WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by mbreen 09.13.2012
Posted In: Reviews, Live Music, Festivals at 11:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Daily MPMFer: Two Week Countdown Begins

The first of two weeks' worth of daily recommendations for 2012's MidPoint Music Festival

The official MidPoint Music Festival guide, featuring preview blurbs on all 186 artists performing at this year's fest, is on the streets now to help make your MPMF.12 itinerary-planning a little easier. Yesterday, when the issue had just come out, I already had a handful of people asking me who my top picks were for the fest. Writing and/or reading and editing 186 paragraphs about 186 bands does things to your mind that I can't even explain, so I had to beg off. But I'm ready now.Starting today, exactly two weeks before MPMF.12 kicks off in the venues of Over-the-Rhine and Downtown, we're beginning the "Daily MPMFer," a daily dose of recommendations for who to see at the festival, should you have a hole in your personal schedule. We'll post three blurbs a day — one about a bigger, more known act, one about a slightly more under-the-radar "sleeper" and one about a local band. I'll also add a song sample or music video to each to give MPMF-goers an even better sense of the artists' talents. (The blurbs were written by myself, the legendary Brian Baker and scrappy up-and-comer Deirdre Kaye, both of whom were hugely helpful compiling our beast of a guide this year.) There are so many great performers at this year's fest, we probably won't get to all the worthy contenders, but we'll get you started (you have to do some exploring on your own). And, when in doubt, always go with the artist with "(Cincinnati, OH)" next to their name; all of our hometown MPMFers are worthy of your attention. Be sure to grab a guide (there should be plenty floating around come fest time) and start mapping out your long weekend of music. We'll also add any MPMF updates — crucial or otherwise — in these "Daily MPMFers," to keep you abreast of the latest developments. You can also click here for our MPMF hub on citybeat.com, with feature stories, MPMF-related tweets and more. Today's big news — three-day wristbands are selling quick and may well sell out. Be sure to grab yours immediately for the best pricing deal (limited one-day tickets will be $50 or you can pay individual cover charges which will add up quickly). Click here for more ticket info. BIG SHOTHospitality (Brooklyn, NY)Indie Pop Driven by the singular Pop song stylings of Amber Papini, Hospitality first caught attention with a lo-fi, untitled EP, which garnered a rare glowing review from Pitchfork. The band signed with legendary Indie Rock label Merge and released its self-titled full-length debut for the label earlier this year. At its core, Hospitality’s music has some of the primal vibe of early ’90s K Records releases, but the sophisticated arrangements wrapped around Papini’s compellingly unique voice give the album a depth those artists were rarely capable of. You'll Dig It If You Dig: Ivy, Tennis, Barbara Manning, Tiger Trap. (Mike Breen)Hospitality performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, on the Grammer's/Dewey's Pizza stage. Check out the band's emotionally-heavy new video for the track "Eighth Avenue." Hospitality - Eighth Avenue from Merge Records on Vimeo.SLEEPER PICKKitten (Los Angeles, CA)Indie Electro PopKitten frontwoman Chloe Chaidez grew up on Classic Rock and CMJ compilation CDs thanks to a tuned-in father who once drummed for Punk bands in L.A. Chaidez had her first band by the time she was 10 and by 12 she was opening for artists like Midlake and Bright Eyes. She had a false-start entry into the music biz when she was almost derailed by drinking and drugging, but she quickly righted the ship and got back on a sober track, crafting the music that would become Kitten’s recently released EP, Cut It Out, for Atlantic Records. The album mixes New Wave electronics, driving guitars and Chaidez’s stellar Pop songwriting abilities for a sound hip enough for the cool kids but catchy enough to fit right in with a lot of today’s Top 40 offerings. Dig: The Ting Tings and Teagan and Sara on the dancefloor, Grimes. (MB)Kitten performs at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, on the Know Theater/Biore Strip main stage. Here's the video for the title track of Kitten's new EP. LOCAL LOCK PICKAutomagik (Cincinnati, OH)Indie RockIt’s been a couple of years since Automagik dropped their eponymous debut full-length, and it’s way past time for the Cincinnati highwire rockers to birth its follow up. With helium-tinged vocals, glammy guitars and a Viking rhythm section reminiscent of The Darkness and Queen, Automagik has found the perfect balance of Garage Rock swagger, ’70s Rock bluster, New Wave quirk and Indie Rock anthemics, creating a jet-fueled sonic explosion that sounds eerily familiar and wildly original. Presumably, Automagik has worked up new material, but can they top the sugar rush head chill of “Brain Freeze” or the Rock operatics of “Paper Heart”? Show up, drink the Kool-Aid and be converted.Dig: Foxy Shazam if they’d been more obsessed with Weezer than Queen, and yet devoted to both. Queezer? (Brian Baker)Automagik performs Friday, Sept. 28, at Below Zero Lounge. Here's the very cool, dizzying video for "Teleportation Blues." Click here for full MPMF details via the official MidPoint site.
 
 

Something Old, Something New

Newly renovated OTR historical landmarks offer function, charm to MPMF.12

1 Comment · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Dan McCabe’s been keeping a close eye on the transformation of Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park since last October. MidPoint Music Festival’s executive producer talks about the park and the renovated Emery Theatre becoming a part of the increasingly OTR-supportive fest.   

Welcome to the Film Belt!

MidPoint Film Festival presents local and international indie filmmaking talent

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
For the first time ever, in the historic Over-the-Rhine district, Indie rockers and indie filmmakers are coming together for one festival. The School for Creative and Performing Arts (108 W. Central Parkway) will be the home of the MidPoint Film Festival (MPFF), which is the official film component of the MidPoint Music Festival (MPMF).  
by Mike Breen 08.31.2012
 
 
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Music Tonight: Wussy, R. Ring, Rob Base and More

Your long weekend begins with quality live music options in Downtown/Over-the-Rhine

• Downtown at Arnold's tonight (Friday), catch influential cult hero Paleface, a man who has been on the cutting edge of contemporary music's continual fascination with traditional Folk music and an influence on some of the more adventurous musicians who seek to translate that vintage spirit into their own voice. Over the past 20-plus years, the singer/songwriter has been an Anti Folk torchbearer and an Indie Folk mentor, first learning songwriting and lo-fi recordings from underground legend Daniel Johnston in the late ’80s. From there he went on to teach a few tricks to roommate Beck (pre-fame), help the so-called "Freak Folk" scene grow freakier and folkier and collaborate frequently with pals The Avett Brothers. Whether directly or indirectly, if you dig today's "Indie Folk" — or any brand of slanted or subversive Americana — you've likely heard the results of Paleface's unique influence. Click here to read more.Paleface's show tonight at Arnold's is free and — icing on the cake — great local Folk Pop group Shiny and the Spoon opens the show at 9 p.m. The gig will also be the first one for which Arnold's has commissioned a special concert poster. Crafted by talented local artist Keith Neltner (who has done commissioned poster art for Alice in Chains, Modest Mouse, Hank Williams III, The Avett Brothers, Cake, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and many others), the prints (pictured above) are available for $25 while they last (only 50 were pressed). Here's Paleface's video for his ode to NYC, fittingly titled "New York, New York." UPDATE: Arnold's just announced this afternoon that Paleface has cancelled due to illness. A rescheduled date is in the works. Shiny and the Spoon is still performing. • After the best summer series yet, the final MidPoint Indie Summer concert on Fountain Square goes down tonight at 7 p.m. And the every-Friday series is going out with a bang, featuring a flawless triple bill of local acts. Things get started with superb modern Soul translators The Guitars, who will be followed by the duo R. Ring, featuring Dayton, Ky.'s Mike Montgomery (longtime local engineer ad musician, currently with Ampline) and Dayton, Ohio's Kelley Deal (The Breeders). R. Ring spoke with CityBeat's Brian Baker about the project in this week's paper. Read it online here. Headlining tonight's Fountain Square concert is Wussy, the now-veteran four-piece that is gearing up for some huge happenings on the horizon, including tour dates with The Afghan Whigs and Heartless Bastards and a trip to the U.K. by co-frontpeople/singer/guitarists Lisa Walker and Chuck Cleaver (playing as a duo) for several shows in support of the band's first U.K. release, Buckeye, a retrospective that came out to glowing reviews this summer. Read more about Wussy's many goings on here. Here's the skate video by Kristian Svitak that R. Ring helped re-soundtrack. After DEVO's record label removed the video because it used the group's song "Mr. DNA," Svitak got together to record a new version with Deal and Montgomery. The song in the re-edited video was so popular, R. Ring released it as a limited edition single and local label Phratry Records released it digitally. (Click here to get your own copy.) • Popular local Gypsy Jazz favorites and Django Reinhardt devotees The Faux Frenchmen celebrate the group's 10th anniversary tonight with a show at downtown's Blue Wisp Jazz Club. A decade ago this fall, the band (which features esteemed local musicians George Cunningham, Brian Lovely, Paul Patterson and Don Aren) made its debut, starting an every-Monday residency at former Clifton restaurant Tink's. Over the years, the band has only gotten more popular, drawing attention from outside of Cincinnati and performing numerous road dates (this fall they return for their sixth appearance at the annual Jazz at Chautauqua Festival in New York).  The band's anniversary show begins at 8:30 p.m. and admission is $10. Here's a clip from the Frenchmen performing on another anniversary — Reinhardt's birthday (taken from one of their annual appearances on WNKU in honor of Django).• The performers for the weekly "Friday Flow" concerts at Washington Park are always a bit of a surprise because the lineups have been announced within only a week or two of the performances. It's also a surprise because the featured act is usually something pleasantly unexpected. Dayton Funk greats Lakeside ("Fantastic Voyage") popped up one week and Neo Soul star Dwele launched the series this summer. Tonight's free Friday Flow concert is another cool, unanticipated treat. Just announced earlier this week, the show will feature R&B singer Chrisette Michele, a Hip Hop hook-singer extraordinaire (with Jay-Z, Nas, The Game and others) who has also had a successful career on her own, releasing a handful of acclaimed, charting albums for Def Jam. The other headliner is Rob Base, a Hip Hop artist most know from his 1988 hit with DJ E-Z Rock, "It Takes Two." Because of the volleyball tournament in Washington Park tonight, gates for the concert won't open until 7:30 p.m. Another change from the usual Friday Flow flow (also due to volleyball) — no food, drinks or coolers will be permitted (this weekend only). Extra food vendors will be on hand to feed the masses. Click here for even more live music events going on tonight in Greater Cincy.
 
 
by Jac Kern 08.31.2012
Posted In: Events, Eats, Drinking at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 8/21-9/3

Labor Day weekend is upon us, and even though the weather may stay hot through October, it represents our kiss goodbye to summer. Fire up the grill, bust out the margaritas and find your prime spot to watch Sunday’s WEBN fireworks because no matter which side of the river you’re cheering from, there are tons of events to cram in this long weekend. Swing by Washington Park sometime Friday-Sunday to check out the AVP Cincinnati Open. Pro beach volleyball players straight from the London Olympics compete daily to qualify for the 2012 AVP Championships in Santa Barbara, Calif. Tickets run $15-20. The MidPoint Indie Summer Series wraps up Friday night with Wussy, R. Ring and The Guitars playing Fountain Square, 7-11 p.m. We’re officially four weeks away from the main event: MPMF Sept. 27-29. Do you have your wristband yet? You should get on that. Enjoy Friday’s blue moon with a group ride organized by The Urban Basin Bicycle Club. Meet at outside Know Theater by 8:30 p.m. and enjoy a short, flat ride around Over-the-Rhine and Downtown. Deck yourself and your ride out with battery-powered lights, sparkles and other shiny materials to keep this ride fun and safe for everyone. Final Friday means OTR’s galleries, bars, restaurants and shops will be a-buzz all night. After you’ve gotten your arts and drinks fix, be sure to check out the Night Owl Market at the parking lot at Main Street and Central Parkway. Food vendors will be serving up tasty goodness from 10 p.m.-3 a.m., in addition to shopping and more late-night fun. Read more about the new monthly market here. Has it been a while since you made the voyage north to Harveysburg for the Ohio Renaissance Festival? The epic old-timey fair returns this weekend, and it’s way more than what you probably remembered as a kid. The 30-acre, re-created 16th century English village is chock-full of jousting, mud fights and fire-breathers, games, rides and shopping, plus more food and booze than you can shake a giant turkey leg at! The fest is open 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Monday and weekends through Oct. 21. Huzzah! While, apparently, many find the Ren Fest to be a romantic outing, maybe you're looking for a different suggestion for date night. Fountain Square hosts the Guinness Oyster Fest Saturday. What, oyster speed-eating contests don’t rev your engine? Well, the slippery mollusks are known to be an aphrodisiac. So chow down on raw and cooked oyster dishes from area restaurants and enjoy plenty of Guinness and live music from 5-10 p.m. The lovely little town of Rabbit Hash in Burlington celebrates its 33rd annual Old Timer’s Day Saturday. The “center of the universe” promises a day of live music, yummy grub, a “barnival” for kids and endless river views. Leave the coolers at home — the General Store is stocked with all the snacks, pop and beer you’ll need (plus countless rustic knick knacks you’ll want to take home). Visit the mayor (Lucy Lou, a border collie) and walk through the picturesque community 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
 
 

A Class of Her Own

Elizabeth Harper takes Synth Pop to new level with collaborative group, Class Actress

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Before Elizabeth Harper fronted Class Actress, she had majored in drama in college and moved to Los Angeles to follow her acting dream, but found herself disillusioned. After relocating to Brooklyn, N.Y., Harper shifted her passion from the music of drama to the drama of music.   
by Mike Breen 08.10.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 01:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Free Eclectic MidPoint Indie Summer Show Tonight

Sleeper pick for the best Fountain Square show of the summer

Tonight's free, all-ages MidPoint Indie Summer concert on Fountain Square is certainly one of the most eclectic ever … and may turn out to be one of the best ever. Exhibit A: Openers Sidewalk Chalk at 7 p.m.Chicago's Sidewalk Chalk have opened for De La Soul and ?uestlove, and Lupe Fiasco majorly shouted-them-out on his Twitter and Facebook pages. The band is described as "a hip-hop, soul, jazz octet that consists of a singer, emcee, drummer, bass, trombone, trumpet, keys player, and a tap dancer."Here's the music video for Sidewalk Chalk's "Water Song" from the group's album Corner Store.  Exhibit B: Middle-slot performers Kansas Bible Company at 8:15 p.m. From nearby Goshen, Ind. (currently working out of Nashville), KBC has wowed Cincy crowds a few times in the past year or so. The dynamic Soul/Jazz/Rock band trumps Sidewalk Chalk's mere eight-person membership, featuring "a five-man horn line, three guitars, two percussionists and one bass."Dig this video for the great KBC tune "How to Build A Planet" from their album Ad Astra Per Aspera (rough translation: A rough road leads to the stars).Exhibit C: Headliners A Place to Bury Strangers at 9:30 p.m. Another frequent visitor to Cincy, the NYC-based APTBS are like a more abrasive, modern update of Jesus & Mary Chain's Psychocandy album. Guitar nuts can also bathe in some cool guitar sounds courtesy of the band's own line of effect pedals. (Read Reyan Ali's interview with the band for CityBeat from this past March here.)Here is a video from A Place to Bury Strangers' recently released Worship album, "You Are The One." (Mildly NSFW clip.)
 
 
by Jac Kern 07.27.2012
at 10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
to do_night owl market_provided

Your Weekend To Do List: 7/27-7/29

It’s T-Shirt time, and I’m not talking about juiced a-holes in Jersey. Cincy Apparel’s T-Shirt Market is in full effect on Fountain Square until 11 p.m. Friday night. Stock up on tees made by local designers, and plenty emblazoned with Cincinnati inside jokes, landmarks and product logos. Park + Vine, Donkey Tees and Cinci Shirts are just a few vendors hawking tees. And while you’re on the square, hang around for MidPoint Indie Summer (7-11 p.m.) with Orgone, The Cliftones and Eclipse Movement. After all that shoppin’ and dancin’ and drinkin’, you’re going to need some fourth meal action. Head over to the inaugural Night Owl Market, at the corner of Main Street and Central Parkway, for a late-night food fest. The Final Friday event, appropriately abbreviated ”NOM,” will feature food trucks and booths serving tasty local eats from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m. Three a.m.! Get your fill from Café de Wheels, C’est Cheese, Fireside Pizza, Cincy Bag Ladies and plenty more. There will also be artists, retail vendors and live music from The Pinstripes. Macy’s Music Festival celebrates 50 years of bringing R&B, Jazz, Hip Hop and Soul music to the Tri-State. Tom Joyner, Zay Foggs, Monica, The O’Jays and many others will perform at Paul Brown Stadium Friday and Saturday. Outside the concert, on Freedom Way between Elm and Vine streets, Festival513 keeps the good times comin’ with lots of food, street vendors, art and more, 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday. Tickets to Macy’s Music Festival are still available for $48-$88. UC DAAP professor Henry Navarro and a group of the college’s students and grads have been working on a fashion-art project at Bromwell’s Gallery downtown. Influenced by the city — architecture, culture, landscape and local residents — the team has created a Cincy-centric line of wearable art. Grey Cincinnati debuts Saturday night at Prairie Gallery in Northside. Check out fashions designed to inspire and empower Cincinnatians across demographics. The fashion show kicks off at 9 p.m. Chris Colfer, known best to many as Kurt from Glee, will be in town Sunday to promote his new children’s book, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell. The 22-year-old Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner found time between takes on the Fox hit to write a modern-day fairy tale, aimed at kids ages 8 and older. He will sign the book at 3:30 p.m. at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion. Check out our To Do page for more suggestions on arts, events, concerts and theater shows to check out.
 
 
by Mike Breen 07.19.2012
 
 
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MidPoint Indie Summer with The Ridges and More

Athens, Ohio Indie Folk troupe unveils "commerical" for free Friday Fountain Square show

Tomorrow evening on Fountain Square will be dry! I promise, or I'll personally refund your ticket money. This week's installment of the free MidPoint Indie Summer concert series on the Square features another solid bill. Joining in on the fun Friday is rootsy Indie Rock crew and Bloodshot recording artists Ha Ha Tonka, the eclectic Izzy and the Catastrophics (read more here) and our pals from great Athens, Ohio-born Indie Chamber Folk group, The Ridges. The Ridges (MPMF vets) usually add a great personal touch to their area gigs by making cool little commercials for the event (which we've featured several times in the past). Tomorrow's show is no different. Check their latest "ad" and then click here to listen to more tunes from The Ridges. Friday's MidPoint Indie Summer show starts at 7 p.m. Here's a taste of Ha Ha Tonka, via the music video for the group's "Lonely Fortunes" from last year's Death of a Decade.And here's a wild video from Izzy and Co. for the song "Mi Bailarina."
 
 
by Mike Breen 07.12.2012
 
 
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MPMF.12 Washington Park Schedule Taking Shape

Individual tickets for new venue's MPMF headliner concerts on sale now

The newly remodeled, freshly reopened Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine is shaping up to be one of the hottest music venues in the city. Last evening, the every-Wednesday "Bandstand Bluegrass" series kicked off with Jake Speed and the Freddies; tonight is the debut of the park's every-Thursday "Jazz in the Park" series (7 p.m., with Chris Comer and Napoleon Maddox of IsWhat?!); and tomorrow marks the debut of the R&B/Soul "Friday Flow" concerts, which will take place each Friday and begin with an appearance by fantastic Neo Soul singer Dwele (Selectas Choice DJs Rare Groove, Apryl Reign and DJ Pillo, as well as Under New Orders and Darris Sneed & The Pulse also perform at the 7 p.m. event).And today it was announced that three of the biggest acts announced for September's MidPoint Music Festival will perform at Washington Park's new MPMF stage. A total of four acts will perform each night at the Park stage. The Washington Park shows will be accessible to those with MPMF All Music Access Passes or VIP Passes, or with "a la carte" individual tickets, which are on sale now. Andrew Bird headlines the Washington Park stage on Thursday, Sept. 27. Tickets for that show only are $25. Grizzly Bear is the main MPMF act on the stage for Friday, Sept. 28 (single tickets: $30) and Sleigh Bells headlines the stage Saturday, Sept. 29 ($30). Click here for your ticketing options. Early Bird All Music Access and Loyalty Presale tickets are sold out. A limited number of All Music Access Passes ($69) and VIP Passes presented by CVG ($169) are still available.
 
 

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