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 2LP Track List, Support and Pre-Order Now

ABLV-Cover-Back-webTo celebrate our 10th birthday the Aquabear decided to release a double LP featuring 24 Ohio bands and set up an Indiegogo page to collect pre-orders and support to help make it happen. The Aquabear is thrilled to be at 56% of our goal with 34 days remaining and a total of $2801 of $5000 raised! Thanks to all who have supported this project, so far 68 of you have directly contributed to making this thing happen. You are awesome.We need to keep spreading the word to reach our goal, there is still a lot more to go. If you can share this link, and tell anyone you think might like two records of Ohio music we would be thankful. Look for some sketches from Charlie of the liner note art (that will become the awesome limited edition prints that start at the $75 level w/ a record) coming soon.

Below is the track order for the compilation, it’s subject to change of course but it is a really good sequence so it probably won’t. Share the link and support an awesome project.

AQUABEAR LEGION 2015

SIDE A
Joseph Airport  “If I Had An Airplane (I’d Be There)”*
Herzog  “Oh No”
Sport Fishing USA  “Feeling So Strange”*
Connections  “Everybody High”*
Supernobody  “Quicker Than the Eye”*
Weedghost  “Excerpt from I”

SIDE B
WV White  “Multiple Bathrooms”
Motel Beds  “Stay Out of Riverdale”*
Unmonumental  “Sword”*
The D-Rays  “High Tide”*
The Guitars  “She’s Got Your Heart”
Nick Tolford & Company  “Cancel Your Plans”

SIDE C
Weird Science  “Gimmie Some Time”*
Kid Tested  “#1 Hit”
Hyrrokkin  “Astrionics”
Murderedman  “Love Under Ground”*
The Kyle Sowashes  “A Faster Asshole”*
Dead Winds of Summer  “He’s Gone Man”*

SIDE D
Dead Hand of Man  “Dark Invader”*
Hookers Made Out of Cocaine  “Milky Way”*
Speaking Suns  “Sleeper”
She Bears  “Beach Fires”
Black Owls  “Whorehouse Joke”*
The 1984 Draft  “Scarlet & Cream”

*currently unreleased and exclusive to the comp

Are You in the Aquabear 125? Support & Pre-Order a Double LP of 24 Ohio Bands

Aquabear 2015 will feature 24 Ohio bands on 2 LPs, donate now and spread the word! (cover art painting by Emily Beveridge)
Aquabear 2015 will feature 24 Ohio bands on 2 LPs, donate now and spread the word! (cover art painting by Emily Beveridge)

To celebrate our 10th birthday Aquabear Legion wanted to release a double LP vinyl compilation of 24 Ohio bands, but we need your support. To fund the release of this compilation Aquabear has set up an Indiegogo page where you can pre-order your copy of the double LP release along with a lot of awesome extras. In less than 2 weeks we have raised 25% of our goal from 32 contributors, but there is still a long way to go. We think we need around 125 people to support this release and reach our goal, are you one of the Aquabear 125? You can directly support the release of this compilation buy pre-ordering your copy and donating now. In addition to the record you can get lots of great extras including limited edition prints by Charlie Touvell (based on the art for the liner notes), colored vinyl, hoodies, t-shirts, and even a new perk: a show from Dayton’s The 1984 Draft (at the appropriate level of $84). We must reach our $5,000 goal by February 13th and currently have $1,235 raised.

We are looking for everyone out there who loves Ohio music, records, and independent rock and roll. Please share this link and help us spread the word, give whatever you can, and tell friends, family, and music lovers in your life.

Aquabear 2015 will include music from 24 Ohio bands on 2 LPs:
The 1984 Draft, Black Owls, Connections, Dead Hand of Man, Dead Winds of Summer, The D-Rays, The Guitars, Herzog, Hookers Made Out of Cocaine, Hyrrokkin, Joseph Airport, Kid Tested, The Kyle Sowashes, The Motel Beds, Murderedman, Nick Tolford & Company, She Bears, Speaking Suns, Sport Fishing USA, Supernobody, Unmonumental, Weedghost, Weird Science, and WV White.

The Aquabear Legion would like to thank our 32 contributors so far for this project, you guys are the best:
Brian Wiebe, David Massimini, Leslie Jankowski, Dave Frush, Sherri Oliver, Carl Raponi, Bill L’Heureux, Chris Pyle, Scott Summerfield, J.R. Fisher, David Butler, Ben Penry, Matthew Cutter, Heath Seifert, Dan Majesky, Arielle Banaszak, Dustin Cell, Eli Alban, Sean Redefer, Mike White, Jessy Lancaster, Michael Bart, Anonymous, Randy Demidovich, Darren Fox, Suzanne Sloo, Blue Eagle Music, Bobby Rosenstock, Jadey Gilmore, Bryan Gibson, Ken & Pam Koscho, and Luke Edwards

Aquabear Will Release Double LP Compilation in 2015, Pre-order on Indiegogo Now

The Aquabear (painted here by Athens artist Emily Beveridge) will release a double LP, 24 song vinyl comp in Spring 2015.
The Aquabear (painted here by Athens artist Emily Beveridge) will release a double LP, 24 song vinyl comp in Spring 2015.

Since 2004, Aquabear has worked with over 200 bands and dozens of visual artists and filmmakers. And in that time produced 10 releases including compilations of Ohio music both physical and for free on aquabearlegion.com. But we REALLY want to put out some vinyl. And since we just celebrated our 10th birthday it seemed like a double LP is the way to go. 24 songs from 24 of Ohio’s best bands on 2 LPs. Printed, pressed, designed, and played in Ohio. You can support this project and pre-order your copy at our Indiegogo page here. Please help us spread the word folks!

To help raise money and make some more things in the process we are partnering we a couple local artists for some really cool special items. Charlie Touvell will be making some limited edition prints based on his artwork for the record’s liner notes and even some custom drawings too. We will be making some brand new hoodies and of course have t-shirts, colored vinyl, and countless random Aquabear items we might send along. We sincerely appreciate your support of this project.

Aquabear 2015 will include music from 24 Ohio bands on 2 LPs:
The 1984 Draft, Black Owls, Connections, Dead Hand of Man, Dead Winds of Summer, The D-Rays, The Guitars, Herzog, Hookers Made Out of Cocaine, Hyrrokkin, Joseph Airport, Kid Tested, The Kyle Sowashes, The Motel Beds, Murderedman, Nick Tolford & Company, She Bears, Speaking Suns, Sport Fishing USA, Supernobody, Unmonumental, Weedghost, Weird Science, and WV White.

We have always wanted to make a record, and these are some really amazing songs to do it with. The plan is that if this works we will keep doing it with more and more bands in the future. Here’s a video!

Ohio’s Record Stores: Used Kids

photo from usedkids.com

This article originally was published in Issue 24 of Ghettoblaster Magazine, Thanks to Ghettoblaster and David Obenour for allowing us to republish this. This is the first in a series profiling Ohio’s record stores. If you are interested in writing about your favorite drop us a line at contact@aquabearlegion.com.

Used Kids
1980 N. High Street. Columbus, OH
Words: David C. Obenour

Full disclosure, I’ve been going to Used Kids since my days of rabidly hunting down imported Oasis singles. Not too long ago in the greater scheme of things, but in my musical upbringing (and arguably fledgling addiction), they were a both a dealer and facilitator. $2.50, $5 and $7-$9 bins, you could easily come out with a messenger bag full of great new music for under $50. My friends and I would load up the car and make the two-hour drive south, parking in the nearby rough (though now gentrified) neighborhood to miss out on the city’s parking meters.

What I didn’t realize then was all the history behind my favorite record store. Started by Dan Dow and Ron House, like most record store clerks, the two spent their nights playing in bands and running D-I-Y record labels. Ron House played in Great Plains and Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments and Dan Dow played in The Gibson Bros. and ran OKra Records. Granted, all of these names are restricted to enthusiasm from a very select group, but were none-the-less regionally crucial in the establishment of the Columbus “scene” of the late 80’s and early 90’s. A few years later came another owner and cornerstone of Columbus’ musical past, Bela Koe-Krompecher, who ran Anyway Records and was man of the hour for Guided By Voices’ incredibly drunk from start to finish live release, Crying Your Knife Away.

“I started up Used Kids in 1986,” remembers sole remaining owner Dan Dow. “Ron and I both worked for another record store called Mole’s… I could actually briefly explain why it’s called Used Kids.” True to his word, Dan goes into a short explanation of Mole’s relationship with a record store down the block specializing in new releases, School Kids, where customers could take credit from for trading in old records at their shop. “Anyway, School Kids moved into an upstairs level spot and said, ‘Hey, why don’t you guys move downstairs for Moles and then people will get this concept better?’ Fortunately for me, the guy who owned Moles didn’t want to, but I did and Ron was working there too, so we both went down and literally overnight set it up and started.”

A lot’s changed since then. New buildings, new clerks, the new bands the new clerks are in, but perhaps most notably, with nearly 50,000 students coming and going every year, changing neighborhoods (again with the gentrification) and new clientele. “There’s been such a dramatic change that’s happened on campus in general over the past couple of years,” says Dow. “When I was a kid, High Street was the place to go. You could start at one end and visit all of the record stores and the restaurants and bars, but I think now a days kids will just hop on the bus and go down to the Target or the movie theater. What I tell people, and they kind of scratch their heads, but students to me are almost a detriment. I do better or just as well during the summer when they’re gone… the people who come in mostly want to avoid those people. They don’t want to get their shoes puked on at a football game. (laughs)”

Currently located across the street from the heart of OSU’s campus, why bother fighting rent battles, lack of parking (or at least the illusion of a lack of parking) and a largely unmindful neighborhood. “I’m kind of old fashioned and stuck in my ways. That might be something in the future, but I’m just so against change,” Dan replies. “I also kind of think that the minute I move off campus, suddenly those 50,000 students will decide it’s time to come back to High Street.”

Of course, a shift like that most likely won’t happen on it’s own. All of the chain stores and the kids frequenting them are strangling the life out of what High Street once was and what I was willing to drive two hours for. A handful of good record shops along with Stache’s/Little Brothers (the very venue Crying Your Knife Away was recorded at) have all recently closed. “You just got to think of new things to get people off their butt and up the stairs,” Dan says. “I’d like to stay there and make it a place to go to for other things, like live music and I don’t know… art shows? When they started doing that Record Store Day a couple of years ago we built a stage and it’s all local bands that we get for that day. Super Desserts just had their record release show here a couple of weeks ago, so yeah, I think we are as much as anybody… well probably more then anybody because there aren’t any other stores left. (laughs)”

That’s right, because reviving old haunts isn’t the only challenge facing independent record stores these days, in case you hadn’t heard. “Yeah, it’s been touch and go for the last few years but I think a couple of things, like the resurgence of vinyl and the internet, have helped immensely,” says Dan. “I think the internet stuff, particularly Amazon, is amazing. Just because there are so many places in America that don’t have record stores anymore. We aren’t selling popular items either. We’re selling world beat and classical, stuff that doesn’t actually sell in the store, so I’m not taking away from it. I have a fifteen-year-old niece that comes in one day a week and puts albums up for six hours and that’s enough.” It sure is nice to hear a good story from a mom and pop, or in this case an uncle and niece record shop these days.