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?


download (1)


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 25, 2014

KHUSHI – “Phantoms” (Official video + Sofar Sounds session)

Ahead of the official release of the “Phantoms” EP this coming Monday (3 March), two new KHUSHI videos have surfaced online – the official video for the lead track, directed by Ryan Goodman and Amer Chadha Patel, and also a live acoustic performance of the song at a Sofar Sounds night in London.

Watch both of them above. Don’t forget the EP can be pre-ordered on iTunes and also on white 10″ vinyl (mp3 download code included). KHUSHI plays his biggest headline show to date at Electrowerkz on Thursday 6 March to launch the EP (tickets here). This follows on from his recently completed dates with London Grammar, where he opened for them in Bournemouth, Birmingham, Bristol and Brighton.

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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.



Feb 14, 2014

LFC011: KHUSHI – “Phantoms” EP (3 March)

Following on from his highly successful debut single “Magpie”, we’re releasing KHUSHI‘s debut EP, “Phantoms”, on Monday 3 March. It’ll be available on white 10″ vinyl and digital download, and contains 4 brand new tracks. KHUSHI is due to play 4 dates with London Grammar on their current tour, starting tomorrow in Bournemouth, and headlines Electrowerkz in London on Thursday 6 March for the record launch. Support that evening comes from fellow “Blog Sound Of 2014″ nominees Hella Better Dancer, and Peter Lyons.

All information, including how to pre-order, can be found here, and you can stream the lead track below.

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