by Mike Breen
The MidPoint Music Festival 2012 countdown clock is turned off — it's tomorrow!
MidPoint News and Updates: Are you ready for some MidPoint! The MPMF.12 kick-off celebration takes place TONIGHT. The pre-party is in The Hanke Building on Main Street in Over-the-Rhine. Entrance is down Michael Bany Way, just across from the 12th and Main streets intersection. The party starts at 6 p.m. with a set of “MPMF mash-ups” by local DJ Ice Cold Tony. Always amazing local rockers 500 Miles to Memphis perform at 9 p.m. The kick-off shindig is free and open to everyone of drinking age (even if you think MPMF is “killing teh scene!”). There will also be free Vitaminwater and Eli’s BBQ; one lucky attendee will also go home with free VIP tickets to see The Afghan Whigs’ New Year’s Eve concert at Bogart’s. Here's an early classic from 500 Miles to get your psyched:The MidPoint Music Festival countdown is down to just one day. Yup, starts tomorrow. Here are our daily MidPoint Music Festival 2012 picks …BIG SHOTChain and The Gang (Washington, DC)RockDinosaur Jr. (playing Friday on the Grammer's/Dewey's Pizza stage) isn’t the only MPMF band that was influencing today’s music-makers beginning in the ’80s. Ian Svenonius made his name with influential DC bands Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up, wiry Punk Gospel group that he led with the possessed, wild-eyed intensity of a Southern Baptist preacher gene spliced with James Brown and Iggy Pop. His presentation of the “Gospel Yeh-Yeh” in clubs worldwide proved his reputation as one of Indie Rock’s greatest frontmen, night in and night out. Svenonius’ religious experience may never die; whenever a project ends, he simply finds new parishioners to help him spread the gospel and carry on. You'll Dig It If You Dig: Nation of Ulysses, The Make-Up, Weird War. (Mike Breen)Chain and the Gang performs Saturday at midnight at MOTR Pub. Here's a video for the band's "Certain Kinds of Trash":SLEEPER PICKThe Ridges (Athens, OH)Orchestral Indie FolkThis Athens, Ohio-based Orchestral Indie Folk troupe has built a solid following in Cincinnati thanks to repeated show dates in town, including providing highlights at a few past MidPoint Music Festivals. So they're not exactly a "sleeper" (because I've seen them and they're great), not exactly a "Local Lock" (though their ties to Cincinnati run deep) and merely on the verge of being Big Shots. Regardless, you won't be disappointed should you add them to your MPMF.12 itinerary. The Ridges — who perform in different configurations, depending on which members are available (including string and horn players) — are currently prepping a full-length album (recorded here in Cincinnati), so fans may even get a few new songsDig: Soulful, acoustic Folk Rock that builds into emotive orchestral swells. (MB) The Ridges perform at Know Theatre on the Biore Strip at 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Here's a special video the band made just for the occasion, shot on a rooftop in OTR:LOCAL LOCK PICKThe Grey Academy (Cincinnati, OH)Indie RockCincy singer/songwriter Josh Hill first came to attention with his band Ellison, which introduced the region to a songwriter with impeccable chops for someone so fresh to the local music scene. The band’s wonderfully crafted Pop/Rock started earning Hill attention both locally and beyond, but in the midst of it all, the songwriter began writing different, darker songs that reflected his changing listening habits, which veered into the still catchy yet less calculated sounds of bands like Bloc Party, Interpol and The Killers. Hill has shown that his skills weren’t limited to Ellison’s instantly hooky style; with The Grey Academy, he brings the same sensibilities to a less predictable, more moody brand of Rock. Dig: Interpol, Smashing Pumpkins, Death Cab for Cutie. (MB)The Grey Academy plays MidPoint Saturday, 8 p.m. at Main Event. Check out the band's "In Stride": Click here for full MPMF details via the official MidPoint site.
Cincinnati’s Young Heirlooms have gratitude in their hearts and some stuff to get off their chests
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
There’s a very thin line between knowing
what you want and being thankful for what you have. A few inches to one
side could see you constantly unhappy with what you earn. An inch on the
other side and you’re bound to never earn anything new. Cincinnati’s on-the-rise Indie Folk duo
Young Heirlooms walk that line. They’re overwhelmingly thankful for the
support from Cincinnati and respect from their fans. Their gratefulness
is conveyed nearly constantly, onstage and off. But, just under the surface, they’re itching for more.
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.
Sept. 28 • The Hanke Building
0 Comments · Tuesday, September 25, 2012
JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound’s sophomore album, Want More,
might sound like some lost artifact from Otis Redding’s archive, but
the Chicago quartet is young enough to be Redding’s grandchildren and
have only been working their Indie Rock corner of Chicago Soul since
Sept. 29 • The Hanke Building
0 Comments · Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Imperial Teen is still kicking, still churning out
singularly crafted Indie Pop so ear-pleasingly addictive that it’s kind
of remarkable they’re not more of a household name. But, then again,
that’s never been the band’s reason for being.
Sept. 27 • Contemporary Arts Center
0 Comments · Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Laetitia Sadier can at first seem an imposing pop figure. She’s a French intellectual with strong leftist opinions about how
greedy, selfish capitalism and the excessive power of the financial
sector are thwarting true democracy.
Sept. 28 • Main Event
1 Comment · Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Over the course of three excellent albums, including
their new eponymous double-disc set, Black Owls have incorporated
vintage influences into their singular sound.
by Mike Breen
The MidPoint Music Festival countdown clock reaches three days
The MidPoint Music Festival countdown is down to just 3 days, kicking off this Thursday. Here are our daily MidPoint Music Festival 2012 picks …BIG SHOTFreelance Whales (Queens, NY)Baroque Indie Electro PopFrontman Judah Dadone founded Freelance Whales in 2008 and recorded much of the band's lauded, self-released debut album from late 2009, Weathervanes (reissued by Frenchkiss and Mom + Pop in 2010). The band not only scored a lot of fans based on the album, but also a ton of licensing (for a variety of films and TV shows). The band's consistent international touring, external exposure and word-of-mouth PR has built anticipation for its new album, Diluvia, to a fever pitch. The LP is set for an Oct. 9 release (MPMF serves as the opening date on the band's tour behind the record). Freelance Whales' mix of electronic sounds and Chamber Folk ideals has led them to be compared to everyone from The Postal Service to Sufjan Stevens. You'll Dig It If You Dig: Sufjan Stevens making a Postal Service album; Postal Service making a Sufjan album. (Mike Breen)Freelance Whales (their name, if you're wondering, was inspired by the huge amount of "freelancers" working in NYC) performs Saturday in Washington Park at 7 p.m. (taking the slot vacated by Sleigh Bells). Here's a new track from Diluvia, "Spitting Image." SLEEPER PICKLeogun (London, UK)Rock & RollWith “big breaks” today mostly coming in the form of internet exposure, London trio Leogun’s big-time entry into the music biz was decidedly old-fashioned. Singer/guitarist Tommy Smith snuck into an Eagles of Heavy Metal show in London and met an industry heavyweight who introduced him to Elton John’s Rocket Music Management. From there, the band became the first band signed to instrument-maker Yamaha’s new record label. Leogun went to Nashville to lay down some of their timeless, passionate Rock & Roll, the first results of which are set for an EP due Oct. 16 (a full-length is planned for 2013). Leogun’s transcendent take on vintage Blues-inspired Rock & Roll is strong enough to earn them one the “bands most likely to return soon for an arena show” awards from this year’s MPMF.Dig: Wolfmother, Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age. (MB)Leogun performs at The Drinkery Saturday at 12:30 a.m. Here's the band's new single and video, "Let's Be Friends," which just premiered on MTV.com. Get More: Leogun, Let's Be Friends, Music, More Music VideosLOCAL LOCK PICKThe Perfect Children (Cincinnati, OH)Garage SoulThe Perfect Children is a duo featuring guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist/songwriter Kristen Kreft (a musical theater veteran formerly of J. Dorsey Blues Revival) and drummer Adam Shelton (Barbury Coast, RX-2, Gordy Horn) sure to be blowing fuses and minds with Kreft’s gale force voice and the twosome’s versatile instrumental skills. From Peggy Lee Soul/Pop grooves to Etta James Blues moves, management cannot be responsible for dropped jaws.Dig: A Garage duo with the Soul of Otis Redding, the cool of Etta James and Nina Simone and the Rock of Bo and Chuck. (Brian Baker)The Perfect Children perform Friday at Japp's at 10:30 p.m. Click here to listen to their song "Tumblin' Down" and other MPMF tracks, courtesy of the Vitaminwater media player. Click here for full MPMF details via the official MidPoint site.
by Mike Breen
Countdown to the 11th annual MidPoint Music Festival reaches one week
MPMF news and musings: Three-day wristbands are running low (get 'em here now, quick-like). If you miss your chance (or are broke like me), there are ways to win freebies. (It's the luck of the draw, so don't bank on it, but definitely worth a shot!)The fine folks at local club conglomerate 4EG (which operates The Pavilion, The Lackman, Keystone, Righteous Room and several other bars around town) is giving away 10 MPMF 3-day passes. Click here for details. And seek out the CityBeat booth at Oktoberfest this weekend, harass our employees and sign up for s chance to win a pair of fancy-schmancy VIP tickets. (You can find the official Oktoberfest guide in the CityBeat on streets right now.) And now, with the countdown down to just seven days, here are our daily MidPoint Music Festival 2012 picks …BIG SHOTLaetitia Sadier (France)Indie RockFans of French Post Rock favorites Stereolab need no introduction to Laetitia Sadier. She was the co-founder of Stereolab and also founded Monade in the mid ’90s. Along the way, she was also a frequent collaborator, working with everyone from The High Llamas and Blur to Common and Mouse on Mars. In 2010, Sadier went solo, releasing The Trip on Stereolab’s U.S. label, Drag City Records. This summer, she followed up the record with Silencio, a dynamic album that runs from lush, orchestrated pieces to quirkier electronic Pop to warm Tropicalia, all driven by Sadier’s trademark sensual coo. You'll Dig It If You Dig: Nico, Jane Birkin, Stereolab. (Mike Breen)Laetitia Sadier performs at the Contemporary Arts Center on Thursday, Sept. 27, 11 p.m. Here's her new video for the Silencio tune "Find Me the Pulse of The Universe." SLEEPER PICKDenney and the Jets (Nashville, TN)Blues RockDenney and the Jets may be one of Nashville’s most mysterious bands. A Google search reveals almost no biographical information about them, just plenty of references to the quote on their Tumblr page. (“One warm night in July an angel came to me and said, ‘There is nothing I can do for you. Nashville is dead and so is Rock ’N Roll.’ ”), which brings up an interesting question: Do you need to know anything/everything about a band to enjoy their music? As far as Chris Denney and his Jets are concerned, the answer would seem to be a resounding “Hell no.”UPDATE: Since the official guide went to press, we dug up (i.e. got a press release with) info on the group. From their PR: Frontman Chris Denney began writing songs in the Spring of 2008, recruiting Wes Traylor (Natural Child), and Jake and Jamin Orrall (of JEFF The Brotherhood) to be the very first of his Jets. After each member parted ways to pursue their own individual careers, Chris signed on Daniel Pujol (eponymously of PUJUOL) and Joe Scala. After Pujol's departure, Denneysolidified the lineup by adding longtime friend Sean Cotton on lead guitar, Joe's little brother Evan Scala and most recently bringing in Ric Alessio on keys and sax. Denney and The Jets have turned songwriting into a full realized communal process and have grown in to one of the South's finest.After releasing a 7" single and EP (a limited Cassette only release) on JEFF The Brotherhood's Infinity Cat Recordings, the band returns with their new 5-song Self-Titled EP on Miami, FL-based label Limited Fanfare Records -- Recorded in the Spring of 2012 with Producer/Engineer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, The Parting Gifts) -- with "Close The Blinds" recorded at Cleft Music by Nashville legend, Loney Hutchins. The result is an insanely fiery batch of tunes that Nashville Cream calls "[Straight-up rock and roll music] — not bastardized, compromised, corrupted or contaminated."Dig: Bob Dylan and Paul Westerberg get drunk on bathtub gin and listen to Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys. (Brian Baker)Denney and the Jets play MidPoint on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 11 p.m. at the Cincinnati Club. Dig the vintage swagger on this track, "Fun Girls." LOCAL LOCK PICKJody Stapleton and the Generals (Cincinnati, OH)Indie PopJody Stapleton has always had an ear for the past and a finger on today's pulse. With the Stapletons a decade ago, Stapleton made Psych-fueled Garage Rock that sounded vaguely phase shifted from another time and yet completely fresh, a talent that earned them CEA awards for Best New Act and Rock Band of the Year in 2001 and 2003 respectively. With his new outfit, Jody Stapleton and the Generals, Stapleton is similarly tapped into bygone days, this time the sunshine-on-your-shoulder days of '70s AM radio Pop, combined with a modern sensibility and approach.Dig: Paul Westerberg listening to a transistor radio tuned permanently to 1973. (BB)Jody and the Generals perform Thursday, Sept. 27, at Main Event, 11 p.m.. Here's a few tunes from the band's recent debut release. Click here for full MPMF details via the official MidPoint site.
by Mike Breen
The MidPoint Music Festival countdown is down to one week and one day
MPMF news and musings: The official MPMF.12 "Kick Off Celebration" is set for Wednesday, Sept. 26, in the Hanke Building just off Main St. (215 Michael Bany Way, between 12th and Reading). The free, open-to-all (21-and-up) party starts at 6 p.m. and will feature music from DJ Ice Cold Tony (who will be laying down some mash-ups featuring MPMF artists) and great Cincy rockers 500 Miles to Memphis will blow the rest of the roof off with a set starting at 9 p.m. There will be giveaways, free Vitaminwater, free Eli's BBQ (while it lasts) and a chance to win a pair of VIP tickets to the CityBeat-sponsored New Year's Eve blow-out at Bogart's featuring music by The Afghan Whigs. And now, with the countdown down to just 8 days, here are our daily MidPoint Music Festival 2012 picks …BIG SHOTTennis (Denver, CO)Indie PopIt’s been a breakthrough year for Colorado Indie trio Tennis, starting with the winter release of its stellar (and highly anticipated) sophomore full-length, Young and Old, on Fat Possum Records. After touring its comparatively lo-fi, critically-lauded debut Cape Dory (crafted by core duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley), the duo took its vintage Pop songs into the studio with The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, who helped give the songs a more direct punch (resulting in the addition of a drummer to the fold). Where acts like Best Coast and Jesus and Mary Chain rewire the classic Pop of the ’60s, Tennis write songs that often recall the ballads of ’50s Pop, something more evident and effective on Young and Old, which charted well and performed exceptionally at college radio. The band’s songs have been used on TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and are becoming favorites in the fashion world, and they’ve also made a fan out of the Republican (one of "the good ones") daughter of an almost-President, Meghan McCain, who tweeted her joy that Tennis had become the soundtrack to her summer this earlier this year. You'll Dig It If You Dig: Lesley Gore, Dusty Springfield, the house band for Mad Men (if they had one). (Mike Breen)Tennis performs at the Know Theatre on the Bioré Strip's Main Stage Saturday, Sept. 29, at 11:45 p.m. Here's Tennis' clip for their swoony tune "Pigeon." SLEEPER PICKThe Bonesetters (Muncie, IN)Indie RockBonesetters don’t necessarily sound like a lot of bands but they fit well in the Midwestern construct of talented groups crafting a complex sound out of relatively simple ingredients. Sparse guitar melodies, both plugged and unplugged, are appointed with spartan rhythmatism, unexpected instrumental counterpoints (mariachi trumpet, keening violin, gentle vibes, wheezing harmonium) and a quiet sense of Indie Rock urgency on Savages, Bonesetters’ full-length debut from late last year. It’s easy to understand why Muncie loves Bonesetters, it’s harder to understand why they don’t play here all the bloody time.Dig: Clem Snide, My Morning Jacket and Gomez making high lonesome carnival Surf Rock for emo hodads. (Brian Baker)The Bonesetters perform Thursday in Washington Park at 5 p.m. Here's the band's debut album, which you can sample below, then download the whole shebang for free. <a href="http://bonesetters.bandcamp.com/album/savages">SAVAGES by Bonesetters</a>LOCAL LOCK PICKThe Dukes Are Dead (Cincinnati, OH)Rock & RollIf you’re a local Rock fan who has yet to catch a live show from exciting Cincinnati foursome The Dukes Are Dead, you’ve missed out on some great shows … and you only have this one more before The Dukes Are Dead are dead. In just a couple of years — first as “The Dukes,” before adding “Are Dead” to avoid confusion with the 17,000 other bands with the same name — the foursome amassed a loyal following and even got into theater, becoming the house band for the local staging of “Rock musical” Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Though the band’s last show (sure to be a debauched blow-out) is this one at MPMF, there is hope for fans — in their farewell note on Facebook, it was announced that the members will each continue to pursue making music in the future. Dig: No-nonsense Rock & Roll, bands with names that turn out to be prophetic. (MB)The Dukes Are Dead's final show is Saturday, Sept. 28, at 8:30 p.m. at The Drinkery. The kind gentlemen of The Dukes are also giving fans some final recorded music as a parting gift — sample below then click on the player to download your free copy of the five-track EP, Before We Died. <a href="http://thedukesaredead.bandcamp.com/album/before-we-died">Before We Died by THE DUKES ARE DEAD<Click here for full MPMF details via the official MidPoint site.