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by Mike Breen 04.05.2012
Posted In: Music History, Music Video at 09:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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This Date in Music History: April 5

Kurt Cobain and Joe Meek's shotgun endings

On this day 18 years ago, Kurt Cobain decided he was done with life and ended it with a single shotgun blast to the head. While it's fun to play the "What if?" game with brilliant artists who died too soon — like, "Would John Lennon have followed Yoko's lead to become a Dance music superstar?"  or "Would James Dean be doing stereotypical 'cool old guy' roles today if he was still around?" — it is, of course, a pointless exercise.

But crystal-ball wonderings of a person who actually knew the artist? That's at least a little more interesting. Spin has a piece this morning about the vague musings of Cobain's widow, musician/actress Courtney Love, in an interview a year ago with Mark Yarm, author of Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge. Love told Yarm, "We'd probably live on the Upper West fuckin' Side now and have three fuckin' kids. We might even have a divorce, like both be on our third marriage. I don't fuckin' know. He might be a playwright, (or have) his latest show in MoMA." (Read more here and check out the links featuring other Cobain remembrances.)

I like to think the couple would have starred in a really bad Everybody Loves Raymond-type sitcom on CBS. But mostly I wish Cobain would have stuck it out. As they say a lot nowadays, "It gets better."

I was lucky enough to see Nirvana a couple of times before Kurt made that impossible — once at Shorty's, the tiny subterranean club on Short Vine in Corryville, with about 50 people in attendance and once at Dayton's Hara Arena (see: poster above) with … quite a bit more people in attendance. Both shows were memorable. I think I got kicked out of Shorty's because some guy wanted to stab me that night (long story). (Nirvana played a few times in our area in those get-in-the-van-and-go, pre-stardom days, including a show at Clifton Heights bar Murphy's Pub. They were scheduled to play with the great AmRep band The Cows at the Top Hat in Newport but their van allegedly broke down on their way. I remember it well ’cause this local band opened up.)

In Dayton (memorable in hindsight because Cobain would be dead within a year), Kurt thought former drummer Chad Channing (who lived in Ohio then) was in the audience. The band called for Channing to come up and play "School" with them, but he never showed. Turns out, he wasn't there.

The band did play "School" later in the set and dedicated it to Channing. Check out the audio below.

Click on for Born This Day featuring Peter Case, Pharrell and Joe Meek.

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by Mike Breen 08.06.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 01:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Walk the Moon's 'MTV Unplugged' Debuts at MTV.com

Cincinnati band goes acoustic for MTV

As we told you last week, Cincinnati-spawned RCA Records recording artist (and Perez Hilton faves) Walk the Moon's session for the MTV series Unplugged debuted today at MTV.com (because God forbid the network find time in its schedule amongst the embarrassing stream of exploitative reality TV shows to run an actual music program). I'm fairly certain this is a first for a Cincinnati band (someone please correct me rudely and anonymously in the comments section if I'm wrong). The Palladia HD channel (part of MTV's family of networks) often broadcasts Unplugged episodes after they've run online. We'll keep you posted.

Here's a clip from the program (of the band doing "Tightrope" from its recently released major-label debut full-length). Click here to enjoy the entire show.


And here's an interview with the band tied to the sessions.

 
 
by Mike Breen 08.30.2013
 
 
daap molly music video poster fire

WATCH: DAAP Girls' "Molly" Music Video

Cincinnati rockers host a video release party tonight at Japp's

The winners of the "Best New Artist" trophy at the most recent Cincinnati Entertainment Awards, DAAP Girls, will celebrate the debut of their new music video tonight at Japp's Annex on Main Street in Over-the-Rhine.

The spooky, visually arresting clip is for "Molly," one of the many great tracks off of the band's debut album, Tape Songs (every song has a girl's name). Shot at the Kenneweg Compound in Alexandria, Ky., "Molly" was directed by local visual artist Philip LaVelle, alongside graphic designer Josh Jacob and videographer Sean Steininger. The video is mesmerizing and matches up with the lurching, dreamy swagger of the song perfectly. It's fairly low-budget, but doesn't look it, with it's creatively captivating effects and overall vibe.

DAAP Girls guitarist/singer Stuart MacKenzie provided this synopsis of the video:

"The video tells a story of five young people on the cusp of adulthood enjoying a last weekend together. (Unbeknown) to them, they are being viewed by the ghosts of their future's past. The video incorporates aspects of romance, nostalgia and magical realism to tell an alternate, complimentary story to the song."

Tonight's new video celebration at Japp's kicks off at 9 p.m. with a DAAP Girls performance, followed by the screening of the clip at 10 p.m. The band will perform after the screening as well.

Here's a sneak peek of "Molly," followed by the video's creative credits:



Directed by Philip LaVelle
Filmed by Sean Steinger and Josh Jacob
Edited by Sean Steinger, Josh Jacob and Philip LaVelle
Special effects by Josh Jacob
Casting by Erica Turer
Catering by Joe Diedenhofer
Filmmed on location at Kenneweg Compound, Alexandria, KY
Special thanks to Josh and Stephanie Kenneweg

Cast: Cody Reinhard Amir Gamble, Zachary Müller, Sarah Davenport, Rosie Carpenter, Emma Roberts, and Allison Gathof

DAAP Girls is: Jay Duckworth, Stuart MacKenzie, Daniel Peterson, Alex Duckworth, Michael Felger, Collin Thompson, Brian Gilronan.

 
 
by Deirdre Kaye 07.16.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals, Music Video at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
dscn1421

Bunburied Alive … and Lovin' It

Reflections on the final day of the inaugural Bunbury Music Festival

I’ve been to more festivals than I care to recall, but they mostly pale in comparison to Bunbury’s inaugural weekend. The planners of the three-day Cincinnati festival scored awesome bands for a first-year festival and the location couldn’t have been more spectacular, stretching from Sawyer Point to Yeatman's Cove along the riverfront.

Bonnaroo sucks because there are hardly any trees and therefore no shade — it’s like spending a weekend on the sun. While the fairly awesome, Memphis in May offers a similar riverside locale, but it’s also missing the shade and it fails to take full advantage of its riverfront property.

The Bunbury planners nailed it. Not only does Sawyer Point offer plenty of tree-covered walkways between stages, but also grassy knolls, flushing toilets and a great breeze.

And the Landor Stage! Whatever genius said, “Let’s put a stage at the base of the Serpentine Wall,” deserves a raise. The river and Big Mac Bridge were excellent backdrops for the bands lucky enough to play there and a great way to show off some of Cincy's charm to festival goers from afar. I saw Good Old War perform to a packed … "wall," and it was by far the coolest and most laidback of the shows I caught. Watching everyone lounge around on the huge concrete steps while listening to the trio play music and goof off was a great break from the shuffling and shifting crowds just a few feet behind us. The band's drummer did a pretty great impersonation of Harry Belafonte and sang “Day-o” for us, which worked well with the sunny sky and chilled-out vibes on the wall. Even better was how loud the crowd got when he sang, “Daylight come and me wanna go home.” Hardly anyone knew the rest of the words, but they had fun pretending. Good Old War was probably my favorite performance and Landor Stage was definitely my favorite place to hang out.

Another great way Bunbury made sure to represent the Cincinnati spirit was with tons of local food and beer. Not only did they have the big names, like Skyline and LaRosa’s, but they also brought in places like Taste of Belgium and beer from Hudy. (Sure, some UDF or Graeter’s would have also been nice, but it was only the first year.)

Speaking of food, I was overwhelmed by the lack of food I saw on the ground, neither dropped nor regurgitated. Cincinnati did an excellent job at keeping their park clean, even when they flooded it with feet. I was super proud (and relieved) to not have to step over any up-chucked chilli on my way various jaunts from one end of the park to the other.

And that’s a trek I made quite a few times, too. From The Tillers to Good Old War and then back to the far end to see Bad Veins, I spent a good deal of my Sunday slipping through the crowds to get from one end of the point to the other as quickly as possible. 

It was worth it, though, especially for The Tillers!

I own The Tillers’ first two albums, but I’d only seen them once before, at one of their usual spots — Northside Tavern. It was a night where they went on late and I happened to be with more introverted friends. It was a good show, but it lacked the oomph I experienced at Bunbury. Those boys were made to play in the sunshine and trees, that’s for sure. And Cincinnati made sure to show love to their hometown band. Hopefully, Mike, Sean and Aaron picked, bowed and bellowed their ways into some new hearts, as well. Their show sealed the deal on The Tillers being one of the many reasons why I love Cincinnati. We’re the kind of people where their kind of music can be properly loved and respected for exactly what it is and never expected to be anything more.

Those were the highlights of my day, but I’d say the whole experience was a good one. Musically, there were really only two downsides to the fest and they were both pretty personal. To begin with, I think Neon Trees really lose their appeal in the daylight. They are everything that’s glowing, neon or flashing. They sing songs that, when sung along to, require sassy facial expressions and overly dramatized hand gestures. These are things that are best done in the dark.

I also wasn’t thrilled with Death Cab for Cutie, though I know I’m in the minority on that one. Here’s the thing, though:  “I Will Possess Your Heart” is really freaking creepy and “I Will Follow You into the Dark” is the exact opposite of the kind of love I want. I’m fairly certain anyone who’s ever been the person least committed to a relationship will understand my sentiment.

Still. Those things were minor. Most important is that Sunday was a good day and Bunbury, in my summation, was a huge success.

Writer’s note: There were a few things I thought worth mentioning but not worthy of the effort of a more fluid insertion into the above review. I’d like to add the following whimsy, as long as I won’t be sacked. Otherwise, just leave it off. (Editor's note: These are hilarious. You get a raise — two free movie passes next week!)

• Apparently making cut-offs from Mom jeans is a fashion trend. I reject this.
• Next year I’d like to rent a boat and spend one afternoon experiencing Bunbury from the river with the rest of the freeloaders.
• Seriously. I’m really proud of you for not puking in public.
• To the lady in the wheelchair with her legs stuck directly out in front of her: Are you sure you couldn’t find an even less convenient position in which to ride? (Editor's note: This may be offensive; see me.)
• I saw a New Kids on the Block tattoo and I still have no idea how I feel about it.
• Can we try to get an ice company to sponsor a stage next year? I really hate my beverage lukewarm.
• I’d still prefer a festival that took place in December or January. (Name suggestions: Bit Nipple-y Concert Series and Freeze Your Balls Off Fest)

Click here for our photo gallery by Jesse Fox featuring over 150 shots from Bunbury weekend. And keep checking the music blog for more post-game coverage. Sorry for the delay — r tender li'l brains got a bit frieded dis weakened.
 
 
by Mike Breen 12.02.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 02:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Weekend Squeeze for 12/3 & 4

Weekend concert previews with Hank 3, Unkown Hinson, Kenny Ozz-Fest, James Leg, Reel Big Fish and more

Music Saturday: If Herman Munster had decided he wanted to play stand-up Country/Rockabilly bass, he'd have a gig in the band of enigmatic performer Unknown Hinson offered to him immediately. Despite the high camp of UH's persona (his bio says he looks like "Dracula's nasty little brother who spent some hard years drinking and working as a carnival barker for a second-rate freak show"), the super-charged, funny-as-all-hell Honky Tonk he and his band pump out is seriously kick-ass. Billy Bob Thorton has called Unknown one of his favorite songwriters and a "genius picker," Simpsons creator Matt Groening has lauded his guitar playing (and comedic sensibility) and Hank Williams III has Unknown's face tattooed on his arm — all high (and kinda weird, fittingly) praise. Combined, the image and sound make for a thoroughly entertaining concert experience. Read more about Hinson (who voices the character Early Cuyler on The Squidbillies) from this week's CityBeat here. Unknown Hinson is at the Southgate House in Newport Saturday with The Lewis Brothers. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door. And bring all your gal pals — "womens likes it," or so I've heard. Give a listen to a li'l Hinson holiday cheer in the form of "Black and Blue Christmas" below.

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by Mike Breen 08.02.2013
 
 
bluesfest

PREVIEW: Cincy Blues Fest 2013

The Cincy Blues Fest returns for its 21st annual event this weekend

This weekend, the Cincy Blues Fest — presented annually by the Cincy Blues Society — returns for its 21st year, a remarkable accomplishment for a music festival of any sort. The festival kicks off tonight and continues tomorrow at Sawyer Point along the riverfront.

The weekend features two main stage acts with serious ties to Cincinnati’s Blues past. Educator, author, DJ, singer and harmonica player Steven Tracy returns to Cincy to play the main stage on tonight at 7 p.m. with his band the Crawling Kingsnakes. A Walnut Hills High School graduate, Tracy worked with local Blues icons like Pigmeat Jarrett and Big Joe Duskin, becoming a part of the scene he’d later dig deeper into in the 1993 book, Going to Cincinnati: A History of the Blues in the Queen City. His writing career is extensive — Tracy has written dozens of album liner notes and edited/wrote/intro-ed several other books on a variety of subjects. Today, Tracy is a professor of Afro-American Studies at University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Saturday at 6 p.m. on the fest’s main stage, Stacy Mitchhart and his band are slated to perform. Mitchhart grew up in Cincinnati and spent time playing music on the East and West Coasts before returning to his hometown in the early 1990s and forming Stacy Mitchhart and Blues-U-Can-Use, a staple on the local Blues scene for a few years. After a move to Nashville, Tenn., in the mid-’90s, Mitchhart’s musical career really took off. His albums have been widely acclaimed and done well commercially — his 2011 release, Live from B.B. King’s, debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard Blues charts — and he’s received high-praise for his showmanship and remarkable Blues voice. In 2008, Mitchhart was the subject of the well-received documentary NashVegas Blues. 

Here is tonight's main stage schedule:

5:45-6:45 p.m. Dave Muskett

7:00-8:15 p.m. Steve Tracy & the Crawling Kingsnakes

8:30-10 p.m. Reba Russell Band

10:15-11:45 p.m. Watermelon Slim & the Workers

And here's the lineup for the Main Stage tomorrow:

4:15-4:45 p.m. Blues in the Schools (BITS) Band

5-5:45 p.m. The Juice

6-7 p.m. Stacy Mitchhart Band

7:15-8:30 p.m.  Nikki Hill

8:45-10:00 p.m. Honey Island Swamp Band

10:15-11:45 p.m. Ana Popovic (all the way from Serbia!)

Some of the coolest things at the Cincy Blues Fest can be found on the “specialty” stages — a “specialty” of the fest — which this year includes a “Women of the Blues” stage on Friday, headlined by national act EG Knight and also featuring locals Rio & The Ramblers, The Juice and Tempted Souls Band. 

Here is the "Women of the Blues" stage ((aka the Arches stage) schedule for tonight :

5:45-7 p.m. Rio & the Ramblers

7:15-8:30 p.m. The Juice

8:45-10:00 p.m. Tempted Souls Band

10:15-11:45 p.m. EG Kight

Saturday sees the return of the “Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame Piano Stage,” featuring an international cast of top-shelf Boogie Woogie pianists, including local favorite Ricky Nye and former locals (now Florida-based) Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues. The house band for the Boogie Woogie stage is Johnny Vidacovich (drums), George Bedard (guitar) and Chris Douglas (bass).

Saturday's Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Fame stage (aka Arches stage) lineup:

4:30 p.m. Ben Levin

5 p.m. Ari Borger

5:40 p.m. Ricky Nye

6:20 p.m. Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues

7:10 p.m. Bruce Katz

7:50 p.m. Al Hill

8:30 p.m. Axel Zwingenberger & Lila Ammons

9:10 p.m. Joshua Paxton

10 p.m. David Vest

10:40 p.m. Bob Seeley

11:20 p.m. Chris Conz

The Blues Fest again presents the St. Vincent De Paul Local Stage on both days of the event, always an excellent snapshot of the current local Blues scene. 

Friday's St. Vincent De Paul Local Stage schedule: 

5:45-6:45 p.m. Thomas Long & Blue Sacrifice

7-8 p.m. Noah Wotherspoon Band

8:15-9:15 p.m. Ralph & the Rhythm Hounds

9:30-10:30 p.m. Brad Hatfield Band

10:45 p.m.-12 a.m. G Miles & the Hitmen

Saturday's St. Vincent De Paul Local Stage lineup:

4:30-5:30 p.m. The Blue Birds Big Band

5:45-6:45 p.m. Jay Jesse Johnson Band

7-8 p.m. The SoulFixers

8:15-9:15 p.m. Doug Hart Band

9:30-10:30 p.m. Chuck Brisbin & the Tuna Project

10:45 p.m.-12 a.m. Leroy Ellington Blues Band

Here is a map of the Blues Fest grounds:

Tickets are $15 for Friday, $20 for Saturday or $25 for a two-day pass (tickets can be purchased at the gates or here). Visit cincybluesfest.org for everything else you need to know about the festival. 

 
 
by Mike Breen 03.06.2012
Posted In: Music History, Music Video, Music Commentary at 10:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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This Date in Music History: March 6

Charles Manson's "debut" drops and Pink Floyd reunited?

On this day in 1970, a Cincinnati native (whose "celebrity" we do not celebrate locally, Nick Lachey-style) released one of the few albums we will gladly tell you to seek out and download illegally, should you need to hear it. Lie: The Love and Terror Cult, the "debut album" from singer/songwriter/cult leader/convicted murderer Charles Manson, was recorded on Sept. 11, 1967, and released just months before the murder trial of Manson and his "family." A year after the album was released, four Manson Family members (including Manson) were sentenced to death (in 1972, the sentences were reduced to life in prison after California abolished the death penalty in that state).

The album's original pressing reportedly only sold 300 copies, but subsequent reissues (proceeds from which were given to the families of Manson's victims) kept the notorious cult leader's weirdly experimental, psychedelic Folk Rock songs alive for future generations of musicians to cover. Guns N' Roses were the biggest band to ever cover one of Manson's songs. The convicted killer was an aspiring Rock Star who had schmoozed his way into the SoCal music scene of the late ’60s,  most notoriously befriending Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson (The Boys' reworked one of Manson's compositions on the 1969 album 20/20).

Other artists covering Manson over the years include Marilyn Manson (no relation) and wacky actor Crispin Glover.

Here's the song GNR recorded for its 1993 covers album The Spaghetti Incident?, "Look at Your Game, Girl."

Click on for Born This Day featuring Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and more …

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by Mike Breen 02.14.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Music Video, Music News at 05:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Taft 'Ballroom' to Host Bad Veins Release Gig

Just announced venue The Ballroom at the Taft gives Taft Theatre versatility to bring more concerts to Cincy

I may be imagining it (the eternal optimist that I am), but it seems like ever since the Southgate House locked its doors at the end of 2011, many in the local booking world stepped up their game instantly. Though it's only been just over a month, it certainly doesn't feel as if the Greater Cincinnati concert market has been gutted by the loss of that one great club. And with several spots slated to open later this year (new venues from the brains behind the Southgate and Mad Hatter, plus whatever happens to the actual Southgate House building), it only looks to be getting better.

More good news on that front came out at the start of this week. On Feb. 10, an unexpected, big-time venue entered the mix — or rather, increased its presence in it. Downtown’s gorgeous Taft Theatre already this year announced some concerts by more “mid-level” groups like Trampled By Turtles and JJ Grey & Mofro, cult faves and Southgate alumni. Now, the Taft and promoter Music & Events Management Inc. are opening a new venue-within-a-venue that will allow the Taft to book artists who have outgrown small clubs but aren't quite ready for the big room.

The Ballroom at the Taft — located in the theater’s lower level — was designed to be, according to the press release, “a showcase style club venue that will play host to a variety of live entertainment events spanning all types of styles and genres.”

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by Mike Breen 07.19.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Walk the Moon Does 'Conan'

Cincinnati RCA recording artists do a little national TV promo before homecoming gig

One of Cincinnati's most successful bands making waves on a national level, Alt/Dance/Pop quartet Walk the Moon, got a nice extra plug for its sold-out homecoming concert at 20th Century Theater in Oakley a week from today (July 26).

As the band prepped to play their money-shot song, the miraculously infectious "Anna Sun," on Conan last night on TBS, during the group's intro, host Conan O'Brien mentioned its hometown gig, Walk the Moon's first Cincy show since the release of its debut album on June 19 (which they celebrated by playing the same song on The Late Show with David Letterman; compare and contrast here). The band played with incredible enthusiasm once again, impressive given how much work the members have put in over the last year-plus.

Walk the Moon's members received hearty handshakes from O'Brien after the song, then chatted joyfully with Conan, Andy Richter and Breaking Bad's
freshly Emmy-nominated Bryan Cranston as the house band played the show off. Watch the full episode here ("Ronny Sunshine, The Incredibly Helpful Bath Salts Addict" was hilarious). Below is WtM's performance.


 
 
by Mike Breen 03.19.2013
Posted In: Music Video, Local Music at 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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New Hip Hop Videos from Cincy's Puck and Valley High

Local Hip Hop acts drop visually and musically compelling new clips

A pair of Cincinnati Hip Hop acts have recently released music videos showcasing new material. Both are compelling, well-produced clips for solid new tracks.

Alternative Hip Hop group Valley High issued the video for "That One Too" at the start of the month. The clip was directed by SnowRowe (who plays keys in the group) and, according to the YouTube page, the track is from the Valley High or Die Tape, due for release today. The group is fronted by MCs Moxy Monster and M.O. Click here for more on Valley High.



Last year, area MC Puck released the high-pro video for "Gitit," the latest of several clips. Now, Puck has returned with a new track and video that's perhaps his strongest yet. "Jordan Vs. Bird" is built around a hook from a remix of the band Grouplove's song "Colours." The video was directed by Dan Gotti. Puck is offering a free download of the track via his Soundcloud page here. Find out more about Puck here.


 
 

 

 

 
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