One week until the MidPoint Music Festival? Holy cow, I have a lot to do here at CityBeat World Headquarters! Pick up a CityBeat next week for our annual preview of the three-day fest (running Sept. 26-29) which features more than 200 unsigned artists, literally from around the world (an "International Stage" has been added at the Know Theater this year). Music will take place next Thursday, Friday and Saturday at various music clubs (and makeshift music clubs) in the Downtown/Over-the-Rhine/Main Street area.
Along with info on the panels designed to help unsigned musicians, we'll have write-ups on every single band performing at the festival to help you map out your weekend, as well as info on the new pre-showcase parties with national, signed bands on-hand to pump up the excitement level (and get people downtown early!). This year's pre-parties take place at The Exchange on Main Street, featuring Superdrag (their very first show with the original lineup in more than seven years) on Thursday and Nashville Indie Rock greats Forget Cassettes on Friday. Don't forget — you must have one of the three-day MidPoint writstbands to attend the pre-party concerts (available for $25 at mpmf.com).
Couple more MPMF notes:
· John Davis of Superdrag will be the "artist keynote" speaker this year. As in the past with keynoters like Greg Dulli and Bootsy Collins, Davis will talk about his varied experiences in the industry via an on-stage, live interview. And this year's interviewer is some hack who works for a local weekly newspaper and writes a weekly column called Spill It!
For this year's "industry keynote" address, Lyle Preslar, formerly of Punk legends Minor Threat, will give a talk. Preslar has worked management, marketing and other positions at various major labels and is an expert on the whole RIAA/copyright infringement debate.
· Another new, interesting wrinkle this year is the "MPMF Recording Studio" feature. Gone is the "tradeshow" (where music-related companies tried to sell poor, underfunded musicians stuff), with the recording studio aspect taking its place. Bands and musicians attending the fest will be able to sign up to record a song for free on-site at the fest headquarters in the Contemporary Arts Center. Other attendees will be able to watch the musicians as they record and the songs will be given to the artists for later mixing. The songs will also be streamed on "Radio MidPoint," through the fest Web site.
Rumors, Lies and General Misunderstandings
· Multi-genre poet/musician/singer Abiyah is getting her "floetry" stylings back into the clubs and on the streets. Besides performing at MidPoint next week with her large collection of collaborators (including Chicago's Michael Bond of Electronic/Indie band Coltrane Motion, guitarist Tom Willis, formerly of Paperback, bassist Mike Gregory, beatboxer Marty Spitfly, turntablist DJ Apryl Reign, back-up vocalists Dana Hamblen and Kristen Kreft and keyboard support from Abiyah's son Zeque), Abiyah will also be a part of Tha Blast Urban Arts Festival on Fountain Square (Click Here for more Listing Info) this Thursday. The even kicks off at 8 p.m with various poets and DJs; Abiyah and her band perform at 9 p.m.; and then Philly spoken-word icon Ursula Rucker and her band perform at 10 p.m. (abiyah.com)
· I've had a couple of discussions in the past few months about Country (heck, "general music") legend Johnny Cash and his appeal. Does anyone hate Johnny Cash's music? No one I know. That bodes well for this Saturday's "Cash Tribute" at the Southgate House, a second-annual event featuring local artists paying loving tribute to the Man in Black by playing some of his finest songs. The show features StarDevils, Mudpies, JoAnna James & Sean Walsh, BoDanglers, Double A Daddies and more. (stardevils.com)
· Friday at the Southgate House, the final benefit show to fund this year's Rivertown Music Club Recording Grants (which give funding to three carefully selected local applicants for recording projects) goes down, featuring, as always, a solid bill of area artists. The grants will be given out later this year, each in the name of a late local musician — Sam Nation (former frontman for The 13s), Brad Andress (member of Pop/Punk band Close to Home) and Red MacCormack, a longtime local musician and former bandmate of RTMC founder Kelly Thomas in Second Sister. Saturday's big "House Party" — with music on all three of the Southgate's stages — features performances by Ric Hickey, Tupelo Honey, G. Burton and Hyde Park Outrage, Kristen Key, Kinsey Rose, Israel Hensely, Brian Lisk, Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups and Nashville's Joshua Michael Scutella. Music starts at 9:15 p.m. sharp. (myspace.com/therivertownmusicclub)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen(at)citybeat.com