Mica Levi (better know as the British-born dance-hall favorite Micachu) isn't experimental, captivating, moving nor otherwise. She's awesome. The 22-year-old musician, songwriter and producer has, in little time, amassed a hit record ('Jewellery') and a commissioned orchestral piece with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She's also a burgeoning international Pop icon.
The down-home, Appalachian-inspired trio from Boston's Berklee College of Music represent the best attributes of Bluegrass-fusion and Americana: strings, delightfully lilting vocals and the ability to make Country music not sound especially Country. Annie Lynch, the guitar-wielding songstress and frontwoman, grew up on Cape Cod and feasted primarily on Folk artists like Paul Simon and Bob Dylan.
Works of "Classic Rock" often inspire legions of young bandlings that hang on their idols' every note. Take The Rosewood Thieves, for example. The New York quintet — folksy, funky and richly educated in Rock classics — manages to wield a rare sonic power to channel the essence of what made music from the '60s and '70s resonate without any semblance of kitsch or irony.
After a one-year absence in 2008, the MidPoint Music Festival has brought back the daytime "music conference," with useful panels and discussions about a range of topics of interest to all types of independent musicians. All panels are Saturday afternoon, so pace yourself Friday night — the first two are at the Garfield Suites Hotel, MPMF.09 headquarters, and the final one takes place at the Contemporary Arts Center.
When I step into Reality Tuesdays, a Covington coffee joint, I scan the room for "band signs" — tattoos, Chucks, skate shoes, black clothes, wrecked hair or wicked T-shirts, the usual dead giveaways. Then I see two guys huddling in a booth — early twenties, whispering about sound systems. Bingo. Watson Park.
Rockabilly/Roots hero Deke Dickerson started out playing in a Surf band in his teens, and that sound is still evident in some of his music. But he's since become a darling of the Roots music movement, thanks in large part to his masterful, trademark guitar playing that blends Surf, Country, Rockabilly and Jazz techniques.
I recently sat down with Stuart MacKenzie from The Lions Rampant in a semi-professional setting (The Comet) to discuss the band's new album, 'It's Fun to Do Bad Things.' But instead of focusing on leather pants, his Sammy Hagar-esque blond ambition and Rock & Roll, the convo veered off the record into his love life and other things he doesn't want his mom to read about.
Dear MidPoint Performer: Welcome to Cincinnati, the city I've enjoyed living, working and making music in for the past 20 years. I hope your experience is a great one. And I hope you don't leave. Really. Take a good hard look around while you're here. The rent is cheap, the architecture and geography are stimulating and the people are generally sweethearts. But Cincinnati is also building something, and we need more builders with your kind of tools.
Volunteers are the face, muscle and might that propel the MidPoint Music Festival forward each year. Participating as a volunteer is a great way to get behind the scenes at MidPoint, meet new people, discover new music, score a new T-shirt and enjoy a diverse experience while nurturing your Cincinnati pride.
Blue that you missed this year's Lite Brite Film Test (which typically took over the Southgate House for a weekend five years running)? Well, never fear: The always-crafty visual extravaganza is back, this time in conjunction with the three-day MidPoint Music Festival.