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by Mike Breen 10.26.2011
Posted In: Music News, Music Video, Local Music at 10:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Happy 60th Birthday to Bootsy Collins!

A tribute to the world's funkiest sexagenarian

Locally born and bred musical icon Bootsy Collins celebrates his 60th birthday today! The living legend has a firm handle on his position near the top of any list of the most famous and important Cincinnatians, helping to design the blueprint for Funk music during his time as a crucial member of James Brown's band and, of course, his years holding down the low-end for Funk superheroes Parliament/Funkadelic. Those foundational years fiddling with the Funk recipe also made him one of the most crucial musicians in Hip Hop history — between his work with Brown and George Clinton (not to mention his solo work), there may not be another bassist on the planet whose riffs have been sampled more throughout Hip Hop's nearly 40-year history. In honor of Bootsy's 60th, enjoy a sampling of some of his many career highlights below, including the excellent Unsung documentary about the bass master.

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by Mike Breen 11.29.2012
Posted In: Music News, Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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WATCH: Emery Sessions Go Hip Hop

Cincinnati MC Buggs Tha Rocka featured in unique one-shot video series filmed at historic Emery Theatre

Deft local MC Buggs Tha Rocka, who balances his excellent solo work with performances and recordings with the group Gold Shoes, has become the first Hip Hop artist to participate in the ongoing "Emery Sessions," a series of excellent music videos, filmed in one-shot by world-class photographer Michael Wilson at the restored classic Cincinnati venue, The Emery Theatre. Audio was handled once again by local musicians Cameron Cochran and Henry Wilson.

The series not only celebrates local music but also showcases the grand old theatre, a century-old Cincinnati treasure that fell into disrepair but has recently returned to "active venue" status thanks to the work of The Requiem Project.

Buggs and DJ Ghost performed "Stephanie's Song" for their Session. Unlike previous clips (which have spotlighted a host of local artists, from Over the Rhine to Jeremy Pinnell and the 55s, as well as Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley and many others), Buggs and DJ Ghost don't perform on the theatre's stage, but in another nook and cranny elsewhere in the building.

"Stephanie's Song" is from Buggs Tha Rocka's fantastic The Wrath of Zeus mixtape, which is available for free download here.



Take a look at some of the other Emery Sessions here.

 
 
by Deirdre Kaye 07.16.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals, Music Video at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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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 08.30.2013
 
 
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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 mbreen 07.29.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Music Video at 03:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Weekend Music Advisory for July 30-31

Music This Saturday: In 2006, Fountain Square underwent a renovation, not only in a physical sense but also in the way the heart-of-the-city’s space was used by citizens and visitors. The 3CDC group behind the refurbishment greatly expanded the number and quality of events presented on the Square. The biggest part of the expansion focused on live music events, so it made sense that, to celebrate the “reopening” of Fountain Square, several big-name artists performed at the relaunch celebration, including OK Go and Los Lobos. Kicking off the festivities was Hip Hop star Talib Kweli, who performed with Cincy breakout Hip Hop artist Hi-Tek. Saturday, Talib is back for another free performance on the Square, this time as part of the every-Saturday “Slam!” concert series, organized by local promo crew Self Diploma.

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by Mike Breen 03.14.2013
Posted In: Live Stream, Live Music, Local Music, SXSW, Music Video at 09:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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The Afghan Whigs … Still Going

Watch reunited Cincinnati greats play South By Southwest via live stream

As the final notes rang out at Bogart's early on Jan. 1, many fans at The Afghan Whigs' final concert of 2012 (after a year of steady, successful global-touring) were left wondering if they hadn't just witnessed the final Afghan Whigs' show ever.

Band members were vague in interviews about the Whigs' future beyond the dates in front of them and since the tour has ended, frontman Greg Dulli has reportedly been working on material with Steve Kilbey of The Church, while Fists of Love — the local Indie band featuring the Whigs' John Curley on bass — have a new release, I Sang My Heart Out To A Snake Once, scheduled for next month (the release show is April 19 at Northisde Tavern). But future plans were never ruled out.

So it was a pleasant surprise but not a total shock last week when it was announced that The Afghan Whigs were going to headline the "Fader Fort" party/showcase (presented by The Fader magazine and Converse) at South By Southwest this week. The band is slated to headline tomorrow (Friday) night's festivities at 8:30 p.m. (Cincinnati time) on a bill that also features Ra Ra Riot, The 1975 and Future. If the Whigs have no plans beyond Friday's mere half-hour-long set … well, that would just be weird (unless they were paid an unusually large amount of money to perform).

Read CityBeat's Afghan Whigs cover package from last year here, here and here.

What will they play? Will they have news on the future? Lucky for fans, you don't have to be in Austin, Texas, to witness the performance. The Fader Fort showcases are being streamed live through Saturday. Click below to watch the Whigs' and all other performances live. The stream runs today, tomorrow and Saturday from 2-9 p.m. Below the player is the full schedule.




 
 
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 Brian Baker 09.24.2011
 
 
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MPMF.11 Day 2: Fried, Eh? Friday!

The news reports all called for possible rain and low temps in the evening, but that Babylonian weather deity we blew last year apparently threw in a freebie as a tenth anniversary present because the nastiness stayed away for at least one more night. And what a night.

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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 Amy Harris 06.28.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Interview, Music Video, New Releases at 11:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Q&A with The Eli Young Band's Chris Thompson

Band in Cincinnati to open tonight's sold-out Kenny Chesney concert at Riverbend

The Eli Young Band brings a taste of Red Dirt music to the forefront of Country music. The band has an upbeat and distinct sound that has caught on quickly on a national scale. EYB saw mild success through the years touring on Jet Black and Jealous and hit a major stride with its most recent album, Life At Best, featuring the hits “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and ACM "Song of the Year," “Crazy Girl.” 

The Eli Young Band has now reached a new height, opening Kenny Chesney’s current tour (which is hitting mostly stadiums). CityBeat was able to catch up with band drummer Chris Thompson to get the band’s feeling on its new found success and life on tour with Kenny. The tour comes to Cincy tonight at Riverbend Music Center for a sold-out stop (the tour moves to Crew Stadium in Columbus on Saturday night). It is truly the most impressive tour in Country music.

CityBeat: How did the tour come about with Kenny Chesney?

Chris Thompson: A lot of people don’t know this but Kenny is really involved in who he picks to go on tour with him. In a lot of other tours, a record label will put someone on the bill or management will partner up with other management to find a tour that works with that kind of artist, but Kenny is super hands-on.

Two years ago at the Academy of Country Music Awards, we were nominated for "Song of the Year" and so was Kenny, and we actually beat him, we won the category. I guess shortly after, there was a text going around from Kenny to his management, “Who are these guys that beat me?” and “I want to find out more about them.” He started getting into our music and shortly after we got the phone call that we were invited to go out on tour with him.

It’s just a huge honor. Like I was saying, he hand picks the folks that are out here on the road with him. It’s the biggest tour in Country music and we are just happy to be here.

CB: I was there the night you guys won the "Song of the Year" award. I was so happy for you guys. I know you have worked very hard over the years. What was the highlight of CMA for the band this year in Nashville?

CT: We were only there for a couple hours really. We flew in that morning and did a signing for two or three hours and then had a couple meetings. Then, we were out of town.

We have been going to CMA Music Fest for seven or eight years now. Back in the day we would stay for three or four days and play a show or two and be able to hang and meet as many people as we could. It seems like more and more nowadays, especially with the tours we have been on and our headlining tours, we are only able to get in for a day and get out.

It is always fun to do the signings because you meet people from all over the country and from all over the world really who love Country music. They are so excited to meet you. They are die hard fans. They bring pictures from five years ago when we met. It’s just cool that Country music does that. We are the only genre of music that has anything like that where fans can go and interact directly with the artists and have one-on-one face time with them.

CB: Tell me a little bit about “Drunk Last Night,” the new single.


CT: I think “Drunk Last Night” is a lyric we can all relate to. When we all first heard the song, we were like, “Yes, this is a song for us."

A lot of people hear a title and automatically think it’s a drinking song. We went through some of that with “Crazy Girl.” A lot of people saw the title and went “Oh, I know what this song is about,” and I think they were wrong.

I think people will find this is not the standard drinking song. It is all about, I hate to sum it up as drunk dialing, but it is kind of like the thought of doing that and alcohol feeding that desire a little bit more than in daily life.
It is also a song that we went in the studio and recorded (and) as soon as we finished the session, we could go out and play (it) live right now because it’s a great track, it’s rocking, it’s in our wheelhouse and we actually did. We started playing it at the very beginning of the Chesney tour before it was even picked as a single. The crowd really seemed to dig it and now here it is, going to be a single. Good stuff.

CB: Do you guys know or do you have a feeling when you have a hit or when you hear a hit presented to you?

CT: Yeah. I think sometimes you hear a song, sometimes people say the song gives them chills and they know that’s the one. Sometimes you get that feeling in your gut. When you hear a song sometimes, you write a lyric and you feel that, it is almost like that feeling of falling in love. Your chest kind of swells.

When multiple people feel that way at the same spot or for the same song, then I don’t know if anybody can guarantee a hit, but you know that it is at least a lyric or a song that people can relate to and I think typically good songs are universal in that sort of way.

CB: I loved your “The Cuss Jar” video — I could buy a house if I implemented that process. I wanted to know if you had bought anything fun with the money?


CT: No, actually I think that era ended. The jar got too full and I think we used that jar for laundry money one day when we stopped somewhere on the road and had a few days off and emptied the whole thing for band and crew’s laundry. Then we got too lazy to keep up with it.

CB: What has been your craziest tour story recently?

CT: I think playing Cowboys Stadium in Dallas on the Chesney tour was probably the craziest thing because we are from Dallas and we have played every tiny bar around the stadium. To just get up on stage at the biggest stadium in America was totally wild. All of our families were there; it was craziness.

CB: That’s such a special moment, I am sure you have plenty of those all the time. Do you do anything special yourself to keep the tour memories? Do you take photos or journals? Some bands blog or journal and do things to keep it fresh.

CT: Yeah, we have been fortunate on this tour, since the beginning of this year, we have had a guy out on the road with us that has started doing social media. Mainly he is taking pictures. Since January, this whole thing has been documented and we really appreciate that.

It is definitely hard for us to get good photos when we are on stage playing, when we are really in the moment, because we are playing, so he is out there doing that. This is the biggest tour we have ever done and just the momentum that this year is building, we are just happy about that.

CB: What does a typical day look like for you?

CT: On the Chesney tour when we are doing stadiums like we are doing today, we will go out and do a tailgating event, at 1 or so in the afternoon, we will all get into some golf carts and we will go out to where all the fans are tailgating and they will bombard us with jello shots and beer bongs and the local foods they have.

We hang out with them for an hour or two then we will start doing radio events where we will play a couple songs acoustic, sitting on our bus or backstage for various winners. Then we will do a meet and greet for about 60-100 people. Then, we will grab a bite to eat around then. Then we hit the stage and rock out for about an hour.

After that, we will go hang out with some radio folks or some friend that are in town and wind down about the time Kenny hits the stage so we can watch him. It’s pretty cool. It’s pretty unreal.

CB: If you could trade places for anyone for about a month, who would it be?

CT: Right now it feels like we are living the dream. I think the four of us are really happy with what is going on in our careers right now. We have had some national success. It feels like we have broken out of being a regional band and it feels like we are on the cusp of something more than that. It’s a great time for Eli Young Band and it is important for us to enjoy this. I probably wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone right now.

CB: What can the fans look for from you guys tonight in Cincinnati?

CT: We try to always bring a high-energy show. We were playing a show last night and there was this older gentleman almost in front row sitting in his chair arms crossed and it looked like he wasn’t really enjoying himself. About halfway through our set he leaned over to his wife and he points at us and he goes, “Those guys are workin’ up there.” Then he smiled real big.

We want to bring that energy. We want to get on stage and have a good time and fire up the crowd. We go on right after Kacey Musgraves. Kacey is real cool and laidback and all that when she does her thing and it’s great. Then we get to come in and kick the audience in the butt a little bit.

During our set we have some new music in there and some cover songs I think gets the crowd up and clapping. After that Eric (Church) comes up and burns it down. Then Kenny Chesney comes out and the place goes nuts.

 
 

 

 

 
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