Music Tonight: Northern Kentucky's Switchblade Syndicate presents an album release party in honor of its strong debut, As Long As There's Whiskey, tonight at Downtown's Mainstay Rock Bar with special guests Mad Anthony. Showtime is 9 p.m. and the show is free.While influenced by classic Country, Rockabilly and Punk, from the sample tracks I’ve heard, the band has streamlined its sound for the debut, showcasing a focused but still riotous Rock & Roll assault. Driven by the ear-grabbing vocals of frontwoman Veronica Grimm, whose elastic, alluringly animated voice makes her one of the best Rock singers in the area, As Long As There’s Whiskey easily made the list of the top releases by Greater Cincinnati artists in 2011, even if it did just make it out at the last possible minute. And it’s a strong indication that the Syndicate will be one of the top local acts of 2012. The album is available for download now from the band's site ( here ). Check out the spiky lead-off track, "Pistolero," below.—-
• It is the second-to-last show of the Southgate House era tonight in Newport as former local Groove Pop crew Homunculus reunite for its first show in four years. The fact that band members are scattered across the country makes the reunion a rare chance for old fans to catch the group (and gives new fans who may have missed them before their first chance), but the fact that it's at the Southgate makes it even more of a unique opportunity. Read more about the Homunculus reunion here. Local Pop/Rock masters The Newbees open up the show at 9 p.m. with a set of Beatles songs (performed with a string section). Admission is $18 at the door; half the proceeds from ticket sales and all proceeds from CD sales (you'll be able to purchase albums from Homunculus' discography at the show) go to the Wellness Community of Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, which offers support and resources for cancer patients and their families. Below is a clip of the group jamming with Carole Walker at their last show, a reunion gig at — where else? — the Southgate House.
Momentous Happenings in Music History for December 30
On this day in 1962, Bob Dylan traveled to the U.K. to appear in the televised production, Madhouse on Castle Street. Dylan was 21, had never been outside of the U.S. and was unknown, especially in the U.K., but the producer of the show caught the budding folksinger performing in New York City and thought he'd be perfect for the lead (despite no acting experience). Dylan also performed four songs, including "Blowin' in the Wind," the first broadcast of the classic tune.
The BBC destroyed the tapes of the broadcast a few years later (historically important archiving apparently not being one of their strong suits), so the performance has been called the "Holy Grail" for Dylan bootleg aficionados. Here's a YouTube clip with some stills from the show and the audio of Dylan (allegedly) doing "The Ballad of the Gliding Swan."
Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers born Dec. 30 include: Rock & Roll pioneer Ellas Otha Bates, better known as Bo Diddley (1938); ’50s/’60s Pop/Country star Mary Frances Penick, better known as Skeeter Davis (1931); Punk icon Patti Smith (1946); E.L.O. member and Traveling Wilburys' least known Wilbury, Jeff Lynne (1947); and two Monkees, Davy Jones (1945) and Michael Nesmith (1942).