WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Coming Into Focus

With a push start from Jeff Tweedy, White Denim finds cohesion on its latest LP

0 Comments · Tuesday, June 10, 2014
If Corsicana Lemonade, the fifth full-length studio album by White Denim, sounds like the group’s most focused yet, it didn’t happen by accident.  
by Steven Rosen 06.04.2014 138 days ago
at 01:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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The Main Library's Inspired Idea for Listening to Vinyl Records

Monthly Listen to This! series introduces "Record Roulette"

Steven Kemple, who was featured last year in CityBeat’s Cool Issue for his innovative programming as the Main Library’s music librarian, runs a monthly Listen to This! session there at which the group (it’s open to anyone) hears in new ways selections from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s vast collection of recordings. The sessions have been inspired, sometimes wittily so — North Korean music when Dennis Rodman visited that country, for instance. Or timely — when all of the underappreciated singer Harry Nilsson’s albums were reissued a while back, Kemple scheduled a Nilsson marathon. But even by his high standards, the most recent Listen to This! was brilliant. Using a computer program, Kemple randomly selected 14 LPs — vinyl albums — from the collection. Then, on a portable record player, he played selections/excerpts from each — accompanied by group discussion. The informal name for the presentation was “Record Roulette.” Those present consistently found unexpected connections in the different recordings, and also made serious and insightful observations. Even  when you might think they would treat something like a joke — during an excerpt from The Speechphone Method, for instance, on which speech specialist Hazel P. Brown read pronunciations of words. One person noticed how the way we say certain words has changed since this record’s 1959 release. And careful listening to Brown’s list-reading of words began a long conversation, not quite an argument, about whether she had a slight New England accent that softened some "R"s. The evening started with the album Ballads by Niles, from the traditionalist balladic Folk singer and Kentucky native John Jacob Niles (who studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music — now University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music). The late Niles, popular in the 1950s, doesn’t get much airplay these days and several in the group weren’t familiar with him. Especially jarring, at first, was the high voice — it made some think of Tiny Tim — as he started singing “Mattie Groves.” But as it became clearer that Niles was using different voices to portray different characters, and that he had an operatic, storytelling approach to folk music, he impressed all present. This was a real find. The other records from which we heard excerpts were: ·Songs of Corsica featuring Martha Angelia (It prompted a discussion about the Corsican language.) ·The Trial of the Cantonsville Nine by Daniel Berrigan, S.J. (This was a play based on an act of disobedience in 1968 — the burning of Selective Service-related files — by Catholic activists to protest to Vietnam War. Berrigan, a Jesuit priest, was one of the nine. That was a long time — the younger members of the listening group weren’t familiar with it.) ·“March from the River Kwai” by Mitch Miller & His Orchestra, from The 50’s Greatest Hits (The whistling prompted a suggestion for a night of whistling songs.) ·Africa: Ceremonial & Folk Music (We discovered the wrong record had been in the jacket for who-knows-how-many-years — we heard the jazzy track “Americanization of Ooga Booga” by South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela.) ·Classical Russian Poetry read in Russian by Yevgeny Yevtushenko and English by Morris Carnovsky ·“April Come She Will” from Collected Works of Simon & Garfunkel, the closest to rock ‘n’ roll the night got. ·From the seventh realm, a Modernist classical work from the 1920s by Arthur Fickenscher for piano and string quartet (This unfamiliar work, from an unfamiliar composer who pioneered microtonal music, was moving – and had us wondering how many other 20th century composers are out there waiting for rediscovery.) ·Pianist Ronald Smith on a 1977 recording of Twelve Studies in All the Minor Keys, Opus 39, by 19th century French pianist and composer Charles Alkan ·The Best of John Williams (Hoping to hear Star Wars, we discovered this John Williams is the classical guitarist, not the film composer. Entertaining nonetheless.) ·In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, performed by the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center under the direction of Jules Irving (Interestingly, the computer picked two plays about political trials of post-war American leftists. Oppenheimer, one of the chief architects of the A-bomb, was persecuted in the 1950s during the height of McCarthyism for wanting international control of the bomb. From what we heard, the 1964 play had interesting and unusual multimedia aspects, possibly a precursor to the John Adams opera Doctor Atomic. We were ready to end with some silly pop by now, maybe the Chipmunks or Weird Al Yankovic, but instead the computer chose for us Three Short Operas by Bizet and Romberg’s The Student Prince from a Readers Digest collection, Treasury of Great Operettas. Afterwards, we discussed it’d be great to have these “Record Roulette” vinyl sessions on a regularly scheduled basis, maybe every other month, so they could build the larger following they deserve. Kemple posts information on a Facebook event page. Meanwhile, his remaining June events at the Main Library — at 7 p.m. — are a lecture next Wednesday, June 11, by noted Cincinnati musicologist David Lewis on Mamie Smith, the famed Cincinnati-born singer of early 20th century Blues and Jazz; a multi-act Experimental Music at the Library session on June 18 with headliner Wrest, a free jazz trio with percussionist Ben Bennett , saxophonist Jack Wright and bassist Evan Lipson; and on June 25 another Listen to This! session.
 
 

Cincy Blues Challenge Band Competition Returns Sunday

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 4, 2014
On June 1, area Blues singer/pianist/multi-instrumentalist Jimmy D. Rogers won the Cincy Blues Challenge competition for solo artists and duos after competing against several other performers at downtown club/restaurant Arnold’s. This Sunday, the Blues Challenge presents the band competition.   

Beat Our Fests

Greater Cincinnati is once again a hub for summer music fests

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The festival scene has long been a fabric of summer in Greater Cincinnati, with church and neighborhood festivals going down every weekend across the region. But during the past decade, almost as many music festivals have popped into the area as well.   

At The Edge Of The Stage

Cincinnati Ballet closes its 50th anniversary season with local music heroes Over the Rhine

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Over the Rhine, the bluesy, jazzy, folksy band headed by blonde chanteuse Karin Bergquist and real-life partner Linford Detweiler, named after Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood where they once lived, this weekend will perform live with Cincinnati Ballet dancers in the closing series of the company’s 50th anniversary season.   
by Jac Kern 04.16.2014
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Senior prom is a special milestone for many American teens, but even traditions as old as school dances change over time. Intimate one-on-one dates have given way to group dates and attending as friends. Flip-flops and cutout cocktail dresses replaced the overdone evening look for many girls. And now a southern-fried specialty is getting in the prom game. Kentucky Fried Chicken — What? Yes. — partnered with Louisville florists to create the chicken corsage. For $20, Louisville residents can purchase a corsage from Nanz and Kraft Florists that includes a $5 gift card to KFC, where folks can then go buy the perfect piece of chicken. It can only be assumed that after prom, girls will press the greasy chicken bone between their yearbook pages, just like their moms did with their corsages when they were young. It’s confirmed: Stephen Colbert will take over the Late Show desk once David Letterman retires sometime in 2015. That’ll mean no more Colbert Report and, likely, the end of the host’s faux-servative character. Start the countdown to the announcement of a new reality show following Letterman, Leno (and, let’s just be honest — Craig Ferguson and Conan O’Brien) around Ex-Host Island. Move over, old people! Slightly younger people are takin' yer jerbs!In the contemporary classic Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan’s Cady describes Halloween as, “the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Well, Coachella must be kind of like Halloween for celebrities, except instead of wearing lingerie and some form of animal ears, they throw on the most jumbled assortment of terrible fashion fads. Not sure about the new cream-colored designer jumpsuit you purchased? Try it out in the middle of the desert! Want to channel Woodstock without ever having been to, read about or seen a photo of Woodstock? Grab a Native American headdress and wear that shit to Coachella. The fest is HQ for floral head wreaths, jorts and combat boots (often all worn at once), and for some reason I cannot pull myself away from the celeb photos of this mess. It’s like someone made a slot machine with various teenagers’ style blogs on Tumblr and everyone going to Coachella must take a spin to determine their outfit. “Ooh, I got a bindi, a latex bra, a crocheted duster and gladiator sandals!” Just look at these famous attendees, capped off with Koachella Kweenz Kylie and Kendall Jenner.  But seriously, you need to see this video that’s (probably) of Leonardo DiCaprio Coachin’ it up (people say that, right?) at an MGMT performance, which makes me feel weird and old. And since I brought up Lindsay, the supposedly sober starlet was supposedly washing down all that Coachella dust and glitter with vodka this weekend. The reports come days after the latest episode of her Oprah docu-series, in which she admits to drinking alcohol after her latest stint in rehab. Also, there were a lot of emo scenes of Lindsay filming herself crying. Get it together, girl. OPRAH WILL CUSS AT YOU AGAIN. And everyone knows if Oprah has to cuss at you twice, you will spontaneously burst into flames. Celebrispawn in the media is quite the hot topic as of late, particularly thanks to Dax Sheppard and Kristen Bell vs. Papz (this will definitely be a court case our children will study in history class). But what about fake famous babies — fair game? OK! Leslie Knope is pregnant! Pawnee's upcoming addition will be the Prince George of fictional TV comedy births. Which is to say, a very big deal. Parks and Rec's Leslie and Ben will be the best parents ever. I think I speak for fans everywhere by saying we can't wait for his or her first playdate with the world’s most attractive child, Ann and Chris’ little Oliver. Sunday was an epic night for television with the final Mad Men premiere (sort of) and a crazy-ass episode of Game of Thrones. These two are great popular, critically-acclaimed dramas, but they’re on complete opposite ends of the style spectrum. Mad Men’s seventh season debut was gradual and calculated (as always), giving viewers a chance to fill in the blanks between Season Six and now, speculate on what’s to come and read into every little detail. And by detail, I mean Pete’s California Ken Doll look, which was #flawless. Ratings were way down Sunday — the lowest-rated premiere since the second season's in 2008. Some attribute the drop to a lackluster episode, but the truth is probably that everyone was too busy losing their shit over this week’s Game of Thrones to get into the cool Mad Men mood. Without giving too much away (and because I spoiled “the incident” for myself since I can’t stay off the damn Internet — so I know it sucks), Thrones fans who hadn’t already read the books were treated to a truly righteous, bubbly, bloody scene this week that totally flips the script for many of our favorite characters. Can’t these people get through one wedding without having to immediately plan a funeral? New movie trailers to hit the Interwebz: bestseller-turned-likely blockbuster Gone Girl; two red band previews for 22 Jump Street (The College Years); Sex Tape, starring Cameron Diaz and a manorexic Jason Segel, a comedy that’s exactly what you think it’s about; and Jon Favreau’s take on the foodie world, Chef. Aaand it looks like Jay-Z and Beyoncé may tour together for a string of shows this summer, so I need to go quit my job and fulfill my dreams of being a roadie. Byé!
 
 

I Left My Heart, A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett (Review)

Bennett revue falls flat

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Cincinnati Landmark Productions’ I Left My Heart, A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts presents a musical tribute to Bennett, with more than 30 songs made famous by or famously sung by the legendary crooner.  
by Amber Hemmerle 02.13.2014
Posted In: Local Music at 01:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Folk & Fiction Series Brings Writers and Musicians Together

Beginning Feb. 27, Northside’s The Listing Loon will host a new onstage series called Folk & Fiction where music and writing will be interwoven to bring together the audiences of various genres. The monthly event, each final Thursday, was created in collaboration with Brooks Rexroat, Matt Mooney and Margaret Darling. The trio was at an acoustic show when they began talking about the limited places available for Folk musicians and fiction writers to share their work. “The two groups have the same audience, so that was kind of an ‘ah-ha’ moment for us,” Rexroat says. They decided to create a place where these musicians and writers could connect, as well as their audiences. Thus, Folk And Fiction was born. Folk & Fiction is open to any genre of writing and music, but has a heavy focus on, well, Folk music and fiction writing. This gives prose writers a chance to share what they are working on as well as Folk musicians who take just as much pride in their lyrics. "There is a limited audience for any artists endeavor,” Rexroat continues. “Even those excited only have a percentage of time for support... It's much more efficient to share an audience, rather than battle for it.” The first event, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, will double as the Cincinnati launch party for the book, Best of Ohio Short Stories Vol. 1. From hundreds of submissions, 18 were chosen to be featured in the book. Four of those writers will be on stage sharing their work in conjunction with musicians.  For the first event, each musician will have two 15-minute sets with the writers reading their works in between. The second event will feature Jacinda Townsend, the author of Saint Monkey, which will be released Feb. 24. For more information, go to facebook.com/folkandfiction. Those who are interested in performing in future events can email the event coordinator at FolkAndFiction@gmail.com. Feb. 27 Lineup: The WritersBrad Pauquette (Columbus, Ohio)Brooks Rexroat (Cincinnati) Lin Rice (Columbus, Ohio) Heather Sinclair Shaw (Newark, Ohio) The MusiciansMargaret DarlingRoyal Holland
 
 

New Afghan Whigs Album Due This Spring

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Last month, one of the greatest, most influential Rock bands to come out of the Cincinnati music scene, The Afghan Whigs, announced their return to the concert stage.  

Waxahatchee with Tweens

Monday • MOTR Pub

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 29, 2014
In an interview with Pitchfork shortly before the release of her second album under the moniker Waxahatchee, this fascinating bit of information was revealed about Katie Crutchfield’s bedroom decor.  

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