Monty says... Summertime, summertime, oh summer-summer-time!
Once upon a time in Cincinnati music lore, Iggy Pop walked on hands and pelted peanut butter on the masses, Alice Cooper was rebuffed, and a concert was simulcast on television with audio found on local radio stations. Sound like a total myth conjured by rabid, caffeine-addicted music super-fans? No, friends.
The Cincinnati Summer Pop Festival, held on June 13, 1970 at Crosley Field, was a cornerstone of rock reckoning for the music masses. 14 bands performed in the all-day event, including Grand Funk Railroad, Alice Cooper, Traffic, Bob Seger, Mountain and Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Organized by Mike Quatro and Russ Gibb, the intent was to bring rock music to varied cities in the US. Think Woodstock's younger cousin, a predecessor to Lollapalooza, a neighbor of Austin City Limits.
With Cincinnati weather being what it usually is (changeable, oppressive) and throngs of rabid fans being who they usually are (rabid, fans), this was quite the undertaking. Lots of heat and sunshine and rock music make for a volatile, heightened atmosphere and Cincinnati Summer Pop Festival was not immune. Rowdy fans caused a minor ruckus with trying to rush the gates and throwing bottles at cops and cars, followed by a few arrests, then-unknown musician Alice Cooper tested his limits with odd antics including a failed attempt at audience hypnotization, and, as is now photographically-immortalized, Iggy Pop walked off the stage and literally onto the hands of the crowd gathered to hear him and the Stooges rock out.
A moment captured not only on film, but also on video, this presented a harbinger of music history to come. The epic concert was filmed by local Channel 5 (WLWT), and two months, after editing 14 hours down to 90 minutes, Cincinnati Summer Pop Festival was shown on television stations throughout the Tri-State area with local radio stations providing the soundtrack. Seriously, what a cool presentation.
And the novelty stuck. Last year, in celebration of the Cincinnati Summer Pop Festival's 40th Anniversary, the documentary Midsummer Rock was screened locally at the Cincinnati Public Library's Main Branch. Panelists who had a hand in creating the documentary were on hand and fans the city over celebrated a moment that had Cincinnati once again in the music spotlight.
Didn't know the Queen City was so cutting edge, did ya? Now you do!
MidPoint Indie Summer Series :: August 11
9:30pm :: Maritime
How apropos! A band name that relates to everything I love! Lucky for me and you, this band's pretty lovable, too. A four-piece from Milwaukee (Algonquin for "the good land"!), these indie-rock guys deliver fuzzy, jangly guitars, unpretentious drumming and clever lyrics to your eagerly-awaiting eardrums. Formed from pieces of The Promise Ring and The Dismemberment Plan, Maritime forges ahead for themselves with more widely-accessible tunes and great hooks. Vocalist Davey von Bohlen sings of simple truths in a straightforward manner and is wonderful at the helm of this musical vessel. I'm so excited to hear them. (I hope they know the secret seafarer handshake.)
8:15pm :: The Dukes
All hail The Dukes! This energetic, Cincinnati-grown foursome have some of the longest hair, best mustaches, and grittiest vibes around. Unabashedly subscribing to the nuts and bolts of all-out rock and roll, these guys revel in dressed-down, blazing guitar lines, steady, penetrating bass lines, crashing yet controlled drums, and the singing; oh, the singing. Vocalist/guitarist Lucas Frazier draws from a well of brawny yelps, impeccably placed emphasis, and guttural strength. You know how they say Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil to play guitar like he did? The Dukes may very well have their own on layaway. AND: extra extra! The Dukes will have a HUGE announcement regarding their name change for all those in attendance this Friday--be sure to hear it, Tweet it, remember it.
7:00pm :: The Yugos
You go, I go, a-go-go for The Yugos! Punniness aside, The Yugos are a fresh, indie pop-punk band of young lads from Covington, KY whose infectious, light-hearted jams retain a clever edge with tight, layered drums and bass and slightly fuzzed delivery. The Yugos remind me of a happier Charlie Brown, making simple observations on life and adding their own shoulder-shrug acceptance with peppy, intricate guitars and nifty dynamic playfulness. A five-piece focus group of youthful laissez-faire, these boys are reminiscent of an early-career Modest Mouse, with less melancholy and more yelling. Let's yell together, shall we?
The MPMF.11 SCHEDULE is out!! Solid work from Topic Design. Definitely check out the 2011 MIDPOINT HIGHLIGHTS detailing the Biore® Strip, MidPoint Midway, VIP Sanctuary, Bikers MidPoint and a Donut Deployment!!
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