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

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