Friday, November 3, 2017

A list of articles written for Music in Motion - Columbus (Updated 11/3/17)

 All of our work can be found at the Music in Motion - Columbus website.

 February 2017
Courtney From Work at Victory's Live - 2/24/17
My first official article for the website. I had been super busy through January as Rick began building the first incarnation of the website. A co-worker of mine had been talking up his band for weeks and I figured they would be a perfect opportunity for me to get my feet wet in the music scene again.

 March 2017
Album Review - Conversion Delay - Out Of Sight
A lot of the initial emails we received had EPs that bands wanted us to review. I was tasked with a rather difficult one that got a less than favorable rating from me. I will always stand by my words and my opinions on music, and you will always get an honest review from me.

 April 2017
Out Of Nothing Comes Serious Music for Ex-Nihilo - 4/9/17
I met the bassist from Ex-Nihilo when he brought me tickets to a show his band was opening, and in fact I didn't even end up attending that show. This was my first opportunity to see them, and they did not disappoint. All 3 of the acts that evening were fantastic.

Jocef Michael Won't Take No For An Answer
My first true interview for the site came from the opening act at the Ex-Nihilo show I had just attended. Jocef brought a ton of fans to a mid-evening Sunday night show and I was impressed by his stage presence. As it turns out, he's a pretty cool guy as well.

Go Go Buffalo Stampede Through Spacebar 4/21/17
This one honestly caught me by surprise. I didn't really know anything about GGB before hand, and honestly I almost missed out on the chance to hit this one. I'm glad I didn't. It was a wacky blast.

 May 2017
7 Questions With Death Trance Duo Zero Signal
I was finally at a place in May where I felt like I really needed to step up my contributions to the page. I decided to dig through my old contacts and found the guys from Zero Signal, who I knew from my days doing Jester Promotions. They've got a pretty cool new concept going and I'm excited to follow up with them going forward.

A Tribute to Chaos - The Story of Fleischgewehr
When I heard there was a Rammstein tribute group in Columbus, I knew I had to be there. Not only were Frankie and Stephen fantastic musicians, but great dudes to boot. 

Rocket From The Tombs - Anything But Sonically Reduced at Ace of Cups 5/13/17
This one fell into my lap when my editor hurt his back during the week of the show. I felt bad because RFTT was one of his favorite groups from the past and he had done a fantastic interview with their lead singer as well. It turned out to be a really great article and highlighted some of our photographers best work.

The Cat Club Podcast - Essential Memorial Day Weekend Playlist
Rick and I sat down and did a podcast episode highlighting a baker's dozen of songs including some deeper cuts you might not normally hear on the bigger stations and lists.

Musical Maturation With Morning Theft at Spacebar - 5/27/17
One of the worst weeks of my life ended on a spectacularly high note with this show. Even though we didn't end up getting into the club until well after it was supposed to open, we had a true bonding moment with the peeps from Morning Theft. It really was a lifesaver for me.

The Fresh Live Flow of the Jocef Michael Band at Skully's - 5/30/17
I had been waiting to see a true show from the JMB after catching part of their set in April. As it turns out, Jocef and Co had a surprise in store for everyone. His ever-evolving live show never disappoints.

 June 2017
The Rowdy Rat Motel at Spacebar - 6/2/17
It was another bizarre evening at Spacebar as we were treated to a group of loud 16 year olds and their x-branded fans. It ended up being pretty wild.

Friday Spotlight - The Beauty of Truslow
I got to sit down at WOB with James Truslow, who leads the local pop group Truslow. I had no idea the direction that this interview would go, and I ended up being brought to tears at least once while talking to him about his music.

Artistic Gravity Abounds with So Long, Stargazer at King Avenue 5 - 6/16/17
I finally got the chance to see Chase McCants (My Beloved Tragedy) in his new band So Long, Stargazer. I was not disappointed. I would go as far as saying that this might have been the best concert I have attended this year.

The Night The Jester Joined The Cult Of Cats 
Rick had tasked me with finding a show to cover on Saturday while he was out of town, and because of Pride weekend, the pickings were slim. I ended up finding Dayton's Curse of Cassandra at my old home bar in Reynoldsburg, and I was treated to a fantastic evening of excellence.

Midweek Spotlight - Musical Connections With Nicholas Rowe 
I got to sit down with a guy who got word of us from an unlikely source; my mom. It was an intriguing interview but I got a lot of good talking points out.

 July 2017
FleischgewehR Blitzkreig at King Avenue 5 - 7/1/17
What an amazing night. I knew the guys from F+ would be a treat after interviewing them back in May, and I knew I was in for a great night when Frankie pulled up beside me in the parking lot and rubbed his silver paint all over me. It was a great time.

  August 2017
ALBUM REVIEW - Hello Emerson "Above The Floorboards" 
After taking a mental health break in July (some things are more important than music, you'll understand) I came back to review a tremendous piece of musical craftsmanship from the band Hello Emerson. I'd say it's one of my top 5 favorite local records of the year so far.

An Album Release to Remember with Hello Emerson at Rumba Cafe - 8/25/17
Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly), the live show ended up being better than the album. I was of the intention of taking photographs, but with a 13 piece band on stage and with Rumba being packed to the point where I was smashed against the stage, I was tragically unable to capture any shots. However, I do believe my words did justice for the performance.

Soup to Nuts with Kristen Ford at Caribbean Jerks - 8/31/17  
My good friend Jules recommended Kristen, a current resident of Nashville, to me a few weeks before this show. I had seen her posters all over Caribbean Jerks (a bar next to my house) and I was thrilled to be able to cover her show. She herself ended up being a phenomenal person along with a tremendous musician.

 September 2017

The Many Hats of Javelina
The first band to actually follow up with me after I started passing out business cards was Javelina, of whom I had seen perform previously at Tree Bar. In a few weeks I'll be actually covering one of their shows, but here is an interview we did in the rain at Harvest. It was pretty cool.

Aural Hotness with Miller and the Hunks at The Tree Bar - 9/23/17
Another short notice show that ended up being pretty stellar. Miller and the boys were pretty cool to hang out with, despite the fact that it was in the 80s/90s the entire night!

REVIEW - Two Fingers in The Barrel with "Room Full of Sky" from Cosmo's Elephant 
Amy from Javelina e-mailed me after their interview went live to tell me about her "other" band, Cosmo's Elephant. The group let me sit in with them to preview their new EP before it dropped, and we had a good time telling stories and cracking up over good/bad band and song titles.

 October 2017

The Cat Club Podcast Is Full of Shenanigans with The Jester - Episode 24 
 Rick and I got together and put forth a sort of recap show on everything we had done so far this year; bands we had seen, people we had worked with, well as a peek at what we have going on in the next few weeks.

A Six-Pack of Aural Solemnity with Javelina at The Shrunken Head - 10/13/17
 It was finally time for Javelina to perform, and boy did they ever. Those two have some deep and dark talents. The music, the imagery, and of course the face painting!!

ALBUM REVIEW - Zero Signal's EP "Divided by Zero" 
 The boys in Zero Signal did not disappoint with their debut EP. I wasn't sure what to expect coming in to it, but it was definitely an excellent output for a first shot at trying something new.

Death Trance Delights with Zero Signal at King Avenue 5 - 10/13/17
 However good the EP might have been, the live show blew it all away. What a fantastic punch in the face that night was. Perhaps the best night of music I've seen all year. Any time you can get 4 or 5 great bands rocking in an evening, you know you've experienced something excellent!

REVIEW - The Dark Horse in Motion Music Festival - 10/21/17
 A few weeks after seeing Curse of Cassandra at the Dark Horse Tavern, the DHIM festival was conceived. It ended up being a fantastic night of music! Every single band brought something different to the night, but every single one of them was tight and rocking. It was exhausting, but it was a ton of fun!

Setting The Trend with Columbus Indie Rock band Fashion Week
 Another band who goes to my church, Fashion Week agreed to an e-mail interview with me and we ended up having a lot of fun with it! Sometimes it can be difficult to really connect with someone through e-mails, but these guys are definitely some fantastic characters.

November 2017
coming soon...

 December 2017
coming soon...

That's all for now. Stay tuned and always keep your eyes on the page for more fresh content from myself, Rick, Susie, and the rest of our awesome staff!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

My thoughts on the announcement of the Columbus Crew's potential move to Austin TX

I realized that I no longer have a "Jester One Sports" page any more, and since this is the public page where I do most of my sharing, I figured I should write about the events of the last few days here...

I try not to be a “knee-jerk reaction” kind of person. The internet and social media has made it so easy for each and every one of us to just jump out and throw things against the wall, regardless of whether those things should actually stick or not. When the announcement about the Crew happened two days ago, I decided to do a little personal reflecting about the team and the impact they have had on my life.

I got into soccer because my dear friend Johnny Francia. Baseball was always my number 1, and back then there was the Buckeyes and the Chill as well. But then there was a new American soccer league, and my city was going to have one of the inaugural franchises. How cool was that? Johnny was obsessed with soccer, and so Jester was obsessed with soccer too. We had this cool uniform, great logo, and a pretty darn good team too. I vividly remember screaming at my radio in the basement about Roy Lassiter in the playoffs that year, and any time we played the Mutiny, really. They were the original nemesis for me, along with DC.

But Major League Soccer quickly became confusing. The rules were different from the Olympics that I had watched. I only knew of the MLS, the World Cup and the Olympics, so it didn’t even occur to me that soccer was played different (or called by a different name) elsewhere. It also upset me that my favorite players wanted to leave the team quickly to go overseas to play in England for teams with silly names. Plus, why was it called MLS Soccer? And why did it have to be played in the middle of my baseball season??

When the Blue Jackets came to town, it split things for me. Losing the Chill was awful, but I figured that having a real NHL team would be pretty similar (whoops, lol). I had been a hockey fan longer than I had been a soccer fan, and ECHL hockey was pretty darn similar to NHL hockey in its rules and execution. I learned pretty quickly that every night wasn’t going to be 7-5 with 14 fights, but otherwise it was just a more skilled version of what I grew up with.

I still loved the Crew though. The spotlight may not have shone quite as bright, but the ’96-’04 names will always be etched in stone in my mind. Unfortunately, I never got to go to any games as a kid (I never really got to attend much of anything as a kid), and as a young adult I’d spend my small cash savings on CBJ things before Crew things. The NHL was a thriving, long term league, while MLS was a dying brand, and so I just paid more attention to the Jackets.

Shame on me, I suppose. But the first two times I ever went to Crew Stadium, it was to watch marching band tournaments. What a beautiful stadium, man. Of course, my experience at the time was limited to the glorious ‘Shoe, beautiful new Nationwide, dilapidated old Cinergy, and the laughingstock that was the Coop. All the same, once I had my own car, I made sure to try and go to Crew games when I could, because it was just a really nice place to watch that great black and gold team.

Alex Kachino introduced me to the EPL a few years after high school, and everything changed again. Soccer was great! And MLS eventually caught up to doing things the right way (except for the idiotic schedule), and so my love for the Crew grew again. And then… there was 2008. That was a glorious year, except that my all-time favorite player was playing for Chicago, the Crew’s biggest rival. And Brian McBride even managed to score a goal against us and rip my heart out in the playoffs. But between the Reds and Browns never doing anything in the playoffs, the CBJ being the CBJ, and not being able to witness the 2003 BCS Title game (to this day, I have still never seen it), I had no idea how amazing a CHAMPIONSHIP felt. Man, that was cool.

But something weird happened after that. Supporters. The Nordecke. Any friendships I built in that time between Crew fans were tested by supporter bickering. The cliques. The dissent. The sheer disarray. I was told to choose between sides, and between friends. No thanks, I said. I’m an adult and I’ll choose my friends based on character, not which part of the Nordecke they associate with. Besides, I could go to a Jackets game (even in spite of the eventual ACA circus) and be friends with just about everyone there, win or lose, regardless of what team the people attending supported. In recent years, hockey has brought long-term relationships into my life that I never knew possible, and so I gravitate even closer to it, despite the difficulties the team has had with winning over the years. I mean, come on. I’m a Browns fan. Winning simply is what it is these days. Lol

And then there’s the Crew. I went to a game last year with Kelly, and it was a lot of fun. It was nice being away from the chaos clique that was the corner, and just enjoying some good old fashioned footie. I told myself I should go to a game or two this year, but I just never got around to it. I was trying *not* to kill myself, not find reasons to proceed with the action. And you know what? Despite the slow start, this team actually has shown some promise to push towards the playoffs.
So, back to present day. Where does that leave us today with Anthony Precourt? He came to Columbus with great promises of revitalizing Lamar’s team. And then he dumped the TV rights into Time Warner (which no one had) and the radio onto CD102.5 (which nobody can pick up). He got a great stadium name deal (with a company that no one had heard of), but then he made the uniforms embarrassingly bad (and the team played accordingly). The MLS Cup disaster was probably no fault of his own (or… was it?), but just the same he made upgrades to the stadium and got a tremendous sponsorship deal with Acura. And then, inexplicably on the eve of the playoffs, he came out to try and extort the good city of Columbus for a new stadium. Not because he wants a new stadium here, but because he wants a franchise at the forefront of the millennial culture. All because HE wanted to move the team somewhere else. His team.

His team? No.

MY team. Your team. OUR team. MY city, MY club. Not Anthony Precourt’s city, not Anthony Precourt’s club. I may not have been the biggest and most passionate fan over the last few years, but I still love the Crew, and I am just astonished at how all of this has played out. Finally, all Crew fans have something to truly rally around. It’s just a shame that it took something potentially life altering to really put things in focus for some.

The more I read into all that has happened in the last few days, the more it looks like this move is essentially a done deal, and the “build me a new stadium” jargon is simply a ploy. The league has already registered and trademarked “MLS Austin” naming rights, and the website leading the charge carries Precourt’s company as its host and sponsor. The most baffling thing about all of this is that Precourt decided to go public with the news mere weeks before the MLS playoffs were to begin, as if to dare fans to pull their support on him. As if to try and drive further nails into a coffin that he has seemingly already slammed shut. If people show up in bigger numbers next year, it will only serve to line his pockets while he plans the move. If people decide to abandon the team, he will only say “I told you so” and move the team just the same.

Fuck that guy. I don’t want to miss what might be the last year of Columbus Crew football, but I also don’t want to give a single penny to a man who just came through and eviscerated the hearts of so many people that I care about. A flim-flam man who undercut the system (WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF THE LEAGUE) to get what HE wanted. His dispassionate statements in the two days since have shown that he truly does not care who he stomps on to have his way. I guess that’s the business class of America, but if that truly is the case, then I want no part in the MLS business any more. I’m not saying that anyone owes myself or any other fan anything, but the fact that Precourt has been able to circumvent the expansion process and grab a team for 1/3rd of the cost and work to destroy the ORIGINAL FRANCHISE from the MLS just boggles my mind. The fact that Garber supports him 100% is essentially the last heartstring that the duo can pull together for me. I’ll always have 20+ years of memories, but I don’t want a single minute more. I don’t care about the last games of this season, and I certainly don’t care about the playoffs at this rate.

Much love, Columbus. It hurts me the most to see the more passionate friends of mine struggle with this announcement. For some that I know, the Crew are almost a religion, and now it is being forcibly removed with little to no say on their part. But, we have so many good things going for us here in the 614. Whether it be our other sports franchises, our thriving music scene, or our trend-setting bar, brewery and restaurant presence, we are a city of strength and we will all heal from this loss together. Hang in there friends.


Friday, September 29, 2017

A little late... but... the 2016 recap!!


20. Safemode - Hold On
19. Metric - The Shade
18. House of Heroes - In The End
17. Trivium - Until The World Goes Cold
16. van Canto - Time And Time Again
15. Brian Fallon - A Wonderful Life
14. Chvrches - Leave A Trace
13. Mad Anthony - Sad Songs (ft Steve Wethington)
12. 3 Doors Down - The Broken
11. Circle of Dust - Contagion
10. Miike Snow - Genghis Khan
9. Bleached - Wednesday Night Melody
8. Jess Lamb and the Factory - End of the Line
7. Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop The Feeling!
6. Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown - Loaded Dice and Buried Money
5. blink-182 - Built This Pool
4. Graceful Closure - Choices
3. POP ETC - What Am I Becoming?
2. Broods - Free
1. DMA's - Lay Down

 2016 became a year of unprecedented exposure for the Countdown, by the way of Twitter. #13 brought in 185 views on Twitter and another 129 on the blog, while #11 got retweeted by the band and several of their fans, eventually reaching a somewhat ridiculous view total of 3085 with 35 unique engagements, just on Twitter. The first two years of the countdown featured simple paragraphs about each song, and even in 2010 I featured 5 songs per week, rather than giving each track it's proper due. I want to say that it wasn't until 2012 that I really started digging into writing about the songs featured.

Sadly, all of that stuff is lost in the Xangawaves. I had saved the old files on my old hard drive, but it has gone the way of most old hard drives. The last few years have been featured here on Blogger, and I don't really think I'm missing much from those old days. I mean, I remember everything that I need to know about those songs in my own noggin.

2016 though... what a year. House of Heroes and Graceful Closure from Columbus, Mad Anthony and Jess Lamb from Cincinnati.  The return of 3 Doors Down and blink-182. van Canto finally making the cut, and Circle of Dust literally rising like a phoenix from the ashes. The year began with POP ETC taking a commanding lead, while Broods and DMA's were head-to-head in one of the closest battles in the history of the countdown. This year passed on the trend of multiple songs from bands, with the closest being from blink-182. However, Built This Pool (which also sets the standard for shortest song, ringing in at a minuscule 16 seconds) was too much of a force to be placed among any of the other solid songs from the California album.

It was a quirky year, with Spotify turning into the main vessel for me to listen to my music with. Windows Media Player and the many Rockman's were discarded in favor of a more accessible option, with built-in new music. 2017 might be equally strange, as I've spent less time really digging into releases and just letting them come to me from the streaming apps.

This year I've been working in the local scene, and I can promise you that there will be multiple Columbus artists featured in the 2017 piece. I'll start compiling the data soon, and hopefully we'll have another fun filled trip down nostalgia lane for you soon!