WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Mike Breen 09.22.2014 33 days ago
 
 
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MidPoint Music Festival Critic's Picks: Thursday

It's MidPoint Music Festival week! If you need some guidance as you create your MPMF itinerary (which you can build and keep track of through the live.mpmf.com app),  we'll be showcasing some of the Critic's Picks from our official MidPoint guide (which will be available throughout the fest). While most of attendees are likely very familiar with some of the bigger headlining acts of the fest, these suggestions focus on some of the great acts beyond the top-of-the-poster ones. Remember — MPMF is about discovery. (And if you find yourself with a blank spot on your schedule, any of Cincinnati's homegrown talent playing MPMF are a sure bet.) Here are some recommendations for this Thursday. Click here to check out the entire official guide, which has write-ups on all 150 or so MPMF acts. Tickets are still available here. 8 p.m. @ Arnold's Old Hundred (Columbus, Ohio)  Indie Folk Rock In 2012, Columbus’ Old Hundred was listed as one of “10 Ohio Bands You Should Listen to Now” by Paste Magazine. If you didn’t heed that advice at the time, you should do yourself a favor and do so immediately. Along with scoring slots at regional fests and playing with the likes of Mumford & Sons, Phosphorescent and Cake, the group has put out a pair of full-lengths and two EP releases, including this year’s remarkable I Don’t Want to Die. The EP shows the unpredictable diversity of Old Hundred, opening with the sweeping Folk instrumental “Catamount I” before moving into gritty, melodic Indie Rock of “I’ll Be There (When You Die),” the beautiful harmony-laden “I Don’t Want to Die” and “Catamount II,” which begins with haunting Art Folk minimalism and builds into a noisy cacophony that could’ve been composed by Explosions in the Sky. You'll Dig It If You Dig: Fleet Foxes, Wilco, Grizzly Bear, Band of Horses. (Mike Breen) I Don't Want to Die by Old Hundred 10:30 p.m. @ The Drinkery Alpha Consumer (Minneapolis)  Indie Rock Considering Minneapolis’ storied history, Alpha Consumer has created a cultishly devoted fan base among one of the most sophisticated and discerning music audiences on the planet. The trio has also made fans within its peer group, collaborating with Andrew Bird, Bon Iver and Brother Ali, while maintaining a unique musical perspective of herky jerky New Wave as filtered through a melodic Pop prism that fractures its light into individual rays of New York Punk, Psych Folk and contemporary Indie Rock. Alpha Consumer’s last full-length, 2011’s Kick Drugs Out of America, was a blast of Indie oddballery, but the group’s recently released Meat shows a great deal more subtlety and musical growth toward the melodic heart and soul that was evident on its predecessor.  YDIIYD: Ray Davies, Paul Westerberg and Ween in the front row of a Devo concert. (Brian Baker) 10:30 p.m. @ Know Theater (Main Stage) Fathers (Chicago) Indie Rock  Fathers is a band with branches in Chicago but deep roots in the Cincinnati scene. Its members played previously in such Cincy stalwarts as Enlou, All The Day Holiday and Cathedrals. It should be noted that Fathers sound virtually nothing like any of those bands, but instead carves out its own niche somewhere between ’70s Easy Listening and more modern, propulsive Indie Rock. Nearly every song demonstrates a mastery of the delicate art of dynamic and mood. Of course, that being said, the band says its live show is akin to “an out-of-control bus with a bomb strapped to the bottom that will blow if the driver slows down.” So come prepared for anything. YDIIYD: Fleetwood Mac with vocals recorded in the My Morning Jacket reverb silo. (Ben Walpole) 10 p.m. @ Know Theater (Second Stage) Violent Mae (Hartford, Conn.) Indie Jazz Rock As their bio reads, vocalist/guitarist Becky Kessler and drummer Floyd Kellogg were supposed to work on her solo album together, not form a band. Kessler moved from Outer Banks, N.C., to work on an organic farm in Connecticut, where she met Kellogg. The result of their work together is last year’s self-titled debut, influenced by noisy bands Sonic Youth and Pixies, but also possessing notes of Jazz icon Charles Mingus and a sprinkling of Jeff Buckley’s Folk Gospel. On the upbeat melancholy of “Hole in My Heart,” Kessler sings about heartache in her raspy voice that’s in the ilk of Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom. This winter they went method and recorded the song “Man in the Country” in an abandoned mining cave. YDDIYD: The Heartless Bastards, Jeff Buckley without the high notes, New England in the fall, cave dwellers. (Garin Pirnia) 10:45 p.m. @ Mainstay Rock Bar The Infatuations (Detroit)  R&B/Soul/Rock/Funk The high-energy Soul style of The Infatuations has made them a favorite in their hometown scene, which is saying a lot when you realize their hometown scene gave birth to Motown and scores of bands known for amazing live shows (MC5, The White Stripes, etc.). The group recently scored five Detroit Music Awards (out of 14 nominations) including Outstanding Live Performance. The Infatuations bring the party for its live shows and their recorded work captures that sweaty, dance-demanding vibe perfectly. This year, the group released its first full-length, Detroit Block Party, 11 tracks of high-octane R&B that’s almost as fun to listen to as it is to experience in concert. Almost. YDIIYD: Motown, Stax, Marvin, Curtis, Otis. (MB) Midnight @ MOTR Pub Nikki Lane (Nashville, Tenn.)  Alt Country/Rockabilly With her unabashed bluster, Lane’s songs about jilted lovers and walks of shame generate either foot stomping or pensive swaying. (Note: She’s nothing like another Nashville “Country” artist who likes to write songs about exes, Taylor Swift.) Lane grew up in Greenville, S.C., then spent some time in NYC before settling in Music City, where she opened up a vintage store called High Class Hillbilly. That led to meeting and collaborating with Black Key Dan Auerbach, who produced her sophomore record, All or Nothin’. On songs “Man Up” and “You Can’t Treat Me Like That,” she lets those men know she’s the boss, all while never losing that alluring rhythm. YDIIYD: Strong vintage female Country artists like Wanda Jackson and Loretta Lynn and newer country artists like Lydia Loveless. (GP) 10:30 p.m. @ Mr. Pitiful's Steelism (Nashville, Tenn.)  Instrumental Rock/Surf/Roots Led by guitarist Jeremy Fetzer and pedal steel player Spencer Cullum, Steelism is a wide-ranging instrumental band that takes from Surf rock greats, classical soundtrack composers and vintage Soul music and creates its own distinct and completely engrossing sound. You can use Santo & Johnny — the pedal steel/guitar twosome that had a hit with the mesmerizing “Sleepwalk” — as a starting point, simply because it is a provocative instrumental hit using the same instrument motif, but Steelism takes the concept to levels that duo only dreamed of. They can pull off gorgeous Country balladry, Krautrock weirdness, rollicking Rock & Roll boogie, R&B smoothness with equal grace, managing to have its own strong musical identity craft cohesiveness in the face of such disparate inspiration. And no, you get swept up enough that you won’t once wonder, “Would this sound better with singing?” In this case, singing would be distracting. YDIIYD: The Ventures, Esquivel, Ennio Morricone. (MB) 10:45 p.m. @ Ballroom at the Taft Theater Barrence Whitfield and the Savages (Boston) Garage Rock/Soul Barrence Whitfield is the kind of performer that the word “frontman” was devised to define who they are and yet doesn’t go nearly far enough in describing what they do. Whitfield is a human tornado of Soul and Rock, a witheringly energetic gene splice of Wilson Pickett, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Arthur Alexander, with moves and grooves that would sprain Richard Simmons’ optic nerve. And around him are the Savages, a musical Special Forces unit that storms stages with blitzkrieg passion and unhinged abandon. And we’ll let Boston claim them, because the band started there three decades ago, but we all know that half the Savages hail from the Queen City (ex-Customs/DMZ/Lyres guitarist Peter Greenberg, ex-Customs/Auburnaires keyboardist Jim Cole, ex-Pearlene drummer Andy Jody) and their last two comeback albums — 2011’s Savage Kings and 2013’s Dig Thy Savage Soul — were recorded with John Curley at Ultrasuede (and Savage Kings was released on Shake It, so there). But the band will be happy to tell you that it doesn’t matter where they’re from, it matters where they’re headed. And the best you can do to get ready is strap your ass on tight; Barrence Whitfield and the Savages might just rock it off. YDIIYD: Little Richard mentors The Dictators, Wilson Pickett gives them a metric ton of Soul. (BB)  Barrence Whitfield & The Savages The Corner Man Later with Jools Holland from TKA on Vimeo.
 
 

The Afghan Whigs to Headline MidPoint

Plus, Hip Hop artist Sleep releases stellar new album 'Branded'

0 Comments · Tuesday, May 6, 2014
One of Cincinnati's finest musical exports, The Afghan Whigs, will return to where it all started and perform at the 2014 MidPoint Music Festival this fall. Plus, Cincy MC Sleep releases the brilliant, gritty and emotional new album Branded: The Damon Winton Story.   

A Scribble Resurrection?

Scribble Jam turns to crowdfunding in an effort to bring back the iconic Cincinnati Hip Hop fest

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Since canceling the long-running Scribble Jam Hip Hop fest almost five years ago, co-founder Nick Accurso and his fellow organizers have been inundated with requests to bring it back. But Accurso’s not going backward. “I’d rather let it die for what it was than create a new history that’s just so-so,” he says.     
by Mike Breen 08.02.2013
 
 
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PREVIEW: Cincy Blues Fest 2013

The Cincy Blues Fest returns for its 21st annual event this weekend

This weekend, the Cincy Blues Fest — presented annually by the Cincy Blues Society — returns for its 21st year, a remarkable accomplishment for a music festival of any sort. The festival kicks off tonight and continues tomorrow at Sawyer Point along the riverfront. The weekend features two main stage acts with serious ties to Cincinnati’s Blues past. Educator, author, DJ, singer and harmonica player Steven Tracy returns to Cincy to play the main stage on tonight at 7 p.m. with his band the Crawling Kingsnakes. A Walnut Hills High School graduate, Tracy worked with local Blues icons like Pigmeat Jarrett and Big Joe Duskin, becoming a part of the scene he’d later dig deeper into in the 1993 book, Going to Cincinnati: A History of the Blues in the Queen City. His writing career is extensive — Tracy has written dozens of album liner notes and edited/wrote/intro-ed several other books on a variety of subjects. Today, Tracy is a professor of Afro-American Studies at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Saturday at 6 p.m. on the fest’s main stage, Stacy Mitchhart and his band are slated to perform. Mitchhart grew up in Cincinnati and spent time playing music on the East and West Coasts before returning to his hometown in the early 1990s and forming Stacy Mitchhart and Blues-U-Can-Use, a staple on the local Blues scene for a few years. After a move to Nashville, Tenn., in the mid-’90s, Mitchhart’s musical career really took off. His albums have been widely acclaimed and done well commercially — his 2011 release, Live from B.B. King’s, debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard Blues charts — and he’s received high-praise for his showmanship and remarkable Blues voice. In 2008, Mitchhart was the subject of the well-received documentary NashVegas Blues.  Here is tonight's main stage schedule: 5:45-6:45 p.m. Dave Muskett 7:00-8:15 p.m. Steve Tracy & the Crawling Kingsnakes 8:30-10 p.m. Reba Russell Band 10:15-11:45 p.m. Watermelon Slim & the Workers And here's the lineup for the Main Stage tomorrow: 4:15-4:45 p.m. Blues in the Schools (BITS) Band5-5:45 p.m. The Juice 6-7 p.m. Stacy Mitchhart Band 7:15-8:30 p.m.  Nikki Hill 8:45-10:00 p.m. Honey Island Swamp Band 10:15-11:45 p.m. Ana Popovic (all the way from Serbia!) Some of the coolest things at the Cincy Blues Fest can be found on the “specialty” stages — a “specialty” of the fest — which this year includes a “Women of the Blues” stage on Friday, headlined by national act EG Knight and also featuring locals Rio & The Ramblers, The Juice and Tempted Souls Band.  Here is the "Women of the Blues" stage ((aka the Arches stage) schedule for tonight : 5:45-7 p.m. Rio & the Ramblers 7:15-8:30 p.m. The Juice 8:45-10:00 p.m. Tempted Souls Band 10:15-11:45 p.m. EG Kight Saturday sees the return of the “Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame Piano Stage,” featuring an international cast of top-shelf Boogie Woogie pianists, including local favorite Ricky Nye and former locals (now Florida-based) Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues. The house band for the Boogie Woogie stage is Johnny Vidacovich (drums), George Bedard (guitar) and Chris Douglas (bass). Saturday's Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Fame stage (aka Arches stage) lineup: 4:30 p.m. Ben Levin 5 p.m. Ari Borger 5:40 p.m. Ricky Nye 6:20 p.m. Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues 7:10 p.m. Bruce Katz 7:50 p.m. Al Hill 8:30 p.m. Axel Zwingenberger & Lila Ammons 9:10 p.m. Joshua Paxton 10 p.m. David Vest 10:40 p.m. Bob Seeley 11:20 p.m. Chris Conz The Blues Fest again presents the St. Vincent De Paul Local Stage on both days of the event, always an excellent snapshot of the current local Blues scene.  Friday's St. Vincent De Paul Local Stage schedule:  5:45-6:45 p.m. Thomas Long & Blue Sacrifice 7-8 p.m. Noah Wotherspoon Band 8:15-9:15 p.m. Ralph & the Rhythm Hounds 9:30-10:30 p.m. Brad Hatfield Band 10:45 p.m.-12 a.m. G Miles & the HitmenSaturday's St. Vincent De Paul Local Stage lineup: 4:30-5:30 p.m. The Blue Birds Big Band 5:45-6:45 p.m. Jay Jesse Johnson Band 7-8 p.m. The SoulFixers 8:15-9:15 p.m. Doug Hart Band 9:30-10:30 p.m. Chuck Brisbin & the Tuna Project 10:45 p.m.-12 a.m. Leroy Ellington Blues Band Here is a map of the Blues Fest grounds: Tickets are $15 for Friday, $20 for Saturday or $25 for a two-day pass (tickets can be purchased at the gates or here). Visit cincybluesfest.org for everything else you need to know about the festival. 
 
 
by Mike Breen 07.12.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Festivals at 09:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Three Days of Bunbury Music Starts NOW

Everything you need to know about the second annual Bunbury fest at Sawyer Point

One of the Midwest’s best new music fests, Cincinnati’s own Bunbury Music Festival, presents its second annual event this weekend. With another stellar lineup for the three-day affair — including headliners like Fun., MGMT and Cincinnati-bred Indie Rock stars The National (whose latest album debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s album chart), plus a great number of Greater Cincinnati’s top acts — a “sophomore slump” seems impossible.  Be sure to arrive early and check out some of the lesser-known acts; there are a lot of up-and-coming gems to discover. Below is the full schedule (click here to auto-download a PDF version of the schedule from the fest.) Shows run Friday-Sunday and start at 2 p.m. Gates open at 1 p.m. each day. Tickets are $65 or $130 for three-day passes. (Kids 10 and under are free with a paying adult.) Keep your wristband on; Bunbury allows re-entry, if you need to run to the car and pound a 40, er, grab a sandwich. From BunburyFestival.com, here is what is and isn't permitted to bring to Bunbury:What to Bring (Allowed Items) Sun Gear (e.g., sunglasses, sunscreen, etc.)Seating (e.g., folding chair, blanket, etc.)Bug Repellent (no Deet)Rain Gear (ponchos are best, but small, hand-held umbrellas are OK)EarplugsBaby strollersEmpty water bottled (no glass) or CambelbakBinocularsWall mounted rapid charger (charging stations provide iPhone and mini-USB chords, but if you have your own chord, you won't have to wait) What NOT to Bring (Prohibited Items) Weapons, fireworks or explosives of any kindIllegal substances (including narcotics) or drug paraphernaliaFramed or large backpacksGlass containers of any kind or coolersFood, beverages or Cambelbaks that are fullCarts, bicycles, skateboards, scooters, or personal motorized vehicles (including Segways). There is bike/scooter parking outside the event siteTents, large umbrellas or chairs that are NOT sand chairs (seat more than 9" off the ground)Pets (except service dogs)Any audio recording, professional camera or video equipmentMoshing, crowd surfing, and/or stage divingVending without a Bunbury license or permitBills over $20. We won't accept them at the beverage booths. Bunbury again has an official app for your smart phone to bring with you to the fest. Click here for the iPhone version  and here for the Android one .There's more fun AFTER Bunbury at the Bunbury official after-parties, with loads of drink specials and no cover charge. Tonight, DJ Ice Cold Tony will spin at the official after-party at downtown's Igby's. Tomorrow, Bunbury performers Chairlift will DJ the after-party at aliveOne in Mt. Adams. And Sunday's after-party at downtown's The Righteous Room will have DJing by great Cincy Electro duo You, You're Awesome. (Friday and Saturday's parties start at approximately 11 p.m.; Sunday's starts at around 10 p.m.) FRIDAY, JULY 12 MAIN STAGE: The Features (2:45 p.m.); Delta Rae (4:15 p.m.); Tegan and Sara (5:45 p.m.); Walk the Moon (7:45 p.m.); fun. (10 p.m.) ROCKSTAR STAGE: Beat Club (2 p.m.); The Dunwells (3:30 p.m.); Red Wanting Blue (5 p.m.); Youngblood Hawke (6:45 p.m.); Devotchka (9 p.m.) CINCINNATUS STAGE: Billy Wallace (2:45 p.m.); Pete Dressman (4:15 p.m.); Josh Eagle (5:45 p.m.); Jay Nash (7:45 p.m.) BUD LIGHT STAGE: Public (2 p.m.); American Authors (3:30 p.m.); Everest (5 p.m.); Sky Ferreira (6:30 p.m.); Tokyo Police Club (8:30 p.m.) LAWN STAGE:  Alone At 3am (2:45 p.m.); Old Baby (4:15 p.m.); We Are Snapdragon (5:45 p.m.); Seabird (7:15 p.m.) AMPHITHEATER STAGE: The Mitchells (2 p.m.); Ohio Knife (3:30 p.m.); State Song (5 p.m.); Buffalo Killers (6:30 p.m.); Those Darlins (8 p.m.) SATURDAY, JULY 13 MAIN STAGE: Empires (2:45 p.m.); Robert Delong (4:15 p.m.); Twenty One Pilots (5:45 p.m.); Cake (7:45 p.m.); MGMT (10 p.m.) ROCKSTAR STAGE: X Ambassadors (2:00 p.m.); Civil Twilight (3:30 p.m.); Chairlift (5 p.m.); We Are Scientists (6:45 p.m.);  Divine Fits (9 p.m.) CINCINNATUS STAGE: Margaret Darling (2:45 p.m.); Taylor Alexander (4:15 p.m.); Tim Carr (5:45 p.m.);  Christopher Paul Stelling (7:45 p.m.) BUD LIGHT STAGE: Culture Queer (2 p.m.); Vacationer (3:30 p.m.); The Mowgli's (5 p.m.); Oberhofer (6:30 p.m.); Atlas Genius (8:30 p.m.) LAWN STAGE: The Ready Stance (2:45 p.m.); The Bears Of Blue River (4:15 p.m.); Black Owls (5:45 p.m.); You, You're Awesome (7:15 p.m.) AMPHITHEATER STAGE: New Vega (2 p.m.); Messerly And Ewing (3:30 p.m.); Ben Walz Band (5 p.m.); The Pinstripes (6:30 p.m.); Bear Hands (8 p.m.) SUNDAY, JULY 14 MAIN STAGE: Joe Purdy (2 p.m.); Gregory Alan Isakov (3:30 p.m.); Camera Obscura (5 p.m.); Belle & Sebastian (7 p.m.); The National (9 p.m.) (Read CityBeat's interview with The National here.) ROCKSTAR STAGE: The Knocks (2:45 p.m.); A Silent Film (4:15 p.m.); Night Terrors of 1927 (6 p.m.);  Yo La Tengo (8 p.m.) CINCINNATUS STAGE: Ben Knight (2 p.m.); Jake Kolesar (3:30 p.m.); Mark Utley (5 p.m.); Channing & Quinn (7 p.m.) BUD LIGHT STAGE: Gringo Star (2:45 p.m.); High Highs (4:15 p.m.); Savoir Adore (5:45 p.m.); Black Joe Lewis (7:45 p.m.) LAWN STAGE: Mia Carruthers (2 p.m.); Bethesda (3:30 p.m.); The Harlequins (5 p.m.); DAAP Girls (6:30 p.m.) AMPHITHEATER STAGE: The Upset Victory (2:45 p.m.); Green Light Morning (4:15 p.m.); The Hiders (5:45 p.m.); Daniel Martin Moore (7:15 p.m.) Here is Bunbury's official Spotify playlist for the fest featuring many of the performers: And, finally, here is the map of the Bunbury Festival grounds from bunburyfestival.com: For the latest updates and more info, visit bunburyfestival.com. 
 
 
by Jac Kern 06.21.2013
Posted In: Events, Fun at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 6/21-6/23

It’s the 12th annual Paddlefest weekend, when more than 2,000 locals and visitors will descend onto the Ohio River on kayaks and canoes to paddle along the scenic route. It’s an all-around nature weekend with the Ohio River Music & Outdoor Festival Friday; the second annual Pedalfest (a part bike-part paddle ride) Saturday; and Global Water Dances Saturday — check out feature on this culture choreography event here. Constella Festival, a local chamber music and fine arts collaboration organization, celebrates the official start of summer with a night of Jazz, art and food Saturday. Constella Summer Solstice features music from the Benjamin Thomas and Peter Gemus Jazz Duo and violinist Tatiana Berman, an exhibit from Essex Studios’ The Art Circle and bites from Silverglades, S&J Bakery and Madisono’s Gelato. The party runs 6-9 p.m. Saturday at Venue 222 in Over-the-Rhine. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here. Has Pinterest got you starting crafty projects that never seem to make it to completion? Bring your D.I.Y. supplies, incomplete projects and inspiration along as Fabricate and Crafty Supermarket join forces to present an Etsy Craft Party Saturday. Meet fellow creatives at the patio behind Fabricate in Northside from 4-7 p.m. Saturday and work on your own project or make Girl Scout-style crafter badges with provided materials. It’s free to join, but RSVP here. Concert:nova returns with its annual Food + Music festival, pairing international music with creative dishes at some of the city’s best restaurants. This Sunday at Kaze, chefs Cameron Bloomer and Hideki Harada will prepare a Japanese-style brunch following a c:n performance of Takemitsu and Debussy. Cocktails and appetizers will be served at noon, followed by music at 12:45 p.m. and brunch at 1:30 p.m.; go here for tickets. For more art openings, summer festivals and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.
 
 

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