by Mike Breen
The countdown to the 11th annual MidPoint Music Festival reaches 12 days
MPMF news and musings: The official MidPoint Music Festival guide (on the streets of Greater Cincinnati until Wednesday, then resurfacing when it's MPMF-time) included a few feature stories this year about some of the festival's bonus features and additions. Read Leyla Shokoohe's interview with MPMF main-man, CityBeat's own Dan McCabe, about the fest's dedication to Over-the-Rhine and new MPMF venues Washington Park and the Emery Theatre here. And now, with the countdown down to just 12 days, here are our daily MidPoint Music Festival 2012 picks …BIG SHOTGrizzly Bear (Brooklyn, NY)Indie Art PopWhen this year’s initial MPMF performers were announced, eclectic Brooklyn crew Grizzly Bear was by far the name that seemed to most excite fest-goers. The group’s eccentric mix of artsy arrangements, organic psychedelia and boundless experimentalism has been earning the fans an ever-increasing and loyal fanbase since their lysergic debut release in 2004. Though continually adventurous, the band’s sound has grown and matured with the size of its following — 2009’s Veckatimest debuted at No. 8 on Billboard’s album chart and seemingly made every single music critic in the world’s “Top 10 Best” list that year. Expect an even bigger response from critics and fans when Grizzly Bear finally unleashes the much-anticipated new release, Shields, released just prior to the band’s MPMF stop. There’s a very good chance one of MPMF.12’s biggest acts will be sporting a Top 10 album by the time they get to Washington Park (an MPMF first). You'll Dig It If You Dig: Brian Wilson at his “off-the-meds” creative peak, listening to an “AM Gold” Soft Rock compilation and a Kraut Rock comp after drinking gallons of psychedelic mushroom tea.Grizzly Bear headlines the Washington Park stage on Friday, Sept. 28 at 8:30 p.m. The band performed the lead-off track from its new Shields album, "Sleeping Ute," on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night. Take a look/listen: SLEEPER PICKRich Aucoin (Halifax, CAN)Electro PopOn his enthralling 2011 full-length, We’re All Dying to Live, Canadian musician Rich Aucoin decided he’d invite Canada to record with him. As a result, the album features over 500 musicians, whose teaming on Aucoin’s dynamic, funky and craftily constructed tracks makes Dying to Live sound like the Electro Disco party of the century. But it’s not just a mindless exercise in dancefloor stereotypes — there’s depth and nuance to Aucoin’s songwriting and layering that might not be noticeable initially. Unlike a lot of Dance acts, Aucoin’s music isn’t disposable fun — it’s essential and commands repeated listens. Dig: ’80s Synth Pop, ’70s Disco, of Montreal, 4AD artists, Chic and Duran Duran in art school together.Rich Aucoin performs at Below Zero Lounge on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 11 p.m. Here is the hour-long film created to sync up with We're All Dying to Live (plus, of course, the full album for a free preview listen). Rich Aucoin - We're All Dying To Live :: Public Publication EP / Over The Top! LP from Sonic Entertainment Group on Vimeo.LOCAL LOCK PICKEclipse (Cincinnati, OH)Hip Hop/Jazz/Funk/FusionWhat happens when a bunch of studied Jazz musicians get funky with a couple of top-notch Hip Hop MCs? Eclipse happens. The Cincinnati septet has one of the best live shows in town, turning unsuspecting crowds into a sweaty mass of humanity thanks to their persistent groove and old-school Hip Hop party-starting. The band’s Around the World album was at the top of CityBeat’s list of the best local albums of 2011. With peerless MCs Jibri and Daddie Rich laying down rich verses and gripping hooks, the band roams around in the tight arrangements, touching on classic Funk, modern Alternative Rock, Progressive Rock, Latin rhythms and Jazz like some sort of dance-friendly aural collage. Dig: An epic Jurassic 5, The Roots, Miles Davis, James Brown and King Crimson mash-up.Eclipse performs Friday, Sept. 28, at 11 p.m. at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club. Here's a great video featurette put together by Chuck Land and Landman Productions, with audio recorded by Alex Lusht of Mind Ignition.Click here for full MPMF details via the official MidPoint site.
Powerhouse Poster Arcade offers concert ephemera while Midway 4EG Stage presents second-play performances
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Run and organized by the folks at local Powerhouse
Factories graphic design studio, MPMF’s Poster Expo 2012 was a necessary outlet for all of the rock poster
artists involved in the music festival’s promotion machine.
by Mike Breen
MidPoint Music Festival news and recomendations as the countdown reaches 13 days
MPMF news and musings: Kick-ass longtime MPMF sponsor Dewey's Pizza is giving away a trio of special "Next Level Experience" passes for you and two of your closest friends (or, I suppose, you could give them to people you hate, though that would just be kinda weird). If you win, you'll receive a three-day wristband and one night at the Dewey's Pizza/Grammer's stage in the best seat in the house (which appears to be a couch positioned very close to the stage). For more on Dewey's Next Level Experience contest, click here. And now, with the countdown down to just 13 days, here are our daily MidPoint Music Festival 2012 picks, today featuring all Ohio artists …BIG SHOTCloud Nothings (Cleveland, OH)Punk PopFrom his parents’ basement, Dylan Baldi created and released several acclaimed lo-fi recordings as Cloud Nothings before his 2009 EP, Turning On, pinged the critics’ radar and scored positive reviews on all the right blogs. Almost immediately, Baldi had to assemble a band to play the gigs that were offered to him, resulting in lots of touring and his slightly shinier 2011 self-titled full-length. This year has seen the release of the even more expansive Attack on Memory and a string of upcoming opening dates for Silversun Pickups. Not a bad three years for a Hardcore obsessed kid from Cleveland.You'll Dig It If You Dig: The idea of Tommy Keene and Kevin Seconds stirring up some Pop and some Punk for a Husker Du tribute. (Brian Baker)Cloud Nothings perform at Midnight on Friday, Sept. 28, at the Cincinnati Club. Here's the official music video for Cloud Nothings' "No Future/No Past." Cloud Nothings - "No Future / No Past" Official Video from Urban Outfitters on Vimeo.SLEEPER PICKShrub (Columbus, OH)Reggae/Hip Hop/RockReggae, Rock and Hip Hop have been brought together numerous times before and often there’s a weak link, with artists skimping on at least one of the three ingredients (or lacking the talent to infuse it properly). Six-piece Columbus band Shrub doesn’t have that problem — the Reggae jumps from the speaker courtesy of the air-tight groove, while the Rock comes from the band’s inherent power (and power chords). Meanwhile, the way the group (which has recorded with Ohio Hip Hop giant Blueprint) uses its Hip Hop skills may be most impressive, showcasing fantastic MC verses and a DJ who doesn’t just offer a few “wiki wikis” here and there, instead threading each track with clever samples and scratches.Dig: Sublime, G. Love, Gym Class Heroes drop the Pop, smoke a blunt and indulge their Reggae/Hip Hop fantasies. (Mike Breen)Shrub performs Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club. Here's a clip for Shrub's track "Supergirl."LOCAL LOCK PICKBrian Olive (Cincinnati, OH)Rock/PopAfter honing his skills as an original member of The Greenhornes, then later joining northern Ohio’s Soledad Brothers for a spell, Brian Olive struck out on his own to showcase his formidable songwriting skills and his ability to inhabit classic Rock and Soul styles without sounding throwback. After earning international attention for his 2009 debut album, Olive released Two of Everything in 2011, topping himself and distilling his seeming encyclopedic grasp on vintage R&B, Soul, Rock and Psych into a powerful sound brought to life with help from co-producer Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. When not working on other projects (like the latest Dr. John album), Olive and his band of local musicians travel throughout the U.S. (and occasionally Europe) frequently in support of the release. Dig: ’60s Pop, Garage Rock, Soul, R&B, Jazz and Blues. (MB)Brian Olive and his band perform Friday, Sept. 28, at the Vitaminwater Room/Hanke Building at 10 p.m. Here's a very cool promo clip for MPMF.12 featuring Olive's great tune "Strange Attractor." The clip was made by Big Media Company and directed by David Morrison (who local music fans will remember as the former drummer for The Ass Ponys and Ruby Vileos). MidPoint Music Festival 2012 from Big Media Company on Vimeo.Click here for full MPMF details via the official MidPoint site.
The first of two weeks' worth of daily recommendations for 2012's MidPoint Music Festival
The official MidPoint Music Festival guide, featuring preview blurbs on all 186 artists performing at this year's fest, is on the streets now to help make your MPMF.12 itinerary-planning a little easier. Yesterday, when the issue had just come out, I already had a handful of people asking me who my top picks were for the fest. Writing and/or reading and editing 186 paragraphs about 186 bands does things to your mind that I can't even explain, so I had to beg off. But I'm ready now.Starting today, exactly two weeks before MPMF.12 kicks off in the venues of Over-the-Rhine and Downtown, we're beginning the "Daily MPMFer," a daily dose of recommendations for who to see at the festival, should you have a hole in your personal schedule. We'll post three blurbs a day — one about a bigger, more known act, one about a slightly more under-the-radar "sleeper" and one about a local band. I'll also add a song sample or music video to each to give MPMF-goers an even better sense of the artists' talents. (The blurbs were written by myself, the legendary Brian Baker and scrappy up-and-comer Deirdre Kaye, both of whom were hugely helpful compiling our beast of a guide this year.) There are so many great performers at this year's fest, we probably won't get to all the worthy contenders, but we'll get you started (you have to do some exploring on your own). And, when in doubt, always go with the artist with "(Cincinnati, OH)" next to their name; all of our hometown MPMFers are worthy of your attention. Be sure to grab a guide (there should be plenty floating around come fest time) and start mapping out your long weekend of music. We'll also add any MPMF updates — crucial or otherwise — in these "Daily MPMFers," to keep you abreast of the latest developments. You can also click here for our MPMF hub on citybeat.com, with feature stories, MPMF-related tweets and more. Today's big news — three-day wristbands are selling quick and may well sell out. Be sure to grab yours immediately for the best pricing deal (limited one-day tickets will be $50 or you can pay individual cover charges which will add up quickly). Click here for more ticket info. BIG SHOTHospitality (Brooklyn, NY)Indie Pop Driven by the singular Pop song stylings of Amber Papini, Hospitality first caught attention with a lo-fi, untitled EP, which garnered a rare glowing review from Pitchfork. The band signed with legendary Indie Rock label Merge and released its self-titled full-length debut for the label earlier this year. At its core, Hospitality’s music has some of the primal vibe of early ’90s K Records releases, but the sophisticated arrangements wrapped around Papini’s compellingly unique voice give the album a depth those artists were rarely capable of. You'll Dig It If You Dig: Ivy, Tennis, Barbara Manning, Tiger Trap. (Mike Breen)Hospitality performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, on the Grammer's/Dewey's Pizza stage. Check out the band's emotionally-heavy new video for the track "Eighth Avenue." Hospitality - Eighth Avenue from Merge Records on Vimeo.SLEEPER PICKKitten (Los Angeles, CA)Indie Electro PopKitten frontwoman Chloe Chaidez grew up on Classic Rock and CMJ compilation CDs thanks to a tuned-in father who once drummed for Punk bands in L.A. Chaidez had her first band by the time she was 10 and by 12 she was opening for artists like Midlake and Bright Eyes. She had a false-start entry into the music biz when she was almost derailed by drinking and drugging, but she quickly righted the ship and got back on a sober track, crafting the music that would become Kitten’s recently released EP, Cut It Out, for Atlantic Records. The album mixes New Wave electronics, driving guitars and Chaidez’s stellar Pop songwriting abilities for a sound hip enough for the cool kids but catchy enough to fit right in with a lot of today’s Top 40 offerings. Dig: The Ting Tings and Teagan and Sara on the dancefloor, Grimes. (MB)Kitten performs at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, on the Know Theater/Biore Strip main stage. Here's the video for the title track of Kitten's new EP. LOCAL LOCK PICKAutomagik (Cincinnati, OH)Indie RockIt’s been a couple of years since Automagik dropped their eponymous debut full-length, and it’s way past time for the Cincinnati highwire rockers to birth its follow up. With helium-tinged vocals, glammy guitars and a Viking rhythm section reminiscent of The Darkness and Queen, Automagik has found the perfect balance of Garage Rock swagger, ’70s Rock bluster, New Wave quirk and Indie Rock anthemics, creating a jet-fueled sonic explosion that sounds eerily familiar and wildly original. Presumably, Automagik has worked up new material, but can they top the sugar rush head chill of “Brain Freeze” or the Rock operatics of “Paper Heart”? Show up, drink the Kool-Aid and be converted.Dig: Foxy Shazam if they’d been more obsessed with Weezer than Queen, and yet devoted to both. Queezer? (Brian Baker)Automagik performs Friday, Sept. 28, at Below Zero Lounge. Here's the very cool, dizzying video for "Teleportation Blues." Click here for full MPMF details via the official MidPoint site.
Newly renovated OTR historical landmarks offer function, charm to MPMF.12
1 Comment · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Dan McCabe’s been keeping a close eye on the
transformation of Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park since last October. MidPoint Music Festival’s executive producer talks about the park and the renovated Emery Theatre becoming a part of the increasingly OTR-supportive fest.
MidPoint Film Festival presents local and international indie filmmaking talent
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
For the first time ever, in the historic Over-the-Rhine
district, Indie rockers and indie filmmakers are coming together for one
festival. The School for Creative and Performing Arts (108 W. Central
Parkway) will be the home of the MidPoint Film Festival (MPFF), which is
the official film component of the MidPoint Music Festival (MPMF).
by Mike Breen
Your long weekend begins with quality live music options in Downtown/Over-the-Rhine
• Downtown at Arnold's tonight (Friday), catch influential cult hero Paleface, a man who has been on the cutting edge of contemporary music's continual fascination with traditional Folk music and an influence on some of the more adventurous musicians who seek to translate that vintage spirit into their own voice. Over the past 20-plus years, the singer/songwriter has been an Anti Folk torchbearer and an Indie Folk mentor, first learning songwriting and lo-fi recordings from underground legend Daniel Johnston in the late ’80s. From there he went on to teach a few tricks to roommate Beck (pre-fame), help the so-called "Freak Folk" scene grow freakier and folkier and collaborate frequently with pals The Avett Brothers. Whether directly or indirectly, if you dig today's "Indie Folk" — or any brand of slanted or subversive Americana — you've likely heard the results of Paleface's unique influence. Click here to read more.Paleface's show tonight at Arnold's is free and — icing on the cake — great local Folk Pop group Shiny and the Spoon opens the show at 9 p.m. The gig will also be the first one for which Arnold's has commissioned a special concert poster. Crafted by talented local artist Keith Neltner (who has done commissioned poster art for Alice in Chains, Modest Mouse, Hank Williams III, The Avett Brothers, Cake, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and many others), the prints (pictured above) are available for $25 while they last (only 50 were pressed). Here's Paleface's video for his ode to NYC, fittingly titled "New York, New York." UPDATE: Arnold's just announced this afternoon that Paleface has cancelled due to illness. A rescheduled date is in the works. Shiny and the Spoon is still performing. • After the best summer series yet, the final MidPoint Indie Summer concert on Fountain Square goes down tonight at 7 p.m. And the every-Friday series is going out with a bang, featuring a flawless triple bill of local acts. Things get started with superb modern Soul translators The Guitars, who will be followed by the duo R. Ring, featuring Dayton, Ky.'s Mike Montgomery (longtime local engineer ad musician, currently with Ampline) and Dayton, Ohio's Kelley Deal (The Breeders). R. Ring spoke with CityBeat's Brian Baker about the project in this week's paper. Read it online here. Headlining tonight's Fountain Square concert is Wussy, the now-veteran four-piece that is gearing up for some huge happenings on the horizon, including tour dates with The Afghan Whigs and Heartless Bastards and a trip to the U.K. by co-frontpeople/singer/guitarists Lisa Walker and Chuck Cleaver (playing as a duo) for several shows in support of the band's first U.K. release, Buckeye, a retrospective that came out to glowing reviews this summer. Read more about Wussy's many goings on here. Here's the skate video by Kristian Svitak that R. Ring helped re-soundtrack. After DEVO's record label removed the video because it used the group's song "Mr. DNA," Svitak got together to record a new version with Deal and Montgomery. The song in the re-edited video was so popular, R. Ring released it as a limited edition single and local label Phratry Records released it digitally. (Click here to get your own copy.) • Popular local Gypsy Jazz favorites and Django Reinhardt devotees The Faux Frenchmen celebrate the group's 10th anniversary tonight with a show at downtown's Blue Wisp Jazz Club. A decade ago this fall, the band (which features esteemed local musicians George Cunningham, Brian Lovely, Paul Patterson and Don Aren) made its debut, starting an every-Monday residency at former Clifton restaurant Tink's. Over the years, the band has only gotten more popular, drawing attention from outside of Cincinnati and performing numerous road dates (this fall they return for their sixth appearance at the annual Jazz at Chautauqua Festival in New York). The band's anniversary show begins at 8:30 p.m. and admission is $10. Here's a clip from the Frenchmen performing on another anniversary — Reinhardt's birthday (taken from one of their annual appearances on WNKU in honor of Django).• The performers for the weekly "Friday Flow" concerts at Washington Park are always a bit of a surprise because the lineups have been announced within only a week or two of the performances. It's also a surprise because the featured act is usually something pleasantly unexpected. Dayton Funk greats Lakeside ("Fantastic Voyage") popped up one week and Neo Soul star Dwele launched the series this summer. Tonight's free Friday Flow concert is another cool, unanticipated treat. Just announced earlier this week, the show will feature R&B singer Chrisette Michele, a Hip Hop hook-singer extraordinaire (with Jay-Z, Nas, The Game and others) who has also had a successful career on her own, releasing a handful of acclaimed, charting albums for Def Jam. The other headliner is Rob Base, a Hip Hop artist most know from his 1988 hit with DJ E-Z Rock, "It Takes Two." Because of the volleyball tournament in Washington Park tonight, gates for the concert won't open until 7:30 p.m. Another change from the usual Friday Flow flow (also due to volleyball) — no food, drinks or coolers will be permitted (this weekend only). Extra food vendors will be on hand to feed the masses. Click here for even more live music events going on tonight in Greater Cincy.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Events
at 10:06 AM | Permalink
Labor Day weekend
is upon us, and even though the weather may stay hot through October, it
represents our kiss goodbye to summer. Fire up the grill, bust out the
margaritas and find your prime spot to watch Sunday’s WEBN fireworks
because no matter which side of the river you’re cheering from, there are tons
of events to cram in this long weekend.
Washington Park sometime Friday-Sunday to check out the AVP Cincinnati Open. Pro beach volleyball
players straight from the London Olympics compete daily to qualify for the 2012
AVP Championships in Santa Barbara, Calif. Tickets run $15-20.
The MidPoint Indie
Summer Series wraps up Friday night with Wussy, R. Ring and The Guitars playing
Fountain Square, 7-11 p.m. We’re officially four weeks away from the main
event: MPMF Sept. 27-29. Do you have your wristband yet? You should get on
Enjoy Friday’s blue
with a group ride organized by The Urban Basin Bicycle Club. Meet at outside Know Theater by 8:30 p.m. and enjoy a short, flat ride around
Over-the-Rhine and Downtown. Deck yourself and your ride out with battery-powered lights,
sparkles and other shiny materials to keep this ride fun and safe for everyone.
Final Friday means
OTR’s galleries, bars, restaurants and shops will be a-buzz all night. After
you’ve gotten your arts and drinks fix, be sure to check out the Night Owl
Market at the
parking lot at Main Street and Central Parkway. Food vendors
will be serving up tasty goodness from 10 p.m.-3 a.m., in addition to shopping and more
late-night fun. Read more about the new monthly market here.
Has it been a
while since you made the voyage north to Harveysburg for the Ohio Renaissance
Festival? The epic old-timey fair returns this weekend,
and it’s way more than what you probably remembered as a kid. The 30-acre, re-created
16th century English village is chock-full of jousting, mud fights and
fire-breathers, games, rides and shopping, plus more food and booze than you can
shake a giant turkey leg at! The fest is open 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Monday
and weekends through Oct. 21. Huzzah!
many find the Ren Fest to be a romantic outing,
maybe you're looking for a different suggestion for date night. Fountain Square hosts the
Guinness Oyster Fest Saturday. What, oyster speed-eating contests don’t rev your engine? Well, the
slippery mollusks are known to be an aphrodisiac.
So chow down on raw and cooked oyster dishes from area restaurants and enjoy
plenty of Guinness and live music from 5-10 p.m.
The lovely little
town of Rabbit Hash in Burlington celebrates its 33rd
annual Old Timer’s Day Saturday. The “center of the universe”
promises a day of live music, yummy
grub, a “barnival” for kids and endless river views. Leave the coolers at home
— the General Store is stocked with all the snacks, pop and beer you’ll need (plus
countless rustic knick knacks you’ll want to take home). Visit the mayor (Lucy
Lou, a border collie) and walk through the picturesque community 11 a.m.-11
Elizabeth Harper takes Synth Pop to new level with collaborative group, Class Actress
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Harper fronted Class Actress, she had majored
in drama in college and moved to Los Angeles to follow her acting dream,
but found herself disillusioned. After relocating to Brooklyn, N.Y.,
Harper shifted her passion from the music of drama to the drama of
by Mike Breen
Sleeper pick for the best Fountain Square show of the summer
Tonight's free, all-ages MidPoint Indie Summer concert on Fountain Square is certainly one of the most eclectic ever … and may turn out to be one of the best ever. Exhibit A: Openers Sidewalk Chalk at 7 p.m.Chicago's Sidewalk Chalk have opened for De La Soul and ?uestlove, and Lupe Fiasco majorly shouted-them-out on his Twitter and Facebook pages. The band is described as "a hip-hop, soul, jazz octet that consists of a singer, emcee, drummer, bass, trombone, trumpet, keys player, and a tap dancer."Here's the music video for Sidewalk Chalk's "Water Song" from the group's album Corner Store. Exhibit B: Middle-slot performers Kansas Bible Company at 8:15 p.m. From nearby Goshen, Ind. (currently working out of Nashville), KBC has wowed Cincy crowds a few times in the past year or so. The dynamic Soul/Jazz/Rock band trumps Sidewalk Chalk's mere eight-person membership, featuring "a five-man horn line, three guitars, two percussionists and one bass."Dig this video for the great KBC tune "How to Build A Planet" from their album Ad Astra Per Aspera (rough translation: A rough road leads to the stars).Exhibit C: Headliners A Place to Bury Strangers at 9:30 p.m. Another frequent visitor to Cincy, the NYC-based APTBS are like a more abrasive, modern update of Jesus & Mary Chain's Psychocandy album. Guitar nuts can also bathe in some cool guitar sounds courtesy of the band's own line of effect pedals. (Read Reyan Ali's interview with the band for CityBeat from this past March here.)Here is a video from A Place to Bury Strangers' recently released Worship album, "You Are The One." (Mildly NSFW clip.)