MPMF.09 Bands Th-V

A list of all the MPMF performers in alpha order (T-V)

Sep 11, 2009 at 2:06 pm

The Ambassadors
(Brooklyn, N.Y.) Indie Rock/Pop
This foursome slips some light electronic flavoring into its interesting Indie Pop stew, which features watery guitar lines and dynamic songwriting that ranges from passionate and low-key to intense and in-your-face.
: Phoenix and Tahiti 80 jamming and occasionally wandering into some stabbing, urgent Rock.
Below Zero Lounge
, Sep 25, 10:30

The Atriums
(cincinnati) Indie/Rock
There's an organic glow emanating from the fluid, glacially-paced Indie Rock of The Atriums. The songs rise and fall like a slow motion wave, cresting at the most emotional passages with an assuredness that either nothing can be done or everything's going to be all right. The band's narcotic, spaced-out Larry Lawrence EP, The Atriums' first release, is available now. Don't listen to it in the car.
Dig: Band of Horses on cough syrup, The National going through some heavy shit, Built to Spill turning things down and going with the quiet flow.
Southgate House
Friday, Sep 25, 9:00

The Aviation Orange
(Brooklyn, N.Y.) Indie Pop
Rising up out of the same angular, New Wave womb as any number of recent Brooklyn-based bands, this fivesome distinguishes itself from the pack by way of dueling boy/girl vocals and a nod toward John Hughes' '80s soundtracks. Don't be surprised if the band's name is likely a reference to Sparks, the fizzy, Orange-hued alcoholic drink that would seem the elixir of choice when listening to this high-flying, sugary stuff.
Dig: Interpol doing Duran Duran covers, The Killers minus the pompousness.
Below Zero Lounge
Friday, Sep 25, 9:30

The Baltic Sea
(Portland, Maine) Indie/Post Rock
The Baltic Sea, which crafts layered, nuanced Post Rock with a psychedelic glaze, formed in 2001 with different members and a different name. The musicians became The Baltic Sea when they reunited in 2005 and they have been drawing attention with their spacious, loud/soft dreamscapes and live shows augmented by video projections. The band is boldly experimental, something not only reflected in the adventuresome sonics but also in the exploratory song arrangements.
Dig: Sigur Ros, Mogwai, recent Radiohead.
Contemporary Arts Center
Friday, Sep 25, 11:30

The Black Owls
(Granville, Ohio) Rock
This riff-happy Ohio quartet mixes Southern Rock grandeur and New Wave panache in equal measure. Truth be told, the band's 2008 debut full-length, Lighting Made Us Who We Are, veers all over the Rock map, from the stomping, Glammy ‚Julias Morningstar, to the GBV-esque, acoustic-laced ‚Forecasting Monsters,, both of which should sound grand in a live setting.
Dig: Georgia Satellites, a slightly less trashed Guided by Voices, an Ohio version of Mott the Hoople.
Javier's Mexican Restaurant
Saturday, Sep 26, 12:00

The Bloodsugars
(Brooklyn, N.Y.) Indie Pop/Rock
It takes a particularly acute sense of humor to name your band The Bloodsugars when you've been living with diabetes since age 9. The twisted wit of frontman Jason Rabinowitz is all over The Bloodsugars' debut six-track release, BQEP, from the George Bush slam of ‚Bloody Mary, to the 10CC-flecked melancholy of ‚Breakfast on the BQE., The Bloodsugars is that rare band that can motivate your ass and engage your brain.
Dig: A collaboration between the Knack, the Rubinoos and the smartass '80s synth Pop band of your choice with a finely tuned social/cultural conscience.
Know Theatre
Thursday, Sep 24, 11:00

Brian Stewart and the Tell-Tale Hearts
(Baltimore, Md.) Pop/Rock
This trio-turned-quartet formed as singer/songwriter Brian Stewart experienced a burst of inspiration and decided his catchy, soulful Pop tunes deserved full backing. From piano balladry to shimmery, acoustic-based Pop, Stewart and Co. sound like a band on the verge.
Dig: Van Morrison as a twentysomething in 2009 forming a VH1-friendly Pop band.
Washington Platform
Thursday, Sep 24, 10:00

The Broderick
Javier's Mexican Restaurant
Thursday, Sep 24, 8:00

The Chocolate Horse
(Cincinnati) Indie/Folk
The Chocolate Horse rides on a warm, organic vibe dripping with soul and creativity. Jason Snell's simmering voice and chiming melodies weave in and out of a retractable band that features as many as six people playing everything from flute to saw. The group's first album, Patience Works!, was a vinyl release pressed on 180 gram vinyl (and it even contained a free CD version for the turntable-challenged).
Dig: Tom Waits, Sparklehorse and bands that showcase a saw player.
Havana Martini Club
Friday, Sep 25, 11:00

The Crick Gypsies
(Cincinnat) Americana
When Patrick Ewing isn't doing the solo acoustic thing, he's fronting the Crick Gypsies, a quartet that combines elements of '60s Pop and '70s Psych Folk and Country Rock. You can call it Americana if you need to, but Ewing's style is more personal, conversational and intimate, things that can be summarized in a simple genre tag.
Dig: Bob Dylan and Mike Nesmith busking on the steps of the gilded palace of sin.
Washington Platform
Friday, Sep 25, 9:30

The Daredevil Christopher Wright
(Eau Claire, Wisc.) Indie Rock
If you're looking for daredevils or anyone named Christopher Wright, you're poop out of luck with these guys. Nothing here but the Sunde brothers and their friend Jesse Edgington and a brilliantly vulnerable Chamber Pop/Psych Folk soundtrack to a burnt umber sunset. If you check ‚em, there is the possibility of a magical night of pondering the banal and profound. The trio's new album, In Deference to a Broken Back, is a delicious and delightful sonic artichoke and the Daredevil Christopher Wright is its gifted chef.
Dig: They Might Be Giants, Clem Snide and The Beach Boys making music for a carnival of the darned.
The Segway Room
Thursday, Sep 24, 9:00

The Dead Beats
(Indianapolis) Experimental Pop
Named for the witty rejoinder hurled at The Dude by the guy who pisses on his rug in the early moments of the Coen brothers' masterwork, The Big Lebowski, Everthus the Deadbeats has been compared favorably to everyone from Ween to The Stranglers to Oingo Boingo to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. And while all of that seems at the very least appropriate and occasionally dead on the mark, it hardly begins to accurately describe the sonic jaw drop that accompanies your first exposure to the mad, mad, mad, mad world of Everthus the Deadbeats.
Dig: David Bowie sits in with Man Man, which decides that's the night the band will play all ELO covers in the style of Captain Beefheart.
Inner Peace Center
Friday, Sep 25, 9:00

The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker
Like the Swing revival a while back, the new-jack, old-school Funk craze is a movement for a reason, keeping a classic American artform alive in our memories and embracing the realness of a musical era less plastic and more substantive than today's. The authenticity of The Dynamites' recreation of archetypal Soul and Funk, thanks in no small part to frontman Charles Walker, a singer with first-hand experience and knowledge of the period being tributed, has put them at the forefront of the revival. ‚Boom, go The Dynamites.
Dig: 1960s James Brown shimmying on the Apollo stage next to Curtis Mayfield in peak Soul man form.
Southgate House
Friday, Sep 25, 11:00

The D
(France/Finland) Electro Indie Art Pop
Olivia B. Merilahti and Dan Levy are the prime forces behind The D (pronounced like ‚Doh!, not ‚doo,), splitting time between Paris and Helsinki. The band's influences are all over the board (Mingus, Joanna Newsome, Wu Tang Clan, Stravinsky, Hendrix) and it comes through in the twosome's wild-eyed, eccentric and eclectic sound. Or, rather, it comes through, but dissecting the sources of inspiration is kind of like trying to figure out the secret recipe behind KFC's chicken, you know there's some pepper in there, but you'll be damned if you know what else they used. The duo takes a sort of Pop Art/Art Pop approach to music creation, utilizing all sorts of cultural touchstones but ending up with something entirely unique. The D needs another flag to go with its French and Finnish ones, perhaps it's that freak flag that flies most proudly of all.
Dig: Captain Beefheart becoming the house band/composers at K Records, The Ting Tings deciding to be more like The Fiery Furnaces.
Contemporary Arts Center
Saturday, Sep 26, 11:30

The Electric Souls
(Cincinnati) Rock
The influences that The Electric Souls claim read like the vinyl collection of a brilliant stoner with impeccable taste in the acid-etched Classic Rock of the '70s and the subsequently influenced next-generation purveyors of the '90s and '00s. The Electric Souls channel the purest intentions from their earliest influences and infuse them with the Garage-fueled power of now.
Dig: Ten Years After playing Mumbly Peg with Eric Burdon at the Woodstock Museum while the ghosts of Robert Johnson and Jimi Hendrix take side bets.
Washington Platform
Thursday, Sep 24, 8:00

The Elms
(Seymour, Ind.) Rock
The Elms' earnest, blue-collar Rock cuts like a knife, no doubt the result of ceaseless touring and dedication to craft. The quartet's slickly produced 2006 full-length, The Chess Hotel, pimps an array of guitar-driven foot-stompers marked by frontman Owen Thomas' clear-throated voice and universal lyrical concerns. The Elms are as sturdy as their namesake.
Dig: Those ESPN highlight montages backed by Rock anthems, early Bryan Adams, Guided by Voices doused in earnestness.
Thursday, Sep 24, 8:00

The Flux Capacitors
(Cincinnati) Surf Rock
To identify The Flux Capacitors as an instrumental Surf band is like calling George Carlin a comedian. It's technically accurate but way too generic to give a true reading on the scale of incredibility. The Capacitors are Jazz riffmeisters with Prog bombastics, Rock avatars and Surf dilletantes and they will alter your space/time continuum. Or at least change the way you feel about Surf music.
Dig: Dick Dale having a Restless Leg Syndrome dream about Quentin Tarantino.
Javier's Mexican Restaurant
Saturday, Sep 26, 8:00

The Frankl Project
(Cincinnati) Punk/Rock
The Frankl Project, named after drummer/singer Joe Frankl, has a versatile style that the band members seem unafraid to tinker with. One minute, they can sound like a Ska band, the next, Alice in Chains, then Mars Volta, then ‚%u0136 well, you get the picture. The group has been nominated for a few Cincinnati Entertainment Awards and frequently plays out of town.
Dig: A Punk/Ska band with musical ADD.
Courtyard Cafe On Main
Friday, Sep 25, 12:30

The Free Press
(Toronto) Pop/Rock
This band's Web site says they play ‚Certified Organic Rock Music., Hey, if it's certified, who are we to argue? I think, legally, we can't. The Free Press indeed plays fairly straightforward Rock & Roll, buoyed by some dazzling harmonies and a passion you can almost taste. The band lets the songs speak for themselves, shunning trendiness and studio tricks for something a bit more timeless.
Dig: Don Henley, Counting Crows, All-American Rejects without the Rock Star-isms.
The Lodge Bar
Thursday, Sep 24, 9:00

The Happy Maladies
(Cincinnati) Folk
Add another winner to our impressive Americana/Roots scene. The Happy Maladies' acoustic-based Folk tunes bob and weave in unpredictable fashion: muscular, fierce even, one minute, haunting and ethereal the next. All five members are CCM trained, a fact both obvious (strong chops) and somewhat surprising (they don't hesitate to stray from the academic playbook).
Dig: A summit meeting featuring Beethoven, Django Reinhardt and The Chieftains.
Inner Peace Center
Saturday, Sep 26, 8:30

The Harlequins
(Cincinnati) Indie/Pop
Like the line of romance novels the band is named after, there indeed is a romantic vibe to the music of The Harlequins, thanks in large part to the sky-scraping croon of singer/guitarist Mike Oliva, who sounds like he could be Morrissey's bratty younger cousin. Bassist Alex Stenard and drummer Rob Stamler round out the band, which released its impressive debut LP, Baron von Headless, earlier this year.
Dig: The Dears, Guided By Voices, The Besnard Lakes.
Inner Peace Center
Thursday, Sep 24, 9:00

The Highgears
(Findlay, Ohio)
The four rockers of The Highgears are straight-up Hard Rock without any concessions to fly-by-night fads or trends. The band's style of no-frills Rock & Roll has a '70s vibe that sticks its balls to the walls and swells with puffed-out-chest testosterone.
Dig: Molly Hatchet born into the Sunset Strip Metal scene.
Mainstay Rock Bar
Saturday, Sep 26, 9:00

The Hotcakes
(New York) Power Pop
Erin Marsz's elastic, powerful voice is the undeniable centerpiece to this NYC outfit's soaring Pop Rock. The band is best known in these parts for the song ‚Paint the Town Red,, which the Cincinnati Reds licensed as the team's anthem in 2008. Yes, The Hotcakes aim to please with a slick batch of songs to which one could envision Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips head-banging, arms raised in unison.
Dig: Heart, Blondie on a Power Pop kick.
Fountain Square
Friday, Sep 25, 7:00

The Jack Fords
(Cleveland) Americana/Folk Rock
The Jack Fords assembled in 2005, released their debut album Bent Outta Shape, a live set, no less, in 2006 and were anointed Best Rock Band in Cleveland by the Free Times readers in 2007. In a perfect world, that timeline would have continued with a Rolling Stone cover in 2008 and arena-sized platinum paydays this year, but that's not how it works and they know it. The Jack Fords don't mind the hard work, because they know it'll only take one taste to get you hooked. And the only 12 steps you'll take are to the merch table to get a CD and a T-shirt.
Dig: The Black Crowes as upper Midwestern Rock hounds and with their Faces fetish intact.
Arnold's Bar and Grill
Friday, Sep 25, 11:00

The Kentucky Struts
(Cold Spring, Ky.) Rock/Country
These proud Kentuckians blend Country music ornamentation with a Pop sense of structure and a Rock & Roll soul. Inspired by everything from Bob Dylan and Gram Parsons to Punk Rock and Wilco, the Struts play a great mesh of the classic, the contemporary and the sublime.
You'll Dig It If You Dig: Tom Petty on a Country kick, Dylan, Roots Rock with a non-clich√ songwriting sensibility.
Arnold's Bar and Grill
Friday, Sep 25, 12:00

The Lighthouse and The Whaler
(Cleveland, Ohio) Folk/Indie
The core of this Northern Ohio band formed in a park, where they gathered to see if they’d click together musically. Fifteen minutes later, they had their first song. The band’s lush, orchestral Indie Folk (with stellar multi-part harmonies and organic instrumentation) has earned notice from Paste and Filter magazines. The Lighthouse and The Whaler’s debut full-length (following an EP last year) is due out this month and should continue to attract fawning praise.
You’ll Dig It If You Dig: Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket jammin’ acoustic.
Arnold's Bar and Grill
Thursday, Sep 24, 10:00

The Lions Rampant
(Burlington, Ky.) Garage/Rock/Soul
Scrappy, catchy and infinitely entertaining, The Lions Rampant has become one of Cincy's best live draws thanks to a ferociously fun live show. The group's music is a hyper, tuneful take on Garage Pop, which has been exhibited on two EP releases so far. The band has a full-length in the can that finds the members exploring other realms, but the only place you'll hear those tunes is live, there's no release date set for the new long-player. There have been few events The Lions Rampant has played that the group hasn't ended up being a high point. You've been warned.
Dig: The Hives, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Von Bondies.
Friday, Sep 25, 6:30

The Mighty
(Cincinnati) Pop/Rock
This trio infuses modern Pop Rock with a refreshingly high skill level of musicianship and songwriting, recalling Death Cab for Cutie in its less restrictive Pop crafting and Brit band Placebo in its revealing, personal lyrics and commanding vocals. The Mighty members are currently working on a debut full-length, which they hope to have out this year.
Dig: Superdrag, Afghan Whigs chording, Power Pop that is both powerful and popperful.
Southgate House
Friday, Sep 25, 12:00

The Minor Leagues
(Cincinnati) Indie Rock
The Minor Leagues have been around in one form or another for the last eight years and have never failed to completely astound even the most casual listener. TML's last album, 2006's The Pestilence is Coming, earned a Cincinnati Entertainment Award nomination for Album of the Year and the band was also nominated for Band of the Year. The group's long-awaited latest, The Story is Old, I Know, But It Goes On, could get them up to the podium next time.
Dig: Ray Davies fronts 10CC for The Beatles memorial martini party at They Might Be Giants' loft.
Subway Bar and Lounge
Saturday, Sep 26, 10:00

The Moon and the Stars
(Cincinnati) Alternative/Ambient
The Moon and the Stars is former Clabbergirl bandmates and multi-instrumentalists Sean Rhiney and Mark Brasington creating sonic paintings that they describe as ‚visceral chamber Rock., Their debut album Undertow, which debuted as a multimedia presentation at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, is a nuanced and atmospheric soundscape that incorporates trippy Blues, Ambient textures and wisps of electric Folk.
Dig: Brian Eno and David Byrne and Radiohead going medieval-avant-garde-deep-dub on your ass.
Contemporary Arts Center
Friday, Sep 25, 8:30

The Past Times
(Louisville, Ky.) Modern Rock
With a big, majestic sound full of drama and passion, this foursome has the kind of sound that might just sound better in a huge arena. But Louisville fans can attest that this band's live show is effective and entertaining no matter where they play. The Past Times' City_A_Blaze EP has the kind of songs you will have not trouble imagining getting a lot of airtime on Alternative radio stations across the country.
Dig: More recent U2, The Killers, Muse.
Cadillac Ranch
Saturday, Sep 26, 11:00

The Pinstripes
(Cincinnati) Ska/Reggae
Winners of the 2007 CEA for Best World Band, the Pinstripes don't merely play Ska and Reggae, they inhabit the sound like it's a ramshackle house that's keeping them alive. Tight but never slick, fun but never goofy, intense but never serious, The Pinstripes (a hard-touring band with a hard-won following) combine Ska, Reggae, Dub and Soul to create something that is genuinely lacking in a great deal of contemporary music: Joy. The band's latest album, Midwest Soundclash, just dropped this month.
Dig: The Specials time travel back to '60s Jamaica and become Studio One superstars.
The Lodge Bar
Friday, Sep 25, 11:00

The Prohibitionists
(Cincinnati) Garage Rock/Blues
The Prohibitionists reference a time in Rock history when young, white musicians were being mesmerized by the visceral work of black Blues artists, absorbing the influence and translating it into stripped down and howlingly powerful R&B. For their part, The Prohibitionists keep one foot planted in the Garage of 40 years ago while the other stomps out a crazy rhythm in the Garage of today. The result is Garage magic.
Dig: The 1964 Rolling Stones and the 1965 Kinks meet the 1966 Standells and take Michael J. Fox's Delorean to a garage of the future.
Washington Platform
Thursday, Sep 24, 9:00

The Rattlesnakin' Daddies
(Cincinnati) Acoustic Bluegrass
Thanks to Blind Boy Fuller’s song, you can’t swing a Pentecostally handled asp without hitting an outfit sporting a name with some variation of “rattlesnake” and “daddy” in its moniker. This one is neither the one-man band from Cali or the Swedish duo, but the local trio that kicks its Bluegrass old school, like the Amish or a dead end street: no outlets.
Dig: Unplugged mandolins, fiddles, guitars, rattlesnakes and daddies, not necessarily in that order.
Madonna's Bar & Grill
Thursday, Sep 24, 9:30

The Read
(Cincinnati) Post Punk/Funk
This powerhouse Cincy trio is one of the most magnetic live bands in the region, hypnotizing its audiences to dance by the sheer force of its razor-y, politically-driven Funk/Punk. The vigorous grooves, knifing guitars and urgent-to-the-point-of-busting-a-vein vocals/lyrics make The Read as much of a must-see Cincinnati attraction as the Carew Tower.
Dig: Gang of Four in its intense early years, Fugazi bringing da Funk.
Southgate House
Saturday, Sep 26, 10:00

The Rosewood Thieves
(New York) Indie Pop/Rock
The Rosewood Thieves making neo-classic Pop music that glistens like ice melting in the sun. The breezy feel of the album mixes with a songwriting/melodic feel that sounds like some of John Lennon's best stabs at Pop/Rock brilliance on Revolver and Rubber Soul (as well as some of his catchier solo tunes). The coolest thing to happen to the band lately has been its EP of Solomon Burke covers which the Soul Man wrote liner notes for.
Dig: Lennon and later-day Byrds meeting up on a SoCal beach and writing a mellow Pop masterpiece around the campfire.
The Lodge Bar
Saturday, Sep 26, 11:00

The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir
(Chicago) Indie Rock/Folk
You may not know who you're going to get when you go to a Scotland Yard Gospel Choir gig, singer/songwriter Elia Einhorn has welcomed more than four dozen different musicians to be a part of SYGC over the years, but rest assured you'll always know what you're getting. Einhorn sees SYGC as a Chamber Pop graft of Morrissey, Magnetic Fields and Americana/Folk. This gig is a CD release show for SYGC's upcoming new album, ‚%u0136And the Horse You Rode in On.
Dig: Morrissey, Mag Fields, Americana ‚%u0136 were we not clear?
Contemporary Arts Center
Thursday, Sep 24, 11:30

The Seedy Seeds
The eternally optimistic, smile-inducing Seedy Seeds are one of the Cincinnati’s most beloved bands and they may soon be one of the city’s more successful ones, too. A mix of Indie Pop, Folk and Electronica (someone labeled them “Appalachitronica”), the Seeds’ unique and wildly infectious sound has led to invites to both the South by Southwest festival and the CMJ showcase in New York, as well as booking, management and publicity deals. If you’re a Seedy virgin, check them out and if you don’t smile once, we’ll buy you a milkshake. Prepare to fall in love.
Dig: Beefy electronic beats and samples mixed with charming lyrics, harmonies and vocals, accordion, live drums, acoustic guitar and banjo (yeah, there ain’t much else like ‘em).
Contemporary Arts Center
Thursday, Sep 24, 10:30

The Sewing Circle
(Sandusky, Ohio) Indie Rock
Genre tags are so important to music scribes, so what big yellow sale ticket can we hang on The Sewing Circle? Glamabilly? Alternatwang? Ameripop? Punkfolkroll? Depending on when you walk into the Circle's circle, they all apply. Great guitar crunch, acoustic quietude, exquisite harmonies, manic-to-moody melodies, reflective-to-intrusive lyrics, a dedication to good music in whatever form it leaks out of them at the moment. See The Sewing Circle and be prepared to wish they were your favorite local band.
Dig: X as a tangy, twangy Midwestern trio.
The Segway Room
Saturday, Sep 26, 9:00

The Sleeping Sea
(Cincinnati) Indie/Pop
This engaging trio concocts its truly unique sound by subtly embedding elements of Folk, World and Tropical music into its strangely melodic mix. The Sleeping Sea would appeal to so-called ‚Freak Folk, fans, but they truly sound like nothing you've ever heard before. Trippy, sometimes creepy and always haunting, this is one Sea you won't mind being lost at.
Dig: Fleet Foxes with broader influences, Animal Collective's twisted sense of Pop music.
The Segway Room
Thursday, Sep 24, 8:00

The Smith Bros.
(Columbus, Ohio) Pop/Rock
While A.M. radio today largely consists of talk shows, once upon a time it was an outlet for Pop music. And the Smith Bros. remember that era so fondly they formed a band over the members' mutual love for groups like The Hollies and The Raspberries. The resulting music is well in line with those groups, as well as other classic Pop/Rock bands (The Beatles, Big Star, Beach Boys, The Move). If it's hooks you're looking for, start here.
Dig: Fountains of Wayne, The Posies, vintage Power Pop.
The Lodge Bar
Thursday, Sep 24, 8:00

The States
(Brooklyn, N.Y.) Indie/Rock
There probably aren't a ton of bands that form at Harvard and then pursue a career in the Indie Rock world after graduation. But that's exactly what singer/guitarist Chris Snyder ended up doing with The States. Immediately after school was done, The States relocated to the hipster haven of Brooklyn and haven't looked back. The band has a high-ceilinged, dramatic sound that has been compared to the likes of Radiohead and Muse, while lyrically the band has explored social and political issues from a more character-based viewpoint rather than a didactic one. The States were winners in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the International Songwriting Contest, and the group's music has been featured on VH-1, MTV and ESPN. The band's new EP, We Are The Erasers (out just in time for MidPoint), was produced by Chris Grainger, who has worked with Wilco, Sixpence None The Richer and Switchfoot. Smart guys rock!
Dig: U2's first three albums, We Are Scientists, Keane.
The Lodge Bar
Thursday, Sep 24, 10:00

The Subjects
(Brooklyn, N.Y.) Indie Pop
The Subjects' MySpace page describes the band as ‚like Nickelback but less ballsy., Well, that's one of saying it. Another would be ‚like Nickelback but better., There's an angular, New Wave undercurrent flavoring this Brooklyn-based outfit's tasty, Pop Rock dishes, which move from jubilant to wistful in a moment's notice.
Dig: The Strokes on a Beach Boys kick, Clem Snide trying to impress Zooey Deschanel.
Contemporary Arts Center
Saturday, Sep 26, 9:30

The Subtle Urge
(Philadelphia, Pa.) Progressive Rock/Fusion
Until recently, the thought of Armenians rocking out has inevitably led to discussions of System of a Down, but that may change with the increasing profile of The Subtle Urge. Blending elements of Jazz and Soul into the Prog foundation of their debut album, Fallen on Deaf Ears, TSU has found themselves being profiled in Guitar World Magazine and opening for The Roots.
Dig: Basement shrines to Joe Satriani and John McLaughlin.
Subway Bar and Lounge
Thursday, Sep 24, 10:00

The Sundresses
(Cincinnati) Indie Blues/Swing Punk
It's been seven years since The Sundresses erupted all over Cincinnati like a Swing/Punk/Soul volcano. And the most amazing thing is that they haven't been arrested yet for the riot they cause on every stage they occupy. A Sundresses performance is the sound of your soul being deerhooked out of your ass, of a planet being wrenched from its orbit, of social discord in the form of a visceral Blues song. If you haven't heard, hear. If you haven't seen, see. If you don't know, learn. The Sundresses are it.
Dig: The ghost of Johnny Cash getting higher than God's hairline on the ghost of cough syrup.
Blue Wisp Jazz Club
Friday, Sep 25, 12:00

The Super Desserts
(Columbus, Ohio) Pop
A collective made up of individuals from a variety of notable Columbus bands (including Terribly Empty Pockets, Bird and Flower and Couch Forts), The Super Desserts live up to their name by producing a sugary musical confection that is both incredibly sweet and surprisingly nutritious. On their new album, Barefoot in the Disenchanted Forest, The Super Desserts is a contemporary throwback to the '60s Pop of the Free Design. If LSD tasted like Sweet Tarts, the trip would sound like the Super Desserts.
Dig: A cross between Polyphonic Spree, Magnetic Fields, salt water taffy and the state bird.
The Segway Room
Friday, Sep 25, 12:00

The $yd NaTanists
(Cincinnati) Art Funk
Much like the multifaceted man who inspired them (that would be Syd Nathan, mastermind behind the Cincy-based King Records legacy), The $yd NaTanists are a strange dichotomy. Part avant garde lo-fi Funk, part Synth Pop experimentalism, part blistering guitar Rock, the $yd NaTanists are the whirling dervish the Art Soul sound of Cincinnati.
Dig: Black Eyed Peas giving Funky Chicken lessons to David Byrne, Jonathan Richman and John Lydon.
Blue Wisp Jazz Club
Saturday, Sep 26, 8:00

The Tillers
(Cincinnati) Folk/Americana
Formed just two years ago, this trio of Punk-rockers-turned-old-timey-music-specialists has developed a large fanbase that is wildly diverse, including everything from tattooed youngsters to Folk-loving old-timers. The Tillers have done a great service to the ‚lost, ancient Folks songs they rework (they also do originals in the style), not only unearthing hidden gems and giving them new life, but, in general, introducing or reintroducing a style of music made for the people, by the people. Armed with clawhammer banjo, upright bass and acoustic guitar, the members of The Tillers seem to have an ingrained, undeniable connection to the music and musicians of that bygone era, the band's authenticity and convincing delivery is evidence.
Dig: The purity, the communication aspect, the protest aspect and the timelessness of pioneering Folk and Country Blues music.
Madonna's Bar & Grill
Thursday, Sep 24, 11:30

The Trouble with Boys
(Louisville, Ky.) Pop/Rock
With ages ranging from 12 to the earliest of teens, The Trouble With Boys are of an era that sees Pearl Jam as Classic Rock and Nirvana as The Foo Fighters guy's ‚old band., But age ain't nothin' but a number and this is one talented collective of young 'uns. With proDigy-like agility, the group's exploding-with-hooks songwriting ability already surpasses many of the bands getting airplay these days. The group has played shows from the Midwest to California, become a veteran of music conferences and festivals and is already talking about taking ‚meetings with record companies., So next time your favorite pre-teen/tween goes on a 15-hour Guitar Hero binge, point them in TTWB's direction for an example of ‚kids today, that really do get it.
Dig: Weezer in Junior High, Fountains of Wayne on the playground, Jonas Brothers minus the Disney-isms.
Fountain Square
Saturday, Sep 26, 7:00

The Uniphonics
(Iowa City, Iowa) Jazz/Funk/Hip Hop
If Derek ‚DJ Animosity, Thorn wasn't up front on the mic for the Uniphonics, rhyming with mad abandon on compelling lyrics that inspire both ass shaking and intellectual contemplation, the band would still be offering up an incredible musical experience with a slinky and equally compelling Jazz/Funk presence. That this sound was born in Iowa City, the poster city for America's heartland, makes it all the more amazing and satisfying.
Dig: Positively focused MC in the front, Stanley Clarke in the back ‚%u0136 hey, is that a Jazz/Hip Hop mullet?
Havana Martini Club
Thursday, Sep 24, 10:00

The Vanguard
(New York) Indie Rock/Pop
The Vanguard was created Zeus according to its bio. I have my doubts, but if the king of gods did magically make the band, I think he has a thing for reflective Pop with a '70s Soft Rock vibe and hints of shimmery '80s College Rock. The foursome has won praise from Matt Pinfield, and many Web sites and music blogs.
Dig: The sonic equivalent of resting in a field of lilies with rays of the sun in your eyes, reflecting on love gone wrong and how to make it right.
Below Zero Lounge
Friday, Sep 25, 11:30

The Way Downs
(Cincinnati/San Francisco) Rock
Lee Gallagher and Phillip Day formed The Way Downs after Gallagher spent years on the local music scene performing with such bands as Mr. Scarlet's Plume and Lavender Drag. Gallagher, who moved to San Francisco but still retains his membership, is an amazing frontman (one of the best Cincinnati has ever seen), delivering a natural, honest and wildly entertaining live show every time he takes the stage. The best thing about The Way Downs is that they never fake it, the swagger, confidence and Rock & Roll mastery is just how they are.
Dig: The Small Faces, The Black Crowes, Big Star at their most rockin'.
Subway Bar and Lounge
Thursday, Sep 24, 11:00

The Wildbirds
(Milwaukee) Indie Pop/Rock
Some bands plunder the past, others reinvent it. The Wildbirds are one of the rare groups that have the ability to absorb the sounds of yesterday and translate them into contemporary concepts without losing any of the vigor and passion of the source. Rolling Stone's David Fricke loves these guys ‚%u0136 you will, too.
Dig: The Strokes, Marah and The Black Crowes time travel and teleport to 1965, where their combined molecules discover The Kinks.
Friday, Sep 25, 8:00

The Winter Sounds
(Chicago, Ill.) Indie Rock
Spawned in Athens, Ga., and now working out of Chicago, The Winter Sounds careen through a set like an '80s time capsule opened with a bazooka in the new millennium. The quartet's latest album, Church of the Haunted South, bristles with '80s Synth Pop/New Wave energy squeezed through the cheesecloth of contemporary Indie Rock.
Dig: The Polyphonic Spree building a backyard New Wave shrine to Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, R.E.M. and Hawkwind.
Know Theatre
Thursday, Sep 24, 8:00

(Indianapolis) Indie Rock
Originally hailing from the modest Midwestern burg of Muncie, Ind., these fresh-faced boys sound as if they spent their formative years listening to a radio station where glorious, early-'90s Indie Rock dominated the airwaves. For the initiated, think a tasty meld of fuzzy guitars, unexpected arrangement zigzags and vocals that veer from passionate to couldn't care less.
Dig: A Midwestern version of Pavement, GBV fronted by Frank Black.
Inner Peace Center
Friday, Sep 25, 8:00

Tinhorn Molly
(Lawrence, Kan.) Americana
Once there was a duo called The Lee Baby Sims Show that played texturally ambient Americana. Just hours ago, the band added a third member (on all important saw and washboard) and changed its name to TinHorn Molly with an eye toward new material, reinventing old material and a proposed album called The First Church of Vague Ideas of God & the Devil. Halle-freaking-leujah, y'all.
Dig: Sixteen Horsepower produced obliquely and strategically by Brian Eno and hobodelically by Tom Waits.
Know Theatre
Saturday, Sep 26, 10:30

Toy Horses
(Cardiff, Wales, UK) Indie Pop
If press blurbs were an effective spur to action, there'd be a line to see Toy Horses, a passionate Baroque Pop duo (with band backing) that's both peppy and edgy with exquisite harmonies and melodies. The Welsh Lennon/McCartney were dubbed the ‚Band to Watch, at this year's SXSW by respected DJ Nic Harcourt (the closest thing we have to John Peel here), their song ‚What About the Future, placed second in Billboard's World Song Contest and they just recorded four tracks with former Wilco drummer Ken Coomer. It's an oft-cited phrase but Mr. Harcourt hit this one on the head, Toy Horses is the band to watch at MidPoint as well.
Dig: The Beatles if they'd started with Sgt. Pepper, The Kinks if Everybody's in Show Biz had been their debut.
The Segway Room
Saturday, Sep 26, 10:00

Tristen Shields
What does a singer/songwriter do when two of his favorite kinds of music (British Electronica and new/old Folk) happen to fit together like OJ's hand and that stupid leather glove? Go for it. Tristen Shields melds the two styles together with a natural grace, creating something intimate, warm, organic and original. On his latest release, this year's Here Lies the Sea Monster EP, Shields expands his vision even more by successfully rolling down the orchestral Indie Pop path while still retaining some of his more rootsy tendencies.
Dig: Beulah, Eric Matthews, Wilco rekindling its Pop spark.
Subway Bar and Lounge
Saturday, Sep 26, 8:00

(Cleveland, Ohio) Reggae/Rock/Funk
Swirling together Dub, Ska and Reggae into a dynamic, energetic mix that is also heavy on Modern Rock, Hip Hop and Funk, Tropidelic comes across like the ultimate party band. But there's a bit more depth going on in Tropidelic's groove, thanks in part to the sophisticated playing of the musicians and the additives served up on the turntables by DJ Mekadog.
Dig: Gym Class Heroes visits Jamaica and throws one hell of a party.
Havana Martini Club
Thursday, Sep 24, 8:00

Troubadour Dali
(St. Louis) Psych Rock
A heady mix of swirling, psychedelic guitars and stoned vocals nearly do justice to the St. Louis quartet's claim of offering ‚the primal sounds of lust exciting your senses to the summit., If Troubador Dali's live show sounds anything like its recorded stuff, expect a trip to the other side of the moon, a place where languid is the state motto.
Dig: Stoned and Dethroned-era Jesus & Mary Chain, spacier aspects of The Dandy Warhols.
Havana Martini Club
Friday, Sep 25, 10:00

Tumbledown House
(Bozeman, mont.) Jazz/Pop/Roots
She's been called ‚Tom Waits in a cocktail dress,, but there's no grit or gravel in the elastic, honey-dipped vocals of Tumbledown House's Gillian Howe (she sounds more like Over the Rhine's Karin Bergquist working the late-night cabaret circuit). TH's songs are airy, warm and slinky slices of chilled-out Jazz topped with Howe's magnetic, sensuous melodies.
Dig: Fiona Apple after switching bodies with Norah Jones.
Mr Pitiful's
Saturday, Sep 26, 9:00

Twilight Revival
(Chicago) Roots Rock
Americana-flavored rockers Twilight Revival have a Roots anchor, but it only barely keeps them tethered. This is smart barroom Rock & Roll with sparkling, from-the-cut melodies and some non-clich√d, Modern/AltRock-tinged guitar work.
Dig: Steve Earle, Jeff Tweedy and Paul Westerberg bringing their amps to a songwriters-in-the-round event.
Know Theatre
Saturday, Sep 26, 9:30

Vanity Theft
(Springboro, Ohio) Indie/Pop/Rock
In its bio, this Dayton-area foursome says the members are ‚just trying to break the stereotypes of lame girl bands and play something that doesn't sound like everything else out there., Mission accomplished. Vanity Theft makes Indie Pop music that is fun, danceable and brazen. Alicia Grodecki and Brittany Hill are the band's co-lead singers, usually singing together and concocting some mesmerizing, creative harmonies. They have that kind of harmony-mind-meld that usually only comes from siblings. The group's first full-length, PostScript: Pace Yourself, was voted the No. 1 debut album released by a Dayton band in 2008 by the Dayton Daily News. Listening to it, it appears DDN may have missed the mark. It's one of the best debut albums by almost any new band in the past five years.
Dig: Franz Ferdinand backing Sleater-Kinney, The Breeders, Elastica.
Know Theatre
Thursday, Sep 24, 9:00

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