Here’s the lineup and tentative set times:
* 9 p.m. – Doors open
* 9:15 p.m. – Columbus Priority Mail – This one-man show features Andrew Choi singing lyrics out of a notebook over top jazzy/indie rock music he produced on his computer and loaded onto his iPod Nano. I caught CPM at the Green on the Green festival earlier this summer and found Choi’s music to be really unique and different than anything I’ve experienced live in quite a long time.
* 9:45 p.m. – Oswald and the Herringbones – I’m surprised OATH doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry. Part of the campus pop-rock scene of the mid-80s to early-90s, OATH went through two different lineups during their heyday, the constants being Tom Boyer and Neal Havener. When I joined The Lantern newspaper staff at OSU in 1991, Neal was the arts editor and most of the staff were regulars at the many OATH gigs at Ruby Tuesdays on Summit. The second lineup of the band (also featuring guitarist Andy Harrison and drummer Rick Ziliak) recorded a full-length album, Time Doesn’t Matter, in 1992 and played a less-than-legendary (ha!) show at CBGB in NYC to promote the release. I traveled along with the band and it was my first time (but not last) visiting the legendary club. If memory serves correct, OATH disbanded sometime around 1994 and if they have reunited with the Harrison/Ziliak lineup, it’s been far and few between. This will be the first time I’ve seen this lineup (Aaron Pauley of Unit One will be filling in for Andy Harrison) in probably 15 or so years.
* 10:45 p.m. – Bel Auburn – This Ashland band came to my attention in 2004 when they sent me a copy of their debut, Cathedrals. I was blown away by a band that sounded like they should be signed to a major label and on tour with Coldplay and/or Mute Math. As mature sounding as the debut was, Lullabies in A&C (download for free here), which followed two years later, was even more amazing. Those who caught the band’s rare Columbus shows always walked away as fans but caught between Columbus and Cleveland, the band never really had a “home” base with built-in crowds. For all intents and purposes, Bel Auburn went on hiatus in 2007 though they did play a one-off gig at Circus in 2009. This will be their first live appearance in over 2 years.
* 11:45 p.m. – The Honey’s – This is where the idea for the birthday show first started. I ran into Columbus ex-pat, and former Honey’s bassist Lisa Lorraine, at a show at Skully’s last summer and pitched the reunion idea to her thinking she’d say, “I live in California now and don’t think I can make it back to Columbus for a show.” Much to my surprise, she said, “If you can talk Justin, Jaime and Ben into it, I’m in.” I’ve lived in Columbus since 1989 and would say The Honey’s are in my top 3 favorite local bands of all time. With the band’s last show in 2005 (at the time they said it was their one-and-only reunion show), many of you newcomers to Columbus may have missed the band’s Donnas-meet-Skid-Row ’80s throwback sound. If so, as my present to you, download the band’s 2004 release, Hot Day in Heaven here.
* 12:30 a.m. – Van Haken – There’s only one act I could think of to follow The Honey’s and that’s the Van Halen tribute band featuring members of Miranda Sound, Kopaz, Bicentennial Bear and Celebrity Pilots. This is pure David Lee Roth-era VH, none of that Sammy Hagar or Gary Cherone stuff mixed into the set (though I did ask if they’d be willing to consider it and was told “no way in hell”).