Queen City Music Spotlight: Catch These 10 Cincinnati Concerts Featuring Local Acts in August

There are a variety of shows put on by local acts to check out in the coming weeks, from outdoor classical performances to intimate bar-side entertainment.

click to enlarge Jerry Westerkamp of Vacation - Photo: Sean Reilly
Photo: Sean Reilly
Jerry Westerkamp of Vacation

Still searching for the soundtrack to your Cincinnati summer? Plenty of shows around the Greater Cincinnati area are worthwhile contenders for this distinction. From classical interpretations of King Records songs to the alternative pop stylings of Mol Sullivan, plenty of Cincinnati musicians are hitting the stage at venues across the Queen City. Here are just a handful of must-see shows featuring local acts in August.

Old City, Umin and Oh Condor (Dayton) at The Comet
Old City, the at-times perfectly post-punk Cincinnati act, is set to grace The Comet's stage on Friday, August 5. They are joined by experimental band Umin, who mix electronic instruments and noise with various live instruments to make chopped up instrumental pieces that sound like technology buzzing to life. Umin's sound is reminiscent of Terry Riley with an international flair. Dayton pop punk act Oh Condor rounds out the bill. 9 p.m. Aug. 5. Free. The Comet, 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside. facebook.com/events.

Mr.Phylzzz (Cincinnati/Chicago), SERVICE (Indianapolis) and Fruit LoOops at The Hub
Mr.Phylzzz, the  "ugly Chicago noise rock" two-piece formerly based in Cincinnati, are coming back to town to perform at The Hub with Indianapolis band SERVICE (which contains members of We Are Hex and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion). Cincinnati band Fruit LoOops — who fire on all cylinders, in all different directions — join Mr.Phylzzz and SERVICE at The Hub. 8 p.m. Aug. 5. $10. The Hub, 1209 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. facebook.com/events.

Mol Sullivan and Rae Fisher at Hexagon House
Alternative-pop singer/songwriter Mol Sullivan has been one of the local music scene’s rising stars for a handful of years. Sullivan's performance at Hexagon House will be fresh off the heels of the release of her single "Deep End Dive," which debuted on July 29. The addition of solo folk act Rae Fisher (of Slow Glows and Strobobean) will only enhance the dreamy quality of the show. 8 p.m. Aug. 6. $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Hexagon House, 1590 Glen Armand Ave., Northside. eventbrite.com/hexagon-house

Victoria Lekson, Jess Lamb, Siri Imani and Bailey Miller at The Comet
This bill rounds out a collection of some of the city’s most musically ambitious women. The night is said to feature solo sets as well as “creative collaborations” from experimental harpist Victoria Lekson, pianist and singer Jess Lamb, poet/rapper/activist Siri Imani, and multi-instrumentalist Bailey Miller. 9 p.m. Aug. 6. Free. The Comet. 4579 Hamilton Ave. Northside. facebook.com/events.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at Owl’s Nest Park
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and conductor John Morris Russell bring a varied program in the latest installment of the Andrew J Brady Neighborhood Concert Series. The latest installment of the free concert series pays tribute to legendary Cincinnati record label King Records, and features several interpretations of King Records' recordings — sometimes with the orchestra backing a handful of guest vocalists. Some of the King Records selections on the program include organist Bill Doggett’s 1950s classic “Honky Tonk”, Hank Ballard’s “The Twist” (the originator of the song) and two James Brown selections, along with some orchestral jazz numbers, contemporary composer Michael Abels’ Outburst, an aria from Cincinnati Opera and more. 7 p.m. Aug. 6. Free. Owl’s Nest Park, 1984 Madison Rd., Evanston. myfountainsquare.com/series/fifth-vine-live.

Cold Stereo, Sweet Knives (Memphis, TN) and Blunt Blades at MOTR Pub
You'll feel plenty energized after catching Cold Stereo's power pop (served with a hearty helping of electric organ and 1970s new wave charm). They are joined by Sweet Knives, a synth-driven power pop act from Memphis, Tennessee, and Cincinnati garage punk supergroup Blunt Blades. 10 p.m. Aug. 13. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. motrpub.com.

Devin Burgess, Jay G and Swooty Mac at Fountain Square
The lineup for Fountain Square's Fifth & Vine Live on Aug. 13 features several movers and shakers in Cincinnati's hip hop scene. Devin Burgess — aka KEI$HA (no, not that Kesha) — is a producer and artist making alternative hip hop music that can be refreshingly left of field.  Swooty Mac makes hip hop with elements of lo-fi trip-hop and soul with a laid-back confidence while Jay G delivers energetic, packed verses. 7 p.m. Aug. 13. Free. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown. myfountainsquare.com/series/fifth-vine-live.

Quotah, Nick Vivid (NYC), and Electron States at MOTR Pub
Quotah, one of Cincinnati's most cherished indie pop artists, will join New York City’s Nick Vivid for a performance at MOTR Pub on Aug. 19. Often decked out in bellbottoms, Vivid creates blissed out disco synth-pop reminiscent of a slightly grittier Jamiroquai. Electron States rounds out the bill. Come for the music, stay for the synthesizers, color lights and mirror balls.10 p.m. Aug. 19. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. instagram.com/piss.flowers.

Vacation, Piss Flowers, Substitute (NYC), and Pale Angels (NJ/UK) at DSGN CLLCTV
Need to further your education of Cincinnati's modern music scene? Catch Cincinnati's Vacation at their upcoming DSGN CLLCTV show. Over the last decade, Vacation has become a pillar of Cincinnati's rock 'n roll scene. Vacation will be joined by New York City grunge punk band Substitute, New Jersey/United Kingdom-based fuzz punks Pale Angels (featuring Vacation singer Jerry Westerkamp on drums) and hardcore band Piss Flowers. All of the bands in the lineup recently recorded music at Westerkamp’s Checkered Flag Studio. Aug. 26. Details to come. DSGN Collective. 4150 Hamilton Ave. Northside. facebook.com/vacationohio.

Willie & The Cigs, Spoils and Nick Mauer & The Grocers at Sitwell’s
Step into Sitwell’s Coffeehouse, located next to the Esquire Theatre, for the countrified proto-punk tunes of Willie & The Cigs. The band will be joined by a few newcomers to Cincinnati's music scene, including indie pop outfit Spoils and Nick Mauer & The Grocers. 8 p.m. Aug. 26. $5 cash/$6 card. Sitwell’s Coffehouse Act II, 324 Ludlow Ave., Clifton. More details to be announced.

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