I know lots of you have been waiting and wondering about the status of our beloved MusicNOW festival here in Cincinnati. Well today, in case you have not already seen it, the festival is back and ready to announce the performances for what should be its biggest year yet. The festival stretches for three nights again this year, but for the first time, will spill outside of Memorial Hall and into the more spacious Music Hall for the third night. The festival is May 13th, 14th and 15th.
The biggest thing about this years festival is the fact that curator Bryce Dessner’s band and Cincinnati hometown heroes, The National are headlining the final night at Music Hall. But don’t let that be the only thing you notice about MusicNOW 2011, because as always, the rest of the lineup is full of amazing musicians. Here is a brief profile of each of the bands performing this year.
If there is one word that encapsulates Sharon Van Etten’s music, it is, undoubtedly, intimate. The Brooklyn-based songstress sings folk music for lovers—lovers of heartache, of life, of raw human emotion—laying graceful vocals like lace over crooning, acoustic guitar that feels straight out of the bedroom. – Weathervane Music
Shara is not only an amazing performer with a huge voice, but is a veteran of MusicNOW. She was a part of the festival back in 2007, performing solo and with Sufjan Stevens. In addition to two My Brightest Diamond albums, Worden contributed and toured with The Decemberists on their last album.
Richard Reed Parry
Richard Reed Parry is best known as a member of the Grammy award winning band Arcade Fire. But Parry is a man of many bands and talents. He took part in the first MusicNOW with his other band Bell Orchestre, and returned in 2009 with an original piece. In the video above, he plays with Bryce & Aaron Dessner in the lobby of Memorial Hall.
Wrote this recently after hearing Little Scream for the first time….
“I’m a sucker for a great female vocalist. And when I find one that reminds me of Joni Mitchell, it’s a huge bonus. Of course, my trust for the judgement of Secretly Canadian records being tossed into that mix make Little Scream a must listen. With a beautiful voice and an impressive list of friends and contributors, Little Scream already has the resume of an artist to look out for.”
YMusic are back for another round at MusicNOW after their first appearance last year. We took some time to interview the band before the festival last year and you can read the full transcript here
The extremely talented musician formerly known as Final Fantasy will be joining the MusicNOW festival for the first time this year. In addition to the solo albums, Pallett has contributed to albums by Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, Beirut and many many more.
Last August, Megafaun, Bon Iver and Sharon Van Etten were commissioned to perform Alan Lomax’s seminal Sounds of the South collection. And now, on Friday night of MusicNOW, Megafaun will be replicating that performance, and who knows what other musicians might be around to help out. More on Megafaun here.
And of course, The National are playing. This will be their first ‘paid’ show in Cincinnati in several years, even though it might not feel like it. Take a peek at a brand new video just unveiled today for the song “Conversation 16.”
Tickets will be on-sale Tuesday, March 15th at 10 am
More exciting news coming soon!!!