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by Alli Walker 09.20.2012
Posted In: Music News, New Releases, Local Music at 11:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Jonathan Zeng Gets Vocal

After facing discrimination, music teacher and performer releases album

Just a few months after Jonathan Zeng was denied a music-teaching job at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy because of his sexual orientation, he is using his experience to help others.

Zeng is an award-winning performer and a music educator but he’s never ventured into song writing, until now. He’s currently working on an upcoming album titled Through These Doors about the discrimination he’s faced and he wants to influence others.

"During difficult times in my life, I have always turned to music. This time, for the first time, I was inspired to write and perform my own music. After personally experiencing discrimination, I hope that my music will help others who face similar situations,” said Zeng in a press release.

Combining his story with his professional knowledge in opera and musical theater to create an album that’s both emotionally driven and musically appealing.

His singles “Through These Doors” and “Now” are currently available on iTunes and other major music distribution sites, but audiences have to wait until October to get the full album.

Zeng is hosting a free launch party on Friday, Oct. 19 from 8-10 p.m. at the Below Zero Lounge in Over-The-Rhine. The party is open to the public and those attending will see Zeng perform his singles as well as unveil other album songs.

by Mike Breen 04.05.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Music News, Live Music at 12:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Former Southgate House Location Announces May Shows

The Thompson House books The Agrrolites and Smile Empty Soul

It looks like the Thompson House, the venue that is taking the place of the much-beloved Southgate House in Newport, will be open by May. Ticketweb has advanced tickets on sale now for a May 18 concert by trad Ska/Soul revivalists The Aggrolites and Punk Bluegrass band Old Man Markley, as well as a May 27 booking featuring "post Grunge" group Smile Empty Soul. Former Avail singer Tim Barry also has a May 12 booking in the "Parlour" listed on his website.

A lot of Southgate House diehards have made it clear they won't be attending anything at the "new" venue, staying loyal to the former owners and management, who promised a new "Southgate House" would be reopened by the first quarter of 2012. (For those not so good at math, the first quarter of 2012 ended this past Saturday.) Photos emerged online of some of the interior redesign going on in preparation for the Thompson House opening and it's been a bit of a gut-punch for those who loved the old House, with a gaudy purple and gold color scheme and a lot of the vintage appeal (and woodworking) stripped away. (Check out some pics on the Facebook of former SGH bartendress Kristen Kreft, also a local musician with the band The Perfect Children.)

So what say you? If the Thompson House books a show you really want to see, will you attend?
by mbreen 04.24.2009
Posted In: Local Music at 09:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

MidPoint Indie Summer Series Announced

The initial lineup for this year's local-music-heavy Indie Summer series (taking place each Friday this summer on Fountain Square) has been announced. The successful series has teamed with the MidPoint Music Festival this year (musicians, don't forget the submission deadline is May 1) and will include a few special "late" shows of note. On June 26, Chicago's Mucca Pazza plays at 10 p.m., while locals Bad Veins take that timeslot on July 24 for their official release party for their Dangerbird Records debut. Below is the rest of the schedule so far.

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by Brian Baker 03.04.2011
Posted In: Local Music, Reviews at 01:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Review: Over the Rhine's The Long Surrender

In a lot of ways, Cincinnati's Over the Rhine belonged to the world almost as soon as they birthed its spectacular debut album, 1991’s Patience. There wasn't really an evolutionary period involving chops-honing and building an audience with local bar gigs every weekend before becoming a songwriting and performing powerhouse that could stand toe-to-toe with its peer group on the national level. Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler sprang fully formed from Zeus’ forehead as a mature and supremely talented duo with the undeniable ability to mingle heartache and joy with words and music and find an indelible way to invest each emotion with a taste of the other.

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by mbreen 02.21.2011
Posted In: Local Music at 11:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

A Music Café: Multimedia Venue Sneak Peak

A new music venue opening in Goshen will shine a spotlight on the Greater Cincinnati music scene in unique ways. Founded by Chuck Land Jr., a musician/producer known for his video documentation of past and present local music makers, and Goshen entrepreneur/videographer Lee Lewis, A Music Café will feature live Americana/Roots/Blues performers, a video jukebox loaded with Land’s footage and an informative “shrine” to Cincinnati music. This weekend, the venue’s doors open to the public for the first time for a two-night fundraiser/sneak peak festival showcasing several area bands and performers.

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by mbreen 03.09.2009
Posted In: Local Music at 04:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wussy's Latest Is Their Greatest

Scoring major glowing reviews in national music magazines for your first two albums might intimidate some artists. But for Wussy, set to release its newest (a self-titled effort) for locally-based Shake It Records, a natural progression and tightness has resulted in their best album yet.

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by Mike Breen 05.31.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 01:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Music Tonight: Chris Webby, Kofi Baker and More

Up-and-coming underground rapper Chris Webby performs tonight at downtown club Play. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20 at the door. The show is open to all ages. Guests include GMB, Nynewest and hosts DJ Scholar and DJ Drowsy.

Webby is a Connecticut native (he has it tattooed on his chest; I'd move to Ohio if I were going to do that) who started rapping before high school and began to draw crowds at freestyle battles and with his popular mixtapes releases. Webby's built huge buzz in independent Hip Hop circles and has so far resisted signing a record deal. Click here to check out his mixtapes and other releases.

Webby recently tweeted that he's just recently boarded his plane to Cincy. "PLAY in Cincinnati is about to get real weird tonight," he added.

• Utah rockers The Used blast into Bogart's tonight. The 7:30 p.m. show is all ages and includes openers Stars In Stereo. Tickets are $25.

The Used's energized Post Hardcore style is sparked by vocalist Bert McCracken, whose stage antics are an unpredictable throwback to Rock & Roll's more dangerous frontmen (Iggy, etc.). The Used's latest album, Vulnerable, came out earlier this spring on Hopeless Records. The album hit No. 1 on the Top Independent Albums chart when released and made it to No. 8 on the Billboard 200.

Here's the video for The Used's single "I Come Alive."

• The song of legendary drummer Ginger Baker, Kofi, is bringing his Cream tribute band to Covington tonight for an 8 p.m., all-ages show at the Madison Theater. Kofi Baker formed Kofi Baker's Cream Experience after catching the Cream reunion in 2005 and deciding he'd like to pick up where the originals left off. In the Clapton role is Tony Spinner, a Rock/Blues singer and guitarist who was a member of Toto in the ’00s. Playing bass is another talented musician, Ric Fierabracci, who has performed with the likes of Chick Corea, Shakira and Yanni.

Kofi made his first live appearance when he was 6, playing with his pops on BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test in 1975. Here he is rocking with the Cream Experience in more recent years.

MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine has a free show tonight headlined by Canadian Electro Pop group Parallels. Showtime is 10 p.m. and like-minded locals Skeleton Hands also perform.

Parallels has drawn comparisons to New Order and singer Holly Dodson has been likened to singer Kate Bush and Madonna. The band was formed in 2008 by Dodson and Cameron Findlay, the former drummers for popular electronicists Crystal Castles.

Parallels sophomore full-length, XII, is due out June 26. Here's a clip for the band's song "Ultralight."

Click her for more music events around town tonight.

by Mike Breen 12.14.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Squeeze the Day for 12/14

Straight No Chaser, Carolina Jazmine and Koffin Kats, plus This Day in Music with T. Rex, Spike Jones, Daffy Duck and Hitler

Music Tonight: Popular Detroit Psychobilly/Punkabilly/Powerbilly trio The Koffin Kats hot-rod it into Newport for a show at the Southgate House. While the band, which formed in 2003, has done the Psychobilly schtick, writing songs with Horror and Sci Fi themes, the Kats' more "real life" songs have always been around and, over the years, become more dominant in KK sets and on albums. That should be especially evident on the upcoming Our Way & The Highway, due in mid-January, which reflects what singer/bassist Zac Victor told CityBeat was a general move towards a "Bruce Springsteen approach more than a Dracula approach" and even more reflective of their broad musical influences. Read the entire interview with Victor at citybeat.com, then catch the band tonight at SGH with Dr. Bombay, The Returners, Vice Tricks and Switchblade Syndicate. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 ($13 for those ages 18-20). Below, check out the great, swoony track (anybody else hear some Smiths in there?) "The Bottle Called" from last year's "split album" with 12 Step Rebels called From Our Hands to Yours (it will also be on the new album).

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by mbreen 04.05.2011
Posted In: Local Music, Music News at 09:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shake It Adds Foxy Shazam to RSD Lineup

The third annual Record Store Day, a celebration of independent record stores on April 16, is shaping up to be the biggest yet, with hundreds of special, limited-edition releases and in-store appearances around the country by some of the biggest names in music, from Jerry Lee Lewis to Foo Fighters. Northside’s Shake It Records has firmed up its Record Store Day lineup. As previously mentioned, Talib Kweli and Wussy will appear at Shake It for RSD and the shop recently added another local heavyweight to the festivities — Foxy Shazam.

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by mbreen 08.09.2010
Posted In: Local Music at 09:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

R.I.P. Michele "II Juicy" Feaster

Cincinnati lost another excellent musician and performer over the weekend. Michele Feaster, singer for the Blues/R&B band II Juicy (which took its moniker from Michele's nickname) passed away on Aug. 7 after battling cancer for the past four months.

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