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The Year In Your Ear

The top 100 local music releases of 2011

9 Comments · Wednesday, December 28, 2011
My master list for 2011 local releases, for the first time, easily reached 100. The fact that there were so many releases coming out of Greater Cincinnati in 2011 speaks to the increased accessibility and affordability of recording technology that has developed over the past few years. The fact that none of them were total garbage speaks to the wealth of talent in our music community.

Almost (Accidentally) Famous

The Dopamines celebrate five years of hard work, lucky breaks

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Conventional wisdom would tell you that The Dopamines did everything they could to guarantee their descent into oblivion. Tour the country without a big, local following? Check. Create a band with goals that didn’t go past hanging out with friends? You bet. Recording an album simply for the hell of it? Of course.   

You Can’t Unwrap a Download

Last-minute ‘hard copy’ gift ideas for the music lovers in your life

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Music always makes a great holiday gift, and this year the record industry has again put together a wide selection of box sets and other collections to please fans of just about any style of music. Here are some excellent options if you’re stuck and looking for a last-minute present.

Bipolar Express

Local writers and musicians offer their highlights from a topsy-turvy 2011

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 21, 2011
A wise man (or woman, for all I know) once said, “You take the good, you take the bad/You take them both and there you have/The facts of life.” Life is, essentially, those ups and downs and how you respond to them in the spaces between. Though always true to some extent, in 2011 the good news/bad news balance was as evident as it’s ever been.  

Getting Over Going Under

Grappling with the loss of two seminal local music venues in 2011

3 Comments · Wednesday, December 21, 2011
There’s something about the written word that adds finality to a subject. Contracts are finished with a signature, newspapers are often considered bastions of truth and obituaries often put a person’s death in perspective for their loved ones. Perhaps this is why I put off writing this story for so long.  

They Save Horses, Don’t They?

Kentucky Struts release great album with a great concept for a great cause

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Todd Lipscomb didn’t deliberate very hard or very long in conceiving the concept around the second album from his locally based band The Kentucky Struts. Like most great ideas, it was a flash of illumination in a contemplative moment.   

Beyond the Grave Concerns

The Koffin Kats aim for life beyond blood, guts and just getting by

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 14, 2011
For a show focused on two skeevy, aimless teenagers, Beavis and Butt-Head sure has done a lot of good for the world. In its original run, the MTV program delivered endless numbers of gloriously stupid dirty jokes, set the stage for Daria, and gave hundreds of musicians exposure by way of playing music videos alongside the duo’s inane commentary. That last practice inadvertently led to the creation of The Koffin Kats.  

Strawberry Letter #4

Wussy proves they’re ready for their close-up with fourth album

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Wussy’s members are in the MOTR Pub basement, basking in the post-Cincinnati Entertainment Awards glow after closing the 2011 ceremony with a clattering bang. The new songs from the just-released Strawberry are still gelling on stage, but the thrilling anticipatory undercurrent in Wussy’s performance suggests these fresh set additions are blossoming with time-lapse photography speed.   

Rocket Men

The unlikely rebirth of Ohio Punk pioneers Rocket From the Tombs

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The remarkable resurgence of Rocket From the Tombs is a historic band reunion, one that comes with classic old material plus a brand-new album. It also brings to town two legends of Punk/Post Punk who now play in Rocket — Pere Ubu’s David Thomas and Dead Boys’ Cheetah Chrome.  

Tommy Gets His Ya-Ya’s Out

Guns N’ Roses’ Tommy Stinson keeps adding chapters to his storied career

1 Comment · Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to 1983. We’re visiting Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio, where young publicity manager Brian Baker is witnessing the second area appearance of R.E.M., which he’s vigorously advertised for a net result of just over 300 attendees. Local Art Pop provocateurs Junta have just finished, and the stage is taken by The Replacements, a last-minute addition via R.E.M.’s booking agent.   

Some Great Awards

2011 CEA ceremony offers proof that local music is in peak condition

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The 15th annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards Nov. 20 at Covington’s Madison Theater once again brought together people from all facets of the Greater Cincinnati music scene and gave them one hell of a party. Along with offering one of the best people-watching experiences of the year, the packed crowd in attendance was treated to great “mini-sets.”  

Old Times Are the Best Times

Cincinnati’s Tillers join Uncle Mike Carr for the new Wild Hog in the Woods

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 16, 2011
So much has happened in The Tillers’ universe that it’s overwhelming for the band to consider events that have transpired between their 2009 sophomore release, By the Signs, and their new album, Wild Hog in the Woods. “We got haircuts,” guitarist Sean Geil deadpans, alluding to his closely cropped hair and vocalist/banjoist Mike Oberst’s obvious lack of braids.   

Who Are They?: A tale of the Who concert, Dec. 3 1979

3 Comments · Wednesday, November 16, 2011
In honor of efforts of The Who Concert Victims Memorial Committee, CityBeat contributors Tom Bolton (artist) and Rich Shivener (writer) collaborated on a special “comic strip” about that fateful night on the riverfront, a watershed moment for concert crowd management. This is the first part of the strip; the second will run at citybeat.com on Dec. 3, the 32nd anniversary of the tragedy.  

Not the Final Frontier

Frontier Folk Nebraska turns it up and turns it loose with new, vinyl-only album

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Perhaps we should begin with a clarification. It seems that Frontier Folk Nebraska’s name has sparked some misconceptions about the band that should be addressed. Frontier Folk Nebraska does not have any particular affinity for the frontier, they are not necessarily a Folk band and … well, you can guess where this is going.  

Learning To ‘Fly’

Ten years on, Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups release debut

1 Comment · Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Fly is the Pickups’ first album, which might seem surprising, given how long the band has been together. But musicians are notorious for their side projects, and Kelly Thomas is no different.