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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

I’ll take you through this experience with me step by step kids. As I received the package from my senior editor Salvatore and went back to my laptop to unwrap and listen to this as of yet unheard of, at least by me, musical artist.  D Ferren, For Glare and Gun the CD reads… Okay, my first impression on a surface level is that it looks enviably professional. Being in a band my self, I know the top dollar poor musicians have to pay for vacuum sealed packaging like this. Great album artwork. It depicts two marionettes of hispanic decent, male and female, the male holding a pistelero in his little wooden hand. I also noticed after opening the CD up there is a very unique way of showing off the lyrics with a very cool paper insert composition notebook parody.

for_glare_gunNext, I see this cat is from Fort Wayne, Indiana (my sort of hometown.. long story) and the CD was mastered in Chicago, with ten golden hits on it (presumably), open up my disk drive and feed the CD into my computer… click, whirr… spin… and here we go D Ferren, you have my attention…

I must mention one off note here though, I hate when CDs come up in ITunes and they are not titled. Better luck next time kids, so close to perfection, now for the tunes.

First song “Merilee” is a full acoustic rift that brings in some keys, complimented by a slow dragging drum beat and some nice country-esque vocals, not bad, a bit like Wilco maybe? Then some horns come in, which are a nice surprise reminiscent of Van Morrison. All in all, I like it. it reminds me of Beck’s slow stuff, if Beck sang more clearly. Lyrics are so/so… but that’s no big deal… The next song “Two Dollar Bill” continues with the blue grassy, country feel, a nice rolling drum march, some viola, nice flair. So far I can see where this is headed.

You see, with Apewind, we randomly pick who will review each album. We have a limited amount of writers and as opposed to bigger more established critics blogs and magazines, we don’t have a writer set for each genre, so sending your music to us you are at the mercy of whomever decides to listen. In the case of me, I am an indie rock nut. I love me psychedelic dirty garage jams with weird lyrics and spacey solos. In the vein of Tame Impala or Built to Spill.  So as the CD continues on, I found myself losing interest a little bit. One notable acceptation being the dirty rock styles of song 5, “Miles of Consolation,” which reminded me of a Frank Black and the Catholics tunes getting laid by Camper van Beethoven. Not bad, but also not waking me up and getting me ready for the day quite, either. I would say there are some beautiful things on this album, and if you are a big fan of Allison Kraus, or any other sultry southerny type banjo and acoustic songs. This may be for you.

The female singer on some of the later tracks sounds very nice, along with that steel pedal guitar I hear weeping along with her. All in all, I am indifferent about this album. I am ok with its existence, but I feel it may be respected a bit more by a different critic. The production value and the musicianship of the artists on it outweigh the intrigue of the songs a little bit for me. But I am a slave to the eclectic, what can I say? Not everyone can be Ween, though they made a pretty kick-ass country albums as well. Thanks guys! Keep on rocking.

D Ferren’s music and information can be found on reverbnation at: http://www.reverbnation.com/dferren.

 -Oddfellow

May 28, 2010 – I walked into Skully’s on High at about ten thirty on Friday night and decided to review the first band I saw to grace the stage. It was West Unity’s Click To Play which includes former members of Columbus’ Uni-soul. There were about fifty to sixty people at the bar. I heard the night was suffering from a few scheduling conflicts which meant Click To Play didn’t actually get on stage until a little after eleven.

Click to Play

Click to Play

I sat at the bar in the room with the stage and my first glimpse of the band was of the lead singer and rhythm guitarist Kelley. She was joined by her keyboardist, B-Sharp. The first song was slow and haunting, but pleasant enough along with twinges of country and gospel. Kelley’s vocals were precise, bold, and impressing to me within this first selection.  She sang lines like “I promise I won’t forget, all we’ve done has been washed away” and “Of the sixty or so in attendance there were  really only half in the room watching at the beginning.”

Their second song, which was Tom Petty’s “Last Dance with Mary Jane,” is when I realized I was in the throws of a, and I gasp, cover band. I will admit that I was slightly disappointed and it really takes all the fun out of being a music reviewer when reviewing cover songs. Lets face it; all the chances of being in the presence of the next Led Zeppelin goes out the window at this point, so exuding a sigh I pushed onward. Kelley’s vocals left a little  to be desired at this point. I was expecting her to sing Like ol’ TP but I didn’t expect her to sing so choppy and without any heart, seemingly opposing the first song. The other musicians played well enough but how do you mess up a Tom Petty song? This is cover band 101 folks.

Click to Play

Click to Play

The third song wasn’t a selection I was familiar with and maybe it was an original but it was a  little too country and folk for my taste. In my opinion, the piano should have been much louder. Their fourth was everybody’s favorite “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals. In my opinion it was the highlight of their set and people seemed to fill in a little bit more to watch the band at this point.

On a side note, I’m not proud to live in Columbus because of their diverse cover band scene, when it’s the original music scene which I love. I always have felt that cover bands want to play their own music but don’t quite have the balls to lay their own heart and words on the line. I  understand that it’s better for the pocket book, but its hard for me to respect them.

Yet even as cover bands go, these guys need to start getting their stuff together before they can really start pulling in the big bucks. A good example would be the likes of local cover band favorites Swagg. This was very apparent in their next song, “Dust in the Wind” originally by Kansas. It started strong enough, but somewhere in the middle of their version, it became an 80’s hair metal version with a Survivors “Eye of the Tiger” vibe. At this point they lost the crowd. All in all they ended with a nice eerie jam which may be the second highlight to their very short set. If you do want to see a mediocre cover band perform live, come out and give it a shot. Honestly I would rather go watch and sing karaoke.

-Oddfellow