The inaugural MOTR Pub Halloween Celebration: Back-to-back-to-back nights with music from three of Cincinnati’s finest original bands
Night One: the Tillers
Date: Friday, October 29, 2010
Time: 10 p.m. and midnight (two sets)
Night Two: Wussy CD-release show for “This Will Not End Well”
Date: Saturday, October 30, 2010
Time: 11 p.m.
Night Three: the Pinstripes with the Drastics
Date: Sunday, October 31, 2010
Time: 9 p.m.
MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio; 513-381-6687
Tickets: all shows at MOTR Pub FREE, 21-and-up and well-produced
about The Tillers:
from “Tom Brokaw Presents American Character Along Highway 50”:
The men behind The Tillers – frontman Mike Oberst, guitarist Sean Geil and bassist Jason Soudrette – might be young, but their music has roots that run deep. They describe it as “American Folk or old time depression music,” and their timeless songs don’t just hearken back to an earlier time, they speak to a new generation of Americans – the kind who weren’t necessarily around for the Great Depression, but who have a strong sense of history and perhaps some experience of their own with hard times.
Like much of the music they favor, The Tillers’ “There is a Road (Route 50),” written by Oberst, invokes a classic American theme, in this case historic Highway 50. This route that has, as The Tillers sing, “carved her name on America’s chest,” is a road Oberst knows well: he has been living in Ohio on Route 50 all his life, can trace his family roots along the road back to 1828, and his grandfather even helped pave the road.
But while the band has an appreciation of the past, they are acutely aware of the sometimes unpleasant realities of today’s world too – no one more so than Soudrette, a machinist by trade for a company that supplies General Motors, who is justifiably anxious about the current economic crisis and the danger it poses to his day job.
In their lives, and in their music, all three band members embrace a return to simplicity, a longing for freedom, and hope for the future. It is fitting then that these American Characters would devote a song to Highway 50, a road that, like the country it traverses, has seen its share of hardship and history and still keeps pressing forward.
from Robert Christgau’s Consumer Guide:
From their records I know this great couple band nobody’s heard of to be mordant, obsessive, desperate. But having caught them live in Manhattan last year, I also know them to be urgent, funny, companionable. To be clear, they’re a two-male, two-female quartet, but only grizzled fat Chuck Cleaver and lissome tattooed Lisa Walker are a couple. What’s worrisome is that if I’m to take their latest songs autobiographically, which is hard to resist after that show, I should say they’re a couple-I-hope, not just because I want them to keep making records but because I liked them together–and because this is as brutal a relationship album as Richard & Linda Thompson’s Shoot Out the Lights. It starts with a miserable reunion, gets bleaker, sets the tone for its upful moments with the lively “Happiness Bleeds,” and keeps on bleeding till a spare, funereal closer with the ominous title “Las Vegas.” But there’s also good news. With Walker’s soprano simultaneously reasonable and fraught, Cleaver’s rough tenor spooked by Appalachian Cincinnati, their country-drone guitars and locked-in rhythm section never give up, not even on the slow ones. There’s hurt there always. But no discernible hate. A
Throw out all the standard Rock crit hoohah; the Cincinnati sextet takes the raw ingredients of Studio One Reggae, first-, second- and third-generation Ska and an absolute flawless sense of Soul, seeds it, stems it and rolls it into an enormous spliff that’s nothing short of pure, unadulterated exhilaration. You can tell that the Pinstripes are having an absolute stratospheric blast every time they’re on stage together and they transfer that feeling of unrestrained joy to the audience with an almost casual effort. But make no mistake; the Pinstripes are working overtime to generate that joy, and the work shows through every bit as clearly as the play. The band knows its shit and executes it with tighter-than-a-Republican’s-ass marching band precision but with swing and swagger to spare. If the Pinstripes are playing, you want to be there.