Record expos aren’t what they used to be thanks to the music collector’s newfound ability to purchase almost any record they want online (physically through an auction site or digitally). But the inaugural Northside Record Fair — this Saturday at Hoffner Lodge (4120 Hamilton Ave.) — has a ton of fresh potential. It’s in Northside, the Cincinnati neighborhood with more record nerds per square feet than any other (according to my unscientific hunches) and organizers DOME Presents have turned the Fair into a true event, with live musical performances scattered throughout the day.
Scheduled to appear are acclaimed and prolific experimental folkie Wooden Wand, local Lisa Walker of on-the-rise-internationally Indie Rock band Wussy and Nashville guitarist/composer William Tyler, who has worked with artists like Lambchop, Silver Jews, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Charlie Louvin, and now releases his own unique guitar soundscapery. Several adventurous DJs will also keep things hoppin’, including DJ Seb, Uncle Dave Lewis and many more.
As for the “product,” the Northside Record Fair will feature vendors from all over the Midwest selling vinyl, CDs, cassettes and (wha?) 8-track tapes, as well as posters, shirts and other musical merch, on two floors in the Hoffner space. Admission is $5 and the Fair runs 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Afterwards, you can meet up with your new record buddies at The Comet for a 9 p.m. after-party featuring Wooden Wand, new local Noise Pop crew Tweens and Garage Punk cult heroes Cheater Slicks.
For complete information (including details for those who have things to sell), visit northsiderecordfair.tumblr.com.
Well before social media made it easier to connect directly to “followers,” veteran Cincinnati music legends Over the Rhine were already whispering in their fans’ ears via regular notes on the band website, written intimately and poetically by OTR’s Linford Detweiler (mostly).
The direct contact fit perfectly with Detweiler and wife Karin Bergquist’s mystical, emotionally resonant music, which has earned the group a dedicated fan base that spans the globe.
Along with a series of excellent albums and mesmerizing live shows across the country and beyond, the couple’s fan-friendliness and fairly consistent engagement no doubt helped not only build that fan base, but also maintain it.
The tight bond between OTR and its fans was tested in 2010 when Detweiler and Bergquist came to them with a proposition. Before sites like Kickstarter or PledgeMusic became the hugely popular resources for artists to “crowd-fund” projects that they are today, Over the Rhine was a step ahead, allowing fans to pre-order its next album and kick in additional funds for bonus perks before they even headed into the studio. The experiment worked incredibly well and the band ended up with a nice budget with which to record (with Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry, no less) the exquisite 2011 full-length, The Long Surrender, one of the group’s best (and best reviewed) albums to date.
The Long Surrender campaign was so successful — at least partially due to the band’s way of making fans feel like they are a part of the resultant records — OTR has returned to its fans for assistance, this time so they can record and release two new albums by the end of 2013.
In a letter on OTR’s website, Detweiler explains the two projects, the material for which has been written over the past few years. One of the albums is tentatively titled The Farm and features songs written about and inspired by the couple’s past several years living in an old farmhouse in Highland County, Ohio. The duo even plans on hosting a live performance of the songs on their inspirational property to celebrate.
The other project is a new holiday album, Blood Oranges in the Snow. The LP will be OTR’s third holiday release, following 1996’s The Darkest Night of the Year and 2006’s Snow Angels. Not your typical Christmas-classics toss-off collection, OTR’s holiday releases, as Detweiler writes, “(hopefully) capture some of the reality of a beautiful — but often conflicted and even heartbreaking — time of year.”
For more on how to donate, visit overtherhine.com/lets-make-a-record. There you’ll find the different tiers and perks, which include everything from digital bonus tracks and a “thank you” in the album artwork to a private house concert, admission to any OTR concert through 2014 and … a tree, to be planted on “The Farm” and dedicated to the donor.
Potential contributors will have a chance to be swayed by Over the Rhine’s sublime sounds this Saturday when the group returns downtown to the Taft Theatre to perform their annual holiday show, this year being billed as “An Acoustic Christmas Concert.” The event begins at 8 p.m. with opener Lucy Wainwright Roche. Tickets are $37.50 (via ticketmaster.com) or $42.50 at the door.
For those hardcore fans who just can’t get enough, OTR is also presenting its annual “Holiday Sunday Soiree,” a casual gathering at St. Elizabeth’s (1757 Mills Ave, Norwood). Tickets are not issued for Sunday’s 3 p.m. get-together; sign up and pay admission to the event ($20) at overtherhine.com and your name will be added to the guest list.
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