· A very cool, promising new local band makes its debut this Friday night at the new Gypsy Hut in Northside (at the corner of Spring Grove Avenue and Dane Street; see myspace.com/thegypsyhut for more venue info). Eat Sugar features some local Indie vets who have combined to create an exciting brand of Electro-fused Indie New Wave. The group features drummer Greg Poneris and bassist/keyboardist Jim Reynolds of the late, progressive ElectroPunk band Chalk, as well as former Fairmount Girls bassist Erin Proctor and charismatic lead singer Aidan Bogosian, formerly of The Reaction. Reynolds says the band has been holed up in a Camp Washington rehearsal space for several months getting in shape; he calls their sound "The Newer New Wave meets Soul." The two demo tracks — "16" and "Back Down" — on the band's MySpace site (myspace.com/eatsugarmusic) are propulsive, danceable herk-n-jerk Post Punk that bring to mind the early records from Dayton's legendary Brainiac. Friday, Eat Sugar opens for the always amazing Viva La Foxx. The show is free. (eatsugarmusic.com)
· The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington presents an impressive collection of female musicians this Thursday. The "Outstanding Women Singer/Songwriters" concert is headlined by Americana singer/songwriter Pieta Brown, an Iowa-based performer whose In The Cool album was embraced by the Roots music community worldwide (she is currently collaborating with Indie Roots band Calexico). The show also includes the local duo Ellery, who have a new CD, What I've Said Out Loud, a collection of live recordings that include new songs and selections from their nationally-released debut full-length, Lying Awake.
The new disc can be preordered now at ellerymusic.com. Also performing are locals The Newbees, supporting their recently released second album, Famous, and Cincy native/Columbus-based songstress Katie Reider, who is currently readying a new album for release early this year. The concert is a part of The Carnegie's month-long series, "A Woman's View," which includes an exhibition of artwork by women artists. Thursday's show — which takes place in The Carnegie's Otto M. Budig Theatre — starts at 7 p.m. and admission is $18. Tickets are available at thecarnegie.com.
· After a brief layoff as band members welcomed new babies into the world, The Swarthy Band is returning to the local stage this Saturday at the Southgate House (upstairs, in the Parlour room). The local Pop/Rock greats will be joined by stellar Knoxville Pop/Rock outfit The Rockwells. (swarthyband.com)
· On the heels of the success of the recent "One More Girl On A Stage" multi-act benefit concert earlier this month (the show raised over $4,000 for breast cancer support group, the Pink Ribbon Girls), Kelly Thomas of the charity Rock show organization, the Rivertown Music Club, has announced a change in the RTMC grant program, which awards local musicians money with which to record (the 2006 recipients were 500 Miles to Memphis, The Sundresses and Catalog Cowboys). This year, the Club will again award three grants, this time each in the name of a different local musician who has passed away. The recording grants were previously given in the name of Thomas' former bandmate, drummer Red MacCormack, whose name will still be attached to one of the grants. The other two grants will be awarded in the name of Brad Andress, the bassist for Punk/Pop band Close to Home who passed away last year from cancer, and Sam Nation, frontman for Roots Rock group The Thirteens, who died last year in a car accident. Thomas says she will announce the application process for the grants in the very near future. For details, keep an eye on myspace.com/therivertownmusicclub.
· In more "charitable cause" news, time is running out for local performers to submit material to be included on the forthcoming benefit CD, Free Lap Dances Volume 3: Hot Tail In the City. The ongoing CD series benefits the Save Our Strays organization (soscats.org), which strives to control the local stray cat and dog population through "not-lethal" means. The CD compilation is open to all styles of music (unreleased and/or rare tracks are given special consideration). Artists must submit songs by Feb. 1 at sonicbids.com/freelapdancesvol3.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen(at)citybeat.com