WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
Home - Blogs - Staff Blogs - Latest Blogs
Music
 
by Mike Breen 03.19.2013
Posted In: Music Video, Local Music at 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
snapshot

New Hip Hop Videos from Cincy's Puck and Valley High

Local Hip Hop acts drop visually and musically compelling new clips

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

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



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


 
 
by Mike Breen 03.16.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 09:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
ec4eb683

WATCH: Usher Joins Afghan Whigs at SXSW

Superstar surprises fans by joining Cincinnati-spawned Rock greats onstage in Austin

Cincinnati-spawned rockers The Afghan Whigs surprised fans last week with the announcement that the band would perform at the "Fader Fort" party at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. Last night, they surprised the music world when superstar Usher joined the Whigs for half their set, performing hits like his own "Climax" and "OMG," as well as The Afghan Whigs' "Something Hot." "Afro-futurist" funkateer Sinkane also joined the party with a version of "Runnin.'"

Murmurs about the surprise appearance were minimal (though a photo of the Whigs' Greg Dulli with Usher and Sinkane surfaced on the band Facebook page earlier in the day), so the special performance turned out to be one of the biggest and most buzzed ones of the entire SXSW fest.

Here is the full video of The Afghan Whigs' performance at SXSW last night. Usher (who asked the crowd for good thoughts for his pal, Lil Wayne, who wasn't on his death bed, despite an outlandish TMZ report) comes in about 15 minutes into the set.


 
 
by Mike Breen 03.14.2013
Posted In: Live Stream, Live Music, Local Music, SXSW, Music Video at 09:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
theafghanwhigs-1337869643

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 03.05.2013
Posted In: Music Video, Music Commentary at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
snapshot

The Funniest Video You'll See Today

An inside look into The Postal Service's early auditions, courtesy of Funny or Die

Though so far the closest it'll get to Cincinnati is Columbus, Ohio's LC Pavilion (June 8), the reunion tour for Platinum-selling Electronic Pop duo The Postal Service continues to add dates. While you anxiously await news of any shows closer to your hometown, you can sneak a peak at some recently unearthed footage of Jimmy Tamborello auditioning members for his new band. Members of Foo Fighters, Helmet and blink-182 apparently were among those who failed their try-outs. (Spoiler alert: Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie gets the job.)


 
 
by Mike Breen 03.01.2013
Posted In: Local Music, Music Video, Music News at 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
203550_469595906428131_1569904843_n

SXSW Aid: Cincy Bands Headin' South

The Harlequins and The Seedy Seeds prep for send-off events prior to South By Southwest

Hard to believe, but the annual South By Southwest music showcase/festival/conference in Austin, Tex., kicks off in only 11 days. As always, the huge event is featuring some artists from the Greater Cincinnati area. Two SXSW-bound local acts are playing kick-off shows soon to help raise some funds for the trip (the price of gas today makes traveling all the more difficult for independent acts).

• Great Cincy rockers The Harlequins are heading to Austin for SXSW for the first time. The band is slated to perform at the festival on March 16 with the esteemed Gringo Star. Frontman Michael Oliva says the group will be playing shows on the way to and from the festival in Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The Garage/Psych Rock trio — which is planning a new EP release in April — is performing its "bon voyage" show on March 7 at Over-the-Rhine's MOTR Pub with guests Stephen Paul Smoker. The show is free, but the band will be offering a limited edition screen print of the night's show poster (right over there, to the left) for $5. The band is also sweetening the pot by releasing a new single for free at the MOTR gig.

You can also help The Harlequins out by donating to their gas/van rental fund online. In keeping with their DIY ethic (the group got into the festival without any label or other backing, a rarity these days), the band is eschewing Kickstarter in favor of direct donations through their secure Paypal account, accessible on the trio's official site. Here's the link to donate. Below is a little video spiel if you need further convincing.



Always dazzling Indie Pop locals The Seedy Seeds are returning to SXSW this year, journeying to Austin with pals The Ridges, a fantastic Athens, Ohio-based orchestral Indie Folk squad that has become a favorite in Greater Cincinnati thanks to regular show dates locally. The two bands will be performing shows together around the South and Midwest on their way to Austin.

The groups team up for a show at the Southgate House Revival on March 6. The Seedy Seeds are encouraging fans to purchase advanced tickets to the "Supercolossal Little Giant Ye Olde South by Southwest Sendoff Show"; for just $6, if you buy your tickets before "day of show," you will receive a hand-draw postcard from the Seedys while they are on the road. Click here to get your tickets now.

Here's a piece of groovy promo featuring both bands and the tour dates.

 
 
by Mike Breen 02.28.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
soundadvice_mountains_photo_jon_leone.widea

Music Tonight: Mountains, Buddy & Jim and more

• Cinematic Indie alchemists Mountains perform a free show tonight at Mayday in Northside. Led by longtime pals Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, Mountains formed in Chicago and are now based in New York. The band, which electronically "abstracts" and manipulates cello, acoustic guitar, piano and other instruments into unique, ethereal sounds, is touring in support of its new album Centralia, its third for the esteemed Thrill Jockey label.

CityBeat's Jason Gargano writes that, on the new release, "it’s as if David Lynch and his longtime composer Angelo Badalamenti wrestled the eternally ethereal Tree of Life away from Terence Malick and injected a serious dose of mood-altering menace into its penultimate scene." Check out his full preview of the show here.

Here's a video Centralia track "Living Lens."

Mountains - Living Lens from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

• Modern Roots music legends Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale (and a backing band) perform together tonight at the Southgate House Revival in Newport. Not "together" like a double-bill, but "together" as in they'll be doing tunes from their long in the works collaborative album, Buddy & Jim. Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $25. Singer/songwriter Max Gomez opens.

Talking from his Nashville home, Lauderdale told CityBeat's Brian Baker that the buddies began talking about making the record over 15 years ago.

“I ran into somebody recently that said they had seen footage of me after a gig in Germany and they were asking me what I was up to and I said that I was getting ready to do a record with Buddy Miller,” Lauderdale says. “It turned out that was in ’95.”

Read the full interview here
and check out this trailer for the album.



For even more live music options in Greater Cincinnati tonight, click here.
 
 
by Mike Breen 02.11.2013
 
 
art23417widea

Ohio Against the World at The Grammys

Akron's Dan Auerbach cleans up at ceremony, including winning for an album featuring one of Cincy's best

Despite Frank Ocean's deft leg-syncing and Taylor Swift's torture-porn-disguised-as-wholesome-circus, Akron, Ohio's Dan Auerbach and The Black Keys were The Grammys' big story last night, winning five trophies, the most of any artist.

While the Keys won the Grammys for Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance, Auerbach scored two solo Grammys for his production work, winning the trophy for Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) and also winning one for producing Dr. John's Locked Down, the Blues Album winner.

While Grammys for album winners are usually given to the producers, engineers, mastering engineers and artists, hopefully Cincinnati's Brian Olive will also score one for his work on the LP. Auerbach — who has produced albums by both Olive and Cincinnati's Buffalo Killers — enlisted Olive (an original member of Cincinnati's Greenhornes) to work on the Dr. John album. Olive has songwriting credits on every track on Locked Down, and he's also credited with playing guitar, percussion and woodwinds, as well as providing background vocals. (Check out CityBeat's profile of Olive from 2011, about his Auerbach-produced Two of Everything album, here.)

Kudos to Mr. Olive! That's him — the handsome feller with big side-burns playing sax (and a little guitar) in this video for the album's "Revolution."


Check out all the winners from last night's Grammys here, and click here or here for some extra musings about the show.

 
 
by Mike Breen 02.08.2013
Posted In: Music Video, Music News at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
muppets

Battle of the Bohemian Rhapsodies

Two AltRock greats tackle Queen's operatic anthem … but can they top The Muppets?

"Bohemian Rhapsody," one of the trademark songs by legendary rockers Queen, was fittingly released on Halloween in 1975 and its strange, epic Rock operatics were an instant success across the globe (it only reached No. 9 on the U.S. singles charts initially, but a re-released version on the heels of its appearance in Wayne's World made it to No. 2 in 1992). Though a bit silly, history has treated the tune well — it's regularly included in innumerable "Best Rock Songs Ever" lists and polls and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.

Here's the beginning of BBC's The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody for some background (the rest of the parts of the program are in the right column if you click the "Watch it on YouTube" link).



The song has been covered numerous times over the years (though mostly not until the ’80s/’90s, likely due to its "untouchable" status in the minds of some; how many "Stairway to Heaven" covers are there?). Sometimes the versions are cheeky parodies (of COURSE Weird Al recorded "Bohemian Polka"), while other times it is presented fairly straight up (like P!nk's live version).

This young month has already seen the issuance of two new(-ish) covers of the song. The Flaming Lips tackled the track in 2005, recording it for the Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen compilation. But yesterday, a new video of the song was posted to the group's YouTube site. It's fairly faithful, with just a little of the Lips' freaky glaze sprinkled on top. The new video is a bit more glazed — and decidedly NSFW (due to female nudity).



Puscifer, one the side-project bands from Tool frontman Maynard James Kennan, has recorded the song as well, set for release on a new EP, Donkey Punch the Night, due Feb. 19. It's a strong version, but even more faithful to the original.



Who does it better?

Personally, I don't think it gets better than this — The Muppets version of "Bohemian Rhapsody," released in 2009 (and currently boasting over 30 million views on YouTube). Animal steals the show.



 
 
by Mike Breen 02.05.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
donny-white-shirt-couch-nick-chao

Music Tonight: Donny McCaslin and Shovels & Rope

California native and acclaimed Jazz composer/saxophonist Donny McCaslin got a fairly big jump on his music career, performing with an ensemble of experienced musicians by the time he was 12. If there was any nepotism involved (the group was McCaslin’s father’s, a vibraphonist), the criticisms probably faded quickly as McCaslin started his own group in high school and managed to get them booked multiple years at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

The saxophonist studied intently and performed in youth orchestras that traveled the globe, all before earning a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He moved to New York City in the early ’90s and found work quickly, replacing Michael Brecker (a huge influence on the young musician) in the group Steps Ahead and going on to play with the Gil Evans Orchestra and many others.

By the mid-’90s, McCaslin — who had deeply explored the various aspects and possibilities of traditional Jazz — began to collaborate on more experimental Jazz projects, including the group Lan Xang and Ken Schaphorst’s big band (alongside John Medeski and other unique top players). McCaslin’s creative curiosity set the tone for his diverse solo albums, which have been widely acclaimed for the composer’s successful risk-taking.

When McCaslin plays the Blue Wisp Jazz Club tonight (with shows at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.), he’ll be supporting on of his most compelling releases yet, 2012’s Casting for Gravity. The album was inspired by McCaslin’s interest in Electronic music, an uncommon ingredient in most forms of Fusion. The album roams from textural, ambient explorations (particularly on a cover of Scottish electronica duo Boards of Canada’s “Alpha and Omega”) to quirky, funky meditations like the glitchy “Tension.” 

It’s a recipe that shouldn’t work, but Casting for Gravity is a fascinating listen that makes one wonder if visionaries like John Coltrane or Ornette Coleman might not have pursued this direction if they were born 60 years later. It’s primarily a progressive Jazz album, with tasteful electronic flourishes. Instead of aping Electronic music nakedly, McCaslin seamlessly incorporates the arrangement spirit of Electro masters like Aphex Twin or more contemporary EDM artists into his own compositions. 

Tickets for tonight's shows are $20 (students can get into the 9:30 p.m. show for $15). Here is a clip of the band performing the latest album's track, "Stadium Jazz."

• The husband and wife duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, better known as Shovels & Rope, were slated for an appearance at MidPoint Music Festival here in Cincinnati last fall, but an offer to open for Jack White convinced them to bow out of the fest.

Given the hardscrabble road the pair has traveled over the past five years, it’s hard to argue with their choice. Denver native Trent and Nashville-raised Hearst had been in several bands before crossing paths in Charleston, S.C. (they’d met on tour over a decade ago), eventually playing in each other’s bar bands and becoming friends.

In 2008, the pair formalized their friendship by writing and recording the album Shovels & Rope and releasing it under their own names.

The duo ultimately decided to name its group after the title of that debut album and released O’ Be Joyful last summer to ecstatic press notice, with frequent references to Johnny Cash and June Carter and John Doe and Exene Cervenka (although they’re just as quick to namecheck The Cramps and the visceral pairing of Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello). (Preview by Brian Baker)

Shovels & Rope's success continues to rise, as evidenced just last week by their network TV debut on David Letterman's show (see below). But even on a local level, their ascent was obvious — tonight's appearance at the Southgate House Revival was moved from one of the smaller rooms in the venue to the larger "Sanctuary" room after it was clear that they could fill it. Showtime is 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $12 at the door (while they last).



 
 
by Mike Breen 01.24.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video, CEAs at 12:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
 
 
photo electric real

New Cincinnati Band Madness

This week, local music fans can check out four brand-new musical projects live

Last Friday at Bogart's, CityBeat and the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards presented a showcase featuring some of the best new local bands of 2012. (Check out some pics from the event here.) This coming week, four brand-new acts (featuring musicians from other established groups) will be playing their first shows ever. Here's a round-up of the new bands (possible nominees for next year's CEAs?) debuting.  

• Joey Cook of Indie Pop greats Pomegranates has a new solo project called Danny and His Fantasy. Cook — who also headed up the side project Firs and has done a few solo shows with friends and bandmates — leaked the great track below via YouTube a couple of weeks ago. The piano-laden track "Too Out of Touch" is a great slice of dancey and wonderfully melodic Pop, highlighted by Cook's soulful falsetto, that wouldn't be out of place on an of Montreal record.



Danny and His Fantasy's debut show is this Friday at Mayday in Northside. Cook will be joined at the free show by Phil Cogley, the Indie Pop maestro from Columbus who performs under the name The Saturday Giant. Cogley's been making waves from our state's capitol, recently earning a slot on Columbus Alive's annual list of "Bands to Watch" for 2013. Locals Speaking Suns also perform.

• Also Friday, Pop Goes the Evil plays its first live show. The new crew debuts at MOTR Pub, playing a free show with Indiana rockers Left Lane Cruiser. Pop Goes the Evil is fronted by singer/guitarist Lucas Frazier, formerly of the popular, kick-ass local Rock outfit The Dukes Are Dead. The new group — rounded out by drummer Jordin Goff (also of The Yugos) and bassist Evan Roberts (organist for heavy local band Grey Host) — has issued a couple of great music videos, showcasing a swaggering, energized Pop/Rock sound that's not chasing any trends, opting instead for a more timeless appeal.

Here's the second single from Pop Goes the Evil, "Golden Apple."

Pop Goes the Evil "Golden Apple" Official Music Video from POP GOES THE EVIL on Vimeo.

•  Ian Gullett from the great Electro/Indie act Diet Audio is back with a new Electronic project called Photo Electric. Teaming with talented vocalist Cassie Mullen, the duo issued a three-song teaser EP called Boom on Bandcamp for free download. Mullen's crafty, sweeping melodies and seductive vocals combine with Gullett's backdrop of evocative Electronic soundscapes, with intriguing beats, ethereal-to-noisy guitar and an overall ghostly ambiance. Click here to download the EP and check out the duo's first video, for their tune "Tom," below.



Photo Electric's debut live performance is Saturday at Newport's Southgate House Revival. The band performs with local Electronic band Playfully Yours and Lexington act SHOZO. Showtime is 9 p.m. and cover is $5 ($8 for those 18-20). The band is asking fans to shoot video at the debut show and send it their way for a planned music video (click here for details). Photo Electric is currently finishing up their debut album.

• Tuesday, Jan. 29, at The Comet in Northside, as part of Electronic duo You, You're Awesome's residency at the club, you can check out one of the first shows by Halvsies. The band spawned from a collaboration between YYA's Yusef Quotah and vocalist (and CityBeat contributor) Maria Seda-Reeder, whose voice floats on the same wavelength as Marianne Faithful, Marcy Mays and Hope Sandoval. Halvsies' first EP, Words + Music, showcases the group's eclectic sound, a somewhat trippy brand of Indie Rock with Garage/Nuggets flourishes. Quotah and Seda-Reeder are joined by Stephen Streit (formerly of The Host) on bass and Ohio Knife's Joe Suer on drums.

Here's "Stronger Than Teflon" from the debut EP:


Halvsies plans to release two more EPs over the next few months.

 
 

 

 

 
Close
Close
Close