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Locals at Bunbury: A Primer

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 11, 2012
This weekend’s huge Bunbury Music Festival at Sawyer Point features some of the top-names in Alternative music. And it also includes several local favorites. Since Bunbury is drawing music lovers from all over the region, here is a primer on some of the Greater Cincinnati-based acts performing at the festival.   
by Mike Breen 04.06.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music at 12:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Heights Music Festival Starts Tonight!

Bi-annual fest kicks off in Clifton Heights and introduces new "Day Fest" tomorrow

The first ever edition of The Heights Music Festival kicks off this evening in five Clifton Heights venues at 7 p.m. (While it's the first fest under that name, the bi-annual event has been going for the past seven years.) Once again, the lineup is a great mix of genres and a strong representation of some of the city's best new and established acts. Click here or here for a full schedule. (It was recently revealed that The Pinstripes have been added as special guests Saturday night at 11 p.m. at Rohs Street Cafe.)Tomorrow afternoon, the event launches its first "Day Fest," with several acts performing at the venues in the afternoon, allowing those unable to get into the bars due to age a chance to enjoy all the fun (events at Rohs Street Cafe and Roxx Electrocafe are open to all ages, all the time). Music starts at 3 p.m.Online sales for Friday and Saturday (as well as two-day passes) have ended, but you can still grab Day Fest-only tickets online here. Head to the fest tonight if you didn't get advanced tickets and you can purchase one-day, all-venue passes for $8 (or $12 for both days). Day Fest passes are just $5 in advance or at the fest.Here's a sweet, massive video playlist compiled by the Heights Fest organizers featuring most of the participating artists.And here's some more audio goodness from several of the bands, via The Heights Radio on Soundcloud.
by Mike Breen 02.24.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music at 03:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Minor Leagues Launch New Album Tonight

Back from Pittsburgh, Cincy Indie Pop greats host hometown release party at MOTR

Last weekend, I made a last minute decision to travel to Pittsburgh and finally check out the Andy Warhol Museum (amazing — it was definitely the first time I've ever read every detail and tried to see every piece on display at a museum). I grabbed the new CD by Cincinnati's excellent Indie Pop powerhouse The Minor Leagues to listen to on the drive and it occurred to me that the band would actually be playing in Pittsburgh the same night I was there, by sheer happy coincidence.  I love to see bands from the Cincinnati area performing out of town. When Heartless Bastards played Lollapalooza in Chicago a few years back (and were still a Cincinnati band), I got such a thrill watching unsuspecting listeners respond to hearing Erika Wennerstrom's big, luxurious voice for the first time. It was priceless — lots of double takes and even a few slack-jawed stares as people tried to figure out how that voice could come booming out of someone so petite in stature.  The Minor Leagues were in Pittsburgh to play Howler's Coyote Cafe, a somewhat indistinct but comfy bar in the city's East End on one of what appeared to be many similar entertainment strips in the city. The Minor Leagues were sandwiched between two local bands; the first sounded like Kings of Leon playing Funk from where I was sitting, in the neighboring room that contained the bar. I watched anonymously as the five members of the Cincinnati band fluttered around the club getting prepared to play (talking to the headliners about time restraints, trying to get everyone to the stage, etc.). While not the finest sound system on the planet, the band proceeded to play a tight 40-minute set that exploded like a piñata that shot the group's trademark sing-a-longs, Rock & Roll energy and hyper-catchy melodies into the crowd. There weren't a ton of people in the room — rotating between maybe 25 and 40 throughout the set — and some of the folks were so hammered by around 11 p.m., they were falling-down drunk. One yinzer (a new word I learned!) just dropped, crashing into a table and shattering a few pint glasses, leading to a bit of distraction as a couple of employees attempted to clear the floor of glass while The Minor Leagues played on. Well, it is Pittsburgh … meaning it's like Cincinnati or anywhere. There's always THAT guy. But more than a few patrons sat and listened attentively and I caught a few cracking grins as they watched and listened, charmed by the group's upbeat sound and playful performance. The members of the band did a little bantering, which was equally playful. Singer Hilly Kenkel did the bulk of between-song chatting, with co-singer Ben Walpole chiming in often to thank the crowd and remind everyone there was merch and a mailing list. Kenkel's first effort to connect with the audience had me happy I wasn't sporting my full Bengals super-fan get-up, but her playful teasing about the supposed football rivalry between our two cities was quickly diffused when she made sure to admit the Steelers were the better team. That's when I almost started throwing pint glasses. (Kidding.)The band had just played in Brooklyn the night before and it made me chuckle because I had just read an article about how Pittsburgh was becoming one of the bigger "hipster" towns in America, making it appear as if the Leagues were  doing a weekend tour of ONLY trendy, hip cities on their weekend jaunt. Kenkel told a really funny story about listening to radio reports from Whitney Houston's funeral when leaving New York and how they all lost it when a woman wondered why people hated on Whit because she had a drug problem. "We ALL have drug problems!" she said. That one landed better than the faux sports rivalry one.

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Amy London and Reggae Fest

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Before heading to Italy to lead some Jazz workshops next month, Cincinnati-bred Jazz singer Amy London comes home for a weekend of shows at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club. Backed by local greats Steve Schmidt, Marc Wolfley and Jim Anderson, London performs at the club Friday and Saturday night.  

A Decade to Die For

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.  

Fest Scales New Heights

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 30, 2011
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.  


Oct. 8-9 • Fountain Square

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Pop-lock and drop it (or whatever your jig of choice might be) as Fountain Square presents Cincinnati's premier Pop Rock music event, Popopolis. Don't fret if you're not in tune with the Queen City's homespun music scene: There will be cutting-edge riffs to suit everyone's musical appetite 7-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.   

WNKU Celebrates the Big 25, a Phil Blank Doc and More New Albums

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Local singer/songwriter Josh Eagle is preparing to release his latest album (and first with his excellent band The Harvest City) Sunday with an unique, early-start CD release party at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley. Plus news about a new album from For Algernon's Jason Wells, a documentary about the late bluesman Phil Blank, WNKU events surrounding its 25th birthday and Hands Across Basements.  

Giant 'Wow' for New Local Albums

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It's a big weekend on the local music scene, as four bands hold album release parties to celebrate new work: Giant Wow (Southgate House Parlour), Sparrow Bellows (Stockyard Cafe), Tickled Pink (Sidebar) and The Minor Leagues (Mayday, formerly Gypsy Hut).