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Published: Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
— 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?”
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.
“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?”
“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.
“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)
Published: Thursday, July 06, 2017 @ 11:28 AM
— 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.
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.
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.
“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.
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
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.
Published: Thursday, June 29, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
— 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.
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.
WANT TO GO?
What: Guided By Voices
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 16
Where: The Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Cincinnati
Published: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
— 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.
“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.
“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.
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.