Music Tonight: Relatively slow live music nights like tonight are a good chance to catch some of the local artists who perform regular weekly club shows. Mondays are, for example, when rootsy, eclectic “Gypsy Swing” troupe Michael McIntire and the Marmalade Brigade plays each week at Clifton cafe/coffeehouse Sitwell’s. The Brigade’s usually acoustic live performances are charming affairs that best showcase McIntire’s rootsy, jazzy songs, decorated with upright bass, mandolin, clarinet, fiddle, banjo and other similar instruments. The band’s shows at Sitwell’s — in the heart of the Ludlow strip on which McIntire (pictured) got his start busking — are free and begin at 9 p.m.
• Other free, recurring Monday shows to check out today include the Chris Comer Trio’s summer-long stint as the house band for Fountain Square’s Fountain Square Lounge showcase, this week featuring special guests Zach Brock, a superb Jazz violinist, and his trio. The free show starts at 7 p.m. … The Southgate House’s every-Monday Songwriter Showcase and Open Mic is hosted by The Tillers’ Mike Oberst this week. The free showcase in the club’s Juney’s Lounge is the reigning “Best of Cincinnati” pick for best open mic in the city. The fun begins at 9 p.m. … MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine rotates a different “House Band” every month on Mondays. This month, it’s local Folk/Roots ensemble The Bostic Family Tent Revival, which plays “100 % acoustic music inspired by Gospel and Punk equally.” Catch them tonight for free at MOTR starting at 10 p.m.
(Leave your suggestions/promote yourself or your favorites by telling everyone about your favorite music event recommendations for the day in the comments below.)
Just Announced: Did you know that Gwen Stefani’s husband Gavin Rossdale was in a popular band in the ’90s? Did you known that band, Bush, is back together? If you did and you were a fan, you’ll be happy to hear the latest concert announcement from Riverbend’s PNC Pavilion. Bush comes to town Oct. 7 for a fall-time outdoor show with Chevelle and Filter. Tickets ($25-$55 before fees) go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday at Ticketmaster’s online and retail outlets.
Momentous Happenings in Music History Aug. 15
On this day in 1969, perhaps the best-known concert in Rock & Roll history began in upstate New York. Setting the tone for the monumental Woodstock Music & Art Fair (“An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”) was intense Folk singer Richie Havens, who launched the fest just after 5 p.m. on Aug. 15.
Instead of the planned 20 minutes, organizers begged Havens to keep performing until the next act, Santana, was ready to play. Havens reportedly vamped for over two hours playing everything he knew before improvising what became “Freedom,” subsequently the song he became most known for.
Havens riffed on old spiritual, “Motherless Child,” and captured the vibe of the transformative music fest in lyrics conjured on the spot. Here’s the remarkable footage from the Woodstock movie.
Born This Day: Musical folks with Aug. 15 birthdays include Jazz great and, according to Duke Ellington, the “Maharaja of the keyboard,” Oscar Peterson (1925); mastermind behind AltRock act The The, Matt Johnson (1961); Beastie Boys co-founding MC Adam Yauch (1967); guitarist of modern Pop group The Fray, David Welsh (1984); and Soviet/Russian inventor and creator of the unique musical instrument that bears his surname, Leon Theremin (1886).
The theremin was one of the first electronic instruments ever, created by the Russian physicist in 1920. Using amplified electronic signals manipulated by the player’s hands without touching the actual instrument, Theremin showed his invention to Vladimir Lenin, who loved it, reportedly taking lessons and sending the inventor on a world tour to showcase the latest in Soviet technology.
The instrument’s eerie, airy sound was first matched with Classical music, then became a popular part of horror movie soundtracks with its spooky trill. The sound has also popped up in popular music since then, notably in The Beach Boys hit “Good Vibrations” (courtesy of a theremin-like instrument) and onstage with Led Zeppelin. Modern acts continue to experiment with the theremin’s frequencies in the studio and onstage (Brainiac, The Flaming Lips), though variations of the instrument with easier tone control are often used for recording.
Here’s a vintage clip of Leon Theremin showing off his invention.