Fall is in full swing: there’s a chill in the air, pumpkin flavor is back and giant skeletons are in front yards. Fall also signals the arrival of some new and returning beloved Cincinnati music events, from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra premiering avant-garde contemporary compositions as part of FotoFocus to an annual Halloween costume party, where local musicians come together to “dress up” as famous bands and perform a evening of cover songs.
Sorry Eric, Catastrophic Dance Ensemble and Freedom Nicole Moore at MOTR Pub
Sorry Eric is celebrating the release of its new record, The Problem with Fun. Led by songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Eric Dietrich, it’s the band’s second album of left-of-center and biting-but-catchy songs, full of dry delivery and observational songwriting. Sorry Eric has invited an interesting lineup of other acts to take part in the release show, including the sped-up-low-fidelity kinetic punk group Catastrophic Dance Ensemble and the neo-soul alt-pop band Freedom Nicole Moore. 10 p.m. Oct. 8. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. motrpub.com.
Norman Westberg (New York), Pete Fosco and Planchette at Southgate House Revival
The Southgate House Revival is hosting a special night of experimental ambient music, featuring Norman Westberg of the influential and legendary avant-garde New York rock band Swans. Westberg makes contemplative ambient tonal explorations that sound like a sweeping view of the ocean floor or a night flight over dark landscapes. Local solo guitarist Pete Fosco is also on the bill. Fosco is a sound artist who makes meditations from loops, effects pedals and applied effects. Northern Kentucky’s classically trained cellist Planchette — aka Nora Barton — will also appear, performing her dramatic experimental cello pieces. 8 p.m. Oct. 11. $15. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport. southgatehouse.com.
Jess Lamb & The Factory and The Heavy Heavy (UK) at MOTR Pub
Cincinnati songstress Jess Lamb and her backing band The Factory, which often features local music power players, are playing MOTR Pub with The Heavy Heavy from Brighton, England. Lamb specializes in a soulful and emotive brand of piano-driven pop, while The Heavy Heavy draws on 1960s pop and soul to make its own version of dual-vocal sunny and reverb-drenched pop. 9 p.m. Oct. 12. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. motrpub.com.
Fruit LoOops and Ed Schrader’s Music Beat (Baltimore) at MOTR Pub
This promises to be one of the most sonically expansive shows of the month. Cincinnati experimental noise rock group Fruit LoOops — which sounds like a collision of 20th-century musical styles — is opening for Ed Schrader’s Music Beat. The Baltimore band blends a far-reaching take on Alan Vega’s vocals with the overall atmosphere of a Suicide record, a touch of humor and synth-driven dance. 10 p.m. Oct. 14. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. motrpub.com.
CSO Proof Presents Sun Dogs at Music Hall
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is presenting the world premiere of an innovative and experimental project, which paired some of the most significant contemporary composers/musicians and filmmakers to craft collaborative image and sound pieces. Produced as part of the FotoFocus Biennial celebration of lens-based art, with contemporary music programming organization Liquid Music, Sun Dogs allows the artists to work together from the start, instead of the typical format where musicians soundtrack a finished film piece. Sun Dogs — which is described as seeking to “understand the natural world that can’t be touched or measured” — paired Grammy-winning Pakistani singer and composer Arooj Aftab and composer Daniel Wohl, whose work has been performed at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, with filmmaker Josephine Decker. It also grouped critically acclaimed musician Devonte Hynes with Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix winner Mati Diop and Paris-based filmmaker Manon Lutanie, and composer Rafiq Bhatia — guitarist, producer and composer for band Son Lux — with Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. All three musician-filmmaker pairings are premiering their significant works right here at Music Hall. 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Oct. 14 and 15; 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16. $5. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. cincinnatisymphony.org.
Spoils, Corker, Mary Henry, Golomb (Columbus) and Waning at The Hub
This show at The Hub features many players in the Ohio music scene’s new guard — some of Cincinnati’s and Columbus' finest newer acts continuing the rock and roll tradition. Recent Cincinnati favorites, the alt-pop band Spoils, is joining Columbus garage art-punk group Golomb on the bill with other locals, including industrial punk act Corker, the all-womxn layered post-punk pop group Mary Henry and band Waning. 9 p.m. Oct. 15. $5. The Hub, 1209 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. facebook.com.
Leggy, Strobobean and Scrunchies (Minneapolis) at Northside Tavern
Minneapolis alt-rock band Scrunchies is making a stop at Cincinnati music cornerstone the Northside Tavern with local favorites Leggy and moody alt-pop three-piece Strobobean for a night of womxn-fronted punk and rock and roll. 8 p.m. Oct. 27. Free. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside. northsidetav.com.
*Editor's note: Strobobean band member Katrina Eresman is a freelance contributor for CityBeat.
Tweens, R.O.D. (Lexington) and Willie and the Cigs at MOTR Pub
Cincinnati rock and roll sweethearts Tweens are appearing with R.O.D. from Lexington, Kentucky for an upcoming show at MOTR Pub. R.O.D. is a two-piece, drum-machine-driven band with flashes of synth and guitar, expressive vocals and dancing rhythms. Newer local favorite Willie and the Cigs opens the show with its blend of proto-punk and country flare. 10 p.m. Oct. 28. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. motrpub.com.
Eat Your Heart Out Halloween Party and Cover Sets at Northside Tavern
Get your costume ready: This annual Halloween tradition, organized by local singer/songwriter Adam Stone, features Cincinnati musicians coming together to form cover acts of famous bands. Each night of the two-night Eat Your Heart Out Halloween Party features five bands. The lineup for night one includes Creedence Clearwater Chronicle, featuring members of Mad Anthony performing CCR songs; Candy Darling, featuring members of Fairmount Girls, Darlene, The High and Low, The Pariahs, Dummy Ups and Molly Hatchet doing Velvet Underground songs; and Dead Disco, with members of Carriers and Appaloosa covering Metric songs. Night two features Portisdead, with members of Strobobean, Leggy, Rae Fisher and Dream Tiger performing Portishead songs, as well as Zom Petty, featuring members of Hello Sapien, Toon Town, Slow Glows, Sharp Toys, Dune Buggy, Lemon Sky, Quotah, You, You’re Awesome, Magnolia Mountain and Bulletville covering Tom Petty tunes. Admission is $10, but covers both nights if you keep your wristband. It’s a zombie-themed party with photo ops, so come in your Halloween finest. 9 p.m. Oct. 28 and Oct. 29. $10. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside. facebook.com.
Life On The Edge: 25 Years of Cincinnati Music at Ludlow Garage
Celebrating Cincinnati music from 1960-1985, Life on the Edge features an exhibit of show posters, original photographs, memorabilia and merchandise for sale, along with live music. The exhibit starts at noon, followed by an acoustic set by James Weston; two sets by a 12-piece band led by locals Rickey Nye, Sonny Moorman, Kristen Kreft and Danny Manning at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and an Auburnaires reunion set around 9 p.m. The press release says to expect to see many local personalities, including musicians, journalists, photographers and TV and radio hosts. The original Ludlow Garage was an important part of the Cincinnati music scene, so it will likely be worth attending just to hear stories of rock and roll history in the location where many locally iconic events took place. 7 p.m. Oct. 30. $15 advance; $20 day-of. Ludlow Garage, 342 Ludlow Ave., Clifton. ludlowgaragecincinnati.com.