In late March 2010, All Time Low began recording their fourth studio album with producers John Fields and Matt Squire. It will be the band's first album released through Interscope Records.
I caught up with Alex after Bamboozle to discuss the band’s controversies this summer and their upcoming album.
CB: I have read that the band was named for a New Found Glory song, “Head on Collision.” Can you tell me the story about it?
Alex: It was right when we were starting the band, we had a list of terrible, terrible band names and we didn’t pick any of them. We ended up taking a line from the song that caught our ear and went with it.
CB: I recently spent some time photographing them and they were great guys.
Alex: Yeah they are good dudes.
CB: You have started recording your next album. When can we expect it?
Alex: As of right now we are shooting for an early 2011 release. We are about halfway finished with it and we need to figure out what to call it and go through all the steps to get it out.
CB: Can you talk about any of the new songs that you are excited about?
Alex: We are excited about them all and it doesn’t make sense to go into specifics because it is too early.
CB: You have recently had some controversy with Six Flags on this tour. Are you past it?
Alex: We’re past it. We had an issue there and Six Flags security didn’t handle a situation well. They didn’t like the fact that I voiced my opinion about it and have asked us never to come back, which is fine with me since I never want to step foot in there again.
CB: Is it that one or all Six Flags?
Alex: All Six Flags
CB: I’ve seen you a couple times and I see all
these young girls at your show and they are crazy about you guys. A lot
of them are really young, how do you stay out of trouble with the fans?
Alex: What do you mean?
CB: Well, they are obviously not 18.
Alex: We are not really in the business of having relations with our fans so I am not sure it is a problem.
CB: I photograph bands all the time and people
usually think rap concerts are dangerous, but I swear that your shows
have the most dangerous fans with the screaming little girls.
Alex: They are violent little kids and they are our fans. We love them.
CB: Who would be your dream band to go on tour with?
Alex: I would love to tour with Weezer and Blink 182 would also be an obvious choice.
CB: What has been your craziest Bamboozle tour story?
Alex: A negative one would be the Six Flags incident. We also got pretty crazy on Jack’s birthday and I destroyed several TV’s in the hotel. I lived the life of a rock star for a night which was a lot of fun.
CB: What did Jack do?
Alex: Jack was right alongside with me. It was his birthday and everyone was together.
CB: Who would be your favorite Indie band?
Alex: I don’t know. Phoenix is really good and Silversun Pickups are pretty sweet.
CB: Fill in the blank. I can’t go to sleep unless I …
CB: What is up next for the band?
Alex: We are going back to California to finish the album and then we are going overseas to do some festivals in Japan and do a show in Malaysia. We’ll be back in the US in the fall for a tour.
Boys Like Girls is a pop punk band from Andover, Massachusetts who gained mainstream recognition when they released their self-titled debut album Boys Like Girls. The group was formed in the final months of 2005, when vocalist Martin Johnson wrote a handful of songs he wanted to record. He recruited bassist Bryan Donahue and drummer John Keefe. Keefe brought along lead guitarist Paul DiGiovanni.
Boys Like Girls officially released their second album, Love Drunk, on September 8, 2009 and has been touring all year to support it. "Two Is Better Than One," featuring female country singer Taylor Swift was released off Love Drunk as the fourth single. Before performing in Cincinnati, the band and local radio had a contest where the winner from a local high school was chosen to sing Taylor Swift’s part in “Two Is Better Than One” live onstage at Riverbend with the band during Bamboozle.
I caught up with John and Bryan before their set at Bamboozle to discuss the tour and their recent trip performing on the Miss USA pageant.
CB: How has it been on the tour so far?
John: We have been having a great time with a bunch friends hanging out and playing music all day. Good times to start the summer.
Bryan: Every day is like the 4th of July. Lots of grilling and basketball every day and hanging with friends.
CB: What has been your biggest life change since you had your big hits?
John: Just being on the road non-stop is the biggest change. It is weird when we go home.
Bryan: When we go home it is awkward and it is hard to get into a routine. Doing laundry and grocery shopping is weird.
CB: What is the story behind the song, “The Great Escape?”
John: It is a story about getting out of high school and going to pursue other things.
Bryan: Taking the next step in your life. New job, new career, going to college, whatever the big change is in your life and how you are taking the next steps.
CB: What is your favorite song to perform live?
John: It changes all the time. Playing a hit song like starting the set with “Love Drunk” is awesome.
CB: It is the best feeling when they sing along, right?
John: Yes, it is so awesome.
CB: You recently performed on the Miss USA pageant. What was that experience like?
John: It was a dream, come true.
Bryan: Like kids in a candy store with the most beautiful women in the United States. We showed up the day before for rehearsal and they actually had to separate us from the girls. We were introducing ourselves to be polite and someone came up and told us to leave them alone. We were bummed.
CB: What is the biggest pet peave on the road?
John: We all pretty much get along, maybe someone being late and we are waiting when we need to be somewhere.
Bryan: A messy bus is bad, four, five, six guys with all their crap everywhere. It gets bad and we have to clean it up. It gets clausterphobic. A clear house means a clear mind.
CB: What has been your most memorable moment so far as a band?
Bryan: Nothing that trumps anything else. We’ll always remember the first time we hear our songs on the radio. We were all together when we heard “The Great Escape” on the radio. Martin was driving the van and we started screaming .We thought he was going to flip the van. Basically, anything we do together as a band is memorable.
CB: Who were your biggest musical influences?
John: It is across the board. Aerosmith and Nirvana were big influences.
Bryan: My dad was a bass player and he turned me on to a lot of really great music. I had to use his equipment when I started at 12 years old since I couldn’t buy my own stuff. My dad walked me through how to fix a string. I thought I had broke the bass and he calmed me down and said it was just a string and walked me through it. He bought me a lot of great music and was my biggest influence.
CB: I recently saw a band called “The Trouble with
Boys” and they are really young kids who rock out. I am always amazed
at how supportive their families are with their music. I guess your
parents were pretty supportive along the way.
Bryan: In the beginning they weren’t, but they are now. It took awhile for them to understand that I wasn’t going to college and that I was going to pursue music. They are very proud now. Parents are usually proud no matter what their kids do though.
CB: Who are your favorite Indie bands?
John: Great Big Planes and Cady Groves are on the tour and I have been checking them out.
Bryan: I was just handed a CD that is pretty cool called, “Colors.” I feel like it is summer and I should have more new music.
CB: What do you like to listen to in the summer?
Bryan: I like the classics. I am a big Joe Walsh fan. It is funny because I hate the Eagles, but I am in a big Joe Walsh phase right now.
Cady Groves is a 20 year old Oklahoma native who is touring with the Bamboozle Roadshow this summer. She is a multi-talented singer songwriter who has recently signed to RCA records.
I caught up with Cady after her set to discuss her current EP, The Life of a Pirate and what is up next for her as she forms her full band and begins recording her next album.
CB: You are the only girl on the tour. How has that been going?
Cady: I love it. The cool thing about being the different person is being the different person. Every other band can sort of mesh together. I am the girl and the outsider and that is fine with me. Everyone wants to be a gentleman and help me out.
CB: When you date, do you prefer to date musicians?
Cady: I try to be professional. I am not promiscuous at all. I was in a relationship with a musician before all of this happened, but we are just friends now. I could date a fan. I could date anyone. I just really need to have a connection with the person. I really like to be in love though.
CB: You write all your own music about personal experiences. What is your writing process?
Cady: I have a really weird writing process. I have an entire melody in my head with no music to it before I hum it to a guitar. I can hear it in my head. I usually sing all the time into a recorder. I write songs all the time. I actually made up one today.
CB: What is it about?
Cady: It is about my loyalty to people and how it sometimes gets me hurt.
CB: You were recently at SxSW. Do you have any crazy stories from there?
Cady: I got pretty crazy one night when I shouldn’t have. I am usually a stay at home person, but I had fun one night. It was a good night. I think some guy wrote I love Cady Groves on his chest but that is not that crazy.
CB: What is up next for you?
Cady: We have 2 weeks left in the tour and then I have 3 weeks off after that when I will be forming my full band. We will practice and meet lots of producers. Right before this tour I signed with RCA so I haven’t had a chance to hang out with them and get everything started. I will go to NYC, LA and Nashville to get started with them. After that I will be going back out on tour with Stereo Skyline on the “Stuck on Repeat” tour.
CB: Will you be coming back through the area?
Cady: Yes I think we will.
CB: I like the album title. Is there a story behind the pirate?
Cady: It kind of goes along with my life experiences. I have been on my own for awhile. I had a really bad habit of moving around. It is a bad habit that I am trying to break. I would live somewhere for a few months like in my car or on someone’s couch. I would get two jobs and try to make myself be complacent, but once I was, I would just leave. I would get up in the middle of the night and just drive 24 hours and start over. When you think about it, it is a horrible thing to do. It was making life a lot harder and more complicated than it needed to be. It was the life of a pirate. I kept leaving and living in my car. Just moving around.
CB: How long ago was it?
Cady: It was a couple years ago.
CB: So you were right out of high school?
Cady: No, I graduated high school super early when I was 16 and went to college.
CB: Where did you go to college?
Cady: I actually went to culinary school in Vegas. I love it and I think I want to move back there.
CB: Who would be your dream collaboration?
Cady: I want to collaborate with Alanis Morissette. I want my album with RCA to be half as good as “Jagged Little Pill.” I was the youngest of 7 kids. I was really shy and was 4 years old when my mom bought the CD the day it came out. We would ride in this huge van. I was always quiet as a kid. I had long curly hair and I would hide under the seat of the van and then I would just come out from under a chair and sing the whole album. My Mom thought it was the funniest thing. I still will pop in the CD and sing it at the top of my lungs.
Great Big Planes is a new Indie band on the scene
from Tom Rivers, NJ. The band played their first show last Sept, 2009.
Their self-titled album is currently available and features the song
The band consists of Josh Moran- Lead Vocals/Guitar, Patrick Campion- Lead Guitar, and Chad Sabo on Bass and Acoustic Guitar. I caught up with the band after their set at Bamboozle on their bus to talk about their experiences on their first national tour.
CB: You recently came back from Vegas, any crazy stories out there?
Chad: Why don’t you take this one since you were the big winner?
Josh: I won a little bit of money so we had a party at the Hard Rock in a villa.
CB: With the money?
Josh: No, we were with all the bands from the tour. It was fun for everyone to get together.
CB: It doesn’t sound that crazy?
Chad: It was crazy. We had Playmates there. We had a poolside cabana. It was like a Hangover suite.
CB: Anytime playmates are involved it is a good time.
CB: Who is your dream band to tour with?
Patrick: All of us probably have the same answer. I guess Radiohead is a big one for all of us.
Chad: I like Billy Joel a lot. It is not the same genre but I like him a lot.
CB: What is your favorite Indie Band?
Josh: No one really right now. I love Smashing Pumpkins, Led Zeppelin, The Cure, Radiohead, Third Eye Blind, and The Verve.
Chad: We are into the 90’s stuff right now.
CB: I like the song “Lost One.” What is the story behind it? Where did it come from?
Josh: I was kind of going through a transition phase in my life. I didn’t know where I was headed. I was coming out of a tumultuous relationship. It is about letting go and trying to find a place to call home.
CB: What is your favorite song to perform live?
Josh: It is not one of my own. It is “High and Dry” by Radiohead.
CB: You guys just got started last year. What is the biggest thing that has changed in your life since you started out?
Patrick: The bus really. We have never had this luxury before.
Chad: This is our first tour and going National.
Josh: It is the first time we have toured with bands outside our scene. Hanson has been on part of the tour and they have been great. People automatically only think of them as “MmmBop,” but their new album is out and it is awesome. You should check it out. They have changed so much and are super talented.
CB: Finish the sentence I can’t go to sleep unless I’ve…
Chad: I watch Sports Center and make sure I know the scores of my favorite teams.
Patrick: I have to take off my socks before going to bed and sleep barefoot.
Josh: Not naked, just no socks?
Patrick: No, not naked just barefoot.
Josh: I can’t go to sleep unless I’ve shot the air assault gun outside. Last night we were shooting Third Eye Blind.
Check out Great Big Planes at http://www.myspace.com/greatbigplanes
LMFAO is a Grammy-nominated electro-hip hop group from Los Angeles, California that consists of DJ/rappers Redfoo (Stefan Gordy) and Sky Blu (Skyler Gordy). Both artists are related to Berry Gordy; Redfoo is the son of the Motown Records founder and Sky Blu is his nephew.
Their first single was titled "I'm in Miami Bitch” which peaked at #51 on the Billboard Hot 100. LMFAO also provided the opening theme to Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami and Jersey Shore. They last visited Ohio on tour with the Black Eyed Peas in early 2010.
I sat down with the two of them for an interview backstage at Bamboozle to discuss the tour and the upcoming album.
CB: You guys grew up really close to the recording industry. Did it give you an idea what to expect in the business?
RF: You know maybe on the business side, but not as far as touring. When we grew up our family was out of the business. The touring is new with things like being on the bus. We have adjusted really well. Now the bus is now like our home.
CB: What is your favorite track to perform live?
RF: The songs are like tools that will help you out in any situation.
CB: They make me smile.
SB: Smile tools.
RF: When you are at a party you have to play "Shots" to get the party started. Toward the end of the party you may want to say something nice to a girl so you may play, “Scream My Name.”
CB: It is like a progession through the night. Like a soundtrack.
RF: After "Shots" you would play, “Get Crazy.” They are like tools. So when we perform and we want to talk to the sexy ladies we sing “Scream My Name.”
CB: Craziest tour story with the Black Eyed Peas?
SB: Will got stuck one time up in the air during their performance.
CB: Did you guys rescue him?
SB: I was going to, but I didn’t want to put my drink down. The stage hands took care of him.
CB: You are working on a new album. When can we expect it?
RF: The new album is in the works. We are finally getting some momentum on it. Hopefully it will be out around November.
CB: Do you write your own stuff?
RF: Yes we have a lot of concepts that we are working on. It is a process to lay out the tracks. We have a studio on the bus and one at our house now in LA.
CB: You guys live together- roomies?
RF: Yes, we actually have a lot of houses and a lot of girlfriends.
CB: What are your party rules?
RF: You have to bring some Nachos.
SB: Nachos are girls that are “Not Yours,” not your ex, not your current girl, they are like pot luck. You have to take a shot when you walk in. You have to have a TBR- Take Back Room. It can be a bathroom but that can cause problems. These are the party rules.
CB: Who were your musical influences?
RF: Rick James
RF: JB- James Brown
SB: Red Hot Chilis
CB: What do you wish you knew five years ago that you know now?
SB: I wish I knew to put more stock into Apple.
RF: I wish I had read this book Going Against the Grain. It talks about how grains are not good for you. It is a revolutionary book. It explains how they are not edible in nature. I just stopped eating grains and lost 25 lbs in a month.
CB: Not just carbs
RF: No, you can have carbs like fruit and potatoes, just no grains like bread, pasta or anything made with corn. We even switched alcohol. Ciroc has grapes and Petron is a plant so they are approved.
SB: It is funny because in “Shots” those were the two we named.
After two days of driving in the Vanarama — a 1996 GMC Rally 3500 in school-bus yellow — we're only about 3.5 hours outside of Austin.
This is the second time I've made the trek to SXSW, but every time I make the four-state drive, a few things remain constant: Arkansas highways suck and everything truly is bigger in Texas.
On the last stretch of 11 South, as you approach Crockett, Texas, road signs alternate between "Cemetery" and "Forest." This wouldn't have been so intimidating if we hadn't exchanged ghost stories about dead relatives and scary camping trips (Google "Appalachian Trail" and "scary photos"). We then stayed in a hotel that we seriously scoured for bed bugs before bringing in our gear. But cheap is worth it, right?
We are by no means alone in this endeavor. Thousands of bands travel across the country and the world, whether or not they're "officially" a part of the festival. This is the biggest weekend of the year for bands — whether they're on the rise or struggling to get a fresh start — and they'll do whatever it takes to be heard.
Tuesday (today) marks the beginning of the SXSW (as far as the music portion). The All Night Party's Midwest by Southwest showcase kicks off tonight and will feature some of our hometown favorites, including The Sundresses, The Lions Rampant, Wussy and The Seedy Seeds.
This official showcase is an anticipated event, not only for us Cincinnatians, but also the locals. The Austin Chronicle has named Wussy as one of the top 10 shows to see Tuesday. (Scroll to the bottom of the link for the Wussy write-up,.)
We're not even in Austin yet and Cincinnati's already making headlines at SXSW.
Saturday, Apr 28: Jubal's Kin Festival Grounds
Saturday at MerleFest broke hard and cold. Our camping neighbors had an impromptu jam session at 3 a.m., which is to be expected when camping at a music festival geared towards people who not only love to watch and listen, but also play. It would have been one thing to hear the soft strains of a string jam or the gentle harmony of "Wildwood Flower," but some dude shouting the lyrics to "Whipping Post" over badly tuned guitars played really hard … not the thing mountain dreams are made from.
So I sat, at sun up, reading and drinking coffee, plotting revenge and the instead of taking my revenge, made the accused coffee, read some more and generally moved real slow. Crustymarhsmellowman. I did get to play a couple tunes with Pete McWhirter as he moved past to grab some coffee on his way to open his booth.
Then I moved real slow some more.
Really real slow.
After lunch, I decided to make an attempt to see some music.
I had already missed Jim Lauderdale at the Creekside Stage. To bad, I like some Jim Lauderdale and it would have been a nice wake up, but there you are. I saw on the schedule Jubal's Kin at the Dance Tent, looked at the clock and … damn missed that, too. But what ho! There they are on the schedule at the Americana Tent immediately following their Dance Tent set. It's a MerleFest miracle! I grabbed my camera and another cup of coffee and headed out.
Jubal's Kin, all nerves and bad house sound on Day 1, was all smooth and in good voice on Day 3. They filed the promise I thought I saw at the Cabin Stage on what always seems like an eternity ago and delivered a set full of vigor, with pristine sound delivered by the sound person. Their originals are fresh with sparse instrumentation and the kind of tight harmonies that only siblings can deliver. Never lyrically embarrassing with overplayed earnestness or too casual observation, they meld in with beautifully arranged and originally considered traditional tunes. There's "The Cuckoo," that ancient English broadside, rendered as if Billie Holiday had spent some time in the Eastern Kentucky mountains. "Buffalo Gal" was reconsidered as a pop tune with a well delivered encouragement to jump in on the chorus and sing along. Gaelanne's fiddle playing is absolutely gorgeous in a John Hartford/Matt Comb's kind of way, though leaning a bit heavier on the front of the beat as opposed to sitting in the pocket. And her banjo playing is just delicious. They added one more member for this set — "Uncle Joe" on pedal steel and fiddle. With "Baby Brother" on bass, Jubal's Kin appears to be a family band.
Satisfied my instincts were intact, I left the Americana Stage to catch some other music. I wondered into the Traditional Tent to catch some of mountain legend Red June. He was explaining to the audience what a jam session was. Have I mentioned the Traditional Tent smells like a barn? I don't think it's intentional, but the wet grass combined with an enclosed space has rendered an unfavorable impression. After the lesson on what a "jam" is, Red invited a local banjo player up to do a fiddle tune with the fiddle player who didn't bring a fiddle, but did bring a mandolin. Not to fear! You can play fiddle tunes on mandolin (or piano for that matter), so he requested the newest banjo player and the fiddle player with the mandolin decide on a tune they both knew and then play it. Five minutes of discussion and tuning followed. As I headed out of the tent I thought "Just like a jam session," and went down to the Creekside Cabin to catch the rest of the Snyder Family Band and the following act, Sierra Hull and Highway 111.
The Snyder Family Band is a family Bluegrass band (no irony at MerleFest!). Like all Bluegrass bands they have a banjo, sing harmonies and play Bluegrass. Of course they play it really well. People love them. Standing ovation.
I waited around for Sierra Hull and Highway 111 to take the stage. Sierra Hull, 5-foot-nothing and former wiz kid master of the mandolin is now a promising songwriter and ingenue. I'm familiar with this script and am bored not two minutes into the first song. Sigh. I stop in the field in front of the Watson Stage to hear some of "Assembly of Dust." Young Nashville Country script. Know it. Boring. Moving on.
It's coming up on 3 p.m. and time to give my sister a break in her booth in the Heritage Tent. Nancy Roberson is a weaver based out of Knoxville, Tenn. She's been showing, selling and demonstrating at MerleFest for about as long as there has been a MerleFest. She heads out for her afternoon nap (apparently a hardwired Roberson DNA trait) and I pleasantly meet the mass of retail customers streaming by and wondering into her booth.
Nancy makes shawls. Well kind of. Not only does she design each warp for the loom, but on these particular pieces of clothing, she has design the shawl itself. It's twisted, sewn up the back, and pulled over your head like a loose fitting sweater. The front gathers in soft bunches and hangs across the chest. The ladies love them. Woven of soft cotton and rayon with the occasional silk woven in for effect, the main color of each shawl is broken up with a rhythm of competing and sometimes complimentary colors. People can't help but be drawn in by the colors and when the reach out and touch them, you always get an "Oooooo, these feel so nice and are so beautiful." If you don't, it's a replicant — ready your phasers.
When Nancy returned, I checked the schedule and cheese whiz on a cracker if Jubal's Kin wasn't playing in the barn-like Traditional Tent. Finally a chance to catch this band in more intimate surroundings, smell be damned. I headed over, got there early and claimed a seat near the front. In short order the band was on stage, laughing and calling out songs. They moved though a load of traditional tunes, all rendered in a sweet, imaginative way, like "Dinah Blow Your Horn," with added lyrics and a new verse melody. The Carter Family's "No Depression" was delivered in soul rendering pain. About midway through the set, a guitar string broke enabling some spontaneous double fiddle and dancing. While the guitar player stepped off stage, "Uncle Joe" and Gaelanne tuned their fiddles and discussed which tune to play. In a matter of thirty seconds (this is no a jam session) launched into a Skillet Lickers number my dad probably danced to when he was their age. A friend jumped up on stage and launched into some spirited clogging. Not to be undone, "Baby Brother" put his bass down, peeled off his shoes and joined the Appalachian chorus line at the end of the stage with some well executed Buck Dancing.
Yes sir, these kids from Florida are the real shit. I've spent decades in front of poseurs, wannabees, shitty players and hopefuls. Using a foundation of traditional music obviously passed along from a family that loves this stuff at an early age, Jubal's Kin are making something very real, unique and personal that compels you to be a part.
This is why I come to MerleFest. Thanks, guys, for inviting me in.
Exhausted from a night of no sleep and a day of wandering and finding Jubal's Kin, I headed back to my book and coffee and called it a day.
Today, the free Northside Rock n’ Roll Carnival brings a little pre-Independence Day fun to Jacob Hoffner Park (at the corner of Hamilton and Blue Rock St.) in Northside. Conceived in 2005 by MOTR Pub’s Chris Schadler and put into action in 2006 by Schadler and Leslie Scott, the event is also a warm-up for one of the must-see parades of the summer, the eclectic, eccentric Northside 4th of July Parade, which makes its way down Hamilton Ave. starting at noon tomorrow.
If you have not attended in the past, the “Carnival” in the event’s name is key, as organizers present “side-show” fun galore — everything from fire-breathers and sword swallowers to drag performances and burlesque.
But live music is at the heart of the carnival and the assembled lineup this year once again features a great, diverse mix of groups from Greater Cincinnati, as well as a few nationally touring acts. Locals playing the Rock n’ Roll Carnival this year are Cletus Romp, Jake Speed and the Freddies, Eclipse, R. Ring, The Tillers and You, You’re Awesome. Headlining is Nashville’s Pujol; New York’s The Big Sleep and Nashville’s Turbo Fruits also perform.
Here is the full lineup of event for today's Carnival:
2:30 p.m. Cletus Romp
4 p.m. Jake Speed & the Freddies
5 p.m. Eclipse
6 p.m. R. Ring
7:10 p.m. The Tillers
8:20 p.m. Turbo Fruits
9:05 p.m. Pickled Bros Side Show
9:40 p.m. You, You're Awesome
10:25 p.m. Incendium Fire Show
11 p.m. The Big Sleep
12:20 a.m. Pujol
The event is open to revelers of all ages. For more details on the Northside Rock n’ Roll Carnival, click here.
If you are in the mood for some indoor (read: ACed) music while you're at the Carnival, be sure to duck into Northside Tavern for the July 4th Eve Rock and Roll Riot. Also free, the Riot gets started at 9 p.m. with Downtown Boys. The rest of the lineup features The Cave Girls, TEMPLE, Ohio Knife and DAAP Girls. Click here for set times and links to check out all the performers beforehand.
This weekend brings the uniquely “underground” Ubahn Fest to downtown Cincinnati. The two-day music festival (its name a play on the German word for underground rapid transit systems) features a mix of Electronic music, DJs and Hip Hop artists, including many local and regional performers. Ubahn is a collaboration between the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, branding/”social intelligence” agency AGAR and Self Diploma, one of the leading independent event promoters in the region, presenting the popular every-Saturday music series on Fountain Square during the summer (among other events).
While Cincinnati has its share of music fests, this is a rare one that focuses on EDM and Hip Hop. Even more unique is the festival’s setting. Ubahn takes place in the tunnels of the vacant Riverfront Transit Center, located beneath Second Street and running between the Bengals stadium and Broadway. For fest-goers, the entrance is at 220 Central Ave., between Pete Rose Way and Third Street.
Along with the local/regional talent, Ubahn features two huge acts to top the bill each night. Friday’s headliner is A-Trak, one of the leading DJs/turntablists around, working frequently with Kanye West, doing production work and remixes for an array of artists, forming the popular duo Duck Sauce with Armand Van Helden, collaborating with the likes of Travis Barker, Jay-Z and Danny Brown and co-founding the esteemed Electronic/Hip Hop label, Fool’s Gold. A-Trak was featured on the cover of Billboard’s 2012 Dance music issue alongside Skrillex and Diplo.
Here is a clip featuring footage from A-Trak’s huge Bonnaroo set this year:
Saturday’s headliner is singer/songwriter/producer Mike Posner, who has built a large following with his memorable brand of eclectic Electro Pop. Posner has also found success working with a wide range of artists — everyone from Big Sean and 2 Chainz to Justin Bieber and Big Time Rush — as a producer, songwriter and/or guest artist. Posner’s much anticipated new album, Pages, is due next year.
Here’s the clip for Posner’s 2013 single, “The Way It Used to Be”:
DJs, EDM and Hip Hop artists from across the region joining A-Trak for Friday’s festivities include DJ Davey C, DJ Prism, The Animal Crackers, Erik Barnum, The Natives, Sh3llz, Eazy El Loco, DJ Vizion, Panzer, Disco Joe, DJ Worldpeace, DJ Fursur and Briz-Rain.
Cincinnati’s Puck also appears at Ubahn on Friday. The MC released a music video for his track “Outside” last month:
Another local MC performing Friday is Trademark Aaron, who kicked off the summer with a great new EP, For the People. More recently, Aaron posted the short film made to accompany a new track called “Shake,” featuring Sleep of 2 Man Cypher (Sleep performs Saturday at Ubahn):
Saturday’s lineup is rounded out by local and regional acts like Cal Scruby, K.M.F., CJ Townsend, Those Guys, Big Cam, DJ Donkis, DJ Magnificent, DJ Drowsy, Sleep, Nuk, Nick Youngerman and PRJR.
Cincy “new wave Hip Hop” act Valley High will also appear at Ubahn on Saturday. Here is their recent video release for the track “8 Ball”:
And here’s a recent track from local progressive Electronicists Black Signal called “Sai Pei.” The trio is also playing Ubahn on Saturday:
Another local Saturday performer is Hip Hop artist Buggs Tha Rocka who recently announced that modern Hip Hop legend Talib Kweli will executive produce his next album. Before that, Buggs will release a new mixtape next month. The MC recently posted the freestyle track “Gold Bars in Tha Safe,” which you can listen to and download below:
What to Bring (Allowed Items)
- Sun Gear (e.g., sunglasses, sunscreen, etc.)
- Seating (e.g., folding chair*, blanket, etc.)
- Bug Repellent (no Deet)
- Rain Gear (ponchos are best, but small hand-held umbrellas are OK)
- Baby strollers
- Empty water bottled (no glass) or Cambelbak
- Wall mounted rapid charger (charging stations provide iPhone and mini-USB chords, but if you have your own chord, you won't have to wait)* Sand chair with seat no more than 9" off the ground.
What NOT to Bring (Prohibited Items)
- Weapons, fireworks or explosives of any kind
- Illegal substances (including narcotics) or drug paraphernalia
- Framed or large backpacks
- Glass containers of any kind or coolers
- Food, beverages or Cambelbaks that are full
- Carts, bicycles, skateboards, scooters, or personal motorized vehicles (including Segways)
- There is bike/scooter parking outside the event site
Tents, large umbrellas or chairs that are NOT sand chairs (seat more than 9" off the ground) Pets (except service dogs) Any audio recording, professional camera or video equipment Moshing, crowd surfing, and/or stage diving Vending without a Bunbury license or permit Bills over $20.00. We won't accept them at the beverage booths.All subject to change. Festival organizers reserve the right to prohibit any item that isn't listed.
Keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Cincinnati in July can be hot. It’s quite a distance from one end of the park to the other. Considering all the walking, dancing, etc., you’ll need to make this a priority. Take advantage of the water stations. (NOTE: As mentioned above, don't bring water, but you can bring an empty container to fill throughout the weekend.)
We love kids. LOVE THEM! (NOTE: Kids 10 and under admitted free with a paid adult.) There are; however, some tips for those families who plan on coming to Bunbury:
- Re-read the the first part of this page. Sunscreen, staying hydrated, etc. is even more important for kids.
- A stroller or small wagon is permitted. The park is large, kids will get tired and you don’t want to carry them.
- Head phones or ear plugs for ear protection.
- A first aid kit; Band-Aids and Neosporin always come in handy.
- Baby wipes are awesome. Even if you don’t have a kid they can be great to have!
- Feeding your baby formula? Please use plastic bottles with disposable liner bags.
Next weekend, the Lollapalooza music festival returns to Chicago for its 20th anniversary extravaganza. CityBeat will have some reporters in the field covering the event, but most of us don't have the money for such a costly road trip this year. Thankfully, you can have a sort of "virtual reality" audio experience of Lollapalooza without leaving your bed or sweating more than a boxer in the final round. And you can do it all in under an hour.