Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way

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MPMF15 – Perspective

In recent years I have taken lots of pictures at MPMF and written detailed reviews of the acts. This year I am doing differently. I have my reasons.

I covered Bunbury in June and had obligations to deliver reviews and pictures. And while this sort of work is fun and challenging, it is still work. The headspace I inhabit to shoot and write is different from the headspace I inhabit to listen and watch. I wanted the experience of listening and watching.

And then there’s the fact that I am technically a tourist at MPMF15. Moving to Seattle at the end of August, makes this MPMF a homecoming of sorts. I am seeing people that I don’t get to see on the regular anymore, and I want to savor those interactions.

Finally, I made the tactical error of leaving some critical items in Seattle. I left the USB cord and my external hard drive in Pioneer Square. These items do me no favors from Washington state.

So here’s what will happen. I will write a summary of my favorite MPMF experiences next week. And a couple of weeks after that I might have a few pictures up. Until then I can say that the first two day of the fest have been great. And being back home? Splendid!

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MPMF15 – I Spy

Ok. My schedule… Here we go.


  • 6pm Jr. Jr.  – Indie Craft Village
  • 715pm Big Scary – The Drinkery
  • 815pm The Donkeys – Christian Moerlein
  • 845pm The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers – Lightborne Lot
  • 915pm Purity Ring – Washington Park
  • 10pm The Ridges – Lightborne Lot
  • 1030pm Roadkill Ghost Choir – Mr. Pitiful’s
  • 1045pm toss-up between HEAT/Heartless Bastards – MOTR/Moerlein
  • 1145pm Sarah Jaffe – Mr. Pitiful’s
  • 12am Bully – MOTR
  • 1215am All Them Witches – The Woodward


  • 3pm The Harlequins – Washington Park
  • 515pm Caspian – Washington Park
  • 615pm PRIM – Lightborne Lot
  • 630pm Ride – Washington Park
  • 730pm Culture Queer – LIghtborne Lot
  • 830pm No/No – MOTR
  • 930pm Ggoolldd/Alanna Royale – Maudie’s/Mr. Pitiful’s
  • 10pm Cathedrals – Lightborne Lot
  • 1045pm Sylvan Esso – Moerlein
  • 11pm Strand of Oaks – The Woodward
  • 12am Diet Cig – Maudie’s
  • 1215am Zola Jesus – Taft (BAHHHH WHY??? Between this and Sylvan Esso/Strand of Oaks playing at the same time? Worst conflicts of the fest. This is where not having my bike is a big problem. If you don’t know why I am freaking out, let me elaborate. It’s a 20 minute walk at least between Maudie’s and The Taft. I am guessing that I will have to nix Zola Jesus here.)
  • 1230am Sphynx – The Drinkery


  • 3pm Bones Jugs and Harmony – Indie Craft Villiage
  • 5pm Gran Bel Fisher – Washington Park
  • 615pm Great Peacock – Washington Park
  • 730pm Pokey LaFarge – Washington Park
  • 845pm Iron and Wine – Washington Park
  • 9pm Kid Runner – The Drinkery
  • 945pm Public – The Taft
  • 1030pm The Tuneyards – Moerlein
  • 1145pm Pure Bathing Culture – Mr. Pitiful’s

Bahhhhh!!! this is happening!!!!

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MPMF15 – I Fell Off the Wagon

I failed miserably at posting my recommendations this week. It’s hard  moving to another city and trying to suck every amazing experience out of it as quickly as possible. See other blog posts for more on that topic.

Here’s what I would have recommended this week had I managed to do it.

  • American Wrestlers
  • Caspian
  • Public
  • Roadkill Ghost Choir
  • Ggoolldd
  • Diet Cig
  • Sweet and the Sweet Sweets

Here’s what I have already seen and loved. The only reason these bands didn’t make my must-see is because I have seen them, in some cases multiple times. They are excellent, don’t let the fact that I might skip them for acts I haven’t seen dissuade you from checking them out.

Now all that’s left to do is get my Schedule for the fest sorted. I say that as though this is an easy task. It’s not. Post coming soon.

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MPMF15 Must See – K. Flay

I like Hip Hop. The hostility toward women and glorification of our consumer culture that is often present in the lyrics turns my stomach sour, and I find I can’t continue to listen even when I like the groove and vibe. So, when I find a Hip Hop artist I can get behind, it makes me happy. I give you K. Flay.

I am a sucker for urban environments and their associated visuals, so I loved this video. There’s something barren and beautiful about the concrete landscape that I have learned to love. Maybe it’s just that it stands in contrast to the suburbs I grew-up in, and the rural areas I played and worked in?

Check out K. Flay at MPMF at The Taft Ballroom Sunday Sept. 27 at 11:00.

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MPMF15 Must See – Miracles of Modern Science

“I’ve been so drunk on safety.” Yeah, which is how I am just now living across the country. So, I get those feels Miracles of Modern Science.

I’m excited to see what this performance is liken given the unusual instrumentation of this act. Violin, cello, mandolin, drums and sometimes bass? Why not? I wonder if that drummer ever feels outnumbered by all those string players. See them at Arnold’s at 9:45 Saturday the 26th.

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MPMF2015 Must See – Pure Bathing Culture

OHHHHH SPANDAU BALLET AND COCTEAU TWINS HAVE BEEN REVIVED! Their new incarnation is called Pure Bathing Culture, and seeing them live will enable me to live out a dream… almost. This is horseshoes, so almost counts.

Uncomfortable admission, if I could wave a magic wand and live out a decade as an adult that I am not currently living in it would be the 80’s. Not, you know, the roaring 20’s with stylish flappers and rich in history. Not the 40’s, with all the strife of war, but the US’s unified response to it, plus FDR (while not my favs, as Teddy has that honor, still a very inspiring man). Nope, nope, nope, none of that.

Give me Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, neon clothing, asymmetrical hair cuts that look good on no one, unchecked glorification of consumerism, AIDS, and those hideous straight-leg, high-waist revolting excuses for pants. And now that I got all that out there, I know I am a crazy person. WHO WANTS TO RELIVE RONALD REAGAN? And mind you, as a gay homosexual AIDS was perhaps the worst thing to happen to the gay community (aside from years of institutionalized bigotry and unchecked violence), yet I am still claiming RONALD REAGAN as the worst part of that decade.

Why? Why am I subjecting myself to this? Because music. 80’s pop is my cat nip. I roll around in it irrational and wild-eyed. I was old enough to be aware of what I was missing in that decade. Born in 1976, the early 80’s are fuzzy, but by 1984 I was with it enough to observe the culture, but from a kid’s perspective. And I think that’s the key here. It’s that the 80’s I can conceive of in a way that I can’t decades that I wasn’t alive for, even if as a child.

Which brings me to my dream. I wish I could have been in my late teens or early 20’s in 1980. I want to know what the clubs were like with all the absurd fashion choices and music. I want to see what this music was like when it was played in all the clubs and bars.

Clearly as I have no time machine that won’t happen, but Pure Bathing Culture will get me close. Their stuff drips with neon colors and Flock-Of-Seagulls hair, and I love it. And the fact that they quote Benny Mardones in this song… Cherry meet top of sundae.

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MPMF15 Must See – Sphynx

It would be reasonable to think that I am clustering my recommendations by music genre, but I am not doing so intentionally. This is another electro-pop indie band. Um, it’s worth checking out their YouTube uploads to get a visual on them. They look like what would happen if Lynyrd Skynyrd and Poison had rocker babies.

And they sooo covered this song. And they sooo made this video. I have to see this happen at MPMF Saturday Sept 26, at 12:30 at The Drinkery.

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MPMF15 Must See – Kid Runner

One would think I have had enough indie synth pop; there has been a lot of it for some years now. One would also think that facial tattoos are a bad idea, but that didn’t stop Mike Tyson. Somethings just don’t have an explanation.

These folks are out of Columbus. (Ahem, Ohio against the world!) And this song that’s currently getting all the Spotify love reminds me just a bit of Fitz and The Tantrums. It’s my first intro to them, but I will be looking for them in The Queen City from this point forward, hint hint, Kid Runner.

Will there be dancing at The Drinkery, Sunday Sept. 27 at 9:00. Giddy-up!

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MPMF15 Must See – The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers

Right, so this gospel kick I am on? I blame MPMF for it. The bass groove driving this song and the huge vocals in the chorus? LOVE LOVE LOVE.

I am not a fan of Christian bands slipping Jesus lyrics into their indie rock songs. I always feel a little duped when I notice a stray lyric about grace or mercy. And oddly those are usually the telling words that cause me to scrutinize the lyrics further.

But gospel music is, well, gospel. They can Jesus all they want, and I will gladly vibe to all of it. These guys play at The Lightborne Lot right before The Ridges on Friday, Sept 25, at 8:45. Booking these folks right before The Ridges is an excellent flow. Cheers to you MPMF staff!

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MPMF15 Must See – Matthew E. White

Is it an accident, that Matthew E. White shares his last name with Barry White? Maybe, but I am going to continue thinking that it’s a natural inheritance of funk and soul passing across generations from a large furry black man to a large furry white man. Is this concurrence a thing? Maybe not, but it comforts me, so I am going to continue thinking it exists.

There’s a solid representation of Americana and Soul in this year’s MPMF line-up. My next pick (spoiler alert?) is another soul act, The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers. Who can resist gospel/soul backing vocals? And I have to concur that “rock and roll don’t have no soul… and everybody likes to talk shit…”

Warning: I can’t find him on the schedule so this could be a recent drop from the fest. The only weird thing is his tour stuff still says he’s coming. So, I dunno. I know that if he turns up, I am seeing him.