by Mike Breen
According to The Weather Channel, showers are tapering off and it'll be overcast today with a high of 63. Perfect "cool new jacket" weather (even if you did just pack it away after temps reached into the 90s). And a perfect night to enjoy the first MidPoint Indie Summer concert of 2012. The free, every-Friday series on Fountain Square kicks off with two of the Cincinnati area's finest Rock & Roll bands — Buffalo Killers and The Kickaways — as well as headliners (and popular MidPoint Music Festival alumni) The Bright Light Social Hour. According to CityBeat's Brian Baker, the Austin-based band "evokes the spirit of the ’70s with shards of Southern Garage Rock, Psychedelic Soul, electric R&B/Funk, Indie Pop and thunderously elemental Hard Rock, represented by acid-washed church and Farfisa organ, searing slide guitar and chunky riffage, Pop melodicism and a funky, slinky rhythm section, all in the service of songs that are compellingly contemporary and utterly appealing." They're also one of the best live acts in the country today. The Kickaways get things started at 7 p.m. Buffalo Killers are scheduled for 8:15 p.m. and Bright Light hits the stage at 9:30 p.m.This is a song The Who stole from Mose Allison. The Bright Light Social Hour are stealin' it back. • Two Hip Hop superstars are in town tonight for two separate shows. I would call them contemporary Rap legends, but younger folks probably call them "old school." Both are in the midst of comeback attempts. Gruff-voiced, ruff-rydin' DMX performs tonight at Inner Circle (the former Annie's) at 9 p.m. Tickets are $35-$55. For an extensive stretch, DMX was a bit like the Pete Doherty of American Hip Hop, making headlines with unusual arrests (animal cruelty, "identity falsification" and several traffic-related offenses among them). More recently, X has shown an interest in becoming a preacher and appeared on the VH1 celebreality series Couple Therapy, showing his thoughtfulness and willingness to become a better man. (He also had his own reality show in 2006, DMX: Soul of a Man.) None of this should overshadow the fact that DMX is one of the bigger selling Rap acts of our time. He had five straight albums debut at No. 1 and had his sixth, Year of the Dog … Again, just miss the top spot. DMX will give it another shot later this month — he's slated to drop his seventh album, Undisputed, on June 26. Here's one of his greatest greatest hits, "Party Up." (Fun fact: Former Cincinnati Red Michael Tucker used this tune as his "coming up to bat" music when he played for Cincy.) This is the "dirty" version, so it's probably NSFW for those without headphones.• Meanwhile, up in Corryville, rapstress Lil' Kim brings her "Return of the Queen" tour to Bogart's. Showtime is 10 p.m. and tickets are $27. Like X, Kim has also done some time in the pokey. She turned her jail stint into jail stint-ade, though, by working a reality show around her impending 2006 incarceration. Lil Kim: Countdown to Lockdown became the highest rated show premiere in BET history as 1.9 million fans tuned in for her special. Kim spent just over year in a detention center in Philly for allegedly lying about her role in a 2001 shooting outside of the Hot 97 studio in New York.Kim is one of the most successful and influential female Hip Hop artists of all time. She's currently trying to get her fifth album released (it's been delayed due to contractual issues). Earlier this spring, her collaborative track with Young Jeezy was leaked. (Listen to "Keys to the City" here.)I love it when Hip Hop artists sample Phil Collins, so here's Kim's video for "In the Air Tonight."• The legendary Jon Langford is in town tonight to open a local exhibition of his artwork and perform a free concert at Over-the-Rhine club MOTR Pub. The dynamic artist will be on hand for the opening of his Transmissions: Art and Words show at Over-the-Rhine’s Clay Street Press Gallery (1312 Clay St.) from 6-9 p.m. Then he'll perform with his band Skull Orchard at MOTR. Original opening act Matthew Friedberger (of Fiery Furnaces) cancelled. Lisa Walker and Chuck Cleaver from fantastic local band Wussy will open the show instead, starting around 10 p.m. Read CityBeat's interview with Langford here.• Modern Cincy Punk greats The Dopamines celebrate its new album release, Vices (due nationally on June 19), with a show at Mayday in Northside. Tickets are $9 at the door. Also performing: Pujol, Be My Doppelganger and Vacation. Showtime is 9 p.m. Dopamines fans who can't make it but are up for a road trip can head to Chicago for Night 2 of the record release partying at Wicker Park club Subterranean. Check out this great write-up in the Chicago Reader about the show, written by former local musician (Death in Graceland) Kevin Warwick. Here's a li'l Dopamines gem from the past to get you in the mood. Like DMX and Lil' Kim, the trio likes to curse like sailors. You've been NSFW'ed. Further warning: This song will be stuck in your head for days once you listen.
Full lineup of free concerts every Friday this summer
The lineup for this summer's MidPoint Indie Summer series — every-Friday free concerts on Fountain Square — features another strong mix of solid national headliners (many are MidPoint Music Festival alumni) from as far away as Australia and Timbuktu and local favorites. Stay tuned for additions and updates.Friday, June 1: The Bright Light Social Hour (Austin Tex.); Buffalo Killers; The KickawaysFriday, June 8: The Dynamites (Nashville); Khaira Arby and her Band (Timbuktu, Mali, Africa); The PinstripesFriday, June 15: The Seedy Seeds; Wymond Miles (of The Fresh & Onlys, San Francisco); Belle HistoireFriday, June 22: Art vs Science (Australia); You You're Awesome; ShadowraptrFriday, June 29: psychodots (openers TBA)Friday, July 6: Lydia Loveless (Columbus); Patrick Sweany (Nashville); The Ready Stance Friday, July 13: Seabird; The Harlequins; Jon Drake and The Shakes (Chicago) Friday, July 20: Ha Ha Tonka (Springfield, Mo.); Izzy and the Catastrophics (New York); The Ridges (Athens, Ohio)Friday, July 27: Orgone (Los Angeles); The Cliftones; Eclipse Friday, Aug. 3: Bear Hands (Brooklyn); Lightning Love (Ann Arbor, Mich.); Fort Lean (Brooklyn)Friday, Aug. 10: Budos Band (New York); Kansas City Bible Company (Nashville); Sidewalk Chalk (Chicago) Friday, Aug. 17: Class Actress (Brooklyn)Friday Aug. 31: Wussy; R.Ring The MidPoint Indie Summer concerts start at 7 p.m. each Friday this summer. Music lovers of all ages are welcome to attend.
by Mike Breen
Cincinnati rockers looking for help for LP No. 2
Rockin' Cincinnati group The Kickaways have taken to Kickstarter for some assistance in completing the band's sophomore long-player, currently titled Show Yr Teeth, the follow-up to the excellent (and free) debut LP, America! America! The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards' 2011 winners for Best Rock Band have songs at the ready and even picked out a studio – Michigan's Key Club, where Indie duo The Kills recorded its first two albums. The band hopes to start recording in June.The Kickaways are offering several pledge perks for those who donate to the Kickstarter drive, including handmade art from the band members, special T-shirts, CDs, a B-sides and rarities collection and your very own private concert from the band (within 130 miles of Cincinnati and, per Kickstarter, "if the cops show it's not on us please"). If you're a deep-pocketed Kickaways fan and you wanted to donate, say, $5000, the band will "pretty
much do anything you could think of as long as (it's) not illegal or (could) get
us or someone else hurt." The Kickaways are aiming to have Show Yr Teeth ready by this October. Here is the official Kickstarter video for the project. Click here for ways to donate.
The Kickaways are ready for their close-up with debut album
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 15, 2011
It’s a blistering evening in Northside as the four members of The Kickaways swelter in the apartment that they’ve dubbed the Kickaplex. Although only two of them actually reside there, it doubles as rehearsal space and crash pad for the quartet. But, tonight, “sweat lodge” serves as a functional description.
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The CincyPunk Fest has emerged as one of the most popular benefit concerts in the region, raising money for various charities since its inception a decade ago. For CincyPunk Fest 10, the event returns to Newport’s Southgate House this Saturday and Sunday under new management and with a lineup full of some of the top music-makers in Cincinnati. And, despite its name, the fest is again a showcase for much more than just Punk Rock.
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Electronic Rock duo Pop Empire has released its debut full-length album, available now for free download via The Recording Label Web site. The "all free!" label is the brainchild of Cameron Cochran, formerly of The Sheds and one half of Pop Empire (along with Henry Wilson). There's also news about WNKU's expanded signal helping spread the local music gospel.
Sacred Spirits brings Psychedelic context to Post Punk on debut album
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 1, 2011
With their first anniversary still months away, Sacred Spirits’ sonic identity is still evolving, giving the band plenty of latitude to experiment in the studio and on stage. Plans for the coming year include recording their new material, working as many local gigs and as much regional touring as its members' schedules allow and continuing to push the boundaries of their creative expression.