by Mike Breen
Two very different traveling music fests will be coming to Riverbend this summer
A pair of interesting local package-tour concerts were announced today for Riverbend's summer season. • On Saturday, July 6, Bob Dylan and his band are headlining the Americanarama Festival of Music when it comes to Riverbend Music Center. Dylan tours a lot, but making this jaunt extra special are the extra special guests — Wilco and My Morning Jacket. Other acts are to be added to round out the fest-like bill (show starts at 5:30 p.m.). Tickets for Americanarama at Riverbend go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. Tickets range from $30-$80; between April 27-28, fans can buy lawn tickets for the show for just $20 (plus all those sketchy ticket fees). Read more about the tour here.• For local fans of modern Hip Hop, mark your calendars for Aug. 11. That's when the second annual Hip Hop tour, Under the Influence of Music, will be coming to Riverbend. The show is headlined by Wiz Khalifa and A$AP Rocky and will also feature B.o.B., Trinidad Jame$, Joey Bada$$, Pro Era and Berner and more. The Cincinnati stop is the last on the tour, which always makes for a fun time for the performers (and, thus, the audience).Tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. Click here if you'd like to RSVP for a chance to buy tickets early. Citi card members get access to presale tickets beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m. Riverbend is offering $15 "Early Bird" tickets through April 28. And here is some info on getting a jump on the public on-sale. Here's an interview with the headliners about the tour.
by Mike Breen
Celebrating the 12th anniversary of the CityBeat/Jimmy Buffett shitstorm
A dozen years ago, I was asked to come up with something for CityBeat's annual summer preview "Hot Issue." At the time, easy-groovin' singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett was the king of Cincinnati's summer concert scene, selling out his shows in minutes and routinely winning the "Best Concert" award in CityBeat's "Best of Cincinnati" readers' poll. So I figured that, five years into CityBeat's existence, it was time to weigh in on the Parrothead phenomenon. I've told the story of the backlash a few times in the past (apologies if you've heard it before). After the article was published, I received the most hate mail I've ever seen for a story appearing in the paper. My colleagues printed out the emails and wallpapered the area around my desk; it covered a good quarter of that room in the old CityBeat building on Seventh Street. I expected some of it (and probably deserved some of it, too; as a young punk-ass writer, I was an even bigger dick then). But the sheer amount of correspondence was kind of a shock. I soon discovered it was the result of a cheap Buffett fan website that literally told its members to attack. In the vein of anti-abortion activists publishing the names and home addresses of doctors who dare provide abortion services, the site ran Mike Breen's home address. I probably would have filed a police report were it not for the fact that the site ran the wrong Mike Breen's home address. Some other poor Mike Breen in Cincinnati probably received a few house-eggings and tree-TPings (hopefully nothing worse). I sent the site owner a polite note advising them that they had the wrong Mike Breen's address and invited them to publish CityBeat's business address for anyone who'd like to chime in with a letter. (They already had our email up there.) Eventually, they removed the innocent man's address. Out of the 300 or so emails of protest sent, about 10% simply suggested that Buffett concerts are just good fun and I shouldn't criticize how people get their ya-yas out (fair enough). About 5% were supportive of my comments. Around 2% said they were indeed Parrotheads, but found my article amusing and felt the pilers-on were being stupid and taking it all too seriously (my favorites).The rest of the emails were the opposite of Jimmy's good-time, laid-back vibe. Most just called me rude names (totally fine). Some wished death on me (not cool!). The only one I remember with any kind of clarity was the note that said, "I hope your children are raped by drug dealers in Over-the-Rhine and get AIDS and die" (come near my family and I WILL cut your balls off). Included in many of the death-wishes and "Fuck you, asshole!" comments were a few people who trumpeted Jimmy's great contributions to charity. I applaud that, as well as the efforts of the Cincinnati Parrot Head Club, who also work good deeds into their good times. Buffett and I also share a lot of the same political/cultural/social views (I can find no evidence, but I'd be willing to wager that Jimmy's NOT anti-gay marriage and he is definitely a Democrat). I also thought it was kind of funny/cool that Jimmy got booted from an NBA game for passionately (and good-naturedly) sticking up to the refs that were giving his team (the pre-LeBron Miami Heat) the shaft. I also thought it was really cool that Jimmy found Bill Paxton's fairly scathing parody of him (as "Coconut Pete") in the Broken Lizard film Club Dread to be hysterical. (On the DVD commentary track, the filmmakers say Buffett asked for permission to perform some of the parody songs on tour.)Here's Paxton doing Coconut Pete's hit "Pina Coladaburg":I'm unsure how Jimmy feels about South Park's much rougher treatment in the show's own parody (pictured above). (For the record, I think the spreading of quotes from and footage of Buffett fans being bigoted is really unfair, in a Breitbart kind of way.)So, as I've matured, I've found at least five things I like about Buffett. If I drank, I bet he'd be fun to have a beer with and talk politics and sports. (Drop me a line, Mr. Buffett; I'll be designated driver!)There are still tickets available for tonight's Buffett concert at Riverbend, which would have been impossible to imagine 12 years ago. When the Radiohead concert earlier this summer was announced, I had a chat with our publisher about how fast it would sell out. When it didn't, we bemoaned the fact that Buffett's show would still sell out in minutes. It didn't. Is the Parrothead era over in Cincinnati? Here, from the May 25, 2000 edition of CityBeat, are the "Ten Things I Hate About Buffett." Feel free to chime in with your Buffett support and call me a few names if you'd like. (But threats will be taken seriously this time around and if you come near my family … well, see above.) I sincerely hope that, if you're going, you have a great time. Just be safe! I have to imagine that cops see Buffett visits as a good chance to make a few extra DUI arrests. Like death, taxes, Who reunion tours and Wolfen sequels, one
certainty every year in Cincinnati is a local summer appearance by the
master of mediocrity, Jimmy Buffett. If you live here, it's as
inevitable as the changing of the season: Buffett brings his plastic
palm tree and awful music to Riverbend, and thousands of morons flock to
see him. We've resisted writing about this "phenomenon" in the
past. It's kind of like making fun of Kathie Lee Gifford or Kenny G --
it's just too cheap and easy. Of course, CityBeat is nothing if not cheap and easy.
So, here, we bring you the only press you will ever read about Jimmy
Buffett in this publication. Unless, of course, there's a shooting spree
in the middle of the concert or Riverbend sinks into the river. 10) His music
It's sorta tropical, sometimes Country-ish, sometimes "silly," and
always boring. It's music for people who don't like music: background,
laid-back fluff. It's easy listening for Boomers.
9) His lyrics "Blew out my flip flop/Stepped on a pop top/Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home." "So he took her to this movie called Body Heat/She said, 'The Junior Mints were mushy and the sex was neat.' " "Fruitcakes in the kitchen/Fruitcakes on the street/Struttin' naked through the cross walk/In the middle of the week." "Evolution can be mean/There's no 'dumb-ass vaccine.' " Apparently not.
8) His album titles A White Sport Coat & A Pink Crustacean. Last Mango in Paris. Off to See the Lizard. This guy makes "Weird Al" look like Oscar Wilde. 7) He recorded a cover of "Purple People Eater" "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" is bound to be next. 6) He likes to sue aspiring restaurateurs Buffett's
lawyers have gone after entrepreneurs for calling their new bistros
things like "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Hey, if
they're that stupid ... 5) He was a fratboy No doubt. At the University of Southern Mississippi. Shocker! 4) He wrote and staged a musical (Don't Stop the Carnival) Rock stars shouldn't do that. 3) He tricked Brian Wilson into recording one of his songs "South American" on Wilson's Imagination record. Hasn't this man been taken advantage of enough? 2) His CDs don't even make good coasters I proudly own one Jimmy Buffett CD -- 1999's Beach House on the Moon, which I use on my desk to set my drink on. Damn things keep slippin' off. 1) Parrotheads Fans
of Buffett use his summer concerts for an excuse to get completely
obliterated and "partay." It's like Mardi Gras with tasteless people in
stupid hats and Hawaiian shirts. Not so amazingly, his strongest cult is
here in Cincinnati. Like we need some other cultural crisis to be
by Mike Breen
The 18th annual Punk/Metal/Hip Hop/etc. traveling fest winds down after today's Cincy stop
The Van's Warped Tour might not be the most financially successful summer package tour of all time (the promoter and performers work together to keep an ego-free environment and low ticket prices), but it's hard to argue that it is not the most successful overall, especially in terms of longevity. Now in its 18th year, Kevin Lyman's eclectic traveling festival has outlived all of the roving music events that sprouted up around the same time (from Lollapalooza to Lilith Fair) by creating a "customer friendly" experience that's also very "artist friendly." The tour's 2012 finale is this weekend in Portland, but before shutting things down for the summer, the fest makes its annual stop at Cincinnati's Riverbend today. Doors open at 11 a.m. and music kicks off shortly after. The show ends around 9 p.m. Tickets at the box office will cost ya $42 (about a dime a band, by my estimation). Click here for more local show details, including info on how you can "Skip the Line" and walk right into the venue. The set-times for each act are decided just prior to the gates opening; if you're going, look for the giant inflatable Warped logoed amp to see when your favorites are playing. I also highly recommend grabbing the official Warped Tour app.Be sure to support our local music scene reps — The Few The Fallen, Heres To The Heroes and Let It Happen will play the Ernie Ball Stage. Check out Let It Happen's recent video for "Bridges" from the great release, It Hurts, But It's Worth It.Here is who's playing where (via Riverbend's site). (Welsh rockers Lostprophets are also on the bill, though not listed on Riverbend's site; all info is subject to change.) MAIN STAGE: Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, New Found Glory, Streetlight Manifesto, Yellowcard, Piece The Veil, Four Year Strong, Of Mice and Men, We The Kings, Breathe Carolina, Miss May I, Falling In Reverse, Blood On The DanceTBD STAGE: Every Time I Die, Mayday Parade, blessthefall, Chelsea Grin, For Today, Memphis May Fire, Motionless In White, Rise To Remain, Sleeping With Sirens, The Ghost Inside, Vampires Everywhere!, Title FightTILLY’S STAGE: Senses Fail, Vanna, Polar Bear Club, We Are The Crowd, Man Overboard, A Loss For Words, Funeral Party, I Fight Dragons, Machine Gun Kelly, Oh No FiascoTBD STAGE: Echo Movement, G-Eazy, Stepdad, The Constellations, Ballyhoo!, Champagne, T. Mills, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Mod Sun, The Green, AmystERNIE BALL STAGE: iwrestledabearonce, Born Of Osiris, Chunk! No Captain, Fireworks, Transit, Cold Forty Three, The Scissors, The Few The Fallen, Here's To The Heroes and Let It Happen. KEVIN SAYS STAGE: Make Do And Mend, Matt Toka, Tonight Alive, Skip The Foreplay, Sick of Sarah, Mighty Mongo, Captain Capa, I Call Fives, Hostage Calm, The Silver Comet, Twin Atlantic, The Darlings, Dead SaraACOUSTIC BASEMENT: A Loss For Words, Koji, Brian Marquis, Rocky Votolato, Transit Owen Plant, Anthony Raneri
by Amy Harris
Motörhead are Metal gods. They’ve been rocking arenas and
stadiums for 37 years and are currently out on the Mayhem Tour with
Anthrax and other major acts of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. They’ve
released 21 albums and have played in front of millions across the world
with the loyal support of their super-fans, the Motörheadbangers.
CityBeat spoke with guitar player Phil Campbell to
preview their set today Riverbend. They spoke about how life in the band
continues to thrive on the road after so many years and his impressive
collection of guitars. Mayhem Fest will rock Cincinnati Tuesday and will
also feature Anthrax, Slayer, Slipknot and The Devil Wears Prada.
CityBeat: What has been the craziest story from Mayhem so far for you guys?
Phil Campbell: We had a good party the other night.
It was a costume party. All our band and crew went dressed pretty
strange. There were quite a few strange costumes there. I think Lemmy
and his assistant went as the Blues Brothers. I dressed as a clown.
Mickey dressed as a frog. One of our crew dressed as Larry King. That
was pretty good. It was a good party anyway. We are just too busy to get
wild at the moment.
CB: You guys are famous for your pranks on the road. Have you played any pranks on any of the other bands yet?
PC: No not yet. We leave that for the end.
CB: What is the best and worst part of being out on the road now? You guys have been touring for 30 years.
PC: You are home for three weeks and then you are
ready to come on the road for two months. You are dying get back home.
We are not really complainers. One of the worst parts obviously is not
having your family there, home comforts and your dogs and things like
that. The food can be tough because you really don’t have much choice.
That’s not particularly good. The best part is you don’t have to get up
early in the morning anymore. We sleep in until really late so that’s
CB: What is your favorite guitar to play?
PC: My favorite guitar? I just bought a 1957 Les Paul a couple weeks ago so that is probably my favorite now.
CB: I know you have over 260. Do you
rotate them in during the shows or do you pretty much stick with the
same ones for the live performances?
PC: No I have about 12 on the road at any given
time, so sometimes I rotate a couple. Some of the real amazing ones I
don’t really want to take on the road. They are safer in different
storage locations, but I have plenty to choose from.
CB: Any regrets through the years?
PC: No, not really, none. It has been pretty good.
It has been a privilege to be able to play music for people who enjoy
our music. No, no major regrets, no.
CB: Supergroups are very popular right
now with bands like Chickenfoot and musicians doing side projects. If
you could put together a dream supergroup who would you want to play
with from any band?
PC: Elton John, Adam Jones from Tool, David Bato on the drums and Victor Wooten on bass.
CB: That’s pretty good. I know your children are also in bands. Have you thought about recording with them anytime in the future?
PC: Yeah, they are doing really good. I have some children in a band called Straight Lines.
They have their second album out and they are doing lots of shows. They
have great reviews in all the magazines and everything. Hopefully they
will be doing the Warped Tour next summer. Another is in a band called Inside the Trees but they changed their name to The People’s Poet
and they are recording their new album now, as we speak. It’s a quite
different kind of music. They have their own sound as well. They are all
doing really well.
CB: Do you ever play with them?
PC: I used to when they were younger but they won’t let me play anymore. I’m not good enough.
CB: They tell me you are a Lord. How did that process come about to become Lord Axesmith?
PC: I applied. The title goes back 500 years, Lord
of Axesmith. It’s on my credit cards now and everything. I am an
honorary member of the Knight’s Templar of Brittannia. It is a bit of
fun when the crew has to call me “My Lord.”
CB: I was going to ask you what the best part is of being a Lord but that’s probably it, people have to address you as Lord.
PC: When we are at restaurants and they ask for the
name of the party, if you say Lord Axesmith then you know they will
give you a good table. Even before I became Lord Axesmith, I was told it
did the trick.
CB: What can the fans look forward to from the Motörhead show in Cincinnati on Tuesday?
PC: Just another killer Motörhead
show. It is only going to be about 50 minutes long because we have to
have all the other bands on. So it will be loud and nobody will be
by Mike Breen
If the early onset of mugginess hasn't already, Riverbend presents a great concert tonight to get you ready for the summer, as The Beach Boys bring their 50th anniversary tour — featuring Brian Wilson on stage with fellow Boys Mike Love and Al Jardine for the first time in decades — to Cincinnati. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $21.50-$91.50. The band is rounded out by members Bruce Johnston and early guitarist David Marks, as well as several auxiliary players, many from Wilson's flawless solo band. The Boys have been playing shows that have lasted close to three hours (with an intermission), performing songs from throughout their career, including big early hits like "Little Deuce Coupe" and "409," as well as Pet Sounds cuts like "God Only Knows" and "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times," a couple of deeper album cuts (like "California Saga: California," a Jardine song from 1973's Holland album), songs from their new album, That's Why God Made the Radio, and "Kokomo," one of their worst tunes and also one of their biggest. Here's one of Wilson's mini "teenage symphonies for God," "Heroes and Villains," which has also been performed on the tour. Read our interview with Love and Wilson here. • If you like your music a little darker, all-female "Garage Goth" troupe The Black Belles are playing a free show at The Comet in Northside. The band's self-titled debut full-length came out last year on Jack White's Third Man Records and the group even collaborated with Stephen Colbert on his 7-inch single for Third Man, "Charlene II (I'm Over You)" (the Belles performed the song with Colbert on his show). Local rockers The Lions Rampant are also on the bill for tonight's free, 10 p.m. show. Here's the video for the Belles' second single off their eponymous debut, "Wishing Well."• Also on the "free, high-quality live music" tip — tonight's "American Roots" concert on Fountain Square. The every-Tuesday events spotlight local partakers of the various strains of Americana and Roots music. Tonight, it's a little bit Country, a little bit Rock & Roll, as local Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups and The Kentucky Struts join forces. They should be comfortable sharing a stage — Thomas and Ky. Struts frontman Todd Lipscomb perform together in the trad Country project, The Tammy WhyNots. The show runs from 7-10 p.m.
by Amy Harris
Classic, reunited rockers bring 50th anniversary tour to Riverbend Tuesday
The Beach Boys have been blessing audience’s ears with happy and fun tunes (with occasional blasts of melancholy) for 50 years. As they embark on a 50th anniversary tour, they are preparing to release their 31st album, titled That’s Why God Made The Radio, which is also the title of the first single. Almost anyone who listens to music can think a happy thought as it relates to Beach Boy classics like “Good Vibrations,” “Kokomo,” “Surfin USA” or one of their other countless hits.I was able to speak with Mike Love and Brian Wilson before the tour kickoff and it proved to be one of my toughest interviews to date when I spoke with Wilson.There were moments when you had to wonder why he is speaking to the press at all and others when you remembered the pure genius inside his head as he spoke about mixing harmonies on the new album and just being happy to play again with the band that made him a legend. We reached a nostalgic and introspective point as the legends looked back on a remarkable career.The Beach Boys' 50th anniversary tour comes to Riverbend Music Center this Tuesday.CityBeat: If you were writing “California Girls” today, how would you describe them and what are the big changes?Mike Love: The thing about “California Girls” is that it is a riveting song saying, “I wish they all could be California Girls,” and then talk about all the places around the country. I don’t think there would be much changing to do. Of course our original fans are now California mothers and grandmothers. I believe it is all the same.Brian Wilson: No, I would do it the same as it was.CB: What has been your process for putting together the set list of songs for the shows coming up?Brian: We all got together and chose the songs together and we finally narrowed it down to two hours or two and a half hours of songs. Mike: I’ll tell you what, there are several songs that we absolutely do at every single show we do — “California Girls” being one of them, “Good Vibrations” being another, “Kokomo” being our biggest hit of all. “Good Vibrations” was our biggest hit that came out in 1966, until “Kokomo” came out in 1988 and apparently surpassed that. And then there are songs like “I Get Around” and “Fun Fun Fun” and “Surfin’ USA” and “Help Me Rhonda” — we are always going to do those big hit songs because we believe people are going to come see you for what you are known for. We are most famous for those big hit recordings we have had. Then there are other songs we are doing on our set list called album cuts that are a little more subtle, a little more esoteric. Then there is a song called “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” originally done by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers during the ‘50s. My cousin Brian came up with a really great vocal arrangement so we enjoy doing that song. Whether it is a point of view of doing a song we feel hardcore fans know or the Beach Boys music that I can recall, we like to do some songs that will please them as well so we balance the songs, the set list, the selection of songs all throughout the years, up to and including our newest record which is called That’s Why God Made the Radio.CB: On the new album there are fun and upbeat songs, as always, but there are also songs embracing some melancholy of the past like “Pacific Coast Highway.” Why was it important to have both on the album?Mike: I think there has always been melancholy and upbeat aspects to our songs. For instance “Surfer Girl” is slower and romantic. “In My Room” is kind of introspective, and if you will a little melancholy like ("Warmth of the Sun"), which is also a beautiful, slow ballad, but I think mainly it is the result of the collective nature of all of us. There is the obvious sun part of life that we have here in Southern California growing up, you know with the featured years and when we recorded “Barbara Ann” and “Lookin’ For Romance” and then “California Girls” and going around the world and experiencing upbeat and positive things like car songs or surfing songs. There is that aspect of it. Then there is also that more internal, introspective aspect of things. So there are definitely both types of music in the Beach Boys catalog, definitely. There is the melancholy and the happy and upbeat. I think that is how life is. Sometimes, people experience moods or situations in life that are not so much upbeat or fun, death of a loved one or breaking up with somebody. There are situations in life that lend themselves to the more serious or somber or melancholy. Then there are the activities and situations in life that are far more upbeat and fun.CB: What is it like having three generations of fans singing along at the shows now?Mike: It is pretty amazing. It is really wild how well people have responded to us all being together. It re-establishes the theorem from math that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Brian Wilson has been doing his own solo projects and recordings and touring for the last several years. I have been touring as the Beach Boys with Bruce Johnston and occasionally David Marks, our original guitarist. Al Jardine has been doing his own thing but we all got together because of the specialness of the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys. That is the real catalyst that got us together. In addition to that remarkable milestone, there is the fact Capitol Records gave us an opportunity to record a new studio album, so we all got together, a lot of time had passed since we last did an album but it was kind of weird how familiar the whole process felt and how normal it sounded when we were listening to our performance coming back through the speaker in the studio. A lot of time had passed but not much had changed really in terms of Brian’s ability to structure the harmonies and chord progressions and our abilities to harmonize and perform the songs. It was really cool, the two things together, the 50th anniversary and going out to tour together along with doing the new record, those two things, gave us the encouragement to get together and do this together. And the response from the public and so many places have been phenomenal, the Hollywood Bowl in Southern California sold out 17,500 seats.
by Mike Breen
It’s been 19 years since British Art Rock giants Radiohead did their first tour of the U.S. Tonight, Radiohead finally finds time to perform in Cincinnati, bringing its tour behind last year’s Grammy-nominated album The King of Limbs to Riverbend Music Center. If there’s any band worth waiting that long for, it’s Radiohead. The world’s biggest avant garde group is also one of the best live acts on the planet, playing with a fervent intensity backed by a dazzling light/stage show.The group’s two-hour-plus sets of late have been heavy on Radiohead’s “post Pop” albums, though they often treat fans to “oldies” like “Karma Police” and “Paranoid Android.” If you are even the remotest fan, you need to see Radiohead once in your lifetime. You don’t want to wait another 19 years, do you? Only lawn seats remain ($30) at the box office for tonight's show. Radiohead Live at the 2009 Grammy Awards from cinserrajr on Vimeo. Electronic/Indie act Caribou — a MidPoint Music Festival alum — opens up the show at 7:30 p.m. Read more about Caribou here and check out a clip for the tune "Irene" below.• Rising Hip Hop MC Yelawolf performs tonight at the Madison Theater in Covington. Tickets for the all-ages show are $20. Showtime is 8 p.m. Special guest Rittz opens.When Michael Wayne Atha was born in 1979 in the
relatively small Alabama town of Gadsden, it’s doubtful that his mother
looked at her new son and said, “Future Rap superstar.” But that’s just
where Atha — now known by his stage name Yelawolf — is heading. Yela
moved between Tennessee and Alabama as a child and later traveled the
country in pursuit of skateboarding stardom; he also hit Alaska in
pursuit of a fishing-boat job. The MC grew up on Southern Rock before
discovering Hip Hop. The geographic wandering and his love of a variety
of music likely explain the diversity within his own. On his official
2011 debut album, Radioactive,
Yelawolf’s own geographical origins are hard to pinpoint as he filters
influence from southern Hip Hop to the Detroit scene and spits it out in
his own unique voice.
Even the guests on Radioactive were from all over, from Lil Jon and
Mystikal to Eminem (whose Shady label released the record) and Kid Rock.
During his recent performance at the huge Hangout Music Fest (see an interview from Spin with Yela at the fest below) along the
’Bama coast in mid-May, he showed off the full range of his influences,
paying tribute to The Doors, Johnny Cash, Easy-E, Metallica, Lynyrd
Skynyrd and The Beastie Boys. Yelawolf is set to begin recording his sophomore record for Shady — tentatively titled Love Story — after his current tour wraps up. Click here for more live music events in Greater Cincinnati tonight.
May 29 • Riverbend Music Center
0 Comments · Friday, May 18, 2012
Talking about race is
always a dodgy premise, but Carolina Chocolate Drops and their music
practically encourage such discussions. “It's
a very strong statement to say that you're a black string band
musician,” said Drops' Dom Flemons in an interview with Fairfield Weekly. “That helps people open up the article or what-not
and then they get to find out a whole part of the Folk music history
that they might not have known before.”
by Amy Harris
Punk band opens Riverbend's season Saturday at PNC Pavilion
Rise Against is the epitome of Punk Rock in this era. They are as far from the status quo from society as bands get, yet record for a major label. Part of the group's mission is to promote progressive issues, both socially and politically. Rise Against recently released its sixth album, Endgame, which features the hit single “Make It Stop” (the video for which was nominated for a MTV Video Music Award last year).CityBeat spoke with bassist and original member Joe Prinicipe in anticipation for their upcoming show in Cincinnati. They discussed the bands writing process and how they incorporated their socially active direction in their music. Rise Against will be opening Riverbend's PNC Pavilion for the summer this Saturday. A Day to Remember and Title Fight also perform.CityBeat: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. I know you are one of the original band members. You guys have been out on it for about 13 years from when you started. Where do you see yourself in 13 more years?Joe Prinicipe: It’s hard to say with this business but I would say definitely still involved with writing music and performing. Rise Against has no intentions of breaking up. We would like to follow the same career paths as bands like Bad Religion and Social D that are going on 25 or 30 years and are still making relevant music. I hope that’s where I end up.CB: I saw you last year with the Foo Fighters when you opened up in Columbus. I was wondering if there were any fun and crazy Foo Fighter stories on tour.JP: It was pretty awesome when there were a group of protesters, I think we were in St. Louis, maybe it was Kansas City, and they were protesting the Foo Fighter show because they did that funny promo video where they were showering together. So this group came out, this very homophobic religious group. They were protesting and the Foo Fighters came out (before the show) dressed provocatively and they were out on a flat bed truck and performed and tried to play as loud as they could to overshadow, overpower the protestors. It totally worked and it was awesome.CB: They seem fun to be around in general and don’t take it too seriously.JP: Totally and they are all about enjoying what they have because being on the road and being away from your family is hard enough so you might as well make the most of it.CB: Your music has been called protest music in the past by the Chicago Tribune and I just wanted to ask about your process to write lyrics around a cause. How do you choose a cause to support and then develop a song around it?JP: (Singer/guitarist) Tim (McIlrath) writes all the lyrics and the process is very simple. He is just writing what he feels for that day. He writes from a personal perspective on life in general. That’s why our records are not just political, there are socially aware topics, there are environmental issues, there are songs about relationships and how hard it is to be away from our families when we are traveling. We always write music first and he will hear the tone that the music sets and he has a journal, and he will flip through the journal and see if something fits and if not he will write what he thinks will fit the music and that is how it has always been the last 12 years.CB: Were you guys influenced at an early age or did something happen to you that kind of made you take your music toward this activism tone or did you have a kind of defining moment?JP: No, it’s just seeing punk rock music. It’s just the nature of punk rock that seems formed as a reaction to the glam era of the 70’s. It’s just a reaction to that so it’s always been about that. It’s all we know. It was something that we didn’t even discuss. It was just kind of a given the direction of Rise Against was going to be that and we are kind of carrying that torch. Bands like Minor Threat and the Bad Brains were definitely singing for change whether it was singing against homophobia or social issues, but that’s kind of what the unspoken goal that the band has always had.CB: What is the biggest way your music has been able to make a difference or make a change?JP: I would say the effect that “Make it Stop” has had on young kids. Kids in high school trying to get through it all. We have gotten so many e-mails that the song is helping them through the hardest time of their life and that is incredibly rewarding. I would say “Make it Stop” stands out as that.CB: Your new album came out last year in the spring. Do you have any new music in the works?JP: No, we still have a whole year of touring on Endgame. I think I always have song ideas in the back of my head and so does Tim. It’s kind of an ongoing thing anyway. We won’t actually have anything, officially new until the end of 2013.CB: Do you have any crazy Cincinnati stories from the past or any fond memories?JP: Not really. Cincinnati is Bogart's, right?CB: It’s Bogart's and this time you are at Riverbend which is outside.JP: That’s right. The only thing I recall is from Zach our guitar player. His old band played Bogart's and someone was shot like 20 feet away from him. That’s really it.CB: I think you are in a little safer place by the river this time. I have this new game and it’s a table game with quirky questions and people just give their first thoughts around it, so I have been experimenting with this a little and I have three questions from this game for you. The first question is what skill do you possess that most people don’t know about?JP: Let’s see, nothing hidden, although I am a complete coffee snob and I have an espresso machine at my house and I take that very seriously. It has to be perfect. I have to time all my espresso shots as they come out of the machine. So I guess that.CB: So you make the perfect espresso, that’s your hidden talent.JP: Absolutely.CB: What is under your bed?JP: Actually nothing because my wife is a neat freak so nothing can be on the floor. CB: If you are on the bus it is somebody else sleeping under the bed in the bunk.JP: As far as the bus goes, our tour manager is usually in the bunk below me so I have him snoring …CB: What song would you pick to sing karaoke?JP: I’m really bad at karaoke, oddly enough.CB: You don’t have to be good. I don’t think that’s the purpose of karaoke.JP: That’s true. I don’t know maybe something from ’80s Pop like the Go-Gos or Duran Duran.CB: What can the fans expect from the show in Cincinnati?JP: Just high energy, just come and sing with us and have a good time. It is all about interacting with our fans and just everyone singing along. We are all there for the same reason. It is a good way to let off some steam from the week prior. Just come out and have a good time.
by Mike Breen
Those who were contemplating heading to Indio, Calif., this summer purely to catch British experimental music kingpins Radiohead at Coachella can save a little cash and drive to Riverbend instead. This morning, the local outdoor shed announced that Radiohead will perform June 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets run $30 (for lawn seats) to $69.50 (plus fees) and go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. through ticketmaster.com, riverbend.com and all Ticketmaster box-office locations. Get your tickets early. The band is currently on a run of U.S. arena dates that have completely sold out.