E (photo by Ben Stas) E performs at Big Room Bar on Sunday, December 4. Primitives and Mortimur open.

E (photo by Ben Stas)
E performs at Big Room Bar on Sunday, December 4. Primitives and Mortimur open.

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, Zedek has released two albums – one under her own name (Thalia Zedek Band), the sublime Eve (the heartbreaking strings on ‘Illumination’ add wonderful flavor), and the angsty, self-titled album E, Zedek’s latest project, a collaboration with Jason Sanford¬†(Neptune) and Gavin McCarthy (Karate).

Zedek will return to Columbus on Sunday night with E after having performed with her solo band at the Big Room Bar in October. You may want to bring ear plugs to this one!