Following last year's successful debut, the monstrous Jammin' On festival, featuring over 60 of the area's best original music acts in eight clubs, returns to Over-the-Rhine this weekend. The fest was conceived by local musicians and boosters who sought to fill the void left when the long-running, national-performer-heavy Jammin' On Main was cancelled in 2005.
G. Love and REO Speedwagon's loss is the local music fan's big gain. Like the MidPoint Music Festival, Jammin' On showcases bands in the clubs along Main Street area. But unlike MidPoint, Jammin' On focuses on local talent (with just a couple of regional artists), making it the biggest and best event of its kind in the area, helping to spread the word beyond the already-converted that Greater Cincinnatians are making some pretty great music these days. For more background on the performers, do a search at citybeat.com to find interviews, reviews and news on practically every artist on the bill.
Friday, at alchemize, check out The Hiders, The Fairmount Girls, The Star Devils and The Light Wires, who have played sparingly as they prepare for their much-anticipated sophomore album. Over at Coopers on Main, it's Crazy Ivan, The Green Room, Melismatics and the somewhat-recently reunited Saving Ray. Courtyard Café features Holly Spears, Bad Veins, Mark Rossow and The Rudies, while Mr. Pitiful's has Goose, The Nailers, Wussy and the Gregory Morris Group.
Also Friday, Japp's has Hierophant, Catalog Cowboys, Kohai and Straw Boss, and Neon's (which is presenting bands on its awesome outdoor stage) boasts The Turnbull AC's, Buckra, The Terrors and Noctaluca.
RBC's hosts Dayton's Captain of Industry, Lavender Drags, The Defrost Star and pictureshow, while Jefferson Hall houses Langus, The Swarthy Band, The Sundresses and Ellison.
Saturday, the fun picks back up with The Kentucky Struts, MOTH, Kim Taylor and Crybaby at alchemize; Hyde Park Outrage, Columbus' Miranda Sound, Wake the Bear and Lovely Crash at Coopers on Main; and the Kelly Evans Trio, wil-o-ee, The Subterraneans and Kelly Thomas and the Pick-Ups at Coutryard Café. Saturday at Mr. Pitiful's, it's Cari Clara, Bulletproof Charm, Campfire Crush and Ruby Vileos, while Japp's has Visceral Elixir, The Trojan Rabbit, Whitney Barricklow and Kelp.
Also on Saturday, Neon's presents 1000 Arms (see Locals Only, below), The Spectacular Fantastic, Dayton's Lab Partners and Marvin and the Experience, and RBC's hosts Junior Revolution, Kill City, Elliott Ruther Trio and Death in Graceland. Jefferson Hall's Saturday lineup features The Stapletons, 500 Miles to Memphis, Paper Airplane and The Vinyltones, who recently inked a deal with Japanese label Quince Records to release their debut album, Memoirs of a Songbook (the band is also heading to Afghanistan in June to perform for the U.S. military).
Music kicks off both nights at 10 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m., with performers starting at the top of each hour. Tickets (which can be purchased at any participating venue) are $10; two-day passes are available for $15. (myspace.com/jamminonevent)
As Jammin' On and MidPoint have shown, the groundswell of support for local music has kicked up a few notches in recent years. For proof, look no further than Great American Ballpark and your Cincinnati Reds. David Storm of the local band Screaming Mimes gets the credit; working in the P.A. booth at the stadium, Storm has been known to play local bands' CDs between innings.
Storm also had a big hand in putting together Cincinnati Clutch Hits, a new compilation CD featuring baseball- and Reds-themed songs from artists like psychodots, Ryan Adcock, Noah Hunt, And Andy, Freekbass, Jake Speed and the Freddies, Greg Mahan, Blessid Union of Souls and Screaming Mimes. The disc — which also features cameos by Peter Frampton, Marty Brennaman and Raquel Aurilia, wife of Reds infielder, Rich — will raise money for the Reds Community Fund, the team's youth outreach program. For more on the CD and the Fund, check out redscommunityfund.com.
This Saturday, Screaming Mimes play a free concert in the "Fan Zone" at the ballpark (you must have a game ticket to attend). The show is part of the team's weekend concert series, with bands performing after many Friday/Saturday homestand games this spring and summer. Cincy native Katie Reider and her band perform after Friday's game, and future shows include The Goshorn Brothers (May 27), The Kevin Fox Band (June 16), Freekbass (June 17), Noah Hunt and the 420 All-Stars (July 1 ... don't tell Marty what the "420" stands for), The Vinyltones (July 15) and Oval Opus (Aug. 19).
Local Shows of Note
· A benefit show for a young local boy with cerebral palsy, Emmett Jameson O'Loughlin, has attracted a slam-dunk headliner. Jason Lytle of Grandaddy (who have broken up but just released their swan song, Just Like the Fambly Cat), plays the "Emmett Art Show II" at the York Street Café in Newport Saturday. Alongside an auction of artwork by several area artists will be performances by local bands Bright Orange Robots, MecuroChrome, The Dandy Beards and Surface Music. The event starts a 6 p.m. and proceeds go toward Emmett's medical expenses. For tickets and further info, go to emmettartshow.com.
· Friday at the Southgate House, it's another ace benefit show, this time in support of Amnesty International. Friday's impressive lineup includes Campfire Crush, The Chocolate Horse, Baoku Moses and the Image Afrobeat Band, The Minni-Thins, Philosopher's Stone, The Frankl Project and John Parker's Blinge 9. Music starts at 8:30 p.m.
· The annual Appalachian Festival returns for its 37th year, turning Coney Island into an exhibition of Appalachian culture and music this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Along with national headliners like New Found Road and The Lonesome Sisters, traditional Americana music will be provided by locals like Ma Crow, the Comet Bluegrass Allstars, Wild Carrot, Raison D'Etre and many others. (appalachianfestival.org)
· If you're up for a more twisted twist on Appalachian culture, head over to Covington's Mad Hatter Saturday, where devilish Spewgrass trio Hogscraper performs with their sisters-in-deviousness, Barnyard Burlesque, and Cleveland's Whiskey Daredevils. Since their return in 2004 after a seven-year hiatus, Hogscraper has made good on their promise to tour regionally and record new material. The band is wrapping up their first new CD since their self-titled debut in 1996. The disc is due this summer. (hogscraper.com)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen(at)citybeat.com