Deft local MC Buggs Tha Rocka, who balances his excellent solo work with performances and recordings with the group Gold Shoes, has become the first Hip Hop artist to participate in the ongoing "Emery Sessions," a series of excellent music videos, filmed in one-shot by world-class photographer Michael Wilson at the restored classic Cincinnati venue, The Emery Theatre. Audio was handled once again by local musicians Cameron Cochran and Henry Wilson.
The series not only celebrates local music but also showcases the grand old theatre, a century-old Cincinnati treasure that fell into disrepair but has recently returned to "active venue" status thanks to the work of The Requiem Project.
Buggs and DJ Ghost performed "Stephanie's Song" for their Session. Unlike previous clips (which have spotlighted a host of local artists, from Over the Rhine to Jeremy Pinnell and the 55s, as well as Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley and many others), Buggs and DJ Ghost don't perform on the theatre's stage, but in another nook and cranny elsewhere in the building.
"Stephanie's Song" is from Buggs Tha Rocka's fantastic The Wrath of Zeus mixtape, which is available for free download here.
Take a look at some of the other Emery Sessions here.
Tonight at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Ohio, the new television program 513 Rocks! makes its broadcast debut. The 30-minute program aims to showcase local music — artists and venues — as well as local charitable organizations. The show was developed by Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions, which is showcasing its charitable text-to-give technology (viewers tonight, for example, with be encouraged to send a donation to St Al's Orphanage by texting KIDS to 80100). Fox Sports regular Jeff Piecoro hosts.
For the pilot episode airing tonight, local AltPopRock band Green Light Morning, featuring former members of Oval Opus and The Big Creak, is featured in an interview segment as well as live footage filmed at Toby Keith's place by the baseball stadium.
The episode will re-air on Fox Sports Ohio Nov. 11 (1 p.m.), Nov. 15 (6:30 p.m.) and Nov. 18 (1:30 p.m.).
Here's a commercial promoting 513 Rocks!
About a year ago, Dibbs (born Brad Forste), one of the Midwest's most respected and influential turntablists, found himself in the hospital suffering from the effects of Cirrhosis of the liver, a shocking turn of events for fans that led to numerous artists reaching out to raise money to help with his medical bills. In the message included with his new 5-track release tributing Skandal called Deadworld Reborn, Dibbs writes that he actually was technically dead for 53 seconds while in the hospital, not too long after issuing his then-latest release, Deadworld.
Dibbs — a member of the popular Rhymesayers crew, tour DJ for Atmosphere and a founder of Cincy Hip Hop institutions like the DJ collective 1200 Hobos and the legendary Scribble Jam festival, to name but a few of his accomplishments — writes that he was in the hospital for several weeks but that it wasn't as bad as it could have been because his longtime friend Skandal was at the same hospital, fighting his leukemia, and the pair hung out together as much as possible.
"Holed up in the hospital for a few weeks, I was an inadvertent resident of an impromptu hip hop retirement home," Dibbs writes. "Battling leukemia on the floor above me was my longtime friend Marcus 'Skandal da Ruckus Man' Mitchell. An epic MC and producer, of equally epic bodily proportions, Skandal’s heart was big, but his production skills and lyrical largesse were even bigger. I dragged my sometimes half-incoherent ass, IV and all, down the hallways and into the elevator to visit my homie. The nurses always thought I was lost. Fuck that.
"I was FOUND…in the strong lifeline we’ve all come to know and love as Skandal. He was my pusher man…keep on pushin’, Dibbs, until you get to the other side of you."
Deadworld Reborn is a dynamic mix that blends tracks from Deadworld that feature artists ranging from Doseone, Brother Ali and Murs to Juliette Lewis and The Black Keys. The release also features the Dibbs/Skandal collaboration "Where Pigs Fly," which you can sample below.
Deadworld Reborn (which has already been drawing attention across the web) is available as a "pay what you want" download. All proceeds are being donated to Skandal's family and daughter Chloe. Click here to purchase Reborn and read the rest of Dibbs' tribute to the man he says "gave me back my fucking life."
According to Rhymesayers, the release will be issued on picture-disc vinyl soon, featuring the image at the bottom of this post.
"I wish I could be like that dude," Dibbs writes. "He made me feel important enough for me to be reborn. I am doing it. I am doing it now."
For more on Skandal, read Mildred Fallen's 2005 interview with him here, her recent tribute to him here and Kathy Y. Wilson's essay about him here.
• Ironfest, the multi-act concert event started by friends of late local music booster “Iron” Mike Davidson to benefit his daughter, is set for its third annual event tonight and Saturday at the new Southgate House Revival in Newport. Each night features a staggering amount of solid local bands from a variety of genres.
Tonight, catch Mad Anthony, State Song, Switchblade Syndicate, The Shanks, Goddamn Gravity, The New Void, Billy Wallace and the Virginia Blues, Vito Emmanuel, Jeremy Pinnell and the 55’s, Arlo McKinley and the Lonesome Sound, Chiva Knievel, Total Dudes, A Juliet Bender, Smoke Signals, Rising Shotgun, DC Project and Dead August.
Performing for Night 2 tomorrow are The Dopamines, Moonbow, Honeyspiders, Red Soul Rising, Unsinkable Molly Brown, Another Tragedy, The Tammy Whynots, 500 Miles to Memphis, The Sound Museum, SHIVS, Kelly Steward and the Restless Kind, The Mudpies, Martin Luther and the Kings, The Perfect Children, Buenos Crotches, Sticky Honey, The Andyman Hopkins Band and Queen City Radio, a very promising new group featuring Dan Mecher, former frontman for Turnbull ACs and Denial, former 500 Miles to Memphis bassist Jeff Snyder, longtime 500 Miles frontman Ryan Malott and Kevin Finkelmeier of Pete Dressman and the Soul Unified Nation and Denial fame.
Tickets are just $5 each night and music starts at 7 p.m. Click here and here for more info.
• One of Cincinnati’s most popular bands, Rumpke Mountain Boys, celebrate the release of their new album with a series of release parties in the region, kicking off tonight at Inner Circle (the former Annie’s location). Following the Cincinnati date, the Boys will perform for their growing fan bases in Lexington, Ky., Bloomington, Ind., Columbus, Ohio, and Cleveland, Ohio. The group’s new official full-length is titled Trashgrass, the name the members have given their eclectic, jammy, sometime trippy brand of Bluegrass. The band has all the markings of a standard Bluegrass troupe — mandolin, banjo, upright bass, acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies — but the members’ varied influences (they cite Grateful Dead, Ralph Stanley, Tom Waits and Jimmy Cliff among their key inspirations) make the end result its own organic, spontaneous beast. The seven-time Cincinnati Entertainment Award winners for Best Bluegrass act have performed at numerous festivals, shared the stage with artists like Ralph Stanley, Keller Williams, Yonder Mountain String Band and Del McCoury, and Vince Herman — a pioneer of the Rumpkes’ jammy take on Bluegrass with Leftover Salmon — called them “a party waiting to happen.”
Rumpke Mountain Boys perform tonight with the excellent local Reggae crew The Cliftones. The show starts at 9 p.m. and admission is $10 (or $12 for those ages 18-20). Visit rumpke.ning.com for more on the band.
The Rumpkes are probably one of the more documented bands in the area thanks to their allowance/encouragement of fans to record their live shows. Here's a video from this past March of the group performing the Folk/Jazz/Blues standard "Make Me A Pallet on Your Floor" at ekoostik hookah's springtime music fest in central Ohio.
• Strong local Rock/Pop act Majestic Man celebrates the release of its debut full-length, Manatee, this Friday at Mayday in Northside. Local bands The FrontRunners and Plastic Inevitables open the free show at 10 p.m. Manatee is loaded with melodic, well-written songs, but the varied groove the band manipulates throughout the album is just as distinct and magnetic. Be it the Jazz slink of “Someday,” the dubby sway of “Bodysnatcher” or the angled Funk of “Age of No Reason,” the music is rhythmically fascinating. The dazzling guitar playing and superb vocals add cohesion to Manatee, an album that shows Majestic Man to be one of the more gifted newer groups in the Cincinnati area. To preview and/or purchase Manatee, visit majesticman.bandcamp.com. Here's the new album track "Spanish":
• This past spring, prolific artist Jon Langford came to Cincinnati to open an exhibit of his visual artwork and perform a free concert with his group Skull Orchard at Over-the-Rhine club MOTR Pub. At the time, Langford spoke to CityBeat contributor Steve Rosen about his range of artistic endeavors.
Just prior to the springtime Cincy visit, Langford had come off a Midwest tour with perhaps his best known band outside of his first one — British Punk legends, The Mekons — Waco Brothers, the AltCountry outfit he records with for Bloodshot Records. Langford must’ve enjoyed his time in Cincinnati because tonight he's bringing the Wacos to MOTR Pub for a 10 p.m. show, one of only a trio of appearances currently scheduled for the group. The Brothers are bringing with them Paul Burch, the Nashville singer/songwriter with whom the band collaborated on this year’s Great Chicago Fire LP. The Chicago band Cannonball is also on the bill.
Here's a fan-shot video of Burch and the Wacos from earlier this year.
A week after The Afghan Whigs played a thrilling homecoming show with fellow local greats Wussy at Bogart's, another pair of local bands making waves are set to play their hometown (or across the river from it).
Every time Cincinnati AltPop rockers Walk the Moon come home to play a show, it seems like their star has risen higher. The band is back in town tonight for a sold-out show at Covington's Madison Theater (which is also serving as the two-year anniversary party for the hard-hustling local music promo outlet, The Counter Rhythm Group).
Since last here, Walk the Moon's breakthrough single "Anna Sun" continues to get airplay across the globe, while the latest single, "Tightrope" (as heard in those much-played HP commercials) is picking up steam, as well. The group has also been on tour pretty much non-stop, performing all over North America and in Europe (after tonight's show, the group is off for a few days before resuming its headlining tour in Nashville). The band's Unplugged set for MTV also made it to the airwaves (not MTV, of course, but its HD sister, Palladia).
Check out the "Tightrope" clip below and a behind the scenes look at the making of it here.
Great local Indie Pop duo Bad Veins (fresh off their own cross-country tour dates, with even more coming up starting next week) open, along with L.A.'s Family of the Year. Bad Veins are currently prepping a new music video, as well; a clip for "Kindness" off of the duo's amazing The Mess We've Made Album. Here's a really strong video of the duo performing one of the new album's best tracks, "Don't Run," on the "Off the Avenue" series.
If you don't have tickets, you're going to have to do some hunting. As of this afternoon, there wasn't a single ticket available on StubHub for the concert.
Tonight's the big night for local fans of The Afghan Whigs, as the reunited rockers host a homecoming concert at Bogart's in Corryville. If you don't have a ticket, try an online reseller or hit up the Short Vine scalpers because the show sold out instantly. There are, however, still tickets available for the Whigs' New Year's Eve show at Bogart's (click here). Another one of Cincinnati's greatest musical exports, Wussy, opens tonight's show (the band has been doing several dates with the Whigs on this first leg of the band's U.S. tour).
CityBeat previewed the Whigs' return with a cover-story package in our issue out last week. Click here, here and here to read up on the group, then click below for a playlist of Whigs music videos. And check this space tomorrow for a full report from the show.
UPDATE: According to the Bogart's Facebook page, doors open at 7:30 p.m.; the show starts at 9 p.m. (previously stated showtime was 7:30 p.m.).
• R. Ring, the duo project from Kelley Deal of Dayton's The Breeders and Northern Kentucky's Mike Montgomery of Ampline/thistle fame, performs a free show tonight at Shake It Records in Northside at 7 p.m. The in-store is in honor of the twosome's debut official release, an orange-vinyl 7-inch single from Misra Records. Check out the single's "Fallout and Fire" below and click here to listen to R. Ring's live session for Daytrotter.
Click here for even more live music events in Greater Cincinnati tonight.
American Ska legends The Toasters perform a free show tonight at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Showtime is 10 p.m. and — sorry, kids — you must be 21 or older to get in.
The band was one of the leading inspirations behind the "third-wave" Ska explosion of the ’90s, but the band actually began 30 years ago, influenced by the 2-Tone Ska movement in the U.K. The Toasters blend of NYC Rock and 2-Tone made them cult heroes in the Ska underground, as did the band's D.I.Y. approach; founding member (the sole one in the current lineup) Robert "Bucket" Hingley formed the influential Moon Ska Records in 1983 to release his own albums, as well as those by acts like Mustard Plug, The Slackers and Hepcat. The label's various compilations also gave a boost to up-and-coming, non-Moon acts like Less Than Jake and No Doubt.
Here's The Toasters' first music video, for the tune "Radiation Skank" off of the band's debut release, 1985's Recriminations EP (which was produced by British singer/songwriter Joe Jackson; he is to The Toasters what Elvis Costello was to The Specials).
And here is "Modern World America" off The Toasters' 2002 release, Enemy of the System.
Cincinnati Garage Rock superheroes The Greenhornes made a big splash with their comeback album ★★★★, released in 2010 on pal Jack White's Third Man Records, but after some touring behind the acclaimed LP, the band hasn't made so much as a peep. For Record Store Day's nationwide "Black Friday" celebration on Nov. 23, the band is finally giving fans a little more. And they teamed up with a very special guest for the occasion.
Singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer Brendan Benson — a bandmate of The Greenhornes' Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler in The Raconteurs with Jack White — performed with legendary vocalist Eric Burdon of The Animals at South By Southwest earlier this year and was inspired to team Burdon up with the ’Hornes, a band very influenced by The Animals' early records. Benson brought the two entities together at a Nashville studio and, a day and a half later, emerged with a four-song EP.
The self-titled Eric Burdon and The Greenhornes EP (I would have named it The Burdhornes, but nobody asked) will be released on 180-gram vinyl by Readymade Records for Black Friday, with a digital release following on Nov. 27. Both versions are available for pre-order now here.
Though just four songs long, the EP shows The Greenhornes' members still have an incredible telepathic bond, while the 71-year-old Burdon's still super soulful vocals fit in perfectly. "Black Dog" and "Can You Win" are dirty, riff-driven slices of sublime, vintage Rock & Roll, while "Out of My Mind" slinks along to an hypnotic, electric piano-guided slow burn. Closing track "Cab Driver" sounds like a jokey outtake, with Burdon singing goofy lyrics in a non-specific accent and the band seemingly just jamming around behind him. As loose and kind of silly as it is, it's still a fun, humorous listen.
Check out "Out of My Mind" here and "Black Dog" here (via Rolling Stone).