0 Comments · Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Heaven, the fourth album by
remarkable Cincinnati-based Indie Pop troupe Pomegranates, was released
nationally on June 5, and this weekend the group presents a hometown
album release party to celebrate. And there’s plenty of reason to
celebrate — Heaven is a stunning work of art that manages to top
not only the Poms’ past three albums, but also most “big name” releases
this year so far.
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.
by Mike Breen
New York City Indie/Dream Pop crew to play Fountain Square in August
New York City Indie group School of Seven Bells has been added to the lineup for the 2012 MidPoint Indie Summer series (kicking off tonight at 7 p.m.!). The project sprouted in 2007 when guitarist Benjamin Curtis split from The Secret Machines and joined forces with singer Alejandra Deheza. The electronic-infused group's most recent release, Ghostory, came out earlier this year to generally great reviews and is certain to pop up on many end-of-the-year critics' polls. Check 'em out on Jimmy Fallon's show below.School of Seven Bells headlines the Aug. 24 MidPoint Indie Summer concert.
by Mike Breen
Preperations on their way for the 11th MPMF and fifth under CityBeat's management
Tickets for the 11th annual MidPoint Music Festival went on sale this morning. Click here to get yours before everyone else. Here's what MPMF producer Dan McCabe has to say about this year's event: "This is the fifth year CityBeat has operated Cincinnati's 11-year old MidPoint Music Festival. In each year we have pushed to expand the event with the help of our sponsors, the Over The Rhine neighborhood and music fans. MPMF is now a regional cultural event that shows off our city like no other. This September all eyes and ears will be on you Cincinnati! Now is your opportunity to participate. Get your pass while they last."Perhaps the biggest news announced today was the addition of a new venue — a stage in the freshly remodeled Washington Park. The park venue is being called "MPMF.12's main stage," so expect many of the biggest acts to perform there. Fans can purchase advanced single-concert tickets for that main stage for the first time this year. The stage is open to fans of all ages. The fest is also offering "Loyalty Presale All Music Access Passes" at a discount. Supplies are limited.On June 6, the first lineup announcement will be issued. A "minimum of 20" of the 170 or so acts booked for the fest will be announced. (I've heard "rumors" about a couple; my only hint: "animals.")Keep an eye on MPMF.com for the latest developments.
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
Bands/performers interested in showcasing — y'all better hurry!
If you are a musician who has an act they'd like to showcase at this year's MidPoint Music Festival and you haven't submitted for consideration, you better get on it. Tomorrow is the final day submissions will be accepted. Click here for details on how to submit an EPK for consideration. In related news, the MidPoint Indie Summer concert series (which has it's own Wikipedia page!) returns every Friday on Fountain Square starting June 1. Expect lineup announcements soon. A certain amazing local Power Pop/Rock band has "hinted" they will be a part of the series this year. But you didn't hear it from me.MidPoint has also posted some fresh artwork that you are encouraged to use to create your own "posters, clothes, or otherwise interesting and useful things." Get your base materials here and check out the design below.
by Mike Breen
MPMF.11 faves play a freebie tonight with like-minded Zoo Animal at MOTR
Though they hail from Minneapolis, Indie Pop duo Fort Wilson Riot list its "hometown" as "Our dear van Casandra," a nod to the pair's nomadic life as a D.I.Y. touring entity. Buzzed about after their appearance at last year's MidPoint Music Festival, the twosome (Amy Hager on vocals, keyboard, guitar and trumpet and Jacob Mullis on vocals, guitar and keyboards) returns to Cincinnati tonight for a free show at MOTR Pub. FWR has been noted for its dynamic approach, shifting around from Indie Folk to Garage Rock to Dance Pop and beyond. Here's FWR's latest single, the Electro groovin' "For All the Little Things," taken from its split EP release with Minneapolis' Phantom Tails.<a href="http://fortwilsonriot.bandcamp.com/album/generation-complex-ep">Generation Complex EP by Fort Wilson Riot</a>The show kicks off at 10 p.m. with openers Zoo Animal, stirring vocalist Holly Newsom's self-described "Minimalist Grunge Pop with heart" group, also from the Twin Cities and inspired by the likes of Julee Cruise, Keren Ann and another "Newsom," the harp-rockin' Joanna. Here's the gauzy, woozy Zoo Animal track "Laying and Lying" from the recent seven-song EP Departure.<a href="http://zooanimal.bandcamp.com/track/laying-and-lying">Laying and Lying by Zoo Animal</a>
by Mike Breen
Musical acts can begin applying for a slot at September's MidPoint Music Festival
Though it feels like it was only yesterday that we cleaned up the final beer cup from MidPoint Music Festival's wildly successful 10th anniversary event last September, submissions to perform at MPMF.12 open tomorrow. This year's MidPoint is set to return to various venues in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood Sept. 27-29. The early submission deadline is March 31; submission fees go up after that and will be accepted until the drop-dead deadline date, May 11.To submit, artists will need to prepare their SonicBids press kit, with an updated bio, photos, press clips and at least three songs. Click here to find out more about the submission process.After last year's success — 185 acts across 18 stages performing for 23,000 music lovers — competition for slots is expected to be higher than ever. Be sure to get yourself in the mix early.To keep tabs on all things MidPoint, keep checking CityBeat's music blog, visit the main fest site and follow MPMF.12 on Facebook and Twitter.
MidPoint Music Festival once again raised the bar
0 Comments · Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Last week's confluence of milestone events and
anniversaries that all seemed loosely interrelated: R.E.M. announced its breakup, Nirvanamania
re-swept the nation as the press and fans celebrated the 20th
anniversary of a ground-breaking album and Cincinnati’s 10th MidPoint Music Festival experienced its most successful year yet, seriously upgrading the
Alternative music festival’s profile in the music world.
by Brian Baker
I love the first night of MidPoint; the anticipation, the excitement, the friends, the music, the potential for getting wetter than you’ve been since the birth experience. It’s magic, a sensation perhaps intensified on Thursday, being the first night of the festival’s tenth anniversary.