by Jac Kern
Posted In: Music
at 12:29 PM | Permalink
Weekly 'American Idol' recap featuring Cincinnati's Jess Lamb
With the news of
local musician Jess Lamb competing on the 14th season of American Idol, I’ve been watching and waiting for the initial
audition episodes to end so we can really get into the competition and see more
Jess. This week was the first half of Hollywood rounds, where some 200
contestants that received golden tickets during the aforementioned auditions
before the judges — Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. —
converged under one roof. The musicians and singers will perform solo and as
groups for the judges, who will gradually dwindle the crowd down to the top 24
locals (Spoiler Alert), we got about 30 seconds of Jess Lamb air time between
this week’s two episodes. But on the upside, she’s still in the game!
episode, the judges surprised a room full of contestants, telling them a
select few would be called onstage to perform right then. For viewers at home,
we’ve seen these folks before — they’re the ones we saw audition and receive
golden tickets (but keep in mind there were many
more than what we saw), the judges’ “most memorable auditions.” But they
don’t know that. For those in the crowd, it seems like random contestants were
pulled up to perform in front of their competition with no immediate feedback
from the panel of mega-stars. And the judges were continuously bewildered as to
why these kids were coming up scared shitless.
First up was Jax, who looks like a PG-13 Ke$ha that got puked on by Forever 21, but gave a really
cool cover of “Toxic” by Britney Spears.
Walking New York
stereotype Sal was also called. According to the show he’s 19, but this man is definitely
at least 45 judging by his voice, appearance and penchant for standards (his
name is Sal for crying out loud).
Afro’ed Adam — who
gave a boisterous performance of “Born to be Wild” in his audition — surprised
everyone with a softer side that the judges didn’t seem to like.
through what seemed like a million 15-year-olds that made me feel like a stale
And it was nice to
see Garret, the blind cowboy with a voice of a thousand Country angels. He so
needs to be in the top 24.
After making their
way through the list, the judges called everyone who performed that day to the
stage — around 38 hopefuls. Again, clearly many
more performed than what we had seen in the episode — including our homegirl,
Jess Lamb! Despite some shaky performances, they were all immediately advanced
to the next round. We didn’t get more of than a glance at her, but Jess is safe
this week! Everyone else in the audience — about 175 kids who were mostly
convinced at this point that they were garbage people — were also off the
chopping block for the moment, and would be performing later.
contestants returned, they lined up onstage 10 at a time to perform for the
judges. One by one, they gave a little spiel and gave a quick performance.
After each group of 10 performed, eliminations were immediate. The group of 175
was cut in half. Cue the crying footage!
At one point
toward the end of Wednesday’s episode, we saw JLo have a DIVA MOMENT (OK, not
really) and talking about how cold she was in the theater. Up pops
“19-year-old” Sal again, offering a coat he’s got back at his hotel room. “I
have a wonderful 2011 Merlot. We could split it,” he said. Can we please
investigate this guy, Idol? If
28-year-old Jess is at the end of the age spectrum, middle-aged men should be
prohibited. And if he is 19, the kid's got hooch in his room!
unfolded last night, and still no real airtime for Jess. It opened with the
remaining contestants (the non-memorable auditions — wah, waahh). Alexis Gomez,
a 22-year-old Dayton, Ohio resident, was shown performing — she advanced to the
In an off-stage
scene, it looks like there’s a budding romance between Jax and Dreadlock Pirate
a.k.a. Qassim (why why why is this happening).
contestants after cuts are brought onstage and asked to split themselves into
groups of four. With around 100 people, this was udder madness and horrible
planning that resulted in one person — another Alexis (Poor Alexis D.G.) — left
with NO ONE. So sad! I feel for you, Alexis D.G.! But don’t worry, Sal came to
the rescue and invited her to join his group to make a fivesome.
The groups of four
were given a song to perform a cappella-style and had one night to perfect it.
Some of the groups eventually went to their hotel rooms but many stayed up all
night preparing — something apparently none of these people had done before. They
were so loopy!
The next morning,
the foursomes began to take the stage. At this point, I have a lot of
questions: Are we cutting down to the final 24? Will these people go through
another round of cuts before the live shows begin? Does anyone else want a
Sal’s group was
about to go on when Alexis D.G. had some kind of panic attack or fainting spell
— seriously, none of these people have ever gone without sleep before — and got
real dramatic about it. She pulled herself together to go on with the group but
immediately got wobbly and needed to be carried off stage. Another DIVA MOMENT!
And that’s where the episode ends. Hope you’re OK, Alexis! But we’ll have to
wait to find out until next time [Ryan Seacrest voice] on…American Idol.
Wednesday’s episode here; Thursday’s here.
OTR’s new music venue and event space aspires to re-energize Main Street
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine usually
receives all of the hosannas — and Guy Fieri’s overwhelming presence —
but that’s about to change when The Woodward Theater opens on Main
Street this month.
by Charlie Harmon
researching Bogart’s for the first of these columns, I discovered a place that
used to be its side-stream neighbor. Sudsy Malone’s, which sat just across the
street from Bogart’s until 2008, may be a well-known name to older
Cincinnatians, but to those of my generation I imagine it’s a legend unheard.
those who knew it well referred to it, was more than just a bar or music venue.
It was a laundromat. A gathering place of locals who fancied having a beer and
hearing a tune as their clothes turned over in bubbly cleanliness. And while it
was only open for a fraction of the time many of the big venues around here
have been, it occupies a deep space in the history of Cincinnati and its local
searches and several page scrolls through Google turns up hardly anything on
the former venue. I finally found a memorial Facebook page that further
fascinated me, still only offering a brief and general history but filled with
posts by former loyal patrons reminiscing of great times at the bar, offering
tales of hilarious happenings along with images, videos and old posters to fill
it all in with color.
I wanted to
know more in hopes of giving Sudsy’s its due place in Cincinnati music history.
To understand where it all started and where it went from there, I talked to
Janine Walz, a former managing partner who was around during the
originally owned by John Cioffi and opened in 1986. As I understand it, the
idea was inspired by similar businesses popping up in the region such as Dirty
Dungarees in Columbus. They serve beer, so you can sip some foam while
listening to the groan of washers and dryers, but Dungaree’s was never quite a
bar. They served drinks in more of a refreshment center style. Cioffi’s vision
for Sudsy’s was different.
decision for the name came from a lot of scrawling and scratching by Cioffi and
had a long list of names that they would write down as they were brainstorming,
and then they started crossing names out until it was down to Soapy Tucker’s or
Sudsy Malone’s,” Walz says.
Sharp, the highly adored Renaissance man known for his ballet career in
Cincinnati and who sadly just passed away in September, designed the character
logos. Soapy Tucker was a sort of motherly figure, whereas Sudsy Malone was a true
the face of the place, with his one-eyed look, suds-filled beer and coin-flipping
hand becoming the calling card of the bar’s sign.
walking in the front door guests faced a 40-foot bar.
have competitions to see who could slide a mug full of beer the furthest down
the bar without spilling it,” Walz recalls with a smile.
little round cocktail tables covered with dark blue tablecloths and standard
bar stools. The ceiling undulated with the movement of fans under which each
had a globular light, providing a sort of soft ambiance to the bar.
At the back
of the building sat the laundry area, a brightly lit room where the fluorescent
lights glinted off dozens of top-of-the-line washers and dryers.
some of the bands complaining after a while about the laundry room lights
because they would glow into the bar and kill the mood for the crowd,” Walz
says. “We strung up some Christmas lights and would just turn those on instead
when bands were on stage at night.”
place first opened, however, the stage didn’t exist. Live music had never even
been part of the idea.
only intended to be a laundromat with frosty-mug beer,” Walz says of the
recalls being the second laundry customer when Sudsy’s first opened. She worked
at the Perkins just up Short Vine, and happened to be John Cioffi’s waitress
the day he sat down to get food with the liquor agent that was supposed to be
approving Sudsy’s license.
were finishing lunch he asked me to come a few doors down to talk to him about
a job,” she says. “I figured it was the same distance from home and might pay
better, so I went. Next thing I knew I was hired on as a manager.”
words, she was there from the start. Walz watched the bar being built, and she
knew it when it was just a place for people to wash clothes and have a drink,
the crowd rarely exceeding 10 people.
after the place opened, a local band called The Thangs approached the owners
with the idea to play music. Essentially, they just wanted a place to gig when
nowhere else would let them. After some hesitation, Sudsy’s let them do it, and
much to their surprise the first show was packed with about 100 people. Sudsy’s
wasn’t expecting this, and they completely sold out of every drop of beer they
had stocked at the time.
outrageous success, The Thangs wanted to come back. Before long, music became
the detergent to Sudsy’s suds, responsible for consistently bringing in large
crowds. At first they charged a very minimal cover, mostly so they had
something to give the band, and offered a free soft-drink ticket with entry for
By ’87 they
were charging a $5 cover, although they would still let people in for free if
they had a basket of laundry. This often resulted in washers full of abandoned
clothes the next day, as people brought the clothes to get in and then simply
forgot about them in the excitement of music and merriment. Over time, Sudsy’s
developed a massive collection of forsaken threads.
sparked another for Walz: “I remember this guy that would show up about once
every year driving a station wagon. He would take the clothes people had left
over time and pack every inch of his car, literally. He would do something with
them, I think donate them.”
place continually packed in people like foam to the top of a mug — thanks to
the highly praised booking magic of Dan McCabe (Now of MOTR Pub) — problems
inevitably occurred that now seem laughable. The carpet in the bar area became
so matted and disgusting that it resembled tile, so Walz had it ripped out and
replaced with wood. The men’s bathroom was a story of its own. Widely known as
“Worst Men’s Bathroom,” Walz said she wouldn’t go near it, even almost buying
stainless steel sheets to layer on it so she could just hose it down at night.
point the fire department came in and completely cleared house, although there
wasn’t a single flame or wisp of smoke. The building’s stated capacity was far
under how many people they would pack in, and one night they had to count the
crowd back in, one by one. Eventually they completely stopped the music for a
period of time to get the building up to code.
small size, Sudsy’s brought in now-major acts that were rising at the time —
Beck, Smashing Pumpkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers — while also helping breed
local acts like The Afghan Whigs and Over The Rhine. Almost all the music was
original, save some special events like Grateful Dead night.
nights they weren’t playing themselves, members of bands could always be found
among the crowd. The music scene at the time was like a circle, made up of
bands and fans that truly appreciated music and enjoyed simply watching people
express themselves creatively. Bands would come out and support other bands.
Non-musicians would out come and support them all.
and celebrities that were too big to play there live in the storybooks.
Popularly known folks like Jackson Browne, "Weird Al" Yankovic and
James Taylor stopped in to wash clothes or use the phone. Kate Pierson (B52s)
and Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) came by during their Tide protest to pass
out literature in affiliation with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
recalls the afternoon before a Jefferson Airplane concert at Riverbend when the
bar was pretty empty and there were four guys hanging out doing laundry and
drinking a beer. They were worried about their cab not showing up and
frantically trying to figure out how to get to their hotel — so Walz drove
them. Only after dropping them off did she realize the reason the dudes were so
worried about being late.
me the blueprint of the building, and again lit up when she pointed out the
wash sink in the laundry room.
celebrity took a bath in that sink one night,” she says. “I’m pretty sure it
was Marilyn Manson.”
stop-ins aren’t the only “celebrity” claims to fame for Sudsy’s. The bar itself
was given awards throughout the years from Cincinnati’s former alternative
weekly Everybody’s News, from “Best
Looking Staff” to “Best Rock Club,” and even “Best Place to Ditch a Blind
Date.” They were also named the best bar in Ohio in ’93 by Creem magazine, courtesy of The Connells.
all the press, awards and celebrities aside, Walz says what really made the
place special were the local patrons.
like a family, people were loyal,” she says. “They would look out for others,
and for the bands, and would always defend Sudsy’s no matter what. Without the
people, everybody, the people that watched the bands, the bands themselves,
Sudsy’s was nothing.”
would even cater specifically to bands they knew well, for example stocking
extra Hudy Delight when The Thangs would come back because their crowd loved to
also folks she referred to as “family bums”. There was Archie Harrison, a local
homeless man who would help clean at night for a little money. During the days
he would just hang out, always being jolly and telling jokes sharing what
little bit of anything he might have had that day to share.
was Sonny, a good-hearted man who hid behind a hulk of a body. Sonny would
guard the back door, despite never being asked.
one time one of the dryers was broken and the glass wasn’t in there to cover
the hole,” she says. “We had an out of order sign but, you know, I guess it
disappeared. No surprise there. Anyway, we had given him some money to do
laundry and he used that dryer, just picking up the clothes as they fell out of
hole and throwing them right back in. It was hysterical. When we asked him why
he didn’t switch dryers he said he didn’t want to bother us and cause trouble.”
As the Millennium
rolled around, a lot of the core patrons began settling down and showing up
less often. The crime in the area would keep people away, and the decline in
the laundry business lowered their numbers even further. Walz had just put
$12,000 into a new sprinkler system, still trying to keep the building
code-worth, but she, too, was moving toward settling down.
pregnant at that pointm too, and I was just kind of done working in the bar
business,” she says.
with clashes between Walz and McCabe about making money versus booking acts that
would be huge for the scene led to Walz selling the establishment by 2002.
seems that Sudsy’s wasn’t as glorious after that time as it once had been, the
venue remained open until 2008, at which time it closed its doors for good. The
old building at 2626 Vine Street remains a boarded up relic.
One of the
most revealing things Walz said during our talk about Sudsy’s was, “If you were
there, you were part of the reason you are here talking to me today.”
me that I didn’t have to opportunity to be there, but for all those who were, as
well as for the others that might not have known what this place ever was, this
is just a small piece of the big apple pie that was Sudsy Malone’s Rock n’ Roll
Laundry & Bar.
by Jessica Baltzersen
Posted In: Local Music
at 04:30 PM | Permalink
For most musicians, a trip to Hollywood to train with
a legendary Rock star would be nothing more than a dream, but for local
guitarist David Puthoff, it’s a reality. After winning a nationwide
competition, the 19-year-old was one of 10 top prize winners chosen to be flown
to Los Angeles to attend a VIP “Master Class” with
Avenged Sevenfold’s lead guitarist, Synyster Gates.
The Master Class with Synyster Gates of Avenged
presented by Guitar Center, was a nationwide search to find the country’s most
talented and creative guitarists. More than 1,500 contestants downloaded the
provided signature Avenged Sevenfold backing tracks of their choice, to which
they were challenged to re-write and add their own original guitar performance.
The competition was assessed in two parts: the
popularity of fan growth over social media and the skill of the contestant’s
performance, originality, style and technique by a panel of judges.
For his entry, Puthoff wrote and performed a refreshing
duo combining both acoustic and electric guitar. The unique marriage of his
classical guitar knowledge with his heavy-metal background worked in his favor,
as it was not only a fan favorite, but was hand chosen by Gates himself in the
final decision making process.
“It truly is a dream come true,” Puthoff says. “When
I got the call that I had won, my heart dropped. I was completely speechless.
With Avenged Sevenfold’s City of Evil album artwork inked on Puthoff’s forearm, it’s evident
that the group is his favorite band. The seductive dark tone of the Hard Rock/Metal
band allured Puthoff in the sixth grade and the rest was Rock history.
“I always admired the band’s extreme uniqueness and
use of tonality,” Puthoff says. But it was Gates’ rapid riffs and rhythms that
mesmerized then-12-year-old Puthoff, making him his ultimate guitar hero. “He’s
the reason why I wanted to play and get good at guitar,” he says.
to the trip, which has been delayed due to weather, Puthoff won a Schecter Synyster Gates Special electric guitar, a
behind-the-scenes tour of the Schecter factory and an Ernie Ball accessory
prize pack. Although the bells and whistles are an added bonus, he’s really just
looking forward to meeting and learning from his idol. “I really want to take
in everything he teaches us,” Puthoff says.
every piece of advice he can get, especially when it comes to how Gates got his
start and achieved success. As lead guitarist of his own band, The Requiem, Puthoff is looking
to use this trip as an opportunity to get an insiders point of view on how to
make it in the music industry.
the other four members of The Requiem have been working hard to make a name for
themselves here in Cincinnati. Performing at venues across the Tristate area
and winning second place in a local battle of the bands competition, they’ve
already built up a heavy amount of fan support and are currently working on
recording and releasing their first album.
Although Puthoff’s skilled playing looks effortless,
he’s been perfecting his craft and technique for over a decade. Fueled by
countless hours of practice, dedication and hard work, he’s always strived to
be the very best. At age 8, Puthoff started taking guitar lessons at Keller
Music on the Westside of Cincinnati. In 2005, when the owner wanted to sell the
store, Puthoff’s parents stepped in to purchase and take over as owners. As a
Westside favorite for more than 40 years, they wanted to keep the business
running so their son and daughter could continue to take lessons at their beloved
childhood music domain.
In 2012 Puthoff joined forces with the family to
become a teacher at Keller Music. The new and improved business recently
renovated and expanded their store where they sell retail and offer lessons in
guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano, mandolin and ukulele to adults and children
of all ages. “The youngest student I taught was 5 years old, and the oldest was
75,” Puthoff says.
Although Puthoff enjoys teaching, his real love is
performing. His dream is what any musical artist’s is: trying to make it big.
He hopes for The Requiem to catch their big break, move to the innovative land
of California and tour the world as full-fledged signed musicians. Although the
starry-eyed guitarist has dreams of his “big breakthrough,” it truly is the
music that ignites his passion and love for what he does.
“Music to me is a shoulder to cry on or a friend to celebrate
with that will always be there for me,” he says. "It’s one of the very few
ways where I can put my true emotion into something and hopefully
have others feel the same way I feel.”
Check out Puthoff’s winning entry video here.
by Zohair Hussain
It was sometime back in September that I
stumbled upon the story of Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry, and her piece in The
Guardian about the unfortunate realities she faced as a female musician. Only days
later, I heard the stories of classical composers wearing their own diadems of
misogyny. All these forces were crumbling away at what I once believed to be
the most progressive industry we had at our hands.
With such revelations came a personal desire
for truth at a closer proximity. I honed in my lens and turned it on the state
of our own music scene, and the circumstances of female musicians in the Queen
I may have stumbled a bit the first time I saw Molly Sullivan perform. It could
have been the champagne. It could have been the wine. It could have been the
sheer, uprooting shock of such a sneakily sultry voice filling all the quiet
corners of a room.
It was 2011 and the setting was a birthday party at the neo-historic Marburg Hotel,
and local heroes Shadowraptr had just finished their set in the basement — a
lush and operatic performance of their usual brand of psychedelic Prog-Rock,
with Jazz sensibility. They didn’t disappoint with an expectedly raucous
presentation, and we didn’t back down as an ever energetic crowd. It was in a quiet
aftermath, among friends and fellows just as imbibed as our beer-soaked shirts,
that I wove my way through a hallway maze and sauntered into a living room with
an organ against its back wall. At its helm sat Molly Sullivan.
As she would come to tell me nearly three years later, “Going back to when I
first started playing out as a singer songwriter, I always felt this extreme
pressure and insecurity of being a female musician…whose music was tending to
be more on the delicate side of things, an emotionally driven side of things.
It required a little stillness from the crowd.”
But back looking back on that night in March 2011, stillness was inevitable.
Warm from wine and an approaching spring, the handful of us that sat in the
living room did so with an active passivity. But even as heads lolled against neighbors’
shoulders or against the walls at our backs, there was an intensity in every
pair of eyes that I glanced into; all were watching, focused, as Molly struck a
chord and then another, taking us through the coziest part of the evening with
two or three ballads of life, lovelorn.
It was an intimacy that couldn’t have escaped those of us even if it had tried,
and only a brief, drunken sampling of where Sullivan had started her story,
rising to the ranks of the recognized, respected and regaled. Before that, she
was front woman for the electronically infused No No Knots and a few months
after that, she would play out as a solo artist with a backing band, making a
stop at The Heights Music Festival and a New Year’s Eve show at the Southgate
House Revival in 2012, before a brief hiatus kept her choruses hushed.
Sullivan admits that a lot of the anxious cogs of her earlier years were
weighed on heavily by being a female musician in a primarily male-dominated
“I feel like it’s a lot
easier for men as artists,” Sullivan Says, “generally, because you have the
potential to be the heartthrob, and also it’s not necessarily a sissying thing
to go to for a guy. So I feel like there’s more of an audience inherently built
In the later months of 2013, however, she re-emerged, armed with a
loop-accentuated sound and a solo confidence that she speaks fondly of. Crafting
songs, sonically clad with vocal layering and solid to the string guitar work,
Sullivan took her one-woman symphony on the Cincinnati circuit, to high acclaim
— winning the solo artist bracket of FB’s local “Last Band Standing 2013”
battle of the bands, and earning herself a spot on one of the participating
MidPoint Music Festival stages.
Sullivan had dedicated time to playing earlier shows in spots she would
normally not perform, in venues and around crowds she would normally not
consider being her primary audience. She says she found new courage in taking
these risks. Though initially unsure about even participating in the event at
FB’s, Sullivan came to find her hesitation was unnecessary.
“I made some assumption about
the clientele there – it’s kind of known to be like a bro bar,” Sullivan
explains. “I was thinking, ‘They’re not gonna get my art.’ That ended up not
When asked about the
progression of her performance presentation, Sullivan says, “I think I’ve
actually come to learn — just by doing it when I’m in a bar and everybody is
silent — just like recognizing that there’s something captivating about the
simplicity and the emotion of being present with your songs. It’s a really
empowering thing when people are dedicated to listening and joining you in that
Sullivan also recognized the power of community, and the part that earnest
encouragement from within the Cincinnati scene played in her career as a
musician. One pillar in her support group is claimed by The Daughters of The
Midwest, an ensemble stage set of premier, female musicians dominating the
“I’ve definitely kind of
geared my energy towards being supportive of other female musicians,” Sullivan
says, “supporting Kelly (Fine), Mia (Carruthers), Maya (Banatwala). And now
that I’m back out there again, because of the support that I’ve been shown.”
“I think it’s a really powerful thing to have a female musician community to
support each other,” she continues. “And as soon as I got back into it, it made
it a lot easier to go with the flow and be excited for people wholeheartedly.”
And looking outside of the just the female musician community, Sullivan
vehemently recognizes the support of Cincinnati as a whole. Sullivan expresses
an appreciation for her time playing with The No No Knots, as well as the
support she received from the members of Cincinnati’s Marburg Collective. As
she explains, "There’s mostly positive reinforcement floating around. There’s
kind of this really solid to the earth community here that exists that wants to
She admits that what hides
outside of Cincinnati is what scares her most. We traded stories and
conversations about recent revelations of ignorance and misogynistic skeletons
in some of contemporary music’s most renowned scenes, tales of classical
composers saying woman have no place in conducting pieces.
Sullivan acknowledges being
weary of “the whole, big wide world,” with such possibilities floating around
in clouds of reality.
“Cincinnati scares me in its
own ways,” she says. “Almost what scares me more is beyond what’s Cincinnati,
just the competitiveness that can be fruitful if you’re successful in the game.
And I think part of me has been afraid of success, because with that success,
you know what’s gonna come: it’s gonna be that banter online, all those
anonymous people hemorrhaging bullshit…Why bother?”
Even with such uncertainty for outside markets, Sullivan exhibits an insight
and strength that propels her forward, even more so because of her
acknowledgements of the bad that can come with the good. She says she’s
learning to navigate her way around “the hemorrhaging bullshit.” Her awareness
of everything that can dampen an otherwise well lit stage is what makes her
voice so definitive on the conversation about the regressive mentality of
misogyny that can still exist in our present day music-scape.
There exists within Molly
Sullivan a partnership between community appreciation and individualistic
impetus. She acknowledges the power of community backing, saying it’s a “powerful
thing to have a female musician community to support each other.” And she recognizes
the groundwork that’s been laid out in years past.
“We’ve seen the rise of a few
female fronted bands come through,” Sullivan says, “and people are more willing
to be excited for that and support it.” (She cites the Seedy Seeds and Wussy as
pioneers for female musicianship.) Sullivan is aware of where we’ve been and
where we are. But what’s more, she’s ready to take us to where we need to be.
And she’s ready to do that with a self-made spirit.
“I’m getting to a point where I don’t give a fuck really,” Sullivan says.
It was with a new impetus
that she’s approached her musicianship. “I’ve grown stronger as a female
musician,” she says. “Now I’m just kind of like, well, if you don’t want to
listen to it then fuck you, you don’t have to be here. It took me a long time
to get to that point, and I still kind of have some insecurity about it. But
most of the time I’m just like, ‘Molly, grow a pair, get over it.’ ”
Sullivan also explains the intentionality behind her current solo-set
performances. Much in the same vein of playing in new venues, under possibly
uncomfortable lights, she exhibits a drive to explore her boundaries, and
expand past her limitations.
“I’ve chosen to do these
things by myself,” she says. “If I’m going to play with a band later, I need to
be OK playing solo first. It’s been really empowering, doing all of that.” She proves herself to be relentless and,
though hurt, unscarred by the outside forces of misinterpretation and
misogynistic pressures. It’s with a knowing, weathered paddle that she navigates these future streams. And
it seems she couldn’t be more pleased with the direction she’s headed.
“So far, it’s been really
lovely being back.” She takes a moment, at the end of our conversation, to
reflect out loud. “Would you look at that? I did that. And I don’t need anybody
else. I’m all about collaboration, but it’s really good to know that I don’t
need anybody. I’m capable.”
by Mike Breen
Cheyenne Marie Mize at MOTR, plus Today in Music with OutKast and a James Dean musical tribute
Music Tonight: Louisville Indie/Folk singer/songwriter Cheyenne Marie Mize has been on a fast track in the music biz over the past year. A member of a couple of rootsy acts in the rich Louisville music scene, once she broke out on her own, she began to draw increased attention for her lovely, ethereal sound. Last year when Mize performed in town, she was on the verge of releasing a new EP, but it was delayed … for good reason. Mize had inked a deal with Yep Rock Records (home to Nick Lowe, Liam Finn, Fountains of Wayne, John Doe and Paul Weller) and that EP, We Don't Need, became her first release for the label. Just released Jan. 24, We Don't Need fleshes out Mize's wispy sound (particularly with some creative rhythmic additives), but that dreamy, ghostly soul still hovers above each of the five songs. Click here to read more about Mize then head to MOTR Pub tonight to catch her free show (with special guest Margaret Darling of The Seedy Seeds). Below, enjoy a session Mize did recently for LaundroMatinee.com.
by Mike Breen
Bluesday Tuesdays at Arnold's, plus Today In Music featuring Tom Jones, The Who, My Morning Jacket and the Forecastle Festival
Music Tonight: This Friday and Saturday, the Cincy Blues Society is presenting its annual Winter Blues Fest in its new location — four venues (the old Harry's Pizza space, the old R&B Cafe spot, The Drinkery and Below Zero) in Over-the-Rhine (after several years in Northern Kentucky). If you want to get in the mood, tonight at Arnold's you can check out the Cincy Blues Society's new every-Tuesday "Bluesday Tuesdays" series, featuring various Blues artists from the area. Tonight's performer is eclectic veteran writer/guitarist John Redell (who has played with such groups as Voodoo Blues, The Flock and Shepherd's Pi). Showtime is 7 p.m. and there is no admission charge. (Click here for more on the Blues Fest.)
by Mike Breen
The boys of Cincinnati's Foxy Shazam have done it again. The group's stunning new video for "I Like It" from its new album, The Church of Rock and Roll, debuted today and it's another mind-blower. The band — which recently played a packed album release show at Covington's Madison Theater — plays Irving Plaza in New York City tonight and then begins tour dates with Brit rockers The Darkness (who were just featured in one of the better Super Bowl commercials of 2012). Check the video below.
by Mike Breen
Mack West Trio in Northside, plus Gerry and the Pacemakers, Jools Holland and Bon Iver
Music Tonight: It's a slow night for touring acts, but a good one to catch a few local acts in a more laid-back-Tuesday-evening atmosphere. For example — Zach Mechlem of local "Alt-Western" group Mack West (pictured; Zach is second from the front) plays a free show at the Northside Tavern tonight with a pair of bandmates (officially, it's being billed as the Mack West Trio). Mack West's latest album, The Goodnight Trail, was one of the best local releases of 2011 and the best showcase yet of Mack West's unique, evocative spin on American Roots music. Mack West tunes have been used on History Channel's American Pickers, Discovery Channel's Auction Kings and in a commercial for AMC's The Man With No Name mini-series. Check out the title track from The Goodnight Trail below and read my review from when it was released here. Mechlem performs around 10 p.m. in the Tavern's front room.
by Mike Breen
The Dig and The Ready Stance at MOTR, plus Today in Music with Van Halen and Frankie Knuckles
Music Tonight: MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine hosts a solid Indie Rock double bill tonight (made extra appealing by MOTR's "never a cover charge" policy) as "buzz band" The Dig swings through for a show with Cincinnati's The Ready Stance. Featuring a couple of former members of onetime local music heroes Middlemarch, The Ready Stance is coming into the home stretch with its debut album, Damndest. The band currently has its sights set on a March/April release for its debut (check the group's site here for the latest). The Dig began in New York City's Lower East Side just four years ago; not long after forming, they were selling out shows in the Big Apple. After a couple years touring the States non-stop (with the likes of The Walkmen, The Antlers, The Editors and even a few bands whose moniker doesn't begin with a "the"), The Dig issued its debut, Electric Toys, in 2010; by the end of that year, the album would appear on numerous "Best Of" lists by critics far and wide. The Dig's follow-up is due very soon, so you'll likely hear a few newer songs at tonight's show. Check out Brian Baker's preview of tonight's show from this week's CityBeat here and then dig The Dig's video for Electric Toys track "You're Already Gone" below.