MP3: Alphabet City
MP3: My Concern
Some big news in the land of Columbus-based road warriors Two Cow Garage. First, the band will be re-releasing The Wall Against Our Back, which came out in 2004 on Shelterhouse. The self-released, limited-edition (500) reissue will be pressed on red, 180-gram vinyl with re-packaged artwork, available in mid-November. You can now pre-order the album with packages that include T-shirts and posters. Download two tracks from the re-release — “My Concern” and “Alphabet City” above.
In a press release sent by TCG’s manager Steve McGann (who also manages Lydia Loveless, Tim Easton and Todd May), Shane Sweeney shared these thoughts about the record:
After two years of almost constant touring on our first record, Please Turn the Gas Back On, in 2004 we decided to seclude ourselves in the ranch land of north Texas and record the songs that we had been hammering on over that long stretch of touring. We had no idea what the reaction would be to Wall Against Our Back. It just all happened so fast, and we were all so focused on doing it, that we had little time to postulate on what anyone else’s thoughts would be about it. As it turns out, and lucky for us, people did care, more than we ever could have hoped for. As we continued to tour and record, The Wall Against Our Back became a distant blur in the rearview mirror of our catalogue of songs. And soon we let it fall by the wayside and go out of print. Yet, it’s a struggle to think of a show where there hasn’t been at least one person requesting us to play a song “Off of that red record . . .” And now we’re doing something about it. Through the years TCG has moved progressively away from Wall’s sound musically, but we are no less proud of The Wall Against Our Back. It’s nice to welcome this record back into the fold. Thanks for sticking with it, and us.
The release also noted that Two Cow Garage is no longer affiliated with Suburban Home Records, and it didn’t mince words about the reason why:
Although attempts were made by TCG to have an amicable split, SHR failed to live up to its responsibilities to the band. In short, the band wishes SHR well, but asks its fans to buy directly from TCG or TCG website. Any other purchases at this time will unfairly go to SHR and TCG will receive nothing from those sales.
TCG fall tour dates:
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-revived Anyway 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.)
MP3: Unreleased Greenhorn album (courtesy Minimum Tillage Farming, who also has two others here)
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.
(Keep reading for more on Greenhorn from Bela. Seriously. Do it.) Continue reading
Posted in Columbus, Overlooked in Ohio
Tagged Alias Records, Bela Koe-Krompecher, big back forty, Bush League All-Stars, Dan Spurgeon, Gerard Cosloy, greenhorn, Mark Spurgeon, Pat McGann, Pop Narcotic, Steve McGann, The Grifters