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Columbuzz: Eternally Dizzy

Humility and modesty aren’t two adjectives one usually associates with psychedelic rock. Yet in the songs of Eternally Dizzy, one has to respect that those qualities exist, as well as the usual indulgence and sonic power inherent in music we might call psych-rock. Here, it’s mannerly bombast, as if I can imagine the band’s core [...]
Kevin J. Elliott

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Humility and modesty aren’t two adjectives one usually associates with psychedelic rock. Yet in the songs of Eternally Dizzy, one has to respect that those qualities exist, as well as the usual indulgence and sonic power inherent in music we might call psych-rock. Here, it’s mannerly bombast, as if I can imagine the band’s core leader, Andre’ Vanderpool, vamping rock moves in the mirror when no one is looking.

Our exchange in a loud, crowded bar is unusually quiet. Clad in a thrift toque and flannel, Vanderpool isn’t one to respond with too much excitement for what he does as a songwriter. He actually embodies the once nascent (in the ’90s anyway) Pacific Northwest slacker vibe. But it’s cool. I get it. It’s when I start asking about guitar heroes when I begin to show (and feel) my age.

“Kurt Cobain,” answers Vanderpool with little restraint. “He’s probably the reason that I started writing songs. I started playing guitar my sophomore year of high school and was only learning Nirvana songs. Nirvana songs are easy to learn, but for some reason they were hard for me. So I just stopped trying to learn songs and started, at least trying, to write my own stuff.”

Dirty Dirt’s finale, “Leonard,” indeed comes straight, as much as inspiration, from the Cobain songbook. In fact it goes further back than Nevermind and reaches for the bleach. A bounty of the “psych” mentioned herein is loaded onto this track. But, in true pop spirit, Vanderpool’s love for the early Beatles – which comes in a very certain second to Nirvana – shines over the gnarly rawness. The song unwinds like the pristine desert of Columbus rock’s current hunger for melody.

Most origin stories in Columbus begin with the members meeting up for the first time at some kind of higher learning institution – be it OSU or CCAD, college breeds bands full of like-minded individuals. There’s been a shift in the last decade, where “transience” turns into “permanence.” You don’t just stop off in our city to go to school anymore. The music scene has become a magnet for hopefuls from far-flung towns in our state, looking to establish an actual “crowd” for the art one seeks to make. Sleep Fleet, in which Vanderpool plays guitar, moved from their home base of Dayton to the more fertile pastures of Columbus’s rock clubs, looking to score. Their endurance has paid off, becoming “locals” as opposed to “transplants” in a span of months (we’ve written about them already in these pages). Vanderpool, eager to sample the same type of exposure with his songs at the weekly Taj Mahal open-mic nights, formed what is now Eternally Dizzy – organically.

“I’ve always had these songs and have always played them acoustic,” Vanderpool said, “but I never had any idea that they would fit with a band and I also didn’t have any idea how to even form a band or get anyone interested in it.”

Luckily, local impresario Joe Camerlengo convinced and assured Vanderpool that a band should form around those songs and that he would play bass. Along with drummer Jeremy Skeen, Eternally Dizzy was born and soon started the recording of the band’s debut, the Dirty Dirt EP.

While Camerlengo and Skeen provide much of the polished backdrop, it’s Vanderpool’s plaintive, indifferent, monotone croon, lounging on vowels exemplar of the record’s hypnotic source. Lyrics about love, death, taxes, and jaywalking. Or solos, like the pseudo-metal scorcher on “Day Today” that then launches into a raging mess of chords and distortion. Everything about the guy’s basic framework is up for interpretation – is it inspired by Built to Spill more than Neil Young? – and usually the results go from pedestrian to epic in a matter of minutes. It’s not complicated, complex, nor brainy in any capacity.

“His songwriting exudes that stream-of-consciousness feel that can’t be faked, which is really inspiring to come across,” Camerlengo said. “It’s all honest and straight-forward. He’s a total trip. It’s like he’s some well-behaved alien from outer space that is decently accustomed with how to behave on planet Earth.”

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Music industry designates Blackout Tuesday as time of pause

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To honor the memory of George Floyd and fix the injustices surrounding his death, the music industry has designated Tuesday as a time of pause to collaborate on ways to better support the black community.

Businesses and organizations within the music industry have been asked to pause regular work to reflect on how they can better serve the black community, according to a report from Variety. In general, businesses and organizations across the board have been asked to use Tuesday as a way to focus on the effort.

The message that circulated around social media quickly on Monday stated that “Blackout Tuesday” is being used as “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” and “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.”

The movement has been gaining momentum under the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused. Major labels such as Capitol Music Group and Warner Music Group announced their alignment with the “Blackout Tuesday” cause. 

Companies have also announced practices such as pausing social media activity throughout the whole day.

Spotify and ViacomCBS have already announced an 8 minute and 46-second moment of silence for Tuesday. The time reflects how long the Minnesota police officer dug his knee into the kneck of Floyd.

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Curbside Concerts brings live music, hope to those in need

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Can’tStopColumbus took a quick pause when the pandemic shut down the world and asked two questions:

  1. Are we sure we're solving the needs of everyone in our community during this time? 
  2. Are we not just coming up with ideas based on our own experiences?

Our elder community was one of the major demographics to have stricter socially distancing guidelines suggested to them. Holidays and birthdays went by without hugs from grandpa or grandma’s cookies.

Out of the need to fill that missing love in the life of American seniors, the idea of Curbside Concerts was born. Anyone is able to jump on the Curbside Concerts signup page and request a concert for an elder, sick people not able to leave the house, or a simple celebration.

Sending a concert telegram is free, and you can also leave a message for a loved one and suggest what type of tunes the organization-selected Columbus-area musician.

So far, the feedback has been inspiring. 

“People cried. I cried. We cried. It was beautiful,” said Zach Friedman, one of the service’s founders and creators. “We had a powerful idea on our hands, and the amazing power of the #Can'tStopColumbus community to scale it and bring it to life.”

To date, Curbside Concerts has had over 50 volunteers. Their job is to drive around a Columbus musician and their equipment with trucks provided by Ricart Automotive. It’s a road trip around the Columbus area, delivering concerts to those who may just need their spirits lifted. It’s like a non-depressing version of Inside Llewyn Davis.

Support has come from all ends of the Columbus creative community, including The Columbus Foundation, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Streetlight Guild, and What? Productions. Through these organizations, musicians are able to be paid for a route that usually lasts five to six hours. 100 percent of the donations they receive on their route also goes to the musicians.

Friedman is asking people to keep requests to older audiences.

“Working with local musicians to perform curbside at people's homes is the vehicle or medium, but the real thing we are doing here is connecting those to older people they love, with an authentic and emotional experience to send love over,” Friedman said.

We found out pretty quickly how much as a collective that we take live music for granted. Live streams have been a temporary, dulled-down replacement. You realize how long people have been robbed of the experience when you see a musician pull up in a pickup truck, set up in five minutes, and serenade neighborhoods with songs like “Lean on Me” and “What A Wonderful World.” It starts off with a message to one house and then resonates down the street, like the citizens of Gas Town rushing to The People Eater for even a drop of water.

Photos by Zak Kolesar

For most people, it was their first taste of live music since mid-March. While we may want concerts to return as soon as possible, its productions like Curbside Concerts that display the emotional power of music.

To request to send someone a concert, follow the link here: https://sendaconcert.herokuapp.com/request

To volunteer for Curbside Concerts, follow the link here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040b45abaa22a4fb6-curbside

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Arts & Culture

Live music allowed again in restaurants and bars: how will these establishments respond?

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A major step forward in the return of live music in Ohio took place over the weekend. The Ohio coronavirus guidelines were updated to reflect the new COVID-19 Dine Safe Ohio Order.

The order outlining the guidelines on live music in restaurant and bars is as follows:

Musicians and bands may perform in restaurants and bars as long as the individuals who are performing maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from all other people including, but not limited to, fellow performers and restaurant and bar patrons and staff.

DJ's are included along with musicians and bands in the order.

Something that was on the mind of a lot of musicians with the reopening of restaurants and the indefinite closing of large venues was how restaurants and bars were going to respond to the immediate venue demand. Places like Woodlands Tavern that already have an infrastructure for live music will have no problem complying with the updated order, but will restaurants and bars that depended on jukeboxes before pivot to a live music model?

With a lot more space available in restaurants due to capacity cuts, does this leave more room for a live music set up? Or will restaurants have to get rid of even more tables if they want to make room for a performer?

The thought of live music in a venue setting is alone enough to get excited about. How these places that now have the ability to host live music execute freeing up space for a band to set up or a DJ to bring his rig in while practicing social distancing is what makes this situation a tricky one.

Not being able to get down in a MojoFlo Soul Train line will be pretty tough, but it’s a tradeoff we’ll have to accept for the return of live music.

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