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Class of 2017: Future Nuns

Time is a flat circle. Everything we have done or will ever do, we will do over and over again. Here I sit in a Bourbon Street booth in 2017 with the Future Nuns, stuck in Nietzsche’s Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence. You must look at the past and see everything that’s come before to truly [...]
Kevin J. Elliott



Time is a flat circle. Everything we have done or will ever do, we will do over and over again.

Here I sit in a Bourbon Street booth in 2017 with the Future Nuns, stuck in Nietzsche’s Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence. You must look at the past and see everything that’s come before to truly understand the Future Nuns… or do you? The déjà vu I’m feeling, remembering how exciting the scene was in this building, in this booth, in 2007, is unsettling, but nostalgic. Though it’s been a decade since the first generation of Washington Beach buzz bands—Necropolis, Times New Viking, and Psychedelic Horseshit—kicked around in the legendary dive, it feels exactly the same.

Heck, Future Nuns even look back to two decades ago in 1997: being as acerbic as Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, wiry and quick as Gaunt, and as darkly smart as V-3. But Bernie’s is a hole the ground, Stache’s is a Smokes-4-Less, and Little Bros. is a brand new beer hall. Jim and Jerry are gone, Used Kids have moved from the strip, and all that’s left are echoes. But those echoes are strong, and they live in the jerky cadence of Future Nuns.

Instead of pursuing a degree as an undergrad, Alex Mussawir studied records and bands, poems, fiction and diary entries, but admits to barely knowing how to tune his guitar. Long before Future Nuns, Mussawir had already performed in the trenches, as a member of the Goners (who released an eponymous tape only known as a classic in underground lore) and also the proto-supergroup, Yuze Boys, which also boasted Winston Hightower and Jeffrey Kleinman of Nervosas as soldiers. Encountering boredom, domestication, and a yearning to focus on writing, he took a break from music.

“There were a lot of small failures that led to the end of Goners, including losing our van in Chicago,” says Mussawir. “Bela, at Anyway, really wanted to do a Goners record, but it was just bad luck towards the end there.”

Inspired by writers like Raymond Carver and Lydia Davis, Mussawir’s writing—poems and short stories that deal in the trivial and quotidian, the simple and minimal—do well in the setting of a repetitious and raw pop song. In fact, the catalyst for Future Nuns came from being booked for a reading, in opening for old friend Hightower. Instead of a traditional reading, Mussawir wrote some songs with former Goner guitarist, Aaron Miller. Writing a few more, and recruiting Blood Noize drummer Danielle Gaglino, bassist Kyle Bergamo, and keyboardist Laura Payne (also a writer), Mussawir formed Future Nuns. But would it stick?

We are victim to cycles only if we allow it. Everything we have done or will ever do, we must do better. Instead of just saying yes to fate and circumstance, we must be fighting against it. Through will to power or satisfaction or resistance.

Therein, the passion to explain the absurdity of modern life, the folly of the Internet (hence very little Future Nuns presence online), laughing and throwing flowers into the fire is key to the function of the “fun” in keeping Future Nuns progressing. Though Mussawir had “incredibly minor” success as a writer, his prose is just as important to the final product—a series of incendiary live shows on Bandcamp—as it is to the musicianship, which he prefers to be spontaneous and biting, humorous and buzzy.

“I love that everyone in the band is pretty much untrained,” says Mussawir, “What is usually seen as a flaw, for us is a personality trait, or a style. A lot of the motivation for the band comes from working at Ace of Cups and seeing all the bands. Instead of seeing bands and getting a good idea, it’s the opposite. The band was formed out of the idea that I’m not going to use a pedal board, or not be influenced by what’s around.”

Yes, being stuck inside the Bobo with the Summit blues again is a consequence for a band as cool, calm, and literate as the Future Nuns. But surprisingly, they’re not too cool for school. There’s no pretense, even when Mussawir is clever—“There’s 7 billion assholes in the world, but you only have one”—instead, it’s insanely earnest. There’s an album coming, but not being rushed. A tour, but in grotesque collaboration with equally esoteric American Jobs. It’s cheap entertainment, budget rock, or affirmation art-punk. We should all welcome it. Because in these turbulent times, we need to learn to laugh and cry at the same time.

Let’s not question mankind and the struggle. Let’s just have a good time while we walk hand-in-hand into extinction.

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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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Arts & Culture

(614) Music Club: Sarob

Julian Foglietti



Every week (614) Music Club teams up with your favorite local artists to build a playlist of what they’re listening to, and what’s inspiring them. This week’s playlist is brought to you by the R&B artist Sarob.

Photo by: Wyze

Tell me about some of the songs you’ve selected.

"The first one is Sobeautiful by Musiq Soulchild. So every week with my vocal coach, I have to learn a song. And I've been trying to figure out how to do vocal gliding. Which is not a strong point for me, and I remember hearing that song and being like, OK, this is it. The song is just beautifully written and composed, so when you add the technique to it, it’s just great. The other song was Workin On It by Dwele, who is one of my favorite artists of all time. Workin On It uses this J Dilla beat that just feels really timeless."

Have the past few months changed the direction or mood of the music you're creating. 

"So I have been making stuff here and there, and then I'll go into something creative for like two days. I'll just be making like a bunch of songs and then I'll stop for two weeks, not even want to look at a microphone or anything. I mean, it's a lot more inward, so I’m learning how to better communicate the things I'm experiencing, and set the scenes for people and talk about what is going on. Also not having my band has been a challenge. I’m more of a thinker, I play the keyboard, and I can build a song, but I’m not the most gifted musician so having to build a lot of it on my own is tricky."

Do you have any plans or releases coming up? 

"Yeah, so I had a song Pleasures U Like that was made for my last album, but it didn’t quite fit the story of the album. So I just forgot about it until recently and I finished the vocals just before the lockdown, and now I’m releasing it on Bandcamp as part of a fundraiser for The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. All of the proceeds from the song are going to go to support their Pandemic Emergency Fund, and it just felt like a good way to do something that would impact everything going on."

Sarob's Playlist

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