A Very Pop Punk Christmas

Though there are a few local bands that have been known to play only one show a year, but the Punk Pop band Kevin and the Octaves might be the only active, successful act capable of pulling off an annual “one-off.”

Though there are a few local bands that have been known to play only one show a year, they are mostly “reunited” bands who gather together for an annual event for fans (think psychodots, Ray’s Music Exchange, etc.). But the Punk Pop band Kevin and the Octaves might be the only active, successful act capable of pulling off an annual “one-off.” The “band” is the brainchild of Eric Tuffendsam (formerly of Curbsquirrels) and Jamie Mandel (founder of Nice Guy Records and formerly of The Scrubs, the popular Pop Punk band that also spawned Mike Ingram of The Seedy Seeds), and the concentration is on recording and licensing tracks vs. the old “pile in a van, tour the country, hope for the best” method.

The twosome has had a lot of success, scoring numerous placements in commercials, movies and films since releasing its debut, Hang Your Stocking, Start the Rocking, a collection of holiday classics (“Winter Wonderland,” “White Christmas,” etc.), in 2008. That album remains their most licensed so far (with placements in the Lifetime movie Will You Merry Me? and on TV’s Burn Notice, to name but two), but the duo also has released the similar Smash the Classics, featuring Punk versions of famous Classical melodies, including “Fur Elise” and “Ode to Joy.” And last year, Kevin and the Octaves finally released an EP of original Indie Pop tunes with the great six-track Guile. (All are available on iTunes and most online retailers.)

But, since “’tis the season” and all, it’ll likely be mostly X-mas faves when the Octaves make their fourth annual live appearance at the Parlour room at Newport’s Southgate House this Saturday. Showtime is 9 p.m. and guests include Army Coach and The Tiger and the Duke. Admission is $8. The show is open to music lovers 18 and up. (www.kevinandtheoctaves.com)

More Local Notes

• As we turn the calendar and get into December, several clubs that feature monthly residencies by local, original acts will introduce their “house bands” for the final month of 2011. At the Southgate House’s Juney’s Lounge, this month’s every-Wednesday “Artist in Residence” night will be the venue’s last. This Wednesday, the slot is taken over by Evans Collective, the interesting, relatively new ensemble that mixes Indie Folk with electronic additives. For EC’s first A.I.R., Josh Eagle and Wild Talents will also perform. In Over-the-Rhine, MOTR Pub’s House Band slot for December (performing each Monday this month) is Giants Stood Motionless, newcomers whose Facebook description declares their sound “indie space rock that like grew up on like metal and punk and stuff.” Over in Northside at The Comet, the Tuesday residency band schedule is a little askew due to the holidays. But popular Folk trio The Tillers (whose new album release party recently sold out the Southgate House) will take the usual Tuesday slot this week. After a week off for Steve Schmidt’s annual Christmas concerts (Dec. 19-20), The Tillers return for their final residency date, Dec. 26 (a Monday). All shows are free. Visit www.southgatehouse.com, www.motrpub.com and cometbar.com for more details. 

• Speaking of residencies, the popular Bluebirds Big Band (a pumped-up, horn-laced version of veteran R&B/Rock squad The Bluebirds) has ended its 20-year run of Sundays at Columbia-Tusculum club/restaurant Allyn’s Café. On Nov. 27, the all-star crew debuted its new every-Sunday gig, just around the bend at popular eatery Bella Luna. (The non-Big Band Bluebirds also play Bella Luna every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.) The Big Band will perform every Sunday at 9 p.m. at the new spot, at least until the end of the year. (www.myspace.com/thebluebirdsbigband)

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]

Scroll to read more Local Music articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.