This past weekend's three-day Indie music festival, Desdemona, at Sawyer Point, came at the end of a week that — if you paid attention to local media, especially The Enquirer — implied that Cincinnati was on its last legs as a viable "big city." With the census report indicating the city was losing population at a rate higher than any other big city in the United States, the hyperbole that Cincinnati is a boring, ass-backwards town riddled with violence and racial strife and devoid of anything to keep young, ambitious and creative people from making the Queen City their lifelong residence was at full volume. In the midst of the city's low self-esteem, here was Mr. Creative Class, DesFest organizer Nick Spencer, presenting something vital on our own riverfront that many young people would travel to Chicago or other "cool" towns to see. Desdemona turned out to be an unabashed success as thousands of young music fans piled into Sawyer Point over three days to see everything from Hip Hop (Ghostface Killah) and Electronica (Annie) to Dance Rock (Radio 4) and Indie Pop (Richard Swift). The performances were top-notch, and many of the performers, some of whom had never played Cincinnati before, commented on what a great festival experience it was. It's the kind of good-vibes buzz that could spread to other artists and booking agents, making Cincinnati look a little more appealing to those assembling touring itineraries. For the average fest-goer, the overall experience was fantastic and the music was amazing. Desdemona offered a chance for fans of Indie music to see some of their favorite — or future favorite — bands. It also gave the opportunity for more adventurous music fans of all kinds to take a chance and check out something new. It's the kind of thing that should happen here every weekend.
More events like this are exactly what the city needs to discourage young people from fleeing to other cities. It was also a great way to get people to visit our sometimes struggling downtown area. Be sure to check citybeat.com for photos and more musings on Desdemona.
Hail to the Thief's Daughter
Is the spawn of the leader of the free world a Radiohead fan? One of George W. Bush's daughters was reportedly in attendance at a Radiohead show recently in New York (which gal is unclear — where Jenna and Barbara rock out is apparently a matter of national security). Frontman Thom Yorke posted about the royal appearance on the band's blog, saying he noticed a disturbance in the audience and was later told it was secret service bodyguards clearing a path for Princess. Yorke — whose opinion of Bush is unambiguous (they named an album, Hail to the Thief, at the start of Bush's war-mongering buffoonery) — said his road crew refrained from telling him until after the show, or else he would have made a bigger stink while it was happening. He also said he was confused as to how he should react, writing "I don't know if we should be a) honoured b) amused c) bemused d) ask if she had a valid ticket e) object belatedly on moral grounds f) ask again if she had a ticket ... g) don't blame the daughter for the father h) shutup and smile." Relax, Thom. Maybe she was just there for the open bar?
iPods: The New Air Jordans?
Seems like every day there's an iPod-related story on the newswire. 'Pods will make you deaf! IPods you wear in your shoes! IPod toilet-paper dispensers! But the 'Pod news took a turn for the worse recently, when a teenager allegedly murdered a 15-year-old in Brooklyn in an effort to steal his precious 'Pod. The 17-year-old assailant was convicted of second degree murder and could get up to 25 years in prison. See, that's why we always carry our handy-dandy iGlock when we take our 'Pod out for a stroll.