Old City Brings Back the Cassingle

Plus, Tunes & Blooms, Walk the Moon and Brian Newman return to Cincy, The Chris Comer Space Dub Sextet debuts and local acts unite for 80’s Pop Rocks benefit

click to enlarge Old City's 'The Sun is My Light'
Old City's 'The Sun is My Light'

Cincinnati Indie Rock trio Old City is going old school with its new EP/maxi-single release, putting the four-song The Sun is My Light out on “cassingle” (that’s a single on a cassette for those under 35). The release (designed and hand-packaged by the band members) will include a digital download code, for those who long ago ditched their tape players or don’t even know what they are. The Sun is My Light, a great sampler of powerful Indie Rock that puts a fresh spin on the best of the genre’s pre- and post-breakthrough years in the ’90s, will also be available for stream/purchase at oldcityusa.bandcamp.com.

The band is celebrating The Sun is My Light’s release this Friday with a show at Woodward Theater (1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, woodwardtheater.com). Showtime is 9 p.m. and local bands Prim, Little Lights and Halvsies also perform. Admission is $5.

For the latest on Old City, visit facebook.com/oldcitycincinnati.

Tunes & Blooms Returns

OK, now spring is officially here. The Cincinnati Zoo’s (3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org) annual Tunes & Blooms concert series, named for the blossoming flowers in the zoo’s beautiful gardens (and the live music, of course), kicks off this Thursday. For the past several years, Tunes & Blooms has presented local, mostly original artists performing for free (although to park in the zoo’s parking lot it’ll cost you $9). This year’s events — running every Thursday in April — also include a side stage (the Safari Stage) featuring even more local music. Music begins at 6 p.m.; admission to the zoo is free starting at 5 p.m.

This Thursday’s opener (like much of the series) features a variety of Americana flavors with performances by The Tillers and Honey & Houston. The rest of the series features Shiny and the Spoon and Jake Speed & the Freddies (April 9); Buffalo Wabs & the Price Hill Hustle and Hickory Robot (April 16); Reggae faves The Cliftones (April 23); and a night of diverse Rock with Green Light Morning and Plastic Ants (April 30).

More Local Notes

• The 80’s Pop Rocks benefit, featuring local musical acts performing their favorite songs from the ’80s to raise money for HIV/AIDS charities, returns this Saturday. The 8 p.m. concert will take over the whole Southgate House Revival (111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., southgatehouse.com) and raise funds for Caracole, which provides housing and services to people and families living with HIV/AIDS (visit caracole.org for more info on the cause). Artists performing at the show include Lift the Medium, Lovecrush 88, Pike 27, Hot For Alice, Wilder, 500 Miles to Memphis, Sometimes, Sweet Ray Laurel, Crick Gypsies, A Continuous Now, JetLab, Chakras, Evening Redness, Daniel Bennett and The Dirty Shirleys, The Whiskey Shambles, Mack West, Black Signal, Kid Stardust, The Darkhearts, Zebras In Public, DJ Empirical, student musicians from School Of Rock Mason, Tonefarmer and many more. Admission is $10.

• Since moving to New York City several years ago, former local Jazz trumpeter Brian Newman has made quite a name for himself, first with his regular performances around the city and then as Lady Gaga’s “go to” Jazz guy. The CCM grad, along with some fellow former CCMers, have appeared regularly with Gaga, and when the Pop star made 2014’s Cheek to Cheek album with the legendary Tony Bennett, Newman and Co. made the promotional rounds with the pair, including the PBS concert special, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek Live!

Newman (who made a surprise appearance with The Cliftones at this year's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards ceremony) and his quintet play Cincinnati Saturday for a performance at 20th Century Theater (3021 Madison Road, Oakley, the20thcenturytheatre.com). The Steve Schmidt Trio opens the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. (briannewman.com)

• Local Jazz pianist Chris Comer debuts his new project, The Chris Comer Space Dub Sextet, with a free show Monday at 9 p.m. at MOTR Pub (1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com). Comer, who calls the group “an improvising Dub/Rock band that’s psychedelic and groovy,” plays Fender Rhodes Electric Piano and is joined by drummer Brendan Blumer, bassist Brent Olds and Dan Barger on sax and electronics.

• Cincinnati’s Walk the Moon plays a homecoming show on April Fool’s Day (Wednesday) at Bogart’s, but if you don’t have tickets, you’re out of luck — like much of the band’s current tour behind its second album for RCA Records, Talking is Hard, the show is sold out. But the band will be back soon. Walk the Moon is slated to appear at this year’s Bunbury Music Festival on the riverfront June 5 (visit bunburyfestival.com for tickets and more info). The band is also scheduled to return to network television (check its Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance below) on April 15, performing on NBC’s The Today Show. (walkthemoonband.com)

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]t.com

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