CINCINNATI - It's the last night of MPMF, so if you haven't made it downtown for the 11th annual MidPoint Music Festival, this is your last chance.
And if you're trying to figure out who to see tonight, we've compiled a list of our top nine picks, based on CityBeat's recommendations. They are listed below. Enjoy the show!
1. Modoc : When it comes to Nashville's suddenly fertile Rock & Roll scene, there's a lot of competition. Luckily for us, the people of Nashville are quick to weed out the crap for the rest of the world is (usually) only subjected to the better bands. Particularly in the case of Southern-flavored rockers Modoc, we owe a big "thank you" to Music City (the band relocated operations there from original hometown Muncie, Ind.). Frontman Clint Colberson's growling, bluesy voice is built for dark, sticky bars and amphitheaters alike. The band's latest album, Fortune & Fame, is currently building buzz. The group plays at 11:30 p.m. (Dierdre Kay, CityBeat).
2. The Infatuations : WIth strong hooks, a classic R&B groove and some muscular Rock additives, you wouldn't need many quesses if so mean were to ask you what city The Infatuations call home. The Motown Funk/Soul rockers have had crowds dancing in the Detroit area for the past few years, with the hometown fans showing their appreciation by voting the septet to a "People's Choice Award" at the 2011 Detroit Music Awards. The group plays at 11 p.m. at the Blue Wisp. (Mike Breen, CityBeat).
3. Enemy Planes : One of MidPoint's favorite out-of-town bands of late has been Pictures of Then, a group Pop provocateurs based in Minneapolis with a palpable Kinks-meets-Spoon vibe. Early this year, the band decided their sonic evolution toward moodier and more atmospheric textures warranted a name change and reinvented themselves as Enemy Planes. In their new configuration, Enemy Planes mines a more ominous, musical vein, drifting between melancholy and menace, drawing inspiration from two decades of synth-and-gyitar stylists while adding their own unique spin on the idea. They play at midnight at the CAC. (Brian Baker, CityBeat).
4. Ralph Stanley and His Clinch Mountain Boys : Dr. Ralph Stanley is so legendary that he didn't even have to go to school to earn his Doctorate in Music. A university just handed it to him and said, "You deserve this". And he does, because he's 85 years old and a freaking beast. One of the most influential musicians alive, Stanley will be honored before his performance with a short presentation about his crucial ties to Cincinnati's legendary King Records. See Stanley live at The Emery tonight at 10:30 p.m. (DK, CityBeat).
5. The Walkman : The A dozen years since members of Jonathan Fire*Eater and the Recoys coalesced into the formidable Walkmen? It hardly seems possible. But then, neither does the band's almost supernatural string of confusingly brilliant albums, all crafted by the same line-up that began at the dawn of the new millennium; the sparse, atmospheric jangle of Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone, the intense and visceral Bows + Arrows (featuring their signature "The Rat"), the quiet beauty of A Hundred Miles Off, their weirdly wonderful cover of Harry Nilsson's Pussy Cats, and the powerful You & Me, the fabulous Lisbon, and their latest Heaven. Long may they walk. They play tonight at 9:15 at Grammers. (BB, CityBeat).
6. Holy Ghost Tent Revival: When a band lists the Rolling Stones and Glenn Miller as primary influences, there's a good chance their musical pegs don't fit the standard genre holes. So it is Holy Ghost Tent Revival, a North Carolina sextet that redefines eclectic, veering from Ragtime and Hot Jazz to an electric brand of Swing and the kind of funky, rootsy Country Rock that would have made Levon Helm grin and stomp. You don't often see the Charleston breaking out in the middle of the mosh pit, but anything is possibly at a Holy Ghost Tent Revival gig. Be prepared. They play at 11:20 at Japp's Annex. (BB, CityBeat).
7. Julia Holter: To categorize Julia Holter as a singer.songwriter is like identifying a neutron bomb as an explosive device. Holter's songs are experimental musical and lyrical forays into aggressive, Ambient Rock, an interesting hybrid of surgery '60s Pop and brittle modern Electronica that is both airily soothing and subconsciously unsettling, like a tranquil walk on a beautiful day that somehow feels vaguely dangerous. Holter's recently released Ekstasis is awash with atmospheric textures and chilly melodicism, a combination that is simultaneously the hypnotist's lilting trance nd the jarring finger snap that ends it. She performs at 10: 30 tonight at the Know Theatre. (BB, CItyBeat).
8. The Guitars : Since forming three years ago as a side project to about a half dozen people, The Guitars have become a well-loved fixture on the Cincinnati scene. The quartet's individual pedigrees would indicate a bristling Punk band with soapboxes and amps to 11, but The Guitars have an authentic love affair
with the music and studio techniques that were prevantly during the '60s AM radio era, particularly Motown and Soul music. Luckily, The Guitars don't merely mimic the period for its own sake, but bring their wealth of contemporary musical experience to the process and make timeless music that shimmers with nowness. They play tonight at 7 p.m. at Grammer's. (BB, CityBeat).
9. Chain and the Gang : DInosaur Jr. isn't the only MPMF band that was influencing today's music-makers beginning in the '80s. Ian Svenonius made his name with influential DC bands Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up, wiry Punk Gospel groups that he led with the possessed, wild-eyed intensity of a Southern Baptist preacher gene spliced with James Brown and Iggy Pop. His presentation of the "Gospel Yeh-Yeh" in clubs worldwide proved his reputation as one of Indie Rock's greatest frontmen, night in and night out. Svenonius' religious experience may never die; whenever a project ends, he simply finds new parishioners to help him spread the gospel and carry on. They perform at midnight at MOTR. (MB, CityBeat).
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Check out the lineup and schedule for Thursday at MPMF.13.