• Cincinnati Hip Hop cleaned up at the fifth annual Ohio Hip Hop Awards Sept. 18 in Cleveland, taking home many trophies in some of the event’s biggest categories. Local crew Beat Gang won “Best Group” and “Best Single” for its track “Mr. Miyagi” (the group’s B. Luck also won “Best Graphic Designer”). The Remedy won “Best Spoken Word Artist” and Sylver Karatz took home “Best Female Artist.” Other Cincinnati-affiliated winners included WIZF’s DJ Dimepiece (for “Best Commercial Mixshow DJ”), K.I.D. (“Best New Artist”) and Crack Sauce’s J. Skills (“Lyricist of the Year”). The Velvet Red Room (on Fourth Street, Downtown) won “Best Nightclub” and TC Entertainment took home the “Best Promotion Company” prize. Not bad at all, especially considering the OHHA is often criticized for heavily favoring Cleveland-area artists.
• Cincinnati’s Gypsy Jazz foursome The Faux Frenchmen celebrate the release of its new live album, The Swing Shift, with several “CD release shows” this week. The album — featuring the band’s usual mix of “Hot Club of France”-inspired standards and originals — was produced by guitarist Brian Lovely and recorded in June during one of the group’s regular Wednesday night shows at Sitwell’s in Clifton. They’ll be there this Wednesday for their usual 8 p.m. show, then play Thursday evening at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington. Friday, the Frenchmen play an art opening at 6 p.m. at Miller Gallery in Hyde Park. As if the Frenchmen weren’t busy enough gigging, they’re already nearing completion of another full-length studio album (with mostly original material), which is due before the end of the year. (www.fauxfrenchmen.com)
• Local quartet Charlie Hustle celebrates the release of its new digital EP this Friday with a show at the Northside Tavern with Walk the Moon and The Western. The three-song Fall EP — showcasing the band’s energized, melodic brand of powerful Indie Rock — is the latest in a series of shorter releases the band has planned for this year (they put out two other tracks in May) and is available as a “pay what you want” download at charliehustle.bandcamp.com.
• This Saturday at Covington’s Mad Hatter marks the debut show from Valley of the Sun, a new band featuring Chris Owens and Ryan Ferrier, formerly of Blacklight Barbarian, and Casey Beagle and Aaron Boyer, formerly of Saturday Supercade. The group — which is recording its debut EP next weekend in Louisville but will have demo discs to hand out at Saturday — is described as a mix of ’70s Rock like Deep Purple with early Metal like Black Sabbath and newer influences like Queens of the Stone Age and Black Mountain. The band is joined Saturday by local groups Sabre and Arlis Perry, as well as Columbus’ Lo-Pan for the 9 p.m. show.
• Local musicians looking for a little extra financial assistance for their next original music recording project should get their applications ready for this year’s grant given by the Rivertown Music Club in honor of late musician Red MacCormack. Submissions (two or three songs on CD, lyrics, bio, Web site and estimated total recording budget) will be accepted through Oct. 31. Past winners of the grant have included Magnolia Mountain, The Lions Rampant, Kristen Key, G. Burton, Turnbull ACs, 500 Miles to Memphis, The Sundresses, Straw Boss, Junior Revolution and Liz Bowater. For more information, e-mail Kelly Thomas at
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]