local bands

Provided, Second Sunday on Main

2014 marks the ninth season of Second Sunday on Main, the eclectic monthly street festival located in historic Over-the-Rhine. The first event of the season is Sunday, June 8 from noon to 5 PM with the theme “Main Street Block Party.” 

Aside from the many local vendors, food trucks, street performers and specials available from area shops, galleries, and restaurants, there will be an abundance of great local music.

shinyandthespoon.wordpress.com

I've been doing this local music review gig for almost a year now and I have learned that trying to produce one piece each week can be a very interesting challenge.  

It seems like just about every band in town locks themselves away throughout the winter to hibernate in their separate recording studios and to work on a new release.  Then in spring, like the crocuses, daffodils and irises in my wife's flower garden, there is suddenly a colorful explosion of new music and I find myself weeks - if not months - behind in reviewing some band's 'new' release.

Such is the case with Shiny and the Spoon's Box of Bullets.

There is a new live music venue coming to the downtown area that will be doing things a little bit differently.

The DownTowne Listening Room, located in in the historic Shillito building (151 West 7th Street), is a place where people can turn off their phones and turn on to the music.

Leggy: Cavity Castle

May 20, 2014
leggy.bandcamp.com

If you happen to be into super-sexy, lo-fi, swank-rock, then dust off your go-go boots and get a taste of the brand-spanking-new release by Leggy called Cavity Castle.

Sun Pedal Recordings

Welcome to Spring in Cincinnati - a time that rejuvenates the soul and beckons the continuation of treasured traditions: Opening Day, Zoo Babies, The Butterfly Show at Krohn Conservatory, The Flying Pig Marathon and Record Store Day, to name just a few. To me, springtime in Cincinnati means that it is time to get ready for another awesome release by Buffalo Killers.  

As one of the hardest working bands around, every time Buffalo Killers enters the recording studio, they pretty much already have the album finished in their heads; and getting it down on tape is a mere formality. Likewise, every time they record, they seem to just get better and better.

Sleeves: Sex is Stupid

May 6, 2014

Sleeves is the latest "insta-band" from Cincinnati.  What is an insta-band?

Shawn Abnoxious from the music blog Thwart describes it best when we writes, "insta-bands are those bands that seemingly pop-up overnight without warning... a sort of shock and awe version of a band."

Comprador: Voyeur

Apr 29, 2014

This is a review for Voyeur, the 4-song EP by Cincinnati's Comprador. But first, a little historical perspective...

Sometimes, four is boring.

theinfinityball.com

It's the same old story... boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy mopes until his buddies can't take it anymore and drag him out for guy's night.  Later, boy meets new girl, boy's psycho ex-girlfriend screws things up, boy contemplates love and Mexican food...we've all been there before.

This is the story line for the album Saturday Night just released by Cincinnati's The Infinity Ball.

facebook.com/tweencity

Happy Record Store Day everyoneToday is the day we celebrate our local independent music retailers - and Greater Cincinnati has some amazing ones.  

If you are downtown and are looking for some great local music then I recommend you seek out my friends at Rock Paper Scissors.  If your tastes are a bit more eclectic then Shake-it Records is probably for you.  But if vinyl is king of your collection you might also want to try out Black Plastic Records in Northside or Everybody's Records in Pleasant Ridge.  South of the river you can also find Phil's Records - which is where I started my music education as a young whippersnapper - and Torn Light Records in Newport for stuff you might not find anywhere else.

In honor of Record Store Day, I wanted to do a special review and I wanted to use this occasion to celebrate a local band that has completely exploded onto the world stage but who still have pride in their Queen City roots.  I'm talking about Tweens.

Update: Tweens will be performing a special Record Store Day show at Shake-it Records today (April 19) at 8pm.

myfountainsquare.com

The 2014 MidPoint Indie Summer lineup has been announced.  The free, outdoor concert series organized by 3CDC and sponsored by the MidPoint Music Festival takes place Friday nights May 30 through August 29 on Fountain Square and features many of the bands that make the local music scene great.

State Song: Sleepcrawling

Apr 15, 2014

Cincinnati's Phratry Records has a reputation for teaming up with artists who embrace the seedier side of music.  Many of the bands on their label [AmplineMala in Se, Knife the Symphony, Smoke Signals..., Swear Jar, etc.] engage in highly-aggressive, effects-and-noise driven music that some critics pigeonhole as 'post-punk.'

Listeners unfamiliar with the band State Song will probably be surprised to find that this band shares the same label.  However, even those who are familiar with State Song will be floored when they get their first taste of Sleepcrawling.

reverbnation.com/valleyofthesun

If you enjoy earth-shattering rhythms, dark and soulful melodies and heavy blues-metal with a bit of Seattle grunge tossed in for flavor, then I strongly recommend that you check out Cincinnati's Valley of the Sun and their album Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk, from Fuzzorama Records.

Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk is the first full-length release from the band and follows on the heels of two very successful EPs, 2010 and The Sayings of the Seers. Talons picks up right where Sayings of the Seers left off with epic-length pieces rife with driving riffs and adroit changes in both tone and rhythm that display great talent and attention to composition and dynamics.

Like a bad-for-you woman, sporting tattoos and an eyebrow-piercing, the kind that you might spy across the bar - it was love at first sight for me and Black Planet.  In truth, there is very little about Black Planet and their 5-song EP Female Hysteria that is not completely adorable and endearing.

Anwar Sadat: Gold

Mar 25, 2014
Bryan Volz (facebook.com/bryanvolz)

Anyone who has ever seen a live show at The Comet in Northside knows what a close, tightly-packed and intimate audience the venue often generates.  That is where I received my introduction to Lousiville's Anwar Sadat.  As the band set up their drum kit and amplifiers that were almost as tall as I am, I knew that I was in for a show that would fill the room with sound. The band was brought to town at the invitation of Cincinnati's Gazer, who also invited their friends Mardou to join the bill.  What resulted was an entire evening of magnificently loud and powerful music.

Cincinnati favorites and masters of the alt-folk scene The Ridges are back from Austin and will be playing a special 'SXSW Homecoming' show tonight at Northside Tavern along with The Mitchells and Shiny & the Spoon.

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