Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

CD Review – Demos Papadimas – “Waiting”


demos-waitingLike many Midwest rust-belt former manufacturing hubs, the city of Warren, Ohio, doesn’t have much to hang it’s hat on these days, but it still is the home of the W.D. Packard Museum is also home to one of the most unique voices in music, Demos Papadimas, who’s unique take on Americana music is catching ears and making people pay attention.

His latest release and second full-length album “Waiting” is available for purchase on iTunes, and streaming on Spotify, as well as in physical form at The Record Connection in Niles, or his website; and it’s well worth your listen if you’re a fan of Americana and a man who knows his way around the bouzouki. This album has some great Greek-tinged Indie Rock with lots of harmonica, steel guitar, violin and solid drumming provided by violinist Sandi Quotson, Ralph Rich on drums, Nils Johnson on bass and pedal steel guitarist Al Moss, the 12 songs spanning 40 minutes leaves you wanting more and pressing the repeat button, much like his first release, “Wandering Through the Wilderness” did, which is why he was named one of Cleveland Scene Magazine’s 13 Bands to Watch in 2013.

“Waiting,” which was released on Record Store Day 2016, kicks off with “Just a Stranger,” followed by some slick pedal steel work by Moss on the tune “Second Street” which is one of my favorite songs on the album, along with “Little Sadie” and the closer “Who Would’ve Thought” that features some great finger-picking on the bouzouki. “Waiting,” the title track, features a lot of great finger=picking from Papadimas along with solid work from Quotson on violin. It’s a sound that’s hard to describe, or define, but it works.

“Restless Time” is the first single off the CD, and it has an video produced by Radio Lark‘s Chris Rutushin and Khaled Tabbara from The Zou.

Demos and the Band are playing in Youngstown on Saturday, Nov 5, 2016, at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts Downtown with Hayden Brooke, Watching for Foxes and Joshua Powell & The Great Train Robbery; The Elbo Room in Chicago on Nov 9 & 10; Rambling House Soda with Hedbo in Columbus on Nov. 12, and has a series of dates in Kent, Youngstown & Pittsburgh to close out the year. Do yourself a favor and give Demos a listen, live or on record. You’ll thank me later!


Heart Opens as the View Expands … Radio Lark’s “Stolen Oranges” CD Review


On the second track of Radio Lark’s second studio CD “Stolen Oranges” entitled “Jar,” singer/guitarist/lyricist Chris Rutushin wishes he could capture a moment in a jar to share with someone how lucky they are.

Relax. You’ve done it. And shared it with the world.

“Stolen Oranges” was released in September along with a video for the title track, and the production values on both are outstanding, but it’s the lyrical and six-string hooks that make this ten song sophomore album a keeper.

Stolen Oranges

“Stolen Oranges” from Radio Lark.

I’ve found a majority of albums that use the opening track as the album title and first single don’t usually have much more to offer beyond those first three or four minutes. This, I’m glad to say, is not among them. A great opening track, “Stolen Oranges,” leads to “Jar” and into “(Lonesome) Homesick Jones” featuring some blistering harmonica riffs by Demos Papadimos. That’s a hat-trick of great tunes to kick off a CD. Which is impressive. And then, it gets better, and weirder, before coming back around with to end on a mellow note.

Track four, “Pull Of The Moon” features Shiloh Hawkins (of Blue Through Branches) in a great give-and-take duet with Rutushin that really jumps out of the speakers at you. Their voices are so complimentary and the arrangement of Lex Calder’s Hammond B3, Lake Baum’s electric & Shiloh’s acoustic guitars and Ed Davis’s drums makes this hands-down the best song on the CD, musically and lyrically. “March Hare” follows with a great Sitar intro, and then, out of nowhere, a spoken-word interlude called “Hovedbanegården” that kind of throws things off track, for me. It’s not bad, it’s just different. “Passenger” gets us back into the music nicely, and it followed by “Queen of Marigold,” which is my second favorite track on the CD (behind “Pull of the Moon”). Rutushin’s acoustic guitar is highlighted for the first half of this song before it blows up into an Oasis-like gem of a song. An acoustic re-do of the title track called “Stolen Oranges (When In Rome)” shows the quality of the lyrics here and features some great mandolin work from Nathanel Welch, and the CD ends with “The Song Renames Unnamed AKA The Hobbit Song,” which is a great closer with more of Welch’s mandolin & Scott Burns on cello.

The best part of all of this is it was totally unexpected. I met Chris while discussing his camera work on a TV show, and had no idea he was in a band, or just how outstanding his lyrics and music are until he handed me the CD a couple of days after it was released,  But that’s how it goes …. so I’m told.

Check out the video for “Stolen Oranges” here, and grab the CD from iTunes … your ears will thank you.

Radio Lark is:
Chris Rutushin – vocals, acoustic guitar, melodica, harmonica, keys & djembe
Rick Deak – vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, dobro & cajón
Scott Burns – vocals, bass & cello
Dave Lynn – vocals & electric guitar
Patrick Majernik – drums & percussion

Happy Dog Saloon in Cleveland is Dead to me


There are very few thing I hate worse than piss poor band management by venues who book live, original music acts on a local, regional or national level. Because there are a great many people who like to see bands play original music, and who will hop in the car, dedicate a night, a few hours or a few hundred miles of drive time to go see a band they like who’s playing somewhere in their geographical reachable area. And usually it’s on a tight schedule … “If we leave by midnight, we’ll be home by 1:30 and I can sleep for six hours before work” kind of schedule. I’ve done it more times than I care to count, and enjoyed damn near every single lost moment of sleep.

And I’m not the only one. I have MANY, MANY awesome music-loving friends who’ve piled in cars, pinched pennies, scrounged for beer money and parking and tolls and cover charges and eaten the shittiest truck stop food to make the trek to see a band they love play live and spend the next day sore from sleeping in a car, cranky from not enough sleep in a car, and loving every minute of it.

Because most of the time, it’s worth the sacrifice.

To see the band. To live that moment. To be in that room. Whether it’s 20,000 fans at the arena; 15,000 fans at the amphitheater, 1,000 at the club or 10 of you in a dive bar, those are the moments where you connect with the music and musicians who matter to you, and nobody can take that away. It’s pure magic.

However, in the unlikely event of a water landing … when you don’t get to see the band through no fault of your own … shit get super serial. Super fast.

I’ve had any number of roadtrips cancelled for any number of reasons: Flat tire. Car problems. Work issues. Family crisis. Weather. Car accidents on your way to the venue blocking traffic for hours. Friends who promise and bail. Bank account issues. And honestly, I’ve had them all. And I hate it, but I suck it up, realize I missed them this time and promise to make better plans to avoid some or all of the above next time THAT BAND I HAVE TO SEE is anywhere near where I am.

But when the stars and planets align, and you have four working tires, good engine, you’re not working and not on call, have no family issues, beautiful weather, everyone is safe on the highways you travel, with a friend by your side and a positive bank balance with cash in your pocket and you get to the venue far enough in advance to get a prime seat or standing position close enough to satisfy your needs, desires and camera capabilities and the band you want to see isn’t playing until several hours AFTER their advertised time, and oh, they’re not the opener but the ‘closer’ now? Or they never play at all?

That, my friends, is a completely different story. And why I will never, EVER, go see a band at Happy Dog in Cleveland again.

About a month ago I got an email from someone who saw this here music blog, and knew it had a Columbus connection, and was playing the Tree Bar (great venue, great management) and asked if I’d share the word.  To be honest, I get, on average, 10 of these a week. Most of the time I have no idea who the band is, and they provide little to no information about themselves, their style, etc. They just want me to pimp their shows. And I listen to them, and don’t like them, and usually ignore the request, because if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all, right?

But Jeremy Porter was different. I read his email. He’s an old school 80s punk turned 90s rocker turned indie rock Americana guy. I dig that. That’s basically me. But with much more musical talent, as I learned after I went to his band’s website and listened to their music.

I liked it. Hell, I liked it so much I bought the new CD. Wrote a review. Promoted the Columbus show, the Cleveland show and the Pittsburgh show on this here blog, my other regular ass blog, and Facebook and Twitter. Because I really liked the sound of the band. Hell, I even created a Facebook event for the Cleveland show and invited about 60 of my Cleveland-area friends. Eight of which showed up at Happy Dog, Friday, April 5th at 9:00ish to see see Jeremy Porter & The Tucos.

Just like I did.

And after paying our cover charge about 9ish, and having a few fine craft beers, and some food, and listening to 90 seconds of the soundcheck, we were wondering when the band was going to start. Because at 9ish the place was about 80% full. Now it’s 10ish and it’s 60% full.  And it’s 10:30 and it’s 50% full. And still, no music.

So imagine our surprise when at 10:45 the ‘headliner’ (Bill Fox who was with a band called The Mice from 85-88, disappeared until 96, and after a few years disappeared again, only to re-emerge in 2007 … yet I’ve never heard of the guy, so I wasn’t there to see him) starts playing. After a good portion of the crowd that was there an hour ago has already left the building. And nobody’s paying attention.  (Sorry, Bill, I’m sure in a different venue under different circumstances I’d like you. Hell, GBV likes you. And Robert does no wrong, so odds are I’d dig ya plenty, just not tonight, man. Sorry.)

So I walk the 10 feet from where I’m sitting to where Jeremy Porter is sitting. We talked, earlier in the evening, I told him I was excited to see the show and had like 8 people there with me. He thanked me for that, for my review of the album, the Facebook event, blah blah blah … the mutual admiration society rules were in effect and we called it a draw.  So as I walked up to him at 10:45, those rules were gone. I was upset about him NOT opening. And said that.

Then, when he answered, I left upset behind and became hot pissed when I found out he not only knew that they weren’t playing first, he was fine with it. Yet he never took the time to tell that to anyone via Facebook, Twitter, or, oh, yeah, that dude who came to see us and brought his friends sitting 10 feet away from me. That’s just a shitty thing to do to someone who just became a fan, and promoted your shit.

So we left. Two songs into Bill Fox’s set and without seeing anything but 90 seconds of Jeremy Porter’s soundcheck.  Because, after driving 75 miles one way, dropping about $100 in dinner, drinks, tolls, parking and cover charge, hoping to see a band I wanted to see play at 10ish because I had to leave by midnight because of work, it sucked to realize the band I wanted to see wasn’t playing until about midnight because the ‘headliner’ or venue or booking agent or whothefuckever decided that a 9 pm show should start with the alleged headliner starting at 10:45 and the alleged opener should start at midnightish or later, we left.

Had I known that was the timetable, I’d have said Fuck Jeremy Porter and Fuck Happy Dog I would have driven an extra two miles down the road to Brothers Lounge to see Erica Blinn and the Handsome Machine who was allegedly starting at 9:15 … and well, holy shit, they actually started at … wait for it … 9:15.

See, that’s a good venue. And a good band.

So fuck you, Happy Dog. And fuck you, Jeremy Porter, for letting Happy Dog fuck you, and fuck me and 8 people I brought to see you.

Go back to that state up north.

Jeremy Porter & The Tucos – Partner In Crime – CD Review / Tour



One of the cool things about JACOMB is hearing from artists who are putting out music that I might not find … the latest being Jeremy Porter & The Tucos. Hailing from That State Up North (but we don’t hold that against them), JP has been rocking and rolling the heartland in bands like The Regulars, SlugBug, The OffRamps, and Fidrych, as well as playing solo. He’s played Columbus before, sharing the stage with bands like Watershed and rocking out at Stache’s and the like … and now he’s back, with a new album, “Partner In Crime” and a mini Rust Belt tour that visits Ohio, twice: Thursday, April 4th, at the Tree Bar in Columbus; and Friday, April 5th at Happy Dog in Cleveland; and playing Rock Room in Pittsburgh on Saturday, April 6th.

The new CD, “Partner In Crime,” was released on New Fortune Records in March, and is a great piece of Americana. The 12 songs flow across 46 minutes of heartbreak, heartache, tales of falling for the pizza girl and lamenting about the one who got away. While those sound like pretty much every indie rock album, the music behind the songs, and Porter’s delivery, make them unique. From the rollicking “Pizza Girl” to sad-bastard “Barely All The Time” to the sadder-bastard “Wedding Day” this is a great collection of music, and I’m glad Jeremy brought it to my attention, and hope I can bring it to yours.  I know I’ll be at the Cleveland show … Come on out and support live music and hit the Rust Belt Tour!

Rust Belt Tour:

Thu Apr 4 • Columbus, OH • Tree Bar
Fri Apr 5 • Cleveland, OH • Happy Dog
Sat Apr 6 • Pittsburgh, PA • Rock Room
Fri Apr 19 • Mt. Pleasant, MI • Rubble´s
Sat May 11 • Detroit, MI • Lager House
Sat May 18 • Saginaw, MI • Hamilton Street Pub

The Real California ~ Musica


The Real California ~ Musica

Ron Copenhaver and Ryan Johanssen of The Real California, captured at Musica! in Akron, Ohio, on January 11, 2013.


Behold the power of the independent music blog!

Silent Attraction


On January 24, 2013, the music industry will drastically change, thanks to an unsigned white rapper by the name of Macklemore. Why? Because Macklemore will be the first unsigned artist in over a decade to hit #1 on U.S. Charts, with the song “Thrift Shop.” Not bad for a guy whose debut full-length album, The Heist, was just a collaboration between friends that sold 78,000 copies in its first week.

Macklemore’s achievement is a big warning sign to the mega-labels, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Corporation, who for the first time in quite a while, do not have a number one hit. Through just his massive online following, Macklemore was able to go to top without the help of a gigantic label covering his back or spending millions of dollars on marketing. These labels have to be nervous; no longer do artists need to go…

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It’s time for an Oasis Reunion. I have a plan.


help me andy harrison

Andy Harrison. Years ago you worked with my friends in the X-Rated Cowboys. Now we beg you to help us in this struggle between the Gallagher brothers. I regret that I am unable to convey my request to you in person, but my finances have fallen under attack, and I’m afraid my mission to bring you to England has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the music into the memory systems of this Internet Music Blog. My hope is that you will know how to retrieve it. You must see this blog safely delivered to the Gallagher brothers in England. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Andy Harrison. You’re my only hope.

I say this for two reasons:

1. Allison and I were out one night when “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova” were played on the jukebox and we looked at each other with that “Damn, that shit was sweet, right?” look. And then we grumbled about Liam and Noel’s inability to get along. And how we wished they could suck it up for the sake of the music.

2. You know Noel Gallagher, I assume. If not, you have ways to reach him. You’re the guitar tech for Tim Smith, who plays in  Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and with Sheryl Crow, so logically, short of hoping he Google ego-searches himself and by some freak of nature actually reads this blog on his own, you’re my only hope.

In all honesty, I don’t have a brother, and have never owned a guitar, but I do have two sisters who I’ve fought with many times. And my oldest sister did break several of my toys and prize possessions, so I understand the anger Noel must have over Liam breaking his guitar during a fight … but to deny the world the greatness they made together because of a guitar, to me, just seems like a crime, especially in a world where an overgrown Oompa Loompa called Nicki Minaj is a judge of a glorified karaoke competition that picks our next pop star on one network, and a bevy of low-to-no talent ‘singers’ are doing the same on, apparently, every other network. Since “Dig Out Your Soul” was released in 2008, eight new singing shows have launched. And, in my opinion, they all suck.

Every time I see a new singing contest show starting, or, as Fox tells me, the one that started it all is coming back with a “TWO NIGHT TELEVISION EVENT” I ask myself why is the world searching SO HARD for talented singers? (And since when did shitty reality shows, or any TV show, become an ‘event’? Stop that, right now. You’re a television show. That’s all.)

That night, at a bar that features live original music two or three times a month, while watching a completely meaningless college bowl game (The Big Corporate Sponsor Bowl at Other Big Corporate Sponsor Stadium, I think it was) and listening to the jukebox, it hit me:

We search because we have no new Oasis music to satisfy our needs.

And this has got to stop.

I’m tired of dodging shitty singers sitting in judgment of other shittier singers on every shitty network channel every damn night.

Please, I beg of you, kind sir, please do whatever it takes to get Oasis and the Gallagher Brothers back together. Unlike Lorne Michael’s attempt to reunite The Beatles to play three songs for $3,000, divided up as they see fit, I have no playlist, and I sure don’t have a check for $3,000.

All I can really offer is a $25 Starbucks gift card and Quinn Fallon’s first two solo CDs. You can give Liam the CDs. If you get Oasis back together.

The Best EPs released in 2012


Every year I try to release my Best of list of the best music I’ve found in 2012, and every year the list gets bigger. This year I’m breaking it up into two lists:  EPs (which I consider to be less than 30 minutes) and full albums. This is the list of EPs. Here are the rules:

• Must have been released between November 1, 2011 and October 31, 2012 (As listed on Amazon)
• Must be available for purchase via Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, CDBaby, Bandcamp or band’s website. Can’t pimp a CD that you can’t buy or download legally
• Must be less than 30 minutes, or it goes into the full-length category
• Must not be a live album
• Must not be a greatest hits package
• Must not be a box set or a collection of previously released material

Those are my rules. Disagree? Make your own list! With that in mind, here’s my favorite EPs released in 2012:

1. Aaron Tasjan – August Moon & The Thinking Man’s Filth

Aaron Tasjan - August Moon

No, having “August Moon” on this list doesn’t go against my rule of previously-released material, as these are new recordings, and great ones at that. Keys by Bryn Roberts, strings by Eleanor Whitmore. Drums and percussion by Mark Stepro. Guitars by Aaron and and Chris Masterson. Background vocals by Mark Stepro, Eleanor Whitmore and Aaron bring new life to classics like “Life Is A Movie,” this might be the best version of this song I’ve ever heard. “The Thinking Man’s Filth” is more rocking than “August Moon,” especially the blistering guitars on “Hole In The Wall” and “Dirty Angel.” And like “August Moon” … this rerecording of “My Camera” might be my favorite version of that song.

Favorites: Fake Tattoo, Life Is A Movie (August Moon); Dirty Angel, My Camera (The Thinking Man’s Filth)

Both EPs are available on his Bandcamp site

2. Phantods – Music Is Dead

Phantods - Music Is Dead

It’s hard to include this on my list as the band has gone on hiatus, but damn, for three and a half albums, they were amazing. This short, three-song release was in conjunction with a final show in Columbus, and a screening of a documentary called “Meet The Phantods.” As creative as the band’s members are, they will show up down the road in another Columbus band, but it was a joy to see them on stage and I still smile whenever a Phantods song hits my iTunes playlist.

Favorites:  All three songs are great.

Buy it at Bandcamp for a $1. Yep. One dollar.

3. Ryan Smith – The Waiting

Ryan Smith - WaitingAnother Columbus artist here who makes some interesting electropop, taking generous use of looping, layering and a bevy of sounds that seem to come from everywhere and nowhere, especially when listening with earphones, or in the car. It’s like a sonic treat for your brain. And wallet, because he’s posted it for free on his Bandcamp site. And the only thing better than free music, is good free music.

Favorites: Four Letter Word, Give Me A Sign

Download it for free from his Bandcamp site.

4. David Ford – Austerity Measures & Ford 4.2

David Ford - Ford 4.2

As long as David Ford keeps releasing music — either full albums or EPs, he will find a spot on my favorites. “Austerity Measures” starts off rocking and remains true for all five songs, whereas “Ford 4.2” starts off with a short instrumental called “Overture” before getting into Ford’s typical singer/songwriter stuff, but “Ford 4.2” is much softer and piano-oriented than his usual guitar and layering stuff. Shows great growth and belief in letting the words rise versus the layering and sequencing he’s done in the past. “Austerity Measures,” on the other hand, rocks.

Favorites: “How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love My Credit Card” and “Life Is Good” from “Austerity Measures” and “What’s Not To Love” and “Philadelphia Boy” from “Ford 4.2”

Buy both on iTunes • Buy on Amazon • David Ford’s Website

5. We Are Public Radio – We Are Public Radio

A great band from Akron that opened for The Clarks at Musica. At the time I didn’t recognize Andy Dolson (formerly of Dolson, a band I’ve seen open for Red Wanting Blue twice, I think. Regardless, this collaboration with Patrick Boyle resulted in a great six-song EP and some airplay on The Summit. The keys and guitars make a great mix. My only wish was this was longer than 23 minutes.

Favorites: Hurricane, Lonely September, Could Be You

Buy it on their Big Cartel site • We Are Public Radio’s website

6. Amos Lee – As The Crow Flies

Amos Lee - As The Crow FliesEverything this guy does winds up on my list, every year. He’s just amazing. From the lyrics, to the delivery, to musicians he has in the studio with him (last year’s ‘backing band’ for his “Mission Bell” album was Calexico). This EP is some of the songs that were recorded for that CD but never released, and feature Joey Burns and John Convertino from Calexico, so if you liked “Mission Bell” you’ll probably like this as well.

Favorites: Simple Things, Say Goodbye, May I Remind You

Buy it on iTunes • Buy it on Amazon • Amos Lee’s website

Think I missed something? Let me know and I’ll give it a listen.

Getting Back into the Swing of Things …


Hello. Well, after a whole lot of changes in my life, and rediscovering the power and enjoyment of music, I”m ready to get back into the blogging about bands, albums, shows and all things I love about the bands, songs and musicians that you’ll probably never hear of. I’m going to try to cover at least one 2012 release a week through the rest of the year, mixed with random show reviews and rediscoveries.

So, if you’re still here … or you’re new here … welcome to JACOMB 2.0

JACOMB’s Best of 2011 List


So, now that we’re five days into 2012 and I’m recovered from a long weekend of UFC, NYE, BCS and NFL … it’s time for my Top Albums list for 2011.

Again, this is my list. Any CD released from November 1, 2010 to October 31, 2011 are eligible. To be considered a CD, it must be greater than 30 minutes.

With that being said, here’s my Top 10 for 2011, in order

1. Ollabelle – Neon Blue Bird
2. William Elliott Whitmore – Field Songs
3. Amos Lee – Mission Bell
4. Tim Easton & THe Freelan Barons – Beat The Band
5. Bobby Long – A Winter Tale
6. Lydia Loveless – Indestructible Machine
7. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
8. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
9. Shane Sweeney – The Finding Time
10. The Horrible Crowes – Elsie

The Next 10:

11. Over The Rhine – The Long Surrender
12. Eleanor Friedberger – Last Summer
13. Dum Dum Girls – Only In Dreams
14. Phantods – Creature
15. Neil Taylor – No Self Control
16. Cowboy Junkies – Sing In My Meadow
17. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
18. Sarah Jarosz – Follow Me Down
19. Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
20. Paul Tabachneck – Here Goes Nothing

For those beneath the 30 minute time limit, i.e. the EP’s just not long enough to include … here are my top five:

1. Mikey Chuck Rivers – Last Night’s Beer
2. Strangers in Daylight – Strangers In Daylight
3. Enemies! – Enemies!
4. Erica Blinn – Eric Blinn EP
5. The 2011 Collected singles of Colin Gawel & Lonely Bones

Just Missed My List For one Reason or Another … they were in the mix all year, but just didn’t cut it when the final list was played.

Wilco – The Whole Love
Adele – 21
Kasey Chambers – Little Bird
Lenny Kravitz – Black & White America
Fiest – Metals
Colbie Caillat – All Of You
Neil Taylor – No Self Control
Wild Flag – Wild Flag

After reading other’s blogs and top lists, here are the CDs others are raving about I flat out didn’t like:

The Black Keys – El Camino
M83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming
Kate Bush – 50 Words for Snow
Gillian Welch – The Harrow and the Harvest
Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Things that came out too late to give a fair shake to but will probably be in my Best of 2012 list:

Red Wanting Blue – From The Vanishing Point
Micah Schanbel – I’m Dead, Serious

Becasue of work or my not knowing they were released or things I didn’t get to listen to yet for one reason or another …

Glossary – Love Live Us All
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Here We Rest
Amanda Shires – Carry Lightning
Kasey Anderson & The Honkies
Theressa Anderson – Birds Fly Away

Things I don’t consider:

Live albums
Greatest Hits collections
Box Sets
Things that have a majority of previous-released material or re-issues, otherwise Father’s Children would have been on the big list.

That’s my list. Did I miss something? Agree? Disagree? Let me know.