FRI FEB 19
115 PARSONS AVE
THE KYLE SOWASHES
It would be easy for me to start by saying every fertile music scene in America has a Kyle Sowash to call its own. He's the integral, overambitious, indie-rock everyman responsible for bringing to town bands that, barring his begging, would otherwise pass on by. He's the fervent local enthusiast always in the front row, even on a wintry Tuesday. His floor's been infinitely crashed upon, his bank account tapped from self-financed/self-made tours of the country -- basically he's racked up enough D.I.Y. karma points that you're obligated to buy Yeah Buddy on his good works alone. Sowash's selfless moral character may be common in places like Cleveland, Portland, Athens, and Chapel Hill, but his style, his demeanor and his songs are distinctly Columbus, Ohio. Normally, naming a band after oneself is shallow stroke of ego (i.e., Steve Miller, Bob Seger), but for Sowash, it couldn't be any other way. After slaving over a decade's worth of unrecognized lo-fi indie anthems, he's finally deserved a complete, full-throttle band to live out his rock n' roll fantasies, to flesh out his earnest ballads and scrappy pop songs. A number of bearded local musicians were invited to join him in the effort, and a few shuffled in and out before the final lineup was set. Soon enough, the hirsute foursome of drummer Dan Bandman, guitarist Justin Hemminger, bassist Brian Freshour and keyboardist Sean Gardner joined together around Sowash's material until the band sounded as if they'd been playing together for years. Even though The Kyle Sowashes are a supergroup of sorts, composed of five dynamic players assembled from such formidable Ohio bands as 84 Nash, Tiara, Denovo and Treysuno, each is channeling a little Kyle Sowash on Yeah Buddy!. This album is quite literally where the strings come in (and the piano, too). Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I'd hear a symphonic Sowash, but "Your Band Flaked Out on Me", which chronicles his frustrations with bands that have let him down over the years, actually brought a tear to my eye. Given that Yeah Buddy! was the first Sowashes record made in a "real recording studio", songs like the propulsive "Free Ride" and "My Resume" are fortified with extra heft and sonic vision, but they manage to retain the goofy charm and sharp hooks that have defined Sowash's career. Sowash readily admits to his debt to indie rock's golden age - Yeah Buddy! is a study in the work of bands such as Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, Silkworm and Guided by Voices - but he draws on those influences judiciously. In other words, this is no tribute album. While "My Resume", "Only Time Will Tell" and "Rumours" will certainly signal a nostalgic flag, the themes are, as I said earlier, distinctly Columbus, distinctly Kyle Sowash. Obsessions with Andre the Giant, Fleetwood Mac, and making mixtapes while crying over spilt beer - I think it's time to get your beard ready again.-Kevin J. Elliott
Three of the cry babies from the original Miranda Sound line-up decided to rock it again. They called their friend Adam to play bass. Leah plays viola and sings the harmonies when she isn't teaching online English courses to future nurses.
SMUG BROTHERS (ex-swearing at motorists)
In 1979, TASCAM introduced the Portastudio 144, the first 4-track cassette recorder and the music world was never the same. The relatively inexpensive multi-track home machine was used simply as a demo device by many rumpus room rockers, but other acts, from Bruce Springsteen to Ween, realized they could create inexpensive, intimate albums with these easy-to-use machines. Thirty years later, Smug Brothers, a home-recording outfit from Dayton, Ohio, is still benefiting from this once emerging technology, now considered by many as an analog throwaway in a clean, digital world. However, it is this warm cassette foundation that gives this group’s pop-rock songs a timeless feel. Started as a recording project in late 2004, Smug Brothers initially served as an outlet for Kyle Melton (Mascot/Area Code) and Darryl Robbins (The Motel Beds/The Dirty Walk) beyond their now-defunct Dayton outfit, Montgomery Greene. Working alone together over the next year, Melton and Robbins recorded Smug Brothers’ debut, Buzzmounter, which was self-released in Fall 2005. Reconvening in early 2008, the Smug duo enlisted home-recording veterans Don Thrasher (Guided By Voices/Swearing at Motorists), Marc Betts (Montgomery Greene/Busted Lovers) and Jason Short (Montgomery Greene/Snake Oil), and began working on a more expansive sound. The results are a series of short, catchy songs that cannot be denied. Some call it manna from pure pop heaven for the short-attention-span set, we call it the first new item on every discernable listener’s must-have list. According to John Wenzel of The Denver Post, Smug Brothers create a “juicy, mid-fi mix of dense power-pop and indie rock. Think a less elfin, more propulsive Tobin Sprout fronting a late ’90s Merge band and you’re close. … this is some catchy-ass stuff.” Although initially constructed as a full-length album, Fortune Rumors was broken out into the Fortune Rumors EP series, a free download initiative released through Fictionband and The Buddha Den in Spring 2009. The digital E.P.s began to quickly generate an internet buzz, resulting in positive reviews in blogs at DaytonDailyNews.com, DenverPost.com and others, and radio play at WOXY.com and non-commercial broadcast outlets such as WYSO-FM (91.3) and WWSU-FM (106.9). “Every two weeks the band has been giving away a free digital EP consisting of 3 to 4 catchier-than-the-swine-flu pop songs,” wrote Dayton Daily News music blogger Kris Neises. “(These are) fresh-sounding and perfectly crafted lo-fi indie-pop songs that are packed with hooks from beginning to end. It is so good, I feel guilty that I got it for free.” The E.P. series also caught the ear of Squids Eye Records’ head Tony Gilbert. Smug Brothers joined the ranks of the illustrious Dayton label in April 2009. Look for the Interior Magnets single and Fortune Rumors album, both coming summer 2009.
These three lads and one lady hail from Columbus, OH. Branden Barnett, lead vocalist and lead guitar player is the primary songwriter. Samantha Kim, small in stature but huge in sound plays violin and sings, Ryan Haye Plays bass guitar and David “Murph” Murphy plays drums and sings. They create giant, sweeping, epic pop songs about love and love lost with a layer of melodic, soaring violin and harmonies. Don’t be fooled though… live they play like the Who or the Stooges, banging out each song like it’s their last.
-kyle (the man of tomorrow........today!)