Best of 2019: Gladgirl Shelly Hulce’s Picks and Thoughts

downloadThe whole Maganaphone / Reel Love Studio or as I refer to them “Dayton’s own awesome Wrecking Crew” is going to be well-covered in a list for 2019! To be honest there are  probably multiple crossover’s on local lists, but I’m going off the grid here with my faves that are IN ADDITION to the amazing music coming out of Reel Love.

Let’s start with the NON LOCAL NOD’S:
“Who” by The Who was an incredible return to form!220px-The_Black_Keys_-_Let's_Rock
“Let’s Rock” by Black Keys* (*see nod to the Gabbard bros on my local list to tie this in.) was a powerful record.
“Internet Arms” by Diane Coffee was mesmerizing while sound fresh and connected to musical past and traditions.
“In the Morse Code of Brake Lights” by The New Pornographers was a biting record with melody and energy. (NOTE: January 29, Diane Coffee joins up with The New Pornographers as openers on the current tour!)

LOCAL NOD’S:
The Gabbard Brothers have had a head-spinning year, together and separately.
Joining the touring band of The Black Keys on the “Lets Rock” tour did not slow them down on self releases. I will do my best to count them all, and it’s A LOT!
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Andy Gabbard:
Under the artist name Strawberry Tapes, he released “Strawberry Tapes “Vol. 1” “
As Andy Gabbard he released the following:
“Trancer”
“Cedar City Sweetheart” and performed live as “Andy Gabbard and the Cool Ranchers”

With M.Ross Perkins, Andy created the digital release of “Gabbard + Perkins” a self titled sweet LP, featuring local favorite “Donuts at Bills”, a love note to the Centerville, Ohio institution, Bills Donuts.
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With Gabbard Brothers (Zack + Andy)
Single digital release, “Sell Your Gun, Buy A Guitar” was published while they toured in The Black Keys which tells you a little something about their fantastic work ethic and ability to craft a great song.

Zach Gabbard:
One of the many Gabbard Brothers productions from Zach’s Madison, Ohio farm studio, “Howler Hills”, comes his latest project “Sunday Creek Fed Birds”, released on the Gabbard Brothers home label, Sofaburn.

Seth-Canan

Other fave local releases from this past year included:
Black Sire self titled LP “Black Sire”
Seth Canan and Carriers “Strange Forces”

 

From D.Robins (Derl) Overthought Musik label comes the amazing “Album”, the brain child of Robins for the first annual “Local Music Day” event. This LP features many favorite local artists as guest vocalists and instrumentalists in roles you would not expect.

a3408849665_10Another fave is all the Overthought Musik releases of Derl’s, (D.Robins), self performed and produced projects recorded under his pen name “Peopleperson”, he set out between March and September of 2019 to re-release his past work, as he states, “for your pleasure/confusion.” His trademark Dayton Surf sound, as we came to love in The Motel Beds days, is ever present in the Dayton Music Scene, but with more electronica thrown in for good measure.

Over on the Gas Daddy Go label, the mind bending, sonic collage, “Land Baron of Barren Lands” from Don Thrasher’s electronic music project Crossfade Rivals was something to behold. A sound collage featuring a veritable powerhouse of local musicians.

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The Rockathon Label is still churning out more GBV releases than I can count (or afford), 3 GBV LP’s (Zeppelin Over China was a double LP), and Pollard side project as “Cash Rivers” rounds out 2019. GBV closes out the decade with a sold out NYE show in LA at the Teragram Ballroom tackling a 100 song set list. This team always wins at the rock games. GBV records will be on my top records lists every year, because they never stop.

Self released “Mobile Juke House Theater” by blues phenom, Noah Wotherspoon also needs to be included on a ‘Best Of’ list for the year.

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From Poptek Records comes the long awaited, sophomore release from XL427, “Thee Attack”. Although officially release date is in January of ’20, digital releases have been served up via bandcamp during the pre-order phase. This attack was well worth the wait from bandleader and label runner, Andy Ingram.

So about the Reel Love / Magnaphone tsunami, I’ll step out for a second and tell all of you that I love all the faves that will be mentioned repeatedly on other lists (Amber Hargett, Dave Payne, and the like dominating the scene at the moment, I have to speak some of these titles, lest I blaspheme in the temple, number one being “Easy Is the New Hard” by Shrug).

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And I still get a huge endorphin rush from “The Transformation of Salvador Ross”.
Fun fun fun from John Dubuc’s Guilty Pleasures “Where Have I Been All Your Life” and the debut LP from The Paint Splats. (DANG IT, I said I wouldn’t overlap into Reel Love/ Magnaphone but it’s too hard not to do that when the music coming out from them is so good.) Okay, since I crossed over, I will end with this last fave, “Sympathetic Buzz” from the Tim Pritchard project, Superbloom.
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Shelly Hulce is THE Gladgirl in the Dayton Music Community who in addition to creating and promoting a wide variety of shows and specialty experiences, she writes about music, started Story Slam and related Story Telling in Dayton and is an active radio presence throughout the Miami Valley including as a DJ on WSWO Oldies 97.3 FM. She is a Freelance AFCI Certified Film Commissioner. Her artwork is also featured at local exhibitions and of course, cool rock concerts and shows. She is on twitter at @TheGladGirl.

Best of 2019: Jeremy Siegrist’s Picks and Thoughts

Hindsight is always 2020

GEA - C21ILLC Final-8Well, here we are, the end of another year is upon us. If you’re like I am, you are fighting to break out of your self-imposed  echo chamber which you have ensconced yourself in and (possibly) you are thoroughly convinced life as you know it is falling apart. Yes, 2019 has been one of “those” years. As we all watch the worlds political systems, economies and climates stretch and strain under the forces that be, it is easy to fall into a state of hopelessness and despair.  For a great many of us, however, the thing that keeps us upright and a productive part of society is an unnatural reliance upon popular music, rock n roll in particular,  and the almost mystical way it seems to be able to make life bearable. Almost like a gigantic connective web covering the world, for those of us who are tuned in, music is the prime mover, the voice of generations, the highest form of expression and ultimately, the reason behind it all. Like legendary Who guitarist Pete Townsend said, “… the elegance of pop music [is] that it [is] reflective: we were holding up a mirror to our audience and reflecting them philosophically and spiritually, rather than just reflecting society or something called ‘rock n roll.’”  Indeed, this is the way it was then when The Who was at the forefront of new music and the way it still is now.

Fortunately for almost everyone,  I am not prone to writing long pieces extemporaneously, but initially and for reasons unknown, I was asked by my friend Art Jipson, (a Dayton Ohio music legend in his own right), to write a small piece on what I have been listening to this past year and write a couple of review lines about each of the artists. Not being someone who routinely turns legends down, I agreed to the project and found that in attempting to put the piece together I was  forced into deep water asking myself why was it exactly I was listening to what I was listening to. Why was I drawn to things I was drawn to and what did they truly mean to me? The truth is, I’m not sure I came up with any solid answers and I definitely did no music reviewing in the process of writing this article, but here are some things I think are worth mentioning.

2019, for all intents and purposes, was a year of great  turmoil in the United States. Social GEA - C21ILLC Final-113upheaval and political division was at an all time high and I have found that with only a few notable exceptions, artists from previous eras have become suddenly and starkly relevant again in a way that has never happened for many of us before. For instance, 2019 saw the release of the album Colorado by Neil Young, which is objectively an amazing piece of artistry and social commentary. Take into evidence the song “Shut It Down” where the venerable Mr. Young sings:

“All around the planet There’s a blindness that just can’t see Have to shut the whole system down They’re all wearing climate change  As cool as they can be”

I was, and am, immediately drawn to this album for reasons other than just being a decidedly die hard and zealous Neil Young fan. There are things afoot which we haven’t dealt with in many years and they are starting to show in the edges of the musical spectrum of rock-n-roll.

The Drive By Truckers, the die hard stalwart hardest working rock band in the business, this year released a single and a teaser for they upcoming album with the titles being respectively, Perilous Night and Armageddon’s Back In Town. My friends, there are things moving, whether you want them to or not, which we have not seen in many years. In Perilous Night, Patterson Hood sings:

“Dumb, white and angry with their cup half filled

Running over people down in Charlottesville

White House Fury, it’s the killing side, he defends

Defend the up-ender, yes he played that tune

it ain’t the ending but it’s coming soon

 

We’re making love beneath a sputnik moon again

White House is glowing from the Red Square light

The gates at the border being slammed down tight

We’re moving into the perilous night, my friend” 

These are heady and potentially dangerous times, and Rock N Roll, maybe even all of pop music, is standing in the gap ice again ready to take up the cause. Yes, there were many albums released this year and singles which have absolutely nothing to do with the general climate in the world, for instance (and I am showing my age here) Juliana Hatfield, and Swervedriver both released albums this past year. However, I find myself continually drawn back to music which is speaking to our times, even when those times are from years which have seemingly passed out of relevance.

Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Drive By Truckers are all in my rotation on a constant basis now because they are in the process of capturing a point in time for me. I need to post a disclaimer for everyone who has made it this far in the article. I am not living some sort of 60’s battle reenactment; (This is a line from a Frank Turner song, if you don’t know him you should look him up). I am suddenly and very acutely aware at this point in history we, in this country, and on this planet, are watching huge tectonic plates grinding and moving against one another in a way that has not been seen in many many moons. Put your antenna up friends, the truth is out there and it’s starting to be sung about out on the fringes.

Ultimately, however, and when I finally pull my mind away from the morass of the public spectacle in front of us, I gravitate back towards the people and places I love and am familiar with. For instance, local bands Like Seth Canan and The Carriers, The Boxcar Suite and the 1984 Draft.  Artists like Charlie Jackson and Amber Hartgett, and really everything Patrick Himes touches, are always somewhere in my headspace leaving sonic trails through the synapses. I miss Tom Petty more and more every day and wish I could let it all go again but did you hear? Rage Against the Machine is coming back for one more go. Coincidence? I suspect as we roll into the next year we will see an even greater resurgence of politically and socially charged music and lyrics and I for one think it is long overdue. In this case, hindsight is truly 2020.

JeremyJeremy Siegrist describes himself as “a no one, from no where, in a small band in Ohio called The Typical Johnsons, who are making as much noise is as humanly possible from his low low vantage point.”  https://twitter.com/TypicalJohnsons @TypicalJohnsons Typical Johnsons Fan Club & Website Their latest song ‘Wreckage’ is available on all platforms. We recommend checking out The Typical Johnsons’ page on bandcamp