Once upon a time … nah, don’t worry. This isn’t one of those stories. This isn’t a fairy tale and it isn’t going to be written as one. You can interpret tragedy in a number of different ways. You can see lessons and morals and realize everything could be one or the other.
It's the chicken/egg situation for every band: Which comes first, the gigs or the fan base? "We actually were turned down by every major venue in Cincinnati that we contacted for our CD release show," says Dustin Smith, the 22-year-old singer/songwriter behind Okay Lindon. He isn't complaining, though. He's simply explaining why his band had its CD release party at a local pizza place on May 2.
Maybe The Ramones said it best on the seventh track of their 1976 debut album: “Hey daddyo/I don’t wanna go down/To the basement/There’s somethin’ down there.” Imagine the place these primal punks were conjuring up: A damp, dimly lit underground room in an ancient house with a low-hung ceiling.
For some people, listening to the shrieking vocals, emotively raw lyrics and ponderously paced, cacophonously loud downtuned guitars of Doom Metal is a painful experience. For fans of the admittedly narrow genre, the sound is utopian bliss.
CincyPunk Fest organizer Adam Rosing has a number of reasons for booking what has become one of the area's most anticipated Punk-and-whatever events. "I do it every year because it's a great time and it's a chance to get everyone together." For CincyPunk Fest VIII, the audience will also have the opportunity to catch up with bands they haven't seen in years: Spodie, Pincushion and Saturday Supercade.
The second sentence of Scotty Anderson’s online bio states that he’s still learning the guitar. That might be a hard sell to anyone who’s ever heard Anderson’s fingers fly effortlessly over the frets of his Telecaster, producing a sound that is both gracefully delicate and powerfully mastered.
The hallway into Hearts of Palm's rehearsal space/studio has the sparse look of a contemporary art gallery: white walls, soft lighting, intriguing paintings at optimal intervals. Upon entering the Electronic/Noise band's creative lair, the atmosphere shifts to a chaotic combination of frat house rec room and property closet for an avant-garde community theater.
Country Rock sextet Ridge Runner just returned from Nashville, where they showcased for labels, collected business cards and passed around their sophomore CD. As half of the band (lead vocalist/acoustic guitarist Jeff Workman, bassist/vocalist Troy Brown and fiddler/vocalist Ron Ball) relaxes over beers and fish and chips at the Back Porch Saloon, they proudly recount their Music City triumphs. "I think it was the most productive thing we've done as a band besides make this CD," Brown says.
Nicholas Radina's schedule is so tightly packed with things demanding his attention, by all rights he shouldn't be taking time for lunch. He's a sound engineer, running concerts and events at the 20th Century Theater, as well as a local promoter, tour manager and sideman, holding membership in four separate Latin-based bands. One of those bands, Tropicoso, celebrates 11 years of Monday night gigs at the Mad Frog.
The Rubber Knife Gang is a trio of serious Roots/Bluegrass/Americana musicians who don't happen to take themselves very seriously. Even their name evolved out of a joke. "The name came from this band of friends that get together on weekends and ride these 50CC Hondas," says RKG stand-up bassist/vocalist John "Johnboy" Oaks.
They're in the mood for espresso and cake. The last of the batch. And in the booth where The Sleep waits, it's all about the ingredients and the vibe. This is vocalist Laura Smith's debut band. Quietly eating around her icing, she states, "I come from a musical family, and I love to sing."
It's all about the new 'Theory of Modern Isolation.' With the onset of all this break-neck advancement of technology, anybody can do just about anything, including music, with the touch of a button in even the most darkest of bedrooms, basements or converted living rooms. Fuxter Schittly tells me that DEVO wouldn't have come together if they had all these buttons, switches and power-strips around. I agree.
In the background, an '80s remix album plays, everything from Genesis to Spandau Ballet. We play name that tune, and lead vocalist/keyboardist Jack Curley wins. With a scruffy red beard and the lightest shade of blue eyes, he's also into musical theater and acting.
In biology class, I learned that evolution was the passing of traits from parent to offspring between specific species. In music, evolution is just good business and might be the difference between success and failure. In that spirit, Matthew Cooper and Evan Sharfe seek your attention as RaceCarProductions, a Cincinnati record label that's trying to put the city on the map using their sonic prowess.