The fine folks at the Columbus Music Co-op have had a busy winter with all kinds of happenings, but spring has sprung, the Parking Lot Blowout is on the distant horizon, and a few other events are emerging from the CMC winter chrysalis. First one is happening this Thursday the 30th at The Shelf, where they’ll be hosting a workshop titled “Legal Issues for Musicians” lead by attorney and co-owner of All Hail Records Tony Clark . You got questions about whether you should be signing with Universal or Sony? RIAA or ASCAP? Or maybe just about how to establish copyright and digital music distribution? I really have no idea if Tony is gonna help you out with your major deal, but I’m betting this is an awesome place to get some fabulous free info on legal matters large and small, and a few of your basic questions answered. The workshop is from 7-9 PM on Thursday- shoot ‘em an email to let ‘em know you’re coming.
As is the case with almost all the CMC events, this serious business is tempered with a healthy dose of fun. The evening will kick off just downstairs from The Shelf with a happy hour at the Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails, complete with the ladies of the CMC spinning a couple hours (5-7PM) of all local music. I swear a few Commit To Be Lit drinks will make all the legalese magically comprehensible. After the legal workshop, The Shelf space will transition from courtroom to concert hall as it is filled with the dulcet voices of Dan Spurgeon (Bush League All Stars) and Sean Gardner’s solo project Winter Makes Sailors. Music should go from about 9 to 11. If you didn’t get enough booze at Tip Top, bring your own to The Shelf for the show, along with a couple bucks for the performers.
Disclosure: I’m a board member of the CMC
MP3: The Lesser Stars
Two years after releasing their first full-length album (Birds & Butterflies) on Columbus Discount, Columbus’ Proper Nouns have returned with A Million Hurtful Things, their first release on upstart local label All Hail Records. Though the boys at CDR recorded most of the album and the relationship between the label/studio and the band appears to be intact, the shift in headquarters seems to make sense stylistically. The Nouns’ precise pop doesn’t mesh very well with the rougher textures of bands like Necropolis and El Jesus De Magico (however unfair the pigeonholing may be), and as they are a bit unique in the Columbus “scene,” the association with a more varied label like All Hail (Paper Airplane, Electric Grandmother, etc.) likely ensures a less biased perception of their tunes.
After the two-year break, A Million Hurtful Things builds well on the foundation laid on their previous release. The band’s lineup has changed, with Justin Riley (Terribly Empty Pockets, Super Desserts, etc.) replacing the departed Dave Gibson on Wurlitzer, other keyboards, and background vocals. Though the keyboards have always been an integral part of the Nouns’ sound, Riley seems to be more assertive in his contributions, especially on the Animals-esque “Conditions Are Worse” and the jaunty “The Lesser Stars.” Lead singer/guitarist and primary songwriter Matt Ogborn has concocted another batch of roughly delicate pop songs. His wit and enunciation are as sharp as ever, lending humor to “Long-Time Correspondent” and the “sneering” “My First Death Ray.” The rhythm section of Travis Kokas (bass, background vocals) and Phil Francis (drums) continues to provide a steady backbone for the band, and Francis’ rumbling fills add excitement.
Though the sound presented here is very similar to that of their previous effort, the main difference (and in my opinion, improvement) is that the songs on A Million Hurtful Things are much more drawn out and relaxed, with a perceptible swagger that was often lacking in their previous material. These longer tunes seem to allow the band to get more comfortable with the task at hand, to pleasing effect. The addition of handclaps is nice too.
The Proper Nouns will celebrate the release of A Million Hurtful Things with a show at Cafe Bourbon Street on Friday, May 2. Joining in the festivities will be RTFO Bandwagon and Heavy Mole.