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), Chinn’s guitar-rock recalls the glory days of the mid-90s when alternative rock ruled the world – between the music and the falsetto-style vocals, bands like Sugar, Guided By Voices and the Ass Ponys spring to mind. Though now based in New York City, the band members share common midwest roots and strong working class aesthetic – roll up the sleeves, plug in, rock out, sweat on stage and drink a few beers while doing it.
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 250 days a year so these shows are somewhat rare and special.
Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza with Zeppelin Productions will be hosting Plainsong on Monday, September 19th @ 7:30 pm. I had the pleasure of speaking with Iain about the show and the tour. The show will feature works from Plainsong’s catalog as well as feature their latest album, Reinventing Richard:The songs of Richard Farina. Iain and Andy Roberts wanted to do an album to celebrate the music of Richard Farina on the 50th anniversary of his passing. The album is a great listen. This is a can’t miss show in Columbus. Hope to see you there. Enjoy the interview.
Thanks to former (you’re welcome back anytime) Columbus Calling contributor Blair Hook for throwing up a new Two Cow Garage song on YouTube from the band’s forthcoming album, Brand New Flag. Blair calls it his favorite song from the album (lucky guy must have gotten an advance copy) and it’s easy to hear why – all the classic elements of a Two Cow song from the spitfire, I-don’t-need-no-stinkin’-diary-I-write-songs lyrics to the midwest-meets-southern-rock guitar twang. Brand New Flag will be in stores and on-line on October 14.
The Body, an art rock band consisting of Chip King and Lee Buford, has a heavy sound that is both melodic and loud. The duo is touring in support of their latest album, No One Deserves Happiness, on Thrill Jockey Records and will be performing what promises to be a great show at the Rumba Cafe on Thursday night.
I recently had the chance to speak with drummer Lee Buford.
How did The Body get it’s start?
LB: Me and Chip, back in Arkansas, played in a few bands together. We hung out all the time, he was in a couple of bands that I was in. It just made sense.
The Body has a unique, heavy droning sound, almost like a German noise band from the ’80s.
LB: That would be a good way to describe it. That’s pretty accurate.
But it also has a melodic tone to it that that stuff didn’t have. It’s a interesting, it’s good stuff. I’m really enjoying the new album, No One Deserves Happiness. Where did the title of the album come from?
LB: I don’t know really. It just came to us one day.