· Covington's new Rock club, The Mad Hatter, has put together an impressive lineup this weekend for a showcase series they've dubbed the "Anthem Project 2K5." The club owners have arranged for A&R people from several labels, plus others in the biz (including booking, radio and management folks), to come into town for the event. The club's Andy Georgin says he hopes to do more showcases throughout the year, depending on how successful the debut is. Looking at the stacked lineup assembled, success shouldn't be a problem. On Friday, check out Cathedrals, The Light Wires, The Virgins, Death in Graceland, Crybaby, Alone at 3 AM and Humans Bow Down; Saturday's showcase features Turnbull ACs, Krinj, Rescue Effort, Junior Revolution, Kristen Key and Mint6Ten. (madhatterclub.com)
· The Blue Note in Price Hill will rock like a hurricane relief benefit concert this weekend. On Friday and Saturday, the "Rivertown Music Club" (which presents a variety of multi-band benefits throughout the year) hosts "The Roots & Rock Fest." Friday's show benefits the Red Cross via the Rock Together rock-for-charity organization; see rocktogether.org for details. Friday's performers include Drift, Cats Walking Backwards, Big Whiskey, Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups, Marking Twain, Mack West and Beau Aquizola. Saturday's show (which benefits the Red MacCormack Memorial Recording Grant Fund for local musicians) features 500 Miles to Memphis, Messerly & Ewing, Stash, Patchwork, Strange, The Shakedown!, The Hollow, Straw Boss, The Thirteens, G. Burton and Hyde Park Outrage, Nashville's Joshua Black Wilkins, The Comet Bluegrass Allstars, The Matthew Shadley Band and Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups. Music starts at 8 p.m.
Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday, but if you're up for some afternoon delight, Sunday's hurricane relief benefit at the Blue Note (unrelated to the RTMC shows) is for you. Kicking off at 2 p.m., Sunday's Americana-flavored show presents Robin Lacy and DeZydeco, Ricky Nye, Greg Schaber, Chris Arduser, Rob Fetters, The Todd Henry Band, Sonny Moorman, The Comet Bluegrass Allstars, Bucket, Larry and Tim Goshorn, The Turkeys, Katie Laur, Geezerpalooza, Jake Speed and Ian Mathieu & Harold Kennedy. Friday and Saturday's shows are for 18-and-up only; all ages are welcome Sunday.
· Local Rock radio institution WEBN (102.7 FM) is giving the locals some love with its new program, Native Noise. The all-local-music show airs each Sunday at 11 p.m. This Sunday at Covington's Mad Hatter, a concert promoting the new program will feature American Hardcore and 6 Sigma. For more info on the show (including how local artists can submit music for possible inclusion), go to webn.com/pages/nativeNoise.html.
· The latest installment of the female-centric "Chicks on the Road" series — a nationwide showcase founded by the local organizers of the ChicksRock Fest — hits the Viper Room on Friday. The lineup includes locals The Newbees, Pike and Pale Beneath the Blue, plus out-of-towners Shirock (Nashville) and The Outside (New York City), who were each featured at the recent MidPoint Music Festival. (chicksrockfest.com)
· Local singer/songwriter Katie Pritchard celebrates the release of her new CD, About Time, Saturday at Jack Quinn's in Covington. The disc — her third, but first with all original songs — features 10 tracks of hummable, organic Acoustic Pop. The release show is free and starts at 8 p.m. (katiepritchard.com)
· Downtown club alchemize celebrates its first anniversary on Saturday with a show featuring Cathedrals, The Virgins and Turnbull ACs. DJs Brian and Kevin spin '80s music upstairs for the club's popular DV80s dance party. Cover is only one buck before 10 p.m. ($5 for you late-comers). Doors open at 9 p.m.
· Former Cincinnatian Boom Bip (né Bryan Hollon), fresh off several tour dates with Interpol, returns to his hometown on Thursday for a show at alchemize (Hungry Lucy and Le TechnoPUSS13s open). Since his move to the West Coast a few years ago, accolades and support from the press and other musicians have raised his global profile considerably. His latest release, Blue Eyed In The Red Room, continues his move away from sample-based compositions into the live instrument-fueled work he's been toying with since his departure from Cincy (anyone who saw his show-closing live-band set at the 2002 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards knows what we're talking about). The album contains collaborations with singer Nina Nastasia and Gruff Rhys of BritPop geniuses, Super Furry Animals. (boom-bip.com)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen(at)citybeat.com