Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way

Betty Who and Sidewalk Chalk

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Cincinnati has a segregation problem. White people live in white neighborhoods, and black people live in black neighborhoods. White people go to certain bars, and black people go to certain bars. That’s just how it’s been. And it’s a problem.

Music in public places might be one way of breaking down those barriers. That was my thought while I was watching a black man twirl some soccer moms Friday night at Fountain Square. The crowd was better diversified there than any place that I’ve been in recent months.

I headed to Fountain Square to see Pluto Revolts, Captain Kidd, Vito Emanuel, and Betty Who. They were playing Midpoint Music’s sponsored indie rock night. I was happy to see Pluto Revolts as they are in the Bunbury line-up and conflict with another act that I want to see, unfortunately I only saw one of their songs. Captain Kidd was really fun. Betty Who brought lots of energy to the stage. I enjoyed her band. She had two very short women playing bass and keys. Betty Who is extremely tall, and when she would dance next to her band mates they looked like hobbits. It was a fun free show, and the Square had a good turn out.

Betty Who on Fountain Square. Betty Who attracted a varied audience, including drag queens, suburbanites, and junkies.

Betty Who on Fountain Square. Betty Who attracted a varied audience, including drag queens, suburbanites, and junkies.

I’ve seen Sidewalk Chalk twice. I saw them at MPMF 2013, and I saw them at MOTR this winter. They had a Saturday night booking in the winter, and they packed the house. No offense to the band, but MOTR is typically packed on a Saturday. Mostly, I think this says more about Cincinnati’s work schedules than it does the bands booked on said nights.

They played Sunday at MOTR, and while there was nice turn-out, it wasn’t as crazy packed as it was this winter. I enjoyed the more low-key vibe. They sounded excellent. The performance of the brass players really popped. I could see them this time, so that might account for them drawing my attention.

This guy took a great solo.

This guy took a great solo.

Put your hands up.

Put your hands up.

I am pretty sure this is Sidewalk Chalk's touring machine. I love it.

I am pretty sure this is Sidewalk Chalk’s touring machine. I love it.

 

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