Connections sound like a Columbus band. They live here, they eat here and they probably deal with our traffic — just like everyone else. You can hear it in their music — the jangly and fuzzed guitars, the echoed and slightly muffled shouts. At the end of the day, the music has real bones to it and feels like something closer to our own midwestern version of The Wrens, but not quite.
Connections just released MIDNIGHT RUN in July and the band has been busy to make sure they ride of wave forward instead of settling on a big accomplishment. What would you do if you made half-a-dozen “Best Of” lists on your fourth album in three years? You’d probably take it easy, play some videogames, maybe take up a hobby like…jogging. Which is to say none of them did, I mean…maybe Phil Kim jogs now — not that it really matters because he isn’t bragging about it. They’re too busy moving forward to brag.
Check out their brand new video below (as of 20 minutes prior to this post.)
We talked to Connections about their upcoming show at Independents Day, a festival that’s slowly becoming Columbus’s “Big Thing” — pulling in national acts like Speedy Ortiz and Cloud Nothings. They’re not too concerned about the appeal of big time festivals though, they’re keeping it grounded.
“We’re excited mostly to be playing outdoors so Andy’s (Hampel) nephew can watch.”
So what’s next for Connections? They just released a new video directed by Brandon Reichard, and working on some new songs to get them ready to record. To the question whether a new album is in the works, they simply said, “Definitely.”
They’re eager to start recording which is surprising given the often long gestation process of many albums. When asked what’s up next for the band they said they’re doing a live set for CD102.5 at the Big Room.
Okay, so you like their music but you want to see them live, where can you find them at Independents Day Fest? Saturday, Sept. 17th – Sideshow Stage, 5:15PM
Columbus just can't get enough of our hometown hero Nina West, and with good cause. When West isn't repping the 614 on national TV or making history on the red carpet, the local icon is usually finding inventive ways to give back to the community.
West's latest offering, a music video for the new track "Treat Yourself," is perfect example of fun with a cause. Presented by OraQuick, an over the counter HIV test kit, the video was filmed on location in Columbus and features several prominent local businesses:
Choreographer Mark Kanemura(a former backup dancer for Lady Gaga and So You Think You Can Dance all-star) co-stars with West in the video, which follows the pair on a sunny day-long frolic that concludes with a vital message about self-care: knowing your HIV status.
Filmed in the short North, viewers may recognize prominent locations such as Jeni's, Torso, bangSTUDIOS, Union Café, and the North Market.
Look for "Treat Yourself" on October 10/4 on iTunes. All proceeds from purchases of the song will be donated to Equitas Health.
If you're one of the many Columbus drivers whose commute takes you through downtown via 4th street, you may have noticed the strange artwork adorning several buildings in the vicinity of 4th and Broad:
More intricate than your average street art, these perplexing works are rendered in acrylic paint that is applied directly to the face of the structures, depicting various scenic views from throughout the city.
So what gives? Is Columbus home to a brazen, landscape-obsessed Banksy wannabe? Upon closer inspection, each piece on display is accompanied by a gallery-style placard, complete with a scannable QR code. From here, the not-so-mysterious mystery of the downtown paintings is revealed.
A scan of the code on a smartphone directs you to columbuspublicart.com, where the project is revealed as a commissioned public work by Central Ohio Plein Air—an informal group of artists who enjoy painting outdoors.
As the site explains, members of the group created 20 discrete paintings on buildings downtown "en plein air," a style of painting in which the artist paints a subject on location.
For this project, an element of the unexpected was intentional. Focusing on unlikely urban locations, the artists tucked works away in alleys and crevices throughout the downtown core to be stumbled upon spontaneously by unsuspecting pedestrians.
The next time you're rushing your way through downtown, remember to take a peak down those dark alleyways. What you find may surprise you!
For more on this and other public art projects throughout Columbus, and for a full list of artists and works on display, visit http://columbuspublicart.com/.
From moveable type to
Xerox to 3-D, printing
has always been a
Several years ago, Columbus
graphic designer Nigel Ewan
saw a zine with an “impossible”
hot pink color that he knew
he couldn’t replicate with an
inkjet or laser printer. The
printmaking game changed for
him as well.
“I was curious enough to
investigate the print method—
it turned out it was riso, and
that pink color was possible
because risograph printing
uses specifically-chosen inks
as opposed to mixing toner or
CMYK inks together to produce
a spectrum,” said Ewan.
Nigel teamed up with his
sister Dempsey, and the two
began the onomatopoetically-
named Clatter Press, exploring
the possibilities of risograph
printing to create unique items
in small numbers. Risograph
printing is not completely
unlike mimeograph or silk
screen printing, in that the
risograph uses a stencil and ink
color that is applied one layer
at a time, resulting in an often
imperfect, but exciting and
authentic image. Clatter Press
now features the Fluorescent
Pink (along with five other
colors available for designers)
that originally caught Nigel and
Dempsey’s attention. (You may
have seen a pink photo of Meryl
Streep that has made its way
(614) recently spoke with Nigel and Dempsey to learn more about this unusual printmaking technique and what it can be used to do.
(614): Can you explain the technology and the process behind
NE: In risograph printing, a stencil is created in a thin paper which
then is wrapped around a cylindrical ink drum. When the drum
rotates, ink is pushed through the stencil onto paper to produce an
image. This whole process happens inside a large machine made by
a Japanese company named RISO, hence “risograph.” Riso printing
is extremely environmentally friendly. Stencils are made from rice
paper and ink is soy-based. No solvents or heat are used in the
printmaking process and all consumables are recyclable.
Is this your primary gig, side gig, or hobby? How did it come to be?
NE: We are a brother-sister team and Clatter Press is a side gig for both us. I am a full-time graphic designer and Dempsey is finishing up her graphic design BFA at [Columbus College of Art and Design]. It’s also definitely a hobby for us; neither of us had ever done any riso printing before we purchased our machine. We wanted to use this technology ourselves to push the limits of our own creative practices. The entire shop is set up in my Clintonville basement—it took four of my friends several hours to get the machine down my narrow basement stairs—so it’s very much a cottage industry. But we love where we are and are excited to continue growing our business.
What sort of projects are ideal for this medium?
NE: Although the RISO company markets its printers as office equipment, the technology is much better suited to creative applications. Artists and designers are drawn to riso because the ink is real ink—wet, oily, gooey—that gets applied to paper in a style more like fine art printmaking than office printing. Misprints such as smearing, roller marks, and mis-registration (different colors not perfectly lined up) are common. This is all part of the appeal. Another appeal is that riso is cost-effective: once a stencil is created, the per-print cost is very inexpensive.
The riso does really well at replicating all sort of mark-making.
It can be used to produce sharp digital graphics, smooth gradients,
organic marks such as charcoal and graphite, halftones, and even
What ingredients come together to make Columbus fertile ground
for makers, designers, and creatives?
DE: Columbus doesn’t always feel like it has the street-cred of older, cooler cities like New York or Chicago, but the upside of this is that everything here feels on the brink of something exciting and new. There is a lot of energy and opportunity in Columbus which seems to be emanating from all of the amazing people who have made Columbus their home and livelihood. We have so enjoyed the people Clatter has introduced and connected us to. Being able to watch so many people we call our friends pursuing fulfilling creative work is really encouraging—and makes us want to always be creating as well. Columbus seems to have boundless energy and this makes it the perfect fertile ground for creators.
What’s your six-word creative story?
DE: Inspiration. Curiosity. Family. Creation. Community. Clatter.
To learn more, order, or see samples of risograph printing,