WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Mike Breen 09.22.2014 18 hours 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.
 
 
by Mike Breen 09.22.2014 21 hours ago
 
 
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MidPoint Favorites The Ridges Return to MPMF ’14

Ohio Chamber Folk ensemble makes promo video in support of Memorial Hall performance

Over the past few years, Athens, Ohio’s Indie Folk troupe The Ridges have become a regular presence at Cincinnati area clubs, building up a nice local following. They’ve also become fairly regular participants in the MidPoint Music Festival (which returns starting this Thursday to the clubs and venues of Downtown/Over-the-Rhine) and they always provide fest-highlight-worthy performances. The band is returning to MPMF 2014 for its third visit to the festival, opening up the night at new MPMF venue Memorial Hall Saturday at 9:15 p.m. and rounding out a great bill that also includes anticipated MPMF sets by Saintseneca and Gardens & Villa. The Ridges (who’ve done several dates in the past year with Kishi Bashi, one of last year’s big MPMF breakthrough acts) often craft cool promo videos for their shows, particularly for bigger events like MPMF. The band’s video previewing its appearance at this year’s MidPoint was recently shot from the stage at Memorial Hall, giving a good look at the gorgeous venue for those who’ve never seen it. “It’s always one of our favorite shows,” Ridges singer/songwriter/guitarist Victor Rasgaitis says about playing MidPoint. “The atmosphere is perfectly inspiring and the crowds are so incredibly receptive — we're lucky to have such an awesome festival here in Ohio.” Tickets for MPMF are available here. For more on The Ridges, visit theridgesmusic.com. 
 
 
by Mike Breen 09.19.2014 3 days ago
 
 
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WATCH: The Yugos Perform “Follow You”

Before opening MidPoint Friday next week, local Indie rockers reveal a live video of their recent single

On their most recent tour, excellent Northern Kentucky Indie Rock band The Yugos stopped by Toledo, Ohio’s SixtyTen Recording Studio to record its latest single, “Follow You,” as part of the facility’s “SixtyTen Sessions” video series.The studio version of the single, released earlier this summer, can be streamed/downloaded here.One week from the day, The Yugos will be opening up MidPoint Music Festival’s Friday festivities. The band plays at 5 p.m. Friday on the MidPoint Midway stage, right before another of the fest’s most anticipated acts, Real Estate, performs. The Midway stage is free and open to the public (no tickets/passes required), thanks to stage sponsor P&G. It’s also an all-ages show.Click here to hear more from The Yugos, and here to check out more sessions from SixtyTen.
 
 

Your 2014 MidPoint Adventure Awaits

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 10, 2014
If you’re a music lover, there’s no better way to celebrate the first weekend of fall than with MPMF.  
by Mike Breen 09.11.2014 11 days ago
Posted In: MidPoint Music Festival at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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MidPoint Music Festival Guide Available Now

The 2014 MPMF guide features performer previews, Midway attraction info and more

Be sure to grab a copy of this week’s edition of CityBeat to check out the official guide for the 2014 MidPoint Music Festival, which kicks off two weeks from today. You can also view the guide online here.  The guide once again features short previews of all 150-plus artists performing at MPMF, as well as info on other attractions at the fest, including the MidPoint Midway, transportation options, ArtWorks’ “Ink Your Love” project, a MidPoint visitor's guide (with info on restaurants, bars and more around the MPMF route) and much more.  NOTE: There are some conflicting ticket prices listed in the guide for the stage at Washington Park. Refer to the Ticket and Box Office Info page (page 5) and below for the correct information. We apologize for our error. Washington Park (All ages)  • Thursday: Chromeo, The Range $27 advance; $30 at gate.  Gates at 5 p.m.; show starts at 6 p.m. • Friday: The Afghan Whigs, Wussy, Joseph Arthur:  $27 advance; $30 at gate.  Gates at 5 p.m.; show starts at 6 p.m. • Saturday: OK Go, Empires, Public, Modoc $20 advance; $25 at gate.  Gates at 1 p.m.; show starts at 2 p.m. Visit mpmf.cincyticket.com to purchase three-day passes, VIP tickets (only a few remain), single day tickets and tickets for the Washington Park shows in advance. And be sure to grab the smartphone app at live.mpmf.com, on which you can customize your schedule and read MPMF-related Twitter and Instagram posts. And you can listen to most of the performing artists via the Spotify playlist below:
 
 
by Mike Breen 08.29.2014 24 days ago
Posted In: MidPoint Music Festival, Music News at 09:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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MidPoint Music Festival Ticket Deal Ends Tuesday

Prices for three-day MPMF passes go up after Labor Day

Three-day “All Music Access” tickets for the 13th annual MidPoint Music Festival remain one of the best music fest deals in the country. But if you wait until after Monday to get yours, you’ll have to pay a little more. On Tuesday, prices for the three-day passes will increase from $69 to $79. It’ll still be a great deal with the $10 bump, but you like to save money, right? Click here to get your tickets, which will get you into all of the shows throughout the three-day affair (barring shows that reach capacity by the time you get there).The festival returns in less that a month, running Sept. 25-27 on multiple stages throughout Downtown and Over-the-Rhine and featuring more than 150 performers from all over the world. MPMF (which is owned and operated by CityBeat) has added a few acts over the past few weeks. Artists added to the lineup in just this past week include Nashville’s Mary Bragg, Columbus, Ohio’s Old Hundred, Stockholm, Sweden’s Baskery, returning MPMF faves Sol Cat (from Nashville), Louisiana’s Baby Bee and L.A. Pop band machineheart. You can keep track of further schedule changes at MPMF.com, as well as on the festival’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.To check out some tunes from this year’s crop of MPMF artists, click below for a 10-and-a-half-hour Spotify playlist.
 
 

MidPoint Indie Summer Finale with Islands and More

Friday • Fountain Square

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 27, 2014
You have one last chance to catch a free MidPoint Indie Summer show on Fountain Square this year and it’s a doozy. Joining Louisville, Ky.’s great Indie/ElectroPop band The Pass, plus excellent locals The Yugos and newer crew Joey Cook and the Keepers of the Secret (one of the Pomegranates member’s new projects), are acclaimed eclectic Indie Pop rockers Islands.  

Mad Anthony Doesn't Wane

Plus, Thompson House offers pre-/post-fireworks live music and ticket prices for the MidPoint Music Festival increase Tuesday

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Cincinnati rockers Mad Anthony celebrate their first release since last summer's near-fatal van accident, Sank for Days. Plus, the Thompson House in Newport offers live music before and after the Labor Day fireworks show on the river and prices for  three-day passes to the MidPoint Music Festival increase Tuesday.  
by Mike Breen 08.20.2014 33 days ago
Posted In: MidPoint Music Festival, Live Music at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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MidPoint Music Festival Announces Free Shows

Real Estate and others to perform on the free MidPoint Midway stage

Thanks to an assist from sponsor P&G, one of the more anticipated MidPoint Music Festival performances this year will be a special free “happy hour” concert.  Brooklyn Indie Rock group Real Estate will perform on the Midway stage the Friday of the fest (Sept. 26) at 6 p.m. Cincinnati faves The Yugos will kick the special event off at 5 p.m., with Arkansas’ Knox Hamilton, Nashville’s Colony House and others playing after Real Estate.The MidPoint Midway is the hub of various activities that runs along a blocked off portion of 12th Street in Over-the-Rhine (between Walnut and Vine streets). The strip has featured the popular “Box Truck Carnival” (the ArtWorks-helmed project will be replaced with a new project this year) and will again have lots of food and other cool/fun vendors. The Midway’s stage is free and open to music fans of all ages. On Thursday, Sept. 25, the outdoor stage will feature excellent local acts Automagik, Black Owls and Pike 27, plus Columbus, Ohio’s Indigo Wild. On Saturday, Sept. 27, the stage will host Cincinnati’s The Ready Stance, as well as Bailiff, Alex G, Low Cut Connie and Magnolia Sons. Music on the MidPoint Midway begins at 5 p.m. Sept. 25-26, and 6 p.m. on Sept. 27. For those who want to catch more than just the freebies, MPMF tickets are available here. The three-day, all-music-access passes are currently just $69; the price goes up to $79 after Sept. 1. 
 
 

Trademark Aaron Releases EP, Plays Fountain Square

Plus, MidPoint announces its full schedule and the It's Commonly Jazz series begins

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Northern Kentucky-based Hip Hop artists celebrates the release of his new EP, Act Accordingly, Saturday during the Beats by Self-Diploma concert on Fountain Square, the MidPoint Music Festival announces its full schedule and the free It's Commonly Jazz series kicks off with William Menefield this Thursday.   

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