The Western Reserve – Aquabear’s 15th Birthday Compilations – Episode 029

The Western Reserve is back with a pretty spectacular episode for Aquabear Legion’s 15th birthday! Aquabear is celebrating by releasing two compilations: the new Ohio music compilation VOLUME 7 (on vinyl) and an Aquabear Legion Archival Release called MOTHER OF PRESIDENTS (on cassette). This episode I play stuff from both of those releases, talk about the compilations, and more. You can pre-order your copies and support Aquabear right now on Indiegogo at igg.me/at/aquabearlegion

Van Dale – “Numbskull”
Smizmar – “Sad Eyes”
Actual Form – “Butler”
Great Plains – “Hamburger Boy”
84 Nash – “She’s a Warrior”
Thee Shams – “Run My Life”
Ampline – “Silver Wave”
Mirrors – “Slow Down”
Log – “Near Enough”
Grafton – “I’ve Been Lookin'”
Orchestraville – “I See Grey”
Dana – “Cupid”
Appalachian Death Ride – “Harvest Moon (live)”

Aquabear Turns 15, Celebrates With Two New Compilations – Pre-Order Now!

Athens based Ohio music and art collective Aquabear Legion will be celebrating 15 years with the release of two compilations. Aquabear Legion Volume 7 is a compilation on vinyl featuring new Ohio music from around the state, and Mother of Presidents is an archival compilation on cassette featuring classic Ohio bands. Pre-order and support these projects right now on Indiegogo at igg.me/at/aquabearlegion. The pre-order campaign features both releases along with new Aquabear t-shirts and hoodies, prints, previous releases, and more. These will be the 14th and 15th releases from Aquabear Legion since 2004.

Aquabear Legion Volume 7 will be released as a 12” vinyl record with art from Athens’ own Chris Biester and music from Actual Form, Ampline, Buffalo Killers, Counterfeit Madison, DANA, Hiram-Maxim, Lung, Smizmar, and Van Dale. This will be a run of 300 records, 50 of which will be some sort of super special vinyl color.

Mother of Presidents is an Aquabear Legion Archival release on cassette and is a compilation featuring legendary Ohio acts from all around the state, covering the years from 1974 to 2004. Music from 84 Nash, Appalachian Death Ride, Geraldine, Grafton, Great Plains, Jenny Mae, Log, Mike Elliott, Mirrors, Orchestraville, Ron House, Swearing at Motorists, Thee Shams, and more still to be announced.

PRE-ORDER + SUPPORT NOW BY CLICKING HERE

The Western Reserve – Old 3C Records (part 2) – Episode 15

The Western Reserve rolls on for part two of our interview with Old 3c Label Group’s Paul Nini who talks about the label, his bands (Great Plains, Log, Closet Mix, and more), and plans for the future.  All while playing some awesome music. Part 1 (out 14th episode) can be found here and also has a great interview and a bunch of music. Enjoy!

Red Skylark – “Hey Precious Stone”
Red Skylark – “Bad Dream”
House of Brunettes – “Schlagers!”
Shades Of Al Davis – “Older And Heavier”
The New Normal – “It’s Our Time”
The New Normal – “Sublimation”
Orchestraville – “Phil Ochs Flag”
Orchestraville – “The Hand Wash”
Cruel, Cruel Moon – “Fall Onto The Pavement”
Cruel, Cruel Moon – “Fizz Pop”
The Beatdowns – “Baby! Let’s Get Lost”
Stark Folk Band – “You Cannot Shake Me”
Alyosha Het – “The Carving Line”
The Westsylvanians – “Mermen”
Roscoe Speers – “Up On The Hill”

Anyway Records Celebrates 20 Years at Ace of Cups

logoAnyway Records turns 20 this year and Bela Koe-Krompecher is throwing a big party over at Ace of Cups in Columbus to celebrate! Two nights of music (Friday and Saturday) featuring some of the best bands to come out of Ohio since the label’s beginning in 1992 including New Bomb Turks, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Moviola, Orchestraville, Necropolis (covering Gaunt), Obnox, Kyle Sowashes, Connections, County Pharaohs, Greenhorn, Jenny Mae, Winter Makes Sailors, St. Lenox, Belreve, and Chris Biester. Whew. That’s one hell of a lineup. And proceeds go to some real good causes: Peloton, Columbus Music Co-Op and NAMI Ohio. Read about the history of Anyway Records here.

FROM THE EVENT: “Starting in the pre-text world of vinyl records and shiny over-priced compact discs, Anyway Records was founded on the assumption that music is to be found in our own backyards and meant to be cheap and affordable, like the founders themselves. Jerry Wick and Bela Koe-Krompecher started Anyway Records under the guise as a project for Jerry’s excellent mid-western band Gaunt. Jerry left the label to concentrate on Gaunt and Bela continued to pour hours and beers into the label. We have worked with a variety of bands (mostly Ohio, mostly Columbus) including: Moviola, The Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Jenny Mae, V-3, Gaunt, Guided by Voices, Ass Ponys and Mike Rep. in the Naughts we have had the pleasure to work with: Ghost Shirt, Kyle Sowash, The Lindsay, Connections, Obnox, Winter Makes Sailors, Terribly Empty Pockets, the Whiles, and a few more. Here’s to 20 years!” Cheers from Aquabear!

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21 – 9pm:
9:00 – St. Lenox
9:30 – Winter Makes Sailors
10:00 – Obnox
10:30 – New Bomb Turks
11:30 – Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments
12:15 – NECROPOLIS – covering Gaunt

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22 – KIDS SHOW: 6-8pm – Free
Orchestraville
Chris Biester (from Appalachian Death Ride)

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22 – ADULTS: 8pm
8:00 – Belreve
8:45 – Jenny Mae
9:15 – Kyle Sowashes
10:00 – Moviola
10:45 – County Pharaohs
11:30 – Connections
12:30 – Greenhorn

Aquabear Legion Volume 4 is (almost) OUT! Release Party at Union This Saturday!

Things are really exciting here at Aquabear HQ. Our brand new compilation Aquabear Legion Volume 4 is all finished up and ready to be heard by all, coming in at a whopping 38 songs from 38 Ohio bands all on 2 CD’s. We are celebrating the official release THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 11th at The Union in Athens, Ohio with music from Seascapes, Black Owls, Scubadog, and Weedghost. Comps will be for sale (at a special price!) and there will be some awesome music which will start around 10pm.

The compilation features hand screen printed art by Jed Collins and looks real sweet. They will be for sale at the show and then on our website and at good places around the state in the coming weeks.

FULL COMPILATION TRACK LIST AFTER THE BREAK…
Continue reading “Aquabear Legion Volume 4 is (almost) OUT! Release Party at Union This Saturday!”

RECORD REVIEW: Orchestraville – Poison Berries

Orchestraville were one of the premiere bands as I came of age in the dingy clubs of the early ’90s Athens music scene.  They stood out from crowd by infusing their music with quirky angularity and a much poppier feel than their contemporaries.  I had, at a young age, developed an affinity for XTC, and damned if these guys didn’t nail the sound.  It also didn’t hurt that Dave Pascoe was a complete badass on what was, up to that point, the only fretless bass I had ever seen.  I was hooked.  Two albums, a 7-inch and a few comp tracks later, however, that was that. The band fell into that hazy, excess-soaked gray matter not often called upon, dubbed “the ’90s.”

It was quite a shock this past fall, then, to hear tell of a new record.  I usually greet these types of reunions with a fair amount of trepidation.  Putting an album out after so many years usually goes the way of having a release show in the lobby of a Holiday Inn or, at best, being a pale imitation of the reasons you loved the band in the first place.  Orchestraville did neither of these things.  Instead, they decided to put out a 12 track collection of amazing pop songs. Pop in the long, almost-forgotten sense of a band playing intelligent, well written songs with great production that unfold over repeated listening.  Pop in the sense of attention to detail.  Pop with the sense of, well, not sucking.

Gone are the acute angularities and innate quirkiness of their earlier releases/incarnations.  Instead, Chris Forbes, Keith Hanlon, Dave Pascoe and new-to-me Parker Paul have crafted  a stellar set of thoughtful rock songs that, considering the influences,  sound like Orchestraville.  Sure, there are some distinctly British-feeling moments to some of these songs (particularly “Only A Song” and “You Wanna Be Like That”), but these are minor quibbles that tell me you’d rather reference things than listen to music.  There is an amazingly attentive eye on all of the arrangements, with layer upon layer of subtle instrumentation always benefiting the song.  “Phil Och’s Flag,” “The Bird Without Wings,” “Poison Berries,” and my personal favorite “I Could Stay Here All Night Long” nail the art of pop rock, marrying catchy rhythms and smart lyrics to toe-tapping perfection. I won’t lie—not all of these songs are winners for me.  Seriously, though, if the only thing wrong with a record is that I want to skip “I Take It Back” every once in a while…

Poison Berries is a fantastic collection of songs, by people that still give a shit about writing real songs.  I highly suggest you go to orchestraville.net and start figuring out how you’re going to get a copy.  Oh, if you were wondering—yes, Pascoe is still a badass.