WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Soul Proprietors

Soul ensemble St. Paul & the Broken Bones make a big splash with their debut album Half the City

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 23, 2014
St. Paul (a sly reference to Janeway’s religious background) & the Broken Bones has found itself in the middle of two new musical trends — the rise of Alabama acts like Alabama Shakes and Muscle Shoals-born John Paul White of Civil Wars, and the revival of American Deep Soul music courtesy of Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, Charles Bradley and others.  
by Mike Breen 09.23.2014 61 days ago
 
 
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MidPoint Music Festival Critic's Picks: Saturday

MidPoint Music Festival 2014 kicks off this Thursday and we've been showcasing some of the Critic's Picks from our official MidPoint guide (which will be available throughout the fest). While most of attendees are likely very familiar with some of the bigger headlining acts, these suggestions mostly focus on some of the lesser known gems. (If you're in doubt, any act with "Cincinnati" next to their name is a slam dunk.) Here are some recommendations for this Saturday. Click here to check out the entire official guide, which has write up on all 150 or so MPMF acts. Tickets are still available here. 12:15 a.m. @ Arnold's Baskery (Stockholm, Sweden) Alt Roots/Country/Americana  Sweden’s Baskery formed in 2007, but the members didn’t have to go far to find each other. The group consists of sisters Greta, Stella and Sunniva Bondesson, who dub their unique spin on Roots/Country music everything from “Nordicana” to “Banjo-Punk.” But descriptions are especially difficult when it comes to Baskery; the trio’s third album, this year’s Little Wild Life, finds the sisters spinning a wide range of American Roots music styles into their own distinctive, wildly diverse sound. One second the group is showcasing its vocal harmony prowess a capella on the haunting “Northern Girl,” the next its strutting swamp boogie a la Southern Culture on the Skids on “The NoNo.” If you’re tiring of Roots music that doesn’t go off the same exact blueprints established a century ago, Baskery will show you just how far Americana can be taken. You’ll Dig It If You Dig: The Dixie Chicks without boundaries, The Beatles reborn as a sister act fascinated by Americana. (Mike Breen) 7:15 p.m. @ Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. (Outdoor Stage) Ancient Warfare (Lexington, Ky.)  Psych Folk/Rock Ancient Warfare’s dark and quiet intensity transcends the band’s tough-chick exterior. The quartet designs a sonic atmosphere the same way Saul Bass once designed logos: with elegant simplicity and ferocious creativity. The psychedelic aspect to Ancient Warfare’s presentation is more about texture than actual sound, as their languid, fuzzy melodies drift through their ethereal yet solidly constructed songs, like the heavy smoke in an opium den. The palpable weariness of Echo Wilcox’s gloomy vocals and haunted guitar, the intractable pull of Rachael Yanarella’s hypnotic violin, the subtle thunder of Reva Williams’ bass and the exquisite filigrees provided by multi-instrumentalist Emily Hagihara swirl and combine to make Ancient Warfare’s enveloping totality and assure that their imminent debut album, The Pale Horse, will be one of the fall’s most anticipated releases. YDIIYD: Sixteen Horsepower reimagined as the Velvet Underground by P.J. Harvey, Aimee Mann and Hope Sandoval. (Brian Baker) 10 p.m. @ Christian Moerlein Brewing Company (Indoor Stage) Apache Dropout (Bloomington, Ind.) Garage Pop Like all good college towns, Bloomington, Ind., is forever dishing up awesome bands with fresh, new music. In the case of Apache Dropout, that “new” sound is perfectly and thankfully reminiscent of some of the best music of the past. Their newest album, Heavy Window, comes from Magnetic South, co-owned by band member Seth Mahern. The guys pressed 1,000 copies of Heavy Window, one of their largest printings yet. Fun fact: The first half of those records feature glowing eyes on the eerie-cool cover. It’s the ultimate tell-tale sign of the drug-addled, paranoid Rock & Roll boogie on the inside. YDIIYD: The Who on acid, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club. (Deirdre Kaye) 11 p.m. @ The Drinkery  Xoe Wise (Chicago)  Singer/Songwriter/Electro Pop At 19, Xoe Wise moved from her North Carolina home (the first song she wrote was for a sick goat on her family’s farm) to Chicago and immediately became a fixture in the city’s burgeoning scene. Wise’s debut album, 2010’s Echo, generated a pile of positive local press, while its follow-up, 2012’s Archive of Illusions, earned her a sell-out crowd at Schuba’s, a spot on WGN-TV and a feature in the Chicago Tribune. Wise’s third EP, Breakfast, hit the Top 20 on iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter chart and she’s currently at work on her third full-length, irresistibly titled Racecar Orgasm. Wise plays solo acoustic or with a full Electro Pop crew, but either way she creates a dreamy and undeniable vibe. YDIIYD: Imogen Heap and Suzanne Vega play Twister on a musical game board. (BB) 11:15 p.m. @ Mainstay Rock Bar The Tontons (Houston)  Rock Big-haired Texas and its Rock & Roll-loving youngsters have eaten up and loved every second of their time with The Tontons. Now the band is out touring the nation and conquering ears and hearts across the globe. The group’s sultry Rock is just good enough to make The Tontons Cincinnati’s favorite band, too. “So Young,” off 2011’s Golden, feels like a modern, youthful, rockin’ spin on elevator music or like Henry Mancini decided to start a female-led Rock band. Asli Omar’s one-of-a-kind voice and perfect squeal makes each song on this year’s Make Out King and Other Stories stand out. YDIIYD: Blonde Redhead, wearing leather to Tiffany & Co. (DK) 8:45 p.m. @ Mainstay Rock Bar The Nepotist (New York, N.Y.)  Indie/Soul/Rock/Roots Good luck trying to find a one or two word descriptor for the music made by NYC trio The Nepotist. Actually, don’t even try — the group’s uniqueness and sonic diversity is what makes them so enjoyable to listen to. The Village Voice called them “Alt Soul,” a term the band has embraced and works well enough given the soulful vocals and rewired Steve Cropper guitar riffs. But then you have a track like the recent single “Kids,” which has bubbling banjo and harmonies befitting a Folk band. It’s a delicious stew that is blissfully unpredictable. The trio (formed by brothers Chris and Hayden Frank) has only been together a couple of years but has already drawn loads of glowing press thanks to its pair of EPs and various singles released just this year alone. A full-length is due early next year. YDIIYD: Grizzly Bear, Sufjan Stevens, Dr. Dog. (MB) 10:30 p.m. @ Memorial Hall Saintseneca (Columbus, Ohio)  Folk Pop When Saintseneca canceled an appearance at the Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus this July, the quintet made national headlines not for its music but for its social politics, because the members were against sex offender R. Kelly performing at the fest. Met with vicious protests, Kelly eventually pulled out (no pun intended) of the fest. This is one of many ways the folksy Appalachian Pop group has become famous this year, along with releasing the new record Dark Arc (produced by Bright Eyes member Mike Mogis), recording a NPR Tiny Desk Concert and gigging across the country. From grassroots house concerts in central Ohio to performing at national fests, it won’t be long now before everyone knows their name and music.  YDIIYD: Weird instruments like the bouzouki, the dulcimer and a bowed banjo playing lilting harmonies with a Ben Gibbard-y vocal affectation. (Garin Pirnia) 9:45 p.m. @ MidPoint Midway Stage Low Cut Connie (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Rock If you think Piano Rock is all Billy Joel and Elton John, sorry will be a much easier word for you after you’ve experienced the 88-key onslaught of Low Cut Connie. Featuring the manic piano fireworks of Adam Weiner and the ambidextrous drum/guitar magic of Dan Finnemore (and a full band’s worth of mayhem on tour), Low Cut Connie entertains with a vengeance and accepts nothing less than total surrender. Their first two albums, 2011’s Get Out the Lotion and 2012’s Call Me Sylvia, are loaded with catchy numbers that feature a lot of humor but stop well short of being simple novelties and showcase the duo’s disparate influences (Jerry Lee Lewis and Iggy Pop for Weiner; British Punk and Garage Rock for Finnemore). Low Cut Connie’s latest triumph was a spectacular version of Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into the Fire” on the Nilsson tribute This is the Town earlier this year, and rumors of a third album continue to swirl. But right now, the play’s the thing. See Low Cut Connie and marvel at the things a piano was never meant to do but should have been doing all along. YDIIYD: Ben Folds dipped in speed and forced to play Replacements and Stooges songs in a seedy cabaret. (BB) 8 p.m. @ MOTR Pub Wyatt Blair (Los Angeles) Power Pop Power Pop gets short shrift in any serious discussion of music because of its relative simplicity and perceived lack of gravity, but nothing could be further from the truth. Coming up with hooks and lyrics that get the job done in under three minutes and stick in the head like brain taffy may be among the most difficult musical tasks. Wyatt Blair doesn’t seem to have any problem at all, and his latest album, the confectionary Banana Cream Dream, is solid evidence of his lo-fi Power Pop ambitions (he also works with Peach Kelli Pop and Mr. Elevator & the Brain Hotel). As Andy Partridge once noted so succinctly, this is Pop. YDIIYD: Rick Springfield channeling T. Rex, produced by Tommy Keene. (BB) 10:45 p.m. @ Ballroom at the Taft Theatre Earth (Seattle, Wash.) Experimental/Post Rock Much like the planet itself, the band Earth has been through a lot in the past 25 years. Guitarist Dylan Carson founded the primarily instrumental band in 1989, cribbing the name from one of Black Sabbath’s early monikers. The band’s 1993 debut, Earth 2, has long been considered the launching pad for what Carlson dubbed Ambient Metal, a feedback- and distortion-drenched drone that influenced a subsequent generation. In the mid-’90s, Carlson shelved the band to deal with heroin addiction; it would be nearly a decade before the release of 2005’s Hex; or Printing in the Infernal Method, which retained a Doom Metal structure but incorporated Country and Blues motifs and was also heavily influenced by Cormac McCarthy’s novel, Blood Meridian. Earth’s next albums, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I and II, were shaped by Carlson’s love of Pentangle and Fairport Convention, while the just released Primitive and Deadly finds Carlson moving in yet another new and different direction, incorporating straight Rock and even Pop elements into his long droning jams. With 16 lineup changes in a quarter century, it’s not unusual that Earth would shift identities, but even if the personnel had been stable throughout, Carlson would have retooled the band’s sound in any event and made a new, glorious noise to confront the world. YDIIYD: God’s guitar, Gabriel’s amp, the Devil’s road crew. (BB)
 
 
by Mike Breen 09.23.2014 61 days ago
 
 
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MidPoint Music Festival Critic's Picks: Friday

In honor of this week's MidPoint Music Festival we're showcasing some of the Critic's Picks from our official MidPoint guide (the print version of which will be available throughout the fest). While most attendees are likely very familiar with some of the bigger headlining acts, these options are mostly some of the lesser known on-the-rise acts. (Pro tip: Every Cincinnati band at MPMF is well worth your time should you find yourself with a hole in your schedule.) Here are some recommendations for this Friday. Click here to check out the entire official guide, which has write-ups on all 150 or so MPMF acts. Tickets are still available here. 8:30 p.m. @ Arnold's Honey Locust (Nashville, Tenn.) Indie Folk Honey Locust might hew a little closer to Nashville’s Americana traditions, but the Chamber Folk outfit still remains in the nether region between the city’s manufactured Country imagery and its Rock rebels. The band’s first EPs, 2012’s Fear is a Feeling and 2013’s Live in December, teed up its recently released The Great Southern Brood, Honey Locust’s quasi-thematic and dustily beautiful new album which uses cyclical cicada infestations to metaphorically examine the seasons of man. The Great Southern Brood cements the band’s singular position in its home scene, thrills its growing fan base and opens Honey Locust up to the wider Indie Folk world. You'll Dig It If You Dig: An Appalachian Polyphonic Spree absorbs Bon Iver, The Lumineers and Morrissey to create a super Folk army. (Brian Baker) The Great Southern Brood by Honey Locust 12:30 a.m. @ Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. (Indoor Stage) Watter (Louisville, Ky.)  Post-Post Rock Slint, one of Louisville’s quintessential Rock bands, released two albums in the late ’80s and early ’90s and then called it quits. The band’s seminal Post Rock album Spiderland is still considered one of the best in the genre. The quartet moved on to other projects but reconvened for a brief reunion tour over the summer. Between tour dates with Slint, drummer Britt Walford formed another band this year — with Grails member Zak Riles and Holy Grale bar co-owner Tyler Trotter — and they released the instrumental This World in the spring. Even though critics classify them as Post Rock and Post Hardcore, songs like “Rustic Fog” exude ambient melodies combined with Middle Eastern-y and synth tidbits. YDIIYD: Slow building instrumentals, Krautrock, bands from Touch and Go Records. (Garin Pirnia) 9 p.m. @ Contemporary Arts Center Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor (Detroit)  Psych Rock A decade ago, guitarist/vocalist Sean Morrow, bassist/keyboardist Eric Oppitz and drummer Richard Sawoscinski came together under the banner of SikSik Nation, but quickly morphed into Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, which itself evolved from a standard Garage/Blues band into a darkly scintillating Psych Rock outfit befitting of their Motor City roots. In the past 10 years, the group has only released a pair of full-length albums (2009’s SOYSV and 2011’s Spectra Spirit; a third is on the way soon) but that doesn’t mean the trio hasn’t been busy. SOYSV tours relentlessly and founded Echo Fest, which highlights the best in Michigan Psych Rock. They would know. YDIIYD: Sherman sets the Wayback Machine for 1968, Mr. Peabody takes the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test and has a vision of Syd Barrett fronting The Doors. (BB) Spectra Spirit by Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor 11 p.m. @ The Drinkery  All Them Witches (Nashville, Tenn.)  Stoner/Psych Rock Have you looked skyward recently and shouted to no particular deity, “Hey, is anyone doing anything remotely different in Nashville these days?” All Them Witches has heard your prayer, or whatever the hell that was. The quartet’s most recent release is Effervescent, 25 minutes of Stoner/Psych/Blues bliss contained in the EP’s epic title track, which also happens to be its only track (it’s available for free download at Bandcamp), and it’s yet another stellar example of All Them Witches’ swirling love of acid-and-feedback-drenched Rock, Blues-tinted Psychedelia and a total lack of anything resembling sonic boundaries. Drink a Tab (or drop one), count backward from a million and prepare to, as George Harrison once so elegantly noted, arrive without travelling. YDIIYD: The Doors and The Grateful Dead have a shared hallucination at a Black Sabbath/Iron Butterfly reunion/intervention. (BB) Effervescent - EP by All Them Witches 11:45 p.m. @ Know Theater (Main Stage) Rubblebucket (New York)  Art/Soul Pop Rubblebucket was born in Burlington, Vt., eight years ago when vocalist Kalmia Traver and trumpeter Alex Toth met in a Latin Jazz band. That sentence alone should be enough to convince you that the NYC-based quintet is destined to be one of this year’s MidPoint highlights. Rubblebucket’s first two albums (2009’s Rubblebucket and 2011’s Omega La La) and two subsequent EPs (Oversaturated and Save Charlie) showcased the band’s ultraswank Funk/Soul/Ska/Art Pop evolution, but its just released third set, Survival Sounds, is a veritable explosion of guitars, horns, loopy synths and quirky vocal gymnastics, all of it as danceable as any 40 minutes that ever ran on American Bandstand and as infectious as weaponized bird flu. Dancing will occur at a molecular level; be ready to go subatomic on your ass. YDIIYD: Polyphonic Spree and Bjork join the Fabulous Flames and Talking Heads in a weird tribute to James Brown. (BB) 11:15 p.m @ Mainstay Rock Bar Love X Stereo (Seoul, South Korea)  Electro Alt Rock  Of all the bands traveling to Cincinnati for MidPoint, Korea’s Love X Stereo might be coming from the farthest corner of the world. In their native country, Annie Ko, Toby Hwang and Sol Han are known for their mix of ’90s influenced Synth Rock, but the Western part of the world’s just getting to know them. Last year the band released its third EP, Glow, and just this year Love X Stereo recorded a cover of Capital Cities’ “Safe and Sound” for an Indie Goes Pop compilation. Let’s be clear: They aren’t K-Pop, like that one guy who wrote that one huge hit a couple of years ago. For an unsigned band from Korea with big dreams of conquering the world — LxS has already played SXSW and CMJ (and was supposed to play MPMF last year but canceled due to travel issues) — it’s exciting to have the band traversing to our little town.  YDIIYD: Listening to good Korean bands that have nothing to do with K-Pop, Manic Panic red-headed chicks. (GP)  12 a.m. @ MOTR Pub Landlady (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Art Rock Originally formed in 2011 as the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Adam Schatz (member of the Man Man and Vampire Weekend touring bands), Landlady has added members since then, gradually becoming a quintet. Schatz’s was all solo when he released Landlady’s first album, 2011’s Keeping to Yourself, and with the full band in place the group released its second LP, Upright Behavior, this past summer on Portland label Hometapes.  YDIIYD: Future Islands, TV on the Radio, Dirty Projectors. (Mike Breen) 11:45 p.m. @ Mr. Pitiful's machineheart (Los Angeles)  AltPop  L.A. five-piece machineheart makes unabashedly epic Pop music with depth. The band crafts a compelling backdrop of guitars, big beats and tasteful electronic additives, but it’s singer Stevie Scott’s dazzling vocal presence and the ear-burrowing melodies that really pull the listener in. The band has only been together for a short time, first catching attention less than a year ago with a cover of The 1975’s “Chocolate,” but the limited tracks made available for public consumption (“Circles,” “Another Me,” “Snøw”) are so endearing, sophisticated and radio-ready, it won’t be long before machineheart catches fire nationally. This is one of those acts that we’ll all likely be saying, “Oh, I saw them at MidPoint in 2014,” once they breakthrough.  YDIIYD: Sia, Charli XCX, Florence + the Machine. (MB) 8 p.m. @ Mr. Pitiful's Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands (Greensboro, N.C.) Gypsy Folk/Jazz/Pop There is a theatrical element to Crystal Bright’s songs and her performance of them, which seems natural when you learn she’s a stage director/producer and performance artist (as well as music teacher, multi-instrumentalist and holistic nutritionist … so she eats well, too). Bright’s World music experience is almost beyond belief — she’s played in Chinese, Ugandan, Brazilian and Indonesian ensembles, among others — and she brings it all to bear with the Silver Hands, which she assembled four years ago. The band’s 2010 eponymous “experimental vaudeville” album was well received, as was its follow up, 2012’s Muses & Bones, a brilliant stylistic pastiche. YDIIYD: Jane Siberry and Danny Elfman record a Gypsy Folk soundtrack to a Slavic noir detective movie starring Tom Waits as the gumshoe and Kate Bush as the dame. (BB) 11 p.m. @ Ballroom at the Taft Theatre  Dessa (Minneapolis)  Hip Hop/Spoken Word Dessa began her musical journey as a part of Doomtree, the Minneapolis Hip Hop collective, as both versatile artist and business manager. She then established her solo identity with A Badly Broken Code and Castor, the Twin, albums that earned her the comparison of “Mos Def plus Dorothy Parker” for her flawless flow and incisive wordplay. Dessa’s latest album, the recently released and patently brilliant Parts of Speech, finds the Hip Hop chanteuse expanding in a dozen different creative directions simultaneously, incorporating diverse musical elements in her Hip Hop foundation while spitting some of her most powerful and compelling lyrics to date. You might not like Hip Hop, but it’s a safe bet that you’ll love Dessa’s intoxicating rhymes and genre alchemy. YDIIYD: Ani DiFranco channeling Eminem. (BB)
 
 
by Mike Breen 09.22.2014 62 days ago
 
 
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MidPoint Music Festival Critic's Picks: Thursday

It's MidPoint Music Festival week! If you need some guidance as you create your MPMF itinerary (which you can build and keep track of through the live.mpmf.com app),  we'll be showcasing some of the Critic's Picks from our official MidPoint guide (which will be available throughout the fest). While most of attendees are likely very familiar with some of the bigger headlining acts of the fest, these suggestions focus on some of the great acts beyond the top-of-the-poster ones. Remember — MPMF is about discovery. (And if you find yourself with a blank spot on your schedule, any of Cincinnati's homegrown talent playing MPMF are a sure bet.) Here are some recommendations for this Thursday. Click here to check out the entire official guide, which has write-ups on all 150 or so MPMF acts. Tickets are still available here. 8 p.m. @ Arnold's Old Hundred (Columbus, Ohio)  Indie Folk Rock In 2012, Columbus’ Old Hundred was listed as one of “10 Ohio Bands You Should Listen to Now” by Paste Magazine. If you didn’t heed that advice at the time, you should do yourself a favor and do so immediately. Along with scoring slots at regional fests and playing with the likes of Mumford & Sons, Phosphorescent and Cake, the group has put out a pair of full-lengths and two EP releases, including this year’s remarkable I Don’t Want to Die. The EP shows the unpredictable diversity of Old Hundred, opening with the sweeping Folk instrumental “Catamount I” before moving into gritty, melodic Indie Rock of “I’ll Be There (When You Die),” the beautiful harmony-laden “I Don’t Want to Die” and “Catamount II,” which begins with haunting Art Folk minimalism and builds into a noisy cacophony that could’ve been composed by Explosions in the Sky. You'll Dig It If You Dig: Fleet Foxes, Wilco, Grizzly Bear, Band of Horses. (Mike Breen) I Don't Want to Die by Old Hundred 10:30 p.m. @ The Drinkery Alpha Consumer (Minneapolis)  Indie Rock Considering Minneapolis’ storied history, Alpha Consumer has created a cultishly devoted fan base among one of the most sophisticated and discerning music audiences on the planet. The trio has also made fans within its peer group, collaborating with Andrew Bird, Bon Iver and Brother Ali, while maintaining a unique musical perspective of herky jerky New Wave as filtered through a melodic Pop prism that fractures its light into individual rays of New York Punk, Psych Folk and contemporary Indie Rock. Alpha Consumer’s last full-length, 2011’s Kick Drugs Out of America, was a blast of Indie oddballery, but the group’s recently released Meat shows a great deal more subtlety and musical growth toward the melodic heart and soul that was evident on its predecessor.  YDIIYD: Ray Davies, Paul Westerberg and Ween in the front row of a Devo concert. (Brian Baker) 10:30 p.m. @ Know Theater (Main Stage) Fathers (Chicago) Indie Rock  Fathers is a band with branches in Chicago but deep roots in the Cincinnati scene. Its members played previously in such Cincy stalwarts as Enlou, All The Day Holiday and Cathedrals. It should be noted that Fathers sound virtually nothing like any of those bands, but instead carves out its own niche somewhere between ’70s Easy Listening and more modern, propulsive Indie Rock. Nearly every song demonstrates a mastery of the delicate art of dynamic and mood. Of course, that being said, the band says its live show is akin to “an out-of-control bus with a bomb strapped to the bottom that will blow if the driver slows down.” So come prepared for anything. YDIIYD: Fleetwood Mac with vocals recorded in the My Morning Jacket reverb silo. (Ben Walpole) 10 p.m. @ Know Theater (Second Stage) Violent Mae (Hartford, Conn.) Indie Jazz Rock As their bio reads, vocalist/guitarist Becky Kessler and drummer Floyd Kellogg were supposed to work on her solo album together, not form a band. Kessler moved from Outer Banks, N.C., to work on an organic farm in Connecticut, where she met Kellogg. The result of their work together is last year’s self-titled debut, influenced by noisy bands Sonic Youth and Pixies, but also possessing notes of Jazz icon Charles Mingus and a sprinkling of Jeff Buckley’s Folk Gospel. On the upbeat melancholy of “Hole in My Heart,” Kessler sings about heartache in her raspy voice that’s in the ilk of Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom. This winter they went method and recorded the song “Man in the Country” in an abandoned mining cave. YDDIYD: The Heartless Bastards, Jeff Buckley without the high notes, New England in the fall, cave dwellers. (Garin Pirnia) 10:45 p.m. @ Mainstay Rock Bar The Infatuations (Detroit)  R&B/Soul/Rock/Funk The high-energy Soul style of The Infatuations has made them a favorite in their hometown scene, which is saying a lot when you realize their hometown scene gave birth to Motown and scores of bands known for amazing live shows (MC5, The White Stripes, etc.). The group recently scored five Detroit Music Awards (out of 14 nominations) including Outstanding Live Performance. The Infatuations bring the party for its live shows and their recorded work captures that sweaty, dance-demanding vibe perfectly. This year, the group released its first full-length, Detroit Block Party, 11 tracks of high-octane R&B that’s almost as fun to listen to as it is to experience in concert. Almost. YDIIYD: Motown, Stax, Marvin, Curtis, Otis. (MB) Midnight @ MOTR Pub Nikki Lane (Nashville, Tenn.)  Alt Country/Rockabilly With her unabashed bluster, Lane’s songs about jilted lovers and walks of shame generate either foot stomping or pensive swaying. (Note: She’s nothing like another Nashville “Country” artist who likes to write songs about exes, Taylor Swift.) Lane grew up in Greenville, S.C., then spent some time in NYC before settling in Music City, where she opened up a vintage store called High Class Hillbilly. That led to meeting and collaborating with Black Key Dan Auerbach, who produced her sophomore record, All or Nothin’. On songs “Man Up” and “You Can’t Treat Me Like That,” she lets those men know she’s the boss, all while never losing that alluring rhythm. YDIIYD: Strong vintage female Country artists like Wanda Jackson and Loretta Lynn and newer country artists like Lydia Loveless. (GP) 10:30 p.m. @ Mr. Pitiful's Steelism (Nashville, Tenn.)  Instrumental Rock/Surf/Roots Led by guitarist Jeremy Fetzer and pedal steel player Spencer Cullum, Steelism is a wide-ranging instrumental band that takes from Surf rock greats, classical soundtrack composers and vintage Soul music and creates its own distinct and completely engrossing sound. You can use Santo & Johnny — the pedal steel/guitar twosome that had a hit with the mesmerizing “Sleepwalk” — as a starting point, simply because it is a provocative instrumental hit using the same instrument motif, but Steelism takes the concept to levels that duo only dreamed of. They can pull off gorgeous Country balladry, Krautrock weirdness, rollicking Rock & Roll boogie, R&B smoothness with equal grace, managing to have its own strong musical identity craft cohesiveness in the face of such disparate inspiration. And no, you get swept up enough that you won’t once wonder, “Would this sound better with singing?” In this case, singing would be distracting. YDIIYD: The Ventures, Esquivel, Ennio Morricone. (MB) 10:45 p.m. @ Ballroom at the Taft Theater Barrence Whitfield and the Savages (Boston) Garage Rock/Soul Barrence Whitfield is the kind of performer that the word “frontman” was devised to define who they are and yet doesn’t go nearly far enough in describing what they do. Whitfield is a human tornado of Soul and Rock, a witheringly energetic gene splice of Wilson Pickett, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Arthur Alexander, with moves and grooves that would sprain Richard Simmons’ optic nerve. And around him are the Savages, a musical Special Forces unit that storms stages with blitzkrieg passion and unhinged abandon. And we’ll let Boston claim them, because the band started there three decades ago, but we all know that half the Savages hail from the Queen City (ex-Customs/DMZ/Lyres guitarist Peter Greenberg, ex-Customs/Auburnaires keyboardist Jim Cole, ex-Pearlene drummer Andy Jody) and their last two comeback albums — 2011’s Savage Kings and 2013’s Dig Thy Savage Soul — were recorded with John Curley at Ultrasuede (and Savage Kings was released on Shake It, so there). But the band will be happy to tell you that it doesn’t matter where they’re from, it matters where they’re headed. And the best you can do to get ready is strap your ass on tight; Barrence Whitfield and the Savages might just rock it off. YDIIYD: Little Richard mentors The Dictators, Wilson Pickett gives them a metric ton of Soul. (BB)  Barrence Whitfield & The Savages The Corner Man Later with Jools Holland from TKA on Vimeo.
 
 
by Mike Breen 09.22.2014 62 days ago
 
 
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MidPoint Favorites The Ridges Return to MPMF ’14

Ohio Chamber Folk ensemble makes promo video in support of Memorial Hall performance

Over the past few years, Athens, Ohio’s Indie Folk troupe The Ridges have become a regular presence at Cincinnati area clubs, building up a nice local following. They’ve also become fairly regular participants in the MidPoint Music Festival (which returns starting this Thursday to the clubs and venues of Downtown/Over-the-Rhine) and they always provide fest-highlight-worthy performances. The band is returning to MPMF 2014 for its third visit to the festival, opening up the night at new MPMF venue Memorial Hall Saturday at 9:15 p.m. and rounding out a great bill that also includes anticipated MPMF sets by Saintseneca and Gardens & Villa. The Ridges (who’ve done several dates in the past year with Kishi Bashi, one of last year’s big MPMF breakthrough acts) often craft cool promo videos for their shows, particularly for bigger events like MPMF. The band’s video previewing its appearance at this year’s MidPoint was recently shot from the stage at Memorial Hall, giving a good look at the gorgeous venue for those who’ve never seen it. “It’s always one of our favorite shows,” Ridges singer/songwriter/guitarist Victor Rasgaitis says about playing MidPoint. “The atmosphere is perfectly inspiring and the crowds are so incredibly receptive — we're lucky to have such an awesome festival here in Ohio.” Tickets for MPMF are available here. For more on The Ridges, visit theridgesmusic.com. 
 
 
by Mike Breen 09.19.2014 65 days ago
 
 
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WATCH: The Yugos Perform “Follow You”

Before opening MidPoint Friday next week, local Indie rockers reveal a live video of their recent single

On their most recent tour, excellent Northern Kentucky Indie Rock band The Yugos stopped by Toledo, Ohio’s SixtyTen Recording Studio to record its latest single, “Follow You,” as part of the facility’s “SixtyTen Sessions” video series.The studio version of the single, released earlier this summer, can be streamed/downloaded here.One week from the day, The Yugos will be opening up MidPoint Music Festival’s Friday festivities. The band plays at 5 p.m. Friday on the MidPoint Midway stage, right before another of the fest’s most anticipated acts, Real Estate, performs. The Midway stage is free and open to the public (no tickets/passes required), thanks to stage sponsor P&G. It’s also an all-ages show.Click here to hear more from The Yugos, and here to check out more sessions from SixtyTen.
 
 

Your 2014 MidPoint Adventure Awaits

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 10, 2014
If you’re a music lover, there’s no better way to celebrate the first weekend of fall than with MPMF.  
by Mike Breen 09.11.2014 73 days ago
Posted In: MidPoint Music Festival at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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MidPoint Music Festival Guide Available Now

The 2014 MPMF guide features performer previews, Midway attraction info and more

Be sure to grab a copy of this week’s edition of CityBeat to check out the official guide for the 2014 MidPoint Music Festival, which kicks off two weeks from today. You can also view the guide online here.  The guide once again features short previews of all 150-plus artists performing at MPMF, as well as info on other attractions at the fest, including the MidPoint Midway, transportation options, ArtWorks’ “Ink Your Love” project, a MidPoint visitor's guide (with info on restaurants, bars and more around the MPMF route) and much more.  NOTE: There are some conflicting ticket prices listed in the guide for the stage at Washington Park. Refer to the Ticket and Box Office Info page (page 5) and below for the correct information. We apologize for our error. Washington Park (All ages)  • Thursday: Chromeo, The Range $27 advance; $30 at gate.  Gates at 5 p.m.; show starts at 6 p.m. • Friday: The Afghan Whigs, Wussy, Joseph Arthur:  $27 advance; $30 at gate.  Gates at 5 p.m.; show starts at 6 p.m. • Saturday: OK Go, Empires, Public, Modoc $20 advance; $25 at gate.  Gates at 1 p.m.; show starts at 2 p.m. Visit mpmf.cincyticket.com to purchase three-day passes, VIP tickets (only a few remain), single day tickets and tickets for the Washington Park shows in advance. And be sure to grab the smartphone app at live.mpmf.com, on which you can customize your schedule and read MPMF-related Twitter and Instagram posts. And you can listen to most of the performing artists via the Spotify playlist below:
 
 
by Mike Breen 08.29.2014 86 days ago
Posted In: MidPoint Music Festival, Music News at 09:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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MidPoint Music Festival Ticket Deal Ends Tuesday

Prices for three-day MPMF passes go up after Labor Day

Three-day “All Music Access” tickets for the 13th annual MidPoint Music Festival remain one of the best music fest deals in the country. But if you wait until after Monday to get yours, you’ll have to pay a little more. On Tuesday, prices for the three-day passes will increase from $69 to $79. It’ll still be a great deal with the $10 bump, but you like to save money, right? Click here to get your tickets, which will get you into all of the shows throughout the three-day affair (barring shows that reach capacity by the time you get there).The festival returns in less that a month, running Sept. 25-27 on multiple stages throughout Downtown and Over-the-Rhine and featuring more than 150 performers from all over the world. MPMF (which is owned and operated by CityBeat) has added a few acts over the past few weeks. Artists added to the lineup in just this past week include Nashville’s Mary Bragg, Columbus, Ohio’s Old Hundred, Stockholm, Sweden’s Baskery, returning MPMF faves Sol Cat (from Nashville), Louisiana’s Baby Bee and L.A. Pop band machineheart. You can keep track of further schedule changes at MPMF.com, as well as on the festival’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.To check out some tunes from this year’s crop of MPMF artists, click below for a 10-and-a-half-hour Spotify playlist.
 
 

MidPoint Indie Summer Finale with Islands and More

Friday • Fountain Square

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 27, 2014
You have one last chance to catch a free MidPoint Indie Summer show on Fountain Square this year and it’s a doozy. Joining Louisville, Ky.’s great Indie/ElectroPop band The Pass, plus excellent locals The Yugos and newer crew Joey Cook and the Keepers of the Secret (one of the Pomegranates member’s new projects), are acclaimed eclectic Indie Pop rockers Islands.  

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