Thursday, April 1, 2004

Songs of the cicadas: Oh, love is in the air

By Jim Knippenberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Jake Speed of Jake Speed and the Freddies sings a track Wednesday evening at dB Sound Studio on Eastern Avenue for an upcoming cicada-themed CD featuring local musicians.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/STEVEN M. HERPPICH

Read the lyrics and listen to demos of four songs that will be on the CD. Listen now...
The high-pitched wail of 5 billion cicadas is more than six weeks away, but the song of the cicada began Wednesday when Jake Speed and the Freddies arrived at dB Recording and Sound Design to record "They're Coming."

The folksy country piece is part of the four-song CD 17 Year Itch: Mating Songs of Cincinnati USA. (Listen to a demo) It's a joint production of MidPoint Music Festival and YPCincy, the young professionals network of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

The 17-year cicadas will emerge between May 17 and 25, then spend six weeks flying around, shedding skin and trying to mate while emitting a ceaseless hum.

The CD, says project manager Bill Donabedian of MidPoint, is to promote Cincinnati's music scene, playing off Esquire's naming the city one of the nation's rockingest.

"We're trying to cover the full spectrum of music. And to do it with humor."

Jake Speed's tune is witty and hummable, though he's no cicada fan. "I moved my wedding two months to avoid them," he said.

As his song says: 17 years since they've been out,

The whole Queen City's gonna scream and shout.

The CD will also showcase The Walker Project's jazzy, New Age track called "This is Our Last Call," Abiya's hip-hopping "On Wings of Sound" and Buckra's rocking "Waited 17 Years to Party."

It will be available May 1 at and locations to be determined.


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