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by Amy Harris 07.19.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Festivals, Interview at 02:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
asking alexandria 2012

Q&A with Asking Alexandria

Rockers headed to Riverbend for next weekend's Mayhem Fest

Asking Alexandria has a British Metal sound, is proudly rough around the edges and even prouder of its stereotypical Rock & Roll lifestyle. Nothing shows this more than the short film they just released, Through Sin and Self Destruction. They have two studio albums, most notable being Reckless and Relentless, which blasted into the Top 10 on the Rock charts in the States. In a music industry that can be so straight edge and proper at times, AA is a callback to the dangerous Rock & Roll living of yore.

CityBeat had an entertaining meeting with lead singer Danny Worsnop and discussed the band’s shaky public relations past and what the band’s attitude means to the landscape of Metal and Rock & Roll. Catch Asking Alexandria when the Mayhem Festival comes to Riverbend Music Center on July 24.

CityBeat: I took the time yesterday and watched your new short film Through Sin and Self Destruction. What made you decide to do a short film like that when most people aren’t even doing videos anymore?

Danny Worsnop: I think it was a chance to tell a story; (there had been) kind of rumors about it for a long time but it had never reached the surface. It is a very loose, over-dramatized version of what was going on in my life at that point.

(See the NSFW trailer below.)


CB: Does the film really portray the typical kind of lifestyle that you guys lead?

DW: It is exaggerated but it is my lifestyle.

CB: I talk to a lot of bands and it is being compared to Guns N Roses and the Appetite for Destruction days and I don’t talk to many bands that are able to sustain that.

DW: Most bands these day aren’t even really bands. They are just people who kind of play music. There aren’t many real bands anymore so there really isn’t opportunity for that lifestyle to sustain. I am by no means condoning the lifestyle but it has always kind of been there in Rock & Roll.

CB: Do you guys see a big difference when you tour in Europe versus touring in the U.S.?

DW: Not really. At first there was a crowd size difference but we are known to the world now. It is pretty much the same no matter where we go, besides the currency. Currency is different. And age of sexual consent.

CB: Can you tell me the process for you guys as a band to put the songs together or write the songs?

DW: The songs are based on whatever I am going through at the time. The albums are very honest and very personal. Everything that we have been doing is a story of my life.

CB: Where do you see yourself and the band in 10 years?

DW: Hopefully, in a much bigger house than I live in now driving a much nicer car with a lot of money. And hopefully still playing music in 10 years.

CB: Who are your current influences in music?

DW: The same they always have been. Motley Crue, Aerosmith, Journey, Def Leppard and AC/DC, just Rock & Roll. I would rather much listen to those bands than Metal. I am not a Metal singer. I don’t listen to Metal music. In my eyes, we are a Metal band with a Rock & Roll singer.

CB: You guys have a highly anticipated new album coming out this year. How is that coming along?

DW: It is coming along really well. It is different than the previous records. It is far more mature. I have written some real songs. Hopefully that comes through.

CB: Is it still looking like a September timeframe (for release)?

DW: It is looking to be the end of November or beginning of December right now.

CB: What has been your greatest Rock star moment so far?

DW: That is a tough one. It depends which way you want to go with it. Do you want something completely inappropriate?

CB: You could go with either or both.

DW: We opened for Guns N Roses and we felt like true Rock stars. That was definitely infamous. In terms of behavior, however it may be frowned upon, I guess the most shamed Rock star moment was the whole Seattle incident.

CB: You guys were out with Guns this year. What was the highlight of that for you guys?

DW: Just the experience of doing it. It’s such a great honor to do something like that. It was mind-blowing at times.

CB: Did you get to spend time with Axl at all or the band themselves?

DW: No, I didn’t really hang around much at that show. I left pretty soon after we played.

CB: I always ask this question of bands because I have had some pretty crazy stories over the years. Have you ever had any crazy boyfriend or husband stories?

DW: I have never had a boyfriend or a husband. I’m sorry I’m going to let you down with that one.

CB: No, with the girls coming after you guys?

DW: We have had many of the guys come up to us and ask us to sleep with their girlfriends or wives. I did once have sex with a chick and later found out she was engaged to one of my good friends.

CB: That’s never good.

DW: No.

CB: Did you tell him?

DW: No and he still doesn’t know. We aren’t friends anymore so it would be impossible for me to tell him. It was a friend at the time.

CB: Do you guys have any pre-show rituals. Do you come together and do anything special?

DW: No. It was always something that was natural to me just like I’m going anywhere else except there are thousands of people watching it.

CB: What can the fans look forward to at Mayhem?

DW: It is going to be a real fun tour. I am going to be wearing leather. They can look forward to that. I may take my shirt off during the show.

CB: It’s going to be pretty hot for leather.

DW: Yeah, that’s why I may take it off.

CB: It’s pretty hot. I don’t know if you’ll get the leather off.

DW: I know I’m hot. Stop telling me. Stop flirting with me.

CB: You guys have been out on the road. What is the best and worst part of being on the road?

DW: The worst part is being away and not getting to see loved ones. The best part is probably just the shear freedom from the human race. Normal rules don’t apply. It is a completely different world when you are on the road. As myself, I am a completely different person on the road than any other time in my life. I am an insane creature.

CB: Do you believe the cliché that there is no bad press?

DW: I know there is bad press. I just don’t necessarily dislike it, which is a good thing because I have had a hell of a lot of it.

CB: Some people it really bothers and gets under their skin and some people it doesn’t.

DW: I think sometimes I prefer bad press.

CB: Why?

DW: Everyone is trying so hard to just be so nice now. I don’t want that. I want to be known as me and I am not a good person but I am OK with that. I have come to terms with it. It’s not that I am a bad person, it is just that I speak my mind and I don’t sugar coat stuff.

CB: I interviewed Alice Cooper a few weeks ago, a legend, and he seemed upset with current bands because nobody wanted to be Rock stars anymore, basically.

DW: Last time I saw him he was on stage at the Golden God Awards ceremony thanking me and for keeping Rock & Roll alive.

 
 
by Brian Baker 07.19.2012
 
 
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Sweet, Sticky Bunbury: A Wrap-Up

Final thoughts on this past weekend's dreamy debut Bunbury Music Festival

I drifted off Thursday night and had my wonderfully fitful sleep punctuated by the strangest dream. Like most dreams, it was disjointed and surreal, but it made an odd sort of sense. It’s never easy to describe these nocturnal apparitions but it was so vivid, I shall give it a try.

Friday, July 13

I was walking downtown. I knew exactly where I needed to go but I didn’t know exactly how to get there. A ridiculously convoluted route got me to the desired entrance, I received my press credentials and a map of a fascinating kingdom which I entered through the back gate, popping up in the midst of a Craft Beer Village, a place I would revisit many times.

Because of family obligations, I had arrived late, and the celebration, which had been dubbed Bunbury, was already in full swing. I headed for what I perceived to be the main concentration of activity and there ran into Brent and his wife Kat, who I frequently cross paths with at these sorts of soirees and who are always a welcome sight and great companions. Almost immediately, I encountered my nephew Jim, who proceeded to buy me a multitude of beers, a welcome refreshment on a steamy afternoon.

We made our way to the Globilli stage to see The Crash Kings, a keyboard/bass/drum trio that made sounds like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath with a twist of Styx (when they were a decent Rock band) refracted through an Indie Rock prism. Keyboardist Tony Beliveau was improbably wearing a long sleeve flannel shirt in 90-degree heat, but he said they were from L.A., so he may have legitimately been cold. They played songs from their eponymous debut and a few from their as-yet unreleased new album, there was an epic bass solo at one point, and Beliveau made other worldly sounds with the use of a whammy bar on his rig, which I had never seen before. The Crash Kings were incredible, and they would have kicked 1975 square in the balls.

At the Landor Stage, Ponderosa were cranking out some sweet Indie Rock/Soul from their first album, Moonlight Revival and their new album Pool Party, which ultimately led to a cover of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.” Kalen Nash, clad in a much cooler serape and stalking the stage in Hobbit-like bare feet, bemoaned the loss of the Southgate House and said to the crowd, “Let’s bring that back.” We couldn’t have agreed more.

Back at Globilli, O.A.R. were giving a sizable audience a fair dose of heartland Indie Rock and getting an enthusiastic response in turn. The band started in Maryland but rose to prominence as students at Ohio State, and became something of a regional phenomenon. Much like the Dave Matthews Band, O.A.R.’s reputation grew by grassroots methodology and hard work. Marc Roberge acknowledged their local ties and thanked fans for their loyalty with a rousing set. Jim’s pals Andre and Kevin arrived at some point, more beers were acquired and all was well.

I took my leave of Jim and his friends to check out Ra Ra Riot at the Bud Light Stage. I love their studio brand of visceral Chamber Pop/Indie Rock and they most certainly do not disappoint in the live arena as they tore shit up good and proper. Ra Ra Riot make compelling feel-good music but I always feel a touch of melancholy when I listen to them, remembering their courage and loyalty when they remained together as a band in the aftermath of losing their original drummer John Pike, a drowning victim five years ago. Their biggest successes have come in the wake of that tragedy, but they remain in contact with Pike’s family who have in turn remained fully in Ra Ra Riot’s corner. That is truly inspirational, and that depth of feeling is translated into every note that RRR puts out into the universe. The real headline from RRR’s set was Wes Miles’ announcement that Bunbury was “the best run festival we’ve ever played,” high praise from a band that’s attended SXSW, CMJ, Seaport Music Festival and a good many others.

Somewhere between O.A.R. and Ra Ra Riot, I ran into Sean Rhiney (Messerly & Ewing) and Brian Kitzmiller (Black Owls), and was introduced to a flock of people (between them, Sean and Brian know every human in the Tri-State area) whose names are lost in a haze of previous beers but who were constant friendly faces in a sea of humanity over the next three days. I raise a perpetual glass to your continued well being and camaraderie.

It was back to the Globilli stage for The Airborne Toxic Event (named for a phrase in Don DeLillo’s 1985 chemical spill thriller, White Noise), which I’ve found to be one of the better muscular Indie Rock outfits. On the surface, they might seem like one of many innocuous radio-friendly ciphers but they’ve got a fascinating back-story, a fairly intricate sound and impressive songwriting talent. Frontman Mikel Jollett and his TATE cohorts played with a calculated frenzy to a rapturous response, and Jollett even injected a few serious moments into the festival’s spirited atmosphere to plug the Wounded Warrior Project and to offer some bi-partisan criticism (“Don‘t tell us you’re with us if you’re for cutting veterans’ benefits, don’t tell us you’re with us if you’re for raising taxes on returning veterans...”). A show with a message and a blazing soundtrack … not too shabby.

Then it was back to Landor for the most anticipated show of the night, and quite possibly the best show of the festival; the triumphant return of Cincy's Foxy Shazam. Eric Nally was in rare form, in both gymnastic stage behavior, microphone stand ballet and crowd interaction. A sampling of his repartee: (facing GABP) “Hey Votto, if you can hear me, hit the motherfucker out of the park..."; “I did an interview and when I read the story, the writer said we were unique, and I said, ‘Yeah, we‘re unique, just like everybody else..."; “Spill a little wine over here, spill a little wine over there, eventually everything’s red, spill a little blood over here, spill a little blood over there, eventually everything’s dead.”

During “Unstoppable,” someone winged a bottle of Gatorade at Nally, who flung it straight back and took issue by singing “Whoever threw that Gatorade is going to pay” at the close of the song. He then chastised the offender, saying, “Don’t make me explain to my kids why I have a bottle of Gatorade stuck up my ass,” and noting that he would let security allow the thrower backstage if he wanted to fight. Classic Nally.

Later, Schuyler White danced on his keyboard then tossed it onto the front row of the audience and dove into the crowd, playing while the audience held him in place. Classic Foxy. The crowd went batshit crazy when Foxy launched into “I Like It” from their latest and best album, The Church of Rock and Roll. At the breathless conclusion of Foxy’s set, the bar was officially set for the next two days.

With a fairly elaborate stage set complete with women on trapezes and giant video monitors displaying some sort of acid freak-out movie from the ’60s, Jane’s Addiction clearly trumped Foxy in terms of spectacle but fell short in terms of raw energy. Dave Navarro peeled off plenty of scorching riffery, his patented classic combination of ’80s Hard Rock and ’90s AltRock with his guitar set to stun, Stephen Perkins bashed his kit like a man possessed and new bassist Chris Chaney supplied a thunderous heartbeat, while Perry Farrell stalked the Globilli Stage like an earthbound raptor, howling his way through a set comprised of songs from their latest album, last year’s The Great Escape Artist, and heavy on the classics from their other three discs.

The show couldn’t be characterized as lackluster or phoned in, as it was a feast for the senses; plenty of engaging trappings and a propulsive soundtrack that tapped into memories of a visceral and compelling band on the edge of the alternative frontier two and a half decades ago. It was all incredibly entertaining, but it was a far cry from the scalp-tingling urgency of JA’s hungrier days, which is why this tour was designed with so much visual overload; few if any bands are able to recreate their earliest chemistry 25 years after the fact. My favorite JA memory will always be their opening set for Iggy Pop in 1988; seeing Jane’s at Bogart‘s that night was the aural equivalent of licking an electric outlet. I was certainly not disappointed with what transpired during JA’s Bunbury set, but neither was I spellbound by it. And Farrell’s humorously profane diatribe (“Let the pussies hear you!”) linking Pete Rose’s absence in the Baseball Hall of Fame to Jane’s Addiction’s lack of nominations two years after their eligibility was a bit awkward; he seemed to think steroids were somehow involved in Rose’s case, and as far as JA is concerned, well, four albums over a quarter century span, regardless of the influence of the first two, does not a Hall of Fame career comprise. I was glad to have experienced Jane‘s Addiction in the 21st century and I like the bombast they’ve created to present their old and new material but, as Blue Oyster Cult once noted, this ain’t the summer of love.

At some point during the JA set, I spied my most excellent zen editor Mike Breen, so I sidled over for some quick face time (being freelance I don‘t get into the office as much as I probably should), and he seemed to be digging the show greatly. I look forward to his thoughts on it because I greatly respect his musical opinions in a completely non-ass nuzzling way. (Editor's Note: You're hired! Fireworks rock! And "Free Pete Rose"!)

And Jim’s wife, my niece Robin, came late to the festival but somehow spotted me in the twilight and gave me a nudge in the back. Even though she is only five years my junior, I have been married to her aunt for almost three decades, and so I am and will forever be Uncle Brian, which is both touching and charming. A good number of the nieces and nephews I inherited when I started dating my wife have kids of their own now. Time and the generations march on.

I left Mike to his JA reverie when I spotted revered music connoisseur and branding legend Matthew Fenton (once an occasional CityBeat music contributor), who came down from his lair in Chicago to experience Bunbury’s inaugural year. I had e-mailed him to ask if he and his most excellent girlfriend Kelly would be in attendance, but never heard back. Turns out he’d quit his job after last year’s MidPoint and has taken up the study of improv comedy at Second City, a program from which he will graduate next month. I am both astonished and completely unsurprised because Matthew is a genius that makes geniuses insecure. Matthew assured me that Kelly would be around for Saturday’s festivities and introduced me to his older brother John, an equally princely guy by all indications.

Now we have a festival.

Saturday, July 14

I made my way back to the media entrance, this time being tended by old friend Jacob Heintz (Buckra) and the lovely and talented Sara Beiting (a former CityBeat all-star). The cloud cover was heavier, and it had already rained relatively hard north of the city but it didn’t seem to have impacted the downtown area too badly. I grabbed a beer and made my way through the throng … or did I make my way through the throng and grab a beer? The skies were not the only things that were partly cloudy.

At the Globilli stage, I was just in time for the start of Alberta Cross, a British duo now getting their mail in Brooklyn and fleshing out their live sound with a full fledged band. They sported an expansive vibe that had an appealing Verve quality, or Oasis without the contentious brothers problem screwing everything up.

Read More

 
 
by Amy Harris 07.16.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Festivals, Interview at 04:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Forecastle Recap: Backstage with Everest

Another music fest on the banks of the Ohio River, Forecastle, celebrated a killer weekend

I started out the second day of the Forecastle festival in Louisville by getting caught in the rain and being picked up like a hitchhiker by the Everest band van on the way to setup for their set on the main Mast Stage of the festival. The band agreed to let me hang for “A Day in the Life” photo series as they prepped to play the 10th Anniversary of Forecastle. They were laid back as the rain moved in and gear was unplugged and wrapped in saran wrap.

Click here to check out the "A Day in the Life" photo series featuring Everest.

Everest has been on the road promoting their third album Ownerless. On Ownerless, you can hear a refined sound in which the band speaks about powerful issues as they took their time to record and find their true voice, writing from the heart and soul. The band consists of members Russell Pollard (vocals/guitar/drums), Joel Graves (guitar/keys/vocals), Jason Soda (guitar/keys/vocals), Eli Thomson (bass/vocals) and new addition Kyle Crane (drums).
Everest are rising stars in the alternative music scene and have toured with My Morning Jacket and they will be heading back on the road with Neil Young this fall.

It turned out to not be such a typical “day in the life” as the show was held back because of lightning in the area but the band unloaded and prepared to play even as heavy rain descended on the festival. The festival opened an hour late due to rain delays but they did make time for all the planned acts to perform (albeit with shorter set lists).

Everest played loud and rocked the crowd as it gathered to hear this band singing my favorite track on the new album as the opening song “Rapture.” Founding member Pollard’s raspy vocals were captivating and I instantly became a fan of this band as they sang older tunes and new record songs like “Into the Grey.” The Watson Twins joined the band for a few songs on backing vocals to round out their set.

Overall it was a great day to play music in Louisville as fans gathered to celebrate 10 years of the fest, which self-defines itself as being all about "music, art and activism." The Preservation Hall Jazz Band took the main stage by storm and had fans dancing in the grass; special guests onstage including Jim James and Andrew Bird playing classic tunes with the legendary jazz musicians from New Orleans. James' band (and hometown heroes) My Morning Jacket played over two hours to close out the night while Girl Talk played on the second stage and had a festival rave in full action on the banks of the Ohio river.

Click here to check out even more photos from Forecastle.

 
 
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 Deirdre Kaye 07.15.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Live Music, Festivals at 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Falling in Love at Bunbury

A love/hate relationship with music festivals skewers to the love side at Bunbury

I hate festivals. I hate that they’re always at the peak of a heat wave or in the middle of a tornado warning. I hate that 90 percent of festival goers don’t understand the concept of deodorant. I hate the rushing around to multiple stages and the trying to decide who you like best when two awesome bands are both playing at 6 p.m  I hate that my friends hate festivals, too, and always refuse to go with me. And I really hate the lack of cold beverages.

And yet Saturday afternoon found me in the middle of the crowd at Bunbury falling hopelessly in love with some band called “Imagine Dragons.”

It began during the second song I heard after arriving late to the Bud Light Stage. The lead singer, Dan Reynolds, bounced from one end of the stage to the other. The crowd around me sang along to songs I’d only heard once before, throwing their hands above their heads, voices to the sky and adoration at the stage. They practically worshiped a guy I’d only seen once in a small picture on Wikipedia. My love deepened when Reynolds spoke with absolute sincerity about how much it meant to see so many people singing along to their songs. Imagine Dragons hadn’t even performed in Cincinnati until their stop at Bunbury. 

Then, as it often does, my heart melted at the sound of motorcycle boots and a palm on the chest as they thumped out a beat. Finally, my mug o’ love filled with melt-y heart goo, overflowed when the drummer, Daniel Platzman, flung himself off the stage after their set and bequeathed drumsticks to his adoring fans. These guys were perfect. Their music was made for screaming and dancing and the band members seemed so genuine.Nothing gets to me faster than a shaggy-haired dude saying a heartfelt “thank you” to his fans. 

Thirty minutes into my time at Bunbury and I was madly in love.

It happens all the time, my falling in love at festivals  In 1998, it was Hanson at a radio station festival in Miami. In 2001, it was a boy named Justin at the Buzz Bake Sale. Last year, it was The David Mayfield Parade at Appalachian Uprising and Avett Brothers at Memphis in May. This year I fell in love with Ben Howard at Bonnaroo and Imagine Dragons at Bunbury.

That feeling you get when you realize you’ve happened upon something amazing is pretty rare. Festivals, though, are like breeding grounds for that sensation. I’m certain that while music fans think festivals exist so they can see all their favorite bands at once, their organizers think festivals exist only for the purpose of making people gain new favorite bands.  

Study any festival schedule and you’ll see what I mean. At some point during the day there will be about an hour of time where there will be three bands playing and you won’t have heard of any of them. You’ll call that, “dinner time.”  However, as you wander along, looking for the perfect supper, you’ll also shuffle past three stages of random music. Almost inevitably the sound from of those stages will catch your attention and pull you across the grass to the barricade. Forty-five minutes later, you’re buying the band’s EP and mass texting your friends to tell them to check out this new band you just heard.

On Saturday I saw, among others, Manchester Orchestra, Gaslight Anthem and Weezer. (Weezer!) They were awesome, just as I’d expected. I flew from stage to stage, trying to catch as much of everything as possible. But the show that held my attention for the longest time was on the smaller stage and it lured me in while I was looking around for something to drink other than beer. The performance I’ll remember years from now won’t be Weezer, whom I’ve waited so long to see. It will be Imagine Dragons and it will be a memory of yet another time I fell in love.

In the words of James Hetfield (Metallica, y’all), “Nothing else matters.”  

However, I’m supposed to report on the entire festival. So, here’s how the rest of my evening went something like this: I had Taco Azul for dinner and they were yummy beyond belief. I left for a bit to make my first ever walk across the Purple People Bridge to score photos of the fest from afar and I don’t regret that decision.

I spent a very long time wandering from one end of the park to the other in search of cold soda/pop, found none and I spent a hot second hoping that my poor editor thought to bring his Diet Pepsi from home. So, I bought a warm beer and immediately regretted that decision. I refused to use the porta-potties. I wandered by a DJed stage and considered how much better that section would be if it were more like Bonnaroo’s Silent Disco where everyone listened to music through headphones instead. Also, I briefly questioned the logic of scheduling the festival on the same weekend as a Reds game and the World Choir Games.

It was an awesome day.  Fell in love, lost five pounds from sweating so much, and saw (here it comes, again) Weezer!  And you know what else? I still don’t smell like a hobo.

 
 
by Leyla Shokoohe 07.13.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video, Festivals at 11:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Archer's Paradox Makes Its Own Luck

Meet the newest local band in the Bunbury Music Fest lineup

Archer’s paradox, according to Wikipedia, is the phenomenon whereby "in order to strike the center of the target with an arrow, the arrow must be pointed slightly to the side of the target." 

Archer’s Paradox, the band, according to the two members I spoke with on a hot Thursday — much the same.

“It started about a year ago. I disbanded from a band I was in earlier (with Mia Carruthers, of MTV’s Taking the Stage fame) and Stefan Wright (drummer) and I started making songs in my room by myself,” says project founder, Seth Huff, “and then Cam (Nawaz, synth and backup vocals) started coming over out of nowhere, and we started hanging out and he was like, ‘Hey, those songs are pretty good’, and here we are, a year later, with four other people, having fun.”

Originally conceived as a two-piece consisting of Huff and Nawaz performing live with recorded backing tracks, the duo realized that direction would be “the most boring thing in the world,” says Nawaz, “so we quickly moved past that. And we realized that we have numerous friends who are really good at playing instruments.”

The band was fleshed out with Wright on drums, guitarist Alex Solin, and bassist Mark Wilson.

Working with a five-song EP recorded solely on Huff’s MacBook Pro, Archer’s Paradox has a distinctly DIY vibe. Very calculated in their approach to publicity and performing, Archer’s Paradox only performed its first show this year at Rohs Street Café during the sixth The Heights Music Festival in Clifton.

“We’re all about the DIY thing. That’s kind of like our religion. If we had to pick a religion, it would be DIY,” says Huff, who writes all of Archer’s Paradox material.

More shows followed, and in “a stroke of luck”, as Nawaz says, Archer’s Paradox earned a slot at the inaugural Bunbury Music Festival, held at Sawyer Point today through Sunday. Nawaz details how, while informing friends via text of their latest project and upcoming show, Wright happened to text Ian Bolender, a former bandmate from another band (Ellison), who happened to be an employee of Nederlander Entertainment, which happened to be the company booking Bunbury Music Festival. Bolender responded within 15 minutes with the offer of having Archer’s Paradox play Bunbury.

“We make our own luck,” clarifies Nawaz. “We use every outlet of who we know and every resource to our absolute maximum potential.”

Huff agrees, relaying how other shows have fallen into place just as harmoniously. I point out that maybe instead of finding "luck," Archer’s Paradox has serendipity on their side.

“THAT’S our religion,” Huff jumps in, eagerly. “I take back that thing I said before.” We note the fact that the letters “DIY” are also in ‘serendipity’, and thusly, the band’s definition is fully confirmed.

“Work smart, not hard,” Huff continues. “Observing the way other bands do it, you can learn a lot and make a game plan from that. If you have decent music, you have a really good shot if you learn to use the machine that is the Internet.”

“We knew we didn’t want to take the ‘let’s get signed right away, let’s get distributed’ path before playing anything,” Nawaz chimes in, referencing internet-phenom bands without much substance to back up their product.

“You have to gain the respect of fans and then they’ll actually want to pay for the music,” says Huff.

At this year’s Bunbury Music Festival, Archer’s Paradox will have their biggest chance yet to do just that.

Archer’s Paradox opens up the Landor Stage at Bunbury on Sunday at noon. Listen to them here and check out this clip for the group's song "Patience."


 
 
by Mike Breen 07.13.2012
Posted In: Festivals, Live Music, Local Music at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Bunbury or Bust: Music Fest Kicks Off Today

Three-day Bunbury Music Festival takes over Sawyer Point starting today

The three-day Bunbury Music Festival kicks off today at noon at Sawyer Point Park along the riverfront. Stay tuned to our music blog for updates and reports from the festival all weekend. Follow @CityBeatMusic on Twitter for updates as well.

If you're headed to the festival and have a smartphone, I highly recommend downloading the official Bunbury app (available for iProducts and Android, in their respective stores), which is simple and straightfoward, primarily enabling festgoers to customize their own schedule and plot out their experience in advance (as much as that's possible). (Be sure to visit the TechBury area if you need a recharge for your device.)

Looks like we might get a splash of rain, but temperatures will be nice and humidity fairly low; way better than, say, last weekend. All in all, this weekend's looking near perfect for outdoor music festival merriment.

From BunburyFestival.com, here are some more tips for the fest. Visit the site for tickets and further details. And be sure to pick up a copy of this week's CityBeat, with recommendations, a primer on the local acts performing and an interview with music-fest godfather Perry Farrell, whose Jane's Addiction headlines tonight's festivities. Bee free, yes, but also bee safe.

What to Bring (Allowed Items)

  1. Sun Gear (e.g., sunglasses, sunscreen, etc.)
  2. Seating (e.g., folding chair*, blanket, etc.)
  3. Bug Repellent (no Deet)
  4. Rain Gear (ponchos are best, but small hand-held umbrellas are OK)
  5. Earplugs
  6. Baby strollers
  7. Empty water bottled (no glass) or Cambelbak
  8. Binoculars
  9. Wall mounted rapid charger (charging stations provide iPhone and mini-USB chords, but if you have your own chord, you won't have to wait)
* Sand chair with seat no more than 9" off the ground.

What NOT to Bring (Prohibited Items)

  1. Weapons, fireworks or explosives of any kind
  2. Illegal substances (including narcotics) or drug paraphernalia
  3. Framed or large backpacks
  4. Glass containers of any kind or coolers
  5. Food, beverages or Cambelbaks that are full
  6. Carts, bicycles, skateboards, scooters, or personal motorized vehicles (including Segways)
    • There is bike/scooter parking outside the event site
  7. Tents, large umbrellas or chairs that are NOT sand chairs (seat more than 9" off the ground)
  8. Pets (except service dogs)
  9. Any audio recording, professional camera or video equipment
  10. Moshing, crowd surfing, and/or stage diving
  11. Vending without a Bunbury license or permit
  12. Bills over $20.00. We won't accept them at the beverage booths.
All subject to change. Festival organizers reserve the right to prohibit any item that isn't listed.

Stay Hydrated

Keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Cincinnati in July can be hot. It’s quite a distance from one end of the park to the other. Considering all the walking, dancing, etc., you’ll need to make this a priority. Take advantage of the water stations. (NOTE: As mentioned above, don't bring water, but you can bring an empty container to fill throughout the weekend.)

Kids

We love kids. LOVE THEM! (NOTE: Kids 10 and under admitted free with a paid adult.) There are; however, some tips for those families who plan on coming to Bunbury:

  1. Re-read the the first part of this page. Sunscreen, staying hydrated, etc. is even more important for kids.
  2. A stroller or small wagon is permitted. The park is large, kids will get tired and you don’t want to carry them.
  3. Head phones or ear plugs for ear protection.
  4. A first aid kit; Band-Aids and Neosporin always come in handy.
  5. Baby wipes are awesome. Even if you don’t have a kid they can be great to have!
  6. Feeding your baby formula? Please use plastic bottles with disposable liner bags.

 

 
 
by Brian Baker 07.12.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video, Festivals at 12:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Bunbury Sleeper: Now, Now

The inaugural Bunbury Music Festival — three days of top-shelf Alternative music at Cincinnati's riverfront Sawyer Point Park — is TOMORROW! All this week, CityBeat's music blog has featured samples from some of our "sleeper picks" for the fest, artists who some may not be as familiar with as they are Weezer or Death Cab for Cutie or Jane's Addiction.

Our next "sleeper" is Now, Now, performing Sunday at 3 p.m. on the Bud Light Stage.

Cacie Dalager and Bradley Hale, paired up as songwriters since 2003 when both were in high school marching band, officially started as a duo with the unwieldy handle Now, Now Every Children; their 2008 debut full length Cars was an indie sensation.

That success ultimately resulted in a moniker makeover to the sensibly edited Now, Now and the addition of second guitarist Jess Abbott, which broadened the band’s sound on its 2010 EP, Neighbors. Sporting an energetic Indie Pop vibe that could pass for Kathleen Edwards channeling Motion City Soundtrack, Now, Now teamed with veteran producer Howard Redekopp for its just-released sophomore full length Threads, an expansive album that throbs with an aggressive Ambience.

Here's "Thread" from Threads.


Tickets and full info on the Bunbury Music Festival can be found here.

 
 
by Mike Breen 07.12.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals, Music Video at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Bunbury and Self Diploma Team Up for DJ Stage

Bunbury Music Festival to feature top loal and international DJ talents on the Red Bull Stage

Though there is a lot of it, this weekend's three-day Bunbury Music Festival isn't just dudes with guitars playing Alternative Rock music. You'll also find Folk, AltCountry, Post Punk, Blues, Pop and, if you're a fan of DJs and Electronic music, besides acts like RJD2 and Lights, there's a whole stage set up for you.

Self Diploma, the crowd-brining-and-moving local promoters behind the successful Beats Summer Music Series (which has packed Fountain Square every Saturday this summer with a mix of DJs, Electronic and Hip Hop artists), has booked Bunbury's DJ stage and assembled a great mix of local artists with a few marquee headliners.

The DJ/Electronica bookings will perform on the Red Bull Stage, which is the westernmost stage at Sawyer Point, right before the bridge underpass that separates the park from Yeatman's Cove (and next to the "Craft Beer Village"). Here is the full lineup and a little sampling from each day's headliner.

Friday
Ice Cold Tony (Noon); CJ the DJ (1:30 p.m.); Alex Peace (3 p.m.); DJ AMF (4:30 p.m.); Mixin Marc (6 p.m.); The Alchemist (7:45 p.m.)

The Alchemist has been an important player on the Hip Hop scene for the past two decades, from his early years learning under mentor DJ Muggs and producing Dilated Peoples and Mobb Deep, through his run in the ’00s producing some of the biggest names in Hip Hop (Ghostface, Snoop Dogg, Nas) through his acclaimed solo albums and DJing gig with Eminem. Al's latest project is the long-awaited Russian Roulette album, which features guest MCs like Evidence, Action Bronson, Schoolboy Q and Danny Brown and has drawn positive reviews for its progressiveness (and trippiness).

The album is due July 17. Here's a track with Big Twinz from the album.



Saturday
Davey C (Noon); DJ Etrayn (1:30 p.m.); Big Once (3 p.m.); DJ Ivy (4:30 p.m.); DJ Spider (6 p.m.); DJ Irie (8 p.m.)

When you’re dubbed the top DJ in the club-rich scene of Miami, it’s safe to say you’re also one of the best in the country. Miami Herald gave DJ Irie that distinction for his work not only as host of the No. 1 mix-show on Miami’s 99 JAMZ, but also for his crowd-pleasing, fully-energized club sets across the globe. Irie is often lauded for his ability to read a crowd and incorporate a variety of styles for any occasion. Irie could be the dictionary definition of a superstar DJ, having performed everywhere from Robert Downey Jr.’s crib to Miami Heat home games, where he’s the team’s house DJ.

Here's Irie doing a halftime showcase at a Heat game.



Sunday
DJ Prism (12:45 p.m.); DJ K-Dogg (2:15 p.m.); DJ D-LO (3:45 p.m.); Mr. Best (5:15 p.m.); Mick Boogie (6:45 p.m.)

Mick Boogie is one of the more popular on-call party/club DJs in the U.S., scoring gigs literally all over the planet at some of the top clubs in the world. He's done a lot of popular remixes and commercial work for campaigns by Adidas and Bing, so chances are you've heard him even if you don't recognize his name instantly.

In honor of Adam Yauch's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and subsequent passing earlier this year, Boogie put together a great Beastie Boys mixtape titled Grand Royal (after the group's boutique not-just-music label). Below is a sample (or you can download the whole thing here).



Tickets and full info on the Bunbury Music Festival can be found here. 

UPDATE: It appears there has been some shifting around on the Red Bull Stage. DJ Irie is now spinning Sunday at 5:15 p.m.; DJ Spider has his slot Saturday at Bunbury and the afterparty. Be sure to click here for the latest scheduling updates. And click here for afterparty details featuring several of the DJs from the fest.

 
 
by Izzi Krombholz 07.12.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals, Music Video at 10:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Bunbury Sleeper: Tristen

The inaugural Bunbury Music Festival — three days of top-shelf Alternative music at Cincinnati's riverfront Sawyer Point Park — starts TOMORROW! All this week, CityBeat's music blog has been featuring samples from some of our "sleeper picks" for the fest, artists who some may not be as familiar with as they are Weezer or Death Cab for Cutie or Jane's Addiction.

Our next "sleeper" is singer/songwriter (and frequent Cncy visitor) Tristen, performing Friday at 2:15 p.m. on the Bud Light Stage.

MidPoint Music Festival veteran Tristen returns to Cincinnati to play the first ever Bunbury Music Festival. From Chicago, Tristen moved to Nashville soon after college to join the Indie Folk music scene. Her debut album, Charlatans at the Garden Gate, was released in 2011.

Tristen is backed by The Ringers, who add an edge to her Folk Pop music. Tristen is very thoughtful in her approach to Pop music. She has studied what makes a good “hook” and this is reflected in songs such as “Baby Drugs” and “Eager for Your Love.” With lyrics that delve into the complexities of love, it’s clear that Tristen is an introspective soul as well as a fantastic songwriter and performer.

Here's Tristen's music video for "Baby Drugs."


Tickets and full info on the Bunbury Music Festival can be found here.

 
 

 

 

 
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