftones and Chick Pimp, Coke Dealer at a Bar; and Christy’s Biergarten hosts The Ohms, Eclipse, No No Knots (on the verge of an extended hiatus) and more. Also Saturday, Murphy’s Pub’s performers include Sparrow Bellows, The Ready Stance, The Harlequins and Buckra, while The Mad Frog has The Dukes, The Never Setting Suns, Josh Eagle & The Harvest City and more.

Tickets are available in advance through cincyticket.com ($5; $10 for a two-day pass) or at any CHMF venue ($8; $12 for two days). For the entire lineup, check citybeat.com’s music blog or fariromeproductions.com.

Grand Slam Breakfast

As Jake Speed and the Freddies’ annual celebration of the Cincinnati Reds’ opening day continues to grow, so does its name. Thanks to sponsorship, the Folk group’s fun baseball season kick-off party is now called “WNKU & Kroger Present Jake Speed & The Freddies’ Opening Day Radio Extravaganza.” There’s still room for a “brought to you by …” at the end (Budweiser? Skyline? The Brass Ass?).

The free event starts the unofficial local holiday off at 9:30 a.m. at downtown’s historic Arnold’s Bar and Grill on Thursday, well before the game and right before the parade. The band will perform baseball-themed tunes, gags, skits and more, joined by musical guests Ed Vardiman (Straw Boss), who’ll play Cowboy Copas’ “Three Strikes and You’re Out” with the band, and Mark Utley (Magnolia Mountain), who will lend some banjo to the group’s version of Woody Guthrie’s “Joe DiMaggio Done it Again.” And there’s more than music. Baseball re-creators will be dressed as the 1869 Red Stockings, Jim Tarbell will make his traditional appearance as legendary vendor Peanut Jim and prizes will be given out all day, including several current and former Reds’ autographed baseball cards.

If you blew all your sick days on watching daytime NCAA tournament basketball and can’t make it, you can feel like you’re there by tuning in to WNKU’s live simulcast of the show; listen online at wnku.org. (www.freddiesmusic.com)

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@citybeat.com



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