· Wednesday at Noon, Fountain Square is the place to be for the exciting MidPoint Music Festival kickoff. In a flashback homage to The Rolling Stones' 1975 tour "press conference," a flatbed truck featuring local rockers Buckra performing will circle the Square throughout the lunch hour. Also at noon, the campus of Cincinnati State hosts a concert with performances by Moth, Tracy Walker and The Breakers.
· Wednesday night, the kickoff moves into the more Rock-friendly confines of Jefferson Hall on Main Street for a free CD release party celebrating the MPMF compilation disc. The CD features tracks from locals like Freekbass, Echo Park, Ruby Vileos, The Ass Ponys, Moth and Ryan Adcock, plus cuts from out-of-towners such as Jenna Drey, BLASTERNAUT, Model One and Imaginary Bill. Rachael Sage, Coltrane Motion and The Middle Men (each featured on the disc) provide the live entertainment.
· Wednesday at 7 p.m., the Apple Store in Kenwood Mall presents a live MPMF promotional appearance by the Cincinnati's Ruby Vileos.
· On Thursday at noon, the University of Cincinnati campus will be rockin' with a free concert featuring MPMFers Buckra, Only Everything, The Walker Project and Moonlight Graham.
· Keep an eye out for expanded MidPoint promotional efforts. A yard sign campaign will pimp the fest in neighborhoods around the city and an MPMF television commercial has been airing on local cable channels.
· MPMF organizers have also been promoting the festival outside of the Greater Cincinnati loop. Clever ads have been run in the Memphis Flyer which make the case that, while Memphis might be the birthplace of Rock & Roll, Cincinnati is where it was conceived. Playing on the hype surrounding the so-called 50th anniversary of Rock music (centered around Memphis hound-dog Elvis' "discovery" of the genre), the advertisement suggests that the sound the King supposedly invented was "old news" in the Queen City thanks to King Records and others' pioneering groundwork. Local singer/songwriter Elliott Ruther has even written a song about the challenge. His "Rock-N-Roll Conceived (in Cincinnati)" pays tribute to Cincinnati's role in Rock's construction, name-checking icons with local ties such as Hank Ballard, the Delmore Brothers, James Brown, Grandpa Jones and The Isley Brothers. Check out the ad and the song at mpmf.com/cincyrocks/.
· On Sept. 20, British Rock star Peter Frampton (a current Cincinnati resident who's been supportive of the local music scene since arriving a few years ago) appeared at a press conference at Arnold's to help promote MidPoint. "Each generation needs its new music and its new outlets for playing and hearing that music," Frampton told the small group of assembled media representatives. "Though I love living in Cincinnati and I love going to the clubs here, it would be nice to have a lot more going on. That's what MidPoint does."
More Local Notes
· Monday at the Madison Theater in Covington, Gary Milholland — who performs Hip Hop under the name Mission Man — will host "Playing For a Cure," a benefit concert for the American Cancer Society. Along with a Mission Man set, the show features local acts Ray's Music Exchange, Buckra, The Dos Locos All Stars, Abe Kuranga and Variant, plus Let Me Introduce You to the End from Chicago. The cause is one close to Milholland's heart — the show falls on the 10th anniversary of his mother's death from cancer. Advance tickets are available at madisontheateronline.com.
· As the deadline to register to vote in this year's presidential election quickly approaches (Oct. 1 is the last day for Ohio voters; Kentuckians have until Oct. 4), motivated musicians are making last-minute efforts to get people signed up and headed to the polls. On Friday, the groups Keys Crescent, Sweet Ray Laurel and Optimus Rhyme host a "Rock the Vote" concert at Radio Down in Covington. The show is all ages and free. Music starts at 9:30 p.m. For more on the Rock the Vote efforts, check out rockthevote.com.