Yesterday, Cincinnati Indie Pop/Rock band The Minor Leagues dropped their latest album via longtime label Datawaslost (based in Chicago). The release — the group's sixth full-length — is another in the band's string of "concept albums." Titled North College Hill (after the local neighborhood), singer/frontman Ben Walpole says the theme is "all about where I grew up, missing childhood, passing of time … stuff like that." The band made the LP with a little help from their friends via a Kickstarter campaign. The Kickstarter page went a little more in-depth into the new release's concept: "During the course of a 10-song cycle, we address the notion of 'hometown,' while trying to cope with a childhood that seems to slip farther and farther away with every old store in town that goes out of business, with every old friend that splits town. Wow, that sounds pretentious. Perhaps it is. We‘d like to think of it as an artistic statement. With guitars!"
It is shaping up to be a great summer in Cincinnati for fans of popular, contemporary Country music. First it was announced that the giant Tim McGraw/Kenny Chesney tour (with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals opening up) would come to Paul Brown Stadium on July 1. Now, Riverbend has unveiled an impressive lineup of some of the top names in Country scheduled to appear at the outdoor shed this year (including Miranda Lambert, pictured at the right). An on sale date for the individual concerts has yet to be announced; the lineup was released this morning because of the return of the B105-sponsored "Country Megaticket" offer, where fans can save some money by purchasing ticket packages that will get them into all seven concerts. The "Megatickets" (packages range from $200-$385) go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. through www.Riverbend.org or www.B105.com. Click here for more details and check below for the full lineup.
Last night, Fox 19's website reported that veteran local musician, talent booker and event promoter Johnny Schott passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday morning in his home in Tennessee.
Last night, gifted Cincy Hip Hop MC Puck (real name: Austin Puckett) unveiled a new music video for his song, "Turn My Music Up." The track by the Cincinnati Entertainment Award-nominated MC who doesn't let his Muscular Dystrophy interfere with his ability to deliver on-point rhymes (as you'll see, he performs in a wheelchair) is featured on Puck's most recent EP, Dreamer, which you can download for free here. The video (Puck's third from Dreamer) was created with help from HastagHipHop.com and CreMedia. Turn up the bass and enjoy:
Two big-time concert announcements came down the chute today, representing the broadest of broad spectrums of musical stylings. The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival returns to Riverbend for the fifth straight year on July 24. Metal fans will find this year's Mayhem lineup to be the best yet, with headliners Slipknot and Slayer alone making it one of the bigger concert events of the summer. Others appearing on the tour include As I Lay Dying, Anthrax and High on Fire (the lineup changes along the tour route, so all of those bands might not be on the Cincy show). Official "Get Off Your Ass" pre-sale tickets (Mayhem's name, not mine) go on sale April 6 (click here for details). A "very special guest" addition to the main stage won't be announced until March 5.
My guess is that it isn't Soft Rock superstar Barry Manilow (Kenny G would be a better fit), but Manilowmaniacs will be able to catch Barry at his own concert. On April 20, Manilow performs at Northern Kentucky University's Bank of Kentucky Center.
Every week or so, a song by Cincinnati Indie Pop duo Bad Veins comes on my iPod and I wonder, "When will there be new Bad Veins," because it feels as if I've been listening to those same dozen or so songs (great as they are) for the last 25 years. But drummer Sebastien Schultz and singer/guitarist/songwriter Benjamin Davis haven't been lazy; they've been busy, hard at work on their sophomore full-length. The band will no longer be on Dangerbird Records (home of its debut), instead signing with Austin, Tex.-based label/management company Modern Outsider. Bad Veins' The Mess We've Made is due in stores April 24.
The first time I heard Yo-Yo Ma was on the episode of West Wing when his White House performance triggered Josh Lyman’s PTSD. Obviously, this was a horrible first impression. It tainted my opinion of the cellist for nearly a decade. Recently, though, I’ve become rather fond of Mr. Ma. That fondness only multiplied when his new album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, found its way into my hands. A “goat rodeo” is a situation where a thousand things must come together and go perfectly in order for it to work. The album, a collection of Americana/Bluegrass works, must have felt like exactly that when Ma sat down and began collaborating with bassist Edgar Meyer, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile (Punch Brothers, Nickle Creek), and fiddler Stuart Duncan. The album contains only one song with vocals, sung by vocalist Aoife O’Donovan (who sounds a lot like Alison Krauss).
The Goat Rodeo Sessions is available for purchase now, but on Jan. 31, music fans across the country will have the chance to see it performed live.
At last year’s MidPoint Music Festival, you may have noticed various cryptic murals, posters and superhero mannequins scattered along the fest route. Those were actually clues that were part of a scavenger hunt of sorts, leading to tasks like taking photos and rewards like free music downloads by local bands. The hunt was part of a project that will result in a “crowd-sourced” film called Radius, with assistance from RippleFX Films, Possible Worldwide, Lightborne and Sonic Arts. Local tech-savvy, progressive promo group The All Night Party is in charge of putting together a soundtrack that, like the film, will reflect the spirit — and sound — of Cincinnati.
Songs by six local bands — The Sundresses, The Seedy Seeds, Zachary Burns Band, Fists of Love, The Chocolate Horse and The Lions Rampant — were selected to provide music for different animated film sequences. But, in keeping with the “crowd-sourcing” concept, you can still be involved. Yes, you.
The Southgate House isn't the only storied and beloved local music venue shutting down after its New Year's Eve show. Saturday also marks the end of local Jazz institution the Blue Wisp Jazz Club … at least in its current home on Eight Street. Unlike the Southgate — where the future is up in the air as the new owners' next move remains unclear and the current owners have yet to announce a location for their planned new club — a new, bigger, better Blue Wisp will reappear just a few blocks away within a week (if all goes as planned). The venue's owners are moving to its new spot at the corner of Race and Seventh streets, onetime home to restaurants like RedFish and Bagpipes.