Although Art vs. Science fairly shivers
with the ghosts of early XTC, Devo and Shriekback, it was actually a
2007 Daft Punk show that moved keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Dan McNamee to abandon Indie Punk and adopt a
dancier Electronic Rock ethic.
Ten years ago, after the first MidPoint
Music Festival — that’s when you can trace back the origins of
Cincinnati’s upcoming three-day live music extravaganza, the Bunbury
Music Festival. After launching a festival that continues to grow and shine a light on
up-and-coming and on-the-verge acts, MPMF co-founder Bill Donabedian
thought, “What if we could do something like this for established acts?” This summer, he will.
It’s been four years since Santi White
(aka Santigold) dropped her stellar, genre-juggling debut. Some might
think that is a long layoff between albums, especially in a fickle
contemporary cultural landscape that moves quickly and without concern
for those who don’t try to keep up.
Started as a one-woman project in 2006 by
New England native Merrill Garbus, tUnE-YaRdS is set apart via its meld
of Appalachian Folk (ukulele being the most obvious signifier) and
numerous African elements, none more visceral than Garbus’ versatile
vocal delivery, which alternates between low-key crooning,
honest-to-goodness yodeling and full-on wailing.
For anyone who likes Punk, Americana,
British Folk, Country Rock or just enduring honky-tonk Rock & Roll,
Jon Langford should be a household name. The Wales-born/Chicago-based
musician plays Over-the-Rhine’s MOTR Pub this Friday with his band Skull
Since forming in 2007, Mad Anthony has
been recording and touring almost non-stop. The Cincinnati band has also
pared down to a trio. For guitarists/vocalists Ringo Jones and Adam
Flaig, along with drummer Marc Sherlock, doing more with less and going
back to basics are mantras that they’ve applied to all aspects of the
Based on sound alone, The Donkeys come off
as pretty mature. The San Diego band plays a tender, starlit kind of
Rock with a folky side that isn’t too sleepy, an AltCountry side that
isn’t too twangy, a Blues side that isn’t too reverb-heavy and a Psych
Rock side that isn’t too psychedelic.
People about to change the world rarely
look like people about to change the world. Take Gold Shoes — central
casting didn’t assemble a new millennium Monkees to storm the music
world with calculated precision. Gold Shoes is comprised of oddly yet
perfectly meshed parts.
Between bodies, equipment and ephemera,
we’re packed tightly into The Ready Stance’s rehearsal space, possibly a
converted coal cellar in the basement of guitarist/vocalist Wes Pence’s
beautiful old Newport home.
St. Vincent’s music is rife with contradictions. Take the first song on the outfit’s most recent album, last year’s Strange Mercy,
which opens with this vague but provocative imagery, delivered by Annie
Clark — the band’s 29-year-old creative ringleader.
Sharon Van Etten began winning admirers with a pair of intimate, soul-bearing albums — 2009’s Because I Was In Love and 2010’s Epic
— that explored love gone bad via a voice that was so big and
expressive and sad-sounding that one feared for the woman from which it
Hanni El Khatib’s world is a dangerous
place. The San Francisco-raised Los Angeles resident prefers to fill his
musical terrain with outlaw characters and disastrous circumstances. At least three of Khatib’s releases, including last September’s full-length debut Will the Guns Come Out,
have covers adorned with the mangled remnants of car wrecks.
Thanks at least partially to our proximity
to Appalachia, Greater Cincinnati has long had one of the finest
Roots/Americana music scenes in the region. And the finest band from
that impressive batch of artists right now is Magnolia Mountain, the
band formed by Rock veteran and singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
Mark Utley about five years ago.
Some bands work for years for even the
smallest scrap of national attention. For Cincinnati’s Bad Veins, that
recognition came just after their second show in 2006 and has hardly
abated in the subsequent six years.
Sometimes the universe offers options you might never have otherwise imagined. Post Rock/Prog trio Pharaoh Loosey had already decided on the Mad Frog as the venue to celebrate the release of its debut CD, (h)wak formal, but when they ventured into the Corryville club’s catacombs, they found an ideal gig location.