The Heights Music Festival returns this weekend for its fall event and another wide-ranging sampling of Cincinnati’s original music scene. Music will run Friday and Saturday night from 7 p.m. until about closing time at four venues in Clifton Heights near the University of Cincinnati campus — Baba Budan’s, Mac’s Pizza Pub, Christy’s Biergarten and Rohs Street Café (the only location open to music lovers of all ages).
Here's the full lineup/schedule for this year.
Rohs Street Cafe : 7:00 – Music Resource Center showcase; 8:00 – Wendy’s Yellow Poncho; 9:00 – MC Forty and Wonder Brown ; 10:00 – Cowgirl; 11:00 – The Yugos
8:00 – Sulla;
9:00 – Second Chance At Eden;
10:00 – Damn It To Hell
; 11:00 – Buenos Crotches
; 12:00 – Grey Host
Mac’s Pizza Pub:
8:00 – The Celestials;
9:00 – Majestic Man
; 10:00 – The MJ’s Blues
; 11:00 – Hickory Robot;
12:00 – Jeremy Pinnell & The 55′s;
1:00 – The Founding Fathers
8:00 – The Marmalade Brigade;
9:00 – The Heavy Hinges;
10:00 – The Perfect Children;
11:00 – Shrub (Columbus, OH); 12:00 – The Guitars
Rohs Street Cafe : 7:00 – Elementz Hip Hop Youth Center showcase; 8:00 – Alex Evans ; 9:00 – For Algernon ; 10:00 – Young Heirlooms ; 11:00 – Oui Si Yes
8:00 – Pursuing Hounds
; 9:00 – Sweet Ray Laurel
; 10:00 – Jamwave;
11:00 – The Regrettes (Columbus, OH);
12:00 – The Natives
Mac’s Pizza Pub: 8:00 – Tangerine Sound Machine ; 9:00 – Somebody’s Something ; 10:00 – Big Rock Club ; 11:00 – Valley High ; 12:00 – Junya Be & Wazali
: 8:00 – Killer Looks & Noise
; 9:00 – Horsecop;
10:00 – Loudmouth;
11:00 – Black Signal
; 12:00 – DAAP Girls;
1:00 – The Frankl Project
Tickets are $5 per night if purchased in advance through cincyticket.com here. Admission is $8 for one night or $12 for both if purchased at the festival. Visit the fest's official site here for more info. Here's a sampler the organizers compiled featuring some of the performers:
• Dean & Britta (formerly of critically-acclaimed Indie dreamscapers Luna) bring their unique multimedia show, "13 Most Beautiful … Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests," to Over-the-Rhine's revitalized Emery Theatre. The project originated four years again after Dean Wareham received a phone call from a curator (and big Luna fan) at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh asking if he'd be interested in writing some music to go with the stockpile of 500 or so "screen tests" Warhol had accumulated in the ’60s. The clips feature Warhol's video of friends and acquaintances, including many familiar faces from the Factory days.
Wareham talked to CityBeat's Brian Baker about the process of writing songs for the 13 "tests" chosen, describing it as being like making a music video in reverse. Read Brian's full feature story here.
Tonight's performance — featuring Dean & Britta's quartet performing in front of large projections of the screen tests — is at 8 p.m. Tickets (if it doesn't sell out) are $25 at the door. Here's some of the soundtracked video to get you in the mood. The event is being co-presented by the Contemporary Arts Center, which is currently exhibiting Image Machine: Andy Warhol and Photography.
• After a tough previous week when she was stuck in New York City during and after “Frankenstorm” Sandy, tonight at 8 p.m., veteran singer/songwriter Aimee Mann performs in Cincinnati at 20th Century Theatre in Oakley.
For 30 years, Mann has built a dedicated core of adoring fans swept away by her smart, clever and emotionally resonate take on Pop music, driven partly by her uniquely inviting vocals (which former CityBeat writer Brad Quinn once brilliantly described as “egg-shaped”). She first came to the attention of the public at large with her group ’Til Tuesday, which received massive support from MTV and radio for the hit “Voices Carry." Mann and some funny pals recently parodied the of-its-era clip in a hilarious video for "Labrador" from her latest album, Charmer.
Mann went solo at the start of ’90s, releasing her debut Whatever in 1993 and then capping off the decade with her brilliant songs written for and prominently featured in the film Magnolia. Departing the major label system at the start of the new millennium, Mann founded SuperEgo Records to release her own material, most recently issuing Charmer, another critically acclaimed gem that provides further evidence that Mann is still one of the great, somewhat under-heralded songwriters of her time.
Another gifted writer deserving of more attention, Ted Leo (of “and the Pharmacists” fame), opens tonight's show solo. Tickets range from $20-$35.
• Blues Rock cult sensation, soulful singer and modern-day geetar hero Joe Bonamassa swings through the Taft Theatre tonight for a 9 p.m. show. Tickets range from $49-$79.
Bonamassa is one of the more celebrated guitarists of our time and he's built a rabid following mostly by word of mouth and without the benefit of a big label corporation behind him. Bonamassa's latest album Driving Towards the Daylight was released this spring, but live and in-concert is where he thrives, as evidenced by his discography since 2000 — he's had nine studio albums but also four live albums and three live DVDs. Check the title track from Driving below and read more about the Blues/Rock star from this week's CityBeat here.
• Acclaimed for its detailed, theatrical recreations of Pink Floyd concerts, Cleveland's Wish You Were Here is bringing its "Classic Floyd Albums Tour 2012" to Bogart's in Corryville tonight for an all-ages, 8 p.m. performance. Tickets are $12. The "tour" (spread over three months) has featured shows across Ohio where the crew has played the albums Wish You Were Here, The Wall and Animals in full. Tonight, the group is doing Dark Side of the Moon at Bogart's.
The band is able to accurately replicate Floyd's intricate sound and concert experience by using a large ensemble of at least nine musicians, plus their own lighting and sound crew. Cincinnati musician Jamie Combs (of 4th Day Echo and various other projects) joined the band in 2006 as guitarist and vocalist. Here's a clip from a 2007 appearance in Cleveland of the band performing "Time/Breath Reprise."
Scott Preston and his excellent local music web mag Cincy Groove are presenting a benefit concert at Southgate House Revival tonight to help keep a spotlight on the Cincinnati area’s outrageously rich musical history and influence. The 9 p.m. show will raise funds for the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation, a non-profit that has done great work drawing attention to Cincinnati’s impact on popular music by promoting and hosting numerous creative events to honor historical moments like Hank Williams’ Cincy recording sessions and the immeasurable impact of King Records.
To become a member of the CUMHF's supporters group The Funky Drummer Society and read more about their mission to expose and celebrate Cincy's important place in music history, visit the Foundation's official website here or on Facebook here.
Tickets for tonight's benefit show are $10 for those 21-and-up; it's $12 for those 18-20. Music will take place on all three of the recently opened venue's stages. Below is the lineup of performances. Click each artist's name for audio samples and more.
9:15 - 9:55: Bri Love
10:15 - 10:55: Hank Becker (of The Rubber Knife Gang)
11:15 - 11:55: Terminal Union
12:15 - 12:55 : Andyman Hopkins
9 - 9:40: The Young Heirlooms
10:00 - 10:40: Shiny Old Soul
11:00 - 11:40: The Stories
12:00 - 12:40: SOUSE
1:00 - 1:40: Sassy Molasses
9:00 - 9:40: Shoot Out The Lights
10:00 - 10:50: Kelly Thomas with Arlo McKinley & Lonesome Sound
11:10 - 12:10: The Cincy Brass
12:30 - 1:40: The Cliftones
Kelly Thomas, Arlo McKinley and Lonesome Sound will be doing an all-Hank Williams set tonight in honor of Hank's ties to Cincy through his historic recording sessions at Herzog Studios. Thomas and McKinley recorded a version of "Lost Highway" at the old Herzog space earlier this year and filmed the proceedings. The song and footage became the centerpiece of Thomas' first in a series of short films featuring her favorite songs and local musicians called Sacred Harp Sessions. A new video and song will be released monthly for the Sessions; Thomas recently unveiled Episode 2 featuring Ricky Nye and the tune "Come On In My Kitchen." Click here to check it out; below is Episode 1, in honor of Cincinnati's music heritage and tonight's concert.
Tonight at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Ohio, the new television program 513 Rocks! makes its broadcast debut. The 30-minute program aims to showcase local music — artists and venues — as well as local charitable organizations. The show was developed by Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions, which is showcasing its charitable text-to-give technology (viewers tonight, for example, with be encouraged to send a donation to St Al's Orphanage by texting KIDS to 80100). Fox Sports regular Jeff Piecoro hosts.
For the pilot episode airing tonight, local AltPopRock band Green Light Morning, featuring former members of Oval Opus and The Big Creak, is featured in an interview segment as well as live footage filmed at Toby Keith's place by the baseball stadium.
The episode will re-air on Fox Sports Ohio Nov. 11 (1 p.m.), Nov. 15 (6:30 p.m.) and Nov. 18 (1:30 p.m.).
Here's a commercial promoting 513 Rocks!
Lo-fi Garage Pop royalty, King Tuff, performs a free show tonight at MOTR Pub with Cleveland's Gap Dream. King Tuff is the pseudonym and band name of Kyle Thomas, a Vermont native now based in L.A. who, after a dozen years working of Tuff material as a side project to bands like Feathers and Witch, released the debut full-length Was Dead in 2008 and started focusing solely on King Tuff. It turned out to be a fruitful decision; Sub Pop Records signed King Tuff and put out its self-titled sophomore album this spring.
Click here to read more about King Tuff, check out the official video for the recent album's "Alone & Stoned" and use the widget below to get a pair of free KT tracks to download.
• Ironfest, the multi-act concert event started by friends of late local music booster “Iron” Mike Davidson to benefit his daughter, is set for its third annual event tonight and Saturday at the new Southgate House Revival in Newport. Each night features a staggering amount of solid local bands from a variety of genres.
Tonight, catch Mad Anthony, State Song, Switchblade Syndicate, The Shanks, Goddamn Gravity, The New Void, Billy Wallace and the Virginia Blues, Vito Emmanuel, Jeremy Pinnell and the 55’s, Arlo McKinley and the Lonesome Sound, Chiva Knievel, Total Dudes, A Juliet Bender, Smoke Signals, Rising Shotgun, DC Project and Dead August.
Performing for Night 2 tomorrow are The Dopamines, Moonbow, Honeyspiders, Red Soul Rising, Unsinkable Molly Brown, Another Tragedy, The Tammy Whynots, 500 Miles to Memphis, The Sound Museum, SHIVS, Kelly Steward and the Restless Kind, The Mudpies, Martin Luther and the Kings, The Perfect Children, Buenos Crotches, Sticky Honey, The Andyman Hopkins Band and Queen City Radio, a very promising new group featuring Dan Mecher, former frontman for Turnbull ACs and Denial, former 500 Miles to Memphis bassist Jeff Snyder, longtime 500 Miles frontman Ryan Malott and Kevin Finkelmeier of Pete Dressman and the Soul Unified Nation and Denial fame.
Tickets are just $5 each night and music starts at 7 p.m. Click here and here for more info.
• One of Cincinnati’s most popular bands, Rumpke Mountain Boys, celebrate the release of their new album with a series of release parties in the region, kicking off tonight at Inner Circle (the former Annie’s location). Following the Cincinnati date, the Boys will perform for their growing fan bases in Lexington, Ky., Bloomington, Ind., Columbus, Ohio, and Cleveland, Ohio. The group’s new official full-length is titled Trashgrass, the name the members have given their eclectic, jammy, sometime trippy brand of Bluegrass. The band has all the markings of a standard Bluegrass troupe — mandolin, banjo, upright bass, acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies — but the members’ varied influences (they cite Grateful Dead, Ralph Stanley, Tom Waits and Jimmy Cliff among their key inspirations) make the end result its own organic, spontaneous beast. The seven-time Cincinnati Entertainment Award winners for Best Bluegrass act have performed at numerous festivals, shared the stage with artists like Ralph Stanley, Keller Williams, Yonder Mountain String Band and Del McCoury, and Vince Herman — a pioneer of the Rumpkes’ jammy take on Bluegrass with Leftover Salmon — called them “a party waiting to happen.”
Rumpke Mountain Boys perform tonight with the excellent local Reggae crew The Cliftones. The show starts at 9 p.m. and admission is $10 (or $12 for those ages 18-20). Visit rumpke.ning.com for more on the band.
The Rumpkes are probably one of the more documented bands in the area thanks to their allowance/encouragement of fans to record their live shows. Here's a video from this past March of the group performing the Folk/Jazz/Blues standard "Make Me A Pallet on Your Floor" at ekoostik hookah's springtime music fest in central Ohio.
• Strong local Rock/Pop act Majestic Man celebrates the release of its debut full-length, Manatee, this Friday at Mayday in Northside. Local bands The FrontRunners and Plastic Inevitables open the free show at 10 p.m. Manatee is loaded with melodic, well-written songs, but the varied groove the band manipulates throughout the album is just as distinct and magnetic. Be it the Jazz slink of “Someday,” the dubby sway of “Bodysnatcher” or the angled Funk of “Age of No Reason,” the music is rhythmically fascinating. The dazzling guitar playing and superb vocals add cohesion to Manatee, an album that shows Majestic Man to be one of the more gifted newer groups in the Cincinnati area. To preview and/or purchase Manatee, visit majesticman.bandcamp.com. Here's the new album track "Spanish":
• This past spring, prolific artist Jon Langford came to Cincinnati to open an exhibit of his visual artwork and perform a free concert with his group Skull Orchard at Over-the-Rhine club MOTR Pub. At the time, Langford spoke to CityBeat contributor Steve Rosen about his range of artistic endeavors.
Just prior to the springtime Cincy visit, Langford had come off a Midwest tour with perhaps his best known band outside of his first one — British Punk legends, The Mekons — Waco Brothers, the AltCountry outfit he records with for Bloodshot Records. Langford must’ve enjoyed his time in Cincinnati because tonight he's bringing the Wacos to MOTR Pub for a 10 p.m. show, one of only a trio of appearances currently scheduled for the group. The Brothers are bringing with them Paul Burch, the Nashville singer/songwriter with whom the band collaborated on this year’s Great Chicago Fire LP. The Chicago band Cannonball is also on the bill.
Here's a fan-shot video of Burch and the Wacos from earlier this year.
A week after The Afghan Whigs played a thrilling homecoming show with fellow local greats Wussy at Bogart's, another pair of local bands making waves are set to play their hometown (or across the river from it).
Every time Cincinnati AltPop rockers Walk the Moon come home to play a show, it seems like their star has risen higher. The band is back in town tonight for a sold-out show at Covington's Madison Theater (which is also serving as the two-year anniversary party for the hard-hustling local music promo outlet, The Counter Rhythm Group).
Since last here, Walk the Moon's breakthrough single "Anna Sun" continues to get airplay across the globe, while the latest single, "Tightrope" (as heard in those much-played HP commercials) is picking up steam, as well. The group has also been on tour pretty much non-stop, performing all over North America and in Europe (after tonight's show, the group is off for a few days before resuming its headlining tour in Nashville). The band's Unplugged set for MTV also made it to the airwaves (not MTV, of course, but its HD sister, Palladia).
Check out the "Tightrope" clip below and a behind the scenes look at the making of it here.
Great local Indie Pop duo Bad Veins (fresh off their own cross-country tour dates, with even more coming up starting next week) open, along with L.A.'s Family of the Year. Bad Veins are currently prepping a new music video, as well; a clip for "Kindness" off of the duo's amazing The Mess We've Made Album. Here's a really strong video of the duo performing one of the new album's best tracks, "Don't Run," on the "Off the Avenue" series.
If you don't have tickets, you're going to have to do some hunting. As of this afternoon, there wasn't a single ticket available on StubHub for the concert.
Kishi Bashi is the name for the solo work of Brooklyn, N.Y.’s K Ishibashi, who’s become one of the go-to violin players in the world of Indie music, touring and/or recording with of Montreal, Regina Spektor and Alexi Murdoch, among many others.
Also a founding member of the Indie/Synth Pop group Jupiter One, Ishibashi’s own material is an expansive brand of Art Pop, featuring looped, symphonic strings and voices mixed with magnetic, layered Electronic/Dance sounds and slanted Pop melodies, harmonies and structuring. The end result is laid out gorgeously on Kishi Bashi’s compelling debut full-length on Joyful Noise Recordings from earlier this year, 151a, coming off like a strange but compelling mix of Andrew Bird, Smile-era Brian Wilson and of Montreal.