WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Old Monk with Little Lights

Saturday • MOTR Pub

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Brooklyn, N.Y., band Old Monk has referred to its music as “Prog Punk,” an interesting descriptor considering the two genres were diametrically opposed back in the day. It reminds me of a scene from the excellent documentary movie New York Doll, about bassist Arthur “Killer” Kane of the Proto Punk band New York Dolls, where Chrissie Hynde and Morrissey are sitting around railing against the excesses of Prog Rock and how it actually birthed Punk.  

Man Man with Injecting Strangers, Ohio Knife and Skeleton Hands

Friday • Fountain Square

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Man Man’s greatest sonic attributes could also be considered its most significant liabilities, particularly by labels looking to hitch their wagons to a commercial cash cow. And although Man Man has somehow managed to infiltrate the mainstream to a small degree with adjustments to their core sound, the band (which fluctuates from duo to trio to beyond) has retreated only slightly from its home on the musical fringe.   
by Amy Harris 08.04.2014 135 days ago
Posted In: Live Music, Interview at 04:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Q&A with Eric Johnson

Renowned guitarist plays the Ballroom at Taft Theatre Tuesday night

Eric Johnson is one of America’s great guitar players. A natural guitarists of sorts, he has been touring since his late teen years in the ’70s and has worked with many great acts from a variety of genres — including Rock, Folk, Alt Country and Jazz — over that time. His Grammy Award-winning pedigree makes him still a very in-demand session musician and his own new takes on classic songs has made him a favorite on the festival circuit.  Johnson brings his unique stylings to the Ballroom at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati on Tuesday night. (Find tickets/more info here.) This is a can’t-miss show, for guitar fans in particular. CityBeat: Do you have a favorite guitar that you play? Eric Johnson: Yes, I have an old Fender Stratocaster that I play a whole lot. It’s probably my favorite guitar. CB: Is it always with you? EJ: It is pretty much. Sometimes I’ll tour without it and use other stuff. Also I worked with Fender and designed my own signature guitar so I use that a lot too. CB: What’s the longest you have ever gone without playing guitar? EJ: I don’t know, maybe a couple weeks. CB: What do you think the best guitar solo of all time? EJ: That would be really tough to say. Probably something musical and interesting to listen to over and over. Maybe something by Jimi Hendrix like “May This Be Love.” I wouldn’t say it’s the best guitar solo ever, but it comes to mind as a really wonderful solo. CB: Johnny Winter, your fellow Texan, just passed away. Do you have any thoughts about him or fond memories? EJ: I got to meet him when I was a teenager and he was always really nice and complimentary to me. I was really surprised to hear that he had passed away because I had heard that he was doing a lot better and (was) healthy and on the upswing. It came as a sad surprise. CB: I had just seen him at JazzFest in New Orleans in May. He played great and looked healthy. I was shocked as well. EJ: Yeah I didn’t expect it at all because he was doing so well.  CB: Is there a group of people or person that was most influential to you or helpful to you during your early career days? EJ: Well, when I started in my very early career, Johnny Winter said some nice things about me and that helped me a lot. Steve Morse from the Dixie Dregs helped me out. Christopher Cross kind of helped get things going, and getting to play with Carole King and Cat Stevens — that was a real and official help to me. CB: It’s so different now for bands trying to make it. Do you have any thoughts on if it’s easier or tougher now for bands that want to play music? EJ: I think it’s a lot tougher. People are reluctant to pay for music and there are so many bands out now. With the use of the internet and YouTube, anybody can be creative, which is good in a way. If you want to have a career, you have to have something pretty dynamic and unique that is captivating to people.  CB: Last time I saw you perform was on the Experience Hendrix Tour. I have seen that show a couple times. What was the highlight of the tour for you? EJ: Different ones. I remember the first ones I did, it was playing with Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell. Then Mitch passed away. Getting to hang out with Billy Cox is really a great thing. I liked Doyle Bramhall’s set, and getting to play with all those musicians is a treat. CB: What do you do with your down time when you are out on the road? EJ: I just chill out or practice or take hikes and explore the city. I hang out with friends or family if they happen to be in the town I am in. CB: Do you have any Cincinnati stories from the past when you have played here? EJ: I have always enjoyed playing there. I have a couple close friends from Ohio. I have gone and hung out around the rivers and stuff. Cincinnati has some really great music shops there as well.CB: What can fans expect from your show here at the Taft? EJ: We are doing a couple re-workings of tunes I like to play. We change them up so much they are kind of their own deal. I have this live record that just came out, Live in Europe, and I will do some of those songs, but I will do some new tunes and some re-workings of old tunes and tunes by other people. It will kind of be a cross-section of different stuff. CB: Are you constantly working on new music or do you take breaks? EJ: I try to constantly work on it, some kind of thing, whether collaboration with somebody else or playing on somebody else’s recording or something on my own. CB: I know you started out doing a lot of sessions early in your career. Do you do any sessions now or work with any other artists? EJ: Yeah, pretty much all the time. I do one a month at least. CB: Are there any current bands that you would like to collaborate with or work with from a live music standpoint? EJ: I’ll tell you a lot of different things I like. I dig that band Explosions in the Sky. I like Grizzly Bear. I think they are great. Tallest Man on Earth is a great Folk singer as well.
 
 

Bond of Brothers

Dave and Phil Alvin find 'Common Ground' in Big Bill Broonzy

0 Comments · Monday, July 21, 2014
Dave and Phil Alvin hadn't made an album together since Dave left The Blasters in the mid-’80s. But their longtime mutual love for Blues icon Big Bill Broonzy recently brought them back together for a new full-length, Common Ground.  
by Amy Harris 07.03.2014
Posted In: Live Music, Interview at 09:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Q&A with Andy Grammer

Pop singer/songwriter plays Covington’s Madison Theater this Saturday

Andy Grammer has a unique blend of musical talent, meshing his piano and guitar playing skills, smooth vocals and Hip Hop-like hooks to get crowds across the world fired up. Since his self-titled debut album in 2011, he has found great success through radio airplay and tours with the likes of Train, Natasha Bedingfield, and Colbie Caillat. Grammer is now embarking on his first headlining tour, which brings him to Covington’s Madison Theater this Saturday. The tour stop will be your chance to see Grammer in an intimate venue setting and see him up close and personal as he delivers his hits. (Click here for tickets and show info.)CityBeat: What can the fans expect from the new album coming in August?Andy Grammer: They can expect a lot of different vibes. I took a lot of chances sonically on this one. There is some acoustic stuff. There is one that sounds to me a little like Imagine Dragons meets Kanye. There is one that sounds like an MGMT track. There is one sounds like an old Lauryn Hill jam. I just made sure the songs were, in my opinion great, and I had a blast with the stuff I am really into right now.CB: The album is called Magazines or Novels. Is there a story behind the title?AG: It’s like how we ingest music these days. We are very ADD. A lot of times we just read through it, like magazines — tear through it, then throw it away. My goal was that not to be the case with this record. I built like 100 songs. I wrote the first 50 and realized I had a lot more magazines than novels, so I wrote another 50 and I think it is really good, actually. I am really excited about this album.CB: What is your songwriting process?AG: My process is more like … (chase) something all the way to the end and then step back and see if it is any good. Sometimes it is and, more often than not, it is not. I have to write a whole hell of a lot to get the jams I’m real proud to have on the album.CB: You have had several huge hits on radio in your career. Do you know right away when you have a hit on your hands when writing?AG: I don’t. I really don’t. That’s what is so confusing about it. I wouldn’t write it unless I thought it was great. I write it and am super stoked about it. As time goes by I can kind of tell whether it’s going to hold up. CB: Do you have people close to you that can give you the feedback?AG: Yeah, my manager and I pretty much are the ones that make the decision.CB: What is the best and the worst thing about being on the road for you?AG: We are doing shows that are like half old stuff and half new stuff and the fans will be really into it. The worst thing about being on tour is finding food that is good. It is pretty difficult to do, to find good food. It is easier to find McDonald’s and then you fall into (it) and feel bad. The best part of this tour, specifically, is playing new songs and seeing the fans react to it. It’s really exciting.CB: I have seen you play in Cincinnati when you opened for Train. Do you have any specific Cincinnati tour memories that you remember or fun things in Cincinnati you like to do?AG: Fans in Ohio are the best. Any show in Ohio, fans know how to have a good time, they party harder than anyone else at shows. It’s real. I’m not sure you know that about yourselves. I have toured around the whole country and it is just better in Ohio.CB: Have you ever been starstruck?AG: Sure. When I met Sara Bareilles I was a little bit starstruck and I don’t even know why. I really liked her and was excited to meet her.CB: Is there anybody you want to collaborate with, maybe a different genre of music?AG: I would like to do a song where I did the hook and Macklemore did the rap. I think that would be dope. CB: Do you have a favorite guitar that you like to play?AG: Yeah, Taylor is my jam. They hook me up with guitars and they sound amazing.CB: Is there one specifically? Some people have one guitar. I saw one person last week with one they had played so much they had worn a hole in it.AG: I don’t have that. I bust them up a lot and I have to get them fixed. I have also had this thing where I have had like three of my guitars stolen out of my car in L.A., and I don’t live in a terrible place. I think someone is on to me.CB: I guess you shouldn’t get attached then. Well, what can the fans expect when you come through Cincinnati. I know you said you were playing half old and half new material, but what can the fans expect from your headlining show?AG: Expect to see a little bit different light. One song has a vocoder on it. There is a little more high energy stuff. I am really excited. High energy is, in my opinion, better.
 
 
by Mike Breen 06.06.2014
 
 
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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.
 
 

Superheaven (formerly Daylight) with Sheet Ghost, Chalk and Armslength

Thursday • Southgate House Revival

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Just a few weeks ago, Daylight was out on the road with Bayside, Four Year Strong and Cincinnati’s very own Mixtapes, tearing things up good and proper and getting great notices for their efforts. Apparently, lawyers were paying particular attention, as well.    

Blitzen Trapper with The Parkington Sisters

Monday • Southgate House Revival

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 28, 2014
“Feel the Chill,” the first song on Blitzen Trapper’s latest, 2013’s succinctly titled VII, finds the Portland, Ore., outfit in new territory — it sounds like Kid Rock doing Mellow Gold-era Beck covers, its funky beats, harmonica flourishes and Southern-fried guitar lines almost enough to inspire dance-floor movement.  

Annie Sellick

Thursday and Friday • Blue Wisp Jazz Club

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Talented Jazz vocalist Annie Sellick returns to Cincinnati this week for three shows at the Blue Wisp with her trio (drummer Chris Brown, bassist Jerry Navarro and pianist Chris Walters).   

Kid Ink with King Los and Bizzy Crook

Saturday • Bogart’s

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Early last year, Kid Ink signed with RCA which resulted in a flurry of activity, including his slamming singles “Bad Ass” and “Money and the Power” from his well-received EP Almost Home.   

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