Ape Wind

The Columbus Music Scene and Beyond
Vampire Weekend at Bernies at Mayday Bar, Cincinnati

Vampire Weekend at Bernies at Mayday Bar, Cincinnati

Apr 11, 2014 – I didn’t come to this show expecting anything in particular. I had never been to the Mayday Bar in Cincinnati and I was impressed by the multiple rooms and small fire pits scattered about the establishment. There were maybe thirty people lumbering around the joint this particular evening. Early on I was introduced to one of them, a boyish looking man named Steven whom other than being a nice guy I had zero inclination of the creative beast of genius lurking inside of him that would soon be unleashed apon myself and the other scattered drinkers.

He goes by the name of Vampire Weekend at Bernie’s and he has balls of steel. He comes out wrapped in plastic and covering his junk with a self made codpiece of tape hiding his boxer briefs.

Vampire Weekend at Bernies at Mayday Bar, Cincinnati

Vampire Weekend at Bernies at Mayday Bar, Cincinnati

He was also sporting a red bra and within the first few moments of his short songs comprised of quick and simple sampled bests you know you are in for something special. His songs are comprised of singing about his ‘Cock and Balls’ ‘ Abortions’ ‘Drinking and Fucking’ and any other subject he wants to bestow upon his bewildered yet highly entertained audience. He schtick was the only act of the evening that pulled the whole crowd inside the performance room. Long story short.. It was performance art genius. At one point he gives out his actual phone number (which is 1 513 739 3837 in case you want to have sex with the young man or book him at your bat mitzvah).

As he humped at the crowd, gyrated and staggered around slowly tearing away his clothing you could feel the electricity in the room. People were starting to cheer and pump their fists to his infectious beats and fearless bravado.

You see on his face that is highlighted with a small child molester type moustache and eyes that are vaguely playful yet daring in a strangely Andy Kaufmanesque way, that the young artist is just as intrigued and excited about what he’s going to do next as the audience. Punk rock is not dead.. It just mutated into this new firm of daring art. He ends his set by having audience members throw eggs at him and each other (much to the chagrin of the disgruntled drummer in the band  after him that looked as though he were going to kill him for getting egg on his set).

Do yourself a favor and come check out VW@B’s set in Columbus Ohio at Erotic N Roll 11 @ Victorys Live on June 7th. It will change your life.

Vampire Weekend at Bernie’s can be found on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/VampireWeekendAtBernies

– Oddfellow

Mar 8, 2013 – I went to the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio to watch one of my favorite new bands, Tame Impala from Perth, Australia. I had two big fat beers in me, and was sitting up in the balcony with my girlfriend by the time they started the packed sold out show. I was expecting a lot and was not disappointed in the least.

Tame Impala at Newport Music Hall

Tame Impala at Newport Music Hall

The band started back in 2007 and is mainly the brainchild of singer songwriter Kevin Parker. The first thing I noticed about this band, when a friend turned me onto the song “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” a few months back, was just how eerily his vocal style resembled that of John Lennon, my hands down favorite musician and person of all time. Since noticing this, I realize everyone agrees… in many articles, if not all of them, they equate his reedy nasally high pitch to that of the Walrus. It’s as if Lennon decided to come back to us through the vehicle of Parker and start a psychedelic, prog-rock band. At least that’s what I like to believe anyway.

The crowd exploded into a frenzy as the band started into a cutting and perfect version of the loner’s anthem for its generation “Solitude is Bliss” to kick off the show. One of my favorite songs with the lyrics, ‘There’s a party inside my head and no one is invited.’ The chorus is a killer too, ‘You will never compare with how I feel!’ delivered in that cool and chilling doppelganger tone of a bygone time, that is maybe not that far away after all. This song hits you right where you want to be hit… NEED to be hit by a tune. By the time they ended the song I swore the air had left the room, causing the young yet mixed aged crowd to heave a collective gasp.

Kevin Parker wrote and recorded all of the material for both albums, the debut Innerspeaker from 2010, and this year Lonerism. I don’t know much about the people he has playing these songs live but I can tell you the drummer was a wizard. His sticks were flying so fast and precisely that it was hard to believe at times.

Probably my favorite song “Apocalypse Dreams” came next and then they performed “Be Above it.” In between the well-executed and brilliant tunes they would sometimes go into spacey little jams that served to build up your anticipation before another powerhouse tripped out masterpiece was served up to the hungry crowd once more.

Tame Impala at Newport Music Hall

Tame Impala at Newport Music Hall

There was “Elephant” The radio hit… Then probably my second favorite song “Why won’t you make up your mind?” which dishes out this amazing keyboard synth part that massaged the lobes of my drunken brain and lifted me to a higher level then I could explain with words. My girlfriend and I were blown away. This band was somehow perfect. They dolled out a great version of another favorite, “Mind Mischief.”

Honestly I could rave on and on about this band, what this night felt like, the energy and the pleasures. I could pontificate about the magic that brings such young talented people together… How does one cosmic organism become a Nickleback, while another a Tame Impala? The acid soaked mind of an aging hipster reels. But alas, I have things to do… and to hear how GOOD a relationship is… our how much someone loves their favorite TV show… is just kind of… boring.

So do yourself a favor and look up these songs! This band! This was one of the best shows I had ever seen in my 30 odd years. My only sadness is that they didn’t play “Lucidity.” I got to see them cheap this time around, but I feel like next time they are here it won’t be quite as easy to get tickets. These guys are the real deal and need to be seen to believe!

– Oddfellow

Mar 6, 2013 – I was feeling a little frisky on a Wednesday night, so I packed up my camera and got a friend to go out to the bar with me. We decided to head out to Kobo as it is close by. It’s a wonderful local bar to hit on any night of the week. I personally suggest this bar for live music and good service. Jacob Wooten, the owner, can be found behind the bar or just hanging around most nights. He is always bringing in good regional talent that you wont find anywhere else in Columbus, and mixes it up well with good local bands. We paid our eight-dollar cover, steep for a Wednesday night, and got a few drinks at the bar. It seems we were supporting a band from out of town on the bill. This made me feel a lot better about the high cost of entry. The band of the evening to be reviewed was William Reach, a local group. We had arrived a little late and were catching them as the fourth band of the night out of five.

William Reach at Kobo

William Reach at Kobo

William Reach consists of Christopher Heidel, Casey Costello, Nikolas Heidel, and Thomas Kurth. There was a fifth extra man at the show on stage with them for half the show, but I was not able to get their name. Looking at their stage setup I was prepared for an interesting show. On the stage sat a full drum kit, a random floor tom with padded mallets sitting on it, a red Nord keyboard, a standard four-string bass, a stomp peddle connected to a tambourine, and acoustic guitar. The members took the stage and as they sound checked the bass player promptly belched into the microphone. My female friends assure me this is not a way to impress them while up on stage. If you’re not going to sing or engage the audience in some interesting way, and belching is hardly interesting, then back off the microphone and save our ears. This is not Revenge of the Nerds and you are not Booger.

William Reach at Kobo

William Reach at Kobo

They started their set with a song centered on the lead vocalist and his acoustic guitar. The vocals were thin and reedy, very reminiscent of Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons), but still had his own style and twist on the feel. At first I was a little hesitant towards the vocals, but found myself very appreciative of them by the end of the night. They were strangely soothing. The random floor tom that sat on the stage got a lot of use in this first song. I initially thought it was very gimmicky to have a random floor tom for use, but it really just fit. No other way to put it.

A few more non-descript songs passed by. I wasn’t terribly interested in them, they seemed to all fit a pattern of starting soft with guitar and vocals then, after a certain point would break out into full band playing quickly and loudly. Would have been nice if this was only one or two of the eight songs of the set, but turned out to be six of them. The sixth song of the set really got me going though. The drums had a nice march feel to them, and it was really easy to get lost in the vocals, which seemed to fit this song. I would like to tell you the name of the song, but when I tried to communicate with the band they were all too drunk to have any sort of decent conversation with.

William Reach taking shots at Kobo

William Reach taking shots at Kobo

The show itself was so-so. I really liked the instrumentation and the songs themselves seemed well thought out and put together. I could tell that these were very talented musicians and they really could pull off a good show, but they seemed to be having an off night. That or the alcohol was getting to them a bit too much. I would suggest seeing them if you have a chance, earlier in the night and perhaps they will have a stronger performance. Being a musician myself I know one can’t always play the perfect show.

 

William Reach can be found on bandcamp at: http://williamreach.bandcamp.com/

 -V-