He's Not Jesus, But He Has the Same Initials

Jeff Conner, formerly of the late Spiff, will debut his new band, The JC3, Saturday at Radio Down. The show features an impressive support lineup, with sets from Paperback, The Defrost Star and Cari

Jeff Conner, formerly of the late Spiff, will debut his new band, The JC3, Saturday at Radio Down. The show features an impressive support lineup, with sets from Paperback, The Defrost Star and Cari Clara.

Conner will also release the five-song JC3 EP, Moment, at Saturday's show (the disc will be given away free to the first 50 folks through the door). Moment is a result of a solo recording project Conner began before Spiff disbanded this summer. While he played all the instruments on Moment (save drums), when JC3 became Conner's main project, he decided to enlist a band to back up his songs. The group now features guitarist Mark Brasington (frontman for Odd Man Out, which features Conner on bass), Sean Rhiney (singer/bassist for Clabbergirl and co-founder of the MidPoint Music Festival) on bass and drummer Mark Szabo, who also works with the Whitney Barricklow Band. The band's sound is a blend of Hard Rock, Pop and other influences and, while the disc sounds a bit like Grunge Bon Jovi, time and the additional musicians should help them grow into their potential. (thejc3.com)

Scrubbing the Basement Again
The finest Pop/Punk band to call Cincinnati home, The Scrubs, reunited late in 2003 for a string of shows, culminating in Tuesday's release of Return to the Basement. An impressive six-song slab of slashing Power Pop, Basement will have people wondering why they ever stopped playing together. While still highly caffeinated, the trio's songwriting has matured and seemingly gotten better with each new song.

(Basement is evenly split between songs recorded just prior to their 2001 breakup and tracks recorded more recently.) Devoid of typical Emo and Pop/Punk distractions (there's no overt goofiness, overwrought earnestness or overly whiny vocals), the focus goes straight to the songs and their tugging melodies, which are the best the band has come up with yet. Basement — which also features a music video for the song "4:30 AM" — is a sign of hope for a musical genre that has been thrust into the spotlight and, accordingly, lost most of its juice.

The disc is being released on Scrubs guitarist Jamie Mandel's successful Nice Guy Records (niceguyrecords.com), which is also unleashing the second installment in its Pop Punk Fever compilation series on Tuesday. The disc features contributions from big-name acts like The Queers, The Lawrence Arms, The Mr. T Experience and a host of others.

The Scrubs will hold an official local release party for Return to the Basement on Nov. 27 at Top Cat's. (thescrubs.net)

Rumors, Lies and General Misunderstandings
· Local guitarist William Weber, who has lent his deft abilities to The Tigerlilies for the past several years, is moving back to New York City at the end of the year. He's finishing recording a new album with the 'Lilies and will play his last show with them on Dec. 26 at the Northside Tavern. But, currently, Weber is gearing up for a six-week tour of the States with the Murder Junkies, the former backing band for the late, notorious extreme Punk legend, G.G. Allin (Allin's brother Merle is now in the frontman role). The tour kicks off at Sudsy Malone's on Wednesday. (williamweber.com; ggallin.com)

· The Kevin Fox Band and Fuzzy Feet perform Friday at the Madison Theater in Covington for the annual "Redwood Jam" benefit concert. The show raises money for the Redwood Rehabilitation Center in Northern Kentucky, which provides a myriad of services for children and adults with disabilities. (redwoodrehab.org)

· Local Funk superhero Freekbass and his mentor, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins, are on the cover of the current issue of Bass Guitar Magazine, the British version of Bass Player magazine. The twosome are profiled in the special "Funk" edition of the publication, which also features stories on Doug Wimbish, Earth Wind & Fire's Verdine White and other low-end masters. Freekbass' The Air is Fresher Underground also made the preliminary list of potential Grammy nominees in the Best R&B Album category (Big Joe Duskin reportedly also made the first-list cut). The actual Grammy nominees will be announced on Dec. 7. (bassguitarmagazine.com)

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