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Author: Chip Midnight

Manager to release debut album this spring

If there was a Columbus Music Hall of Fame, Jon Chinn would be a first-ballot lock, honored for both his songwriting contributions (Pretty Mighty Mighty, The Killionaires, Jon Chinn & The 1803) and the production and recording work he did as one of the founders of Workbook Studio. It’s little wonder that everything Chinn has touched, whether it be fronting a band or sitting behind a recording console, shines with high production value and quality, readymade for shrink wrap and shelf space wherever fine albums and CDs are sold. Though Pretty Mighty Mighty predated the emergence of emo rock, I often thought, as I watched the band perform at venues like Bernie’s, Little Brothers, and Skully’s, that the kids listening to The Promise Ring and Hey Mercedes could easily find a common ground in emotionally-charged music Pretty Mighty Mighty was performing. Not sure how a major label record deal never fell into the band’s lap, but their influence could be heard in bands that emerged on the High Street scene in the late ’90s/early ’00s. 2017 brings us the debut release by Chinn’s latest project, Manager, a band whose sound doesn’t stray too far from the musician’s previous efforts though, this many years later, the songs arrive with more urgency than ever before. With a new-ish supporting cast (Ron Hester – guitars, Lori Cantu – bass, John Dorcas – drums),...

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CD Release Party Weekend: Bava Choco (Friday), Sophmore (Saturday)

Do bands that only release music digitally have “Streaming Release Parties”? Not something I’ve really thought about until realizing that this weekend there are back-to-back honest-to-goodness CD Release Parties, something that hasn’t really been the norm for the last few years. While digital music is convenient, there’s something to be said for bands who still cater to those of us with CD players in our cars. And the new releases by Bava Choco and Sophmore are EXACTLY the kind of music I want to be listening to while on the road. You’d be excused if neither of these names are familiar – neither band falls into the traditional college-aged kids playing every opportunity they have even if it means a Tuesday night 1am slot at The Summit. (Yikes, if you knew how hard I had to think about a live music venue in Columbus that hosted local bands late into the night/early morning on a weeknight, you’d say, “Yep, dude lives in the ‘burbs and is out of touch”). But, I digress. Bava Choco and Sophmore are both made up of Columbus music veterans who used to do the Tuesday night gig thing back when clubs like High Five, Bernie’s, and Ravari Room were still around. These days, band members have full-time jobs, mortgages, kids and few dreams of signing a record deal with Geffen and going out on the road...

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Last minute Christmas deal from Anyway Records

Looking for some last minute Christmas gifts for your vinyl-loving, local-music friend or family member? Anyway Records is offering an AMAZING deal – four of the label’s best 2016 releases for $40 (postage included for those who need it shipped). The records included in this bunch are: Earwig – Pause for the Jets St. Lenox – Ten Hymns from My American Gothic Mary Lynn – My Animal Connections – Midnight Run You may have read about these releases on some year end “Best of” lists like Popmatters, All Music, Blurt and more which makes this deal all the more incredible. Send Anyway Records a message via Facebook or email to take advantage of this insanely good...

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E @ Big Room Bar / Dec. 4

There was no college radio station – at least not like I expected – at OSU when I went there in the late ’80s/early ’90s so discovering so-called “college rock” was something I had to do on my own. This typically meant spending time searching through the bins at the basement-level Used Kids location, listening to whatever Ron or Bela or Dan or Jerry was playing and, before I got to actually know these guys, sheepishly trying to identify the artist without having to ask. Truthfully, not sure how Come’s 11:11 cassette ended up in my collection – Did I hear it at Used Kids? Did I read about it? Did I buy it because it was on Matador Records? – but it did and while, admittedly, it wasn’t as grungy as the SubPop and SubPop-related stuff I was listening to in ’92, it was the type of music I had hoped to hear on a college radio station – lo-fi, noisy, dissonant,  scarred and bruised, lacking glossy, sing-a-long choruses. Thalia Zedek was making noise before Come (Live Skull, Uzi) and has continued to make noise long after that band’s demise. While Zedek may not be a well-known name in the mainstream alt-rock world, her influence on decades of musicians whose start was in a basement or a garage or a dimly-lit practice space is indisputable. In 2016 alone,...

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Interview: Katie Burke (The Lunar Year)

On Friday night, the Philly-based band The Lunar Year will warm up The Shrunken Head (251 W. 5th Ave) with their inviting classical-based indie rock. There’s a lot of depth in the six songs on the band’s debut release, Mon Ange Alice, which came out this past summer and you can hear how artists like The Beatles, Radiohead, and Beirut have influenced the songwriting. I recently had the opportunity to ask The Lunar Year’s singer/keyboardist Katie Burke a few questions. Can you give some background on how the band came together? You mentioned that some of you are from – or lived in – Columbus. Were you doing anything musically in Columbus before moving to Philly or was it the move that inspired you to start the band? Well I am from the Philadelphia area and lived in Columbus for about a year and a half. My bass player Zach McCaw grew up in Columbus. Zach and I have been friends since we were teenagers and started playing together a bit when I moved to Ohio. When I moved back to Philadelphia a few years ago, I started writing on my own. He’s got a great ear for music, so we collaborated long distance for a while and he eventually moved to Philadelphia to go to school for audio engineering. I wrote alot of solo pieces at the start...

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