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

Enjoy exciting performances, ethereal improvisations, sweaty soaring rock and roll and exploratory avant-garde jazz.

click to enlarge Cincinnati musician Victoria Lekson - Photo: Khoi Nguyen
Photo: Khoi Nguyen
Cincinnati musician Victoria Lekson

Even with the conclusion of the summer and spooky season, November still boasts numerous chances to see your favorite Greater Cincinnati bands perform an electric set at a stage near you. Catch exciting performances, ethereal improvisations, sweaty soaring rock and roll and exploratory avant-garde jazz along with a variety of other music events on any given night across the city this month.

The Harlequins and The Schizophonics (San Diego) at MOTR Pub
Local psych-garage favorites The Harlequins, who just released their eight album, Time, in September to critical acclaim, play MOTR Pub with the frenetic, high energy garage rock band The Schizophonics on tour out of San Diego. The Schizophonics are known for their sweaty performances evoking a truly wild blast of rock and roll — sure to be a good start to the month. 10 p.m. Nov. 4. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. motrpub.com

Slow Glows, Willie & the Cigs, Terrycloth Mother (Cleveland) and Witches Meadow at Northside Tavern
Slow Glows are known for their dreamy reverb-drenched sound that is often complemented by a liquid light show for live performances. Live visual artist Liquid Sky Dimensions will be providing this night’s swirling color projection designed to ignite multiple senses. One of the most in-demand bands in the city right now, the proto-punk rock and roll outfit Willie & the Cigs, will join them. Cleveland alt-rock band Terrycloth Mother and local electronic pop group Witches Meadow fill out the bill. 8 p.m. Nov. 4. $10. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside. facebook.com.

Darlene and Wombo (Louisville) at Black Plastic Records
Local luminaries Darlene — a melodic female fronted alt-pop band — will appear at one of the finest venues in town that isn't a venue, Black Plastic. The record store in the west side of town on Glenway Avenue is where owner, musician and soundman Steve Schmoll has built a stage that resembles the Red Room from Twin Peaks to give bands and fans of all ages an additional venue. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Plastic hosted live webcast performances from the shop when live performances weren't a possibility. Darlene appear with rising Louisville psychedelic post-punk band Wombo, who are touring in support of their latest record, Fairy Rust. 9 p.m. Nov. 4. Free. All Ages. 6470 Glenway Ave., Bridgetown. facebook.com.

Joe Policastro Trio at Caffe Vivace
Former Cincinnatian and bassist Joe Policastro leads a jazz trio now based out of Chicago that creates inventive and almost avant-garde takes on jazz classics and originals, incorporating elements outside of traditional jazz. The trio has toured the U.S. and performed for President Obama, per a press release. The trio features Dave Miller on guitar and Mikel Avery on drums. Performances at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Nov. 5. $10 plus $10 minimum drink order. Caffe Vivace, 975 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills. caffevivace.com.

Sugar Tradition (Detroit) and Willie & the Cigs at Junkers Tavern
Newer local favorites Willie & the Cigs make another appearance, this time with a band that local legend Johnny Walker of The Soledad Brothers described as the future of music after catching one of their opening sets on Jack White’s tour — Sugar Tradition. The Detroit band makes timeless garage rock with a touch of blues, soul and 1960s psychedelia. If you’re looking to stand in the warmth of a Junkers crowd on a cool November night and feel like you’re witnessing the future of rock and roll, this might be the place you’ll want to be. 8 p.m. Nov. 9. Free. Junkers Tavern, 4156 Langland St., Northside. (More info to come).

Ironfest XIII at Southgate House Revival
Started in memory of local musician “Iron” Mike Davidson after his untimely death, Ironfest XIII continues this year with a huge list of local and national acts to keep his memory alive. Night one features experimental rock band Phoul Phil Andt Guill, Dayton emotive solo performer Paige Beller, local bedroom pop act Extreme Falcon and The Dopamines, a Cincinnati pop punk band with an international following, along with many more. Night two features Cincinnati punk favorites Tweens, local garage power pop band Cold Stereo, experimental hip-hop performer Eugenius and Laura Jane Grace of the widely successful band Against Me!, among many others. 6:30 p.m. Nov. 11 and 12. $5 per night. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. 6th St., Newport. southgatehouse.com

Victoria Lekson, Pete Fosco and Umin at Northside Tavern
Three of the city’s most inventive and prolific solo performers appear solo and in collaboration at Northside cornerstone the Northside Tavern. Harpist Victoria Lekson has had a busy year thus far, performing solo at a variety of venues across the city, as well as regularly collaborating with hip-hop vocalist Siri Imani, powerhouse singer/songwriter Jess Lamb and other local powerhouses. Solo guitar player Pete Fosco has been helping maintain the thriving experimental music scene for many years and has had a busy year himself, recently playing an opening slot for Norman Westberg of the legendary band Swans. Umin have also helped hold that experimental ground in the city for many years, making far reaching pieces with electronic and natural elements that create a world of sound. 8 p.m. Nov. 16. Free. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside. facebook.com.

Smut and Saving Escape at MOTR Pub
Former Cincinnati band Smut return after a move to Chicago a few years back with newer locals Saving Escape, both rising stars in the local music scene, for a night of polished radio-ready alt-pop. 9 p.m. Nov. 16. $12 in advance; $15 at the door. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. motrpub.com.

Chuck 2, Stall, Piss Me Off (Cleveland), Marty Brass and the Lavender Jets (Cleveland) and The Microbes (Connecticut) at The Hub
Five acts at The Hub for only $5? Count us in. Melodic, lo-fi slacker rock band Chuck 2 and local hardcore act Stall perform with Cleveland bands Marty Brass and the Lavender Jets (who have a sound that sits between pure rock and roll and punk) and the hardcore punk Piss Me Off. Connecticut punk band The Microbes round out the bill. 9 p.m. Nov. 19. $5. The Hub, Main St., Over-the-Rhine. (More info to come.)

Carriers and The Harmed Brothers (Portland, OR) at Southgate House Revival
Both Carriers and Portland area band The Harmed Brothers create pop infused indie rock with a touch of Americana that seems ready for mainstream audiences. This dash to mainstream success seems especially promising considering the fact that Carriers have played a handful of recent higher profile shows and leader Curt Kiser worked with some of Cincinnati’s most distinguished musicians — John Curley from The Afghan Whigs and Bryan Devendorf from The National — on the band’s first record, Now is the Time For Loving Me, Yourself & Everyone Else released in 2019. They perform in the Sanctuary at Southgate House Revival. 9 p.m. Nov. 25. $18 in advance; $20 at the door. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. 6th St., Newport. southgatehouse.com.

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