Cincy Music

Who To Check Out at Clifton Heights Music Festival 4

Sidney Cherie Hilley
It’s another invasion of the indie music scene this weekend with the fourth edition of the Clifton Heights Music Festival. The CHMF has brought Clifton its closest feeling of South by Southwest - reining in the best acts of Cincinnati and dispersing them to seven of Clifton’s most popular bars. The line-up for these shindigs keeps getting more impressive, and this weekend is packed with sets from You, You’re Awesome, the No No Knots, The Ohms, Walk the Moon and several other acts worth checking out. Among the smorgasbord of bands listed below, here are a few handpicked acts that are a can’t miss:

Josiah Wolf, of famous hip-hop/indie/experimental outfit WHY?, pairs up with the sticky sweet melancholy melodies of singer Liz Hodson on April 1st at Christy’s Biergarten. They recently released their EP, Under Lover’s Covers. The album title coyly plays on the secret lover cliché just as well as Hodson and Wolf play off of each other’s talents. Hodson croons over lackadaisical synthesizers while Wolf appears to have six arms; playing the xylophone, guitar and drums. The duo is reminiscent of Zooey Deshanel and M. Ward’s She and Him. Although, these two float from folksy tracks to a heavier, more experimental spin on typical lover’s tunes with jaw-dropping cadence.

Check out the duo and Wolf’s slew of instrumental switch ups at to get a feel for their set.

If you want to twist on the dance floor while holding your whiskey sour in the air, check out Oso Bear. This devilish quartet from Covington brings a punch of Southern rock n’ roll complete with the back porch grit found in moonshine country with songs such as “50 Dollar Whiskey” and “Aw Hell”- but with enough experimental wit to give southern rock a little bit of swag. The band self-proclaims themselves as “four dudes with some whiskey, cigs and rock” so they’re sure to help the crowd loosen up for the rest of the festivities. Be sure to holler out “Whoopy-Dang!” – the band’s nearly patented chant.

Cincinnati’s soul-pop trio, The Harlequins, take over Murphy’s Pub on April 2. Critics have been raving over their blast-to-the-70s psychedelic sound, yet the band seems to have tapped into the blue suede shoes of the 50s as well. The rich vocals of Michael Olivia ebb into a melody that will send everybody swaying, while their rambunctious riffs will send some to bob their head like A Night at the Roxbury.

If you are still weeping over the split of Cincinnati’s former ambient pop outfit Enlou; dry your eyes and check out The Never Setting Suns. The trio that started out in a basement playing odes to indie masters Modest Mouse have blossomed into a noise pop act that can’t be missed on April 2nd at the Mad Frog. They’re first full length album, And Now We’re Not Alone, taps into the post-rock sounds of Explosions in the Sky while dicing in the discordant D.I.Y style of Fugazi.

Score some tickets at or just grab a pass at any participating venue that evening:

One-day passes: $5 advance / $8 at the door
Two-day passes: $10 advance / $12 at the door

Rohs Street Cafe -
9:00-9:30 – Marmalade Brigade
9:45-10:15 – Shiny and The Spoon
10:30-11:00 – Acarya
11:15 – Close – The Happy Maladies

Baba Budan’s Bar and Coffeehouse -
9:30-10:15 – Candidate
10:30-11:00 – Don’t Fear The Satellites
11:15-11:45 – Hazle Weatherfield
12:00-12:30 – The Minor Leagues
12:45-Close – Hip Hop Set w/ Trademark Aaron, Da 3rd Element, Citoak, Camp David, Moxy Monster, Skandal Da Ruckus Man.

Uncle Woody’s -
9:00-9:30 – Waiting On Ben
9:45-10:15 – Peanut Butter Solution
10:30-11:00 – Up Dog
11:15-11:45 – Mia Carruthers and The Retros
12:00 – 12:30– Dan Orlando
12:45-Close – Frankly Speaking

Mac’s Pizza Pub -
9:30-10:15 – Sassy Molasses
10:30-11:00 – Kelly Fine
11:15-11:45 – Zella Whelms
12:00-12:30 – Pharoah Loosey
12:45-Close – You, You’re Awesome

Christy’s Biergarten -
9:00-9:30 – The Comforts
9:30-10:15 – Free Sophia
10:30-11:00 – Majestic Man
11:15-11:45 – Josiah Wolf & Liz Hodson
12:00-12:30 – Perfect Norm
12:45-Close – Walk The Moon

Murphy’s Pub -
9:30-10:15 – Star Hustler
10:30-11:00 – Oso Bear
11:15-11:45 -Madras Lounge
12:00-12:30 – J Dorsey Blues Band
12:45-Close – The Skeetones

The Mad Frog -
9:30-10:15 – The Kickaways
10:30-11:00 – The Best Revenge
11:15-11:45 – The Upset Victory
12:00-12:30 – Mad Anthony
12:45-Close – Bottom Line

APRIL 2ND, 2011

Rohs Street Cafe -
9:00-9:30 – Shiny Old Soul
9:45-10:15 – Indigo Wild
10:30-11:00 – iolite
11:15-Close – The Ridges

Baba Budan’s Bar and Coffeehouse -
8:00-9:00 – Stand-Up Comedy Block with Mike Cody, Alex Stone, Kelly Collette, Mike”Meat” Cronin, Sam Evans, & Tabari McCoy
9:30-10:15 – The Plastic Inevitables
10:30-11:00 – Pike
11:15-11:45 – The Guild of Calamitous Intent
12:00-12:30 – Loudmouth
12:45-Close – The Frankl Project

Mac’s Pizza Pub -
10:00-10:30 – Vaudeville Freud
10:45-11:15 – Glass Winged Sharpshooters
11:30-12:00 – The Cliftones
12:15-12:45 – SHADOWRAPTR
1:00-Close – Chick Pimp

Christy’s Biergarten -
9:30-10:15 – Hours Before Morning
10:30-11:00 – Drew LaPlante & The Prosperity
11:15-11:45 – The Ohms
12:00-12:30 – Eclipse
12:45-Close – No No Knots

Murphy’s Pub -
9:30-10:15 – Dusty Bryant
10:30-11:00 – Sparrow Bellows
11:15-11:45 – The Ready Stance
12:00-12:30 – The Harlequins
12:45-Close – Buckra

The Mad Frog -
9:30-10:00– Branden Meade
10:15-10:45 – The Shy Spots
11:00-11:30 – The Dukes
11:45-12:15 – The Never Setting Suns
12:30-Close – Josh Eagle & The Harvest City