Tag Archive: “Anyway Records”

Another week rolls by and life’s got me feeling overworked, underpaid and less than appreciated. It doesn’t really vary from any other week I guess. Walking and driving in zombie-like states would probably have people glaring at me if they knew I was always tired. I haven’t been able to upload new music on my iPod so I’m stuck listening to the same regurgitated music I’ve been listening to. That’s usually until I get my ass to a computer. But there lies the rub. As soon as I get to a computer I gravitate towards varying podcasts even my friends don’t listen to. Damn the internet for making everything available to me worldwide! Regardless, I’m feeling… eclecticism coming on. Losing myself in multiple genres of music is what I’ve been doing this week. Sometimes I’ll get too comfortable with just one genre of music.  And so this Friday’s Roll Out begins…

Thirstin Square Crop
Thirstin Howl The 3rd

I’m pretty sure that Thirstin Howl The 3rd’s name is recognizable here. Now if you don’t know and are one of the uninitiated, sit down and we’ll break it all down for you. Victor DeJesus, better known by his stage name Thirstin Howl The 3rd has cut his teeth in underground Hip Hop circles closing in on two decades now. He’s toured the world, shared stages with those well and lesser known, and has released 11 albums, not including his new Skillmatic (Skillionaire Enterprises). The cover art seemingly parodies Nas’ groundbreaking Illmatic, but there’s a method to Howl’s madness. It’s not a true parody in art but possibly a nod to the greatness one album was, and how another may be viewed as well. Now it all depends on perspective though. In 2017 one might have a number of adjectives that an artist wouldn’t want to be associated with like misogynistic, self-gratuitous, etc. But I’m pretty sure Thirstin Howl The 3rd gives no fucks about it. Truth be told, Skillmatic is a throwback to a time when artists wrote lyrics right off the top of the head and performed on tracks that brought the true boom-bap. No shortcuts taken, just um, skill!

But Nas isn’t the only artist Howl gives a nod to because with the opener “Public Enemy” he and Master Fuol create their own rhythm and rebel against a system that’s unjust and corrosive. The feel of the track booms with relentless beat while Howl spits and shouts, showcasing his lyrical dexterity in both English and Spanish. He’s rallying against the system as P.E. did but with a finality. Fuol plays the Flava to his Chuck D. and the tag team is as effortless as it is looks and sounds. Skillmatic is rife with guest appearances though; Master Fuol continues with the assist but you also have Onyx’ Sticky Fingaz on “Crime Lord” where Howl, Fuol and Sticky bludgeon things with deliveries as strong as baseball bats and Timbs cracking down on heads. But it’s “Olde Gold Cypher” where you get an idea of what Thirstin Howl can accomplish with just a hypnotic beat and his voice alone. You can imagine blunts passed back and forth during studio sessions, blessing the track with a weed-induced clarity. If listeners are looking for something politically correct, they may want to skip “Wake Up In The Morning” which once again features Master Fuol but also includes Dre Brown.  It’s that true old school having these three spitting lyrics about beautiful women and what they can do. To them. The flow is just bananas and while their lyrics are rated X or NC-17, it just works.  It unexpectedly creeps into the title track where you find Mobb Deep’s Prodigy alongside Howl, both rapping about guns, and keeping things real. Over a mid-tempo’d beat wallowing in urban blight, we all know where this one goes. Both Howl and Prodigy are “Skillmatic” as they “turn this flow into dough.” Thirstin’ Howl The 3rd is no doubt internationally known, even featuring Japan’s Dak Lo on “Japan Style” where Howl shows love to Dak Lo, part of the extended Lo Life crew. The two volley back and forth and while Dak Lo raps in Japanese and my translation skills are nil, it still works. I can’t help but think how grimy this album sounds after listening to “Barberic Merits” because as I mentioned before, no fucks are given. Even with the sweet supporting vocals on the closing “I Will Always Be Right Here” there’s no removing that imagery of gritty urban life.  The Brownsville, Brooklyn rapper’s Skillmatic is something you won’t be able to help listening to over and over again. That is, if you’re strong enough and willing.

Now I’m sure you’re probably wondering, ‘What the hell is a Lizard McGee?’ Well, Lizard is the lead singer of the Columbus, Ohio band Earwig.   It’s hard to believe that the band has been going strong for 25 years in one form or another but here, Lizard McGee strips things down for a half hour of acoustic tracks in the form of Spooky Jets At A Distance (LFM/Anyway Records). One cannot simply mention Lizard without bringing up his band with this release. The majority of songs comprised here are reworked versions of Earwig’s 2016 release Pause For The Jets, which I didn’t realize until recently (It made sense why the songs sounded so familiar.) The fortitude of a song is measured in its acoustic counterpart, which for the most part, works here, and at moments sound better than versions with the full band. “Lover Chords” does that. It’s the nuance in every note and chord played that plays to Lizard’s vocal strengths. If you listen to it, that’s the point there. The counter parts are driving rock songs while here you get the laid back quieter versions. But the haunting “Bring Yrself 2 Me” works in either format but here, it’s just…spooky. I’m not certain if it’s the empty space that has me thinking that or just the way Lizard draws out the song. Repetitive but far from being repetitious. While “Wasted On You” doesn’t have Lydia Loveless’ additional vocals here doesn’t matter because the song can stand alone without her or a band. “Silverheels” though, the song stands apart from the original, without any added tricks, is a strong number. You can’t help but enjoy it. Spooky Jets At A Distance is clever counterpart to Pause For The Jets and bookshelf’s it perfectly.

Spooky Jets Cover
Lizard McGee

Now s this a Friday Roll Out…or is it just someone’s best kept secret? Aye Nako‘s new album Silver Haze quietly dropped in April. While there were sources that reviewed and/or premiered tracks, there hasn’t been very many mentions of the album or videos debuting. The nagging question I have is “Why?” Because I haven’t heard such sheer abandon to rock out and write great punk/pop songs in such a long time. I obviously should have ended this with that last sentence but continue reading if you’d like. A self-proclaimed queer punk band, Aye Nako spends its time writing melodic punk music in Brooklyn, NY.  and while Silver Haze isn’t the group’s first album, it sure sounds like it has that unrelenting fervor of a band just starting to hit their groove. Aye Nako classifies itself as a “queer punk band comprised of 4 weirdos writing dissonant and melodic punk music” but I only hear one amazing band that’s created its own niche on the punk continuum. The band does volley back and forth from male and female vocals and I’m usually quick to point out influences but with Aye Nako, it’s not that I can’t but rather, I just don’t want to. There’s a child-like innocence to the band when listening to “Half Dome.” You can’t help but feel a quick connection to their music. The sultry sounds of “Nightcrawler” has the band punctuating its music with elements that makes it sound more mature, way beyond their years. Not making sense? Imagine the band taking pop music lessons from other bands but then deciding they’re doing things their own way. That’s the attitude the band captures. They’re both sweet and sour, usually at the same time and songs like “Muck,” “Particle Mace” and “Spare Me” capture that feeling. Do I like this band? Nope, not at all. I love Aye Nako’s music. Silver Haze is one amazing piece of work these 4 weirdos have created.

Aye Nako
Aye Nako

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Thirstin Howl The 3rd: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram
Lizard McGee: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram
Aye Nako: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

 

 

 

 

The indie rock being pumped out in the 90s should unquestionably be considered as one of the best times in music. The constant hearty flow of bands surging onto the scene allowed fans to take stock and witness greatness unfolding before them. Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, WVWhite’s own Tyler Trent was able to fully get the opportunity to immerse himself into the decade-long run of stellar bands/artists/songs. Tyler also has had his father to fall back on and learn a thing or two (musician formerly a member of Gunshy Ministers and Bush League All-Stars).

After dropping an EP in January 2012 and their impressive debut LP in February 2014, WVWhite is set to release their sophomore LP House of Spiritual Athletes on April 21 via Anyway Records. Today, Ghettoblaster is proud to premiere the video for the single from the new album “Truth Is New”.

Moving onward with their mucky sound, it’s hard to not pick up on the guidance set forth from well-liked bands such as Pavement and Sleater-Kinney. All the way through “Truth Is New”, the reckless  nature of memories blasting those early scrubby 90s tunes are ever  present. WVWhite goes about it on their own terms, which is absolutely refreshing.

(Visit WVWhite here:
BANDCAMP: https://wvwhite.bandcamp.com/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/wvwhitemusic/)

Beautifully soaked melodies, her own established brand of pop-tinged rock-the tracks to singer/songwriter Mary Lynn’s latest album My Animal are simply too hard to resist.

The Columbus, Ohio musician recently has stepped out on her own after near decade run with her previous band This Is My Suitcase.  My Animal offers up songs on love, growing pains, and relationships that essentially captures Lynn’s vulnerability in a powerful way that’s can be true to her.

Mary Lynn partnered with mixing engineer Bill Moriarty (Man Man, Dr Dog) to help bring My Animal into the true sonic animal it is. And Mary Lynn says her music is just what she strives to be: “Real; Honest; Human; Myself”.

Check out the video for “Space”:

My Animal was nationally released on September 23, 2016 through Anyway Records.

(Visit Mary Lynn here: http://songsbymarylynn.com/)

Since the year 2000, Ghettoblaster has been putting out a quarterly print magazine.  For Ghettoblast from the Past, we look back at the bands and artists that were showcased within these pages.

From Issue 41, Remote Control/Milk Records Courtney Barnett.  Words by Chad Wells.

Also from Issue 41, Anyway Records Kyle Sowashes.  Words by Tim Anderl.

Court-Kyle (2)

To subscribe to Ghettoblaster Magazine or to pick up this issue, head over to our In Print page.

Based out of Columbus, OH, singer-songwriter Mary Lynn is armed with a rock band, her heart, and a force of pop energy.­  Her debut release on Anyway Records proves she has the superpower ability to spin a phrase with the catchiest hooks imaginable.

Her former band of nearly a decade, This Is My Suitcase, released three records of noise-­inflected art pop before the band decided to move on, leaving Mary Lynn to pursue her own music. Following up from the heartfelt pop diary that was her first solo album, Familiar Things & Places, her upcoming release strikes a louder, braver pose.

Drenched in beautiful melodies and vulnerability, My Animal dives confidently into deep emotional territory while maintaining a unique pop-­rock energy that consistently surprises. Her strong melodies soar above the painful experiences that birthed them; all while sticking to listener’s minds like glue. Quite simply, My Animal is full of terrific pop-rock-and-roll hits.

“The album, to me, is truly a force of energy.  It’s about movement and growing and feeling alive. It’s full of highs and lows and glimmers of hope. These are songs I wrote with my rock band in mind, but still coming straight from my heart.”

Mary Lynn partnered with mixing engineer Bill Moriarty (Man Man, Dr Dog) to help bring My Animal into the true sonic animal it is. And Mary Lynn says her music is just what she strives to be: “Real; Honest; Human; Myself.

My Animal will be nationally released on September 23rd, 2016 through Anyway Records.

Here’s the first single off of My Animal, “Two and Two”.

St. Lenox (photo by Eric Falk)
St. Lenox (photo by Eric Falk)

St. Lenox is the project of Columbus, Ohio’s Andrew Choi. Categorized as folktronica, r&b and jazz, he has performed nationally, appearing at CMJ and MidPoint Music Festival. His debut album, 10 Songs About Memory and Hope has received critical praise from NPR and Dusted Magazine, and John Darnielle, of the Mountain Goats, called him a “lyricist of the highest order.”

Today Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering a live video for “You’re Not Here,” done as part of the Mug & Brush sessions, which also included Lydia Loveless and Connections. This is what Choi told us about it:

“An interesting anecdote about that song in the Mug & Brush video – I actually performed it live, on the season premiere of Season 3 of a show called Extreme Cheapskates, on TLC, serenading a couple going on a date.  The producers cut everything except for maybe the first five seconds of the song.  So, this is the full version of that song.”

Watch it here:

(Visit St. Lenox here: http://www.facebook.com/st.lenox.)

The Kyle Sowashes
The Kyle Sowashes

2015 got radical with the announcement that Anyway Records (St. Lenox, Connections, Guided By Voices, The Ass Ponys) would be releasing the latest by The Kyle Sowashes, titled Everybody, on April 28 (today!).

It was like Columbus-based writer Kevin J. Elliott read our minds when he had this to say about Sowash and the band:

“It would be easy for me to start by saying every fertile music scene in America has a Kyle Sowash to call its own. He’s the integral, overambitious, indie-rock everyman responsible for bringing to town bands that, barring his begging, would otherwise pass on by. He’s the fervent local enthusiast always in the front row, even on a wintry Tuesday. His floor’s been infinitely crashed upon, his bank account tapped from self-financed/self-made tours of the country — basically he’s racked up enough D.I.Y. karma points that you’re obligated to buy his new record Everybody on his good works alone. Sowash’s selfless moral character may be common in places like Cleveland, Portland, Athens, and Chapel Hill, but his style, his demeanor and his songs are distinctly Columbus, Ohio.

Normally, naming a band after oneself is a shallow stroke of ego (e.g., Steve Miller, Bob Seger), but for Kyle Sowash, it couldn’t be any other way. After slaving over a decade’s worth of unrecognized lo-fi indie anthems, he deserves a complete, full-throttle band to flesh out his earnest ballads and scrappy pop songs.

The Kyle Sowashes are a supergroup of sorts, composed of four dynamic players assembled from formidable Ohio bands such as 84 Nash, SPD GVNR and The Cabdrivers, but each is channeling a little Kyle Sowash on Everybody.

Recorded in August 2014 in Columbus, Ohio by Keith Hanlon, Everybody’s 16 songs are straight out of the indie rock cookbook. Tracks like the propulsive “King Shit of Fuck Mountain” and “The Day You Called Me Captain” are fortified with extra heft and sonic vision, but they retain the goofy charm and sharp hooks that have defined Sowash’s career.

Sowash readily admits his debt to indie rock’s golden age. Everybody is a study in the work of bands such as Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, Silkworm and Pavement–but he draws on those influences judiciously. In other words, this is no tribute album. While “Irrelevant” and “Richmond, VA” will certainly signal a nostalgic flag, the themes are distinctly Columbus, distinctly Kyle Sowash. This album makes getting older and longing for the mid-’90s sound fun… It’s time to get your beard ready again!”

To celebrate the release, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering the video for “King Shit of Fuck Mountain,” which was directed by Mike Postalakis.  For a more family friendly version of the song, see the album’s alternative cut, “King Chip of Fudge Mountain.”  Enjoy:

The Kyle Sowashes – King Shit of Fuck Mountain (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO) from mike postalakis on Vimeo.

(Visit The Kyle Sowashes here: http://thekylesowashes.bandcamp.com

See the band live here:

FRI MAY 1 – COLUMBUS, OH @ ACE OF CUPS
SAT MAY 2 – CLEVELAND, OH @ EUCLID TAVERN
MON JUNE 8 – COLUMBUS, OH @ TREE BAR
TUE JUNE 9 – DAYTON, OH @ BLIND BOB’S
WED JUNE 10 – ST LOUIS, MO @ FOAM
THU JUNE 11 – TULSA, OK @ SOUNDPONY
FRI JUNE 12 – LITTLE ROCK, AR @ TBA
SAT JUNE 13- TUSCALOOSA, AL @ EGAN’S
THU JULY 23 – PITTSBURGH, PA @ HOWLER’S
FRI JULY 24 – BROOKLYN, NY @ PETE’S CANDY STORE)

Winter Makes Sailors (photo by Alison Rose Nocera)

Sean Gardner, the multi-instumentalist and vocalist behind Winter Makes Sailors has long been a staple in the robust and diverse Columbus music scene. Racking up an impressive rock resume including stints with Denovo, Kopaz, Melty Melty, The Kyle Sowashes, Bookmobile and The Receiver, Winter Makes Sailors is Gardner’s most individualistic endeavor – sometimes so individualistic that Gardner is the only player on stage. Simple songs, simple chords, and simple changes can be expected from a band that starts in the bedroom and ends up on the stage as a big, thick, formidable indie-rock machine.

In anticipation of their latest record,  Moving On (out on Anyway Records and We Want Action on April 26), Ghettoblaster caught up with vocalist Sean Gardner to discuss what he appreciates most about being a musician.  This is what he said.

What do you enjoy most about being a musician?

There is so much to love about being a musician. I love the process of writing a song, recording a song, and then sharing that song. It’s exciting to hear an idea turn into a recording. I love the friends that I’ve made through playing music. If you think about it, it’s like a bunch of like-minded people taking turns sharing ideas with each other and really putting themselves out there to do just that. People sacrifice so much to be a part of the music scene. Whether it’s lending their floor for a touring band or quitting a job to tour. The whole community is about making stories, friends, and as many good songs as you can. The best part is that you can contribute as much or as often as you want for as long as you want. Anybody doing it for any other reason isn’t doing it right.

What is your favorite instrument to play and why?

My favorite instrument is the guitar. My songs sound better with guitar. I know it well enough now that I’m comfortable on it, so my ideas don’t get caught up in trying to find the right chords like they used to. The guitar is warm and it’s mood can change with mine. Every guitar has its own voice because of it’s age and feel and style. They can be cheap or collectible but they all bring something to the table.

Do you prefer performing or recording music?

I prefer performing music. I’ve always thought of myself more as a performer. I love engaging an audience, the romance of being in a bar, playing songs even when nobody is listening. Recording is great and I love it dearly. But, sometimes I get so caught up in the little things that I forget the point of what I was trying to accomplish. The performance forces you to simplify and I truly believe that the best songs are the easiest.

What is the best compliment someone has given you about your music?

That’s a tough question. I don’t know that one compliment supersedes another. This kid Calvin started coming to shows with his Dad because he saw me open for Damien Jurado. His dad is awesome and loves good music. Calvin is nine or ten. I think when he comes to a show at 11pm and can keep his eyes open long enough to watch, that’s pretty awesome.

What is a milestone that you were able to accomplish with your most recent album that you’d never achieved before?

Some of the songs on this record are almost ten years old. I feel like the fact that I finally finished it and pressed it is the accomplishment. While this collection of songs sat in the background, I helped write, record and support seven other records with 5 other bands. I’ve stayed busy with numerous projects since I started playing music. But, I feel like now I’ve found my happy place…at least for awhile.

What is your favorite song on that record?

The songs on this record are road worn and have been played with dozens of different musicians. Winter Makes Sailors has always been me with a rotating, supporting cast until this last year. Now I have an incredible unstoppable band. I have so many memories of these songs from the different recorded versions to the different venues and cities they’ve been played in. I think the title track is my favorite.

It sums up what I was trying to accomplish with my music back when I wrote it. It can be played solo or with the full band and it’s always fun and seems to leave a mark on people. The version on the record is fairly well orchestrated and sounds ambient, powerful and swooning. It’s dynamic, melodic, yet super simple. It’s exactly what I was going for.

Where is your favorite place to perform?

Well, I’ve favored a few places in my hometown of Columbus. I’ve been really supported by a few venues especially. I love Kobo and the Tree Bar (Andyman’s Treehouse). They are each charming in their own way and the owners are the best, most supportive bar owners I’ve had the privilege to work with. The owners are musicians and understand what both performers and audience members want and need to enjoy a show. Ace of Cups is a great new place to play too. I play those the most. I think my favorite venue is Comfest. It doesn’t always sound great, and loading is a bitch. But, it’s a yearly outdoor LOCAL music festival in downtown Columbus. It lasts for 3 days, there are several stages, tons of musicians and artists, kids and dogs everywhere. It’s in the middle of the summer and everyone is hanging out in the grass, drinking, smiling, catching-up since the previous year’s Comfest. I always run into really old friends. People come home for Comfest.

Who is the best/most fun artist/band you’ve ever performed on the same bill with?

At this point, I’ve shared the stage with a lot of old heroes. But one of the most memorable shows was with Les Savy Fav. My old band, Denovo, opened for them at this short-lived venue called The Music Factory. The place was packed, the energy was high and we played a hell of a show. Then, Les Savy Fav took the stage. Not only the catchiest record of 2003, with witty, hilarious lines, but the performance of the band is on another level. I’ve seen them several times, but this show was incredible. I used the fact that I opened for them to stand backstage to watch the show so that I could see better. I watched Tim (the singer) take the glasses off of a kid up front and put them on a random girl, hang the mic cable from the ceiling and swing from it. At one point he disappeared in the crowd to pop up on top of the bar in the back (50 ft from stage). Then he dismantled a light in the ceiling, put it on the floor behind me and had me do the egyptian dance with my arms in front of a curtain so that I looked like an egyptian shadow puppet. Yeah…and they nailed every song.