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by Mike Breen 08.02.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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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.
 
 
by Mike Breen 05.15.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Music Video at 09:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
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Online Premiere: Ill Poetic's "Gone" Music Video

Clip for Ohio artist's new single looks back at Cincy Hip Hop's past

Below you can check out, for the first time, the final cut of the new music video for Hip Hop artist Ill Poetic's latest single, "Gone." The clip was celebrated and screened at the Northside Tavern a couple of weeks back, but this is the completed version.

The video takes a look at Cincinnati and the local Hip Hop scene in the ’00s, when the MC/producer cut his teeth. Ill Po says, “This video is for all Cincinnati folks who lived through the riots, Scribble Jam and everything that happened in the early-mid 2000s, as well as the new scene of heads who love this city and its music scene."


 
 
by Alex L. Weber 05.13.2009
Posted In: Reviews, Local Music at 11:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Local CD Review: S.R. Woodward's 'Vertical Integration'

Local singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist S.R. Woodward is not your average clean-cut, guitar-strumming, doe-eyed heartthrob. No, this guy is far too weird for that racket. Combining slightly-flat-yet-charming harmonies sung in a baritone warble with peppy, synthesized musical backing tracks, he’s a troubadour of minimalist ditties that lie somewhere between cheeky and heartfelt.

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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)
 
 
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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 Mike Breen 06.19.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 08:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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The Afghan Whigs Book Cincinnati Show

Local rockers' reunion returns to the scene of their initial final public show

Before its current successful run of reunion concerts across the globe, The Afghan Whigs played its final live show at a New York City club called Hush on Sept. 29, 1999. But that was a private concert. The Whigs last public appearance was Sept. 25, 1999, at Cincinnati's Bogart's with special guests Howlin' Maggie. (The set list featured a large chunk of final album 1965, as well as lots of dips into cover tunes and snippets, including opener "The Boys Are Back in Town," and dashes of "Superstition," "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," "Little Red Corvette," "People Get Ready," "Hot for Teacher," "All You Need is Love" and Madonna's "Express Yourself," among others.)

Today it was announced that The Afghan Whigs will return to the scene of the crime and perform their first hometown show in over a decade on Oct. 25 at Bogart's, one month and 13 years after that final concert. Tickets are $33.50 ($45.86 with fees). The fan pre-sale starts this morning at 10 a.m.; tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday at 10 a.m. Click here for info. (Check The Afghan Whigs' official site for a password to get in on the pre-sale.)

Though the neighborhood has changed a lot since The Whigs roamed the earth originally, the band returning to Corryville is fitting. While frontman Greg Dulli would eventually bring his band The Twilight Singers to Newport's Southgate House frequently, Bogart's was the Whigs hometown concert home. Before that, the group played many shows at long-since-shuttered Sudsy Malone's across the street from Bogart's, while it and Top Cat's just a few blocks up the street were the sites of a few epic "secret shows," warm-up gigs for tours where the band would perform under a pseudonym like The Havana Sugar Kings or Gato Negro. 

Update: The fan pre-sale password for Bogart's is uptownagain. Use it here starting at 10 a.m. today.

Update2: The pre-sale is now at noon today, according to the ticketing site.

 
 
by 08.03.2009
Posted In: Local Music, King Records, Music News at 02:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
 
 
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Another Historic Day for Cincinnati Music

The group behind last fall's successful effort to erect a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame historical marker at the former King Records studio is at it again. They're now hoping to memorialize Herzog Studios' contributions to local and national music history.

At a press conference downtown this morning, leaders of the Cincinnati Music Heritage Foundation announced plans for a marker at 811 Race St., where in the 1940s and ’50s Herzog Studios hosted recording sessions by Hank Williams, Patti Page, Ernest Tubbs, Flatt and Scruggs and other notable "Country & Western" acts.

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by Brian Baker 01.23.2015
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Live Stream, CEAs at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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And the Winner is … Us

Think the CEAs are an Illuminati plot to chip away at your self-esteem? As Judas Priest so eloquently stated, you got another thing coming

There are a couple of things that have been on my mind of late, and this always seems like a decent forum to vent my musings, particularly since I'm not in therapy. First of all, what exactly constitutes medical attention for an erection lasting more than four hours? Does a stereotypically sexy nurse, um, give you a hand? Or does a mummified doctor from the bygone era of bone saws that could drop an oak tree and hand-cranked skull drills apply leeches to the affected area and then show you pictures of Yogi Berra and golf videos to bring down the swelling, so to speak?

While we wait for an answer to arrive, let's move on to the other, perhaps more salient issue that I've been pondering. As everyone knows, the end of the year brings the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nominations, which then inspires a good deal of grumbling speculation about who has gotten nominated and, more importantly, who has not.


Look, no one understands better than I the elation that accompanies being recognized for your work. Six years ago I nabbed second place in the Non-Daily Newspapers Feature Personality Profile category of the Ohio Excellence in Journalism awards. I know, right? At the same time, I can count on fingers and toes the number of letters I've received over the years about things I've written, and many of those have been from the subjects I've written about just to say thanks.


My prized correspondence was from now-deceased Rolling Stone/Billboard editor Timothy White for getting the title of his Beach Boys biography wrong in a piece I wrote about Dick Dale. I had cited White's book as The Nearest Faraway Beach, largely due to my love of the Brian Eno song, "On Some Faraway Beach," and partially because I jotted down my notes in Joseph-Beth Booksellers when I was in the throes of a flu that would have eaten a vaccine for an appetizer. White's book was, in fact, The Nearest Faraway Place, and in it, he mentioned that Dale had been born in Beirut, Lebanon, among other interesting tidbits about the legendary guitarist. When I asked Dale about some of the entries in White's book, he countered with, "Does it say Dick Dale was born in Lebanon?" (he referred to himself in the third person, a lot). I said that it did, and he responded, "Then throw that book in the garbage." 


It was a great quote so I used it in the story, which prompted White's letter, where he first corrected my idiot error and then clarified that he had interviewed Dale personally at a time when White speculated that Dale thought being born in Lebanon would make him seem more exotic (he was of Lebanese extraction), but when Beirut became synonymous with terrorism, he claimed Boston as his birthplace. All in all, though, he was very complimentary about the article. 


As usual, I digress. As much as people love being hailed for their accomplishments, they are stung when they feel they've been passed over, for whatever reason, and that's completely understandable. It becomes slightly problematic when people demonize the process in an effort to explain their absence from the end result.


Here's the thing; those of us who comprise the nominating committee try not to take ourselves too seriously, but we are very serious about the task of establishing these nominations on an annual basis, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, we love music and we respect the people who make it. We also feel it is extremely important to recognize great work and to share that recognition with the entire music community.


And that's pretty much it. We don't have an agenda to push. We don't nominate our friends (although our friends sometimes get nominated). Speaking for myself, I really try to set personal feelings aside when the time comes to look at the past year and determine who has done work worthy of CEA recognition.


Of course, that determination is open to a certain amount of subjectivity. We are human beings, after all. That's why we cast our nets as far as we can, to make sure the nominating process is as fair as humanly possible. Is it a perfect system? Not hardly. But I think we've gotten it pretty close to right. This year we involved the public in the process and that helped widen the focus even further, but there still seems to be a certain amount of dissatisfaction about the nominees and conjecture about how they got there. In the final analysis, it boils down to a few simple facts. If you're nominated, congratulations; you've distinguished yourself in a music community that I honestly feel is one of the best in the entire country. If you win, huzzah and holy shit, you've further distinguished yourself within a formidable slate of your musical peers.


And if you're just a spectator, keep working. Keep doing what you do. The accolades are nice, but put things in perspective; at the end of the day, the CEAs are a party with door prizes. Prestigious door prizes, but door prizes nonetheless. And whether you're a winner, a nominee or neither of the above, don't allow your recognition or lack thereof to overinflate or devalue your sense of what you do. What matters is the work. Your work. Whether it garners you a nomination or not.


It's the same in any field of endeavor. How many painters wind up in museums in their lifetimes? How many athletes give their lives over to the sports they love for an almost microscopic chance to get a plaque in their respective halls of fame? Celebrity, wealth and notoriety are all fairly illusory. What matters is the work.


The immortal and forever great Frank Zappa may have put it best: "Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best."


And there it is, in it's simplest and most potent form. If you are out there, turning words and melodies in your head into real music with your hands, heart and soul, you are contributing to one of the best things in life. Awards are the icing on a cake that doesn't necessarily need to be iced. When you make great music, we are the winners. And we'd like to thank you. And God and our families and friends and our eighth grade English teacher who said we'd never amount to anything, because he was sort of right. Thank you.


The 18th annual CINCINNATI ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS ceremony is Sunday at Covington’s Madison Theater. Tickets are available at cea.cincyticket.com. Click here for more show details


If you can’t make it to the event, ICRCTV will once again be streaming it live here. You can check out the 2013 and 2014’s ceremonies here and here, respectively. 


 
 
by mbreen 03.07.2011
Posted In: Music News, Local Music at 12:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Free Eat Sugar Remixes

Eat Sugar and Mush Records are giving away three tracks though the Mush Web site, free for a limited time. The download is a maxi-single featuring the original version and two remixes of “Clap You Hands,” a track from Eat Sugar’s Levántense! album. The digital-only full-length (the first from the band) was recently re-released by Mush on CD, giving it a well-deserved extra push to find a wider audience.

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by mbreen 05.05.2009
Posted In: Local Music, Music News at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Heartless Bastards to Do 'Austin City Limits' TV Show

The best music show on TV, PBS’s Austin City Limits, has announced the lineup of artists for its 35th anniversary season (yup, ACL can now officially run for President) starting Oct. 3. The roster is another great mix of established artists and relative newcomers, with the Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, Elvis Costello, Ben Harper, M. Ward, Andrew Bird, St. Vincent, Band of Heathens and Okkervil River slated for episodes. The season will also feature the first appearance by Cincinnati’s Heartless Bastards.

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by mbreen 04.24.2009
Posted In: Local Music at 09:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
 
 

MidPoint Indie Summer Series Announced

The initial lineup for this year's local-music-heavy Indie Summer series (taking place each Friday this summer on Fountain Square) has been announced. The successful series has teamed with the MidPoint Music Festival this year (musicians, don't forget the submission deadline is May 1) and will include a few special "late" shows of note. On June 26, Chicago's Mucca Pazza plays at 10 p.m., while locals Bad Veins take that timeslot on July 24 for their official release party for their Dangerbird Records debut. Below is the rest of the schedule so far.

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