Ape Wind

The Columbus Music Scene and Beyond
Captian D'Artagnon goading the crowd during a song at Oldfields on High.

Captian D'Artagnon of Outer Spacist goading the crowd during a song at Oldfields on High.

March 13, 2010 – The Outer Spacist is a Columbus group consisting of drummer Joseph Smith, guitarists Peter Pavilion and Bringham Young (my favorite moniker), bassists Herk Harvey, and last but most certainly not least in any fashion, the lead singer/shouter/keyboardist, Captain D’Artagnon.

I ambled into the prestigious Oldfield’s on High at about 12:30 am, just in time to pay a four dollar cover charge and see the band begin hitting keys and strumming notes signifying they were about to start their first song.

I crept to the back wall with the sound-guy at my left and watched as the empty floor began to fill with the bar patrons in attendance.  D’Artagnon shouted out a few forgettable rock phrases into the mic before they kicked into their first song which sounded much to me like the MC5, and may even have been a cover.  This is not a complaint, more of a question.  Big D did his best waving around and barking out chunks of lyric whilst donning a fresh pinkish scarf.  D’Artagnon is a large man and his build and profuseness of sweat just about perfectly fit the scene.  Having played the role myself, I always find myself drawn to the lead singer.  He reminded me of an Issac Brock, from Modest Mouse fame, or maybe even Frank Black with a keyboard.

I very much enjoyed D’Artagnons’ keyboard additions when spliced in between chunks of garage rock, A La Kinks or even Stooges.  The keyboard bursts gave the band a sort of psychedelic Ween feel mixed with sludgy punk.  I, along with what seemed to be most of the crowd, found ourselves very much at attention to the show.  Now this was not the kind of attention that will change any lives mind you, but keeping attention is step one for any young band.  These guys really kept it up.  About five songs in they went into an instrumental number that I found to be pretty satisfying along with D’Artagnon playing some keyboard tones in some nice sections that kept it interesting and new.  It was also at about this time that I was starting to shift  my attention to the crowd.  In particular on a young firey long haired blond with a purple velour top and a body to die for dancing hypnotically to the Outer Spacist beats.  Thus, I’m sorry if my memory faded for a song or two, blame the hottie.

Captian D'Artagnon and Brigham Young play while the crowd dances at Oldfields on High.

Captian D'Artagnon and Brigham Young of Outer Spacist play while the crowd dances at Oldfields on High.

Anyways, the lead singer made many a reference to revolt against authority, LSD and such things as Reality TV.  I’m all in favor of these musings and taunts.  It didn’t seem to really create anything one way or the other with the crowd,  which mind you had steadily increased.  More power to the band.  So all in all, if you are looking for a fun night out, these guys aren’t the newest or most unique thing you will ever see. Their ideas and sounds have been played and heard many a time before.  However, I believe it’s about the passion and I can say that D’Artagnon definitely had it.

The Guitarists had some nice hooks here and there, but were somewhat forgettable.  In fact, if they were both mutated into one more articulate player it would serve this band well in my opinion.  None of the songs really ever lifted up and actually took me on an acid trip or to Outer Space as promised, but these guys fit a nitch that needs to be fit and they have a pretty nice following.  They also kept my attention to the end (aside from the twirly girlie) and if they would develop their song structures a bit more I believe these guys can take this gig out of town.  After all, space is the final frontier…

The Outer Spacist can be found on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/outerspacist. Their recent release, “The Mind is as Outer Space b/w I Talk with Telepathy Baby”, is available on vinyl from: http://www.columbusdiscountrecords.com/.

– Oddfellow

March 12, 2010 – The Super Desserts is an out of the ordinary band local to Columbus, Ohio.  They have a roster that has more than 10 people with instrumentation ranging from banjo to bell set. Their music is akin to The Fratellis of Apple iPod commercial fame. They have thick harmonies and the music is relatively upbeat. Common themes running through their music are love and relationships.  They have a certain simplicity of style, which seems key for all their songs.

Super Desserts on stage

Super Desserts on stage playing "Ghost Song" at The Summit. Pictured are: Fran, Justin Riley, Matt Ogcron, Eve Searls, Bobby Miller, Erik Kang, and Ianna Kristiansen.

When I arrived at the Summit around 9:30pm there were about twenty people meandering around, waiting for the music to start. On the stage more and more musicians kept showing up and setting up their instruments. Over the next half hour I could see the sound guy floundering with the shear volume of microphones and inputs he had to set up. He did not look all too happy. The music started shortly thereafter with a song called “Missy Madame.” I was initially blown away by the harmonies coming from the group with all eight members on stage adding vocals to the instrumentation. But, as the night wore on I noticed that the music did not venture much farther then what was explored in the first song. In fact, it felt a bit like listening to a half hour long song with breaks for some people to tune along with some odd banter. At one point one of the musicians pointed out that the History Channel was showing images of a cross burning.

Super Desserts displaying their recent album at The Summit.

Super Desserts displaying their recent album “Banjo Forever” at The Summit. Pictured are: Fran, Justin Riley, Matt Ogcron, Eve Searls, Bobby Miller, Erik Kang, and Ianna Kristiansen.

Many of the lyrics, at least those that I heard, had cliché notes to them. “Forget about me,” and “I miss you,” were used multiple times in the song “Ibiza.” The song “Faster Tea” used “What are we fighting for?”. Perhaps if the vocals came out a bit more I may have had a different experience here.  They also had no shortage of bah’s and dah’s, using them in nearly all of the eight songs played. There were a fair amount of people dancing in front of the stage though; the music did have that going for it at least. I would not suggest going to their show expecting high-energy rock, but more of a laid back feel-good feeling. Fran, a member of the band, described the band as “Indy, pop, folk, family.” I would say this was a pretty apt description of the band.

I did find it odd that there was no drummer in attendance. Most of the time there was only a sad tambourine that seemed to only function as a metronome tapping out on the beat. With that many people on stage you would expect the ability to add some more rhythm to the music. I mean bang on a pot or stomp the floor; anything to get the half hour of tambourine out of my head. It felt a little like seeing “Eyes Wide Shut” again listening to a single piano note being played for two hours. Perhaps I’m going a bit too far but in only one song did the tambourine change from this pattern. This was not enough to clear the idea from my head.

Super Desserts can be found on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/superdesserts, and Twitter: http://twitter.com/superdesserts. Their recent release, “Banjo Forever”, is available in CD and Vinyl formats released by Red Bird Recordings: http://banjoforever.com/.

-V-

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