Feat. Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Sundown, P. Blackk, Bill Fox, DJ Detox
Ace of Cups
February 3, 2012
Tag Archives: Bill Fox
Feat. Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Sundown, P. Blackk, Bill Fox, DJ Detox
I think we’ve spent plenty of time talking about Bill Fox’s two solo albums and most recent record, One Thought Revealed, so let’s take a second to revisit Fox’s beginnings with Cleveland power-pop band The Mice. Fox started the band with his drummer brother, Tommy Fox, eventually bringing bassist Ken Hall on board. The For Almost Ever EP came out in 1985, and it made a believer out of many, including Bob Pollard, who shares Fox’s love of tasty hooks and faux English accents. “Not Proud of the USA” is like a Cleveland kid’s version of the Sex Pistols.
A full-length, Scooter, followed in ’86, adding some jangle to the fuzz and further perfecting that mix of power and pop. (Superchunk later covered the track “Bye Bye Kitty Cat.”) You can now download both releases as one, For Almost Ever Scooter, courtesy Scat Records. A final album, Canterbury Bells, was never released, but you can probably find it if you dig around the Internets a bit. Continue reading
That right there is the album art and single for the first widely released Bill Fox record in more than a decade. One Thought Revealed comes out Jan. 17 through Jar Note Records, but you can preorder the CD now.
In one sense, the album is exactly what you’d expect: superb songwriting from someone CMJ once called “one of the most important artists of our day.” It follows the folk-inspired trajectory of Fox’s previous solo records (Shelter from the Smoke, Transit Byzantium), but One Thought Revealed isn’t a rehash of what Fox has proven he can do. It takes chances. There’s a saxophone solo. There’s giant, reverb-drenched snare hits. On “Whithering Soul” you’ll hear some in-the-red organ battling for rank with Fox’s dusty vocals, threatening to steal the song from a desperate man.
I’m sure Fox will have copies of the CD on hand at Donewaiting’s 9-Year Anniversary Show Feb. 3 with Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments (playing Bait & Switch in its entirety), P Blackk, Sundown, Zero Star and DJ Detox.
Also, file this under awesome but frustrating: In late fall, Gregory Lee Boyd’s tiny Cleveland imprint Treasure Records put out a Bill Fox cassette of previously unreleased material called Before I Went to Harvard. It’s an incredible record that plays like a bunch of Shelter and Byzantium outtakes that should have never been outtakes. (“Chain to Your Heart” could even pass for an early Mice demo.) But there were fewer than 100 released. Boyd is doing another small run, but it’ll sell out soon (or already has), and these songs deserve to be heard by many, many people.
I was able to obtain a copy (thanks Kyle Sowash!), so here’s a shot of the cassette front, which has the track list: Continue reading
Donewaiting’s 9-year Anniversary show: Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Bill Fox, P.Blackk, Zero Star, Sundown, Detox
This here weblog has been around for almost a decade, and that’s reason to celebrate. We’ll do that by bringing three amazing bands, an emcee and a deejay to Ace of Cups on Feb. 3 in Columbus, Ohio. Needless to say, you should come celebrate with us:
Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments are not just reuniting for this show. Ron House, Bob Petric and crew are playing their seminal 1995 Onion/American record Bait & Switch front to back. Rick Rubin would be proud. Wes Flexner also informed me that TJSA was once featured in Egotrip magazine, one of the greatest hip hop magazines of all time, which is fitting, considering our next artist…
Zero Star, via Wes – “Zero Star has proven to be one of the coldest rappers in Columbus by making classics with the late DJ Przm, the venerable Blueprint and upstarts like J. Maggz and Chozin, as well as dolo appearances on Grindtime and 107.5’s ‘In The Booth.'”
Bill Fox: We talk about Bill Fox almost as much as the Black Keys on this blog. The Cleveland troubadour who used to helm The Mice has become one of my favorite songwriters of all time, and by the time Feb. 3 rolls around, he’ll have a new album to play behind. But really, even without a new album, any Bill Fox show is a big deal and rare treat.
Sundown: It was probably only a matter of time before TK Webb put together a band here in Columbus after moving from Brooklyn (Kansas City before that). He chose the right partners: Dustin White (Moons), Blake Pfister (Moon High) and Grant Driskell (TV Eye). Don’t sleep on the band’s debut cassette EP, Mansion Burning, and keep your ear out for more stuff the band is currently recording.
DJ Detox: If you’ve been coming to this site for any period of time, or you even occasionally attend shows, you know Detox. He’s one of the most in-demand deejays in the city. He’ll spin tunes between sets.
Feel free to RSVP on Facebook.
UPDATE: P.Blackk added to the show!
Bill Fox — he of Cleveland’s The Mice, subject of Joe Hagan’s 2007 legend-establishing piece in The Believer and an Overlooked in Ohio alum — hasn’t released any new music since his two decade-old solo albums, Transit Byzantium and Shelter from the Smoke (the latter of which was reissued on vinyl in 2009 by Robert Griffin‘s Scat Records.) Nor has Fox granted an interview in years.
So I didn’t expect much more than a polite decline when I contacted Fox about his upcoming Columbus show on Saturday (details below). To my surprise, he emailed responses to some questions and revealed a new album coming in January:
As far as new material is concerned, there will indeed be an album released in January. The record is titled One Thought Revealed and will appear on Jar Note Records, a label which is being created by [friend and manager] Tim Rossiter. The CD was recorded autumn 2009 into last year with a couple of tracks written right around that time, a couple others around the millennium’s turn and several more 2006/2007, to the best of my recollect.
Read the full interview over at The Other Paper, where Fox also talks about Nada Surf’s cover of “Electrocution” and his song “Men Who are Guilty of Crimes,” which soundtracks a recent Occupy Wall Street video by ex-Clevelander Michael Nigro.
Bill Fox will play Cafe Bourbon St. (2216 Summit St.) Saturday (11/5) alongside acoustic sets from Jim McKeivier and Marcy Mays (Scrawl). Doors at 9 p.m. Cover: $6.
Last year, at a rare in-store performance at Lost Weekend Records, Cleveland’s Bill Fox played a tune called “Men Who are Guilty of Crimes.” I don’t know when he wrote it, but it felt particularly timely last summer, given that the cleanup of the BP oil spill was ongoing and the song implored Congress to “put the blame on BP.”
Ex-Clevelander Michael Nigro realized the song’s 2011 potential as the anthem for the Occupy Wall Street movement and tracked down a recording of the unreleased tune to soundtrack an OWS video montage called “Faces, Signs and Sentiments at Occupy Wall Street.” Check it out, above. (HT: I Rock Cleveland.)
Bill Fox was slated to play the Megacity Music Marathon last month at Woodlands Tavern but couldn’t make it. Fortunately, he’s coming back to town Nov. 5 for a show at Cafe Bourbon St., along with two acoustic sets from Jim McKeivier and Marcy Mays (doors at 9pm, $6).
“Men Who Are Guilty of Crimes” lyrics: Continue reading
As we’ve mentioned previously, Bob Miller’s PBR-sponsored Megacity festival debuts this Saturday (9/10) at Woodlands Tavern, and it’s a reunion-heavy lineup: 84 Nash, The Cusacks, The Bygones, Bigfoot, plus the original lineup of Tree of Snakes and Chris McCoy‘s first Columbus show in a year. Bill Fox is coming down from Cleveland, Wussy and the Seedy Seeds are coming up from Cincinnati, Kevin Failure of Pink Reason is coming from his overseas tour (where apparently he broke some ribs).Plus plenty of other great Columbus bands, many of whom have something special planned for Saturday.
Here’s the full lineup and set times for Megacity’s three stages (two indoor, one outdoor):
Oberlin: Donewaiting Recommends Jackfest (ft Slick Rick, Dj Questlove, Andrew Graham, Bill Fox + More) May 14th
Sometimes i think I should have went to weird college. Antioch had that graffiti student union and real cool laws that encouraged dirty talk.
And then there is Oberlin which never seems to sleep on the raps, and also the rock n rolls. Saturday, May 14th, Slick Rick the freakin’ Ruler will play Oberlin along with the new Ed Mcmahon, Questlove , Bill Fox, Columbus’s Andrew Graham & the Swarming Branch and more as part of Jackfest
A bunch of Oberlin bands and others like the Born Ruffians are also peforming.
Click this link to learn more about Jackfest.
Click on this link that was on the page I just recommended.
If 2009 was the year of Larry Jon Wilson, 2010 was the year of Bill Fox and the Gibson Bros. I think I listened to Bill Fox’s two reissued albums — Shelter from the Smoke and Transit Byzantium — more than anything else. (Shelter got a deluxe vinyl reissue, and Scat promises a similar treatment for Transit in 2011.) Go get ‘em. And working on a story about the Gibson Bros. reunion show back in July occupied my brainspace and held my interest for months. I don’t know if CDR has any copies of the Build a Raft reissue left, but if they do, it’s required listening for any Columbus music fan or anyone with a passing interest in twisted, noisy country/blues/rock.
But in terms of new stuff, here’s what I liked this year, starting with national releases and ending with Cowtown LPs.
1. Strand of Oaks – Pope Killdragon
I didn’t immediately hit repeat when I heard this album, but once I came back to it, I never stopped. Who knew a record with songs about John Belushi (from the perspective of Dan Akroyd), a 12-foot man and JFK could be so engrossing. Devastating, too. If you think Tim Showalter is just another pretty-voiced folkie, the layers of synth and Sabbath-like riffs on “Giant’s Despair” prove otherwise. The best way to get Killdragon digitally or on vinyl is through Strand of Oaks’ Kickstarter page.
Recorded on June 4, 1988 at Mather Courtyard on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio, power-pop legends THE MICE perform two songs that began their appearance on the WRUW radio series LIVE FROM CLEVELAND.