Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014 Must-see: The Nepotist and Other Honerable Mentions

Subtle blues guitar riffs and a voice like David Byrne? YES. I will gladly float on that river. This trio reminds me of The Black Keys in the sense that they play mean blues and that they manage to get such texture out of a guitar/bass/drum kit set-up.

These guys play at Mainstay Rock Bar on Saturday September 27th as part of Midpoint Music Festival.

Given that MPMF is less than a week away, I have some shop-keeping stuff to get out of the way. First, I need to write up my schedule for each night. That will be a bit of a nightmare given that there is so much I want to see. Really, it’s a great problem to have. Second, I need to pass along bands that aren’t making it to my must-see list only because I’ve seen them multiple times before. For me, this fest is about experiencing music that I haven’t yet seen or don’t expect to see return to Cincinnati in the near future. So, there are tons of acts that put up amazing performances that I haven’t yet talked about, nor will they turn up in my schedules for the fest.

Here’s my list of excellent performers, that aren’t making my schedule simply because I have seen them once before (often multiple times).

Bonesetters – They sounded great at Bunbury this year.
The Ridges – Love this band. They put up an energetic performance every time.
Low Cut Connie – Jerry Lee Lewis, eat your heart out. I will do my best to get to a bit of their set. Electrifying performance each time I’ve seen them.
Magnolia Sons – It’s everything you could want from Motown and more. Oh, the live horn section! Swoon!
Us, Today – These Cincinnati natives are doing wonderful experimental rock, and we are proud to call them our own.
Shivering Timbers – The Akron natives visit us often. Are we thrilled to check them out at MOTR every time they visit? YES.
Culture Queer – Is it weird? Yes. Does it make me think of The Pixies but even more peculiar? Yes. Am I always happy to see they are playing? YES.
Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands – I saw these guys last year at MPMF, really stellar performance.
The Young Heirlooms – Ahh, more of Cincinnati’s own. Love.
The Almighty Get Down – They are going to rip Mainstay Rock Bar off its foundation with soul. These guys are so much fun to see.
Black Owls – Are you ready for a big steaming pile of rock and roll? Go catch this band.
Molly Sullivan – She’s an incredible vocalist. She was stunning as part of the No No Knots and is equally stellar on her own.
Darlene – Melodic guitar rock that reminds me that I need to get my Juliana Hatfield 3 cassette tape back out. Great rock and roll.

Are you just visiting for MPMF (awesome, and welcome) and want a poo poo platter of the best Ohio bands? See above. More than half of the bands that I’ve listed above are based out of Ohio.

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The Black Owls and The Sundresses Rocked my Socks Off

This weekend was full of live music. After Sidewalk Chalk and The Almighty Get Down on Friday, I headed back to Motr for The Black Owls and The Sundresses. I’ve seen both these bands before. They play regularly around Cincinnati given that they are both Ohio bands with The Sundresses based in Cincinnati.

I digress. I’ve been listening to my 2014 Bunbury playlist for the last few weeks. Every time Fall Out Boy comes on (which seems to happen with disproportionate frequency), I am fumbling for the skip button. That very thing just happened. Perhaps it’s time I just purchased some of my favorites to get away from this abusive Spotify relationship with Fall Out Boy. That’s settled. I will make up for missing record store day with a trip to buy a bunch of my favorite bands’ records at Shake It.

Back to the topic at hand, The Black Owls came prepared mic swinging and all. They sounded really great on the new sound system at Motr. I am still marveling at how much better the sound is in there. I could understand most of the lyrics, which is a feat at most live shows let alone ones with so much crunchy guitar sounds. Mic swinging might have caused a bit of a microphone crisis, but all was handled gracefully.

Before their set.

Before their set.

The Black Owls killing it.

The Black Owls killing it.

While I was writing the caption to this song The Black Owls came on. Coincidence?

While I was writing the caption to this song The Black Owls came on. Coincidence?

Digging the green lights in this shot.

Digging the green lights in this shot.

The Sundresses added a drummer a couple of years ago. I feel like this really added some punch to their live shows. The past arrangement was that Jeremy and Brad would alternate on percussion duty. That inevitably meant a bit of a lull between songs. Granted they situated themselves damn fast, but still. The addition of a drummer lets them pound though one song leaving barely time to catch your breath before the next tears out. It’s gratifying.

And gratifying it was. They sounded really great. The only hiccup was with one of the mics delivering at random intervals a shock to Jeremy’s mouth. I don’t know what that would feel like, but by the looks of it, it was quite painful. This situation was tolerated until the end of the show, which is more than what I would have endured had I been getting zapped in the mouth.

I had to include a picture with the drummer in it, now that I blabbed about him in the post.

I had to include a picture with the drummer in it, now that I blabbed about him in the post.

The Sundresses doing their thing.

The Sundresses doing their thing.

Jeremy trying to not get zapped in the kisser.

Jeremy trying to not get zapped in the kisser.

Brad rocking out.

Brad rocking out.

Cincinnati, you are getting out of control with all the local music. This weekend is looking like more of the same… I can’t wait.