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by Mike Breen 08.10.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals, Music News at 02:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Local Music Returns to W&S Open

No Nadal or Sharapova at international tennis tourney this year, but lots of local musicians

This weekend's big Western & Southern Open tennis tourney (kicking off at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason) won't have world-class champs like Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova (who've both dropped out in the past couple of days).

But the event WILL feature several world-class local music champs who will provide tunes between matches throughout the entire event. (Oh, and a bunch of really good tennis-ball hitters will still be showing up.)

Think tennis and music should never mix? Well, Bieber clearly gets it (see pic above). And you obviously haven't seen this.

Here's the schedule of musical acts (presented in conjunction with CityBeat), for those planning to attend. (Schedule courtesy of Game Day Communications).

Saturday, Aug. 11: Jake Evans (10:45 to 11:30 a.m.)

Sunday, Aug. 12: Michael McIntire (10:45 to 11:30 a.m); Michael McIntire and Marmalade Brigade (12-2 p.m.)

Monday, Aug. 13: Andyman Hopkins (10:45 to 11:30 a.m.); Brad Loans of The Sundresses (12-2 p.m.); Andyman Hopkins (5 to 7 p.m.)

Tuesday, Aug. 14: Carole Walker Luley (10:45 to 11:30 a.m.); Hickory Robot (12 to 2 p.m.); Jeremy Pinnell & the 55’s (5 to 7 p.m.)

Wednesday, Aug. 15: Sean Geil of The Tillers (10:45 to 11:30 a.m.); The Cla-Zels (12 to 2 p.m.); Blake Taylor of 46 Long (5 to 7 p.m.)

Thursday, Aug. 16: Shiny Old Soul (10:45 to 11:30 a.m. and 12 to 2 p.m.); Young Heirlooms (5 to 7 p.m.)

Friday, Aug. 17: Colin Shoff (10:45 to 11:30 a.m.); Faux Frenchmen (12 to 2 p.m.); The Shivering Timbers (5 to 7 p.m.)

Saturday, Aug. 18: The Sunburners (6 to 8 p.m.)

Sunday, Aug. 19: Newburg Trio (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.)

In other Tennis/music news, Tennis — one of Meghan McCain's favorite bands — is playing the MidPoint Music Festival on Sept. 29. Tickets on sale now! (See what I did there?)


 
 
by Mike Breen 08.08.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 02:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Gruff Rhys Reunites with Boom Bip at CAC

Welsh musician's "investigative" concert tour stop to feature rare Boom Bip appearance

Welsh musician Gruff Rhys is bringing his current unique (and brief) tour to Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center tomorrow (Thursday). The show starts at 8 p.m. Click here to grab your tickets.

Those attending the tour’s stop at the CAC will also be treated to an extra rare bonus — Rhys’ Neon Neon project-mate and Cincinnati native Boom Bip (aka Bryan Hollon, who now works from out of the West Coast) will be joining Gruff onstage after the main performance for a one-of-a-kind DJ set.

Rhys’ band Super Furry Animals released its major label debut, Rings Around the World, in 2001 and the group appeared to be a successor to the throne occupied by fading superstars like Blur and Oasis. The album (following SFA’s excellent debut, Fuzzy Logic, and a trio of experimental-oriented albums put out by king-maker Alan McGee’s Creation Records) put a brilliant, creative spin on “Brit Pop,” highlighted by fascinating sounds between the grooves, but also an extraordinary knack for writing incredibly potent melodies. Rings contained several hit-songs-in-waiting and did well in the U.K., but never fully grabbed the ears of the U.S. mainstream like a few of the band’s predecessors did.

While some artists would have simply gone back and cleaned up/out the sound of their potential breakthrough to appeal more to the mainstream, it soon became clear that Rhys and the Furries weren’t interested in pandering. The band had always been underlined by a progressive, adventurous streak (early works embraced Electronic and Ambient music, among other approaches) and it was evident that the opportunity to crossover or become a massive success was less important to Rhys and Co. than following their own creative whims. (By the mid-’00s, SFA had left the Sony family for the artist-friendlier confines of Rough Trade Records).

Rhys’ work outside of the Furries’ domain has been even more exploratory. Rhys’ eclectic solo albums have contained songs sung alternately in Welsh, English and Spanish. And he’s a huge fan of collaboration, working with artists like Mogwai, Sparklehorse, De La Soul, Gorillaz, Simian Mobile Disco and Brazilian artist Tony da Gatorra, to name a few. One of his most celebrated collaborations has been with Boom Bip; the pair’s Neon Neon project has been widely acclaimed, earning a Mercury Prize nomination in 2008 for the album Stainless Style (a loose concept piece about the life of John De Lorean).

Rhys’ current project/tour is a follow-up to Separado!, a feature film/multimedia venture during which film crews followed the musician as his “investigative concert tour” traveled through South America. The film followed Rhys on his journey to learn more about his “long lost, guitar-playing, poncho-wearing uncle, Rene Griffiths.” Given his musical output, it was fitting that Rhys’ intellectual and creative curiosity had led him down such another unique path.

Here's the trailer for Rhys' "psychedelic western musical," Separado!

Rhys’ current “investigative tour” is another adventure in genealogy and travel, as the artist (again trailed by a film crew for a planned movie sequel/music/prose/photo project) journeys through North America to find the burial site of John Evans, another distant relative who allegedly left Wales in the late 1700s on a quest to verify the legend of a Welsh-speaking tribe of Native Americans.

Rhys put this call out to anyone with info that could help: “Gruff urges anyone with clues regarding Evans’s unknown burial place; imaginary volcanos; wandering tribes of Welsh Speakers, or lingering river reptiles to come to the shows, where their help with his investigations will be appreciated and featured in the movie.” You might even make the film's final cut just by showing up and checking out the show.

Rhys’ performance will include music, discussion, his cutting humor and more. As the trailer above suggests, and anyone who’s seen SFA live knows (the band's criminally under-attended show at the Southgate House many years ago was one of my all-time favorite concerts), don't go into one of Gruff’s appearances with too many expectations because, most likely, they’ll be blown out of the water.

 
 
by Mike Breen 08.07.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 01:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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LISTEN: Buffalo Killers' New 'Dig. Sow. Love. Grow.'

Local Psych/Roots/Swamp Rock trio celebrates release today at Shake It

Cincinnati-spawned Psych/Rock/Pop trio Buffalo Killers' new album, the rockin' Dig. Sow. Love. Grow., is available at retailers (online or otherwise) today nationwide.

The album — released on Alive NaturalSound Records — has already scored some great press praise. Magnet says the album "will no doubt beg the comparison to a handful of contemporary blues-rock bands like former tourmates the Black Keys and the North Mississippi Allstars," while Marquee Magazine's Brian Johnson gave the LP five out of five stars and wrote, "Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. sees the band absolutely stampeding back to their raucous rock sound, but it also goes the extra step by showcasing both the majestic side of the Buffalo Killers, while managing to convey the overwhelming and unbridled power of the group."

Spinner has the full album streaming today on its site. Click here to give it a taste, then head to Northside's Shake It Records at 7 p.m. tonight to pick up a copy and listen to a few tunes performed live by the band in-store. The appearance is the official local "release party" for the record and kicks off the band's touring duties behind the release.

Below, listen to the album's second track, "Hey Girl."


 
 
by Mike Breen 08.06.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Music News at 09:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Lunch with the Playhouse and Hank Today

Lunchtime Fountain Square event to feature local musicians playing Hank Williams tunes

Tickets for the forthcoming season at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park were put on sale this morning at 10 a.m. To celebrate, the Playhouse is hosting a lunchtime event on Fountain Square at noon featuring giveaways and other merriment, as well as a performance by a few excellent local musicians.

Mark Utley, frontman for diverse Americana group Magnolia Mountain, Chris Cusentino (The Turkeys) and Cameron Cochran (Pop Empire, Jeremy Pinnell & the 55s) are slated to be on hand for the festivities this afternoon, performing a few songs from the remarkable songbook of Hank Williams.

The performance is a tie-in to the Playhouse's forthcoming staging of Hank Williams: Lost Highway, a play that follows Williams' early career and starts in "the backwoods of Alabama and winds up at center stage of the Grand Ole Opry." Lost Highway — which features over 20 of Williams greatest tunes (including locally-recorded ones like "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry") — opens Nov. 3 and runs through Dec. 23. Click here for more info on this and all of the upcoming Playhouse performances for this season.

(Meanwhile, it appears my karmic adventures with Hank will continue …)

Utley's Magnolia Mountain recently debuted a brand new music video for its track "Bad For Me" off of the group's recent Town and Country album. Dig it …

 
 
by Mike Breen 08.02.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 12:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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WATCH: Walk the Moon Covers Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Cincy RCA recording artists release first clip from MTV Unplugged sessions

Cincinnati's Walk the Moon has been doing the promo rounds hardcore for a while now, performing on network TV shows like the Late Show and Late Night, and touring the planet to ever-increasing crowds. The band tweeted photos about a month ago from its sessions for an episode of MTV Unplugged, the long-running acoustic series on the now-music-deficient network.

Today, Walk the Moon announced that the episode will premiere this coming Monday (Aug. 6) on MTV.com. The band also revealed the first clip from the episode — an a cappella version of "Maps" by popular AltRock trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Enjoy.

 

 
 
by Mike Breen 07.31.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Wussy To Join Afghan Whigs U.S. Tour

Two of Cincinnati's all-time best join forces this fall

Cincy rockers Wussy are set to join the much-celebrated Afghan Whigs' reunion tour this fall when the band finally hits the U.S. for a string of dates. Another great exhibition of Cincy's rich music scene, again in the national spotlight. Wussy has been touring a lot more than usual lately, including its first West Coast jaunt, so this should help raise the group's national profile even more.

So far, Wussy is set to open for The Afghan Whigs for their homecoming show at Bogart's on Oct. 25 (sold out), as well as dates in New Orleans (Oct. 19), Atlanta (Oct. 20), Carrboro, NC (Oct. 21) and another sold-out affair in Detroit (Oct. 24). More dates are expected to be announced soon.

Wussy co-lead-singer/songwriter Chuck Cleaver is a longtime friend/mutual fan of the Whigs. Back in 1993, the local label Mono Cat 7 released a split single featuring the Whigs and Cleaver's former band, The Ass Ponys. The Ponys covered The Whigs' tune "You My Flower," while Greg Dulli and Co. tackled the Ass Ponys classic "Mr. Superlove." (That's the cover art, with former Short Vine mayor Archie acting as the model, above.)

Here's a fan-made video for the Whigs' take on "Mr. Superlove" (NSFW due to mild nudity).


More recently, Wussy recorded a great cover version of another early Whigs song, Up In It opening track, "Retarded," for an Afghan Whigs tribute compilation put out by fantastic Afghan Whigs site Summer's Kiss (listen or purchase here). The comp also included Whigs renditions by Mark Lanegan, Joseph Arthur and several other acts.

Give a listen to Wussy's "Retarded" below.


 
 
by Mike Breen 07.18.2012
Posted In: Music Video, Music News at 02:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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LCD Soundsystem Film Screens Tonight at CAC

'Shut Up and Play the Hits' debuts tonight nationwide for one-time-only screening

Following the successful screening of acclaimed Sigur Ros concert film Inni in April, the Contemporary Arts Center is showing another hot music flick. Tonight (on the same night and at the same time as an ever-growing list of theaters and venues nationwide) the CAC is screening Shut Up and Play the Hits, the much-anticipated concert film/documentary about hugely popular Electronic/Dance/Rock band LCD Soundsystem’s final concert, which took place April 2, 2011, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The film — which has received awards from both the Sundance and SXSW film festivals — features plenty of live footage from the finale, but the narrative focuses on bandleader James Murphy’s day-to-day life leading up to the show (and the day after) as he ponders the “personal and professional ramifications” that come with deciding to break up one of the top bands on the planet at its peak.

As of this morning, tickets were surprisingly still available (most screenings around the country have sold out). I'd call ahead to make sure there are some left (513-345-8431). Or if you can get to the box office early, tickets are on sale for $10 ($5 for CAC members) in the CAC Store. Screening is at 9 p.m., but you can show up starting at 7:30 p.m., have some drinks and tour the museum.

Here's a brief clip from the film.



 
 
by Mike Breen 07.06.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Free Download, Music News at 10:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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LISTEN: Extremely New Sounds from Old City

Engaging one-man Indie/Ambient project issues new EP, plays live tonight

Veteran local Indie musician/songwriter/producer/label operator Sammy McKee, known for projects like Bitter Airplane, view-finder, Hyperstatic, fotos, Embers is Sammy, Kaptain and Charlston Entry, is back with a brand new solo project, Old City.

McKee has completed three EPs of new music so far, including Building Blocks, which he literally finished and posted just last night. An uniquely atmospheric, mood-shifting collection of ElectroIndiePsychPop that at times is reminiscent of Bowie's Berlin trilogy, the entrancing ambient tracks on Building Blocks are some of McKee's best to date.

It should be interesting to see how McKee pulls Old City off in a live setting. And tonight is your chance. Old City performs at The Avenue in Covington tonight with another pair of relative newcomers — Cincy Indie rockers The Ivorydales and Northern Kentucky Indie/Rock/Soul duo Young Colt. The free show kicks off at 9:30 p.m.

Here's Old City's hot-off-the-presses EP Building Blocks. Click here to check out some of McKee's earlier Old City recordings.

 
 
by Mike Breen 07.05.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Washington Park To Be Quite Musical

Weekly music, interactive musical fountains and more planned for renovated OTR park

Revitalization group 3CDC's live music programming throughout the past few summers has helped turn Fountain Square into the heart of Cincinnati's increasingly active downtown area, drawing thousands to the Square every week to catch everything from Reggae and Salsa to Hip Hop and Indie Rock.

The group will be doing the same thing in Over-the-Rhine at the newly renovated Washington Park across from Music Hall. The Park officially opens tomorrow (July 6) with a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. The christening will be followed by tours of the park, then a free 5 p.m. World Choir Games "friendship concert" at the Bandstand.

Like with Fountain Square, Washington Park's weekly music series will showcase local musicians, with live performances on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Wednesday will be "Bandstand Bluegrass" night, featuring some of the best area Bluegrass artists. The shows begin July 11 and will run every week, starting at 7 p.m., until Sept. 5. On Fridays, the Park features "Friday Flow," a night of R&B and Soul that starts July 13 and runs each Friday through Sept. 5.

The lineups for Wednesdays and Fridays have yet to be announced, but more details have been made available about the every-Thursday Jazz in the Park series. Beginning July 12, the lineup has been curated by local Jazz pianist Chris Comer, who held a similar role on Fountain Square last year. The first Jazz in the Park concert is July 12 and features Comer and his quintet, plus special guest Napoleon Maddox from the progressive Jazz/Hip Hop group IsWhat?!

Jazz in the Park performances run 7-9 p.m. through Aug. 30. Other shows in the series include the P&G Big Band (July 19); The Cincy Brass (Aug. 2); Steve Schmidt (Aug. 9), Ricky Nye Inc. (Aug. 16); and the Dick Sorice-Dan Jackson Quintet (Aug. 23).

Along with many other special concerts — like Over the Rhine's (the band) free show July 22 and the rare joint performance featuring Cincinnati Pops, May Festival Chorus, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet — the Washington Park summer schedule is filled with other types of events, from community festivals to "dog programs" to movie nights and special "Curiosity Saturdays" for kids.

One of the coolest physical changes to Washington Park is the interactive Classical Music Walk of Fame, a project in conjunction with the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and InfoTrust which will enable visitors to use their smartphones and tablets to play various musical selections through the park's sound system or through the very cool "musical fountains," which will change appearance/flow/color depending on which music is selected.

Here's a quick overview of how the interactive Classical Music Walk of Fame will work.



To read about all of the things Washington Park has planned just this summer alone (remember, it will be a primary venue for the MidPoint Music Festival at the end of September) click here.

 
 
by Mike Breen 06.26.2012
 
 
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Twenty More Acts Announced for MidPoint 2012

MPMF.12 to include Andrew Bird, The Walkmen, Ralph Stanley, The Antlers and more

Several local acts have been notified in recent weeks that they have been chosen to perform at this fall’s MidPoint Music Festival. Organizers today revealed its second wave of national acts that will join them at the Sept. 27-29 fest — Andrew Bird, Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys (revealed a couple of weeks ago at a MidPoint Indie Summer concert), The Walkmen, The Antlers, Hospitality, Rich Aucion, Stepdad, Eternal Summers, White Arrows, Dirty Bourbon River Show, Hume, Sidewalk Chalk, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Kitten, F. Strokes, Wooden Wand, Hundred Waters, Golden Boy, Tim Easton and Army Navy.

Keep up to date with the latest MPMF news at mpmf.com and this here music blog at citybeat.com. Early Bird All Music Access and Loyalty Presale passes are sold out. A limited number of All Music Access Passes ($69) and VIP Passes presented by CVG ($169) now on sale. Washington Park Day Tripper passes will be available soon. Get your tickets now at CincyTicket.com.

Check out news songs from The Antlers and (previously announced MPMF band) Grizzly Bear at NPR here.

Here's the latest music video from The Walkmen, for their tune "Heaven."


And here's a recent CNN piece on Andrew Bird.


 
 

 

 

 
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