by Jake Grieco
at 02:55 PM | Permalink
like drying piss and old beer on the back deck of Northside’s The Comet. The
air is filled with the dull thud of a concert beating up against the walls.
shows at The Comet every night and people piss and drink there every night, and
John Hoffman and Dylan McCartney are there just about every night. Tonight they’re
just here to get drunk, but usually they’re the center of attention.
McCartney are in emerging Cincinnati Punk band Sleeves. Hoffman calls the
band’s sound American Apparel Punk. Their debut EP Sex is Stupid can be downloaded for free here.
They’re a three-piece made up of Hoffman on lead guitar, McCartney on drums and
Alex Collins on bass. Hoffman and McCartney both sing, and they both end up on
the ground and sometimes injured by the end of their shows.
has an active Do-It-Yourself music scene and Hoffman and McCartney are major
players in it. They organize and play shows and Hoffman even records, masters
and puts together records for other bands.
played at The Comet, but most of the band’s shows aren’t held in traditional
music venues but houses.
all over the city are opening their basements, living rooms, decks and kitchens
to musicians that want to do what they love wherever they can do it.
remember the super visceral feeling I got from walking into my first house
show,” Hoffman says. “It was just like ‘Where the hell am I? I’ve never seen
anything cooler than this.’ I finally felt comfortable in a public space.”
outside, a house show looks uncomfortable. There are usually four or five
terrifyingly big and tattooed guys stoically staring and bobbing their head to
the music. Mosh pits break out constantly, and beer gets all over everyone no
matter what, but it’s the closest thing to a bohemian utopia in Cincinnati —
anything can happen.
show, there was a point where everyone was crowd surfing just so they could tag
the ceiling with spray paint,” Hoffman says. “It became a group effort where
everyone was holding people up so they could tag the ceiling. That house was a
say they probably didn’t get their deposit back,” McCartney added.
malice in these ways of destruction and these different looking people. They
worked together to tag the ceiling — vandalism — but with teamwork, so it’s OK.
The terrifying gentlemen are the first to help anyone up who gets knocked over.
For every beer that’s dumped, 10 more are handed out. All the dirt, grunge and
basement gunk are exactly what Cincinnati’s DIY bands need. The bands are good
enough for big venues, but something is lost when people have to pay to get in,
pay to drink and pay to eat and they can’t go outside for a cigarette and walk
back in without getting hassled.
band [Mardou] played at Bogart’s once and it was the worst show of my whole
life,” McCartney says. “I’ve had shows which were one-twentieth the amount of
people, at a house or something, and it was so much more fun to me. You connect
to people at a show like that and they connect to you.”
are intimate. There’s usually only an inch between you and the mic stand, but
the intimacy comes from more than just close proximity. Certain houses become
“venues” all on their own by regularly hosting shows — like The Outhouse in
Clifton Heights and The Last House on the Left on Kirby Avenue in Northside. Communities
form around these bands and houses, and people that feel like they didn’t fit
in anywhere can find a home in someone else’s house. It’s an Island of Misfit
Toys that serves Skyline chili.
“At the end
of the day, I think it’s just an arts community — or a weirdos community,”
show is Tuesday, June 24, in the basement of Lucy Blue Main Street location in
Over-the-Rhine. Find details here.
Wednesday • The Comet
0 Comments · Monday, March 17, 2014
Getting her start playing drums with Canadian Garage Pop trio The White Wires, Allie Hanlon began Peach Kelli Pop as a solo outlet for her own songwriting. Peach Kelli Pop (Hanlon does all of the recording and friends join her on the road) is modeled after some of the classics of vintage Pop music.
by Mike Breen
• With a Country music base, Rock edge, R&B-inspired three-part harmonies and catchy but emotionally weighty songs, Brooklyn’s The Lone Bellow emerged in 2013 as one of the next potential Americana breakthrough artists. The trio’s well received, self-titled debut — featuring songs written by frontman Zach Williams to help him deal with a tragic horse-riding accident that left his new wife temporarily paralyzed — was released last January on Sony imprint, Descendant Records, to high praise from many high-profile press outlets. (Read more about the group from CityBeat’s preview here.)
The Lone Bellow performs tonight at Oakley’s 20th Century Theater at 8 p.m. Tickets are $17 at the door. Here’s a one-shot video of the trio performing its song “Tree to Grow” in the hills surrounding Los Angeles for the online “SerialBox Singles” series:
• In the two years since Cincinnati Indie Rock band The Sweep released its third album, III, the group has been busy regrouping with a new lineup and writing and recording material for a new album. Sweep singer/songwriter/guitarist Nic Powers and longtime bassist Glen May are now joined in the band by guitarist Brendan Bogosian, who currently also plays guitar with veteran local crew The Tigerlilies, and drummer Joe Klug, who also keeps time for widely-acclaimed Cincy band Wussy. The Sweep continues its free, every-Tuesday-of-November residency tonight at The Comet in Northside at 9 p.m. The band is being joined by various special guests during the residency — last week’s opener featured the reignited Pillbug (from the forces behind The Fairmount Girls), while this week Halvsies joins The Sweep. For the Nov. 19 show, Wussy’s Chuck Cleaver will also perform and the Nov. 26 residency finale will feature a set from Fists of Love. Click here to sample/purchase The Sweep’s great III album.For more live music options in Greater Cincinnati tonight, click here.
by Mike Breen
Ohio Dream Pop/Rock group strangewave performs tonight at The Comet in Northside. J. Trenton Crace and Katrina Eresman formed the compelling group in Dayton not long ago and released their ear-grabbing full-length debut, Pop Noir, earlier this year. It's a fantastic first effort full of hypnotic songs that hover in the same realm as classic Shoegaze, Mazzy Star, Blonde Redhead and Lush, with the diversity from track to track keeping the listener drawn in and mesmerized from start to finish. The twosome is joined by a drummer and bassist for live shows.Opening the free show at 10 p.m. is Seattle Indie Rock/Soul trio Garage Voice, which claims heavy influence from Gospel music and Memphis Soul and has a Garage Rock spirit, thought its songs are far less derivative and predictable that most other groups given that tag. The soulful sounds of the band — which are laced with cool Hammond Organ stabs, soundscapes and grooves — have something of an atmospheric Psych Pop vibe at times (making them a good fit with strangewave), but ignite into dirty Blues and Rock & Roll outbursts with little to no notice. Get a taste of Garage Voice's latest album, Amenin, below.AMENIN by Garage VoiceClick here for more live music options in Greater Cincinnati tonight.
Plus, King Records Month continues and more
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Bluegrass for Babies, featuring local artists Wild Carrot and Comet Bluegrass All-Stars, returns to Sawyer Point Saturday to raise money for the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Plus, King Records Month continues, CityBeat hosts a pre-MidPoint Music Festival party, Jerry's Little Band turns 20 and Abiyah Presents Hip Hop @
The Comet presents a special "open mic" edition.
The Cliftones and The Socials ready new tunes for release and tasty sounds return to Taste of Cincinnati
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Cincy Punk greats The Socials set to return with new 7-inch vinyl release, while Reggae faves The Cliftones prepare new digital single release. Also, the full lineup of music for Memorial Day weekend's Taste of Cincinnati food fiesta.
by Mike Breen
If you're craving some solid live music, it's a surprisingly busy Monday night in the area clubs. Besides the always entertaining Insane Clown Posse's return to Bogart's tonight, here are a few other offerings:• Los Angeles-based The Lonely Wild plays a free show tonight at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Showtime is 10 p.m. The Indie Folk ensemble formed just three short years ago, quickly becoming a favorite on the L.A. club circuit. The group's momentum has only increased since; the Wild's recently released debut full-length, The Sun As It Comes, has been garnering strong reviews and national radio's embrace of it gets stronger by the day. The band is also known for its entertaining, energized live show, which is helping The Lonely Wild grow its fan base rapidly on its current cross-country headlining tour. Read CityBeat's preview of tonight's show here. Have a listen to The Sun As It Comes in full:And here is The Lonely Wild performing live in L.A. late last year:• It's an "Up-and-coming Indie Folk band" kind of night in Cincy this evening, as The Comet in Northside welcomes Denver crew Paper Bird. Austin, Texas-based Indie folkers Dana Falconberry open at 10 p.m. With an exuberant, modern mesh of Roots and Americana, Paper Bird recently released its fourth LP, Rooms, the follow-up to its 2011 score for a collaboration with the Ballet Nouveau Colorado called Carry On. The seven-piece band's compelling sound has gotten Paper Bird featured on NPR's All Things Considered and in a New York Times piece earlier this year about Denver's blossoming music scene (which includes breakthrough, Grammy-nominated Folk Pop act The Lumineers, a tour mate of Paper Bird's). Here's the music video for "As I Am," the first single off of Paper Bird's Rooms:• Justin Furstenfeld, known for his emotional, honest songwriting in the band Blue October, brings his solo tour — dubbed "Open Book: An Evening with Justin Furstenfeld" — to Oakley's 20th Century Theatre tonight for an 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $25 at the door. Texas Indie Pop singer/songwriter Ashleigh Stone opens.Furstenfeld's bipolar disorder has resulted in some highly open-hearted, sometimes excruciatingly bleak songs, something documented in his book, Crazy Making, detailing the origins of each Blue October song in words and music. The Open Book tour features Furstenfeld performing acoustically and talking about his songs (don't fear a total gloom fest; the singer/songwriter also has a sharp sense of humor). Check out CityBeat's preview of tonight's show here. Here is Furstenfeld performing live at the Open Book tour's stop in Santa Ana, Calif., from early April: Click here for even more live show in Greater Cincinnati tonight.
by Mike Breen
• Influential Maryland-spawned Death Metal/Hardcore/Gindcore group Dying Fetus headlines Newport's Thompson House for a night of hardcore release. Singer/guitarist John Gallagher has kept the Fetus alive for 21 years, maintaining a dedicated following and racking up honors like having his band's 2000 release, Destroy the Opposition, named to Decibel Magazine's list of "Hall of Fame" Metal albums. Read more on the group from this week's CityBeat here. The band is joined by guests/tourmates on the Fetus' "The Blood of Power Tour," Malignancy and Cerebral Bore, plus Beverly Hellfire, Fenrir, End It With a Shotgun and Soul Rot. Tonight's show is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. Here's Dying Fetus' "From Womb to Waste" from the group's most recent album, Reign Supreme. • The Madison Theater in Covington is launching its "Madison Theater Band Challenge" tonight. The events will feature a boat-load of local acts — between now and Jan. 4, there are NINE "Round 1" challenges, featuring around nine established and up-and-coming artists from a variety of genres each night. Tonight's first event starts at 6:30 p.m. and features a mix of Rock, Funk and Hardcore, with Banducci and the Wheels, Merry Carls, Pledges, Rebuild The Barrier, Self Ish, The Fallen, The Requiem, Undefined and Victory Over Vanity competing. Visit Madison Theater's site here for a run down of the rest of the challengers. All of the Band Challenge events are open to music lovers of all ages. • For something funky and jolly, Steve Schmidt's annual Organ Trio Christmas Spectacular concludes tonight at The Comet and is always a popular draw. Click here for details.Even more live music options in Greater Cincinnati tonight. (Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments)
by Mike Breen
Veteran ace Jazz pianist/organist Steve Schmidt returns to The Comet in Northside to launch his Christmas-themed two-night stand at the venue. Schmidt's annual Christmas Jazz "Spectacular" has become a local holiday tradition. Schmidt whips out his organ (a Hammond B3; get your mind out of the gutter!) for the occasion and, as always, brings along some top-shelf special guests for the shows. Schmidt is joined by Brad Myers on guitar and Mark Wolfley on drums, plus two amazing singers — Eugene Goss (known for his work with Billy Larkin as Triage) and the great Mandy Gaines. The Steve Schmidt Organ Trio Christmas Spectacular runs 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. tonight and tomorrow at The Comet. There is no cover charge.
by Mike Breen
Boston R&B/Funk/Soul/Rock crew with many local ties returns to Cincy to record new album
Boston’s Barrence Whitfield & the Savages have returned to Cincinnati in a big way this week. The R&B/Soul-rockin’ crew has several local ties, including employing prolific locally-based drummer Andy Jody on the skins. The group also features Peter Greenberg of pioneering Boston band DMZ (as well as The Lyres) and groundbreaking Cincy Garage rockers The Customs (fellow Custom Jim Cole records with the band but doesn’t play live). The Savages recorded two albums in the ’80s; their 1985 Rounder Records release, Dig Yourself, was their last until the group's recent reunion activities. "I met Peter at The Customs reunion in 2008, drummed for them the following year, which led to him contacting me to record Savage Kings upon the reformation of the original Savages," Jody says about his initiation into the band. The Savages are in town to record a new album, returning to Ultrasuede studios, where they recorded Savage Kings. "We decided to record here, partly logistics and partly in tribute to King Records," Jody says, "and it was the same studio where The Customs cut (their trademark tune) 'Long Gone.' "Last night, Whitfield & the Savages debuted some of the new material at Shake It Records. Shake It, the label, released the Savage Kings in the States; The Customs' "Long Gone" single was the first release on the Shake It imprint.The Savages will be warming up for recording this weekend with a two-night stand (Friday and Saturday) at The Comet in Northside. Both shows are free and kick of at 10 p.m. (Friday a DJ warms things up and Saturday Customs-inspired local rockers The Long Gones fittingly open the show). Click here for more info on the band. Below is a live clip filmed in Paris last year. And here's a clip (with performances and interviews) from the band's earlier days when they were featured on the BBC.