Monday, May 20, 2024

Central Ohio Concert Menu: Week of 5/20

TUESDAY (5/21)
Death To All w/ Cryptopsy @ King of Clubs

WEDNESDAY (5/22)

Elita @ Rumba Cafe
Teddy at Night w/ Golden Blue, Moony @ The Basement
Priscilla Woodson Presents the 2nd Annual Peer Center Benefit Concert w/ Norman V. Whiteside and Gabe Howard @ Natalie’s Music Hall

THURSDAY (5/23)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: *SOLD OUT* Shannon and the Clams w/ Tropa Magica @ Ace of Cups
Dead Letter Office (a tribute to R.E.M.) @ Woodlands Tavern
PROBLEMS, Jacoti Sommes, Elite Terrorism Modulus, Fresh Produce @ Cafe Bourbon Street
The San Francisco Threesome (Eric Nassau) @ Woodlands Tavern
MC Lars & Schaffer the Darklord w/ Shubzilla & Bill Beats, MC Snax @ Rumba Cafe
Appalachian Swing: Live in Stereo…Banjo w/ Keith Billik @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Sam Corlett & Mt. Air w/ Mukiss @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage

FRIDAY (5/24)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: Isai Morales and Devin Burgess, Mosant, Leggy, Brigitte Calls Me Baby, Mol Sullivan, Joe Waters Band @ IndieCraft Ohio (Springfield, Ohio)
The Labra Brothers w/ crabswithoutlegs @ Rumba Cafe
Henry Morris Band, Sunshine Spazz, Space Kid @ Cafe Bourbon Street
The Floorwalkers @ Natalie’s Music Hall
MUDD w/ New Modern, Ink, Soda Straw @ A&R Music Bar
Jesse Dentale @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Cold & Orgy w/ Horizon Theory, Ya Toyah @ King of Clubs

SATURDAY (5/25)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: Salvadore Ross, Crabswithoutlegs, Vacation, Lydia Loveless, K Carter, Tommy Stinson (The Replacements), Soften @ IndieCraft Ohio (Springfield, Ohio)
Jesse Daniel w/ Alex Williams @ Rumba Cafe
Debra James Tucker Album Release @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Hurling Habaneros w/ Brian Allton & his Spicy Friends @ Woodlands Tavern
Flicker//Fade @ Summit Music Hall

SUNDAY (5/26)
JJ Snare (Tina Turner Tribute) @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Bobby Floyd Trio @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Luke Winslow-King Feat. Roberto Luti @ Natalie’s Music Hall


UPCOMING SPECIALS:
5/29 - Motion City Soundtrack w/ Prince Daddy & The Hyena @ The Bluestone
5/31 - Parliament Funkadelic feat. George Clinton @ Mershon Auditorium
6/3 - Orville Peck w/ Durand Jones, Debbii Dawson @ KEMBA Live!
6/4 - Bleachers w/ Samia @ KEMBA Live!
6/5 - Stop.Drop.Rewind w/ A Tiger Made of Lightning, Narrow/Arrow, Gamma Ray @ Rumba Cafe
6/8 - Moonroof w/ Unseen Keys, Small Boats, Jack Lutz @ Rumba Cafe
6/13 - Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind & Fire @ The Schottenstein Center
6/14 - Snarls w/Yasmin Nur @ Ace of Cups
6/19 - Reverend Horton Heat w/ The Supersuckers @ Skully’s Music Diner

Monday, May 13, 2024

Central Ohio Concert Menu: Week of 5/13

 MONDAY (5/13)
Skating Polly w/ Lord Friday the 13th @ Rumba Cafe
Jeff Bernat w/ Braxton Cook @ A&R Music Bar
Snuffed on Sight w/ Domestic Terror, Violent Nature, Nothing Like You @ Ace of Cups

TUESDAY (5/14)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: *SOLD OUT* An Evening With They Might Be Giants @ Madison Theater (Covington, KY)
Tommy Prine w/ William Matheny @ Rumba Cafe
Deko w/ Yameii & Friends @ The Basement
Periphery w/ Eidola, Jake Bowen (DJ Set) @ Newport Music Hall
Maylene & The Sons of Disaster w/ Islander, Limbs, Saltwound, Foxbat @ King of Clubs

WEDNESDAY (5/15)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: An Evening With They Might Be Giants @ Madison Theater (Covington, KY)
Heart w/ Cheap Trick @ The Schottenstein Center
Chicano Batman @ The Bluestone
Cardeil, Mezclado @ Cafe Bourbon Street
Better Lovers w/ See You Space Cowboy, Foreign Hands, Greyhaven @ King of Clubs
Rodrigo y Gabriela @ The Athenaeum Theatre
Jeffrey Martin w/ Dean Johnson @ Rumba Cafe
Jonathan Scales Fourchestra @ Woodlands Tavern
The Randys Trio @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Ordinary Elephant @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Spy w/ Jivebomb, Destiny Bond, En Love, Salt @ Ace of Cups

THURSDAY (5/16)
{COMEDY SHOW} Bill Burr @ The Schottenstein Center
Chuck 2, Louse, Brian Damage @ Cafe Bourbon Street
Palladium Entertainment Presents BRIT FLOYD P.U.L.S.E. @ KEMBA Live!
Bit Brigade & Galactic Empire w/ Super Guitar Bros @ Skully’s Music Diner
Bad Bad Habits w/ Pronoun @ Rumba Cafe
Micah Kesselring @ Woodlands Tavern
Haley Jane Band w/ Natalie Brooke @ Woodlands Tavern
Corey Smith w/ Justin Holt @ A&R Music Bar
Hyro The Hero w/ A Killer’s Confession @ The Basement
Babehoven w/Greg Mendez, Vilagerrr @ Ace of Cups
RE:CHARGE ft. Monty w/ Pipe Leak, Aeded b2b Powers UP, Goodwill b2b Xiiren @ Summit Music Hall
Cattle Decapitation + Carnifex w/ Rivers of Nihil, Humanity’s Last Breath, The Zenith Passage, Vitriol, Face Yourself @ King of Clubs
Tony Monaco Trio @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Combo Chimbita + Pachyman @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Webb Wilder Birthday Show @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage

FRIDAY (5/17)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: Geese w/ El Camino Acid @ A&R Music Bar
Kraftwerk @ KEMBA Live!
Feral Housecats @ Cafe Bourbon Street
Brave Face Album Release Party @ Summit Music Hall
Nolan Taylor @ The Bluestone
Angry Cougars w/ Maniacal Device, Saints of Lorain, Cursed Rosie @ Rumba Cafe
Used Kids and Starwood Present: Internal Bleeding w/ Mutilatred, Tomb Sentinel, Rejoice @ Ace of Cups
Wave Rowanne @ Woodlands Tavern
Tim Easton @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage

SATURDAY (5/18)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: *SOLD OUT* The Lemon Twigs w/ Crystal Egg @ Rumba Cafe
Mojoflo w/ Blucone @ Woodlands Tavern
Dark Machine Nation, Plural, Stevie Zeven, Futurebones @ Cafe Bourbon Street
Eyedress w/ Na-Kel Smith @ Newport Music Hall
RiverFest 2024 w/ Cry Asbury, CAIN, Blessing Offor, Natalie Layne @ KEMBA Live!
Swingin’ N Shakin’ w/ Whirlybirds @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Urban Jazz Coalition @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Whitley Jean & The Attic Cats @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage

SUNDAY (5/19)
You Matter: An Evening of Rock and Resources w/ Brian Clash, Glare John Estep’s Breaking Badfinger, Colin Gawel & Friends, Electro Cult Circus @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Gavin DeGraw @ The Bluestone
Bobby Floyd Trio @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage

UPCOMING SPECIALS:
5/23 - *SOLD OUT* Shannon and the Clams w/ Tropa Magica @ Ace of Cups 
5/29 - Motion City Soundtrack w/ Prince Daddy & The Hyena @ The Bluestone
5/31 - Parliament Funkadelic feat. George Clinton @ Mershon Auditorium
6/3 - Orville Peck w/ Durand Jones, Debbii Dawson @ KEMBA Live!
6/4 - Bleachers w/ Samia @ KEMBA Live!
6/5 - Stop.Drop.Rewind w/ A Tiger Made of Lightning, Narrow/Arrow, Gamma Ray @ Rumba Cafe
6/8 - Moonroof w/ Unseen Keys, Small Boats, Jack Lutz @ Rumba Cafe

Monday, May 6, 2024

Central Ohio Concert Menu: Week of 5/6

MONDAY (5/6)
Homeboy Sandman w/ E-Turn @ Rumba Cafe 
Goodbye June w/ Moon Fever @ The Basement


TUESDAY (5/7)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: Say Anything w/ AJJ, Greet Death @ KEMBA Live!
Punk Rock Factory w/ Adam and the Metal Hawks @ A&R Music Bar
Master Boot Record @ Ace of Cups
Eric Gales @ King of Clubs

WEDNESDAY (5/8)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: The Verve Pipe @ Woodlands Tavern
Los Straightjackets @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Pokey LaFarge @ Skully’s Music Diner
Alexz Johnson w/ Joey Hebdo @ Rumba Cafe
Chicago Blues All Stars @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Griffin House @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Dying Fetus w/ Full of Hell, 200 Stab Wounds, Kruelty @ King of Clubs

THURSDAY (5/9)
Stay Outside w/ The Receiver, Top Scrub @ Rumba Cafe
TWRP w/ Trey Magnifique, Nelward @ Skully’s Music Diner
RE:CHARGE Deep Field Takeover w/ Fractured Eons @ Summit Music Hall
*SOLD OUT* The Peter Mayer Group @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Austin & The Syd Experience @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
R.A.P. Ferreira & Cavalier @ Ace of Cups
The Dreaded Laramie, Ink, Undergrads @ Cafe Bourbon Street

FRIDAY (5/10)
Rat Motel w/ Cellar Dwellar, Faucetmouth @ The Basement
80 Hour Work Week @ Natalie's Music Hall
West Taylore Album Release Show @ Rumba Cafe
Of Two Minds w/ The Loyal Conscripts, Dead Phantoms @ Rumba Cafe
Used Kids and Starwood Present: Convictions @ Ace of Cups
Kameron Marlowe w/ Tucker Wetmore @ KEMBA Live!
Young Rising Sons w/ Lemondrop @ A&R Music Bar
Status Foe, The Corrupted Hearts, Outdated View @ Spacebar
Thievery Corporation @ The Bluestone
PROF w/ GRIP, Futuristic, Willie Wonka @ Newport Music Hall
Dan Navarro, Jesse Lynn Madera, Alice Peacock @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage

SATURDAY (5/11)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: Illiterate Light w/ The Cordial Sins @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Alice Merton w/ Juliana Madrid @ A&R Music Bar
Angela Perley & The High Definitions @ Rumba Cafe
Friends of the Dead (Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia Band tribute feat. members of Barefuzz & The Hose) w/ Levi Brown & the Smokin’ Section @ Woodlands Tavern
Grant Lee-Phillips @ Rumba Cafe
Nothing More w/ Veil of Maya, Of Virtue @ KEMBA Live!
Swingin’ N Shakin’ w/ Whirlybirds @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Metric Ton Release, Caterpillar Protolith, Chameleon Earth, Discovering God @ Cafe Bourbon Street
TEMPO MAY-HEM Benefeit Show @ Spacebar
Adam Newman @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
The Ten Band (Pearl Jam Tribute) w/ Best of Foo (Foo Fighters Tribute), Cop Out @ King of Clubs
The Prince Experience (Prince tribute) @ The Bluestone

SUNDAY (5/12)
The Kickback w/ Good Reverend, Garet Carmella of Indigo Wild @ Rumba Cafe
The Rock and Roll Playhouse plays the music of The Beatles + more (feat. The Hose) @ Woodlands Tavern
Clay w/ Hawa @ The Basement
Billy Marchiafava @ Ace of Cups
Birdshack Family Band @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Bobby Floyd Trio @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Angel w/ Alecia Houston and the Firmm, In Theory @ King of Clubs
An Evening w/ Chest Fever (Tribute to The Band) @ Natalie’s Music Hall

UPCOMING SPECIALS:
5/14 - *SOLD OUT* An Evening With They Might Be Giants @ Madison Theater (Covington, KY)
5/15 - An Evening With They Might Be Giants @ Madison Theater (Covington, KY)
5/16 - {COMEDY SHOW} Bill Burr @ The Schottenstein Center
5/17 - Geese w/ El Camino Acid @ A&R Music Bar
5/18 - *SOLD OUT* The Lemon Twigs w/ Crystal Egg @ Rumba Cafe
5/23 - *SOLD OUT* Shannon and the Clams w/ Tropa Magica @ Ace of Cups 
5/29 - Motion City Soundtrack w/ Prince Daddy & The Hyena @ The Bluestone
5/31 - Parliament Funkadelic feat. George Clinton @ Mershon Auditorium

Monday, April 29, 2024

Central Ohio Concert Menu: Week of 4/29

MONDAY (4/29)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: Donny Benét w/ OTNES @ A&R Music Bar
Pageninetynine w/ Massa Nera, Planning for a Burial @ Ace of Cups
Hoodoo Soul Band @ Rumba Cafe


TUESDAY (4/30)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: The Postal Service & Death Cab For Cutie w/ Slow Pulp @ The Schottenstein Center
Gunshine w/ Lost Hearts, The Retrograde @ Rumba Cafe
Dead on Sunday w/ The Funeral Portrait, Nite @ Ace of Cups
Set It Off w/ Crown The Empire, DeathbyRomy & Caskets @ The Bluestone


WEDNESDAY (5/1)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: A Story Told w/ Unseen Keys @ Ace of Cups
Eric Slick (of Dr. Dog) w/ Christopher Paul Sterling @ Woodlands Tavern
Asking Alexandria w/ Memphis May Fire, The World Alive, Nerv @ The Bluestone
Tyler Hilton w/ Spencer Saylor @ Rumba Cafe
Tigercub w/ The Props @ The Basement
Al Di Meola Electric Band @ The Athenaeum Theatre
George Barbie @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Phillip Michael Scales @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Woodbelly w/ Dark Moon Hollow @ Summit Music Hall
DAIKAIJU, Brood X @ Cafe Bourbon Street


THURSDAY (5/2)
Yam Yam w/ Organ Fairchild @ Woodlands Tavern
The Spikedrivers @ Rumba Cafe
Talisk @ Skully’s Music Diner
Sirens @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
White Wooly w/ Maggie Halfman, Shane Spader @ Ace of Cups
Peter Mulvey @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Chayce Beckham @ The Bluestone
Ensemble Sagineto @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
RE: CHARGE ft. Copycatt w/ xDiggityDee, Crimzen Denizen, Tophatter @ Summit Music Hall
Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras @ King of Clubs
Of Sound Minds @ Sand Bar Station (Delaware, Ohio)


FRIDAY (5/3)
CHEF'S SPECIAL: Silvis Album Release Show w/ A Cure For Love, Box Seats @ Ace of Cups
Citizen Soldier w/ Icon For Hire, Halocene @ The Athenaeum Theatre
Yachtopia @ Rumba Cafe
So Peachy @ Woodlands Tavern
Aiden Bissett w/ Casey Baer @ The Basement
Big Rockin’ Blues Band @ Woodlands Tavern
Chris Young w/ Bryan Martin, Trae Myers @ KEMBA Live!
Kim Richey @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Theo’s Loose Hinges @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Ernie Johnson From Detroit @ Summit Music Hall
Kamelot w/ Hammerfall, Ad Infinitum @ The Bluestone
Through Fire w/ Messer, Gudger, Sum of Us, Falling Under @ King of Clubs


SATURDAY (5/4)
Hot Water Music w/ Quicksand, Off With Their Heads @ Newport Music Hall
*SOLD OUT [Limited Tix at the Door]* The Dreadnoughts w/ Little Foot, Jeshua Marshall (of Larry & His Flask), Danny Attack, Coxey’s Army @ Rumba Cafe
Ink, Whitewall, Faucetmouth, Novel Vibrations @ Cafe Bourbon Street
Gunna w/ Flo Milli @ The Schottenstein Center
Brent Cobb w/ The Band Loula @ A&R Music Bar
The Claudettes w/ The Devil Doves @ Woodlands Tavern
Rosie Tucker @ Ace of Cups
Headcleaner w/ Mac Watts @ Summit Music Hall
Bertha Hill Music Presents: Trek Manifest & The AYE-1 Band + Jordidge + Crib Collective @ The Basement
The Beers, GRO @ Spacebar
Swingin’ N Shakin’ w/ Whirlybirds @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Ingram Street Swingin’ N Shakin’ w/ Whirlybirds @ Natalie’s Music Hall
Hebdo Swingin’ N Shakin’ w/ Whirlybirds @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Space Camp Presents: Perry Wayne w/ VRG, Criioz, Manzii, Drumanite, Jov, Slashjammer, Been Jammin @ Skully’s Music Diner


SUNDAY (5/5)
Sawyer Hill w/ Red Leather @ The Basement
Malcolm Todd w/ Charlie Addis @ A&R Music Bar
Panchiko w/ Wisp, Weatherday @ King of Clubs
With Sails Ahead w/ Space Weather @ Ace of Cups
Gospel Soul Brunch: Terry Davis @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage
Bobby Floyd Trio @ Natalie’s Music Hall Charlie’s Stage


UPCOMING SPECIALS:
5/8 - The Verve Pipe @ Woodlands Tavern
5/11 - Illiterate Light w/ The Cordial Sins @ Natalie’s Music Hall
5/14 - An Evening With They Might Be Giants @ Madison Theater (Covington, KY)
5/15 - An Evening With They Might Be Giants @ Madison Theater (Covington, KY)
5/16 - {COMEDY SHOW} Bill Burr @ The Schottenstein Center
5/17 - Geese w/ El Camino Acid @ A&R Music Bar
5/18 - *SOLD OUT* The Lemon Twigs w/ Crystal Egg @ Rumba Cafe
5/23 - *SOLD OUT* Shannon and the Clams w/ Tropa Magica @ Ace of Cups 
5/29 - Motion City Soundtrack w/ Prince Daddy & The Hyena @ The Bluestone
5/31 - Parliament Funkadelic feat. George Clinton @ Mershon Auditorium

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Interview: Barry Privett of Carbon Leaf

I got the chance to sit down with Barry Privett of Carbon Leaf and discuss their sound, their lyrics, and their experiences with a record label. I even got to nerd out about The Monkees! Check it out below:



Friday, March 24, 2023

Album Review: 10,000 gecs by 100 gecs

 


Someone, somewhere, poses the question: “What if Captain Beefheart had a solid understanding of music?” 

Someone else says “Well, duh, that’s not an original thought, many have posited that question. But what if Blink 182 were electro house?”

The third guy is like “What if Kimya Dawson did metal?”

The second guy speaks up again. “That’s just stupid.”

Meanwhile, guy number four slowly turns his attention away from the winow he was staring out of, and with a sigh, pinches the bridge of his nose and prepares to speak. He is exhausted. He has no time for all of these questions. He has just finished running the marathon that is 10,000 gecs.

*    *    *

Coming in at a cool twenty-six minutes and fifty-three seconds (twenty-seven minutes would have been too slow and for the weak), 10,000 gecs doesn’t get there by walking. 

100 gecs are no strangers to moving rapidly against the grain. Their first album clocked in at just over 23 minutes. Dylan Brady and Laura Les have always had an unusual sound. Their music has been described as “hyperpop,” and they are one of the foremost modern groups of the genre. Though much of their early work was accomplished by exchanging Logic Pro files in what Les herself referred to as something of “an exquisite corpse-type thing,” Les moved to Los Angeles prior to the production of 10,000 gecs, meaning she and Brady could work more closely together on the new album.

The sound synonymous with THX kicks off the album, immediately grabbing your attention and letting you know you should be ready to focus on the sound. These aren’t SONGS, they are high-fidelity audio experiences. They are also songs, I would never discount the work done in songwriting by implying that the album is merely a soundscape, but they are not just songs. Well, “One Million Dollars” is a soundscape, but even it pulses with the energy of a human heart on a party drug. 

“Dumbest Girl Alive” is a fast-paced poem. There’s no chorus, just the refrain of the title at the end of each verse. The track itself dips into a pizzicato section halfway through that’s incongruent but not unwelcome. It’s almost like being in a cartoon chase scene and suddenly going underwater for a spell. 

I tried to go into this review totally blind, but when I got to “Hollywood Baby,” I confess that I did recognize it as a single. It’s the third of four singles released from 10,000 gecs. It might be the most palatable song on the album, but I would personally have a great deal of trouble arguing that it’s the best one. “Hollywood Baby” isn’t nearly as chaotic as the rest of the album, and it suffers for that. It’s a good song, but not the best up for offer, proving this is definitely not a case of the band getting the single to reel everyone in and then providing nothing of substance for the rest.

“Frog on the Floor” is silly, but silly with a suit and tie on, sonically. It sits on the musical couch smoking with ska and anti-folk. Of the songs on the album, “Frog on the Floor” is the most fun, a complete contrast to the later “Billy Knows Jamie.” “Billy Knows Jamie” is the most tonally dark track, dipping musically into nu metal and lyrically into drugs and gun violence. 

By the time we arrive at “I Got My Tooth Removed,” the slow, sparsely-instrumented start makes you think you’re going to get a little break- but then the drums kick in, and then the sprint starts back up again, launching us into my favorite song on the album, a polka-riddled, genre-bending love song about the breakup between a person’s tooth and their mouth. And yes, I realize the genre of the majority of the song is, once again, ska, rather than polka, but this song does much to remind me that ska is only the grandkid of polka trying to rebrand himself away from the family name (“Polka was my grandpa’s name, I go by Ska”). “I Got My Tooth Removed” is the longest song on the album, by the way. Three minutes and seventeen seconds, and it holds the title of “longest song.” Just in case you forgot we were RUNNING. Speaking tangentially of running, Ska is a running thread throughout the album. But it’s the kind of ska you hear playing in your head when you see a photo of people in checkerboard prints, Tripp denim, tiny sunglasses, and bucket hats. It’s fun, it’s new, it’s a ghost of what was once called ska (even with Alex Scillag from Save Ferris lending trombone to “I Got My Tooth Removed”). This also, notably, isn’t a ska album. Or a pop-punk album, or an anti-folk album. It’s not nu-metal, it’s not house, it’s 100 gecs. 

After “mememe,” the album just…ends. My Youtube Music decided to start playing something it thought was related and I realized and turned it off to digest. It ends…too soon somehow? Like I said, it races to the finish line. You’re running right alongside it the whole time, yet for some reason, the album's end just feels like it abandoned you. 

This is a stereo setup kind of album. I can’t even imagine listening to it quietly on a record, and I am a fan of records. Of course, I also don’t imagine it being one to listen to on earbuds…you need chunky headphones or a home stereo system that makes you feel like the guy on the old Maxell Audio logo. Or you can listen to it in your car, which is what I did. Not the best option, but if you do, at least make sure both of the speakers are working. The production is too important to miss. It’s smart, it’s sharp, it’s funny. I can’t think of many other albums on which the production feels comical. I don’t mean comically bad, I mean joyous, giggly, inviting you to come and be part of the in-joke. 10,000 gecs doesn’t explain the in-joke to you- you have to figure it out, but you are absolutely welcome to try. 

Laura Les and Dylan Brady are 100 gecs.

*    *    *

I am reading the book How to Write About Music, an instructional textbook from the makers of the 33 1/3 book series. Eventually, my dream is to write a 33 1/3 book, so I'm trying to take things seriously. My first "assignment" was to write a review for an album I would never normally listen to. I'm not brave enough to dive completely into the deep end musically, but I heard some co-workers discussing this album and decided I would listen to it despite never having listened to the band before. If this review seems a little strange coming from me, that's why. By the way, what a great assignment. I genuinely love this album and I never would have listened on my own. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

One-Mind Tracks: Open Your Golden Gates

2024 UPDATE: Ultimately, this was the last aired episode of One-Mind Tracks due to a dispute with the station it aired on. Maybe One-Mind Tracks will be revived at some point, but for now, all One-Mind Tracks editions will only be in print.

 I know it's rude of me to use a line from a song not included on this playlist as the title, but that's the decision I've made. 

The Golden Gate Bridge was opened on May 27th, 1937, so this week's One-Mind Tracks is all about San Francisco, the city that would be home to my alma mater had I graduated.

"San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie
San Francisco is still associated with flower children, love, and acceptance. In the '60s, the hippie movement found a home in the city, particularly in the Haight district. John Phillips (The Mamas and the Papas) wrote this song as a celebration of the city and as a means of promoting his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. With Scott McKenzie on vocals, the song ended up becoming something of an anthem for the counterculture movement in the late '60s.  

"St. Dominic's Preview" by Van Morrison
Van Morrison was living in San Francisco in 1972 when he wrote "St. Dominic's Preview" in a stream-of-consciousness writing session. The Troubles had been heavy in Morrison's heart as he had grown up in Belfast, Ireland. In 1972, things had gotten so bad in the conflicts between religious and political factions in the country that 500 citizens, mostly civilians, lost their lives that year. Morrison got homesick in the way that one might, but said he didn't long to go back with the prejudice that had become apparent. Still, while his heart went out to Belfast, his drummer Gary Mallaber longed for his home in Buffalo, New York. These thoughts, and Morrison's memories of his days in Paris as he tried to "make it" all made it into the song, with the overarching theme of prayer at Saint Dominic's. Morrison didn't realize that there was a real church in San Francisco called St. Dominic's, but thought of it more as an imagined church that would pray for peace in Ireland. Oddly enough, there is a St. Dominic's, which Morrison discovered weeks later when he picked up a paper advertising a mass being held there for peace in Belfast.

"I Left My Heart in San Francisco" by Tony Bennett

New York native Tony Bennet made this his signature song. The writers, George Cory and Douglass Cross wrote it from a genuine place of longing for their hometown, as they had moved to New York to further their careers. The song was first offered to Claramae Turner, who sang it as an encore song, but never got around to recording it. She recommended they give it to Tennessee Ernie Ford, who turned it down. In 1961, Tony Bennet debuted his version of the song at the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco in front of the mayor and future mayor. He has since performed it every time he appears there. 

"San Francisco (In Situ)" by They Might Be Giants
In 2004, They Might Be Giants set out to write a song about every venue they performed at on tour (however loosely associated). "San Francisco" features a list of streets in the city (ones I used to frequent as a resident). It ends on the street that also lends its name to the venue at which they were playing; The Fillmore.


"Russian Hill" by Jellyfish
The Russian Hill neighborhood in San Francisco has always been prestigious. Jellyfish frontman Andy Sturmer and keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning Jr. were both born near Los Angeles, but were moved to Pleasanton, California by their families later on. Pleasanton is only about an hour from San Francisco. After the release of Jellyfish's first album, Sturmer got an apartment in Russian Hill- only to find that he had no time to spend there, as the band were so often touring. Still, Sturmer wanted the song to convey the beauty of the neighborhood with a touch of cynicism. 

"San Francisco" by The Mowgli's
The song "San Francisco" was one of the first songs written or released by The Mowgli's. It also became their first and most successful single, reaching #2 on the U.S. Adult Alternative Airplay charts. Much like the city itself, the song is full of love. It references the song made famous by Tony Bennett with the line "I lost my head in San Francisco."

"Step" by Vampire Weekend
Are there songs that fit this theme better? Probably, but none of them just so happened to be stuck in my head already when I started developing the theme. Many elements of "Step" are lifted from the demo "Step to My Girl" by Souls of Mischief, a band from Oakland.  Vampire Weekend secured rights for the sample and spoke to the group about the song. Souls of Mischief were blown away by the finished product, and expressed desire to work with Vampire Weekend in the future. "Step" name-drops cities in the bay area during one of the verses, and that's good enough in this case to make it onto the playlist.

"Piazza, New York Catcher" by Belle and Sebastian
In 2009, when I first moved to San Francisco, Belle and Sebastian were seeing a resurgence thanks primarily to the film Juno. "Piazza, New York Catcher" is partly about New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza, whose sexuality saw rumors swirl around it (Stuart Murdoch, frontman for Belle and Sebastian saw Piazza in a game and was himself drawn to the mystique of the man). The other part of the song, however, demands its inclusion on the playlist, as it tells the tale of Murdoch romancing his future wife in San Francisco. The tale of new, young romance is adorable, with lines like "I love you, my responsibility has found a place." While I still lived there (though it may have been 2010 or 2011), one of the free San Francisco newspapers featured Belle and Sebastian on the cover, and an interview with Murdoch in which all I can remember is that he talked about the impact the band's success in San Francisco had on them. 

"San Francisco" by Foxygen
I thought at first that I was hearing another Belle and Sebastian song when I first listened to this one. But that's offensive to The Kinks, who you can also hear the influence of in the song, and to the band Foxygen themselves. There does appear to be one more influence though, as the female voice pops in about halfway through the song with what I hear as an interpolation of a line from The Beatles' "Northern Song." Actually, there's yet another thing: a reference the aforementioned Tony Bennett song, this time manipulating the line to "I left my love in San Francisco." Don't let all this deter you- it's a great song that benefits rather than suffers from its influences. 

"San Francisco" by Vanessa Carlton
Vanessa Carlton may have had a couple of smash hits, but I've always felt she still deserved more than that out of her career. "San Francisco" hails from Carlton's second album, Harmonium, much of which she wrote with her then-boyfriend Stephan Jenkins, lead singer of Third Eye Blind, a band formed in the titular San Francisco. Though Jenkins had the connection to the city, "San Francisco" is one of the songs on the album that Carlton wrote alone. It ended up as the only love song on an album otherwise filled with dark, introspective songs from what Carlton called her "diary" phase of songwriting.

"We Built This City" by Starship
Jefferson Airplane was formed in San Francisco during the '60s. From there, the band became Jefferson Starship and then simply Starship. The three bands saw varying levels of success, but out of anything post-1970 (possibly even before that, I'm growing out of touch with what people remember of classic rock anymore), most people would be most likely to recognize "We Built This City." "We Built This City" was penned in part by band member Peter Wolf, along with Dennis Lambert, Martin Page, and none other than Elton John lyricist Bernie Taupin. Taupin stated that the song was about the disappearing live music scene in Los Angeles. The song is formed as something of an open letter to corporate interests who were shutting down live performance clubs left and right. Since Starship and their predecessor bands were all based in San Francisco, the references to Los Angeles were changed to San Francisco. The music scene in San Francisco has always been strong, so it's fair to say that they also built their city on rock and roll.

"Grace Cathedral Hill" by The Decemberists
Very like "Russian Hill" in presentation, "Grace Cathedral Hill" captures the atmosphere of the places in San Francisco that it mentions, yet it still holds the typical storytelling and mystery of a Decemberists song.


Catch these songs on the One-Mind Tracks radio show this week! The show starts at 7PM EST on Thursday. You can catch it streaming over at 985winf.com. Or you can listen in for an episode of One-Mind Tracks any Thursday at 7pm!

Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have a song that fits the theme!

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A Brief History: The Sony BMG Copy Protection Scandal

During what some (certainly I) call the Napster era, high-speed internet access had entered nearly every home in the U.S.A. File-sharing became not only widespread, but a source of utter terror for record companies. CD burners were also standard equipment, which meant you didn't have to own even a digital copy of a file to share it. In fact, record companies were realizing that no one ever needed to pay for music again. And to be fair, the consumers had been realizing it first.

In 2000, Sony vice-president Steve Heckler spoke at the Americas Conference on Information Systems, saying: "The industry will take whatever steps it needs to protect itself and protect its revenue streams [...] It will not lose that revenue stream, no matter what [...] Sony is going to take aggressive steps to stop this. We will develop technology that transcends the individual user. We will firewall Napster at source – we will block it at your cable company. We will block it at your phone company. We will block it at your ISP. We will firewall it at your PC [...] These strategies are being aggressively pursued because there is simply too much at stake." In 2001, Sony made their first faux pas in the copy protection field, releasing copies of Natalie Imbruglia's second album White Lilies Island with copy protection not warned of.

Copy protection was not uncommon by 2005: many record companies had started to encode the CDs to be more difficult to rip to your computer; partly to prevent sharing, and partly in the hopes of gaining both physical and digital sales. Artists such as Weird Al fired back at this sort of greediness by actually adding extra content for those who inserted the disc in their computers. And still, for every copy protection measure, someone created a new plugin or application that was smart enough to get around the protection.

So, enter Sony BMG, a merger formed in 2004, who in 2005 were ready to make good on the promise Heckler made in 2000. Without a word to consumers or artists, Sony BMG launched a copy protection measure on 22 million CDs that they released. That alone wasn't the issue: as stated, many companies were enacting similar measures. What was different this time, however, was that their protection didn't just make the CD harder to encrypt. No, this protection went so far as to download software immediately onto the user's computer that invited in malware. 

Desktop computers in the '00s were in nearly every household. By then, the majority of folks had high-speed internet, a set of decent desk speakers, and no reason at all not to make the computer one of their primary household entertainment devices. There were plenty of completely innocent reasons to insert CDs and even DVDs into your disc drive. I myself had a desktop computer before I had a CD player with speakers. My primary way of listening to music was through headphones or a powerful set of desktop speakers, either one connected to my computer. So if I got a new CD, it was immediately going into my disc drive. 

You were really in trouble if you inserted these Sony BMG discs into your computer. The first thing that would happen was that you were offered a new music player. That "music player" would then install one of two programs onto your computer that would modify your operating system to interfere with your computer's ability to copy CDs in general. The program would be installed on Windows operating systems even if you declined it, and it could not be uninstalled. While it was surely a pain to be unable to copy CDs, that's not the worst this software had to offer. The next thing to happen was that with one of the programs would come a "feature" that sent private listening data back to Sony BMG. One of the two protection software programs explained what it was doing in the end-user license agreement, while the other program did the exact same thing, but without even telling you what it was up to in the end-user license agreement.

These programs created vulnerabilities in the systems of those who inadvertently downloaded them. The programs have been classified since their initial time of release as "rootkits." Usually, a rootkit is intended to be malicious (not in the way Sony BMG intended to be malicious). A rootkit enables access to a computer or an area of that computer's software that is not typically allowed. Sony was using this rootkit to disable a user's ability to copy the CD. But if you put a cat flap in your front door, nothing is stopping other animals from coming through. Hackers were able to exploit the newfound vulnerabilities. Malware was now able to attack the computers of those "infected" without having to jump through the normal hoops, because the cat flap for gaining unauthorized access to a person's computer was already there. 

Creator of the program RootKit Revealer, Mark Russinovich discovered the rootkit Sony installed on one of his computers. He posted about it on his blog on October 31st, 2005, stating that digital rights management had gone "too far." He found numerous problems with the XCP software, from what I've already mentioned to the fact that the program would constantly run in the background, slowing down a user's computer whether or not a CD was being played. The XCP rootkit also stopped and started using unsafe means that could cause the computer to crash. Attempts to remove the rootkit could even cause the computer to stop recognizing existing drives. Following the blog post, more worms and viruses were created to exploit the newly discovered vulnerabilities.

Sony BMG initially denied that their software was a rootkit, but suddenly, there was a public knowledge of rootkits, and a scandal surrounding Sony BMG's use of such software. Sony released patches in an attempt to help users uninstall the rootkits, but somehow, those patches opened computers up to even more vulnerabilities. The patch made the rootkit files visible, but installed even more files that couldn't be removed and this time, collected the user's email address also. 

The public was absolutely outraged by Sony's behavior. Many of the affected CDs were recalled with the promise of being replaced by CDs without the software. Sony BMG continued to deny allegations that their anti-piracy software was dangerous, even after more reports about the malware and viruses it opened the door for. Retailers who were asked to pull the CDs and ship them back for credit were in many cases not doing so. Being that it was after Thanksgiving by that time, the issue raged on as shopping increased for the Christmas season. Only about 10% of the recalled CDs ever made it back.

Class-action lawsuits were filed throughout the United States and around the world. Making matters even worse for Sony BMG: they had failed to follow licensing laws themselves when using the open-source software in the program. LAME MP3 encoder was the primary software, and its developers stated that they hoped Sony BMG would take appropriate action. 

By 2007, Sony BMG decided to completely get out of the copyright protection game. But the damage was done for many.

A great number of artists' works were wrapped up in this scandal. Natasha Bedingfield's Unwritten was among those affected, and it sold over one-million copies in her home country of the United Kingdom, and saw plenty of sales in the U.S. also. Though the U.K. version of the CD was released through an RCA subsidiary, the U.S. version was released through Epic, one of Sony's subsidiaries. The album sold 34,000 copies in the U.S. during its' first week of release. Many compilation albums were also released with this rootkit software, including some by older artists like Burt Bacharach, Pete Seeger, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday, with some by slightly newer artists like Cyndi Lauper also affected. Neil Diamond's 26th studio album Twelve Songs, Rosanne Cash's King's Record Shop, Ricky Martin's Life, and George Jones' duet album My Very Special Guests were all affected albums. To me, these titles show that a wide range of age groups and musical tastes were all hit with this. There are almost too many affected albums to name, but of course we can't forget one of the bands who became most vocal about the situation: Switchfoot. 

Switchfoot's fifth studio album Nothing is Sound sold half a million copies in the first month of its release. It debuted at number three on the Billboard albums chart, and was their first release after the monstrously successful The Beautiful Letdown. It was only their second studio album with Sony. As soon as the problem was discovered, the band were upset on behalf of their fans. Bassist Tim Foreman posted on the group's forums with a way to get around the protection, but the post soon disappeared mysteriously, with many believing Sony had threatened legal action against Foreman or the band. Strangely, many British copies of the album under EMI suffered from a similar copy protection problem, although that situation was handled much more gracefully. The scandal left such a bad taste in the mouths of the band that they were only too happy to get out of their contract with Sony, which they were able to do after Oh! Gravity, the third in their contractually obligated three albums on the label. They then formed their own label, "lowercase people," which was distributed by Atlantic. Lead singer and songwriter Jon Foreman felt as though the situation tainted their album, which was already considered to be one of their darkest works.

I have a copy of Nothing is Sound that I purchased used not too long ago. Updates to computers between 2005 and the present day have since made the type of vulnerability that the CDs initially created much more difficult to end up with accidentally. Aside from that, my copy doesn't seem to have the correct barcode on it to make it one of those affected (the barcode ends in XCP on affected CDs). Yet still, when I tried to rip the CD to my digital music library for use in my radio shows, I couldn't touch the tracks. Obviously I'm not making an effort to find a way around the copy protection but whatever they put on those CDs was certainly effective. 

I think by this point, most artists are just happy to have their music out there. Royalties are gained from streams and Youtube views. But I don't know if record companies will ever fully be over the new technology that the internet beckoned in so many years ago. It took a lot of time and situations such as this scandal to get them even close to over it. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

One-Mind Tracks: May Flowers

As promised by the "April Showers" playlist, One-Mind Tracks is now experiencing the joys of May flowers. So join us on this spring-ey playlist full of the flowers that bloom in the spring.

"Fresh as a Daisy" by Emitt Rhodes
The great, under-rated Emitt Rhodes recorded this flowery song at his home studio completely solo, which was a violation of union rules at the time. Albums were only supposed to be recorded at professional studios, meaning Rhodes' one-man accomplishment couldn't be mentioned on the album sleeve.

"Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James & the Shondells
Since it was originally leaked by a radio station, it seems only fitting that this one should play on an episode of One-Mind Tracks on the air. Tommy James was able to gain full creative control after the success of their single "Mony Mony." "Crimson and Clover" was a title before there was even a song to go with it. The "final" version we are all familiar with was not even intended as a final version, but a demo for the record label. Since it was leaked, that's what ended up being released.

"Sunflower, Vol. 6" by Harry Styles
Harry Styles set out to make a record with Fine Line. He wanted every track to be a worthwhile contribution to the whole. Thus, we get solid album tracks like "Sunflower, Vol. 6." I wanted this playlist to be a fun and romp-ey kind of floral, and this song does nothing but add to that vibe. Suggested by cohost, Erin Howard, this song is also a hint at a possible future playlist, dedicated solely to sunflowers.

"Tiptoe Through the Tulips" by Tiny Tim
After ties to the horror genre, it's safe to call this one infamous. Tiny Tim only intended his cover of a track from 1929 to be a lighthearted bit of fun. Tim used falsetto not just in his songs, but in public and in interviews throughout his career.

"Blue Orchid" by The White Stripes
Pumping up the energy a little bit, here's a song Jack White wrote about the complications newer entertainment industries created and how he wishes things were just the way they used to be. Rumors surrounding the song attributed the subject matter to White's breakup with Renée Zellweger, but he has always stated that that is false.

"Daisy" by Switchfoot
Jon Foreman brings us this sweet and lovely track from the album Nothing is Sound, an album which is beautiful, yet tainted by the Sony Extended Copyright Protection scandal. The band did their part to help out fans whose computers could otherwise be exposed to malware through the flawed attempt by Sony to protect their copyright, but they still feel like it ruined even their own perception of the album. Perhaps partly because of that scandal, Switchfoot have since chosen to work with smaller, independent labels. I may do a whole article on the Sony scandal at some point, so stay tuned.

"Wildflowers" by Tom Petty
For an album primarily about Tom Petty's divorce, Wildflowers is an incredibly comforting album for me, with the title track being not the exception, but the rule. Although it was never released as a single, "Wildflowers" managed to chart, making it to #16 on the Billboard Hot Rock charts and becoming his 4th most streamed song. Petty says the song came to him all at once in a stream-of-consciousness songwriting session of three and a half minutes. Petty kept assuming something was wrong with the track due to the ease with which it was written, but he found there was nothing wrong with it. I agree- there's nothing wrong with "Wildflowers."

"Daffodils" by Mark Ronson (Featuring Kevin Parker)
Of all the albums Mark Ronson has released, Uptown Special has the most perfect flow to it, feeling like a story. Part of this can be attributed to the involvement of author Michael Chabon, who cowrote many songs on the album, including this one, which he wrote with Kevin Parker of Tame Impala. Parker wanted Chabon to understand the feeling of coming down from a high in order to get the feeling he thought the song could have. He had Chabon listen to "Blinded By the Lights" by The Streets to get the correct vibe without doing drugs. 

"Orchids" by The Shacks
A fairly sad song about flowers, the quality of this song demands its inclusion. It does end on an upbeat note, with the implication that karma will eventually give the protagonist of the song the flowers she is due.

"Flowers on the Wall" by The Statler Brothers
This song has always reminded me of the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper." "Flowers on the Wall" was the winner of the 1966 Grammy for Best Contemporary Performance, and it's not hard to see why. The song has a lasting quality to it that also carried over to a cover version by Nancy Sinatra.

"Daisy Fingers" by Edu
After the breakup of Tally Hall, keyboardist Andrew Horowitz was quick to release an album on his own. Originally, Sketches was only available on cassette, intended to seem like a mixtape. In fact, Horowitz did produce this run of cassettes himself. My copy of Sketches is still the only cassette in my home music library. "Daisy Fingers" is both complex and childlike, making it perfect for this playlist.

"A Rose For Emily" by The Zombies
The Zombies released Odessey and Oracle just after disbanding. The album is now widely regarded as a classic, and deservedly so. The songs throughout the album are unique and beautiful and "A Rose For Emily" is no exception.

"Lily" by Benjamin Gibbard
"Lily" is about a girl of that name (as some of the other songs on this playlist are), but the tone is perfect for this time of spring and a playlist with several other primarily acoustic tracks. 


"Throw Down the Roses" by Kate Pierson
Kate Pierson went hard for her first solo album, which included this upbeat track about someone who refuses to be a groupie. "Throw Down the Roses" was written as a collaboration between Pierson, Sia, and Dallas Austin.


Catch these songs on the One-Mind Tracks radio show this week! The show starts at 7PM EST on Thursday. You can catch it streaming over at 985winf.com. Or you can listen in for an episode of One-Mind Tracks any Thursday at 7pm!

Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have a song that fits the theme!

Friday, May 13, 2022

Headcanon: David Bowie's Toy Story

I just got back from a work trip to Vegas and I have a cold. So my brain is just addled enough to finally explain this idea I've had for 10+ years. I've been ranting and raving about this to anyone who will listen for so long, I don't even remember how I thought of it.

So here goes: Randy Newman did a fine job with the soundtrack to Toy Story. His songs are iconic and deep-seated in the minds of anyone who grew up in the '90s. But what if he didn't write the songs for the soundtrack? What if Disney and Pixar decided instead to go with the back-catalogue of legendary singer-songwriter David Bowie? I'm here to show you what an easy swap it could have been.

"You've Got a Friend in Me" becomes "Golden Years"
"Golden Years" acts as a perfect tonal match for the opening scene of Toy Story. Woody is living in the "golden years" in which he is Andy's favorite toy by far. Sure, there's no replacement for "You've Got a Friend in Me" but if there were, it would be "Golden Years." Start the Toy Story video and then immediately "Golden Years" for full effect. Don't forget to mute the Toy Story video. And of course, it would fade down as Woody lays on the bed.


"Strange Things" becomes "Changes"
Woody begins to see "Changes" in this scene. His world is turned upside down by what Randy Newman calls "Strange Things." "Changes" calls to mind the very literal changes in Andy's interests and therefore Woody's life. This time, start the Bowie song first, then click on the muted Toy Story video. This one would fade out just at the end of the Toy Story video, before another chorus begins.


"I Will Go Sailing No More" becomes "Space Oddity"
Buzz is a spaceman (or at least thinks he is), why would he "go sailing"? He wouldn't! "Space Oddity" captures his feelings of hopelessness as he discovers that he is a toy, while still calling back to his belief in genuine space roots. Start this one with the sound on for both videos. "Space Oddity" first, then the Toy Story scene. Mute the Toy Story video when the Al's Toy Barn logo appears on-screen. 


Everyone I've shown this to so far has been very surprised by the results and congratulated me by patting me on the head and telling me I'm not crazy. Promise. Anyway...that's all I've got. Tell me what you think in the comments.