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Mar 8, 2014

Bummers… a lesson in indie rock “success”

First you’re going to need a manager and a booking agent. Then a publicist and most likely a lawyer. After signing away 50% of any future earnings its time to pay out of pocket recording an album. Once said album is recorded its time to pitch it to record labels, who if even remotely interested, will make superficial tweeks to garner more points… or you can be Bummers.




Bummers are a band from Columbus, Ohio and they are good. Not in the overexposed look-at-all-the-weird-instruments-we-play Wesleyan hyperdouche good, but in the organic-band-for-the-fans good. Last night Bummers hosted a SXSW sendoff/fundraising show in the event space at Strongwater, which typically isn’t utilized for much more than art galleries and installations, and despite not having anything even remotely close to a decent PA the aesthetic and layout of the space made for one of the more memorable events I’ve ever attended. So memorable in fact, that I woke up the morning after to write about it in seemingly endless run-on sentences.




In the digital age where bands come and go on a daily basis like a revolving door and as the music industry is reduced to a singles only business model, how or more importantly why do bands break? No one can argue against the fact that its not an industry based on talent, but instead marketability. However, the marketing platforms have changed. The internet gives all bands a relatively level playing field to start, so the payola-based bias of media outlets and radio stations really no longer influence “cool” they only document it. However, it wasn’t until record labels started signing bands simply based on the number of Myspace fans (witnessed this first hand at Epic) that the music industry truly became flacid and incestuous, allowing the indie movement to get some of that money. Unfortunately, the internet has now become this:



So why do I “like” Bummers so damn much? Because they have created their own social network, a community of music FANS in Columbus, OH.




Unlike Brooklyn, this isn’t a group of unemployed scenesters, or even worse, trust fund bands playing to other bands in a Bushwick warehouse. And no offense to all the amazing people out in Brooklyn doing great shit: Jify at Cameo, Rami at Glasslands, Todd at Market Hotel, Fanelli, Maverick and the crazy fuckers of Shea Stadium and of course RIP 285 Kent. But let’s not kid ourselves, the last band to break out of Brooklyn and is currently experiencing a successful career in music is?

Yeah Yeah Yeahs? TV on the Radio? Grizzly Bear? Maybe X-Ambassadors (formerly RethinkPopMusic artist Ambassadors) recent signing to Interscope via KIDinaKORNER joining everyone’s favorite band Imagine Dragons is the one. But, they don’t even consider themselves from Brooklyn anymore, has it become uncool?


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My point is that maybe its time to redefine, or dare I say rethink, what it means to be a successful artist. At the very least its time to take a lesson from Bummers. You MUST be talented, have some sort of creative digital presence but most importantly, create your own real-life social network. A group of young professionals who advocate your brand, are willing to go to a warehouse in Franklinton and actually PAY money for your art. And when said art and social network results in a couple hundred people, all over the age of 21, crowd surfing to Wooly-Bully in order to send you off to SXSW in style, I consider that a fucking success.



I’m really pulling for these guys at SXSW and have given them a healthy dose of what’s its really like down there for bands. There aren’t record execs wandering the streets of Austin looking to sign talented bands. Instead they host their own SXSW showcases in a desperate search for new revenue streams. But honestly, it doesn’t even matter. In my modest opinion, Bummers are the indie rock pride of Columbus, OH and all of RethinkPopMusic is appreciative that they agreed to play our showcases. And as soon as they’re done going toe-to-toe with some of the most talented bands in the country, they’ll be welcomed home by a real social network… hopefully now just a little bit bigger.


Mar 7, 2014
Andrew Padich

Lake Street Dive – Aural LSD

Remember the night of the Breaking Bad finale when you couldn’t sleep because even though you were satisfied with the awesomeness you just partook in, you still yearned for more? This is my current situation, thanks to LSD. Very rarely do I find a treasure like LSD, but when I do, I share it with everyone. I told a handful of friends about my discovery, showed a few coworkers, texted my little sister and told her to let grandma know. This is what I love about LSD- there really are no boundaries regarding who can enjoy its effects. To say I consider myself lucky for having the opportunity to catch LSD at such an engaging venue is an understatement.

I didn’t get home from the show till about 11:30pm on Wednesday night and figured I could save writing the review till the morning- considering work started at 5am. Long story short, I began writing the review at 3:30am because I could not sleep. The setlist constructed by Lake Street Dive left my adrenaline flowing; comparable to levels you would have after scoring a game winning point, or in my case, acquiring a BOGO coupon at Chipotle.

My admiration for Lake Street Dive without a doubt stems from the skillset of Rachael Price, the frontwoman of the group. To sound cliché- she is a special talent. Her soulful voice leaves you in awe, and anyone who says otherwise is a damn liar. It doesn’t hurt that she is, how my grandmother would put it- a dime piece. Fortunately for us music lovers, she has even more to offer with her vocals. She captivated myself and the audience from beginning to end, and not once did I feel like there was a track that her dynamic voice did not belong paired with.

Mike Olson, who is officially listed on their website as in control of the trumpet and guitar was not left in Price’s shadow, nor were any of the other members for that matter. However, he truly shined when he had the trumpet as his musical weapon. I’m a sucker for some brass, so belting I may have been vulnerable to its power, but it was near impossible to not feel like it was a gift to be present for each of his solos.

Speaking of solos, let us not forget the standing bass player, Bridget Kearney. It’s a shame she is stuck in isolation with that thing because the energy she seems to harness from behind the bass would be exciting to see unleashed- gallivanting across the stage with Price, one can imagine. Simply put, her solo at the beginning of the show set the tone (puns galore) for the show, establishing the fact that each member was a professional in their own right.

In conclusion, the next time Lake Street Dive is anywhere near you, go see them. The plethora of musical backgrounds within LSD come together to form an addicting uniqueness. Tickets for their show at Skullys were only $15 and fellow concert goers ranged anywhere from 17 to 70- this being just another testament as to how easy it is to be intrigued by their musical prowess.

Feb 23, 2014

Someone wore their Gary Clark Jr. t-shirt to a Black Joe Lewis show

After a less than perfect experience at the Arctic Monkeys show last week, I decided not to write a blog. The fact that my significant other bought the tickets as a gift only made me think, “why work for free?”


Arctic Monkeys


Actually, she bought the Black Joe Lewis tickets as well, HA! But Marissa personally misses my musings, Mike reminded me he wanted to shoot and the photos are fucking fantastic, so…



As anyone in Columbus can attest, there’s something special about Newport Music Hall. No disrespect to any of the higher capacity venues, but Newport is as big as I’ll be going for the foreseeable future. If a show gets moved to the LC I can get a refund right?



Anyways, the show was great. Lewis has definitely logged some hours on the guitar and its starting to show. Personally, I’m a sucker for bands with brass sections and when combined with proper blues in a great sounding room there’s nothing negative I can say about Black Joe Lewis or The Honeybears. Here are two pictures:



Oh, and the drummer is Omer’s doppelganger.



I hope I got at least one person to check out The Courtesy Tier, they’re good. Do you think watching Chapelle’s Show while writing this affected my tone? Well, below there’s a Black (and White) Joe Lewis and let’s all cross our fingers that the St. Vincent show stays at The Newport.



Nov 19, 2013

Columbus Concert Review | Manchester Orchestra at Newport Music Hall

A Columbus concert review and pics of Manchester Orchestra and The Front Bottoms

As dozens of tornados set out to destroy the entire midwest on Sunday night, a handful of guitars were slowly being loaded into Newport Music Hall… the later of which having much more sinister intentions.

We’ve covered the Front Bottoms rather extensively over the past 5 years and rest assured NO ONE is more committed to their art. Matt, Brian and the band live to tour and their show is the obvious result of practice. So get off the internet, pick up a guitar and hit the road already.



Oh, and for those of you who are suckers for on-stage aesthetics per EDM…



Manchester Orchestra haven’t played a Columbus concert in over two years and from my balcony perspective, it could not have come any quicker.


Because of the way this blog is structured, titled, written and promoted those of you reading already know Manchester Orchestra’s music and are simply checking out the pics. However, just maybe a few of you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this band live, which means you didn’t know that the guitar is BACK. Not back in the indie, intricate, reverb heavy, repeatedly looped sort of way, but instead the straight forward, melt your face as the entire audience bangs (not nods) their head in perfect unison.


Manchester Orchestra has a rare intensity that not only transcends the crowd, but also the band. And while that initial thought, that an entire band should love the music equally seems universal, its hardly consistent. Everyone can name live shows where a member of the band was obviously just going through the motions, completely detached from their bandmates… let alone the crowd.


Obviously not the case on Sunday night.


It could be the years of absence from Columbus and touring in general that made the evening so electric, it could also have been the actual lighting outside. And despite one of my peeves of concert goers singing along to every song, it was the roar of the guitar that drowned out the masses, but still left the image of a sold out guitar rock show once again becoming the norm.

Sep 5, 2013

Introducing the Breakaway Music Festival

Despite the best efforts of numerous local promoters, a legitimate music festival featuring national acts has yet to find a foothold in the Columbus market. Nevertheless, the folks at Prime Social Group known for their successes with Electro Beach and Midway Music Festival have decided it’s time they try their hand.

So without any further adieu, we are happy to introduce the Breakaway Music Festival.

Breakaway Music Festival Columbus

What we find most endearing about the Breakaway Music Festival, is that despite booking HUGE national acts the likes of Bassnectar, Kendrick Lamar and Empire of the Sun local acts such as 21 Pilots, Post Coma Network and Forest & the Evergreens have been given their equal share of the bill.

So this is our call to action, buy a ticket to the Breakaway Music Festival and support the idea of a major festival taking place annually in Columbus, while in-turn supporting local independent music.

And if that’s not enough, did we mention Juicy J will perform with special guest Stefanie Tanner?*

*Stefanie Tanner is a fictitious character and therefore cannot perform anywhere except for your dreams.

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