Arts & Entertainment Business News

Record Fair to Gather Area Music Lovers in Northside This Weekend

Northside Presbyterian ChurchHundreds of vinyl collectors and music lovers will gather in Northside this weekend for the second annual Northside Record Fair.

The event, according to its website, seeks to “bring together record collector dorks from all over the Midwest to buy, sell, trade and generally nerd out” over thousands of records, CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks, reel-to-reels, posters, concert DVDs, zines and other music memorabilia.

More than 40 vendors from across the Midwest – a mix of independent record stores, small limited-edition labels, dealers and private collectors – will sell at the event, including event sponsor Shake-It Records, Black Plastic in Northside and Louisville record store Astro Black.

The Northside Record Fair extends beyond the boundaries of a typical record swap however.

“I’m more of the mindset of wanting the record fair more out there than just Elvis records and Beatles records,” explained event organizer Jon Lorenz. “My interests are in more obscure punk records or indie records or experimental stuff.”

Lorenz had always wanted to organize a large-scale record fair, taking inspiration from New York’s WFMU Record Fair. When a friend first suggested organizing a record swap in 2012, Lorenz said, “Why not go all out and make it as big as we can?”

Last year’s inaugural Northside Record Fair at Hoffner Lodge attracted over 400 people from Cincinnati and as far as Lexington, Louisville, Indianapolis and Columbus. This year Lorenz anticipates an even bigger crowd.

The event is produced by Lorenz under the moniker Dome Presents, a music promoter specializing in underground, DIY and experimental music. Lorenz says that he started Dome Presents to try to engage bigger bands that have a more underground or cult following that would normally skip Cincinnati.

The Northside Record Fair will take place on Saturday, November 23 at the Northside Presbyterian Church on Hamilton Avenue from 11am to 4pm. Early bird admission will cost $10 and start an hour earlier at 10am. Regular admission will cost just $5.

The event is easily accessible by several Metro bus routes, and Northside offers an abundance of free bicycle parking.

Up To Speed

The people want the parks, and lots of ’em

The people want the parks, and lots of ’em.

In no surprise to anyone, it turns out that people like to live near parks and that they want lots of parks from which to choose. Well then, which cities invest the most and have the best park options for their current and potential residents? Not Cincinnati, technically, but the Queen City does invest more in its park system than most. More from City Parks Blog:

Large amounts of parkland in cities is important, but equally vital is to have parks which are nearby and easily accessible to residents, according to the latest report by The Trust for Public Land. In seven of the nation’s largest cities — New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. — nine out of 10 residents live within a one-half mile walk to a park, according to the report.

The absolute amount of urban parkland is also significant, and among the cities with the largest park acreage are Jacksonville, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. But some cities, even those with a lot of parkland, are not laid out so that the land is well-located for residents’ easy access. These places include Charlotte, Jacksonville, Louisville, and Indianapolis.

Up To Speed

Bunbury Music Festival impresses in year one

Bunbury Festival: 2012 Wrap Up | Each Note Secure.

Cincinnati has been left without a noteworthy summer rock festival since Desdemona ended and never returned in 2006. That was until Bunbury entered the scene July 13-15. The music festival went up against an impressive array of local events and two well-established rock festivals nearby in Louisville and Chicago. More from Each Note Secure:

Regardless of Bunbury’s minor hiccups, I was blown away by the size, organization, and turnout of the festival. The festival pulled in 55,000 people in its first year, which is mighty impressive considering it shared dates with two other musical festivals that have been around since 2002 and 2005 respectively…Bunbury haters will continue to balk over the lineup (there’s always Midpoint!), but I was impressed that the festival was able to draw a wide range of folks, from older fans of GBV and Jane’s Addiction to the younger fans who came out for Neon Trees.


A Glimpse Into Our Future & 21c Hotel

When the person at the front desk closes with “… and make sure you check out our men’s bathroom. It’s just down the hall to the right of the big red penguin” you know you are in a unique place. And so began a recent visit, my first, to the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville. When the opportunity presented itself to stay a night 100 miles southwest, there was no more obvious choice as to where to stay for an evening. After all, as much as it was a glimpse into a unique place, this was a glimpse into the future.

When the 21c Museum Hotel announced late last year that they had purchased the old Metropole Hotel building from 3CDC in the Backstage District it marked the first new hotel in downtown Cincinnati in over twenty years. Located across from the Aronoff Center for the Arts and just next door to the Contemporary Arts Center, the historic building offers the ability to do many unique things which is right up the alley for 21c.

Penguins, penguins, and more penguins at the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville.

“3CDC approached us with the location, and it was pretty much a dream”, said CEO Michael Bonadies. And after experiencing the 21c firsthand, there is no question about that assessment. With 90 rooms in Louisville (the Cincinnati location is slated for 160), the 21c is likely to be classified as a boutique hotel given its size. It is however, so much more.

“Our goal is to be a part of the community and really be one of the cultural centers of Louisville,” Bonadies said and their approach is right in line with that vision. With 90 percent of their food and beverage revenues at Proof on Main coming from local residents, their strategy is clearly a resounding success. Additionally, they host shows and events quite frequently to keep the locals coming back time and time again.

The first ground floor and the level below are filled with art and exhibits that are rotated semi-annually including quite a few rooms that are big enough to hold an entire collection from an artist. On a tour we were told that this is a focus for 21c so that the patrons can get a full picture of what the artist was going after. One example was the Faces of Fooshegu which was a dynamic collection of twenty portraits of the people of Tamale, Ghana. This exhibit, among quite a few others at 21c was done by local Louisville artists.

Artwork fills the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, and will certainly do so in Cincinnati as well.

“21c reflects Louisville” said Mr. Bonadies, “and the Cincinnati location will reflect Cincinnati.” The Louisville location was opened in 2005 and the goal is to have the Cincinnati 21c open in 2012. There are a few other things coming in 2012 for Cincinnati’s urban core, and this is yet another piece to our wonderful puzzle.

One may ask where the vision for something like 21c comes from, which also is planning an Austin location. According to Michael, owners Laura Lee Brown and her husband Steve Wilson have a passion for the farmland of America and want to make the urban centers a place where people work, play and live.

“They are doing their part to prevent urban sprawl and in turn protect the farmland they care about,” said Bonadies who also stated that aside from their passion for farmland, they have a passion for art as most of what is shown at 21c is a personal reflection of their tastes.

Just down the hall and to the right, you’ll find the big red penguin and the famous men’s restroom at the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville.

“There is art around every corner. Enjoy your stay,” Bonadies said, and he could not have been more right. 21c Museum Hotel is visually stunning, thought provoking, fun, and quite impressive, and that is all before you get in the elevator to go to head upstairs to your room. The rooms themselves are stylish and modern with an artistic touch that is all their own. As for the men’s restroom in the lobby, you will just have to go down to Louisville to see it for yourself. It’s just down the hall and to the right of the big red penguin.


The Waterfront Wednesday Mystery

On the final Wednesday of August, I took a road trip down to Waterfront Wednesday in Louisville. Waterfront Wednesday is put on by 91.9FM WFPK and is a free show that occurs on the last Wednesday of each month from April to September on a little piece of Waterfront Park in downtown Louisville. Each month the show features three national touring bands playing from an hour to an hour and a half a piece. Oh, did I mention it’s free?

Canada’s Great Lake Swimmers, singer-songwriter Will Hoge, and alt-country legends, Cracker all graced Louisville’s stage last month with the Ohio River as its backdrop. While the tunes were great and ran for four hours (starting at 6pm) this post is not a concert review by any stretch. This my friends is more of an open letter to you, the UrbanCincy reader, to get a discussion going around why Louisville can pull something like this off while we here in Cincy get cover band after cover band on our waterfront on Wednesday nights.

Waterfront Wednesday crowd gathers along the Ohio River

This is my biggest beef these days with our town and something I’d love to change, but the task sometimes seems so great that it is not worth tackling. Then I look closer (like I know most of us do, and we challenge our friends to do so too) and I see that things are starting to really cook! Midpoint is quickly approaching with a lot of great bands with bands from our same zip code, as well as bands from as far away as Paris, France. That group also did a great job lining up bands through the summer on Fountain Square, but I have to say that all of that seems to be the polar opposite of “name that cover band.” I think there is a middle ground, and I think Louisville has found it.

Louisville is doing a lot of things right with their concert series and they are bringing a good amount of people into town for it. Their mix of artists on any given Waterfront Wednesday is very diverse and don’t necessarily cross over, but people come for one and stay for all three. Will Great Lake Swimmers open for an entire tour for Cracker? Heck no, but for a night it seems to work! Oh, and because it’s free, people bring other people along with them. I have noticed in my two trips there this summer that most of the people that show up fall more under the “curious observer” label than “diehard fan”. People bring their kids along and there are people around that would be eligible for the Golden Buckeye if only they lived in Ohio. It’s a wonderful and diverse combination of music lovers that come to enjoy their evening. Outside. For free. Along the river. Shocking, I know.

So, to you the reader of UrbanCincy, I ask this… why not us? And just as (if not more) important, how can we do something like this? I have asked this question of people around town in conversations over the last six weeks and have received many different answers. Louisville has about 1.2M people in the metro area and we have 2.1M people, so you can’t say they have a wider base from which to draw. We both have universities and we are both river towns. Provide your rationale and provide your solutions in your comments, and if you are willing to try to find a way to make it happen say that too.

For those curious, the September 30 show headliner is BellX1 with supporting acts to be announced. I have to say, the drive is pretty easy and for what you get, it’s well worth the trip.