by Mike Breen 06.06.2014

Wussy Plays First, Last Local Show of the Summer Tonight

Wildly acclaimed rockers join Tigerlilies, Honey & Houston and School of Rock Mason for free MidPoint Indie Summer show on Fountain Square

Since being released nationally in early May, Cincinnati rockers Wussy’s amazing latest album Attica! has been scoring an insane amount of neon-glowing reviews from many high profile outlets. Pitchfork, Pop Matters and Spin, among many others, have all given the album high praise (Spin also recently named it one of the Top 50 album releases of the year so far, alongside long-players by Beck, Pharrell and The Afghan Whigs). The band’s new record was also the inspiration for a remarkable essay by Charles Taylor for The Los Angeles Review of Books.Give a listen to the new album below, then hit “buy” to grab your own copy: <a href="http://wussy.bandcamp.com/album/attica">Attica! by Wussy</a> Wussy is playing its only local show until at least this fall tonight, as the group keeps busy on the road throughout the summer, crisscrossing the country in support of Attica! The band’s upward trajectory that has been kickstarted by the new album shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.Check out CityBeat's recent interview with Wussy here. Wussy joins The Tigerlilies, Honey & Houston and students from the School of Rock Mason (check the clips below for samples of each) for a free show tonight on Fountain Square as part of the MidPoint Indie Summer series (grab your MidPoint Music Festival passes in person at the MPMF booth or sign up for a chance to win some). The show starts at 7 p.m.

Fountain Square, Washington Park Music Series Begin

0 Comments · Thursday, May 29, 2014
The free musical performances at Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park and downtown’s Fountain Square (aka the PNC Summer Music Series) kick off in earnest this week.  
by mbreen 05.16.2014

Lineups for Fountain Square, Washington Park Music Series

The impending summertime brings almost daily free music to the city’s center

When the lineups for the every-Friday MidPoint Indie Summer concerts on Fountain Square were announced, showcasing a solid lineup of local and touring Indie Rock acts, a colleague in Charlotte, N.C., Jeff Hahne, bemoaned his own city’s lackluster “outdoor free music” offerings. Writing on the blog of the city’s Creative Loafing weekly, he said he was increasingly disappointed by the cover bands and “’90s alt-rock” acts that populate two of Charlotte’s free outdoor music series.  “Charlotte may have twice the population and enjoy warmer weather,” Hahne wrote, “but as far as a summer music series goes, Cincinnati clearly wins.” It was a good reminder of how good things are for live music fans in Cincinnati. And Hahne wrote this about only one small part of the overall free, outdoor, live music offerings the city provides. There are events for fans of cover bands, too, like the every-Wednesday Party in the Park shows at Yeatman’s Cove on the riverfront, but, besides Indie Summer, downtown’s Fountain Square and Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park present a wide variety of styles of music every year once the warmer weather rolls around. And every series draws respectable-to-blockbuster crowds, showing that our city has more than enough music lovers to support the multitude of musical events each summer. (Even these two spaces’ series only represent a portion of the overall outdoor, live music action downtown; there are also events like next weekend’s Taste of Cincinnati that have a wide variety of local musicians performing.) The lineups for the musical performances at Washington Park and Fountain Square (officially known as the PNC Summer Music Series and presented by 3CDC and a wide range of different sponsors) have leaked out gradually over the past few weeks. Now that most of the artists booked for the various series have been announced, we’ve collected them below for you to marvel at the quantity and quality of what our city core has in store this summer for music fans. (Visit Fountain Square’s site here and Washington Park’s site here for more info and some links to check out some of the artists ahead of time.) Washington Park (SHOWS 7-10 P.M. WEEKLY UNLESS NOTED) WEDNESDAYS: CROWN JEWELS OF JAZZ May 28: Rashon Murph & Randy Villars June 4: Marc Fields June 11: Tropicoso June 18: Patricia & Chris Berg June 25: Siobhan and the Situation July 2: Rick Van Matre July 9: NKU Faculty Band  July 16: Anne Stephens July 23: Art Gore featuring Delfeayo Marsalis July 30: No concert Aug. 6: Sylvain Archer Aug. 13: Fo/Mo/Deep Aug. 20: Dick Sisto Aug. 27: Mike Wade  THURSDAYS: BANDSTAND BLUEGRASS  May 29: Jake Speed & The Freddies andThe Red Cedars June 5: The Comet Bluegrass Allstars June 12: Wild Carrot & the Roots Band June 19: Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers June 26: The Downtown County Band July 3: Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Band and Woody Pines July 10: Steve Bonafel & One Iota July 17: Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle July 24: The Rattlesnakin’ Daddies July 31: No concert Aug. 7: The Tillers Aug. 14: Hickory Robot Aug. 21: Bulletville Aug. 28th: Whiskey Bent Valley and Al Scorch FRIDAYS: FRIDAY FLOW (Note: Local DJ crew Selectas Choice spins between sets) May 30: EU, Jameze and performers from Elementz June 6: Natural Progression and Collective Peace June 13: Hotsauce, Tyshawn Colquitt and more TBA June 20: Carpe Diem, Ron C and more TBA June 27: Bobby Valentino, L’ Renee and performers from Elementz July 4: Playa (featuring Smoke & Black), Deuces and more TBA July 11: Carl Moore, Marwan (Soul Flow) July 18: 2nd Wind, The Ingrid Rachel Project July 25: (3 p.m. start) Sei High, 432, performers from Elementz and more TBA Aug. 1: No Friday Flow; LumenoCity returns Aug. 8: Flawless and Keenan West Aug. 15: Big Jim and Erica P Aug. 22: Gregory Porter and Mandy Gaines Aug. 29: Tiara Purifoy (American Idol), performers from Elementz and more TBA Fountain Square (SHOWS 7-10 P.M. WEEKLY UNLESS NOTED) TUESDAYS: AMERICAN ROOTS May 27: Jeremy Pinnell & the 55s and Ben Knight & the Welldiggers June 3: Kim Taylor and Peter Mulvey June 10: The Black Lillies and The Kentucky Struts June 17: Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Shuffle and Arlo McKinley June 24: Dallas Moore Band July 1: The Tillers and Red Cedars July 8: Pure Grain and Shoot Out the Lights July 15: Chuck Mead and Straw Boss July 22: The Wheeler Brothers and Shiny & the Spoon July 29: Bulletville and Bucktown Kickback Aug. 5: Josh Eagle and The Hiders Aug. 12: The Ragbirds and The Happy Maladies Aug. 19: Tony Furtado and Rumpke Mountain Boys Aug. 26: Birds of Chicago WEDNESDAYS: REGGAE WEDNESDAY May 28: Super-Massive (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D) June 4: Driftaways (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ group: Avalanche Sound) June 11: Peach Freedom and Connect (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D) June 18: Aaron Kamm and the One Drops (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ group: Queen City Imperial Sound System) June 25: Milele Roots (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D) July 2: Jah Messengers (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ group: Avalanche Sound) July 9: Zvuloon Dub System (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D) July 16: Gato’s Gullah Gumbo (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: DJ Mowgli) July 23: Ark Band (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D) July 30: 77 Jefferson (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ group: Avalanche Sound) Aug. 6: Rashita Astemari (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D) Aug. 13: The Drastics (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ group: Queen City Imperial Sound System) Aug. 20: Big Wig Mechanics (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: Frankie D) Aug. 27: The Cliftones  (Summer Splash Happy Hour DJ: DJ Mowgli) THURSDAYS: SALSA ON THE SQUARE (Note: Salsa on the Square kicked off May 1) May 22: Grupo Tumbao May 29: Mambo Diablo June 5: Son Del Caribe June 12: Tropicoso June 19: Kandela June 26: Grupo Tumbao July 3: Zumba July 10: Mambo Diablo July 17: Kandela July 24: Son Del Caribe July 31: Tropicoso Aug. 7: Clave Son Aug. 14: Grupo Tumbao Aug. 2: Son Del Caribe Aug. 28: Kandela Sept. 4: Clave Son Sept. 11: Tropicoso Sept. 18: Latin Beat Project FRIDAYS: MIDPOINT INDIE SUMMER (7-11 P.M. WEEKLY) May 30: WHY?, Yip Deceiver, Badboxes, Dark Colour June 6: Wussy, The Tigerlilies, Honey & Houston, Mason School of Rock June 13: Betty Who, Vito Emmanuel, Captain Kidd, Pluto Revolts June 20: Those Darlins, The Harlequins, The Frankl Project, Those Crosstown Rivals June 27: Moon Taxi, Peridoni, Nevele, Acarya July 4: Local H, Mad Anthony, New Strange, One Day Steady July 11: Soledad Brothers, Electric Citizen, Pop Goes the Evil, Grotesque Brooms July 18: Wesley Bright & the Hi-Lites, DAAP Girls, Mardou, Young Colt July 25: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Public, Dream Tiger, Danny & His Fantasy Aug. 1: The Spiders (A tribute to David Bowie), The Honey Spiders, Bad People, To No End Aug. 8: Man Man, Injecting Strangers, Ohio Knife, Skeleton Hands Aug. 15: The Nightbeast, more TBA Aug. 22: psychodots, Lemon Sky, Tonefarmer, Heavy Hinges Aug. 29: Islands, The Pass, The Yugos, Joey Cook & The Keepers of the Secret SATURDAYS: BEATS BY SELF-DIPLOMA (7-11 P.M. WEEKLY) May 31: Cal Scruby, Matt Persin, NJ + drummer, Nuk, Federal & Company, TJC with DJ Vizion, Beatboxer Nav & Jake June 7: Chingy, DJ Diamond, Sleep, Planet Venus, Chestah T & Snowball, Razook, Alexander the Bear June 14: DJ Clockwork, DJ Etrayn, Buggs Tha Rocka, Jon Schuyler, Ingrid Rachel Project, SSE, DJ RiQ The Professor, Miles Mulligan June 21: OCD: Moosh & Twist, Puck, Hafrican, Jayme Shaye, Eazy El Loco, A1 & Juice Jones, DJ iGrind June 28: DJ Bandcamp, Junya Be, Macho Means, Aysia Marie & Ajax Stacks, Nate Paulson, Mad Snipes, EddieO July 5: The Knocks (DJ set), Millennium Robots, Disco Joe & Friends, Aviators, T3CCHTUNE, Mr. Fantastic, Keyyz July 12: Mike Stud, James Dapper, The S.A.U.C.E., SkeetR V. Twinkiee, Kid Quill, Blue Society July 19: DJ D-LO, Joseph Nevels, Oregonia, Spearpoint, Brad Redford, Banducci and the Wheels, Kyle English July 26: DJ Kid Capri, Khimera Records (8:30 p.m. start) Aug. 2: Hi-Tek and Friends, Jillian Faith, Suave & Under New Order, Frankly Speaking, B. Soul, Haze Aug. 9: Dizzy Wright, Trademark Aaron, Young ILL, Jaylee, Odd Fella, MCB, Jameze Latrail Aug. 16: Trentino, DJ Skills, Ingrid Woode & the Woode Tribe Orchestra, DJ Will Kill, Mark Moore (8 p.m. start) Aug. 23: Sound Remedy, Bob A Dob, Panzer, Black Signal, Randi Floss, Skyelle, Button Mashers Aug. 30: Capitol Thrill, Firecat 451, Riot Ten, DJ B-Funk, Reaux, Chris Alarcon, DJ Edge
by mbreen 04.16.2014
Posted In: Live Music, Music News at 08:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

MidPoint Indie Summer Concerts Announced

Free summertime Fountain Square shows feature national headliners and lots of local talent

The first good sign that consistent warmth is on its way is the announcement of the lineup for this year’s MidPoint Indie Summer series at downtown’s Fountain Square. The concerts are part of the Square’s free PNC Summer Music Series, which showcases different types of music (played mostly by local acts) five days a week. (The lineups for the every-Thursday Salsa on the Square shows have also been announced; visit myfountainsquare.com for details.)The eclectic, free Indie Summer shows take place every Friday throughout the summer. This year’s lineup is perhaps the series’ strongest yet, with some higher profile national touring acts and the usual array of top-notch local talent. Here’s the full rundown of Indie Summer shows so far (a few slots are still to be announced): • May 30: WHY?; Yip Deceiver; Bad Boxes; Dark Colour • June 6: Wussy; The Tigerlilies; Honey & Houston; Mason School of Rock• June 13: Betty Who; Vito Emmanuel; Captain Kidd; Pluto Revolts• June 20: Those Darlins; The Harlequins; Those Crosstown Rivals; The Frankl Project • June 27: Moon Taxi; Peridoni; Nevele; Acarya • July 4: Local H; New Strange; Mad Anthony; One Day Steady • July 11: Soledad Brothers; Electric Citizen; Pop Goes the Evil; Grotesque Brooms • July 18: Wesley Bright & the Hi-Lites; DAAP Girls; Mardou • July 25: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah; Public; Danny & His Fantasy• August 1: The Spiders (tribute to David Bowie); Honeyspiders• August 8: Man Man; Injecting Strangers; Ohio Knife; Skeleton Hands• August 15: The Nightbeast (a co-headliner will be announced in July)• August 22: psychodots; Lemon Sky; Tonefarmer; Heavy Hinges • August 29: Islands; The Pass; The Yugos; Joey Cook & The Keepers of the SecretThe Indie Summer series is sponsored by the MidPoint Music Festival, CityBeat’s popular annual music extravaganza, which returns to the clubs and venues of Downtown and Over-the-Rhine Sept. 25-27. (Though all MPMF-worthy, the acts are booked through Fountain Square, not by MidPoint.) There will be a MidPoint booth on Fountain Square every Friday where music fans can find the latest MPMF info and purchase tickets to the three-day festival. A limited amount of discounted early-bird passes for this year’s MPMF are available now at mpmf.cincyticket.com. Nail down your three-day tickets (or VIP Experience tickets) before the prices increase. And be sure to stay tuned to mpmf.com and the fest's various social media accounts for the latest updates. 
by Mike Breen 10.25.2013
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 11:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
escondido img_6429 (dana loftus)

Music Tonight: Escondido, Dopapod and More

• Nashville’s Escondido came together quickly but very naturally. The project of Jessica Maros and Tyler James (a solo artist who has also toured as pianist for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) got its start in James’ home studio when he was recording an artist with whom both were friends. During a recording break, Maros, a Vancouver native and successful clothing/jewelry designer, was casually playing a song in the studio, James hit “record,” added some light ornamentation and, essentially, Escondido was born. That night, the two decided to make an album. Fittingly, the album — Esondido’s debut, titled The Ghost of Escondido — was recorded live in just one day with a handful of talented Nashville friends/musicians, even though it sounds incredibly cohesive, full-bodied and organic.  The making of the full-length, released at the start of this year, was driven by the spirit of Ennio Morricone, the legendary spaghetti western soundtrack genius, and that desert-sunset atmosphere meshes beautifully with the band’s mix of Indie Rock, Pop and Country. The end result is mesmerizing, a hazy, dreamy collection of haunted, mysterious soundscapery and spine-tingling harmonies and vocals, making the band reminiscent of a slightly twangier, more dynamic and grounded Mazzy Star. Along with garnering a wide-range of supporters, from the tastemakers at KCRW to the writers at Vogue, The Ghost of Escondido also made a fan out of eccentric filmmaker/artist/writer/musician David Lynch, who wrote about his love for the band in Mojo magazine. Here’s the music video for Escondido’s “Black Roses.” The duo (fleshed out by a full touring band) performs a free show tonight at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. New York City’s Indie Pop/Garage Rock group Unicycle Loves You opens the show at 10 p.m. • Tonight at Covington’s Madison Theater is a good chance to hear what a “Jam Band” sounds like in 2013, as several groups join forces for an all-ages, 8 p.m. show. Or, rather, you’ll hear how almost no two “Jam Bands” sound alike anymore, making the Grateful Dead-mimicking cliches about the scene completely outdated. Today, the “Jam” tag has less real meaning than ever, with the groups earning the descriptor exploring a huge range of styles. Jam Bands now often share little more than a tendency to improvise.  Headliners Dopapod epitomize the diversity of the modern Jam scene with their progressive blend of Electronic music, Jazz, Rock, Soul, Funk and various other styles. The Brooklyn, N.Y., group released its third studio album, Redivider, late last year, introducing fans to a Dopapod first — vocals (previously, the band was all instrumental). Read Brian Baker’s preview of the show for CityBeat here.  The support lineup for Dopapod is a varied collection of mostly local bands that reflect the same kind of sonic adventurousness as the headliners, though, of course, each bringing their own slant — Ethosine, Nevele, Us Today, Freeform Connection, Peridoni, Aliver Hall and Blue Moon Soup. Tickets are $15 at the door. • Though they never reaped the full rewards and commercial success that some bands that came after them did, Michigan’s Mustard Plug was one of the early guiding forces behind the ’90s Punk Ska explosion. The band put out its first album, Skapocalypse Now!, on cassette in 1992 and moved up to third-wave Ska’s version of 2 Tone Records, NYC’s Moon Records, for its second full-length, kicking off two decades of hardcore international touring.  Mustard Plug later joined the roster of Hopeless Records, which would go on to become one of the top independent Punk labels in the country. While the vast majority of Ska Punk bands from the ’90s either moved on to another style of music or imploded after the “craze” died down, Mustard Plug continues to write new songs, put out new music and tour on a regular basis, its loyal cult of fans proving that, while you won’t hear it on the radio anymore, there is still an audience hungry for Ska Punk done well. Mustard Plug has been operating D.I.Y. since parting ways with Hopeless; a new album (the band’s first since 2007’s In Black and White) is reportedly finished and due soon thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Mustard Plug plays a free show tonight at Northside Tavern. Opening is Cincinnati’s Elysian Souls. • October is coming to an end, which means Rocktober is also almost over and Rocktober on the Square, a new every-Friday concert series at downtown’s Fountain Square, is winding down as well. Today at 5 p.m., the final Rocktober on the Square show starts with a set from great, rootsy singer/songwriter Josh Eagle.  In the 6 p.m. slot is singer/songwriter Mike Oberst of popular Cincy Folk group The Tillers, who are heading overseas for their first ever U.K. tour, playing Nov. 1-16 throughout England, Scotland and Ireland as support for Pokey LaFarge.  The always fantastic 500 Miles to Memphis closes out Rocktober at 7 p.m. It’s the rowdy, rootsy rockers’ last local show of the year; the 500MTM fellas are taking a break from performing to go back into the studio to finish their next album.  Rocktober on the Square is a free event. Click here for more info. </iframe</p> <p class="p1">• Don’t forget — the One More Girl on a Stage benefit concerts continue today after last night’s kickoff at various venues in Over-the-Rhine. The OMG fest takes over the Southgate House Revival in Newport for a “whole house” show tonight. Here are complete details.</p> <p class="p2"><i>Click here for even more live music options tonight in Greater Cincinnati. </i></p></body></html>• Don’t forget — the One More Girl on a Stage benefit concerts continue today after last night’s kickoff at various venues in Over-the-Rhine. The OMG fest takes over the Southgate House Revival in Newport for a “whole house” show tonight starting at 7 p.m. Go here for complete details.Click here for even more live music options in Greater Cincinnati tonight.

King Records’ 70th Birthday Festivities Begin

Plus, modern day indie label Phratry celebrates nine years, DAAP Girls unveil new video

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Cincinnati-based King Records, a label that helped change the face of popular music in America, turns 70 in September and supporters have a month's worth of festivities to celebrate. Plus, modern day indie label Phratry celebrates its ninth birthday, DAAP Girls unveil "Molly" and MidPoint Indie Summer on Fountain Square ends Friday.  
by Mike Breen 08.28.2013

See Why?, Get Discount MidPoint Tickets Friday

Fountain Square's MidPoint Indie Summer concert series ends with locally-bred greats Why? this Friday; MPMF offering exclusive fest ticket deal

The grand finale of the season-long MidPoint Indie Summer concert series is Friday on Fountain Square. It's always a bittersweet moment — the free series ends for this summer, but that only means that the MidPoint Music Festival is less than one month away. The MidPoint Indie Summer series concludes just in time to kick off Labor Day weekend this Friday. The show is headlined by internationally beloved/locally based Why?, which is set to release its Golden Ticket EP in a few weeks. The EP is the result of some fan-engaging fun on the group's website. On the Why? site, frontman Yoni Wolf explains: "We would write a theme song for one customer who came to the … web store and bought something every month. Like Mighty Mouse. It would be a song about that person. We’d read all about them on Facebook and Twitter, and sometimes even go so far as to contact their significant other to ask them questions. Then I would write the song on piano and my brother would take the skeleton of lyrics and piano and turn it into a fully realized arrangement.” (Read more on Why? here.)(Wolf, by the way, has also been hosting his own very entertaining podcast called The Wandering Wolf (free for download on iTunes and Soundcloud). The show's have been hilarious and insightful, with Wolf chatting with guests like James McNew of Indie Rock legends Yo La Tengo, Cincinnati Hip Hop legend Mr. Dibbs and he and his brother's own father.)Also at the finale, there will be a one-time only special on tickets to the forthcoming MidPoint Music Festival 2013. Those purchasing tickets in person at the Square Friday can buy three-day passes for $59 ($10 off) and three-day VIP passes for $149 ($20 off). Visit mpmf.com for the latest on the fest and mpmf.cincyticket.com for tickets (if you can’t make it Friday). Also performing Friday on the Square: Nashville’s Moon Taxi and Cincy’s Vito Emmanuel. Showtime is 8 p.m. 

Rebirth Of A Brewery

Grayscale Cincinnati reinvents the model for city entertainment spaces

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 14, 2013
When we think about current resurgence of metropolitan Cincinnati — including the successful renovations of Fountain Square and Washington Park — it seems that the best approach to building a better town might not be constructing an altogether new wheel, but rather reinventing it.   
by Brian Baker 07.29.2013
Posted In: Local Music, Music News at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
the sundresses -new lineup

Another 'Dress on the Line

Cincinnati's The Sundresses expand to a quartet with impressive results

There is an old homily which quite wisely states that if something is operating properly, it might be considered imprudent to attempt a repair. Or, in a slightly less circuitous manner of speaking, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.For well over a decade, the Sundresses have been anything but broken. Brad Schnittger, Jeremy Springer and Makenzie Place have been churning out a visceral pretzel logic version of the Blues with elements of manic Swing, hot foot Jazz, brutal Punk and blistering Indie Rock, heated to the temperature of molten rock and detonated over unsuspecting audiences with an animalistic ferocity. A formula like that is both tremulously volatile and erratically perfect. Why would anyone feel the need to take a wrench to it?Needed or not, a-wrenching they have gone; for the first time in The Sundresses' long history, the tight-knit trio has added a new full fledged member with the hiring of former Dukes Are Dead drummer Dave Reid. The new lineup was unveiled on July 19 for the band's appearance at the MidPoint Indie Summer Series on Fountain Square, and then again a week later when The Sundresses tore through a set at the Mad Love for Mad Anthony benefit at the Southgate House Revival.Rabid fans and casual observers may have differing opinions on how Reid's addition will impact the Sundresses going forward, but one thing is certain; this was anything but a routine lineup decision. Bringing in a permanent drummer changes the group dynamic, eliminates one of the band's most popular and unique live features and may actually set the stage for broader success.After 13 hard fought calendars, the Sundresses have recorded sporadically — a few EPs, a split with Dylan Ewing's 4192, a pair of brilliant studio documents (2003's The Only Tourist in Town, 2008's Barkinghaus) and Off, their scalding and ingeniously marketed 2010 live album — and toured relentlessly, without a great deal of forward progress being notched. The trio has always generated a good deal of extremely positive press, and their string of five trips to Austin for South by Southwest has to stand as some kind of local record.My personal obsession with the Sundresses began at their first SXSW appearance in 2004, which coincided with my first trip to Austin for the festival. As it turned out, the band's gig at the Blender Balcony was only the ninth out-of-town show in their two-year history, and I felt as though I had just witnessed the cosmic birth of a great musical entity. I still feel that way. I drank more than a dipperful of The Sundresses' Kool-Aid that night, and I've been feverishly blathering on about them ever since to anyone who will listen.For whatever reasons, the brass ring of label offers and more tangible measures of success have eluded The Sundresses. At the same time, the trio has remained committed to the cause and continued to pursue their singular vision with an almost psychotic tenacity and zealous passion. And their focused determination may have made it difficult for those of us who love them unconditionally to admit that there was indeed a fundamental issue that may have been blocking their path.From the very start, Brad and Jeremy envisioned and executed one of their most cherished gimmicks, namely their patented guitar/drum switch; at their 2005 SXSW show, Jeremy informed the audience, "You were supposed to close your eyes..." It has long been an admittedly fabulous element of their live presentation, but it may have been so entertainingly original that it became a detriment.The basic issue may be that Brad plays drums with the subtlety and invention of a studied and seasoned beatkeeper and Jeremy plays with the brute force of a blacksmith hammering on an anvil. Both approaches to playing the drums have legitimate advantages and both clearly have a role in shaping the diverse sonic identity that the trio has been trying to define since forming The Sundresses in 2002.Although it may never have been perceived as a problem, the difficulty with rotating drummers is that Makenzie — who learned how to play bass in order to be a part of the band — has had to adjust her groove based on those two very distinct drum styles. In essence, the Sundresses' rhythm section has never really had an opportunity to build a discernible foundation. With Dave behind the kit, that opportunity becomes a reality. Based on the Sundresses' roaring set at the Mad Anthony benefit on July 26, the band's newly established rhythm section has already started paying dividends. Makenzie is now locked into a single percussionist and she and Dave collectively control the band's tempo. Dave has the latitude to incorporate Jeremy's power and Brad's nuance into his singular drum repertoire and Makenzie is learning the joy of shifting gears without changing cars.Relying on primarily new and largely unrecorded material, The Sundresses blazed through an all-too-brief ten song set with a rejuvenated energy that smacked of their early days. Opening with the swinging funky Blues of the brand new "Banker's Blues" and the loping howl of the equally fresh "Whisper Touch," the quartet bounced megawatt riffs through every body and against every conceivable surface in the Revival's sanctuary. They slowed down a shade for a spin through Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man," and Jeremy's quick documentary on the size of MA guitarist Ringo Jones' manhood before tearing into another relatively new track, "Zap a Deux," but it was all good in the hood regardless of speed or sonic profile. Finishing up with longtime faves "Hey! Hey! Bang! Bang!" and the propulsively jumping "Larry Nixon," the Sundresses gave both a glimpse at the sound of their much-anticipated third studio outing, hopefully coming out before the end of the year, and the direction they'll be taking as a quartet.Perhaps one of the more interesting side effects from The Sundresses' expansion is the fact that Jeremy and Brad are now playing guitar together, which means their distinct stylistic differences are blending and cross-pollinating rather than occupying discernibly different spaces within the set. As they become more acclimated to this arrangement, and as Makenzie and Dave fully tune up the engine they've just rebuilt, it's bound to have an incredible impact on the songs they start writing. As it stands, the songs The Sundresses have already written sound magnificent coming from the newly minted quartet, proving once again that even the best can get better
by Mike Breen 07.11.2013
Posted In: Music News at 02:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
the sundresses -new lineup

The Sundresses Become a Quartet

Longtime local faves add permanent drummer to lineup, play Fountain Square July 19

One of the finest original bands to call Cincinnati home over the past decade or so has expanded from a trio to a quartet. The Sundresses' dark, dirty, rootsy Rock sound has been delivered by the three core members over the past 11 years, with Jeremy Springer and Brad Schnittger switching off between drums and guitar during sets (both sing). Beginning next Friday, July 19, Springer and Schnittger will provide a double frontmen/guitarist assault with bassist Makenzie Place now teamed in rhythm with new drummer Dave Reid (The Dukes are Dead, Filthy Beast). Springer sent along a video clip of the "new" ’Dresses' second practice with Reid behind the kit. Secrets From The Smithery from The Sundresses on Vimeo.On July 19, Reid will be officially introduced as the band's new drummer at the MidPoint Indie Summer show on Fountain Square. The Sundresses join Wussy and Queen City Radio (featuring members of Turnbull ACs, 500 Miles to Memphis and Denial) on the impressive bill. The show is free and begins at 8 p.m.