Dayton, Ohio’s Motel Beds have been in the midst of a creative swell since the late aughts. After six releases in three years, the momentum continues. Following a headlining CMJ set this Friday, Beds will issue Dumb Gold in mid-November. The band’s eighth release is a ten-track collection of angular, idiosyncratic songs, showcasing their remarkable musicianship and appreciation for no-frills rock & roll.
Dumb Gold was engineered by Beds guitarist and sometimes-Guided By Voices engineer Darryl Robbins (see 2012’s Class Clown Spots a UFO). Along with Robbins, the group features a lineup of seasoned Gem City greats – guitarist Tommy Cooper, vocalist P.J. Paslosky, drummer Ian Kaplan, and bassist Tod Weidner. Kelley Deal has also collaborated with Motel Beds in past days.
A reminder that the inaugural Downtown Dayton Revival Fest begins today. Guided By Voices, the legendary North Dayton lo-fi pioneers, hit the stage at 8:15 PM. The “classic-lineup” will perform a set of crowd favorites interspersed with new material. While many attend to hear older hits, I do give GBV great credit for not just phoning in a reproduction of yesteryears. In addition, for what it’s worth, some of the new material has seen great critical acclaim.
The Ohio Players, revered as one of the finest funk groups of all-time, are slated for Sunday at 6:15 PM. Very few original members are living these days, nonetheless, I suppose it’s special to see the TOP name in a festival lineup at all. Truthfully, and not many believe this, but Dayton was once “The Land of Funk.” Yes, the Gem City had a monumental impact on the genre with bands like Zapp & Roger, Heatwave, Slave, Lakeside, and many more influencing artists the world over. I could go on about the effect of the aforementioned and may do so soon, however, for now, I’ll just let Snoop Dogg talk to you about Roger Troutman of Zapp & Roger.
While GBV and TOP are age-old Gem City favorites, the Downtown Revival Fest will feature newer Dayton talent as well. In particular, Motel Beds play at 6 PM today and Good English kicks things off Sunday at 12:15 PM. Continue reading →
Dayton, Ohio funk legends The Ohio Players will make an extremely rare and special appearance this weekend at the Downtown Dayton Revival Fest. Best known for their hit “Love Rollercoaster” (later sabotaged by the Red Hot Chili Peppers), The Ohio Players have had an immeasurable effect on the funk, soul, rap, and hip-hop communities. Here is a video of them performing on Midnight Special in 1975. Phenomenal.
Downtown Dayton Revival Fest takes place this Saturday & Sunday, September 8 & 9 in the heart of downtown Dayton. Also slated are Guided By Voices – another set of Gem City sons sitting in the annals of music history. GBV will make a progressively infrequent classic-lineup appearance, alongside performances by Heartless Bastards, Motel Beds, Buffalo Killers, The Werks, Rusted Root, Guster, and 2012 headliners Train and John Legend.
2012 is the inaugural year for the Downtown Dayton Revival Fest. DDR has a total of 37 acts performing over a two day span. There will be three stages near historic Memorial Hall in downtown Dayton. Admission is $75 for a two-day pass. You can purchase tickets here and find more information at:
Last night Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner and Sam Brown showed up at the Continental Club in Austin billed as “The Hot Skull,” then played their first ever Divine Fits set, pulling off a 12-song secret show that actually remained pretty secret until just a few minutes before the band took the stage.
Here’s a not-too-shabby live video of “Flaggin a Ride” (via CoS), track 2 on A Thing Called Divine Fits, out Aug. 28 on Merge. Boeckner told me recently that writing and rehearsing “Flaggin” was one of those moments where everything clicked, and he realized this band is a real band — a real and awesome band:
“We did this super-early version of it, which is pretty much what ended up on the record, minus some overdubs. The bass just stays the same through the verses, and the guitar was just this weird, clicky, rhythmic, one-note thing that would shift every now and then. We were writing it and just kept stripping away guitar parts until there are actually no chords. I don’t think I play many chords on any of the songs [on the album], except maybe “Civilian Stripes.” Anyway, we kept stripping “Flaggin a Ride” back and back and back. Finally, it was like, this sounds fucking great. I was really excited about it. There’s no guitar chords in that song. It’s all implied. That made me really happy. When we could play that song all the way through, that was when I was like, yeah…”
In Columbus, the question people have been asking is, how did this band come about, and how did Sam Brown — a guy everyone in the Columbus scene knows is one of the best drummers around — get hooked up with the frontmen of Spoon and Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs? Continue reading →
A very large, lively Sunday night crowd gathered to hear readings from Noah, Matt Hart, Nick Sturm and musical performances from King Elk, The Judy Blooms, Henry Daggs, Speaking Suns. As it was, the evening bore further proof that the Gem City is still alive.
Hey, in light, let’s not kid ourselves, Dayton has seen better days. Nonetheless, if you dig deep beneath the mire, you’ll find a very pronounced glimmer. Tawdry as it may be, I feel Dayton’s art and music scene is analogous to the lo-fi masterworks of its sons in Guided By Voices. It may take repeated attempts, however, under the layers of mess, you’ll find undeniable gems. Some may give up and write it off and scoff and that is their loss. However, the privy patient will discover gifts that keep on giving.