Quite a comeback for the Midpoint Music Festival this year in my opinion. It went from a great tradition, with loads of good intentions to a legitimate, city based festival in just one year. The Midpoint Music Festival took out the paddles, slapped them onto the city of Cincinnati, and yelled CLEAR and you know what, we woke up. A great weekend was had by most that were able to attend any part of the festival, but here are a few of my favorite Livejasmin.cc experiences.
- Daniel Martin Moore (his set was both beautiful and refreshing)
- Finding free parking just a block or two away from where I wanted to start each night
- Why? rocking the stage
- Seeing so many people actually outside and walking around in Cincinnati
- Rosehips (they sounded like early Sonic Youth if Kim Gordan did all the vocals)
- The Scion shuttles from venue to venue (awesome!)
- Christian Moerlein Barbarossa at the Know Theatre downstairs while listening to Culture Queer and The Swimmers
- Lucy Blue walkup pizza at 11pm just before catching another Scion car
- A.A. Bondy (I love folk singers, I truly do)
- Watching a group of 50 somethings purchase CD's from 2 bands they had obviously just heard for the first time
- Pomegranates singer Isaac Karns asking the sound guy at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club for a sound tweak and then saying "Sorry, we aren't too jazzy"
- The amazing weather all weekend
I kept it short, but overall, it was a great weekend at Midpoint. I am excited about next year already..
Midpoint Music Festival Preview - Saturday
With Thursday and Friday out of the way, you might think it is time to relax a bit now since you probably have already taken in loads of bands by this point. But the thing is, there is really no time to relax, because Saturday night packs a wallop. Here are my jasmin live picks for Saturday night at Midpoint..
Wonky Tonk - 8:30pm - Javier's Restaurant
-Mostly unknown female singer songwriter that has a folky bluegrass sound that is hard to describe as anything less than adorable.
The Host - 8:30pm Below Zero Lounge
-90's Alt-Rock lives every time The Host take the stage.
Kim Taylor - 9pm Inner Peace Holistic Center
-Still the most underrated singer/songwriter in the city, I'm waiting for her to get the attention she deserves.
The Koala Fires - 9:30pm - Know Theatre Downstairs
Wussy - 10pm - Aronoff Theatre
-DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW
Headlights - 11pm - Aronoff Theatre
Paper Airplane - 11pm - Inner Peace Holistic Center
The Lions Rampant - 12am - Courtyard Cafe
-Cap off your midpoint with some hard drinking rock n roll courtesy of the lions.
Captain Of Industry - 12am Subway Bar & Lounge
If I left you out, I apologize, but I had to whittle things down each day and make some tough choices..
Festival Preview - Thursday
Wow, things have sure been busy the past couple weeks for me, but it has made the time leading up to Midpoint just fly by. This weekend right here in Cincinnati Ohio tons of great chaturbat bands will be taking stages across the tri-state as a part of the Midpoint Music Festival. Midpoint has always been something great for Cincinnati, but this year, the whole she-bang is nothing short than what you know of MPMF, but on steroids.
Seriously, not only are the headliners gonna draw people out that might not care otherwise, but the quality of the so-called "undercard" is excellent. Here are my recommended picks for the first night of the festival, Thursday. Plan accordingly...
Seabird - 6pm Kickoff Party on Fountain Square
The Chocolate Horse - Thursday 9pm stage - Aronoff Theatre
Daniel Martin Moore - Thursday 10pm stage - Aronoff Theatre
Moore's album is out October 7th, and this set is a must see preview of what to expect.
Peter Adams - Thursday 9pm Blue Wisp Jazz Club
Adams sophomore album, I Woke With Planets In My Face, could very well be the best local release of 2008, with layers of precisly arranged strings and well thought out lyrics this should be a great set.
Coltrane Motion - Thursday 10pm Inner Peace Center Stage
The Turnbull ACs - Thursday 11pm Inner Peace Center Stage
Junior Revolution - Thursday 10pm Know Theatre Main Stage
Ruckus Roboticus - Thursday 12am Lodge Bar
Should be a high energy DJ set from this Dayton, OH based mixer.
The Read - Thursday 10pm Subway Bar & Lounge
Upstart punk rockers are ready to break out here in Cincinnati.
Stick around for a preview of Day 2 here tomorrow!
Tonight In Cincinnati
You have little to no excuse NOT to hit up the Northside area of Cincinnati tonight as there are two excellent events going on. First off, make your way over to Shake It Records for a CD listening party in honor of the new album from Cincinnati's finest kazoo toting duo, The Seedy Seeds. The Seedies will be in attendance and you can listen to their new album with them while also perusing the amazing goodies housed within Shake It.
And when you finish, just cross the street and hit up Northside Tavern for what promises to be an excellent free show. The Bloodsugars will be rocking the Tavern off the strength of their excellent debut EP, BQEP. The last time The Bloodsugars were in the Nati', they laid down a great session, check out a couple songs from the set below to prepare yourself.
Despite gas costing over $3.50 a gallon, I made the two-hour drive to see Ra Ra Riot perform at The Basement in Columbus last Tuesday. I first heard Ra Ra Riot in the WOXY lounge back in January, and I was blown away. After hearing their full-length debut, The Rhumb Line, and with Pomegranates as the opening act, there was no way I could miss the show.
Cincinnati's own Pomegranates made their debut as a quintet with the addition of Nate McClements, also known under the folk moniker, Nathan Edwin.As usual, Pomegranates put on an excellent show. Most of the set featured songs off their debut full-length, Everything Is Alive, though a few of the tunes were reworked to include their new member. In particular, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the addition of trumpet during "Thunder Meadow", and a new acoustic intro to "The Children's Progress." Pomegranates also played a few new songs that will appear on their upcoming album, Everybody Come Outside, due for release in February 2009.
New TV On The Radio Video - Golden Age
I got a chance to see TV On The Radio kill it this weekend at the Monolith Festival. The band had a rough day, broke down on their way to the festival and started their set about 40 minutes late. Even so, they played a great set, and broke out several new songs from their upcoming album, Dear Science. I had a chance to meet Kyp briefly after the set, and he mentioned a new video for Golden Age, one of my favorite cuts from the new album. So it was perfect timing to see the video show up in my inbox today, on my first day back from Denver.
Department Of Eagles
Daniel Rossen is an enigmatic frontman. He is not very talkative, not particularly charismatic, and not a phenomenal singer (in the traditional sense of the word). That is why, when stepping onto the stage of the Southern Theatre at the Wexner Center on Friday, I was shocked to be a part of a crowd of around 300 people all here to see a band fronted by this classical guitar wonder.
Rossen's guitar-playing is formal and unique, moving eloquently through ethereal and classical arrangements and perfectly complementing his reverb-drenched vocals. Department of Eagles is his side project with his former college roommate Fred Nicolaus, and I have no doubt that a vast majority of the crowd were present at Wexner because they know his main musical endeavor, Grizzly Bear. However, Department of Eagles In Ear Park is brilliant in its own right, providing the perfect background musical landscapes through which Rossen's vocals weave and wind.
Clearly the band still has plenty of kinks to work out live, as this was only the second show with their new touring bassist, and the stage banter was, as Rossen put it, "a bit awkward". But, whatever the band lacked in stage chemistry, they made up for in brilliant musical flourishes. Especially impressive was In Ear Park standout "No One Does It Like You", as well as Rossen's sit-down work on the banjo.
It was a quiet, reflective set from a young band still fully realizing their potential. Rossen seemed slightly uncomfortable being looked to from the other band members and audience alike, but clearly with Grizzly Bear doing so well (i.e. opening for Radiohead on their summer tour), he's going to have to get used to the growing attention, both critically and in fanbase alike, that he is drawing. It was a pleasant evening filled with brilliant sounds, a respectful and musically attuned audience, and an absolutely brilliant setting (if you haven't been to a show at the Wexner Center, you must make it a point). There really isn't much more a music fan could want.