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SCD Columbus Playlist

I was asked to create a playlist representing Columbus music for Seek Creative Distortion’s 8 Track Challenge.  My opponent?  The formidable Nat Hagey, veteran of the Columbus scene, erstwhile contributor to Pirate/Wing & Tusk/Babes in Cages, and current bassist for Petit Mal, Columbus’ next band to go to war with Germany.  A worthy opponent, indeed.  Having grown up in Munroe Falls, OH, and relocated to Columbus in the summer of 2007, I’ve had some catching up to do.  Let this playlist be the judge.

Being limited to 8 songs called for some serious discretion.  Couldn’t include Earwig.  No Econothugs.  Watershed?  EYE?  Gaunt?  Tiara?  My White Bread Mom?  LO-PAN?  The Field Notes?  The Town Monster?  The Wet Darlings?  Pretty Mighty Mighty?  Karate Coyote?  This Is My Suitcase?  The Floorwalkers?  Guys…I wanted to, believe me, but the constraints were too great.  Should I be asked to create an “End of the World” playlist exclusively featuring Columbus bands, you’re all on the bill.  For this, though, I had to choose the 8 songs which served as an introduction to and representation of Columbus music for me.  Here they are (in no particular order):

Loyal Divide – Vision Vision

Granted, these dudes have relocated to Chicago, but they formed in Columbus and would likely claim an allegiance to the Capital City.  The first thirty seconds sold me on this song, the video took it to another level, and DJ Quik gave it the nod on Pitchfork’s Selector.  Mooninite music.

Vision Vision

New Bomb Turks – Snap Decision

I turned 16 on July 19th, 1999.  After passing my driver’s test and getting a fuzzy steering wheel cover for the rusting ’88 Ford Taurus I inherited from my older brother, the first thing I did was pick up Punk-O-Rama 4, the fourth installment of Epitaph’s epic compilations.  This would serve as my introduction to Columbus heroes New Bomb Turks.  I now work with Jim Weber’s brother and had my face shoved into Eric Davidson’s crotch at the Ohio Film and Music Fest, so I guess we’re even more acquainted now…

Blueprint – Starch

I’m still amazed that such a versatile creative force hails from Columbus. Creating amazing instrumental hip-hop and the ability to deliver a unique flow?  Heresy.  I almost included “Final Frontier” off of RjD2’s Dead Ringer as a 2-for-1, but wanted Blueprint to stand on his own.  Very under appreciated.

Saintseneca – Last

If Zac Little and Co. ever decide they need bongos, I hope they look me up.

Cassius Slay – Tree House

I really like this track of Cassius Slay’s Tree House EP, named after Cornelius Jackson’s house.  I hope they continue to move in this direction toward more sampling and less of the dubstep influence that is pervasive on the other three tracks. If I were to name an EP after my apartment, it would be “Blue Base” after the blue base on Beaver Creek in Halo 2.  Jerry Lynch, Greg Horak, and I had that LOCKED DOWN.  It would probably sound something like this but with more grenades and swearing.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk

A Columbus legend. Dude could play clarinet and saxophone at the same time! Or three different saxes at the same time! And not just the same note. No, he would play a chord.  He was his own saxophone section. Oh, and he was blind. Never got the notoriety achieved by other blind African American artists, but he was definitely as talented. Check out any video of him on youtube and be blown away (as though you were a woodwind instrument).

J. Rawls – Running

Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I guess my first introduction to J. Rawls was through Blackstar.  After Glenn Davis turned me on to J Dilla, I picked up on J. Rawls’ “A Tribute to Dilla” and delved heavily into Mr. Rawls.  Much like Blueprint, it’s great that such rich instrumental hip-hop comes out of Columbus.  To me, it’s totally unexpected, which makes it that much more enjoyable.

Way Yes – Plastic Crystal Skull Spoons

I saw Glenn Davis and Travis Hall perform at Kobo as a two-piece in January of 2011. To that point, I was unaware of Way Yes. Afterward, I wanted to be a part of it.  Thankfully, Glenn, Travis, and Max have allowed me to participate in the fun that is Way Yes and I look forward to the continued output of our collaboration. Here’s a deep cut from Herringbone that captures Way Yes’ ability to romanticize the mundane.


Fucked Up, Wavves [9/28/11]

Not often does a band’s name describe how you feel after their show, but after Fucked Up, I was definitely fucked up.   Read more

Justin Townes Earle [8/29/11]

Rarely is it possible to feel far from the stage at Rumba Cafe, but when Justin Townes Earle sold it out, the normally intimate venue became a colossal space full of sweaty, beer-guzzling hicks (myself included). Read more

Animal Collective [7/9/11]

Budding concert-goer Dave Garman and I recently had the opportunity to see Animal Collective perform at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. We imagined it would be like seeing The Beatles at Abbey Road, Pink Floyd on the dark side of the moon, or Led Zeppelin amongst ancient ruins, surrounded by mysterious naked children.

Read more

…and you will know us by the trail of dead, Surfer Blood [5/5/11]

Contrary to its modern day significance, Cinco de Mayo is not a celebration of cerveza, tacos, or Lee Trevino. In fact, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the vastly outnumbered Mexican militia’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Only appropriate on this day, then, to take in a show featuring bands whose names invoke images of a massacre.   Read more

Brand New [4/29/11]

When Brand New announced five shows back in February, an Ohio date was unfortunately absent.  So, we packed up our skinny jeans and burned an emo mix for an angst-ridden road trip to the nearest tour stop–Pittsburgh. Read more

Foals, Freelance Whales, The Naked and Famous [4/27/11]

Let me begin by expressing a general disdain for the ownership of Outland. They routinely fail to achieve what even the most dysfunctional middle school drama clubs have accomplished–presenting a live performance.  They’re so bad that a majority of the crowd missed the first opener, The Naked and Famous, because of Outland’s inability to simply let people in the door.   Read more

Coachella 2011

Coachella! Extreme heat, lots of tacos, complete disregard for hygiene, and tons of music.  Read more

Arizona – April 13th-14th, 2011

Less than 72 hours have passed since the finale of the annual Coachella Arts and Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA. In that time, the ringing in my ears has quieted to a dull hum, I’ve made a trip to urgent care on account of an unidentified infection on my buttocks, I’ve taken 9 showers (that’s 9 more showers than I took in the previous 72 hours, which in itself is likely the cause of the butt infection), and I’m already looking forward to the announcement of next year’s Coachella lineup. It was fantastic. Read more

Spring Concerts

Ah, April. Baseball, friend of the TMNT, and the beginning of concert season. Read more