Cincinnati’s Best Alternative Music Spaces

A guide to finding music where you might not expect it.

The Lodge
This Masonic lodge–turned–recording-studio hosts some of the region’s sweatiest and most rocking shows—from James Leg to the Yugos—about twice a month. Just as the Masons always dreamed it would.
231 Sixth Ave., Dayton, Kentucky, (513) 476-9115,

Public Library Main Branch
Shhhh! Keep it down for the ongoing music series at the library’s downtown branch, including Jazz of the Month Club, the Cincy Library Singer-Songwriter Series, chamber music duo Ct:2, and upcoming performers care of CCM and CSO.
800 Vine St, downtown, (513) 369-6900,

Music Resource Center
The Walnut Hills nonprofit, after-school music studio for grades 7–12 hosts quarterly free showcases where the rocking teens shred on the black-box style stage. (They produce a student-run radio station, too.)
3032 Woodburn Ave., Walnut Hills, (513) 834-8304,

Chase Public
Programming at the Northside creative, collaborative, and performance space frequently includes music. “Play Your Heroes” allows singer/songwriters to showcase their inspiration, and “Dronescape // Wordscape” encourages audience members to write along to live, ambient jams—kinda like a chill freestyle sesh.
1569 Chase Ave, Suite 4, Northside,

Downtowne Listening Room
Listening experiences don’t get any cozier or distraction-free than the monthly performances by local and out-of-town folk and acoustic acts in the old Shillito’s building. (Tambourine optional.)
151 W. Seventh St., downtown,

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