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.
by Mike Breen
Local heroes' show at Madison Theater promotes upcoming mtvU Woodie Awards
Cincinnati-spawned Indie/Dance/Pop quartet Walk the Moon's tour with Young the Giant brought them home Friday night as the band performed an incredibly tight and impressive opening set at Covington's Madison Theater. The early sell-out status of the show was largely due to the headliners, who have been playing to packed houses for a while now as the buzz about them continues to get louder. But it was clear that Walk the Moon had a large contingency of fans in the house that responded wildly to the set, something that's likely true at more and more shows the band plays across the U.S. as word of the band continues to spread online like wildfire.The show was part of several dates with YTG sponsored by the Woodie Awards, an mtvU awards show that had signage throughout the club. (MTV seems to have 50 award shows now, but Wikipedia says the Woodies honor "the music voted best by college students.") Walk the Moon is nominated for a "Breaking Woodie," given to newer acts. The Woodie Awards take place in Austin, Texas, during South By Southwest, capping off the 2012 Woodie Awards Festival (which WTM is set to play). Voting in Walk the Moon's category is open all the way until the trophy is handed out on March 15. The festival and ceremony will stream live online here. Wanna help Walk the Moon get a Woodie? They have some tough competition (Lana Del Rey and tUnE-yArDs included), so help out your hometown boys done good and click here to vote (even if you're not in college).Below are a couple more recently posted video clips from the band. I think "Tightrope" is the next single, judging by the postings (a live acoustic performance at The Mockbee, where filming of the band's viral "Anna Sun" video took place, as well as a version taped for Carson Daly's show in L.A., live at the Wiltern Theater).
Cincy-based RCA recording artists return to Carson Daly show, set date for Jimmy Fallon appearance
Cincinnati's Walk the Moon has been on a roll for about the past year and half but now that the band has a physical release out on its new major-label home, RCA Records, things are starting to move even faster and more and more people are discovering the young Alt/Dance/Pop band's charming sound and great, energetic live show. Having already mastered the fine art of blanket social media marketing (few acts are as interactive and accessible to fans), WTM is now set to conquer late-night TV and add even more new fans. Wednesday night, Walk the Moon made its second appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly on NBC. The first time was when they were scrappy young lads at South By Southwest looking for a record deal. This time, they're RCA recording artists working a big theater in L.A. and looking already like confident, veteran Rock stars performing to a mob of adoring (and sweaty) fans. The group will perform LIVE for the first time on network TV on April 5, appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. And you can catch them in the flesh next Friday (Feb. 24) at the Madison Theater with current tourmates Young the Giant. If you have a ticket, that is. The show is sold out, no doubt helped by WTM's appearance on the bill (the group's own homecoming show a couple months ago at the same club was also a sell out).Here's Walk the Moon playing "Anna Sun" at The Wiltern in Los Angeles from Wednesday's Last Call:
by Mike Breen
The Anna Sun EP marks Cincinnati band's major-label debut, showcasing three unreleased tracks from forthcoming LP
Last week, Cincinnati's stars-in-the-making Walk the Moon issued the first release under its deal with RCA Records. Though only three songs, the effort is illuminating and a hint of what's to come on the band's forthcoming, so-far-untitled RCA full-length debut (due to be released this May). The Indie Dance Pop foursome has seemingly been touring and doing business related tasks non-stop for at least the last year. Now that it has a release on RCA, that will only increase. The recording is called Anna Sun EP, named for the band's irresistible tune that (along with a stellar music video) helped initially generate much of the buzz they've received fairly consistently over the past year or so.The song "Anna Sun" is on the EP, but those who have i want! i want! (the group's stellar self-released LP containing the original track) might still want to listen. It's a new version of the catchy song, slicked up a bit for radio and seemingly (inexplicably) sped up.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Local Indie Rock band Sweet Ray Laurel has organized what members hope will become an annual event, the multi-band showcase Sweet Sounds of Cincinnati. The inaugural Sweet Sounds concert this Saturday will present an array of mostly newer area groups (16, to be exact) on two stages in Covington — at The Mad Hatter and also Radiodown, which is in the same complex.
Jan. 15 • Northside Tavern
3 Comments · Friday, January 14, 2011
Walk the Moon's Frontman and songwriter Nicholas Petricca counts Talking Heads and The Police as influences. What comes out of that influence is a refreshing Art Pop shimmer that sounds like The Killers playing a Shins tribute band in a Jonathan Demme movie.
New album could be catalyst for big things for Cincy’s Art Pop group
0 Comments · Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Until recently, Walk the Moon’s membership had more turnovers than the Bengals in the fourth quarter. The band’s lineup has fluctuated since vocalist/keyboardist Nicholas Petricca officially put WTM together three years ago, but that situation changed in 2010. Since recording their debut full length I Want! I Want! in late 2009, the band underwent yet another complete shift.
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Saturday night the annual BRINK New Music Showcase returns for its 10th year and spreads its wings. The showcase, a cousin event of the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards, first went down in 2001 as a way to showcase the next generation of great local musicians before the big CEA event honored the current crop. Plus news about new albums from Walk the Moon and Greg "Tex" Schramm.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Cincinnati Hip Hop cleaned up at the fifth annual Ohio Hip Hop Awards Sept. 18 in Cleveland, taking home many trophies in some of the event’s biggest categories. Local crew Beat Gang won “Best Group” and “Best Single” for its track “Mr. Miyagi” (the group’s B. Luck also won “Best Graphic Designer”).
MidPoint Music Festival was a rollercoaster of emotions and sounds
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 29, 2010
We had joy, we had fun. We had some frustration and anger, too. Such has been the way of the MidPoint Music Festival since its origins in 2002. But, in the end, MPMF’s 2010 edition proved to be the most successful yet, drawing thousands of music lovers to downtown, Over-the-Rhine and Newport over the course of three days.