by Mike Breen
Like every Friday, a great place to start your evening is Fountain Square, as the free MidPoint Indie Summer concert series continues with headliner Lydia Loveless. Loveless is an Ohio native who performed fairly regularly in the Cincinnati area (and elsewhere around the region) before she caught the attention of AltCountry/Modern Roots music institution Bloodshot Records with her natural blend of classic Country influences and more contemporary Rock flavors. Her debut for the label, Indestructible Machine was released last year and Loveless was one of the more buzzed-about names at last year's MidPoint Music Festival (even making the cover of CityBeat the week of the event. Loveless is currently working on new material. Read more about Lydia from this week's CityBeat here, as well as from last year's MidPoint issue here.Northern Ohio Roots/Blues artist Patrick Sweany and Cincinnati rockers The Ready Stance (check out our recent interview here) warm things up for Loveless starting at 7 p.m.• Christopher Dexter Greenspan — better known as Bay Area Electronic artist oOoOO — brings his spectral beats and melodies to Northside's Mayday tonight for a 9 p.m. show with guests Fogger and Skeleton Hands. Admission is $12.Greenspan's hypnotic, slanted mix of Chillwave and ethereal Trip Hop — at times sounding a little like Icelandic electronic act múm or a ghostly, gauzy version of M83 — was most recently showcased on oOoOO's second EP, Our Loving Is Hurting Us, which includes spacey vocals from singer Butterclock (as well as Greenspan's own voice, which delivers melodies slathered in a glaze of effects). Here's the new EP track "Break Yr Heart."• Former local musician GD Mills once again brings his raucous Minneapolis Garage Punk group Fuck Knights back to his former stomping grounds, performing a free show tonight at MOTR Pub with Muddy Udders, Children of the Emerald Fire and Martin Luther and the Kings. Showtime is 10 p.m.How are Fuck Nights like Batman? Click here to find out. Here's a clip of the Knights playing live last year (that's Mills singing and playing drums).Click here for even more live music options in Greater Cincinnati tonight.
by Mike Breen
Three of Cincy's greatest Pop/Rock acts perform for tonight's Midpoint Indie Summer show
Tonight's free MidPoint Indie Summer concert on Fountain Square is a bit different than most of the shows in the series. Not only is the bill all-local, it also represents three of the finest "Pop Rock" entities to ever emerge from the Queen City. Despite sharing a knack for writing incredibly memorable songs exploding with irrepressible hooks, each group has its own distinctive sound and draws from varying classic Pop/Rock influences from throughout time, from The Beatles to Todd Rundgren to The Buzzcocks. The Tigerlilies kicks things off at 7 p.m. The quartet has had a remarkable run over the past 23 years, despite the occasional upheaval — the group's lead guitarist slot occasionally seemed to reach "Spinal Tap drummer" proportions, but the ’Lilies balance that out by having the remarkable ability to enlist some truly amazing players who each have brought something unique to the group. Current six-slinger Brendan Bogosian is no exception; the guitarist's (formerly of local bands like Cash Flagg and The Woos) expressive, serpentine style of playing has weaved its way into (and added new wrinkles to the sound of) The Tigerlilies' deft brand of early Punk/Post Punk inspired Power Pop seamlessly. The band is currently working on its next album, which they hope to have out this fall. Next up (at about 8:15 p.m.) is the Roger Klug Power Trio, fronted (go figure!) by singer/songwriter/guitarist Roger Klug and featuring the great rhythm section of Mike Tittel on drums and Jamie Criswell on bass. Klug (former member of popular locals The Willies) has amassed an impressive discography since his mid-’90s solo debut, Mama Mama ich bin in dem La La Land, a garage-y display of Klug's clever, instinctive songcraft, and the highly addictive follow-up, Toxic and 15 Other Love Songs. Those albums help Klug build a following amongst Power Pop die-hards, and not just local ones. His records found a widespread cult following thanks to distribution from modern Power Pop juggernaut Not Lame Records and breathlessly positive press from pretty much any critic who took the time to listen to a song. After the ambitious (and creatively successful) Where Has the Music Gone?: The Lost Recordings of Clem Comstock in 1999 — a concept album featuring alleged "lost recordings" in a variety of vintage Pop styles (and credited to various made-up artist names) — Klug seemingly disappeared, putting out no new Roger Klug material for a decade and popping up only occasionally for area live shows. But in 2010, Klug fans were treated to an all-new LP, More Help for Your Nerves, which (somewhat amazingly) features some of his best tunes yet. Closing out the live-concert primer on Cincinnati's catchiest homegrown music from the past four decades is, fittingly, popular trio psychodots (starting around 9:30 p.m.). The ’Dots are genuine local music legends whose origins date back to the ’70s when a quartet of graduates from Toledo's Sylvania High School — Rob Fetters, Bob Nyswonger, Chris Arduser and Tom Toth — moved to Cincinnati and, with a few adjustments in the lineup over time, went on to become one of the Queen City's most beloved bands, the raisins.Local sensations of epic proportions, the raisins built up a huge (and hugely loyal) fan base in the city's clubs and, with its self-titled LP, scored a regional hit with the unforgettable, somewhat "New Wave-ish" "Fear Is Never Boring." If CityBeat ever does "Best Cincinnati Songs of All-Time," "Fear" is a lock for the No. 1 slot. There will be no debate.Following the raisins' split in the mid-’80s, Arduser rejoined Fetters and Nyswonger — as well as the producer of that debut LP, globally acclaimed Covington native Adrian Belew — in The Bears, which spread Cincinnati's best kept secret well beyond city limits with a pair of well-distributed albums so strong they were like the Midwest's own Beatles. By the end of the ’80s, The Bears had split as Belew began investing more time in his solo and other outside work. Perhaps sensing the end was near, Arduser, Fetters and Nyswonger (among about a bazillion other musical projects) began performing as a trio in 1988. The three masterful musicians officially became psychodots in 1991 when they released their self-titled album. The ’dots picked up where they had left off with the raisins and Bears and returned to their status as one of the city's most reliable original music draws.Psychodots went on indefinite hiatus in the mid-’90s as the trio's members continued to explore a variety of projects (from the Arduser-fronted Graveblankets to Fetters' solo work to Nyswonger's jobs in Bucket and many other local units). While remaining prolific individually, the band seems to have found a way to balance all of their projects better; both The Bears and psychodots have returned to action for live shows and even new releases. (The raisins have also reteamed for a few one-off shows.)The ’dots' live activity has been especially spare, limited usually to a couple of special shows a year around Thanksgiving time. But, along with tonight's appearance on Fountain Square, the trio seems ready for at least a little increased activity. After the Indie Summer show was announced, the psychodots were added as opening act for Cheap Trick's concert at the Taft Theatre next week, July 6.If you're one of tonight's three performers' fans, you're likely well aware of their histories. But if you're unfamiliar with any or all of tonight's acts, be sure to be on the Square by 7 p.m. for a free musical retrospective of Cincy Pop at its finest. (Fun fact: Arduser, Nyswonger and Fetters — with The Bears — and The Tigerlilies were performers at the very first Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in the mid-’90s.)
by Jac Kern
at 12:23 PM | Permalink
In September 2011,
ArtWorks was awarded funds from ArtPlace, an
organization of foundations, federal agencies and banks that invests in art and
culture programs across the country. ArtWorks put these funds toward SpringBoard, their business planning and development program for artists,
artisans and creative entrepreneurs. ArtWorks celebrates SpringBoard artist-entrepreneurs,
a new space and local creativity tonight with an open house 6-8 p.m. Check out
the new digs at 20 East Central Pkwy.
Across the river,
the Friends of Baker Hunt celebrate the Covington Art and
Cultural Center’s 90th anniversary at their annual gathering
tonight. Members of this auxiliary organization and anyone who has special
memories about the center or wants to get involved is welcome to attend a 6
p.m. meeting followed by a potluck dinner with music by the Cincinnati Chamber
String Quartet. Bring a dish to share and be sure to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call
859-431-0020. The Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center offers classes in
language, yoga, dance, photography and more for kids and adults.
Ready to get in Pride mode?
After you check out our Pride Issue (complete with a LGBTQ year in review
timeline, stories and official Pride 2012 guide), mosey downtown to Shooters’s
Young Buck night beginning at 10 p.m. Thursdays mean nothing but dance music at
this no-frills watering hole, so saddle up for a fun night. David DeWitt will
have a special Technicolor projection Pride photo booth — strike a pose!
It may be hot outside, but
Live After Five at The Banks has icy beverages and
cool music to keep you lifted after work tonight. Freedom Way downtown turns
into a free street festival every-other Thursday from 5-8 p.m. Tonight, the
Pinstripes perform. Nearby, Son del Caribe takes over Fountain Square for
Thursday’s free Salsa night from 7-10 p.m. Professional dancers are on-hand
each week to help you with your moves. Afterwards, grab dinner or keep drinking
at one of many surrounding bars and restaurants to keep the party going.
by Jac Kern
at 09:30 AM | Permalink
Art on the Streets Cincinnati is a new local initiative to encourage performance and art in public spaces
across the city. The group’s initial efforts will unleash dancers, singers,
painters, musicians and other artists to parks and sidewalks during the World Choir
Games (July 4-14) to welcome visitors (up to 90,000 of ‘em) and get locals in
the arty spirit. Art on the Streets hopes to continue this public creative
effort long after the Games, as well. Discover more about the group (and public
performance rules) tonight at Know Theater. An informational and planning
meeting is set to begin at 7:30 p.m., so grab a drink at Know’s bar and learn
how you can participate in making Cincinnati and even more lively arts scene.
Email ArtsCincy@gmail.com to RSVP.
Mayerson JCC’s Summer Cinema Series
continues tonight with two episodes from the Israeli comedy television series Arab
Labor (Avoda Aravit). Referred to as the Palestinian Seinfeld, the series
follows Arab-Israeli journalist Amjad, a hapless but good-hearted man who
neurotically tries to conform with both Arab and Jewish expectations and his
one-of-a-kind family. Screenings are from 1-3 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $10
($8 for JCC members).
Joseph M. Schuster will discuss
and sign his debut novel, The Might Have
Been at 7 p.m. at Joseph-Beth Cincinnati. From St. Louis, Mo. Schuster
presents a novel about the consequences of chasing an unattainable dream,
regret and redemption.
And don’t forget free weekly events: Party in the Park
features music from 3 Day Rule 5-10 p.m. and happy hour specials ‘til 6:30; Clifton
Cultural Arts Center presents Wednesdays on the Green
with Tracy Walker, kids activities,
on-site food vendors and more beginning at 7 p.m.; Reggae Wednesday
brings jammin’ to Fountain Square, 7-10 p.m. Tonight’s band is Lucky 7. Don't let the impending heat hold you back from a fun weeknight!
by Jac Kern
at 12:44 PM | Permalink
There's free action on Fountain Square every day this summer. Tuesdays
are American Roots night, with plenty of live Americana/Folk/Bluegrass
music kicking off at 7 p.m. each week. Tonight's lineup includes
Magnolia Mountain and Wild Carrot & the Roots Band. Find a full lineup for American Roots Tuesdays and more Fountain Square events here.Knowing how to cook seasonally goes hand-in-hand with eating local and growing your own produce. Tonight, the Civic Garden Center hosts a family-friendly cooking program that will instruct you on how to do just that. Learn what fruits and veggies are in season now and how to incorporate them into new recipes. Children are welcome! The class begins at 6 p.m. and is $15 (free for CGC volunteers).MOTR Pub's Writer's Night continues each Tuesday, offering local songwriters, musicians, poets and wordsmiths a chance to share their work and win cash. Fists of Love's Donna J. hosts tonight. Sign ups begin at 8:30 so come early, bring original material and chow down on some tasty mac and cheese or a vegan BLT (MOTR's kitchen is open 'til 9:30 p.m.).Drinking Liberally meets at Fries Cafe in Clifton for its final Tuesday gathering. After a two-week holiday break, DL will continue to meet up on second and fourth Thursdays, alternating locations at Fries and Dutch's. Tonight, the Phackt Chequers host a trivia night and the group will order pizza from Adriatico's. Arrive by 7:45 p.m. to get in on a food order. Go here to learn more about Drinking Liberally, an informal group under the Living Liberally umbrella.Feeling stressed? New Thought Unity Center in East Walnut Hills presents a sound healing circle tonight. Meditate while singing and chanting to recordings of Gregorian, Hindu and Native American music from 7-8:30 p.m.
Indie Funk Pop greats of Montreal's live show is like Prince and the Spiders from Mars doing Mummenschanz, and it's so entertaining, everyone should see the band live at least once in their lifetime (even if you hate all music, the band's theatrical presentation is something to behold). If you still need to cross "see of Montreal in concert" off of your bucket list, tonight's the night. The band performs at Covington's Madison Theater at 8 p.m. with Yip Deceiver (a side project of oM's Davey Pierce and Nick Dobbratz's) and Brooklyn "Pscychedelic Soul, Island Romance Pop, Space Rock" quartet Chappo. Tickets for the all-ages show are $15. The headliners are touring in support of its latest album, Paralytic Stalks. Here's the official music video for the track, "Spiteful Intervention." • Tonight at the basement Ballroom at the Taft (a great place to see a show, if you haven't yet), Punk-to-Metal veterans Corrosion of Conformity headline a night of sludgy modern Metal madness. The show features opening acts Torche, Black Cobra and progressive Salt Lake City-based Math Metal ensemble Gaza.Click here to read a little more about Torche, then enjoy the Floridian band's video for the track "King Beef" below.• If you're a little short on funds, Fountain Square has a great free show this evening. The 7 p.m. "American Roots" concert features two of the area's finest Americana acts — Magnolia Mountain and Wild Carrot (with its back-up crew, The Roots Band). Click here for even more live music events in Greater Cincinnati today.
by Mike Breen
Slide guitar icon Sonny Landreth performs tonight at Oakley's 20th Century Theater with locals Monkeytonk opening things up at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7). Tickets are $22. Our Brian Baker says, "Landreth’s swampy yet razor sharp slide guitar riffs are as singularly identifiable as a fingerprint and as beautifully impressionistic as a Monet watercolor," while none other than Eric Clapton said Landreth is "probably the most underestimated musician on the planet and also is probably one of the most advanced." (Read more from Brian about Sonny here.)Landreth is touring behind Elemental Journey, the guitarist's first all-instrumental album. Check out his guitar-duet with Joe Satriani, "Gaia Tribe," below.• Catchy Indie Pop crew Wintersleep plays a free show tonight at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. The Canadian rockers (who, in 2008, won a Juno Award, which I believe is like a Grammy except made of Canadian bacon) just two days ago released their new album, Hello Hum. The show starts around 10 p.m. with local Pop/Rock foursome Damn It To Hell, which recently put out its first release (click here to listen).Here's Wintersleep playing the new album track "Nothing Is Anything (Without You)."• On Thursdays, Fountain Square presents two different concert series specials. At noon, it's Acoustic Thursdays for downtown lunchers and anyone else who wants to hear some good music sans electricity (well, they do use SOME electricity; PAs usually require it, unless it's an old fashion wheel-and-crank system). Today join Lauren Houston and Jim Pross on the Square at lunchtimeThen, at 7 p.m., it's time for the popular Salsa on the Square. Dance the night away with Stacie Sandoval's Grupo Tumbao. And don't worry if your moves are a little rusty; dance instructors will be on hand to lend their support to your two left feet.Click here for even more live music events tonight in Greater Cincinnati.
by Mike Breen
If the early onset of mugginess hasn't already, Riverbend presents a great concert tonight to get you ready for the summer, as The Beach Boys bring their 50th anniversary tour — featuring Brian Wilson on stage with fellow Boys Mike Love and Al Jardine for the first time in decades — to Cincinnati. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $21.50-$91.50. The band is rounded out by members Bruce Johnston and early guitarist David Marks, as well as several auxiliary players, many from Wilson's flawless solo band. The Boys have been playing shows that have lasted close to three hours (with an intermission), performing songs from throughout their career, including big early hits like "Little Deuce Coupe" and "409," as well as Pet Sounds cuts like "God Only Knows" and "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times," a couple of deeper album cuts (like "California Saga: California," a Jardine song from 1973's Holland album), songs from their new album, That's Why God Made the Radio, and "Kokomo," one of their worst tunes and also one of their biggest. Here's one of Wilson's mini "teenage symphonies for God," "Heroes and Villains," which has also been performed on the tour. Read our interview with Love and Wilson here. • If you like your music a little darker, all-female "Garage Goth" troupe The Black Belles are playing a free show at The Comet in Northside. The band's self-titled debut full-length came out last year on Jack White's Third Man Records and the group even collaborated with Stephen Colbert on his 7-inch single for Third Man, "Charlene II (I'm Over You)" (the Belles performed the song with Colbert on his show). Local rockers The Lions Rampant are also on the bill for tonight's free, 10 p.m. show. Here's the video for the Belles' second single off their eponymous debut, "Wishing Well."• Also on the "free, high-quality live music" tip — tonight's "American Roots" concert on Fountain Square. The every-Tuesday events spotlight local partakers of the various strains of Americana and Roots music. Tonight, it's a little bit Country, a little bit Rock & Roll, as local Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups and The Kentucky Struts join forces. They should be comfortable sharing a stage — Thomas and Ky. Struts frontman Todd Lipscomb perform together in the trad Country project, The Tammy WhyNots. The show runs from 7-10 p.m.
by Mike Breen
Spend all your money on Zima at the Drake concert this week? We got you covered
This whole week has been overflowing with big-time concerts, from Radiohead to Red Hot Chili Peppers to Drake. If you went to any (and especially if you went to ALL), your pocketbook is probably a little lighter this weekend. So, in honor of all of you heroes who paid $15 just to park or spent $100 on three beers, tonight's live music recommendations are all FREE. And high-quality, to boot.• Kick off your weekender on Fountain Square tonight for perhaps the most eclectic MidPoint Indie Summer series concerts of the year. Kicking off at 7 p.m., the free show is like a musical world tour that takes you from the early Reggae sounds of Jamaica (with local openers The Pinstripes) to the unique and exotic native-Blues of Timbuktu (Malian music legend Khaira Arby, pictured, and her band) to the grinding, deep Funk of Nashville's vintage Soul revivalists The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker on the mic. Dancing shoes are a must! Walker and the Dynamites recently teamed with fellow soldier in the retro-funky revolution, Bettye Lavette, for the single "Yours & Mine." Check the phenomenal duet below.• Local powerhouse power trio The Sundresses perform a freebie tonight at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. The 10 p.m. show also features Lexington rockers Oh My Me, making tonight's show a half-reunion of the "Midwest by Southwest" tour from this past spring (which also featured Wussy — who are currently headed to the west coast for dates — and Whiskey Daredevils from Cleveland). Oh My Me has an intriguing and often captivating sound, mixing a groovy back-drop of fluid, hypnotic psychedelia with singer Erin Reynolds' stunningly soulful vocals weaving between the grooves — sort of a modern day Big Brother and the Holding Company. Lots of singers get the Janis Joplin comparison; Reynolds' voice and presence are so thoroughly alluring and absolutely natural, she's one of the few who actually deserves it. Check the clip below for a taste. More than just the openers, there's another reason to show up early. The first 20 people through the door tonight receive a free copy of the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards' 2008 Album of the Year, Barkinghaus, by headliners The Sundresses.Click here for the full run down of tonight's live musical entertainment offerings.
by Jac Kern
at 11:32 AM | Permalink
Streetfilms Film Festival takes over Emery Theatre tonight for a party and showcase of films from locals and creatives from around the world. Since 2006, Streetfilms has been producing short films about how smart transportation design and policy can result in better places to live, work and play. The organization has traveled across the globe documenting solutions to “the problem of automobile dependency.” The films featured at tonight's free event will all fit that theme. The party kicks off at 8:30 p.m. Snacks and drinks (booze) will be available for purchase.The highly anticipated World Choir Games are just over a month away, and the city is celebrating tonight with the premiere of “Cincinnati Singing,” a star-studded, Cincy-centric music video. Nick Lachey, Jerry Springer, Bootsy Collins and others are featured in the video with iconic shots of the city. Check out the video on Fountain Square tonight at 5 p.m. with Mayor Mark Mallory, councilmembers, Cincinnati Pops Director John Morris Russell and more, and take a peek below.. The free event will also feature performances by American Idol's Eben Franckewitz and several area choirs.After that sing-stravaganza, walk over to Live After Five, a new weekly summer street festival at The Banks that kicks off tonight. Freedom Way will close each Thursday (except July 5) from 5-8 p.m. for a free evening of live music and after-work drinks. Check out local faves The Rusty Griswolds as you sip the Leinenkugel mix of the night: “Pink Lemonade,” a mix of Summer Shandy and Berry Weiss. YUM.The Fringe Festival keeps on cranking out the fun and freaky performances tonight. Find the entire festival lineup here.