Tag Archive: “Gas Daddy Go!”

Jasper the Colossal is a three piece rock band from Dayton, Ohio. Consisting of Paige Beller (lead vocals/bass), Sarah Kouse (drums/backing vocals), and Moriah Yux (guitar/backing vocals), the band has self-released two efforts (Prehistoric EP and Liar LP), which has culminated in a loyal and rowdy fan base. While JTC’s sound has changed a bit over the years, what remains steadfast is their punk rock spirit with danceable indie grooves.

Jasper’s latest LP, Take Your Time, will also be self-released with help from Gas Daddy Go! Records (the label of Don Thrasher, formerly of Swearing At Motorists and Guided By Voices). Take Your Time shows a different side of JTC and hints at things to come. It will be available February 26, 2016, through Gas Daddy Go!, and on I-Tunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, and more.

RIYL: Be Your Own Pet, Bloc Party, Chumped, Worriers, Lemuria, Girl In A Coma, Hunter Valentine

To celebrate the release, JTC has shared their video for “I’m Awake.” The clip was directed by low-budget indie auteur Henrique Couto. Enjoy:

(Visit the band here: www.jasperthecolossal.com.)

The New Old-Fashioned
The New Old-Fashioned

The New Old-Fashioned is a rock and roll and alt-country band from Dayton, Ohio. Led by vocalist and songwriter David Payne, the voices and instruments of Kent Montgomery (guitar), Tom Blackbern (bass) and Matt Oliver (drums) are very present in the New Old-Fashioned’s signature sound: big, choral vocal harmonies atop a thick Americana backdrop.

Recently the band released their latest, Hilltops & Highways, a split with The Repeating Arms for Gas Daddy Go Records, a label based in their hometown. Ghettoblaster had the pleasure of asking vocalist/guitarist David Payne about the endeavor.

When did you come up with the idea for the split with The Repeating Arms?

We’ve been tossing around the idea of doing something with those guys for quite awhile now, but I guess it’s been a little over a year since we really decided what we were going to do.

What is it about your sounds that compliments each other?

Well, I think both bands are heavily influenced by American roots music. Ya know, country, folk, early rock and roll, etc. Both bands are also very like minded, song oriented bands, but I think what really made this project a success is our close friendship. Those guys are like our brothers. We had a great time working together on this and I think it shows in the final product.

Were your tracks for this effort written and recorded specifically with the split in mind?

Yes and no. The songs were all recorded by Max of The Repeating Arms, specifically for this release. The tracks were then mastered by Micah Carli, who we had already been working with on our upcoming full length album.

As far as the songwriting goes, “My Heart Still Loves You,” “Honey,” and “Radio Waves” were all songs Kent, Harold, and I had been sitting on for a bit. The songs hadn’t found their way onto another record yet, and we felt they’d be strong choices for the split. “You Loved Me Before” is a song that Harold and I co-wrote for the split. He came to me with an idea and we finished it together. It was a lot of fun getting to write with Harold. He’s one of my favorite singer/songwriters in the world.

The final and most collaborative track, “Some Nights,” is a song I wrote specifically with this project in mind. I wrote the song on the Sunday morning after we played the release show for The Repeating Arms full length album, Blackberry Winter. I was online the next morning writing my usual “Thanks for coming. What a great night of music!” post and also reading everyone else’s, when I realized what a common occurrence this is on a Sunday morning in Dayton. We have the opportunity to play some great shows, in some great places, to some great audiences. There is such a strong sense of community in the Dayton music scene. That song is about how grateful we are for that.

When did Gas Daddy Go get involved?

Pretty early on, actually. Kent and I had met with Don Thrasher from the label, to talk about a different project we were about to release. I told him our idea about doing a collaborative EP with The Repeating Arms and asked him if it was something Gas Daddy Go would be interested in putting out. He said yes without skipping a beat. Don has always been super supportive of our music and was very patient while we got this thing together.

What formats is this available on?

It’s available on CD from Omega Music in Dayton, Toxic Beauty Records in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and online at the Gas Daddy Go Bandcamp page. It’s also available in digital formats at gasdaddygo.bandcamp.com.

You’ve got some big live events coming up later this year.  Are you excited to play with J Roddy Walston and to play the Dayton Music Fest?

We’re super excited to play with J. Roddy Walston and The Business on August 12 at Oddbody’s in Dayton. A couple of our guys are big fans of the band and it’s great to see such a solid national rock and roll act coming to our hometown. Stoked to be a part of it! As for Dayton Music Fest, it’s been an annual highlight just about every year we’ve been playing so far. Our 2013 set at the Tumbleweed helped mark a big step forward for our band and is still to this day one of my favorite show’s we’ve ever played. We’re excited to see how the new format plays out and we get to share one hell of a bill at Blind Bob’s with some of our favorite acts in town.

Also, look for our sophomore, full-length record, Low Down Dirty Summer Nights, later this summer or early this fall!

Enjoy a stream of the split below:

 

Smug Brothers (photo by Jay Woessner)
Smug Brothers (photo by Jay Woessner)

’90s era indie rock and power pop is deeply embedded in the DNA of Dayton, Ohio’s Smug Brothers and for good reason.  Principal songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Kyle Melton spent the ’00s fronting unsung indie heroes Montgomery Greene, and some might recognize drummer Don Thrasher from such luminaries as Guided By Voices and Swearing At Motorists.  Additionally, both gentlemen have been the city’s predominant historians, telling the tales of rock greatness in Dayton Daily News, Dayton’s alt-weekly, and the Buddha Den music blog for well over a decade.

Teaming with guitarist Brian Baker (also of Brat Curse and Astro Fang) and newbee bassist Larry Evans (this is his first recording with the band) for their latest, Woodpecker Paradise, the quartet have clearly hit their stride.  Recorded with Motel Bed and former member Darryl Robbins, the band are set to release the album during a hometown show at Blind Bob’s on February 21, releasing the album via Thrasher’s Gas Daddy Go! label.

Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of sharing the band’s video for “Meet A Changing World.”

We recently caught up with vocalist/guitarist Kyle Melton to discuss the song.

Was there a particular catalyst or experience that inspired the narrative for this song?

Not that I recall, but the lyrics  were written sometime? around 2002-2003. The title was only added in 2013, when the demo was included in a batch of about 40 songs I gave to the band called “The Solitary Hive.” There were a few more lines written at the end as well, which I cut later. I look at it as a way of reflecting on how life tends to get more complicated as you go on, that maybe you had fewer obstacles in the way when you were younger and things seemed simpler. Whether it is true or isn’t, things always change and you have to find a way to deal with that. That’s what I get out of it. But anyone can bend the narrative for their own needs and I’m fine with that.

What was the composition or writing process like for this song?  Did it change at all in the studio?

The original demo I recorded on my hand-held cassette recorder on an electric guitar and my little Marshall micro-amp, which is great for demoing, sometime in like 2004-2005. It had a decidedly heavier spin, pretty fast and punky. That’s the demo I gave to the guys, but when we went to work it up as a group – this was our first attempt with our current line-up to work up a song – it went a completely different direction. That is one thing I always enjoy, when my sketch turns out to be wrong for the group that learns it, so we roll with what the group comes up with. I’m always willing to admit my initial idea isn’t what the song requires. So, we played it that way all last year live, so when we went in to record with Robbins, we just knocked it out live the way we had been doing it in one take. Pretty painless.

Are there overarching themes or ideas you are hoping to communicate with the album?

?Not intentionally, really, as these songs have been around for up to 10 years. I think it’s the same kinds of things I’m always looking at: figuring out how to come to terms with this world, what might be beyond this world, maybe we could figure out better ways to do things, seeing the various beauties and beasts all around us in an interesting way. Sometimes just writing fiction and playing with imagery and the way words sound. Nothing specific. It’s completely open to interpretation and the listener can make it whatever they need it to be.

Who did the video and how do you believe it complements the song?

?We met John Keefer through Facebook channels over the past couple years and he does film shorts on his 51Deep site [51Deep.com]. We wanted a video for “Meet A Changing World” and I asked him if he would do it. We just kinda gave him carte blanche and this was his interpretation of what we did. I find there are some very haunting scenes and some interesting other-worldly passages that are pretty cool. It’s pretty tripped out and makes you think on some level, whatever your interpretation and resulting findings might be is fine with us. Smug Brothers are always open to interpretation.

(Visit Smug Brothers here: https://www.facebook.com/smugbros.)

The New Old-Fashioned
The New Old-Fashioned

The New Old-Fashioned is a rock and roll and alt-country band from Dayton, Ohio. Led by vocalist and songwriter David Payne, the voices and instruments of Kent Montgomery (guitar), Tom Blackbern (bass) and Matt Oliver (drums) are very present in the New Old-Fashioned’s signature sound: big, choral vocal harmonies atop a thick Americana backdrop.

Upon first listen, TNOF’s primary influences will become apparent: picture the heartland rock of Tom Petty or the Old 97’s paired with the big vocals of the Beach Boys or Queen. The band’s latest release, the 7″ single “Ladies” b/w “Indie Movie Scenes,” show’s off the band’s diversity in both tone and tempo. The A-Side begins as a tender country-swing ballad before breaking into an easy mid-tempo swirl of guitars, organ and harmonies. The B-side, in contrast, is all jangle-pop muscle: it’s easily the band at its fastest and hardest, delivering a Queen-level finish overtop pounding punk rock drums. The single was recorded with producer Patrick Himes (Ryan Adams, Gillian Welch, Shrug, Bonneville) at Reel Love Recording Company in Nashville, TN, who helped thicken the band’s sound and also provided organ and additional guitar.

As of late the band has been building a considerable following during regional touring in support of the 7″. Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Payne to talk about their influences, the importance of building friendships on the road, working with Himes and more. This is what he told us.

Weren’t you a bit of a solo artist before form The New Old-Fashioned?

Well, Matt, our drummer, and I started our first serious band right out of high school. When that band broke up in 2008, I started booking some solo shows just out of a need to keep writing and performing. I had every intention of starting another band as soon as the opportunity arose until…

One of my very first solo gigs was opening up for my friends The Story Changes. Mark and Poppy were both really responsive to what I was doing with my solo work and invited me to open up the acoustic stage at their annual HoliDayton showcase. That’s where I met Joe Anderl, who was still playing mostly solo at the time. After speaking with and seeing Joe perform that night (That performance is still to this day one of my favorite and most influential sets I’ve ever seen.) I started to realize that you could give a compelling performance and have success as a solo artist.

So, I cut a solo album with the help of my good friend Dustin and started playing as many shows as I could in support of it. Meanwhile, Kent, our guitar player, was in the same position. His first band broke up the same summer and he was playing solo shows as well. So, we started playing a lot of shows together, which eventually lead to us playing sets as a duo. That situation naturally evolved into us wanting to start a band together.

What was it about the chemistry you found with these guys that encouraged you to make it a band?

We’ve all known each other for a long time. Kent and Tom are cousins and Matt and I have been best friends since we were twelve years old. We all grew up in the same town, went to the same high school, and sang in the same choir. These guys are my best friends in the world.

It doesn’t hurt that they’re all great and unique players either. They surprise me all the time by continuing to raise the bar for themselves and our band. Playing solo has its own rewards but for me, there is nothing like playing loud rock-n-roll music with your best friends in front of people who want to hear you. That’s home for me.

Did your parents expose you to music at early ages? What experiences helped to shape your individual output?

None of us really come from musical families, but we did all have music around growing up. Two of the most important parts of my musical development came from my mother and my grandmother. Neither know a whole lot about music; they just really enjoy listening to it. When I was a kid, my grandma had this cassette tape in her mini van. It was a collection of all the Billboard number ones from 1957, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, all the greats from the late 50’s. Those songs remain some of my favorites to this day. I recently gave a CD reissue of that collection to my grandma as a gift. It was a really great moment for both of us.

Another big influence was my mom’s love for The Beatles. When I was an early teenager it seemed like they were the only thing she was listening to. I remember she would sing along to the harmony parts, which fascinated me at the time. I think it was because I was just starting to really become aware of melody and harmony and how important they can be. I love her more than she’ll ever know for that.

I know the other guys have similar experiences as well. I remember growing up, Matt’s Dad would always have bands like Pink Floyd and CCR on his old turntable. I’ve heard Kent tell stories about singing Tom Petty and Rolling Stones songs with his parents at a really early age. Tom got a lot of his early music in the church with his mom and still to this day will lend his own skills to the church band on occasion.

Another huge influence for all four of us is our high school choir director, Mark Manley. He taught us the important parts of making music as a group, instead of just individuals. He taught us musical skills like dynamics and control. In addition, he taught us how to have the discipline to work hard and push us ourselves to make music at the height of our ability and to do it with passion. We’re forever grateful for that.

The band has been busy as of late with regional touring. What have been your favorite experiences on the road?

Well, we’ve been doing as much as we can. We’re sort of on the weekend warrior circuit right now, with full time jobs and what not. We have hit a few different regional markets though. We have had some really good shows in Columbus.

Our favorite experience outside of the Dayton area was probably this last trip out to Springfield, IL and Muncie, IN. Everyone treated us so well and we made new friends in both towns.

As our network expands, it make it a lot easier. The support of others is crucial on the road. Whether that be family and friends giving you food and lodging, the other bands welcoming you warmly and doing their best to promote the show, or most important, just kind-hearted people who come out to see you play and give you some feedback.

There are some country and alt-country influences that leach into your sound. Where do those come from?

Well, that comes mostly from Kent and I, who do the majority of the writing and general directing of where the songs go. I think Kent said it best when he said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Country music is something we all grew up around and you sort of rebel against that at first, which is where our punk and other heavier influences come from.

As we started to get a little older we realized that American roots music is just a part of us whether we like it or not, and it was gonna come out. We just decided to embrace it instead of fighting it.” Matt and Tom have come around a lot to that sort of thinking but they still keep us rocking, which is one of the things I love about our band dynamic.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are probably our single biggest influence as a band and I think it’s because of their acknowledgement of American roots music, while at the same time just being one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time and writing some of the best songs in modern music.

How did you meet Patrick Himes and what did he bring to the table on both the latest 7″ and the self-titled?

Patrick and I met while working on the grand opening crew at a corporate guitar store that opened in Dayton years ago. It was a miserable company to work for, but I wouldn’t trade my experience there for the world because that was my crash course in Dayton music. At the time, Patrick was playing in a band called Flyaway Minion along with Tim Pritchard, who also worked with us. Seeing Flyaway Minion at Canal Street Tavern was my first real Dayton rock show. Patrick is a great producer, engineer, musician, and all around great dude. The guy eats, sleeps, and breathes rock and roll. He’s really big on honest, raw, analog-feeling production, even when working in protools, which is really what we wanted for these first two records. I mean the guy has worked with Ethan Johns, Ryan Adams, and even more important to us, Shrug. I remember telling Patrick when we were first discussing the full length, “If it sounds half as good as ‘Whole Hog for the Macho Jesus’, I’ll be happy.” His response was, “Dude, we recorded that in a dank basement. It should sound even better than that.” Which is of course laughable to me to think that our record was gonna sound better than that masterpiece, but I loved the idea of it.

There is also something very romantic about recording in Nashville. I mean, it’s music city! Patrick helped us really capture the tone of this band as a producer/engineer as well as lending his exceptional talents on the Hammond organ to both the full length and the 7″. He also played the outro guitar solo on “Ladies”, which really helped wrap up the song. His collection of badass vintage gear is pretty nice as well.

You are currently writing your sophomore record, right? How are these sessions shaping up?

I’d say we are about 75 percent done writing and arranging it. We’ve even been playing some of the songs live here and there. Giving them a little bit of trial run, so-to-speak. We’re really happy with the direction the songs are headed. The first batch of stuff was all songs either Kent or I had written before the band actually started. We’re writing the new stuff either all together, or at least with this particular band in mind. That’s definitely sending it in a more of rocking direction, but it’s not completely devoid of our roots influences. It’s just a little closer to the way we have the most fun playing live, rowdy but dynamic, with big three part harmonies.

Will you work with Patrick again for the recording of this record?

We love Patrick and recording in Nashville is awesome. On the other hand, getting four guys with full time jobs and other obligations to Tennessee for the amount of time we’d like to put into this next record is a real challenge. We’re not exactly sure what we’re going to do as far as recording goes for the next record. Patrick will always have a huge role in our band and we wouldn’t be where we are without him. He will always be one of our preferred recording producers/engineers. So, I’ll never rule him, Reel Love Recording Company, and Nashville out of any TNOF recording project, but there is a good chance this one’s gonna happen closer to home. We are very anxious to get started, and really excited about our possibilities.

How did you come to team with Toxic Beauty for the 7″ release? Will they be releasing the sophomore record?

Josh Castleberry (owner/operator) runs a great little vinyl record store and poster gallery in Yellow Springs in addition to the label. I spend a lot of time in the shop. As anybody who’s spent a decent amount of time in his store knows, the only thing Josh loves more than vinyl records is talking about vinyl records, and so do I. We got to chatting one day, as usual. I knew he had released a 7″ for a local Yellow Springs band, and we had one ready to go, so I just asked him if he’d be interest in doing another one. I got him a rough mix of the songs and he liked them. Simple as that.

As far as the next record goes, I think Josh is mainly focused on releasing smaller, more limited run stuff on Toxic Beauty for now. So the 7″ is a perfect medium for him and his label at the moment. We have had some hint of label interest in the next full-length record, but not much yet, so if anybody reading is interested…

What else do you have planned for the remainder of 2014?

We are wrapping up the end of our fall dates as we speak. We plan on laying low for the majority of the winter so we can focus on various recording projects, including our next full length, a compilation, and a split EP that we’re currently recording with our best buds, The Repeating Arms, which will be out on Gas Daddy Go records in 2015!

(Catch the band live here:

Oct 17th: Columbus, Ohio with the Pleasant Tense and The High Definitions

Oct 18th: Dayton, Ohio with the Pleasant Tense and The High Definitions)

X-Ray Acres
X-Ray Acres

On Record Store Day, Dayton, Ohio based label Gas Daddy Go! released a cassette compilation featuring the likes of Motel Beds, Oh Condor, The 1984 Draft, Kris N., and more.  One of the standout efforts was from Me Time, a band consisting of of Andy Smith (writing/singing/shitty guitar playing), Kyle Melton (good guitar playing), Elliot Ward (drums) and Josh Wickersham (bass). They’ve been playing together in this outfit for a little less than a year.

Enjoy the comp track here:

Smug Brothers
Smug Brothers

In 2012 Smug Brothers set to work on the follow up full-length to their 2011 EP Treasure Virgins.  With then bassist Shaine Sullivan and guitarist Brian Baker, Smug Brother founders Don Thrasher and Kyle Melton recorded sever songs over the past few years for On the Way to the Punchline.  The Smugs engaged in a whirlwind recording session in Spring 2012 and the band ground to a halt. 

When the band reconvened in 2013, Larry Evans joined the mid-fi pop rockers on bass.  The band quickly assembled and released the Strictly Triggers EP and with the new lineup in place, the band plans to release On the Way to the Punchline via Thrasher’s Gas Daddy Go! label on February 25.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Melton to discuss the band’s first physical album release in their 10-year existence.  This is what he said about it.

When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album?  

Well, the song “Investigative Years” dates back to 2000, when I was still in Montgomery Greene. I did a few different versions of it around 2005-2006 that just got shelved, but I always liked the song. Don and I tracked the album version in the spring of 2012. So, that one’s the longest arc. Some of the songs were slated for an album in 2009 called “The Blazing Trenchcoat Operator” that eventually just got picked at for various EP releases over the years. Some of the songs were written and recorded as we were finishing the album in spring 2012.

What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing?  Why was it so troublesome?

Based on the last question, “Investigative Years” would fit that bill. The song is fairly straightforward, but getting the arrangement and dynamics right was just a challenge for whatever reason. Also, other songs were always getting written and recorded ahead of it, so it was always just missing the cut. I’m glad it took so many tries though, because everything came together on this version pretty well.

“Quick to Illustrate January” took a few tries to get the structure right. Also, we accidentally recorded over the first version we deemed a master. Always mark your tapes properly, kids.

Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?

“St. Paul at the Helm of Wyoming” turned out pretty strange and great. The feedback and chaos in the first half were fairly spontaneous when we tracked it at my old house on Burns and then it got a sort of glam rave-up thing in the end. “New World Limits” – I don’t know what I ever really had in mind for it, but it definitely took a turn for the weird.

Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?

Yes, Andy Smith [of King Elk/Me Time] and Benjamin Smith [The Redd Foxx] contributed to “New World Limits”. I gave the basic track to Benjamin and he came up with some great eerie guitar. Andy kicked the amp with unbridled determination. The two of them made that song.

Who produced the record?  What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?

We all kind of produced the record, really. We work with Darryl Robbins [Motel Beds] on mixing and mastering, so his imprint and his abilities to give us great weird sounds is definitely an important external imprint.

Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?

Not intentionally, but I think there are some themes and ideas running through that make it cohesive. It’s definitely an “album” though, in the sense that there’s a flow and dynamic to it that make it a listening experience. Beyond that, the listener can make it whatever they need it to be.

Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?

Yes, we’ve been playing several of these songs for the last couple of years. Andy Smith loves “Investigative Years”, although he thinks I say “all the cherries”, which is great. I wish I had actually written that.

(Smug Brothers will debut the album at a Saturday, February 22 event called Cabin Break at The Venue on Third, 905 E. Third Street, in Dayton Ohio.  Visit the band at http://www.smugbrothers.bandcamp.com.)

On The Beach

Fans of Dayton’s independent rock scene should are no stranger to power poppers King Elk, as the band’s primary songwriter, Andy Smith, did time in popular Gem City quintet Andrew & the Pretty Punchers.  Shortly before the Punchers hung up their hats in October 2010, Smith told Dayton City Paper, “No matter how hard I tried, I always kept writing rockers with this band.  It’s really weird because I’m a really sad guy, but I write these pop songs. I dunno, it’s time to be sad for real.”  Smith was only partially forthcoming on his future direction though.  While songs like “Ghost” and “The Navy Boat” from their June release, Making Buildings Out Of Everything, conjure comparisons to other sometimes downtrodden troubadours like Jeff Buckley and Ryan Adams, tracks like “Sea Swallows Sun” are sparkling, Beatles-influenced pop gems.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Smith to ask about his favorite record and to get a sneak peek at what he digs about one of his foremost influences.  Here is what he told us about Neil Young’s On The Beach…

What is your favorite album?

My favorite album of all time is On The Beach by Neil Young.

Do you remember when you received or purchased the album?

I borrowed it from my dad when I was like 16.

Have you ever given a copy of this record to anyone? What were the circumstances?

I have since gifted it to many ex-girlfriends leading me to re-buy it countless times.

What is your favorite song on the album?

“I need a crowd of people, but I can’t face them day to day.” the title track, “On The Beach” remains my favorite song, though, the whole album is flawless from start to finish.

What is it about the song that resonates with you?

It is a simply structured blues song at its core, but the bongos, lyrics and unbridled intensity with which it’s sung sprouts goosebumps up my arms every single time I hear it. “I went to the radio interview, but I ended up alone on the microphone.”  Every verse is better than the last (“get OUTTA TOWN!!”) and the song builds and builds and builds until it come to a wonderful ride-cymbal-switch psychedelic fade out. I haven’t even mentioned the guitar playing. It’s classic Neil: simple but fucking perfect. The subtle changes from the first solo to the second…just fucking perfect.

Have you ever covered a song from the album?

I have never covered a song from On The Beach. I’ve toyed with “For The Turnstiles”, and “Ambulance Blues”, but never played them for anyone. I typically find myself mimicking Neil’s screeching tone every time I sing one of his tunes. I can’t make it my own, because it is so clearly his.

What is it about the album that makes it stand out against the band’s other output?

Neil has some classic albums. After The Gold Rush, Harvest, Tonight’s The Night, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, but none are perfect start to finish. Every second of every song just kills me. The simple rhythm change halfway through “See The Sky About To Rain” or the eeriest, most badassed one-note guitar solo of all time on “Vampire Blues,” or the vioins/fiddles on the epic “Ambulance Blues”. It is the overall looseness/tightness that has never stops inspiring me and my songs. The songs are enthusiastic and feel very “this is our first time playing this,” but at the same time consciously constructed and performed almost flawlessly. The “flaws” becoming amazing “treats” for the repeat listener.

Which of the records that you’ve performed on is your favorite?

As far as album’s I’ve played on, it’s like many musicians I know: I like the most recent shit I’ve done the best (i.e. Making Buildings Out Of Everything).

What is your favorite song on the album and why?

“Mary (pts. 1 & 2)” is the song I’m most proud of. It is epic for me. Long, winding, and has that loose/tight feel that I crave. It is a very dramatic, drawn out song about a woman I dated that ended up falling in love with another woman. (“don’t believe in love, it’s not for men”). A silly thing to write/sing in such a serious manner, I suppose. Alas…

Bonsai Superstar

Although Oh Condor’s musical roots can be traced to 90s indie rock, their production is a little too slick for lo-fi, too ambitious for slacker rock, and too fun for shoegazing.  The quartet’s Reflector EP, which hit the streets via Gas Daddy Go! in February showcases a scrappy and ambitious Dayton, Ohio-based quartet capable of and committed to chasing down moments of pop and rock brilliance and setting them to tape. None of this is tremendously surprising considering the strength of the band’s formidable back catalog of self-released albums and EPs. 

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Oh Condor guitarist/keyboardist, vocalist to discuss his current favorite record, by Oh Condor hometown heroes, Brainiac’s Bonsai Superstar.  Here is what he told us about why it kicks ass…

What is your favorite album?

Such an insane question! What’s your favorite color? Who’s your favorite child? There are a great many records that I could probably listen to non-stop, but today I’m going to say Bonsai Superstar by Brainiac because I actually had a dream about them last night. Well, kind of. I had a dream that John Schmersal had borrowed my headphones for some reason and I really needed them back before midnight for delivering someone’s baby, so Tyler Trent and I were driving around in this weird little red car looking for him. I think it was an ’87 Mx7, but I’m not sure if that’s an actual thing or not.

Do you remember when you received or purchased the album?

For a while, I just had a dubbed cassette of it that someone gave me, probably Shane Weber (Oh Condor). Or more likely he left it in my car, and I just kept it. I remember thinking it was a mix-tape at first, because the songs seemed all over the place to me, but I listened to it constantly. It almost never left the tape deck in my car until it broke. I forget where I got my first official copy of the record, but it’s been out of print for a long time, and I actually bought a second copy on eBay years ago as a backup. I guess someone at Dutch East India found a box of them laying around, and threw them online for like $20 a piece brand new. 

What is your favorite song on the album?

Probably “Radio Apeshot.”

What is it about the song that resonates with you?

I really love the dynamics on that song, how it bounces back and forth between these sparse, almost free-jazz verses, and the hyped up, sassy pop choruses. It’s like the song is almost falling apart at times, and then they just turn it back around. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the lyrics read like something out of some old pulp detective novel that was, penned by William S Burroughs.  

Have you ever covered a song from the album?

No, but I’ve covered a couple of songs off Hissing Prigs in Static Couture. Human Reunion used to cover “Nothing Ever Changes” semi-regularly, and the few times that I’ve played with Captain of Industry, we did “Vincent Come On Down.” 

What is it about the album that makes it stand out against the band’s other output?

Whenever I hear the opening guitar line of “Hot Metal Dobermans,” it feels like I’ve arrived and I know the next 33 1/2 minutes are going to be great.  The whole thing just has this unhinged, warbling feel to it, like someone is flipping through the stations on a busted up AM radio, and every one is playing your next favorite song.  So much catchy pop sensibility, but warped up into this amazing, demented sound palette of detuned guitars, incredible drum beats, danceable bass lines, blipping synths and effected vocals.   

Have you ever given a copy of this record to anyone?  What were the circumstances?

I don’t think I’ve ever actually given a copy of it to anyone, but I know I’ve played it for plenty of unsuspecting friends, and I’ve also included some song of theirs or another on countless mixtapes over the years.  

Which of the records that you’ve performed on is your favorite?

The newest record is always my favorite, and right now, that’s the Reflector cassette Oh Condor released earlier this year. I’ve been playing with these guys in some form or another for ten years now, and I really think it’s the best work we’ve done. I always think that though, and with every new record comes my new favorite.

What is your favorite song on the album and why?

Umm.. I’ll go with “Shoot First” because it’s super fun to perform. Also I get to play guitar and synthesizer on it, and sometimes you can’t tell which is which.