Local Heroes/International News
A couple of Cincinnati's finest musical exports got blurb nods in two high profile magazines recently. The Greenhornes have already received a Bible-sized-press-kit's worth of acclaim from international press outlets and their signing to V2 Records (which will release the band's EP, East Grand Blues, on Aug. 2) should pad their collection of accolades even more. The group -- opening for the White Stripes on their North American tour, which earned them a must-see opening act nod from Rolling Stone and brings them to Cincinnati's Music Hall on Sept. 12 -- received their latest shout-out from Entertainment Weekly, which implored readers to download the "psychedelic riffage" of their East Grand track, "Pattern Skies." The band does one more local show before the big tour, a freebie at The Comet on July 30.
A local legend with a few more years under his belt, Blues belter H-Bomb Ferguson, got some ink from Mojo in the peerless British-based Rock mag's July issue. Ferguson, who still manages local gigs on dizzyingly regular basis, was cited as a highlight of the New Orleans music festival Ponderosa Stomp and called a musical "giant" alongside fest compadres Link Ray and Betty Harris. Ferguson is also spotlighted in a photo accompanying the brief write-up.
Live 8 Mea Culpa
MTV attempted to make some peace with angry viewers who were upset with the former music channel's coverage of the Live 8 benefit concerts on July 2. The station's original coverage mostly featured only snippets of performances, with no artist (not even the much-hyped Pink Floyd) getting their full sets aired. What a shock! Leave it to a "music station" that shows little music anymore to air live coverage of a concert without much of the actual, you know, concert. The net and its sister station VH-1 tried to make nice by offering 10 hours of commercial-free performances on July 9. They should have hope they at least cut out the artists who insisted on playing "new songs." (Thinly veiled self-promotion at the biggest benefit concert ever? Tacky!). Those not wanting to sit through Mariah Carey and Will Smith can more easily see what they want by going to music.aol.com, which has full sets from performers at fest sites in Berlin, Rome, Philly, London, Paris and Toronto. Roxy Music played? Who knew? But better than any performances was the news that the G-8 leaders (at whom the Live 8 shows were aimed) agreed to double aid to Africa to $50 billion a year by 2010 and forgive the debts of several of Africa's poorest countries.
Enemy of the State Fair?
Outspoken singer/songwriter Steve Earle is chafing somebody's nipples in Alaska. Earle is booked to play the Southeast Alaska State Fair at the end of this month and, as conservatives are prone to be, several residents are outraged due to Earle's lefty views (hates the prez, thinks the state shouldn't execute people, supports fair drug laws, dares to think intelligently about the world's current situation, etc.). Some residents wrote angry "letters to the editors" and a couple folks even bought full-page newspaper ads warning citizens about Earle's dangerous agenda, comparing him to both a Nazi and a communist (Hitler and Marx are rolling over in their graves). Common sense finally wins though -- promoters say the hubbub has actually increased tickets sales, setting a new record for advanced buys.