by Mike Breen
• Dean & Britta (formerly of critically-acclaimed Indie dreamscapers Luna) bring their unique multimedia show, "13 Most Beautiful … Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests," to Over-the-Rhine's revitalized Emery Theatre. The project originated four years again after Dean Wareham received a phone call from a curator (and big Luna fan) at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh asking if he'd be interested in writing some music to go with the stockpile of 500 or so "screen tests" Warhol had accumulated in the ’60s. The clips feature Warhol's video of friends and acquaintances, including many familiar faces from the Factory days. Wareham talked to CityBeat's Brian Baker about the process of writing songs for the 13 "tests" chosen, describing it as being like making a music video in reverse. Read Brian's full feature story here. Tonight's performance — featuring Dean & Britta's quartet performing in front of large projections of the screen tests — is at 8 p.m. Tickets (if it doesn't sell out) are $25 at the door. Here's some of the soundtracked video to get you in the mood. The event is being co-presented by the Contemporary Arts Center, which is currently exhibiting Image Machine: Andy Warhol and Photography. • After a tough previous week when she was stuck in New York City during and after “Frankenstorm” Sandy, tonight at 8 p.m., veteran singer/songwriter Aimee Mann performs in Cincinnati at 20th Century Theatre in Oakley.For 30 years, Mann has built a dedicated core of adoring fans swept away by her smart, clever and emotionally resonate take on Pop music, driven partly by her uniquely inviting vocals (which former CityBeat writer Brad Quinn once brilliantly described as “egg-shaped”). She first came to the attention of the public at large with her group ’Til Tuesday, which received massive support from MTV and radio for the hit “Voices Carry." Mann and some funny pals recently parodied the of-its-era clip in a hilarious video for "Labrador" from her latest album, Charmer.Mann went solo at the start of ’90s, releasing her debut Whatever in 1993 and then capping off the decade with her brilliant songs written for and prominently featured in the film Magnolia. Departing the major label system at the start of the new millennium, Mann founded SuperEgo Records to release her own material, most recently issuing Charmer, another critically acclaimed gem that provides further evidence that Mann is still one of the great, somewhat under-heralded songwriters of her time. Another gifted writer deserving of more attention, Ted Leo (of “and the Pharmacists” fame), opens tonight's show solo. Tickets range from $20-$35. • Blues Rock cult sensation, soulful singer and modern-day geetar hero Joe Bonamassa swings through the Taft Theatre tonight for a 9 p.m. show. Tickets range from $49-$79. Bonamassa is one of the more celebrated guitarists of our time and he's built a rabid following mostly by word of mouth and without the benefit of a big label corporation behind him. Bonamassa's latest album Driving Towards the Daylight was released this spring, but live and in-concert is where he thrives, as evidenced by his discography since 2000 — he's had nine studio albums but also four live albums and three live DVDs. Check the title track from Driving below and read more about the Blues/Rock star from this week's CityBeat here. • Acclaimed for its detailed, theatrical recreations of Pink Floyd concerts, Cleveland's Wish You Were Here is bringing its "Classic Floyd Albums Tour 2012" to Bogart's in Corryville tonight for an all-ages, 8 p.m. performance. Tickets are $12. The "tour" (spread over three months) has featured shows across Ohio where the crew has played the albums Wish You Were Here, The Wall and Animals in full. Tonight, the group is doing Dark Side of the Moon at Bogart's. The band is able to accurately replicate Floyd's intricate sound and concert experience by using a large ensemble of at least nine musicians, plus their own lighting and sound crew. Cincinnati musician Jamie Combs (of 4th Day Echo and various other projects) joined the band in 2006 as guitarist and vocalist. Here's a clip from a 2007 appearance in Cleveland of the band performing "Time/Breath Reprise." Click here for even more live music events in Greater Cincinnati tonight.
Dean & Britta musically augment Warhol’s rare ‘screen tests’ for multimedia happening
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Four years ago, Dean & Britta's Dean Wareham was approached
with a proposition by Ben Harrison, Performing Arts Curator
for Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum. Harrison was looking for someone to
compose a soundtrack of sorts for a series of filmed portraits Warhol
shot in the mid-’60s.
Rosenthal brings disparate groups together through photography
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Plodding feet and murmuring voices mingle
up the gallery stairs. Students Alvin, Ben, Chad and Matt have arrived
from local community building organization Starfire and settle in front
of laptops loaded with their digital photos as another day of art
education begins at Prairie Gallery.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Let’s cut to the chase: Dead Can Dance
is no ordinary dance show. True to form, Cincinnati-based Exhale Dance
Tribe pushes a range of artistic and stylistic boundaries in this
by Mike Breen
Video of Bluegrass legend latest in series of videos shot at historic Emery Theatre
One of the more soulful venues at this year's MidPoint Music Festival was the gorgeous Emery Theatre, which is in the process of being brought back to life thanks to the efforts of "The Requiem Project" (the group that has been doing the heavy lifting to get the theater fully back in commission). But perhaps best showcasing the theater's potential as a proper new/old music venue are the folks behind The Emery Sessions, a series of live performances filmed at the Emery over the past year or so by photographer/videographer Michael Wilson (the man behind a gazillion brilliant album covers) and musicians Cameron Cochran and Henry Wilson (who play together in the group Pop Empire). The sessions have produced some remarkable footage so far, with sessions filmed with Jeremy Pinnell and the 55s, Daniel Martin Moore and Joan Shelley, Over the Rhine, Brian Olive, The Kickaways and many other local acts. When Bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley was booked to play the theater for this year's MidPoint fest, the Sessioneers captured a magical session before the show featuring The Clinch Mountain Boys with the iconic musician. The lack of an audience during all of the Sessions (and the black and white approach) adds an air of mystery to the clips, the empty theater providing a wide-open and kinda spooky atmosphere. That's especially evident in the Session with Stanley, who recorded locally in his heyday for King Records and had performed several times at the Emery decades earlier with his brother Carter as The Stanley Brothers. Fittingly, on what was dubbed "Ralph Stanley Day" by the city, the Sessions crew captured Ralph and Co. performing "Train 45," a tune the Stanley Brothers recorded for the local King label. Check out more of The Emery Sessions here.
Oct. 10 • Emery Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, October 8, 2012
In discussions about the world’s greatest guitarists, one
name often unconscionably overlooked is that of avant Jazz six-stringer
Bill Frisell. For the past three and a half decades, Frisell has
created textural environments that are visceral and pastoral, actively
engaging and passively contemplative, utilizing guitar skills that
border on genius.
by Mike Breen
There is a staggering amount of high-quality live music events tonight in Greater Cincinnati, especially for a Wednesday. Here are a few of the best.• Though Jazz is the music saxophonist Jeff Coffin is most
closely identified, his experience and passion extends well beyond the
genre. Coffin’s and his Mu’tet make dynamic, progressive sounds, most recently heard on the studio effort, Into the Air,
which draws from mainly from modern and vintage Jazz. But Coffin first
came to many music fans’ attention when he joined Bela Fleck’s
Flecktones in 1997, a fittingly adventurous gig for the diverse
musician/composer. Coffin left the Flecktones after he was invited to
join the Dave Matthews Band full time, replacing late founding member
LeRoi Moore in 2009.
As if he wasn’t busy enough, Coffin — who has also shared
stage/studio time with everyone from McCoy Tyner and Branford Marsalis
to Willie Nelson and Widespread Panic — is equally acclaimed as an
educator and clinician, working with students of all ages around the
world. “The spirit and breath of the music is what I take away from the
listening and playing,” he says of his influences, which, collectively
he dubs “Spirit Music.” Coffin and his Mu’tet come to Northern
Kentucky University tonight to share their musical wisdom and spirit.
After an afternoon lecture and clinic for NKU music students, Coffin and
Mu’tet perform an 8 p.m. concert at the school’s Fine Arts Center’s
Greaves Concert Hall. Admission is $10 ($5 for students with ID). Visit
nkuconnections.nku.edu for more info. • Nick Zammuto may have broken up his acclaimed experimental sound-collage project The Books, but he's not given up music. Tonight, his new band, appropriately named Zammuto, performs at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. The show is free and features a warm-up set from Lymbyc Systym. Click here to read about Zammuto and here for more on Lymbyc Systym.• Innovative guitarist Bill Frisell is in town to perform with his 858 Quartet at The Emery Theatre. The concert is related to the current, ongoing FotoFocus events around town. Click here for more details. • Popular rockers Band of Horses, whose upcoming tour with Willie Nelson was sadly cancelled recently, play at Bogart's in Corryville tonight. Click here for a preview.
by Iain McDavid
Cincinnati, for me, has always been contradictory and
confusing. After living here for so long I’m still ambivalent as to how I feel
about it. The National certainly pushed me in the more positive direction
with their show Oct. 4 at Emery Theatre. The
Cincy-bred band summoned fans with a free show in support of
President Obama and filled the historic venue, front to back.The National’s set was evidently well thought-out, opening
with the powerful "Mistaken for Strangers," with the vocals and drums
seemingly soaring through the theater.
If you haven’t had a chance to catch a show at Emery Theatre (my first
experience was last week), you should certainly make that a priority. The theater, coupled with a band like the
National, truly makes for an unforgettable experience. The venue alone creates a sense of intimacy
between audience and act, something that is usually sacrificed to see your
favorite bands.From the very start of
the set, the audience was completely engaged with the boys on stage, bursting
into cheers and applause at the every songs beginning and end (and even during
songs at times). The only drawback for me was the fact that Matt Berninger would
simply not let me forget that the show was political. It seemed as if in
between every song some sort of Democratic rhetoric (not that the other side’s
rhetorical strategies are any better) was interjected. Something about the importance of voting, or how
privileged we are, which is somewhat obnoxious at that point. It’s highly
doubtful that anybody was suddenly converted by The National, and even more so
that anyone in attendance last night was slightest bit unsure about their vote. I suppose that’s mostly my fault, though — I should expect such from a campaign
All that aside, the audience was left in a state of bliss by
the concert's end, as The National closed out their set with an unplugged
version "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks." Earlier in the night, I had spoken to a
friend who had said the venue was acoustically pure, meaning that even without
any sort of amplification, the sound would still resonate throughout the entire
theater — and he couldn’t be more right.
The sound was not hindered in any way (I was a few rows back) and it
carried through the historic site as if I was the only one there. The closer truly unified the entire show into
a ecstatic experience that I will certainly not forget. Click here for more photos from the concert.
Latest updates for this week's MidPoint Music Festival and news on The National's upcoming concert
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Get the latest updates for this week's MidPoint Music Festival and news on The National's upcoming concert at the Emery Theatre on a mini-tour for Barack Obama.
by Mike Breen
Would you pay to see your favorite musicians if the money went to your least favorite politician?
What's your favorite musical group/artist of all time? Got it? Good.Who are you voting for this upcoming election for President of the United States? Got it? Good.Now let's say that favorite artist of yours was coming to Cincinnati to perform. Let's say it's a remarkably intimate show with limited tickets. And let's say you've got a friend who can get you a ticket to purchase. Let's say it's $35. But here's the catch — your favorite group or solo artist is making their concert a fundraiser for the guy you REALLY don't want to be President. Do you suck it up and pay the admission/donation for a chance to see a once-in-a-lifetime concert? Maybe make a bigger donation to your guy's campaign? Or do you refuse to do anything that may, in even the smallest way, affect the outcome of … well, possibly American history. Cincinnati-bred/Brooklyn-based band The National has just announced a special last-minute pair of shows in Ohio next week, including a show at the revitalized Emery Theatre in Over-the-Rhine on Oct. 4 (they play the Newport Music Hall in Columbus on Oct. 3). The concert — which comes a few weeks before the band headlines the Freedom to Love Now! marriage equality-supporting concert in New York City — is a benefit for "Gottavote: Ohio," President Barack Obama's campaign to get Ohioans registered and voting. The band will also reportedly play a private fundraising function in Cincinnati for Obama right after the Emery show. Searching around for ticket info (details have yet to be announced; we'll update this post when they are), I came across the event's page at Last.fm, where an apparent big National fan left the post's sole comment: "Obama fundraiser...What a moral dilemma…"As a hardcore lefty and big National fan, I personally have no dilemma in this situation, but I sympathize with the commenter. What if The National had a change of heart since last performing for Obama in Cincinnati (a huge, free outdoor show on Fountain Square with The Breeders in 2008) and the members were disillusioned by the President's first-term actions (or inaction), built up impressive balances in their bank accounts and decided the best way to protect America (and their money) was to go out and do whatever they could to get Mitt Romney elected. Would you still go? "Shut up and sing" is an oft used saying for people who think politics and music have no business being in bed together. But if the artist shuts up and sings, but just so happens to give your admission fee to a politician you despise, what do you do?Personally, I stay home and wait until the artist's next show. Luckily for me, deciding not to go to a Mitt Romney concert/benefit featuring Kid Rock, The Oak Ridge Boys and Hank Williams, Jr., is not a hard choice in the slightest.