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by Brian Baker 02.28.2014
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 Mike Breen 02.21.2014
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
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 02.14.2014
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 P.F. Wilson 02.12.2014
Posted In: Live Music, Reviews at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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REVIEW: Arctic Monkeys at Madison Theater

It was quite a treat for area fans of (forgive the term) Alternative Rock as Arctic Monkeys rolled into Covington’s Madison Theater again this past Monday night. As one of the millennium’s most influential acts, the band from the English Midlands can normally be found playing arenas and large theaters, or headlining festivals throughout their homeland and the rest of Europe. Yet, they managed to schedule Covington on this tour, knowing they would easily be able put butts in the seats (even though there are few seats in the venue), which indeed they did. 

The sold-out but well behaved crowd witnessed the band flawlessly execute a 20-song set, that was heavy on new tracks, but still filled with “hits.” They got right down to business opening with “Do I Wanna Know?” before powering into “Brianstorm” and “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I Moved Your Chair.” Lead singer Alex Turner’s banter with the audience focused mostly on the correct pronunciation of “Covington.” He eventually adopted a passable American accent and assured the crowd that a good time was going to be had. That statement was not inaccurate. 

The band’s energy steadily increased, tempered only by Turner’s occasional breaks to comb back his hair — which the audience seemed to love. Their main set ended with the perfectly arranged trifecta of “I Wanna Be Yours,” “Fluorescent Adolescent,” and “505.” The encore was similarly paced, ending with fan-favorite “R U Mine?”

A pleasant surprise was opening act The Orwells. There’s been some heat on this Chicago-based quartet since the Arcs hand-picked them as their support act, and because of their very well-received appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman a few weeks back. Lead singer Mario Cuomo’s vacant yet engaging style captured the crowd’s attention, many dancing and bopping along to the band’s Post Punk stylings. Hope to see them back.

 
 
by Mike Breen 02.07.2014
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Winter Blues Fest Kicks Off Tonight

Cincy Blues Society’s annual winter fest showcases top-notch headliners, wealth of local talent

A satellite event to the Cincy Blues Society’s huge outdoor, summertime Cincy Blues Fest, the Winter Blues Fest — which returns to The Phoenix (812 Race St., Downtown, thephx.com) tonight and tomorrow — has truly grown into its own. This year’s lineup features two of the fest’s biggest national headliners yet. 


Celebrated Blues/Rock singer/guitarist Tinsley Ellis performs in the venue’s third floor Grand Ballroom on Friday at 9:45 p.m. Check out Ellis’ “Kiss Of Death,” from his recently released Midnight Blue album, below:



Accomplished singer/songwriter Janiva Magness performs in the Grand Ballroom on Saturday at 9:15 p.m. (For more about Magness, read Brian Baker’s preview from this week’s CityBeat). Here’s a clip of Magness and her band performing “I Won’t Cry,” which won her and co-writer Dave Darling “Song of the Year” honors at the Blues Music Awards (one of many Mangess has won over the past several years). 



Below is the full lineup (subject to change). Click each artist’s name for more info.


FRIDAY  

Third Floor Grand Ballroom

6:30-8 p.m.: G. Miles & The Hitmen

8:15-9:30 p.m.: Greg Schaber Band

9:45-11:15 p.m.Tinsley Ellis

11:30-12:45 p.m.The Blue Birds


Second Floor Cincinnati Room

6:30-7:45 p.m.: Bob Dellaposta

8-9:15 p.m.: Jimmy D. Rogers

9:30  - 10:45 p.m.: Leo Clarke & Chuck Brisbin

11 p.m.-12:45 a.m.: Dave Muskett Duo

 

Second Floor Archway Ballroom

7-8:15 p.m.: Blue Sacrifice

8:30-9:45 p.m.: The Juice

10:00-11:15 p.m.: Leroy Ellington Blues Band

11:30 p.m.-1 a.m.: The Blues Merchants

 

First Floor Presidents Room

6:15-7:45 p.m.: The Heaters With Ben Levin

8-9:30 p.m.Bekah Williams with Ricky Nye

10-11:15 p.m.: Ralph & The Rhythm Hounds

11:30 p.m.-1 a.m.: Ducttape & Dynamite

 
SATURDAY

3rd Floor Grand Ballroom

6-7:30 p.m.: The Tempted Souls Band

7:45-9 p.m.Doug Hart Band

9:15-11:15 p.m.: Janiva Magness

11:30 p.m.-12:45 a.m.: Johnny Fink & The Intrusion


Second Floor Cincinnati Room

6:30-7:45 p.m.: Brian Wallen

8-9:15 p.m.: Greg Schaber (Solo)

9:30-10:45 p.m.: TBA

11 p.m.-12:15 a.m.: The Twirlers


Second Floor Archway Ballroom

6:30-8 p.m.: Blues In The School Band

8:15-9:30 p.m.Chuck Brisbin & the Tuna Project

9:45-11:15 p.m.: The SoulFixers

11:30 p.m.-12:45 a.m.: Jay Jesse Johnson


First Floor Presidents Room

6:15-7:45 p.m.Little Red & The Rooster

8-9:15 p.m.Ricky Nye Inc.

9:30-10:45 p.m.Brad Hatfield Band

11 p.m.-12:45 a.m.: The Noah Wotherspoon Band


Tickets can be purchased in advance at cincybluesfest2014.brownpapertickets.com. Prices are $20 for one night or $32.85 for a weekend pass (there are smaller-than-usual service fees through the ticketing site). There will be food available and full-service bars throughout the venue. 


Visit cincyblues.org for the full schedule, artist details, ticket links, deals for special room rates at the nearby Garfield Suites Hotel and more.

 
 
by Brian Baker 02.04.2014
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video, New Releases at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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REVIEW: Black Owls' 'Wild Children'

If you are even a marginal fan of Black Owls (whose members split time between Cincinnati and Granville, Ohio) and have not yet visited their Bandcamp page to purchase a copy of their recent recorded triumph, Wild Children (which came out late last year), off with you. I'll wait. 

The Owls' fourth album is nothing less than the maturation of a supremely talented band that has been patiently waiting for the right pieces to fall into the right places almost from the beginning. The installation of drummer extraordinaire Brian Kitzmiller and the relocation of vocalist David Butler away from the drummer's chair and to the front of the stage was the first necessary shift, while adding second guitarist Brandon Losacker as a frenetic foil to Ed Shuttleworth's tightly coiled brilliance was inspired and equally required.

The bass position has been problematic only in its temporary nature; Nancy/National bassist Mike Brewer left to pursue his own thing, the thunderously wonderful Alan Beavers was forced from his role due to back issues and Goose four stringer Sammy Wulfeck was almost psychotically overextended and had to bow out; his work is all over Wild Children, a

tantalizing hint at what he brought to the Owls and further proof of his longstanding chemistry with Kitzmiller. (For the record, both Beavers and Brewer guest on Wild Children and remain welcome alumni in the Owls' extended family.)



On the whole, Wild Children is an expansion of the Owls' sonic mission statement of cross-pollinating early '70s-era Glam (see Bowie/Mott/Marc Bolan) with late '70s-era New York Punk (via Tom Verlaine's Television, Richard Hell's Voidoids and Lou Reed's simple fury). A good many of the songs on Wild Children have been worked out in live sets over the past year or so and will be familiar to anyone who has haunted the band's numerous local appearances; the effervescently charged "Incandescent Vultures," the melodically moody "She Invented Air," the propulsive and sinewy title track, produced into a beefy studio anthem. There's even a re-recording of "Julias Morningstar," one of the Owls' most recognizable and popular tracks from their 2008 debut, Lightning Made Us Who We Are. Wild Children shows that the Owls are gelling nicely and becoming even more comfortable and confident in the brilliant niche they've created for themselves.


And while Wild Children is patently excellent and an absolute necessity, perhaps even more exciting is the two-track glimpse into the Owls' future just revealed by Kitzmiller. A result of recent sessions featuring former Doc & the Pods/Roundhead four-stringer Kip Roe, an absolute prince of a human being and the perfect piece to complete the Owls' puzzle, the two songs find the quintet sounding less like the brilliant sum of their influences and more like a blazingly original band that has effectively incorporated their heroes into their creative vision without showing a seam

or dropping a stitch. "Gasoline" is a hard-charging, manic and relentless three minute thrill ride (and a prime candidate for the first single from the album that it will eventually crown), while "Rook" muscles along with the shivering, shimmering energy that has defined the Owls' best work over the past six years. These two as-yet-unmastered tracks show Black Owls evolving into a focused unit of astonishing power and unlimited potential.


More. Soon. Please. 


Black Owls perform for free this Friday at Newport’s Southgate House Revival in the Lounge room during The Black Angels/Roky Erickson concert in the venue’s Sanctuary.

 
 
by Mike Breen 02.03.2014
Posted In: Live Music, Live Stream, CEAs at 01:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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WATCH: The 2014 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards

Live video from Jan. 26 CEA ceremony now available courtesy of ICRCTV

Last Sunday's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards show — which featured 19 awards for local musicians and nine top-notch performances — is available to watch now courtesy of the fine folks at ICRCTV. Now's your chance to watch, in the comfort of your home, the show about which people have said was "fun," "blerg," "entertaining," "disappointing," "amateurish," "too noisy" and "lacking in chairs"! 

Click here for CityBeat's wrap-up of the show (plus the winners in each category), here for Jac Kern's observations as a first time host and here for oodles of photos from the event.

 
 
by Mike Breen 01.27.2014
Posted In: CEAs, Live Music at 09:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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CEA 2014 Winners

Who won what at the 17th annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards

Check out a wrap-up of last night's 17th annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards show in this Wednesday issue of CityBeat. (Spoiler alert: It was an amazing night.)

In the meantime, below are the winners in each of the CEA categories. Congratulations to all of the performers, presenters, nominees and other attendees for making last night's show at the Madison Theater such a success. (Here's a link to some footage from ICRCTV's Livestream stream last night.)

Cincinnati Entertainment Awards 2014 Winners

Rock: Electric Citizen 

Indie/Alternative: DAAP Girls

Metal/Hard Rock: Moonbow

Punk: The Dopamines

Folk/Americana: The Tillers

Bluegrass: Rumpke Mountain Boys

Country: Jeremy Pinnell and the 55’s

Singer/Songwriter: Molly Sullivan

World Music/Reggae: The Cliftones

Hip Hop: Buggs Tha Rocka

Electronic: Black Signal

Blues: Ricky Nye

Jazz: The Faux Frenchmen

R&B/Funk/Soul: The Cincy Brass

Best Live Act: Foxy Shazam

Best Artist Not Nominated: Young Heirlooms 

Best Music Video: “8 Ball” by Valley High 

Album of the Year: Fists of Love - I Sang My Heart Out to a Snake Once

New Artist of the Year: Tweens

Artist of the Year: Walk the Moon

 
 
by Brian Baker 01.24.2014
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Reviews at 10:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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REVIEW: The Tigerlilies - In the Dark

Longtime local rockers celebrate new album release tonight at MOTR Pub

It has been much too long since Patrick Hennessy and any viable version of The Tigerlilies have committed to a studio regimen and the clear goal of emerging with something/anything approaching the scorching delight of their first three discs, 1992's Deeper, 1997's Space Age Love Songs and 2003's Ceci N'Est Pas Pop. Hennessy's involvement with The Fairmount Girls began in 2004, a span of time that nearly equals the gap between the Tigerlilies' third release and its latest and perhaps greatest recorded document, In the Dark.


Vocalist/guitarist Hennessy, his drumming/singing brother Steve and bassist Brian Driscoll were joined by guitarist/vocalist Brendan Bogosian about midway through The Tigerlilies' long studio drought; Bogosian even did a little moonlighting of his own with Kry Kids. Somehow, the quartet managed to motivate themselves to pen a dozen new Tigerlilies classics and set to work with Culture Queer's Jeremy Lesniak at the console to create In the Dark. In fact, when I interviewed Culture Queer a little over a year ago, Lesniak was in the process of digitally tweaking In the Dark and promised that it would be their best album to date. That has turned out to be a promise well kept.


While The Tigerlilies are enamored with Rock's Glam period and Punk traditions, the band tends to filter it all through a greater love of Brit Pop in general, not to mention a proclivity toward a more defined Power Pop direction, resulting in a sound that suggests Cheap Trick and Husker Du teaming up for a Clash tribute. That position is made perfectly clear on In the Dark, from full throttle disc opener "Hold on Tight" to the melancholy joy of "Don't Let It Get You Down" to the Husker/Trick jittery jangle of "Sweetheart" and the anthemic Velvet Crush-like barnstorm of "Some Things Are Meant to Be." 


In the Dark isn't all bash-and-crash, with more than a few relatively quiet moments (the Beatlesque "Pull You In," "Five Will Get You Ten," the title track) offered as a bit of a breather, but even at their most sedate, The Tigerlilies bristle with an undeniable love of chiming Pop spiked with a bracing dose of melodic Punk. 



Don't miss The Tigerlilies' release party for In the Dark TONIGHT at MOTR Pub starting at 10 p.m. with openers Subsets.

 
 

 

 

 
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