The Western Reserve – Lorain/Cleveland (1997-2004) – Episode 9

This episode transports back to my youth, and my first experiences with Ohio music being made by friends and people in my immediate community. We start way back in the late 90’s with tales of the Pork Grinder’s Ball in Lorain, and move on to Refugee Records, and the early forms of Aquabear Legion. Lots of great music and hopefully the right amount of old man nostalgia. We kick off this week’s episode with a Jenny Mae song in memory of the late Columbus musician who passed away last week.

Jenny Mae – “Drapes”
Figurehead – “Private Rebel”
McShitz – “Can’t Kick My Ass”
Spineriders – “Thunder Junkie”
1972 – “A Nervous Reaction”
Summer of 98 – “Spring Collection”
The Washout Corporation – “R.L. Stine Book Report / Smartbox as Nanny / Mr. Hughes’ Feet”
Machine Go Boom – “Copycat”
Neo Nothing – “Phoney Kids”
Self Destruct Button – “Best In Show”
Agnes High Quality – “Hoodwink”
The Franchise – “To All Movements Lost”
Dan Majesky & His Majestic Majeskatones – “The Giant One”
Blackark – “Insect Capitol”

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

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.


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.


Aquabear and Blackout: Self Destruct Button, Hex Net, The Visitations, Valley Boys at The Union on 9/18/10

Aquabear Legion and Athens-based Blackout Booking are throwing quite a show TONIGHT (Saturday, September 18) at The Union in Athens. The show features old Aquabear pals and Cleveland natives Self Destruct Button, The Vistiations (who hail from the OTHER Athens in Georgia), and local boys Hex Net (members of Dragline Bros.) and Valley Boys (members of Whale Zombie).

Doors open at 9pm and music starts round 10. See you all there…

Aquabear Releases TWO MORE Free Compilations

Moose-Cover Refugee-Records-Cover

Aquabear continues to celebrate our 5th birthday with the release of TWO MORE FREE ONLINE COMPILATIONS! These two go way back in the archives… The Moose is Loose is a collection of Athens and Cleveland music from 2003 and was put together by Brian Koscho right before the start of Aquabear and features some great bands (Southeast Engine, Self Destruct Button, The Franchise, Leslie Keffer, and more). The Refugee Records compilation was originally released in 2001 by Cleveland musician Dave Straub and features even more great music from across the state (including Rancid Yak Butter Tea Party, Small Object a, Neo Nothing, Washout Corporation, and more!)

You can download all our compilations here.