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

Strobobean, The Harlequins and other local musicians top the bill at these January shows in Greater Cincinnati.

click to enlarge The Harlequins - Photo: Provided by The Harlequins
Photo: Provided by The Harlequins
The Harlequins

The New Year is already bringing some good fortune to local music lovers. With the re-emergence of old traditions, along with some familiar favorites and newer talent appearing across Greater Cincinnati over the next month, it looks like the year is starting off just right for the Cincinnati music scene.

Rae Fisher’s Tuesday Night Residency at The Comet
Singer and songwriter Rae Fisher, who also performs with locals Mol Sullivan and Strobobean, takes over The Comet’s Tuesday night residency all month in January with an eclectic and ambitiously curated lineup for each bill. Notably, the curated lineup includes the addition of a dance element most Tuesday nights, except for the first week (Jan. 3), which featured Lillian Ruth Currens (formerly of punk band Swim Team) and the soulful art-folk of Grace Eddy. Week two (Jan. 10) features Sunlight Revival and movement by Laura Lane. Week three (Jan. 17) will be a swing night with live swing music and dancers. Week four (Jan. 24) will feature jazz musician Justin Dawson, classically trained vocalist Hayley Maloney and movement by Ana Hart. Week five (Jan. 31) will feature a performance from local alt-pop band Strobobean, which features Fisher on bass and backing vocals, as well as appearances from Sky Hank and Muwosi. EachTuesday in January. Free. The Comet, 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside, instagram.com/flyying_fiish.

The Harlequins and Moon Goons (Indianapolis) at MOTR Pub
Local psych garage favorites The Harlequins will start the year off right with what will likely be an explosive, reverb-drenched howl during the first Friday night of 2023. Indianapolis neighbors, the psychedelic, prog-rock band Moon Goons join them. The night will be topped off with a colorful splash of visuals by artist Charlie Stults, who will be projecting swirls of colorful light on the stage during the performances. 10 p.m. Jan. 6. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.

Pretty Mean, Phoul Phill Andt Guill, Peach Fuzz (Athens, OH) and Fruit LoOops at MOTR Pub
Pretty Mean is a female-fronted punk outfit formerly known as Moan, reworked after the exit of the original lead singer and the addition of dynamic drummer Rob Stamler (Harlequins, Ernie Johnson From Detroit, etc). The bill will be rounded out with performances by Phoul Phill Andt Guill, who make experimental rock and roll with elements of prog and metal, and local experimental noise rock band Fruit LoOops. Athens’ highly experimental psych punk band Peach Fuzz will round out a night of what’s sure to be one of the best moments for exploratory, experimental and explosive rock and roll in January. 10 p.m. Jan. 7. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.

The Perfect Children, Mark Sims (Columbus) and Breaking Glass at MOTR Pub
Longtime garage soul powerhouse band The Perfect Children appears at MOTR Pub on Jan. 13. The band is fronted by author (Rocktails: An Amped Up Spin on Mixology) and School of Rock instructor Kristen Kreft, who made her recording debut as a child on the legendary Cincinnati record label Jewel Records. Perfect Children return to MOTR with another powerful female-fronted Cincinnati band — the garage blues band Breaking Glass. Columbus’ Mark Sims, who makes well-constructed, Americana-tinged pop rounds out the bill. 10 p.m. Jan. 13. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com

Mall Witch and Hayley Sakkara at MOTR Pub
Newer indie dream pop band Mall Witch are also set to make an appearance at MOTR Pub this month. The band is a recent addition to the local music scene but features the already-established local electronic, avant-pop artist sappha on vocals. Cleveland transplant Hayley Sakkara now calls Cincinnati home and makes her MOTR debut, opening the night with her moody, radio-ready electronic pop. 9 p.m. Jan. 18. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.

Stallone N’ Roses for the Return of Turd Thursdays at Junkers Tavern
Junkers Tavern legends and local garage punk band Stallone N’ Roses bring back the third Thursday Junkers tradition known as Turd Thursdays this month, a tradition that got its start by Stallone N’ Roses frontman Jeff Seeger’s former band Pure Predication. Stallone N’ Roses help keep the Cincinnati garage scene alive and honest with its no-nonsense (or all nonsense), sincere approach to making music — something the great Cincinnati garage luminaries the Cincinnati Suds called “the wild blast”. In the words of the Suds’ late Sean Morrissey, “the wild blast must go on”. Keep an eye out and ear to the ground for guests and future lineups. 9 p.m. Jan. 19. Free. Junkers Tavern, 4156 Langland St., Northside.

Mary Henry, Strobobean, Ted Tyro (Louisville) and Devils Cross Country at The Hub
The all-female post-punk band Mary Henry return with a stacked lineup that includes Cincinnati’s Strobobean, the three-piece dynamic, alt-pop band with glam and style to spare, and Louisville’s Ted Tyro, who make punchy post-punk that is equally danceable and interesting. Locals Devils Cross Country, who make punk with an overarching pop sensibility, round out the bill. 9 p.m. Jan. 21. $5. The Hub, 1209 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, totallythehubotr.com.

CSO Proof: The Right to be Forgotten at Cincinnati Music Hall
The latest installment in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s CSO Proof series is a study on the effects of technology on culture and life in a song cycle by singer-songwriter and composer Gabriel Kahane. “Do you remember your brain before the internet? Before you became tethered to a tiny computer that travels on an infinite loop from nightstand to pocket to purse to your hand and back again?” the event description reads in part. The night features guest musicians and vocalists accompanying Kahane and the orchestra to explore technology’s impact on life and, ultimately, on independence. 8 p.m. Jan. 25. $24.15. Cincinnati Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org.

Fritz Pape, Pete Fosco, Bailey Miller and Mariel Westermeyer at The Comet
Electronic musician Fritz Pape, who makes ambient drone pieces with patched synthesizers and effects to create contemplative and exploratory sound collages, will perform alongside other local talent at The Comet in late January. Pete Fosco's improvised guitar noise pieces will complement Pape’s performance. Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Bailey Miller mixes electronic and folk elements to great effect. Her album, Still Water, was also one of 2022’s most popular releases. Mariel Westermeyer (Sharp Toys, Slow Glows) just released a solo EP of dreamy and atmospheric guitar work with ethereal vocals titled Guess What. Pick a favorite drink or try something new from the wall of choices in the stuffed beer cooler and let yourself wander along with each expansive performance. More info TBA. The Comet, 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside, cometbar.com.

The Tillers and The Montvales (Knoxville) at Southgate House Revival
The Tillers, a longtime Cincinnati Americana band and multi-time CityBeat CEA winner, perform across the river at the Southgate House Revival on Jan. 28. The band formed in 2007 and have maintained a steady place in the music scene since, with singer Mike Oberst's solo work only cementing their status as a local music scene staple. The band appears with Knoxville’s The Montvales, who make country folk with the dual vocal harmony of singers Molly Rochelson and Sally Buice floating over banjo and instrumentation to make timeless, traditional music with a contemporary punch — perfect for the Southgate House Revival stage. 8 p.m. Jan. 28. $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. 6th St., Newport, southgatehouse.com.

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