Last week Tin Armor, City of Brass and the Alwood Sisters played a very special show at Rumba Cafe. Each band played an awesome cover another’s song and it was a super fun time. Also, Tin Armor just released a full length which you can name your price for download. Do it!
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Megan Palmer and the Hopefuls played Rumba Cafe last week. Palmer, an ex-pat of Columbus, is playing a ton of shows around Comfest and has her own performance at 7pm Sunday at the Gazebo Stage.
Fans of Pete Yorn would be wise to check out Matthew Mayfield’s performance at Rumba Cafe on Saturday night. The Alabama singer-songwriter fronted Moses Mayfield (2002-2008) before embarking on a solo career that has yielded a couple of EPs and a full length, Now You’re Free, which contains 11-tracks of mid-America somber/soundtrack pop.
Snag four free tracks through NoiseTrade.com in exchange for your email address.
A few months ago I hit up a Happy Hour/CD release show (The Mooncussers) at Rumba Cafe. Honestly, I left work a bit late and was hoping that I wouldn’t have to sit through the opening act (Tom Evanchuck) that I didn’t know anything about. So glad that my timing was off and I arrived just as Evanchuck was getting started. What I saw really blew me away … a two-piece dirty blues band (I hesitate using the word “blues”, but there is elements of blues and folk in Evanchuck’s music).
Peloton Records – the local label that has already hit a home run by pushing their artist Lydia Loveless to the next level (ie – a label deal with Bloodshot) – is handling the release of Evanchuck’s TWO new CDs, the acoustic/folky Fadin’ Glow and the rougher, plugged-in Tom Evanchuck is Back as The Evanchucks. We’ll explore these two releases next week but right now the electric album, which paints Evanchuck as a young Chris Whitley in my opinion, is at the top of my playlist.
Evanchuck joins The Mooncussers and Lydia Loveless, fresh off a lengthy midwest/west coast tour, tonight at Rumba. Show starts around 9pm.
Note: A shortened version of this interview appears in this week’s Other Paper. Pick it up for free at newsstands or visit TheOtherPaper.com.
Strand of Oaks put out my favorite album of 2010, Pope Killdragon. The group’s second full-length, it’s staggeringly beautiful and more than a little bizarre. The band is essentially the solo project of Philadelphia’s Timothy Showalter, who will play the support slot for Joe Pug at the Rumba Café on Tuesday (along with local act Dolfish). Reached on the road recently via email, Showalter answered questions about how the album’s songs–which touch on subjects like Dan Aykroyd and a 12-foot giant–came into being. He also talked about his decision to include “Giant’s Despair,” an instrumental doom-metal track, on the album.
How did you end up writing a song from the perspective of Dan Aykroyd about the death of John Belushi? It’s not typical folk-song fodder.
Actually, a friend of mine from Scranton, Pa., was putting together a Dan Aykroyd compilation (for some unknown reason) and asked me to contribute. Like all things Strand of Oaks, I took a funny idea and somehow made it into something really sad. I was staying up late thinking about Dan and suddenly began to sympathize with how he must have felt after losing John Belushi.
This isn’t new but it’s new to me.
Stumbled into the Rumba Cafe a little past start time for the Happy Hour show last night, ready to bid a long work week adieu. I was more than pleasantly surprised by Tom Evanchuck’s opening set of Delta-style blues/folk. If I understood correct, the singer’s name was Tom and the drummer’s last name was Evanchuck and they merged the two together to name the band.
Call it “being in the moment”, but given the time of day, the $1.50 PBR drafts, the respect the audience was giving the duo, the intimacy of the Rumba Cafe, I was having SXSW flashbacks. It’s always great to step into a club with no expectations and be blown away as I was last night.
While I’m kicking myself for not picking up a copy of the live album (Live Birth) Tom was promoting from the stage just before the set ended, both that album and a full-length (Tom) are available digitally on iTunes and Amazon. Remember that “Buy a $20 Amazon gift card for $10” promotion running rampant on the internet a week ago? Yep, I’ll be spending my on Evanchuck’s music today.
You guys hear about Will Oldham’s new band, The Babblers? This video is from the band’s debut performance in Tennessee. Weird costumes, lots of sunglasses, loud music then quiet music. Vexing. (Although, as Oldham sings in the video, “It doesn’t matter who we are.”)
Well, on the way back home from the band’s Town Hall show in New York (Wednesday night), they’ll stop by the Rumba Cafe for a last-minute Columbus performance. There’s an early show booked that night, but Oldham and the Babblers will take the stage at 11:30pm. They’ll play for about an hour. $7 cover.
Certainly joyful and colorful in the press photo, The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir’s sound comes from a darker place. The band is built around the songwriting of former drug dealer Elia whose lyrics deal with issues of drug abuse, mental illness and sexual identity. It’s no wonder, then, that Elia comes off as a bit as the bastard child of Morrissey and Javis Cocker (Pulp) – go ahead, picture THAT consummation in your dirty, dirty mind!
While comparisons to Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, and Mekons make sense, to me, SYGC comes off as the drinking-and-smoking, younger troublemaking cousin of the limp-wristed Belle & Sebastian.
Benco Presents The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir and Maza Blaska at Rumba Cafe. Cover charge is $5 and something tells me you can probably head over after Benco’s other show (Brendan Benson/The Posies) and still see a full set by SYGC.
An album that has been sitting on a hard drive, 85% complete for the last five years, is finally going to see the light of day tomorrow night at the Rumba Cafe. In a way, it makes me sad because I wonder just how many other bands have started down the process of recording something new, something that started off as a dream to further their musical career but fell by the wayside for any number of reasons (finances, jobs, weddings, kids, disagreements, etc.).
Fortunately, Kopaz’s breakup had nothing to do with bad blood among band members. Rather, it had more to do with singer/guitarist Brian Hake and drummer Nathan Keister diving headfirst into parenthood and … gasp … responsibilities for lives other than their own. Maybe in the back of their minds, they knew that Teeth Like Cities would eventually be completed. Maybe they didn’t. All I know is that an album that was primarily recorded in 2005 (the band finished off the remaining bits and pieces earlier this year) stands to be my favorite local release of 2010!
Friday night: Greg Laswell, Jimmy Gnecco (of the band Ours), and Brian Wright perform at Rumba Cafe
Though he’s released 3 full length albums and a few EPs over the past couple of years, Greg Laswell’s music reached it’s largest audience when the San Diego native’s “Off I Go” was prominently featured in Grey’s Anatomy’s season 5 season finale last year. It’s not the first time he’s contributed a song to that show, in fact, he’s had six different songs featured on this show alone as well as countless others on shows like True Blood, CSI: Miami, and Three Rivers.
Laswell’s often been classified as a singer/songwriter and it’s a fair comparison though he’s not just a guy with an acoustic guitar playing coffee houses for tips. His writing style fits comfortably alongside peers such as Josh Ritter, Jakob Dylan, and Cary Brothers and his sound is rounded out by a full band.
Greg took a few minutes while on tour this week to answer some questions I sent his way.
As a child of the MTV generation, do you find it interesting that developing artists are getting exposure on TV in the form of soundtrack placements rather than in music videos?
I suppose. I liken it more to the role that radio used to have, back when they weren’t playing the same 10 artists on every station.