· Sometimes it takes a lot to get Greater Cincinnatians away from their TVs for a night. Local indie label Tokyo Rose Records has made it slightly easier for you this Saturday, as they present the "TV Theme Song Tribute Show," featuring 20 locals acts putting their own spins on your favorite (and, we're guessing, not so favorite) television and commercial themes. Area bands scheduled to appear include: 7 Speed Vortex, The Fairmount Girls, 24 Hour Flu, Ralph Jones Band, Le TechnoPUSS13s, Goodnight Satellite, Abiyah, Not Delicious, (in)camera, The Spectacular Fantastic, Crimes Of The Black Cat, Hateful Flies, 1000 Arms, The Minor Leagues, Gremlins, Kare Bear Mafia, Tornado Trousers, Kamikaze Saucers and Post-Haste. As if that wasn't enough, there will also be a "live presentation" of The Dating Game. Sadly, no one is scheduled to act out scenes from Charles In Charge. But you should still pry yourself away from the warm glow of your boob tube — it's re-run season, anyway! Caterpillar Tracks (back after an eight-month break) and Banderas will be performing (presumably non-TV-related songs) in the upstairs Parlour; admission to their show is free if you pay to get into the theme song show.
· As you can tell by the tag-line of the feature story on page 35, downtown club alchemize has shut its doors for good. After months of speculation about a new location for the club, owner Nick Spencer closed alchemize abruptly, saying he has found a new space on Seventh Street in Covington, striking another blow to the already struggling Main Street Entertainment District (among other closures, Jefferson Hall moved to Newport on the Levee recently and Spencer says he knows of one other Main Street club close to following him to Northern Kentucky). Thanks to the already existing marquee out front, Spencer's new venue will be called, "The Variety Room," creating a cool musical synergy with other venues in the area like The Mad Hatter, Clique and The Madison Theater.
Spencer says he is hoping to move the already-booked national shows to another venue (the July 27 Voxtrot show has already been switched to the Madison Theater; other new sites should be posted at alchemizebar.com). He says The Variety Room could be open within just a few weeks.
· Saturday brings the second annual installation of the "Indie Media Fest" to the Madison Theater. The event is an awareness-raising gala designed to celebrate "truth and democracy and the free exchange of ideas" via non-corporate media. Music for the night will be provided by Spindle, Krinj, All Their Eyes and Subvinyl. For more on IMF II, go to myspace.com/indiemediafest.
· The long-running Vans Warped Tour comes through Riverbend on Wednesday, July 26, and once again the festival is plugging in a few select area bands for the Cincinnati stop. For the Ernie Ball Local Heroes Stage, unsigned bands were selected from a "Battle of the Bands" contest to perform. Sadly, on-the-verge rockers Ellison were the only actual "local" band selected. The other slot-winners were Lexington's Parlour Boys, Kettering's Marilyn Avenue and Frankfort, Ky.'s Very Emergency. Ellison will likely not be eligible for the contest next year — the band is putting out its first nationally-released CD, Say Goodnight, Sleep Alone, on Aug. 22. The album is being released on the new label run by JT Woodruff of Hawthorne Heights, distributed through Victory Records and Sony Red Distribution. The band will hit the road with Waking Ashland and David Melillo in September, but they are planning a pre-tour CD release party on Sept. 2 at Covington's Mad Hatter. (ellisonsite.com)
· Eclectic Jazz/Rock/Funk trio TriFectaFunk has scored the opening slot for Friday's Ekoostik Hookah show at the Southgate House. The band is hoping to have limited copies of their new EP available at the show, which kicks off at 9 p.m. (trifectafunk.net)
· Wednesday at The Mad Hatter, The Whigs are performing. No, that's not the old shorthand moniker of late, beloved Cincy faves The Afghan Whigs. The Whigs are a much-buzzed-about, slanted Indie Pop trio from Athens, Ga., that has been making the critics go ga-ga with its new LP, Give 'em All A Big Fat Lip. They might get a little shit for coming so close to the old Whigs' stomping grounds (it's kind of like starting a band called The Stripes and playing in Detroit), but they've got some solid local support backing them up — impressive lo-fi Pop/Rock foursome The Silhouette (myspace.com/thesilhouette) and AltRock newcomers Leonidas (myspace.com/leonidasmusic).
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen(at)citybeat.com