Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Picks for MidPoint 2008

The lineup isn't complete just yet (we're sitting at 116 bands, I think) and last year there were nearly 250 bands that played. So if last year's lineup is any indication, we're not even at the halfway point of a full lineup. But I'm sure you can do the math.

In the meantime, let me throw out some names that are making my must-see lists. I've narrowed it down to 20, but I'm not ranking anyone just yet. The thing with these types of lists is that they may change on a daily basis. It all depends on what you're into on any given day:

My Local Picks

Kim Taylor - I've seen her before she made it on her own (when she sang backup vocals in the Ryan Adcock Band. I've also seen her open for one of Cincinnati's best local bands ever, Over the Rhine. The last time I saw her, she opened for Josh Ritter at the Southgate House, and she had the virtuoso celloist, Ben Solee (from Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet) playing with her.

Aside from touring with Josh Ritter, she's played SXSW (South By Southwest), and has also toured with Ron Sexsmith, Grant Lee Phillips, Ben Lee, Aqualung and Grace Potter. She has also appeared on WXPN's World Cafe (which you can hear on WNKU) where host David Dye has used the phrases "mellow and evocative" and "smoky and exuberant vocals" to describe her music.

In my opinion, she is truly a treasured gem in Cincinnati's music scene, and we are very grateful to have someone like her here.

I think even at one point (not sure on the current situation) she was owner of the Pleasant Perk Coffeehouse, but don't quote me on that.

Other Local Bands on My List:

500 Miles to Memphis
Ryan Adcock
The Hiders
The Seedy Seeds
The Chocolate Horse
The Turnbull AC's
The Tillers

National Touring Bands

The Felice Brothers - I first heard of the Felice Brothers earlier this year, when I saw their name on the Bonnaroo artist lineup. This is how I discover a lot of bands. I love going to festivals like this (when I can afford it), so when these artist lineups get announced, I usually go through and make a list of all the bands I've never heard of, and that's when I begin checking out their music.

Although I didn't make it to Bonnaroo this year, that didn't stop me from getting into this band. I've heard that the only way to experience them, is to see them live. And I'm happy to say that in my hometown, at MidPoint, it will be my very first Felice Brother's experience.

The influence that Bob Dylan and the Band have had on them is uncanny and surreal at times. They have taken part in Levon Helm's midnight rambles, and have just concluded a tour with Bright Eyes.

They are signed to Team Love Records, a New York city based independent record label founded by Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes) and Nate Krenkel. Other artist's signed to this label include Jenny Lewis, Willy Mason (formerly signed to the label), Conor Oberst, Gruff Rhys, and Tilly and the Wall.

Their album, Adventures of the Felice Brothers Vol. 1, was listed as #3 on WDST's Top 25 Albums of 2007, being beat by only Bruce Springsteen's Magic, and Levon Helm's Dirt Farmer. That's gotta say something, considering the fact that they just formed in 2006. Can you believe that!

Other National Touring Bands on My List:

Robert Pollard's Boston Spaceships
Backyard Tire Fire
Mates of State
Ha Ha Tonka
Coltrane Motion
Look Mexico

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