Queen City Music Spotlight: Catch These 11 Cincinnati Concerts Featuring Local Acts in February

This month features performances by local electro-punk legends Brainiac and an immersive musical showcase at Alice.

Jan 31, 2023 at 3:00 pm
click to enlarge General Baxter is performing at Urban Artifact on Feb. 23. - Photo: Connor Fennessey
Photo: Connor Fennessey
General Baxter is performing at Urban Artifact on Feb. 23.

Whether or not it's filled with romance, February will feature plenty of love from Cincinnati bands and musicians, including a bunch of new releases and shows to celebrate. From jazz in rooms that tell a story to local hip-hop stars on the rise, these shows are great events to take your sweetheart, ball and chain or even yourself out for a night to remember.

Everything Everywhere All At Once (multiple artists) at Alice
Alice has been hosting some of the most eclectic and diverse events and themed nights since opening last year, including things like deep dives into punk subgenre DJ nights and dominatrix bingo in between its regularly scheduled discotheque dance nights. Local hip hop artist, poet and community organizer Siri Imani’s Imani Productions has curated a venue-wide experience called “Everything Everywhere All At Once” — playing off the 2022 film title of the same name — that features multi-genre and multi-disciplinary acts throughout the venue said to be a “clash of cultures”. Each room has a different experience planned: the courtyard features violinist Preston Bell Charles III and the bar, labeled the “In Between Room” for the night, features music from guitarist JodyMadeIt. There will also be the “MultiVerse”, an open mic with hosts Greg and local soul singer Aunty Jojo, as well as featured performances from local hip hop artists Devin Burgess, HeartBreak Henry and Jus Clay. Lastly, there’s the “Rec Room” reserved for rap battles, spoken word and freestyles with the disclaimer: “if you ain’t a real rapper find something safe to do!” This part of the night will be hosted by local rappers Db3Three, Nue Blanco and TJG. For this event, the attention to detail and style doesn't stop at the gussied-up bathrooms. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Feb. 1. Alice, 1432 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, alice.super.site.

Jazz performances at Dee Felice Cafe
Long-running jazz club and New Orleans-style restaurant Dee Felice Cafe was opened by storied local drummer, the late Dee Felice, in 1984. The club features some of the city’s best jazz musicians atop a stage that sits behind the bar in the heart of Covington’s Mainstrasse Village. The full band performs 6-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and they have a pianist Mondays from 5-9 p.m. Have a shrimp cocktail (or just a cocktail) at the bar and enjoy some of the finest jazz in the city. Fridays and Saturdays 6-10 p.m. and Mondays 5-9 p.m. Free. Dee Felice Cafe, 529 Main St., Covington, Deefelicecafe.com.

The Drin (Album Release), Black Planet and Gentle Leader XIV at MOTR Pub
Local dark-wave punk band The Drin makes music that is equally complex, experimental and danceably groovy. Their new record, Today My Friend You Drunk the Venom is out on local label Feel It Records. The record incorporates several genres including krautrock, dub, industrial, cold-wave and dance-punk with some added tape experimentation, to great effect. They celebrate the release at MOTR with friends and local explosive punk band Black Planet (featuring members of Vacation, Isabelle Hell, Breaking Glass, etc.) making their first appearance in some time. Local synth punks Gentle Leader XIV round out the bill. 10 p.m. Feb. 4. Free. 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.

Siren Suit, Knife The Symphony and Quotah at MOTR Pub
Part post-punk, part space rock, part straightforward rock and roll, this show is sure to have something for every sort of music lover. Siren Suit has been active for a handful of years and recently played a set as DEVO during a Halloween show (the band shares a touch of that DEVO’s sensibilities while also mirroring many of Queens of the Stone Age’s attributes). Post-hardcore band Knife the Symphony has a new album titled All the Wrong Turns Taken To Get Here, available digitally and in physical formats this spring. The spacey alt-pop of Quotah balances out the evening and rounds out the bill. 10 p.m. Feb. 11. Free. 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.

Choncy, Hydrone (Columbus), Caryatids (Wisconsin) and Chameleon Earhart at The Comet
One of the city’s newest bands, the garage-punk band Choncy, makes an appearance in the neon glow of the Comet’s stage ahead of a new record and release show later in the month. This night includes Columbus’ reverb-drenched garage rock band Hydrone, melodic punk band Caryatids from Madison, Wisconsin and local psych rock from Chameleon Earhart. More info TBA. Feb. 16. Free. The Comet, 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside, cometbar.com.

Cleöcrt at Hi-Fi
Move on up the hill on the east side of town to the center of Mt. Adams to Hi-Fi to take in one of Cincinnati's newest and most promising singers and vocalists, Cleöcrt. Her style is a little classic neo-soul, a little contemporary hip-hop-inspired R&B and a little hook-heavy pop with some surprising touches. It’s one of several appearances she’ll be making around town this month ahead of a visual coming out on Valentine's Day with a surprise appearance that night at Somerset, as well as a freestyle to be released Feb. 24. Check her social media for updates and details. 10 p.m. Feb. 17. Free. Hi-Fi, 941 Pavilion St., Mt. Adams, facebook.com.

General Baxter (Album Release) with Slow Glows at Urban Artifact
Heavy but tasteful swirls of psychedelia color the sound of local rock and roll outfit General Baxter, The band’s innovative instrumentation and songwriting coupled with just right, in-the-pocket raw rock and roll make them a Cincinnati band to watch. They perform their new album Synaptic Static in its entire exploratory psych rock and roll glory in the grand church building converted to a brewery and venue, Urban Artifact. Local dream-pop favorites Slow Glows who put out their second record, But What Do I Know, to acclaim in 2022 are on hand to perform and celebrate the release. 9 p.m. Feb. 23. $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Urban Artifact, 1660 Blue Rock St., Northside, radioartifact.com.

Mynah Tones at Ghost Baby
Three sets mean three chances to catch Mynah Tones’ vocal-driven alt-pop with layered harmonies and hooks in the posh atmosphere of Ghost Baby. The underground tunnels that house the two bars and expansive live room are located four stories below ground off a side street in Over-the-Rhine. Make a reservation or show up under the nondescript purple light at street level to go down below and find a seat in one of the velvet booths under the mirror ball and chandelier that light up the historic rooms. If a belated Valentine’s Day celebration is a concern, this event might be a contender. 8:15 p.m., 10:15 p.m. and 11:55 p.m. Feb. 24. Free. Reservations Available. Ghost Baby, 1314 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine, ghost-baby.com.

Brainiac (Dayton, OH) and The Serfs at Woodward Theater
Dayton, Ohio-based electro-punk legends Brainiac were and remain an innovative and influential band that trailblazed the alternative scene in the ‘90s, gathering buzz and major label attention. The band continued pushing the boundaries of experimental music until the untimely death of singer Tim Taylor in 1997. The remaining members of Brainiac will be touring with Scottish band Mogwai throughout the month in the United Kingdom. After the tour, they make their first appearance in their hometown of Dayton on Feb. 24 since the celebration of the release of the 2019 documentary about the band, “Transmissions After Zero,” followed by a show at the Woodward Theater on Feb. 25 with local dark-wave, dance-punk band The Serfs opening the Cincinnati show. 9 p.m. Feb. 25. $22 in advance and $25 at the door. 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, woodwardtheater.com.

Sam Stansfield (of Dayton, Ohio’s Extreme Falcon) and Brian Damage (Columbus), plus The McCartneys DJ set at MOTR Pub
Sam Stansfield released one of the best local albums of 2022, Extreme Falcon, a catchy record of bedroom pop with some experimental touches filled with home-recorded charm. Columbus’ Brian Damage should complement well with their own off-kilter synthy pop rooted in punk. Get there early for the DJ set from The McCartneys, the husband and wife duo (and sometimes two-piece band), that features Stallone N’ Roses frontman Jeff Seegar and wife Maria playing all the records you need to hear to get you ready for the show. DJ set 7-10 p.m. and show at 10:30 p.m. Feb. 25. Free. 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.

Concert:nova Houses of Zodiac at Woodward Theater
Local chamber orchestra and exploratory ensemble concert:nova brings the newest installment of their current season, “Houses of Zodiac,” from Jeff Ziegler, which incorporates live cello, dance, visual and video elements with pieces of spoken word poetry in an immersive experience at the Woodward Theater. 7 p.m. Feb. 27. $30. 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, concertnova.com.

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