Best of Ohio 2012: Part Four

volume-2-comp-250x250Aquabear is kicking off a brand new year-end tradition by asking some of the state’s best musicians and music related folks to share their favorite Ohio music finds and experiences of the year. Look for a whole bunch of these before the start of 2013! Here’s the second batch featuring Kyle Sowash (Columbus – The Kyle Sowashes), Chris Lute (Athens – Weird Science, Dark Circles Records),  Zach Long (Chicago – Time Out Chicago, ALARM Magazine), Todd Carman (Athens – Skumplast), Brian Ostrander (Columbus – Kobo Live). Look for more in the coming weeks and please share, if you would like to participate drop us a line at contact@aquabearlegion.com
_______

Kyle Sowash
Columbus  (The Kyle Sowashes)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Connections – “Private Airplane”, GBV – “Class Clown Spots a UFO”, GBV – “Bears For Lunch”, The Whiles – “Somber Honey”, Washington Beach Bums – “Party!”

Best new Ohio band
Connections.

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year?
Tossup:
Afghan Whigs/Wussy @ Bogarts, Cincinnati, OH 10.25.12
or Crooked FIngers/ John Vanderslice @ Tree Bar 11.6.12

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Summer.

If you are a musician what have you been working on lately?
Just working on songs for a new record and drinking soda pops with my buddies.

What are you listening to right now?
RIGHT now? Bob Mould – The Silver Age

_______

Chris Lute
Athens (Weird Science, Dark Circles Records)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Paleoweltschmerz by Jay Harmon and the Francis Bacon Band, Homemade Drugs LP by Homemade Drugs, Volume Consume by Tribe of The Mountain, Teen Age by Nathan Moore, Vodou – Fittness

Best new Ohio band
Frankie Teardrop

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Working on new projects. Recording more bands more often. Nelsonville Music Festival.

If you are a musician what have you been working on lately?
Just began working on a project called Elton Johnny with Maureen Neer and Chris Lee. This is a very open-ended project that is based on live improvisation interacting with prerecorded loops, combing elements of Dub, Ambient Electronic, and Garage Rock. I am very excited to work with these guys to refine our process and expand our sonic palette with the incorporation of organ, theremin, etc. Essentially, this project is all about fluidity and progression, creating structure without confinement. We get to play whatever we want, as long as we are in sync with our prerecorded loops (of us playing whatever we want).

Also, recording with Frankie Teardrop, Finishing up an album with Bonzai, and recording for a solo album.

What are you listening to right now?
The Gun Club right now. Lately – Velvet Underground, Elvis Costello, The oh sees, Die Antwerd, Squarepusher
_______

Zach Long
Chicago (Time Out Chicago, ALARM Magazine)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Black Swans – Occasion for Song

Jerry DeCicca returns for another round of tugging at your heartstrings, armed with a batch of tunes that manage to be morose without coming off as mopey. Centered around the tragic death of former bandmate Noel Sayre, DeCicca forms a fitting tribute to his fallen friend with a record that surrounds the singer’s tender baritone with delicate arrangements. The tuneful tragedy of tracks like “Where Are You Tonight?” and “Bad Dream” makes this an album fit for the good times as well as the bad.

Guided By Voices – Class Clown Spots A UFO
The second installment in Guided By Voices trifecta of 2012 releases is the most varied of the bunch, finding the newly reformed group embracing the same kind of sporadic eclecticism that birthed Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes. There’s no arguing with the band’s pop rock earworms (“Keep It In Motion,” “Billy Wire”) or oddball interludes (“Worm w/ 7 Broken Hearts.”) As prolific as ever, the Dayton outfit seem to have picked up where the classic lineup left off in ’96. Keep it up, Uncle Bob.

Herzog – Cartoon Violence
Dialing up the distortion and singing about the mundane, the guys in Herzog sound like they’ve spent a bit of time with the music of Built to Spill and Pavement. Clocking in at just under half an hour, the Cleveland-based group don’t mince words, delivering a frantic, tightly constructed rock record that bounces from punk to shoegaze. Featuring members of the stoner rock group Megachurch, Herzog is at its best amid the pounding refrains of closing track “Alexander the Great.”

Hex Net – Future Holds
Providing the soundtrack to many a drunken night at Athens haunts like the Union or Casa Cantina, it should come as no surprise that the songs on Hex Net’s first full length release hold up under more sober scrutiny. In their recorded forms, there’s a newfound clarity to be found in Seth Riddleberger’s growling delivery and the group’s twisting surges of guitar and organ. True to form, the riffs still stick like glue and there’s no shortage of sonic weirdness—all part of a sound that you can’t help but become ensnared in.

Southeast Engine – Canannville EP
A concise companion to 2011’s Canary, the latest batch of songs from these Athens mainstays provides a tidy encapsulation of the group’s greatest strengths. Beginning with the jovial strains of “Old Oak Tree” and continuing with the jaunty bounce of the record’s title track, the band’s historical folk has never sounded more exuberant. The stirring finale of “C&O Railroad” finds singer Adam Remnant yearning for the days of old while, reaching for the track’s choruses with an earnest lilt that conveys the true importance of the past.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
I recently learned that Brainbow (one of my favorite Ohio bands back when I was in high school/college) will be releasing their second LP this January after years of inactivity. After that makes its debut, I’ll be looking forward to new records from Foxygen, Yo La Tengo, Low, (more) Guided By Voices and whatever Ty Segall puts out in the coming year.
_______

Todd Carman
Athens  (Skumplast)

Best new Ohio band(s)
1.sega genocide
2.delay
3.nervosas
4.weird science
5.snarlas

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year?
county pharaohs, d-rays, nick tolford and co. @ bowling alley!
_______

Brian Ostrander
Columbus  (Kobo Live)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
The Kyle Sowashes – Somebody, Delay – Rushing Ceremony, Dolfish – I’d Rather Disappear Than Stay The Same, The Washington Beach Bums – Party!

Best new Ohio band
Whirl

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year?
Anyway Records Weekend – Ace Of Cups 12/21 + 12/22
St. Lenox, Winter Makes Sailors, Obnox, New Bomb Turks, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, NECROPOLIS – covering Gaunt, Belreve, Jenny Mae, Kyle Sowashes, Moviola, County Pharaohs, Connections, Greenhorn

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Winter Makes Sailors full length release, Forward Ohio in Columbus, 18th Annual Blackoutfest in Athens, Nelsonville Music Festival

What are you listening to right now?
The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth
Water Liars – Phantom Limb
Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes

Best of Ohio 2012: Part Three

volume-2-comp-250x250Aquabear is kicking off a brand new year-end tradition by asking some of the state’s best musicians and music related folks to share their favorite Ohio music finds and experiences of the year. Look for a whole bunch of these before the start of 2013! Here’s the second batch featuring Nathan Moore (Yellow Springs/Athens – Sportfishing USA, Hex Net), Brett Helling (Columbus – The Cabdrivers, Winter Makes Sailors),  AJ Hitmar (Athens – Dark Circles Records), Dave Straub (Cleveland – Burger Boys, HOMeOwners, McShitz), Jessica Makosky (Athens – The Revulvas, Whip & Tickle). Look for more in the coming weeks and please share, if you would like to participate drop us a line at contact@aquabearlegion.com.

_______

Nathan Moore
Yellow Springs / Athens  (Sportfishing USA, Hex Net, Teen Age)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Valleyboys – Chronic Youth. I’ve been nagging Chris Lute to put this out for two years, It was worth the wait, and it sounds GREAT!

Favorite new Ohio band
Hyrrokkin. This power trio is one of the most incredible bands I’ve ever seen. Instrumental, weird time signature rock, played by free-jazz aficionados. They are putting out a new full length soon.

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Pierced Arrows at the Union in Athens, OH in April. I couldn’t stop smiling during their set.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Putting out a new full length Sport Fishing USA album!

What have you been working on lately?
Sport Fishing USA just finished tracking drums for a few brand new songs. We are overdubbing like hell. I’ve been spending a lot of time writing new songs and recording them on this little cassette 4-track machine. I love being limited to 4 tracks, it makes me write better songs.

What are you listening to right now?
“Mature Themes” by Ariel Pink. These songs are starting to make me insane though, I keep finding myself singing “bad breath on the cross eye guards” while I’m checking out at the grocery store.
_______

Brett Helling
Columbus (The Cabdrivers, Winter Makes Sailors, The Kyle Sowashes, Swimsuit Edition)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
THE WHILES – “Somber Honey” Hands down my favorite album of the year…Ohio and beyond. It’s concise, warm, distant, melodic, and incredibly addictive. WATERSHED – “Brick And Mortar” Always been a big Watershed fan and it’s nice to see they’re still making great, punchy power-pop for all the right reasons. Joe Oestrich’s vocals are incredible. GUIDED BY VOICES – “The Bears For Lunch” Some very interesting songs on this one and Tobin really shines. I can honestly say I’ve never heard anything like “Finger Gang” and probably never will. A very noteworthy album for a band who has a career filled w/noteworthy albums.

Favorite new Ohio band
Bicentennial Bear(if they still count as new), Connections

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Wilco @ The LC (August)

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Should be full-length LP’s this year(finally) from two of the bands that I play guitar in: Winter Makes Sailors – “Moving On” and Swimsuit Edition – “Take A Dip”, The Cabdrivers, my songwriting/recording project should be doing more shows this year and maybe I’ll even write another song?? I accidentally put together a super-group to be my band and it’d be a shame if we didn’t at the very least play a bunch of shows. Nelsonville Music Festival – WILCO!!!  This could be the year that launches the festival into mega-festival status. Went last year and was very impressed and I hate music festivals.

What have you been working on lately?
I guess I sort of answered most of this in #4. Aside from those still playing w/The Kyle Sowashes on bass a lot and I’m guessing we’ll start writing the follow-up to “Somebody” soon. I’ve always been a fill-in for them but it looks like I’m gonna finally get to be on a record.

What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been in an Afghan Whigs phase. I’ve always liked them but just realized how incredible Black Love is and am obsessed w/”Summer’s Kiss”(track 10 or 11?). Ha, I just realized that they are from Ohio also. I suppose if some weird, music apocalypse happened that wiped out all music except Ohio music, my iPod would still be in pretty good shape.
_______

AJ Hitmar
Athens  (Dark Circles Records)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Homemade Drugs from Cincinnati just released their self-titled in November and it sounds great. Also Hundos, the Hundley brothers in Columbus, have made 3 albums this year, each with multiple collaborators. Weird Science in Athens finally released their debut online, rad tunes with the cover art to match.

Best new Ohio band?
I kind of have tunnelvision for the house scene in Athens, so I feel pretty out of the loop. Small Steps and Frankie Teardrop have been putting in some hard work recently though.

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year?
Big Whoop in Columbus was a blast. 35ish bands in two days in the dead heat of July, it was like a punk rock rite of passage. I’m not sure what the organizers have planned for Summer 2013, but I know I’ll be there.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Dark Circles has a few releases lined up already which is exciting. I’ll be getting as much done in Ohio as I can…I plan on moving to Chicago in July.

If you are a musician what have you been working on lately?
I’ve spent the last few months mixing and mastering an album for a band I was in, Dawgtooth, and it’s just about ready to go. Two other projects of mine, Valleyboys and Vodou, just released albums online. There’s also Cophugger, which had two songs pressed onto a 7″ split earlier this year.

What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to the Trojan Box Sets nonstop, all year. Also Darker My Love, Jaill, The Bats, The War on Drugs, Camp Lo, Caetano Veloso, Pantha Du Prince, Donald Byrd, Can, and Eskmo have all frequently met my ears this year.

_______

Dave Straub
Cleveland (Burger Boys, HOMeOwners, McShitz)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Off the top of my head the founding father’s LP. This is a good record but it is the only one I can think of that I had nothing to do with and I actually listened to.

Favorite new Ohio band
Murderedman but they may already be over with.

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Cassette Fest 2012 at Pats in the Flats. The highlight was Murderedman’s performance: involved lights , balloons, mirrors and hard rockin riffs. Homeowners played, Phyllis Dillenger, Wet Brain and some other crap. 10 -15 minute sets fun times.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Lottery League

What have you been working on lately?
Upcoming Tuk Peenerson and his Wienerman split LP with Sloth. HOMeOwners debut release. PALACES new line up with Rosanna SAfos, Eben Nichols, Jesse Alison, Curtis Frey.

What are you listening to right now?
Goblin, Blouse, SoFt KIll, Litanic Mask, Zombi, THE Frustration and Pretty Things.
_______

Jessica Makosky
Athens (The Revulvas, Whip & Tickle)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Aquabear Legion & Disjointed Records 16 in 16.

Favorite new Ohio band
Skattoo

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Porch Stage at the Nelsonville Music Festival

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Recording an album (finally and hopefully) with The Revulvas

What have you been working on lately?
Different styles of drumming (music styles that is)

What are you listening to right now?
Desent/The White Spider (It’s Disjointed Mike’s latest solo project about crazy dudes climbing mountains and dying)

Best of Ohio 2012: Part Two

volume-2-comp-250x250Aquabear is kicking off a brand new year-end tradition by asking some of the state’s best musicians and music related folks to share their favorite Ohio music finds and experiences of the year. Look for a whole bunch of these before the start of 2013! Here’s the second batch featuring David Obenour (Dayton – Ghettoblaster Magazine), Mike Makosky (Athens – Disjointed Records, Goodbye Goats, Skattoo), Ron Kretsch (Cleveland – Murderedman, Banging Fragiles), and James Harris (Athens – Manasseh Records). Look for more in the coming weeks and please share, if you would like to participate drop us a line at contact@aquabearlegion.com
_______

David C. Obenour
Dayton (editor of Ghettoblaster Magazine)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012? All three Guided By Voices albums, Bassholes – Contains Bassholes Music…, Motel Beds – Dumb Gold, The Dopamines – Vices, Human Cannonball – Let’s Be Friends and probably a bunch more that I’m forgetting.

Favorite new Ohio band
Best new Ohio band? Hyrrokkin, jazz+Dischord=awesome.

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Afghan Whigs – Bogarts – 10/25. A band I’d always heard a lot about but had never really gotten around to, that’s all changed now.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
In descending order of probability: three more Guided By Voices albums, four more issues of Ghettoblaster and the Browns making the playoffs.

What have you been working on lately?
New issue of Ghettoblaster should be out in February!

What are you listening to right now?
Prince Paul – Negroes on Ice
_______

Mike Makosky
Athens (Disjointed Records, Goodbye Goats, Skattoo)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Aquabear/Disjointed 16 in 16

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
I didn’t get out much this year, but the Skeletonwitch/Havoc show at The Union was pretty damn sweet.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Most excited about either : getting my newest band project named and playing gigs! (its been 4 months of practice so far getting ready): or the release of my solo album – Descent ‘White spider’

What have you been working on lately?
I play in 4 different bands, some regularly, some not so much, also my solo album is about to be released.

What are you listening to right now?
I enjoy a wide range of music, my most listened to right now would be a close split between Sargeist ‘Let the devil in’ and Fela Kuti’s debut 1969 ‘Fela Fela Fela’, but Ghost ‘Opus Eponymous’ probably has the most plays for me in the past year.
_______

Ron Kretsch
Cleveland (Banging Fragiles, Murderedman, Self Destruct Button)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Little Bighorn’s “Chaperones” LP is my #1 by like a mile. Also the Drose 7″. Shitbox Jimmy’s album is pretty damn great too, as is the LP from Mike Uva and the Bad Eyes. Do I even NEED to mention “Attack On Memory?” I haven’t heard the new Mr. Gnome yet, but there’s every reason to assume that it’s just stupid fucking awesome. And the second All Dinosaurs album as well.

Best new Ohio band
Tough call. Goldmines maybe. Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites sure did hit Northeast Ohio like a bomb this year. I’ve been liking Nights, Dead Sweaters and Shitbox Jimmy a whole lot too, but I’m not sure they’re new in 2012.

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
I’m going to be an egodick and name a show I played on – Murderedman, Drose, Envenomist and Temple of Ur at The Summit in Columbus on October 12th. Despite copious problems with the power in that venue (and a soundguy so blase about them that it ultimately became as amusing as it was annoying), all the performances were illuminating. Except Murderedman’s because the power cord to my amp kept falling out of the goddamn wall. WTF, The Summit? Seriously WTF? But Drose totally slayed, what an eye-opening band they are.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
I’m excited that three bands I am in or used to be in will be releasing full-length albums in 2013. I’m excited to start bringing Drose to Cleveland so they can blow some minds up here. I’m jumping-out-of-my-skin excited for the third installment of the Cleveland Lottery League.

What have you been working on lately?
Both of my current bands, Banging Fragiles and Murderedman, are in the process of finishing recordings. Murderedman intend, fates allowing, to continue to hit the road as hard as we’re able to, as our past trips have been very encouraging. And when Banging Fragiles start getting out more, I sincerely think people are going to like what they see.

What are you listening to right now?
I’m listening to “Counting The Beat,” the lone album by a criminally overlooked 1980-81ish New Wave band from New Zealand called The Swingers that featured former Split Enz member Phillip Judd. It shoulda been a classic, goddammit!
_______

James Harris
Athens (Manasseh Records)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
Southeast Engine’s Canaanville EP.

Favorite new Ohio band
I have to say ‘White Girl Raps Fast’ Bailee Moore. She’s a Bobcat, and Athens artists are always my favorite. Jesse Remnant’s Human Cannonball is fantastic too.

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Bruce Dalzell’s Open Mic shows in OU’s Front Room will always rank at the top of my list.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Spending time with my new family, and hanging out with friends in Athens. To keep it related to music … early in 2013, I’ll be exploring tunes by Old Hundred and Maza Blaska.

What are you listening to right now?
‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ album has been on repeat. As has Dave Brubeck’s ‘Time Out.’ Earlier in the year, I was into Sam Cooke and dove back into Southeast Engine’s older albums. At the gym, it was Girl Talk on repeat and some old Dr. Dre mixes.

 

Best of Ohio 2012: Part One

volume-2-comp-250x250Aquabear is kicking off a brand new year-end tradition by asking some of the state’s best musicians and music related folks to share their favorite Ohio music finds and experiences of the year. Look for a whole bunch of these before the start of 2013! Here’s the first batch featuring Keith Hanlon (Columbus – The Black Swans, Scioto Records), Bram Riddlebarger (Athens – Author of Earplugs, Bram Riddlebarger & His Lonesome Band), Jimmy Kisor (Athens – Goodbye Goats, Decorative Injections Tattoos),  and Brian Rudell (Columbus – Sega Genocide, Seascapes, Spooktober). Look for more in the coming weeks and please share, if you would like to participate drop us a line at contact@aquabearlegion.com
_______

Keith Hanlon
Columbus (The Black Swans, Scioto Records)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
(In no particular order) R. Ring: “Fallout and Fire” 7-inch (Misra Records), Jovan Karcic: “2010” (self-release) (FULL DISCLOSURE: I mixed the album, but it’s a beautiful, mysterious album of songs and instrumentals and I can’t stop listening to it), Mount Carmel – ‘Real Women’ (Slitbreeze), EYE: ‘Backdoor Jane’ 7-inch (Lost Weekend Records)

Best new Ohio band
Nervosas

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
R. Ring playing in the basement of the Texas State Capital Building at a “secret” SXSW Misra Records showcase

What are you most excited about for 2013?
I want to start a rumor that Chris Beister is working on a solo album… I’d be all over that.

What have you been working on lately?
While on a break from playing with The Black Swans, I have begun recording a solo ambient album. I am collaborating with Jason Gonzales (The Regionals/Lilybandits) on an album (though we are not sure what it will be like when we’re done). I also engineered/mixed an album by psych-folk legend Ed Askew (produced by Jerry DeCicca of the Black Swans) that I hope will be released very soon.

My label, Scioto Records, is releasing 7-inch singles from PLVS VLTRA (Toko Yasuda from Enon and St. Vincent) and harpist Mary Lattimore (Kurt Vile/Thurston Moore). There will also be a cassette series called Analog Ambient (self-explanatory).

What are you listening to right now?
Fairport Convention’s “Unhalfbricking,” Big Joe Turner, lots of Sun Ra (mainly the later Chicago material like “Interstellar Low Ways” and “Angels and Demons at Play”), a great Chicago band called Sonnoi, Black Moth Super Rainbow and an awesome Japanese ambient artist named Moshimoss.
_______

Bram Riddlebarger
Athens (author of Earplugs, Bram Riddlebarger & His Lonesome Band)

Best new Ohio band
TIE: D-rays & Weird Science

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Disjointed Fest 2012 and Weird Science on Dec. 9, 2012 at Casa Cantina

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Lots of good music in Athens. Seems to be a nice time for newer bands and new beer in Athens.

What have you been working on lately?
A new chapbook of poetry that will be done tomorrow and a new batch of songs that I hope to record with Mike at Disjointed Records.

What are you listening to right now?
Don Williams.
_______

Jimmy Kisor
Athens (Goodbye Goats, owner of Decorative Injections Tattoo & Piercing)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
My favorite Ohio realese this year prob. the newest Prosanctus Infiri EP, (red streams of Flesh), from Columbus

Best new Ohio band
Best new ohio Band of course New or Old GoodBYe Goats

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Didnt go to many shows this year i guess Behemoth from Poland at Alarosa Villa

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Most excited about Raising my Kids, doing sweet and Better tattoos, maybe some finishing of the newest goats record and starting new music projects, oh yeah and Kicking everyone’s ass in the New Year

What have you been working on lately?
Writing new stuff for something that dosent suck hopefully

What are you listening to right now?
New Order, Nick Cave, the new God Seed (black Metal) and because its Winter tons of Bathory!!
_______

Brian Rudell
Columbus (Sega Genocide, Seascapes, Spooktober)

What were your favorite Ohio releases from 2012?
“Like Shit” 7″ from Vacation (Cinci)

Best new Ohio band
Connections (Columbus)

Favorite Ohio show you saw this year
Make Waves Fest, it was at the Dude Locker here in Columbus. I’ve been to a lot of these DIY fests and sometimes they are kinda slapdash, but everything went awesome. Great mix of readings and bands.

What are you most excited about for 2013?
Ohio bands making and putting out more music videos on youtube and vimeo. Even bands that aren’t putting out records or playing shows too often can make awesome videos for nothing, then people can listen to them anytime they want.

What have you been working on lately?
I have been doing SEGA GENOCIDE stuff a lot, playing around Ohio. Jacob produced and engineered an album that I like a lot that we haven’t put out yet. Spooktober is still playing but only at houses, and Seascapes gets together once or twice a year.

What are you listening to right now?
I have tapes that float around in my car, Pretty Pretty(Columbus) is in there, Sonic Youth, Tribe Called Quest, Weird Al’s Bad hair day. Talk radio mostly.