Steelism Play the MidPoint Music Festival Thursday


With dozens of bands performing at the MidPoint Music Festival this weekend, even the musical cognoscenti have to be scratching their head as they look over the list and saying, “Who are all these bands?” I don’t know them all either, but one group that I have heard and that sticks out out for me is the band Steelism, who play Mr. Pitiful’s at 10:30pm on the opening night of the festival (Thursday, September 25). Their all-instrumental music has a colorful, big screen sound that calls to mind the Midnight Cowboy  theme and soundtracks by Ennio Morricone; there’s also some film noir strangeness, psychedelia, and Duane Eddy twang in there. Something different – yet very accessible. Here’s a video from the Naxhville band Steelism that climaxes with the James Bond Theme:

At MidPoint Tonight


As fate has it, the two best MidPoint artists are playing back-to-back tonight at Washington Park – Main Stage. At 7:15 a neo-soul artist named Cody ChesnuTT will take the stage. Last year’s Landing on a Hundred was a brilliant album, with great hooks, funky beats, and a touch of reggae. I transferred the album from CD to tape and then then threw it in my cassette player in my car, where it got a lot of air play. Whenever this song came on I’d roll down the window and crank the stereo so that the people who looked like they were taking life too seriously would have a brief respite from their somberness:

At 8:45pm the amazing Shuggie Otis will take over. Shuggie’s best work ranks right up there with Sly Stone. Soul and funk were woven into his dreamy pop confections, and he also played a mean guitar. The song he wrote that is most well-known – because of the Brothers Johnson hit from the 1970s – is “Strawberry Letter 23:”