Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Check out these:
Wed, Oct 1 - Alanis Morissette w/ Alexi Murdoch at the Taft Theatre
The only reason I would attend this show would be for the opener, Alexi Murdoch.
This London-born, Scottish-bred, singer-songwriter's first EP, Four Songs, went on to become CD Baby's #1 selling record in history. His rising success is partly due to having songs featured in a number of tv shows and movies, including Garden State, however, it wasn't featured on the official soundtrack. His music recalls the sounds of British folk singers of the 70's such as Nick Drake and John Martyn.
Thu, Oct 2 - Heartless Bastards w/ Langhorne Slim at the Southgate House
Erika Wennerstrom returns to her old home (she's now living in Austin), fresh off the 2008 ACL Festival. She brings with her new bandmates, a new website, and new album in the works. Come out and see the new Heartless Bastards, but make sure to catch opener, Langhorne Slim.
His song "Electric Love" was recently #5 on the Rolling Stone editor's top ten pick list, and he has toured with bands such as Cake, The Avett Brothers, Murder By Death, Violent Femmes, Lucero and Rocky Votolato.
Other Thursday Happenings:
For those who didn't get to check out Souse at MidPoint, you have another chance to see the funky, jamband, 9pm at Rohs Street Cafe.
Fri, Oct 3 - Ryan Adams & the Cardinals at the Taft Theatre
Finally, I'm going to see Ryan Adams. While I've only been a fan for a couple of years, I have quickly fallen in love with his extensive collection of recordings, throughout his career with the Cardinals and even Whiskeytown.
The writing-machine Adams, has been promoting Cardinology, which is due out at the end of October. See what Spin Magazine had to say about the new album, here.
Other Friday Happenings:
If you can't find a ticket for the Ryan Adams show, why not go across the river to the Southgate House? The White Trash Bash will be happening with fourteen bands, horseshoes, grillin' out on the porch and even an awards show for the trashiest outfits.
After hearing about this, I have to say that I'm happy to be going to the Ryan Adams show.
For those who aren't rednecks or into country music, check out the Riverside Rollergirls Benefit at the Gypsy Hut. It's a free show that begins at 10pm with Ghost Monster, Riverside Revival, Team Stray and Behead the Tyrant.
Here's the link to my MySpace profile with the video:
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I've got 135 minutes of video, and I'm still trying to learn some things with my camera. If I've learned anything from what I spent the three nights doing, it's that I need to invest in a very nice camera, which I just can't afford right now.
2. Ryan Adcock
3. Daniel Martin Moore
4. Why? "The Hollows"
5. Ruckus Roboticus's Dance Party
6. The Hiders "I Still Do"
7. Jake Speed & the Freddies
8. AA Bondy
9. The Felice Brothers - "John the Revelator" feat. AA Bondy
10. 500 Miles to Memphis - America's Finest Country, Punk-Rock band
11. Ha Ha Tonka - covering "Black Betty"
12. Backyard Tire Fire
13. Radio 4
2008 MidPoint Top Ten
Top Five Local:
5. Ryan Adcock
4. Jake Speed & the Freddies
3. Daniel Martin Moore
2. 500 Miles to Memphis
1. The Hiders
Top Five Not Local:
5. Backyard Tire Fire
4. Ha Ha Tonka
2. AA Bondy
1. The Felice Brothers
Yes, that's right, I missed the Bob Pollard show at the Southgate House, as well as Mates of State and The Sadies. But there was still plenty of good music to be found at every venue, and I have very few regrets about the way I planned out my MidPoint schedule.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
He joined some of his brother-in laws (The Felice Brothers) on stage for several of their songs. They also played a bad ass cover of "John the Revelator", a traditional blues and gospel call and answer song, first recorded by Blind Willie Johnson in 1930.
Friday, September 26, 2008
My afternoon felt like it was taking forever. I kept saying to myself, "MidPoint!" Since I couldn't wait for this thing to start, I arrived at Fountain Square about an hour early. I sat at the Square, watching the herds of people walking around everywhere. The two beers I drank while waiting, made me forget how slow time was moving, and shortly after six 'o clock, new MidPoint producer, Dan McCabe, took the stage giving a near ten-minute introduction speech.
One of the things that sticks out to me the most from his speech, was when he said something about how it's nice to hear something great about Cincinnati, rather than 0-3 or another losing season.
MidPoint is quickly becoming one of the biggest music festivals of its kind, this side of the Mississippi, and the annual, three day event is the biggest reason our city is becoming known as a music city.
The music got off to a late start, with local, rising rockstars, Seabird, taking the stage about twenty after six. But that's okay. The late start not only proved to be worth the wait, it also bought time for more people to show up on the Square.
This was the first time I had ever seen them live, much less, it was the first time that I had heard more than a few of their songs. They kind of reminded me of an American version of Coldplay, possibly mixed with a little bit of The Fray. Maybe even a little Ben Folds, without the dry, sarcastic humor.
They seem to fit in the category of piano-driven, alternative/pop-rock, and at times you could even say they are experimental, when they would break into a noisy jam session. I think they have the perfect mix of both a pop band and a jamband. Speaking of their poppy side of things, their song "Rescue" was chosen to be used as the theme song for ABC's new drama, Pushing Daisies.
Overall, I think the people on Fountain Square really enjoyed what Seabird gave us, and having them play the kick-off party may have been the best way to start MidPoint. I know I speak for a lot of people when I say, I look forward to following the career of these young, twenty-somethings.
After they finished, I started making my way up to the New Stage Collective in Over-the-Rhine. I walked about a block, and then hitched a ride in one of the new Scion xB's. It was a nice, little car, but I'm not much of a car person, so I can't really tell you much other than that.
I arrived at New Stage Collective a lot sooner than I had planned, and I walked into a nearly empty room with The Newbees doing a soundcheck. Ryan Adcock was actually who I was there to see. The Newbees were up after him, so I'm guessing they were doing soundcheck because a lone Ryan and his Taylor acoustic guitar, didn't need much of a soundcheck.
Ryan is probably the one local artist, that I've been listening to the longest. I started listening to him back in 2002, and I have to say, that every time he writes a song, he just gets better and better.
He played nearly all new material, to a rather disappointing crowd of about fifteen to twenty people. But it doesn't matter how many people Ryan is playing to. Whether it's one person or a hundred, Ryan plays with more passion than any artist I've ever seen. You can honestly hear the passion in his voice.
Before Ryan came on, he mentioned how this venue was being sponsored by WNKU, and even said that it is the greatest station in the world. I couldn't agree with him more.
By this point I was starting to get a little hungry, so I stopped by Donato's as I made my way to the Aronoff's 5/3 Theatre, sponsored by WOXY.
As a venue, I wasn't sure what to expect of the Aronoff. I had been there once in high school, for the play, Of Mice and Men, and I didn't think that they'd be using that particular stage. Much to my suprise, I walked into a room with black walls and a black floor, that I believe holds a couple hundred people.
What I also wasn't sure what to expect from, were the next two artist's that I was about to see here at the Aronoff - Daniel Martin Moore and Why?
I had only heard a handful of songs by each artist, but the things that I've been reading online about them, were enough to make me want to check them out.
I was pleasantly suprised with Moore's set, especially since he hasn't even released his first album yet. He's often been compared to Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley, Neil Halstead and Chet Baker. But I don't really know much about any of those artists, aside from Buckley's Grace, so I wasn't really sure who to compare him to.
It's not like it matters anyways. There's no need to compare him with other artist's or say "who does he remind you of." This is Daniel Martin Moore and it's nice to see that a gifted musician from a small town like Cold Spring, Kentucky, is making a name for himself.
Although there are eleven other people that play on his debut album (Stray Age - coming out Oct. 7), Moore was accompanied by two others (I didn't catch their names). He had piano man, who also played some mandolin, and a drummer who was playing "unplugged" style.
While I thought that I would more than likely enjoy Moore's music, I didn't think I would fall in love with it and his sound. His myspace page lists him as folk and pop, but it's a brand of folk and pop you've never heard. If I ever put a band together, I would want us to sound very similar to what Moore's got going on.
I've only seen three bands so far, all locals, two of them being some of the tri-state's very best, and most promising talents. I can't wait to listen to some of the albums Moore will be making down the road. Scratch that. That's too long from now. I can't wait to see him at his CD release party on October 8 at the Southgate House.
Next up was California's indie/hip-hop act, Why?, featuring a couple of former Cincinnatians, the Wolf brothers. Frontman Yoni Wolf attended the University of Cincinnati, and joined his brother in 1997's Scribble Jam, competing against none other than Eminem. During Why?'s set, Yoni gave several shout outs, to nearly every suburb of Cincinnati.
Saying that Why? is an indie and hip-hop act, doesn't really explain too well, the sound they create. It's not what you would think of when you hear the two genre's. I've never heard anything like them, and I don't think I've ever seen a band that uses a xylophone.
After a couple more drinks, the night was quickly becoming a blur. I don't really know what else to say about these guys, other than the fact that you should check them out if you ever get the chance.
I walked a couple blocks down the street to the Lodge Bar to check out Ruckus Roboticus's Dance Party. I'll admit that I've never been a big fan of the whole "dance" thing, but nothing else was going on, and I didn't want my first night of MidPoint to end just yet.
So I figured I'd just chill out a bit, have a couple more drinks, listen to some beats, and watch some eye candy. I didn't mind the music selection or the weird video's playing on the screen behind the young Ohio DJ. Like I said earlier, it's not really my thing, but it was interesting to see how a DJ operates.
I hate to do this, but I gotta get some sleep. Before I leave, I'll tell you who I saw.
Seabird, Ryan Adcock, Daniel Martin Moore, Why? and Ruckus Roboticus's Dance Party.
I'll post my reviews, pics and video clips when I wake up this afternoon.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
After that, more than fifty bands will play at 15 venues tonight, spread throughout downtown, Over-the-Rhine and Northern Kentucky's Southgate House. Too bad I can't be in fifty places at once!
Robert Pollard from Guided By Voices is marking the debut of his new project, Boston Spaceships, tonight at the Southgate House. It features another GBV member and the drummer from The Decemberists.
I've got a schedule planned out, but who knows exactly what will happen!
When I get back home tonight, I'll be working on my site, with reviews, pictures and some video shots. Your best bet is to probably check back tomorrow for my coverage of day one of the festival.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Opening the night was Ireland's Bell X1. They've been around for nearly ten years, have released three critically-acclaimed albums, and are rapidly gaining success in the United States. Their music has been featured on television shows such as The O.C. and Grey's Anatomy. They were once known as Juniper, a band that included none other than Damien Rice. It was after Rice's departure, that they became a four-piece known as Bell X1.
Here is some video I shot of Bell X1's performance:
Next up was a fine indie product out of Canada, otherwise known as Stars. In more recent years, Canada has dominated the indie scene with bands such as Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Wolf Parade, Tegan and Sara, Islands, The Dears, The Stills, Black Mountain, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and You Say Party! We Say Die! I could keep listing bands, but this isn't a history lesson on the Canadian Indie scene.
Three of Stars members also play in Broken Social Scene. At one point last night, Stars broke into The Flaming Lips, "Do You Realize?"
Composed of Michael Bond and Matt Dennewitz, these two brilliant musician's create an interesting blend of both indie rock and electronica, blending of number of sounds together on vintage gear and modern electronics, that will keep you moving and shaking, so as long as they're up there on stage.
I caught their set at last year's MidPoint, only because I heard the buzz that was going on about them (literally) on the street. They ended up being one of the best electronica acts I've ever heard.
Note: If you've ever been to Bonnaroo, and are into the latenight electronica shows the festival has had in the past, this may be the perfect show for you.
Anywho, I recently contacted lead singer, Michael Bond, because I wanted to get an interview with an out of town band, for my 2008 MidPoint Interview Series, and Coltrane Motion was the first out of town band I had heard, that I could think of.
On with my question's and Mike's answers:
Nate Rosing: How long has Coltrane Motion been around? Who is in the band, and where did you guys form?
Michael Bond: I started making music as Coltrane Motion in 2000, recording lo-fi songs in my University of Cincinnati dorm room. I tried a few different live lineups in 2002/2003, then moved to Chicago, where Matt and I started performing as a duo in 2004. I'm originally from Amanda, OH (pop. 700) and Matt's from nearby Lancaster.
NR: How long have you been a musician, and what, if any, are some of the bands or types of bands you have played in, in the past?
MB: I was a band geek in junior high and high school, playing drums, mostly. Matt was in post-rock and garage-punk bands in high school, and has recorded folkier solo material under the names Compiler and Blackbear. I also play keyboards for The Most Powerful Telescope in the Universe, a recording project that's about to release thier second EP, and have also produced a few records for other artists.
NR: Who are your major influences, musical and non-musical?
MB: A bunch of stuff that we don't really sound like - Phil Spector, The Kinks, Neutral Milk Hotel, early Beck..most of teh music that Matt and I agree on is either hip-hop (Clipse, Dr. Dre) or folk (Neil Young, Will Oldham). Non-musical? David Foster Wallace, Saul Bass, Woody Allen. Kurt Godel & Alexander Calder.
NR: How did you come up with the idea for Coltrane Motion's sound? Is it something you planned, or is it something that was born just from playing?
MB: The size of my car trunk (and what we can fit in there to tour with) has probably had the biggest influence on our sound for the last few years, from the lack of live drums to trying to get the most sound possible out of a single guitar.
NR: What does the name Coltrane Motion mean, and where did it come from?
MB: It's a 70's blaxploitation slang, but I'm proud to say we've made the phrase fairly ungoogleable, so I'll leave it up to your imagination.
NR: How many albums have you guys made, and what is the current status? Are you working on a new album/in the middle of a tour?
MB: We've had a handful of smaller releases in the past, but last year's Songs About Music was our first 'real' album. We're just now finishing up recording a 7" single that will be released next month on Datawaslost.
NR: For the sake of my readers, are there any bands out there that you would say you're similar to or sound like? I, for one, haven't heard anything like Coltrane Motion before.
MB: Heh - maybe a mix between LCD Soundsystem, Yo La Tengo, and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion? I think we take a little from each of them and kind of mix it up.
NR: Are you signed to a label or do you self release your stuff, or have you had any big showcases or shows that were a pretty big deal for you guys?
MB: We release our music through Datawaslost, which is a small indie label we also help run, so yes to both I suppose.
NR: How good is the music scene in Chicago? How does it compare to a place like Cincinnati? Are there really any differences at all? How do you like playing in Chicago? What are some of your favorite clubs, or clubs you play at regularly in Chi-town?
MB: It's very different - not sure if its better or worse, but definitely big enough to challenge you, and to keep things interesting. I miss the close-knittedness you get from a scene the size of Cincinnati's and the great venues you have here, but there's definitely benefits to being a band in a larger city - I think it pushes you a lot harder, at the very least - you've got a lot more competition. We love to play Empty Bottle & Schuba's in Chicago, and are excited about the Bottom Lounge's new space too.
NR: What do you guys think of Lollapalooza, and do you hope to play there one day? What does something like Lolla do for the city of Chicago?
MB: I think I'm too cheap for Lollapalooza, I can't imagine going *unless* we were playing and got in free :) The best part of Lolla for me is catching all my favorite bands play in smaller venues for the afterparties..
NR: I saw you guys at last year's MidPoint, strictly based on word of mouth. I was walking along the street, overheard someone talking about you, and when it was time, I headed to the venue to see you guys play outdoors in a tent. What are your thoughts on MidPoint, and how will your showcase this year, differ from last year's?
MB: Well, for one, we won't be in a tent..I love MidPoint, it's always a lot of fun, and we always have people come up to us afterwards with similar stories about discovering us randomly, and that's the greatest part, for me - that there's one weekend a year where checking out new bands is the norm, not the exception. I'm looking forward to seeing what changes CityBeat is bringing - the lineup looks great this year. We're bringing some new jams and new homemade instruments this time around, it should be fun..
NR: Do you have any funny or interesting stories from touring on the road? What is being on the road like? How do you prepare for that type of lifestyle? Is being in a band, difficult, does it take certain kind of people, or is it just something you adapt to over time?
MB: We've toured a lot in the past few years, and it's all kind of melted into a blur of car troubles and police interrogations. I love getting to experience cities like Montreal or Atlanta in therse short, concentrated doses, where you get the best (or worst) of what someplace has to offer 24 hrs..It's not something I could do every week, and I'm a little scared of people who can - like performing, touring is basically an extended stress test to see how you'll act when surrounded by strangers. Half of being in a touring band is having a reliable vehicle, and the other half is having bandmates who have already pissed you off as much as they ever will, but are still your friends.
NR: What has been teh biggest challenge of being a musician?
MB: Figuring out what your goals actually are, beyond just fooling around w/ an instrument. Still working on that one, honestly..
My thanks to Michael Bond, for taking the time out of his busy life, to answer some questions, to get a deeper look, and understanding of the world of Coltrane Motion.
Catch Coltrane Motion's set on Thursday, September 25, at the Inner Peace Holistic Center at 10 pm. It should ge a good night at that venue, kicking off with Ill Poetic and Eagle to Squirrel, and The Turnbull AC's closing the night.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Nate Rosing: How long have you been a musician? Did you start playing guitar or singing first, and when did you notice you had a talent for both?
Billy Alletzhauser: I used to make up songs and sing them to myself when I walked to school, so I guess I sang first. My sister got a guitar when I was 11 or so and I started playing around with it. When I was about 15, I formed a band with friends as a bassist and writer. I kept singing by default because I would write lyrics and no one else seemed to sing them right. Guitar and writing always came a bit easier than singing.
NR: I've read that you're also talented in the arts. What kind of pieces of art do you create?
BA: I majored in Fine Arts in college and mostly did figurative or illustration type things. Now it's mostly graphic design. I've done all the design work for the band.
NR: What kind of bands have you played in throughout your career? How have you evolved as a musician and live performer?
BA: I've played all kinds of music from punk to new age-y jazz. I like to think I'm evolving. There are always nuances to explore. We've been practicing as a four piece a lot lately with Beth on acoustic guitar or keys. My focus has been to improve on being lead singer and lead guitarist at the same time.
NR: You often hear the Neil Young comparison a lot. When I see you up there on stage, I feel like I'm watching the perfect combination of Neil Young, Ryan Adams and Jeff Tweedy. At the same time, The Hiders' music has a sound all its own, remaining original and inspiring. How did the band form? How has the lineup changed over the years? Who is in the current lineup, and how in the hell did you come in contact with such amazing musicians?
BA: Ever since I first started playing, I always tried to play with people I could learn from and people I thought were better than me and I've always tried to play with people who care more about music than they do all the other bullshit. It's real obvious when you see a band or performer who is doing it because they think it's cool or they want attention. By avoiding them I've ended up with the real deal. The original Hiders were myself, Toby Ellis, Victor Strunk, Beth Harris, Dave Gilligan and Todd Drake. Now it's me, Tony Franklin, Michael Horrigan and Beth with some peripheral members like Brad Meinerding, Sylvia Mitchell, Jesse Ebaugh. We've also had Tyler Ramsey here and there before he got busy with Band of Horses. It formed like anything I guess, call and see who shows up.
NR: How do you feel about the music? Do you think it's some of the best music you've ever created? Are The Hiders your favorite band that you have played in? What is being a frontman of a band like?
BA: I do feel like its the best music I've created, with exception to some of the things I did with Ruby Vileos. I feel like it's still getting better all the time. When it doesn't feel like that I will probably stop. My newest songs are always my favorite. The Hiders have been my favorite, only because it's been built so much around my own tastes so it'd be strange for it not to be. As a live band it has easily been my favorite. Being front man or whatever is weird. I still feel most at ease just playing guitar. I feel a little pressure sometimes to be entertaining when I'm singing, so I'm more aware of the crowd and how they are reacting, but when the crowd seems to really be into it I think I feel that more because of that hyper awareness and that feels fantastic. Higher risk, higher reward I suppose. Some nights though I just want to stare at my amp and make feedback but then people lecture me and tell me I'm not being a good frontman. Ultimately you can't care too much. It's a tightrope between pleasing yourself but not being self indulgent. I just do what feels right gig to gig and usually it goes over ok.
NR: What can you tell us about the Batcave?
BA: To know it is to love it. You can spill red wine and not really notice. Your eyes need to adjust. You leave better than when you came. Night and day lose all meaning. The joker keeps trying to find it but he never will.
NR: Describe the writing process for The Hiders.
BA: I usually bring songs in with some vision of how it should go, then they play along and it gets much, much better. Tempos, structures and arrangements are the big things that get worked out as a band. Lyrics and chords I usually have ready. I keep waiting for the day we write as band, it's coming.
NR: Tell us about the idea for "Penny Harvest Field."
BA: The song or the album? The title comes from a project called Common Cents. New York school kids harvested a million dollars in pennies. The pennies were placed on display at Rockefeller Center. It's worth googling. A million dollars in pennies is an impressive sight. It tied with the song that I was working on and as a theme for the album which, in my mind, is value basically. Something small and easily overlooked or even discarded as bad luck or simply a waste of pocket space can become something great.
NR: What are your thoughts on WXPN, the World Cafe and David Dye? Can you tell us about your connection to those things?
BA: Well, it's a wonderful station and radio show. We were thrilled to be featured so prominently. Look for more from us there in the not too distant future.
NR: You've also been called "The Greatest Unsigned Band in the Country". What is the current status, and why?
BA: We are still the greatest unsigned band in the country. And better than most signed bands too. Why? Who said life is fair?
NR: What was the experience of recording in Nashville like?
BA: It's good to go away, but the next record I think we'll do at home. Probably a combination of the Batcave and UltraSuede. Brad Jones is pretty great to work with but he always talks me out of backward guitar solos, I personally think every other solo should just be backwards. And lots of songs that are way too long, that's an ambition.
NR: I've heard that some Hiders songs, predate the Ass Ponys. Can you tell us anything about that?'
BA: "Take Me Back" on Valentine predates Ass Ponys, and maybe "Let's Forget". I've been writing songs my whole life. There are plenty kicking around.
NR: Going back to the unsigned thing. Would you rather be signed on a major label or would you rather be doing things your way? What are the differences between major/indie labels?
BA: You could wax on this forever. The label thing can go a lot of different ways. It costs a lot to tour and do promotion and everything so a label can be great for that, if they back you up. You give up some control though. I'm interested in help because I simply don't have the money to do all the things we should do to promote ourselves but I've had help in other ways. At this point I would settle on a good booking agent. Ultimately, label or no, you just have to satisfy yourself as an artist and musician. It sounds cliche' but it's true. I'm very satisfied with the music we make. There's always more you can do to get it out there, label or not.
NR: How do you feel about the music scene in Cincinnati? Who are some of your favorite bands and what are your favorite places to play? Billy, I'm sure you've played MidPoint a number of times, is this The Hiders first MidPoint? What do you think of MidPoint?
BA: I've always liked the Cincinnati scene, I've made some great friends here through music. There's a certain artistic integrity here. Some of my favorite artists are The Great Depression, Kim Taylor, Ali Edwards, The Chocolate Horse, Pearlene....Southgate House and The Northside Tavern are my favorite places to play. This is The Hiders second MidPoint. They seem to have made some positive changes this year, MidPoint seems to still be coming into it's own somewhat. This year seems like it's going to be one of the best yet.
NR: How do you feel about Wussy? What is your current relationship like with Chuck Cleaver? Do you both come out to each other's shows, to show your support?
BA: I don't keep up with them really. I engineered and produced some of the first Wussy record. It seems more like Lisa's band, she would do better on her own I think.
NR: Name one band, that would be a dream for The Hiders to open for.
BA: Tom Petty or Tom Waits. If I could go back in time, The Dead maybe!
NR: Name 5 albums/artists that you would have to have, if you were stranded on a desert island.
BA: Bitches Brew-Miles Davis, some Ravi Shankar, some Fred McDowell, Zeppelin III, maybe Opal "Happy Nightmare Baby".
NR: Are there any other instruments you play besides the guitar?
BA: I play anything I can get my hands on. I play some keys, bass, banjo, sitar...been trying to learn drums. I play around with drum machines and looping a lot.
NR: What are you hopes for The Hiders over the next five years?
BA: Make at least 3 more albums, tour overseas. Find our elusive fifth member that will stay in the band.
NR: What has been the biggest challenge in being a full time musician?
BA: Rent, sanity...in no particular order.
NR: I read online that you were reviewed in both Rolling Stone and Spin Magazines. I did some searching, but wasn't successful on finding either one. What did the "big dogs" have to say about you guys?
BA: Those were for Ass Ponys. 4 stars baby!
NR: Are you guys fans of South By Southwest? It seems that every year, Cincinnati is represented at SXSW, by a few of our great bands at a "bigger version of MidPoint". This past year we had Bad Veins, Kim Taylor, Wussy, and The Chocolate Horse. Do you guys think that you are next in line for that gig? Is that something The Hiders have though about in the past, or is it something you dream about for the future?
BA: Kind of a waste of gas money unless you wanna see other bands or be a schmoozer. I have an aversion to lanyards. I just assume go play on our own, which we'll do eventually when we get our solar powered van. Austin's a great town and we've done well on radio there..It's a shame it's in Texas.
My thanks to Billy from The Hiders, for taking the time to answer some questions.
Catch The Hiders MidPoint set, this Friday (Sept 26) at 9 pm in the ballroom at the Southgate House. They're opening up for Canada's, The Sadies.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
You can't deny the amazingness of ACL's lineup, however, MidPoint's got a pretty amazing lineup as well.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend the ACL 2006 Festival, and the trip to Texas was quite an experience. I'll make it back there one day. I often tell myself that one day I'll move there.
Former Cincinnatians, Heartless Bastards, are playing two shows while down in Austin, with their brand new lineup.
For any locals making the trip to Austin, be sure to check out the Bastards on Sunday, at 5:15 Texas time.
Now for my highlights of ACL's 2008 lineup: Plant and Krauss, Manu Chao, David Byrne, Raconteurs, Mars Volta, Conor Oberst, Robert Earl Keen, Patty Griffin, Iron & Wine, G. Love, Band of Horses, Swell Season, Gogol Bordello, Black Keys, Jakob Dylan, Okkervil River, Galactic with Chali 2na, Sharon Jones, Vampire Weekend, Blues Traveler, Drive-By Truckers, Yonder Mountain, Old 97's, Stars, Jose Gonzalez, Man Man, MGMT, Fratellis, What Made Milwaukee Famous, M. Ward, Mason Jennings, Heartless Bastards, Xavier Rudd, Donavon Frankenreiter, Fleet Foxes, Abigail Washburn, Rodney Crowell, Mates of State (also playing MidPoint), Ryan Bingham, Colour Revolt, Langhorne Slim, AA Bondy (also playing MidPoint), Mike Farris, and American Bang.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
1. Southgate House - Boston Spaceships and The High Strung
2. Aronoff - Why?, Daniel Martin Moore and The Chocolate Horse
3. Lodge Bar - Ruckus Roboticus, The Elms, nocatluca and Pete Dressman
4. Know Theatre - Oh My God, Junior Revolution and The Cincinnati Suds
5. Inner Peace Center - The Turnbull AC's, Coltrane Motion, Eagle to Squirrel and Ill Poetic
Toss-up: Kickoff Party with Seabird on Fountain Square - MidPoint gets off to an earlier start this year, at 6 pm, with the guys whose song was chosen as the theme song for ABC's new drama, Pushing Daisies. Who knows how many people will show up? I, however, will be there...
1. Know Theatre - The Felice Brothers, AA Bondy, Jake Speed and Nathan Holscher
2. Inner Peace Center - Lonely China Day, Bottom Line, Winter Sounds and Romance of Young Tigers
3. Blue Wisp - Pomegranates, Baby Teeth, Look Mexico, Dark Romantics and mouse fire - this is the Lujo Records showcase - featuring the best in today's young, up-and-coming indie-rock bands
4. Southgate House - The Sadies and The Hiders in the ballroom, Ampline, Knife the Symphony, Caterpillar Tracks, Alone at 3am and SS-20 in the parlour
5. Aronoff - Jukebox the Ghost, Say Hi, The Purrs and Rosehips
1. Lodge Bar - Backyard Tire Fire, Ha Ha Tonka and 500 Miles to Memphis
2. Southgate House - Mates of State and Fairmount Girls
3. Know Theatre - Secret Show, God Made Me Funky and Yoshi upstairs, William Sides Atari Party, Koala Fire and Payola Reserve downstairs
4. Cadillac Ranch - Flow, Cipes and the People, The Framework and Pale Hollow
5. Aronoff - Headlights, Wussy and The Mocks
After some searching on the internet, I've come up with a few ideas of who it might be. I was really hoping it would've been MGMT, but they won't be anywhere near Cincinnati next week (though that doesn't mean they can't get on a plane and fly across the country).
I also looked into the possibility of all the other "big name" dance/rock bands I could think of: !!!, Annuals, Dan Deacon, DJ Shadow, Does It Offend You Yeah?, Foals, Islands, Klaxons, LCD Soundsystem, MSTRKRFT, The Ting Tings, Tortoise, We Are Scientists and You Say Party! We Say Die! - sadly, it's looking like none of these will happen either because they are currently touring, not touring or are out of the country.
So, I had to narrow it down to the only bands I could think of, that could possibly happen. Those bands are: Datarock, Hot Chip, Justice and VHS or Beta.
It may not even be a band of similar stature, as the previous mentioned bands.
The only other thing I can think of is that it's a project that features Bootsy Collins. Actually, now that I think about it, I have to say that this could be very likely. Bootsy Collins recently joined forces with Buckethead, who happens to play the Southgate House, the day after MidPoint. I'm just not sure how "dance-rock" Bootsy and Buckethead are.
Just had another thought. Two other possibilities: Temposhark or Partyshank. These two up-and-coming electronic bands, were originally on MidPoint's lineup in the very beginning, and at some point in time, they disappeared from the list. Could this mean anything?
Feel free to send me your thoughts at email@example.com
Friday, September 19, 2008
2. A SuperJam of sorts. Bonnaroo just added a Jazz SuperJam last year. I'm not sure, but I would guess the same thing could happen at any festival. We need a SuperJam of a collection of the best artist's in the area. Maybe even throw in Peter Frampton or Bootsy Collins.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
1. My Morning Jacket - "Evil Urges"
2. Vampire Weekend - "Vampire Weekend"
3. MGMT - "Oracular Spectacular"
4. The Hold Steady - "Stay Positive"
5. Fleet Foxes - "Fleet Foxes"
6. Coldplay - "Viva la Vida"
Not Yet Released:
Bad Veins debut album will more than likely be on the top list at the end of the year for me. I'd place bets on them now, that they end up walking away as "Artist of the Year" at next year's CEA's, aside from a few other awards they'll probably win.
Ray Lamontagne has his hands full with the follow-up to the very successful "Till the Sun Turns Black"
Ben Folds has leaked "fake" versions of six songs from the new album "Way To Normal", which will be released at the end of this month.
Albums I Haven't Heard:
Death Cab for Cutie - "Narrow Stairs"
Bon Iver - "For Emma, Forever Ago"
The Raconteurs - "Consolers of the Lonely"
She & Him - "Volume One"
Sigur Ros - "Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust"
The Black Keys - "Attack and Release"
The Mars Volta - "The Bedlam in Goliath"
DeVotchKa - "A Mad and Faithful Telling"
Mates of State - "Re-Arrange Us"
Old 97's - "Blame It On Gravity"
10. Modest Mouse - "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank"
9. Okkervil River - "The Stage Names"
8. Josh Ritter - "The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter"
7. Bright Eyes - "Cassadaga"
6. Band of Horses - "Cease to Begin"
5. Arcade Fire - "Neon Bible"
4. The National - "Boxer"
3. The White Stripes - "Icky Thump"
2. Ryan Adams - "Easy Tiger"
1. Wilco - "Sky Blue Sky"
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Those were the first thoughts that ran through my head, when I heard Cameron Martin Cochran's first EP, "The Cycle of Life Death." Although it's only a collection of five songs, these songs are very impressive for a first release, especially for a young man in his mid-20's.
Several years ago I stumbled upon his website, where I found a collection of all of his albums and EP's, which even offers up free downloads. If you're looking for the latest news on Cam, you won't find it on his website, as it hasn't been updated in several years.
Cochran has also played in and with a number of bands and artists in the Cincinnati area including The Sheds, The Lions Rampant, Over the Rhine, The Light Wires, Jake Speed and the Freddies, Kim Taylor and Ryan Adcock.
I have heard word that Cam is currently working on a new, solo album. You may have to dig deep one day to find it. Just remember his name.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sit tight everyone, more interviews are on the way, including a few of Cincinnati's best, a band from Chi-town, and even a band from across the pond that will be making their United States debut next week!
Monday, September 15, 2008
10. Secret Show - I'm throwing in the Scion Secret Show because of the hype building around it. The level of the band playing is said to be somewhat of a "household" name on the indie scene.
9. Ruckus Roboticus
8. AA Bondy - This former frontman of a rock band called Verbena, has traded loud rock for an acoustic guitar and bluesy-folk songs about damnation and salvation. His sound fits somewhere between Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams.
7. Ha Ha Tonka - staying true to their Missouri mountain roots, this up-and-coming indie band has been praised by Paste and Spin Magazines. Their debut album finished at #15 on Popmatters Magazine's "Best Albums of 2007." They played both the Lollapalooza and Sundance festivals in 2008, and have toured with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, The Meat Puppets, and The Old 97's. They are currently on tour with Backyard Tire Fire.
6. Why? - we welcome back home, the well-trained artists otherwise known as Why?, featuring Cincinnati's very own, the Wolf brothers. Since they left, they've been riding a rising wave of success with their intelligent mix of indie, folk rock and hip-hop.
5. Mates of State - this husband-wife duo from Kansas, mostly stick to their drums and keys, however they venture creatively with a variety of keyboards, organs and synthesizers, other types of percussion, the glockenspiel, but only occasionally, the guitar. Their live show possesses the fun-loving, dancing spirit, you can find in electronica/indie-pop, much like that of Cincinnati's, The Seedy Seeds.
4. The Felice Brothers - they were festival whores this past year, and I don't mean that in a bad way. They played a lot of festivals including Mountain Jam, Clearwater Festival, Bonnaroo, Philadelphia Folk Festival, All Points West, Outside Lands and the Newport Folk Festival. When I'm listening to this band, I sometimes have to remind myself that I'm not listening to a recently undiscovered Bob Dylan album from thirty or forty years ago.
3. Backyard Tire Fire
2. Lonely China Day - they may be the underdog of the festival. Their sound is drawing comparisons to Sigur Ros. They could possibly be the best of this year's festival. They're just that good.
1. Boston Spaceships - I won't be suprised if this show ends up being the most talked about. The former Guided By Voices frontman's new all-star project includes another GBV member and the drummer from The Decemberists.
Others You Can't Go Wrong With:
Oh My God, Daniel Martin Moore, Seabird, The High Strung, Coltrane Motion, Ryan Adcock, The Chocolate Horse, Peter Adams
The Sadies, The Hiders, Say Hi, Buffalo Killers, Scratch Track, Pomegranates, The Seedy Seeds
Kim Taylor, God Made Me Funky, Headlights, Cipes and the People, Flow, 500 Miles to Memphis
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Maybe I should be praising my own site and coverage, and telling you to come here, rather than seeing what the people of CityBeat have to say.
But this is not a competition. I'm just a huge music fanatic, wanting to put in my two cents about the festival. I'm a big fan of CityBeat and Breen's writing, which is why I feel inspired to do my own writing, hoping it will one day lead to a career in music journalism.
CityBeat's guide (which came out today), offers twenty-plus pages of artist profiles, schedules, little things like where to pick up t-shirts and sampler cd's, and like I said earlier, all things MidPoint.
CityBeat is a free, entertainment newspaper/magazine (?), and you can find it almost anywhere. I picked up my copy a couple hours ago at Shake-It Records, and while I was there I decided to check out the local music section, which includes cd's from several artists playing MidPoint this year ranging from Peter Adams to Wussy.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Israel rock band, Flow, will be traveling nearly 6,000 miles, which will mark their first ever tour in the United States. They have been booked on the Late Show with David Letterman for Tuesday, September 23, just four days before they play MidPoint, and they're hoping to promote the festival during that broadcast. Catch Flow at the Cadillac Ranch at midnight on September 27.
Independence, KY's, Seabird, recently had their song "Rescue" picked to be the opening theme to ABC's new sitcom, Pushing Daises. Seabird is kicking off the MidPoint festival this year, with a free show, taking place September 25 on Fountain Square, from 6-8 pm.
Seymour, Indiana's, The Elms, were recently added to the lineup for this year's Farm Aid concert, which will be broadcasted for the first time on Direct TV's 101 Network. Catch The Elms at the Lodge Bar at 10:30 pm on September 25.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Here's what he had to say:
Nate Rosing: When and why did you begin playing music? When did you realize that you could sing? Do you have a musically gifted family?
Ryan Adcock: Oddly, I began playing music on a complete whim. When I was eight years old, some thought entered my brain and I asked for a guitar for Christmas. I didn't know anyone who played guitar; no one in my family played guitar. So, I'm not quite sure what my thinking was. By the time I started thinking about it, I was already hooked. Singing came much later. I was never much of a singer growing up, but like with any other instrument, a lot of stubborness and a good deal of practice made me decent enough.
NR: Describe what you think your music is, the sound, and possibly some artist's that you may be similar to, for the sake of anyone who may have not yet heard you. Who are some of your musical influences/heroes? Any non-musical influences/heroes?
RA: I hear a lot of John Mayer and Matchbox 20 comparisons. I'm not overly passionate about either artist, but I suppose its a fair enough assesment. I listen to a wide variety of music...always in search of new stuff. Some of my current favorites include Josh Ritter, Greg Mahan, Youssou N'Dour, Damien Rice, The Killers, and Paul Simon.
NR: What are some of the non-musical things you are into? You have a song on the Cincinnati Reds "Clutch Hits" CD. I haven't followed the Reds since the days of Sabo and Larkin, so how is the current Cincinnati Reds team doing?
RA: I do love the Reds. It's a depressing relationship lately, but I'm trying my darndest to keep the faith. Hmmm...this might sound a bit like a personal add. I also love hiking in National Parks, drinking red wine, reading everything I can get my hands on, watching political pageantry, talking about God, taking photographs and watching Coen Brothers movies.
NR: I once read on-line, that you have played in 39 states. What has touring across the country been like, and do you have any funny or interesting stories from the road?
RA: I love travel of all types. Touring is a unique blessing. I'm often in small college towns where, with nothing else to do, I find myself making day-long friends, trying out corner diners and, on occassion visiting odd attractions like the largest tractor in the world (Kansas), the movie set of Field of Dreams (Iowa, of course) or the first Waffle House (very hard to find - Georgia).
NR: Being an English major and a former high school English teacher, you must read a lot, so who are some of your favorite writers, and what types of books do you like to read?
RA: I'm always happiest when I have a good book by my bed. I'm a particular fan of non-fiction history books, travelogues and bildungsromans (a big word that my nerdy former-librarian wife taught me - means "coming of age" stories). John Steinbeck might be my favorite author...I highly recommend East of Eden (as does Oprah it turns out) and Pastures of Heaven.
NR: How does the writing process come about for your songs? Do you start with just music and then write lyrics, or vice versa?
RA: Music and lyrics usually come together. It involves a lot of noodling around on my guitar while singing ridiculous lyrics until some coherent thought travels through me. I still have no real idea how it happens.
NR: What would you say you tend to write about, or what do you like writing about? Are your songs about things that you have experienced in life?
RA: I'm always looking for new subjects. Lately, I've really enjoyed being forced to write about specific subject. For instance, when the Reds asked me to write a baseball song, I really enjoyed tackling a topic that I never would have tried on my own.
NR: These days, it seems you mainly play solo shows. What are the differences between playing solo gigs and having a backing band?
RA: I play far more solo shows nowadays. I love collaborating with other musicians, but the simplicity and freedom of playing by myself has always been appealing.
NR: What are you currently doing musically? Touring? New songs/album in the works?
RA: I'm almost finished with a new album that I've been working on with Vinyltones frontman Craig Dockery. It consists of 10 songs that I wrote over 10 weeks for church a few years back. Very mellow and a bit of a new direction for me. I continue to tour fairly regularly and am always trying to write new and better songs.
NR: You've played MidPoint several times before, so what are your thoughts on MidPoint, how it has evolved over the years, and do you have any special memories from a certain year playing MidPoint?
RA: I always have a wonderful time at MidPoint. Cincinnati has a fantastic music scene and I've always been honored to be a part of it. MidPoint is a great annual opportunity for all of the energy behind our music scene to culminate in one place.
NR: Are there any acts you're interested in seeing for yourself at MidPoint this year?
RA: I'm usually a bit ADD at MidPoint. I, of course, want to see my friends play. But, I also try to make a concerted effort to see out of town acts. A few years back, I caught Micah Dalton's set. He traveled up from Atlanta and absolutely blew me away. I've followed his career ever since. Those rare opportunities are my favorite thing about the festival.
NR: What has been the biggest challenge in being a musician?
RA: The biggest challenge is also my very favorite thing - writing songs that affect the listener in some meaningful way.
My thanks to Ryan for taking time out of his life, to answer some questions.
Catch Ryan's MidPoint set on the WNKU Stage at New Stage Collective on Thursday, September 25 at 8:30 pm. If you can't wait that long to see him play, he'll be playing a show on Monday, September 15, on the campus of Northern Kentucky University at noon.
My first interview was with local acoustic, folk rocker, Ryan Adcock. Check back soon to see what Ryan had to say.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
The Sundresses, a bluesy-garage-rock trio with the punk-rock attitude, are hosting a CD Release Party for their album "Barkinghaus" at the Southgate House on Saturday, September 20. This show is exactly what you need to put you in the MidPoint mood, because aside from The Sundresses, there are three other bands playing this release party, that will be playing MidPoint. Those bands are The Turnbull AC's, The Lions Rampant and mallory. Also on the bill are experimental-prog rockers, Roundhead. It's sure to be a perfect night for heavy beer drinking and loud rock 'n roll music. Doors open at 8:30 and the mayhem begins at 9:30. Tickets are $7 for 21+ and $10 for those over 18, but not yet old enough to partake in some cold, adult beverages. The Sundresses are also the Southgate House's Artist-in-Residency for the month of October, and will be playing free shows every Wednesday night beginning at 9 pm, in the parlour to those 21 years and older.
Troubadour, Daniel Martin Moore, a recent signee with Sub Pop Records, will be making his debut release with "Stray Age", on Tuesday, October 7. The very next day, he will be having a CD Release Party at the Southgate House. Food will be catered by Chef Josh Kenneweg, so come early to get your stomach full of some goodies, but make sure to stay for the goodies that the music will fill your ears with, if that makes any sense? The Comet Bluegrass Allstars are also on the bill, but more artists will also be playing. The show starts at 8 pm and it's only $5! Moore recently spent some time on tour, opening for The Swell Season, (the band that did the soundtrack to the movie, "Once"). Come out and see for yourself, why there has been a lot of buzz going on about Moore and his brand of singer-songwriter, folk-pop.
Past CEA nominees and two of Cincinnati's most treasured and gifted songwriters, Eric Diedrichs of Cari Clara, and Jason Ludwig of Noctaluca, are throwing a double release party for each's band's, respectively, at the Southgate House on October 10. Admission is only $5, so make sure to come out to get your money's worth. Maybe by saving a little extra cash, you'll decide to pick up their new albums.
Friday, October 17, will be a great day for music in Cincinnati for two reasons: it is the day that The Chocolate Horse will be releasing their new album, "We Don't Stand on Ceremony" and it is also the day that The Seedy Seeds will be hosting a release party for their new album, which I'm sure you can guess, will be at the Southgate House. More to come on that show in a minute.
The Chocolate Horse, an alternative-folkie five-piece, began in 2005, as a side project for Readymaid lead singer Jason Snell. They were one of four local bands to play the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, Texas earlier this year, playing alongside nearly 1,500 other artists from around the world, at dozens of venues in "the live music captial of the world." For their latest release, they were joined in the studio by John Curly, who has worked alongside the best in the industry, and also with local band's, The Afghan Whigs and Wussy.
It may be time to break out your old kazoos once again. The Seedy Seeds are releasing a new album, and who knows what sort of fun instruments they may use this time around to create fun, danceable tunes that leave you feeling happy and enjoying life. The last time around, the duo of Mike and Margaret used an accordion, a banjo, a computer-generated synthesizer, the guitar, a toy keyboard, a slide whistle, and drum beats to create a very unique sound of electronic-indie-pop, which sounds like nothing I've ever heard. Joining The Seedy Seeds for their CD Release Party will be Michigan's Lightning Love, and a reunion show from Cincinnati's very own, The Sheds, consisting of Chris Haubner and Cameron Martin Cochran. DJ Evan Scott will be hosting an aftershow dance party, so ladies, come on out and shake what your momma's gave you! The shows begins at 8 pm, and the cost is $7 for those over 21 and $10 for anyone 18-20.
Here is some other news, although specific information is not yet available:
The Lions Rampant are spending the months of August and September working on new material in the studio. Look out for whatever those crazy kids are up to.
July for Kings are planning a CD release at somepoint in 2008. For those who can't wait, their first single "Say It Now" is available on iTunes and their MySpace page.
Kim Taylor will be hitting the studio this fall, to begin working on her fourth project, in which she promises a sneak preview before the snow falls. She recently released her first digital downloadable album, which was a live cd, recorded at Dayton, Ohio's, Canal Street Cavern.
And finally, Wussy promises a new, full length album by the end of the year. It will be the third full length album from the outfit, who also took part in the festivities at Austin's South by Southwest Festival earlier this year. Wussy is fronted by former Ass Ponys frontman, Chuck Cleaver.
The Hiders - Penny Harvest Field
500 Miles to Memphis - Sunshine In A Shotglass
Ryan Adcock - From Silence to Joy
Cameron Martin Cochran - The Cycle of Life and Death
Backyard Tire Fire - Vagabonds and Hooligans
AA Bondy - American Hearts
The Felice Brothers - Adventures of The Felice Brothers, Vol. 1
Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
Ryan Adams - Gold
Wilco - Kicking Television: Live in Chicago