Author Archives: Chip Midnight

Photos: Summerland Tour (7/10/12)

I grossly underestimated the number of 30-somethings who work hard but party harder and who really, really like their mid-90s alt-radio-rock. This underestimation caused me to miss Marcy Playground’s entire set as I stood in line with my 30-something cousin who was attending only his second ever concert.

We still made it in time to see LIT (surprisingly modern sounding), Gin Blossoms (looking old but with probably the most recognizable set of songs of the night), Sugar Ray (way more entertaining than expected) and Everclear (Art’s voice was not up to par on this particular night and while musically my favorite, on the other hand they were also the most disappointing).

There are so many of these types of bands still around from the mid-90s that I can easily see this tour – with a new set of bands – becoming a yearly thing.

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We had a party at my place last night …

… and I filmed it.

Kids interview Ume; band on tour with The Toadies and Helmet

Can’t believe a week ago at this time we were hopping into the car and headed to Cincinnati for the Bunbury Festival. Over the course of 3 days we saw a lot of really great acts; it seemed like whichever band we saw most recently was the one we tagged with “best set at Bunbury” tag. When I think back about the act that truly stood out for me, without a doubt it was Austin, Texas trio Ume.

While I had heard the band’s 2011 release Phantoms on Spotify, I was unprepared for the HEAVINESS that was unleashed on a steamy Sunday afternoon. Describing Ume’s sound to fellow festivalgoers, before seeing the band, I said, “It’s like The Joy Formidable if they were influenced by Black Sabbath instead of ’80s and ’90s British rock.” That description was right on the mark. Singer/guitarist Lauren Larson was the fiercest guitar player I witnessed over the course of the festival, playing heavy riffs and bouncing around the stage as if possessed by a demon. This type of performance will serve the band well on the tour they are kicking off with The Toadies and Helmet (dates after the jump). Before seeing them, I wondered if they would be able to hold their own with those two bands. After seeing them, I have little doubt.

Connie and Olivia, our two 11-year-old budding rock journalists, were able to snag a few minutes with the trio following their blistering performance.

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Saturday: Big Day In @ Woodlands Tavern

Tristan Swan of Love Culture was done waiting for somebody else to put on a festival featuring bands influenced by the likes of The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

This Saturday night, Swan presents the second annual Big Day In festival featuring not only local shoegazer/ambient-rock talent, but some national touring acts as well. While many of the bands come from the same collective influences, Swan’s the first to admit that he really just, “wanted to get the bands we really like on the bill.”
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Kids interview Quiet Corral; band opening for Gomez on July 22 at The Newport

Fresh off their first ever interview with a rock band (Alberta Cross), Connie and Olivia hit up the Bunbury Music Festival this past weekend where they had the opportunity to grab a few minutes of time from 8 different performing artists. One of those artists was Quiet Corral, a 6-six piece from Lawrence, Kansas that put on a great, folk-inspired set on Friday afternoon.

Quiet Corral has a few upcoming tour dates, opening for Gomez, including a stop at The Newport Music Hall on Sunday, July 22. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show.

Sunday: Future Islands at The Basement

Of course these guys met at art school, where else do a bunch of Joy Division fans meet? Future Islands’ latest release, On the Water, sounds retro-yet-modern, heavy with ’80s synths, dancey rhythms, Bowie/Smith/Curtis/Sumner-style vocals, and lyrics filled with tales of love and loss.

Future Islands, with newbie Columbus band June66, perform at The Basement on Sunday night. Doors open at 6pm. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 day of show.

Bunbury Festival featured artist: Bo and the Locomotive

We’re just a day away from the Bunbury Festival kick-off. I hope that, if you’re going to the festival, you’ve found the artist features we’ve been posting during the last week to be helpful as you try to navigate the schedule and decide which bands you want to see.

View features by performance day: Friday, Saturday, Sunday

When the schedule was first announced, there were quite a few names I didn’t recognize. I started with the acts that are scheduled to perform on Friday and tried to do some research (watching a video, seeing if the artist had any music on Bandcamp or Soundcloud, visiting Facebook pages, etc.). The first band I came across was Bo and the Locomotive – named by Paste Magazine as THE band that you should know from Missouri. It took me all of 8 seconds to determine that their video for "Give Me Something" was the greatest video I’ve seen since OK GO’s heyday. And, like OK GO, I’m guessing Bo and the Locomotive spent about $15 (for beer and smokes) on the budget to make the video.

These guys have the unenviable task of playing very early on the Bunbury schedule. My experience with festivals like this is that the masses don’t start arriving until early evening so that they can get a decent spot to watch one of the headliners. If you’ve learned nothing else this past week by all the Bunbury Festival featured artist posts, I hope that you’ve learned that there are some really great bands playing early in the day.

I’m not sure where you’ll be 24 hours from now. Me? I’ll be camped out watching Bo and the Locomotive and getting my Bunbury Festival off to a great start!

Bo and the Locomotive performs on the Bud Light stage at 12:45pm
on Friday, July 13

Bo and the Locomotive are a four-piece from St.Louis. Paste Magazine says: "Bo and the Locomotive has a well-crafted indie sound … Each member plays their role seamlessly, creating a record that has a variety of mellow and up-tempo songs."

What does "bunbury" mean? (No cheating; give it your best guess)

We already Googled it up when they asked us to play this festival. I won’t spoil it for everyone else, but it means to avoid your responsibilities by claiming to have a meeting with a fictitious person.

What are 3 things that you know about Cincinnati?

– Might as well be in Kentucky
– We’ve never been there
– Go Cardinals

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Bunbury Festival featured artist: Jake Kolesar

Jake Kolesar performs on the CMC stage at 2:15pm on Sunday, July 15

Jake Kolesar is a 15-year-old indie-folk singer/songwriter from Cincinnati and the youngest performer playing Bunbury.

What does "bunbury" mean? (No cheating; give it your best guess)

I was wondering the same thing…

What are 3 things that you know about Cincinnati?

(1) It is incredibly underrated, (2) Home of Bootsy Collins and Graeters Ice Cream, (3) There is an awesome, but little-known music and acting scene in Cincy

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Bunbury Festival featured artist: Ume

Ume performs on the AliveOne stage at 4:30pm on Sunday, July 15

Ume is a 3-piece from Austin, Texas. describes Ume’s music as “Songs that balance sweet pop hooks with snarling heaviness, equal debts to punk, stoner, shoegaze and alt rock, insane guitar abuse/heroics and an audience awestruck and won over.”

What does "bunbury" mean? (No cheating; give it your best guess)

The dissonance created by the mating rituals of bumble bees (noticed the festival’s mascot was a bee, so giving it my best guess ;-)

What are 3 things that you know about Cincinnati?

It is the former home of the amazing WOXY radio station (RIP), known for its chili, and supposedly has a cymbal-only store that our drummer might need to check out.

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Bunbury Festival featured artist: Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk

Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk perform on the CMC stage at 4:30pm on Friday, July 13

Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk are an indie folk-pop 5-piece from Alberta, Canada.

What does "bunbury" mean? (No cheating; give it your best guess)

It sounds like the name of a bush. That’s probably completely wrong.

What are 3 things that you know about Cincinnati?

1. It’s in Ohio
2. It’s known for it’s unique architecture
3. Home to Bunbury Festival

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