Veteran local musician David Rhodes Brown presents the second annual Browngrass Festival this Saturday in Rabbit Hash, Ky., starting at noon. Brown — a lap-steel specialist (and multi-instrumentalist) known for his work with Warsaw Falcons, 500 Miles to Memphis, Magnolia Mountain and many others — launched the fest last year at the Southgate House as a release party for his solo effort, Browngrass and Wildflowers, and to raise funds for Northern Kentucky public radio station WNKU. This year’s event will also be a benefit for WNKU; proceeds from the $10 “suggested donations” will go to the station.
The move to Rabbit Hash gives the fest a little more room to stretch out and, besides, Brown’s own dog Lucy Lou just happens to be the town’s mayor (she probably pulled some strings for permits and such). Artists will perform at Rabbit Hash General Store and on a nearby outdoor stage. Local performers slated to appear include Hickory Robot, Magnolia Mountain, Mack West, Greg Schramm and the Radio King Cowboys and Them Bones. Also performing is Columbus singer/songwriter Lydia Loveless, who plays regularly in Greater Cincinnati and was recently signed to esteemed AltCountry/Roots label Bloodshot Records (look for her debut in September). (browngrassfestival.com)
Fake Hands, Real Release
Saturday at the Southgate House’s Parlour, local Indie band Fake Hands celebrates the release of its first studio project, the EP Here We Are After Dark. The band is joined by Justin WW and Animal Circles for the 9 p.m. show. Admission is $5 for those 21 and up; $7 for attendees 18-20. You can preview or buy (for just $3) After Dark now online at www.fakehands.bandcamp.com.
The five-track release is an excellent introductory calling card for the relatively new band, which features four core members and a handful of others who add horns and other ornamentation to their clever spin on Indie Rock. While largely instrumental, the band’s sweeping soundscapes are so engaging you won’t even notice there’s no one singing. Like Post Rock kings Tortoise or expansive Indie Pop crew Aloha, the band’s compositions have a hypnotic fluidity that belies the intricacy and is part of the imaginative surprises present between the dynamic grooves.
The cyclical guitar lines, ambient keyboards and diverse, musical drumming carry the EP and help give the release its entrancing power. Fake Hands are engaging enough to be enjoyed in a live setting or on their recordings, but the tracks on After Dark show that they’d also be killer film-soundtrack composers, like four young Danny Elfmans raised on a steady diet of The Sea and Cake, Slint and Mogwai.
Vice, Black Lips Uncap Cincinnati
Vice (the cool, ever-emerging media empire that includes a popular, irreverent magazine and record label) and raucous band The Black Lips have curated a mini-local-music festival set for this Thursday at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. The Lips have handpicked locals The Harlequins, Weakness and Sacred Spirits to perform at the free show, which they’ve dubbed “Uncapped Cincinnati.” Doors open at 8 p.m.
The show is being filmed for later posting on one of the latest Vice ventures, Noisey.com, which aims to document music in a live setting. The Uncapped series features up-and-coming local bands from scenes all across the country, chosen specifically to perform by groups like The Thermals, The Soft Pack and Against Me!, as well as The Black Lips.
Those attending should RSVP at viceland.com/uncappedlive/cin.php. (www.motrpub.com)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]