Twenty One Pilots Soar to New Heights

Twenty One Pilots *Taken from Higher Ground Music

Twenty One Pilots
*Taken from Higher Ground Music

This post was written by @MeganOkonsky who shares her love for good music, and only good music, on Music with Megan Okonsky.

At every show you go to there are opening bands that are nice and pass the time. And then there are opening bands that are so shockingly good they make you worry for how the headliner’s going to be able to follow them. For the past two years, that has been twenty|one|pilots.

Columbus natives Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun formed twenty|one|pilots in 2009 and have been creating a family-like fan base ever since, recently opening for such acts as Paramore, Walk the Moon and Neon Trees. They are well aware that there are only two guys onstage – not 21 (the name is a reference All My Sons, a play by Arthur Miller). Their high energy could top 21 other artists easily though; if you want to consume this “psych-pop” duo at their prime, see them perform live.

The need these guys have for putting on an unforgettable show is palpable and hits you like it hurts. They compete to see who will have the most energy on stage, and there is never a clear-cut winner. Tyler jumps off a piano. Josh flips off the piano. Tyler screams his soul into the microphone and Josh beats the crap out of his drums. Try getting bored at a show where the members of the band play on platforms held up by the audience. They never fail to amaze.

 Taken at Bunbury Music Festival, July 2013. Music with Megan Okonsky


Taken at Bunbury Music Festival, July 2013. Music with Megan Okonsky

Their music is not all about their tricks on stage. They could pull off a show without any gimmicks, with the straight and raw words of Tyler Joseph’s demons. It sounds emotional because it is emotional. It’s real. Hit up their self-titled first album and listen to “Addict With a Pen”; his confessions are humbling and his vulnerability is refreshing. In an era of pop music that hides behind drugs and uses blurred lines as scapegoats, we finally hear something real with twenty|one|pilots. Their music is a call to action, a call for honesty and community, spoken best in “Forest”.

Whether it’s from the first album, sophomore album, or occasional covers of “This is How We Do It” or “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, twenty|one|pilots is a band to pay attention to. The coming fall ends their current tour with Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco before a headlining tour around the globe.

They’re playing at the Breakaway Fest in Columbus today; pair this duo with Porter Robinson and Robert DeLong (who they’ll begin touring with this October), and you’ve got yourself one good day in Ohio.

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Local Rock/Soul Band Have Explosive Downtown Show

The Floorwalkers.  *Taken from their Facebook Page

The Floorwalkers
  *Taken from their Facebook page

There’s no chance you’ll leave a Floorwalkers show disappointed. Not a chance. The Columbus band with Cleveland roots closed the 2013 Downtown Live Concert Series at Columbus Commons last Thursday. Spot-on vocals, lively stage presence, a sneak peek at their next album and a fireworks finale made for a memorable night.

I first heard of The Floorwalkers about three years ago when I was interning for SoHud Music Collective. How cool of an internship to get to work with local bands… and get into shows for free?! I discovered a lot of great bands during those three months. More on that to come.

This recent article in The Lantern pretty much sums up The Floorwalkers’ awesomeness.

A smart social media presence, a nearly constant touring schedule and sheer talent led to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Fans raised over $8,000 to fund the recording and release of the band’s sophomore album to be released later this year. The Floorwalkers have also appeared on Daytrotter where Troof favorite, Drew Davis, will perform September 23.

If being voted best band for three consecutive years by (614) Magazine doesn’t convince you they’re worth a listen, maybe 10K Facebook Likes and a recent show with Mumford & Sons can encourage a listen? Stream their first album, The Natural Road, below then buy it on iTunes or CD Baby. Yes, CD Baby still exists.

Columbus’ Dose of Ambient Music

dose

-matt

I was never one to be too ecstatic over instrumentals, but this artist raised the bar. I’ve been wanting to share the music of (Dose) since my first listen to Is That You? Although there’s a minimalistic theme to his music, it’s far from simplistic.

The 2012 LP, When We Were High, was a good introduction to the electronic lo-fi sounds that would be even more prominent on this year’s Empathy in the Afterglow release. (Dose) sets the scene and creates the mood in a synesthesia fashion. Perfect chill music. Perfect blunt cruising music.

Check out the brilliant visuals for Tonight and Is That You? below.

Meet Mojoflo: Old-School Soul with Modern Flair

Meet Mojoflo, looking really official. *taken from their photo shoot on FB

Mojoflo, looking really official. *taken from their photo shoot on FB

-matt

Mojoflo is one of central Ohio’s most exciting bands. Judging from their Facebook pictures alone, you can see Mojoflo is no joke, with an electrifying stage show and powerhouse vocals.

I spent this rainy afternoon listening to their horn-fueled, Funk/R&B songs. The Waiting EP contains nothing but greatness. The cool keys and simple yet effective lyrics on Wanna Be Wit U is a great place to start if you’ve yet to hear of the Columbus band. Home to You has a groovy bass and old-school fast-paced drum pattern reminiscent of classic James Brown tracks.

Singer, Amber Knicole, is a diva! Beyonce's wild step-sister.

Singer, Amber Knicole, is a diva! Beyonce’s wild step-sister.

The band took the stage last night as a part of the All Good Festival 2013 in Thornville and is performing today at Columbus’ Jazz & Rib Fest. If you’ve missed these chances to see them live, don’t miss them next Friday, July 26, at Cleveland’s Rock City Festival.

Listen to their most recent single, Right On (Back Around).

Columbus’ Coolest Country/Rock Artist

Lydia Loveless in the back of a moonshine maker's truck.

Lydia Loveless in the back of a moonshine maker’s truck.

-matt

My recent love for Columbus country rocker, Lydia Loveless, is uncharacteristic of my typical music obsessions. There’s a select few country artists who have enough wit, soul and whiskey fueled songs to keep my attention. Loveless is equal parts country and punk with a commanding vocal presence.

Her 2010 debut, “The Only Man” was great, but it was 2011’s “Indestructible Machine” released through Bloodshot Records that cemented her name in my head and always remains in my Top 25 Most Played iTunes playlist. The comical and smart lyrics on “Steve Earle” make it a standout track for me. The bourbon-drenched “Bad Way to Go” and “Can’t Change Me” are other gems not to overlook.

I had a major first-world-problem Thursday night when I learned I couldn’t make her show at Ace of Cups; completely devastated! Having toured the world this year, who knows if I’ll get to see another $5 Lydia Loveless show in Columbus again.

Briana Henry from Columbus Underground got the chance to speak with Lydia before her show at Ace of Cups. She got the scoop on the next Loveless album, which is not going to be ready until next year. A new EP will be released later this year. I suppose that can hold me over until the third record is released.

Drink more. Love less. Yes, I stole that from her beer cozies in her online store.

Lydia Loveless “Steve Earle”

Gordon Gee and his Bowties will be Missed

Gordon Gee at his finest

Gee at his finest (*photo from GameDayR.com)

-tim

Gordon Gee was the face of The Ohio State University…twice. He first held office from September 1, 1990 to January 2, 1998. He left Ohio State for Brown University, then to Vanderbilt before returning to the Buckeye State for his latest tenure.

Gee was once named Best University President by Time Magazine. Unfortunately the successful president had a sense of humor unlike the rest of the world. Comments about the University of Norte Dam and Catholics in early December of last year went public a couple of weeks ago. And when running one of the largest universities in the country, remarks even the slightest bit offensive can decay one’s reputation. His current tenure will end on the first of July.

I can’t say he was forced out by university officials. I can say he had so much left he wanted to accomplish. Responsible for pushing the university to new heights, he will remain an important part of OSU history.

Carrie Ghose of BizJournals reported last week that Gee is house hunting in the Short North. Columbus will not lose the colorful bow-tied president so easily after all.

Drew Davis Dazzles at Brothers Drake Meadery (I LOVE alliteration!)


drewdavis

-matt

Columbus is home to many great musicians. Today, I’m putting the spotlight on one of my favorite singer/songwriters from the area. Although Columbus isn’t technically her home now, it’s the city that nurtured the talent of singer/songwriter Drew Davis.

Now performing across the country, while maintaining a marketing position in Austin, Texas, I couldn’t miss the chance to see Drew perform at Brothers Drake Meadery on 5th and High two weeks ago. Drawing an impressive crowd, Drew performed songs from her previous two albums and songs that will appear on her third album this fall.

In short, Drew’s music can be described as a cross between the seriousness of Fiona Apple and the bright, playfulness of Sara Bareilles. As I drank (slowly) my Scarlet Solstice, I fell in love with brand new song titled “Absence.” I hope this makes the cut for the new album. Other standouts of the night included “Ohio,” “Bottle of Sin” and “Not the Same.”

The four-year gap between her first two albums can be explained by a busy tour schedule and attending college in Georgia. However, I got word that the next album is being recorded THIS June with an expected release date later in the year; not even a year after her previous album, “Old, Old Heart.” 

Preview her music on SoundCloud then of course go to iTunes or Amazonmp3 to purchase her first two albums.

Drew Davis “Absence”

Me and Drew after the show 6/4/13

Me and Drew after the show 6/4/13