Tag Archive: Ohio

  1. Musical Pairings: Motel Beds – Dumb Gold

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    Our buds in the Motel Beds have been busy lately. They’re fresh off of a headlining set at CMJ for No More Fake Labels and, perhaps more importantly for our purposes, they’ve got a brand new LP packed full of scruffy, energetic rockers and crispy, swaying ballads. Indeed, that new LP, Dumb Gold, demonstrates how with each new release these Dayton-based boys continue to build energy kinetically building upon each previous release.

    A steady groove erupts into a gnarly, raucous beat on Dumb Gold opener “Smoke Your Homework.” Amid crashing percussion, a buoyant bassline, and sharp, reverb-tinted guitar riffs, frontman P.J. Paslosky spits his lyrics rapid-fire before ending the chorus with a snarl as he sings “so come on, come on, come on, come on.” It’s followed with the upbeat and bright “Valentimes” which is packed with weightless, almost ghostly, harmonies and a swinging melody. These tracks, alongside brittle ballads like the smoky “Oh Me Oh My” and the swooning title track, demonstrate that Dumb Gold doesn’t reflect a departure from the sonic signature the band has previously established on Tango Boys and Sunfried Dreams. However, throughout the album the Dayton quartet continue to further refine their style and polish their melodies. It’s a solid entry into the band’s quickly growing catalog and is definitely recommended for fans of down-and-dirty rock n’ roll.

    We’re pairing this one with Kasey’s recipe for Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Chocolate Glaze and Chopped Pistachios. Kasey made these irresistible bites for my German beer garden birthday party. They are moist, flavorful, and sweet. As you might imagine, they were a huge hit. And just as this recipe could pair well with a cup of morning coffee or a late-afternoon liter of German beer, so could Motel Beds’ Dumb Gold: bouncing, magnetic and wholly unpretentious.

    Then head to the Kitchen to read Kasey’s recipe for Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Chocolate Glaze and Chopped Pistachios.

  2. Musical Pairings: The Coasts – The Coasts

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    I’ve always suspected that our readers have great taste in music, but that suspicion was again reaffirmed this week when one of our readers clued me into the crispy garage-pop jams of the Little Rock, Arkansas / Lebanon, Ohio-based band The Coasts. The duo, Eric Mount (drummer) and Ike Peters (guitars/vocals), met as freshmen in college, and after discovering a shared love for Radiohead decided that they wanted to lay down a collection of garage-roughened rockers together. Although that might sound straight-forward enough, despite having met in college, the duo did not record their debut while living in the same city. Instead, the tracks came together only after they’d graduated, married, and move apart. Instead, Eric traveled down from Ohio to Ike’s home in Little Rock for a long weekend to lay the groundwork for a dozen tunes. The tracks were then finished by Ike and the band’s producer with Eric providing feedback from Ohio.

    The somewhat hurried process, although limiting at times, proved to be a great recipe for the band. Because of their distance from one another they didn’t have the luxury of over-thinking the recordings. Instead, they had to work with what they were able to get down in that short time. The result was a raw, rough-and-ready approach that befits the material they’d written for the album which blends bluesy, The Black Keys-styled garage rock riffs with clean, Dr. Dog-esque melodies, Kinks-like upbeat pop grooves, and occasional hints of Exiles On Main Street-era Stones (especially the organ on tracks like “Hard-Working Man” or the skanky boogie-woogie on “Handshakers”).

    The Coasts explodes open with the concise, toasty, and uptempo “Poltergeist”. At a clean minute-and-a-half in length, the friendly, haunted jam is over before it’s had time to even settle in. It’s a smart, restrained pop rock jam. Next, “Stranger/Danger” is a more casually meandering tune with ballad-like verses balanced neatly against bouncing, grinning choruses. It’s constructed with a tight piano-led melody buttressed against crashing percussion and a guitar line that swings between sluggishly lackadaisical and brightly howling. Meanwhile tracks like the clean, rolling “John Lennon” and the brassy, horn-tinged “I Only Want You” showcase the band at a more steady-grooving clip while finding fun, new combinations and structures for the pieces they’d worked out before. There are plenty of highlights throughout including the shuffling and rubbery “Hard-Working Man,” the blistering and gregarious “RIOT!!,” and the harmony-washed and tightly-wound “Handshakers.”

    The album pairs well with Kasey’s Yogurt with Toasted Quinoa, Dates & Nuts which features a raw, sweet foundation that blends intriguing textures with a toasted and crispy coating. They’re also both great ways to start your day.

    The Coasts – Hard-Working Man
    The Coasts – Oo De Lally (Cover from Disney’s Robin Hood)

    Support a great band and buy their album from their Bandcamp page. If you do a little sleuthing you can probably even find the collection of covers they recorded from Disney’s Robin Hood for charity. Afterwards head to the Kitchen to read Kasey’s recipe for Yogurt with Toasted Quinoa, Dates & Nuts.

  3. Musical Pairings: Saintseneca – Last

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    I moved to San Francisco from Ohio about ten years ago, and I fell in love with The Bay Area almost as soon as I arrived. Everything about the city felt special to me. On my walk to class I’d just soak in the vibe and ponder at how I had ended up here, so far from where I was born and raised. Ten years later, I still love it here. Nonetheless, I do find myself missing Ohio sometimes: family, friends and some of the rustic areas outside of the cities. Especially during the Fall months. For example, one of my favorite places to visit when I’m home is the tiny village of Yellow Springs where we’d go for hikes through John Bryan state park, canoe on the Little Miami River, get pumpkin ice cream from Young’s Jersey Dairy, and watch fireflies light up the night near the old covered bridge. Happily, both today’s Musical Pairing, the album Last by Saintseneca, and Kasey’s featured recipe, Egg-In-A-Hole Lemon Ricotta Toast, call to mind all the qualities I loved about that place.

    Saintseneca’s album is crisp and folksy with the warm, organic ambiance of boots stomping dusty, unfinished oak floorboards and acoustic instruments reverberating off of tin siding. Their melodies are clean and catchy, but also thoughtfully constructed. It’s an album that, for me, calls to mind the colors of autumn leaves, the mustiness of old covered bridges and warm nights with clear skies littered with stars. And, yes, for this Ohio boy, it calls to mind home. So it probably should come as no surprise that Saintseneca hail from my home state. But even if you have never visited Ohio, I think you’ll find the album as evocative and irresistible as I do.

    Similarly, today’s recipe is rustic, people-pleasing and great Fall breakfast fare. We enjoyed it with our friends Kimberly and Jeff who had stopped over this past weekend to help us package and finalize the elements of our first Pairings Box which we’ll be hoping to ship out soon. If you want to get in on that first Pairings Box before it’s gone, it’s not too late to sign up.

    Saintseneca – Acid Rain
    Saintseneca – Blood Drawing

    Get the album from Bandcamp.  Get the recipe for the Egg-In-A-Hole with Lemon Ricotta from Kasey in the Kitchen.