Let's cut straight to the chase: Columbus Discount Records owns Columbus, most of Ohio and a good portion of the Midwest. In four lightning-fast years, Adam and BJ and Josh - we all know them on a first-name basis now, right? - have become our region's most notable independent producer of underground punk/rock. This past year has been their most successful to date, beginning with a trip down to SXSW and continuing with a batch of seven-inch releases nearly selling-out before their release dates. Now, with a new, gigantic recording studio in Olde Town East set to open next month, along with a steady schedule of releases set for the Fall and Spring '08 (including CDR's first non-Columbus act!), Columbus Discount seem determined for world-domination with colored vinyl as their weapon.
This weekend, in what is quickly becoming a late-Summer tradition here in Columbus, CDR will be throwing themselves a birthday bash of epicly drunken proportions. At Carabar Friday night you have the return of long-time Mike Rep collaborator Tommy Jay, whose Tall Tales of Trauma album will be lovingly reissued by CDR this Fall. Later in the night you can catch one of Columbus' most unpredictable groups, Deathly Fighter, who've recently spent a weekend recording at the original CDR facility.
Saturday brings us back to Columbus Discount's home turf of Washington Beach with a cookout in the afternoon at the CDR homestead (everyone's invited, seriously) and a strong batch of Columbus mainstays to play at Bourbon St., capped off with a one-two throw-down of the constantly marginalized Unholy 2 and psychedelic-noni supergroup El Jesus de Magico. Both shows and the cookout, along with any black eyes and scraped knees, are FREE. Play safe.
I was asked by Rachel to be a guest DJ this week on her Bloggerati program. Due to some technical issues, the part where you hear me talk had to get scrapped (maybe that's a good thing?), but you can still hear my picks. Click here to listen.
Some of the bands I picked for the show included The Evil Queens, The Lindsay, Two Cow Garage, and The Sharp Things.
Just to show you I don't hate change, I fuckin' LOVE The New Pornographers' Challengers, and sometimes I get the feeling I'm the only one. For years now, absolutely nobody has done the hyperdense hyperactive pop monstrosity as well as the New Pornographers, and a first pass at Challengers is going to feel bizarrely calm.
Besides the immediacy of "Mutiny, I Promise You" and "All the Things That Go To Make Heaven and Earth," most of the tracks are mid-tempo meditations with slow builds and modest climaxes, much more in tune with Carl Newman's "Slow Wonder" than say, the cranked to 11 hookishness of Electric Version. The three Dan Bejar efforts are distinctively Destroyer, with loopy vocal reads of Bejar's unique lyrics, with "Myriad Harbor" being a particular standout. The arrangements have a little more room to breathe, and both Kathryn Calder and Neko Case provide a sensuous lilt to their vocals. Case's waltzy "Go Places" is positively stunning, and the instrumentation's as bare as any New Pornographers track ever. This is probably the least Neko of any of their records, with Calder slowly growing into the role of lead vocalist. The crawling build of "Adventures in Solitude" is exquisite, and Calder's subtle vocal turns are why.
If you're waiting to be slammed in the face with overlapping vocals and soaring instrumentation you'll finish the record with a frown on your face. I found the record to be a grower though, with seductive melodies that came at me sideways and backwards, insinuating themselves in my life just as insidiously as "Letter to an Occupant" did so many years ago. Are there faults? Sure. The album art is fucking awful, for one thing. Even still, no album has spent as much time in my head and my heart this year as Challengers, whatever that's worth.
This film is so perfect a comedy that the fact of its existence alone is something of a joke. It's an office comedy written and directed by Lars von Trier, the Danish filmmaker responsible for some of the most soul-crushingly depressing films ever made (Dancer in the Dark, Dogville) and partially responsible for the Dogme 95 aesthetic movement.
Von Trier himself is keenly aware of the oddity of a director like himself making a movie like this, one that isn't far removed from the British version of The Office in terms of its sense of awkward humor, production value and documentary-like verisimilitude.
The trailer tells von Trier's filmography like a joke, building up to the revelation of this film's genre as a punchline, and the film opens and is occasionally interrupted by narration from von Trier himself, talking about the audience's expectations in a comedy.
The set up is a pitch perfect pitch for a sitcom. Ravn (Peter Gantzler) runs a business but is too soft to handle the nasty side of it, like firing people and cutting back fringe benefits. So he's invented an imaginary company president, "the boss of it all," who runs the company from overseas, and provides him with a scapegoat to blame for every bad decision.
When he's about to cut a deal with an severely mustachioed Icelander who demands that he deal directly with the president of the company, Ravn hires out of work stage actor Kristoeffer (Dancer in the Dark's Jens Albinus) to play the company's heretofore non-existent president.
It was only supposed to be for a single meeting, but when things go awry, Kristoeffer finds himself having to fake his way through the work week, playing a character he knows absolutely nothing about, including what his company does, the various ways in which he's wronged the employees he's meting for the very first time, and even his own name.
Von Trier slowly ups the stakes in scene after scene as the rules Kristoeffer is forced to operate under are constantly changing the more he learns about the office politics. The situation itself is somewhat nerve-wracking to watch, but the entire film is suffused with an additional layer of nervous energy by von Trier's peculiar process of filmmaking here.
The Boss of it All is filmed in "Automatvision," computer-selected camera angles, movements and cuts. The result may be random, but it's randomness with a purpose, the strange jumps making the movie twitch and race like Kristoeffer's imagination must when he's called on to improvise the running of a company.
There's probably a deeper meaning in all this about the emptiness of corporate culture or the human need to be loved trumping ethics and even the desire to succeed if you care to dig for it, but on the surface, Boss of it All is just a really fun way to spend an hour and a half, and sometimes that's all the meaning you need.
The Boss of it All screens Friday and Saturday, August 24 and 25, at the Wexner Center for the Arts' Film/Video theater. It will be preceded by short film Guest of Honor by Miguel Calderon. For more info, click to wexarts.org.
The people in the donewaiting.com message board do a great job of unearthing upcoming shows in Columbus (and Ohio in general) before they get announced in legit places like CD101, etc etc etc. Here's the thread to watch and bookmark.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
10/9 - Promowest (previously Newport)
Bob Dylan/Elvis Costello/Amos Lee
10/13 - Schottenstein Center
10/16 - Wexner Center
10/16 - Skullys
Queens of the Stone Age
10/20 - Promowest
Shout Out Louds
10/20 - Basement
10/25 - Promowest
The Hold Steady, Art Brut
10/27 - Newport
Do Make Say Think
11/11 - Skullys
11-15 Columbus, OH - Lifestyle Communities Pavilion ("Long of It")
11-16 Columbus, OH - Lifestyle Communities Pavilion ("Short of It")
The transition from indie darling to major label players is never an easy one, and Rilo Kiley's newest release Under the Blacklight shows a band struggle to diversify and increase its accessibility. Their last album, More Adventurous, was a terrific set of songs that read like their earlier release polished up with a bit of technical sheen. The band's transformation for Under the Blacklight is greater, to the point where they seem almost unrecognizable.
Songs like "Silver Lining" and "Under the Blacklight" are classic Kiley, with melodies sweetly sung and lyrics beautifully strung. Country twangers "15" and "The Angels Hung Around" evoke Jenny Lewis's gorgeous solo effort Rabbit Furcoat. The problems lie in their dalliances with disco, pop and funk with tracks like "The Moneymaker" and "Dreamworld." Musically most of this stuff is danceable and fun, but feel unfinished and unsatisfying as the hooks repeat ad nauseum without any turns or surprises.
It's a shame, because there is a lot to like on the record. The bands off-kilter efforts at world-beat in "Dejalo" and go-go psychedelia with "Smoke Detector" are surprisingly good. The out and out disco of "Breakin' Up" has its own Bee-Gees appeal. But even those songs are betrayed by a lack of nuance or a conspicuously awful lyric.
Play Under the Blacklight in the background as you do your chores and it's an appealing record. The beats are strong and the basslines groovy. It's when you sit down for an in-depth read that it starts to feel a little empty compared to old Rilo Kiley records. The disappointment isn't that it's an awful, hateworthy album, but that the band seems capable of doing so much more.
I'm at a loss for words to describe Kala, the second album from London (by way of Sri Lanka) tastemaker M.I.A.
She's certainly without borders; globe-trotting from Liberia to India to Jamaica to Brazil to Japan to Baltimore for a grab-bag of tribal, almost jarringly disjointed, array of sounds and beats. And regardless if her skills as an MC are up to snuff or her reliance on male producers (here Switch, DJ Blaqstarr, Timbaland, and Diplo lend a hand) is in question, songs like the Bollywood scorcher "Jimmy" and the frenetic voodoo of "Bird Flu" are examples of pop music its freshest and most dangerous precipice.
Polarizing as she may be, by cutting and pasting Clash samples ("Paper Planes") or Oxfam philosophies ("World Town") into giddy collages of melody and third-world representation, M.I.A. is taking a major stab at being both earth's reigning diva (move over Bjork) and its 21st century conscious. It's hard to try and convey the joy of such a dizzy album when one of your colleagues does it so much better.
David A. Cobb has been running Houston Calling on donewaiting.com since March 2003, almost as long as the site has been up. Since starting his column of the Houston music scene, David has become a man about town, truly knowing what's up in his city.
I've always felt that we weren't doing David justice having him be another blog on the bloated and confusing donewaiting.com site... so after some talking and domain buying, David has set up shop on his own site... Please point your bookmarks to houstoncalling.net.
Good luck, David. You'll always be in our hearts.... At this rate you'll be the mayor of Houston in about 8 months.
September 15, 2007
240 W Oakland Ave
(corner of Neil & Oakland)
Columbus, OH 43201
3:00pm - 7:00pm
- Omnimix 3-on-3 Basketball and Cookout -
Free food, basketball, and painting of the Tuttle Wall.
We will be playing Daymon's favorite music and cooking out
on the grills (meat / meatless).
Basketball is open to anyone that wants to play, all skill levels, lady ballers included.
7:00pm - 9:00pm
- Daymon Day Parade -
The parade will start at Tuttle Park and end at the High Five, escorted by Columbus's finest.
Everyone is encouraged to take part in this, and to bring signs, banners, musical instruments, or anything else that shows your love for Daymon.
Teenage Werewolf (Cramps cover band w/Zac,Ashley and Mark)
Przm Presents:The Perfect Storm
Skullys Music Dinner
1151 N. High St.,
5 bucks. all proceeds go to DJ PRZM"S daughter.
please copy and repost on myspace.
big up to martin, envelope,greenspin, pos... all the bands.etc
I am not the only person doing this. I just have the access code to this website.
Eve Searls from Columbus OH performs under the name Bird and Flower. She just had her first show a few days ago at Surly Girl with The Black Swans, and although I missed it, everyone I spoke to said it was really good.
Eve's been making music for a few years now, and only recently started to let it creep out on her website and Myspace page. The collection of songs are a mixture of lo-fi bedroom recordings, ranging from 4-track to laptop. There's not a lot of production in the songs, giving the listner an intimate connection with the music.
While there's no other Bird and Flower shows on the horizon yet, I imagine that'll be changing soon enough as word spreads of her music.
Modest Mouse and Band of Horses
Columbus, OH - LC
Photos by Kim Rottmayer
I was a little disappointed with my photos this time around. These don't compare to the ones i took a few years ago of Modest Mouse. It's amazing when given a "prime" spot what a difference it can make. I will kiss you the next time you are up, barricade!
I do enjoy the new Northern State album. I think it's a nice step forward for the group, and returns them to their roots by avoiding the pitfalls I saw in their major label debut while still managing to move into new musical territory.
So I open up today's Pitchfork review section (because I am super-special and the elves at Pitchfork actually print out a tabloid version of the site and deliver it to my doorstep alongside my other periodicals each morning) and see that they too have written about the band's new disc. And they give it a 5.0. Fair enough, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I dig that, so I read through the review to see where they believe the band stumbled.
The first five lengthy paragraphs do a nice job summing up the group's career to this point and describing much of the content on the new album. And I'm surprised because it's all so ... positive. The whole review is basically saying the group deserves some respect and does a decent job of what they do, given their backgrounds. It reads like a critical review should, taking context and history into account.
So I'm flummoxed when, in paragraph number six, the reviewer suddenly turns around and shreds the band, and the disc, to pieces. It comes off almost as if the reviewer just couldn't bring themselves to admit they enjoyed what they heard for fear that the "real" hip-hop underground would tease them and pull their hair. Which is ludicrous, since at no point is Northern State trying to gain themselves any sort of cred outside of the undestanding that their music is driven by a certain pop sensibility colored by a modest social conscience.
I have no problem with people slamming albums, but I think you need to make your case solidly when doing so, and don't just rely on a knee-jerk reaction born out of the fear that you may not be taken seriously for enjoying something you, well, enjoy.
seriously, download this mp3.
DRM-free option available.
In 2005 I had the surreal pleasure of meeting one of rock music's greatest enigmas, Roky Erickson, shortly after he performed for the first time in over a decade at the annual SXSW Festival in Austin. I thought this was simply a one-time deal -- the city dusting off a local legend and carting the eccentric genius to the stage to play a bit of "Two-Headed Dog" for old-time's sake. Little did I know about the trials and tribulations Erickson went through to arrive at this point again. I knew his back-story (an acid casualty sentenced to a maximum security state mental hospital, where shock treatment further fried his former self), but had no knowledge of the germ of a life he led after becoming ward to his mother Evelyn.
You're Gonna Miss Me, a new documentary by Keven McAllester, is a rather poetic attempt to connect those dots. From Erickson's heady beginnings inventing psychedelic music with the 13th Floor Elevators to his recent road to recovery sponsored by his youngest brother Sumner, and all the highs and low in between, the film explores his life from within the family drama that exists in the present. Who has the best intentions for Roky?
At the start we find "a 53 year-old man sleeping to the melody of four radios, three televisions, two amps, a radio scanner, and a Casio keyboard, all playing at the same time. Loudly. He has three teeth, and his hair is matted into one huge dreadlock." Locked up in a low-rent apartment in Austin, Roky is at the mercy of his mother, who has let her son rot without proper health care, human interaction, and the psychiatric treatment we later find he dearly needs. On the other hand, Sumner is convinced Roky was never schizophrenic, treats him with new-age therapy, fixes his teeth, and sends him out on a tour with a recently released retrospective of his body of work to hoc. Both sides come across as sympathetic to Roky's well-being, but both have motives. It's this uncertainty that lends the movie it's emotional weight. Even the casual Elevators fan will be intrigued by the oedipal pushing and pulling involved (in a brief, but vital, scene we see that Father Erickson lives next door to Sumner in Pittsburgh).
Besides the familial plot, resulting in a happy ending as Roky becomes emancipated from any type of guardianship (found in the dvd's bonus section), You're Gonna Miss Me showcases his life as an artist. There's plenty of archival footage from his time in the Elevators (including an odd stint on American Bandstand), anecdotes from a number of reputable people in his life (and Thurston Moore), and home video of Roky reading poetry or starring in creepy shorts produced by his mother. If you're wanting the standard "behind the music" exposition, it is provided, though my only beef comes with the blur over his Alien days (which I consider his most fertile period). Surely though it would be a three-hour film if McAllester would've detailed Roky's life in and out of institutions in the 80's and recording studios in the 90's (though it's legend that the Butthole Surfer's King Coffey is the first person to ever give Roky an actual royalty check for his 1995 album All That May Do My Rhyme).
Fortunately, while other tortured cult heroes are dead (Skip Spence, Syd Barrett) or still in hiding, Roky Erickson is experiencing a revival of sorts. One year after seeing him perform only three songs with little guitar work, I witnessed him perform a greatest hits set with a blazing new back-up band, the Explosives (that included Kinky Friedman), his voice and rhythm more than could be expected from the Rolling Stones this day in age. It remains to be seen if Roky will indulge his legion with new material, but for now digging through his back catalog, turning others on to his mysticism, and re-evaluating his impact on popular culture, is enough to keep him alive.
Jim Jones posted this synopsis from his interweb networking account on myspace.com about an upcoming film starring Juels Santana called the Project:
"Justin Stager and Dana Murphy, white, young, and naive, move to Brooklyn to make a documentary about inner city life. The film takes a media-immersion approach: Dana follows inner city youths, Justin films NYPD officers on patrol, and John Healy, a hired cinematographer, documents the filmmakers.
The focus of Dana's story is Thomas Coventry, a 15-year-old black youth trying to navigate his way through his strained family and social life. Thomas is poised to move up from the hardships of ghetto life, but his volatile friend, Nate, who is hell bent on stealing the spotlight, is keeping Thomas down.
Surrounded by violence and drugs, nothing comes easy to Thomas in the dangerous environment he calls home. On the flipside, Justin documents the everyday lives of NYPD officers Dan Masterson and his partner Alex Mora. Masterson is a seemingly good cop who puts his life on the line everyday.
However, it slowly becomes evident that views towards certain races get in the way of his duties. After performing a heroic act, Masterson granted some time off. He uses this time to uncover a plot, the origins of which, unmask the motives behind Masterson's racist behavior.
As the filming progresses, violence and emotions get into the way of Justin and Dana's objectivity. As the filmmakers grow apart their stories merge together, forcing them to become active participants in the underground world they hoped to observe through the lens. What was once considered an ambitious idea soon spirals out of control, with irreversible results. Written by SenArt Films"
No Word when Killa Season 2 is coming out but at least the Dips are back in the in the theatres.
Keep reading for the trailers.
Trailer # 2
New Madlib album coming August 28th. Produced just using samples from Indian records. Pretty fresh.
2007 Scribble Jam happened this weekend. And for the first time in some time, I wasn't there.
And am very happy because of it. If they would build a hotel with a pool adjacent to Annie's, I would possibly go. But I am too old and miserable to stand around and listen to whiney white people making homoerotic insults that illustrate an intense sexual repression during the mc battle..
The graffiti is usually good though. I found these photos of IOK's wall at America's Largest Hip Hop Festival.
Zerostar also didn't go to Scribble. He stayed at home, and played racketball.(True Story!)
When not playing sports, he recorded some freestyles. One is over DJ Przm's instrumental that was originally used for Copywrite's song Ten Times. The other is over Blueprint's Lo-Fi Funk. In that Freestyle, he claims to use that El Jesus. Not sure what drug that is. But just when I thought everyone came to their senses and realized rappers and indie rockers have nothing in common, and have no business hanging out with each other, Zero suprised me.
More Scribble Flicks After the Break