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Return of the Lost Boy

Corey Feldman. A punchline to most, a tragic child actor to many, and surprisingly a pop culture mainstay to all. Love him or leave him, his perseverance throughout his 40-year career on stage (his first role was a musical opposite Dick Van Dyke), in film (Gremlins, Goonies, The Burbs), sitcoms, music, and as of late [...]
Kevin J. Elliott

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Corey Feldman. A punchline to most, a tragic child actor to many, and surprisingly a pop culture mainstay to all. Love him or leave him, his perseverance throughout his 40-year career on stage (his first role was a musical opposite Dick Van Dyke), in film (Gremlins, Goonies, The Burbs), sitcoms, music, and as of late reality television, is impressive. Where his contemporaries, casualties of celebrity, have either passed or disappeared, Feldman is an ’80s Tiger Beat centerfold and summer blockbuster icon  who refuses to die.

In 2017, he’s on a comeback with the ambitious Angelic 2 the Core, which is the first of his six (yes, six) albums to even scratch the Billboard charts. The double album is a heady mix or Dante-inspired parables and 2 Live Crew double entendres, in the same way a ICP record is like James Joyce. But you can’t help but be entertained by the GarageBand EDM and the equally sincere—Thriller-aiming—pop of its creator.

At its length, Feldman contends that the album is a self-indulgent, “self-reflection,” of a career gone post-ironic—a world where Snoop Dogg makes a quick, uninspired cameo, and Fred Durst sleeps on the floor of Feldman’s living room for his closest close-up in a decade. I’d owe you a drink if you could sit through the entirety.

Before we spoke I was already prepared to laugh along. Polite conversation revealed Feldman as a deeply likeable, and extra Zen figure—now fiercely independent of the Hollywood that shattered him, and the Hollyweird that he is somewhat blurry about. Unfortunately for Feldman, that’s the Corey we know the best. I grew up with this—who can forget him confronting Jason with a shaved head in Friday the 13th IV: The Final Chapter, or his role as Teddy Duchamp in Stand By Me? In being his microphone for 30 minutes, though he rambled on both humble and delusional, I learned a lot…

No matter what you do as an artist you are always a relevant part of pop culture. Why do you think that is?

My god, I can’t tell you. If I had the answer to that I’d be the wisest and richest man on Earth. I guess some people have enigmatic personalities that people become fascinated with. It’s a very strange thing, celebrity. Who can really understand it? Obviously I’ve been given many gifts and talents since I was a kid. I didn’t really know about them or even nourish them until later in life. It’s hard to dissect God’s blueprint. You just have to roll with it and see what happens.

I feel like I grew up with you and your movies, and my absolute favorite role of yours is Citizen Toxie: Toxic Avenger IV. Do you have any specific memories making that one?

I wasn’t in that movie.

Yes you were. You were played the gynecologist.

That’s not true. Look at the credits. There’s a guy in it that looks remarkably like me. [Feldman was in the film, credited as Kinky Finkelstein].

So then, what is your favorite film of your career?

You wouldn’t know it, but it was a little, strange, odd film from 2005 called The Birthday. It was never released in America. It was shot in Spain, it was an all-Spanish cast and crew. The director was a visionary; he gave me a character that was a far reach from my real character. It’s a wild ride, very David Lynch-esque. It’s out there.

Your new album is pretty conceptual. What’s the message or the story that threads Angelic 2 the Core?

It’s a bit tongue-and-cheek, but the overall message is that we are living in a very dark time on Earth, and there’s a serious divide, almost in a Biblical sense, between good and evil, heaven and hell. I created this Corey’s Angels as a way to kind of fix things from my past by helping women achieve their dreams and goals so they don’t have to travel down less prideful roads. It’s to show that at the end of day, and I’ve had a hard life, that if you follow your dreams and chase after them you can get out of whatever hell you’re in—you can still come out on the other side. The Angels have been a stepping stone for me, to elevate me to another level. It’s a lot about me, but it speaks to many people. I think the reason it’s doing so well is because people can relate to the message, which is one of hope. Even though people know me and I have iconic Hollywood status, I’m still somewhat of an underdog.

It’s well known that you had a close relationship with Michael Jackson. Is there anything he taught you specifically about making music? A piece of advice you’ve kept with you?

There were so many things. I remember asking him if it was easier to sing on an empty stomach rather than a full stomach and he said that was true. So now I don’t eat before I sing. On a bigger scale, he taught me how to treat the fans and stay humble. I was a sponge. I would sit in the studio with him, watching him on the boards. He was the best mentor to have and the driving force behind why I still do music and never give up. I played my first single “What’s Up with the Youth?” for him in his car in 1991; he thought it was incredible. He wanted to walk the tape into Tommy Mottola and make it a number one hit. But I said thank you and I couldn’t accept that. I didn’t want to be the kid who was Michael Jackson’s protégée. I didn’t want that single to be a hit because Michael grandfathered it. I wanted to show the world that I could make it on my own. And here we are—I did it.

Last question because I don’t want to keep you long. Which is worse for a Hollywood actor: drug addiction or Scientology?

All of the above. It’s all a drug at the end of the day. If you’re not using good, old-fashioned spirituality and God, then it’s some kind of an addiction. There’s a lot of darkness in Hollywood which runs the business, I believe. There’s a very strong and eminent dark force that controls things and the only way to combat it is what I’m doing, which is not taking their money, not signing up for the corporate game-changing stuff, keeping my head down, and being careful where I get my finances.

Corey Feldman and his Angels will be playing the A&R Bar on July 9. Visit coreyfeldman.net for music and more information.

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Music

Local rocker Angela Perley shines on solo debut

Mike Thomas

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Folk, alt-country, or indie rock—however you choose to categorize her sound, Angela Perley remains a pillar of the Columbus music community—and highly in-demand as a national touring act, to boot.

(614) caught up with Perley to discuss her new album, life on the road, and what it takes to make it as a musician in the Capital City.

Photos: Brian Kaiser

(614): YOUR NEW RELEASE, 4:30, IS YOUR FIRST AS A SOLO ACT. WHAT LED TO THIS CHANGE?

AP: Since 2009 until last year, I had the Howlin’ Moons. It’s always been myself, Chris Connor on lead guitar, and then we had bassist Billy Zehnal in the band up until last year. We’ve had a rotating extended family of drummers. Billy’s not in the band anymore, and we were also on Vital Companies, which is a studio/label in Columbus that did our previous albums.

https://open.spotify.com/album/04pKByd2ygDHXdvl1TcdWP?si=6njCmRpfR5GRWe5kLNghVw

So this one—it’s a solo one, it’s my first independent release. There’s no label involved, I own the masters to the songs. It’s hard to keep a band together, so Chris, who’s been in the band since the beginning, and I, we’re kind of the only members, and we have an extended family of really great and talented people who have other projects they’re in. It just works a lot better with what I want to do.

YOU USED KICKSTARTER TO HELP FUND THE ALBUM. WHAT WAS THE CROWDFUNDING EXPERIENCE LIKE?

Before, with Vital, they had a studio and video production, and they took care of all of our recording in-house. We didn’t realize how expensive everything was. We had paid for studio time [for 4:30] through show money, but to look at all of the other expenses of making a record happen and trying to get it out there, it’s pretty intense! There have been a lot of independent artists that we know that will do Kickstarters, and I’ve never done anything like it before, so I was really nervous doing it. But it was a success, and I actually just finished sending out all of the preorder vinyl that people ordered.

YOUR SOUND IS OFTEN DESCRIBED AS ANYTHING FROM AMERICANA, TO ALT-COUNTRY, TO PSYCHEDELIC ROCK. WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING WITHIN THOSE TRADITIONS IN 2019?

You kind of have to make your own path, because although there is a resurgence of rock ‘n’ roll, everything’s been done before. It has those roots, but we’re not breaking the mold or anything. You just have to be true to yourself and to the music, and just go from there. Everyone’s voice is important as an artist, so that’s important to remember.

YOU’RE ON THE ROAD TOURING QUITE A BIT. DO YOU STILL KEEP TRACK OF WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE COLUMBUS MUSIC SCENE?

Columbus is definitely growing, and moving toward doing things independently. I’ve seen a lot of bands touring, which is good. It’s an affordable place to tour out of, and there’s a community here for sure. Whenever I have a chance, we go out to the shows. We love The Cordial Sins, and we’re having them as our special guests for our album release. The High Definitions, Souther—there are just so many good bands.

When I go to other cities and I realize that there’s not really much of a scene going on, it is kind of cool to see that in Columbus, people are very aware and supportive of musicians. Even the businesses around here, everyone’s trying to work with musicians in some way. There are so many gigs, be it at breweries, at restaurants, or little festivals that pop up. There’s work for musicians here. And some other cities, there’s really not.

IN THE PAST, YOU’VE PLAYED SOMETHING LIKE 150 SHOWS A YEAR. ARE YOU KEEPING UP THE SAME PACE THESE DAYS?

I’m glad that we played that many shows at that time. We were playing anywhere and everywhere, and a lot of that was pressure financially. If that’s the way you’re making a living, you’ve got to take every gig. We’ve spread out the shows since, especially since we have been doing it for this long. We’re kind of gearing more towards quality shows. I will say, playing that many shows—I needed that. We needed the experience, and just the repetition. Every venue is different, every environment, every crowd. You cut your teeth and it makes you stronger.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO LOCAL ARTISTS HOPING TO MAKE A CAREER IN MUSIC?

It’s tough, because for each person it’s so different. Getting out there and working hard, playing as many shows as possible—that's all really great experience. But also focus on the music itself. If you’re going to make a music video or a recording, take your time—don’t half-ass it. Wait until you know what you’re doing. Although, you kind of have to learn from your mistakes, too.

Catch Angela Perley with special guests The Cordial Sins on September 6 at Skully’s Music-Diner for the release show of her new album, titled 4:30.

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(614) Sessions

614 Sessions: Doc Robinson

Mike Thomas

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4QdxpbrZgg&feature=youtu.be

Doc Robinson, the collaboration of Columbus music stalwarts Jon Elliott and Nick D’Andrea, joined us for this session in the 614 offices to share their unique brand of "Backyard BBQ Breakup music."

While here, the duo played stripped-down acoustic versions of their songs "Wilderness" and "Wild Beauty."

To hear more from Doc Robinson, follow them on your streaming platform of choice, or visit https://www.docrobinsonofficial.com/

Be sure to catch the group at Woodlands Tavern on Saturday, September 21, when they'll be joined by Hebdo, Parker Louis, Honey and Blue and many more for their Family Jamboree.

Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5O0efDEpkqEmWbXD2zpkjz

Apple Music:
https://music.apple.com/us/artist/doc-robinson/1116027164
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Producer: Mike Thomas
Videographers: Adam Fakult, Mitch Hooper, Mike Thomas
Audio Mixing/Mastering: Jared Huntley
Video Editing: Mike Thomas
Contact: [email protected]
Website: 614now.com

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(614) Sessions

(614) Sessions: The Turbos

Mike Thomas

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ThYK1D0000

The Turbos’ high-octane heroics have earned the group a fierce following in the Columbus rock scene and beyond. Combining shredding guitar virtuosity with soaring, anthemic vocals, co-frontmen Alex D. and Lucas Esterline lead the group in a sound that combines the best of the old and the new. Rounded out by the multi-talented Cameron Reck on bass and mononymous local music veteran Jahrie behind the kit, the Turbos are leading the charge for a new generation of rockers.

For the first of what we hope will be many in a new music series we're calling The (614) Sessions, The Turbos joined us in our offices for a stripped-down acoustic set. Despite leaving the electrics at home, the power of their performance was still enough to garner multiple noise complaints (sorry, neighbors).

For show dates and more, be sure to follow The Turbos on Facebook. Big thanks to the group for sharing their music as our first-ever guests in this new endeavor!

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Producer: Mike Thomas
Videographers: Mike Thomas, Adam Fakult, Mitch Hooper
Audio Mixing/Mastering: Jared Huntley Video
Editing: Mitch Hooper
Contact: [email protected]

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