• Friday night at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine, local Indie/Electronic band Soapland will celebrate the release of its first recording effort, Inflatable Real. DJ Mowgli will also be on hand to spin some tunes to dance to. Though only four tracks, the enticing EP is an excellent introduction to the crafty group’s electronic-tinged soundscapes, engaging vocals and creative songwriting. With a lineup of veteran local musicians from bands like Roundhead, Viva La Foxx and the Wolverton Brothers, among others, the foursome was one of the best new bands around when they emerged a couple of years ago. With Inflatable Real, you’ll be tempted to change that to just “one of the best bands around.” Friday’s show will also celebrate some different talents of Soapland’s members. Singer Amy Jo and guitarist Steve Metz will be exhibiting their artwork for the Final Friday-timed event; Jo will display drawings while Metz will show some of his photography work. As always at MOTR, there is no cover charge the entire night. Search for Soapland’s profile at ReverbNation for an early listen to the release.
• Local Folk hero Jake Speed recently presented his annual baseball-themed variety show on the Reds’ Opening Day. This week, he’ll continue another less consistent tradition (it has been off and on, never really “annual”) that the singer/songwriter started well before the baseball show, when he was still primarily known as “that red-headed busker.” If you’ve heard Speed and his band The Freddies’ music before, you’ll understand the huge influence music icon and Folk pioneer Woody Guthrie has on the group members.
Woodyfest is a celebration of and tribute to Guthrie’s life and music, this time happening Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Recital Hall on the College of Mt. St. Joseph campus in Delhi. The event will feature some great special guests, including Michael Oberst and Sean Geil of The Tillers and Magnolia Mountain frontman Mark Utley. Tickets are $10 (admission is free for the college's students and staff). (freddiesmusic.com)
• Speaking of annual traditions, May 1 (Sunday) is May Day, the annual holiday that honors workers and labor unions. But Sunday isn’t a good night to party, so the Northside club with the same name, Mayday, has scheduled its second annual Mayday Fest for this Saturday. There will be a pig roast if you’re hungry, grooves from DJ duo CSDIV and Sam Sneed if you wanna dance and, if you’re feeling sadistic, the “Shot ’n a Slap” booth (pretty much what you think it is, with a pretty woman doing the post-chug slapping) will be back. And, of course, there will be live music at the event. The Sundresses, recently returning from a hiatus from the live scene, will show Northside they’re back bigger and better when they offer up a set of soulful, swaggery Roots/Blues/Punk. Mayday Fest runs 6 p.m.-2 a.m. and there is no admission charge. (www.maydaynorthside.com)
• It’s party time at downtown music club Mainstay this weekend as the venue celebrates its two-year anniversary with a couple of shows featuring some of the best music being made in Greater Cincinnati. Friday night, The Lions Rampant headlines and also releases its latest 7-inch single (on groovy red vinyl), which the first 100 people through the door will receive at no cost. Friday also features sets from fellow local Rock squads Oso Bear and The Kickaways, plus, in the club’s upstairs, DJ Gerald Shell will play dance tunes starting at 10 p.m. (the Rock starts at 9 p.m.). Saturday night’s equally killer lineup includes Bad Veins, Gold Shoes and You, You’re Awesome, with turntable masters DJ Nati Kid and Mike B from the Animal Crackers crew spinning upstairs. Cover charge is $5 each night. (mainstayrockbar.com)
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