Music Tonight: D.R.U.G.S., Dementia Precox and More

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click to enlarge Young the Giant
Young the Giant

This week in my weekly local music column, Spill It, I wrote about the unexpected glut of really strong music events this week. Tonight may be the hardest of all to make a decision about. Let's work through this together, man. We'll find something for you to do.

• Catch a couple of Indie Pop success stories live and in person tonight in Covington as buzz bands Young the Giant and Cincinnati's very own Walk the Moon play Madison Theater, just the latest in a string of sold-out shows on the groups' current tour. We've been writing more and more about Walk the Moon over the past year (here's the latest), as the four-piece continues to charm the masses leading up to their debut album for RCA Records (late spring/early summer is the current target). Young the Giant is a little further along in its buzzdom, having released its first wide-exposure album, a self-titled affair on Roadrunner Records, in late 2010 (digitally)/early 2011 (physically). But YTG did a lot of legwork leading up to that point, building a following and airplay stats in Southern California as The Jakes, before becoming Young the Giant in 2009 and singing its deal. The band got a big shot in the arm after appearing at the MTV Video Music Awards last year; virtually unknown to most viewers, the band was featured between the likes of Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne, performing on some weird cubby-hole/light-box stage for 300 invited fans from their hometown of Irvine. Watch a clip below and read more here.

If you have tickets, tonight's YTG/WTM show starts at 8 p.m.; doors open at 7.

Dementia Precox was a Dayton, Ohio, band that lasted almost exactly the span of the ’80s and influenced musicians not only in the Gem City, but all over the region and beyond. The band had a sound uncommon to most ears in Dayton (and most other places), an adventurous exploration of primal rhythms and the grinding "sounds of the city" (via scraping percussion played, literally, on pieces of metal) that was many listener's first introduction to "Industrial" music. Dementia's style evolved in its decade of existence, originally more in tune with the avante grade style of Throbbing Gristle before morphing into something more widely understood as "Industrial" music after adding more synths and electronic elements.

Dementia Precox was one of those bands that laid groundwork for others to build upon, but never really got its fair due. Cincinnati experimental vets BPA were inspired by Dementia, according to drummer Todd Witt, who adds that he feels the group paved the way for the Dayton's development of one of the more exciting underground music scenes anywhere.

The band had done rare reunion shows after splitting, the last time being in 2007 when they performed in Cincy and Dayton. But a true full reunion isn't possible any more — Dementia frontman/snyth tweaker/cofounder/sound-shaper Gyn Cameron passed away last September in Florida.

The band members reunited again to honor Cameron in Dayton the following month, and they'll do it again in Cincinnati tonight at Northside Tavern with BPA opening. According to the band's Facebook page, the first get together was "a reawakening of creativity" so inspiring, they are carrying on as a band under the name Dementia, a tribute Cameron probably would have appreciated — putting his old friends back in touch with each other and having them bond over (and commit to making more) art.

Showtime is 10 p.m. and there's no cover charge. Here's an old clip of DP's "Maladie D'espirit."

• The band D.R.U.G.S. was founded three years ago by singer Craig Owens after we got the boot from the band Chiodos, which he had been with for eight years (and carried on with a new dude). Owens assembled a Post Hardcore squad of rockers from groups like Matchbook Romance, Story of the Year, From First to Last and Underminded, signed to Pete Wentz's Decaydance label (through Warner Bros.) and dubbed the project D.R.U.G.S., which stands for Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows. Owens — who keeps busy, touring his solo act when not working with D.R.U.G.S. and doing various side-projects/collaborations, not to mention his burgeoning acting career  — must have done something right when he formed the band because its first album went to No. 1 on Billboard's Hard Rock chart. The group's no longer with Decaydance and appear to be free agents at the moment.Read more here.

D.R.U.G.S. is joined by Hit the Lights, Like Moths to Flames and Sparks the Rescue for an 8 p.m., all-ages show at Bogart's in Corryville tonight. Tickets are $19.12 (including any applicable fees). Here's a clip from the debut for the song "Sex Life."

Click below for many more show suggestions around Greater Cincinnati tonight. —-

Headlining at Arnold's downtown tonight is the Southeastern Kentucky "buck wild American Mountain Macabre band," The Bloodroots Barter. Channeling influences (everything from Tom Waits and The Louvin Brothers to The Devil Makes Three and Neko Case) through its raw, energized Bluegrass base, the acoustic quartet has released two albums on their own so far (one in 2010, the other last year) and their consistent touring (they've been to Cincy and surrounding towns a few times before) seems poised to continue breaking the band wider. The free show begins at 9 p.m.  Here's a video featuring the band's music (synced to old film footage like that Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz myth some stoner thought up once).

• The Greenwich in Walnut Hills has an eclectic array of entertainment and cultural programming, from spoken word showcases, local art displays and talent competitions to hosting a variety of musical acts on a regular basis (including a lot of solid Jazz, for which the club is historically known). Tonight, The Greenwich gets da Blues as local singer/songwriter/guitarist Sonny Moorman begins hosting the recurrent "Final Friday Blues @ The Greenwich" series at the club, performing the last Friday of each month alongside different guests. It's $5 and, showing another cool aspect of the venue, that includes appetizers (as many shows do there). Music runs 8 p.m.-midnight.

• Love The Grateful Dead but sick of watching your worn out "12-26-80 Oakland Auditorium Arena" concert video on the VHS player over and over? As you can guess from the name, you'll probably really dig Jerry's Little Band, which plays tonight at Mount Lookout club The Redmoor with like-minded pals The Spookfloaters. The show is the third annual "Tie Dye Ball," presented by (and raising money for) the local Play It Forward org, which helps local musicians who've fallen on bought times. The event begins at 9 p.m. and features vendors selling tie-dye clothing and pottery, plus the raffling off of several items donated by the concert's many sponsors. Cover is a $10 donation. For more on the great cause (donate, why doncha?), visit Play It Forward's official site.

• Acclaimed Jazz violinist Christian Howes (a Columbus, Ohio, native) is in town to play a gig at Sycamore High School with students from the school's "Rock orchestra," SEE I. Howes is a widely respected music educator (teaching everywhere from Berklee to the internet, where he hosts online violin lessons), so besides working with the SEE I members, he also did workshops at the school this morning, working with students on the art of improvisation. If you're interested in attending the concert, it starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets will be available at the door for $8 (proceeds go back into the school's music programs). Click here for directions and more info.

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