WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Summertime Blues? Open Your Ears!

2 Comments · Tuesday, July 2, 2013
We are two weeks into summer and there have been plenty of great musical events already. But, thanks in part to the growing number of venues hosting larger concerts in the area, there’s still a lifetime of shows to come this hot season.   

Trouble and Triumph

Cincinnatian Matt Berninger discusses The National’s latest effort, becoming “political” and the band’s future

1 Comment · Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The National's edgy, dark-hued songs sync perfectly with our current age of anxiety, and now comes Trouble Will Find Me — another collection of richly textured tunes marked by frontman Matt Berninger’s deep baritone and evocative lyrics. But the new record also feels like a departure, as if The National finally seems comfortable in its own skin.  
by Mike Breen 05.21.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 08:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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WATCH: The National Does Letterman

Cincy-bred, Brooklyn-based Indie stars start making the rounds for new album

Trouble Will Find Me, the new album from Cincinnati natives (now New York-based) Indie Rock crew The National, was released today in the U.S. on the 4AD label (it came out overseas yesterday). The band has already been busy with pre-promotion (profiles and reviews can be found from just about every major music press outlet), but now that the album's out, the real work starts. The National kicked off what is certain to be several national television appearances in honor of the new release. Last night, the band played Late Night with David Letterman on CBS. Dave (who notoriously has pretty good taste in music) seemed to really dig the performance. The National has already performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.Those with Sirius Satellite Radio can check out "The National: The Radio Show," on all this week from 5-6 p.m. (with replays at 11 p.m.); a live session will also be aired on Sirius all week, as well as The National's June 5, 9 p.m. appearance at the Brooklyn Nets' arena, the Barclays Center. The National also kick off an international tour this weekend; besides Turkey, Croatia and Luxembourg, the group is playing several major music fests in the States, including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Cincinnati's own Bunbury Music Festival (July 14; get tickets here). The band is also playing Columbus, Ohio, in a few weeks — June 15 at LC Pavilion.
 
 
by Mike Breen 05.08.2013
Posted In: Music News, Music Video at 11:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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WATCH: The National's "Sea of Love" Video

First video released from Cincy natives' forthcoming 'Trouble Will Find Me' album

The Cincinnati natives in hugely popular Indie Rock group The National participated in a Reddit "AMA" chat today, where fans could ask the band anything. Perhaps someone asked, "Hey, when are you putting out a video for a track from your new album?" because during the chat, the band posted the first video from Trouble Will Find Me, which is due on the 4AD label on May 21 (you can pre-order on iTunes here).Here's the jittery, claustrophobic "Sea of Love" music video. The National come back to their hometown on July 14 to headline the final night of Cincy's Bunbury Music Festival.
 
 

Band of Brothers

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 17, 2013
In filmmaking, there’s always pressure, especially around one’s first feature. Ideally, you arc your career so that you can grow as a director with each film, raising your profile as you raise your game so that when you’re ready for your big break, you’ve put in the time and have the resume and scars to prove it.  
by Mike Breen 04.15.2013
Posted In: Music Video at 11:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Watch: The National Tour Doc Trailer

Mistaken For Strangers, by Cincinnati's Tom Berninger, set to premiere Wednesday at Tribeca Film Festival

The road documentary about successful Indie Rock band The National (Cincy-bred, Brooklyn-based) is premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday, where the band will also perform. The film, Mistaken For Strangers, was made by Cincinnatian Tom Berninger (younger brother of National singer Matt). From looks of the just-released trailer for the movie, it appears to be a hoot (with a bit of awkward tension for good measure). The National — whose guitarist, Bryce Dessner, just wrapped up another successful MusicNOW festival here in Cincy — will perform a homecoming show on July 14, headlining the final night of the three-day Bunbury Music Festival at Sawyer Point Park. For tickets and more info, click here. The National's first new album since 2010's High Violet, Trouble WIll Find Me, is due in the U.S. on May 21 from the 4AD label.
 
 
by Mike Breen 04.12.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals, Music News at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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MusicNOW 2013: A Primer

An overview and sampling of the adventurous sounds you'll hear at this weekend's MusicNOW festival

Tonight marks the kick-off of MusicNOW, an adventurous weekend of music that was started in 2006 by Cincinnati native and guitarist for successful Indie Rock band The National, Bryce Dessner. The festival's mission is "to present the best in contemporary music; to offer artists' an opportunity to take risks; to commission new work." That's a fair but lacking description of the festival, but only because the programming isn't bounded by much other than the desire to explore. MusicNOW has showcased numerous flavors of World music, often new avant Chamber/Classical works, a "who's who" of the top names in "Indie" music (Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, The National, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, Grizzly Bear), a few legends (Philip Glass, Kronos Quartet) and newer and/or more obscure artists, meshing together to offer Cincinnati music fans (and the many who come in from out of town) a truly unique musical experience. Sold out audiences have seen one-off performances and collaborations, including commissioned works and world premieres. Below is a sampling of some of the artists featured this weekend — though with MusicNOW's encouragement of experimentalism, take it as merely a surface introduction. The artists will more likely go beyond any pigeonhole you can come up with, which is the best thing about MusicNOW. • Tonight's kick-off is headlined by Anti- recording artists Tinariwen, a Malian ensemble whose creative North African sounds resulted in a Grammy in 2012 for its fifth album, Tassili. Read CityBeat's interview with Tinariwen founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib (via translated email exchange) here. Here's the official video for Tassili track "Iswegh Attay" (with translation!): • Arcade Fire member Richard Reed Parry has been a part of several MusicNOW festivals, composing commissioned works and playing with bands like Little Scream and Bell Orchestre. This year, Reed Parry will perform the songs of his Indie Folk project, Quiet River of Dust. The project made it's live debut at the National-curated All Tomorrow's Parties fest in the U.K. late last year (where Reed Parry performed three very different sets) and a recording is presently in the works. A review from the music blog Let's Get Cynical described it as "a quirky and engaging performance – the first song I hear is about a boy who gets lost at sea and turns into a fish, if you want some sort of indication of what we’re working with. The fact that this is the trio’s first ever show also highlights ATP as the kind of festival where you get to see things you don’t get anywhere else." Kinda like MusicNOW. • Rounding out tonight's opener is Buse and Gase, the Brooklyn duo of Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez, who make trippy avant grade music on various handmade instruments. The group name actually comes from two of those instruments — the "buke" is described as a "six-string baritone ukulele" and the "gase" is a guitar/bass guitar combo.  Here's Buse and Gase's official clip for the tune "General Dome." • Saturday's headliner is MusicNOW 2013's most known performer, Glen Hansard. The Irish singer/songwriter began catching attention as a member of the group The Frames, then broke out on his own and won an Academy Award for "Best Original Song" in 2008 for "Falling Slowly" from the film Once, in which he also starred. Hansard's first solo album, Rhythm and Repose, was released last summer on the Anti- label (album bonus track "Come Away to the Water" was, oddly enough, covered by Maroon 5 and Rozzi Crane on the soundtrack to the blockbuster film The Hunger Games). Here's the video for "High Hope" off of Hansard's solo debut.  • Saturday will also feature the performance of new works composed by Dessner, Reed Parry and Serbian composer Aleksanda Vreblov. The new pieces will be performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, which has collaborated with everyone from the New York Philharmonic and Cincinnati native (and Jazz piano master) Fred Hersch to Lou Reed, Barbara Streisand and Talib Kweli. The organization works often with composers on new pieces.  Here's a clip of Dessner working with the Chorus on the piece "Tell the Way" in 2011.  The Chorus will be joined by young string ensemble The Ariel Quartet, which formed in Israel and moved to the States in 2004. Last year, the group was named "quartet-in-residence" at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. The quartet has won numerous international awards for its work and has performed all over the world. Also lending a hand with the new works is Shara Worden of MusicNOW vets My Brightest Diamond.  Below is a clip of the Ariel Quartet performing Mozart. • Last year, music now featured pioneering composer Philip Glass. This year, Steve Reich plays the role of "legend" on the bill. The Guardian's Andrew Clements once wrote that "There's just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history. Steve Reich is one of them," while many others consider Reich one of the world's greatest living composers. Reich's experiments have been fearless and creatively fruitful and influential, be it his early work with tape loops or his interactive "Clapping Music," a 1972 piece performed entirely with handclaps. Reich will join Sō Percussion for a performance of that piece and more, including a new commission from Daníel Bjarnason (the annual Esme Kenney Commission, named for a young student from School for Creative and Performing Arts student who was murdered in 2009). The Brooklyn-based modern percussion group (featuring Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting) formed about a decade ago around the collective influence of pioneering NeoClassical experimentalists like Reich, John Cage, Kronos Quartet and others. Sō has commissioned works from numerous composers and has also been acclaimed for its own compositions. Outside of the modern Classical world, the ensemble has collaborated with artists like Medeski, Martin and Wood, Matmos and Dan Deacon.  Here's a cool mini-documentary from PitchforkTV about Reich and featuring Sō Percussion.   The three days of music are held at Memorial Hall, next to Music Hall, but this year there will also be an art exhibition at another great, vintage Over-the-Rhine venue, The Emery Theatre. An exhibit of works by Nathlie Provosty and Jessie Henson will be up at the Theatre Friday, 4-7 p.m., Saturday, 12-4 p.m. and Sunday, 1-7 p.m. Bryce Dessner will perform at a "gallery party" on Sunday 4-6 p.m. The Emery happenings are free and open to the public.  Click here for ticketing and further info.  
 
 
by Mike Breen 04.11.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video, Music News at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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LISTEN: The National's First Two New Album Tracks (UPDATED)

Band releases "Demons," "Don't Swallow the Cap" from forthcoming 'Trouble Will Find Me'

The Cincinnati-born, Brooklyn-based members of Indie Rock sensations The National recently announced details about their first new album since 2010's High Violet, Trouble WIll Find Me. The album is due in the U.S. on May 21 on the 4AD label. (Click here for the album cover, track listing and more National news.)Today, The National unleashed the first song from Trouble, the warm, crawling "Demons." Check the tune and a video for it below. UPDATE: Today (April 11), The National released audio of the first single from Trouble Will Find Me, "Don't Swallow the Cap." Check it out:The National perform a homecoming show on July 14, headlining the final night of the three-day Bunbury Music Festival at Sawyer Point Park. For tickets and more info, click here. The National has been previewing the new album on its current global tour. Here are a handful of new songs from the LP performed live in Berlin last week.
 
 

Hot To Mali

North African group Tinariwen opens MusicNOW with true World music

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The backstory of Tinariwen founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib is so cinematic in scope that it should be the basis for an epic independent film.   

The Cliftones Celebrate New Single Release

Plus, The National, Grey Host and Gabriel's Hounds prep new releases

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Reggae crew The Cliftones release new single, "Hold Steady," while Indie Rock stars The National announce new LP details and Grey Host and Gabriel's Hounds show the many faces of Cincy Metal on new releases.   

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