Tag Archives: Cheater Slicks

Jon Spencer and Columbus go way back

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By this point, everyone knows about local musician Sam Brown sitting behind the kit in the indie-rock supergroup Divine Fits, who will return to town Wednesday at the Newport Music Hall. Less known, perhaps, is the Columbus connection of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, which was recently added to the Newport bill (moved from the Basement).

In the early ’90s, sometime around the dissolution of Spencer’s previous band Pussy Galore, he and wife Cristina Martinez joined an incarnation of the off-kilter country/blues/rock Columbus outfit Gibson Bros. with Don Howland (Bassholes) and Jeff Evans (’68 Comeback), who had recently relocated to Memphis. A couple years ago, Howland told me about playing an RL Burnside cassette for Spencer during a Gibson Bros. tour.

“He was stunned by it,” Howland said. “By the time we got to Memphis to record the last album, we were covering an RL Burnside song with Jon singing it.” Spencer went on to record and tour with Burnside, exposing the bluesman to an audience he’d never before reached.

Columbus folks also speak about the influence of Evans’s “twisted-Elvis” onstage persona, and how it shaped Spencer’s approach as a frontman. You know all those self-referential “Blues Explosion!” shout-outs? It was part of the Gibson Bros. schtick very early on. “Gibson Brothers, ladies and gentleman, Gibson Brothers!” Evans would exclaim like a snake oil salesman during live shows.
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MP3: the Cheater Slicks – “Love Ordeal”

MP3: Cheater-Slicks-Love Ordeal

The Cheater Slicks will release a new studio record Reality is a Grape on October 31st. It will be their first full on studio record since 2007’s Walk Into the Sea. They recorded and mixed it at CDR on 100% analog gear. The record was cut from tape at Musicol and pressed there. Made by hand in Columbus, OH w/ no digital processing whatsoever.

MP3: Cheater Slicks “Bruno’s Night Out (Live at Carabar)”

MP3: Bruno’s Night Out (live)

I’ma just let Columbus Discount tell it:

There are a few key things that make Columbus Ohio, in a cultural sense, a truly great city to live in. We are close to many ancient Native American earthworks, we’ve got the Wexner Center for the Arts, and we get to see the Cheater Slicks play live about twice a month. The raw power of the Slicks in Columbus on a good night, in a dirty club at 2:15AM, playing to 15 people really is one of the all time great rock and roll experiences.

The Cheater Slicks are nothing to fuck with in the studio, but when they are on a stage playing at crushing volumes and unleashing some of purest negative energy this side of a Celine novel, there is nothing like it. I’m rambling, but the point is, this is not one of those live records that was thrown together as some kind of vanity project for the band or something, this is a document of a very important part of what the Cheater Slicks are.

Cheater Slicks – Live, Vol. 1: 2010 is part of what will ultimately be a three LP collection and features 8 live cuts, highlighting a few of the best songs of the Cheater Slicks 20+ year career. The track list is assembled from three shows The Slicks performed in 2010, and the recordings were done on mobile multi-track recorders in order to accurately document the always powerful, often unhinged experience of Cheater Slicks live.

Edition of 500 LP’s. 100 clear, 400 black.

Where to buy this record after the jump:

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This weekend in Columbus: CDR VII

It’s that time of year again, when grilling meat, arm wrestling, and indie rock somehow end up together in awkward sentences (like this one). This weekend is the seventh annual Columbus Discount Records BBQ, where the local label shares the wealth and gives you a wealth of local/international talent to gaze upon for as free as possible. This year’s version of the tradition entails two star-studded rock shows (Friday night at The Summit and Saturday night at Carabar) as well as a multi-faceted get-together Saturday afternoon at CDR HQ (corner of Oak and Parsons, just up the street from Carabar). Highlights:

Friday night at Summit: Sets from local Uggs-rock veterans the Guinea Worms and the most-successful, longest-lasting Rock Potluck band ever, Sandwitch (featuring Ron House), are those most likely to slay. Omaha’s Yuppies will play the part of the noisy visitors from out of town, and the night will be rounded out by intergalactic party Mormons Outer Spacist and the sheer spectacle of the Unholy Two. You will probably leave this show wearing beer.

Saturday afternoon BBQ: Obviously, free PBR and grilled eats would be a highlight of any day. However, this party also includes your chance for eternal glory with an arm-wrestling tournament! The male and female brackets are both sure to be tough, but you still have a couple days to train. If all of this is not enough, local legends the Cheater Slicks will play a set in the CDR studio around 5:30.

Saturday night at Carabar: This is where the big guns come out, so hopefully you are not drunk enough or drunk enough to enjoy it. Local wonders (and musical inspirations to Beck) Times New Viking will headline and close the festivities. I am excited for another visit from the prolific globetrotter Dan Melchior, who will surely entertain with whoever might be backing him up, and a set from Harrisburg, Ohio’s favorite sons, Mike Rep and Tommy Jay, will lend some tuneful and grizzled character to the proceedings.

More information, conspiracy theories, and conjecture here.

Also July 10: Oblivians, Bassholes, Cheater Slicks, Dex Romweber Duo

So there’s that Ted Leo Benco show at Skully’s after the much-posted-about Parking Lot Blowout on July 10 (Gibson Bros, Scrawl, Turks). And now there’s also this, after the Blowout ends, at the Summit:


My, oh my… Tickets go on sale June 10 at Cafe Bourbon St.

(As always, the hype section of the message board is a good place to keep tabs on upcoming shows and get details like set times, start times, etc.)

Friday night: Heavy Trash @ The Summit


I made a cassette dub of the La Bamba soundtrack when I was in high school. The movie was pretty good (from what I can remember) and did a bang-up job of showing the early days of rock n’ roll. Simpler times, simpler music, much of it with a rockabilly slant. Something about Heavy Trash’s third album, Midnight Soul Serenade, makes me think of La Bamba, like maybe had the duo (Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray) been around back in the ’50s, they’d have done the Winter Dance circuit with the likes of the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. As with anything Spencer’s associated with, Heavy Trash can be a bit sleazy, a bit garagey, a bit blistering, but there is still the basic element of early rock n’ roll in the short blasts the duo spit out.

MP3: Gee, I Really Love You (from the Fat Possum release, Midnight Soul Serenade)

Cheater Slicks and The Unholy Two open this BenCo show. $10 will get you a night of noisy rock, $2 more if you’re over 18 and under 21.

Weakened Wrap-up #14: Only Blogger to Rewrite History without a Pen

Pictured: my name on a list@Ravari Room courtesy of Thee Mike O

This is anti-shitty band, death of the whatever kind of genre that includes the likes of brokeNCYDE, Millionaires, Attack Attack!, 3oh!3, et al. Look, I was a dumb kid once too and my musical taste to this day is most certainly questionable, but how in the world are people falling for this shit? Are the eight graders doing heroin these days? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck. That said, if any of the aforementioned bands would like to be featured on a very influential music blog, hit me up, let’s party…Millionaires I’m looking at you.

In this episode of phalangic diarrhea i will relate hilarious anecdotes about the bands I saw and stuff I did, including but not limited to Jack White’s newest cash cow vanity project, some cougar “milf” lady that bought me and a few others some pizza, Cheater Slicks being good again, me being a lousy MC and Puerto Rican dudes liking tambourines. Also Mike O and Woody from Ravari Room oh man. Continue reading