Monday, July 30, 2007

Why I hate Rudolf Giuliani...

Quote from Yahoo news:
"That's what makes America great, not this nanny government that Democrats want to give us, where government controls your entire life," he said.

What kind of dumb fuck would say this about modern Democrats?!

After almost eight years of Bush at the helm, controlling every aspect of our lives, the LAST things Democrats want is a controlling government. They want the exact opposite.
Giuliani is a fucking idiot.
He's already using George Bush tactics of making up a bullshit catch phrase and I suspect he plans to repeat that phrase over and over again.

I beg you. People of the Midwest. How about for this election, do me a favor and open your goddam eyes for once. If you're a farmer: Republicans don't give a shit about you. So this time don't vote for them just because you hate gay people or something.

If you're a factory worker, remember how Goerge Bush sold you out and left you without a job a couple years ago? Remember how your factories shut down all across Ohio? So don't vote for a Republican just because you think abortion is bad or you want to smoke cigarettes in hospitals.

This election, how about we all sit down and get informed. Maybe read a newspaper. Turn off the fucking TV news. Use a little more insight and see what actually affects you as a realistic human being.
Giuliani is going to scare you into thinking Democrats plan to raise taxes until you're broke. He's going to claim to lower taxes instead. That's horse shit.
Get informed.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Toledo Indie Pop Festival - This weekend

From the Toledo City Paper:
In just its second year, this homegrown, grassroots festival has picked up a lot of steam, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Held in the indie rock incubator of Mickey Finn’s, the Toledo Indie Pop Festival is a musical melting pot of the regions best. Organized and hosted by local ‘indie pop’ band, The Hat Company, the TIP Fest this year will feature such popular favorites as His Name is Alive, The Hard Lessons, The Homeville Circle, The Antivillains, New Grenada, Frontier Ruckus, Paper Airplane, Stylex, Radio Free Roscoe and a whole tone more. Spread over two days, you’ve got a smorgasbord of quality rock ‘n’ roll to make a whole weekend of. Get your tickets, dress to impress and ‘see and be scene.’
Details at
Mickey Finn’s Pub, 602 Lagrange. 6 p.m. $15/day, $20/weekend.

My take is that the Toledo Indie Pop Festival, may be a great thing for the region, but the guys who run it are missing the point a bit. They told me in a past interview that the festival was all about showcasing great unknown bands to Toledo audiences. Then you look at the line up and you realize that they dropped the ball. Most of the bands that already do well in Toledo have the prime spots (Stylex, Bears, The Hard Lessons) and all the great bands people may never have seen before are delegated to day time slots - times before any music fans will arrive. Kinda seems like these shows are nothing different than you might see any other weekend when Stylex plays at Mickey Finns, except they have seven other opening bands. At least PWAH favorites Arrah and the Ferns got a good spot. (UPDATE: OK, so I've heard that the festival went pretty well. Perhaps I was a little hard on the organizers. But let's keep in mind that things could definitely be run smoother in 2008. Changing band schedules a day before the festival is pretty lame. But I also thank them for focusing on indie pop. No one else does.)

The Schedule:

Friday, July 27 *Main Stage*
7:00 Radio Free Roscoe
7:30 Paper Airplane
8:15 This Story
9:00 Kiddo
9:45 Afternoon Naps
10:30 Red Pony Clock
11:15 Bears
12:00 Stylex
1:00 Pony Up!

Saturday, July 28 *Outdoor Stage*
6:00 Daniel Strange
6:30 The Anti-Villains

Saturday, July 28 *Main Stage*
7:00 The Homeville Circle
7:40 Patience Please
8:25 The Hat Company
9:00 Frontier Ruckus
9:45 Brown Recluse Sings
10:30 Zoos of Berlin
11:15 Arrah and the Ferns
12:00 His Name Is Alive
1:00 The Hard Lessons

Spotlight: Cincinnati's Harlequins

For those who have yet to read my article on the "Cincinnati Sound," check it out again. Because in every music scene, as the years go by, there are musicians who get older and stop playing and younger musicians who pick up their guitars and start something entirely new.
If you look at the British rock scene, something similar has happened. All the Oasis bands gave way to the Arctic Monkeys/Fratellis/ect. sound. It's based more on vocals, chock full of lyrics, and a lot of dynamic melodies. Dare I say: Beatlesque.
So when I relate those types of changes to Cincinnati's music scene, I mark newcomers Harlequins as the creators of a new local style. Much like other newcomers Bad Veins, both bands share a unique vocal style similar to the new British sound. But where the Harlequins differ drastically is in songwriting. The songs are incredibly direct, distinct and VERY well-written. There is no emo here.
This Saturday the band performs its first Girls and Boys DJ event at the Decibel Lounge (formerly Alchemize).
I recently asked Harlequins' front man/guitarist/singer Michael Oliva about the band's origins and how they stumbled upon their niche:

PWAH: Are all you guys from Cincy originally? If not, where? I'm getting the feeling that a new element is forming in the Cincinnati Sound these days from younger musicians. It's more of an 80s synth sound, mixed with a 90s British sound, mixed with an Interpol sound.
MO: Well I was born in Boston and moved to Cinci when I was six. I went to Boston about once a year growing up, and I've always kind of favored the blunt, brutally honest vibe of the east coast, which might come out in our music. I'm pretty sure our drummer Todd (Spice) has lived here all his life, but I know Alex (Stenard) our bass player has lived all over the place.

PWAH: What influences helped you come up with the music you guys are making now? What sound are you actually going for?
MO: Soul Coughing, Talking Heads, The Beatles, The Pixies, Frank Sinatra, & The Dissociatives. Sometimes we are compared to The Strokes (who's first two albums I loved). But honestly, the low barritone I do is more an homage to Frank and the Rat Pack style of singing. I love crooners, rather than the Lou Reed barritone that The Strokes are known for. Our sound is basically pop rock in it's truest form. We really take the time to write pop songs, but GOOD pop songs. Pop ain't a bad thing. We want to remind people that. Call us, "lounge fly, pop, grunge" I guess. Haha.

PWAH: What are some bands you guys enjoy in Cincinnati and/or the Midwest? The most unknown the better.
MO: To be honest I'm not super familiar with a lot of the Cinci bands. Basically because I live in my own head and don't get out much. I think a lot of musicians when they first start out kind of take that cynical, "There's no good bands in my town and we want to be the first" approach. I think it's neccessary to have that mindset to write creative, original music (only at first). But once we started playing around a lot I've begun to realize the talent Cinci has. I enjoy the Heartless Bastards a lot. Also, there was a really cool band we met the other week at The Madfrog when we played a show together. Their called Psylum. Good stuff.

PWAH: When you think of Cincinnati rock, what bands do you think of or what type of rock do you think of?
MO: When I think of the Cinci music scene I don't really think of one band or one definite sound. The cool thing about it, that I've seen, is how different all the bands are. You've got indie bands like Heartless Bastards and Cari Clara. You've got psychedelic bands like Buffalo Killers, and then a lot of good blues and bluegrass/jam bands like The Rumpky Mountain Boys. I think it's a very groovy eclectic scene, and so far I haven't seen another band like us which is also rad. In my opinion we're still babies on the scene, and we'll learn to change our own diapers soon enough, but for now, we're just enjoying being a part of a big, eclectic music scene.

PWAH: Any upcoming shows, or recordings you are leading up toward?
MO: Right now we're getting ready to play Girls & Boys nite at Alchemize. It should be an interesting show, our bass player is in a wedding at Cali and it will just be me and Todd. We'll probably do an acoustic set and rape the vocals with reverb, echo and the bunnymen style, and just have a ball. Then August 10th we'll be playing at the madfrog and so far thats the last show we have booked until after August. I'll be in Chicago from mid-late August for my sisters wedding. Its the summer of love, eh?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


As an Ohioan I'm still ashamed of our President.
Back to your regularly scheduled music shit.

Rosa Records finds the needles in the haystacks

I recently learned about a label out of the Netherlands called Rosa Records that put out the new Wheels on Fire (Athens, Ohio) CD. They also helped out Columbus' Two Cow Garage. So that made me think: How the hell does a label all the out in the Netherlands hear about two independent Ohio bands??!!
So I asked them (never mind his slight broken English):

Two Cow Garage were already one on tour and they released 2 albums over here..Wheels On Fire is on the Rosa label … both bands are fuckin' great … If you are a long time in business you know a lot of people … Two Cow Garage brought to us by Brent Best and Wheels of Fire by Teddy Morgan … Two good friends of us and also great artists.Keep in touch your interesting...

Robbie K Rosa

I thought it was cool that he pointed out that the picture I use for the People with Animal Heads Myspace site, is also made by the same artist who did the picture for the new Steve Earl album. I just like the Chicago-area artist who created the image. I guess Steve Earle did too.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Man, I've been checking around all the music sites I usually check and there has been nothing for weeks at 90 percent. No one is updating anything. Most haven't been updated for a month. Jesus, people... step it up.

Anyway, just an update that there will be an interview with a great new band out of Cincinnati coming soon. I may also post something on the upcoming Toledo Indie Pop Festival. I was glad to see some bands I didn't expect to be performing. Stylex is one that I'm stoked about. Hopefully the concert gets some attention regionally, because the indie pop scene is pretty dead the more north you go. I've been hearing of some small pop scenes growing in Detroit, some experimental scenes growing in Chicago, Cleveland always has the Bears and Machine Go Boom! (but that's kinda it). The idea of the festival is to show outsiders what is so great about the music of indie pop. Hopefully some folks go to the concerts and walk away new fans.

I also have an update on my "Noise in the Midwest" article I've been writing about experimental/noise rock being made in the region. It's really coming along nicely. It's also started to take more of a shape I didn't expect, much more organized. It's almost done. I've spent the past 4 months writing it, talking to different musicians and labels that help promote genre regionally. I think a lot of people will get some great information from it and a deeper understanding of why people love making noise.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Toledo Shambling: Homeville Circle

Toledo Ohio's Homeville Circle recently released it's first CD "Midwestern Shambling."
Here is what songwriter Justin Longacre had to say about it. I thought that it was great that a band actually put some thought into "Creating a New Sound." There needs to be more of that. If I hear one more bawls out rock song about getting drunk, I could go insane.

What the Midwest Told Us:

Midwestern Shambling is a document of The Homeville Circle's first year as a band, and the inkling of a pretend genre. My goal is to make an indigenous Midwestern music that conveys a sense of place. The sound of the landscape; broken down barns, abandoned factories, rusted out machines, rolling farmlands crashing against the ruins of cities and endless suburbs. To this end, I didn't want to sound particularly old-timey, or any-timey for that matter. I'm not interested in reenactment or nostalgia for some idealized "more authentic" past, but rather the revelation of a past-haunted present. I wanted to sound like a bunch of kids after the turn of the millennium who grew up steeped in the artifacts of a defunct culture, a culture plundered by successive disappointments in agriculture and industry. This is the sound of wading in those artifacts.
If everything is broken, anything is up for grabs. Songs are culled from fragments of antique postcards (John and Sadie), World War II relics brought home by grandparents (Gerdy Versus the Luftwaffe), prohibition era newsflashes (Bloodmoon), or stories half-remembered and carried from the Great Migration (Dark Holler). The instruments were found on the roadside (air organ), saved from dumpsters (banjo), discovered in grandparents' garages (Justin's guitar and amp) or assembled from fragments of other broken instruments (Sam's guitar and bass). The sounds themselves are derelict assemblages of genre and era. Cobwebbed ballads drift into speakeasy jitterbugs or post-industrial guitar mess or thrift-store pop or lurid garage-psych swagger.
I call it "Midwestern Shambling," and these are our first attempts at it. There are 100 copies, each with a different actual antique photograph from this area. There will be no more made, ever. Ultimately, this was an exercise in exploiting our limitations. Limitations in geography, economy, skill and number. I couldn't always make the sounds I wanted to, so I made the sounds I could. Mandolins were substituted for horns, air-organs for accordions, the voice I had for the voice I wanted. Some of those limitations have since been done away with. As a result, we have no delusions about this recording. We think of it as a thing we had in our basement, which someone may or may not be interested in, like an old vase or musty couch or box of figurines at a garage sale. A collection of oddities we really don't know much about either, and whose worth we are unsure of ourselves ("how about five bucks?")
I hope you will also join us for the upcoming LP "Moths and Rust," which posits a new Great Migration/Great Awakening and further explores the ramshackle hymnody at which I have been hinting. If you have seen us live lately, you know that Dan Rock, Sam Pilbeam and I will be joined by multi-instrumentalist songwriters and genuinely good dudes Kevin Clark (banjo, organs, guitars and mandolin) and Paul Zink (accordion, trumpet, singing saw and banjo) and a multitude of guests.
Thank you for listening,
Justin Longacre

Chi-town, this isn't 1968.

Another Myspace-pulled piece of info, courtesy of Aleks and The Drummer:

Chicago po-lice shutting down private parties?

Thursday, July 19, 2007 Returning To The Dial In Cincinnati

From WOXY's The Futurist blog (found in my links to the right):

That’s right, folks. We’ve been working on this for some time now, but it’s finally time to let the cat out of the bag. Through a unique partnership with Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU, you’ll soon be able to pick up on the second multicast channel of WVXU once it transitions to HD Radio in August!
Once you have an HD Radio receiver, you’ll be able to pick up our live broadcast 24/7 on WVXU HD2 anywhere within WVXU’s coverage area. Yup, will rock your car once again.
We’re all incredibly excited about being back on-the-air in the Tri-State and will be posting more info soon on what to expect and the best places to pick up an HD Radio receiver.

Pass it on...

(UPDATE: PSSST! It's been canceled forever because too many douchebags always show up and eat 30 tacos and spill beer down their gullets like pigs. The organizers hoped people would be a bit more mature about offering free tacos and beer. Now they just think it's become a symbol of gluttony. Way to ruin a great thing, people.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

All Hail Records gains momentum

Columbus, Ohio's All Hail Records recently announced the release of two new CDs by experimental pop bands Paper Airplane (out of Cincy) and Take No Damage (Columbus) this week. I think both releases hopefully show that more attention is being paid to bands that can actually write songs. In case anyone doesn't know, it's near impossible for indie pop bands to get any help from labels these days.
I recently talked to Regis Duffy, co-owner of All Hail Records, who provided some insight into what the label's overall plans are.

PWAH: How did All Hail come together and what do you hope the label's focus will be?

Regis: Both of us (editor's note: He and co-owner Tony Clark) played in a god-awful punk band together in high school called Yuri's Fury. Back then, we used to joke around about starting a record label once we got out of school, but it was something we didn't consider seriously. We decided to form the label about a year ago after realizing that we were already dedicating a lot of time to promoting music projects and we might as well take it to the next level. We plan on making our focus GOOD and INTERESTING music, as generic as that sounds. We don't want to get stuck in any genre or mode in particular, we just want to put out records that we find that we like and think people need to hear.

PWAH: In the world of indie pop, it is VERY difficult for bands to get label attention. What drew you to experimental pop bands like Paper Airplane and Take No Damage?

Regis: I'm glad you find the music interesting, that's one thing we hope people can say with every release we put out. We were drawn to those bands because they both stand out on their own. There's not really any other bands around that sound like Paper Airplane or Take No Damage, they both definitely have their own signature style, which is one of the things we look for most in a new band. Paper Airplane had been playing around Ohio for a while, and we were surprised they hadn't been snatched up by a Midwest label sooner, so we were more than happy to be able to release their new record, "Middlemarch." Those guys (and girl) are all great musicians, and all of their songs are incredibly poppy, but end up going in different directions than you'd think they would. Take No Damage is a newer group that started as a studio project and evolved into a full band. Their record, "Mushroom Clouds and Silver Linings" doesn't sound anything like Paper Airplane's, but they're similar in the sense that they are both pop albums in essence, only dressed up in completely different and original ways.

PWAH: How do you hope All Hail Records will stand out as a label in Ohio or in the nation? Where do you hope to take it?

Regis: Our goal is to make All Hail stand out by simply keeping things interesting. People aren't going to check out stuff on our label because they're into garage rock and we're a garage rock label, or because they like Swedish fantasy metal and we're a Swedish fantasy metal label. We want people to want to check our stuff out because they'll know that even if what they hear isn't something they know of or even normally listen to, it's at least something well put together that will hold their attention. We just hope that people will learn to count on us for putting out records that they can tell people really care about and put a lot into. Beyond that, we hope to keep growing and eventually get some larger distribution and see how far we can take this thing. We've got four records out so far, and the new Speak Easy record is going to be put on the All Hail web site for free download in the next month or so, so we just hope to keep the momentum going.

Friday, July 13, 2007

From Paste Magazine:
Shake It Records mocks Rock Hall...again
Writer: Austin L. Ray
Published online on 12 Jul 2007

Ah, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A place where true musical visionaries and legends get their due. The Velvet Underground. Neil Young. Sly and the Family Stone. Johnny Cash. Patti Smith. The list goes on and on. And yet, have you ever sat back and wondered why certain artists are allowed to share such hallowed space with the above untouchables? The folks at Shake It Records in Cincinnati, Ohio (located, according to Google Maps, just four hours and four minutes to the southwest of the Hall) sure have, and they're not gonna take it anymore:
"...the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is fraud, wrapped in a lie, folded into a sham, and baked in political glad-hand/back-scratch re-around crock pot of crap," reads a post from a store representative on Chunklet magazine's blog. But more than just talking the talk, Shake It plans to do the same thing it does every year. Thusly, the 2007 Shake It Rawk n' Roll Hall of Fame Induction/Deduction Ceremony will be held on August 14 at Shake It HQ. Votes are now being tallied for who should get added (artists and bands the Hall would never honor, natch) and yanked out (artists and bands that don't deserve the status). But lest you can't make the trip to the home of Reds baseball for the shindig, you can vote at the above-linked Chunklet post. It's time to take the power back.

Who do you recommend/Spotlight:
Deric from Chicago's Aleks and The Drummer

Chicago's Aleks and The Drummer are definitely not a band you have heard before. Their sound is wholeheartedly unique and inspiring. Singer/keyboardist Aleks Andra Tomaszewska perform music so intricate and interesting that you can be left a bit speechless. Someone in Ohio needs to book a show with this band so I can check them out. Liz Armstrong, writer for the Chicago Reader had rave reviews for the band in August 2006, writing: "This local duo is one of an apparently dwindling number of bands gutsy and straightforward enough not to hide behind outfits or effect pedals or laptops. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but it's always worth watching. Aleksandra Tomaszewska sings deadpan and wobbly, often in her native Polish, and it's like she just has to or her chest will burst; she scribbles her fingers over a Farfisa and occasionally barks orders at the Drummer (aka Deric Criss), mostly to tell him to slow down. Their Gypsy emo is in the spirit of Victorian high drama."
I love the sound of this. Deric also referred me to this link of a review for their band: HERE

Deric helped us out with his recommendations for getting to know Chicago indie bands:
"Hey yeah this is the drummer, not the dreamy polish girl. I like a lot of the kickass 'indie rock' with guitar bands from Chicago that everybody else talks about so I'm just going to skip them for this list:
I like All the Creatures of the Sea who are so underground they haven't played live yet but can be found in our friends. Somebody needs to encourage them to leave the recording compound once in a while. Two multitalented guys in a playland of sounds.
I like the Cool Kids, this hip-hop group that is, how you say, blowing up.
I like the Fake Fictions, a really cool pop band. But not so much that sugar prevails. They keep it in your face just enough. Your teeth are safe. Plus they're married now, and so very cute.
I like the Chandeliers who are a drummer and a number of keyboardists that I never remember the count. 3, 4, 5? I don't remember. But when they are on, I geek out in a drummerly kind of way. I love it when they do their changes.
I like Brilliant Pebbles with Monika the singer/acrobat, who is Aleks' cousin. Her voice rises, drops, howls, moans, and then spits out your eyes. Phillip is an amazing drummer and thats a very important thing.
I like Brenmar, the young master. Tosses samples, noise, drums, effects, synthesizers together until somebody almost dies. It never sounds "pretty" which happens to way too many people in electronic situations but its never just like a guy sticking a microphone in the microwave, and recording it until it explodes. which is a pretty cool idea actually.
Eh, don't want to paragraph any more. Here's a few more to check out:
Plastic Crimewave Sound (psychedelic maelstrom), Mucca Pazza (scarily impressive marching band, best seen live, confrontational) White/Lichens (totally inventive guitar with drones as a foundation) Golden Birthday (pretty new band, maybe a bit of an 80s/Joy Division, Brian Eno pop songs, Velvet Underground territory?) Lazer Crystal, Pit Er Pat, Velcro Lewis, Arks, Sally, Spires That In The Sunset Rise, LMNOP, Bird Names, Rotten Milk, Scalpels, Waterbabies, Lord of the Yum-Yum, Josephine Foster, The Pussy Pirates, The Coughs, The Rories, Tirra Lirra, Perfect Panther, The Unborn Whores of the Universe(I just made that one up)... I don't know I'm forgetting a lot of stuff I shouldn't. Plus I think I threw in a couple of those indie guitar bands at the end."
(Editor's note: I swear I will try to make links to all of these bands he has mentioned, but it'll take a while! He provided a great jumping off point for a lot of cool underground things going on in Chicago.)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Some Cincinnati musicians are having a discussion on the Dayton music scene. Hopefully the discussion keeps going. (UPDATE: Um, no, it pretty much stopped dead in its tracks.)

Spanish Prisoners on tour

Leo Maymind of Columbus Ohio's Spanish Prisoners dropped a line that he is currently on tour, heading out east to New York and back. The trip is in celebration of his new CD "Songs to Forget" showcasing his unique brand of indie folk pop, created with various homespun instruments. Maymond's music recalls that sound which is currently going on in some Indiana scenes, such as Muncie/Bloomington. Check him out. And for fans of his music, check out my past articles on the Indiana music scene to hear more great music.

The Larry's Legacy

I don't know why I'm on such a Columbus, Ohio kick lately but I was glad to read this article in The Other Paper here.
Larry's Bar has always been a great tradition in Columbus. I was in there many many times. Once Mike Rep was talking about the rumors that Bob Dylan used to live in one of the upstairs apartments for a while during the 1960s. He said that it's possible, but it was more likely that Phil Ochs lived there, because Ochs attended Ohio State. Dylan and Ochs were friends to a certain degree, so Dylan may have stayed over on occasion.
Read more on the history of Larry's.
I've found it interesting that local legend Don B (a large seemingly homeless local legend, who enjoys forcing bands to play the theme to "Batman" or "Louie, Louie") has switched from being a regular at Bernies to being a regular at Larry's.
When I was at Ohio State I heard that Larry's was a gay bar all the time. When I was taking creative writing classes, my professors would take us there and explain that the "gay" moniker was total hogwash. Then they'd buy us all a porter and want to discuss "The Crying of Lot 49."
Although it pains me to think of Ohio State football fight songs being played in Larry's. That shit belongs at Buckeye Donuts.
(UPDATE: I went to Columbus over the weekend to go to Used Kids Records and realized why they have been talking about Larry's. After that GIGANTIC version of BW3s opened at the corner of Lane and High, the former building (located next to Larry's) was completely demolished. It's kinda left Larry's looking all alone there. It's pretty sad to see. Maybe they will take the concrete out and put up a little grassy area. That'd be cool.)

Robbers on High remind me of something...

Normally I would not write about Robbers on High Street, for the mere fact that they are from New York and not the Midwest. But I recently attended their show at Columbus' The Basement w/ The Red Walls (Chicago) and Paper Airplane (Cincinnati).
I really like the band a lot, but was surprised at how different their sound was from what I expected it to be. Hearing their music on Sirius Satellite Radio over the years I pegged them as a more interesting version of The Sun - more of a jagged disjointed rock. But live they are really more of a laid back Beatlesque pop band that write VERY interesting melodies. I ended up liking them more than I thought. The Red Walls? Eh. Great band, but rather cheesy and you get the feeling they write songs by cut and paste method, using 1960s hits.
So the reason I bring Robbers on High Street up is because I talked to the guitarist and drummer after the show and learned they were going to be doing a Daytrotter recording session while on tour. Stayed tuned because I plan to do a whole write up on what Daytrotter is all about. It's a VERY good thing. And it's only in the Midwest.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Magic (in between) Cities

The throw back girl vikings in Magic City have announced they are breaking up. So soon? Yes.
Songwriter Karen Graves (recently named one of Ohio's best music critics by a Cleveland press organization for her work with The Other Paper) is apparently skipping town for New York. So maybe she'll start something up over there?
Until then, the group plans one last show for Thursday July 12 at Columbus' Surly Girl Saloon starting at 10 p.m.

Who do you recommend?
Micheal Bond of Coltrane Motion

He said:
Obviously, my list is going to be a bit slanted towards my tastes, but anyway...
Devin Davis
The 1900s
Walter Meego
Le Concorde
Pit er Pat
Michael Columbia
Aleks & the drummer

"It's tilted towards indiepop, electro and girls w/ farfisas, but still.. and if you like hip-hop, be sure to check out
Chocolate Industries and Hefty Recs - two small labels that have been doing great things for a while now," Bond said.
(editor's note: I plan on adding in links as I find them...keep checking back)

Spotlight: Coltrane Motion

Every now and then I take a look back through my email inbox and realize I'm a complete idiot. Sometimes I read emails and it doesn't register. Months later I see them again - for the first time.
I realized I planned to do an article on the Chicago-via-Cincinnati's Coltrane Motion.
So let's do it now!
I'm a day late and a dollar short, but the band released its newest CD "Songs About Music" in May to some rave reviews. The group is an electronic indie rock band that toured this summer on the heels of the release.
I specifically wanted to talk to the group because they came from Ohio and hit the Chicago music scene. I'm curious how a band goes from playing Northside Tavern and trying to find its own Northside Tavern in a new city. I think they succeeded.
Some of their best advice for getting to know the city by the lake:
"Honestly, the best way to keep on top of things is to go to Empty Bottle site and check out who they've got playing - those guys have pretty fantastic tastes and keep way on top of the local scene," multi-instrumentalist Michael Bond said.
Get to know them:
Coltrane Motion
Their Myspace
Their label, Datawaslost

Midpoint 2007 bands so far...

Just to save you all some time, here is the current Midpoint Music Fest 2007 band list so far:


I'm really liking the inclusion of Beard of Stars, Buckra, Cari Clara, Church of the Red Museum, Coltrane Motion, earwig, Ellery, Fairmont Girls, for algernon, the Lions Rampant, Paper Airplane, Peter Adams, The Receiver, Southeast Engine, and Wussy. Should be some nice line ups, if any of these bands get hooked up together on good nights.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Swift meet Wilco: Skip off into the sunset

This is the type of stuff I like to see.
From CMJ:

California crooner Richard Swift (of PWAH favorite: Indiana's Secretly Canadian label) is set to embark on a month-long, North American tour, garnering a highly coveted slot opening for Wilco, whom the songwriter met while recording a session for the BBC program Later...With Jools Holland on the same day as the band. Swift is currently on the road in support of "Dressed Up For the Letdown" (Secretly Canadian), while simultaneously busy working on a debut release for his ambient, electronica side project, the Instruments of Science & Technology. Swift and Wilco will end the slew of dates with two nights at Denver's Fillmore Auditorium. (It's just too bad that people as talented as Swift have to freaking have a nervous breakdown before people starting paying attention to their art)

Tour Dates For Richard Swift:
08/14 - Duluth, MN - Bayfront Festival Park*
08/15 - Winnipeg, MB - Burton Cummings Theatre*
08/17 - Calgary, AB - Southern Albert Jubillee Auditorium*
08/18 - Edmonton, AB - Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium*
08/21 - Redmond, WA - Marymoor Amphitheatre*
08/22 - Troutdale, OR - Edgefield*
08/24 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre*
08/27 - San Diego, CA - SDSU Open Air Theatre*
08/29 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre*
09/01 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium*
09/02 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium*
* with Wilco

Little Brothers, little hope

The end of an era has finally come. The recent demise of Columbus, Ohio's Little Brothers concert venue has set a precedent for change. Midsize concert venues are gonna go the way of the Dodo.
The legend of this Columbus rock staple began in the 1980s when music lover/owner Dan Dougan started up Staches just off of the Ohio State campus on High Street.
The venue, was known for its obscenely low ceiling and obscenely high level of indie rock bands who performed there: Nirvana, Pavement, Guided by Voices, etc., etc.
Much like Toledo's Frankies, it was regarded as a local hub of budding indie rock stars.
By the mid-90s Staches was forced to close and Dougan took up his marching band stick and forged ahead. It led to the grand opening of Little Brothers, located much further down High Street on the opposite end of town.
The bar had some really good years, which soon dissipated into some rather low years. I can recall seeing packed national shows over and over again in the late 90s to early 2000. But more recently shows I assumed would be packed only turned up attracting 10 to 20 people. Even Brian Jonestown Massacre's draw was sub-par.
I'm not sure what is happening to Columbus music fans, but they don't seem to be paying attention anymore to the national indie rock scene. The musicians themselves pay attention, but the Everyman on the street is still stuck on John Mayer.
It doesn't help that indie rock shows that once cost $15 have gone up to $35, and that CDs that once cost $11 are now up as high as $20.
It's also a lot easier to just sit at home and judge bands, instead of going out and dealing with all the douchebags who spill beer on one another.
Still, it is sad to see Little Brothers go. Now Columbus music goers are left with the Ravari Room, The Basement, The Newport and Skully's. Meanwhile, the Carabar is trying real hard to become the next Staches. But that'll be tough to do with no music fans anymore.
For the time being check out Little Brothers on-line to find out how to buy artifacts from the bar. Whoever shells out the cash for the old Staches sign, I applaud you.
(Editor's note: There has since been an update by The Other Paper, how the owners of Cafe Bourbon Street are looking to acrry on the Little Brother torch and re-open shop. My take on it is that they should let sleeping dogs lie.)