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Dayton punk group the Migraines reunite, possibly for the last time

Published: Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

The irreverent punk band has reunited for what may be the final time.

There’s a time and place for political correctness. Where exactly the parameters are shall likely be an eternal debate. But somewhere in between a lighthearted joke and going too far lies the music of The Migraines.

The punk band, which started in Ft. Wayne, Indiana in 1992, eventually became every bit as much a Dayton group. This Friday, Daytonians James Rouch (guitar), George Bradley (bass) and Nathan Bush (drums) will reunite with singer Shawn Browning for their 25th anniversary. It could be their last Dayton performance ever.

“I’m kind of getting the impression (Shawn) may be thinking about not doing any more. This may be it,” Rouch said.

“We’re all in other things. The band isn’t together anymore,” Bradley added. “This is just a fun nostalgia trip. These might literally be the last ever Migraines (shows). Who knows if we’ll do a 30th?”

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Bradley joined The Migraines right before the band’s second album was released in 1996, and eventually recruited Rouch and Bush as other members dropped off. It would be the start of many firsts for the then twentysomething musicians: first time playing out of Ohio, first time playing across the country, and even the first time playing with their heroes. 

“It was really weird to be up on stage and see Marky Ramone (The Ramones) and Jerry Only (Misfits) standing out there in the audience,” Bradley said.

Though The Migraines were serious about their music, their message was always with tongue planted firmly in cheek, while playfully adopting the classic Ramones model right down to the stage names. Songs like “P.C. Girl”, “She Bought New Boobs” and “Fraternity Boy” were meant to poke fun at what the band saw as silly in the ‘90s.

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“The Migraines were an irreverent, sophomoric, juvenile, silly, fun punk rock band,” Bradley explained. “Most of our catalog, if a new young band came out (with it) right now, they’d get so much flak. They’d be considered so offensive. What’s socially acceptable has changed. I’m glad we’re thinking about people’s feelings. But where do you draw the line?”

The Migraines: (from left) George Bradley, James Rouch, Shawn Browning and Nathan Bush(Contributed)

“Sometimes you’ve got to be like, let’s just have some fun. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a song! Laugh!” Rouch said.

The band slowly began to dissolve after Bradley left in 1999 to form the horror punk band The Jackalopes. Rouch, now of Dayton’s The Nuckles, stayed with the group for a short time  as The Migraines morphed into a straight rock band, before Browning changed the focus to Christian rock.

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“Shawn has always been the straight guy. He was never the wild tattoos, drunk, crazy guy. He was always the adult on the road. He was band dad,” Bradley remembered. 

But the members all remained friends and stayed in contact over the years, which led to a reunion show in 2012. Now, on what would have been Joey Ramone’s 66th birthday, they’re back to play what seems like the last series of shows in Dayton and Ft. Wayne, respectively. The group is also celebrating the recent release of every song they’ve ever recorded on their Bandcamp site.

“You get in a minivan full of equipment with four guys and go on the road for a month or two, they become family. You love them. Sometimes you hate them,” Rouch joked.

“The only reason we’re doing it is not only because of our love of the material, but of each other. These guys were my brothers,” Bradley said. 

Sometimes you can go back to your 20’s again -- if only for a few nights at a time.

WANT TO GO?

What: The Migraines 25th Anniversary Show with Legbone, Bribing Senators, The Give-Ups, FBS

Where: Rock Star Pro Arena, 1106 E. Third St., Dayton

When: Friday, May 19,  7 p.m. (doors)

Cost: $10 at door, $8 presale 

This Dayton ‘90s band is back together and returning to the stage this weekend

Published: Thursday, July 06, 2017 @ 11:28 AM

After more than 20 years, this Dayton band is back live.

There’s a long line of Dayton bands from the 1990s we all miss. Every now and then a few will come back for a one-off reunion show for one reason or another. 

That’s why you can understand how there might have been some skepticism when the engine for the erstwhile ‘90s prog project Void Where Prohibited began making whirring sounds for the first time in 20-plus years in 2015.

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Founding members Steve VanEtten (guitar, vocals) and Scott Shiverdecker (bass) began making noises together in the early ‘90s.

“Ever since then, I’ve been working with him because he makes me look really good,” VanEtten joked.

After adding original drummer Greg Daughtry, the group began recording in VanEtten’s home studio in 1993. However, heralded singer/songwriter Jayne Sachs came calling and tagged the trio to be in her band. From there Void Where Prohibited took a back seat that would last decades.

“Jayne was looking for edge, and we brought her edge,” VanEtten explained.

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So when Shiverdecker and VanEtten left the Jayne Sachs Band years ago for their covers project 5OCD, they began toying with the idea of dusting off their indulgent and riff-heavy Void past. Shortly after recruiting 5OCD drummer Rob Hale, Void was back in the studio, releasing their first album since the ‘90s in Politics.

“Rob was probably the catalyst to a lot of this reforming, because now we had a drummer that might be able to play along with us,” Shiverdecker said.

The band recently released the 11-track Crusted With Roaches album.(Christopher Corn)

“We had so much fun doing (the Politics album). We just didn’t realize we could do something that would be called ‘Void’,” added VanEtten

However, times had changed and contacts and venues that once appreciated and booked bands like Void in the ‘90s had dried up or closed outright. So the group went back into writing mode, composing and recording with newly-added fourth member Derek Wade (formerly of fellow ‘90s band Grafton) on guitar to release the 11-track Crusted With Roaches, now available on the group’s BandCamp site.

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Crusted is filled with nods to Belew-era King Crimson, both vocally and with guitar acrobatics, all while Shiverdecker’s bass thumps melodically, Wade’s chunky guitars chug along as Hale solidly holds down the pace. Prog rock often turns listeners off, however, this album is accessible. The time signatures may throw the 4/4 ear off here and there, but it’s nothing so outlandish you can’t follow and enjoy, with “Flashes of Brilliant Light” being a perfect example. 

The band comes off serious, but there are moments of levity, like the funky tongue-in-cheek “Fat Rice”, as well as the soulful “Venus”, which sounds like it came straight from ’94 — the good part. 

“It’s not all pessimistic. Calling it Crusted With Roaches is a very strong visual image. But if you think about it, you open the door and the daylight streams in and they all scatter. Point is they never go away. They just scatter,” said VanEtten

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All Void was waiting for was a chance to get back out and do it again live, which they — save for a short set last year — will be doing for the first time in more than 20 years at Kettering’s Katz Lounge (1221 E. Stroop Rd.) Friday, July 7

“I want somebody to actually hear this, (because) recording is two-dimensional,” said VanEtten. “The songs are discussing the idea that the more you oppose something, the more it goes underground…maybe.”

Tickets on sale now for Guided By Voices show near Dayton

Published: Thursday, June 29, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Dayton's Guided By Voices are back out on the road this summer.
Lauren Rinehart
Dayton's Guided By Voices are back out on the road this summer.(Lauren Rinehart)

The summer tour for Dayton lo-fi legends Guided By Voices has added a date close enough for hometown fans to make the trip in short order. 

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The band recently added Aug. 16 at Cincinnati’s Woodward Theater to their schedule.

Tickets are on sale now and likely to sell out this close to home, having already done so for the first of two performances in Chicago in late July. You can purchase tickets online here

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WANT TO GO?

What: Guided By Voices

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 16 

Where: The Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Cincinnati 

Cost: $29.50/advance; $35/day of show

Dayton artists to recreate classic Talking Heads concert film for worthy cause

Published: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Artists hold a benefit for the Dayton Ballet at Oddbody's.

It’s a daunting task to attempt to recreate a classic, regardless of the art form. But that’s what more than a dozen musicians will attempt to do this weekend at Oddbody’s Music Room in Riverside when they pay tribute to the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense

Originally released in 1984, the Jonathan Demme-directed rock film captures the innovative Rock & Roll Hall of Famers over three nights while supporting their Speaking In Tongues album. 


Local executive producer Libby Ballengee, along with Dayton musician Patrick Himes, are shooting for the most authentic stage recreation possible with the This Must Be The Party! Talking Heads Tribute.

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“Musically, we’re trying to get it as close as humanly possible. Some of the sets and lights are a little out of our budget, because this is a fund-raiser,” Ballengee explained.

Proceeds for the show will benefit the Dayton Ballet Barre, an organization that supports the Dayton Ballet and its dancers. So, while the original was filmed on a budget of $1.2 million — raised by Talking Heads band members themselves — this event will have a considerably smaller bankroll. 


“Most of these arts fundraisers (have) really big ticket prices, and that’s great because they raise tons of money. But this particular one we’re trying to make affordable so the musicians’ friends can come, but also so people in different economic groups can help support the arts as well,” Ballengee added.

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The tribute idea sprung out of conversations Himes had with other musicians. Ballengee got wind of the notion, and it all snowballed from there.

From left: Libby Ballengee and Patrick Himes co-organized this weekend's tribute show.(Jim Ingram)

“We had kind of just been discussing how much fun this would be to do. I think word got out that we were talking about that,” joked Himes.

So in January Himes began assembling musicians and conducting rehearsals while he and Ballengee plotted out how and where to make it all happen.

“It was pretty clear we wanted Oddbody’s, because they have the greatest PA and the biggest stage. We knew if we were going to try and get as close as possible to the original, we’d need room to work and have a powerful enough PA to make it work. (Oddbody’s) has always been cool about stuff like that,” Himes said.

While the band, which includes both local and out-of-town musicians, may be static, the part of Talking Heads singer and songwriter David Byrne will be handled by five different performers. The various takes on the enigmatic lead singer should be worth the ticket price alone.

“Jeff Opt (of Yellow Cab Tavern) said that’s been one of the ongoing issues — the energy level for one person to do David Byrne all night,” said Ballengee. “So (the part of) Byrne is going to rotate.”

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Given the holiday weekend, the show is scheduled to start at 9 p.m and end by 11:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased from Oddbody’s in advance or at the door the day of the show.

When's the last time the refusal to make sense was for such a good cause?(Contributed)

Ballengee also hinted that there could be a few surprises in store, with Dayton Ballet dancers also taking part.

“This is some of the (most fun) music to dance to, and we didn’t want to be in a venue that had seats that were going to make that difficult. So it’s kind of a dance party for the dancers.”

WANT TO GO?

What: This Must Be The Party! Talking Heads Tribute

Where: Oddbody’s, 5418 Burkhardt Rd., Riverside, 937-813-4272

When: Saturday, April 15, 8 p.m. (doors)

Cost: $15 presale/$20 at door. Purchase tickets here.

Dayton music fest is back, bigger and better than ever

Published: Thursday, March 02, 2017 @ 12:31 PM

Chicago's Haymarket Riot will bring their powerful set to this year's Not Much More Than Awesome Again Festival
Contributed
Chicago's Haymarket Riot will bring their powerful set to this year's Not Much More Than Awesome Again Festival(Contributed)

Dayton's Smug Brothers are among 13 bands, local and regional, taking part in this weekend's two-day festival.(Contributed)

Anyone who’s ever tried to organize a music festival knows Murphy’s Law inside and out. Nearly a decade ago, Dayton musician Joe Anderl, picking up where the Much More Than Music Festival of the '90s left off, organized his Not Much More Than Awesome Festival. It was a one-shot deal — or so many would have thought.

Several months ago, Anderl decided to revisit his concept, bringing bands with punk and hardcore leanings back to town in the form of the Not Much More Than Awesome Again Festival.

He’s found the process much more of a relief than a hassle, using his contacts and old friendships to bring a harder-edged indie sound back to the area for a two-day, 13-band bill, at Yellow Cab Tavern in the Oregon District this weekend.

“The average age of the band members is a lot higher (than the first festival). It’s been fun. In dealing with more seasoned musicians, it becomes a lot easier,” Anderl said.

“People are real honest real quick.”The festival is a showcase of both local and regional bands who’s sounds are reminiscent of the Dischord Records-era groups that became far more influential than they ever were commercially viable. Anderl has put together an eclectic mix of bands for this edition.

“From the local side, I tried to make it a little bit different with who I booked with whom,” Anderl said. “Dayton is a finite community when it comes to indie rock. So I was trying to change it up in the mixture of who we play with.”

The very thought of bands like Haymarket Riot (Illinois), Kill Surf City (Indiana) and Yard Boss (Michigan) mixing with more experimental groups like Primitives (Columbus) and XL427 (Dayton) conjures up memories of punk and art-rock shows at Dayton’s long-departed, but fondly-remembered (mostly) Brookwood Hall. 

“It’s a little bit of a different flare to indie rock, especially from the out-of-town side. We wanted bands that have little bit more throwback to the mid -90s hardcore and punk scene — a bit more angularly aggressive — which I don’t think this town gets a lot of,” said Anderl.

Anderl’s choice of venue also brings back that Brookwood Hall feeling — only much better in every way.

“Yellow Cab is pretty much the closest we have to something (like Brookwood Hall), where it’s run in an old-school punk aesthetic, if you will. They’re real open to creative ideas (and) different things. The space is just friendly to booking an event. It still has that same sort of feel,” he said.

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Anderl’s band, The 1984 Draft, will close out both nights with two entirely different sets. You can find a complete listing of bands and performance times here.

“Mid-level to higher level indie bands — I think they’ll find, when they come to Dayton, it’s a really appreciative music scene and they’ll want to come back,” Anderl added.

WANT TO GO?

What: Not Much More Than Awesome Again Festival

Where: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. 4th St., Dayton

When: March 3-4

Cost: $5 (Friday), $7 (Saturday)