Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014 Must-see: The Tontons

When I heard that there was a band sharing the name of the furry creature that Luke Skywalker used to navigate Hoth, I was surprised that it took so long. Oh, this vocalist’s silky voice! The peppy guitar rock sailing along behind her smooth crooning is delightful, considerably more delightful than tonton guts, and apparently their breath.

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


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014 Must-see: Miniature Tigers

Lyrics. Sometimes they matter to me because they are dense and beautiful. The elaborate emotions that can be evoked by and economical number of words astounds. Sometimes they matter because they are funny and charming. Miniature Tigers are in that latter group.

The lead’s voice and the harmonic backing vocals make me feel like I should be at a 50’s soda fountain sipping a chocolate malt. It’s so wholesome. Then the lyrics for the chorus float in. “We used to be the shit.” I almost always enjoy lyrical content when it clashes with the vibe of the music. This is right in my wheelhouse. They play on Friday September 26th at Mainstay Rock Bar as part of Midpoint Music Festival.


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014 Must-see: Drowners

Between Seattle’s KEXP sessions and NPR’s live sessions, my Midpoint planning is a breeze. Their production quality is excellent, and the bands that they feature provide a reasonable sample of what their live performance will be like. Granted, I think the small studio performance doesn’t exactly match the vibe the band will give off with lots of screaming fans in front of them, but it does tell me if they are in command of their instruments and well rehearsed.

The Drowners are jangly guitar rock that smells a little like The Smiths. The guitar hooks grab attention similar to Johnny Marr’s work on The Smiths’ albums. In an article in Vogue, the singer lists The Smiths and other post-punk bands as influences. The vocals are less Morrisey, and more garage rock. They will play at The Christian Moerlein stage on Friday September 26th, as part of Midpoint Music Festival.


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014 Must-see: All Them Witches

Ohh, the crunchy blues licked goodness of this band. This band is going to melt my face off with rock and roll. I want to ride that old-school guitar amp sound right into a bucket of fried chicken and biscuits.

Last year Black Rebel Motorcycle Club melted my face off with rock and roll. This year my eye brows will be singed on Friday September 26th at The Drinkery at Midpoint Music Festival.


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014 Must-see: Empires

I want to celebrate the day of the dead with friends on mopeds. At least, that’s what I think the director of this video was thinking. I wanted a moped when I was thirteen, and regardless of having a motorcycle, I still kind of want one.

If early U2, The Editors, and INXS had an improbably conceived baby, it would be this band. Lo and behold, they are on Island Records, U2’s record label. When I think about past music, I know that 80’s pop is my Achilles heel, but just now I am a bit nostalgic for early U2. Yesterday, I noticed that I wanted to pull out my Cornershop record. Today, I think I need to hear War by U2.

In two weeks, I will be seeing Empires play at Midpoint Music Festival. They play Saturday September 27th at Washington Park. Praise be to Monty, the MPMF Cyclops, that they are playing early that night, because there is an overabundance of band on my list.


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014 Must-see: Chromeo

In past years at MPMF, there was always at least one dance-filled show. Previous bands that made me lose myself to dance were Cut Copy and The Seedy Seeds. This year I am thinking that title will go to Chromeo. How fun is this song?

With a dash of 70’s with a pinch of 80’s, this show will be big fun. It’s difficult for me to resist anything that recaptures the basic premise of the movie Mannequin. The only thing this is missing is a reference to Hollywood. May Meshach Taylor rest in peace. Speaking of which, this movie needs to be added to my Netflix queue. Don’t judge.

Chromeo is playing Thursday night, September 25th of Midpoint Music Festival.


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Midpoint Music Fest 2014 Must-see: Gardens & Villa

Oh, hey, ET reference. At first I thought the diamond was meant to symbolize the innocence of childhood, but then there’s a spaceship at the end of the video. But then the spaceship turned up at the end of the video, so that seems to shoot down that idea. Maybe That’s a retelling of ET only with The Outsiders replacing the scientists in the original movie. Also this ET was considerably less animated.

I’m not sure how I felt about that video. I do know that I really like their casual 80’s feel. Anyone could dance like Molly Ringwald to this. I will be shuffling vacantly to this on Saturday September 27 at Midpoint Music Festival.