Jason Narducy // Split Single (Photo by Joshua Mellin)
On Thursday night, Jason Narducy’s Split Single will play at Rumba Cafe with R. Ring(Kelley Deal of The Breeders) and longtime local favorites Bicentennial Bear. Friends were recently talking about the show and they mistakingly thought that R. Ring and Bicentennial Bear were having a split single release party! When I mention this to Narducy in an email, he says that he isn’t aware of people making this mistake in any other situation.
Late last year, Narducy released the second Split Single album, Metal Frames (listen below), featuring help from John Stirrat (Wilco), Jon Wurster (Superchunk) and Nora O’Connor and while it’s a straight-up rock guitar record, there’s a ’90s alt-rock feel to the songs. When you discover the bands Narducy has performed with as a touring member (mentioned in the interview), Split Single’s sound totally makes sense. And, how great is the video for “Untry Love”? This thing would have gotten heavy rotation on MTV’s 120 Minutes had it been released in 1996.
AV Club recently ran a great feature on the ’90s Chicago alt-rock scene – it was a special time in that city’s musical history and there are those who have said Chicago guitar-rock has disappeared. In that feature, Blake Smith (Fig Dish/Caviar) says, “I hear from people that are complaining there’s no great guitar bands right now. The city’s got Twin Peaks and The Orwells and Ne-Hi. A lot of great guitar music right now.”
In the ’90s, Chicago bands like Triple Fast Action, Menthol and Local H often did short midwest tours with stops in Columbus. While the current crop of bands have lengthly tour schedules in place, Twin Peaks has played Columbus twice in the last twelve months and now Ne-Hi is going to make a stop at Spacebar on Friday night.
There’s nothing particular “Chicago sounding” about Ne-Hi’s latest release, Offers, which came out earlier this year – in fact, if you play it for Spacebar/Ace of Cups/Cafe Bourbon Street regulars, they might ask what local band it is. There’s something familiar sounding in tracks like “Sisters” and “Everybody Warned You” which remind me a bit of stuff by Connections. The co-lead vocalist combination of Jason Balla and Mikey Wells brings a different dynamic to the garage pop songs – not everything sounds the same which keeps things fresh and interesting.
Ne-Hi’s got a reputation for being a can’t miss live band and if they are following in the footsteps of Twin Peaks, there might not be many future chances to catch them in a venue the size of Spacebar so don’t miss out. Garbage Greek and Mungbean open the show which will cost you $7 at the door.