The lineups for 2013's PNC Summer Music Series on Fountain Square — featuring live music from different genres for free throughout the summer — have been coming out gradually. We're happy to announce the lineup so far for the Friday night "Indie Summer" shows (presented by CityBeat and the MidPoint Music Festival).
Look for the rest of the finalized lineups — for American Roots Tuesdays, Reggae Wednesdays, Salsa Thursdays, Saturday's popular Beats night (with Hip Hop, Dance and Electronica) and the acoustic-music-meets-wine-tastings "Sunday in the Grove" — later this week. Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine is also again presenting regular music programming this year, with Jazz on Wednesday, Bluegrass and Roots music on Thursday and R&B/Soul/Hip Hop on Fridays, plus a new Tuesday night feature, Dance Under the Stars, featuring dance lessons in a variety of styles.
The bad news? The Indie Summer shows kick-off on May 31 with the final show by fantastic Cincinnati Indie Pop band Pomegranates. The good news? It will also be the first show by Healing Power, Pomegranates' new name. The opener will also serve as a "release party" for great local Indie crew The Yugos. Christian altrockers Seabird will also use their Indie Summer show to celebrate the release of a new album, the band's first independent release after a couple of albums on Credential Recordings/Universal Music Group. Northern Kentucky rockers Dept. Store Alligators will also put out their new release in conjunction with their Aug. 16 appearance with Belle Histoire.
Local restaurant/club chain 4EG will host "Happy Hour" parties on Fridays as well, featuring various local DJs and drink specials from 5-8 p.m. Indie Summer concerts are open to fans of all ages and run from 8-11 p.m. all summer on the Square. Click here for details.
July 12: Plumb; more TBA
Aug. 9: Archers Paradox; (headliner to be announced on June 2)
Get ready, MidPoint Music Festival fans. This Friday, the first 10 or so artists booked for 2013's MPMF — returning to the streets and venues of Over-the-Rhine and Downtown Sept. 26-28 — will be announced. And longtime MPMF sponsor Dewey's Pizza will have the scoop.
Friday, those wanting the info first should head to facebook.com/DeweysPizza ("like" their page, not just for the yummy grub they serve but for the support they've given MPMF and local music over the years). Then, of course, check this here music blog for a recap and more details.
Also of interest to MPMF fanatics are the lineups for this year's "Indie Summer" concerts, every Friday on Fountain Square from May 31-Aug. 30. The performers for the MidPoint- and CityBeat-sponsored shows are expected within the week. Keep an eye on this blog for the full announcement as soon as we get the green light to post it. (The lineups for the other themed Fountain Square music nights — six per week — are due very soon as well.)
For artists wanting to be considered for a performance slot at MPMF.13, the time to submit is now, as the deadline is quickly approaching. Submissions will be accepted (visit mpmf.com for directions) until May 11 at 11:59 p.m.
Several weeks ago, two pricing tiers of "early bird" and "loyalty" MPMF tickets sold out almost immediately. Tickets for MPMF.13 go back on sale this Friday through cincyticket.com ($69 for a three-day pass or $169 for "VIP Experience" tickets).
Cincinnati has a wealth of music festivals, from MidPoint Music Festival, Cincy Blues Fest, Macy's Music Festival, Bunbury to new additions like the expanded One More Girl on a Stage event this fall, the recently announced MOXY Music Fest, scheduled for June, and numerous others. But for those who like to get a fresh sampling of some of the newest artists from Greater Cincinnati representing a wide range of genres, The Heights Music Festival has been your best option.
This weekend, The Heights Music Festival returns to venues in the Clifton Heights neighborhood for its eighth edition. Usually, The Heights fest is biannual, with an event in both the fall and the spring. But this weekend's HMF will be the only one in 2013. Organizer Rome Ntukogu of Far-I-Rome Productions says The Heights will definitely be back in 2014, bigger and better. He's simply taking a break to work on some new ideas for the event; understandable, considering large chunks of the Clifton Heights neighborhood (near the University of Cincinnati) are under heavy reconstruction now, part of a revitalization effort that should put HMF in a good position when it returns. The area will be almost like a new (and nicer) neighborhood by then.
The first Heights Music Fest (originally called the Clifton Heights Music Festival) was held in 2009 and was considerably smaller, with four venues and about 20 performers. Last year, The Heights featured over 75 bands in five venues and included a "Day Fest" on Saturday.
So Friday and Saturday's pre-hiatus is something of a return to the HMF roots, with four venues and around 30 acts. But it's the same eclectic mix of newcomers and up-and-comers from the local scene. And $5 gets you admission to all four venues — Rohs Street Café (the only all-ages venue), Baba Budan’s, Mac’s Pizza Pub and Christy’s Biergarten, a historic building that has been at the center of a battle over whether it should be demolished or sold off in the name of progress or preserved in the name of history (as many residents would like). You can purchase an all-venue pass at any of the four venues.
This year's Heights lineup once again runs a vast gamut of styles, from Reggae, World music, Roots/Americana and Hip Hop to Punk, Jazz, Synth Pop, Funk and various spins on Rock (from Indie to Hard).
Below is the rundown of performers. (Note: There have been some shifts in the lineup since CityBeat's Spill It column about the fest ran on Wednesday; check it out here for a playlist featuring several of the participating artists.)
• Rohs Street Café: The Freebies (8 p.m.); MC Forty (9 p.m.); Young Colt (10 p.m.); The Yugos (11 p.m.).
• Baba Budan’s: One Day Steady (9 p.m.); Wonky Tonk (10 p.m.); Brazilian Jazz (11 p.m.).
• Mac’s Pizza: Rachel Mousie (9 p.m.); Common Center (10 p.m.); Big Rock Club (11 p.m.); Olu, Crack Sauce (midnight).
• Christy’s: Zach Starkie & Guest (9 p.m.); The Newt (9:45 p.m.); AC The Entity, Citoak (10:30 p.m.); Filthy Beast (11:30 p.m.); Gold Shoes (12:15 a.m.).
• Rohs Street Café: Brent Stroud (9 p.m.); Moonbeau (10 p.m.); Little Lights (11 p.m.).
• Baba Budan’s: VanillaSake (9 p.m.); Sulla (10 p.m.); LZRPNY (11 p.m.); Horsecop (midnight).
• Mac’s: Koala Fires (9 p.m.); Emily and The Complexes (10 p.m.); Tana Matz (11 p.m.) and MJs Blues (midnight).
• Saturday at Christy’s: Jordon Schneider & Guests (9 p.m.); Baoku & The Image Afrobeat Band (10 p.m.); The Almighty Getdown (11 p.m.); The Killtones (midnight).
Masterful Cincinnati Boogie Woogie piano stylist Ricky Nye is much loved in his hometown. In CityBeat's Best of Cincinnati issue this year, readers voted Nye "Best Local Musician," which he also won last year. And there's a pretty good chance he has more Cincinnati Entertainment Awards and CAMMY awards (the old Enquirer program) than any other musician in the area.
All year, Nye (who founded the internationally-flavored Blues and Boogie Summit concerts, which took a break in 2012 but may make a comeback soon) performs about four nights a week in area clubs, bars and restaurants, his ace chops and entertaining performances helping to woo Cincinnati into loving him. (He's also a super-nice guy, so that probably helps too.)
But Nye has also been working on earning love (and spreading the good word of Boogie Woogie Blues) elsewhere. Nye travels to Europe (which has a larger fan base for his particular brand of Blues) annually to perform numerous shows, particularly in France (this past fall, Nye also played a few shows in Switzerland along with his French itinerary). During one previous visit, Nye snatched up a trio of French musicians with whom to play and record, christening the group Ricky Nye and the Paris Blues Band.
Besides during Nye's visits overseas, the Paris Blues Band has also recorded albums with Nye, including 2008's superb Ville Du Bois, a self-titled release from 2011 and last year's Jump Steady, which came out at the same time as France's Fabrice Eulry & The Rolling Twisters' Twistin' At Ray's, which Nye co-produced in Cincy, and the annual Blues and Boogie Summit highlight compilation album recorded at the 13th annual event in 2011.
This visit, the band will be performing to promote their latest recording, Singing in My Soul, by Oxford, Ohio, singer Lisa Biales and featuring Nye and the PBB on backing. The album is a mix of Blues, Gospel, Roots and Pop, featuring covers of songs by Mississippi John Hurt, Sippie Wallace, Peggy Lee, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and others. Click here to read more and to purchase the release.
For the past few years, Nye has been bringing his Paris Blues Band — Thibaut Chopin (upright bass), Simon Boyer (drums) and Anthony Stelmaszack (guitar). — to the Cincinnati area to do a handful of shows. Since last Friday, Ricky Nye and the Paris Blues Band (usually with Biales singing) have been touring the heck out of the region, playing Rabbit Hash, Ky., and Oxford, Ohio, and also doing an episode of Northern Kentucky radio station WNKU's "Studio 89," where the band played and was interviewed live on the air.
Tonight, the "tour" picks up at Chez Nora in Covington's Main Strasse district. Nye and the Paris Blues Band play at 7:30 p.m. and there is no admission charge. Tomorrow (Thursday), Nye and Co. head back to Oxford for a performance at the Oxford Community Arts Center (showtime is 8 p.m., tickets are $10 and it's BYOB), then set off for Worthington, Ohio, for a Friday show at Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza and Concert House.
Nye and his French pals close out the mini-tour on Saturday with a sold-out show at the Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center in Covington, Ky.
Click here to find out more about Nye and his various projects and here for his official site.
A pair of interesting local package-tour concerts were announced today for Riverbend's summer season.
• On Saturday, July 6, Bob Dylan and his band are headlining the Americanarama Festival of Music when it comes to Riverbend Music Center. Dylan tours a lot, but making this jaunt extra special are the extra special guests — Wilco and My Morning Jacket. Other acts are to be added to round out the fest-like bill (show starts at 5:30 p.m.).
Tickets for Americanarama at Riverbend go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. Tickets range from $30-$80; between April 27-28, fans can buy lawn tickets for the show for just $20 (plus all those sketchy ticket fees).
Read more about the tour here.
• For local fans of modern Hip Hop, mark your calendars for Aug. 11. That's when the second annual Hip Hop tour, Under the Influence of Music, will be coming to Riverbend. The show is headlined by Wiz Khalifa and A$AP Rocky and will also feature B.o.B., Trinidad Jame$, Joey Bada$$, Pro Era and Berner and more. The Cincinnati stop is the last on the tour, which always makes for a fun time for the performers (and, thus, the audience).
Tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. Click here if you'd like to RSVP for a chance to buy tickets early. Citi card members get access to presale tickets beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m. Riverbend is offering $15 "Early Bird" tickets through April 28. And here is some info on getting a jump on the public on-sale.
Here's an interview with the headliners about the tour.
Cincinnati Noise Pop trio Vacation had the first sampling of its forthcoming sophomore LP debuted by Spin.com today. The messy but blissfully melodic track "Pyro Hippies" is set for the band's Candy Waves album, scheduled for release on June 18 through New Jersey-based label, Don Giovanni Records.
Vacation features singer/drummer Jerome Westerkamp (former singer/guitarist for The Read), guitarist/singer Peyton Copes and bassist/singer Evan Wolff (both formerly of Till Plains).
The road-tested trio will play a couple of shows in July and then do three weeks on the road starting in early September.
"Vacation" is starting to sound downright ironic given the busy bees Westerkamp and Copes have been lately. Besides Vacation, the pair is also 2/3 of the much-buzzed about trio Tweens, self-described as a "Nasty Doo Woppy band." The group — which mines a vein similar to Vacation, but with a female vocalist — has been garnering big attention from both music fans and the industry. Tweens recently opened for The Breeders when the "Alt" legends played a tour warm-up show at Southgate House Revival in Newport in advance of their global jaunt celebrating the 20th anniversary of the seminal Last Splash record. It must've gone well — Tweens were chosen to open for The Breeders in Washington D.C., Philly and New York City in early May.
Look for a profile of Tweens in the May 1 edition of CityBeat. In the meantime, check out "Rattle&Rollin," which the esteemed U.K. label Fat Cat showcased on its website a couple of weeks ago.
This Saturday is Record Store Day, which began in 2007 as a way to celebrate (and draw business to) independent, brick-and-mortar record shops all over the globe.
In the Cincinnati area, four longtime record shops with loyal fanbases will officially participate — Everybody’s Records in Pleasant Ridge, Shake It Records in Northside, Mole’s Record Exchange in Clifton Heights and Phil’s Music & Memories in Latonia, Ky. That means you’ll be able to get your hands on some of the thousands of exclusive, RSD-only releases coming out this year from a wide range of acclaimed artists, new and old. (See the huge "The List" of exclusives below.) Other stores may also be doing fun, interesting stuff for the "holiday"; be sure to visit all of your favorites. That's what the day is all about.
• The local shops usually do it up big for RSD. At Everybody’s Records, you can listen to live music (including a 2 p.m. acoustic set from Jody Stapleton and Brandon Losacker of Jody Stapleton and the Generals) and DJing (from local Reggae DJ squad Queen City Imperial Soundsystem at 5 p.m.) throughout your RSD adventuring at the store.
• At Shake It, Grammy-winning (for his work on Dr. John’s last album) rocker Brian Olive performs at 6 p.m. (he and his band play MOTR Pub later on Saturday for free), while Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker of Wussy play at 8 p.m. Shake It is offering a 10% discount on purchases for anyone bringing non-perishable food items for Churches Active in Northside’s Choice Food Pantry.
• Shake It’s “record label” branch is also getting in on the RSD fun, putting out a pair of new, limited, exclusive releases by a couple of local music giants. Saturday at the shop, you’ll be able to pick up a live vinyl album featuring a performance at Shake It by The Greenhornes over a decade ago. The Live at Shake It Records 2001 LP featuring 14 tracks representing the band’s first three albums (one song was previously released by the label on a 7-inch in 2002, but it went out of print instantly).
Shake It will also release an EP of songs by Walker and Cleaver — a.k.a. Wussy Duo, which plays when the full band is not available. The CD features seven tracks from the slimmed-down lineup.
• With Record Store Day falling on 4/20, it should be no surprise that critically-acclaimed Cincy-area rockers Buffalo Killers would get in on the action; pot references are sprinkled throughout the band’s discography and their deft blend of vintage Psych Pop and swampy Blues Rock is certainly THC-friendly. The trio — which tours frequently and has made fans out of The Black Keys, The Black Crowes and many others across the U.S. — is coming through big with a new six-track, 12-vinyl EP titled Ohio Grass. The follow-up to the band’s fourth and finest full-length, 2012’s Dig. Sow. Love. Grow., has more than just a title reference to the smoky stuff — the EP’s cover (see above) features a giant, burning joint and the vinyl itself is colored “Herb Green” (as noted on the pot-leaf sticker also gracing the cover). The EP is a Record Store Day exclusive through the band’s label, Alive Naturalsounds Records.
The Buffs will be spending 4/20 in Dayton, performing an in-store at Omega Records to celebrate the release and RSD, but on Friday, Buffalo Killers perform a free show for Cincinnati fans at MOTR Pub with special guests, The Cincinnati Suds. Showtime is 10 p.m.
Click below for a huge list of Record Store Day exclusives from the RSD official site. (Click here for more, including the special RSD releases that will still be available post-Record Store Day.)
• Gifted young violinist/vocalist Rosie Carson and her father, former Customs bassist and longtime show promoter Steve Carson, are presenting a benefit concert tonight at the Molly Malone's in Covington for Cancer Family Care of Cincinnati (cancerfamilycare.org), which assists family members dealing with the cancer diagnoses of loved ones.
The event is being held in “loving memory” of Sue Carson, Rosie’s mother and Steve’s wife, who passed away from the disease. Tonight's benefit show starts at 7 p.m. and features The Graveblankets (with whom Rosie performs), Tickled Pink and The Rosie Carson Band, Rosie’s Bluegrass/Celtic hybrid that opened the sold-out Richard Thompson concert on April 11 at the 20th Century Theater. Admission is free but donations are encouraged.
Here's a fan-shot live clip of the Rosie Carson Band in action, performing the Flying Burrito Brothers' version of the Southern Gospel tune, "Farther Along."
• If you were to put together an all-star Funk supergroup culled from the history of the genre (dead or alive), there are a few “no-brainer” choices. Bootsy Collins would, of course, hold down the bass, George Clinton would be the bandleader, James Brown would sing and Bernie Worrell would command the keyboards. Worrell, a crucial member of the original Parliament-Funkadelic, may be less of a household name than those other artists, but he is also the one who has continued to make consistently challenging and enthralling new music.
The classically trained pianist continues to be an in-demand sideman (he’s played and/or recorded with everyone from the Talking Heads to Cincinnati’s own Blues guitarist Kelly Richey over the past 30 years) and he’s currently heading up The Bernie Worrell Orchestra, which plays, for lack of a better word, “Big Band Funk,” groovin’, progressive, jazzy and with a tinge of the Psych Funk he helped invent. (Local DJ/Electronic artist Tobotius of Animal Crackers and Freekbot fame mentioned yesterday on his Facebook page that he will be sitting in with the ensemble on turntables.)
Worrell’s nine-piece ensemble plays at The Blue Wisp Jazz Club tonight. Showtime is 8 p.m. and admission is $20.
Here's a newer Bernie Worrell Orchestra song, "So Uptight (Move On)."