Tag Archives: Wing & Tusk

Tonight in Columbus: Phantogram with EXITMUSIC and Petit Mal @ Outland Live

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Saratoga Springs-based electro-rockers Phantogram have been slowly building quite an impressive profile throughout the last year. Since their first headlining show at The Treehouse (RIP) in Columbus over a year and a half ago, they’ve toured with The Antlers, Metric, Beach House, Caribou, The xx, Zero 7, Yeasayer (the list goes on), appeared on Jimmy Fallon (where Questlove filled in on drums AND Jimmy called them “One of his favorite new bands”) and I’ve recently even heard them on the BBC’s indie radio station with Lauren Laverne.

They’ve contributed particularly to our Donewaiting family by being the first band to do a Donewaiting Live at Electraplay video, which you can see in its entirety here. Tonight they’ll play their fourth proper show in Columbus in promotion of their new EP, Nightlife, that will be released next month.

Joining the Outland Live bill tonight will be the eerily ethereal EXITMUSIC and Columbus natives Petit Mal. EXITMUSIC has been described as “dark, emotive, electronic music washed with icy guitars and husky yet angelic vocals”. Watch their creepy video for “The Sea” that’ll definitely get you in the mood for next week’s Halloween festivities here. Locals Petit Mal are emerging from the dying embers of Wing & Tusk (RIP) and are not to be missed. Doors open at 7pm with the first band on by 8.

Tonight: Cowtown Round with Sean Gardner, Kyle Sowash, Josh Rea

Jason Quicksall has been hosting the Cowtown Round on Monday nights at Rumba for a while now. It’s basically three songwriters on stage together trading songs. This Memorial Day lineup sounds especially good to me: Sean Gardner (Winter Makes Sailors, Melty Melty, Bookmobile, Sowashes blah blah blah), Kyle Sowash (new record!) and Josh Rea from Wing & Tusk. (And if you go, wish Sean a happy birthday.)

Favorite Albums of 2009 by Joel Oliphint

(Separate Columbus list further down. Though, if the lists were combined, some of the local releases would unseat a few here…)

1. Larry Jon WilsonLarry Jon Wilson
I won’t lie. Talking to Larry Jon and producer Jerry DeCicca (Black Swans) about this album, learning about its origins, and visiting Wilson’s back catalog gave me a heightened appreciation for this masterpiece. So context helps, but even if you know nothing about the back story, this is a stark, beautiful album from start to finish from one of the forgotten country outlaws. Wilson’s Georgia baritone is the sweetest thing I heard this year. For Townes Van Zandt fans, this is required listening.

MP3: Feel Alright Again

2. The Love LanguageThe Love Language
It’s a rock n’ roll cliché and a PR flack’s dream: Guy breaks up with girl, drinks heavily, pisses off all his friends, eventually sobers up and retreats to his parents’ house to record an album on a four-track. But man does this cliché jangle with some of the best in-the-red pop songs I’ve heard in a while. Stuart McLamb’s Chapel Hill band signed to Merge in October and is slated to have a new release in August, and after seeing the full band (now a 7-piece) put on a terrific show at the Wexner Center in the fall, McLamb’s next outing could be even better with a little help from his friends.

MP3: Manteo I MP3: Lalita

3. Andrew BirdNoble Beast
Every aspect of Andrew Bird just keeps getting better—his voice; his gorgeous, multi-layered violin arrangements; his whistling. It makes for a backdrop so compelling that he can sing about proto-Sanskrit Minoans, porto-centric Lisboans, Greek Cypriots and Hobis-hots and have you nodding your head in agreement instead of scratching it in confusion.

MP3: Oh No

4. Kurt VileConstant Hitmaker; God is Saying This to You…; Childish Prodigy
kurtI’m grouping these together so I can squeeze more in, but all three LPs probably deserve a separate spot for different reasons. God finds Vile filtering his psychedelia through John Fahey and Neil Young; Childish kicks the volume up a notch and tones the lo-fi down; and Hitmaker, the best of the three, plays both sides with casual brilliance. “Freeway” is one of my favorite songs of 2009.

MP3: Freeway

5. The AntlersHospice
Hospice is one of only a few albums this year that completely transports me whenever I give it my full attention. (Brian Harnetty’s Silent City is another.) A concept album about a hospice worker and a young patient, the songs swell like Sigur Ros then retreat into gingerly tapped piano, lightly strummed guitar or shimmery synth. It’s in those quiet portions that Silberman employs his alabaster falsetto — more hushed than Jeff Buckley but less wispy than Antony Hegarty. Back in March, the Antlers played a show at Cafe Bourbon St. in front of me and maybe three other people. I’m thinking there’ll be a few more in attendance next time.

MP3: Bear

#6 onward + Columbus list after the jump. Continue reading

Photos: Wing & Tusk, Flotation Walls at Skully’s

Wing & Tusk I Flotation Walls
Skully’s Music-Diner I Columbus OH
August 14, 2009

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Even more Friday (8/14) stuff: Brian Harnetty, Wing & Tusk, Monolithic Cloud Parade

Three Columbus bands are playing album-release shows on Friday night, and they’re all worth mentioning/attending.
At the Rumba Cafe, Brian Harnetty will be releasing Silent City, his second album for Chicago’s Atavistic Records. This one again finds Harnetty mining the treasures he collected from the Berea College Appalachian Sound Archives, but this time Harnetty’s instrumentation (accordion, bells, etc.) sets the tone for the songs. And floating above three of the tracks are the vocals of Bonnie “Prince” Billy. It’s Harnetty’s best work yet.

Harnetty rarely plays live, so catch him when you can. The Black Swans and Super Desserts open the show.

mp3: Brian Harnetty – Sleeping in the Driveway
mp3: Brian Harnetty – Silent City

Here’s how Monolithic Cloud Parade describes the concept behind its debut: “The album tells the story of a pack of turn-of-the-century carnival freak show children with wolf heads who escape their wagon train in a deadly accident one night and head off into the forest to fend for themselves, where they are confronted with fears both real and imaginary.” If you like Neutral Milk Hotel, you’ll dig these guys. Corey Fry has created an ambitious, lo-fi concept album that succeeds much of the time, bizarro storyline and all. Not bad for a guy who couldn’t even play an instrument a couple years ago.

MCP’s record release is at the Scarlet and Grey Cafe with The Lost Revival and Darynyck. It’ll also serve as Darynyck’s farewell show.

mp3: Monolithic Cloud Parade – Airplanes Full of Flames

Another debut concept album, Wing & Tusk’s The Secret of Toadflax Tea tells a story from three different viewpoints: an old monk, a young monk and a doctor, all of whom are on a European island stricken with the black plague, for which the only cure is a drink called Toadflax Tea. But that cure is known only to the monks… Betrayal, murder and heroism ensue.

Along with Harnetty’s Silent City, this is one of my favorite Columbus releases of the year so far. Singer Josh Rea reminds me a lot of David Bazan, a good thing in my book. Wing & tusk takes its folk-rock foundation and builds on it till it reaches the ether, adding strings, horns, beautiful harmonies and such along with way. Epic stuff.

mp3: Wing & Tusk – Home, Sick Home

Concert posters after the jump. Wing & Tusk’s is particularly cool/creepy.
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