There are plenty of easy ways to explore what Cincinnati's local music scene has to offer. The best ways, of course, involve hitting the clubs and actually purchasing releases put out by local artists. Then there's the new-fangled modern route — thanks to the Net, you can find free streams and downloads of music by practically every artist in the world. But there's another way to discover your potential next favorite local musical act on the cheap, and all you need is a library card.
It’s hard to believe that the BRINK New Music Showcase will celebrate a decade of spotlighting up-and-coming local music with this Saturday’s event. This year, BRINK becomes a free event and, for the first time, moves from the three stages of the Southgate House to five stages at four venues in Northside (Mayday, Shake It Records, The Comet and Northside Tavern, where both the front-room and back-room stages will be used).
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:
The lineup of performers for this year's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards music program has been confirmed. Opening the show will be Bootsy Collins, who is heading up a band of King vets (including his brother, Catfish) to pay tribute to the late, great James Brown (it will be so cool to see Bootsy actually playing bass on stage!). JB was the biggest artist to record for King Records, which is a special part of the ceremony this year. In honor of the pioneering record label's 65th anniversary, the day of the show — Nov. 23 (at The Emery Theater) — will see the erection (he he) of a plaque marking the original King facilities in Evanston.
I've been receiving a lot of questions about the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards so I thought I'd take a minute to clear a few things up.
The big question: Can people vote more than once? While the voting program online allows you to vote as much as you want, your first vote is the only one that will be counted. So, no, you can vote just once. (I'm imagining some musician who has spent the past week night and day stuffing the ballot box, reading this and throwing his or her computer across the room.)
The other question has a less direct answer: Why wasn't I nominated? Every year there are many deserved artists who get passed over by the CEAs. It's not meant to be an insult. There are just only so many slots available.
And now for a few public service announcements:
If you're a nominee for the 2008 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards and you haven't claimed your tickets yet for the Nov. 23 shindig, you're just about out of time. Please contact Stacy immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-665-4700 ext. 100. Nominees are entitled to half-price tickets ($10 and no handling fee), but since we're expecting the event to sell out we need to know now if you're planning to join us at the Emery Theater.
If you're not a CEA nominee and want to support local music and celebrate Cincinnati's own King Records, check out the CEA micro site for details on performers, tickets ($20) and the King connections.
• Combining some of the idiosyncrasies of modern Indie Folk with uplifting Pop melodies, Chamber music arrangements and an Americana grab-bag of various other influences, the trio Plume Giant makes a glorious noise that is buoyed by the clever, collaborative songwriting, as well as the trio’s vocal chops, which add a slanted, colorful layer to the group’s sound via frequent and flawless harmonies. The threesome — which formed after meeting each other while attending Yale — makes this glorious noise with fairly spare acoustic instrumentation (Oliver Hill plays guitar guitar and viola, Nolan Green plays guitar and harmonium and Eliza Bagg plays violin, harmonium and various other instruments). But the sound of the group’s recent debut full-length, Callithump, is full-bodied and far from minimalistic. On the dynamic 2012 release, the trio explores traditional Appalachian music, swingin’ Jazz, Tin Pan Alley pomp and breezy Folk Pop, but all of it is filtered through Plume Giant’s distinctive vision, with hints of the avant-garde beneath the inescapable harmonies and lovely aura.
The now Brooklyn-based trio performs a free show tonight in Over-the-Rhine at MOTR Pub with like-minded Cincinnati-based Chamber Folk ensemble The Happy Maladies. Showtime is 9 p.m.
Here is Plume Giant's smile-inducing "We Got It Made" video from their debut LP, followed by The Happy Maladies' "New Again," taken from The Emery Sessions live music video series. The Maladies' song is the title track off their 2012 release, which was nominated for "Album of the Year" at the upcoming Cincinnati Entertainment Awards.
• At the Southgate House Revival in Newport tonight, Indianapolis progressive Bluegrass group Flatland Harmony Experiment performs a free, 10 p.m. show in the venue's "Lounge." Formed just a couple of summers ago, FHE has toured the region regularly, found success on radio outlets and through online Bluegrass/Americana/Folk music channels and are seemingly on their way to becoming an even bigger presence on the national festival circuit (in June, the trio will compete at the 40th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition). The trio (Scott Nelson on upright bass, Kris Potts on Mandolin and Johnny Plott on banjo) uses the tools of traditional Bluegrass and the members clearly have a firm grasp on the music's rich history (not to mention some delicious chops and textured harmonies that'll send a shiver), but they let the songwriting go wherever their contemporary minds might take it. Fans of groups like Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon and The Infamous Stringdusters will love this Experiment.
Last year, the string band released its debut full-length, On Our Way. Here's the album's "Secret in the Seams":
This Friday at Bogart's, the nominees in the "New Artist of the Year" category in this year's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards will perform at Bogart's for CityBeat's first New Music Showcase. Showtime is 8 p.m. and you can get tickets for $7 at the Bogart's box office (or here if you'd like to pay the ticketing fees). Proceeds from the show benefit the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation.
All seven 'New Artist' nominees will be featured in a special music edition of CityBeat out this Wednesday, with profiles of each nominee, including R. Ring, who are unable to perform Friday's showcase.
The show will feature sets from Jeremy Pinnell and the 55s, DAAP Girls, Ohio Knife, The Natives, Public and Heavy Hinges. The audience will cast ballots for their favorites; that cumulative score will be weighted by the votes of the CEA committee members.
By coincidence, two of the artists performing at Bogart's on Friday — groovy Indie rockers DAAP Girls and tight Hip Hop band The Natives — have brand new music videos out.
DAAP Girls — featuring members of The Lions Rampant and Newport Secret Six — are set to release their new album, Tape Songs, on Feb. 23 with a release party scheduled for Over-the-Rhine's The Drinkery. Each song on the album has a woman's name for the title. The band's first music video is for "Kate," which debuted this morning. Check it below.
Cincinnati Hip Hop band The Natives' new video is for the track "So Much," off of Coup D'etat, one of two releases (and numerous videos) from the group last year. The Natives had a very active 2012 as a group; in 2013, they'll stay just as busy, though they'll be focusing on completing some of the members' solo projects. Here's the clip for "So Much."
Public voting for the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards ends tomorrow at midnight, so have your voice heard and vote right now if you haven't yet. Click here to cast your ballot.
The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards ceremony is Sunday, Jan. 27, at Madison Theater in Covington. The full lineup of performers will be announced soon. Click here to get your CEA show tickets.
With slightly over a week to go in voting for the 2009 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Music, more than 3,000 ballots have already been turned in via the intertubes. Remember that your votes determine the winners in 16 categories, with three other "critical achievement" categories hashed by the CEA judging committee. Deadline to vote is Monday, Nov. 9.
Outside of singing at his church occasionally, brilliant Americana singer/songwriter David Wolfenberger
hasn’t performed in the area for quite some time. After working with the group The Marshwiggles in the late ’90s, Wolfenberger put out three stellar solo albums between1999-2006, earning him high praise both domestically and abroad. But besides occasional performances and scant new material (what he has released has been for charity), the 1999
Cincinnati Entertainment Awards winner for Artist of the Year has kept a low profile for the past several years.
Tonight, Wolfenberger is coming "out of exile"
to join an old friend in concert.
Wolfenberger is re-teaming with Mark
Olson, half of the brain trust behind the best work of The Jayhawks, at
Newport’s Southgate House Revival. Wolfenberger
toured extensively with Olson in the early ’00s as a member of The Original Harmony Ridge
Creekdippers, the group Olson formed with then-wife Victoria Williams
after he left The Jayhawks.
Wolfenberger opens tonight's show with a solo, acoustic set at 8 p.m. and he will also join Olson during his set (along with Olson's current touring partner — and wife — Ingunn Ringvold). Tickets are $12 at the door.
Wolfenberger has been posting some of his older material on his Reverbnation page and, in an email, he said he will be posting new songs "on occasion in the future." Here's one of his earlier cuts, "Tentatively Vince Foster," from his 1999 solo debut, Tales from Thom Scarecrow, released on the local Blue Jordan Records.