When Nash Were Young


In remembering 84 Nash...trying to piece together the best possible setlist to represent what we did for 10+ years, has been a great chore in the last few weeks since deciding we'll be getting back together. For one show at least. Well, in digging, Andy found this, well-known (at least by three of us) leftover from the Band For Hire sessions. "Sirens Going Steady." I, for one, am extremely excited to shake off the rust, because, just not for nostalgia's sake, I know there's plethora of songs like this sitting dormant that you all (who remain interested) need to hear. And for those who aren't in the know, I honestly feel there's an album worth of "quality" and "innovation" and simply pure "Nash Pop" that has yet to be discovered. Believe it. This is just a taste. It's a little quiet, but I suppose that's just lo-fi (or that it's culled from the original demo cassette of Band For Hire).

84 Nash - Sirens Going Steady

Visiting the Hoosier's Gym

After the Columbus, Indiana post, there's little much else to post except for this nugget. Adam, the biggest fan of the film Hoosier's I know (besides my father) was sleeping after our exhausting day in the "Athens of the Prairies" in the back-seat. I surprised him by pulling up next to the gym where that movie, at least the baseketball scenes, were filmed. Thanks to our fearless guide, Merve, we learned that the Hoosier's Gym has become a staple in b-ball lore. Many a Indiana High School tournament played there, many an interview between legends (Magic, Bird, Enemy 'Bron, 'Melo), many a reunion of former cast members, has occurred in the tiny gym of Knightstown. Well worth our 20 minute detour. I once imagined putting a blindfold on my dad and driving him all the way here for a birthday. He's the inspiration.

Jhene Aiko and the Sailing Soul(s) Crush

Jhene Aiko? So I dismissed any urge to download Aiko’s summer mixtape simply based on the cover (something you learn not to do in school, right?). I thought she looked like a second-class Beyonce or Rhianna, treading R&B waters, just trying to make a name via hipster R&B mixtapes. Can’t fault a girl from trying, especially in a dog-eat-dog world full of producers trying to meddle with various ingĂ©nues/wannabe-divas for the end result – just one hit. I must be blind to certain trends at this point, as I can’t identify (besides Drake’s “Marvin’s Room”) where Aiko is lamping over others’ creations/beats. I was introduced with “Snapped,” seen in the amazing Ah-Ha/Akira inspired vid below, which by all accounts is a Jhene Aiko exclusive.

As I was spewing out the virtues of Britney Spears’ recent Columbus show (review/or sort of review forthcoming), a good friend of mine asked how I decide on which parts of the plastic pop universe I choose to adore (since there’s so much). He wasn’t questioning my love for this ilk of sophisto-mainstream pop (he understands the general nostalgia), but just why I chose Britney over another. Or Beyonce over Rhianna (which I do). Or for that matter why Jewel’s “Intuition” is much superior to any other contemporary artist, in her predicament, who attempted to tap into that Top 40 realm down that alley. And for all those questions, I didn’t have an answer. It’s not a guilty pleasure, as there’s no such thing. Femme Fatale, Britney Spears latest masterpiece (yes, masterpiece) is not a guilty listen. It’s one I genuinely enjoy on many levels for its future-forward approach to pop and how it posits the star. Anyone who thinks Britney Spears continues upon a downward slope is definitely not listening to the music. It’s not her creation, fer sure, but the money and ingenuity attached to her persona is enough. I wish these behind-the-scenes wizards took more chances. Then, of course, a legitimate artist (?) like Jhene Aiko, or Sky Ferreira, or Nicki Minaj, would be in the running for this stable of production ohhhs and ahhhs. Instead, I suppose they all fight the good fight, against the Britney’s and the Beyonce’s of in their horizon. I’m sure some of them will prevail. I haven’t yet even tipped the iceberg of Tove Styrke (jeez, just wait). There is assurance, that much like her counter – let’s plug in the wonderful Cassie right now, Jhene Aiko has a bright, but predictably, unpredictable future ahead of her.

It was early morning, this week, playing this loud, that I was assured of Aiko's power.Go Here for the Mixtape.

Burger Tour 2011: Johnnie's Tavern

Johnnie’s Tavern sits out on an edge of Columbus known as San Margherita. I suppose that’s why John included the “h” when he stretched his name and loaned it to his tavern in 1948. I don’t think this neighborhood has ever been much, hence the need for a tavern like Johnnie’s. Supposedly San Margherita is on the way to no longer being independent of the city – so this highly industrial, haven for massive faux-luxury apartment complexes, directly east of proper Hilliard, will eventually be sucked into Columbus. Then can we call Johnnie’s our own? I’ve driven this stretch of the city many times before. Maybe because I had a friend who used to allow us to jump into the reservoir in the middle of his faux-luxury complex back in the day, or maybe because the UPS hub was the only place to pick up your UPS shipped items? Granted, I’d been here before. Not Johnnie’s, but in a mindset that reflects the rough and worn environs of Johnnie’s. The Super Johnnie Burger was on the Burger GPS, so this was a little bit cheating, but also exploration. You have to drive to get what is now (sorry Thurman’s, size doesn’t matter) my favorite burger in Columbus. But that isn’t saying much, because while it was good, it doesn’t match the 4 burgers found in Western Ohio (full report coming soon, I promise).

Atmosphere: What can I say? I’m a sucker for the low-rent vibe that pervades Johnnie’s. Of course we were in Columbus but our party was looked at up and down like we just came from the ends of the Earth, or Brooklyn, or something. They only have fried items for food – besides the Super Johnnie – and Michelob on tap (the coldest beer in Columbus?) but it’s extremely cheap (your reward for finding the place) and the service was beyond friendly. One could easily waste an afternoon here and get that “stuck in a Roseanne episode” type of nostalgia. Then again, this arena for drink (and nothing else) can likely be found anywhere along the outskirts of the city.


Burger: Here’s where the points come in. Presentation wise, it was your standard large, single patty, accompanied by lettuce, tomato, onion, American cheese, and mayo on a sesame bun. Who can fuck that up? Apparently diner after diner after dive bar across the country. Everything here seemed built with care – the cheese perfectly melted and delivered (see picture) and the veg fresh. This is a big burger, but was cooked to another level of perfection – a nice medium, and spiced with the slightest amount of black pepper. It was an ingredient that was prominent but didn’t overwhelm and surprised all who took this journey. The pepper flavor is what took the Super Johnnie over the (average) top. There was no special sauce, no novelty condiment, no catch. Just a satisfying burger. And that’s something the Five Guys and Grafitti Burger (and even the Big Boy) do well, but never in this type of memorable way.


Hype: The Super Johnnie is worthy of being on the Motz’s Burger GPS and in his book. As stated (so far) this is the best burger I’ve had in Columbus. And adhering to my atmosphere score, there’s nothing off-putting about a visit there. That said, it’s hard to justify a jaunt down that way, even in the relatively small confines of the Columbus Metropolitan area. It eeks above the rest. And I’ve yet to try the Gahanna Grill, which may become a suitable foe to this West side establishment. It’s quintessentially a neighborhood haunt quite honestly, and going above that seems out of their league. A good burger overall, but not a requirement. I realize that is contradictory to my mission.


Journey to Columbus....Indiana


If you read here regularly you know I somewhat pride myself on being knowledgeable about the nooks and crannies traveling throughout the tri-state region. Be it chili parlors, baseball pit-stops, or generally intriguing tourist traps. This summer, like last summer and likely the one before it (I haven’t been out of the country since Montreal, 2009) has been the season of staycation. I can honestly say my first summer off as an educator has been chocked full of mini-trips, mainly being the reason WOW has kept quiet in these months. I’m catching up. Be on the lookout. But for now I want to purge what was perhaps my best voyage. Little did I know about the hidden gem hidden in Southern Indiana known as the “Athens of the Prairie.” There’s a guy Eugene who frequently is a patron during my bar shifts – he sits alone, reads, eats, and goes out to smoke a lot. Our conversations usually end up leading towards our equal love of seeking out the world’s best architecture. One night in July he couldn’t believe I’d never heard of Columbus, Indiana. So based on what he told me and what I learned on my own (thanks to the wonders of Wikipedia) it soon became a priority destination. A few weeks back, Patti (mom), Adam (bro), and myself made the four hour pilgrimage, about 40 minutes outside of Indianapolis, to discover a community built and designed like no other in Midwest.


Long story short (find it yourself and read it) – the man who made the town, J. Irwin Miller (founder of the Cummins Engine Company), wanted to invest in Columbus to be that community built and designed like no other. So he began to contribute his own funds to the city as long as they chose an architect from his list. First it was a church (pictured above) by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen and then it was the bank downtown (pictured below)by his more renowned son, Eero, it boiled over to schools, and the library, city hall, and eventually even the jail. It quickly became a canvas for inventive architects and landscape sculptors.



Just pulling into town you could tell that Columbus had become a magnet for aspiring modern and post-modern architects, and it rubbed off on many of the residents, who you can see all wanted to own a home unique to their peaceful and extremely flat environment. This is of course, not to mention the many examples of classical architecture that already formed the bulk of Columbus before Miller became bent for the future. Miller’s private home, commissioned for Eero to design, is a feat of architecture that is said to parallel Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water, just recently opened to the public – and on this day and many days into the future entrance to the home was sold out. But we did get to see what many consider Eero’s masterpiece, the North Christian Church (pictured above, which we dubbed Jesus’ spaceship), finished after the architect had passed. It was the finale of a very informative bus tour through the highlights of Indiana’s architecture. We soon learned though, it’s a walking city, and many of the treasures not found on the tour can be found within a mile radius of the Tourist Center (itself a known piece of architecture.

We certainly didn't see it all. Which will definitely prompt a return visit. But just the chunk we did see was enough to be inspired by American ingenuity. It was a bit Eerie, Indiana, or Pleasantville (visit the century old soda parlor for proof), yet still balanced by a World's Fair (or Tomorrowland) type of vision. And....on your way home you can visit the Hoosier's Gym in Knightstown and the Warm Glow Candle Company, off of I-70. Go there.

Some extra sites:


The Cleo Rogers Memorial Library by I.M. Pei.


The aforementioned county jail building.


The local newspaper.


The post office.


The Entrance to Cummins Engine Company HQ.


I suppose this is where you deal with your cable bill.


2011 Dusk of Summer Mix

It's been a long time. I know. I've had this Special Blend i the works for some time -- some of it's even tagged for December. Apologies if you care enough. You can find the last blend, the 2010 Season of Wither Mix -- here. (Right Click to Download)


2011 Dusk of Summer Mix

1. Christine McVie – Got a Hold on Me
2. Greatest Hits – Fun Girls
3. SBTRKT – Wildfire
4. SWV – I’m So Into You
5. Part Time – Cassie (Won’t You Be My Doll)
6. Tove Styrke – High and Low
7. Marcos Valle – Tira A Mao
8. Sleep ∞ Over - Romantic Streams
9. Midnight Television – All Night
10. P.M. Dawn – I’d Die Without You
11. The Sea and Cake – Jackin’ the Ball
12. Twin Sister – Bad Street
13. Melted Toys – Wild Waves
14. Gross Magic – Sweetest Touch
15. Laptin – Livin’ 4
16. Switch – I Call Your Name


(A World of Wumme Production, 2011)

About the Dusk of Summer Mix:

The dusk of summer is something that’s become impossibly difficult to make tangible. Whether you’re 34 or 14 or 8, August in Ohio always has a way of exhaling, as if May through July have been months of sweat, short breaths, and short, exasperating, joy-infused breaths. And that’s with or without traipsing Europe, and that’s with or without the beach or being poolside, even with or without amusement parks and state fair -- as long as you’ve experienced the faint stench of overgrown, unmaintained foliage near an abandoned factory you’ve lived through summer eternal. Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate (you can’t complain in Ohio) wherever you live, there is always the imprint of summer and the season’s eventual shift. Sundown comes earlier and earlier, as if every passing day is a bittersweet reminder the “fun” is over. You better have your Moon Tower moment this weekend, or next, and if you don’t know what a Moon Tower moment is, cold beers in a lightning bug waning backyard is the moment. Post-Labor Day you’ve gone too far. It is business as usual as sleeves get longer and shorts disappear. Baseball either gets serious or deflates until spring. Browsing through the megastore, you almost want to buy back-to-school supplies just to re-align one’s scruples frazzled from the fever dreams and plastic memories which can accumulate over summer.

This could also be the Staycation Mix – but I’ve had a few summers of Staycations and that seems to be the norm – exploring my surroundings and soaking it all in. No need to cross state lines (though I could include a few trips to the BIG CITY as inspiration in my current design), as it’s really all here. It is. Or within radials of three or four hours NSEW.
Tough to assess where the mix stands in the realm of a three month holiday, but more than anything it reflects THE END, the dusk. There’s the obligatory Twin Sister cut (cause that’s what you’ll be jamming in Autumn) and Switch (recalling the regular theme of late ‘70s/early ‘80s street funk), some Teen Gloss and New Jill Swing, and Fleetwood Mac. The Mac has been a certified staple of summer – even if it’s only Christie McVie. Here’s to, not only the dusk, but also the hidden gems of summer.


Nudge Squidfish Television

Some people in the Harrisburgh Players universe has been very busy lately, accumulating deteriorated VHS cassettes and other decaying media in hopes of preserving it for future generations to "learn" about "what went on." Of course, most of us, who did not survive among the time of the True Believers, have very little visual evidence of these times and their creative tidal-wave -- that's not to say we can't leave it to our imagination through oral legends passed down and those recordings -- and the stuff Nudge Squidfish has posted in a short time onto the mercurial channels of YOUTUBE (SUBSCRIBE) is filled with footage most of us will have never known existed. Among the multiple UFO sightings are music videos from Tommy Jay and Mike Rep, hour-long documentaries on Jim Shepard, full live shows, obscure audio from JayFish and Nudge himself uploaded over some pretty head-shaking imagery. Start watching, and start digging that rabbit hole you're about to retreat into.

Apparently the resurrection and revival of all this is to be celebrated in a much bigger project which you'll hopefully be seeing in an art museum/lonely basement somewhere soon.

Until then....."Tuff Luck Roy" courtesy of Tommy Jay...

Polvo Make a "Heavy Detour"

Living my very impressionable high school/early college years in '90s, it's a given that I'm a sucker for all of this reuniting many of my favorite bands have succumbed to for various reasons --to promote the 10 year re-issue, for the money, for retribution, for the glory. Trust me, there are varying scales of excitement when it comes down to it. From "OMFG the classic Guided By Voices line-up has lost nary a step," to "though I was nonplussed by Pavement, I still knew all the words and sang along with a smile," and down the grade with "there's no fucking way I'm driving to Detroit to see Archers of Loaf." Perhaps my favorite reunited band from those halcyon days is that of Polvo. They could easily be schilling their long underrated records from back then (Merge has re-issued the excellent Celebrate the New Dark Age EP in a deluxe version) but have instead chose to re-ignite the flame and return where they left off, in complete earnest. Their sole purpose is to rock again -- and show that their oddball antics of the past were ahead of their time. Their return was invigorating -- sounding nothing like the Polvo of 1997 (the last we'd heard from them) but yet, just like we left them (as strange as ever). 2009's In Prism was one of my favorite records of that year. It didn't sound like there was even a scrap of rust or regret on it.

And now, two years later, they are back again. We'll have to see what another new album morphs into, but if "Heavy Detour" (the first single) is any indication, it will be another massive left turn for the band. Ash Bowie sings as if he is mortally grizzled (in the best way possible) here, chomping and choogling through some futurized boogie prog. Tambourine on a Polvo record? Yes. They are an American band after all. I hate to bring in Grand Funk here but this is the gnarliest the GFR has ever chugged down the tracks. Add in some serious Wakemen-esque synth arpeggios and I'd be remiss to add Emerson, Lake and Palmer. OK. That last comparison is a bit of a stretch (and a wretch were it not for Tarkus), but I'm trying to make a point. Just listen. They deserve your attention.

Polvo - Heavy Detour by MergeRecords


Burger Tour 2011: Fat Patty's

Fat Patty's 
1935 3rd Ave.
Huntington, West Virginia

Fat Patty's was a must because, well, there wasn't much open in Huntington, West Virginia, on the Fourth of July. Be warned Fat Patty's is on the Burger GPS -- but there is also no review and no guide as to what you should order should you partake. I'll have to say, Fat Patty's should not dissuade you from visit to Huntington. It's a beautiful little city where the river meets the hills, with plenty of character/characters and wonderful hospitality. Next time I fully intend on hitting up Tooter's and avoiding the Marshall campus altogether (if that's possible). And now for the scoring:

Atmosphere - There wasn't much. I do think this place is probably legendary on Marshall Thundering Herd game days. There are plenty of worthless beers on tap and pictures of Heaven's Herd starring at your from all directions. The decor is pure Green and White -- with the typical sports bar woodshed fixtures keeping patrons either claustrophobic or drinking away their misery. This place must have a history (it's right next to the stadium), but I couldn't find much. It's certainly isn't because of the food.


Burger - I was told to order the "famous" Pretzel Burger, which was basically just an average grill burger served on a pretzel bun with bland honey mustard. There was no seasoning to the burger and the novelty of the bun being a pretzel did little to cover that up. I wasn't asked how I wanted my burger cooked, so I'm thinking the standard is medium well, probably to cover up the sub-quality of the taste. Perhaps I'm being too harsh. I definitely ate the massive thing and got home in one piece, but I was ashamed to drag two families down the street for this.


Hype - There was a hype to Fat Patty's. Our hosts had heard many things about it and didn't seem that thrilled with the place either. Still, I was finding plenty of evidence on the internet and the aforementioned Burger GPS that people loved the stuff. It's also a bit off the beaten path unless you are in Huntington with nothing else to do (again, try Tooter's Biscuit World or Hillbilly Hot Dogs), so travelling just for this is out of the question.


Twin Sister In Dreams on Bad Street

When I talked with Twin Sister late last year and subsequently saw them mesmerize the worst venue in Columbus, I had extremely high hopes that their debut would be a perfect mix of progressive soft-rock and neo-roller-rink blip-pop. Of course, most of the buzz orbits around the group's chanteuse Andrea Estrella. For good reason, not only is she a doll, she truly embodies the music that surrounds in her magnetic coo. But the band in tow is equally magic as evidenced our first taste from In Dreams, "Bad Street." It's the perfect evolution beyond the whimsical "Around and Away We Go," showing an increase in electronic arrangements, in songwriting, adding extra limbs and extra ambition that has resulted from an increased maturity -- or possibly freezing with each other in a Long Island studio until suddenly thawing out in the spring. "Bad Street" was made for summer though, and shown in this very cinematic representation of the song, it's a jam for all-day backyard parties, complete with pinatas, grilling out, and sparklers. Who says nostalgia can't sound (and look) this fresh?