Just in time for Christmas, Bela Koe-Krompecher issued the following note regarding Anyway Records 20th anniversary celebration:
In celebration of 20 years of debt-making Anyway will host a two nights of shows at Ace Of Cups, December 21-22. Bands playing include: The New Bomb Turks, Moviola, Kyle Sowashes, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Connections, Obnox, Necropolis (covering Gaunt), Greenhorn, Belreve, Jenny Mae, St. Lennox, Orchestraville, Winter Makes Sailors, County Pharaohs and more. Proceeds from the show will go to three charities (Peloton, Columbus Music Co-Op and NAMI Ohio). On Saturday, there will be a free kids show starting at 6 PM. Admission will be $7.
We’ll have much more information as the shows get closer, but clear your calendars now, this is one (two) not to be missed.
Editor’s note: “Overlooked in Ohio” is a feature in which we ask an Ohio-based artist/music enthusiast to tell us about a few bands (past or present) from the state of Ohio that deserve some love. Our third installment comes courtesy of Bela Koe-Krompecher, a staple of the Columbus rock scene and head of the soon-to-be-revivedAnyway Records — former home of Gaunt, The New Bomb Turks and countless other “important” Columbus bands, including this volume’s subject, Greenhorn. …This is a long one, but do yourself a big favor and read the whole thing… (All photos by Jay Brown.)
In 1990 there was a force in Columbus that shook the walls and very foundation of such hallowed halls as Stache’s and Bernie’s. While it may be the easiest assumption to think that this force was The New Bomb Turks, Gaunt or the Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments (who were all sharpening their guttural and whiny blasts of intellectual yet primordial rage to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public), none of them could hold a candle to the utter force of Greenhorn. Consisting of two sets of brothers out of the ashes of the first Datapanik band, Two Hour Trip, Greenhorn was Midwestern to the core, but they inflicted an audio assault that ranks with the best of American rock and roll.
The Columbus music community gathered around Greenhorn like ants around a dropped sucker. Everybody loved them — the punks, the junkies, the feminists (riot grrls?), indie-rockers and even the college crowd. There was nothing ironic or tongue-in-cheek about the music nor the lyrics. In fact, primary songwriter Dan Spurgeon was not afraid to let his emotions hang on his sleeve, and many of his songs consisted of paeans of love to his future (and ex-) wife. As any good-minded record geek knows, being this upfront and exposed in music is a dangerous and daunting task, especially for a male songwriter. Chan Marshall may be able to do it, but you’d be hard-pressed to believe Steve Malkmus could ever do it with a straight face, let alone Ron House.
Part of the effect of Greenhorn was the sheer potency of the Greenhorn live show; these fuckers stacked the back of the stage with a wall of Marshall amps. From floor to ceiling, the rhythm section consisted of Pat (drums) and Steve (bass) McGann, two intelligent, good-old boys with handsome boyish charm that flooded the stage with exuberance whenever they played. Steve had an intrinsic “I-dare-you” attitude that he wore on his bass, playing this out by removing two of his bass strings — the musical equivalent of “we don’t need any stinking badges!” Dan sang and played rhythm guitar while his older and shirtless brother Mark played lead, adding snaky leads over Dan’s simple yet vigorous songs.
After more than a decade since emerging from the ashes of Greenhorn, and 8 months since solidifying the current version of membership, Dan Spurgeon leads the Bush League All-Stars in debuting Cedar Knees this Friday. Reflecting the deep resumes of the members, all of whom have had success around town in the gamut of genres, the record varies from sweet to stomping (but tends towards the latter).
Most songs seem to fall somewhere in the spectrum between the smart piano alehouse-pop of the Hold Steady and a more visceral American camaro-rock. If you’re looking for deep sentiment or brooding, look away. I’m left mostly with the impression that the songs are as fun to play as they are to listen to. It’s got the vigor of a summertime record, almost a shame to dump it on the market when people are hunkering down under their comforters to watch crappy DVDs. Don’t let the weather stop ya though. The release show is Friday, December 11th at The Summit. Hand-screened CDs make great stocking stuffers.
And speaking of great bands that have built up a little cred over the years, joining BLAS for the night are big shots Pretty Mighty Mighty and You’re So Bossy. Whoa. Really. This is gonna be good.