by Mike Breen
• Bluegrass ensemble Hayseed Dixie began racking up fans upon its formation at the dawn of the 21st century thanks to its energized and entertaining live show and the contents of the band’s initial setlists and albums. Though all talented and experienced players, it was Hayseed Dixie’s novelty that initial drove attention its way. The group’s debut was a Bluegrass tribute to AC/DC, while subsequent albums have featured a wonderfully ridiculous array of the group’s Appalachian-spun Rock covers (they grass up everything from OutKast and Green Day to Neil Young and Motorhead). After wide exposure through musical- and comedy-world exposure, the Hayseeds began to introduce more and more original material (2008’s No Covers should be self-explanatory). Hayseed’s members have individually gotten more busy with various interesting side projects while the main band takes a hiatus. As frontman John Wheeler works towards his more serious-minded debut solo album (scheduled for release early in this new year), banjoist Don Wayne Reno carries the Hayseed torch with his band Granny 4 Barrel, self-described as “Country music’s first and only shock Country Rock & Roll band.” If you thought Hayseed Dixie was outlandish, G4B takes it to the next level with their ridiculous outfits and a sound that retains Hayseed’s Rawkgrass attitude and turns the Rawk elements up to 11. Granny 4 Barrel performs tonight at the Southgate House Revival as part of the opening for area visual artist Derek Toebbe’s “Urban Revival Art Show.” The event (which also includes DJ sets by the Devout Wax crew) is free and starts at 7 p.m. Here's a sampling for G4B's crazy sound and stage show.• Wildly entertaining (and wildly eclectic) ensemble The Duke of Uke & His Novelty Orchestra bring its self described "lyrical ukulele jazz-funk-motown popssical" sound back to Cincinnati tonight for a a free show tonight at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Drawing comparisons to artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Amy Winehouse, the B-52s, and Captain Beefheart, the Urbana, Ill.-based septet has been winning fans all over the region with their energized, swinging live shows, which blend smart lyrics, four-part harmonies and diverse instrumentation (ukulele, violin, tuba, saxophones, Latin percussion). Read more about The Duke and Co. in Reyan Ali's preview in this week's CityBeat here.Here's The Duke of Uke & His Novelty Orchestra's official music video for "Jump Back," a track from their 2012 album April's Empire. • There were moments over the past few years where it seemed like bassist Nick Oliveri was on the brink of imploding, stuck in that weird, almost dreamlike universe (inhabited by the likes of Courtney Love and Katt Williams) where an entertainer’s fans ultimately just accept that there’s a good chance the performer might die any day. Oliveri’s ornery streak has been consistent but it started out manageable — just some usual Rock & Roll debauchery. Then, in 2004, Oliveri was kicked out of Queens of the Stone Age after Queens frontman Josh Homme suspected he had been physically abusive to a girlfriend. Luckily for Oliveri, he had a few side-projects to fall back on, touring with his group Mondo Generator (who comes to Newport’s Thompson House Saturday night), as a solo acoustic act and with veteran Punk sensations Dwarves. But it wasn't enough to keep him out of trouble (click here to read more about Oliveri's various ups-and-downs over the past year). But Oliveri seems to have rebounded, even reportedly making amends with his old bandmate Homme. Mondo Generator has been perhaps the most consistent part of Oliveri’s life since 1997. Blending the Hard Rock of his previous projects with more Punk Rock chaos, Mondo has built a strong cult following for itself. But, with the way things are going as Oliveri continues to rebound, it’s anyone’s guess if Mondo will go back to “side project” status at some point. Mondo Generator performs Saturday at the Thompson House with Saviours, Wino, Bearer of Bad News and Mangrenade. Showtime is 7 p.m. and tickets are $18. Here's Mondo Generator performing "Four Corners" live.Click here for even more live music options in Greater Cincinnati this weekend.
by Mike Breen
Local Pop/Rock group The Newbees' postponed release party now slated for Thanksgiving eve
Early last month, local Pop/Rock masters The Newbees were scheduled to present a release party for their fourth long-player, Modern Vintage. The show was to be the second ever at the eagerly-anticipated Southgate House Revival, but the Newport club had some safety code issues and had to delay its opening at the last minute. Better late than never, The Newbees return to the Southgate House Revival (the club opening the following weekend) for a Wednesday/Thanksgiving Eve celebration of their latest effort. The show will feature music on all three stages; special guests are Sundae Drives, Les Whorenettes, Shiny Old Soul, Dave Hawkins, See You in the Funnies, Honey & Houston, Chaselounge and The Turkeys. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance through ticketfly.com or $12 at the door. Modern Vintage would be a great title for any album by The Newbees. On the new LP, the skills and songwriting exhibited by the group members, including multiple vocalists and songwriters, combine for a collection of rich, dynamic songs that seem informed by the entirety of contemporary music history (at least the melodic stuff). The songcraft of The Newbees is impeccable and Modern Vintage contains several of the band’s best tunes to date. Good songwriting can stand alone, sung a capella or with just a piano or guitar, but another of The Newbees’ greatest assets is their arrangement talents. On Modern Vintage, the members — all studio-musician-worth instrumentalists — augment the tracks with perfectly placed strings and horns, prominent keys, flawless vocals harmonies and other auxiliary instrumentation and noises. The Newbees also apparently know their way around a studio; the great production gives Modern Vintage a warm, analog feel.It’s hard to not think of the kings of melodic Rock and Pop, The Beatles, when listening to The Newbees, and not just because the members are also in one of the best Beatles tribute groups you’ll ever hear. Like the Fab Four, The Newbies have an innate knack for memorable melody, are supernaturally effective songwriters and are unafraid to use whatever tools necessary to serve the song best, regardless of the genre.Husband/wife Newbees founders Jeff (a wildly impressive guitarist as well as songwriter) and Misty Perholtz switch off on lead vocals, adding even more alluring variety to Modern Vintage (and all Newbees’ albums so far, for that matter). And it’s to the group’s credit that the eclecticism is never jarring, as the album rolls fluidly from a standout track like “Nevermore,” a swaying Soul ballad that you might mistake for a lost Aretha Franklin cut, to “Don’t Knock It (’Til You Try It),” which sounds like a mix of Lyle Lovett and The Band, to the Soft Rock sunset-fade of “Goodbye Sun.” Meanwhile, opener “Medicine Show” is a simpler, uncluttered Indie Pop nugget that Imperial Teen would have loved to have written and buoyant rocker “Up All Night” has the Power Pop pep of an early Elvis Costello track. Elsewhere, the acoustic “Hallowed” has a campfire Gospel sing-a-long lilt and hopeful closer “Find” ends the album on a note of sublime acoustic grace, gently enhanced with low-key synth swiggles and swelling orchestral strings. Modern Vintage could really just be another way of saying “timeless,” which makes it an even better fit for the title. For more info on Modern Vintage, visit The Newbees official site. Here's the album's "Medicine Show."
And The Newbees get a do-over for its release party for new LP, 'Modern Vintage'
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Release parties at the Revival! Rootsy, rollicking Americana all-star group Tex Schramm and the Radio King Cowboys gear up for the release of their sophomore album, Lucky Chaps, and The Newbees' rescheduled release party for their excellent new LP Modern Vintage comes on Thanksgiving eve. Both release parties are at Southgate House Revival.
Cincy Post Punk quartet releases self-titled debut
1 Comment · Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Homemade Drugs are in it to win it, all
the way. Moving through life’s social insecurities and uneasiness,
somewhere in that space, amongst the unwanted furniture, is a plan. Homemade Drugs are grabbing their moment
and not looking back, only ahead. Ahead to Saturday’s release of their
self-titled, self-released 10-song album. Ahead to vinyl plans, which are forming
nicely with Youngstown, Ohio’s Lion’s Care Recordings. Ahead to whatever
by Mike Breen
• Baltimore Noise Punk foursome Dope Body introduced itself to the Indie Rock world with the donkey punch that was last year’s Nupping, the band’s first full-length. The group returned this year with the Natural History album on Drag City, on which a chaotic barrage of guitar harmonics, muscular drum/bass pummeling and howling vocals combine for something that sounds like The Jesus Lizard jacked up on speed (or Gang of Four jacked up on The Jesus Lizard). There is an artfulness to the noise, but it’s the group’s hectic energy level — which sometimes makes it seem like they’re going to fall apart at any second — that first draws the listener in, as if sucked up by the tornadic swirl, Dorothy-and-Toto-syle. The herky-jerky rhythms are also alluring, occasionally falling into a seemingly impossible groove that feels like some sort of alien Funk. You can dance to Dope Body — you just might look a little convulsive.After an appearance at The Comet earlier this spring, Dope Body returns to Cincy tonight for a free, 10 p.m. show at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Brooklyn trio Call of the Wild opens the show. Check videos from both acts below. • Singer/songwriter James McMurtry (son of successful author Larry) performs tonight at the Southgate House Revival in Newport. The Americana song stylist kicked his career off in 1989 with his debut Too Long in the Wasteland and has continued to make album after album of modern Roots songs, which often showcase his deft lyrical ability (something perhaps in his blood). McMurtry has been celebrated for the short story style of writing, though in recent years he's addressed political issues for frequently and directly. His 2005 song "We Can't Make It Here" fit the Occupy movement's message so perfectly, he gave it away as a free download when the movement began, then re-recorded it with Steve Earle and Joan Baez for inclusion on the Occupy Wall Street benefit compilation, Occupy This Album. You can hear that version below. (Read more about McMurtry in Brian Baker's preview from this week's CityBeat here.)McMurtry performs tonight at the new Southgate with his band, which at one time was dubbed "The Heartless Bastards," until some bratty kids from Cincinnati stole it for their own and have been using it quite successfully. Locals Monkeytonk open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. • Canadian ElectroPop star Valerie Anne Poxleitner — who legally changed her name to Lights when she turned 18 and has performed under the moniker ever since — comes to the 20th Century Theatre in Oakley tonight for an 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $18. Canadian AltRock group Arkells opens the show. Similar to Robyn's approach, Lights' sound is a mix of more vintage Synth Pop, modern Electronic styles (yes, including Dubstep) and straight-up, ready-for-Top-40-radio Pop. Lights is a bonafide Pop star in Canada, with her albums, EPs and singles selling chart-worthy numbers, and though she has a faithful following in the U.S., she hasn't matched the same level of airplay, exposure and sales. Yet. Lights' sound has an ear-grabbing quality that could make her a chart and radio fixture in the States in an instant. Here's Lights' latest single from 2011's Siberia, "Timing Is Everything." Click here for even more live music events in Greater Cincinnati tonight.
by Mike Breen
Cincy Groove presents multi-act concert in Newport to help the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation
Scott Preston and his excellent local music web mag Cincy Groove are presenting a benefit concert at Southgate House Revival tonight to help keep a spotlight on the Cincinnati area’s outrageously rich musical history and influence. The 9 p.m. show will raise funds for the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation, a non-profit that has done great work drawing attention to Cincinnati’s impact on popular music by promoting and hosting numerous creative events to honor historical moments like Hank Williams’ Cincy recording sessions and the immeasurable impact of King Records. To become a member of the CUMHF's supporters group The Funky Drummer Society and read more about their mission to expose and celebrate Cincy's important place in music history, visit the Foundation's official website here or on Facebook here. Tickets for tonight's benefit show are $10 for those 21-and-up; it's $12 for those 18-20. Music will take place on all three of the recently opened venue's stages. Below is the lineup of performances. Click each artist's name for audio samples and more.Lounge9:15 - 9:55: Bri Love10:15 - 10:55: Hank Becker (of The Rubber Knife Gang)11:15 - 11:55: Terminal Union12:15 - 12:55 : Andyman HopkinsRevival Room9 - 9:40: The Young Heirlooms10:00 - 10:40: Shiny Old Soul11:00 - 11:40: The Stories12:00 - 12:40: SOUSE1:00 - 1:40: Sassy MolassesSanctuary Room9:00 - 9:40: Shoot Out The Lights10:00 - 10:50: Kelly Thomas with Arlo McKinley & Lonesome Sound 11:10 - 12:10: The Cincy Brass12:30 - 1:40: The CliftonesKelly Thomas, Arlo McKinley and Lonesome Sound will be doing an all-Hank Williams set tonight in honor of Hank's ties to Cincy through his historic recording sessions at Herzog Studios. Thomas and McKinley recorded a version of "Lost Highway" at the old Herzog space earlier this year and filmed the proceedings. The song and footage became the centerpiece of Thomas' first in a series of short films featuring her favorite songs and local musicians called Sacred Harp Sessions. A new video and song will be released monthly for the Sessions; Thomas recently unveiled Episode 2 featuring Ricky Nye and the tune "Come On In My Kitchen." Click here to check it out; below is Episode 1, in honor of Cincinnati's music heritage and tonight's concert.
Plus notes on The Heights Music Festival, a Cincinnati Music Heritage Foundation benefit and a Culture Queer release party
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Folk faves The Tillers celebrate the release of a new live album recorded at the former Southgate House with a release party at the new Southgate House Revival.
by Mike Breen
• Ironfest, the multi-act concert event started by friends of late local music booster “Iron” Mike Davidson to benefit his daughter, is set for its third annual event tonight and Saturday at the new Southgate House Revival in Newport. Each night features a staggering amount of solid local bands from a variety of genres. Tonight, catch Mad Anthony, State Song, Switchblade Syndicate, The Shanks, Goddamn Gravity, The New Void, Billy Wallace and the Virginia Blues, Vito Emmanuel, Jeremy Pinnell and the 55’s, Arlo McKinley and the Lonesome Sound, Chiva Knievel, Total Dudes, A Juliet Bender, Smoke Signals, Rising Shotgun, DC Project and Dead August. Performing for Night 2 tomorrow are The Dopamines, Moonbow, Honeyspiders, Red Soul Rising, Unsinkable Molly Brown, Another Tragedy, The Tammy Whynots, 500 Miles to Memphis, The Sound Museum, SHIVS, Kelly Steward and the Restless Kind, The Mudpies, Martin Luther and the Kings, The Perfect Children, Buenos Crotches, Sticky Honey, The Andyman Hopkins Band and Queen City Radio, a very promising new group featuring Dan Mecher, former frontman for Turnbull ACs and Denial, former 500 Miles to Memphis bassist Jeff Snyder, longtime 500 Miles frontman Ryan Malott and Kevin
Finkelmeier of Pete Dressman and the Soul Unified Nation and Denial fame.Tickets are just $5 each night and music starts at 7 p.m. Click here and here for more info.• One of Cincinnati’s most popular bands, Rumpke Mountain Boys, celebrate the release of their new album with a series of release parties in the region, kicking off tonight at Inner Circle (the former Annie’s location). Following the Cincinnati date, the Boys will perform for their growing fan bases in Lexington, Ky., Bloomington, Ind., Columbus, Ohio, and Cleveland, Ohio. The group’s new official full-length is titled Trashgrass, the name the members have given their eclectic, jammy, sometime trippy brand of Bluegrass. The band has all the markings of a standard Bluegrass troupe — mandolin, banjo, upright bass, acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies — but the members’ varied influences (they cite Grateful Dead, Ralph Stanley, Tom Waits and Jimmy Cliff among their key inspirations) make the end result its own organic, spontaneous beast. The seven-time Cincinnati Entertainment Award winners for Best Bluegrass act have performed at numerous festivals, shared the stage with artists like Ralph Stanley, Keller Williams, Yonder Mountain String Band and Del McCoury, and Vince Herman — a pioneer of the Rumpkes’ jammy take on Bluegrass with Leftover Salmon — called them “a party waiting to happen.” Rumpke Mountain Boys perform tonight with the excellent local Reggae crew The Cliftones. The show starts at 9 p.m. and admission is $10 (or $12 for those ages 18-20). Visit rumpke.ning.com for more on the band.The Rumpkes are probably one of the more documented bands in the area thanks to their allowance/encouragement of fans to record their live shows. Here's a video from this past March of the group performing the Folk/Jazz/Blues standard "Make Me A Pallet on Your Floor" at ekoostik hookah's springtime music fest in central Ohio.• Strong local Rock/Pop act Majestic Man celebrates the release of its debut full-length, Manatee, this Friday at Mayday in Northside. Local bands The FrontRunners and Plastic Inevitables open the free show at 10 p.m. Manatee is loaded with melodic, well-written songs, but the varied groove the band manipulates throughout the album is just as distinct and magnetic. Be it the Jazz slink of “Someday,” the dubby sway of “Bodysnatcher” or the angled Funk of “Age of No Reason,” the music is rhythmically fascinating. The dazzling guitar playing and superb vocals add cohesion to Manatee, an album that shows Majestic Man to be one of the more gifted newer groups in the Cincinnati area. To preview and/or purchase Manatee, visit majesticman.bandcamp.com. Here's the new album track "Spanish":Spanish by Majestic Man• This past spring, prolific artist Jon Langford came to Cincinnati to open an exhibit of his visual artwork and perform a free concert with his group Skull Orchard at Over-the-Rhine club MOTR Pub. At the time, Langford spoke to CityBeat contributor Steve Rosen about his range of artistic endeavors. “I have to do a lot of things,” he said. “I find it essential, honestly — spiritually and economically.” (Read the full interview with Langford here.)Just prior to the springtime Cincy visit, Langford had come off a Midwest tour with perhaps his best known band outside of his first one — British Punk legends, The Mekons — Waco Brothers, the AltCountry outfit he records with for Bloodshot Records. Langford must’ve enjoyed his time in Cincinnati because tonight he's bringing the Wacos to MOTR Pub for a 10 p.m. show, one of only a trio of appearances currently scheduled for the group. The Brothers are bringing with them Paul Burch, the Nashville singer/songwriter with whom the band collaborated on this year’s Great Chicago Fire LP. The Chicago band Cannonball is also on the bill. Here's a fan-shot video of Burch and the Wacos from earlier this year. Click here for even more live music events in Greater Cincinnati tonight.
This week in new Cincy-spawned releases, Ironfest returns and Blues meets the big top
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Local acts Rumpke Mountain Boys, Majestic Man, Jetset Getset and Noah Wotherspoon & Jessi Bair promote new albums this week. Plus, Ironfest presents its annual benefit concert for the daughter of the late Mike Davidson and The Medicine Men and Cheryl Renee bring Blues and R&B to the circus.
Local musicians get in the holiday spirit
1 Comment · Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Local musicians to dress up/perform as David Bowie, The Cure, Daft Punk and Dwarves for Halloween, while MC Forty presents the Hip Hop flavored "Crack-O-Lantern" show, Surf bands get zombified at the Southgate and Hogscraper's delayed return goes down Saturday. Also, You, You Awesome to play free show Tuesday and Yallwire.com dominating Country artists Mason James and Dallas Moore team up in Cheviot.