Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hot Buttered Rum with the Rubber Knife Gang at the Southgate House last night

Hey everybody! Just wanted to let you know that, thanks to Scott Preston, I was able to attend this show last night and submit my own review, for use on his music blog, CincyGroove. He'll be posting my review later tonight, so make sure to stop by and check it out. He's got a ton of other great things going on with the blog (I especially like the artist interviews), so make sure to look over his whole site to see just why he remains one of the best local music blogs...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why I Wished I Lived in Austin, TX

A list of upcoming concerts:

Today - Mates of State with Black Kids at La Zona Rosa, Cake at Stubb's
Tomorrow - Gaslight Anthem with Heartless Bastards at Antone's, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic at Stubb's
April 30 - Pretty Lights at Light Bar, Ryan Bingham at Shady Grove
May 1 - Jason Isbell at Antone's, Death Cab for Cutie with Matt Costa and Ra Ra Riot at Austin Music Hall, Shpongle at The Parish
May 6 - Wye Oak with Pomegranates at The Mohawk
May 7 - Flight of the Conchords at Bass Hall, Perpetual Groove at The Parish
May 8 - Lucero with Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears at Emo's
May 9 - Old Crow Medicine Show with Justin Townes Earle at Stubb's
May 11 - Elvis Perkins at The Parish
May 12 - Nine Inch Nails with Jane's Addiction at Frank Erwin Center, Kevin Devine at Stubb's
May 16 - TV on the Radio at Stubb's
May 18 - The Dears at The Parish
May 26 - Manchester Orchestra at Emo's
June 2 - Black Moth Super Rainbow with School of Seven Bells at The Mohawk
June 3 - Passion Pit with Harlem Shakes and Cale Parks at Emo's, Langhorne Slim at The Parish
June 4 - Ryan Bingham at Texas Union Theater
June 5 - Animal Collective at Stubb's, Bonnie "Prince" Billy at The Mohawk
June 8 - Gomez at Stubb's
June 9 - Les Claypool with Matisyahu at Austin Music Hall
June 11 - Holy Fuck at The Mohawk
June 14 - White Rabbits with The Subjects at Emo's
June 16 - Grizzly Bear at The Parish
June 20 - Xavier Rudd at La Zona Rosa
June 22 - Jenny Lewis with Heartless Bastards at Stubb's
June 27 - Ben Kweller at Emo's
July 4 - Explosions in the Sky at Stubb's
July 9-11 - Spoon at Stubb's

...and those are just the shows I'd be interested in seeing. This is the reason this place is the "Live Musical Capital of the World."

There's always a good concert going on every, single day. Most of these bands very rarely make it to Cincinnati...

Monday, April 27, 2009

MidPoint Wishlist

Just in case any of you MidPoint board members happen to be reading, I have some band requests for MidPoint 2009.

I don't want to come off as the type of person who "feels they know best" when it comes to music, simply because there is no right or wrong answer as to what bands or types of music are best or worst.

I've seen the lineup develop over the years, and although you can expect nearly all of the local bands to be there, it's the biggest names that can catch you off guard.

I think that if you look back over the years, Bob Pollard is a clearly a favorite here in Cincinnati, both with Guided By Voices and his solo projects.

It also seems to me, that indie music is also a favorite here, but then again, what city isn't it big in? Another one that seems to be popular in the city - folk, but not strictly folk - americana, alt. country, country rock, indie folk, folk rock, roots rock - call it whatever you want.

I don't really know where I'm going with that, so...

I spend a lot of time, looking over the hundred or so major music festival lineups every year, finding out about new bands. I waste my time, as some might say, reading about these bands - their history, CD and show reviews, interviews, articles and even listening to them, provided the sound on my laptop is working.

I've done this for years, using it as my #1 method in my quest to find the next great bands. Often times, I will just show up at a bar or club, not knowing anything about the band, and leave a fan who was just completely blown away by what he heard for the first time. Actually, this happened to me earlier in the week when I went to the Great Lake Swimmers show at the Southgate House.

After browsing a number of festival lineups, I have assembled sort of a dream MidPoint lineup. Obviously I won't be naming names like Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen or Phish. Way too big. The great thing is, even the artists that fall to the bottom of these lineups, are still amazing.

You could spend every day for a month, looking over SXSW's lineup from this past year, and it just might take you that long to read through the thousands of bands that play there.

Looking back at last year, the big names for MidPoint appeared to be Bob Pollard's Boston Spaceships, Mates of State, The Sadies, Backyard Tire Fire, The Felice Brothers, Ha Ha Tonka, Why?, Radio 4, Say Hi and AA Bondy. By seeing this lineup, you can kind of expect where the bar may fall this year, or you could just totally be caught off guard.

So without further ado, I have assembled my dream list of bands who I think aren't too big, but are small enough to play the festival. First off, I'm not saying any of these bands will be there or should be there, I just think they'd be good draws for the festival. Secondly, I think the festival is headed this direction. Not necessarily these bands in particular, but I think they're becoming the type of festival that has bands of this caliber as the main draws.

Passion Pit, Akron/Family, Deer Tick, Josh Ritter, David Ford, John Vanderslice, Ryan Bingham, Ben Sollee, Justin Townes Earle, Bon Iver, Lykke Li, Extra Golden, Deerhunter, Gaslight Anthem, Ra Ra Riot, Cloud Cult, Chairlift, Camera Obscura, Cage the Elephant, Dear and the Headlights, Blitzen Trapper, Those Darlins, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Portugal. the Man, The Knux, Delta Spirit, Friendly Fires, Manchester Orchestra, Hockey, Alberta Cross, Sam Roberts Band, Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam, Dan Dyer, Joe Pug, Kevin Devine, Rachel Goodrich, Sarah Siskind

Sunday, April 26, 2009

ACL Lineup Coming Soon...

Creators of the Austin City Limits Music Festival will be releasing the initial artist lineup on Tuesay, April 28.

But to hold you over for the next couple of days, here is a list of those confirmed thus far:

Pearl Jam
Dave Matthews Band
Beastie Boys
Kings of Leon
John Legend
The B-52's
Thievery Corporation
Mos Def
Ghostland Observatory
Sonic Youth
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Levon Helm
Passion Pit
Papa Mali
The Knux
Preservation Hall Jazz Band

End of an Era or a New Beginning?

After seventeen years, a few lineup changes and a world tour (kind of), the local alt-pop band, Fizzgig, has called it quits. If you missed last night's final goodbye at the Southgate House, then you missed your chance.

An impressive crowd filled the Ballroom floor, while Fizzgig churned out twenty or so-something songs spanning over their entire career. My personal favorite was frontman Evan Brass's work on the fretboard during "Don't Know Why."

There was no better way to end this band's career, than by what they did last night. They brought up every single member who had played with the band at some point over the years, showcasing the different personalities of this band called Fizzgig.

It doesn't all end there, however. Brass has another local band, The Victory Kids, although Evan is supposedly moving to California. I'm not really sure if he's taking that band out that way, but whatever happens, good luck, I'm sure you'll do fine. Drummer Mike Paolucci already has another project going, The Koala Fires, one of the most talked about, up-and-coming bands in the area.

So with that, we come to the end of this era. From the days of playing CovCath talent shows, to the shows they've played in Europe, and including everything in between, as a CCH alumnist, I'd like to say congrats and good luck to all of the guys in Fizzgig, present and past.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Swedish Indie Rock & Electronic Jambands

A couple of great concerts in Northern Kentucky tonight...

In Newport...

Peter, Bjorn & John are playing the Southgate House tonight, along with openers, Chairlift.

Peter Moren, Bjorn Yttling and John Eriksson formed the band nearly ten years ago in Stockholm, with influences ranging from '60s baroque pop to new wave. But it wasn't until just a few years ago, that they began to garner worldwide critical acclaim, thanks to the whistling sounds of their single, "Young Folks."

Chairlift is an electronic, indie-pop band, that formed in Boulder, Colorado just a few years ago, where they set out to make background music for haunted houses. Soon after, they relocated to Brooklyn, where they continued to develop their hypnotic sound, while playing shows with bands like MGMT and Yeasayer.

The show kicks off at 9:30, while tickets are $25 at the door.

Also at the Southgate House tonight, is a free show in the lounge with The Seedy Seeds, The Toy Band and Love in October. They start at 9pm, and once again, it's free.

In Covington...

Summer festival favs, The Disco Biscuits, are also in town, playing the Madison Theater tonight.

Formed in Philly in '95, the band known to their fans simply as Bisco, they play long, extended jams, often playing songs backwards. Call them an electronic jamband, say they're trance-fusion, call it livetronica or even prog rock, say what you will. Bisco are at their best in the live setting, where they like to shake things up, all the while getting you to shake your ass to their delicious grooves.

The show is $18 and starts at 8:30.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

First Bands On-Tap for MidPoint

Over the past several days, Cincinnati's MidPoint Music Festival, has been revealing artists that are playing this year's festival, via their twitter account. I guess they call that tweeting. Or if your mind tends to stay in the gutter, I guess they call that twatting...


Here are the first four artist's signed on for this year's festival:

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
A former member of the Drive-By Truckers, Isbell left the band in April of 2007, and released his debut solo album just months later. He later assembled a backing band, the 400 Unit, and together as a band, they have released one album, the self-titled album released just a couple of months ago.

The Subjects met in high school - two were students, the other two were teachers. Psych/Pop-Rock out of Brooklyn. Currently touring with White Rabbits...

Middle Distance Runner
I have not heard this band yet, but many great things have been said about them...

SPIN Magazine "These insanely catchy rockers (think the Strokes) are the city's pick-to-click for mainstream success."

Paste Magazine "With a growing regional fan-base and a name that's beginning to be heard across the country, Middle Distance Runner could be on the verge of something big."

On Tap Magazine "What is so remarkable about Middle Distance Runner is the maturity that their songs possess, especially given the fact that the majority of them are younger than 24. In putting together their first proper record, this DC based band invokes the best of Radiohead, U2, Doves and others, but remains a unique voice unto itself."

One of Cincinnati's best. Formed by Chuck Cleaver (of Cincinnati music legends, the Ass Ponys) and Lisa Walker. Their fourth release (a self-titled album) was released just two days ago...

In all, the festival will probably include a couple hundred bands or so, taking over downtown, Over the Rhine and Northern Kentucky bars and clubs, from Septemeber 24-26.

Expect the festival to be the biggest and most badass yet...

Lollapalooza Unveils 2009 Lineup

Among those performing at the three-day, Chicago music festival are headliners Depeche Mode, Tool, The Killers, Jane's Addiction, Beastie Boys and the Kings of Leon.

Other bands signed on include the legendary Lou Reed (of The Velvet Underground), Ben Harper's new hard-rock band called Relentless 7, the multi-cultural sounds of Thievery Corporation and hip-hop dope fiend, Snoop Doggy Dogg!!!!!!

For the full lineup and more information on Lollapalooza 2009, please click here.

Bonnaroo Updates

A lot of news in the land of Bonnaroo:

David Byrne Curated Stage
Aside from playing his own set, David Byrne, founding member of The Talking Heads, will be hosting the first ever artist curated stage in Bonnaroo history, on Friday, June 12.

What this means, is basically that Byrne will be hosting/overseeing/introducing several bands, that were handpicked by him to play the festival. These artists include Ani DiFranco, Santigold, St. Vincent, The Dirty Projectors and Katzenjammer.

Also expect Byrne to sit in on some songs with these artists.

More Band Additions
American Princes - hard, indie rock

Belleville Outfit - a country version of a jamband

Ben Sollee - Kentucky native, celloist from Abigail Wasburn's Sparrow Quartet, has played with everyone from our very own, Kim Taylor, to Jim James (of My Morning Jacket)

Black Lillies

BrakesBrakesBrakes - in England they're simply known as Brakes, but in the US, they're known as brakesbrakesbrakes...they play punked-up versions of rock, country, folk and surf....

Cotton Jones - indie-pop, folk-rock, gospel and soul with a small-town sound

Dear and the Headlights - Arizona indie-rock similar to Manchester Orchestra and Margot & the Nuclear So & So's, currently touring with Jimmy Eat World and Paramore....

Madi Diaz - "a staggering voice, poignant melodies and innovative arrangements"

Dirty Guv'nahs - loud rock music

Dirty Sweet - hard, southern, stoner, garage-rock out of San Diego, for fans of Year Long Disaster and Rose Hill Drive

Dan Dyer - gospel and soul singer/songwriter, full of beautiful melodies...

Justin Townes Earle - he's the son of the legendary Steve Earle, and the godson of the legendary Townes Van if you know about those two, you have to figure Justin is probably a decent songwriter himself...

Everest - a band from L.A. made up of members of Sebadoh, Alaska!, The Watson Twins, Great Northern and Stanford Prison Experiment, they have already toured with Neil Young and My Morning Jacket, thanks to their debut "Ghost Notes" which was released just shortly over a year ago...

The Features - longtime vets of the Murfreesboro, TN scene, these indie-rockers won a spot to play Bonnaroo in a band competition...

Fiction Family - a collaboration between Jon Foreman (of alt-rock band, Switchfoot) and Sean Watkins (of bluegrass band Nickel Creek)...together, they mold influences from opposite ends of the spectrum, bringing together alternative rock, folk and christian music...

The Giraffes - Brooklyn's metal, punks, known for rowdy live performances

The Heavy Pets - a funky, jamband for those into U-Melt, The Breakfast and Perpetual Groove...

Jedd Hughes - Australian country, singer/songwriter that fans of Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley will enjoy...

Jerry Hannan

Jets Overhead - another fine indie-rock band out of Canada, they've mesmerized crowds with their hypnotic take on trance-rock

Ki: Theory

Kuroma - spacey, psychedelic, guitar-driven rock for fans of Wooden Shjips and Dead Confederate

Jessica Lea Mayfield - not even 20 years old, Jessica is well beyond her years, both in her quick rise to fame, as well as the sound she creates, mixing country, folk and soul...currently touring with Ray LaMontagne, she has also worked with The Black Keys and members of Dr. Dog...

Erin McCarley - a female, contemporary singer/songwriter, whose music has appeared on Grey's Anatomy...she's also part of Ten Out of Tenn...

Moonalice (pronounced moon-a-lease) - a jamband combining elements of roots, blues, psychedelia and folk. They're a supergroup that includes G.E. Smith - recognize that name? (he's the former Saturday Night Live band leader), as well as members of Bob Dylan's Band, Phil Lesh and Friends, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna and David Nelson and Friends...

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band - an indie-pop, dance-punk, rock band from Seattle, who garnered considerable attention even before releasing a single song

MyNameIsJohnMichael - a New Orleans native with a remarkable story. In late 2007 he decided it was time for a change. Beginning in 2008 as a solo artist, he would write one song a week over the entire year. By the end of the year, he in fact did have 52 songs, but more importantly, several musicians joined in on the project with him including members of Rotary Downs, Antenna Inn and Big Rock Candy Mountain....

Nikhil Korula Band - returning to Bonnaroo this summer, these guys have toured with the likes of both John Mayer and OAR. Ultimately a jamband, they blend sounds of calypso, reggae and African and Latin grooves...

Julia Nunes - a ukulele playing, singer/songwriter from upstate New York, Julia's career first took off thanks to internet sites like YouTube and MySpace, thanks to some amazing covers, however, she has already released two albums of original material being sold around the world

Outernational - a political band from New York, combining elements of hip-hop, punk, ska and world music, thus creating a "raw and uplifting" stage show

Phoenix - indie, electronic, French pop/rock

Joe Pug - Only in his young-twenties, this Dylan-like folkie, singer/songwriter has quickly garnered near universal critical acclaim, establishing him as one of his generations most respected songwriters

Russian Circles - an instrumental, post-metal/post-rock trio from Chicago, who play epic, sprawling music going from heavy to soft, similar to bands like Pelican, Minus the Bear and Caspian

Sons of Bill - southern, country-rock band of brothers from Charlottesville, VA

Those Darlins - one of the year's best, up-and-coming, all-female groups...raucous, cheerfully sarcastic, booze-filled live shows...mixing country, punk and rock...received a "Best of Nashville" nod in 2007, as well as "Best Local Rock Band Who'd Be at Home on the Grand Ole Opry"

Tobacco - the frontman of the band, Black Moth Super Rainbow, this electronica artist also known as Tom Fec, his music is powered by analog synths, hip-hop beats, tape machines and vocoders, rather than guitars

Turbine - Relix Magazine had this to say about them..."Their sound is exhilarating, with flurries of melodic guitars and wailing harp propelling complex improvisations"

Vertigo - an experimental, alternative-rock band out of Knoxville, TN

Roger Alan Wade - While he's written songs for country legends like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, George Jones and Hank Williams Jr, Wade's solo career took off thanks to promotional assistance from his cousin, Johnny Knoxville, where his music has appeared on the television show "Jackass"

William Elliott Whitmore - With a voice sounding decades older than he is (think Tom Waits), Whitmore's songs about death and love have the lyrical context of a Johnny Cash

Zee Avi - Malaysian female singer/songwriter signed to Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records label

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dave Matthews Band Offers Up New Single

The Dave Matthews Band recently offered up a free download of the first single, "Funny The Way It Is", from their upcoming album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. Download the track via their website here. The album will be released June 2 on RCA Records. The name "GrooGrux" was a nickname of the late LeRoi Moore, the founding saxophonist band member who was with the band for seventeen years.

I downloaded the track earlier today, and as a Dave Matthews Band fanatic since the mid-90s, I would like to offer up my honest opinion, as I have seen the bands highs and lows.

The song starts off with an orchestrated, choir-like stringed symphony and gently brings in some quiet taps of the bongos, which are sounds that are rather unfamiliar with any of the band's previous efforts.

The electric guitar comes in, maybe from Tim Reynolds, with a catchy riff that you'll end up hearing all throughout the song. There's a soft, calmness in the sound of Dave's voice as he sings "Lying in the park on a beautiful day...sunshine in the grass and the children play..."

Carter Beauford quickly jumps in, with his rash drumming style, while the violin playing of Boyd Tinsley remains as graceful and heartfelt as ever.

They jump into the typical, pop-rock sounding chorus, which will probably put them on the radio, however, the quick jam that follows and leads back into the verse should leave plenty of room for an impromptu jam session during the band's live show.

They basically continue with the same verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge setup you typically see in pop-rock songs that you'll hear on the radio. There's some nice solo work though, from Tinsley on the violin, and Reynolds on the electric guitar. They even add a few notes on piano towards the end, but before you know it, the song is over.

The way that the song ends so quickly, leads me to believe that this could be one of those songs that the band continues to just jam out to in concert, leading into another song, although, don't rule out the possibility of them playing it just like it is on the record.

Like any new song, it generally takes some listening until you feel comfortable and at home with what you're hearing. My main concern with the band and the album is just that.

I've been listening to the band for nearly half of my life, most of their career, and this will probably be the album, not that makes or breaks them, but rather, this will be the album that will ultimately decide the direction the band takes in the future.

As I listened to this song, over and over, over the past few hours, of course the first thing I noticed was the abscence of saxophonist LeRoi Moore.

I fell in love with this band long ago, partly due to the live show that they present. Hell, they were the band that made me fall in love with live music.

As far as their sound goes, it was what LeRoi brought to the band in particular, simply because it was something rare in pop-rock groups, something a lot of bands have not done before or after.

The Dave Matthews Band used to have some jazz in their music, but I have to say, those days are gone. We all pretty much knew this when LeRoi passed away late last summer, but I guess it just didn't hit me until I heard this song.

In the 25+ times I have seen the band perform, I have only seen them once play without a sax player, something they had hardly ever done in their entire career. That was last year's show in Cincinnati, however, it was still a great show, it just didn't feel right.

Now they can bring in Rashawn Ross (of Soulive) on the trumpet, Tim Reynolds on the guitar, and anyone else they want to bring to add to the mix. I respect the work that both of these musicians have done with and without the DMB, and chances are, I'll probably dig anyone else they bring in.

The loss of LeRoi just doesn't feel right. It's not the same band, it never will be. This album will be the biggest turning point in the band's career, but I'll never leave their side.

I'll continue listening and going to shows until they quit or I no longer can physically do so. They were the band that showed me how much greater a live performance was than regular studio work.

The spark that was lit in the beginning when I fell in love with the DMB may not shine as bright as it once did, but I'll never blow out the flame that lights that candle.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another Congrats to CincyPunk

Congratulations, once again to everyone involved with this past weekend's CincyPunk Festival.

Over $5,000 was raised this past weekend for the Animal Adoption Foundation.

Since CincyPunk Fest 3 (in 2005), over $23,000 has been raised for a number of local charities.

Congratulations again guys and girls!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

San Fran's Outside Lands Festival

In only its second year, this end of August festival that takes place in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is quickly becoming one of the go-to festivals on the west coast.

Recently, they announced their initial artist lineup, which includes former Cincinnatians, The National and the Heartless Bastards. Are the Heartless Bastards still based here? I know Erika moved to Austin, TX last year, but I'm not sure if they're technically/politically correctly still based here...anyways...

The festival will be headlined by Pearl Jam, the Dave Matthews Band and the Beastie Boys. The lineup also includes some bands that are somewhat new to the festival circuit including Incubus, Black Eyed Peas, Jack White's new band The Dead Weather (Jack's the drummer, although he's no stranger to summer music festivals) and Tom Jones. Wait. Tom Jones? Okay...that's different.

Some of the other acts (my favorites that is) for the festival include The Mars Volta, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, TV on the Radio, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Brett Dennen, Built to Spill, JJ Grey & Mofro, Deerhunter, Akron/Family, John Vanderslice, Portugal. the Man, Ryan Bingham and Extra Golden.

Because I live out here in the midwest, chances are I'll never hit up a festival on the west coast, I just thought this festival was worth mentioning.

Speaking of west coast festivals, Coachella officially kicks off the outdoor festival season this weekend, with what I think is a pretty damn good lineup. Headliners include Paul McCartney (say what you will about him, but who never liked The Beatles at somepoint in their life?), The Killers, with The Cure closing out the festival on Sunday.

I was looking over the stage schedule (I do this for every festival, just to see who I would see if I was going), and I have to say that both Friday and Saturday are some of the strongest days I've seen in past festivals.

Aside from McCartney, some of the big conflicts of the day include choosing between Franz Ferdinand, Conor Oberst and Crystal Castles...The Black Keys, M. Ward, Los Campesinos! and The Hold Steady.

Saturday's probably my favorite day of the festival, which includes TV on the Radio, Band of Horses, Franti & Spearhead, Fleet Foxes, two sets from the Drive-By Truckers (one being fronted by Booker T. Jones), Blitzen Trapper, Dr. Dog, Liars and Cloud Cult.

The highlight for Sunday most likely won't be headliners, The Cure, however, the long awaited My Bloody Valentine reunion will probably garner the most buzz (they're opening for The Cure). Aside from that, Sunday appears to be the weakest day (according to my tastes), with only Peter Bjorn & John and Devendra Banhart. I really like Okkervil River, the Gaslight Anthem and Friendly Fires, however, those three are playing at the same time.

Although different styles of music, all of these bands are great, and a festival wouldn't be complete without missing something great. I'm still working on a way to be in twenty different places at one time because, when I attend Bonnaroo this year, I'm sure I'll be let down and upset when I realize who I'll get to see and who I'll have to miss...

Anyways, just thought this festival was also worth mentioning. To those of you lucky enough to be able to afford the first festival of the season or live close enough, have a great time...I hate you. Okay...I don't really hate you, I'm just jealous I can't afford every single festival on the planet.

Local Band of the Day

(Experimental/Indie Rock/Post-Punk)

Every so often, a band comes around that just completely blows your mind. When you witness them in concert for the first time, it feels as if they have put a stop to time. You're standing there amongst the crowd, almost lifeless, gazing up at the band members, trying to comprehend how in the hell they are creating the sounds you are hearing. One such experience occured to me at this past weekend's CincyPunk Music Festival. That band was State Song.

A band that formed in November of last year, State Song have only done so much as release a three track demo. According to their MySpace page, they practice a lot, however, they only have a handful of shows under their belt. They'll be celebrating the release of their full-length debut on July 11 at Northside Tavern.

While I wish I could go back in time to relive their set from this past weekend, you'll just have to settle for what I'm hearing now, as I listen to the demo over and over.

The three tracks on the demo are all over the place. But don't take that the wrong way. In my opinion, a great demo is supposed to showcase everything that you can do. This is a great look of what is to come of this band.

We begin with "Highway Machine." Fuzzy, distorted guitars, hypnotic drum beats from George Jesse and scratchy Thom Yorke-like vocals from Scot Torres.

The second track, "4 to 6 PRN", has a clean guitar sound, while Scot's lyrics become a bit softer and more clear. George is riding the cymbals, which seem to build up, leading the song into an almost metal band feel. The only thing I've noticed thus far, is that the bass playing of Matt Hemmingway seems to get lost amongst the guitar, vocals and drumming.

The last track is what I guess you would call their ballad. "Skeleton Key", unlike any of the previous tracks, is based around the piano, a lead guitar lick that cries out and Scot's soft-spoken lyrics. There's a sorrowful, melancholic feel in the lyrics, especially when Torres cries out, "The thing's that matter don't matter anymore...the keys hit the floor." The track changes in both mood and pace, showing one of the stronger points of the band, going from quiet and slow, to loud and fast. It's at this point, when the band goes into a noisy, beautiful symphony of sound, much like you will find with the band Explosions in the Sky.

If there's anything to learn from this fairly new band, it's that Cincinnati is full of amazing talent that just seems to pop out of nowhere. I wouldn't be suprised if these guys are nominated, or win for that matter, at the 2009 CEA's for "Best New Artist."

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Message from Adam Rosing,

I just wanted to personally thank all of the bands, volunteers, Southgate House staff, and fans for making the trek to CincyPunk Fest 8 and enjoying TWO fun nights of independent local music.

Both nights of the festival blew me away as I saw a lot of great friends and caught up with a lot of old friends... and the turnout? Well, let's just say both nights were packed and Saturday even sold out!

Also, a special thanks to Spodie, Pincushion, and Saturday Supercade for getting back together for the show. When the idea was proposed months ago I figured it would be a great idea that had no legs. To have all three of them play reunion shows was ridiculous!!! Thanks guys!

Anyways...We should know the total amount of money raised for the Animal Adoption Foundation by Wednesday afternoon and we will present a check to them shortly thereafter.

Despite this being the most expensive festival I have ever done it should also be the most profitable for the charity.

I will be adding pictures and video in the coming days of performances at the fest.

Thanks again for all of the support! We look forward to doing it again next year!

Adam Rosing

Sunday, April 12, 2009

CincyPunk Night Two

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Southgate House this weekend, to support CincyPunk VIII, local music and the Animal Adoption Foundation.

Because of you, it was officially a sold out house on night two. Night one wasn't quite there, but it was damn close.

Congratulations and thank you!!!

Some personal highlights of night two:

The Frankl Project
Moxy Monster
State Song
John Walsh

Look for a full night two review tomorrow afternoon...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

CincyPunk Night One

The eighth installment of the CincyPunk Music Festival descended upon the Southgate House last night, bringing in the masses, as well as one of its most diverse lineups to date.

Before the music began, the Ballroom seemed to be the popular hangout. New friends were made, while old friend's reunited. Free burritos were eaten, sponsored by Chipotle, and the booze and whiskey flowed smoothly (or harshly depending on what you were drinking), thanks to a full, friendly staff of bartenders.

Mad Anthony was the first band to kick things off, beginning right on schedule in the ballroom. Formerly known as The Black Scabs, the band regrouped, renamed and rediscovered their sound, resulting in straight up punk rock, set to the beating of hard pounding drums and layers of guitar effects.

Making friendships along the way with guys like Mike Montgomery (Thistle, Ampline, Tiberius Records), Jerry Dirr (Knife the Symphony, Phratry Records), as well as bands like the Strongest Proof and Banderas, Mad Anthony now has the support and mindset to take the local music scene by storm. I guess you could even say they sound a bit like a storm. One big, mad storm.

The next band to take the stage were The Koala Fires. Read all about them here in a special article written for Metromix, from former CinWeekly reporter Rich Shivener.

New Indie Rock from The Koala Fires
After The Koala Fires finished, I quickly made my way up to the third floor parlour to catch what would become, in my opinion, the evening's most energetic show.

duppy a jamba definitely brought a different vibe than what you'd come to expect at a punk festival, no moshing or screaming, but judging by the crowd's reaction, no one seemed to mind.

They're a seven piece outfit, who combine a number of elements such as reggae, ska, jazz and world music, while using a variety of instruments that feature several drums and horns.

The whole parlour was skanking (what I call ska dancing) along to their blend of reggae and ska
I lost track of time due to the fun I was having at duppy a jamba, so I ended up getting back down to the ballroom for Turnbull AC's, much later than I expected.

One of the area's best songwriters: Dan Mecher of The Turnbull AC's
After catching the last couple songs from Mecher and company, it was back upstairs for Knife the Symphony. These two guys and girl will make your head hurt and your ears bleed. Dark, heavy and loud, the trio creates a sound that continues to grow until it suddenly explodes.

Knife the Symphony: a symphony of razor-sharp noise

After nearly going deaf upstairs, my ears told me it was time to hear an acoustic guitar. I got to the lounge just in time to hear Tuck Me In covering the popular tune, "Wagon Wheel."

Bob Dylan left the song unfinished, only writing the chorus part which goes "Rock me mama..." The song was later finished and made popular by Old Crow Medicine Show. A number of artists include it in their repertoire, ranging from Against Me! to Little Feat, as well as locals The Tillers.

Tuck Me In had a good time and a good turnout, filling the lounge with mostly college kids

I hurried downstairs to see how the pro's do it, which would be the band Thistle. Currently celebrating fifteen years together, they have served as an inspiration for a lot of the younger bands in the area, not just with the evolution of the music they've written, but also with the professionalistic approach that they take.

Thistle: Still blowing people away

It was back upstairs to the lounge, where I had to catch the buzz that has surrounded Wake the Bear over the past several years.

You couldn't describe it better than in the way Mike Breen (CityBeat) put it: "A humble, dreamy lushness is crafted with acoustic guitars, keys, synths, layered voices and heart-swelling string sounds, all tied together by Cunningham's emotive, vivacious lead vocals, which have the kind of effortless elasticity that only truly great singers can pull off..."

Scott Cunningham, aka Wake the Bear

White Girls. Honestly, I don't remember...

The Hotties of Stick Figures - the Wonk and Sarah

Wonky Tonk sings like an angel

Nick Mitchell of Wonky Tonk adds the extra flavor to their sound on the melodica

The Sign Seen 'Round the World

The Seedy Seeds remain a Cincinnati & CincyPunk favorite

The biggest mystery of the evening, The Guitars, packed the parlour from front to back, for their first ever live performance

Headliners and CincyPunk fav/vets, Alone at 3am, closed the evening's festivities

Friday, April 10, 2009

Local Musician of the Day

Sonny Moorman


Say the name "Sonny Moorman" to any music fan in the Cincinnati area, and surely they will known who you're talking about. could say his name to any music fan in the midwest, and chances are they've probably heard of him.

Sonny Moorman is a very hard working, living blues legend, that the city of Cincinnati should be blessed to call their own. His style is often compared to that of Warren Haynes, of the Allman Brothers Band and Gov't Mule.

In 1994, the Sonny Moorman Group was formed, a power trio consisting of Marc Hoffman on bass and Dave Fair on drums. They were signed the very same year to 706 Records/Sun Studio at the 1994 Crossroads in Memphis.

They have built their success, not through releasing albums (as they only have a few out), but by constantly playing out live. Doing about 300 shows a year, they play everywhere from small clubs to regional festivals.

They have won numerous awards including...

CEA "Best Blues Artist" (2006, 2007)
Cincinnati Blues Challenge "Single/Duo" (2006)
Budweiser True Music Search (2004, 2005)

Interesting Facts

They are managed by William Perkins of Republic Artists Management. He was a long-time tour manager of the Allman Brothers Band, as well as their co-personal manager of their 20th anniversary reunion. 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the Allman Brothers Band. Perkins has also been directly involved with Greg Allman, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Tinsley Ellis, among several others associated with Strike Force Management.

Sonny and Marc run the Rock School, in Cincinnati.

Press Quotes

"Moorman can blister through metal blues, get raunchy with heavy slide, cry like an Atlanta Brave after the World Series, and be delicate and precise..." - Buz Morrison, GUITAR Magazine

"The premier local blues-rock guitarist" - Rick Bird, The Cincinnati Post

"Moorman's blazing guitar work is awe-inspiring, full of an overabundance of feeling, talent, and ingenuity." - Mike Breen, Cincinnati CityBeat Magazine

Upcoming Shows

Plenty of chances to catch Sonny this month...

Sunday's at Yardbirds. Monday's at Shady O' Grady's. Tuesday's at the Hitching Post. Wednesday's at Burbank's Woodshed Acoustic Jam & Songwriter's Night. Thursday's Open Jam at Burbank's

On the weekend...

Saturday, April 18 - Guitar Lover's Store, Kenwood Rd, 4-6 pm
Friday, April 24 - Shady O' Grady's
Saturday, April 25 - KC's Pub, Milford, 9:30-1:30 am

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Local Band of the Day



"Three kids with a lot of heart playing music for anyone who will listen"

The Band
Jake Tippey - guitar, vocals
Joe Frankl - drums, vocals
Paul Schroder - bass, vocals

Since the release of their first EP in 2004, The Frankl Project have been lucky enough to play 100+ shows regionally, release two self-produced records, tour the Midwest in 2006 and play with bands like Bottom Line (Maverick Records), Defiance, Ohio (No Idea Records), David Dondero, Go Betty Go (Side One Dummy), Harry and the Potters, J Page (Nice Guy Records), Left Alone (Hellcat Records), Los Gatos Negros (plan-it-x), Mustard Plug (Hopeless), Much The Same (A-F Records), No Trigger (Nitro Records), The Phenomenauts (Springman), Ryans Hope (Punk News Records), Seepeoples, The Toasters, and Westbound Train (Hellcat Records).

Upcoming Shows
Saturday, April 11 - Southgate House - CincyPunk VIII, in the Parlour, 9:15 pm

Saturday, May 2 - The Mad Hatter - with Arms Exploding, Thistle, Rosemary Device and The Chemachines


A Way to Promote Local Music

As I was lying in bed last night, I thought to myself, what would be a different but interesting way to promote local bands on my blog? It hit me moments later.

I've decided to write a long list of local bands (not sure if it's every band in the area) on pieces of paper and put them into a hat. You know, where you pull a name out of a hat.

Every day I'll be pulling one band name out of my hat, and I'll be making them the "Local Band of the Day." I'll post some stuff about them here on my blog, as well as provide a shitload of links and upcoming tourdates.

You can look for this beginning later tonight.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Guide to CincyPunk VIII, from founder Adam Rosing

My brother Nate was kind enough to lend me some space on his blog to hawk my upcoming charity musical festival and for that I am thankful. I check the blog on a daily basis and anticipate reading new blog entries, because of his passion for music. He shows me bands and presents info in a fresh light.

Let me introduce myself... My name is Adam Rosing. I'm a 26-year-old former journalist who spends his days at a local emergency communications center trying to bring in that cash. In my spare time I freelance for local papers and run the local music web site

Active since February 2002, the site was started by a friend as a way to get in touch with Cincinnati's music community. It features a message board, music reviews, show calendar, along with the rest of the basics such as photos and venue listings. After starting the site and booking Cincypunk Fest and Cincypunk Fest II he burned himself and I swooped in to pick up the pieces.

Cincypunk Fest III was my first foray into booking shows and fuck me if it wasn't the most intense thing I had ever experienced. The show, which occurred in January 2005, at Southgate House featured 15 bands on 3 stages. Proceeds benefited Lighthouse Youth Services. The show was insane... so much so that we've never looked back. Since then we have done festivals at Sudsy Malone's, Poison Room, and Southgate House ranging from 2 nights, 30 bands to a colossus 5 nights and 75 bands (I know! Seriously, what were we thinking!)

Anyways, every second has been a blast and along the way we've raised $18,500 for Lighthouse Youth Services, Women's Crisis Center, Mental Health Association, Camp Ernst YMCA's Core Character Values scholarship program for disadvantaged youth and lastly, we were able to give $6,000 to a local drummer suffering from testicular cancer, so he could take care of some medical bills.

With no further ado, below is the official guide to Cincypunk Fest VIII.

The music presented at Cincypunk Fest VIII may be a bit different than what you've come to expect the coverage of this blog to portray, but I feel as music lovers we can all get behind original, DIY music from people who are into having fun and maybe making a dream come true along the way.

Night One
Friday, April 10 at The Southgate House
$7 for 21 /$10 for 18

8:00-8:30 MAD ANTHONY
A four-piece rock and roll outfit with an ever-evolving sound, Mad Anthony has found its way through the failures of their past band Black Scabs. This time, the band is doing it right led by Ringo their lead singer. Their sound is guitar driven and characterized by Ringo's distant voice. City Beat said it best about the band when they said "...the right feeling with Mad Anthony resulted in a sound that suggested a jittery, psychedelicized New Wave spin on the Toadies, with flecks of the Misfits, Fugazi and Electric Six thrown in for color and texture." Their recent deal with local label Phratry Records signals their ascent as one of Cincinnati's upcoming bands.

8:45-9:15 KOALA FIRES
From the ashes of Super 77 and Fizzgig, the oddly named Koala Fires came together. This band reminds me of Weezer if Rivers Cuomo never took himself too seriously... Led by Matt Mooney and his perfect voice the band lists a handful of mid-90s band as influences including Dinosaur Jr, Superchunk, and Sonic Youth. Suiting to say the least since their sound is reminiscent of 90's indie rock.

9:30-10:00 TURNBULL AC'S
Dark pop done right.

10:15-10:45 THISTLE
15 years into their rule as scene heroes, Thistle must be doing something right because locals are still clamoring for their tunage and the band tours on a semi-regular basis to dive bars and basements across the country. Some advice, bring ear plugs if you plan on getting near the stage. The band's live show is often described as a wall of sound. I'd let you know what their new record sounds like but my ear drums are still recovering from the last time I saw them live.

11:00-11:30 WHITE GIRLS
The video speaks for itself...
(Link to music video:

11:45-12:15 SEEDY SEEDS
Seedy Seeds are fresh off multiple showcases at Austin's South by Southwest Music Festival. Newsflash, they remain one of my favorite Cincinnati bands because of their simple, head bobbing songs and endearing live show in which they encourage the crowd to dance, bring out guest musicians, and often break out an unsuspecting cover song. To me, this band epitomizes the innocence that is Cincinnati, OH.

In your face rock and roll infused with sweat, beer, and attitude. Their live set is the most adventurous in the city.

1:15-2:00 ALONE AT 3am
Whiskey raising, head bobbing Americana/indie rock with lyrics about heartbreak and people struggling to make it, while battling their demons. Pure sing-a-long fun.

Front man Sam Banta, formerly of Black Tie Bombers and Riverside Revival, brings honesty to his stripped down project. A heartfelt voice adds clarity to songs he truly believes in.

10:15-10:45 TUCK ME IN
Two friends having a good time covering bands from their youth including Alkaline Trio, Social Distortion, and The Clash

11:00-11:30 WAKE THE BEAR
Self-described as melodic layers of indie guitars, keys, rhythms and scotch-soaked vocals with an occasional dog bark.

11:45-12:30 STICK FIGURES
What began as a side project for Alone at 3am front man Max Fender has turned into a full blown band featuring Sarah Davis, Tim Colina, and Jasmine Poole. Their various demos is a collection of songs I want lulling me to sleep as I drive down fog soaked country roads after a long night of coffee and cigarettes.

12:45-1:30 WONKY TONK
A mix of fiddle, mandolin, xylophone, and more... To truly appreciate it visit their myspace and listen to why they are becoming a pleasure to see live.

9:15-9:45 DUPPY A JAMBA
A seven-piece reggae outfit bent on getting the crowd to move their feet and have a good time. Their sound also mixes elements of punk and ska...

Dark, indie rock on Phratry Records

10:45-11:15 WE ARE HEX (Indianapolis)
Self-described as one big mess... the band is currently on a 50 date, 13 state tour that will carry them from New York to Iowa and everywhere in between.

Guitar driven indie rock bent on changing the state of affairs

12:15-1:00 GUITARS
This will be the band's first public performance and at this time they remain a mystery. Made up of former Death in Graceland and Crybaby members, the band has a pedigree in the local music scene, but so far they have been hush hush about what this project entails. Possibly an instrumental band who uses an unknown amount of instruments to create a sound never before heard in Cincinnati? That is the direction I'm leaning...

Night Two
Saturday, April 11 at The Southgate House
$7 for 21 /$10 for 18

Faith driven music whose sound harkens to the glory days of Blink 182, Homegrown, and west coast punk from the late 1990s.

8:45-9:15 LOUDMOUTH
Intense, fast punk similar to Pennywise, Dropkick Murphys, and Face to Face.

9:30-10:00 SLOW CLAW
Heart on its sleeve pop music carried by the vocals of Rob Barnes (former Lightweight Holiday and Rescue Effort)

10:15-10:45 STATE SONG
Indie rock with a dark aura and vocals reminiscent to that of Radiohead. One of my favorite new bands in Cincinnati... Appearing on WAIF 88.3 FM on Thursday, April 9th from 8-10 p.m. to spin tunes and talk about themselves.

11:00-11:30 ARMS EXPLODING
Rock and roll with a punk rock intensity. Guitar tones similar to late 90s AFI, but with a sense of purpose like East Arcadia.

11:45-12:15 PINCUSHION (reunion show)
From Ryan Thomas, owner of former Cincinnati venue The Void: "There has been no pop-punk band that has come anywhere even close to Pincushion in this city until just recently with The Dopamines." Their first show since 2002!!!

12:30-1:00 SPODIE (reunion show)
From Ryan Thomas, owner of former Cincinnati venue The Void: "Their live show would grab you and wouldn't let you go till they were packed up and gone." Their first show since 1999!!!

1:15-2:00 SATURDAY SUPERCADE (reunion show)
Their album "A Study In Adult Contemporary Punk Rock" is one of my top 10 albums even to this day. Their first show since 2003!!!

9:00-9:30 THE VIPS

9:45-10:15 MOXY MONSTER

10:30-11:00 MATT STANTON
Cincinnati comedian currently living in Minnesota. The must not miss show of the festival.

Hip-hop with a backing band of instrumentalists and backup singers

12:00-12:30 EATAFETUS TRIO (acoustic)
Sick and twisted acoustic humor rock

Basement party fun!

8:30-9:00 UKRAINE CRANE (reunion show)

Punk with flavor and conscience... The three-piece recently signed with Riot Records out out Chicago.

10:00:10:30 DOPAMINES
From Ryan Thomas, owner of former Cincinnati venue The Void: "When I am at a Dopamines show it feels like I am back in the Parker St. basement having fun with people having fun while good music is being played by people who enjoy every second of playing it. I have not had that total immersion while at any other local pop punk band's show."

10:45-11:15 JOHN WALSH
The high-fivingest band you will ever meet. You'll leave with a smile on your face!

11:30-12:00 MINT 6 TEN

Booze fueled rock and roll. Think of the movie Roadhouse and you'll be on the right track.

Set times are subject to change...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Site Overhaul

Don't worry, you're in the right place. You are reading the blog of Nate Rosing (that's me).

I got bored with the plain, white template I was using and decided to go with something that looked a little more alive.

Tobacco at Bonnaroo

Tobacco will be at Bonnaroo this summer, as well as a few other unmentionable things to smoke. Wait...No, no, no. That's not what I meant.

Electronic musician and Black Moth Super Rainbow frontman, Tobacco (also known as Tom Fec), is the latest artist to be confirmed for this summer's festival.

According to Skyscraper Magazine, Tom's choice to use the name Tobacco came from, in his own words, "a character that freaked me out as a kid, the Tobacco man."

Very little is known about the artist because of his private life and rare interviews, but the one thing you can find out about him is that he's only released one album, last year's Fucked Up Friends.

The album is said to have an edgier sound than what you get with Black Moth, however, I wouldn't know because I have no sound on my computer, nor do I currently have the money to go out and buy the album.

Tobacco created the sixteen tracks using analog synthesizers and tape machines, a sound familiar to you Black Moth fans. The album also has a distinct hip-hop feel, which features a guest appearance by hip-hop artist Aesop Rock.

Fucked Up Friends has received mixed reviews from critics, with Pitchfork Media saying that it "lacks focus and variety." They also go on to note that there are "a few great songs...these standout tracks tend to get lost in a neutralizing fog of sameyness."

Monday, April 6, 2009

CincyPunk Looks To Help Animals

This coming weekend marks the return of the CincyPunk Music Festival to Newport's Southgate House. Thirty-nine bands (mostly local) will take up all three of the performance rooms over the two-night period. Covering almost every type of music, there's sure to be something there for every type of music fan. But it's never just about the music.

Over the past four years, CincyPunk has raised over $18,000 to a number of local charities. This year, the proceeds are benefiting the Animal Adoption Foundation in Hamilton, Ohio.

I've always considered myself more of a dog person, rather than a cat person. Nonetheless, whether you're a dog person, a cat person or whatever your pet may be, I found it hard not to get a little choked up as I scanned over some of the pictures of available critters up for adoption. It may not have that effect on everyone, but for me, it just kind of felt personal.

Back in January of 2008, I lost my dog (Willie) to old age, after fourteen years. Fourteen years. Just a few days ago, I turned twenty-eight. Willie had been there for nearly half of my life, and was there during my transition from a teenager into a man. I know that some people just don't understand, but after a long period of time like that, your pet really becomes a member of your family. I guess just seeing those pictures made me miss my dog a little bit.


The non-profit/no-kill shelter provides a safe environment for abandoned and abused cats and dogs that are waiting to be adopted. They typically house anywhere from 60 to 100 cats and dogs, all of which have been vet checked, vaccinated and spayed or neutered. Since 1977, they have found homes for over 3,000 pets.

You may ask yourself, "What can I do to help?" Aside from adopting a pet, there are other several ways you can help. A number of supplies are always needed to maintain the shelter, all of which are tax deductible, as are any money donations you would like to make. Every Saturday at noon, they have an orientation for those interested in volunteering their time. For those unable to adopt, you can sponsor a sick or injured pet. In return they will send you a picture of the cat or dog you are sponsoring, and will notify you when they have found a loving family for the pet.

Another way you can help is by going to the Southgate House this weekend for the return of the CincyPunk Music Festival.

So if you like animals, music, both or if you just want to feel good about doing something to help these abandoned and abused cats and dogs, you should be at the Southgate House this weekend.

Ryan Adcock's Got A New Band

They call themselves Flaregun. The duo consists of, well, Ryan of course, as well as Craig Dockery from The Vinyltones. Their debut album comes out this June, and is entitled Ten Sundays.

I really wish the sound was working on my computer, because I want to hear the new tracks.

They list themselves as "Pope/Rock" on their facebook page, with one of them liking Primus (I'm guessing Craig) and the other liking The Beatles (that would be Ryan), and they "take up the sonic space between those two bands."

For all the information you need, visit the band's brand new website.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bonnaroo Daily Lineup Coming Together

Many of the fine folks over at Inforoo are keeping busy, keeping tabs on band tour schedules, trying to figure out what day bands will be playing at Bonnaroo this year. Sure, schedules change, nothing's set in stone, but here's how the day-by-day lineup is shaping up:

Zac Brown Band, Passion Pit, Brett Dennen, People Under the Stairs, Murs, Chairlift, Portugal. the Man, Midnite, White Rabbits, The Lovell Sisters, Janelle Monae, Hockey

Phish (latenight show), Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Al Green, Erykah Badu, Paul Oakenfold (latenight show), TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ani DiFranco, Girl Talk (latenight show), Bela Fleck & Toumani Diabate, Galactic, Lucinda Williams, Animal Collective (possible latenight show), Amadou & Mariam, Santigold, Femi Kuti & the Positive Force (latenight show), Grizzly Bear, King Sunny Ade & the African Beats, St. Vincent, Crystal Castles (possible latenight show), Tift Merritt, Toubab Krewe, The Wailing Souls, The Itals, Vieux Farka Toure, Pretty Lights (possible latenight show)

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Nine Inch Nails (possible latenight show), Wilco, Elvis Costello, Ben Harper & the Relentless 7 (possible latenight show), The Mars Volta (possible latenight show), MGMT (possible latenight show), moe. (latenight show), Gov't Mule, Rodgrigo y Gabriela, Del McCoury Band, of Montreal, Allen Toussaint, Booker T & the Drive-By Truckers, David Grisman Quintet, Jenny Lewis, Robert Earl Keen, Heartless Bastards, Tony Rice Unit, Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3, Okkervil River, Alejandro Escovedo, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Cherryholmes, Yeasayer (possible latenight show), The SteelDrivers

Phish, Snoop Dogg, Andrew Bird, Band of Horses, Merle Haggard, Coheed & Cambria, Neko Case, Citizen Cope, High on Fire, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Dillinger Escape Plan, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Mike Farris & the Roseland Rhythm Revue, Todd Snider, A.A. Bondy

What We Know
We already know that Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band are Saturday's headliner. Phish will be closing the festival out on Sunday night, but their first show is rumored to be a latenight show on the festival's main stage (What Stage), apparently going from 1am to 5am.

The Beastie Boys are rumored to be Friday's headliner, but it appears they'll be playing right before that Phish all nighter. All we've heard about the Nine Inch Nails set, is that they're getting a "special slot."

Ben Harper & the Relentless 7 have 11:45 pm listed on their MySpace, which leads us to believe they'll be a latenight set, probably on the Which Stage, considering the draw that Ben had back in 2007.

As for Friday, there is quite an abundance of electronica and dance music (most of that stuff goes on late at night, as well as reggae and world music.

It appears that Saturday will host a lot indie, country, folk and rock, while Sunday's shaping up to be the day for indie (as usual on the Which Stage), as well as probably a country and folk music tent. For those of you into hard rock and metal (a music genre somewhat new to Bonnaroo), Sunday will be your day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bonnaroo's DJ Scratch Academy


Are you curious about what it takes to be a superstar DJ? Have you always wanted to try your hand at the turntables? You'll get a chance to do all this at Bonnaroo 2009, when our friends at State Farm team up with New York City's Scratch DJ Academy right in Centeroo. Scratch Academy's "DJ 101" workshop will feature a 20-minute showcase and demonstration, followed by a Q&A session and hands-on learning for select crowd members.

The workshops will begin every two hours, starting at Noon. At "Scratch and Burn" DJ lessons, you can hop on the ones and twos, and go one-on-one with a DJ to learn the basics behind scratching, mixing, blending, and beat juggling. After your lesson, you can burn your new skills to CD and show your friends how you rocked the house at Bonnaroo '09! Also, be sure to talk with the State Farm folks to win awesome prizes, take your free online photo and much more!

Bonnaroo 2009 Artist

"You have to do what you believe in" - Ben Harper

Ben Harper just may be the hardest working musician today. If not the hardest, certainly one of the most creative and respected in the business. From his days as a solo artist, his collaboration with the Blind Boys of Alabama, and with his longtime backing band, the Innocent Criminals (who aren't breaking up), the music never stops for Ben Harper.

The California native began playing folk and blues guitar as a child in his grandparents' music store, and would later learn what has become his signature sound on the Weissenborn slide guitar. By the age of twenty, Ben had both toured and recorded with the legendary blues artist, Taj Mahal.

He secured a deal with Virgin Records, thanks to his first LP, Pleasure and Pain. Only 1500 copies pressed, it's now considered a collector's item, and featured originals, covers and traditional songs.

His '94 debut album, Welcome to the Cruel World, featured gems like "Don't Take That Attitude to Your Grave", "Waiting on an Angel", "Forever", "Walk Away", "Welcome to the Cruel World" and the Dr. Martin Luther King inspired, "Like a King."

Over the course of the next year, Harper and the Innocent Criminals, would record the college radio favorite, Fight For Your Mind. These songs drew very positive reviews, partly due to his mix of folk, gospel, heavy metal riffs and reggae. It was at this time that Harper's fanbase began to expand, thanks to touring slots with bands such as the Dave Matthews Band. Most of these songs are considered staples in his live show today, for example, "Ground on Down", "Excuse Me Mr." and "Burn One Down."

It was all up hill for Ben after that, as well as some of his musician friends, most notably the former pro surfer-turned musician, Jack Johnson.

The next six studio albums Ben released, would all become chart toppers, while his collaboration with the Blind Boys, There Will Be a Light, was named the top gospel album of 2004.

Despite all of his successes, especially worldwide, Ben has remained true to his self, never letting the fame get to his head, most likely because of the manner he was brought up in. This is exactly the reason why he is so respected. Through his lyrics and voice, you will find a deep, honest and genuine sincerity that a lot of artists lack today.

The Relentless 7
In the late '90s, Ben met Wan Santo Condo guitarist and "van-driver-of-musicians", Jason Mozersky, who took a risk by asking Ben if he could play him his demo. Ben obliged and in his own words, "was blown away." He helped the band land a record deal, although they only lasted for the one album. The two remained friends, and the rest as they say, was history.

Fast forward to 2005, and the recording sessions for the double album, Both Sides of the Gun. Ben had invited Jason to lay down some guitar work for the album, and who did Jason bring along to these sessions? His old bandmates, who would all join in on what would become the song "Serve Your Soul", thus building the framework for what would become Ben Harper & the Relentless 7.

With only a handful of shows under their belt, and not even an album released yet (White Lies for Dark Times to be released on May 5), Ben Harper & the Relentless 7 are already one of the year's most buzzing acts.

Nearly every performance, every year at Bonnaroo is always something special and considered a show not to be missed. At Bonnaroo, we've seen Ben solo, with the Innocent Criminals, and even in 2007's SuperJam featuring Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones and The Roots ?uestlove. This summer we will be exposed to another side of Ben Harper which will surely go down in the books. Their show is even rumored to be a latenight show on the Which Stage.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bands Compete To Play Bonnaroo

Middle Tennessee favorites, The Features, handily won a spot at the 2009 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in the first of a series of contests co-sponsored by BMI, Bud Select, and venue partner, Mercy Lounge.

Dubbed The Road to Bonnaroo, the competition takes place over the course of three monthly shows at Nashville hot-spot, The Mercy Lounge, where each night, eight regional bands play three-song sets.

To select the evening’s top contender, an industry panel comprising local music journalists, bloggers, and 8 off 8th hosts will contribute one half of the verdict, while fan-voting through onsite ballots will determine the other half.

With winking bravado, The Features pivot between robust rock and roll and magnetic power pop.

If you are in the Nashville area, be sure to check out the next two contest dates, April 20 and May 18 at Mercy Lounge, 1 Cannery Row, Nashville, TN. Showtime 9pm, Admission is free; Ages 21 & up.

Competition Schedule
Monday, April 20
How I Became the Bomb, And the Relatives, Reno Bo, k.s. Rhoads, Pico vs. Island Trees, Mike’s Pawn Shop, Protomen, and AutoVaughn

Monday, May 18
Hotpipes, Shoot the Mountain, Elle Macho, Kindergarten Circus, Heypenny, Space Capone, The TITS, and Jacob Jones