Queen City

Queen City Soundtrack

Does Cincinnati have a sound? We talk to local musicians, find out where you can see the hottest acts, and introduce you to the next big thing in the worlds of rock, pop, jazz, classical, bluegrass, hip-hop, and more.

By Kevin Schultz, Garin Pirnia, Gil Kaufman, Justin Williams, John Fox, Brian Baker, Katie Coburn, Kaileigh Peyton, Cedric Rose, and Amanda Boyd Walters

Cincinnati’s Best Record Stores

Buying music the way God intended it.

The Female-Fronted Punk Band Leggy is Our Next Big Musical Export

This trio of long-time friends is hoping to make it big time, but no matter what, one thing is obvious: You can't take the Northside out of the band.

Bootsy Collins Is Still Rock and Roll Royalty

And whether you realize it or not, the legendarily outrageous, endlessly enthusiastic, sartorially sensational godfather of funk is unquestionably the Queen City’s musical ambassador.

When the Queen City was King: Our Music History

That forlorn, graffiti-covered brick building in Evanston visible from I-71 was once home to King Records, which launched the career of James Brown and put Cincinnati on the map as a key birthplace of rock and roll.

Chuck Cleaver Still Has Something to Say

The Wussy frontman hopes you like it. He doesn't much care if you don't.

Cincinnati’s Best Non-Ticketed Music Venues

These are the places you can catch compelling national acts and an endless supply of impressive locals. No ticket required.

Four Champions of Local and Indie Music

WNKU is gone (RIP) but great local radio is still out there.

Cincinnati’s Best Music Festivals

Bunbury is still headlining, but we've got an assortment of lesser-known gems, too.

Cincinnati’s Best Ticketed Venues

These places are worth the price of admission.

Cincinnati’s Best Music Institutions

It’s not all sex, drugs, and rock and roll. These are the best schools and organizations for music in the city.

Cincinnati’s Best Alternative Music Spaces

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

Editor’s Letter, April 2018: Music Is Everywhere

Cincinnati might not be Music City USA, but our history is intertwined with musical milestones.

A Ranking of the City’s Hipster-Studded Lineup

Cincinnati’s favorite expat band The National is set to pack its hometown with an array of indie tunes and evocative art this month. If the band’s vibe is just esoteric enough for your mainstream-averse taste, then this hipster-studded lineup is sure to tickle your bespoke, artisinal fancy.

Your Backstage Pass to Life as a Local Musician

The idea of anyone working this hard just to keep their literal and metaphorical van chugging toward a dream that may never come true—it’s almost romantic.

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