Review: Jani Lane – live in Columbus

Jani Lane / Friday, May 25 / Alrosa Villa / Columbus, Ohio

Word on the street … er … message boards is that Jani Lane shows over the past couple of years have been hit or miss, with a majority being of the BIG miss variety. While the former singer of Warrant seemed to have gotten his shit together on Celebrity Fit Club after bottoming out midway through taping, the “old” Lane reportedly returned once the cameras were turned off and another series of message board postings about missed shows, drunken sets that only lasted 3 songs, and treating fans like shit started popping up.

Now, before going any further, I will state for the record that Jani Lane is my [insert name of your favorite singer, the one you worship despite any bad things you might hear about the singer]. I’ll stick by him through thick (ha ha, NOT an intentional Celebrity Fit Club reference) or thin and I like to own everything he appears on, even if it’s just providing backing vocals (see: Crumb’s Seconds, Minutes, Hours).

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The Evil Queens – Lovesong Werewolves

The Evil Queens – Lovesong Werewolves (Sunken Treasure)
By Chip Midnight

Let’s not get stupid and start making flippant comments like “the best blend of metal, punk, and grunge since Nirvana’s Nevermind – or at least since Alta May’s We As in Us“, but I’ll be damned if there is a hybrid album containing these different elements that I’ve enjoyed listening to more than the latest from perennial “these guys deserve a big record deal” Columbus stalwarts The Evil Queens. Wow, that was a long and slightly inaccurate sentence as the Queens do have a deal in place for this album with Sunken Treasure. On more recent releases, singer Jacob Sundermeyer has had a bit more control over his voice than previous efforts which were basically screamfests though he certainly hasn’t become a “smooth” vocalist – there is definitely some grit and grime in his vocals. Some of the chugga-chugga guitars (“Means to an End”, “Fight Song”) remind me of Monster Magnet and maybe even an in-tune Mudhoney who always seemed to be on the verge of being great but never quite could cross that line. There’s also an undeniable link between these Queens and another band of Queens (of the Stone Age variety), particularly on the title track and “Into the Drink”. If you’re looking for the one that’s going to truly blow your socks off (the one you should download from Napster if you’re not willing to buy the whole thing), it’s “Ditchdigger Blues”, with some buried soulful keyboard playing and fucked up guitar work by Sundermeyer and Mike Eckhardt (could this be a leftover from Sundermeyer’s now-buried, never released jackshit, side project, The Killionaires?). This CD might not change your life the way Nevermind did, but if you’ve got a long summer of drinking PBR tallboys to cool yourself off from the blazing summer sun ahead of you, this is the album you’ll want to … no … NEED to … own.

(Note: Lovesong Werewolves will not be released nationally until July but you can probably score a copy before the “official” release date by checking out

Stream Lovesong Werewolves in it’s entirety here.

Download: Year of the Cretin
Download: Wildflower

Review: Peter Bjorn and John, live in Columbus

Peter Bjorn and John with Fujiya and Miyagi and Au Revoir Simone
Monday May 8th at The Wexner Center Performance Space, Columbus OH

Words by Eric Rottmayer
Photo by Kim Rottmayer

We arrived at 7:45pm and headed to the Wex Store for a special signing session with PB&J (John was mysteriously absent, apparently not part of the live band). They seemed in good spirits, signing the necks of young women and carousing about store with open containers (they are from Sweden). Then off to the actual performance where Au Revoir Simone would begin the evening.

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The Dollyrots

The DollyrotsThe Dollyrots show last night in Columbus, Ohio was just what I needed. Despite finding out it was a 5-band bill (advertised as a 2-band bill) and getting to the venue WAY too early, watching the fun set by L.A. pop-punk kids The Dollyrots was worth the late night. I was supposed to hook up with the band to interview them but it just didn’t work out … keep your eyes peeled, however, as I’ll be chatting with singer Kelly Ogden sometime next week.

The Dollyrots are touring in support of their second album, Because I’m Awesome, (Chip note: Yes, you are) which was released in March on Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records label. The trio has taken cues from their collective influences (and bands they’ve played shows with) and I think it’s fair to say that they sound a bit like The Muffs, The Randies, The Donnas and even Damone (though they don’t have the ’80s hair metal influence). The more you check out, the more you’ll discover that one of my weaknesses is female-fronted power-pop bands and The Dollyrots completely fill that bill to the point where I’m going to say that Because I’m Awesome is a serious contender for my favorite album of 2007.

The band doesn’t have any MP3s posted on their site so I invite you to sample their music on their PureVolume and MySpace pages.  And the band has a SHITLOAD of tour dates coming up. I’d strongly suggest you check The Dollyrots out if they are playing anywhere near you. (Tour dates after the jump)

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Gruff Rhys – Candylion

Gruff Rhys - CandylionGruff Rhys – Candylion (Team Love Records)
By Eric Rottmayer

I would never claim to be a Super Furry Animals fan. In fact, you might say that I passed quick judgement on the Welsh superstars after only hearing a couple of songs here and there. Unfortunately, I missed out on an obvious diamond in the super furry rough, lead-singer and songwriter Gruff Rhys. I even remember hearing his unforgettable name a few years back when he released his first solo album, Yr Atal Genhedlaeth, but his music still flew far above my head. So a few months ago I was randomly watching music videos on YouTube, as we all do, and I came across the song and video for “Candylion”, the title track and single from Rhys’ most recent solo effort.

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