It’s Cincinnati Entertainment Awards Time

Plus, friends celebrate the life of pioneering promoter Bill Leist, Multimagic debuts new lineup and local bands duke it out on the billiards table

click to enlarge The 2014 CEAs
The 2014 CEAs

The votes have been cast and tallied and now it’s time to find out which local musicians have won 2015 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. The awards show, presented by CityBeat and now in its 18th year, returns to Madison Theater (730 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., this Sunday. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.

The CEAs are less a “ceremony” and more of a “party” and celebration of the local music scene. The night is punctuated by the announcements of award winners and mini-sets by nominees. Performing at this year’s CEAs are Young Heirlooms (nominated in the Folk/Americana and Best Live Act categories), Injecting Strangers (Indie/Alternative, Best Live Act and Best Music Video nominees), Mad Anthony (nominated for Artist of the Year, Best Live Act and in the Rock category), Buggs Tha Rocka (a Hip Hop nominee), The Cliftones (World Music/Reggae nominees), The Whiskey Shambles (nominated in the Blues category), Dark Colour (an Electronic nominee) and Zebras In Public (nominated for the Metal/Hard Rock CEA).

The legendary CEA after-party takes place at the neighboring Backstage Café (724 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky.) this year. Indie/Electronic band Playfully Yours performs at the post-show event, which is free and open to all CEA attendees.

General admission tickets to the 2015 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards are available in advance at for $20 (admission is $25 — cash only — at the Madison’s box office on the night of the event). VIP tickets are available for $40 (at the site) and include admission to a 6 p.m. shindig in the Madison’s balcony hosted by the Cincinnati Music Heritage Foundation, which receives a portion of the CEA ticket sales proceeds. VIPs get an honorary membership to the Foundation and a choice of a James Brown or Hank Williams T-shirt (or limited edition poster print made with Eli’s BBQ sauce). Eli’s is also providing some food for the VIPs, who receive free beer and soda and private seating in the balcony for the show.

Check next week’s CityBeat for a recap of the CEAs and a list of the winners.

Bill Leist 1960-2014

I’ve written in the past about how there have been certain show promoters over the past several decades who have been vital to putting Greater Cincinnati on the map in terms of drawing touring acts to the area who otherwise wouldn’t have come (and making it a good experience so those touring artists spread the word). Bill Leist, a booker at legendary Newport Punk bar The Jockey Club in the ’80s and also frontman for local Punk band The Reduced, certainly belongs near the top of that list of pivotal promoters. Leist helped bring to town many artists that now define early American Punk Rock, including The Ramones, The Cramps, Husker Du, Black Flag, The Damned, Minor Threat and Dead Kennedys, among countless others. Leist was also very supportive of the local music scene, giving many bands that might have had a hard time finding a place to play their first shows.

On Dec. 29, Leist died at the age of 54. Friends and fans will gather at a pair of events this weekend at Southgate House Revival (111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., to celebrate Leist’s life and also help raise funds to assist his daughter with funeral arrangements. On Friday, there will be an auction of music memorabilia in the venue’s Lounge at 7:30 p.m. (you can view the items up for bid starting at 5 p.m.). Saturday at 3:30 p.m. there will be a celebration in Leist’s honor, with friends sharing stories and songs, in the Southgate’s Revival Room. Both events are free.

If you'd like to donate further (or can't attend the memorial events), there is a page set up to accept donations here. 

More Local Notes

• Last year, Coran Stetter of Come on Caboose returned with a great new Indie Pop project, Multimagic. After releasing a new track, “Let Go,” at last spring, Stetter set about building a lineup for the band. He ended up with some notable local players — singer/songwriter Mia Carruthers plays bass, Ben Hines of Young Colt is on guitar and ex-Bad Veins member Sebastien Schultz is the drummer. The lineup makes its debut Saturday when Multimagic plays a free show at MOTR Pub (1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, with Chicago’s Archie Powell and The Exports.

• Saturday night, four local groups will duke it out on the pool tables of Northside Tavern (4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, The Cincy Brass, Eclipse, Animal Mother and Comprador will perform at the event, but the bands’ members will also be competing in a charity billiards tournament. Each group has selected a local charity, with the winning band’s charity receiving a donation. It is a free event, but the artists are requesting a $5 donation for the cause. The fun starts at 9 p.m.

CONTACT MIKE BREEN : [email protected]

Scroll to read more Local Music articles


Join CityBeat Newsletters

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