If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you might remember my epic rock n' roll weekend blog from a few months ago. Well, last weekend was more of the same, but instead of touring acts lighting it up, this time it was some of the most exciting bands the Queen City Tri-State area has to offer. What else could a humble blogger do but put on his drinkin' shoes, stand in front of some noisy PAs and EXPERIENCE the shit?! Let's discuss...
Thursday night brought a trip to Cincinnati's best rock n' roll dive bar, The Comet. Weakness, a bunch of baby-faced kids, brought some serious sloppy noise in an impressive fashion. The Comet's tinny speakers were filled with a screeching, crackling buzz as they busted through a set of short, sharp tunes highlighted by piercing keyboards and bratty vocals. They reminded me of Jason Lowenstein's fuzzy punk songs buried on Sebadoh albums mixed with the snot-nosed ADD energy of Long Beach's late, lamented Le Shok. Not that these dudes have ever heard those bands before. The singer rolled around on the floor, sweated up a storm, and basically put on a show. Forget Columbus' Times New Viking and their insane amount of hype. Weakness are the real deal. I'm sure you don't believe me, so thankfully the band has a whole LP available HERE to stream or download for free!
Weakness @The Comet, 10/15/2009
Photo: Kane Kitchen
Friday, I ended up at Molly Malone's In Covington KY, which is a pretty terrible "hipster" Irish bar (what does that even mean?!) on the first floor. Luckily, the third floor is a pretty kickin' intimate show venue with a stellar PA. The room was positively PACKED with local music scene supporters and band members alike. Cool people and cool vibes were literally coming out of the walls. Hmm, maybe that's what sets this whole Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky scene apart from any others. It is friendly and non-exclusive. Fuck a bunch of that cool guy bullshit. You can come to a local show and meet a new believer every time. Probably get some free beer out of it, as well. On this night, The Lions Rampant from Burlington KY came out and left folks slack-jawed and ecstatic!
The Lions Rampant @Molly Malone's 10/16/2009
Photo: Kane Kitchen
Photo: Kane Kitchen
If you're not following me on Twitter, then first of all, what the heck is wrong with you?! Second of all, you missed out on this: "The Lions Rampant will take on the best garage rock bands from Brooklyn, LA, Atlanta, or Memphis and leave them lying. Believe it!" I don't have much to add to that, really, other than to say that they pump out an impressive mixture of Grand Funk power trio rock, chaotic Who-style buildups, Mersey-beat pop, and broke-ass white boy blues. What sets The Lions Rampant apart is that they actually INTERACT with the crowd, and it's not your normal, "Hey, how ya doin', we have two songs left" crap you've heard a million times. These aren't your average bunch of local rockers who plow through their 30 minutes with practice-space precision. They extend things, play around, bring it up, then bring it back down. This is REAL rock n' roll, like back in the day before computers robbed us of all our REAL emotions. The Lions Rampant sum up everything good about the Cincinnati music scene, and don't be surprised if they blow up your radar real soon.
Saturday night was all about Pat Rice. The Mad Hatter in Covington KY hosted an EPIC line-up of bands and the premiere of "A Queen City Girl," a video documentary tribute to Cincinnati's punk rock grandma. If you live in a different area code, I guarantee you are unaware of Pat Rice, but she is a credit to the local scene who puts most music supporters to shame. OK, she's 65 years old, rides the bus everywhere in a town full of apathetic public transport, and still has more energy than most 21 year olds. Really, she wins. It was a genuinely touching, loving, and amazing sight to see a packed house pay their respects to the glowing gal of honor. I had too much of a good time to provide an accurate review of all the bands, though. Just peep the trailer below:
Don't forget, episode #12 of Random Old Records Podcast is out NOW! It is my tribute to the den mother of the girl groups, Ellie Greenwich, and it features damn near an hour of classic '60s pop from the likes of The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love, and more! Download and/or stream it from here: http://rorpodcast.mevio.com. Thanks as always, and don't sleep on Cincinnati, we just might take over!