· Local musicians Kent Meloy and Jim Lipscomb of the band Kelp have embarked on a novel, noble new concept for raising money for charity. The twosome hatched the idea for "Rock Together" after trying to come up with a way to raise cash for the victims of hurricane Katrina. Through a Web site (rocktogether.org), performers from around the world can set up charity shows in their own cities and link them to "Rock Together" to get maximum attention. The goal is to raise a cumulative $100,000 from artists worldwide for hurricane relief. Of course, Meloy and Lispcomb are doing their own groundwork here in Greater Cincinnati. On Saturday and Sunday, "Rock Together" takes over the stages at Newport's Southgate House for a two-night benefit. Among the local participants Saturday: Le TechnoPUSS13s, Tonefarmer, Kelp, Mike Detmer, Matthew Shadley Band, Venus Mission, Giant Wow, Beau Alquizola and 7 Speed Vortex. Sunday, locals like Kentucky Struts, Patrick Ewing, Travelin' Barefoot and Rob Fetters perform. Comedian Brad Thacker MCs both nights.
· Local Contemporary Jazz multi-instrumentalist Robby Bright celebrates the release of his third album, Touch, on Saturday at Jazz In the Park II in Forest Park.
Bright, who earned radio success and industry attention with his 2000 album, Sometimes You Just Know, will be joined by special guests for the show, which kicks off at 9:30 p.m. The first 25 people through the door who bring the cover insert of his last album with them will be given a free copy of the new disc. (robbybright.com)
· Cincinnati's first and surely finest "Country/Metal" band, Liquid Fire, release their debut EP, Open Road, on Saturday. The band has been building a buzz regionally, and LF lead guitarist Joe Riley says they have been getting some attention from major labels in Nashville. Mixing banjo and fiddle with their Hard Rock base, the band combines influences from Ozzy Osbourne (some members toured for several years with the Ozzy tribute band Mr. Crowley) to Buck Owens. Riley says to get a sense of what they sound like, "Imagine Korn meets Ozzy meets Brad Paisley meets Dwight Yoakam." Liquid Fire performs Friday and Saturday at Tradewinds in Walton, Ky. (Saturday is the official release show). (lfire.com)
· Local Rock trio Odd Man Out have decided to call it quits. Though they hope to book one more big farewell show (they are pulling together a "special CD" to give to fans then as well) you can catch the group on Friday at Patrick's Sports Bar, their last scheduled gig until the finale.
· Many local music fans are likely still recovering from the big three-day MidPoint Festival last weekend. But if you are up for more club-hopping and musical exploration, the inaugural Dayton Music Fest on Saturday is a good way to see what are neighbors up north have to offer, music-wise. Spread out over four clubs in the Oregon District (Elbo's, The Nite Owl, Oregon Express, The Trolley Stop), the grassroots DMF was created to unify the local music scene and celebrate the impressive music talent that the Gem City regularly produces. Several MidPoint participants are on the bill, including Shrug, Gem City Rockers, Ruetschle, Sleepybird and My Latex Brain, while artists like Enon, Swearing at Motorists, Emily Strand and The Town, and Murder Your Darlings are also slated to appear. $10 gets you admission to all four venues. Go to poptek.com/daytonmusicfest.htm for the full lineup and more info about the fest.
· The band Over the Rhine heads to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, on Sunday for a special concert that will be recorded and aired as a part of the nationally-syndicated music public radio show, Mountain Stage. The 7 p.m. show at the campus' Templeton-Blackburn Auditorium will also feature sets from Charlie Sexton, Son Volt, Eric Bibb and Adrienne Young & Little Sadie. Tickets to the taping are available at the venue's box office or by calling 740-593-1780. (overtherhine.com)
· A couple of rootsy locals are headed to some slightly unusual gigs this week — book readings! Author Timothy Schaffert came up with the idea of inviting various Americana-flavored artists in different cities to perform before and after readings of his new music-centric novel, The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God. Jeff Roberson of Len's Lounge joins Schaffert Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Borders in Springdale; Jake Speed plays one-man house band for Schaffert's 7 p.m. reading at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood on Tuesday.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen(at)citybeat.com