Local Exposure

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.

facebook.com/ArtsCincy

I'm really quite jealous of Margy Waller's job title which is Serendipity Director at Art on the Streets. Waller is a long-time arts advocate for Cincinnati, and though the idea of 'directing serendipity' seems like an oxymoron, she handles the task quite skillfully.

Art on the Streets brings together visual artists as well as dancers, street musicians and other like-minded creative people to produce magnificent, spontaneous bursts of creativity and engagement in the city.

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.

xChange Cincinnati

Mar 20, 2014

xChange Cincinnati is an event that celebrates local artists, activists and entrepreneurs who use their creativity as a vehicle for social change.  The one-night-only event is presented by Theatre for The Free People and is the culmination of the work that was created in the Artist as Activist/Cincinnati xChange Program at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center.

According to local poet Hannah Ramlo, who is curating the event, the program examines the artist as an environmental, ethical, humanistic and social activist.  The mission is to initiate conversations about the impact of art on society, and to raise awareness of the use of art as a tool for liberation.

The Bunbury Music Festival is back for its third year at Sawyer Point and Yeatman's Cove.

Highlights of this year's music lineup include huge stage production acts like Flaming Lips and Empire of the Sun; reunions of beloved rock bands like Veruca Salt and Psychodots; plus great local talent such as Molly Sullivan, Foxy Shazam and The Yugos.

As the festival has grown and matured, so has the attention being paid to personalizing the visitor experience.  

It's Good to Be Back, the first full-length release from Cincinnati's The Vains, is an album created by struggle, tempered by compromise and forged in defiance.

Fans of Social Distortion, Bad Religion or even The Gaslight Anthem should stop what they're doing and go grab a copy of It's Good to Be Back, not only to help support the local music scene, but simply because it is a great album performed by a damn fine band.

Local artists Hilary Nauman and Michael Boyd began exhibiting their work in pop-up shops, outdoor markets and at The City Flea.  The free-form spontaneity of this kind of exhibition has carried over and has led them to open Shrewdness of Apes - an art gallery that is different from what you might be used to.

SoA, located on 7th Street in downtown Covington, focuses on contemporary and emerging artists and exhibits that are not only unusual, but invite entries from anyone with an interest in creating something unique, special and out of the ordinary.

If you were to Google the phrase "great rock storytellers" you'd get... well, a list of useless garbage. But, if you were to ask me, I would probably give you a list of names like Pete Townshend, Shane MacGowan, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Neil Young... and I would then find some way to include the names of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Willie Nelson because, although they are not rock storytellers, they are probably the greatest American musical storytellers of all time - and their influence of those listed previously is undeniable.

Cincinnati's roots/reggae masters, and 3-time CEA award winners, The Pinstripes will play their 10th Anniversary Show on Friday, March 28th at The Southgate House Revival in Newport, KY.

However, it is a bittersweet event as it also marks a turning-point in the band's history.

The latest release from Northside GarageAll the King's Horses, is a 2-track sampler of modern-day garage rock that unites the raw, unbridled energy of punkabilly with the straightforward groove of roots-rock.  Eddy Mullet of ClassX Radio called Northside Garage, "One of my favorite local bands in town to go out and see." 

The Alphabet as Art

Feb 28, 2014

Purveyors of locally-made art supplies and music, Rock Paper Scissors presents The Alphabet Show! as part of February's Final Friday downtown celebration.

The Alphabet Show! is a fun and family-friendly exhibit that focuses on the identity, typography and cultural associations of each letter of the English alphabet - plus four common punctuation marks. Thirty regional and national artists have been asked to create a graphic interpretation of an individual letter.

My introduction to The Upset Victory came when I saw them perform at Covington's Madison Theatre as part of this year's CEA event.  Shortly after, I received a copy of the EP Wall Street from the band.  My first impression was that this may be the best-produced CD I have reviewed so far.

The band went to Starlight Studios in Orlando, FL to record Wall Street and worked with producer Brock BerryHill and engineer Evan Coffman. Together with BerryHill and Coffman, The Upset Victory have crafted a sound that is top-notch and completely ready for air-play.

Credit from thestringtheoryband.com / Steve Ziegelmeyer (ziegelmeyerphotography.com)

This may say more about me than about the band, but the first time I listened to Falling Like The Sun by The String Theory, I was reminded of the time Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins [Foo Fighters] joined forces with Nick Raskulinecz to perform "Overture" from Rush's 2112 at The 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  This was a nod of acknowledgment and honor for the former and a passing-of-the-torch moment for the latter. 

Torn Light Records on Monmouth St. in Newport, KY is the dream-child of Alex York and Kyle Shibinski, formerly of the band White Walls.

Alex and Kyle formed Torn Light originally to help distribute their own band's material, but soon found themselves producing records for bands like Vacation and Sunken Cheek.

The 12th Annual Cincinnati Neighborhood Summit, presented by Invest in Neighborhoods, takes place on Saturday, February 22 at Xavier University's Cintas Center and features many workshops and presentations designed to help community leaders and volunteers improve their neighborhoods and to make them healthier, more attractive and vibrant.

The Summit has enlisted the help of experts and professionals to teach participants some best practices. The sessions are intended for individuals fairly new to neighborhood activity as well as for those who have more experience.

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