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Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Written by Meghan Kelly

The Shaw brothers are taking fundraising to a tastier level while cementing their stamp all over the Columbus music scene. Fresh homemade waffles and any topping you can dream of, this was the menu last Friday night as The Andy Shaw Band (ASB), threw their annual Wafflepalooza event at Scarlet & Grey Cafe. On this night, they shared the stage with Sound the Word, a hot rock band out of New York. Chris Shaw came up with the Wafflepalooza event three years ago as a promotional gig after ASB had been playing at a Ruby Tuesday “Monday session.” Wafflepaloolza was such a success from the beginning, that now, ASB fans regularly ask for a waffle encore.

Andy Shaw, on the Wafflepalooza:
“Chris started Wafflepalooza when we were back at Ruby’s on Monday nights. We were looking for creative, promotional ideas to get people excited and have fun. After you do it week after week, we wanted to do something interesting. We gave free waffles out and it was a smash. It felt right as an event so we kept doing it…  We eventually figured out how to make it more fun and successful.”

 A number of ASB fans showed up, partied and ate all the waffles they could handle; proving once again the influence and support ASB has built up in Ohio over the last 6 years, both inside 270 and outside of the city limits. Going to see ASB is like being invited to an impromptu, family reunion. It might just be because they are super nice guys, or it might be that in a band of five, where three do share the same last name, it is actually a family affair; and for the record – there was some real life tie-dying present; as well as musical activity cards which allowed the creative crowd the opportunity to color, play and be creative. While the rest of the Wafflepalooza were promotional gigs, this one was an official fundraising event for the ASB.

 Currently ASB is raising funds for a musical trip down to Austin, Texas for the annual, “South by Southwest” (SXSW) festival.  Along with the “We are Columbus” group, of which Chris and Andy Shaw have helped get started in the last few years, they have decided for this year’s trip to Austin, to rent out a joint so that all of our 614 bands can perform, and in be heard in a professional surrounding.  

The first SXSW in 1987 stood out with its eclectic mix of German, Mexican, jazz, blues and rock musical styles. Still today, its goal is to provide creative people a place to showcase their talents on a larger scale. One of their major focuses is giving everyone a chance to share ideas, as well as be able to meet and greet. SXSW gained immediate attention both nationally and internationally, and what started as 700 registries, is now up to around 16,000 participants.  

Chris Shaw, on favorite things about being a musician:  
“Events like this [Wafflepalooza] and SXSW,” with a smile.

During these financially hard times, it seems some of the last people to get paid are the local entertainment folk, but there is a major push for musicians to get paid on a regular basis for their skills. Wafflepalooza is a representation of the innovative ways musicians are looking to go outside of the box to use venues and events in creative ways to get paid. 

“When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.” (Dylan) 

It is these types of Wafflepalooza or SXSW inspired events that offer bands a fresh platform, as a way to catch a new audience’s attention in a way that wasn’t available in the past. So why not road trip along through the country with some of your closest friends, and play for a whole new city while making connections which otherwise might never have happened? Sounds pretty rock n’ roll if you ask me.

The Wafflepalooza event is over for now, but you can still support by giving through Kickstarter or hitting up ‘Ace of Cups” February 25 THIS Saturday to hear a fabulous lineup of the artists who will representing Ohio at this year’s SXSW:

 THIS Saturday February 25 at “Ace of Cups” from after 7 pm - the official “We Are Columbus” showcase.

 Or go to their collective Kickstart account:
Only a couple more days to give!

Do what you can do, give what you give and remember what’s good for one of us is good for all.


Special Thanks:
The Andy Shaw Band
Scarlet & Grey Café

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Written by Josh Weiker
            Once a month, Columbus is treated to one of the most sensationally soul-filled dance parties around … ya know what? Scratch that, I’m gonna go ahead and put this one at the top – it is THE most sensationally soul-filled, absolute elation inducing dance party that these two eyes and boney hips have had the pleasure of experiencing.

            The party I speak of is called Heatwave (as if you didn’t already know). The title, coming from the 1963’s classic Motown staple by Martha and the Vandellas, is a perfect preface and description of the event. The first Saturday of each month, you can find the walls of Ace of Cups thumpin’ with the sounds of old-school Motown, funk, rock, and all-out timeless 50’s and 60’s classic hits. What could be more awesome than that? Well, all the tunes are on vinyl … you know, those really old dark circular disks that your parents (maybe grandparents) used to have to listen to music, “back in their day?” But I suppose it’s true, it is a far cry away from today’s ipod-ery, we’re talking several generations of music, from a time, long, long ago – before mp3’s, cd’s, tapes, even the infamous 8-track … so show some respect. 

            Being an old soul, and raised listening to Motown, this party seemed to be created for my own personal enjoyment. Sure, I have several friends that like music from this era, but I was truly blown away to see the kind of turn out this event has spawned. It has now become a regular expectation to find a gaggle of young socialites packed into this party every month. The venue often reaches capacity early into the night, so don’t be surprised (or mad at me) when you show up and have to wait in line to get in.

            A wide spectrum of styles are featured throughout the night, not only in music but also in fashion. The ladies are so fine, the fellas are smooth, and the scene is just remarkable, with dapper defining the entirety of the evening. Being surrounded by such great people and additionally dancing to artists like the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops … ugh, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

            The creators, organizers, and most importantly DJ’s of this phenomenal event were kind enough to give us some insight into exactly how this great dance party came to be, as well as some of their fond memories, and related thoughts, all for your personal pleasure …

Q & A with local music aficionados Adam Scoppa, Ann Glaviano, and Chris Johnson, of Heatwave: Columbus – to read the FULL INTERVIEW – CLICK HERE.

(L-R) Josh Weiker  & Adam Scoppa

What made you want to put Heatwave together?
ADAM: The three of us got together in a very serendipitous way. I always have had a soft spot for oldies, Motown, and garage rock and started collecting this music on vinyl. I used to spin records between bands at Skully's and noticed that when I put on Martha and the Vandellas or the Animals, for example, people started dancing almost inadvertently. It's always great to hear that music through a loud PA and I thought people would want a dance party geared towards that. I suggested the idea to friends for a long time and everyone said they would be interested in going to something like that. I just needed an extra kick in the ass to get it together, and then I randomly met Ann, who had a grand scheme of her own.
Were you looking to start the next great dance party in Columbus, or were you just trying to spin classic vinyl? 
ANN: The boys didn't really know what to expect, I guess, but this dance party in New Orleans [‘Mod Dance Party’ – see full interview] is absolutely packed every month, so that was what I was aiming for. I figured it would take a while to build up, …. We were originally looking at much smaller venues than Ace of Cups, mainly because we didn't think we would be able to fill a bigger space, and who wants to dance in the middle of an empty room? Dancing should be cozy. We made a massive list of the stuff we wanted to play - basically "If We Don't Have This Song At Our Dance Party, We Will Be Sad" - so to that extent we're motivated by playing the songs we love. But the final verdict on what we play is based on whether or not it makes us want to dance. 

CHRIS: I really just wanted to play my John Denver greatest hits record and hit on all the girls who are into The Fleet Foxes. Adam and Ann instead persuaded me to play the other things I had. I think it’s real keen, spiffy, and neat that it worked out that way. I mean, people seem to still think I’m cool… right?
Ace of Cups was getting to capacity after the second Heatwave, did you expect this kind of immediate success?
ADAM: When plans with the other bar fell through, the newly opened Ace of Cups took a chance on hosting it. I had in no way expected that kind of turnout, and when the January party was at capacity it still blew my mind...
ANN: I will say that for the first dance party, we had a decent-sized crowd and eventually they all started dancing, and the boys were like, "This exceeded our wildest expectations." And I said, "This actually was my expectation - like, best-case scenario." But capacity on the second night - that exceeded my wildest expectations. A line out the door? That is crazy…
CHRIS: Honestly, yes and no. I didn’t expect to have immediate success, but I knew with the music that we were preparing to play it was a definite possibility. I remember going to Ace of Cups prior to the first Heatwave to scope it out and I asked Aleks, “What IS capacity, ya know, just in case?” He said, “Um, yeah, don’t worry about that. It won’t happen.”
Do you have any favorite memorable moments from any of the past Heatwaves?

ADAM: The one that sticks out for me is when I played an "encore" song at the second party. People were chanting for more and as I put on the record, everyone erupted in applause simply for the hiss of static at the beginning. I thought that was really cool.
Anything else you want to say to the people?
ADAM: I just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who turns out - and waits outside in the cold – to shares my favorite songs with me. Our party is your party.

ANN: I thought Columbus was a pretty cool town before Heatwave started. But considering that I am perpetually homesick for New Orleans, I am so grateful for the opportunity to play this music that I love - much of which is New Orleans R&B - and to see a roomful of people dancing to it really makes Columbus feel more like home. I'm especially grateful for my friends in the English graduate department at OSU, who've been showing up to Heatwave since the first night. They're amazingly generous and supportive. Plus they let me teach them the Madison. That's not just supportive - that's downright indulgent.

CHRIS: When you don’t come to Heatwave, an angel loses its wings.

Special Thanks:
Heatwave: Columbus
Adam Scoppa, Ann Glaviano, and Chris Johnson
Ace  of Cups

For more info check out:



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Joe Peppercorn’s Beatles Marathon

Written by Raad Shubaily
Love is an exceedingly complex concept. Yet, the Beatles somehow managed to present it perfectly in their music.  Last Thursday at Kobo, Joe Peppercorn’s Beatles Marathon would not have let down any member of the world’s most famous rock band.
            The young, the old, and everyone in between showed up to the point that Kobo hit capacity.  It was a hot, sweaty, old-school-head-bobbing extravaganza for the ages. The word “packed” doesn’t even begin to describe that night, as a line quickly grew down the block waiting to get in.  Indeed, love was present in the air. In fact, a friendly attendee noticed me hunched in a corner, scribbling away in my tiny notebook, and offered me her seat... twice.

            The show lasted all day, beginning at 4:30 P.M. and ending when the bar closed.  The concept was to play all of the Beatles studio works in one day.  It wasn’t only a tribute, but a literal marathon. It was the kind of event where one friend I was talking to said “I’ve been here since 4:30, and I have to go pick up my friend from the airport at 9:30. Then, I’m coming back after that for the rest of the show.” In other words, this was one show not to be missed.
            I got there just before the band started Rubber Soul, and needless to say, all the songs sounded great. Blasting through amazing versions of “Day Tripper,” “Norwegian Wood,” and  “Nowhere Man,” the songs came complete with the very same vocal harmonies the Beatles used.  It’s not even worth it to keep listing specific songs, because they all sounded like the original versions. 

The cast of characters Joe Peppercorn put together, from local bands Ghost Shirt and The Whiles, are such serious musicians. They even paid attention to truly replicate the Beatles’ sound, including the use of multiple guitar changes and an enormous rack of keyboards and synthesizers.
It’s incredible that the Beatles essentially stopped touring late in their career, ending up spending most of their time in the studio, and yet musicians still play their music to this day. The level of noise at Kobo seemed reminiscent of the noisy rooms the band’s performances actually must have taken place in.  It just goes to show that music is never ending - that over 40 years after a band breaks up, people might still come out in droves simply to hear their music. That is the definition of love: An intense feeling of deep affection.

Guitar/vocals: Joe Peppercorn (The Whiles)
Guitar/vocals: Branden Barnett (Ghost Shirt)
Bass/vocals: Chris Bolognese (The Whiles)
Drums: David Murphy (Ghost Shirt)


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Written by Josh Weiker

- world peace?
- the ‘official’ Apocalypse?
- caffeinated whiskey in a can (or box)?
- an extra day in February?
- love and happiness ? … we can only hope Al, …

  … one thing’s for sure, there will still be an abundance of great live music in Columbus.

            It is getting to be that time of year when it is quite often to take a moment to reflect upon the events of the past year, and/or look forward to the next year; planning, hoping and anticipating what the New Year may bring.
 A lot can happen in a year – people moving into or out of the city, bands and artists forming and rising, or inversely breaking up or disbanding. Regardless of the ups and downs, what’s most important is keeping a level perspective … and having fun (at least that’s my opinion). Not to be preachy or imposing, but on behalf of someone who has a friend that is a doctor: you should make it a point to get out and enjoy yourself more often – be goofy, get weird with it, just let go – I think you might find it to be a very productive and effective way to deal with the stresses of life.

            As for myself, personally, it has been a terrific year: I had the opportunity to see a plethora of live music (both local and national acts); I had my first Cloudhaus experience (very quickly followed by my second, third and fourth); ridiculous amounts of fun at Comfest, Jazz and Ribfest, Music Week Columbus, and Independent’s Day; found my newest love, Heatwave; met all kinds of amazingly talented and creative people (that I am now lucky enough to call my friends); and got involved with this great movement of illuminating local music (called BusTown Music, don’t know if you’ve heard of it yet, but it’s pretty amazing…)

            As for BusTown, the past 10 months have been a wild ride. We have grown into our own, four major audio programs [‘the Evan Oberla Show’, ‘BusTown Jazz & Improv’, ‘BusTown Radio’,  and ‘Raad Rock Radio’], a multi-dimensional written division [‘Reviews’ and ‘Arts & Community’], and our latest, videos platform (with thanks to our friends at GingerAttack! Video Productions).

Rest assured, people of Columbus, that we at BusTown are working hard, plotting and scheming ways to help strengthen, promote, and provide for the local music scene throughout this next year.  2012 looks to be a big, busy and productive year for BusTown Music.
Sooo, what’s on tap? Well, while many of the details are on the hush-hush, I can tell you to keep an eye out for more BusTown Events (possibly coming to a neighborhood near you), as well as the continuing expansion of our BusTown library of local musicians, artists, venues and organizations via our original BusTown Shows and Articles.

            Until then, you can pass the time by checking out the rest of our site and getting learned on the Columbus music scene …
- Get refreshed on these amazing bands and artists:

            The Andy Shaw Band, Descendre, The L.E.S. Crew, G. Finesse & the N.S., Stretch Lefty, Mojoflo, Beauty of my Land, Birdshack, Bum Wealthy, The Floorwalkers, Lionel the Jailbird, Way Yes, Teen Fiction, Seth Daily, Fo/Mo/Deep, Hotel War, The Alpine Ghost, and Dirty Girls

- Find out about these great groups and organizations:
Cloudhaus, Preservation Project, The Hot 17, Boomhouse Records, and Musicians Against Violence

- Mark your calendar for these great events:
ComFest, Music Week Columbus, Independent’s Day, Trauma, and Pecha Kucha

- Get acquainted with some local hot spots:
The Newport Music Hall, Brother’s Drake Meadery, Ruby Tuesdays, Kobo, Rumba Café, and Dick’s Den

 Want More ???

For making it all the way through this article, here is what our own BusTown Staff Members are looking forward to in 2012 (bands, artists, venues, and local organizations):

Joey Gurwin:
- Shankbones
- Descendre
- LE for the Uncool
- Mount Carmel
- The Allwood Sisters
- Psandwich

Meghan Kelly:
-the Shaw Brothers
-Maza Blaska
- The Hot 17 (organization)
-Brother’s Drake Meadery (venue)
-Ace of Cups (venue)

DP Krukrubo

- Danyel Morgan
- The Preservation Project
- GingerAttack! Video Productions
- Oranjudio recording studio
- Brothers Drake Meadery (venue)
- Cloudhaus

Aaron Oakley:
- Raw Dough
- The Receiver

  Evan Oberla:
- Jared Mahone
- Hoodoo Soul Band
(i mean come on, if you haven’t been to church with hoodoo you haven’t been blessed)
- Lionel the Jailbird
- Dan White Sextet and associates
- Tony Monaco Trio

Aaron Quinn:
- Bastards
- Big Shot
- Wing and Tusk
- Birdshack
- Psandwich

Raad Shubaily:
- The Energy Clinic
- The Alpine Ghost
- Teen Fiction
- Strangers in Daylight
- Ghost Shirt

Josh Weiker:
- The Dirty Girls
- Nick Tolford & Co.
- Maza Blaska
- The Energy Clinic
- Teen Fiction
- HEATWAVE !!! (retro-vinyl danceparty)


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Musicians against violence: The Reggae community honors the life of Leigh

Written by Meghan Kelly

Death is never easy to take. What is easier - knowing its coming, or the sudden shock of it all? Neither if you ask the loved ones left behind.

Woodlands tavern hosted the first of what will be an annual memorial event for Leigh L. Belyn; a fresh faced, happy 18 year old whose life was cut short by tragedy. Leigh, a 2011 New Albany High School graduate on her way to The Ohio State University to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse was murdered at her home August 2011 by her boyfriend Juvon Williams, who was later killed by gunfire by police. Leigh and Juvon had a fight the night before the murder after she declined a marriage proposal and ended their relationship.  Williams was being deployed to Afghanistan and wanted to take Leigh with him as his wife. Instead Leigh decided she would take a different path and he ended her life over it. 

After Williams came back from basic training and adjusting to the military lifestyle he was a different person- a similar reaction most people have when a loved one returns after such a dramatic lifestyle change. He began driving up to see Leigh every chance he got and the two would spend most of her senior year together, isolated. “What seemed like routine young love appeared more controlling…” said Celeste, Leigh’s mother, after the killing. It were these little patterns of control that Celeste was able to piece together after the tragedy; so that in the future, she hopes to educate parents and their children about early warning signs of control and manipulation that can lead to an abusive relationship.

Reggae music brings people of all walks of life together. So when tragedy struck one of their family members the community rallied around the family and decided to do something about it. It wasn’t just about musicians against violence, but more about people for peace and the promotion of nonviolence.  Terri Bob, Leigh’s father is one of the founders of the strong Reggae community in Columbus. As a drummer for the oldest Reggae group in Ohio, The Ark Band, Terri told me that while it was such a beautiful night, filled with such sense of support and family it is merely a temporary band aid for the pain that he feels over his daughter’s death. 

In a nation where the norm has become murder and homicide as its top stories of the night, when and how can we make it all stop? The U.S leads the industrialized world in murder and violent crime on a regular basis not by a wave but a tsunami. We buy our children, and sometimes at a very young age, video games based solely on reality stimulated killing and war. We continually allow our government to go to war in the name of democracy and peace around the world, when we have a devastating war going on daily in our homes, neighborhoods and glorified across all aspects of our media driven culture. 

The S.A.V.E (Strategies against violence everywhere) has helped Leigh’s family set up the memorial fund. A 16 year old, Columbus based non-profit S.A.V.E has been actively advocating the ever growing and peaceful nonviolent movement which has recently gained popularity in the Columbus community due to the increase in gang presence and gun related incidents. Our future generation is suffering for the over acceptance and encouragement of fire arms we hold so dearly as a national right of freedom.

Little boys are brought, taught and encouraged to play with guns and swords while we dress our daughters up in pink, buy them kitchen sets and baby dolls. Then we wonder why a boy, trained to kill at a fragile developmental stage of growth, could possess the capacity to kill after he spent years manipulating a young girl whose “real dream” of cooking and babies could come true if only she’d marry him. Two young lives full of promise simply cut short. 

But at this moment, without looking for blame we move on.  At this moment and united as a community, we must educate future generations about the negative effects media can have on them and strive for more productive, positive and proactive ways in dealing with their problems.
Death is hard and life is short. But while we are here on earth, let us spend our time loving each other and working together to create a community that we will be proud to leave the future generations. 

Meghan Kelly
Staff Writer, BusTown Music

BusTown Music Arts & Community is produced by DP Krukrubo
Music by: Mark Hunter (Lead singer of The Ark Band)
The 'Musicians Against Violence' Benefit concert was masterfully produced by Brian Cunningham & Eric Jones, Thank you.

Special Thanks also to...
LPI Entertainment for organizing the 'Musicians Against Violence' Benefit Concert
Kurt Monnier and Listening Lamp Productions
Thanks to Woodlands Tavern for hosting such an amazing show

Big thanks to the Columbus community for supporting 'Musicians Against Violence'

Photo courtesy of Angie Leonard

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pecha Kucha: A Deliciously Entertaining meeting of the Minds!

Written by Meghan Kelly
Photos courtesy of Martim Thomaz
In 2003 Pecha Kucha began in Tokyo, Japan as a networking event for designers. Less than ten years later 455 cities around the world currently hold at least quarterly, if not monthly, Pecha Kucha events - all mirroring that first night in Tokyo. While the name might be tricky to say, the platform is simple: a presenter or performer who has something cool to share explains what they are involved with in 20 seconds, and they present twenty slides for their presentation, 20/20. Now on to the name, go ahead try and say Pecha Kucha. If you aren’t familiar with the Japanese language you might not get it. Try this, say “What’s up wit cha,” and rhyme it with Pecha Kucha.  Pecha Kucha (PK) which translates in English to chit chat, is pronounced, pa-cha ka-cha. There you have it and that’s what’s up. 

Photos courtesy of Martim Thomaz
Ponder on the enormity of it for a minute. Imagine if you and your friends decided to plan an event for local people that you find to be noteworthy…cool and in less than 10 years millions of people all over the world took your one little idea and, like wildfire, it spread. The facebook page for PK Columbus has almost 5,000 fans! Multiply that by 455 cities and one guesstimates an average of about 2.3 million fans. It’s pretty amazing what the power of networking and social media can pull off. Columbus PK has one of the strongest followings, this is a testament to the fact that we have grown beyond our boring cowtown stereotype.
Columbus PK has emerged as a local favorite for those looking for an alternative evening out. As opposed going to hear music, to a festival, or say networking event at a bar, with PK you get it all in one. 

Photo courtesy of Columbus Alive
For those of us who bore easily with the mundane, PK events offer variety as the venue and lineup change with each event. Past venues included the Columbus Museum of Art, The Wexner Center, Junctionview and the Eartha Limited Warehouse. Past performers included just about every good band or cool person the 614 has to offer including Way Yes, The Wet Darlings, Trisha Dehnbostel, Nick Dekker, and Erin Moore and on and on.

Photos courtesy of Martim Thomaz
The fall PK was held in November at 400 West Rich Street an old sanitation factory which now houses, allows, and encourages artist to create, perform and have fun.
The inside was transformed into an open meet/mingle space with a stage flanked by makeshift box chairs. Dimly lit, the factory provided a unique, industrialized space that gave way to the creative energy which flowed throughout the building. Tucked away, ‘Abx Art Collective’ set up an incredibly impressive, large, one night composition show; the art was very complimentary and balancing for the space it was provided.  

Photos courtesy of Martim Thomaz
‘Columbus is Funny’ provided the intermission entertainment while the lovely Ginger Lees kicked the event off with their country, folk style and representing Starfish Designs. Dan Mushalko from WOSU was the MC; he carried the night along smoothly with his expressive, endearing personality. All the best foodie trucks were on site, as well as a seasonal bonfire. Reps from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ecohouse, a museum historian, librarians, activist, storytellers and a partridge in a pear tree were all on hand to provide a very entertaining night for the crowd.
The organizers have a gift for mixing up locations and presenters - and the event sparks the basic human interest we all have in our world and each other.  In our over technological world, PK has given people another outlet beyond their televisions, computer screens, cell phones or pad devices to connect with people in person. It has taken back reality TV and turned newsworthy information in to an actual event. 

Photos courtesy of Martim Thomaz
PK is personifying people to further engage in their community, by presenting a platform which encourages emotional ties. This direct connection will hopefully encourage and inspire people to get more involved in a better future for all of us, one in which were not laughed at by other nations on a continual basis.
The next PK will be this winter, date and location to be decided so keep an eye out. If you’re anything like me, then most networking events make you want to puke; but the PK events pull it off in a very subtle and appealing way. Eating bangin’ food from a truck, drinking free beer (or a soda, but you have to buy that) while listening to entertaining music and hanging out with nice people are a bonus to the night.  And there’s that whole ‘learning something new’ which may eventually lead to growth, that may be worth your while aspect. All in all, Pecha Kucha is well worth it for a Thursday night out in the C.O.

Please check out more information @
Special Thanks to Martim Thomaz for the photos

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