Local Acts Announced for MidPoint Music Festival

A third batch of artists slated to appear at September’s MidPoint Music Festival was recently unveiled, revealing several of the Cincinnati-area acts performing at this year’s event, as well as more touring artists booked for the fest.

A third batch of artists slated to appear at September’s MidPoint Music Festival (which is owned and operated by CityBeat and returns to various venues in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown Sept. 25-27) was recently unveiled, revealing several of the Cincinnati-area acts performing at this year’s event, as well as more touring artists booked for the fest.

Heading up the latest MPMF announcement are Heartless Bastards, who are now based in Austin, Texas, but got their start in Cincinnati. The band is still widely beloved in its place of birth — in late June, the Bastards performed two nights at Over-the-Rhine’s new Woodward Theater, the second of which resulted in the venue’s first sold-out show.

The local acts announced for this year’s MPMF are some of the finest in the city. Area performers from the latest MidPoint announcement include Leggy, Noah Smith, The Almighty Get Down, Public, Us, Today, Young Heirlooms, The Harlequins, The Yugos, Dawg Yawp, DAAP Girls, Elk Creek, Little Lights, Gran Bel Fischer, Kate Wakefield, JSPH, Orchards, Jane Decker, Coconut Milk, Automagik, Sweet & the Sweet Sweets, Eclipse and Multimagic.

With this third announcement, the majority of artists appearing at MPMF 2015 have been unveiled (previously announced national acts include Purity Ring, Ride, Iron & Wine, tUnE-yArDs and Sylvan Esso), but a few more acts will be added in the coming weeks. To view the full lineup (more dates, times and venue info coming soon) and find more about the festival, visit mpmf.com.

July for Kings Returns  

In the late ’90s/early ’00s, July for Kings emerged from Middletown, Ohio, with a crisp and catchy AltRock sound that helped them build a large local fanbase and also caught the interest of the music industry, resulting in a major-label deal with MCA Records. The label issued the young band’s debut album, Swim, but not long after, amidst the label consolidation frenzy of the times, MCA folded. With various lineups, July for Kings has continued to play around the area and release music sporadically, while frontman Joe Hedges has put out a handful of solo albums.

This week, the band returns with its first album in more than five years, fittingly titled Middletown, which finds July for Kings returning to the muscular AltRock of its MCA years. You can listen to/download/order a CD of Middletown at music.julyforkings.com.

Area July for Kings fans will definitely want to attend this week’s release party in honor of the new album — Hedges, also an accomplished visual artist, is relocating to the Pacific Northwest to work in Washington State University’s art department. Hedges says the release celebration and new album “will most likely be my last show and record in the area.”

July for Kings’ release party is Saturday at MVP Sports Bar & Grille (6923 Plainfield Road, Silverton, mymvpsportsbarandgrille.com). Showtime is 9 p.m. and Jamie Suttle and Mark Cooper’s MC3 are also on the bill. Tickets can be purchase in advance for $5 through cincyticket.com.

More Local Notes

• Impressive Indie Pop/Rock act Comprador recently unveiled its excellent debut full-length, Pollinator, a compelling blend of hypnotic song structures, glistening guitar and impassioned vocals you can listen to/download now at comprador.bandcamp.com. The album is being released by Indianapolis label In Store Recordings; you can order Pollinator on CD or cassette at instorerecordings.com, as well as through the trio’s Bandcamp page. You can also purchase hard copies of Pollinator in person when Comprador celebrates the new album release Thursday at The Drinkery (1150 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, drinkeryotr.com). The band is joined by fellow local acts Weakness and The Never Bird, as well as Brooklyn, N.Y. foursome The Gradients, for the free 10 p.m. show.

• On July 14, on-the-rise Cincinnati-based Country singer/songwriter Noah Smith released his new solo acoustic album, Live at The Southgate House Revival, as a free download through noisetrade.com (tips are, of course, welcome). Smith, who was nominated for Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in the Country, Singer/Songwriter and New Artist categories earlier this year, recorded the 11-track album this past December at the popular Newport, Ky., club. For upcoming show dates, a link to the new album and more, visit noahsmithmusic.com.

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