by Emily Maxwell
After two days of driving in the Vanarama — a 1996 GMC Rally 3500 in school-bus yellow — we're only about 3.5 hours outside of Austin.This is the second time I've made the trek to SXSW, but every time I make the four-state drive, a few things remain constant: Arkansas highways suck and everything truly is bigger in Texas.On the last stretch of 11 South, as you approach Crockett, Texas, road signs alternate between "Cemetery" and "Forest." This wouldn't have been so intimidating if we hadn't exchanged ghost stories about dead relatives and scary camping trips (Google "Appalachian Trail" and "scary photos"). We then stayed in a hotel that we seriously scoured for bed bugs before bringing in our gear. But cheap is worth it, right?We are by no means alone in this endeavor. Thousands of bands travel across the country and the world, whether or not they're "officially" a part of the festival. This is the biggest weekend of the year for bands — whether they're on the rise or struggling to get a fresh start — and they'll do whatever it takes to be heard.Tuesday (today) marks the beginning of the SXSW (as far as the music portion). The All Night Party's Midwest by Southwest showcase kicks off tonight and will feature some of our hometown favorites, including The Sundresses, The Lions Rampant, Wussy and The Seedy Seeds. This official showcase is an anticipated event, not only for us Cincinnatians, but also the locals. The Austin Chronicle has named Wussy as one of the top 10 shows to see Tuesday. (Scroll to the bottom of the link for the Wussy write-up,.)We're not even in Austin yet and Cincinnati's already making headlines at SXSW.
by Mike Breen
Oodles of Greater Cincinnati musicians and businesses prepare to mess with Texas
I attended my first South By Southwest festival in Austin, Tex., over 15 years ago to cover local Funk group SHAG's appearance at the festival for a much younger CityBeat. It seemed exciting back then that one of Cincinnati's biggest bands was invited to showcase at SXSW. This year, the amount of acts from the area performing is unprecedented — never has Cincinnati had such a presence at America’s premier music fan/industry showcase and conference (which starts a week from today). And it’s not just performers. Representatives from local promo company The Counter Rhythm Group will be on hand in force, venture development group CincyTech is hosting regular chats as well as a Cincinnati hospitality headquarters and party in Austin and the progressive promotional/licensing machine The All Night Party is sponsoring both a tour centered around the Texas festival and its own showcase night at the event, a first for a local organization. And, as we have most SXSWs over the past 17 years, CityBeat will have a reporter on the scene providing regular updates for this here blog. Be sure to check back often starting next week and see how are hometown heroes are doing. Here’s an overview of just some of the Cincy-centric happenings related to SXSW 2012:• The All Night Party presents the Midwest by Southwest tour (also sponsored by this summer’s Bunbury Music Festival and assisted by Counter Rhythm and Reveal Concepts) featuring, as the tagline reads, “Four Midwestern Bands — On A Mission to Rock.” The tour has Cincinnati bands The Sundresses (repeat visitors to SXSW) and Wussy, as well as Cleveland rockers The Whiskey Daredevils and Lexington’s Oh My Me. The jaunt begins Thursday at Mount Lookout’s The Redmoor. (Doors open at 6 p.m., showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $10.) MWXSW will hit several other cities before and after the ANP SXSW showcase Tuesday at the Soho Lounge. The Lions Rampant will appear on the bill in Austin, as well. If you'd like to help the caravan out, there is a Kickstarter campaign with some cool perks you can check out here. (Quick, only three days left!) Here's the promo vid:• R. Ring, the acoustic duo featuring local musician/engineer Mike Montgomery (thistle, Ampline) and Dayton, Ohio’s Kelley Deal (Breeders), will perform at a showcase hosted by the Misra label on March 15. Misra is releasing the twosome’s first single in a few months, with a full-length to follow. • Ohio Knife, a new duo project from The Chocolate Horse’s Jason Snell, Andrew Higley and Joe Suer, is also headed to Austin and the local branch of branding agency Landor is tagging along. The company is hosting a travelogue website here so you can follow along at home. Ohio Knife plays a tour kickoff show Friday at The Comet in Northside. The band will hit other clubs in Tennessee and Texas along its way to SXSW. • Local Indie Pop faves Pomegranates are now labelmates (on the Modern Outsider imprint) with fellow Cincy band Bad Veins. While the Veins won’t be performing in Texas (they’re preparing their own tour launch March 19 in Colorado), the Poms will play the official Modern Outsider SXSW showcase on March 14 at Trinity Hall. • Indie/Folk/Electro/Pop powerhouse The Seedy Seeds took part in a SXSW launch party a couple of weeks ago. The band performs at the All Night Party showcase Tuesday.• Eccentric breakout rockers Foxy Shazam are one of the headliners of a showcase presented by the huge booking company The Agency Group on March 15 at Latitude 30; the day before they’ll play an afternoon party. • Cincy RCA Records recording artists Walk the Moon aren’t technically “showcasing” for SXSW, but they will be in Austin for the MTVu Woodie Awards ceremony and festival held in during SXSW, where they’ll be performing and hoping to score the Breaking Woodie award they’re competing for against acts like tUnE-YarDs and Lana Del Rey. Vote for the hometown boys here, where you can also watch a live stream from the March 15 festival.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Love is a many-splendored thing … unless you’ve been burned by it or are living without it. Then it’s stupid and you didn’t want it anyway, right? If you’re in that loveless boat, turn commiseration into celebration at the third annual “anti-Valentine’s Day extravaganza,” Love Sick, this Friday at the Southgate House.
0 Comments · Saturday, October 30, 2010
This album is ironclad evidence of The Sundresses' power as a live entity, as every track they present on stage is an adrenalized, bug-eyed evocation of the adrenalized, bug-eyed song they conceived in the studio. Half was recorded at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, N.J., and the other half at Northside Tavern.
0 Comments · Friday, October 29, 2010
It's difficult for me to retain any semblance of journalistic objectivity when it comes to The Sundresses. My first exposure to their special brand of madness was at my first South By Southwest in 2004, which happened to be the band’s first SXSW, as well, and only their eighth or ninth out of town gig at that point. In 45 sweat-soaked minutes, The Sundresses reordered my musical universe and won me over completely. Perhaps it's fitting then that the new Sundresses album, 'Sundresses Off,' is a live offering that showcases the band's performance gifts with the visceral wallop that can only be achieved in front of their amps.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Acoustic Blues duo 46 Long, Punk journeymen I Fail, Roots/Folk collective The Midlife Crisis Ramblers, the Electro/Indie/Dance group Eat Sugar, and local dark wizards of Roots/Rock The Sundresses are all releasing albums this week. It's like a back-to-school special for kick-ass music.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The Northside Rock 'n Roll Carnival/Parade/Festival features the best lineup of homegrown bands and musicians you'll find all holiday weekend. And you don't even have to miss the other Fourth of July events and fireworks displays around town because the fun takes place Friday and Saturday, with no events on the actual Fourth.
July 2-3 • Hoffner Park
0 Comments · Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Of all the area Fourth of July celebrations, the Northside Rock & Roll Carnival/Parade/Festival features the best lineup of homegrown bands and musicians. And it's so cool you don't even have to miss the other Fourth of July events and fireworks displays around town because the fun takes place Friday and Saturday, with no events on the actual Fourth.
Dec. 26 • Northside Tavern
0 Comments · Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Thanks to the weekend-friendly way Christmas falls this year, Saturday night looks like it might well take over alleged "biggest bar day of the year" (a.k.a. Thanksgiving Eve) honors. If you're a fan of original local music, a sure bet is the Northside Tavern, which a) has no cover charge and b) is hosting two of Cincinnati's best bands, Wussy and The Sundresses, for a night of sardonic wit and electrifying Indie Rock and Blues Punk.
Oct. 10 • Ziegler Park
0 Comments · Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Symbiotic, which organizes arts and music shows in alternative places, will drain the swimming pool at Ziegler Park in Over-the-Rhine Saturday for its newest installation art excursion: Six Feet Deep. The park's empty public pool will feature swimming instruction a la music, with performances by Matthew Shelton, Wonky Tonk, Envelope from Columbus and The Sundresses.