Friday, May 30, 2008

Music site roundup

Lots of great music coverage going on lately.
Here are a few things you should definitely check out:

• I saw this link to an interview with Times New Viking in London. I didn't plan to read it at first, because the interviews are becoming pretty redundant lately. But this new one is pretty damn insightful on the current state of Ohio/Columbus music. I especially like the quote about how ever since The Velvet Underground came to Ohio in 1966, Columbus bands have been competing for the loudest band title ever since. The more you think about that, the more it rings true.
You can find the entire article, HERE.

• The Wheel's Still in Spin, a Cincinnati-based site, has done a nice write-up on the excellent Shake It Records for this week's feature edition of "Better than the Chili." Read all about it HERE.

• I really enjoy the Dayton-based site "Buddha Den" because Kyle over there does a great job of creating new content and keeping it coming non-stop.
He has reported that the Dayton underground music site Fictionband has begun offering free downloads of Dayton bands from the more distant past, in addition to the current crop of home recordists. He said the material is extremely difficult to find elsewhere.
With The Nite Owl's recent demise, The Buddha Den reported that there are other options. Kyle said The Dayton Dirt Collective is a new venue in town that is based of the models of other collective type venues such as Mr. Roboto in Pittsburgh.
"In light of the recent closing of Nite Owl as a key venue in Dayton, bands in the region may want to look into this venue as an optional stop in Dayton. Additionally, you should contact the staff at the DDC, as their ability to step up and create an all-ages, non-alcohol-based venue is pretty cool," he wrote.
In other Buddhe Den news, the site will be releasing its own third seasonal sampler on July 1. It offers free downloads of the best in Dayton independent music.
• Cincinnati music critic Mike Breen has a write-up on a new series of outdoor music events happening this summer, called "Indie Summer." It basically consists of nightly offerings of live music at the Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati. This Friday features The Lions Rampant, The Sundresses and Turnbull ACs. Next Friday after that will be Cari Clara, Paper Airplane and The Harlequins. Check out the full article, HERE.
• Pitchfork Media has some great news about Chicago's The Ms next CD. Read all about it, HERE.
• Hopefully I can add to this round up throughout the day...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Touring into a vacuum
The Midwestern indie rock touring dilemma

One of the toughest questions any band faces is whether or not to take the show on the road.
The majority never really leave their own backyards, preferring to do shows at that bar down the road where they know the owner, know who books it and know every single person who will show up.
Sadly enough, this is what defines most music scenes. The bands that gave up, now staying home, desperately trying to control something in their favor so they feel useful and can create some semblance of power.
Then you have the rare bands that throw caution to the wind, pack up their shit and leave for months. How the hell can they do that? Is it just because they are young, in college and have no responsibilities? Do they live in their rich parent's basement? Are they intent being waiters their whole lives? Or is it just because they possess stronger convictions other musicians lack?
A year ago I started to write an article on the tours of unknown Midwest indie bands, because I noticed there were a scant few doing it. But these days it is even more interesting to me because there are more - even in the face of gas prices which have risen to just about $4 per gallon. Then I saw this article on band having problems touring in this economy.
Often times I hear about a band going out on tour across the United States and I have to wonder. Maybe the band is pretty new. Maybe they have some fans in their hometown. But how can they expect to make any money playing weeknights in towns when the local newspapers won't even review their CD?
It has to be rough spending more than $100 on gas in a few days, playing to five people and making barely enough to pay for food. I seriously wonder how bands do it. More importantly, I wonder WHY they do it. What drives this irrationality? It's takes a strong resilience. It's actually pretty masochistic.
It's also a Catch 22: You're never going to get more fans at out of town shows, if you never play out of town shows. So you show up with bells on, hoping you're not just playing to the other band and the bass player's girlfriend.
Columbus, Ohio's Psychedelic Horseshit is one band intent on getting out there no matter what the cost.
Thankfully, the group has endured more attention the past year than the normal band, after the rise of the shitpop media focus. But hype only goes so far. This band loves to perform and it shows on stage.
"I'm not sure how the recent 60 cent (gas) hike will fuck us," bandleader Matt Whitehurst said. "I don't know. I guess we tour to keep it going. If we stopped we'd be just another random bedroom/basement recording document #183; and don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with that, but we like to play shows and we like to travel."
The group has been all over the country and is currently heading out for another tour of the west.
"Playing for the same assholes everytime in your hometown really takes the fun out of it. We usually just scrape by on tour and live relativley comfortably (food, beer, weed)," Whitehurst said. "But of course there is rough spots throughout the country. None of us have ever died or anything. You gotta be able to live like a homeless person and sleep on floors and plan for the fact that you might not make enough dough to buy weed or eat or drink tomorrow."
In other words, the group shares a sensibility of acceptance. It's a tone that I found other touring bands share as I did interviews for this article.
"It's exciting. And sure some bands definetely should not do it. But if your band is good then you will get your records put out or put them out yourself and people will read about them and buy them and you will have people at your shows," he said. "If you suck then you shouldn't be playing music anyway. I guess the nature of the game kinda weeds out the shit acts. Unless they happen to be silver spoon kids. But they'll never stop making shitty music."
So Darwinism and the romance of the road is what keeps Psychedelic Horseshit going. But what about a band that hasn't had the luxury of being amongst the "new wave" of punk?
Up in northern Ohio, Cleveland's Bears singer/guitarist Charlie McArthur said he has been thinking a lot about the very same topic lately. He is in the process of booking an East Coast tour for the band in August.
"In the past, we've toured because it's seemed like there is some demand - small though it is at this point - for us in certain cities. That was especially true on the West Coast," he said. "The best shows for us are always with bands who are our friends in other cities, or in cities where a college radio DJ has helped promote the music. Other than that, it is definitely a lot of playing to small audiences on off nights... and that can bring you down a little bit, but that's usually offset by having the opportunity to see the country and have fun with your friends on the road."
It is this shared love of travel and idealistic notion of joy in music that Bears - although drastically different in sound from Psychedelic Horseshit - share with other touring bands. But neither has really addressed the fact that it often costs more to drive to a gig than it does to get paid for performing.
"The last time we were out on the road was a year ago and gas was closer to $3.20 a gallon. I think it cost us about $80 to fill up the van each time, so it gets really expensive," McArthur said. "If the price of gas keeps going up like this, I don't think it will even be possible for us to travel very far again unless we start to get more popular. It's really a shame because playing in new towns for new kids all the time is great, but it won't be so good if we just end up losing money rather than breaking even like we have in the past."
I told him that I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I'm starting to worry that maybe the reason so many bands become so stuck in their hometowns, is because it may not be worth it to tour anymore until they get signed to some label that will promote them.
"Well, Debbie, I think you may be right about that," McArthur said. "I don't think it's only the price of gas that is making it difficult to tour these days. Lately, there are just so many bands out there that have reached a certain level of popularity and have label support, that it doesn't seem to leave much room for bands like us - without a label - to play at most clubs. It's not impossible to tour, by any means, but it does sometimes feel like it might not always be worth it … I'm glad to see that other people are noticing these same things."
I'm also wondering if more bands ay try to go the route of getting radio airplay. It often gives bands the options of finding out where their fans are BEFORE having to tour all over the world. I hope to talk about that more in another article sometime.

Meanwhile, other bands look at touring like they are laying out a business plan, complete with numbers and figures.
Fellow Cleveland band the Dreadful Yawns is about the kick off an east coast tour. The group thankfully has the luxury of having some help from its label Exit Stencil to help cover road costs.
"We figure this three week tour will cost us nearly $1,700 in gas alone. That means we have to make about $80 a night in merchandise and door just to cover gas," bandleader Eric Schulte said. "That's not good. This time around we'll be paying for everything out of pocket. (We) come home broke to no paycheck because we haven't worked in three weeks. It's gonna be rough, but you don't get anywhere in life if you don't put it on the line every once in while. Plus we've been lucky in that our record label, Exit Stencil Recordings, gave us some money for tour support. Any little bit helps. Not to sound all motivational speakery, but you can do anything you put your mind to. We have a bunch of cool merchandise products that we are trying out. We have a new album. Plus, we've been touring and releasing albums for a few years so we have at least a little fan base."
He said Cleveland is a great town for rock and roll, but it can make a band motivated to move around.
"You can only play to the same people so many times before you start to yearn for something more. Not many bands in Cleveland book their own tours, buy their own vans, and get out to spread the gospel of Cleveland rock. If, for no other reason, we do it to get people interested in what is happening in Cleveland," Schulte said.
He said not only is their goal to promote Cleveland's music scene, but to help spread the word about Exit Stencil.
"We're extremely lucky to be dealing with Exit Stencil as our label. There is a very symbiotic relationship going on. We tour to get our name out there obviously, but we also want to get the name of the label out there. As the label gets more and more attention we get more, and as we start to turn heads the label gets some recognition. There are too many bands sitting on their thumbs waiting to get that mythical record deal. We'd rather learn to book our own tours, figure out ways to pay for it, and sweat it out. Nothing is free in this game, and the DIY ethic is a part of our very being. Besides, when we are sitting around with the grandkids who doesn't want to be able to tell little suzie that grandpa got lost in Manhattan while tripping on acid while he was on tour with a rock band 40 years ago?" Schulte said.
Good point.
He added that any band, from the smallest indie, to the local heroes or nationals, will tell the same story about touring woes.
"Tuesday nights in any midwestern town isn't gonna be pretty," he said. "All that you can hope for is that for every night you play to the bartender in Des Moines, you will play for a hundred people in Chicago. It's 20 percent planning, 5 percent promotion, and 75 percent luck. Plus, if you've been lucky enough to meet some really great bands in other cities then you are ahead of the curve."
Cincinnati's Buffalo Killers helped me out with an interview back in April 2007, in which they touched upon their ability to tour as an underground Midwestern indie band. Since then the group has skyrocketed to joining such luminaries as The Black Crows and The Black Keys on tour.
Perhaps this growth can set the example to lesser known bands that it is possible to move forward. Touring is not the dead-end road it may appear at times.
Member Zach Gabbard explained that it is all about focus.
"The band is our job. When I'm home from tour, I'm working. When I'm on the road, I'm working. It is the job you can't escape... it is with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," he said. "It is as exhausting as running any business would be. I think the biggest mistake most bands make is they run their band like a hobby and if that's what it is, then you don't need to spend as much time with it, but if you want to make it all work, it has to be your job - that, and have plenty of merchandise to sell on the road."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Midwest focus

Lots of stuff going on recently:

• Read this article from Tennessee on Cincinnati band Over the Rhine, in which the group discusses the death of a father and moving forward.

• The Taste of Cincinnati Festival takes place this weekend. It's a great time. Head on over to Each Note Secure for a full article on the events.

Esquire hits on best bars
Esquire Magazine recently did a round up on the best bars in America. Check out the full listing HERE.
Ohio got attention for Andyman's Treehouse an Surly Girl Saloon.
The California Clipper got the nod in Illinois.
The Red Key is tops in Indiana.
Iowa was noted for its Royal Mile and the Red Monk bars.
The Old Seelbach Bar stood out in Kentucky
Miller's Bar and The Bar at Seldom Blues won out in Michigan.
The Bulldog NE won in Minnesota.
Pennsylvania's Friendly Lounge was a focus.
The Silver Dollar Tavern was touched upon in Wisconsin.

Indiana's Midwest Music Summit back on?
Just saw this article promoting the 2008 Midwest Music Summit, HERE

Detroit's Electronic Music Festival kicks off
Read all about that HERE

• Mike Breen does a nice review of Cincinnati music/violin sensation Peter Adams and his new CD "I woke with planets in my face." Read the whole review: HERE

• Oh yeah, you got this Shitgaze article in the recent Spin too, which I took from the boards. If you click on the photo it gets big enough to read:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wait for it...

Stay tuned. I have a nice article I've been working on for the past week coming. Plus a new interview.

• Check out links to Donewaiting for info on Times New Viking getting robbed and their performance at Both are in the links to the right.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chicago's dilemma

That ordinance to force promoters to essentially pay to play, has been put on hold. I attribute this to the amount of hairs raised over it amongst the music-loving masses. But this ordinance should be easily stopped. All it really takes these days to stop ordinances is to gather a few folk and hit city council with a little fire and brimstone. But you'd better damn well be right. That's also key.
I'd say this was done and then some.
Here's a full story and interview, via Greg Kot at the Chicago Tribune, HERE.
By the way, why do Chicagoans continue to elect any member of the Daley family? That has been a mystery to me for years.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spin's look back at Ohio's punk history

Love 'em or hate 'em, I saw this SPIN magazine feature on the history of punk. It's actually a pretty good read, so check it out at this link HERE

Most importantly (since this is a Midwestern-focused music site) is this section:

New York City's sister scene was, oddly, in Ohio. There were the ferocious Cleveland aesthetes Pere Ubu and drooling delinquents the Dead Boys (who eventually moved to Manhattan); Velvet Underground obsessives the Mirrors (later the Styrenes); the audience-abusing, post-glam sociopaths electric eels; and screed-heads the Pagans. In Akron, the Bizarros and Rubber City Rebels revved up a hooky buzz, and Devo's multimedia synth-punk spoofed and condemned society as a mutant production line; Kent's male-female trio Human Switchboard conjured organ-drenched drama. Also in the Midwest, MX-80 Sound's arty metallic roar and the slap-happy scuzz of the Gizmos (known for the ditty "Human Garbage Disposal") emerged from Bloomington, Indiana. Minneapolis' Suicide Commandos released their snappy '77 debut, Make a Record, and the trashy Sillies just dismayed Detroit.

I guess history repeats itself from 1977 to 2007, when Ohio's punk roots reared up its head again nationally.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Holy shit, I just noticed this on Pitchfork Media.
Multi-instrumentalist, producer, and Bloomington, Indiana scene staple LonPaul Ellrich passed away Wednesday, May 7. A beloved member of the fertile musical community that populates the college town, Ellrich lent his touch to a plethora of Secretly Canadian projects from throughout the years, including Marmoset.
As a statement on the label website reads, "Though most knew him as an amazingly subtle and musical drummer, [Ellrich] was very much a swiss army knife. He could sing, play guitar, break out a fucked up keyboard part, it didn't matter...his primary instrument was his sheer taste in music and unending-- sometimes to a fault-- need to realize what he was hearing in his brain. LonPaul, you're brutally honest, totally endearing, and always inspiring, we'll miss you."

Friends and fans wishing to share their own take on Ellrich's legacy can do so via a website set up in his honor.
Pitchfork link:HERE.
I first came to hear about Marmoset through Chris Fry of Margot and theNuclear So and Sos.
No, I don't know how he died.
Legacy Web-site: HERE

Bar None

First I heard it, then I read it officially on Buddha Den. The Nite Owl has officially closed.
But here's some more info from BD:

...after more than 25 years as a jazz, blues, reggae, and underground rock hotspot, the Nite Owl has officially closed today. We understand that the building will be closed for renovations over the next couple of months and will reopen as Blind Bob's. For now, all shows have been cancelled. If you had a booking, we would recommend contacting the person who set up the show to see if it may be moved to another venue.
So long, Nite Owl....

I guess the only problem is that if your band has been booked for this month, my guess is you're screwed. Maybe the shows booked with some time to spare may have a chance to find another venue.
But if there is one thing I hate it's when bars give the ol' Fuck you to shows booked. Didn't this same thing happen when Elbows closed, or am I confusing cities?
If I'm wrong and some other bars would like to step up, please send me a message, I'd be glad to act as some kind of liaison.
I'm starting to notice a definite trend across the Midwest. Unless your bar is rock SOLID, you're screwed. Unfortunately for Nite Owl, it was a cool bar, which just suffered a lot by alcohol complaints.
I guess I have to say viva Oregon Express!
But for some Dayton folk, only one good bar in the historic district is kinda scary.
It's like a small town losing all it's antique stores.

Times on Tour

CMJ writer and Columbus, Ohio ex-patriot Eric Davidson posted this info about Times New Viking's summer tour:

This is what you call the high times for Columbus, Ohio's Times New Viking. Aside from releasing their debut for Matador (and third proper album ), Rip It Off, last January to copious praise, the mega-fuzzy pop trio has since toured with Super Furry Animals and are currently running around Europe hitting the bigwig fests like All Tomorrow's Parties in the UK and Primavera in Spain. Then they'll be back in the States to show off some more youthful chutzpah, wowing crowds at the Siren Music Festival at Coney Island and the Pitchfork fest in Chicago. We're guessing that their show in Visalia, California, at Howie And Sons Pizza will probably be the best gig, though, because while they're moving up to the big stages or playing high falutin' joints like the Whitney Museum, it's best to see these visceral vagabonds in tight quarters that hawk cheap beer.

Tour Dates For Times New Viking:
06/04 - Bloomington, IN - Waldron Art Center
06/05 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
06/06 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
06/07 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
06/09 - Missoula, MT - Badlander
06/10 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's
06/11 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
06/13 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom Of The Hill
06/14 - Visalia, CA - Howie And Sons Pizza
06/15 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
06/16 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
06/17 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
06/18 - Tempe, AZ - Modified
06/19 - El Paso, TX - Hush Gallery
06/20 - Austin, TX - Emo's
06/21 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada
06/22 - Memphis, TN - Hi Tone
06/23 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
06/25 - Washington, DC - Rock N Roll Hotel
06/26 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
06/27 - New York, NY - Whitney Museum
06/28 - Providence, RI - The Living Room
06/29 - Boston, MA - Great Scott
06/30 - Montreal, Quebec - Divan Orange
07/01 - Toronto, Ontario - Horseshoe Tavern
07/02 - Buffalo, NY - Big Orbit's Soundlab
07/18 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's
07/19 - Coney Island NY - Siren Music Festival
07/20 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Festival

Spotlight: WAX FANG of Louisville, Kentucky

I've been holding off on posting much lately, in the effort to focus more on cities outside of Ohio. You have no idea how difficult this has been.
Fortunately, my newest "Spotlight" edition focuses on what is sure to become one of your new favorite bands.
Louisville-based WAX FANG caught my ear a few months ago. I'm not even sure how - maybe it was Myspace.
I was immediately struck by the band's unique take on rock. In fact, I read someone who called the music "catchy and surprising." I agree with that.
The music is extremely alive, powerful and invigorating. They have equal parts psychedelic and glam counterparts, but take new twists in dimension with added sounds controlled through loops. The process of recreating the layered and instrumentally diverse tracks was aided by band-mate Kevin Ratterman’s engineering know-how and provided the effects and MIDI triggers needed to reproduce a bigger sound with three players. The theremin is also used to a pleasurable affect. The group is rounded out by bass player Jake Heustis
You hear this shit and you cannot believe it's created by a three-piece. Case in point, give a listen to the tune "The Doctor will see you now," on their Myspace, which is the tune that instantly made me a fan.
I'm very interested in bands that are taking traditional genres (in this case psychedelic rock) and taking it in new directions. It's not as easy as you might think. Bands have been exploring the depths of psychedelic rock since the 1960s.
Wax Fang recently released it's second CD called La La Land to great reviews. Buy it HERE.
A lot of interviews also focus heavily on the fact that singer/songwriter Scott Carney went to high school with fellow Louisville musician Jim James, of My Morning Jacket.
More importantly, I have been wanting to focus on Kentucky and Wax Fang was the first step in that direction.
Carney recently helped me out with an interview to start off the entire process of looking into the music scenes of our "southern" Midwest brethren. It's a whole new link into the Midwest mind-frame.
PEOPLE WITH ANIMAL HEADS: What are some bands from Kentucky that you think more people should know about?
SCOTT CARNEY: Off the top of my head, check out the Slow Break, the Photographic, Pokey LaFarge, the Fervor, Lucky Pineapple, the Phantom Family Halo, Venus Trap, and Whistle Peak.
PWAH: What are some cities in Kentucky, besides Louisville that are doing interesting things...
SC: Other than Lexington, which has a great little music loving community and is home to one of our favorite places to play, the Dame (which, sadly, is closing its doors in June), the only place I can think of is Whitesburg, KY, home of the Appalshop media arts co-op. Check it:
PWAH: Where did you guys grow up and how do you think that has defined your personalities or the type of music you make?
SC: I grew up in a part of Louisville called Hikes Point or, la Point, as I like to call it. "Viva la Point!" I tend to exclaim. There, I was introduced at an early age to the glory and splendor of 1980's hair rock and heavy metal, which made for an easy transition, via hardcore and punk rock, into the post, progressive, and psychedelic rock music that accounts for most of what I listen to nowadays.
PWAH: Historically, what do you think defines the "Louisville sound" or even if you want to look at it from a wider aspect of Kentucky's sound. Ohio is sort of known for deconstructing rock. Indiana seems focused on a more psychedelic folk sound.
SC: I don't necessarily believe that Louisville has a particular sound anymore. In the nineties, the music scene was dominated by a lot of hardcore and post-rock type bands, but there really hasn't been that kind of solidarity since then. Lately, Louisville seems to be suffering from a sort of multiple personality syndrome, in that it lacks a certain singular musical identity. There really aren't two bands that I've heard that really sound the same, which I find exciting because there is lots of very good, very different bands doing their own things, creating their own unique identities. So, that is to say, your guess is as good as mine.
PWAH: When you guys write your songs, is there anything you're trying to convey in terms of theme, or even atmosphere? I guess that is a more complicated way of asking what you guys are hoping to accomplish or say...
SC: I would like to think that our main focus as a band is to explore new frontiers in the realm of rock music. However, so much exploring has already been done in the past, that I feel what we do would more akin to maintaining those far reaching boundaries than expanding them. In that sense, I might consider us more like guardians than pioneers. Rock music has so much potential, creatively speaking, in that as long as there is something that grounds the listener to earth, usually through the rhythm or the vocal melody of the song, you can take it in so many different directions. You have to be careful, though, in choosing your direction, that you don't lose your listener along the way. In the words of Brian Eno, "it has to be seductive." It has to appeal to the emotions as well as the intellect. This is why math rock doesn't do much for me. It has no soul.
PWAH: I always like to ask a band about their experience as a Midwesterner. Is it something you feel a kinship with? How has being from the Midwest defined your music?
SC: I feel like less of a Midwesterner than a Southerner, yet I don't feel much of a kinship with either. Both Southerners and Midwesterners, in a very general sense, tend to be more sheltered, uncultured even, than our neighbors to the North and West (and certainly more so than our European counterparts) resulting in a sort of closed mindedness that I don't relate to. Having said that, it is that very narrow minded world view that I've sought to expand in in my music and is what drew me to the psychedelic movement in the first place: the idea of expanded awareness. For me, it is less about mind altering drugs than it is about opening your mind to new ideas and concepts, for seeing the potential in all things.
In some other tidbits, in case you were wondering what Scott's least favorite songs to take LSD to are, here's a little interview he did with You Ain't No Picasso, HERE.
Here's a nice quote I found from Ratterman too. It's true of most of the Midwest:
“People in Louisville play music because they love it. You know you’re not going to make any money anyway,” says Ratterman.

Monday, May 12, 2008

C. Spencer Yeh in NY Times

Just saw that Cincinnati avant garde musician C. Spencer Yeh was featured a bit in the May 11 New York Times:

Burning Star Core

The young violinist and electronic musician C. Spencer Yeh has worked in noise-improvisation contexts, with people like Thurston Moore and members of Wolf Eyes and Hair Police. His own continuing project — in which he plays pretty much everything — is Burning Star Core, and “Challenger” (Hospital), the new Burning Star Core album, is noisy but often very pretty, anchored by drones. (An exception is “No Memories, No Plans,” which has no drone: it sounds like a brush fire in an empty gymnasium.)
It’s hard to get a bead on what’s making these roaring, overdriven, scraping sounds: not necessarily the violin, not necessary keyboards. The only clues are the credits given to other people (guitar on one song, harmonica on another) and the title of one dense and spooky but mellifluous track: “Mysteries of the Organ.”

Full Link: HERE

Friday, May 9, 2008

Midwest focus

As much as I love to give Pitchfork Media shit about not covering the Midwest, I have to admit it's done a better job lately.
First it was a ton of coverage for Columbus, Ohio's Times New Viking, then it was a nice article on PWAH favorites and Athens, Ohio band Southeast Engine, then it was a surprising article on Dayton's The Gluons (PWAH and The Buddha Den seemed to be the only ones giving them love before that) and then when I was looking for the Gluons write-up I noticed that Pitchfork also gave some attention to Cleveland, Ohio with a write up on Mr. Gnome and the duo's tune "Rabbit."
I got my eye on you Pitchfork.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Midwest Alerts!

• Kelley Deal has a nice interview with this St. Louis music reporter, which focuses a lot on Midwest stuff, read that HERE.
• Here's an interview with Hot Chip in which he discusses a bit why he's avoiding the Midwest this time around.
"It's tougher to get the audiences in the Midwest" - Hot Chip
• Two white dudes who do hip-hop as ABiCA at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. are set to open for Kanye West when he hits their town. Read that interview HERE.
• This was a pretty interesting read in this Novia Scotia paper. The keyboardist for Queens of the Stone Age is a Detroit native who was in The Waxwings and also tours with The Raconteurs. I liked the Waxwings.
• Chicago's The Prairie Spies, on Comptroller Records, has an album coming out on Friday, May 16th, with a release party at the Empty Bottle in Chicago. The album is called "Surplus Enjoyment." "It's loud and boisterous and fuzzily home-recorded. We're quite proud of it." On initial listen I hear some 90s guitar tone influence, circa Dinosaur Jr. with a touch of new noise pop elements. They actually remind me a little of Columbus, Ohio's The Kyle Sowashes, with a lot more guitar solos. Some of the other tunes are bit more off kilter tunes in a similar mode, but with interesting tweaks to their overall plan.
• A few folks from Cincinnati, Ohio started this new magazine called Tracer, you can check it out oline HERE. I'm excited because they seem to have the intent to focus on Midwest music coverage. But then I see a ton of reviews and commentary on national bands like Band of Horses. I call for more Midwest and less of the rest!