After nearly a dozen years and four highly
acclaimed albums as for algernon, Cincinnati singer/songwriter Jason
Wells is experiencing something totally foreign but completely welcomed.
Wells, the lone constant defining the band’s Indie Folk/Pop/Rock
direction, is finally feeling confidence.
The nominations have been selected, and
now it’s up to you to choose who should win trophies at this year’s
Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs). Back for the 15th year, the CEAs are
decided by public voting (save the Critical Achievement Awards, which
are chosen by the nominating committee) and the awards will be given out
Sunday, Nov. 20.
Under different circumstances, Matthew Sweet’s astonishing new album, Modern Art,
would be the focus of his latest tour. The updated set would be crowded
with Sweet’s newly crafted evocations of ’60s Pop and fleshed out with
selections from his almost supernaturally consistent catalog.
The Vikings were an interesting breed.
They were vicious, bloodthirsty warriors who glorified slaughter, brutal
killers who lived from one battle to another. But they also put a great
emphasis on death and the afterlife and looked forward to eternal
battles in Valhalla. This mixture of vicious power and fatalistic sorrow
can be heard in the music of local sextet Winterhymn.
Since rising from the Metal hotbed of
Tampa, Fla., in 1997, Underoath has undergone many structural and
philosophical changes. The original quintet’s musical direction
encompassed Metalcore as well as Death and Black Metal and, perhaps most
importantly, they identified Underoath as a “Christian Metal” band.
Last week's confluence of milestone events and
anniversaries that all seemed loosely interrelated: R.E.M. announced its breakup, Nirvanamania
re-swept the nation as the press and fans celebrated the 20th
anniversary of a ground-breaking album and Cincinnati’s 10th MidPoint Music Festival experienced its most successful year yet, seriously upgrading the
Alternative music festival’s profile in the music world.
Now in its 10th year, the MidPoint Music
Festival has grown from an annual outlet for local musicians to one of
the best and brightest fests in the region, this year offering
nationally and globally renowned acts such as Cut Copy, Mates of State
and The Album Leaf. This year will also see the inclusion of
Cincinnati’s visual arts talent, as ArtWorks and MPMF bring the foreign
concept of the Box Truck Carnival to town.
Cut Copy’s move from Australian
Electro-Dance upstarts to internationally recognized,
festival-headlining purveyors of sophisticated Art Pop is complete. The
foursome — led by frontman and founder Dan Whitford — has released three
albums since 2004, including the recent Zonoscope, another
addictive, synth-driven effort that also finds the band moving in new,
less party-starting directions. They perform Saturday night at the MidPoint Music Festival.
At an age when most people are
contemplating the direction of their life, Lydia Loveless has already
blazed an impressive trail. The 21-year-old native of Coshocton, Ohio, and current Columbus resident began
playing bass with her two sisters in their band Carson Drew when she was
just 13 and was playing solo shows at 15. Loveless performs Thursday night on Day 1 of the MidPoint Music Festival.
My memories of the very first MidPoint Music Festival in
2002 are pretty vague. I remember bits and pieces from that inaugural
fest, when the vast majority of performers were local. I recall being in
the car way too much for such a fest — I caught bands at the
Madison Theater in Covington, the Barrelhouse and Jefferson Hall in
Over-the-Rhine and the Southgate House and Newport on the Levee in
Newport. MPMF sure has changed in 10 years.
It’s hard to imagine a more fantastical introduction to
the world of music than Memphis teenager Booker T. Jones experienced in
the early 1960s. Jones — a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member as well as
recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Grammy — is one of the headliners
for this year’s MidPoint Music Festival. He and his touring band will be
doing swingin’ ’60s Booker T. & the MG’s classics as well as
selections from Jones’ new album, The Road From Memphis.
Over the past three decades, They Might Be
Giants has worn so many unique hats — Indie Rock nobodies, alt.press
darlings, phone-to-internet pioneers, commercial successes, TV/film
contributors, kids music heroes, Grammy winners, documentary subjects —
it seems as though they’ve had to grow a new head to accommodate each
Ultimately, the singer/songwriter game is
about life experience and incorporating that into one’s art. Eilen Jewell has
life experience to spare; a rural Idaho childhood where she learned to
play piano, college in Santa Fe, N.M., where she busked and learned to
perform, and then to Boston where she prospered in one of the country’s
most competitive Folk scenes.
MidPoint has grown, evolved and adapted in many ways since the first one in 2002, with internationally-known
artists now playing alongside the up-and-comers and unsigned multitudes, opening up limitless potential for
the future. The event returns for the 10th time Sept. 22-24, reinvigorated and focused, with venues
centered closer together, lots of new features and improvements on some of the
more popular aspects of past fests.
After a decade of California life, the
brothers Wolf, collectively doing business as Why?, are finally back in
their home state. Josiah relocated to Xenia with his wife and Yoni
recently bought a house in Northside, which is undergoing extensive