For almost five years now, the music of Dan Melchior (above, center) has been a reliable source of goodness in my somewhat limited “indie rock” meanderings. In that time, many groups/artists have come along with a great album or two or a great live show or two and manage to gain my fandom for a while, only to come around again with something I don’t like or just disappear. Despite issues with lineup changes and the fabulous follies of the record industry, Melchior has continued to slap his name on fine singles/LPs/CDs and keep touring (well, maybe not enough for me, but he’s doing it).
It all started in the fall of 2002, when I was a recent college grad. In my time as a college radio DJ, I had heard a song or two by these guys (who seem to have fallen into the second of the aforementioned categories of previously thrilling bands) and was intrigued. Their tour came to the “old” High Five, so I dragged my girlfriend of the time to the rock show. The bill was longer than I thought and it was a Monday night so I wasn’t able to stay late (missing ILCK and Modey Lemon), but I did get to learn of and see both the Cheater Slicks and Dan Melchior’s Broke Revue (the bands were labelmates on In The Red at the time) for the first time. My memories of the show are a bit hazy at this point, but I do remember the Revue rocking my skull in and persuading me to buy the just-released (or not quite released at the time?) Bitterness, Spite, Rage & Scorn CD.
In the months and years afterward, that album became one of my all-time favorites. Melchior’s London (England) accent pouring out simple wisdom and abstract observations over some bluesy, garage-y, itchy boogie somehow managed to rock pretty hard, and I was sold. Since then, the never-quite-released (those label troubles) Broke Revue album ‘O Clouds, Unfold!’ (2004) and the solo Hello, I’m Dan Melchior (2005) have also been great, showcasing a variety of garage-tinged styles and Melchior’s bitter-yet-hopeful songwriting. Another solo album, Fire Breathing Clones On Cellular Phones, came out last year (yeah, I just discovered this, will pick it up ASAP), and singles and reissue comps seem to pop out here and there, leaving plenty of material for the ardent fan to track down. The new Das Menace lineup will be releasing the Pink Scream EP soon and hopefully an album after that.
Dan Melchior will be returning to Columbus for the first time since the fall of 2004 (I think?) to play a show at Cafe Bourbon Street Thursday night. In what must be an attempt to help me relive my memories (right?), the bill includes the Cheater Slicks, who just cranked out a new Dead Canary Records LP, Walk Into The Sea, that is itching for your consumption. Rounding out the bill is Psychedelic Horseshit (another band evolving through lineup changes) and Beard of Stars. Thursday is the new Thursday, so get ready to jam!