This year’s list of favorites is fairly sedate (even for me), with just a little ruckus here and there. Lots of morning-coffee music, which I guess says something about my 2011. But music’s strength is its pliability. It can be whatever you need it to be at the moment, especially when we have instant access to virtually any song ever recorded, often for free. Judging by this list, I needed music to be a salve more than a release valve this year.
I also never expected my favorite album to come from someone who held the spot previously, but the iTunes “most played” playlist doesn’t lie. It’s a divisive one, but people who like it really like it.
I picked 15 favorites and several honorable mentions, plus a Favorite Columbus Albums list below — separate but equal in enjoyment and quality. As usual, I limit my lists to albums, so some EPs and 7”s I liked (e.g. Envelope, Sundown, Malefactors of Great Wealth, Dolfish) aren’t listed.
As Chip said about Wussy’s Chuck Cleaver, “One wouldn’t expect the heavily tattooed Cincinnati songwriter to produce his best collection of songs this late in his already highly-prolific career, but that’s exactly what he’s done.”
I’ve been loving Spotify ever since I started to use it earlier this month. I know people seem to be into Rdio a little more but honestly I never tried it out and am too busy lazy to check out the other service.
Playlists are a big thing on Spotify and I figured I’d share one that I’ve put together. My Columbus Ohio playlist features music from as many Columbus bands that I could find (two albums max). The playlist includes Ron House, Royal Crescent Mob, Blueprint, Envelope, RJD2, The Black Swans, The Sun, Megan Palmer, Lydia Loveless, New Bomb Turks, Times New Viking, The Whiles, J Rawls, and many more.
If there are Columbus bands on Spotify that I missed, let me know in the comments and I’ll add them.
Tomorrow night (Friday, 7/1) Times New Viking will play its last Columbus show of the year, which bums me out. But, a roast hosted by none other than Ron House (Great Plains, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments) should add some levity to the evening. House’s band, Psandwich, will also play (full-length coming soon), as will kindred spirits Mike Rep and Tommy Jay. If I didn’t have to travel out of town, there is no way I’d miss this. Details, tickets for the Wexner Center event here.
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Dustin White has had a presence in both Columbus and the National DIY picture for as long as I can recall.
We could take it back to his post-rock band Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.
Or we could talk South Campus punk houses like Compton and the Legion of Doom. But someone could probably
one-up that and go prior to those turn of the millenium movements.
So let me skip ahead and just say Dusty is a talented weirdo that knows the ends and outs of most musical instruments and recordings. Makes sense that he co-produced the latest Times New Viking record Dancer Equired with TNV and also acts as their soundman on the road.
Being TNV’s sounddude is somewhat like being a white noise, dub-master.
Oh yeah, and there are these MP3’s I posted above of his new project that is fronted by revered MO-BK transplant TK Webb, Sundown.
So via the emails I caught up with Dusty right as a West Coast leg of a TNV tour ended. He discussed working with them and Sundown.
How was the Times New Viking tour?
This tour has been going great. Hit some weirdness in some places, but all in all it has gone better than the last full US tour by a good amount.
What’s your role as a live sound dude for a band like them?
My role is way different than most live sound situations because I do a lot more to the sound than just make it loud. It’s more like Martin Swope in Mission of Burma, because I’m manipulating and treating what they do on stage. Sometimes to make it sound more like the lofi records, sometimes to make the guitar hurt your ears, sometimes just to make it sound fucking cool, and sometimes I am just trying to make it loud and clear. It’s actually a creative role as opposed to the typical clinician role that most live sound is which appeals to me a lot more. I also love the challenge that is trying to get interesting results in different places with different equipment and a different set of rules every night. Continue reading →
TNV premiered its new stop-motion, Brandon Reichard-directed joint over at IFC.com and had this to say about it:
When’s the first time you remember working on the song “Ever Falling in Love”?
That was the one song on the record that felt different than the rest of the songs. It was a little slower, and Beth [Murphy] played guitar on it. It was one of the first songs that is a story song for us. It worked out because Beth and I sing different parts on the song. She wrote lyrics, and I wrote lyrics separately. Somehow, they really worked together.
The story of the song is the idea that people meet, they hook up, and then, the next day, you have to deal with the girl waking up and thinking the guy has left. But the guy comes back for her, and then they just say, “Fuck it,” and go off together. For the video, we actually had a movie idea from a long time ago, so then we thought maybe we could work that into the video. The video is kind of like the song, except they live in a land where there are no images because the king is blind and took all the images. Then this guy and this girl meet in a bar, and then the next day he leaves and goes into this hall of images where all the images in the world are. He steals them all and brings them back.
How does the video concept work with that song conceit?
It works good, because there are two characters in it. And in the song, Beth is singing, and I’m singing. I sing the boy character, and she sings the girl character. My lyrics and voice are the actual story, and then her lyrics are kind of what the girl is thinking. We knew we needed a video for that song, and we knew that, after our last video, we wanted to step it up even more and try to do the stop-motion idea. We tried to make a little French New Wave stop-motion. Breathless was kind of an inspiration for the video.
Read the rest of Grayson Currin’s interview at IFC.
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TNV’s new video provides a quick tour of small-town Ohio, and it’s also a preview of sorts for the Columbus band’s upcoming album, Dancer Equired. You’ll hear pieces of “It’s a Culture” and “Somebody’s Slave,” wrapping up in Musicol’s Studio A with Beth Murphy doing an acoustic rendition of “Try Harder.” Adam Elliott described the video to NPR’s All Songs Considered this way:
“hello, we are times new viking from columbus ohio” was shot by jo mccaughey in and around the small hometowns of the band. adam is from troy, ohio. jared is from new lebanon, ohio, and beth is from gahanna, ohio. intended to be a snapshot/vignette of where we came from before we moved to the big college town of columbus, ohio. the “roots” of our upbringing. our music somehow fits perfectly, no need for voiceovers. highlights include the landmark k’s hamburgers in troy and snicker’s bar in new lebanon, home to the karaoke in dixie county. please visit small town ohio. shot on a beautiful and very cold winter day.
Dancer Equired is out on Merge Records April 26 in the US, Wichita in the UK. (ht: Wumme)
After Friday night’s screening of Putty Hill, director Matt Porterfield will be joined in conversation with Adam Elliott and Beth Murphy from the Columbus band, Times New Viking. They’ll talk about the film, making art on a minuscule budget, and will field your questions.