The CincyPunk Fest has emerged as one of the most popular benefit concerts in the region, raising money for various charities since its inception a decade ago. For CincyPunk Fest 10, the event returns to Newport’s Southgate House this Saturday and Sunday under new management and with a lineup full of some of the top music-makers in Cincinnati. And, despite its name, the fest is again a showcase for much more than just Punk Rock.
The biannual Clifton Heights Music Festival returns this weekend for its fourth edition, taking over seven venues around the University of Cincinnati for two days of diverse, quality local music. Launched a year and half ago, the fest has become the best all-local musical showcase in town, growing from 35 acts to this year’s 80-plus.
If you’re looking for a one-word description of local instrumental group Skeetones’ unique sound — well, good luck with that. “Electronic” is probably the closest you’d come, but even that’s just a tiny clue as to what’s in store on the band’s incredibly diverse, debut full-length release, Retrospektive.
With a slew of uplifting singles and a band name like Blessid Union of Souls, it shouldn’t be a shock to discover that the chart-topping Cincinnati band’s frontman Eliot Sloan puts a lot of stock in his spiritual beliefs. But the band — one of the most commercially successful acts to ever come out of Cincinnati — was rarely overt about religion in its slick, hook-laden Pop songs. Until now.
In 2006, Cincinnati native Bryce Dessner of The National launched the MusicNOW festival, bringing unique and creative artists and Indie music heavyweights to his hometown for a unique and subsequently much-anticipated springtime event. With a global profile as high as it's ever been, The National will headline MusicNOW 2011's final night May 15.
Saturday, rootsy Folk rockers The Kentucky Struts headline Over-the-Rhine’s beer-fueled Bockfest events at the fest’s headquarters, Bockfest Hall. The band plays 9 p.m.-midnight. (To check out all of Bockfest’s musical options, visit bockfest.com.) The Bockfest performance comes as the Struts are finishing up work on their next album.
After a year that saw record attendance numbers, the MidPoint Music Festival is set to return to the clubs and venues of downtown Cincinnati Sept. 22-25. This year marks MPMF's 10th anniversary, and on Friday the fest begins accepting submissions from all bands and solo artists interested in performing in 2011. Those acting fast receive discounted entry fees, at least through the end of March.
Cincinnati Metalcore band I Am The Messenger signed a record deal with Iowa-based indie label Bombworks Records and this weekend the band celebrates the first results of the new partnership with a Saturday show at Covington’s Mad Hatter.
Love is a many-splendored thing … unless you’ve been burned by it or are living without it. Then it’s stupid and you didn’t want it anyway, right? If you’re in that loveless boat, turn commiseration into celebration at the third annual “anti-Valentine’s Day extravaganza,” Love Sick, this Friday at the Southgate House.
Electronic Rock duo Pop Empire has released its debut full-length album, available now for free download via The Recording Label Web site. The "all free!" label is the brainchild of Cameron Cochran, formerly of The Sheds and one half of Pop Empire (along with Henry Wilson). There's also news about WNKU's expanded signal helping spread the local music gospel.
The Winter Blues Fest — created as a cold-weather sister event to the Cincy Blues Society’s massive summertime Cincy Blues Fest — returns to the Southgate House this Friday and Saturday. The event is the main fund-raiser for the Blues in the Schools program, which sends professional local Blues performers into area schools to educate students on the music’s rich history and encourage young musicians to play Blues. The Blues in the Schools Band, featuring some of those young musicians, will kick off both nights of the Winter Blues Fest at 6 p.m.
The One More Girl on a Stage fest returns Friday and Saturday to Newport’s York Street Café for the Rivertown Music Club’s last ever event. Local musician Kelly Thomas has used the Rivertown Music Club to promote local music and raise money for a variety of charities for the past seven years.
My awareness of and subsequent passion for local music began when I was around 12, but a new compilation album could get your favorite little one started even earlier. "Diva Kangaroo" is a 13-track album featuring a variety of area performers playing original children’s songs.
Margaret Darling, co-founder of Indie/Electro Pop darlings The Seedy Seeds, takes over the Southgate House’s “Artist in Residence” series for January, performing in the venue’s intimate Juney’s Lounge for free every Wednesday this month.
Friday night, there are musical New Year’s Eve options for practically every taste. (I couldn’t find any Polka or Steampunk bands playing, but they’re probably out there somewhere.) And the party types (from free, small-club Rock shows to huge, swanky and expensive soirees) are as varied as the genres represented. Here are just a few choice ways to greet 2011 with a groovy soundtrack.