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by Brian Baker 02.28.2014 47 days ago
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, New Releases, Reviews at 09:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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REVIEW: Saturn Batteries’ ‘Real Far East’

An EP can serve several purposes — a stopgap release between full-length releases; fresh merch to offer at shows; a teaser for more material down the road; or an exploratory release to test the waters for a response to a new band or an existing band's new direction (among others). 

In any event, whatever a band's reason might be for offering up a small dose of their material for reduced consumption, the inviolable rule of the EP is simple — always leave the listener wanting more. If you elicit even a modicum of boredom or disinterest in a spare handful of tracks, you're not likely to entice listeners to take a chance on a full-length or get them out to a show, which is, as stated, sort of the point.


Luckily, no such lapse is even remotely evident on Real Far East, Saturn Batteries' second EP in just over a year. Since the Cincinnati bands formation in 2010, guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Brad Gibson — who's put in bass time with the likes of Charlie Hustle, Young Heirlooms and Walk the Moon — has presented his brainchild as a trio, quartet and quintet along the way, all in the service of Beatlesque Pop filtered through the New Wave aesthetic of the Police and XTC and adrenalized with a heart needle full of the Pixies' jittery satellite Rock. 


On last year's Ever Been in Love? Gibson and the Batteries du jour hewed a little closer to the John Lennon/Frank Black strands of their DNA, but Real Far East finds the freshly minted foursome (Gibson, guitarist Brad Rutledge, drummer Justin Sheldon, bassist Archie Niebuhr) drifting more toward the Paul McCartney/Andy Partridge end of their gene pool. And while the Batteries soften the edges ever so subtly and polish their surface to a slightly more reflective shine on Real Far East, these refinements don't diminish the band's energetic charm in the least.


One of the reasons for that is the Batteries have never forsaken one direction for another, preferring to incorporate differing elements into their foundational sound in an effective display of their diversity. The soulful "It's Not About the Money" and propulsive "Overtime" are both Pop gems that swing and swagger in a groove that isn't far removed from the benchmarks established by Walk the Moon in their march toward global domination. "You Really Live Twice" features previous members Rob Barnes and Rich Shivener, naturally hearkening back to the moody energy of Ever Been in Love? "Every Last Time" updates '60s/'70s AM Pop to the 21st century, while "Cherry Times" is a solid hybrid of the sweet and dissonant Pop that has characterized everything that Saturn Batteries has done well to this point in their history. 


Real Far East shows that Saturn Batteries can have fun within their core Pop/Rock sound and clearly points the way toward a bright future for the quartet going forward. 


Saturn Batteries celebrates the release of Real Far East tonight (Friday) at The Drinkery in Over-the-Rhine (click here for details). Below is the EP track “Every Last Time”; click the player or here to sample/download the entire release. 



 
 
by Brian Baker 02.27.2014 48 days ago
Posted In: Local Music, Reviews at 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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REVIEW: Denim Road Band’s ‘Blame It On the Stars’

The combined musical experience of the members of the Denim Road Band easily eclipses the century-and-a-half mark and encompasses every conceivable type of band and genre of music; local show/dance/cover outfits to nationally recognized entities playing Classic Rock, Blues, R&B, Jazz, Fusion, Top 40 Country, Funk and everything between and beyond. 

DRB's sense of history and classicism invests their original material with the same soulful expanse and crisp Pop approach of the defining bands (The Doobie Brothers, Hall & Oates, Santana, Steely Dan) that have provided DRB with inspiration and a template for success.


There is certainly a formula to what the Denim Road Band does live and in the studio, but there's a huge difference between having a formula and being formulaic. On their third album, the silky smooth Blame It On the Stars, DRB hits the same markers as its previous discs (DRB's eponymous 2009 debut, 2010's Back to Mexico), utilizing George Harp's crystalline-yet-earthy vocal range, Craig Ballard's sinewy percussion and the almost impossibly adaptable journeymen rhythm section of bassist Robbie Lewis and drummer Kevin Ross to maximum groove effect. 


Woven within that tightly knit fabric is the impeccable guitar work of Jim Zuzow, who channels everyone from Tom Johnston to Walter Becker to Steve Miller to the guitar legacies of the Eagles and Santana, creating a sound that is reminiscent of past Classic Rock glories

but delights in advancing the flag a little farther up the hill. Denim Road Band sets up shop at the corner of passion and professionalism and delivers the sophisticated goods with a showman's flair and a fan's devotion.


For more on Denim Road Band, click here

 
 
by Mike Breen 02.21.2014 54 days ago
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals at 07:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Bunbury Music Festival Makes Lineup Announcement

Flaming Lips, Foxy Shazam and more announced for Cincinnati music fest this summer

Last night, music fans at venues in four cities around the region (Newport, Columbus, Indianapolis and Lexington) got a sneak peek at some of the artists slated to appear at this year’s Bunbury Music Festival, which returns to Cincinnati’s riverfront parks July 11-13. 

Last night, fans at the launch events tweeted out some of the lineup as it was announced (and some smart ass started a fast-spreading rumor that Vampire Weekend was playing; they are not). This morning, the lineup was released to the general public. It was previously announced that Fall Out Boy, Paramore and New Politics would be bringing their summer tour to Bunbury; those groups are scheduled to play the fest on July 12. 


Here are the local and national artists that will be joining them at Bunbury’s third annual event (an additional headliner will be announced soon):


The Flaming Lips

Young the Giant

Fitz and the Tantrums

Veruca Salt

ZZ Ward

Holy Ghost!

Cults

Heartless Bastards

Foxy Shazam

Andrew W.K. 

Robert DeLong 

Caspian

Mystery Skulls

Wild Cub

Morning Parade

Kishi Bashi

Bear Hands

The Orwells

Red Wanting Blue

Snowmine

Saintseneca

The Lighthouse and the Whaler

Hundred Waters

Fly Golden Eagle

Meg Myers

The Pass

Jesse Thomas

Jane Decker

Lamps and Voids

The Monument

Family and Friends

James Gilmore

psychodots

Molly Sullivan

Goldwing

Kelly Thomas

Motherfolk

Let It Happen

Black Owls

Kopecky Family Band

Syd Arthur

Bad Suns

G.Miles and the Hitmen

Brent James & the Vintage Youth

The Fanged Robot

Marc Scibilia 

The Upset Victory

Royal Teeth

The Bonesetters

J. Roddy Walston & The Business

Clairaudients

Pluto Revolts

X Ambassadors 

Lily & Madeleine

Brick + Mortar

The Yugos

Modoc

The Ceremonies

Kim Taylor

Young Heirlooms

Hunter Hunted

Miner

Yellow Paper Planes

The Easthills

Night Riots

Big Fresh

Lydia Loveless

Austin Livingood

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Eva Ross

Russell Howard

Here Among the Mountains

Crass Mammoth

Bronze Radio Return

Daniel in Stereo


Today is the last day to buy Bunbury tickets at their current rate; the prices increase at midnight. Right now, $130 gets you a three-day pass ($325 if you’d like the VIP experience) and one-day tickets are $55. 

 
 
by Nick Grever 02.20.2014 55 days ago
Posted In: Music News, Live Music at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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'McClainica' to Benefit Family of Late Local Musician

The Greater Cincinnati Punk Rock scene gathers for a memorial/benefit in honor of Dave McClain

In November 2013, Cincinnati’s Punk Rock scene lost one of their own when Dave McClain, a former member of several local outfits (including Martin Luther and the Kings and The Zvills), passed away. On that November night, a wife lost her husband, children lost their father and an entire music scene lost a brother. So they've rallied to raise money the best way they know how — by putting together an amazing live music and art event to honor McClain’s memory.

On Friday night, Cincy punks will take over Newport's Southgate House Revival for McClainica, a one night celebration of McClain’s life and legacy, as well as a fundraiser for McClain’s wife and children. Cincinnati Punk Rock has stepped up to stuff the lineup with performances by Martin Luther and the Kings, The Zvills, Rev. Fear and the Nightmares, The Nothing and Total Dudes. Many of McClain’s friends and former bandmates will be on the stage to honor his memory, making for performances that are sure to be intense and memorable.

McClain was known for having a big heart and several local artists have responded in kind. The show will also feature a silent art auction with work of all mediums and the offerings are more than just fine art. If you’ve ever been in the market for a Punk Rock quilt for example, McClainica will have one up for grabs. (Here are some samples of the artwork that will be available at the show.)

McClain’s loss affected many people; he was loved by all those who knew him. But with this show, his friends and family are trying to preserve McClain’s memory and celebrate his life. And they’d like to share that with all who attend.

All proceeds from the show and art auction will go straight to McClain’s family, so the art and music will come with a side of warm and fuzzies. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $10.


 
 
by Mike Breen 02.18.2014 57 days ago
Posted In: Music News, Music Video, Local Music at 10:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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WATCH: The Afghan Whigs’ “Algiers” Video

Cincinnati music greats unveil first single from comeback album, 'Do to the Beast'

One of the Queen City’s greatest musical exports, The Afghan Whigs, have just unveiled the music video for their new single, “Algiers.” The track is taken from the band’s forthcoming Do to the Beast album, the Whigs' first all-new full-length release in 16 years. The album is due for release April 15 on Sub Pop Records, the label that first exposed the band to a worldwide audience in the early ’90s.

During the Whigs’ global reunion tour a couple of years ago, the band released a pair of singles (covers of songs by Frank Ocean and Marie Queenie Lyons), but this is the first new original tune to surface since "Magazine" and "I'm A Soldier,” both recorded for the 2007 Rhino Records retrospective, Unbreakable.


Here is the intense, spaghetti western-inspired video for the new track:

The band previously announced appearances at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 11 and April 18. Several other tour dates on the west and east coasts have been announced; click here for the rundown (no Ohio/Midwestern dates yet). 

Pre-orders for the 10-track Do to the Beast are open at iTunes and here directly through Sub Pop. Pre-order the album on iTunes and receive an instant download of “Algiers.” Pre-order the LP on Sub Pop to receive the “Loser Edition” on colored vinyl. 

Whigs frontman Greg Dulli chatted with Entertainment Weekly about the new Whigs' happenings  for an article posted online today. Meanwhile, Rolling Stone has the details on some of the musicians on Beast and why original guitarist Rick McCollum is not on the new album.

 
 
by Mike Breen 02.14.2014 61 days ago
Posted In: Music Video, Live Music, Music News, CEAs at 11:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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WATCH: Buggs Tha Rocka's 'State of Hip Hop Freestyle' Video

A pair of Cincinnati Entertainment Award winners team up for new music video shot in Amsterdam

Creative Cincinnati MC Buggs Tha Rocka has just released a video for his “State of Hip-Hop Freestyle” track, featuring sounds from the late, great J. Dilla and taken from 2012’s The Wrath of Zeus mixtape, which was hosted by DJ Clockwork and is available for free download here

The “State of Hip Hop” clip was shot in Amsterdam by Snow Rowe, who also performs/records with the great local Hip Hop crew Valley High. Rowe’s video for Valley High’s “8 Ball” won the inaugural “Best Music Video” prize at the recent Cincinnati Entertainment Awards



Buggs Tha Rocka took home the 2014 “Hip Hop” Cincinnati Entertainment Award (his second win in a row) and he has video evidence to prove it:


 
 
by Amber Hemmerle 02.13.2014 62 days ago
Posted In: Local Music at 01:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Folk & Fiction Series Brings Writers and Musicians Together

Beginning Feb. 27, Northside’s The Listing Loon will host a new onstage series called Folk & Fiction where music and writing will be interwoven to bring together the audiences of various genres.

The monthly event, each final Thursday, was created in collaboration with Brooks Rexroat, Matt Mooney and Margaret Darling. The trio was at an acoustic show when they began talking about the limited places available for Folk musicians and fiction writers to share their work.

“The two groups have the same audience, so that was kind of an ‘ah-ha’ moment for us,” Rexroat says.

They decided to create a place where these musicians and writers could connect, as well as their audiences. Thus, Folk And Fiction was born.

Folk & Fiction is open to any genre of writing and music, but has a heavy focus on, well, Folk music and fiction writing. This gives prose writers a chance to share what they are working on as well as Folk musicians who take just as much pride in their lyrics.

"There is a limited audience for any artists endeavor,” Rexroat continues. “Even those excited only have a percentage of time for support... It's much more efficient to share an audience, rather than battle for it.”

The first event, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, will double as the Cincinnati launch party for the book, Best of Ohio Short Stories Vol. 1. From hundreds of submissions, 18 were chosen to be featured in the book. Four of those writers will be on stage sharing their work in conjunction with musicians. 

For the first event, each musician will have two 15-minute sets with the writers reading their works in between. The second event will feature Jacinda Townsend, the author of Saint Monkey, which will be released Feb. 24.

For more information, go to facebook.com/folkandfiction. Those who are interested in performing in future events can email the event coordinator at FolkAndFiction@gmail.com.

Feb. 27 Lineup:

The Writers
Brad Pauquette (Columbus, Ohio)
Brooks Rexroat (Cincinnati)
Lin Rice (Columbus, Ohio)
Heather Sinclair Shaw (Newark, Ohio)

The Musicians
Margaret Darling
Royal Holland

 
 
by Brian Baker 02.13.2014 62 days ago
Posted In: Local Music, New Releases, Reviews at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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REVIEW: To No End's 'Peril & Paracosm'

Nick Dellaposta is a graphic designer, web developer, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Cincinnati/Dayton band To No End. If he did brain surgery on the side, he'd be Buckaroo Banzai. 

And for a guy with little discernible local profile, Dellaposta has a metric ton of history that begins with learning guitar and writing songs at age 14. His father Bob fronted the Broken String Band and the pair gigged together when Dellaposta the younger was a college student, which led to eventual studio experiences. 


Dellaposta formed To No End in 2012, leaning more toward an emphasis on the Dayton market; shortly after the band's first gig, Dellaposta took them into the studio to record their debut album, last year's Curio, a rootsy, Blues-drenched work that tapped into the Kenny Wayne Shepherd/Black Crowes/Gov't Mule end of the spectrum.


To No End's sophomore album, Peril & Paracosm, comes almost exactly a year after the band's debut, trumpeting a slight change in line-up and a new and darker sonic vision. Along with original drummer Patrick Lanham, new bassist Eli Booth and contributing guitarist/now full-fledged member Grant Evans, Dellaposta has invested TNE with an expansive and moody vibe that mines '70s Hard Rock like Budgie and UFO ("The Afterlife," "Bad Apple") while sharpening everything to a contemporary razor's edge. 


Peril & Paracosm finds Dellaposta exploring darker lyrical themes which naturally results in a brooding and muscular soundtrack that is both an extension of and departure from Curio's brighter sonic perspective. There's also a slightly more psychedelic feel to some of the tracks on Peril & Paracosm, and when TNE drifts into a rootsier Gov't Mule direction this time out ("Good Intentions," "When the Time Comes"), there seems to be a greater conviction, a more desperate passion and a deeper understanding of both the influence and its translation. 


We can only hope that the release of Peril & Paracosm signals To No End's expanded local presence because this kind of loud is always welcome.


Below is Peril & Paracosm track "Good Intentions." For more on To No End, click here


 
 
by Mike Breen 02.13.2014 62 days ago
Posted In: Local Music, Music News, New Releases at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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New Wussy Album Due This May

Shake It Records announces spring release for ‘Attica’

Besides being rid of this depressing winter weather, there's another great reason for local music fans to be excited about the coming spring. One of the more celebrated and acclaimed bands in and outside of Cincinnati, Wussy, will release its new album, Attica, on May 6. The recording will be the band’s fifth full-length of all new material and is once again being issued on the local label Shake It Records. 

Below is a “rough mix” of the Attica track “To the Lightning.”  



Shake It has also announced that Wussy — which scored both Artist of the Year and Album of the Year (for Strawberry) honors at the 2013 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards — will have its excellent 2007 album Left for Dead re-issued on “baby blue” vinyl in honor of 2014’s international Record Store Day (April 19). 


Click here for Wussy’s comprehensive website for more info and to sample music from throughout the band’s entire career.  

 
 
by Mike Breen 02.12.2014 63 days ago
Posted In: Local Music, Music News, Music Video at 12:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Local Hip Hop Artist Up for MTV Spins

Vote for Santino Corleon’s “Night Still Young” clip in MTVu’s The Freshmen competition

Cincinnati Hip Hop MC Santino Corleon’s latest music video, “Night Still Young,” is one of the five music videos by emerging artists currently featured in MTVu.com’s “The Freshmen” competition. If the 2013 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nominee beats out the other nominees in the weekly contest, the clip will be put into “on-air rotation” on MTV’s television networks. 


Click here to check out the clip on MTVu.com and to vote now (and repeatedly — there appears to be no voting limits). Voting ends this Friday at 2 p.m.


The track “Night Still Young” is featured on Corleon’s most recent mixtape, Keep the Change, which is available for free download here. Below is the audio for “Night Still Young.”



 
 

 

 

 
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