CINCINNATI - Lace up your running shoes, guys and gals—it’s time to have your way with the 12th annual MidPoint Music Festival.
More than 170 bands and solo artists are performing at 15 clubs, theaters and open spaces downtown and in Over-the-Rhine. While there's a lot happening by daylight, along the festival midway and through the family-friendly KidPoint, our recommendations here focus exclusively on the indie rock happening deep into the p.m.
There’s far too much ear candy, eye candy and, when the appetites strike, mouth candy to partake in everything in and around the MidPoint Music Festival. Here are four WCPO music connoisseurs—myself (MP), multimedia producer Brian Niesz (BN), digital content manager P. J. O'Keefe (PJO) and digital photographer Emily Maxwell (EM) —mapping out our respective MidPoint treasure hunts for opening night Thursday.
Just print it, pocket it and partake. Check back here soon for our best bets for Friday and Saturday.
Of course, as with any festival of this nature, we’ll probably detour and deviate on assorted whims. One final word of advice: Carry foam earplugs into every club. You never know when a blast beat will slap you right in the eardrum.
5 — The Cincy Brass—PJO (Washington Park)
5:30 — Sidewalk Chalk: Soft, atmospheric hip-hop with groove and spoken-word poetry from Chicago.—MP (Midway). Also chosen by PJO.
6 — Grandfather Child—EM (Washington Park)
7 — Harlequins: Psychedelia, surf and noise rock from Cincinnati.—MP. Psychedelic punks that put on a great live show.—BN. Also chosen by EM. (Grammer’s)
8 — Snowmine: Ambient, dancy mix of electronics and sparse guitars from Brooklyn.—MP (Grammer’s)
8:45 — Shuggie Otis: Classic R&B/soul from the ‘70s. “Strawberry Letter 23” is an all-time classic.—BN. Also chosen by PJO and EM (Washington Park)
9:30 — Mad Anthony: Cincinnati’s urgent, straight-edged, punk-inflected rock, with a singer who sounds like Glenn Danzig. Have to see them if only because they have an album, through Cincy’s Phratry Records, called “I Spent All My Money on Speed Metal.”—MP (The Drinkery). Also chosen by PJO. Kurt Vile: Not to be missed. One of today’s greatest songwriters.—BN. Also chosen by EM (Grammer’s).
10:30 — Hunters: Garagey, bratty punk from Philly by way of New York.—MP (Taft Theatre). Potty Mouth: Critically acclaimed bubblegum punk from teenage girls.—BN. Also chosen by PJO. (Know Theatre, main stage). Magnolia Mountain: Cincinnati band—EM (Mr. Pitiful's)
10:45 — Ohio Knife: Full-throttle riff rock that reminds me of Seattle grunge grandfather Tad. —MP (Mainstay)
11:15 — Dead Gaze: This Mississippi band describes itself as “grungegaze” on its Bandcamp page, in a nod to “shoegaze.” Their music can sound a scrapbook, and sometimes as if two songs are playing at once. There’s a bit of Sparklehorse here, and I’m curious to how they perform live.—MP. Also chosen by PJO (Below Zero).
11:30 — Baths: Weird glitchy chillwave that should be fun to see live.—BN. Also chosen by EM (CAC).
12 — Leogun: Get some international culture by way of London’s Leogun. Guitar, boogie-soul rock with a magnetic singer (Tommy Smith) who sounds like Chris Robinson, Steven Tyler and the lord Robert Plant. Great way to close your opening night.—MP (Mainstay). The Thermals—PJO (Taft Theatre)
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