NOTE: This was recorded during the Covid-19 Pandemic, but before the events of this week related to the murder of George Floyd by 4 Minneapolis police officers. While recognizing that this is just a small Ohio music podcast on a far-flung website I still feel it is important to use the platform I have to express my full and complete solidarity with those across the country protesting the killing of black people in this country by the police. Please consider doing what you can to lift up the voices in your community that need to be heard. And if you are so inclined, please donate a few bucks to the Columbus Freedom Fund, The Bail Project, Black Lives Matter, or any other organization that is helping in this fight. They need your support, and every little bit helps. And around here at The Western Reserve this is a great time to mention that we are really big fans the Zinn Education Project too.
Southeast Engine – “At Least We Have Each Other” Moviola – “I Know It Won’t” Mosses – “Time in Your Mind” The Katy – “Zombie” Machine Go Boom – “Quarantined” Unmonumental – “The Destoyer Awakens” Thee Thee’s – “Makin Em” Piccadilly Circus – “Till I Get to the Top” The D-Rays – “High Tide” Cutler Station – “The Man in the Lantern” This Moment In Black History – “Forrest Whitaker (in an uncompromising role)” Kneeling In Piss – “High Desert” Snarls – “Walk in the Woods” Prisonshake – “Carthage Burns!” Guinea Worms – “Exit Plan” The Ophelias – “General Electric” Gudger – “Midnight Visions”
If you are up Cleveland way on Saturday, January 11th be sure to head over to the Grog Shop for Chargers Street Gang, Cobra Verde, This Moment In Black History, and Megachurch, it’s a benefit show for John Neely. For a $10 suggested donation you will get to see four of Cleveland’s most incredible bands right in one place. Chargers Street Gang were Cleveland punks from the days this author was in high school, they broke up in 2003 and have only played a few times since. Cobra Verde is another fantastic Cleveland band started after the demise of John Petkovic’s previous band Death of Samantha, they are also known for backing Uncle Bob in Guided By Voices for a couple years and playing a Foreigner cover band on the OC once. This Moment In Black History take an always intriguing approach to the ideas of rock and roll, blasting it open with every genre and influence that its members bring (those guys also play/have played in Obnox, National Suicide Day, and Chargers Street Gang). And you know a show is going to be really crazy if Megachurch is the fourth of four bands listed. Go see awesome music for a good cause. Show starts at 9:00, doors at 8:00pm and it says its all ages. Grog Shop is located at 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd in Cleveland Heights, OH (on the corner of Euclid Hts and Coventry).
Big awesome show at The Union this Saturday, October 13. Cleveland legends Rocket From the Tombs will be joined by two of Ohio’s finest bands around: Obnox (featuring Lamont Thomas of This Moment in Black History,Bassholes) and The County Pharoahs (Chris Biester of Appalachian Death Ride, Scott Winland and Brandon Robinson of Dropdead Sons). Don’t miss this one. Tickets are available in advance at Haffa’s or at the door tomorrow night. Music starts at 10pm, don’t be late.
From the press release:
“The legendary Rocket From The Tombs, born in 1974, flamed out in 1975, have finally recorded a studio album, delivering “Barfly,” and closing the circle on an incredible journey.
The received wisdom (at least in America) goes that punk rock was invented in New York by the Ramones who reconfigured midwestern hard groove rock and 60s garage singles into a formula that defined punk: short, fast, catchy, and unstoppable. But in some weird parallel universe, punk might have traced its roots to Rocket From The Tombs, a Cleveland band that lasted less than eight months and never made a studio recording.
Three things went wrong for Rocket From The Tombs: a level of drug and alcohol abuse to worry even Keith Richard; a band volatility that rivaled that of The Troggs; and a turnover of drummers that would’ve flummoxed Spinal Tap.
One thing went right: in those eight months they wrote songs that would become punk anthems: “Ain’t It Fun,” “Sonic Reducer,” “Final Solution,” “So Cold,” “What Love Is,” “30 Seconds Over Tokyo,” “Amphetamine.” And they played them like there was no tomorrow. There *was* no tomorrow. They’d used up tomorrow. The band blew apart in July 1975 after an apocalyptic soundcheck that scared the bejeebers out of headliners Television. One faction went on to create the avant-garage rock group Pere Ubu, the other punk stalwarts The Dead Boys.
That might have been the end of the Rocket story except that over the next 25 years a frantic international trading of bootlegs bestowed on the band a legendary status. An album of live and rehearsal tapes, “The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs” (2002), led to a nervous reunion in 2003. The core of the band – David Thomas, Cheetah Chrome and Craig Bell – remained from the old days. They were joined by Television’s Richard Lloyd who replaced Peter Laughner (died 1977). Pere Ubu’s drummer Steve Mehlman was drafted.
The fire still burned. For good and bad. Two tours produced extreme, brutal concerts, but also plenty of late night dust-ups in the parking lots of cheap roadside motels.
“We got that bad attitude thing in our blood,” singer David Thomas said. “Can’t shake it. But at least we’re not young, loud and snotty anymore. We’ve moved on. Now we’re *old*, loud and snotty.”
Taking that attitude in the studio produced “Barfly,” an unreconstructed, unapologetic re-affirmation of the power and glory of guitar rock: guitar solos traded between two masters of the craft, an inventive rhythm section devoted to midwestern groove mania, and a singer who learned all there is to learn from channeling Rob Tyner and Don Van Vliet. “I will amblify you,” Thomas growls in the middle of the album’s fierce opening track “I Sell Soul.” And whatever that might mean… he means it.
The bitter irony of “Romeo & Juliet,” the Cleveland / Detroit nexus of “Sister Love Train” / “Love Train Express,” the manic-obsessive drive of “Maelstrom,” the Robert Calvert sci fi dystopian romance of “Butcherhouse 4,” and the Bukowski grunge of “Pretty” reflect the 70s revisionism that is at the heart of the album’s production.
“Barfly’ delivers a sound that’s not dated or restricted to any passing fad or marketing infatuation. These men are ugly, old, and have not mellowed in any conceivable way. They’ve devoted their lives to raging against the boundaries, and they have been willing to pay the price. “Barfly” dismisses the last 37 years as a waste of time. Cuts it away without a second thought. That, in itself, makes “Barfly” worth the wait.”
Athens’ own punk rock favorites We March return for a limited two show run (three if you include a wedding, but you’re not invited to that anyway so let’s just call it two) in Ohio after several years of quiet. The shows include stops in Athens and Cleveland, with the latter being a Throw Back Night also featuring another of Aquabear’s most beloved Ohio bands, This Moment In Black History (who have a nice new 7″ out too..) and more.
Thursday, July 5th
The Union in Athens, Ohio
We March, Fumes, Fugue State, State Park (last show?)
Saturday, July 7th
The Black Eye in Cleveland, Ohio
We March, This Moment in Black History, Gallo Negro, Crave
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.
I was very excited to come up with a list of my favorite music from Ohio this year, particularly because not too much on the national scene really blew me away this year. The following list however features some very, very good music and all of it comes at high suggestion for me. Great records from Megachurch, Super Desserts, Wheels On Fire, Sun God, This Moment In Black History, Whale Zombie, The Black Swans, Orchestraville, Manor Animals, Seascapes, and Weedghost. When possible we have included a link and where you could purchase a copy, though a few of these things may be out of print.
I know I missed a few (sorry), and I am putting them in arbitrary order as I cannot possibly rank anything. But, I did limit it to 11, because 10 just didn’t work…
Happy New Year from the Aquabear Legion! 2011 is gonna be pretty awesome.
Aquabear is extremely honored to welcome Cleveland punk-rockers This Moment in Black History to the Union tonight to close out the Fourth Annual Aquabear County Fair. Since forming in 2001, the band have toured the nation extensively and become a staple of Athens own Blackoutfest. The group will likely be premiering some songs from Public Square, their new release on the Chicago underground label Smog Veil Records. If you’re a fan of rock n’ roll that is noisy and abrasive in all the right ways, there’s no better place to be than the Union tonight.
Here’s some video of This Moment in Black History at Donewaiting‘s 5th anniversary back in 2008.
Cleveland’s Sun God have in the past described themselves as “arena punk… in a good way” and I completely agree. These guys contain members of Insurrect and countless other Cleveland bands of years past and they will definitely test your hearing threshold. They joined us at the 2nd annual Aquabear County Fair a few years back and still remain one of the loudest things to ever happen at ARTS/West.
Plus they have a brand new split 12″ with This Moment In Black History that comes out on March 5 and will most certainly be available at the show. Don’t miss these guys, they don’t come down to Athens nearly enough. Come see Sun God and a whole host of others at the final night of the 2010 Aquabear County Fair at The Union on Saturday, March 6th at 8pm. It’s all about those riffs, dude.
Check out Sun God (with Kevin filling in on bass instead of guitar, they are back to a four piece now though) playing at the 2009 Compound Fest in Cleveland.
The 4th annual Aquabear County Fair takes place March 4-6, 2010 in Athens, Ohio and we are thrilled to announce the lineups for that weekend! And this one is shaping up to be one of the best we’ve had…
Saturday, March 6th at The Union, 8pm
This Moment in Black History (Cleveland)
Men of Gentle Birth (Columbus)
We March (Athens)
Sun God (Cleveland)
Friday, March 5th at Casa Cantina, 10:30pm FREE SHOW!
Dragline Bros (Athens)
She Bears (Athens)
Manor Animals (Athens)
Chris Biester (Athens)
Thursday, March 4th at The (bruce) Manor, 7pm
In Silent Movies (Athens)
Thx. Tiger (Columbus/Athens)
Dead Winds of Summer (Athens)
– And look for one more event on Saturday afternoon to celebrate County Fair weekend, more details soon!
– Holy crap this is going to be awesome