The biannual Clifton Heights Music Festival returns this weekend for its fourth edition, taking over seven venues around the University of Cincinnati for two days of diverse, quality local music. Launched a year and half ago, the fest has become the best all-local musical showcase in town, growing from 35 acts to this year’s 80-plus.
Dichotomy looms so large for We Are Scientists that it's almost a provisional member. They're a California band that's lived in New York for nearly a decade. The members are inveterate smartasses in interviews and between songs on stage, although their finely honed sense of humor rarely comes through in the music in any obvious way (like, say, They Might Be Giants).
The Brothers and The Sisters feature singer/songwriter Jeremy Pinnell, whose work with The Light Wires and The Great Depression proved him to be one of the most soulful writers in the Folk/Roots arena. The songs are similar but presented in a different setting — instead of electric instruments or a stark acoustic-duo format, The Brothers and The Sisters use banjo, acoustic guitars and dobro (and drums and bass).
If you're a frequent attendee of local music shows, you've no doubt seen Pat Rice, the 65-year-old "superfan" who probably attends more music events than just about anyone and is beloved by the bands she consistently checks out. Rice recently lost her residence and is without the money for a deposit on a new place to stay, so several bands are hosting an "emergency" benefit show for her.
The fruitcakes have been throw away, the eggnog is spoiled, the big ball dropped, the champagne is gone and we've all had time to reflect on 2008. Now chin up, sport: It's time to start looking ahead to 2009 and what lies ahead for Cincinnati's local music scene. Hazle Weatherfield is a good place to start.