March marks the coming of spring, a world premiere at Music Hall and a month bookended by new local releases. The month of March features release shows, performances from popular local musicians like Mol Sullivan and Leggy and even a chance to see a three-stage, venue-wide festival for a good cause (and plenty more to keep you busy and out and about enjoying the glorious Spring air).
Toon Town Residency at MOTR Pub
Local trio Toon Town make charged, Americana-tinged garage blues with a timeless touch of cabaret and jazz — much like the sound of a rock and roll band playing in a dimly lit club in the basement of some fictional city in a lost noir film. They appear weekly every Wednesday night in March except for March 8. Week one (on March 1) features hard-hitting melodic rock band Feral Friends as the opener. Other guests include Heavy Hinges (March 15), Mezclado (from Columbus) and Terror at Midnight (March 22) and Knotts (March 29). 9 p.m. March 1 and 9:30 p.m. March 15, 22 and 29. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.
Mol Sullivan (Album Release) with Ann Driscoll and Rae Fisher at Northside Tavern
Singer-songwriter and local favorite Mol Sullivan has been a top name on an already impressive list of local musicians for some time now, but she’s made a considerable leap in recent months with a series of new releases. From the release of a handful of catchy and inventive singles that came with equally entertaining videos to a fair amount of touring across the country and memorable local appearances, Sullivan has cemented her spot as a top act in Cincinnati. She’ll celebrate the release of her new EP of sunny, surrealistic dream pop, A Little Hello, at Northside Tavern with friends Rae Fisher and Ann Driscoll (backed by her new band) after a West Coast tour. 8 p.m. March 3. $12 in advance, $15 day of show. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, facebook.com.
Ernie Johnson From Detroit (Album Release) with Electric Citizen and The Harlequins at Woodward Theater
High energy funk and afrobeat groove-influenced jam band Ernie Johnson From Detroit celebrates the release of their new record, Swamp Nymph, with a party fit for Cincinnati royalty. The band’s exploratory groove is driven by a stage full of heavy percussionists, a horn section, bass and guitar players and keyboards. The band has tapped percussionist Rob Stamler’s other band, local psych garage favorites The Harlequins, and Cincinnati heavy psych band Electric Citizen, who have played with some big names like Joan Jett and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, to perform as well. Their friends at Bunk News art collective will supply the visual element for the night to add an infusion of light and color to the event. 8:30 p.m. March 4. $20 in advance, $25 day of show. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, woodwardtheater.com.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Perform Strauss’ Death & Transfiguration and Premiere of Samuel Adams’ Variations at Music Hall
The 2023/24 season will be the final season for Music Director Louis Langrée at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Throughout Langrée’s last season, there will be a lot of exciting and innovative programming in store that touches on the orchestra’s past — and this performance at the tail end of the 22/23 season, which ends in May, is no exception. Richard Strauss conducted his piece Death and Transfiguration at Music Hall in 1904 and the CSO will bring back what a press release calls “Strauss’ soundtrack to infinity” over a hundred years later in the same space. Additionally, the premiere of rising contemporary composer Samuel Adams’ Variations, a CSO co-commissioned piece, will debut on the Music Hall stage. The program also includes a performance of Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8. Tickets start at $15, but there are a limited number of Pay-What-You-Wish tickets available for the performances. 7:30 p.m. March 4 and 2 p.m. March 5. Tickets start at $15. Cincinnati Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org.
Fruit LoOops, Tetchy (NYC) and Big Girl (NYC) at MOTR Pub
Freewheeling, experimental punk band Fruit LoOops play with two bands on tour from New York City. All three are female-fronted and bring varying levels of experimental and genre-bending excitement. The sound of New York’s Tetchy and Big Girl stretches from dreamy and serene to cinematic and grand alternative-pop with some experimental touches. Fruit LoOops made one of the most exciting and wildest-sounding records of last year and offer plenty of personality to visually match the high wire of chaos, noise and orchestrated musicality they bring to a live show. 9 p.m. March 9. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.
Spoils, Dana (Columbus), Louse, Fluung (Seattle) and Corker at The Hub
The Hub plans to move to a new space next door to their Main Street location in Over-the-Rhine soon, but, for now, catch this impressive lineup of newer local acts in the original location. Local acts Spoils, Louse and Corker are appearing alongside Columbus’ experimental synth punk band Dana. Spoils released Find Later, their debut EP of effortlessly catchy alt-pop, last year and have proven to be a local band to watch. New wave punk band Louse and cold wave post-punk act Corker have also made a place for themselves in the city’s punk scene. Fuzzy alt-rock band Fluung from Seattle will round out the bill. 9 p.m. March 10. $7. The Hub, 1209 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, totallythehubotr.com.
7th Annual Rock ‘n Revival for A Cure at Southgate House Revival
Put together by two brothers, Adam and Matthew Forsthoefel, to raise money for the foundation they set up in their father’s name, the John Forsthoefel Glioblastoma Research Fund, the Rock ‘n Revival for a Cure helps bring awareness and raise money for research into glioblastoma, an incurable brain cancer. During the event, a long list of bands play across all three stages at the Southgate House. This year brings local psychedelic-influenced rock band Lemon Sky; folk singer/songwriter and one half of local psych folk duo Dawg Yawp, Rob Keenan; singer/songwriter Matt St. George; Southern country rock band 90 Proof Twang; alt-rock band See You In The Funnies and many more, including the Forsthoefel brothers’ band The Grove. Get out for a genre-crossing blend of local acts and support a good cause. Doors open at 4 p.m. March 11. $20. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. 6th St., Newport, southgatehouse.com.
SKRT, Freedom Nicole Moore and Boy Jr. (Rochester, NY) at Southgate House Revival
Freedom Nicole Moore’s freewheeling and inventive neo-soul and Dayton female-fronted experimental grunge-punk trio SKRT open for glammed out, alternative-pop solo performer Boy Jr. on tour from Rochester, New York. 7 p.m. March 13. $12 in advance, $15 day of show. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. 6th St., Newport, southgatehouse.com.
Stallone N’ Roses and Cold Stereo (Dual Record Release) at Junkers Tavern
Local garage rock trio Stallone N’ Roses and punk, power-pop band Cold Stereo each celebrate record releases under the ballroom lights of Junkers Tavern at this month’s Turd Thursday (a recently revived Third Thursday Junkers tradition started by local band Pure Predication’s Mike Cipollone and Jeff Seegar). Both bands share drummer Tommy Biddle and Cold Stereo’s Todd Utley recorded Stallone N’ Roses’ When The Mountains Turn Blue, as well as Cold Stereo’s self-titled new album, in his Fuzzy Eyed Studio. Junkers is a fine setting and a home turf of sorts for the bands — it’s even pictured on the back of Stallone N’ Roses new record with a few bar fixtures, including longtime bartender Jessica Rusch and steadfast patron Todman. A second release show is in the works for April at MOTR Pub. 9 p.m. March 16. Free. Junkers Tavern, 4156 Langland St., Northside, facebook.com/northsidecincy.
Leggy (Album Release) with Laveda (Albany, NY) and Mary Henry at MOTR Pub
Local punk band (with plenty of pop sensibilities) Leggy celebrates the release of their newest record titled Dramatica at MOTR Pub directly following a handful of out of town dates in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland. The band released one of their strongest offerings yet, “Lipstick on the Mic” late last year. The single came with an equally impressive and stylish video that might hint at what to expect from the new material. They’ve recruited rising local alt-pop, all-female band Mary Henry to help out, along with indie pop band Laveda on tour from Albany, New York to fill out the celebration. 10 p.m. March 31. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.
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