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!

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