It’s been a busy year for both Cincinnati’s Frontier Folk Nebraska and Bloomington’s Mike Adams at His Honest Weight. Each have released critically lauded new albums, each has played more than a handful of raucous, energetic shows, and each have enough intelligence and attitude to last the collective facets of the genre they represent well into the new year.
While both, ostensibly, kick around in the Rock and Roll sandbox, their individual approaches work a little differently. As mentioned, each band has a sometime caustic sense of humor about them, usually never at the expense of anyone but themselves, though.
With Frontier Folk Nebraska’s newest album, Frontier F**k Nebraska, the band made one of the best local albums of the year - if not one of the best flat-out rock albums, regardless of location, of the year. Filled with their own take on a style of heart on their sleeve rock that could, very easily, come across as kitschy or ironic, there’s nothing self-parodying about what Frontier F**k Nebraska represents: a balls to the wall ode to everything great about the last 25+ years of Rock and Roll, distilled, bottled, and poured out in a cold mug on the bar. Mike Breen of CityBeat called it “...an album in the mold of Wilco’s Being There or My Morning Jacket’s Z and is not just one of the best Cincinnati-spawned LPs of the year, but one of the best Rock & Roll records you’ll hear in 2014 from anyone." I even had a few things to say about it prior to their record release show not too long ago.
Making his second trip to Cincinnati this year, Mike Adams at His Honest Weight brings an absurdly polished, highly energetic and entertaining live show that highlights all of his songwriting prowess and so-sincere-it-has-to-be-ironic (but it’s absolutely not) sensibilities. We’ve talked a bit about why he’s such an exciting performer and presence in independent music, and we stand by our assertion that whether or not you know his name, he’s made some kind of impact. If his show earlier this year is any kind of indication - and I think it’s safe to assume that it is - his live show can only have gotten better. Pulling from his latest release, Best of Boiler Room Classics, expect a set filled with shoe-gazey pop gems, clever arrangements, and hooks you want to immediately sing along with. It’s going to find itself on a few end of the year lists, mine included.
You can catch both bands this Thursday night, November 6th, at The Drinkery OTR in, you guessed it, OTR. Get there by 9:30. And did we mention that it’s free?