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by Mike Breen 12.15.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 12:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
plume giant

Squeeze the Day for 12/15

Eskimo Brothers, Plume Giant and Molly Sullivan, plus This Day in Music with Dr. Dre, Jimmy Cliff and The Clash

Music Tonight: Rootsy Connecticut-based trio Plume Giant performs at the Rohs Street Cafe in Clifton Heights with Columbus, Ohio's Deadwood Floats and Cincinnati's own Molly Sullivan (check out Sullivan's lovely, unique track "Bad Weather" here). Plume Giant released its self-titled debut EP last year, drawing praise from Seattle to New Haven, and travelled up and down the east coast in support. The Indie Folk trio — built around timeless songs, amazing three-part harmonies and pure, naked acoustic guitar/viola/violin backing — is taking on the Midwest this month, touring in advance of its first full-length, due this coming spring. Click here to listen to the EP and enjoy the Plume Giant song "Old Joe the Crow," performed live below.

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by Leyla Shokoohe 08.09.2011
Posted In: Festivals, Live Music, Reviews at 04:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Leyla at Lolla: Lollapalooza 2011 Day 1

EDITOR'S NOTE: This year's 20th anniversary edition of Lollapalooza in Chicago's Grant Park was once again a live, breathing, three-day mixtape featuring star artists (Coldplay, Eminem, Foo Fighters), established performers, cult heroes and up-and-comers. Local writer Leyla Shokoohe attended her very first Lollapalooza this past weekend and agreed to write about the experience for CityBeat. Below is her report on Day 1 as well as video from some of the performances mentioned, mostly from Lollapalooza's YouTube page. Keep an eye on this space for Day 2 and 3 dispatches soon.

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by Amy Harris 08.25.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Interview at 01:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Q&A with Alter Bridge

Hard Rock group Alter Bridge was formed in Orlando in 2004 by Creed members Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips after a tense Creed tour. Adding lead singer/rhythm guitarist Myles Kennedy (also a touring/recording collaborator with Slash), Alter Bridge quickly became more than a side project when Creed's break-up was announced a little later that year. Though Creed has reconstituted, Alter Bridge has remained a full-time entity. The band released its third studio album (on its third label) in 2010, ABIII, a conceptual work dealing with issues of faith that spawned the group's biggest hit yet, “Isolation.” Alter Bridge are currently on the Carnival of Madness tour (with Theory of a Deadman, Black Stone Cherry and others), which comes to the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville this Friday, one of the tour's only free stops, at Cardinal Stadium (required fair admission is $10; find details here). CityBeat recently spoke with Mark Tremonti about the band’s writing style, solo careers and that "other" band, Creed.

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by mbreen 10.22.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 09:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
spindrift blog

Squeeze the Day(s) for 10/22-23

Spindrift, Bettye LaVette and The Sounds, plus This Weekend in Music

Music Saturday: There's a clinic on modern Psych Rock music at the Southgate House as three disparate practitioners team up for a  9:30 p.m., all-ages show. Headliners The Black Angels touch on the Velvet Underground brand of psychedelia, with droning hypnotics, as well as later artists like Spacemen 3 and Jesus and Mary Chain. D.C.'s Dead Meadow have been working their brand of hard-rocking trippiness for the past 13 years, while L.A.'s Spindrift make soundtracks for desert vision quests, influenced by the likes of The Doors, Hawkwind and Electronic music pioneer, Bruce Haack. The band's cinematic sound has been used to soundtrack several film projects (including the Tarantino-produced Hell Ride), and, this spring, the group released Classic Soundtracks Volume 1, featuring 14 themes from various scores, which were made into short films by various directors, touching on everything from Bollywood to film noir (the films, music videos and trailers from the project have been screened to a national audience on the IFC network). Check out a few examples from Spindrift's soundtracks project below. Tickets for tonight's show are $18 at the door.

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by Mike Breen 07.31.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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 mbreen 10.17.2008
Posted In: Live Music at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)

Concert Review: The National and The Breeders on Fountain Square

Photo by Joe Lamb - View a gallery of images from the event here.

It’s a great time of year to live in a swing state like Ohio. At least if you’re a music fan. Last night, popular Ohio-affiliated bands The National and The Breeders played a free rally/concert for Barack Obama and packed Fountain Square front to back. Tonight, in Akron, Devo, The Black Keys and Chrisse Hynde are doing an Obama concert (cleverly dubbed “Duty Now for the Future”). And this coming Thursday, The Beastie Boys headline a “Get Out and Vote” concert at Dayton’s Hara Arena, with guests Ben Harper and Sheryl Crow.

I don’t know if I’ve just tuned it out this year, but there seems to be a lot less of that "shut up and sing” sentiment in the 2008 election cycle. I’ll credit the Dixie Chicks, the Pop Country band that lost a large chunk of its fanbase and was virtually crucified for daring to criticize the President. A film about their experience with crazed, angry former fans (and their successful rebound), Shut Up and Dance, perhaps provided enough embarrassment that the public has backed off of those damn “activist artists.”

Or maybe the “shut up and sing” crowd has backed away because, as always, artists were right in their demand for regime change four years ago.

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by Mike Breen 12.08.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
rocket from the tombs

Squeeze the Day for 12/8

Music Tonight: Ohio musical pioneers Rocket From the Tombs perform at the Southgate House with local greats Buffalo Killers and SS-20. Formed in 1974 in Northern Ohio, the pre-Punk legends might not get the credit of some of Punk's other earliest engineers, from New York and the U.K, but their importance in shaping the music (and the New Wave/Alterntaive/Indie music that followed) cannot be overstated. Like many great artists (Van Gogh, Poe, Kafka, etc.), RFTT weren't appreciated in their time, something not surprising considering they existed for only about a year and never released a lick of music. The band's split spawned two other wildly important bands — Dead Boys, featuring Stiv Bators and TFTT's Cheetah Chrome, and Pere Ubu with RFTT's David Thomas and Peter Laughner (who passed away in 1977). Both "new" (and distinctively different) bands took some Rocket tunes with them — Dead Boys claimed songs like "Ain't It Fun" and "Sonic Reducer," while Pere Ubu took with them "Final Solution" and "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" — all "Punk" classics. In the ’00s, RFTT compiled live and archival recordings so the band would finally have something in the record stores and, in the process, reconnected and, in 2009, the band convened to record its official "debut album" nearly 35 years after originally forming. Read Steven Rosen's interview with frontman (and Art Rock icon) David Thomas for this week's CityBeat here. Showtime tonight is 9 p.m. and admission is $15. Click below to listen to Rocket From the Tombs' rendition of "Sonic Reducer."

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by Ill Poetic 09.10.2010
Posted In: Music News, Live Music at 10:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Atmosphere Returns to the Scene of the Rhyme

The last time Slug felt as sick and contradictive as this was the last time he played a show in Cinci. He and the other half of Atmosphere, DJ/producer Ant, haven’t played one since, save a Scribble Jam or two. But the last headlining show that Atmosphere played in Cincinnati was nearly seven years ago. If you’re an Atmosphere fan, then you’ve heard the various references to Top Cat’s and that show. As someone who was there, I remember it being just about as tragically awesome as Slug does, just from a different perspective.

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by mbreen 10.05.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 03:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Southgate House Revival Opening on Hold

Weekend shows for anticipated Newport club's grand opening halted

The grand opening for the Southgate House Revival, the new venue from the former owners/operators of Newport's beloved Southgate House, has been canceled. The club was supposed to open tonight, but it has been announced that this weekend's shows (including tomorrow's album release party for The Newbees' latest) are to be rescheduled. We'll update with any information we hear as soon as possible, but it appears the CincyPunk Fest scheduled for next weekend is still on for now.

The Southgate House Revival's Facebook page made the announcement around 4 p.m. this afternoon. Here's the post:

"ATTN: Biggest bummer post-summer? Our grand opening weekend has been postponed. This weekend’s shows have to be delayed due to a few last minute construction challenges.

We are completely committed to opening the right way to make your experience the best it can be. We just can't in good conscious present anything below the very best.

Says Morrella: “We are sorry to have to delay sharing this
magical venue with the music fans of the area, but our first concern will always be to make sure that it is safe and ready for public occupation. The City of Newport, our wonderful construction crews and crew of volunteers have all been working very hard to make this happen. We thank them so much. We look forward to seeing everyone next weekend for CincyPunk Fest. We will announce rescheduled dates for these shows very soon.”

Anyone who had pre-purchased tickets for this weekend’s dates may be issued a refund through ticketfly.com or may hold on to their original tickets for the soon to be announced rescheduled dates"

UPDATE: Here's the press release sent out:
The grand opening of the Southgate House Revival at 111 East Sixth Street in Newport, Kentucky scheduled tonight at 9 p.m. and The Newbees CD Release show scheduled for tomorrow night, Saturday, October 6 have been postponed.  This weekend’s shows had to be delayed due to a few last minute construction challenges. 

The 1866 property, the former Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, has been under a massive renovation since May that includes all new electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, as well as roof repairs and new flooring.

“We set a very ambitious goal,” said Morrella Raleigh “and we were very, very close.”  “We are sorry to have to delay sharing this magical venue with the music fans of the area, but our first concern will always be to make sure that it is safe and ready for public occupation.

The City of Newport, our wonderful construction crews and crew of volunteers have all been working very hard to make this happen.  We thank them so much.  We look forward to seeing everyone next weekend for CincyPunk Fest.  We will announce rescheduled dates for these shows very soon.”

by Mike Breen 08.02.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Rewind: Why Parrotheads Hate Me

Celebrating the 12th anniversary of the CityBeat/Jimmy Buffett shitstorm

A dozen years ago, I was asked to come up with something for CityBeat's annual summer preview "Hot Issue." At the time, easy-groovin' singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett was the king of Cincinnati's summer concert scene, selling out his shows in minutes and routinely winning the "Best Concert" award in CityBeat's "Best of Cincinnati" readers' poll. So I figured that, five years into CityBeat's existence, it was time to weigh in on the Parrothead phenomenon.

I've told the story of the backlash a few times in the past (apologies if you've heard it before). After the article was published, I received the most hate mail I've ever seen for a story appearing in the paper. My colleagues printed out the emails and wallpapered the area around my desk; it covered a good quarter of that room in the old CityBeat building on Seventh Street.

I expected some of it (and probably deserved some of it, too; as a young punk-ass writer, I was an even bigger dick then). But the sheer amount of correspondence was kind of a shock. I soon discovered it was the result of a cheap Buffett fan website that literally told its members to attack.

In the vein of anti-abortion activists publishing the names and home addresses of doctors who dare provide abortion services, the site ran Mike Breen's home address.

I probably would have filed a police report were it not for the fact that the site ran the wrong Mike Breen's home address. Some other poor Mike Breen in Cincinnati probably received a few house-eggings and tree-TPings (hopefully nothing worse).

I sent the site owner a polite note advising them that they had the wrong Mike Breen's address and invited them to publish CityBeat's business address for anyone who'd like to chime in with a letter. (They already had our email up there.) Eventually, they removed the innocent man's address.

Out of the 300 or so emails of protest sent, about 10% simply suggested that Buffett concerts are just good fun and I shouldn't criticize how people get their ya-yas out (fair enough). About 5% were supportive of my comments. Around 2% said they were indeed Parrotheads, but found my article amusing and felt the pilers-on were being stupid and taking it all too seriously (my favorites).

The rest of the emails were the opposite of Jimmy's good-time, laid-back vibe. Most just called me rude names (totally fine).
Some wished death on me (not cool!). The only one I remember with any kind of clarity was the note that said, "I hope your children are raped by drug dealers in Over-the-Rhine and get AIDS and die" (come near my family and I WILL cut your balls off).

Included in many of the death-wishes and "Fuck you, asshole!" comments were a few people who trumpeted Jimmy's great contributions to charity. I applaud that, as well as the efforts of the
Cincinnati Parrot Head Club, who also work good deeds into their good times. Buffett and I also share a lot of the same political/cultural/social views (I can find no evidence, but I'd be willing to wager that Jimmy's NOT anti-gay marriage and he is definitely a Democrat). I also thought it was kind of funny/cool that Jimmy got booted from an NBA game for passionately (and good-naturedly) sticking up to the refs that were giving his team (the pre-LeBron Miami Heat) the shaft.

I also thought it was really cool that Jimmy found Bill Paxton's fairly scathing parody of him (as "Coconut Pete") in the Broken Lizard film Club Dread to be hysterical. (On the DVD commentary track, the filmmakers say Buffett asked for permission to perform some of the parody songs on tour.)

Here's Paxton doing Coconut Pete's hit "Pina Coladaburg":

I'm unsure how Jimmy feels about South Park's much rougher treatment in the show's own parody (pictured above). (For the record, I think the spreading of quotes from and footage of Buffett fans being bigoted is really unfair, in a Breitbart kind of way.)

So, as I've matured, I've found at least five things I like about Buffett. If I drank, I bet he'd be fun to have a beer with and talk politics and sports. (Drop me a line, Mr. Buffett; I'll be designated driver!)

There are still tickets available for tonight's Buffett concert at Riverbend, which would have been impossible to imagine 12 years ago. When the Radiohead concert earlier this summer was announced, I had a chat with our publisher about how fast it would sell out. When it didn't, we bemoaned the fact that Buffett's show would still sell out in minutes. It didn't.

Is the Parrothead era over in Cincinnati?

Here, from the May 25, 2000 edition of CityBeat, are the "Ten Things I Hate About Buffett." Feel free to chime in with your Buffett support and call me a few names if you'd like. (But threats will be taken seriously this time around and if you come near my family … well, see above.)

I sincerely hope that, if you're going, you have a great time. Just be safe! I have to imagine that cops see Buffett visits as a good chance to make a few extra DUI arrests.
Like death, taxes, Who reunion tours and Wolfen sequels, one certainty every year in Cincinnati is a local summer appearance by the master of mediocrity, Jimmy Buffett. If you live here, it's as inevitable as the changing of the season: Buffett brings his plastic palm tree and awful music to Riverbend, and thousands of morons flock to see him.

We've resisted writing about this "phenomenon" in the past. It's kind of like making fun of Kathie Lee Gifford or Kenny G -- it's just too cheap and easy. Of course, CityBeat is nothing if not cheap and easy.

So, here, we bring you the only press you will ever read about Jimmy Buffett in this publication. Unless, of course, there's a shooting spree in the middle of the concert or Riverbend sinks into the river.

10) His music It's sorta tropical, sometimes Country-ish, sometimes "silly," and always boring. It's music for people who don't like music: background, laid-back fluff. It's easy listening for Boomers.

9) His lyrics

"Blew out my flip flop/Stepped on a pop top/Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home."

"So he took her to this movie called Body Heat/She said, 'The Junior Mints were mushy and the sex was neat.' "

"Fruitcakes in the kitchen/Fruitcakes on the street/Struttin' naked through the cross walk/In the middle of the week."

"Evolution can be mean/There's no 'dumb-ass vaccine.' "

Apparently not.

8) His album titles A White Sport Coat & A Pink Crustacean. Last Mango in Paris. Off to See the Lizard. This guy makes "Weird Al" look like Oscar Wilde.

7) He recorded a cover of "Purple People Eater" "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" is bound to be next.

6) He likes to sue aspiring restaurateurs Buffett's lawyers have gone after entrepreneurs for calling their new bistros things like "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Hey, if they're that stupid ...

5) He was a fratboy No doubt. At the University of Southern Mississippi. Shocker!

4) He wrote and staged a musical (Don't Stop the Carnival) Rock stars shouldn't do that.

3) He tricked Brian Wilson into recording one of his songs "South American" on Wilson's Imagination record. Hasn't this man been taken advantage of enough?

2) His CDs don't even make good coasters I proudly own one Jimmy Buffett CD -- 1999's Beach House on the Moon, which I use on my desk to set my drink on. Damn things keep slippin' off.

1) Parrotheads Fans of Buffett use his summer concerts for an excuse to get completely obliterated and "partay." It's like Mardi Gras with tasteless people in stupid hats and Hawaiian shirts. Not so amazingly, his strongest cult is here in Cincinnati. Like we need some other cultural crisis to be embarrassed about.