Cricketbows Magic

DSC_0043What is magic? The Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski wrote that magic involves the use of paranormal methods to manipulate natural forces to accomplish important life goals. Malinowski discussed how the Trobriand Islanders used magic to manage anxieties of necessary yet dangerous deep sea fishing. According to most scholars, magic is a self-direct activity where an individual manipulates the supernatural to shape the natural. This approach sees magic as an individual practice. However, what if magic is communal? What if magic is something that people create together when they gather for special circumstances and become changed in the process?

DSC_0049This is what happened on Saturday night at Blind Bob’s Bar when Cricketbows played a magical set of truly transformational psychedelic rock and roll. It has been said that a Cricketbows show is a religious experience. And we would not disagree with that but would offer another perspective, perhaps a Cricketbows experience is a magical experience as well.

DSC_0052From the very moment the band took the stage, the crowd could sense an otherworldly musical magic taking hold of them. The band began their set with some of the fantastic songs from their most recent record, ‘Communion’ — a rather apt metaphor for what was happening between the band and the audience that night.

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Throughout the set, Cricketbows demonstrated not only excellent song craft but powerful delivery that seemed beyond the usual experience of the concert goers. The band moved through songs from ‘Communion‘ playing the excellent ‘Games People Play’, the moving ‘End of the Night’, and the psychedelic ‘Sea Green’ to new songs that they are recording or soon to record. They also played a fine selection of tunes from their stellar full length ‘Diamonds‘ featuring standouts such as ‘Tiny Little Houses’ and ‘Landing on the Moon’ to more than enthusiastic response.

During the concert, Cricketbows played truly excellent covers such as the moving rendition of a powerful Jane’s Addiction song, the show closing ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ and The Monkee’s Porpoise Song (from the soundtrack to the movie Head). The later two songs both previously recorded for ‘Diamonds.’

DSC_0063The audience was transfixed — as with all good magic where the individual loses their sense of separated self and becomes part of the group, collective experience — the audience repeatedly called out for more and the band happily obliged with the cover of the Porpoise Song with a burning intensity that led to cheering and clapping for several minutes until Chad Wells profusely thanked the crowd and had to ignore the calls for more songs from the crowd as the house music came up because the bar was closing soon.

DSC_0044The musicianship throughout the evening was incredible. Christopher Corn on bass was giving a master class in how the bass guitar could not only support a song but could be used as a main instrument in service to a song. The twin guitar attack of Michael Bisig and Chad Wells was amazing. Both are stellar musicians separately however together they transform a song into something powerful with their guitar styles. Kyle Sweney on drums and percussion was incredible through his efforts at propelling a song like an illusion of a runaway freight train yet in reality always in control.

DSC_0055As a concert goer, what is it that you want from singers? Skill? Power? Vocal artistry? Something intangible that cannot be easily grasped? Aarika Watson is a vocalist with few peers. Her singing is more than mere melody. Her screams, yelps, and shouts are more than mere power. She has a rare vocal talent that pulls in the listener as if you believe that she is singing directly to you and only you in that moment in that song. It is difficult to describe the feeling if you have not seen her sing. Dare one say, it is magical.

DSC_0072And Chad Wells, the leader of this spiritual journey, sings with the passion and precision that escapes many singers. His voice is energy. He bends the notes with a fervor of a mission to save souls and convert the listener to a musical salvation. Chad feels the song in a way that will send chills down your spine. And when Aarika and Chad sing together, weaving their voices in a tapestry of the honest human voice such as with ‘Landing on the Moon’ or ‘Sea Green’, nothing else matters. The listener is not thinking about what to do tomorrow, you are there in that moment hearing those sounds, those voices and you are transported, you are indeed changed.

Isn’t that what magic is supposed to do? To create a transcendence through community in a moment that becomes something special. That is Cricketbows.

 

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Video of The Day: Second Best Playing Poptek Records Showcase

Second Best playing at The Hatch in Springfield, Ohio on June 1, 2018 for The Poptek Records Showcase! The band played ‘When The Hammer Falls’ and ‘Partners in Crime’ from their debut EP which was released on April 27th.

Poptek Records Showcase at The Hatch

DSC_0033Last night we went to see The 1984 Draft, Okay Lindon and Second Best at The Poptek Records Showcase at The Hatch Artists Studios in Springfield, Ohio! From the beginning to the end of the night it was a special evening of melody, thoughtful lyrics and captivating musicianship.

DSC_0037The evening began with Poptek’s latest band Second Best, the brainchild of Gigi Palassis and Andy Ingram who luckily for this music fan had copies of their terrific debut record available in cassette. Gigi has been writing melodic and catchy songs for years. He has been active in other projects where he has lent his guitar to several different groups such as Wake Up Mordecai, Jean-Michel, Jill & Micah, and XL427, and then the lost recordings of L’Albatros. Gigi specializes in the yearnings that are never quite fulfilled or satisfied and the emotional pain that such feelings bring to the listener. He paints a picture of the power of wanting that is impossible to escape.

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This evening Brenna Myers of Once a Pine joined Gigi and Andy on bass which added texture to the band’s live sound. Speaking of Brenna, we cannot recommend enough for you to check into Once a Pine as well. Listeners to our show know how much Dr. J loves The Florals and it is good to see (and hear) Brenna continuing to make really excellent music in Once a Pine! They often play out so go see them when given a chance! And just a quick question: Is there any instrument that Brenna cannot play?

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Okay Lindon was second on the bill. Dustin Smith has created a new and exciting vision of Okay Lindon to the music loving public. This version of the band has embraced sonic textures with maturity and wisdom. Okay Lindon played a captivating set celebrating the the music from their most release, Changes. This fourth record from Okay Lindon has a new lineup featuring acoustic 12 string guitar and violin yet still haunts the listener with real and significant questions about one’s place in the world.

DSC_0098The 1984 Draft finished the evening of great music with their usual enthusiasm and gift for melody. Their latest record, Make Good Choices is coming from Poptek soon! Joe Anderl, of ‘The Draft, specializes in an earnest, almost confessional and honest depiction of the challenges of everyday life that inspire hope rather than defeat. To see and hear The 1984 Draft is to feel the power of music to transform the listener. Choruses become chants, guitar solos become the sonic texture to anguish, the drums cascade like the quickening beats of your heart, and the bass lines keep your head up and vision clear. We cannot be more excited about this upcoming release ! And so should you!

You can buy these records at the Poptek Records website and on bandcamp.  And you should do so! As you can see in the pictures it was a great time! Many thanks to Andy Ingram and the other fine folks at Poptek Records for inviting us!

 

Thanks to The Next One Up Sextet

DSC_0107This past week we were joined by a cool jazz group in town, The Next One Up Sextet. The Next One Up Sextet is a cool music group performing America’s music, Jazz. Super swinging, cool and hip, with swanky, jump, jive, and wail thrown into the mix for good measure. The group features Ayn Wood on vocals. Don’t pigeonhole them, they play Jazz, Bebop and Swing!  They often play at Hannah’s in Dayton.  If you get a chance to see them, take the plunge. You will not be disappointed. During their stop on YTAA, we talked about jazz, how they select standard and current songs to perform, the challenges of forming a group with busy musicians and to top it all off they played three songs for us live in the studio! We hope to convince them to return!

What makes your favorite?

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Frontier Folk Nebraska playing Blind Bob’s. They are back in Dayton April 28th at Trolley Stop

Recently we have been wondering what makes for a great music experience?  What makes a venue a great place to see a band?  Is it the ‘feel’ of a place?  Is it the camaraderie of the staff, fellow music lovers, musicians?  Or is a great place a matter of the sound in a space?  Does great sound equal great experience?  Maybe it is the fact of seeing your favorite performer(s) or hearing a song that you adore that makes a place special?

What do you think?  Is it one of those reasons or is it something more about the culture of a location, street, neighborhood that makes for a powerful experience at a show?

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The Dead Licks

This Tuesday we are excited about having The Dead Licks in the studio playing live and chatting about their new record!  They will join us in an expanded edition of YTAA at the 7pm hour!   So, join us at 3pm as usual and hang out a little longer as we become Your Tuesday Evening Alternative until 8pm!

You can check out their sound on the terrific music on their Soundcloud page!

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Join us at wudr.udayton.edu

Babbling April’s “Farewell Dayton” Party

We learned a few weeks ago that Dave and Vivienne of Babbling April will be leaving the Gem City for new jobs in Washington DC at the end of March. And while we informed them that this has to be some kind of mistake.  They assure us that they have to take this opportunity.  So, Dayton got together last night it was time for one last hurrah for Babbling April as-we-know-them, featuring some of Dayton’s finest bands.

We saw It’s People, of course Babbling April played a terrific set, the always energetic Speaking Suns and the fantastic Manray!

The farewell party was held in the Fire Blocks District of downtown Dayton where we all hope to develop a DIY space for bands to play as well as other cultural events in the city –spoken word performance, alternative lectures, rallies and more. There was no cover charge, but donations were accepted to raise money for the bands that so graciously gave up their time to play for all of us! 

Babbling April will return. But until then here is a clip of Babbling April doing a Pixies cover!  So fun! 

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