If You Are Going to Midpoint

Midpoint is a tremendously fun event. That being said, you might want to plan out your weekend before jumping into it, unless you want to play musical roulette with your ear drums.

For the hardcore music fan, nothing will surpass your own judgment. You need to log onto www.mpmf.com and listen to all of the group’s MySpace pages yourself. Yes, this will take about two days, but nothing is too good for you.

Ok, so if you are not that much of a fanatic about your music and would like some help, well I’ve got some ideas for you. Before I get into some band names, you need to first identify how you want to attend the festival. There are several ways, but lets focus on the most affective methods. When thinking about this I’m going to assume you are getting a three day pass. There are no single day passes this year, so if you plan on going more than one day to more than one venue, you should cough up the $29 bucks for the three day pass. The three main types of fan are the following cleverly named categories:

1. The Floater

2. The Traveler

3. The Focused Planner

The Floater is out to see as much music as possible, and will float around and take chances on bands. The best preparation for a Floater is to plan out your time. Know what bands are playing when, and then catch half a set here, and half a set there. It is nice to have the freedom to hear a few songs of a band you’ve never heard of and if they suck or aren’t of your taste (to put it more pleasantly), then you can hit another band playing near by that you do know and can support. This is great way to see local bands you like and want to support, but weren’t your first option, since you’ll have more chances to see them.

The Traveler has set destinations and a schedule to keep. They have planned to see bands they know or like and worked out a firm plan on who they can see and where. This requires going hour by hour and using something akin to a sextant to map out a route from venue to venue, all while keeping to a time table. If you are smart you will maybe become friends with the Scion Taxis running around town, or maybe hire your own chauffeur if you plan on some trips over to Newport and back. This method is good when you are going to see local bands and only local bands.

The Focused Planner is a person who wants to go one place and stay there. A little boring, but if you are drinking or have a favorite bar, then can work best. This year’s festival is uniquely able to make this type of fan’s experience even better. With special events like the Lite Bright Film Test at the CAC, a fan can spend each night in one place and see a great variety of local and out of town acts, as well as see cool film. The same could be had at various venues where local promotions teams have cooked up cool ways to program certain venues each night. The All Night Party hosts a big night at the Blue Wisp on Friday, and Grammer’s hosts a big tent each night with some of the best known groups, like the Heartless Bastards. Some of these events even work to complement each other, where venues like Fountain Square, end early on Thursday night, allowing you to hit up a second location.

Other concerns: Food! No matter where you are, there are tons of late night food options: Arnold’s will have the full menu available until at least 2:30AM per the owner (Rhonda for those who know her). Other options are Cold Turkey & Shanghai Mama’s on 6th, Lucy Blue on 12th and 7th Streets, and Gilpin’s also on 7th Street.

OK, so now on to the good stuff, who to see….well, you are going to have to wait for my picks just a little while longer. Yeah, I suckered you in, but tough cookies, sweetheart!

Via Cincinnati Blog

Meeting Flow

You never know who you are going to run into while standing watching Seabird at the opening of Midpoint.

For me it was the band Flow from Israel. After a little background info I was able to locate this article from Derf Magazine of all places. It appears they got a press release from the band touting the fact that they are the biggest English Language band in Israel. It appears they thought it was a joke, but after a wise rethink they did some research and wrote a very good article.

Continue reading “Meeting Flow”

Commando Midpoint

I don’t know who I am going to see at Midpoint this year. I had planned to spend a few weekends reviewing all of the bands, listening to all of their MySpace pages, but alas no, I didn’t get that done.

Instead I am going to Commando Midpoint and just jump in and see what happens. I will hit the pre-show tonight at Fountain Square to see Seabird tonight at 6PM, with my CityBeat program in hand and will pick out tonight’s shows.

Every year I tell myself to only see out of town bands. Why? Well, simple, I won’t get to see them again, and I can see the bands I know or that are local when ever they play.

This year I don’t feel any big buzz on the out of town bands, other than the headliners which I don’t think I am going to see. I may pick out a few local favorites of mine (like say Pearlene – Eat Sugar – Wussy – Jake Speed and the Freddies) and see them and see who else is at those venues.

If not that, I’ll just ride the Scion Streetcars around all night and holler at the ladies.

Day Three of Midpoint

Tonight I had half of my 10 out of town picks and I only got to see two of them. That bit of failure aside, I started out with Anton Mink at Ink Tank. All I could think about with this band is that they come across as an Indie version of No Doubt, with the lead singer even dressed in early Gwen Stefani chic. She played a cowbell for one song. No, I’m not going to say it, but I really, really want to say it.

Stereophile was at the Cue and had a bass heavy sound that needs some refinement or just a better sound mixer. Sound mixing at MidPoint is always an issue with bands having little time for a sound check.

The most theatrical band of the festival before they ever took the stage was Ferdinand Fox. All of the members were dressed in what can best be described as Peter Townsend’s Woodstock jump suit. If you ever seen the Woodstock movie, you’d know of the outfit. They drummed up a big audience, one filling Cue for a 10 PM show, by walking up and down main clapping in unison like they were rallying the troops for a charge on the enemy. In fact they do a version of the Empire March from Star Wars. Yes, they are geeks and not afraid to show it.

I broke away from their performance to catch the end of the Ag Silver show at the Know. I was glad I did. I caught my favorite song of the fest “All that to say.” Have a listen to it on their MySpace page.

I briefly caught the Church of the Red Museum back over at Ink Tank. I liked the band’s line up of instruments. The one trend I saw at Midpoint this year was the inclusion of keyboards for many Indie bands. Church of Red Museum pulled in keyboards into their music as a focus and it worked.

In the end I saw 23 bands. As a rule, I tried to see at least 2 bands an hour, and almost made over the three days. Getting a taste for each band is good, but it still makes it difficult to pick the bands. I’ll be exploring other’s takes on the bands they saw and how they made their choices.

I believe overall the Festival clearly improved over last year, and the weather helped out. I’ll be coming up with an over all recap of the positives and negatives of this year’s fest. I look forward to next year’s event!

Day Two of Midpoint

I wasn’t expecting much with tonight’s line-up. Most of my picks were on Thursday or are on Saturday. I instead ending up seeing several local bands, which wasn’t my plan.

I started with Western Civ. I wasn’t that into them. Maybe it was just me or the odd sound Ink Tank presents as a music venue, because I didn’t stay long.

I made to the newly redone Cue to see for algernon, the ever evolving group. At this point for algernon can best be described as the Newbees Plus 1.

I stayed at the Cue for Cassavettes. The biggest controversy here was how to pronounce the band’s name. The consensus was that it would be like the film director. The band disagreed. After a quick Google search shows the spellings are different. An extra T in the band’s name.

Next was the Black Canary at New Stage. Soft music and the crowd was seated in the Theatre Space and very quiet.

The Newbees were next and they were nice. They gave out free CDs to half the crowd, which was the most packed I have ever seen Courtyard Cafe.

The night ended back again at Cue for Cari Clara.

The Tally so far has me seeing 16 bands. A couple of which I lasted a song.