Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In The Spotlight--Survay Says!

If you want to know how to do it right in the DIY music scene you should probably call Blairstown, New Jersey's Survay Says!  This seven piece ska outfit has, without representation, hit the scene with a vengeance.  They played over 100 shows in 2011 alone, and when they bring their act to the Galaxy on March 13th it will be as part of their first Mid-West tour, a trek that will visit eight states over its 16 shows.  They've also managed to play shows with the likes of legendary acts such as Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, and Bowling For Soup, all of whom they cite as influences, to name just a few.  That's an impressive list of accomplishments by any measure.

The band told us that, "This tour came out of where every one of our other tours came from; our love of being together, playing our music, pleasing crowds and just maybe, moving up in this crazy music world."  Being the first trip to the area was not without it's challenges though.  "It was a little tough finding shows because we didn't really know anyone.  It's completely new territory for us and we plan to keep returning as much as possible," they said, highlighting the work ethic that has served them so well.  

While a month on the road sounds like a blast on paper, it isn't always quite so much fun.  "Every tour has good shows and every tour has a few busts. Sometimes you get to open for your heroes (Reel Big Fish, Big D, etc.) and sometimes you have to sleep in a parking lot or a rest stop on a bench off of the highway."  They also talked about the struggles back home when touring is a big part of your life.  "We each have our own ways of supporting the band and ourselves. A few of us still take classes, a few of us are able keep a job despite all of the touring we do. The balance of band vs. everything else is an everyday struggle. It gets a little easier as the band gets more successful. It's hard to explain to your parents that touring in a ska band is your priority, especially when they learn it doesn't come with decent health benefits!"

Check em out while your reading punks!
Then, when you finally get to your destination, you have another whole level of worries.  "I always hope when we come somewhere new to be greeted kindly and to not write us off the second we arrive.  We realize even within our own ska & punk world we are different. We always treat everyone we meet with respect and kindness and we hope for the same thing in return.  Every scene operates differently and changes constantly. Our home markets change almost semi-annually and we always try to appear in areas further away from home enough to make as big of an impact as any local band would. We've been lucky enough to be accepted in these circles more often than not," they said.

All of this work and effort will hopefully lead the band to the promised land, or at least today's facsimile of a promised land.  "In the short term, our goals are to keep plugging along and survive while trying to be everywhere and anywhere we can. More long term goals include hopefully one day being able to support a tour with a more established band. The pipe dream is to live off of this band one day, be able to attain stability through the band. We're a rag tag bunch who don't come from a lot and were lucky enough to find something we love and are decent at."

The band brings their high energy pop punk influenced ska to the Galaxy as part of a great night of music that will also feature Atomic Potato, Misunderstood, & Ice Cream Socialist Party.  Be sure to give em a listen, and then come to the party on March 13th at 7pm.  It's an all ages $5.00 night of good times.  Thanks to the band for taking some time to answer our questions, and we'll see you at the show! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

In The Spotlight--Duke Of Owls

Dayton's Duke Of Owls join us March 12th
A revolving door of band members, an all too common theme among bands we've talked to, ultimately led to the final lineup, and formation of Dayton based Duke of Owls "We are everybody who was left after a couple of our bandmates left for college, and rather than try to replace them we decided to change the name and make ourselves an entirely new band," they tell us.  All those previous efforts provided the group with a solid foundation to the new effort.  "The four of us are best friends and we've been playing together for a few years under different bands, so we're pretty comfortable with each other musically so our songs form somewhat organically."

The group describes themselves as "pretty fresh on the live scene," having played their first show in late December at W.O. Wrights in Fairborn, a Dayton suburb.  But even as a 'new' band, their music has quickly been recognized, as they've been played on WYSO, the Dayton NPR station.  They also told us, "We currently hold the February residency at Southpark Tavern in Dayton. We also do occasional acoustic acts at Adobe Gilas at the Greene in Beavercreek."  They are working hard toward a goal of being "able to quit our day jobs and make a living wage playing our music."

Part of that quest will clearly be moving on from the safe confines of the home Dayton market.  "We're going to keep working to build followings within the cities around us, expanding whenever we have the opportunity, being accessible to fans, and putting on awesome shows!"  Getting doors to open in those surrounding markets however can be a big challenge.  "We would love to book in the Cincinnati and Columbus areas as well, but our list of contacts and connections with artists and venue owners in those areas is still pretty short, so getting bookings is difficult."

Bridging the gap between Cincinnati and Dayton, something we at the Galaxy are intently focused on, is a task the band says is daunting.  "Even though Cincinnati and Dayton aren't very far, it can be an ocean for an emerging artist. When an act is starting out their audience is limited to friends and family, and because of that it is difficult for a Dayton band to go south and for Cincy bands to come north due to venue owners being either reluctant to book or ineffective at promoting within their area."  You can add to that the general difficulty in getting crowds out to any show, though they think it's slightly harder in Dayton.  "Both Cincinnati and Columbus have some great music and arts communities that seem a lot more involved than those in Dayton, which may stem from the universities. Dayton has two large colleges (Wright State and UD), yet for some reason inspires NO 'college town' atmosphere. So even if your band is good and the venue is cool, it can still be difficult to get people out in Dayton."

Successful promoting requires a team effort with both the bands and the venues working hard.  "Obviously you can't place the responsibility of promotion squarely on the shoulders of venue owners, but there's only so much an artist can do to promote in an unfamiliar area where they are still trying to build a following and network. By booking smart, relevant EVENTS rather than just 'shows' that include all artists from the state and surrounding area, I think we can make a great local music circuit."  The band primarily uses the internet for their efforts, saying, "Most of the 'old fashioned' ways are pretty much dead, and they don't seem to be missed very much. Cities and communities tend to be pretty prickly about flyering on public property, and business owners are only more so."

The band's unusual name comes from multiple inspirations, including tragedy.  The group explains, "Our name is somewhat derived from the animated movie 'Rock-a-doodle', which is about a rooster at odds with his enemy, the Grand Duke of Owls. The Grand Duke of Owls apparently 'loathes' rock n' roll. We loved the irony and that's what gave birth to the idea. The reason I say 'somewhat derived' is because we did not immediately decide upon the name. While we were recording our demo during the summer we were still nameless. During the tracking of the CD the studio intern of where we were recording went missing, and was found dead a couple days later in the river. It was a very shocking experience for us, as we had begun to get to know him and had been hanging out and talking with him throughout our time at the studio. His death, and seeing the pain of everybody in the community who knew him, was very profound and saddening. He had liked our music, and the name "Duke of Owls" when we'd told him we were considering it. He had also gone missing (and was subsequently found) wearing a t-shirt imprinted with an owl, and that eerie coincidence ended the discussion for us. Rest in peace Cody Pressler."

Duke of Owls joins The Albrights, Place Position, and Mad Anthony on what promises to be an outstanding show on March 12th.  This show like most of our events is an all ages, five bucks at the door music extravaganza.  Thanks to the band for talking with us, and we'll see you at the show!

Friday, February 17, 2012

In the Spotlight--Ice Cream Socialist Party

Ice Cream Socialist Party joins our Punk/Ska Night March 13th!

Naming your band is a daunting task.  It's your chance to, without playing a note, give an indication of what you're like.  Ice Cream Socialist Party was not always called that, and realized their first stab at a name was a potential issue for them.  "We originally were called Beer Rotation, but we decided we kind of hated the name, and also didn't want people to think of us as a 'drinking band.'  We like beer as much as the next guy, but we didn't want that to define us a band," says Doug, the vocalist, guitar player, and primary songwriter of the group.  Joining him in this punk trio are Jared on bass, and drummer Ratt.  "I think that I ended up coming up with Ice Cream Socialist Party, although Jared might have helped out.  Jared and I thought it was an awesome name, Ratt not so much, although I think he has come around to like it a little more.  We think the name is more clever than it actually is, and some people don't understand it.  The way I describe it to people is this:  If you have a lot of ice cream, and your friend doesn't have any, I want to take some of your ice cream and share it with him. Redistribute the wealth of ice cream!"  Hopefully my conservative readers aren't flipping out right now.

The group formed simply with the idea of playing out, and having some fun, with no aspirations of hitting the proverbial big time.  Doug says that, "I played in bands in high school, but never really did much with it outside of playing a few basement shows.  I continued to write songs throughout college and after I graduated, was recording them myself and sharing them with my friends.  I felt somewhat limited in what I could do, so I decided to see if I could start a band. I put up an ad on Craig's List and met Jared.  We hit it off, and seemed to be at a similar place in that we both have full time jobs and wanted to get back into playing in a band for fun."  After auditioning multiple drummers, the two met "Ratt, who we got along with and seemed to have the same taste in music, and that's how we became a band."

As has been the case with many of the bands we've talked with, these guys are relative newcomers to the scene, having just formed in July 2011.  "We've only actually played 2 shows, one in Cincy, and one in Lima, OH, which was actually our first show.  Ratt is originally from Lima and hooked us up with a show with Flamingo Nosebleed, and the Bricktops.  It was a blast, and people seemed to really like us.  I think it helped that we played with bands that were sonically similar to us." In addition to their show here on March 13th, they have an upcoming show in Lexington KY in May, and are "always looking for more shows in the Cincy area."

Being that new to the area scene, the band is fighting to make the right connections.  Part of the mission of the Galaxy is to help bands with that networking.  Doug said, " I even had someone tell me at one of our shows that there aren't a lot bands like us around anymore.  Maybe its just because we are new and not familiar with the scene.  That said, there are some great local pop punk bands in Cincinnati.  If those bands read this, contact us because we want to play with you!"  

The other issue the band has already seen is one we're all too familiar with, a general lack of awareness of what is actually available to be heard in the area.  "One thing I wish was more prevalent in Cincinnati is to have more people be willing to support local bands that play original music.  A lot of people will go see live bands, but they only want to see cover bands.  I will admit that I am somewhat guilty of this as well, but it sucks when none of your friends want to go see a band, and you have to go by yourself.  I think there are a lot of great local bands of all genres playing original music, and I think people would really like a lot of them if they gave them a chance.  If you don't support original music, you can't complain about the garbage on the radio."

But while the local scene seems to be indifferent, once again the internet has allowed a band to extend its reach nationwide.  "I think its easier than ever to be in a band. I mean, our band was formed by meeting these guys online.   I think Facebook has been our most effective way to connect with people.  I just sent one of our demo CDs to a guy in Arizona who found out about us on Facebook somehow. That's crazy to me."   It also helps them find places to play.  "I heard about you guys from Facebook.  I honestly can't remember who it was, but someone shared a post you had and I went to check it out and learned all about you.  I haven't really heard much about you guys, but I think its awesome that there is an all ages venue.  I know when I was younger, I would get upset when bands played shows that were 21+, so I think its great that there is an option for kids who want to go see shows who are not of age."  

As for the band's songs, they range from the deeply personal, to nerdcore at it's finest.  "Our song '57 Chevrolet' is about my dad passing away when I was 5 years old, and not really dealing with it until about 20 years later.  As I was writing the song, I had to deal with all these emotions that I just kind of suppressed for so long.  It was a very therapeutic process, and as a result, I think it is one of our best songs.  We also have a song about Admiral Ackbar called 'It's A Trap!' and a song about Lord of the Rings called 'Just Tea, Thank You', so sometimes we just write about nerd stuff.  Write what you know, I guess."  

Like many songwriters, Doug has "notebooks filled with terrible songs I wrote throughout high school and college, and I could probably go through them and pinpoint exactly what was going on in my life at that time.  Most of the time for me, the goal of a song is to deal with a situation or to express my emotions.  Songwriting is how I deal with life.  I'ts a way to vent frustrations, to express happiness or sadness, or even just to tell a story.  If I wasn't in a band, I would still be writing these songs and recording them in my bedroom."

You can catch Ice Cream Socialist Party along with Misunderstood, Atomic Potato, and Survay Says! on March 13th at 7pm.  The show is as always all ages, and a punk rock like five bucks.  Thanks to Doug for taking the time to answer our questions, and we'll see you at the show!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In The Spotlight--Misunderstood

Misunderstood joins our great Punk & Ska Night 3/13
Being punk ain't easy.  Being punk and a girl is even harder.  And being punk, and a girl, and in your teens, is probably more than most people could handle.  Misunderstood's Lyn-Z Riot has seen it all, from bandmates that wouldn't stick around, to being heckled while playing the local bar.  And she, and the band, have persevered through it all and are now starting to hit their groove.  

"Misunderstood was put together when I was 15 because I loved Joan Jett, and I loved what she did, and wanted to start my own band. She made me believe that since I felt different I could be different, and play punk rock music," she says.  Starting the band was just the beginning of the challenges.  "I have had a good amount other members in the band these past 5 years. I just never could find anyone who would want to stick around," Lyn-Z says.  Though over the past year, finally, that has settled down.  "Brandi has been in the band for almost year now and Drew has been in the band since June. They are definitely the best band mates I have had in the band."

Disinterested crowds, lousy venues, and loudmouthed haters have all had to be overcome.  "Bar shows are usually the worst, just something about 2 of us out of the 3 being girls makes guys want to yell at us and tell us we stink at what we do.  There are different kinds of punk blooming out, hardcore, pop punk, punk rock. Its definitely interesting in playing with other punk bands, because usually their fans hate us because we are not like the band they came to see."  Sorting through all of that however has uncovered some great places to play.  In addition to stalwarts like Indianapolis Melody Inn and McGuffy's in Dayton, the band points to a place called Club Soda in London Ohio.  "The feeling of walking into a venue and feeling like you're not being used to just make the venue money, that you're actually a musician and that they want to help you out is amazing. Club Soda has respect for the musicians that walk in there and play their stage," she says.

Over the years the band has been able to find more and more places to play, last year gigging 47 times.  This year should prove even bigger.  "We have played 8 shows so far in 2012. We have almost 30 more booked and working on confirming more," which includes a pair of shows here at the Galaxy coming up.  It all started with a show at The Sorg Opera House in Middletown, before moving on to places like The Outlet in Richmond, and open mic nights around the area.  "Then I got asked to play a place in Cincinnati called The Blue Rock Tavern when I was 16. I started playing The Blue Rock about every other month and it started to feel like everybody enjoyed what we were doing because we were playing with Punk bands," she says.  The highlight so far was playing Bogart's.  "That was a really cool experience especially since my 4th concert I ever went to was there, and it was Joan Jett. Being able to be on the same stage as Joan Jett is a dream come true."

Rock this!

That Joan Jett influence is certainly heard in the band's work.  "My influences when I write are usually Joan Jett, Brody Dalle and Hunter Valentine. I do think me being a huge Joan Jett and Brody Dalle fan that it does come out during live shows and in the songs. I don't try to copy them, but they are a big help in how I write and how I present myself on stage." The writing is a collaborative effort though.  "When we write a new song we usually write it all together in my garage in Richmond Indiana. We just start jamming and I start to write a guitar riff and it goes from there. The past two new songs that will be on Misunderstood's new cd "The Right Words Can Break A Heart" were written that way. Stupid Love Song was written by the drummer and me just jamming one day and we both started playing and it became a song."

In addition to holding the band together and playing shows to crowds of sometimes mixed enthusiasm, Riot also started her own label, "Riot Love Records".  "Misunderstood is the only band on label right now.  I started it because I thought it would be easier to put out Misunderstood's albums and info on my own label then trying to get signed to someone else. With the label we don't have to worry about other people telling us what to do, we can do what we want."  She is open to other artists joining the label as well, saying, "I'm up for anybody hitting me up though if they are interested in being on the label. I can't promise a lot right now just because the label is just starting up, but I can definitely help get shows and help get bands in a studio."

When it's all said and done, the label, the changing cast of band members, the occasional crowds that just don't get it, everything works out for the best when they play a great show.  "We love playing all age shows though, it's so fun to play in front of kids, it makes you feel like you're doing something right when they come up to you and say that you're awesome." And playing live is much more rewarding than even making a great recording.  "It's so much fun to have someone to react back to you. Especially when someone digs your music and you can tell, its one of the greatest feelings. It definitely makes me play better when I know there is at least one person rocking out to us in the crowd," she says.

You and your friends can make it more than just one person rocking out in the crowd by joining us for this great lineup on March 13th.  Joining Misunderstood will be Survay Says! Atomic Potato, & Ice Cream Socialist Party.  This show is all ages, kicks of at 7pm, and is just 5 bucks.  Come hang!  Thanks to Lyn-Z for taking the time to answer our questions, and we'll see you at the show!

Monday, February 13, 2012

In The Spotlight--The Albrights

Buffalo's The Albrights hit the Galaxy March 12th
Some bands are content to come up with a formula, a sound, and allow it to become their prison, always writing to that format.  Just two tracks into The Albrights samples it becomes clear that these guys break that mold with a vengeance.  "Good Woman" sounds like something you'd find on a Black Keys record, then "Strike Out" comes out swinging with strings and an almost progressive feel, sounding nothing like what you just heard, while still being fantastic.  You'd almost think it was two different bands.  All of this variety comes from their appreciation of all types of music, and the divergent styles of the two primary songwriters.  And it also made it a challenge when putting the finishing touches on the lineup.

"Joe and Brandon had started playing together in school years ago. Mostly classic rock covers. I met up with them about 5 years ago and starting carrying some equipment for them at shows and eventually became the bass player," says Matt.  "We decided to make a record shortly after and did a 5 song ep with electronic drums. We used it to shop drummers and work our sound really."  The first drummer they met helped them record their album "Ask, Tell", but wasn't the long term answer.  "He had a great job as a teacher at the time, so we knew at some point we'd need to find a permanent player and someone who could tour the album with us."

He continued, "We played some gigs with a couple of different players and we had a lot of trouble finding the right fit. The contrasting writing styles of Joe and Brandon make it tough for someone to fit them both comfortably. Enter Dustin. This guy shows up, we make some small talk while setting up his drums. We played, and he killed it...he really worked hard before coming to an audition and it showed. He quietly left and we've been playing together since."  While the writing varies, there is a concerted effort to keep the sound simple.  "Stylistically our sound was developed from not trying to sound like anything or anybody. I mean, Brandon doesn't use a crazy pedal board and neither do. There's a organ/piano and drums. No vocal effects.., it's just raw and real."

Give 'em a listen

The band tells us the arts and music scene in their hometown of Buffalo, NY, is strong, and growing.  "New exploratory venues are opening up everywhere and there has been a surge of talent moving to our small city from larger markets. With many of our clubs offering culturally diverse live music 7 days a week, and a really affordable cost of living, Buffalo, NY seems like a no-brainer for musicians and artists alike. The best part? Those "larger" markets are only a few hours away in either direction. New York, NY, Toronto, CA  Pittsburgh, Cleveland etc."

Using all of the standard tools of promotion, and some novel ones as well, has worked well for the group.  "We drove around Buffalo in the back of a truck playing acoustic instruments and shouting all through the city. We had our name on the truck and promoted at every stop light. Oh and the truck belonged to Buffalo Car Share, an organization committed to helping cut down on carbon emissions by encouraging carpooling and alternative modes of transportation.  They shared the experience through their social networking sites as did we (we reached a whole new audience by doing that)." They also told us, "We do also use Facebook, Youtube, Reverbnation, Sonicbids, Twitter, all the major social networking tools.  We can link up with anyone and everyone at any time. We LOVE social media for sure, in today's world, over promotion doesn't exist."
In the end, like many of the groups we've talked with, they just love to play music.  "We're obsessed with music. More so, live music in particular. Success in this industry being able to travel around and just do it. Play good shows, have fun and make new fans and friends . We're musicians that can really play, so we just wanted to make a record that sounds like us. We've had a tremendous amount of feedback on our sound, philosophy and our energy onstage and off. As far as Celebrity vs. Substance, we believe that if we're honest with ourselves and keep making honest records, we'll be able to keep working. People seem to really respect that, especially lately."

You can check out their sonic diversity for yourself on our great March 12th show.  Thanks to the band for talking with us, and we'll see you at the show!


Friday, February 10, 2012

In The Spotlight--Place Position

Watch Place Position in action.

Sometimes when dealing with all the bands we hear from I can't help but feeling like a parent.  I try to love all my bands equally, but sometimes, well, one of them is just more special to you than the others.  The first time I heard Place Position's "Two Years More"  I knew right away this one was very, very special indeed.  Those of you who have followed me for years on Facebook know that every now and then I'll comment on a band that has just grabbed me by the throat and not let go, and that for me finding something like that is better than hitting the lottery.  That's what these guys achieved.  The raw energy captured in their recordings is quite frankly hard to believe.  Their show with us on March 12th cannot get here fast enough.

Place Position began originally as a two piece, with Josh on guitar and Jesse on drums.  Formed in in April 2011, the band told us, "We did our first show in very early May and only had four songs. We ad libbed a Forget Cassettes cover to fill time. That's probably our most memorable show to date simply because we weren't sure if the songs we'd written would work live. Luckily people seemed into it and we kept going."  After much discussion they recently added Chip Heck on bass to round out their sound, and his first show with the band will be March 10th.

The band says "Obviously we are very influenced by Fugazi and everything involved with Dischord records." The two original members have been playing together in one form or another for over a dozen years. "As a result our Nirvana and Radiohead roots come to the surface I'm sure. Dave Grohl had a major effect on my early development as a drummer," Jesse adds.  All that time playing together has helped their songwriting process find it's own rhythm.  "Usually either Josh will have a riff in mind and we'll work on it or we'll just record us fucking around and then pick out the cool parts. 100% of Q/A Disco was written this way."  And the energy captured on their recordings was by design as well. "As far as the rawness that's something that we had both agreed we wanted. I kept referencing The Most Secret Methods first album for a sound touchstone. Its called Get Lovely. You should check it out if you haven't," says Jesse.

Promoting a band, and shows, successfully is the proverbial holy grail of the music industry, and Place Position approaches it from several directions.  For starters, the band is part of the loosely defined Loft Collective, a group of like minded bands and friends working out of the Middletown area. Jesse gave us the brief history of the group, saying, "The Loft Collective basically started as a bunch of friends just out of High School who wanted to work together to make something bigger. In our case we all played music so we basically started our version of a record label. There were about 5 or 6 bands to start and over the years people came and left and came again. Its basically whoever wants to be involved can chip in. We've definitely met some cool people through it."

 Listen to this right now!

Additionally the band of course uses bandcamp, and the ubiquitous Facebook, though neither Josh nor Jesse are personally big fans.  "I created a Facebook account to promote. That's basically my only reason for having one." says Jesse. "Josh refuses to have one. We're weird guys. Its worked well for us so far."   Strong music, and performances, inevitably build a word of mouth buzz, and if that doesn't materialize the band seems to be quite happy just being able to make music. "We just like playing. If people like it that's amazing. If they don't we'll still do shows in my basement for my wife and dog."

Although their roots are primarily in the Middletown and Dayton area, the band tells us they, "don't think we associate with a scene though. The Ohio scene has some GREAT bands (Toads And Mice, Hyrrokkin, Kuan, Grenades!?, etc) but I think the crowds are apathetic for what ever reason. Music has become so commercial (I hate using that word.) that lots of the people who were into the scene 10 years ago have given up and stopped paying attention which is a shame."  We agree, everywhere we look we uncover amazing bands, like this one, but the public at large is so beaten down by having to listen to Nickelback and Justin Bieber all day it sometimes seems like they've just given up.  But they conclude that in the end, that's really ok.  "I have to say any time is a good time to be in a band - you're (hopefully) doing it because you love it. People paying attention is just frosting on the cake."

We are most definitely paying attention, and hope you will too for this great show.  Place Position joins The Albrights, Mad Anthony, and Duke of Owls for what promises to be a fantastic night of rock on March 12th.  Showtime is 7pm, All Ages welcome, and just FIVE low dollars!  Thanks to Place Position for making time for us, and we'll see you at the show!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

In The Spotlight--Emily And The Complexes

Emily & The Complexes play the Galaxy Feb 27th
Joining a great lineup on February 27th will be Columbus based Emily And The Complexes.  The band has only officially been playing together since November of 2011, and are using Tyler Verhagen's solo material as the base from which they work.  But Verhagen, bassist Jordan Finke, and drummer Tom Konitzer had a history which has allowed them to create a coherent sound in the short time they've been together.  Verhagen and Finke played together all through high school in a punk band, and through those shows got to know Konitzer.  The all-too-usual post high school break-up of the band occurred, and Verhagen spent the next couple of years touring with his solo material, before landing in Columbus and recruiting the other two to form the current lineup.

Konitzer tells us that "We kind of adapted our sound from the indie folk style that Tyler was playing as a solo act into something a bit louder and heavier. We definitely added some elements of punk and garage, so now I guess we kind of have a combination of those three."  The three members cite diverse influences in their approach to music.  Weezer and Margot & the Nuclear So and So's are bands that Verhagen draws on, while former punk drummer Konitzer points to pop punkers Valencia and Canoes.  On the other end of the spectrum, Finke "listens to a lot of chill wave so there's that" says Konitzer.  They told us that "Tyler usually spends a lot of time working on the songs and writing the lyrics and then when he brings them to practice we all really add things in and fill out the structure."

The scene in Columbus seems to be one of the strongest around, and the band confirms that notion.  "The city is growing and becoming a cultural hub, and there are a lot of really good bands. There's room for all kinds of music and art here and we really haven't had any trouble getting shows thanks to a lot of awesome bands and venues."  Networking with other bands past and present is still key to getting shows for them, both in and out of town, as the band plays our show on the 27th with Yankee Go Home in a repeat engagement. "We played with Yankee Go Home at our first show here in Columbus. We really know them because Tom is from the same area and actually played in pop punk band, Apathetic Epidemic, with Dave Paulett for 6 years," says Konitzer.
Sample the goodness!

Being a relatively new band, they've yet to put together their first proper album, something they plan to rectify in April.  They have a handful of demos at, and the tracks you can listen to above through Reverbnation.  Like most bands we've talked with, they put the internet to good use, in addition to good old fashioned foot soldiering.  "When we release (the album) we are definitely planning on fully utilizing itunes and spotify to get the word out. We use the internet a lot. We are on facebook, reverbnation, bandcamp, twitter, indieonthemove, and the Columbus DIY message boards. Those sites all help, but we also believe in the need for a lot of foot work and spend time putting up flyers all over the city to let people know."

The band follows up that work ethic by playing shows everywhere they can get them.  Konitzer says, "I'd say our most memorable show so far was in a basement in Athens, OH. It was a bunch of kids who really got into it. In fact, they got so into it they broke a window halfway through and a lot of them fled the scene, It was still really fun, so punk rock."  While playing basement shows though, as with all bands, they have their dream show lineup, which includes a band other artists in our In The Spotlight series have mentioned. "I guess we all really grew up loving Brand New and no matter how much our musical tastes have expanded we would still absolutely love to play a show with them."

You can catch Emily And The Complexes along with Mad Anthony, Yankee Go Home, and Honah Lee at the Galaxy on February 27th in another of our $5.00 shows.  Showtime is 7pm, and the show is All Ages.  Thanks to the band for taking the time to talk with us, and we'll see you at the show!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Calm Before The Storm

A Night of Art & Music Feb 25th
If you've looked at our calendar recently, you'll notice that we're on a short hiatus (the calm) from having any events.  Don't think that means we aren't busy as worker bees over here.  The next time you come in for a show, you'll notice quite a few changes.  And a huge schedule of events one right after another, (the storm) as we've been absolutely bombarded with bands from all over that want to come play here.  The bands, and people who have attended shows here, get it.  And they're spreading the word. There's no, "Oh jeez, it's Hamilton", it's "Holy Crap, this is awesome!"  We really hope if you're reading this and have been here, you'll share it, and bring your friends.  And if you're reading this and haven't been here, that you'll come see what the buzz is about.

Some of the changes you'll be seeing include some additional big comfy couches!  When we're doing the low key singer-songwriter nights, it's great to have a place to relax and enjoy the music, and we're trying to do what we can to keep you from sitting on the floor!   So we now have three sofas, and we may add more.  For the bigger, more energetic shows, we've now removed all of the old used cd racks, and most of the remaining record racks, nearly doubling the available floor space for fans!  Our transition to a full time venue is nearly complete.

And as for the upcoming shows, man, is it going to be incredible!  We've got an amazing Night of Art & Music on February 25th, featuring three area bands, and three incredibly talented artists showcasing their work.  We've got a live recording of the absolutely insane Shoot The Glass Podcast on February 26th.  Then on February 27th New Jersey's Honah Lee headlines a great show.

March will see more terrific bands than I can even wrap my pea sized brain around, with the likes of Place Position, The Albrights, Roley Yuma, and Take One Car hitting the Galaxy.  Then April kicks off with Hawthorne Heights headlining a five band unplugged show, to be followed by the decidedly plugged in metal of HIVESMASHER, KDC, Stained Glass Jesus, & Brothers Fighting.  Then we get all electronic on you with a great show featuring Dreamer(s), Keeps, and Counterfeit I, along with the return of Old Worlds.  Some great sludgy metal reigns over the stage later in the month as VRSA and Close The Hatch come to bring the heat.  In all bands from 10 different states are already scheduled to play here in the next 3 months, and we're just getting started.

Thank you all for your support!  Please pass this along to your friends, let everyone know what's going on here.  Come on out to a show, stop by and grab some flyers to hang, and make a donation to the cause if you can.