I’m not sure if there’s anything more frustrating than discovering after the fact that a musician came to town who you would have seen if only you’d known…Often the surprise element comes because you hadn’t dialed in some venues that bring in names that you wouldn’t expect in such a small venue – and as you know, those are often the best concerts. There are two clubs you especially have to watch out for that are close to Clifton – one neighborhood away, basically, although in different directions. One is MotrPub, which is a newer club in Over the Rhine. I’m surprised at how many people I run into who don’t know that club exists, so here are some basics: it’s located at 1345 Main Street, it has music almost every night, and along with hosting everything from the most popular to the most unknown local bands it brings in some national acts; off the type of my head, Richard Buckner and Akron/Family come to mind as artists who have performed there and who have been getting some national press.
Also keep in mind Mayday in Northside. Located at 4227 Spring Grove Avenue, Mayday was called the Gypsy Hut in a recent incarnation. You never know who will play Mayday – I recently saw a great set there by The War on Drugs, and now Sharon Van Etten is slated to perform there on April 27. If you don’t know who Van Etten is, I recommend checking out a couple videos before she hits town, because otherwise you could end up kicking yourself later for missing one of those special concerts at an intimate venue. A nice voice, well-crafted songs, and a unique sound that will appeal especially to those who prefer their songs on the dark side.