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Author: Chip Midnight

Saturday: Alex Dezen at Thirty One West (Newark)

Not quite a year ago, I had the chance to check out Alex Dezen (The Damnwells) perform a solo, happy hour set at Schuba’s in Chicago while I was there on a business trip. A great coincidence as Alex is, in my opinion, the Dylan of our generation and an artist that I try to see anytime I’m in the same city he is. After the show, Alex told me he had just completed his second solo album and said he’d send me a link to stream it. Hours later, as I sat in my hotel room, an email with a link hit my in-box. As a fan of The Damnwells since basically their origin, I have some idea what to expect with the music Alex writes but I was not prepared to the new material. I fired off a response as I finished out my first listen. “Whoa, Alex. You know I LOVE everything you do but after just one listen, I’m thinking this might be some of my favorite songs I’ve ever heard you do. I detect an ’80s vibe to some of the songs and you know I love the ’80s.” The album, that I’ve been listening to since last May, finally was released to the masses a few weeks ago and the reception from fans and critics alike has been overwhelmingly positive. And even though...

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(C)MTV – Gudger “Death from Above”

Been waiting to see this one after the video’s director Paul Cunningham told me the concept behind the Gudger video he shot near his Cool World Photography studio in┬áMarysville this past July. The Lancaster-based trio released their second album, II, in October and have been very active on the local touring circuit the last few months. While you’re waiting for the next local gig (at the Dark Horse Tavern in Reynoldsburg on April 8), check out the brand new video for “Death from Above” and dig the Sabbath/Monster Magnet...

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(C)MTV: Earwig, Digisaurus

Love that bands are still making videos. YouTube is the new MTV and anybody/everybody can get some video views rather than having to hope and p(r)ay to get one showing at 1:47am during “120 Minutes” (R.I.P.) Following last year’s video for “Wasted on You” featuring guest vocals and appearance by Lydia Loveless, Earwig returns with another killer video. This time, the band enlists Columbus legend Nina West as a co-star along with a brief cameo by an underage bartender ­čśë Musically, one of the most diverse Earwig songs in the band’s discography and ya gotta dig Lizard’s Michael Jackson jacket. Earwig – “Bring Yrself 2 Me” James Allison put plenty of miles on the Digisaurus tour van in 2016, building a name for his electro-pop project. After wrapping up the fall portion of the tour, James ventured to Nashville to shoot a video for “I Don’t Feel Alright” with director Evan Spencer Brace (Phantogram, White Arrows). The song and video feature backing vocals by Fran Litterski (Kid Runner, Planes & Fields, Magic Man). Digisaurus – “I Don’t Feel Alright” (featuring Fran...

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Saturday: Max & Iggor Cavalera at the Alrosa

Yeah, I’ll admit it … I missed out on the whole Sepultura thing back in the mid-90s. The band came of age in the transition between grunge and nu metal and while I don’t shy away from HEAVY metal, I just sort of assumed the Brazilian band would be a bit too brutal for my liking. So, here we are, 21 years after the release of Sepultura’s sixth studio album, Roots, and I’m finally paying attention. There’s no denying by this point in their career, the band was incorporating some of what was going on around them (aka “groove metal”) and – for 1996 – made a very relevant-sounding album that fit in with some of the bands whose popularity was skyrocketing (namely Korn). Founding vocalist Max Cavalera left Sepultura at the conclusion of the Roots tour and his brother, drummer Iggor, left ten years later (the two formed Cavalera Conspiracy in 2007). With an opportunity to go back and celebrate the anniversary of Max’s last album with Sepultura, the brothers hit the road last year to perform Roots in it’s entirety and that tour has extended into the new year bringing the Cavalera brothers to the Alrosa this Saturday night. This will be a chance for me to catch up on something I missed and I suspect the Alrosa will be packed with metalheads moshing like it’s 1996....

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Friday: Welshly Arms at Rumba

There are people in Columbus who saw The Black Keys and/or John Mayer at Little Brothers, Gary Clark Jr at Woodlands Tavern, twenty-one pilots at Kobo. Now, I’m definitely not saying that someday Welshly Arms will be headlining Nationwide Arena – believe me, I’ve made some pretty far-fetched and foolish predictions in the past – but the Cleveland-based blues-rock band is on track to start reaching much bigger audiences in, dare I say, the very-near future. After spending the summer opening for NEEDTOBREATHE and playing to large crowds, Welshly Arms returned to Cleveland in November for a headlining show at the House of Blues that I attended. I’m terrible with guestimating crowd sizes but I’d say there were at least 500 people to welcome the band home and it felt more like a national band’s tour stop than a gig for a local band. When I asked a friend of mine if he was going to the show, he said, “No. Ohio already has one Black Keys, that’s all I need” and, to be fair, there are some similarities between the two bands but Welshly Arms contains additional members, including two back-up singers (reminds me of Columbus band Nick Tolford and Company), who fill out the sound. Whether or not Welshly Arms has built a Columbus following remains to be seen – personally, I think Rumba is a little...

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