Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way


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MidPoint Music Festival 2014: Saturday In Review

Post-MPMF depression. I have it. It’s a thing. Writing this up was my last task to close out the weekend, and I have procrastinated it. This reminds me of how facing January felt after Christmas when I was a kid. An occasion that I look forward to all year passes so quickly, and I’m left was wonderful memories and building anticipation for another year. This is a wonderful problem to have. Having such a wonderful experience that a little bout of depression sets in now that it’s over. On the bright side, I am seeing Chvrches tonight. I have a number of introspective things to say about the festival, but I think I need to let those simmer for a while longer. In the meantime, here’s what happened and some pictures.

Here’s what I planned to do on Saturday.

230 Modoc – Washington Park
345 Public – Washington Park
5 Empires – Washington Park
630 OK Go – Washington Park
715 Ancient Warfare – Moerlein Tap Room
830 Coves – Moerlein Tap Room
845 – The Nepotist – Mainstay Rock Bar
930 Ex Hex – The Know
930 Ravonettes Moerlein Tap Room
945 Low Cut Connie – Midpoint Midway
1030 Speedy Ortiz – The Know
1115 The Tontons – Mainstay Rock Bar
1145 EMA – The Know
1145 Gardens and Villa – Memorial Hall
1215 Milagres – The Drinkery
1230 Ex-Cult – Moerlein Tap Room

I missed Modoc, because I went to the sessions at the Herzog studio and saw Mustered Courage. I was hoping to leave there early enough to catch the end of Modoc, but no luck there. I missed Ancient Warfare, Low Cut Connie, EMA and Ex-Cult. I missed almost all of those because I enjoyed the conflicting acts too much to leave them. I was surprised by how much I liked The Ravonettes and Coves. And damn, The Tontons are now on my do-not-miss list. I will have more to say about the fest in a week or two after the post-mpmf blues leaves me.

Empires

Empires

OK Go

OK Go

OK Go and Confetti!!

OK Go and Confetti!!

Ex Hex

Ex Hex

Coves

Coves

The Tontons

The Tontons

Milagres

Milagres

 

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Midpoint Music Fest: Friday In Review

Yesterday was wonderful. I have many things to write about it, but I have to go out for more shooting in about 30 minutes. So, I will need to save my introspection for later date.

Here’s what was supposed to happen:

5 Yugos – MP Midway
6 Joseph Arthur – Washington Park
6 Real Estate – MP Midway (I will split my time between these two bands in the 6 o’clock hour)
715 Wussy – Washington Park (If for some reason I am not feeling Wussy, and this is very unlikely, Bully – Christian Moerlein Tap Room)
815 Drowners – Christian Moerlein
830 The Afghan Wigs – Washington Park (will arrive just a bit late)
930 Tycho – Christian Moerlein
930 The Locals – MOTR (Alternate, if I don’t connect with Tycho)
10 Fort Wilson Riot – The Know
1030 Shivering Timbers – Mr Pitiful’s
11 All Them Witches – The Drinkery
1145 Rubblebucket – The Know
1230 Miniature Tigers – Mainstay Rock Bar

Shockingly enough, nearly all of that did happen. The only thing I missed was Rubblebucket. By the time I got to The Know, they were at capacity upstairs. I waited for a bit, but decided to skip out to Holy Ghost Tent Revival. My friends were in for the Rubblebucket show and said it was awesome. I was most surprised by The Afghan Wigs and Tycho. I haven’t seen The Wigs play in at least ten years. Those guys are sounding amazing. Greg Dulli managed to be powerful and vulnerable simultaneously. I am so happy I checked them out again. Tycho is all instrumental music, and I was unsure of what the live experience would be like. Wow, that show was a shocker. They were just incredible.

Normally, I would share any disappointments, but I have none to share. Every band I saw yesterday put up good to outstanding performances. On to the pictures!

 

Real Estate playing Midpoint Midway. This venue is free, giving everyone access to great music.

Real Estate playing Midpoint Midway. This venue is free, giving everyone access to great music.

Real Estate had a great turn out. Lots of children, dogs, and collective art projects.

Real Estate had a great turn out. Lots of children, dogs, and collective art projects.

There's a mirror installation on the Midway. It's a totally cool way to engage with perspective.

There’s a mirror installation on the Midway. It’s a totally cool way to engage with perspective.

The Drowners were outstanding.

The Drowners were outstanding.

Fort Wilson Riot were a fun listen.

Fort Wilson Riot were a fun listen.

I like Shivering Timbers so much that I saw them twice yesterday.

I like Shivering Timbers so much that I saw them twice yesterday.

The Locals rocking out Motr.

The Locals rocking out Motr.

Oh Wussy, I love you so much.

Oh Wussy, I love you so much.

All Them Witches!

All Them Witches!

All Them Witches packed The Drinkery.

All Them Witches packed The Drinkery.

Afghan Wigs filled Washington Park.

Afghan Wigs filled Washington Park.

Greg Dulli, part-time drummer.

Greg Dulli, part-time drummer.

 


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014: Thursday In Review

This was my intention.

5pm Fairmount Girls – Midpoint Midway
615 Indigo Wild – Midpoint Midway
715 The Range – Washington Park
730 Pike 27 – Midpoint Midway
815 Vic and Gab – Mainstay Rock Bar
830 Chromeo – Washington Park
915 Darlene – Know Theater
930 Panda Bear – Moerlein Tap Room
10 Violent Mae – Know Theater
1045 Barrence Whitfield and the Savages – The Taft
1130 Sun Kil Moon – Memorial Hall
1130 Mutual Benefit – CAC
1145 Lost In The Trees – Know Theater
12 St Paul and the Broken Bones – The Taft

So you see, wha happen was… I missed Pike 27, Vic and Gab, Lost In The Trees, Sun Kil Moon, and Mutual Benefit got moved to tonight. I caught a little bit of HEAF, which were my pleasant surprise of the evening. I think I managed pretty well all things considered. One of those things to be considered was that I failed to feed myself yesterday. I had sushi provided by Fusion in the VIP tent, which was lovely but ill-equipped to combat the free beer I was also consuming. Another thing to be considered was that I got out of bed at 445am yesterday. I was on my 20th hour of being awake at St. Paul and the Broken Bones.  There just isn’t enough coffee to set that right.

Regardless, yesterday was huge fun. Chromeo and St Paul and the Broken Bones put up stellar performances, as I expected. I was a little disappointed with Panda Bear and The Range. It’s not that their performances were bad; they both sounded excellent. I like seeing people playing instruments; it’s my favorite thing about live music. And both The Range and Panda Bear were a lone dudes with lots of technology. I don’t find that compelling to watch in a live setting. I will jam out in my car to it all day. I like hearing it. I just don’t need to see it. I will let the pictures do the talking from this point forward.

 

Fairmount Girls kicked things off.

Fairmount Girls kicked things off.

Indigo Wild. The sun setting behind them was beautiful, but it also was the cause for much squinting.

Indigo Wild. The sun setting behind them was beautiful, but it also was the cause for much squinting.

Folks at Washington Park enjoying The Range.

Folks at Washington Park enjoying The Range.

Violent Mae killing it at the Know

Violent Mae killing it at the Know

HEAF! These guys were a fun surprise. Get it Stubenville.

HEAF! These guys were a fun surprise. Get it Stubenville.

Let's be honest, phone videos of rock shows suck in almost every way. Why do people keep trying to do it? Why??

Let’s be honest, phone videos of rock shows suck in almost every way. Why do people keep trying to do it? Why??

Audience getting ready for Chromeo.

Audience getting ready for Chromeo.

ChromeoCrowd3

Chromeo, in spite of being two dudes with lots of technology, made for a fun performance.

Chromeo, in spite of being two dudes with lots of technology, made for a fun performance.

Oh the lights and the hands.

Oh the lights and the hands.

"Reach out and touch faith"

“Reach out and touch faith”

Chromeo! Also, that guy, he's really tall.

Chromeo! Also, that guy, he’s really tall.

Panda Bear wasn't really my thing, but his look and stage set-up was visually appealing.

Panda Bear wasn’t really my thing, but his look and stage set-up was visually appealing.

My suspicions were confirmed. My first impression in hearing Barrence Whitfield, was that he would be touring with crusty musicians who had been honing their skills for decades. Confirmed. This was a great show.

My suspicions were confirmed. My first impression in hearing Barrence Whitfield, was that he would be touring with crusty musicians who had been honing their skills for decades. Confirmed. This was a great show.

BarrenceWhitfiele2

St Paul and the Broken Bones serving up a hearty serving of soul.

St Paul and the Broken Bones serving up a hearty serving of soul.

St Paul and the Broken Bones at The Taft.

St Paul and the Broken Bones at The Taft.

Washington Park stage just before Chromeo came out.

Washington Park stage just before Chromeo came out.

 


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014 Must-see: EMA and Saturday’s Schedule

Here’s what I am afraid of. I like EMA’s recordings, but it sounds like there was lots of technology used to create them. This leaves me uncertain of what this will be like live.

And here’s Saturday’s schedule! No more scheduling. Huzzah!!
230 Modoc – Washington Park
345 Public – Washington Park
5 Empires – Washington Park
630 OK Go – Washington Park
715 Ancient Warfare – Moerlein Tap Room
830 Coves – Moerlein Tap Room
845 – The Nepotist – Mainstay Rock Bar
930 Ex Hex – The Know
930 Ravonettes Moerlein Tap Room
945 Low Cut Connie – Midpoint Midway
1030 Speedy Ortiz – The Know
1115 The Tontons – Mainstay Rock Bar
1145 EMA – The Know
1145 Gardens and Villa – Memorial Hall
1215 Milagres – The Drinkery
1230 Ex-Cult – Moerlein Tap Room

 


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014 Must-see: Rubblebucket and Friday’s Schedule

This is fun. I am curious what these guys will do in a live show. When I listen to music, sometimes my spidey sense immediately recognizes that the band’s live show will be stellar. Rubblebucket is an enigma in that way. Either their show will be super fun and have great energy, or it will be awful. And I mean awful in one of two ways. Either the live representation of the music won’t live up to the recording in the sense that the instrumentation is significantly different, or they will be sloppy in their performance. Here’s to hoping that they are super fun, because I really dig their recordings.

I have finally worked out Friday’s schedule. I am pleased because this means I only have one more schedule to put together.

5 Yugos – MP Midway
6 Joseph Arthur – Washington Park
6 Real Estate – MP Midway (I will split my time between these two bands in the 6 o’clock hour)
715 Wussy – Washington Park (If for some reason I am not feeling Wussy, and this is very unlikely, Bully – Christian Moerlein Tap Room)
815 Drowners – Christian Moerlein
830 The Afghan Wigs – Washington Park (will arrive just a bit late)
930 Tycho – Christian Moerlein
930 The Locals – MOTR (Alternate, if I don’t connect with Tycho)
10 Fort Wilson Riot – The Know
1030 Shivering Timbers – Mr Pitiful’s
11 All Them Witches – The Drinkery
1115 Love X Stereo – Mainstay Rock Bar (will get there late)
1145 Rubblebucket – The Know
1230 Miniature Tigers – Mainstay Rock Bar


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014 Must-see: Violent Mae and Thursday’s Schedule

Am I in a waking nightmare? No, I am dreading working out my MPMF schedule. SO MUCH GOOD THINGS. TOO MUCH GOOD THINGS. So, to procrastinate that just a bit, let’s talk about how fun Violent Mae is. Hey Fiona Apple without the over-production and piano, what’s up? Plus, could that cave be anymore beautiful… and cold? It has to be frigid in there to create such elaborate icicles. I think I can see an icicle forming on her nose.

These guys play at The Know Theater on Thursday September 25th as part of Midpoint Music Festival. Speaking of Thursday, there’s no more procrastinating. Here goes with my schedule.

5pm Fairmount Girls – Midpoint Midway
615 Indigo Wild – Midpoint Midway
715 The Range – Washington Park
730 Pike 27 – Midpoint Midway
815 Vic and Gab – Mainstay Rock Bar
830 Chromeo – Washington Park
915 Darlene – Know Theater
930 Panda Bear – Moerlein Tap Room
10 Violent Mae – Know Theater
1045 Barrence Whitfield and the Savages – The Taft
1130 Sun Kil Moon – Memorial Hall
1130 Mutual Benefit – CAC
1145 Lost In The Trees – Know Theater
12 St Paul and the Broken Bones – The Taft

That 1045 to 12 hour and fifteen minutes is a holy mess. I’m probably going to skip something there. It makes most sense for me to possibly skip out on Sun Kil Moon and Lost In The Trees. That way I can stay in the downtown business district. St Paul and the Broken Bones are going to be amazing, and I don’t want to be late to that. Hence, it’s not realistic for me to ride between OTR, business district, back to OTR, back to business district in the span of 30 minutes. I will ruminate on that further. Why can’t I clone myself?


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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.