Dan Spaugy’s Short Takes

Short Takes82024034_3215704421791938_7875423866997178368_nToday’s Short Takes comes courtesy of guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Dan Spaugy (photo of Dan used with the kind permission of Holding It Still Photography).

To say that Dan is involved in several music projects here in Dayton is to actually under-represent his involvement in the Dayton music community. Dan is in Age Nowhere, Neo American Pioneers and is an often in-demand session player for other musicians’ records. Dan’s guitar work elevates any song her contributes to with his passionate yet deliberate playing style.

We appreciate Dan taking the time out of his busy schedule to share the music that is currently part of his listening journey with us!

Dr. J: What are you listening to right now?

The Wallflowers “Bringing Down The Horse” (1996)

Year after year, usually during the summer months, “Bringing Down the Horse” is a mainstay in my listening rotation.  Some of my earliest, most vivid memories were hearing “One Headlight” on pop radio stations and seeing the music video on MTV when I was around 10 years old.  Out of all the tunes on mainstream radio, this one always stood out to me- the lyrics, driving beat, and that beautiful whistling-sounding instrument which I would later discover was a Hammond B3 Organ through a Leslie Speaker.  I actually still listen to “One Headlight” on a weekly basis and it never loses its luster.  In my teenage years while learning guitar I picked up a used copy of this album on CD at CD Connection (Dayton people- remember?).  I truly feel that there is not a low moment on this album and every song is great, which is something that cannot be said about many albums.  It is safe to say I will continue to praise this as one of the best albums released in my lifetime.  

The Black Crowes “Before the Frost…Until the Freeze” (2009)

Recently I was out at a local show (finally!) and I had a conversation with a fellow Crowes fan. I don’t know if I had declared it out loud in the past, but in that moment I made up my mind to answer the loaded age old question that music fans always get-  “Who is your favorite band of all time?”  Now of course there are the Stones, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Led Zeppelin, but having witnessed over half of the Black Crowes career unfold as a fan, I can safely come to the conclusion that they are my favorite Rock & Roll band of all time.  This double album was recorded live at Levon Helm’s barn in Woodstock.  The “Before the Frost” section of the album contains all things Crowes – the dual guitar work, Chris Robinson’s howling vocals, some long jams, and a couple of ballads that hit the sweet spot.  The second half “…Until the Freeze” showcases the depth of the Crowes musical influences.  The songs on this side of the record have a timeless feel and sensibility. I feel that this side of the album was a bit overlooked and would have been a strong contender for Roots/Americana music awards the year it was released.  My personal highlight of this album is the track “So Many Times,” which is a cover of a Chris Hillman penned tune for the Stephen Stills “Manassas”  project.  Chris and Rich deliver an intuitive brother vocal harmony performance that is reminiscent of the Louvin Brothers or Everly Brothers.  To top it off, guest multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell (Dylan, Phil Lesh, Levon Helm) delivers a beautiful pedal steel performance that sends this track to the next level. 

Erika Wennerstrom “Sweet Unknown” (2018)

There are so many great local albums that have come out over the last several years.  It would be hard not to leave someone out while writing this blog post so I have selected an album with a Dayton connection that has been in regular rotation. Erica Wennerstrom’s 2018 release “Sweet Unknown” often makes its way into my listening rounds. This album clocks in at almost an hour and nearly every song is over five minutes and all of them are wonderful. That is a lot to be said for me because nowadays albums with that long of a duration usually don’t hold my attention very well. For the guitarist in me this album features some of the most inspiring guitar work that I have heard in recent years. The songs are very atmospheric and contain many sonic layers.  It would be a goal of mine to make an album that had a fraction of these elements.  Seeing Erika and her band perform at Dayton Music Fest at the Brightside in 2019 was definitely a high point of my concert experiences for that year.

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Many thanks to Dan for sharing some of his musical journey with us!

If you would like to contribute to a future Short Takes essay, just let us know at drjytaa on gmail.com! Our contact us through this page. We would love to feature more artists and listeners of Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative!

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Best of 2019: Brandon Berry of The Paint Spats’ Picks and Thoughts

Best of 2019

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Misconstrued – Seth Gilliam & The Fake News

There hasn’t been one project that Seth has been a part of that hasn’t been astounding, and this album is no exception. I’d say the fella’s talented beyond his years, but I’m the same age and that would just make me depressed now, wouldn’t it?

 

Where Have I Been All Your Life? – John Dubuc’s Guilty Pleasures 61470138_554840258255776_5954152654669086720_o

John’s become one of my best friends over this past year. It all started because I told him that when I grow up, I want to be as good of a songwriter as him, and that’s the truth. I’ve never heard a record with such re-listen-ability-ness as this one. This record will live with you for a long time.

 

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What The Brokenhearted Do… – Tim Heidecker

This one blows my mind. Tim tricked us into thinking he got a divorce and wrote an entire record surrounding said divorce. He is the Andy Kaufman of music, a triple threat of awesome. Plus, he’s heavily influenced by Warren Zevon, which is no crime.

 

Bad Wiring – Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltagea0025309944_10

Because of my hankering for vinyl, a friend sent me the “LPs” music video from Jeffrey Lewis and I was enamored. This record has no shortage of great tunes, including “Except For The Fact That It Isn’t,” “Till Question Marks Are Told,” and “Exactly What Nobody Wanted.”

It’s easily become one of my favorite records of 2019.

 

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In League with Dragons  – The Mountain Goats

John Darnielle has been my biggest influence when it comes to my own songwriting. This album, in a way, feels like an experiment, or at least a divergence of style, which I love. There are a few country-esque tunes, and an 80s-inspired power ballad.

There’s adventure all across this one.

 

When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? – Billie EilishBillie_Eilish__When_We_All_Go_To_Sleep__Large

There is something dark and sinister that she’s bringing to the table that breaks up the monotony of the four-chord safety net that’s been implemented in pop music over the last few decades. Her live shows and music videos are out of this world. Billie gives me hope for music.

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Misery – Age Nowhere

Paul Monnin ripped me from my sad bachelor pad on Central in late 2018 to bring me to my first open mic in several years at Star City Brewing. I heard him play this before I knew anything about his band or his songwriting. I associate this tune with my entrance into the Dayton music scene, and it couldn’t have been a better one to remember it by.

 

 

a3408849665_10Transference – Overthought Musik

I am a firm believer of never moving the needle once it hits the grooves, but for some reason I break my own rule for this one. The whole record is a knockout, showcasing some of Dayton’s beloved heavyweights.

But this song, man. I can’t stop!

 

 

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Miami Memory – Alex Cameron

The fuzzed-out drums, the simple melodies and minimal musical distractions, Alex Cameron tells it like it is. The lyrics are dirty, comical, yet heartwarming, and the video just reinforces the point.

Every time I hear it, I feel like I’m falling in love all over again.

 

“What I Mean To You” – David Paynea1693069051_10 (1)

How can I make a best-of list and not include our good pal, David Payne? Like Nebraska before it, Orange Glow is an intimate record that gives you the sense that you’re being serenaded by a woeful traveler who shares the same heartbreak as you. After it’s over, all you can do is pour yourself – and your guest – a glass of whiskey and stare into the fireplace until the embers sizzle away with the sunrise’s orange glow. That’s what it means to me.

 

hqdefaultBrandon Berry is the sonic artist behind The Paint Splats. He loves long walks, sunsets and… just kidding he is a songwriter, videographer, photographer and visual artist who in his down time is watching VCR tapes and writing some of the catchiest indie and alt-country pop songs this side of the Mississippi. His latest record is Defacing the Moon, a split album with Mike Bankhead, available now. The Paint Splats are on twitter and instagram as @thepaintsplats.

Age Nowhere with a Great Cover Song!

Age Nowhere surprised Dr. J with a cover of ‘New Madrid’ from Uncle Tupelo’s last record Anodyne when they visited on March 19th of this year. The Jeff Tweedy penned song references the New Madrid fault which is south of St. Louis where Uncle Tupelo members Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar and Mike Heidorn grew up. The band hailed from Belleville Illinois which is across the river from St. Louis. The New Madrid fault is the location of one of the most powerful earthquakes in the United States. The line about rivers running backwards is taken from a result of the massive earthquake in 1812. Another line in the song was based on a prediction made by Browning that predicted a massive earthquake would strike the fault and surrounding area in 1990.

Allow us to set a scene. Imagine stepping in for a drink at a bar where Sticky Fingers era Keith Richards is hanging out with his Nudie Cohen Suit wearing pal Graham Parsons and a world weary Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. They are all sitting in a booth commenting on the passing musical fancies of the day. That is the experience of Age Nowhere! Imagine a true double guitar attack from Identical-twin brothers Matt and Dan Spaugy paired with smoky evocative lyrics sung by Paul Monin propelled by driving drums from Seth Gilliam and pounding bass of Matt Terry. That is the experience of Age Nowhere.The band takes it’s nom de plume from one of the standout tracks on Dayton’s own Shrug‘s 2005 record ‘Whole Hog For The Macho Jesus.’

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Age Nowhere with a Special Uncle Tupelo Cover!

Age Nowhere surprised Dr. J with a cover of ‘New Madrid’ from Uncle Tupelo’s last record Anodyne. The Jeff Tweedy penned song references The New Madrid fault which is south of St. Louis where Uncle Tupelo members Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar and Mike Heidorn grew up. The band hailed from Belleville Illinois which is across the river from St. Louis. The New Madrid fault is the location of one of the most powerful earthquakes in the United States. The line about rivers running backwards is taken from a result of the massive earthquake in 1812. Another line in the song was based on a prediction made by Browning that predicted a massive earthquake would strike the fault and surrounding area in 1990.

Allow us to set a scene. Imagine stepping in for a drink at a bar where Sticky Fingers era Keith Richards is hanging out with his Nudie Cohen Suit wearing pal Graham Parsons and a world weary Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. They are all sitting in a booth commenting on the passing musical fancies of the day. That is the experience of Age Nowhere! Imagine a true double guitar attack from Identical-twin brothers Matt and Dan Spaugy paired with smoky evocative lyrics sung by Paul Monin propelled by driving drums from Seth Gilliam and pounding bass of Matt Terry. That is the experience of Age Nowhere.The band takes it’s nom de plume from one of the standout tracks on Dayton’s own Shrug‘s 2005 record ‘Whole Hog For The Macho Jesus.’

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YTAA Goes Age Nowhere

52005916_2078455642245954_4536899964810297344_nAllow us to set a scene for our upcoming show on Tuesday. Imagine stepping in for a drink at a bar where Sticky Fingers era Keith Richards is hanging out with his Nudie Cohen Suit wearing pal Graham Parsons and a world weary Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. They are all sitting in a booth commenting on the passing musical fancies of the day.

That scene is the experience of Age Nowhere! Imagine a true double guitar attack from Identical-twin brothers Matt and Dan Spaugy paired with smoky evocative lyrics sung by Paul Monin propelled by driving drums from Seth Gilliam and pounding bass of Matt Terry. That is the experience of Age Nowhere.The band takes it’s nom de plume from one of the standout tracks on Dayton’s own Shrug‘s 2005 record ‘Whole Hog For The Macho Jesus.’

Join us for conversation, music and the Age Nowhere experience online at the usual website wudr.udayton.edu on Tuesday, March 19th from 3-6pm!

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