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Friday, August 12, 2011


Written by Josh Weiker

Some call it magic; others claim it comes from a possession of prophetic powers; whatever it is, Meghan Ralston has a gift for finding the most talented up-and-coming bands in Columbus.  Each year, Ms. Ralston and her crew publish an amazing book that contains sights and sounds of the city’s seventeen hottest bands.

 – The Hot 17 – not to be confused with the psychedelic phenethalamine, gets its name from the current statistic which puts Columbus as the 17th most populated city in America.
            Statistics aside, Columbus is an amazing place to find great live music – Fact (its science); and this publication is just another testament to some of its greatness. The first edition of The Hot 17 debuted in 2010 (at ComFest, which is so awesome) and included some phenomenal local acts like Karate Coyote, Envelope, and the Phantods.
            This year’s list looks to be just as promising, but why take it from me when you can listen to the creator herself …

As mentioned in the interview, The Hot 17 Volume 2 release party took place at Kobo, and in true Hot 17 fashion, the night featured music from various genres:
Shane Sweeny (of Two Cow Garage – listed in The Hot 17 vol. one)
 … had a dirty, muddy kind of sound; much along the lines of Tom Waits, wish I could have caught more of his act, but we were doing most of our interviews during his set.

Trains Across the Sea
… with frontman Andy Gallagher at the helms, this group covers a tremendous spectrum of musical genres within a single set. Beginning with folksy Dylan-esque harmonica tunes and ending with dance-your-pants-off feel-good songs this group was one of my favorites of the evening.

L.E.S Crew, ridiculous funk! I don’t think anyone sat down this entire set. Two emcees, fantastically storytelling like poetic machine guns, and Miss Angelica Lee’s powerful vocals – oh my, if you haven’t heard the L.E.S. Crew, follow this shameless plug to BUSTOWN RADIO
… and enjoy

The Spruce Campbells           
 … a local indie band with a growingly noticeable reputation; their sound is reminiscent to that of the Pixies, with a slightly more modern twist.

The evening’s event was emceed by CD101’s own Rachael Gordon, who was nice enough to have a sit down chat with us …
The Hot 17 is without a doubt a tremendous contributor to the ever-developing Columbus music scene. By connecting local photographers, musicians, artists, and writers, this annual publication looks to serve as a pinnacle source for discovering the best local talent that the city of Columbus has to offer.

 Check out this year’s edition of The Hot 17 (

Special Thanks:
Meghan Ralston – The Hot 17
Rachael Gordon – CD101 @ 102.5FM
Shane Sweeny, Trains Across the Sea, The L.E.S. Crew, and The Spruce Campbells

BusTown Radio Co-Host and Lead Producer - Joey Gurwin
BusTown Music Manager DP Krukrubo

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Written by Josh Weiker
Tucked away just north of Olde Town East, you can find the headquarters of BoomHouse Records. BoomHouse is a locally organized and operated recording space, who’s members seem to have an inert passion for writing, creating, and recording live music in Columbus. On this particular evening, the boys of BoomHouse have assembled a fantastic line-up of music for what they are calling their ‘Summer Shanty’ house party.

            Arriving to the house, a porch full of pleasantly inviting individuals has congregated on the porch – all admiring the slight release from the recent heat wave amidst a heavy rainfall. After a cigarette and a few first acquaintances, it’s time to check out the space. The house is amazing; fancifully adorned with multi-dimensional lighting and incredible artwork covering every inch of each wall. What’s this? – a glow-stick bracelet, a cup, and then being ushered to the kegs, the night has officially begun.

Alex Rupert
Joe Hengst
Garth Phillips

Just outside the back door awaits a surprise, three giant canvases being painted in front of your very eyes: the first, a bubbly abstract, the next, a true-to-life portrait, and the last, a hauntingly twisted ensemble of holiday characters – being able to watch colorful lines turn into objects, and then, essentially the work itself come to life, is always a truly fascinating sight.

Bobby Delarocco (A.K.A Bobby D)

Almost on cue, the music begins. First up is Bobby D – a one man wrecking crew. Surrounded by keyboards and microphones, Bobby gets the party started with a barrage of beats and synthesized sound. Using pre-made beats and adding highlights of notes, additional beats, and modified vocals, he got a number of heads nodding and party off on the right foot.

Next up is ‘I am Mute’ – a full live band with very catchy melodies and progressions. They kind of have a pop-y rock sound with elements of folk and driving percussion. This band seemed to be full of crowd-pleasing favorites, and had an ensemble of fans singing right back in their faces.

Alaska Awake
            The third band is ‘Alaska Awake’ – another hard-hitting rock band with lots of sound. Groovy bass, excellent guitar riffs, elaborate keys, sporadic percussion and somewhat inaudible vocals – as is the standard at most house parties. This band covers a wide spectrum of musical genres, but specializes in a psychedelic rock-jam extravaganza.

The fourth feature of the evening is ‘The Blight’ – three members of this hardcore metal quintet make up a majority of the BoomHouse Records posse (Patrick Hearn, Brandon MacLean, and Zach Newkirk – the last two are also members of Alaska Awake and Apples and Baskets [closing band]). While heavy, loud rock isn’t really my thing, it was indeed another demonstration of the musicians’ range of musical abilities and talents; not to mention the crowd was absolutely ruckus during their set.

Space Ghost
            The second-to-last band of the night is ‘SpaceGhost’ – headed by Parker Muntz’s smooth vocals and soul-penetrating guitar solos (also a member of BoomHouse Records), this band brings the funk. If you need proof, just look to the drum set and you’ll find none other than Mike Twice – a local master of all things fantastically funky. This group seamlessly blends blues, funk, and soul, which translates to me dancing.

Concluding the show is ‘Apples and Baskets’ – a three man set comprised of Brandon, Zach, and Parker. Keeping in tune with the rest of the evening, this band has a sound unlike the previous five. They begin with funky riffs, then transition into a heavier rock sound – just wait, they’re just getting started. The next song begins as a kind of haunting metal progression with elements of blues, which eventually becomes an all-out crazy melodic jam session. The music reminds me much of ‘Do Make Say Think’ due to its high levels of auditory stimulation.

            As the party winds down, it is easy to say the night has been a great success. There was a constant flow of music, people, and booze throughout the house – everything perfectly epitomizing exactly what the city of Columbus truly has to offer on any given night, in any given neighborhood: overflowing artistic talent, in a variety of styles; a diverse cast of party-goers, all sharing the same goal of having an amazing night of amusement; and of course, a little alcohol here and there. 

This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest characteristics of this city that never seems to fail. Columbus is a city full of potential and a willingness to collaborate; it only has two main rules: 1) Show Up; and 2) Have Fun. 

            Earlier, I said BoomHouse Records is a locally organized and operated recording company, that seems to be focused on writing, creating, and recording live music in Columbus – but after tonight, I can personally say they are also thoroughly dedicated to rocking, partying, and entertaining the masses. Well done gents, and I can’t wait for your next shindig (in October).

Special Thanks:

Patrick Hearn, Brandon MacLean, Zach Newkirk, and Parker Muntz

BoomHouse Records (check them out on Facebook:

Bobby Dellarocco (Bobby D)

I am Mute

Alaska Awake

The Blight


Apples and Baskets

Alex Rupert (green holiday creatures)
Garth Phillips (purple portrait)
Joe Hengst (peach canvas)

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