Ape Wind

The Columbus Music Scene and Beyond

Browsing Posts published by Salvatore

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-

Feb 22, 2013 – Getting back out there is always fun after quite a long hiatus. It feels right to be back out and writing regularly. Apewind has been a long running dream of mine and I’m glad to get the chance to get it back up and running.

Intervene playing Circus

Intervene playing Circus

Let me start off by saying Circus is not normally the venue one wants to be “heard” in. The sound is usually mixed overpoweringly awkward and recently the vocals in many mixes have been nearly nonexistent. That being said, if one can sound good here, they would pretty much be set anywhere. Generally speaking the sound here is reminiscent of Bernie’s on a good night.

Our band tonight is Intervene, opening the show for Crème de la Femme, a rock and roll, burlesque, and comedy showcase. This show is something worth watching at some point in your life. The band consists of D Johnson on bass, Dan Calvin on drums, and Zel Marquis filling out the guitar and vocals. Johnson from the band described themselves as, “the slacker generation rip offs.”

D Johnson and Dan Calvin of Intervene

D Johnson and Dan Calvin of Intervene

Looking at the guys on stage I wasn’t sure what to expect. Johnson was adorned in a Soundgarden T, and testing his amp with some distorted bass effects, always a pleasant sound to my ears. Then the first song, “Scarlet” kicked off. It started with a very tinny sounding guitar riff that was quickly met with simplistic, yet effective drums. Then filled in nicely with bass. I was blown away at the fullness of their sound. It wasn’t too overbearing. The sound guy got just the right amount of everything in the mix.  Marquis began mumbling some non-descript lyrics; I couldn’t make out a single word of them. Wasn’t sure if it was poor judgment on the sound guys part or intended. These quickly gave way to screamed vocals, which I was not particular on. The entirety of the song seemed to consist of just three chords. These guys were nailing the simple yet effective musical style of the 90s.

Zel Marquis of Intervene playing Circus

Zel Marquis of Intervene playing Circus

The next song felt very much like the first, almost wouldn’t have noticed it was different save for a bass solo in the middle and it was well played. The screaming vocals continued, and I still wasn’t really into them. The next song was a bit of a gem. I was not enjoying the screaming so much and I was very surprised when Marquis began actual singing. I hate to say it, but wow, he should stick to the screaming.

The next few songs went by and I found myself losing interest. Well I was until “Whirlpool” started. This song was their strongest of the whole set. Marquis redeemed his singing, perhaps in the earlier attempt he was just not warmed up enough. The bass was rocking a great distorted tone. The drummer was filling everything else in, and surprisingly with a rather broken down four piece set with only two cymbals. In true 90s grunge rock style the song ended with a total cluster of falling apart sound. I was very pleased with this.

To end the night they finished with cover of Nirvana’s “Aneurysm.” Simply put, it’s not hard to cover Nirvana, but it is hard to cover Nirvana and sound really good. They pulled this off very well. It was very cool to hear this. Overall I’d say they are a worthwhile band to check out when you get a chance. The energy they put forth on stage could be easily felt, and their sound was very full for a three piece.

You can find Intervene on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/midwestgrunge

-V-

April 23, 2010 – Lisa Gain is one of those standard folk musicians that has been haunting Columbus, no wait, the entire United States, for years. Hailing from Ashley, Ohio, Lisa plays an assortment of original and different sounding covers for your standard 40-something crowd. Her music is inspired by the usual folk suspects: Cash, Parton, Williams and Nelson. This is very apparent in her style.

Lisa Gain at Fat's Billiards

Lisa Gain at Fat's Billiards

She started off with what may have been a cover song declaring what would happen if she became a political leader, ending chorus and verse with the sentiment that she would be assassinated by Sunday. Every song she played made me feel like I was stuck in a coffee shop strapped in and listening to the banter of high school philosophy students right next to me. I spent most of the show trying to figure out the political ramifications of her music being played to drunk voters in a pool hall.

On a positive note though, the area designated for music was packed with eager listeners, each of which was enthralled by her music. Her talent on the guitar was relatively good and her vocal styling’s played well into the style. The applause after each song was enthusiastic.

Lisa Gain at Fat's Billiards

Lisa Gain at Fat's Billiards

Now I am opinionated about the music I listen to, as everyone should be to some degree, it’s what makes us discerning people. But I have to draw the line sometimes and I have serious problems with some styles. Not that I’d go out of my way to bash some group of peoples choice of music, but given certain venues, I get a little confused about the choices of the performer. It’s like flipping on the Christian rock station in the middle of the night and hearing Christian Death Metal… I have no idea how this style exists, but it does. Anyhow the point I’m getting to, when I go to a pool hall, with a complete full service bar, the last thing I need/want to hear is a person going on about her religious views. I mean come on, it’s a freaking bar, a place to sin. Sure it’s not a strip club, but it’s only a few naked girls away from that.

So to sum up, if you like Christian folk rock, and you are 40 or older, then it seems this performer is the perfect match for you.

You can find Lisa Gain on myspace at: http://www.myspace.com/lisagain.

-V-