JetLab Flies High on Diverse Debut

Plus, Ohio Knife gets its own beer and Kenton County Regulators and SHAG reunite

Indie Dance Rock trio JetLab celebrates the release of its self-titled debut Friday at Southgate House Revival (111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., southgatehouse.com). The free show (on the venue’s Lounge stage) begins at 9 p.m. and also features performance by Analog Panda, UFOhio and Hot for Alice.

JetLab was conceived by veteran local musicians Elle Crash (ex-Lovely Crash, Fairmount Girls) and Nick Barrows (4 Track Allstars, Eagle to Squirrel) as a way to blend their love for Rock/Pop and Electronic/Dance music; drummer Dave Welsh rounds out the group and does a superb job of holding together the mélange of sounds and approaches. The result is a spiritual throwback to the ’70s New York City scene centered on CBGB; though largely lumped together as “Punk,” the bands of that era ranged from the dynamic New Wave/Pop of Blondie to the anxious Rock stylings of Talking Heads and Television. JetLab is kind of like a one-band CBGB scene as its debut dips into a wide range of styles and vibes. That Crash and Barrows both write and sing adds to the engaging diversity of the LP.

The album starts with the accurately titled “Dance Floor,” a swirl of electronic sounds and dance-ready rhythms that introduces both vocalists’ distinct styles — Barrows’ is elastic but largely low-register cool (falling somewhere between Richard Hell and Thurston Moore) while Crash brings fire with her soaring pipes, which show hints of Chrissie Hynde, Johnette Napolitano and Debbie Harry. Other JetLab highlights include the swaggering, sassy “What,” which manages to mix Electro Funk with acoustic Pop, the driving Post Punk of “Old Days” and the airy, mesmerizing and passionate closing track, “Happiness.”

For more on JetLab, visit facebook.com/jetlabmusic.

Ohio Knife Gets Its Own Brew

Cincinnati rockers Ohio Knife are known for the creativity they bring to their endeavors, not only musically, but also in their presentation. This Wednesday, the band is releasing a great four-song EP (Our Neighborhood) in conjunction with four limited-edition posters created by area print shops BLDG, Cryptogram, Powerhouse and Southpaw/We Have Become Vikings. Each hand-numbered poster comes with access to one of the EP’s songs; collect all four pieces and you’ll have the complete EP.

Cool in itself, right? Adding an extra twist, the band will also be unveiling its very own beer, Ohio Knife Amber Ale, a collaboration with local brewer Christian Moerlein. The band worked with former bandmate (in the group Readymade) and Moerlein head brewer Gregg Wilson to create the brew.

In the press release for the unique release party, the band writes, “We decided on a American-style amber ale that is massively hopped with an experimental variety of amarillo, and citra. This beer is a liquid embodiment of a winding journey that a group of friends started on as a small college art-rock band and now has grown into a vision and we hope you enjoy this as much as we have enjoyed creating it.”

As if all of this wasn’t enough, Wednesday’s release event is one of the first shows at the newly opened Woodward Theater (1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/thewoodwardtheater) and powerhouse local rockers Electric Citizen, who have been busy touring their asses off and building an ever-growing fanbase across the country, are also performing. Showtime is 9:30 p.m. and admission is $7. (ohio-knife.com)

They’re Getting the Bands Back Together

• Thanksgiving often brings expatriates back to town, resulting in some rare reunion performances. One of the cooler ones this year is a show by all-star Country/Bluegrass crew Kenton County Regulators. The band members have gone on to other projects and locales — for example, bassist/pedal steel player Jesse Ebaugh plays with Heartless Bastards out of Austin, Tex.; banjoist Chris Hill now performs in his Nashville, Tenn., duo Feller and Hill; and singer/guitarist/drummer Andy King has been making waves on the Alaskan Folk/Bluegrass scene. The full ensemble plays a free show at Newport’s Southgate House Revival Wednesday (in the Sanctuary room). Salty Candy opens the night at 8:30 p.m.

• Cincy Funk master Freekbass and his band The Bump Assembly play the Southgate House Revival’s Sanctuary stage Saturday at 9 p.m. Before developing his own project, Freekbass held down the low end for popular local Funk group SHAG, one of the biggest bands in Cincinnati during its ’90s heyday. The surviving members of SHAG (percussionist/hype man Mark Chenault passed away in 2007) are scheduled to reunite as part of Freekbass’ Southgate show, which will also include the world premiere of the music video for “Never Enough,” a great track from Freek’s 2014 album release, Everybody’s Feelin’ Real. (freekbass.com)


CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected] or @

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