by Nick Grever
12 days ago
Local rockers host listening party tonight for their finest effort to date
500 Miles to Memphis’ two most recent album releases are local classics that reside in two vastly different musical landscapes. Their 2007 album, Sunshine in a Shot Glass, offers 12 tracks of undiluted Country Punk. The album starts off with the band’s hit “All My Friends are Crazy” and doesn’t let up. The band’s followup, 2011’s We’ve Built Up to Nothing, took the Country Punk roots and drastically expanded on the concept. Influenced by The Beatles, the Cincinnati-based quintet added layer upon layer of instrumentation to craft an epic that radically expanded the groundwork laid in 2007.
Now, in 2014 the band is set to unleash Stand There and Bleed. With its latest release, 500 Miles to Memphis has pulled back and opted for a simpler, more straightforward group of songs. In doing so, the band has written its best album to date.
The band will host a listening party for the new album tonight (Thursday) at The Drinkery in Over-the-Rhine. The album will be played in its entirety at 9 p.m., then the group will play an acoustic set at 10 p.m. The event is free. (The official release date for Stand There and Bleed has yet to be announced.)
At its core, 500 Miles to Memphis has always been about vocalist/guitarist Ryan Malott telling the stories of his life. And with three years in between releases, Malott has plenty to talk about. Stand There and Bleed is Malott’s most personal output so far. We see a glimpse of tour life in “Medication,” the joys of marriage in “Takes Some Time” and the trials of addiction in “Easy Way Out.” Malott may have traded the bottle for coffee and a Playstation controller, but the struggle is ongoing. In fact, the best tracks on the album are the ones that document Malott’s missteps, but only because the album has so much hope, as well. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and Malott is steadily working his way towards it.
Joining Malott is bassist/vocalist Noah Sugarman, drummer Kevin Hogle, guitarist/vocalist Aaron Whalen and lap steel guitarist David Rhodes Brown. This all-star lineup compliments Malott’s lyrics expertly. Gone are We Built Up to Nothing’s more eccentric instrument choices; 500 stripped away the excess to more fully focus on what it had in house. The result is an album that’s more consistent and true to 500’s vision as a whole. Malott is influenced by Country and Punk Rock in equal measure and these influences come across stronger than ever on Bleed, with each member adding their own touch on the theme. Hogle’s drumming is still some of the best in town; his musical ear enables him to mold his style to each and heighten the mood of all. Brown’s steel playing on Stand There and Bleed keeps the more Punk-based tracks grounded in 500’s roots and elevates the Country tracks to another level with effortlessly delivered solos. Finally, Whalen and Sugarman’s guitar and bass inject energy throughout the record that reinforces Stand There and Bleed’s straightforward, powerful delivery.
Malott’s vocal delivery has been honed and refined on Stand There and Bleed, as well. Malott is an unabashed fan of Green Day and comparisons to Billie Joe Armstrong in songs like “Bethel, OH” and “Abilene” are undeniable. Malott has also continued to inject large amounts of emotion into his vocals. He’s always been an expressive singer but the earnestness and pain in “You’ll Get Around” and “Alone” show a departure from We’ve Built Up to Nothing’s more polished vocals. Part of the recording process was breaking Malott of those good habits and getting him used to putting the feeling back into each take. What results is an album that’s a little rougher around the edges and much more emotionally captivating for the listener.
500 Miles to Memphis has been pushing its music forward for years, constantly hitting the road to share its take on Country Punk. The band has been virtuous to the genre and also bent it to an almost unrecognizable state. With Stand There and Bleed, the quintet has met somewhere in the middle. The band has trimmed the fat, focused on what each (incredibly talented) member brings to the table and built a record that is its most focused and honest to date.
The band has traveled way more than 500 miles to reach where they are now, but with albums like Stand There and Bleed carrying them, they have plenty more ahead of them.
Tuesday • The Drinkery
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 16, 2014
On the final night of last year’s
MidPoint Music Festival extravaganza, an old man dropped into The
Drinkery to grab a beer, catch his breath and absorb a few minutes of
Sol Cat’s soulful Psych/Dance/Pop, which had reminded him at least a
little of Walk the Moon’s similarly adrenalized output. He’d expected an
out-of-town show to be sparsely attended, which would theoretically
allow him a seat at the bar and a chance to recharge for the remainder
of the night.
by Brian Baker
An EP can serve several purposes — a stopgap release between full-length releases; fresh merch to offer at shows; a teaser for more material down the road; or an exploratory release to test the waters for a response to a new band or an existing band's new direction (among others).
In any event, whatever a band's reason might be for offering up a small dose of their material for reduced consumption, the inviolable rule of the EP is simple — always leave the listener wanting more. If you elicit even a modicum of boredom or disinterest in a spare handful of tracks, you're not likely to entice listeners to take a chance on a full-length or get them out to a show, which is, as stated, sort of the point.
Luckily, no such lapse is even remotely evident on Real Far East, Saturn Batteries' second EP in just over a year. Since the Cincinnati bands formation in 2010, guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Brad Gibson — who's put in bass time with the likes of Charlie Hustle, Young Heirlooms and Walk the Moon — has presented his brainchild as a trio, quartet and quintet along the way, all in the service of Beatlesque Pop filtered through the New Wave aesthetic of the Police and XTC and adrenalized with a heart needle full of the Pixies' jittery satellite Rock.
On last year's Ever Been in Love? Gibson and the Batteries du jour hewed a little closer to the John Lennon/Frank Black strands of their DNA, but Real Far East finds the freshly minted foursome (Gibson, guitarist Brad Rutledge, drummer Justin Sheldon, bassist Archie Niebuhr) drifting more toward the Paul McCartney/Andy Partridge end of their gene pool. And while the Batteries soften the edges ever so subtly and polish their surface to a slightly more reflective shine on Real Far East, these refinements don't diminish the band's energetic charm in the least.
One of the reasons for that is the Batteries have never forsaken one direction for another, preferring to incorporate differing elements into their foundational sound in an effective display of their diversity. The soulful "It's Not About the Money" and propulsive "Overtime" are both Pop gems that swing and swagger in a groove that isn't far removed from the benchmarks established by Walk the Moon in their march toward global domination. "You Really Live Twice" features previous members Rob Barnes and Rich Shivener, naturally hearkening back to the moody energy of Ever Been in Love? "Every Last Time" updates '60s/'70s AM Pop to the 21st century, while "Cherry Times" is a solid hybrid of the sweet and dissonant Pop that has characterized everything that Saturn Batteries has done well to this point in their history.
Real Far East shows that Saturn Batteries can have fun within their core Pop/Rock sound and clearly points the way toward a bright future for the quartet going forward.
Saturn Batteries celebrates the release of Real Far East tonight (Friday) at The Drinkery in Over-the-Rhine (click here for details). Below is the EP track “Every Last Time”; click the player or here to sample/download the entire release. <a href="http://saturnbatteries.bandcamp.com/album/real-far-east">Real Far East by Saturn Batteries</a>
by Mike Breen
Benefit for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer expands to three nights, two states
After taking a year off, the One More Girl on a Stage
music festival returns starting tonight, bigger and better than ever.
Founded by local musician Kelly Thomas (Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous
Pickups, The Tammy Whynots), One More Girl (OMG) is striving to raise
$10,000 for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast
Instead of hosting the festival at one venue, this year’s
One More Girl benefit has expanded to six local venues in two cities
over three nights. The lineup for One More Girl showcases female solo
artists and bands with a female presence (mostly) from the Greater Cincinnati
area. Many of them also happen to be some of the best acts in the
region, playing a range of styles that includes everything from Hard
Rock and Pop Rock to Bluegrass, Folk and many other variations on the
Americana theme. Below are the lineups, links to venues and performers and a few samples from the some of the acts.
One More Girl on a Stage kicks off tonight in
Over-the-Rhine, with artists featured at four venues. There are no cover
charges at any of the venues.
8:30 p.m. Good Night Noises
Blood Orange from Good Night Noises on Myspace.9:30 p.m. A Juliet Bender
10:30 p.m. Sticky Honey
11:30 p.m. Darlene
8 p.m. Charmed & Tarnished (a new project from Kelly Thomas and Randy Steffen)
9 p.m. The Missy Werner Band10 p.m. Salty Candy (a new project from The Fairmount Girls' Melissa Fairmount)
11 p.m. Magnolia Mountain Quartet
12 a.m. Heavy HingesNeons Unplugged:
7:30 p.m. Sami Riggs
8:30 p.m. Debra Randall and Chuck Keller
9:30 p.m. Carrie SampleLearn how to get your music noticed at ReverbNation.com10:30 p.m. Jenny Ward
11:30 p.m. Mia Carruthers
7:30 p.m. Holly Spears BandSell music on Amazon at ReverbNation.com8:30 p.m. Kerosene Alley
9:30 p.m. Wendy Oakley and The Posse
10:30 p.m. Stompin’ Revolvers
11:30 p.m. Buenos Crotches
Learn how to make a free Electronic Press KitTomorrow, the OMG fest takes over the three stages at the
Southgate House Revival in Newport, Ky. Tickets for Friday are available
in advance for $15 here.
Lounge:8:15 p.m. Raison D’etre
9:15 p.m. Danielle Yockey
10:15 p.m. The Stories
11:15 p.m. RuccaFree Electronic Press Kits from ReverbNation.com12:15 a.m. Sassy Molasses
(The 5 Stages) Stage One: Denial & Isolation by Sassy MolassesRevival Room:7 p.m. Boone County Catawallers
8 p.m. Heather Hamlet
9 p.m. Jetlab
10 p.m. The Newbees 11 p.m. The Perfect Children
12 a.m. Chakras
7:30 p.m. Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers
8:30 p.m. Shiny & The Spoon10 p.m. Jesse Thomas11 p.m. The Tammy WhyNots
12 a.m. Veronica Grim and The Blue Ribbon Boys
Saturday’s OMG performances will be held on two stages at Newport’s York Street Café beginning at 7 p.m. Admission
is $10 or you can purchase a Friday/Saturday pass for $20 in advance,
which will get you into both the Southgate shows and the ones at York
Street (click here to purchase).
Third Floor Art Gallery Stage:
7 p.m. Kelly Routt
8 p.m. Chelisa Bailey
9 p.m. Wonky Tonk & the Holiday RamblersBlind Date (rough) by Wonky Tonk10 p.m. Carole WalkerLearn how to get your song on itunes at ReverbNation.com11 p.m. Hickory Robot
Second Floor Stage:
7:30 p.m. The Dishes
8:30 p.m. Terminal Union
9:30 p.m. Houston & HoneyFree Electronic Press Kits from ReverbNation.com10:30 p.m. Alone at 3AMMidwest Mess by Alone At 3AM11:30 p.m. Kelly Thomas and The Fabulous Pickups
Click here or here for even more information on all things One More Girl.
by Jac Kern
The instructors at The Art Institute of Ohio — Cincinnati talk the talk and walk the walk. In addition to teaching up-and-coming artists, they, too, create works of art on a regular basis. Tonight, check out their work during the college's 2012 Faculty Exhibition closing reception. The event runs from 6-8 p.m. in the Mason school's gallery. If you're interested in attending the Art Institute, stop by to check out the work and come back on March 31 when the school holds an open house.Bree from Hot Wheels Entertainment hosts karaoke at The Drinkery every Tuesday. Whether you're a karaoke god or just a spectator, swing by the OTR bar between 9 p.m.-2 a.m. for tunes and booze. Find details here.Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative (CPI) continues its New Voices Season of Staged Readings with Edge Walking. Written by Barbara Harkness and directed by Patrick Downey, Edge Walking follows two parents who are faced with a child claiming he is the reincarnation of their oldest son who died as a POW in Vietnam. The encounter brings up feelings of anger, loss and grief as each character must deal with the death. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. performance are just $8 and can be purchased before the show at the Aronoff Center. For more information, call CPI's Kalman Kivkovich at 513-861-0004.The library's Northside branch hosts a series of poetry and short story readings showcasing local authors from 6-8 p.m. tonight. Lyrical Synaesthesia is a quarterly reading event designed to showcase the breadth of talent in Cincinnati and help foster a strong living literary tradition in the Queen City. Tonight's free event is hosted by Justin Patrick Moore and will feature readings from Matt Hart, Nick Barrows, Abiyah and Betsy Young. Hosted by Justin Patrick Moore. The first 20 to arrive will receive a free chapbook published by Aurore Press.
Want to enjoy after-work drinks while learning about an important local cause? GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) Greater Cincinnati presents a happy hour at Know Theatre from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tonight. Learn about GLSEN's mission to make schools safe for all students regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Enjoy a cash bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres while the organization will gives a brief presentation at 6:45 p.m. Learn more about GLSEN and how to become on ally here.Find ongoing art exhibits and other daily events here and follow our music blog for nightly live music offerings.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Some of the more happening spots
around town — some have outrageously creative drink menus, others have
some of the freshest and most mouth-watering food around and others
still encourage you to dance your ass off.