by Mike Breen
36 hours ago
Free MidPoint Indie Summer series presents all-Punk lineup
The free, every-Friday MidPoint Indie Summer (MPIS) series concerts at Downtown’s Fountain Square have featured some eclectic music over the past few years, everything from Bounce and Electro to Roots Rock, World music and Pop. But this Friday, the series goes where it has yet to go, presenting the very first all-Punk MPIS concert. Though Punk is known for its quick bursts of songs, it’s a mere coincidence that this Friday’s free show features four acts (as opposed to the usual three per show). The quartet of bands playing offers a nice cross-section of Greater Cincinnati’s Punk scene. The Pop/Punk crew BoyMeetsWorld opens the concert at 8 p.m. After coming out of the gates fast (in just its first year as a band, the group won first place at the popular “battle of the bands” competition presented by Forest Park’s The Underground), the hooks-heavy BMW released its debut EP, Do What’s Best for You, this past April. (The band is performing acoustically at the Microsoft store at Kenwood Mall this Saturday at 4 p.m.)At 8:45 p.m. The Lockland Brakes take over the MPIS stage. The punchy, melodic band just played its first show and released a three-song EP last month. But they’re far from “green,” with a lineup that includes past/present members of Situation Red, Newport Secret Six and DAAP Girls.Unwelcome in my Head by The Lockland BrakesThe excellent, raucous trio The Dopamines, which spent a chunk of its spring touring Europe, perform at 9:15 p.m. The hard-touring band has put out several excellent releases, including last year’s stellar Vices, which caused JadedPunk.com to declare, “For a bunch of goddamned drunks, The Dopamines sure can write some catchy hooks.” Headlining the night at 10 p.m. is Loudmouth, a high-energy local five-piece that mixes power and melody in the vein of Screeching Weasel, NOFX and No Use for a Name. Loudmouth digitally released its latest effort, the eight-track Future Boredom EP, in late March. For more on the MidPoint Indie Summer concerts — and all of the PNC Summer Music Series concerts — visit myfountainsquare.com.
by Mike Breen
8 days ago
• Death Grips is a primal force of nature that seems built
to subvert. Entering the world of this Sacramento-based experimental
Hip Hop trio — frontman Stefan “MC Ride” Burnett,
keyboardist/programming guru Andy “Flatlander” Morin and drummer Zach
Hill — is akin to being trapped in a demented, all-immersive video game
designed and conceived by Harmony Korine and Charles Manson. Strap in
for a wild, sensory-altering ride.
Death Grips' full-length debut, The Money Store — somewhat improbably released by the bigwigs at Epic Records in April of last year —
is a dense, claustrophobic head-trip marked by Burnett’s rapid-fire
raps, most of which are hard to discern amid the clanging sonic assault
that surrounds him.
The Bomb Squad’s Public Enemy heyday is an obvious
touchstone, as is any number of far lesser known art-damaged outfits. A
glance at the lyric sheet confirms the workings of a paranoid mind. Try
this from “The Fever (Aye Aye)”: “Blade cut me/Sewer drain
grated/Bubonic plague/Spreaded faceless/Lurking in the deadest spaces.”
The Money Store is challenging, fully-realized stuff, which makes the details of its follow-up, No Love Deep Web,
released six months later, another fascinating wrinkle in the ongoing
Death Grips narrative. The trio dropped the sonically spare (for these
guys) album as a free download after Epic balked at releasing it so soon
after The Money Store. The label supposedly hadn’t even heard
the finished “product.” Then there’s the fact that the cover art
features a photo of Hill’s erect penis with the album’s title written on
it in black magic marker.
And now for the only obvious development in Death Grips’
creative trajectory to date: They have since parted ways with Epic.
(Preview by Jason Gargano)
Death Grips performs tonight downtown at the Ballroom at
the Taft Theatre. Ratking opens at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the
Here's a video clip for Death Grips' "I've Seen Footage," from The Money Store.
• Josh Tillman is a funny, hyper-articulate guy with an
absurdist streak that makes itself readily apparent in interviews and
between-song live-show banter. Yet you wouldn’t know it by listening to
the seven solo albums he put out as J. Tillman from 2004 to 2010, all of
which were pretty serious-minded, sonically straightforward affairs in
the mold of the folkies he once supported as an open act: Damien Jurado
and Richard Buckner.
“When I was 21 I wanted to be (seen as) a 40-year-old
alcoholic trucker,” Tillman said of his early, vanity-driven persona in a
recent interview with KEXP.
Enter Father John Misty, a moniker/conceptual shift that
seems to have unlocked the 32-year-old
singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist’s playful side. FJM performs
tonight at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley. Showtime is 8 p.m. and
tickets are $17 at the door.
The new outfit’s 2012 debut for Sub Pop, Fear Fun,
is a musically diverse gem, moving from the lilting Folk of “Funtimes in
Babylon” to the lush Pop gold of “Nancy From Now On” to the atmospheric
rocker “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” with seamless grace.
The affecting album-closer “Everyman Needs a Companion”
brings to mind a meld of the criminally underappreciated Grant Lee
Buffalo and the kinda over-praised Fleet Foxes (for whom, curiously,
Tillman was the drummer from 2008 to 2011). Best of all is the
rollicking, twang-infested ditty “I’m Writing a Novel,” which features
some of Tillman’s most inspired word play and impassioned singing.
Then there’s Tillman’s “performance” as Misty, which takes
on a whole new dimension in a live setting. With his lanky frame,
handsome, bearded face and slithery-hipped dancing, he conjures Jim
Morrison as lounge singer — which, believe it or not, is a good thing.
(Preview by Jason Gargano)
Here is the video for "Funtimes in Babylon."
Opening the show is Pure Bathing Culture. The upstart two-piece (and, when live, four-piece) —
led by old friends, romantic partners and Vetiver members Sarah
Versprille and Daniel Hindman — filled the genre box on its Facebook
page with “New Age/Slow Dance/Adult Contemporary/Spiritual.” Though it
could be a joke on the band's part, the connection makes sense.
“Pendulum” — a track off PBC's debut full-length Moon Tides — has the pretty reverb and general je ne sais quoi of
an Indie Pop song, but its soothing lyrics about swinging like a
pendulum and downbeat, sunset-on-a-beach vibe also reflect the band
potentially using New Age as a legit influence.
By the time of Moon Tides’ release in late August,
when the band leaders are doing the press rounds, hopefully someone will
think to ask about this link and close the case for good. (Preview by
Here is PBC's video for "Pendulum."
Find even more live music options in Greater Cincinnati today/tonight here.
Plus news on Electric Citizen, Kenny Peck & the Smoky Jack Band, The Lockland Brakes and School of Rock Mason
1 Comment · Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The first of around 150 acts has been announced for this year's MidPoint Music Festival and MPMF.13 tickets go on sale.
Colin Stetson’s New History Warfare Vol. 3 features bleakness, hope, Justin Vernon and Metal
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The music Colin Stetson is playing on his current solo tour largely features songs from New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light,
the just-released final entry in a trilogy of loosely connected albums
for Constellation Records.
North African group Tinariwen opens MusicNOW with true World music
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The backstory of Tinariwen founder
Ibrahim Ag Alhabib is so cinematic in scope that it should be the basis
for an epic independent film.
by Mike Breen
75 days ago
Local Pop/Rock bands team up to celebrate new EP releases in Covington
Cincinnati Pop/Rock band BoyMeetsWorld returns to the Madison Theater in Covington Friday to celebrate its debut EP, Do What’s Best For You. The band is co-headlining the show with fellow Cincy Pop Rock/Punk crew Radio Rescue, which is releasing its newest effort, the band’s sophomore EP, The Soundtrack to Second Place. Radio Rescue’s Pop Rock has some of the power of Hardcore and Metal (particularly in the blazing drum work and some of the chunky guitar riffing) and occasional gang and/or screamed vocals. Adding another unique element is the prominent use of synthesizer, which gives the band’s sound a bonus texture. While that description might make Radio Rescue’s sound come off like a mismatched mess, it’s impressive how cohesive and focused the band’s upbeat and endearing sound is, with its just-right mix of power crunch, synth squiggles and sweet hooks. Here is Radio Rescue's video for new EP track "If Loose Lips Sink Ships, Then You're The Titanic."BoyMeetsWorld was formed just last summer by three brothers: Craig (singer) and Ryan (drummer) Sulken, who are twins, plus older brother Brad Sulken (bass). Guitarists Pat Bryant and Drew Richter round out the band. In its first year as a group, BoyMeetsWorld took home the first-place prize at the Battle of the Bands hosted by Forest Park teen club, The Underground. The band has a knack for strong Pop hooks and an overall uplifting vibe. Songs like “Head Up High” and “Girl In Front” are best described as Power Pop, written with a maturity and craftiness of a band on their third or fourth album, not first EP. Bryant and Richter offer up some compelling guitar interplay, while the Sulken rhythm section is reminiscent of the high-flying telepathy of Fall Out Boy’s. Meanwhile, singer Craig’s high, earnest vocal approach works especially well in the context of the band’s youthful anthems.Here is a lyric video for BMW's new EP track, "Girl in Front."Friday’s co-release show at the Madison Theater also includes opening acts Aristo, Canoes, Ready to Live and The Sweet Addiction. The event is open to all ages and doors open at 6 p.m. Showtime is 7 p.m. Cover is $10 at the door.
by Mike Breen
76 days ago
Annual celebration of spring (and local music) runs every Thursday in April
The annual Tunes & Blooms concert series at the Cincinnati Zoo kicks off today. Despite the late-coming spring, the weekly series — which showcases two local musical acts at each event — is in honor of the blooming flowers of the Zoo's Botanical Gardens. At least the snow is gone … (If you're going purely for the flowers, the Zoo's website says, "Due to unusually cool temperatures, our horticulture experts don't expect our tulips to be in bloom until mid April.")The free concerts go down every Thursday in April and run 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Admission to the Zoo is free after 5 p.m. If you park in the Zoo lot, it'll cost you $8.Today sees the return of Bluegrass supergroup the Comet Bluegrass All-Stars and Americana supergroup Magnolia Mountain.Here is the rest of the month's lineup:April 11: Jake Speed and the Freddies/The TurkeysApril 18: Shiny & the Spoon/Shiny Old SoulApril 25: The Ark Band/The Cliftones
Cincinnati’s SHADOWRAPTR defies easy classification on new release, 'Love a Good Mystery'
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 27, 2013
If it were to be said that Cincinnati's SHADOWRAPTR makes atmospheric music, it would be necessary to be very
specific which atmosphere it best represents … and that atmosphere is a
spaceship that has stumbled into a whole new solar system.
Local Natives reflect on their rise to Indie Rock relevance
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 20, 2013
After the unexpected success of their 2010 debut, L.A. Indie rockers Local Natives return with the deep and reflective Hummingbird.