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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Kishi Bashi and The Ridges

After enjoying Kishi Bashi at Bunbury, it wasn’t a difficult decision to get tickets to see him play at The 20th Century Theater. That venue is a nice intimate space. As an added bonus The Ridges opened for him. I haven’t seen them in about a year. Shame on me for that, as they have played numerous times around here. They’ve really amped up the energy in their live show since the last time I saw them. If their purpose was to get the crowed excited for Kishi Bashi, I say job well done.

Just before Kishi Bashi came out, the merch guy came out to quote what I think was Shakespeare. I don’t know why this felt completely appropriate, but it did. One of the band members handed over a remote control to girls to my left. It controlled the lighting in the body of the banjo. I enjoyed this little bit of audience participation.

The band looked great, and put in an energetic performance. It was standing at a place in the theater that made it difficult to judge what the sound was like. I was hearing quite a bit from the monitors on stage and even the acoustic sound from the instruments themselves. I do know that it was hot. There was dancing, and I had fun.

Violas. It's a thing.

Violas. It’s a thing.

The Ridges

The Ridges

Everyone sing along. Or should I say, everyone in the back shut yer pie holes.

Everyone sing along. Or should I say, everyone in the back shut yer pie holes.

That some stuff, stuff that I don't understand.

That some stuff, stuff that I don’t understand.

Tattooed banjo?

Tattooed banjo?

Kishi Bashi. It was hot as satan's taint in there. That jacket came off quickly.

Kishi Bashi. It was hot as satan’s taint in there. That jacket came off quickly.

Because you never know when you need to banjo while straddling someone doing push-ups.

Because you never know when you need to banjo while straddling someone doing push-ups.

Big finish with The Ridges on stage for "Bright Whites"

Big finish with The Ridges on stage for “Bright Whites”