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.
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.