WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Janiva Magness at Winter Blues Fest

Saturday • The Phoenix

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Blues chanteuse Janiva Magness has channeled her tragedies into an impressive body of work that stands with the best the genre has to offer.   
by Mike Breen 01.17.2014
Posted In: Live Music, Music News, Festivals at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
 
 
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First Artists for Buckle Up Music Festival Debut Announced

Bunbury Music Festival’s offshoot Country fest set for July 18-20

Word has been trickling out over the past few weeks about a new Country music festival in Cincinnati, organized by Bunbury Music Festival founder Bill Donabedian. Today, the first four artists slated to appear at the inaugural Buckle Up Music Festival were announced. The festival is set for the weekend after Bunbury — July 18-20 — and will use the same grounds at Sawyer Point/Yeatman’s Cove along the Ohio River. (Think of it as Bunbury’s version of Coachella’s Stagecoach fest.)The lineup will feature “upwards of 80 performers” and include both modern, commercial Country acts and variations on the Country theme — “folk, bluegrass, Americana, roots rock and more,” according to the press materials — something the initial lineup announcement reflects.Legendary Country act Alabama (which for many years used the controversial Confederate Flag in its artwork, years before Kanye decided to reclaim it) and current Country hitmakers the Eli Young Band will be joined by up-and-comers J.T. Hodges (whose music has been described as “Country Soul with some Rock N’ Roll”) and eclectic Brooklyn-based Americana trio The Lone Bellow, which performed last November at Cincinnati’s 20th Century Theater (read CityBeat’s preview here).Tickets for Buckle Up are on sale now here. Area artists interested in performing at the festival need to submit by Jan. 30 here. More Buckle Up lineup announcements are expected in the coming weeks. 
 
 
by Mike Breen 11.14.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals at 04:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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PREVIEW: Friday and Saturday's Ubahn Fest

The new Ubahn Fest kicks off tomorrow, spotlighting Hip Hop and EDM in Cincinnati's underground

This weekend brings the uniquely “underground” Ubahn Fest to downtown Cincinnati. The two-day music festival (its name a play on the German word for underground rapid transit systems) features a mix of Electronic music, DJs and Hip Hop artists, including many local and regional performers. Ubahn is a collaboration between the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, branding/”social intelligence” agency AGAR and Self Diploma, one of the leading independent event promoters in the region, presenting the popular every-Saturday music series on Fountain Square during the summer (among other events).   While Cincinnati has its share of music fests, this is a rare one that focuses on EDM and Hip Hop. Even more unique is the festival’s setting. Ubahn takes place in the tunnels of the vacant Riverfront Transit Center, located beneath Second Street and running between the Bengals stadium and Broadway. For fest-goers, the entrance is at 220 Central Ave., between Pete Rose Way and Third Street.  Along with the local/regional talent, Ubahn features two huge acts to top the bill each night. Friday’s headliner is A-Trak, one of the leading DJs/turntablists around, working frequently with Kanye West, doing production work and remixes for an array of artists, forming the popular duo Duck Sauce with Armand Van Helden, collaborating with the likes of Travis Barker, Jay-Z and Danny Brown and co-founding the esteemed Electronic/Hip Hop label, Fool’s Gold. A-Trak was featured on the cover of Billboard’s 2012 Dance music issue alongside Skrillex and Diplo. Here is a clip featuring footage from A-Trak’s huge Bonnaroo set this year: Saturday’s headliner is singer/songwriter/producer Mike Posner, who has built a large following with his memorable brand of eclectic Electro Pop. Posner has also found success working with a wide range of artists — everyone from Big Sean and 2 Chainz to Justin Bieber and Big Time Rush — as a producer, songwriter and/or guest artist. Posner’s much anticipated new album, Pages, is due next year. Here’s the clip for Posner’s 2013 single, “The Way It Used to Be”: DJs, EDM and Hip Hop artists from across the region joining A-Trak for Friday’s festivities include DJ Davey C, DJ Prism, The Animal Crackers, Erik Barnum, The Natives, Sh3llz, Eazy El Loco, DJ Vizion, Panzer, Disco Joe, DJ Worldpeace, DJ Fursur and Briz-Rain.  Cincinnati’s Puck also appears at Ubahn on Friday. The MC released a music video for his track “Outside” last month: Another local MC performing Friday is Trademark Aaron, who kicked off the summer with a great new EP, For the People. More recently, Aaron posted the short film made to accompany a new track called “Shake,” featuring Sleep of 2 Man Cypher (Sleep performs Saturday at Ubahn): Saturday’s lineup is rounded out by local and regional acts like Cal Scruby, K.M.F., CJ Townsend, Those Guys,  Big Cam, DJ Donkis, DJ Magnificent, DJ Drowsy, Sleep, Nuk, Nick Youngerman and PRJR.  Cincy “new wave Hip Hop” act Valley High will also appear at Ubahn on Saturday. Here is their recent video release for the track “8 Ball”: And here’s a recent track from local progressive Electronicists Black Signal called “Sai Pei.” The trio is also playing Ubahn on Saturday: Another local Saturday performer is Hip Hop artist Buggs Tha Rocka who recently announced that modern Hip Hop legend Talib Kweli will executive produce his next album. Before that, Buggs will release a new mixtape next month. The MC recently posted the freestyle track “Gold Bars in Tha Safe,” which you can listen to and download below: <a href="http://buggstharocka.bandcamp.com/album/-">

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Resilient Rebellion

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club re-emerges from some difficult, dark times with 'Specter at the Feast'

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 25, 2013
On Specter of the Feast, MidPoint Music Festival headliners Black Rebel Motorcycle Club showcases both the band’s buzzing Rock & Roll side and its more atmospheric approach.  

A Feast of Fests

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Summer isn't summer without at least one trek to an outdoor music festival and all the awkward tan lines, sweaty tees, Instagrams and red Solo cups that accompany them.  

Know Your 'Heights'

Eclectic local event The Heights Music Festival presents only one fest this year and it's this weekend

1 Comment · Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The biannual Heights Music Festival slims down slightly for its 2013 spring event, with no fall event planned this year so organizers can work on making the fest even bigger in better in 2014. The Heights Music Festival — perhaps the best fest in the area for checking out a wide variety of new Greater Cincinnati musical acts — goes down this Friday and Saturday in Clifton Heights.  

MidPoint is Here and The National Are Coming Soon

Latest updates for this week's MidPoint Music Festival and news on The National's upcoming concert

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Get the latest updates for this week's MidPoint Music Festival and news on The National's upcoming concert at the Emery Theatre on a mini-tour for Barack Obama.   

Something Old, Something New

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.   
by Deirdre Kaye 07.16.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals, Music Video at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Bunburied Alive … and Lovin' It

Reflections on the final day of the inaugural Bunbury Music Festival

I’ve been to more festivals than I care to recall, but they mostly pale in comparison to Bunbury’s inaugural weekend. The planners of the three-day Cincinnati festival scored awesome bands for a first-year festival and the location couldn’t have been more spectacular, stretching from Sawyer Point to Yeatman's Cove along the riverfront.Bonnaroo sucks because there are hardly any trees and therefore no shade — it’s like spending a weekend on the sun. While the fairly awesome, Memphis in May offers a similar riverside locale, but it’s also missing the shade and it fails to take full advantage of its riverfront property. The Bunbury planners nailed it. Not only does Sawyer Point offer plenty of tree-covered walkways between stages, but also grassy knolls, flushing toilets and a great breeze. And the Landor Stage! Whatever genius said, “Let’s put a stage at the base of the Serpentine Wall,” deserves a raise. The river and Big Mac Bridge were excellent backdrops for the bands lucky enough to play there and a great way to show off some of Cincy's charm to festival goers from afar. I saw Good Old War perform to a packed … "wall," and it was by far the coolest and most laidback of the shows I caught. Watching everyone lounge around on the huge concrete steps while listening to the trio play music and goof off was a great break from the shuffling and shifting crowds just a few feet behind us. The band's drummer did a pretty great impersonation of Harry Belafonte and sang “Day-o” for us, which worked well with the sunny sky and chilled-out vibes on the wall. Even better was how loud the crowd got when he sang, “Daylight come and me wanna go home.” Hardly anyone knew the rest of the words, but they had fun pretending. Good Old War was probably my favorite performance and Landor Stage was definitely my favorite place to hang out.Another great way Bunbury made sure to represent the Cincinnati spirit was with tons of local food and beer. Not only did they have the big names, like Skyline and LaRosa’s, but they also brought in places like Taste of Belgium and beer from Hudy. (Sure, some UDF or Graeter’s would have also been nice, but it was only the first year.)Speaking of food, I was overwhelmed by the lack of food I saw on the ground, neither dropped nor regurgitated. Cincinnati did an excellent job at keeping their park clean, even when they flooded it with feet. I was super proud (and relieved) to not have to step over any up-chucked chilli on my way various jaunts from one end of the park to the other.And that’s a trek I made quite a few times, too. From The Tillers to Good Old War and then back to the far end to see Bad Veins, I spent a good deal of my Sunday slipping through the crowds to get from one end of the point to the other as quickly as possible.  It was worth it, though, especially for The Tillers!I own The Tillers’ first two albums, but I’d only seen them once before, at one of their usual spots — Northside Tavern. It was a night where they went on late and I happened to be with more introverted friends. It was a good show, but it lacked the oomph I experienced at Bunbury. Those boys were made to play in the sunshine and trees, that’s for sure. And Cincinnati made sure to show love to their hometown band. Hopefully, Mike, Sean and Aaron picked, bowed and bellowed their ways into some new hearts, as well. Their show sealed the deal on The Tillers being one of the many reasons why I love Cincinnati. We’re the kind of people where their kind of music can be properly loved and respected for exactly what it is and never expected to be anything more.Those were the highlights of my day, but I’d say the whole experience was a good one. Musically, there were really only two downsides to the fest and they were both pretty personal. To begin with, I think Neon Trees really lose their appeal in the daylight. They are everything that’s glowing, neon or flashing. They sing songs that, when sung along to, require sassy facial expressions and overly dramatized hand gestures. These are things that are best done in the dark. I also wasn’t thrilled with Death Cab for Cutie, though I know I’m in the minority on that one. Here’s the thing, though:  “I Will Possess Your Heart” is really freaking creepy and “I Will Follow You into the Dark” is the exact opposite of the kind of love I want. I’m fairly certain anyone who’s ever been the person least committed to a relationship will understand my sentiment.Still. Those things were minor. Most important is that Sunday was a good day and Bunbury, in my summation, was a huge success.Writer’s note: There were a few things I thought worth mentioning but not worthy of the effort of a more fluid insertion into the above review. I’d like to add the following whimsy, as long as I won’t be sacked. Otherwise, just leave it off. (Editor's note: These are hilarious. You get a raise — two free movie passes next week!)• Apparently making cut-offs from Mom jeans is a fashion trend. I reject this.• Next year I’d like to rent a boat and spend one afternoon experiencing Bunbury from the river with the rest of the freeloaders.• Seriously. I’m really proud of you for not puking in public.• To the lady in the wheelchair with her legs stuck directly out in front of her: Are you sure you couldn’t find an even less convenient position in which to ride? (Editor's note: This may be offensive; see me.)• I saw a New Kids on the Block tattoo and I still have no idea how I feel about it.• Can we try to get an ice company to sponsor a stage next year? I really hate my beverage lukewarm.• I’d still prefer a festival that took place in December or January. (Name suggestions: Bit Nipple-y Concert Series and Freeze Your Balls Off Fest)Click here for our photo gallery by Jesse Fox featuring over 150 shots from Bunbury weekend. And keep checking the music blog for more post-game coverage. Sorry for the delay — r tender li'l brains got a bit frieded dis weakened.
 
 
by Deirdre Kaye 07.15.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Live Music, Festivals at 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Falling in Love at Bunbury

A love/hate relationship with music festivals skewers to the love side at Bunbury

I hate festivals. I hate that they’re always at the peak of a heat wave or in the middle of a tornado warning. I hate that 90 percent of festival goers don’t understand the concept of deodorant. I hate the rushing around to multiple stages and the trying to decide who you like best when two awesome bands are both playing at 6 p.m  I hate that my friends hate festivals, too, and always refuse to go with me. And I really hate the lack of cold beverages.And yet Saturday afternoon found me in the middle of the crowd at Bunbury falling hopelessly in love with some band called “Imagine Dragons.”It began during the second song I heard after arriving late to the Bud Light Stage. The lead singer, Dan Reynolds, bounced from one end of the stage to the other. The crowd around me sang along to songs I’d only heard once before, throwing their hands above their heads, voices to the sky and adoration at the stage. They practically worshiped a guy I’d only seen once in a small picture on Wikipedia. My love deepened when Reynolds spoke with absolute sincerity about how much it meant to see so many people singing along to their songs. Imagine Dragons hadn’t even performed in Cincinnati until their stop at Bunbury.  Then, as it often does, my heart melted at the sound of motorcycle boots and a palm on the chest as they thumped out a beat. Finally, my mug o’ love filled with melt-y heart goo, overflowed when the drummer, Daniel Platzman, flung himself off the stage after their set and bequeathed drumsticks to his adoring fans. These guys were perfect. Their music was made for screaming and dancing and the band members seemed so genuine.Nothing gets to me faster than a shaggy-haired dude saying a heartfelt “thank you” to his fans.  Thirty minutes into my time at Bunbury and I was madly in love.It happens all the time, my falling in love at festivals  In 1998, it was Hanson at a radio station festival in Miami. In 2001, it was a boy named Justin at the Buzz Bake Sale. Last year, it was The David Mayfield Parade at Appalachian Uprising and Avett Brothers at Memphis in May. This year I fell in love with Ben Howard at Bonnaroo and Imagine Dragons at Bunbury. That feeling you get when you realize you’ve happened upon something amazing is pretty rare. Festivals, though, are like breeding grounds for that sensation. I’m certain that while music fans think festivals exist so they can see all their favorite bands at once, their organizers think festivals exist only for the purpose of making people gain new favorite bands.  Study any festival schedule and you’ll see what I mean. At some point during the day there will be about an hour of time where there will be three bands playing and you won’t have heard of any of them. You’ll call that, “dinner time.”  However, as you wander along, looking for the perfect supper, you’ll also shuffle past three stages of random music. Almost inevitably the sound from of those stages will catch your attention and pull you across the grass to the barricade. Forty-five minutes later, you’re buying the band’s EP and mass texting your friends to tell them to check out this new band you just heard.On Saturday I saw, among others, Manchester Orchestra, Gaslight Anthem and Weezer. (Weezer!) They were awesome, just as I’d expected. I flew from stage to stage, trying to catch as much of everything as possible. But the show that held my attention for the longest time was on the smaller stage and it lured me in while I was looking around for something to drink other than beer. The performance I’ll remember years from now won’t be Weezer, whom I’ve waited so long to see. It will be Imagine Dragons and it will be a memory of yet another time I fell in love.In the words of James Hetfield (Metallica, y’all), “Nothing else matters.”  However, I’m supposed to report on the entire festival. So, here’s how the rest of my evening went something like this: I had Taco Azul for dinner and they were yummy beyond belief. I left for a bit to make my first ever walk across the Purple People Bridge to score photos of the fest from afar and I don’t regret that decision. I spent a very long time wandering from one end of the park to the other in search of cold soda/pop, found none and I spent a hot second hoping that my poor editor thought to bring his Diet Pepsi from home. So, I bought a warm beer and immediately regretted that decision. I refused to use the porta-potties. I wandered by a DJed stage and considered how much better that section would be if it were more like Bonnaroo’s Silent Disco where everyone listened to music through headphones instead. Also, I briefly questioned the logic of scheduling the festival on the same weekend as a Reds game and the World Choir Games.It was an awesome day.  Fell in love, lost five pounds from sweating so much, and saw (here it comes, again) Weezer!  And you know what else? I still don’t smell like a hobo.
 
 

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