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by mbreen 01.22.2009
Posted In: Local Music, Live Music at 12:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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MusicNow 2009 Lineup Announced

The avant chamber music festival, MusicNow, returns to Memorial Hall on March 11 and March 12. The "big get" this year is the Kronos Quartet, a brilliant, legendary string troupe that hasn't played in Cincinnati in 20 years. Kronos plays both nights of the event, performing music by Jim Thirwell and Glenn Branca, as well as a new piece by Richard Reed Parry of Bell Orchestre and Arcade Fire.

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by Amy Harris 10.25.2012
Posted In: Interview, Live Music at 03:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Q&A with Jackyl

Jesse James Dupree brings his Hard Rock (and chainsaw) back to Cincy Friday night

Jackyl is a Southern Metal band led by one of the most charismatic frontmen around, Jesse James Dupree. The band has been making the rounds since the early ’90s but have gained their biggest fame with Dupree appearing regularly on the TruTV show Full Throttle Saloon. He also has infamous for turning a chainsaw into a musical instrument. CityBeat caught up with Dupree this week to preview Jackyl's upcoming return to Cincinnati. The two discussed where Jackyl stands in today’s Rock n Roll landscape and the group's new album, Best in Show. Jackyl performs Friday night (Oct. 26) at the Inner Circle (formerly Annie's) in Cincinnati.

CityBeat: I think you are still out on tour with Nigel, your son, correct?

JD: No, Nigel is not on this date with me. I have a band called Wayland that is opening for us and they are doing really great. They are getting a good bit of airplay on 96Rock and I am proud to have them on the run with us.

CB: I have been listening to the new record Best in Show and I think “Horns Up” is my favorite song. Can you tell me a little bit about that song and how you put it together?

JD: It came about with Roman the bass player; obviously you can tell that song originates from that bass groove. Roman came in and said, “I have an idea but don’t know what to do with it though.” We basically stopped everything and we said “Let’s hear it,” because when Roman says he has something going on it is usually pretty interesting.

So we stopped everything and he started this looping, playing it round and round, and then I picked up the guitar and started grabbing the soft beats with it and choking through, and next thing you know we had a really cool groove going. So we laid that down so we wouldn’t forget what we had.

I actually got up and went for a run the next day and it was playing over in my head, and it seems like it was one of those songs that every now and then you come across something that writes itself. That one, all the parts fell together, even the gang vocals part; it has that old Sly and the Family Stone type of gang vocal, you know, “Everybody grows…”

So Roman and I got up to the microphone and did it and sounded like him. We laid down the idea and that is what ended up being on the record because it had such a natural flow to it. It was one of my favorite songs too. It has such a fun energy to it. I think our record is non-portentous in a sense. It is just a celebration of the fundamentals of Rock & Roll.

CB: I have been a Jackyl fan for a long time. I have talked to you over the years and seen the shows. Have you ever had women approach you that are offended by some of the lyrics?

JD: I really haven’t. Can I imagine that within my lyrics that I have offended lots of groups or whatever? At the end of the day, if you are analyzing the music that close, you are missing out on the essence of what it is all about.

In Rock, some of these artists are so self-righteous and self-proclaimed geniuses and Rhodes Scholars or whatever, I don’t subscribe to that. I think music is something that should move you and excite you. I think Rock music should be considered right alongside going to see a movie, whether it is a comedy or a drama or a horror movie, whatever the case may be. I think it is just an expression of a vibe and blowing off some steam. How many people work their asses off for 40 hours or more a week? I don’t think they want to stop in Rock & Roll to have other issues to be upset about. I think they dial in to something that is like going to see a great movie of a different genre. It is about an escape.

Anybody that is looking for music to cure a rare disease or something needs to be re-aligned. I’ll just tell you this, I’ll leave it to Bono and U2 to go save the world in that respect. I just want to provide some sanity for people when they blow off some steam.

CB: The Flaming Lips broke the record for the most concerts in 24 hours. Would you guys ever try to do that again?

JD: The record, if you look at it, the record they broke is something else. I think our record still stands. We did 21 shows in a 24 hour period and we did 100 shows in 50 days. I think they did a certain amount of shows in certain states. They added something more of a twist to it. At the end of the day, it is just something we did to validate our work ethic. If we are going to be out there, we make it stick.

CB: Since I saw Jackyl last time, you had your motorcycle accident last fall. Has that changed your views on riding at all?

JD
: Hell no! I was riding all day yesterday.

CB: It is so scary to me. I know people love it, just love it. I talk to people all the time and they have had accidents just like you and they say they would never give it up.

JD: Nah — hell, if I quit riding today, I would probably get run over by a train tomorrow. You can’t run off and be scared of life.

CB: You guys did Throttle Fest this summer in Kansas City. What was the highlight of that for you?

JD: We were shooting the Full Throttle Saloon fourth season. The TV show has been a blessing as far as kind of sharing the lifestyle we celebrate every day. It is the No. 1 rated show in its time slot and we are very, very proud of the success the show has had. Bruce Chappell is a big part of that TV show. At Throttle Fest, we ended up doing some really cool things with the Full Throttle brand this year. We took it to a whole new level that I don’t think anyone will expect. It is going to be a pretty interesting season for sure.

CB: That was one of my questions actuallywhat can we expect from season four?

JD: You know that bigger is better and I will leave it at that.

CB: I actually had the privilege of seeing Run-DMC re-unite live this summer for the first time in a long time. I wasn’t sure if you had any thoughts on that. I know you are friends with
Darryl and he is a great friend of yours. Were you excited about them reuniting?

JD: I was proud for
Darryl. It was something that meant a lot to him to be able to do that for the fans. They have had their issues with stuff as far as performing together. It is good when that can be put behind them and they can get out there and mix it up. I just love him to death and anything that excites him, I am proud for him.

CB: Going back to the album for a minute, what made you choose to cover “Cover of the Rolling Stone”?

JD: I just felt the tongue-and-cheek aspect they wrote that song. I don’t think they (Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show) would have ever expected to be on the cover of Rolling Stone so they wrote that song. I think Jackyl has a lot of that cynical, fun outlook on thingsnot cynical in a negative way.

I think with Jackyl, we scoff at being the whole critically-acclaimed thing. It is kind of a joke. I don’t need Rolling Stone magazine to validate Jackyl. The fact we are going to play a sold out room in Cincinnati, Ohio, validates Jackyl. The fact that people come out and support us. I don’t need Rolling Stone or any other critic to validate us because every night we hit the stage and everybody that comes to support us validates us, and shows that the core and what the heart of Rock is all about. It is not about a critic or a magazine. We did it with a fun twist and kind of (worked) a couple other influences into it and even used the chainsaw on it. It is an appropriate song.

CB: You guys spend a huge amount of time in Cincinnati and I know you have a hugefan base here. What can the fans look forward to Friday at the show?

JD: We are celebrating the release of this new album and we will be playing some of the new tunes for everybody and looking forward to doing it. At this point and time it is more like a family reunion. We normally come (to Cincinnati) around this time of year and we look forward to it every year. If (Inner Circle) place went out of business, we would still have to open the doors up every year about this time to do a show.
 
 
by mbreen 08.12.2011
 
 
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Full MidPoint Schedule, New Features Revealed

An avalanche of information about this year’s MidPoint Music Festival reveals the event’s growth and focus entering its 10th year. The full schedule of performances — from an eclectic assemblage of artists that includes Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Booker T. Jones, rising Australian Indie Dance champs Cut Copy and clever Pop duo Mates of State — is available now at mpmf.com. Many of the popular features from recent MPMFs are returning Sept. 22-24, but there are plenty of brand new ones being introduced, all designed to make the MidPoint experience even better.

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by mbreen 08.30.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 03:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Dallas Moore Readies “Hank To Thank”

Area label Sol Records is taking pre-orders now for the Dallas Moore Band’s next release, Hank To Thank, culled from the locally-based Country crew’s sessions one year ago with longtime Willie Nelson guitarist Jody Payne at the site of Cincinnati’s Herzog studios where Hank Williams laid down some of his early, big hits.

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by Mike Breen 05.16.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 11:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Music Tonight: Yanni!

JJ Grey, Ghostwriter and Angel Snow also in town for concerts this evening

Greek New Age music god Yanni performs at the Aronoff Center tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $39.50-$99.50.

Think you're too cool for Yanni? Are you cooler than Beck and Thurston Moore? Because they love Yanni so much, they covered an entire album of his.



• If Yanni is a little out of your price range (the ONLY excuse for missing his show), there's a solid alternative at MOTR Pub tonight that will cost you nothing (unless you want to buy merch, drinks or food). Portland singer/songwriter Ghostwriter — called "the post-punk version of a Harry Smith-era self-accompanied singer/songwriter" — performs at the club with another solo troubadour, Nashville's Angel Snow (which IS her real name). Snow co-wrote three songs for Alison Krauss and Union Station on their most recent album's deluxe edition. She wrote them with Krauss' brother Viktor, who produced Snow's sophomore album (due this August). Showtime is 10 p.m.

Here's a clip of Viktor and Snow performing one of the song's they co-wrote, "These Days."



JJ Grey and his band Mofro return to the Cincinnati area tonight for a performance at the new Ballroom at the Taft (in the basement of the Taft Theatre). The swampy, rootsy, rockin' crew from Florida are touring behind the current film and album Brighter Days, recorded live at a performance in Atlanta early last year. Grey and Co. are joined by Bright, Indiana's Pure Grain. The soulful area Country/Southern Rock crew records for Sol Records (home to Dallas Moore and others), which put out the group's most recent effort, Sowing Seeds, last year.

Here's the music video for Pure Grain's "Cowgirl" and a preview of Mofro's live release.





Click here for even more live music events tonight.
 
 
by Mike Breen 05.18.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
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The Thompson House Opens Tonight

Former Southgate House locale hosts first concert under new management

Tonight, the Venue Formerly Known As The Southgate House hosts its first big show. The Thompson House — as it's now called after a family dispute went to court and resulted in the longtime operators getting the boot and the owners of faux-strip club the Brass Ass taking over — opens its doors tonight to the public for a 7 p.m. concert headlined by modern Ska/Reggae revivalists The Aggrolites.

A recent Enquirer story about the "new" venue drew an avalanche of comments, the vast majority of which suggested that those who were fans of the Southgate House despise the look and direction of the Thompson House, with its purple decor and Rock star murals. Check out this pic from the Thompson House's website:



But the new venue's origins and the relative abruptness of the closing of the Southgate House is angering people more than the color scheme. The wall colors are just purple icing on the cake, so to speak.

The Thompson House has been developing a schedule that seems to be attempting to mimic the eclectic nature of the old Southgate House — a little Jazz, some open mic stuff, a Hard Rock band, some Metal, some Country. Often, the Southgate House's eclectic nature harvested a following whose tastes crossed over. And as diverse as the bookings were, rarely were there shows at the old club that made you go, "Why would they bring THAT show to the Southgate." For much of its run, whoever was booking the Southgate House seemed to have good and, more importantly, consistent taste in a wide-range of music. They wouldn't just book a random Country band; they'd book an interesting, great or unusual one.

The Thompson House bookings so far seem like they will be able to attract a varied audience. But can the people who, say, go to the Blue Wisp Jazz Club every couple of weeks and will probably enjoy the local Jazz lineup at the venue feel at home going to the same club as the younger music lovers who used to hang out at The Mad Hatter (or its current occupier, Bangarang's of Covington) to watch Hardcore and Death Metal bands? We'll see.

I have clubs that I like to go to more than others, but I have never gone to a concert because of where it was being held. And I've never not gone to see a concert at a venue I don't feel as comfortable. But I would be less inclined to frequent a venue if I have a bad experience and I'd be less likely to just roll the dice and take a chance on a show at a venue in which I don't feel comfortable.   

I understand the passion of the Southgate lovers who insist they'll never set foot in the Thompson House, but if a band comes to town that you'd like to see, or your favorite local artist is performing in the "Rock Star Lounge" some night, you'll be hurting those artists as much as the new owners. Over the years, I've had club owners or promoters be dicks to me and occasionally have reached the point of anger where I momentarily think, "Screw them, I'll never write about one of their shows again." But it passes quickly. I've never "blacklisted" a club or promoter, no matter how big of an a-hole their employees are, because I've always felt that it would be unfair to both the musicians that work with them and the music fans who would like to know about the concerts they're promoting.

Like I said, I can totally understand the urge to boycott — I haven't stepped inside Clifton movie theater The Esquire since they "banned" CityBeat and its film critic from the theater after we reported how the operators had censored a raunchy part of a film without permission and without informing the audience of the edit. It's just one of those "principled" stands we all take and whether they are "rational" or not is relative and personal. (I'll admit that not going to the Party Source for several years after a manager was a jerk to me there was a little silly … but it made me feel a little better.)

Perhaps the hope is that if all these people who say they'll never go to the Thompson House actually don't, the club won't survive. But, from the bookings so far, a big chunk of the Southgate House's old clientele would never have been interested in the Thompson House bookings anyway. And if the Thompson House fails, someone might just come in and turn it into a Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill.

Me? I'm leaving the door open. I won't be there tonight, though I am a fan of The Aggrolites (and local openers The Ohms and The Newport Secret 6 are excellent, as well). I just have other plans. But, out of sheer curiosity alone, I will step foot in the Thompson House. And when there's music there I want to check out, I'll step foot it in it again and again. I miss the old Southgate House as much as anyone and I really appreciate the efforts of the previous owners, but I'm not going to deprive myself of a good concert experience. I mean, I never stopped going to Bogart's, even when it was the source of some of the worst concert experiences I've ever had.

Although when the Thompson House starts hosting the "Thompson House-produced country (music) revue show, 'Through the Years,' " as the Enquirer reported, I'll probably pass. I'm loyal to Kings Island when it comes to cheesy musical revue numbers.

Tickets for tonight's show are $13. You can buy them here and pick them up at Will Call (or buy them at the door). Click here to see who else is performing at the Thompson House, as well as some of the specialty nights.

 
 
by Mike Breen 02.29.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Live Music, Music News, Festivals at 01:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
 
 
forecastle

Forecastle and Pitchfork Fests Announce Lineups

The two established music events coincide with Cincy's innaugrual Bunbury festival

The Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati falls on the same weekend as two other big regional music fests, one 100 miles to our south and the other about 300 miles northwest of the Queen City. Like Bunbury, the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago and the 10th annual Forecastle fest are happening July 13-15.

In theory, the proximity (geographically and time-wise) should lead to some crossover, as artists from one event might run their tour route to the other cities to score some of those big festival performance fees. (MidPoint's 2011 fest in Cincy, for example, shared some acts with the somewhat nearby Pygmalion Music Festival in Urbana-Champaign, Ill.) But so far that hasn't happened with Bunbury, which seems to be focusing on more mainstream "Alternative" artists, as opposed to Pitchfork's more esoteric lineup and Forecastle's endearing mishmash of styles.

Louisville's Forecastle previously announced that hometown heroes My Morning Jacket would be curating the event and performing. This morning organizers announced that joining them will be Dubstep superstar Bassnectar and Dad Rock champs Wilco, plus Andrew Bird, Girl Talk, Atmosphere, Neko Case, Sleigh Bells, A-Trak, Dean Wareham (playing Galaxie 500 songs), Galactic, Clutch, Flying Lotus, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Mike Doughty, Real Estate, Deer Tick, Charles Bradley, JEFF the Brotherhood and Cincinnati's Walk the Moon, among others. Click here for ticket info and the the full lineup so far.

Meanwhile, here is who Pitchfork announced yesterday for this year's event in Chicago's Union Park: Vampire Weekend, Feist, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hot Chip, AraabMUZIK, A$AP Rocky, The Field, Liturgy, Kendrick Lamar, Grimes, Cloud Nothings, Tim Hecker and Willis Earl Beal. Thirty more artists will be announced later.

Pitchfork tickets go on sale next Friday, March 9, at noon via the Pitchfork fest's site here.

So if you could go to any of the three festivals, based on the info available so far (and not counting travel costs and lodging arrangements) which one would you attend — Cincinnati's, Louisville's or Chicago's?

 
 
by Mike Breen 01.31.2013
Posted In: Local Music, Live Music, Music News at 10:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Bad Veins Splits in Two

Cincy Indie Pop duo loses drummer; frontman vows to carry on with new lineup

One of Cincinnati's finest Indie acts, the brilliant Bad Veins, has split in two. Last night, BV's singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist Benjamin Davis took to the group's website to announce that founding member, drummer Sebastien Schultz, has decided to "move on from his time with Bad Veins."

Schultz — previously the drummer for local Indie rockers Cathedrals — had been a member of Bad Veins since almost the very beginning; Davis' first Bad Veins show was a solo affair opening for late Cincy duo wil-o-ee. As the pair told me for a 2008 CityBeat cover story, Schutlz was at the show (though he left early) and joined shortly after. He's played on all of BV's releases, including the most recent LP, The Mess We've Made, and toured extensively with Davis for the past five-plus years.

Thankfully for BV fans, this is not the end of the group. "The show must go on!" Davis said in his website post, expressing excitement for Bad Veins' future:

"I’m going to use this opportunity to do something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and take Bad Veins in a bigger direction, adding others members, bass, keyboard etc. I’ve already received a number of offers from musicians to join but haven’t made any decisions yet. If anyone has any recommendations, hit me up! The plan is to get back on the road this spring!"

We had heard rumblings about the split prior to this past Sunday's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. Davis ended up opening the show solo (with taped backing), closing his set with a great, orchestral version of The Muppets' "Rainbow Connection." (The CEA show was filmed and will be airing locally on cable; a special, limited-edition DVD will also be available — stay tuned.)

Bad Veins is booked to play an all-ages show presented by the Counter Rhythm Group on Feb. 16 at Rohs Street Cafe in Clifton Heights along with PUBLIC and The Ridges. More info is available here.


 
 
by Alex L. Weber 05.19.2009
Posted In: Live Music, Festivals at 12:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Lineup Announced for Cincy Blues Fest '09

It's time to get liquored up on whiskey, slog through the humid summer heat and make that deal with the devil down at the river again. Yes, the Cincy Blues Fest itinerary has officially been announced for 2009. The summer celebration of America’s original musical art form has been going strong for 17 years.

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by Mike Breen 10.25.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Reviews at 04:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
strawberry

Review: Wussy's "Strawberry"

Now in it tenth year, one of Cincinnati’s most celebrated bands, Wussy (led by former Ass Pony Chuck Cleaver and his equally skilled songwriting partner/co-frontperson Lisa Walker), has amassed an amazing discography so far. Beginning with 2005’s Funeral Dress, the group quickly developed a reputation for the “ragged glory” of its performances, both live and on record. That sense of recklessness worked impossibly well with the band’s fractured, soul-burrowing love songs and the unbridled tense, passionate energy between its co-leaders. Early on, Wussy often sounded on the verge of falling apart, but there was always something magical about the group that assured you that, even if by Scotch tape and rubber bands, the band would hold it together. 

But with each successive release, Wussy’s edge-of-cliff nature gradually dissipated. By the time of the rockers’ third album, an eponymous affair in 2009, Wussy had become a more confident, cohesive unit. But not in the way, say, Paul Westerberg went from alcoholic Punk poet to “mature” singer/songwriter. As the band’s fourth full-length, Strawberry, shows, Wussy isn’t getting boring. They’re just getting better. Which, considering how powerful albums like 2007’s Left for Dead were, is almost scary.

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