Ape Wind

The Columbus Music Scene and Beyond

Browsing Posts tagged Carabar

March 26, 2010 – Let me start this one off by saying I already love Black Spyral Dancer, they are cool guys I’ve had the pleasure of watching and sharing a bill with on numerous occasions. I knew going into the Carabar that it was going to be a groovy time.

Madge of Black Spyral Dancer goading the crowd at Carabar

Madge of Black Spyral Dancer goading the crowd at Carabar

I strutted into the den of all that is Hip in C-Bus and ordered me the drink of champions (PBR in a mini pitcher, three bucks) and sat with my friends waiting to see if the leader of Black Spyral Dancer would remember me. His name is Madge and he is a true rock star without any unwanted cockiness. Sure enough, I didn’t down half of my beer before he exclaimed my name and made a B-line into my sights, as colorful and friendly as ever. He told me that the band had gone through a few personnel changes, but I was sure to see a good show and that if I didn’t like it I could thrash him mercilessly with my article. We spoke about the missing lead singer from the former incarnation. He said they were looking for a new lead singer, even suggesting that I step up to the plate. I am pondering this, by the way. He also informed me that he was now living in Columbus, SWEET! I reminded him that the last time I had seen him was at a show we had played with them in Athens, where he twisted the ever-loving crap out of his ankle after the last song, jumping off of the stage.  We laughed, and I went back to my gang and binge drinking, it had been a long day at work and I was ready to rumble.

So the opening act ended and the new three-piece Black Spyral dancer was getting it together on stage. They had a new bass player named Joe who had warmed up with some Jane’s Addiction bass hooks, “Three Days.” The drummer Justin sounded spectacular, even in his opening test fills, as they goofed around before the first song. They opened with “Autumn” and right away the show was popping. There were about fifty of us up front and we started gyrating and slurping PBR like it was our life-force. I thought musically they were tight as shit, slamming each note home with a velocity that would make anyone dizzy with energy. The drummer rippled through the set holding Madge and Joes guitars together with every ferocious beat. I was greatly pleased.

Madge of Black Spyral Dancer on stage at Carabar

Madge of Black Spyral Dancer on stage at Carabar

I did however notice the hole that was there vocally, Madge did his best to fill in, but his voice didn’t quite have the range I had hoped. That is until song two, “Divine” where he sang in alternating low tones mixed with biting verses back and forth, more sort of mumbling than barking. The song also started with Madge playing a flute that gave the whole intro a very Egyptian feel. I thought it went over very well.  Songs three and four followed through and didn’t let the energy waver. There was an excitement in the air and I knew Madge had been, and always would be, the driving force behind Black Spyral Dancer. Joe and Justin were a great combo that carried him perfectly, think of a mix of Tool and Janes Addiction. They got to an instrumental they dedicated to their ex-drummer, a man I knew, and was sad to find out the song was called “Heroin,” Rock and Roll is a bitch.

The set ended with a power punch number titled “Bugz,” I was very very glad these guys were back around. It sounds like they will be a fixture in the Columbus music scene for awhile and their energy is very needed. To see Madge flail away on stage made me glad that the ankle episode a year or so back hadn’t killed any of his rock star chutzpah. Check these guys out as soon as you can, you won’t regret! They can be found on MySpace at : http://www.myspace.com/blackspyraldancer.

-Oddfellow

This Month in Black History

March 12, 2010 – As I prepared to write my review this week I was apt to quote the plagiarized words of a young Kevin McDonald, “Write what you know,” and so I’ll do just that. Let’s start with some facts. This moment in Black History is a band hailing from Cleveland, Ohio. What brings them to our city you might ask? Well, it just so happens to be that they’re on tour right now with fellow SNAX and Smog Veil label mates Sun God, and will be touring until their return to Cleveland in mid April. This Moment in Black History consist of members Lamont “Bim” Thomas on drums, Buddy Akita on guitar/vocals,  Christopher “CK1” Kulcsar on vocals/MG-1 and Lawrence Daniel Caswell on bass/beatvocals. Thomas is from Columbus and used to work at Used Kids Records and also plays with The Bassholes. I’m not gonna classify these guys into a genre but it leans towards what I call cocaine punk. They’ve been around since at least 2005 and it seems as though they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Buddy Akita of This Moment in Black History rocking out on stage at Carabar

Buddy Akita of This Moment in Black History rocking out on stage at Carabar

So then, on to the review. As I entered Carabar I noticed that the ratio of hipsters to college kids was abnormally offset. There was no cover as usual so I made my way to the middle of the bar. I was uninterested in the band that was on stage at the time, but I knew not to go far because they only had a few songs left and the band I was reviewing was up next. Looking around, I began to get the old familiar feeling that Carabar creates on a Friday night. The smell of stale beer and the feeling of judgmental eyes takes you over. As the band was coming to a finish I knew that it would be a great opportunity to get a drink. I was wrong. The bar was packed and there was no way of even squeezing in there. Good for the bar, but bad for patrons. I decided to have a seat and await the festivities.

Setlist for This Moment in Black History at Carabar

Setlist for This Moment in Black History at Carabar

The band came out and they, along with the sound guy, did the standard sound check dance. Once they were ready an introduction from Kulcsar started the show. I found his lanky white guy appearance to be somewhat amusing as he fronted a band named This Moment in Black History. Once the first song began and the music was building I found myself intrigued and wanting to know where this was going to lead. I then, surprisingly, found myself engulfed in a high level of musical energy and screaming. Technically I thought they were all well rounded musicians, unfortunately what they were selling, I usually ain’t buying. Now, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that would love these guys, but I am not one of them. Regardless of my opinion, the audience was packed in tight and very attentive. I decided to get up and make my way to another vantage point. From the side of the stage I could see the bands love for what they were doing. I mean, how else could a band survive five plus years without the passion to sustain it. There is a certain beauty you find when a group of people all project the same thoughts and actions together, which is why I was disappointed to not have really liked this band as I loved their showmanship. Although I could have gone without the attempted humor in between each song from Kulcsar, I did like his high energy and connection that he kept with the audience. During one song he actually come out into the packed audience to perform. A lot of the songs they performed that night would do the same thing to me each time. The song would start out as something completely different in style but would then always revert back to the high energy screaming.

So you might be wondering, was this a good band or a bad band? I would say this band was bad for me but might be good for you. I suggest you give them a listen online before you get all dressed up and shell out the normal five dollar cover charge just to find out it’s not the type of music you like. You can find some samples of their art at http://www.myspace.com/thismomentinblackhistory.  There you’ll find music from their new LP, “Public Square,” which is now available from Smog Veil.  You’ll also find pictures, art and all sorts of opinions. Good luck on tour and at SXSW fellas and may the devil be your guide.