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Helter Swelter 2014

As the summer winds to a close, revelers far and wide are doing whatever they can to squeeze the last ounces of se asonal vibes from the calendar. It’s likely that the first installment of Helter Swelter, coming Saturday, August 16th, in the parking lot of Ace of Cups, is where you'll find the most [...]
Kevin J. Elliott



As the summer winds to a close, revelers far and wide are doing whatever they can to squeeze the last ounces of se asonal vibes from the calendar. It’s likely that the first installment of Helter Swelter, coming Saturday, August 16th, in the parking lot of Ace of Cups, is where you’ll find the most bang for your buck. Legendary New Zealand band The Clean will be making their maiden visit to Columbus as headliners, but the undercard, with sets from Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Scrawl, Pretty Pretty, and the Unholy Two, among others, is the best concentration of local bands this town has seen in some time.

Jerry Dannemiller is the man we have to thank for bringing it all together. Besides his great work as Communications Director at the Wexner Center for the Arts, he’s also a member of Moviola – they’ll be playing as well. I recently got to chat with Dannemiller about how Helter Swelter came to be and what attendees should expect from the fest.


How did the idea of Helter Swelter come about? Was this something you’ve been kicking around for a while, or did it happen fairly spontaneously?
Jerry Dannemiller: Marcy had been wanting to do something since the bar opened two years ago; I’d helped out with a number of festivals in town, Independent’s Day, Parking Lot Blowout, 4th and 4th, and booked some shows at Ace of Cups (Blues Control, Eugene Mirman, etc.). We hatched a plan at O’Reilly’s bar one night in January over a couple drinks.


You don’t need to tell me, but how do you explain to others the importance of the Clean?

Oh gosh, I think if you’re not familiar with the awesomeness of the Clean, then a) you should get familiar with it, like, now and b) you’re certainly aware of the long shadow of influence they’ve had over bands like Sonic Youth, Pavement, Yo La Tengo, and many, many others. Their longevity, 35+ years(!), is only one aspect of their greatness.


Besides the Clean, what set are you most excited to see?

Everybody, for certain, but Scrawl and Unholy Two are the two I’m going to make a point to be up front for.


One thing I love about Columbus is that there really doesn’t seem to be a lapse between the bands of 20 years ago and the bands playing today, and this show is a perfect example of that. What is it about Columbus that perpetuates that continuity?

Lack of caring or knowing about what’s fashionable, though that seems to be fading as time moves on and more luxury housing and gastropubs get built.


To that end, what is it about Columbus that continues to pull bands like Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments and Scrawl out of (semi) retirement every few years?
Hmm. Lack of actually good bands to actually see? Maybe the need for supplemental income because of a horrible Republican governor?


When was the last time Moviola played? What prompted you guys to get back together? Is there new music being recorded?

We played last around Christmas 2012 for our friend Bela’s Anyway Records 20th anniversary. That was fun. We have a whole batch of songs for another record (our 8th?) which are recorded, yes.


Are there any plans to do this again next year?

Most definitely. I certainly hope all the work everyone has done this year would be a foundation on which to build next year.


Are there any charities or other organizations that you’d like to acknowledge in collaboration with Helter Swelter?
Yes. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go toward both Grrrls Rock Columbus and Girlz Rhythm n’ Rock Camp, who help young women have creative expression experiences regardless of means. Everyone knows that the best drummers in the world are always women (see: Moe Tucker, Janet Weiss). Hopefully this inspires a new generation of not only drummers, but all sorts of future female music makers.








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Music industry designates Blackout Tuesday as time of pause




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




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:

To volunteer for Curbside Concerts, follow the link here:

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Arts & Culture

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




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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