Month: April 2016

Interview: Matthew Iwanusa (Caveman)

Columbus Calling friends Paul and Mike traveled to Iceland in 2013 to check out the Iceland Airwaves music festival and both sang the praises of one of the acts they caught, Brooklyn’s Caveman. The six-piece band blends a number of influences, from ’80s synth-rock to more heartland singer-songwriter stuff ala Springsteen and Petty. It makes sense that they’ve been invited to perform on festival stages like Sasquatch and Bonnaroo while doing smaller venue dates opening for Jeff Tweedy and The War on Drugs. Caveman’s third album, Otero War, is due out in June but the band’s hit the road to try out some of the newer material while delivering tracks from their first two albums including “In the City” (the video of which featured actress Julia Stiles). Caveman will open for Scotland’s Frightened Rabbit at The Newport Music Hall on Monday night. Tickets are $16 in advance, $18 at the door. On his way to a gig in Milwaukee, Caveman’s lead singer Matthew Iwanusa gave me a call from the tour van and we talked about bad traffic, the ’80s influence on the new album, the cinematic qualities of the band’s songs, and arcade games, among other things. (Download MP3; right-click on link and select “Save As …”) Check out this great story about how the album cover came to be by artist Marc...

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Interview: Robbie Fulks

Bloodshot Records artist Robbie Fulks returns to Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza on Sunday, May 1. Fulks has been performing music for the last 30 years and has 12 albums under his belt, including his most recent release, Upland Stories. Fulks took some time to chat with Columbus Calling’s Rob Cohen earlier this week by phone. The two discussed whether or not playing banjo is cool, Jesse Colin Young’s solo career, tributes to musicians we’ve lost in 2016, the songs that make up Robbie’s current set list, bar conversations about annuities and more. Catch Robbie Fulks at Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza on Sunday, May 1. Tickets are $15. (Download MP3; right-click, select “Save As …”)...

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The Week Ahead

No rest for the wicked, plenty of great shows coming up this week that are worth checking out. MONDAY I saw Delta Spirit at Lollapalooza in 2011 and thought they were like the Texas version of Mumford and Sons with guitars instead of banjos. Is that a ringing endorsement? Depends on your opinion of M&S but they were one of my favorite acts that day. Between Delta Spirit albums, singer Matthew Logan Vasquez cleaned out his songwriting closet and released a  rambling-n-rolling solo album (Solicitor Returns) earlier this year. Solo album doesn’t mean a live show will be one...

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Oliver Oak: Pure as Folk

Local indie folk foursome Oliver Oak is playing tomorrow, Friday, April 22 at the CD102.5 Big Room Bar, where they will be releasing a brand new single, “Young Man.” I had an opportunity to listen to their release, “Sleepless Wilds” and found it a slow-moving, glossy, lazy auditory treat. “Mean Little Door of Wood” begins like molasses then soars into crystal clear harmonies and a plaintive violin. (The use of Devin Copfer’s violin adds an extra dimension to this band: “Untitled in Bm” is like a soothing, rocking railway car across the countryside, the sweet violin refrain interwoven as you drift along.) Vocally, the dynamics soothe and swell, the drums kick in, and it evolves into a slightly different, jazzy tune. Vocalist Erin Mason had a few startling moments of Joni Mitchell-isms in the tone and quality of her voice. Oliver Oak is a cerebral take on folk music, their blurry dreaminess swirling around you, then a song like “Ivy and Wine” kicking off with a little pep in the step, plucky and jaunty. Musically, the soft moodiness and purity of the album appealed to this more hard-core rocker girl. I would imagine seeing them interact live and experience the interweaving of their musicality would be a good show. Doors open at 8 p.m., with Wilder Maker and Hello Emerson...

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