Avant-garde cult hero Lydia Lunch hits the road with a live retrospective of her provocative music career
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Here’s a clear sign the apocalypse is
coming: Lydia Lunch is touring North America, especially the Midwest,
with her Retrovirus band and show.
0 Comments · Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Country Music can be slippery territory for musical theater:
It deals with primal emotions, lost love, heartbreak and gettin’ even. That might
make for a powerful musical.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Events
at 11:19 AM | Permalink
Two annual festivals
descend on the Ohio River this weekend: Paddlefest and RoeblingFest. The 13th
annual Ohio River Paddlefest takes over Coney Island — and the nearby river —
Friday through Sunday, bringing hundreds of canoes, kayaks, boats and lovers of
the outdoors. The weekend kicks off with the ninth annual Kids Outdoor
Adventure Expo on Friday (9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). The Paddlefest Outdoor Expo and Roots on the River Music Festival runs 10
a.m.-midnight Saturday and the main event is Sunday, where more than 1400
human-powered boats will take the trip from Coney to the Public Landing
downtown. Go here for daily event lineups.
is in its 10th year of celebrating the John A. Roebling Bridge, which connects
downtown Cincinnati with Covington, Ky. The festival first and foremost
highlights the bridge’s historic relevance, and guests can take guided tours of
the bridge and surrounding murals, landmarks and statues as well as browse
informational displays with photos and artifacts from area museums and
organizations. There will also be art for sale, children’s activities, food
from local restaurants and live music, all from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
The fun takes place on Court Street between Third and Fourth streets and Park
Place between Scott and Greenup streets. Find more info here.
Indie Summer is in full swing. This week’s acts include Those Darlins, The
Harlequins, The Frankl Project and Those Crosstown Rivals. Music starts at 7
p.m. Friday on Fountain Square. If you don’t have your MPMF wristbands yet,
purchase those on the square and get access to all these killer acts.
Summer Solstice is
Saturday, and the Cincinnati Observatory is offering a unique way to ring in
the season. Visitors can enjoy wine, snacks and a killer view during Celestial
Sips 8-10:30 p.m. Saturday. Shannon Depenbrock of D.E.P.’s Fine Wines will
sample four organic, biodynamic wines (which means the grapes are planted and
harvested according to the moon’s phases) and, pending clear skies, guests can
view Saturn’s rings through America’s first telescope. Tickets are $60 and
space is limited; call 513-321-5186 or go here
Cincinnati Opera’s season
opener Carmen continues through this
weekend. Performances are Friday and Sunday. Get tickets and full summer
opera season information here.
The U.S. takes on Portugal in
their second World Cup game this Sunday. Fans can join Cincinnati Saints, the
city’s pro soccer team, at Fountain Square
to watch the game on the jumbo screen, listen to music and enjoy food and beer
from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. Read this week’s cover
story on the Cup here.
For more art openings, parties, festivals and other
stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks,
full calendar and Rick
for weekend theater offerings.
Task force floats new plan to renovate two Cincinnati landmarks
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Two of Cincinnati’s most famous buildings
make appearances on postcards, in logos and anywhere else symbols
representing the city are needed. But in real life, they’re slowly
crumbling as the region tries to figure out who will pay for their
by Jake Grieco
at 02:55 PM | Permalink
like drying piss and old beer on the back deck of Northside’s The Comet. The
air is filled with the dull thud of a concert beating up against the walls.
shows at The Comet every night and people piss and drink there every night, and
John Hoffman and Dylan McCartney are there just about every night. Tonight they’re
just here to get drunk, but usually they’re the center of attention.
McCartney are in emerging Cincinnati Punk band Sleeves. Hoffman calls the
band’s sound American Apparel Punk. Their debut EP Sex is Stupid can be downloaded for free here.
They’re a three-piece made up of Hoffman on lead guitar, McCartney on drums and
Alex Collins on bass. Hoffman and McCartney both sing, and they both end up on
the ground and sometimes injured by the end of their shows.
has an active Do-It-Yourself music scene and Hoffman and McCartney are major
players in it. They organize and play shows and Hoffman even records, masters
and puts together records for other bands.
played at The Comet, but most of the band’s shows aren’t held in traditional
music venues but houses.
all over the city are opening their basements, living rooms, decks and kitchens
to musicians that want to do what they love wherever they can do it.
remember the super visceral feeling I got from walking into my first house
show,” Hoffman says. “It was just like ‘Where the hell am I? I’ve never seen
anything cooler than this.’ I finally felt comfortable in a public space.”
outside, a house show looks uncomfortable. There are usually four or five
terrifyingly big and tattooed guys stoically staring and bobbing their head to
the music. Mosh pits break out constantly, and beer gets all over everyone no
matter what, but it’s the closest thing to a bohemian utopia in Cincinnati —
anything can happen.
show, there was a point where everyone was crowd surfing just so they could tag
the ceiling with spray paint,” Hoffman says. “It became a group effort where
everyone was holding people up so they could tag the ceiling. That house was a
say they probably didn’t get their deposit back,” McCartney added.
malice in these ways of destruction and these different looking people. They
worked together to tag the ceiling — vandalism — but with teamwork, so it’s OK.
The terrifying gentlemen are the first to help anyone up who gets knocked over.
For every beer that’s dumped, 10 more are handed out. All the dirt, grunge and
basement gunk are exactly what Cincinnati’s DIY bands need. The bands are good
enough for big venues, but something is lost when people have to pay to get in,
pay to drink and pay to eat and they can’t go outside for a cigarette and walk
back in without getting hassled.
band [Mardou] played at Bogart’s once and it was the worst show of my whole
life,” McCartney says. “I’ve had shows which were one-twentieth the amount of
people, at a house or something, and it was so much more fun to me. You connect
to people at a show like that and they connect to you.”
are intimate. There’s usually only an inch between you and the mic stand, but
the intimacy comes from more than just close proximity. Certain houses become
“venues” all on their own by regularly hosting shows — like The Outhouse in
Clifton Heights and The Last House on the Left on Kirby Avenue in Northside. Communities
form around these bands and houses, and people that feel like they didn’t fit
in anywhere can find a home in someone else’s house. It’s an Island of Misfit
Toys that serves Skyline chili.
“At the end
of the day, I think it’s just an arts community — or a weirdos community,”
show is Tuesday, June 24, in the basement of Lucy Blue Main Street location in
Over-the-Rhine. Find details here.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 11, 2014
The Northside Music Festival, presented
by Cincinnati design/branding/promotional company We Have Become
Vikings, returns this week for its seventh annual event. For the first
time, the fest will extend to two days, offering free, (mostly) local
music on three stages at the Northside Tavern (northside-tavern.com)
Friday and Saturday nights.
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
at 01:28 PM | Permalink
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
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
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.
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
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.
posts information on a Facebook event page.
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.
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.
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.