New Local Releases at MidPoint

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Here is my one big tip for those attending the MidPoint Music Festival this week: If you see MPMF director-in-chief Dan McCabe, be sure not to utter these words, "I've never heard of any of these bands." You will get a stare/glare that might just turn you into stone. With around 270 performers from across the country (and world), chances are most of the music you hear at the festival will be "new to you." That's the beauty of it.  

Friday Pick: Heartless Bastards

Erika Wennerstrom and the Heartless Bastards come home for MidPoint

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The first thing Erika Wennerstrom did when she relocated to Austin, Texas two years ago was to find an apartment and sequester herself for six months, feverishly writing the songs that would ultimately comprise the Heartless Bastards' most nuanced and best album, 'The Mountain.' Although she was in new surroundings — namely one of the most potent music scenes in the country — the differences in the songs Wennerstrom was writing reflected a good deal more than her move.  

Thursday Pick: Deke Dickerson

He's king of the whole wide world ... at least the guitar-playing world

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Rockabilly/Roots hero Deke Dickerson started out playing in a Surf band in his teens, and that sound is still evident in some of his music. But he's since become a darling of the Roots music movement, thanks in large part to his masterful, trademark guitar playing that blends Surf, Country, Rockabilly and Jazz techniques.  

Friday Pick: The Lions Rampant

Cincinnati bad boys continue to have fun doing bad things

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I recently sat down with Stuart MacKenzie from The Lions Rampant in a semi-professional setting (The Comet) to discuss the band's new album, 'It's Fun to Do Bad Things.' But instead of focusing on leather pants, his Sammy Hagar-esque blond ambition and Rock & Roll, the convo veered off the record into his love life and other things he doesn't want his mom to read about.  

Talking Shop

MPMF opens the floor to a Saturday afternoon conference

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 22, 2009
After a one-year absence in 2008, the MidPoint Music Festival has brought back the daytime "music conference," with useful panels and discussions about a range of topics of interest to all types of independent musicians. All panels are Saturday afternoon, so pace yourself Friday night — the first two are at the Garfield Suites Hotel, MPMF.09 headquarters, and the final one takes place at the Contemporary Arts Center.  

Saturday Pick: The Rosewood Thieves

New York quintet infuses Classic Rock with vitality

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Works of "Classic Rock" often inspire legions of young bandlings that hang on their idols' every note. Take The Rosewood Thieves, for example. The New York quintet — folksy, funky and richly educated in Rock classics — manages to wield a rare sonic power to channel the essence of what made music from the '60s and '70s resonate without any semblance of kitsch or irony.   

Saturday Pick: Annie & the Beekeepers

A 'holistic' approach to Bluegrass and Country music via Cape Cod

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The down-home, Appalachian-inspired trio from Boston's Berklee College of Music represent the best attributes of Bluegrass-fusion and Americana: strings, delightfully lilting vocals and the ability to make Country music not sound especially Country. Annie Lynch, the guitar-wielding songstress and frontwoman, grew up on Cape Cod and feasted primarily on Folk artists like Paul Simon and Bob Dylan.  

Saturday Pick: Micachu & the Shapes

Innovative Mica Levi and mates make Pop 'crunchy,' 'plastic-y'

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Mica Levi (better know as the British-born dance-hall favorite Micachu) isn't experimental, captivating, moving nor otherwise. She's awesome. The 22-year-old musician, songwriter and producer has, in little time, amassed a hit record ('Jewellery') and a commissioned orchestral piece with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She's also a burgeoning international Pop icon.  

Saturday Pick: You, You're Awesome

Experimental live-Electronica/Rock band puts you in the video game

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Yusef Quotah draws bunnies and monsters, box-headed characters that obscure the the faces of he and his band partner Kevin Bayer in all photos, putting emphasis on the music rather than looks. Accidentally discovered, the bunny drawings have become signature band artwork, part of the package. Growing up in Saudi Arabia, in 2000 Quotah came to the University of Cincinnati to study design at DAAP. Currently, he focuses on animation ... and electronic music with Bayer.  

Saturday Pick: Chairlift

From Colorado students to Brooklyn Indie up-and-comers, Chairlift's rise has been rapid

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 22, 2009
For Chairlift, the experimental-tinged, ethereal Folk Pop trio that will be rocking the "Topic Design Tent" at Grammer's Saturday as part of MidPoint Music Festival, it's been a fast rise upward. Just four years ago, Chairlift — then a collection of undergraduates at University of Colorado at Boulder — was playing at a garage party for singer/synth player Caroline Polacheck's art class. As students displayed their classwork along the walls, they debuted new songs.