Local Exposure

Old City: Old City

Sep 9, 2014

Sometimes, in doing these weekly local music reviews, I discover just how wrong I can be.

Such is the case with this week's review of the first full-length release by Cincinnati's Old City.  Essentially, it boils down to a classic case of 'don't judge a book (or an album) by its cover' - literally. 

The Good People Festival is a one day festival that highlights gratitude, music, and community. The fest is a collaboration between Rachel DesRochers of Grateful Grahams, Ian Mathieu of local band Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle and Amy Tuttle from Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center.

The Good People Festival is Sunday, October 12 from Noon to 6pm at Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center.  The event is free and features arts & crafts, as well as local food, and fun kids activities.

The 2014 Cincinnati Comicon returns to The Northern Kentucky Convention Center for another weekend of creative craziness.

Many amazing guests will be in attendance, including artists and creators from the world of comic books, graphic novels and illustration.  Some featured guests include Kelley Jones [Batman, Sandman], Hilary Barta [Spongebob, The Simpsons], Tony Millionaire [Maakies, Sock Monkey, God Hates Cartoons], Ryan Stegman [Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four] and Tony Moore [The Walking Dead].

The Cincinnati Comicon will also showcase some amazing Lego constructions, that will impress kids of all ages.

To get better perspective on the world of a comic book creator, I met with Bruce Worden [Woodstalk, Good Night Keith Moon] and William Grapes [Girls of Ninja High School, Fyre Dragon].

facebook.com/madanthonyband / photo by Nikita Gross Photography

It's been just over 14 months since Cincinnati's heavy-duty rock band Mad Anthony was in a terrifying accident outside of Evansville, IN that brought their van, and their tour, to a screeching halt.

Guitar player Adam Flaig escaped with minor injuries while lead singer Ringo Jones suffered several head lacerations. Most affected by the collision was drummer Marc Sherlock who sustained a C-4 vertebrae fracture along with serious cuts and bruises and spent time in a cervical collar. The tour van was destroyed as was some of the band's equipment with Sherlock's drum kit taking the heaviest damage.

So what does a band do when they find themselves standing on the side of the road, wondering what just happened and considering themselves lucky to still be alive?

Cincinnati's Asian Food Fest returns for its fifth year with a new location, new fun events and a new focus on more authentic cuisine.

In September, 2013 the seminal and beloved Irish rock band, Black 47, announced that they are calling it quits after 25 years of recording and performing.

In a statement about the band's breakup, lead singer Larry Kirwan wrote, "We just have a simple wish to finish up at the top our game after 25 years of relentless touring and, as always, on our own terms... Our goal now is to play another full year plus and dedicate all of those gigs to you who've supported us through thick and thin... We would like to say goodbye to you all personally and will make every effort to come play in your city, town, college, pub, club, performing arts center..."

This focused farewell tour will bring Black 47 to the Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati on Thursday October 9. "We are extremely fortunate to be included in their farewell tour," says Margaret McGurk, a supporter of the IHC.

umin: clast

Aug 26, 2014
uminmusic.com

clast, as in iconoclast, is the name of the new album from Cincinnati's umin, and the title could not be more appropriate. 

The word 'clast' comes from the Greek klastos meaning broken -- and those familiar with umin's work will immediately recognize how poignant this title is. At first listen, the music feels hectic, agitated and, well, fragmented. This is because umin primarily composes his songs on the baritone ukulele. He then digitally samples, cuts, loops and stretches the pieces into a wild and immersive collage of sound. Even the song titles are often mere fragments of words.

Prim: Older

Aug 19, 2014

With very little fanfare, Prim has released one of the best local pop recordings of the year.  

When you take time to consider the roster of talent in this band, it is not surprising. Alessandro Corona [Krkgrd], Jake Langknecht [The Never Bird] and Ian Gullett [Diet Audio, Smasherman, Photo Electric] weave a delightful tapestry of soulful melodies, and they do this in conjunction with the amazing Molly Sullivan [No No Knots] who has quickly become one of the supreme voices and songwriters in Cincinnati.

Founding Fathers

Aug 12, 2014

I was profoundly confused when I first listened to Founding Fathers. Here is a band that lists, among their 'influences' such groups as Ween, Beck, Wilco -- and to which other reviewers had compared to Talking Heads. My first impression of Founding Fathers was of a band that makes booty-shaking, bone-deep funk that just doesn't wash off. The first track on their latest CD, a song called "Stop Drop and Roll,"  is magnificent good-time party music to be sure but -- Ween?  Wilco? I wasn't getting it.

I have not had the opportunity to see the band live yet so... maybe I am missing something.

Gazer: Fake Bulbs

Aug 5, 2014

For those unfamiliar with the band Gazer, it may be best to describe them in their own words: "post-punk with the intensity of hardcore [and] inconsiderate blasts of noise."

Last October, when I started listening to Gazer's Phone Commercial EP, they quickly became one of my favorite local punk bands. The sound on Phone Commercial is reminiscent of the industrial Midwestern post-punk of the 90's like Big Black and Brainiac  - but Gazer has managed to take that sound, intensify it, and make it significant to the 21st century.

Public Housing

Jul 29, 2014

With this review, my intention is to get you to take a few steps through the looking glass into a Hellraiser-like universe where pain is beauty, ugliness is music and noise is pleasure. Looming ominously in a filthy back-alley somewhere in this universe is the band Public Housing.

ADM: Another Dying Motive

Jul 22, 2014

I am overjoyed by the fact that I am now starting to review some local bands' next releases - meaning that I have a better frame of reference to speak to an artists' music by being able to compare it to what they put out (and which I reviewed) last time around. This is no way implies that I feel that I have started to exhaust the roster of local musicians that are creating and putting out music. On the contrary, I think this reinforces the perception that the local music scene is a quite vibrant and very active animal.

My first 'comparative' review came this spring when I received an advance copy of Buffalo Killer's Heavy Reverie. In late June I got my hands on the soon-to-be-released 12" of new music from Gazer (the review for which will be coming in early August); and most recently I was able to score local electronic artist ADM's latest album Another Dying Motive.

Heavy Hinges has been described as "a sublime ruckus… a beautiful collision of rock, soul, gospel, and western."  In truth, what Heavy Hinges is is a well-balanced assemblage of rock, pop, country and traditional music with roots that run quite deep into the music of gospel choirs, chain gangs and saloons.  They have a reputation around town of putting on very powerful live performances and have established themselves as one of Cincinnati's must-see bands.

The group has just emerged from the studio with their debut album Mean Old City.  Recorded by Matt Hueneman at Newport's Audiogrotto and mastered by Ashley Shepherd*, Mean Old City is the band's attempt to bottle some of that on-stage lightning.

facebook.com/tasteofOTR

On Saturday, July 26th, Taste of OTR returns to Cincinnati's Washington Park.

The Taste of OTR highlights the cuisine, culture and music of one of Cincinnati's most colorful neighborhoods. It celebrates the cultural renaissance going on in the area while also recognizing that there is still work to be done. Taste also benefits Tender Mercies, a local organization that works to provide housing solutions for homeless adults with mental illness.

The Mitchells

Jul 8, 2014

Delicate and crisp -- balancing electric guitar with banjo, cello and more eclectic instruments -- everything about The Mitchells' self-titled debut album says indie-pop. The music is light and drifting and would play perfectly as the soundtrack to the next Marc Webb film. It is hard to listen to this album and not imagine yourself leaning out the car window and letting the wind push firmly against your outstretched palm.

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