Friday, March 28, 2008


I had planned to get a hold of Kyle Sowash for an interview, in celebration of his new release "Yeah, Buddy!"
But I never got the time this week.
So instead, I urge the folks in Columbus to support this fine musician for his CD release show, being held tonight (Friday 3/28) at Andyman's Treehouse with Miranda Sound and Heavy Mole.
The songs I have heard so far on this new release are excellent. I think Sowash has refined his voice and songwriting into a unique blend of pure honesty and heart. Both of which are found on "Yeah, Buddy!" in spades.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Toledo film student documents midwestern talent

Toledo, Ohio student filmaker Nathan Elias has been busy documenting musicians across the state.
Check out an interview with him in this article from Toledo University's Independent Collegian newspaper.
Learn more about Elias at:
Cinema Musica
Wishing Day Pictures

Get to know your Midwest record label:
Cleveland's Exit Stencil Recording

While the Ohio indie music scene is pretty thriving right now. There really are a scant few regional record labels documenting things. But the ones that are, do a goddam good job of it.
My enjoyment for Columbus label All Hail Records has been mentioned in the past.
I'd like to talk about another label, with a richer history, that continues making strides forward every year.
Cleveland's Exit Stencil Recording label consistently makes great choices while continually expanding its stable of bands. What I appreciate about the label is it's knack for finding musicians who make unique twists into established genres. Whether it's Blake Miller's abstract harmonies, The Dreadful Yawns beautiful take on psychedelic folk, or recent signees Hot Cha Cha's take on a punkish french rock thing.
Exit Stencil's Ryan Weitzel helped out by answering a few question into the story behind the label:

PEOPLE WITH ANIMAL HEADS: What are some things you look for in bands? I guess this question sort of pertains to the "sound" you hope your label represents...
RYAN WEITZEL: I'm not sure there is one particular thing that goes into it. Usually there is someone that really gets behind it and sort of serves as a cheerleader for everyone else. But in general when we are deciding whether or not to work with a group or person we all make the call based on first and foremost liking the music. Beyond that we're interested in working with folks that are on the same page with us, as in we get along. We're a small label, so it's important to us that the artist understands what we can offer to them and that they in turn are ready to work at getting on the road and promoting with us! It's definitely a team effort with everyone involved on the label end and the group. I myself play in Mystery of Two with Nick and the current incarnation of Home and Garden.
PWAH: What are some things people can look forward to in 2008 that Exit Stencil has planned?
RW: We have a pretty healthy slate of things going on. We recently moved into an old corner store in the Waterloo Neighborhood of Cleveland. I've been pretty busy setting up a recording studio that ESR artists have access too. It will also be open to the public at $35 an hour. It's pretty exciting! On the release front, the new Spanish Prisoners is coming out April 8th. A group from Cleveland called Hot Cha Cha, who are an all girl group that are fantastic live! They have a CD EP and seven inch coming out soon after called "rifle, I knew you when you were only a pistol."
The lead singer was born in Bosnia, and picked up that line from an old Balkan folk song.
The Dreadful Yawns also have their next full length "Take Shape" on the way. They really put together a fantastic album. It's coming out on CD and LP, everything will be digital too... we have some special surprises with the digital end of things too.
PWAH: How did the label come about and why? Where do you hope to take it?
RW: Brandon started it several years ago, maybe like six … I joined up about four years ago. Then Paul Murphy joined up about three years ago. We also have some help from Nick Riley and Liz Finley. I think we're all excited to keep creating and promoting music we dig and think others might too. We're hoping to be able to be part of the puzzle for our artists to keep creating and be able to live a musicians life style … which with touring and everything else can be quite a challenge especially with trying to keep jobs, etc.
PWAH: I've often said that, out of Ohio indie record labels, the only one Pitchfork actually seems to acknowledge is Exit Stencil. Why do you think that is? Not that Pitchfork is the end all be all, but for indie rock these days if you get highlighted on Pitchfork it sure makes life a bit easier...
RW: I'm not sure, that's all their call. I didn't really think we got too much mention, but yeah we're down if they are . . . and definitely appreciate any mention.
PWAH: Where did you guys grow up and how do you think it has influenced your outlook on life - musically or otherwise?
RW: I grew up in Westlake, it's a burb outside of Cleveland. My dad grew up there too. Pretty midwestern hey … I started hanging out in the Cleveland punk scene and playing shows in a punk band when I was like a junior in high school. So that was a big part of my formative music, all the classic Cleveland punk was a big part of it too. It took me a long time to realize that all the obscure records folks in the cleveland scene dug on weren't really known by many folks outside of it. In a way and for better or worse the Cleveland scene, and perhaps the midwest in general, has traditionally been in a different place than most. By no means does that make it any better or worse, just something in the water or steaming from the many many contradictions and frustrations involved with living here! I actually met Brandon during that time, he was in bands too. After high-school I dipped out of the Cleveland scene for about 4 years and went to school in Athens, Ohio.
PWAH: How do you perceive the current indie rock scene of the Midwest? What are some bands/people/things you would tell people about?
RW: I would say there's a lot of great music happening. The Cleveland scene has been jumping. There's a big shake up right now with "Lotto League." Basically, 180 Cleveland musicians all got drafted pretty randomly into new bands, the new bands are writing songs and performing April 12th at the Beachland. It's like 35 bands or something. It should be a blast. It is just one of many things that are helping to bring people closer to each other and maybe tear down some of the artificial walls that have been built. It's a small city so everyone knows each other on some level in the scene. The Cleveland 1 degree of separation … I suppose it can be summed up by this dude that works the door at a cleveland club that recently move here from overseas and has lived in various other parts of the country. "This is the only place where the opening band often blows the touring band off the stage and no one cares …"
It's a musical place for the sake of music.

More information:
Exit Stencil Recordings
16101 Waterloo Rd.
Cleveland, Oh 44110

Coming soon:
Spanish Prisoners - CD/LP/ Digital
Hot Cha Cha - EP / 7" / Digital
Dreadful Yawns - CD / LP / Digital

Monday, March 24, 2008

Midwest Alerts!

Pitchfork has a couple stories on Midwestern acts to start the week:
• Pennsylvania's GIRL TALK preps next release, courtesy of Pitchfork article.
• Indiana's Secretly Canadian signs WAR ON DRUGS, read that here.
• Here's a way to "end a nice evening" in Detroit: HERE
• And a nice positive column from an Ottumwa, IA. news reporter about the Harbinger of Spring.
• Some information on the 10,000 Lakes Festival in Minnesota, HERE.
• Should Madison Wisconsin start it's very own SXSW-style festival?
• The Midwest was the center of the Hawaiian music boom of the 1940s?! read that HERE.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Alive at SXSW

Columbus Alive writer Chris DeVille wrote a nice review of Columbus shit-pop bands impact at SXSW, followed by a little history of the Cap City artform. Read that HERE.

More on The Union

Here's some more info on the Union closing ramblings, from Mr. Junebug himself:

By Eric Leighton
Athens NEWS Writer
March 20, 2008

You ever play the game Telephone? You know, the one where you tell someone a sentence and then they turn and tell it to the person next to them who in turn does the same until it gets back to the beginning in some completely indecipherable form. That’s what Bar Talk is. Bar Talk is a sub-species of Gossip, but not necessarily malicious. It doesn’t quite qualify as Drunk Talk, though it occasionally dips its tongue in there, too.
I have been all too aware of this mode of pseudo-communication in the last year or so. Here’s an example: A few weeks ago, when I first got my still-lingering ear-infection, I texted a few people for help at the Open Stage I was hosting because it sounded too weird in my head (and hurt) for me to sing very much. There was a brilliant turnout of my fellow musicians (thank you very much) but almost 40 people came up to me and asked me how I was feeling. Of the people I sent messages to, four of them were there, all of whom I sent the message a scant three hours before. Not only that, the sign in front of the bar claimed: “Open Stage – Guest Host, Parker” or something like that. No guest host ever presented himself to me. Sorry if I stole your gig, Parker.
Needless to say, I was floored by the efficiency of the Bar Talk system to move around the information, but I was also disturbed at how convoluted it became in the process. I could cite endless examples, as no doubt could most of you.
I bring this up this week due to the Bar Talk assault on the closing of the Union, information about which I believe will be dealt with in an article elsewhere in this paper. I urge all of you to settle down and let things sort themselves out. Yes, it would be terribly sad if the Union was to be gone forever, but I have hope in the resiliency of that establishment to weather this storm. I’m asking for people to give it some space and not add to the mess, especially if you want to help save the Union.
I know a lot of you have no idea that I spent many a formative day at the Union. It was the place I played for years, indeed I even have a picture on the wall upstairs. Lou was one of the first people to take me in and be very kind to me when I moved to town, and I am forever grateful for that friendship. I am loyal to the bar and have probably spent more years there than anyone looking for a scramble.
Let’s just try to let go of the Bar Talk Telephone game and ease the pressure back a bit so things can come clear. Banana gypsy Pac Man gopherlicious beanpop razmataz hockey sticks.
It is Scott Winland’s intention to make sure that all scheduled shows at the Union go off as planned. This weekend is no exception.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Midwest Round Up!

• Get the scoop on the Raconteurs forthcoming release from Cincinnati critic Mike Breen: HERE
• Each Note Secure has some news on The Black Keys and their relationship with their beloved Akron: HERE
• Speaking of Akron, I just heard about this lovely folk avant garde troupe from there called Trouble Books who have arrived for you. I'm calling them a nice combo of Belle and Sebastian feel, with Pavement undertones. I'm probably way off, so check them out yourself.
• Fans of Columbus, Ohio noise pop should check out Dayton's The Gluons.

No Union?

So the big news out of Athens, OH. right now is the rumored closing of longtime music venue stalwart The Union.
First off: Finally, I got to use the word "Stalwart."
Secondly: This does not look good, people.
Aside from a few Ohio University venues, The Union was pretty much it for a music fan to see new indie rock bands down in Athens.

Of course, right now it just seems like a rumor. Sometimes bars close their doors for a bit when they are dealing with liquor permit discussions, or perhaps some renovations. But who knows. If it's 100 percent true, then it looks like you may not be seeing these upcoming shows:

Mar 14 2008 10:00P
Mar 15 2008 10:00P
Mar 26 2008 10:00P
Mar 29 2008 10:00P
Apr 3 2008 10:00P
Apr 4 2008 10:00P
Apr 5 2008 10:00P
Apr 17 2008 8:00P
Apr 18 2008 8:00P
Apr 19 2008 8:00P

I just noticed that the dude behind Athens-based Insomniac Booking wrote this:
Last night was the last night to purchase a beer from my home away from home. i drank as much as i could.
story goes that the place wasn't making enough money - i plan to organize with interested parties to buy the property - i feel there are enough people in this town and not in this town who care as much as i do. if you are please message me. as soon as all the dust settles and stories are straight, i plan to purchase the property with anyone who can help.

I was actually wondering about what would happen to the booking agencies down in Athens before I read this. With no swapping options to put national bands into The Union they would pretty much be screwed. Hopefully he can buy the place with some other folks.

EVEN BETTER UPDATE, WITH ACTUAL INFO, from Union booker and former PWAH interviewee Scott Winland:
Just wanted to drop a line to everyone - I recently went to SXSW in Austin, (last Tuesday) and returned to all of this yesterday afternoon - an interesting homecoming to say the least... At any rate, I have some good news (though not a complete press release on all this just yet). Although The Union has been forced to close temporarily this week for some restructuring/re-staffing, all shows scheduled for the weekend are still happening, and it is my intention to honor all shows in the books. Though the ultimate future of the bar is a bit uncertain at this point, we can breathe a sigh of relief that we're headed in the right direction. That wasn't the fat lady singing on Sunday night, and she's not booked this weekend either. Your support of the Union and the continuation of its shows are greatly appreciated.-Scott

Friday, March 14, 2008


It was pretty interesting to see the bowels of MTV shine some light on Midwestern shitpop purveyors Tyvek and Psychedelic Horseshit in their 2008 SXSW coverage. Your favorite Veejay and mine, John Norris, writes:

"My producer, Christopher "CJ" Smith, recently got me into Tyvek, a band of lo-fi Midwesterners that he was truly excited to see down here at SXSW, and once again his faith was well placed. After an alleyway interview, in which they explained their dedication to the basic, no-nonsense approach of what some call lo-fi, we watched them tear through a set at Beerland, one squall of ragged, raw rock after another in songs like "Give It Up" and "Stand and Fight."
Keeping it Midwest, why, here are Psychedelic Horsesh--. Every now and then, you just want to talk to a band that calls it as they see it, and PH deliver. Standing in the middle of Sixth Street, shoulder-to-shoulder with drunken fools at 11 p.m., PH opined on how this year's SXSW compares to last year's (answer: They haven't taken any illegal substances with Thurston Moore this year, something they say is necessary to appreciate "the vast majority" of bands at the festival) and spoke about the message behind their song "New Wave Hippies" and the line ("It's about Yeasayer. Bands like that."). Whoa.

See the whole article: HERE.
Just scroll down past all the My Morning Jacket stuff...

Giant robots!!

Right now NASA astronauts are on the moon and they are about to assemble a giant robot.
Has nothing to do with Midwest music...
But it sure is pretty awesome.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Get to know your Midwest record label:
Dayton's Squids Eye Records

When it comes to the great current Dayton, Ohio bands, it's a pretty easy guess they are associated with independent label Squids Eye Records.
We're talking Toads and Mice, Yazuka Heart Attack, The Sailing, and Jesse Remnant (also of Southeast Engine). All of which are creating some very interesting, experimental, indie pop. Columbus-folk should also check out The Gluons, for a nice Dayton representative of the Shitpop revolution.
I thought it might be a good idea to let more people know about the label and the bands it highlights. This Friday, March 14 the label will hold showcase concerts at the Nite Owl and then again on March 22nd at the Oregon Express.
Tony Gilbert, of Squids Eye Records recently helped shed some light on the label's intentions:
PEOPLE WITH ANIMAL HEADS: How did Squids Eye come about and what do you look for in bands that you represent? What drew you to the bands on the show?
TONY GILBERT: Squids Eye Records was started due to the massive amount of music my friends were making that didn't have an outlet, Brian Baker, Keith Rankin and The Sailing were the original reason I started Squids Eye Records, they were making music that needed to be heard.
As for what I look for in adding bands to the roster, first they have to be people I can get along with on a personal level, working with artists in which your only relationship is a business relationship is not rewarding no matter how good the music is. I don't look for any certain genre, Squids Eye releases all types of music. A lot of the artists on Squids Eye were introduced directly from other Squids Eye artists, basically everyone on Squids Eye acts as A&R for Squids Eye.
The bands that are performing at the show are all part of the Squids Eye Collective, Toads and Mice and Grizzzzy Bear recently released albums while the Sailing and Romance of Young Tigers are releasing full lengths soon on Squids Eye. The other half of the Squids Eye roster is playing a week after at Oregon Express for part 2 of the 1 year anniversary week which is doubling as the cd release parties for Jesse Remnant and the Gluons, Scott Deadelus who has a new full length coming soon and Squids Eye's newest artist Cry Baby Genius are also playing. All 8 Dayton based Squids Eye bands will be represented over the week, it's going to be an exciting week for us all, and Dayton will be treated to some amazing music as a thank you for supporting Squids Eye in its first of hopefully many birthdays.
PWAH: Could you describe for me how you see the current Dayton music scene? I always like to keep people posted on what's going on in other cities?
TG: I see the current Dayton scene as finally moving forward. There were some speed bumps for a couple years, but the fans are coming back out and more people are starting to pay attention. There are a ton of great bands who are working hard to make sure that people have a reason to pay attention. Aside from the Squids Eye bands, I think its important to mention Human Reunion, Captain of Industry, 8 Bit Revival, Joe Anderl and Lungs as some awesome Dayton bands. Too many artists up and leave the city or get some exposure and forget they are from Dayton. But we, along with the above mentioned artists and ton more, are hoping to change that, we aren't going anywhere. We also have a great network of supporters Don Thrasher, Kyle Meltone, Gem City Records, Nite Owl, Oregon Express, Adam at The Pearl and Mary Kathyrn, all do a ton for local artists and it is extremely appreciated by us all.
PWAH: How do you think people perceive the Midwest music scene? How do you perceive it? How do you see Dayton and even your label as fitting into that grander Midwest scope?
TG: I think the Midwest scene is the best. To me, Chicago is the mecca of Indie Rock. Some of the best labels are based there. As for how Squids Eye fits in to the Midwest scene, I think every city's scene is so different, just between Cincinnati and Dayton our scene seems 3000 miles apart. So it would be hard to compare what we do with the whole Midwest scene. That's a bullshit answer I know, sorry.
PWAH: Feel free to add anything else you would like to promote.
TG: Also be on the lookout for the Grizzzzy Bear "Passing" EP coming in April and Ceschi Ramos reissues on CD and Vinyl coming soon.

The Freshman/Heartbeat controversy
That I'm just now starting, a year after the fact

Check out this pretty interesting article I found on the Rapid Growth Media web-site. The writer interviews former Verve Pipe front man Brian Vander Ark, who currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He talks about the current state of the music industry, and more importantly, voices his opinions on what is hurting and helping the midwestern scene.
Read that article HERE.
Incidentally, I have been wanting to mention for the past year how eerily similar the vocals to Verpe Pipe's hit "The Freshman" are to Jose Gonzales/The Knife's "Heartbeat."
I know Verve Pipe's tune came out first. So it just seems to me somewhere along the line everyone has forgotten how Heartbeat could have been inadvertently (purposefully) ripped off? Don't know what I'm talking about?
Listen to The Knife's version: HERE
Listen to Jose Gonzalez's version HERE.
Listen to Verve Pipe's "The Freshman" HERE.

I mean, they are not note for note. It's just that the very first time I heard "Heartbeat" I immediately thought, "Oh yeah, that sounds like "The Freshman'."
Then I soon became utterly surprised, as the entire world suddenly embraced Jose Gonzalez like he was the second coming of Nick Drake.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nite Owl changes ownership?

Just read on Buddha Den that The Nite Owl will apparently change ownership:
...the Dayton Daily News reported today that the Nite Owl is being bought and will likely undergo dramatic changes when it re-opens as Blind Bill's in June. You can get the full story over here, but rest assured, many changes are afoot and will have sever effects on the local music scene. Despite its myriad problems, the Nite Owl has been one of the few clubs to allow 18 & up shows and has played host to numerous touring acts over the last few years. The new ownership intends to end the 18 & up shows and to gear the venue towards an "Americana" theme. On the upside, they plan to move the stage. I guess you take the good with the bad...
Not sure what it means for bands already booked there. Let me check on that... UPDATE: Apparently, it's going to happen in the summertime, so shows currently booked are not affected.

Midwest Round Up!

Despite my disdain for so much SXSW coverage, i did notice some good things going on:
Writer Kevin Elliott wrote stuff on Donewaiting on Columbus Discount Record's showcase. Then on his own World of Wumme site he wrote about the Siltbreeeze SXSW showcase
• Aquarium Drunkard has a nice nostalgic article on former Cleveland powerhouse Pere Ubu.
• Buddha Den has an interview up with Squids Eye Records. I'm working on one too, so I'm not reading it yet... but you should.
• Cringe has a video up of dayton band Moon High. I like that band.
• The Pitchfork Music Festival schedule is up and tickets go on sale soon.
• Soft City Lights has new videos up! Lions Rampant and Ra Ra Riot.
• I haven't been too good at updating you on Pat Radio lately, But he's still hard at work and has new episodes. Here's some I didn't tell you about:
Program #107 David and Melissa from The Black Canary
Program #106 Umbrella Men, Moon High...
Program #105: New Rosehips, New Kyle Sowashes, New Tract Records
Program #104: Jason Quicksall
He co-hosted a WOXY Local Lixx episode (
Program #103 Matt of the Proper Nouns
Program #102 Kyle of Lost Weekend Records - the two-day anniversary show!
• Chicago's Smoking Popes will sign with Flameshovel Records for their follow-up to 1997's Destination Failure called "Stay Down."
• Tha Bombshelter is going to be reporting on the Lebowskifest in Chicago.

Monday, March 10, 2008

SXS... yawn

I hate to be a Debbie Downer. But right now every Midwestern indie rock web sites/newspapers and their brothers are writing about SXSW hard-core.
Just a thought: Wouldn't it be great if the same sites wrote about Midwestern festivals with this much gusto?
They will fly several thousand miles to see the same bands they didn't go see when they came through town earlier in the year. But most won't go down and cover something a couple hours away.
There are festivals every year in Dayton, Chicago, Cleveland, Toledo, Columbus, Athens, all over Indiana and Michigan and Detroit. Not a peep. In fact, check out this link just to see a list of festivals going on in Michigan this year.
Lo and behold, we might end up learning more about the bands in our own back yards - instead of 90 different sites talking about the 12 shows Bon Iver is doing in Austin...

Here're some off the top of my head:
Midwest Music Summit
Pitchfork Fest
Midpoint Music Fest
Mission Creek Fest
Pygmalion Music Fest
Toledo Indie Pop Fest
Ann Arbor Folk Festival
Download Festival
The Pine Mountain Music Fest
Kaweenawesome fest (sic?)
Electronic Music Festival

Can you think of any more?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Reatard TV?

I was reading the latest Jim DeRogatis interview with sort of Chicago-based Pitchfork Media mogul Ryan Schreiber.
Here's an excerpt:
Q. Back to I’ve heard that you’ve had teams of people out shooting concerts across the country for the last six months.
A. We’ve had a New York crew, and we go out and shoot various things around the city. Our executive producer is R.J. Bentler, who has actually worked with us on shooting the music festival and who has done a lot of editing work professionally for like NBC and stuff like that, and then there’s Juan, who used to work at Plum TV and did a show over there called “Juan’s Basement” -- he’s doing a lot of shooting as well. Then, in Chicago, we have a crew out there, too, and they’re shooting basically live concerts for us as well.

The funny thing to me, is that the minute Schreiber mentioned the "New York" video team was at work all I could think was:
"Great. New York. We'll have nothing but videos on Jay Reatard."
Then, lo and behold, I read this in the very next answer...

Q. So are you going to offer entire concerts online or just songs from a performance?
A. We’re actually going to offer entire concerts. The first thing that we’re launching, or one of the first things we’re launching, is Jay Reatard at Cake Shop, N.Y.C., that we shot in October.

I guess that's all I have to say on for now... but I have to add, although it was cool DeRogotis laid into Schreiber pretty hard, I kinda have Schreiber's back on this. I mean there really is no come back for the cynicism that says is purely a money grab. The same could be said for Pitchfork in general, or even music critics in general. It's either going to work or not work.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Spotlight: The Black Canary


If there ever were a band that did not quite fit into the Columbus music scene today, or even 10 years ago, it would be The Black Canary. Fortunately, that can often mean only good things.
I think what I appreciate about the band specifically are the chord changes. You mix a bit of hypnotic trance rock from the 1960's, with the echoed soul of today, and you've got The Black Canary.
This Friday, March 7, The Black Canary will hold it's 7" single CD Vampire/Sing release show in Columbus at Ravari Room with Flotation Walls and PWAH-favorites Afternoon Naps from Cleveland.
On a side note, if you've ever seen them live, their drummer is pretty kick ass.

I think what I have appreciated so much about The Black Canary is its individualistic fortitude. The band sticks to its guns and creates a sound that is unique to their spirit. It is music difficult to create live, but they succeed on sheer determination.
Here's singer/songwriter David Whitehead offering some insight into their music and personality:
PEOPLE WITH ANIMAL HEADS: You guys have a very specific sound. Sort of a trance 60 french pop thing... What drew you toward the music you create? It almost seems like the kind of stuff a musician just has to ignore everything but his own muse for, if you know what I mean?
DAVID WHITEHEAD: I absolutely adore french pop but I may be the only one in the group with a photo of France Gall as my screen saver! I think the whole thing started when I was really young and was laid up in a hospital bed in California from some hip surgeries. Everyday on KTLA Los Angeles they would show repeats of The Monkees and I really grew to love their songs. When I got out of the hospital I bought all the records I could find and their album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. was the record I think I absorbed the most. It’s actually the first pop record to use moog synthesizers and it seemed like many of the tracks like “Words” or “Love is only Sleeping” had this haunting thing to it which later I realized was just lots of reverb and echo. As my obsession with this sound persisted I was of course drawn to the early Phil Spector records as well as the later Beach Boys stuff like Pet Sounds and the Smile demos. I still think music is art and should remain art and I blame that for my attachments to the sounds and productions of that era. The stuff is gold. Anytime I walk into a studio to set up mics I still think of Brian Wilson.
PWAH: What are the overall plans. This single release first and then the full-length later on?
DW: We really felt we needed to get something out for people to chew on. I mean this literally. Our fans are hungry people! This will be year two and all we’ve had to offer them was a free single of some demos we had laying around for a while. Hence the Vampire 7” single. We decided to put a cover of ours on the other side because I’ve always loved the band Blur and Sing is probably my favorite track of theirs. Our actual album, Betrayal of Hearts has been in the works since we got back from CMJ last October and is close to an end as close can get. It’s being mixed bit by bit and may actually be done this month. If I didn’t just jinx it..
PWAH: Where have you been recording?
DW: I think the best kept secret in Dayton would be Refraze Studios. It’s about the size of a school gymnasium and is probably about the closest you’re going to get to an actual Abbey Road experience. They have a to die for Trident board which is one of the main reasons we’ve tracked the album there with the exception of vocals and some minor overdubs like acoustic guitars and bass that were done in our own space here in Columbus. The live stuff like drums, strings and pianos were all taken from studio b at Refraze. As for the mixing we’re heading up north to Ante Up Studios in Cleveland. They have a great refurbished Neve console I can’t wait to get my hands on.
PWAH: When it comes to your music, what are some themes that the songs explore lyrically?
DW: I really like imagery and maybe more so the imagery in fairy tales and how the clouds in the sky of the day could have double meanings. Lyrically when I started writing songs I was heavily influenced by Syd Barrett and became quite attached to the way he layered his images and over worded the rhyming schemes. I tend to attack things from an outsiders frame of reference for which I feel I have the reference for. Kings losing thrones, kids taking back their voice, trying to love two people at once, stepping out of shadows, drowning in someone, the ebb of relationships, the trumpets of self realization and the great speech that no one hears which I think could be more about a band and its audience.
PWAH: Where did you guys grow up and how do you think that has affected the music you play? What do you think of the current midwestern music scene? Are there some specific bands you think people should get to know?
DW: I think all the members in the group have spent the majority of our lives as Midwesterners and I think it’s effected us all in different ways. Me and Eric lived in Dayton for many years and both of us at the time being young musicians in high school, had the opportunity to catch bands like Guided by Voices and Brainiac at their apex which was a huge inspiration to us. Kind of like what Eno says about how any musician who ever bought a Velvet Underground album started a band. GBV was definitely the midwest VU.
As for the Midwestern scene as a whole I believe it’s a healthy young baby. We don’t have the commercial overhead of the coasts so we tend to be a little more creative here and all with a complete lack of urgency. Once again competition is lighter so it leaves some breathing room for goals. That is if they ever want to get around to making any. Personally I’m just tired of Ohio being the punch line in every movie.
PWAH: What are some Midwestern bands you think people should know about?
DW: Some bands that should be checked out are acts like Afternoon Naps, Bears and Hot Cha Cha from Cleveland. Flotation Walls, Heavy Mole and The Receiver from Columbus. The Griefs from Cincinnati. Zoos of Berlin and Kiddo from Detroit.

Pitchfork TV

So, everyone's talking about the announcement of Pitchfork TV.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ohio Predictions

It's 3:14 p.m. right now on Tuesday.
I plan to go vote soon, but I offer my Ohio election results: I am calling Clinton to win big locally.
However, I'm thinking Obama may beat her out in the larger Ohio cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati.
It should be interesting to see how the Republican results turn out. Obviously, most are voting for McCain. But many are planning to vote for Huckabee, aside from the fact that they freely admit they are throwing their votes away.
Based on the fact that Texas will be split right down the middle between Clinton and Obama, Ohio will be the decider … again.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Been a little busy lately, but keep checking back. I have a few interviews and articles I plan on finishing up within the next day. Thanks for reading.