MP3: Grass Helmet
Monday night, Knoxville’s Royal Bangs comes to Skullys as part of their month-long fall tour. Circa 2007, the boys dropped by Cafe Bourbon St. as new signees of Audio Eagle Records. They put on a great show, and the five song EP they sold me was 22 minutes of solid gold. Since then, Royal Bangs has continued to hone their studio craft and tour consistently, steadily building their name from the ground up. March saw the release of their third full-length Flux Outside, which has led to increasing tour slots and appearances on late night TV. Monday marks their third appearance in Columbus in 2011, and since I missed the first two, I’ve been looking forward to this one. The well-rounded bill also includes BOBBY, who released a critically-acclaimed debut album over the summer, and local 3-piece Strangers in Daylight. Doors are at 8pm, $10 cover at the door.
In what is a pretty big deal for the Columbus “modern funk” community, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings make their Columbus debut at the Newport on Thursday night. For those unaware, Jones and her band have been one of the leading lights of the modern soul revival for the last ten years. The Dap-Kings provided most of the backup for Amy Winehouse’s “Back In Black” album, among other projects, and have spawned multiple other successful outfits like the Budos Band and the Menahan Street Band (well, they were sampled for a Jay-Z single, good enough for me) on their namesake label, Daptone Records.
Finally, the band’s endless touring schedule brings them to our fair burg to present their exuberant live show. I’m not sure of the official theme/purpose of this tour, but they do have a new single and a new album of unreleased tracks and B-sides, Soul Time! is forthcoming (Note: This is currently looking like an import release, with no mention yet at the Daptone site, but the CD/vinyl will be available as part of the Black Friday RSD promotion). Doors open at 7pm, Detroit’s The Wrong Numbers open.
(EDIT: Scheduled release information for Soul Time!, direct from Daptone:
– Germany – October 28th
– Rest of Europe – October 31st
– USA – Black Friday, November 25th. Record Store Day exclusive!)
Read on for more SJDK video highlights: Continue reading
MP3: We Remystify
Last week, CDR released Northren Psych, the long-awaited debut full-length from the mighty Psandwich. This local supergroup, which originally formed for an installment of the Rock Potluck, has handcrafted a fine album worthy of their oft-incendiary live shows. To celebrate the release, the band is holding an Album Release Party at Ace of Cups tonight, which will open with unannounced secret bands.
To prepare you for the show and album, check out the premiere of a new MP3 from Northren Psych entitled “We Remystify” as well as a video from a benefit show earlier this year.
Video: Continue reading
MP3: Can’t Have Enough
Nashville’s soul stalwarts The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker return to Columbus this Thursday night for a show at Woodlands Tavern. This touring juggernaut of classic funky soul puts on a live show to be reckoned with, and this one will surely be no exception. Charles Walker has been singing his heart out for decades, and the Dynamites’ mix of Nashville veterans and relative newcomers always keep things funky behind him. It has been a while since 2009’s Burn It Down, so maybe we’ll hear some new material (and maybe another album is on the way)? Only one way to find out. Opening act Miss Molly Band kicks off the festivities at 8pm, so get there early for all of the action. Admission is $10.
MP3: Street Clothes
Los Angeles’ Fool’s Gold recently released Leave No Trace, the follow-up to their 2009 self-titled debut album. Their lineup (which still includes Columbus ex-pat and multi-instrumentalist Brad Caulkins) and sound have changed a bit since the first album and previous tours, and the new album reveals a band that is focused on what it wants to be.
Leave No Trace features 10 new songs that delve into a wide range of styles and textures. While their collection of international influences are still easy to hear, the new material also touches on 1980s British pop (the opening of the title track is a near dead-ringer for a Smiths song) and dance music. Another stylistic shift is that lead singer Luke Top sings in English for the majority of the album, as opposed to the debut album that was sung in Hebrew. The result of these changes is that the songs have a more grounded, personal sound, which also plays out in Top’s lyrics. Songs like “The Dive” and “Narrow Sun” mix Top’s yearning spirit with catchy hooks, while the synth-laden “Street Clothes” seeks to inspire while evolving into a dirty jam led by Caulkins’ saxophone. The now five-man outfit has created a batch of songs here that convey passionate personal emotions while remaining primarily joyous and buoyant, led by Top’s soaring vocals.
Fool’s Gold is currently on the road in support of Leave No Trace, and the tour includes a stop Monday night at Skullys. Opening are locals Maza Blaska and You’re So Bossy. Admission is $10 at the door.
Video for “Wild Window” after the jump. Continue reading
MP3: Some Of Your Friends
This weekend, Columbus rock juggernaut The Lindsay drops Deep In The Queue, eight tracks of trademark jams, from the ominously smoldering to the slow building to the uptempo guitar workout. The release is particularly exciting for aficionados as it is the band’s first full-length album to be released on glorious vinyl! Highlights include the lone holdover from the previous Syrup Bag EP, “Can’t Wait 4 Space” (peppy rock jam with the mystically unnerving bass (?) sound that was dying for the wax treatment), as well as “Napkin” (smoldering) and “Bang A Left” (building to a crescendo). The band continues to mature, and while this is a general theme of the record, the tracks are still full-throttle when need-be. Another great addition to the Lindsay catalog.
The band will celebrate the release with a show Saturday night at The Summit. Joining them are Outerspacist and The Dads of Omaha, Nebraska.
MP3: El Dorado
After six years of banging around clubs local and nationwide, Columbus’ Lo-Pan is getting their message heard. Playing the circuit and releasing burners like 2009’s Sasquanaut got the attention of Detroit’s Small Stone Recordings, home to a legion of similarly heavy rock ‘n roll bands. After a recent remixing and remastering of Sasquanaut, the fearsome foursome now presents Salvador, a brand new 11-track blast of force and fury.
The band’s focus seems sharper than ever on their new material. Lead singer Jeff Martin’s emotive yet sleek and straightforward delivery is reminiscent of some brands of hard rock from 15 or so years ago, forceful yet not distracting. The rhythm section of Skot Thompson and J. Bartz is as relentless as ever, pounding out a propulsive backbeat for guitarist Brian Fristoe’s pyrotechnics. The tracks here are mostly shorter this time, providing bursts of rock maelstrom like opening track “El Dorado” and “Chichen Itza.” Of course, the boys can still brew and build a firestorm like before when they want to, with slow-burners like “Bird of Prey” and album closer “Solo.” Lo-Pan proves here that they are dedicated to no frills, ass-kicking hard rock of the highest order.
Lo-Pan will spread the news of their new album with a three-week nationwide tour. Before they do so, they will gather momentum at a release party Friday night at Ravari Room. Joining them will be fellow local juggernauts EYE and Before The Eyewall, as well as New Jersey’s Fight Amp.
Tour Dates: Continue reading
MP3: Fire To The Ground (feat. Matt Berninger)
On Friday night, The Summit will be graced by New York duo The Forms, touring in support of their new EP, Derealization. This is something of a “remix album,” except that the songs are all completely reworked/reimagined, and this work is done by the duo itself and not some random DJs. These reimaginations apparently lent themselves to collaboration, as the tracks include guest appearances from Matt Berninger of The National (see above), as well as members of Dirty Projectors, Shudder To Think, and more. The results are mostly breezy and danceable and stand on their own quite well.
The Forms will be joined at The Summit by Maza Blaska, RUMTUM (Shin Tower Music side project?), and Defense.
MP3: Lets Go!
Though they never went anywhere, it has now been a few years since Columbus’ Bottom Brick released a new album. After keeping busy with other projects in the meantime, the hip-hop trio now returns with their new EP Live Fast Or Die Slow.
In only 17 minutes of run-time, they succeed in producing a condensed package of classic-minded hip-hop that continues to evolve. Most of the tracks are produced by rapper/producer Seance, whose results range from the synthy, smoldering boom of lead single “Take It To The Top (On)” to the battle swagger of “Never Left,” featuring a masterfully cut-up hook from DJ Product. The menacing loop of opening track “Let’s Go!” provides a perfect backdrop for MC Adjust to burst out of the gates explosively. These five tracks are a great starting point to discover Bottom Brick’s material, and seem to predict more bangers to come.
Bottom Brick will celebrate the release of Live Fast Or Die Slow with a release party at Carabar Saturday night. Joining them on the bill are fellow local hip-hop heavyweights Zero Star (check the link for 3 free new joints), Stonecraft, and DJ Detox. Admission is free.
Columbus’ Wolf Ram Heart has a new album coming this spring and has given us an MP3 (below) to get a taste. The album release show is scheduled for April 29th at Circus. Copied and pasted:
“…cleanly delivers a swaying, breathy melody, perfectly suited to accompany long stares at a pinwheel. ‘Viewgirls’ perhaps best expresses the band’s ‘retro futuristic’ abstraction. Here, a dark mood overtakes the listener as an organ and hand shaker hint at ’60s influences, but as promised, it is re-imagined for a contemporary audience.” – U Weekly
A psychedelic-dark-pop group from Ohio, Wolf Ram Heart is bent on marrying art with popular music. Their new album, Betrayal of Hearts, is a hybrid of pop’s faded echoing sensibilities, molded into a modern space, and created in a way that allows these sounds to transform. Influenced by the productions of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson as much as 4AD and Creation Records acts of the early 90’s, the band’s music at times reflects these heavily layered moments and deceptively complex melodies held together with a string of mood and space, sewn into a beautiful and warm patchwork of something quite new.
Songwriter, producer, and vocalist David James’ musical career started as a child’s dream in a hospital bed in southern California. After waking up one day unable to walk, he was diagnosed with slipped capital femoral epiphysis, a hip condition that sometimes affects children during growth spurts. David underwent several surgeries that left him hospitalized, separated from friends, and alone for several years. His saving grace was an hour-long afternoon escape called The Monkees on KTLA Los Angeles. Watching the show at such a young age coupled with the complete absorption of their fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., turned him on to the sound of analog synthesizers, album production and the almost spiritual aspects of reverb.
In his teen years, David moved back to his birthplace of Fairborn, Ohio where he began to write and perform in Dayton area bands. Shortly after graduation, one of those bands was named semi-finalists in Musician Magazine’s best-unsigned band in the country competition. It was around this time David became infatuated with the realm of four-track recording, started purchasing his first vintage keyboards, and converted a loft space above his parents’ house to a studio. Continue reading