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
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
usually get compared to classic R&B, Soul and Blues artists like
Howlin’ Wolf, James Brown and Wilson Pickett — obvious enough
touchstones considering the group plays a hard-hitting blend of Soul,
Rock & Roll and Blues.
Bill Alletzhauser is pathologically busy with The Hiders, his acclaimed Roots Rock band with a trio of well-received releases. It seems natural to wonder why he doubled his band responsibilities and joined fellow Cincinnati band The Sweep.
As Josh Eagle frames an answer, it quickly becomes apparent the response he’s offering has little in common with the question. Eagle pauses, then smiles. “What was the question?” he inquires. “I’m the king of fucking tangents. Hit the ball in left field and I’ll run in the opposite direction.”
Murray Stall, drummer for new Alternative/Progressive rockers The Desert Gun, greets me in the glow. Tall, thin and always talking or moving, Stall wears skinny jeans and, on his left arm, a large tattoo peeks out from his shirt. A passionate type with a ton of energy, he started music at 14.
The list of Cincinnati’s King Records acts whose influence on future musicians — often some of the greats of Rock & Roll — has proved greater than their own enduring fame is still growing longer. The latest addition is Lowman “Pete” Pauling and The “5” Royales. The Rhythm & Blues vocal group recorded for King from 1954-1959 and was unusual in that Pauling, besides singing bass, played a stinging, bluesy lead electric guitar.
Darkness pervades The Chocolate Horse’s third album, Beasts, evidenced by the moody cover art (a horse’s ebony head atop a human form barely visible in the shadows) and actualized with a powerfully melancholy sound. And yet, flickers of light pierce the album’s dark veil.
In fall 1983, I did publicity/promotion for Bogart’s, which necessitated distributing posters and flyers around Short Vine. I was on my rounds when Raisins guitarist Rob Fetters turned the corner at Charlton at a full gallop, wild eyed and hair flying. The Raisins’ debut album, produced by future bandmate Adrian Belew, had just dropped and the city’s most popular band had somehow become bigger.
A sense of Yin/Yang between the two is what makes Shiny and the Spoon’s music so clever. Like Johnny and June Carter Cash, they have a natural chemistry that makes their Folk/Pop sound an easily blended creation, with smooth harmonies, catchy melodies and a subtle style that’s their own unique merry-go-round.
2012’s Cincy Blues Fest is sure to have many unique features and surprises, but you could say that every year. But there are tons of reasons to attend the 2011 event Friday and Saturday at Sawyer Point. In honor of its 19th anniversary, we give you the Top 19 in easy-to-digest list form.
It’s a lazy, scorching Sunday in Northside. At Sidewinder Café, out back, the pet bunny takes a dirt bath in the shade, trying to cool down. Musicians, strangeness, sweat and cut-off jeans shorts are all around. Back inside, Nick Mitchell, singer and synth player for eccentric newcomers Revenge Piñata, leans against a brick wall and prepares to tell me about his latest band project and its debut release.
Andy Biersack should have been a week into this year’s Warped Tour experience with his Cincinnati-born/Los Angeles-based Glam/Hard Rock troupe, Black Veil Brides. Instead, when we spoke he was nursing three broken ribs, although he’d healed enough to rejoin the traveling madness.