Thursday June 11: Wussy / Doug Gillard (ex-GBV) / Lawton Brothers

8 06 2009
Wussy, Thursday June 11th

Wussy, Thursday June 11th

While no musical spring chickens, the Cincinnati-based band named Wussy has charmed up enough critics to get press almost equal to some Big Sweet New Next Big Thing.  That’s partly because Wussy member Chuck Cleaver earned accolades for his stint as Ass Ponys frontman and singer some fine years ago.  The Ass Ponys were known for their mixture of rurally warbly rock n’ roll underneath vignettes of various Southern Ohio weirdos, as in the case of their MTV hit, “Earth To Grandma”:

In addition, Wussy’s own discography, coupled with a  great live rep, will surely get some bodies in through the Tavern door this Thursday.  Yet in addition to Wussy, some rockers of note–with Cleveland roots–are on the bill.  Former Guided By Voices/GEM/Cobra Verde/etc guitarist Doug Gillard, now residing in NYC, brings his own tunes and ensemble.  Openers are the Lawton Brothers,  a three piece (last we checked), also bring their own 216-based rock resumes to the table.

Somehow, in between being in the aforementioned bands (as well as guest-starring with My Dad Is Dead, bar-band badasses The Bedroom Legends, and Richard Buckner) Gillard’s managed to crank out a series of solo CDs, such as the Malamute Jute EP (1999), and 2004’s Salamander, from which the video for “Symbols and Signs” is right below:

Gillard’s latest offering is Call From Restricted, some of which you can hear via this nifty iLike player.  As always, Gillard offers a potluck of power-pop, classic rock, and new wave influences.  Some ditties reverberate with a little Badfinger or George Harrison; here and there a bit of T.Rex pops through; a Wire or Pretenders guitar lick might surprise the ear as well.  

Bringing it all back home with Gillard will be ex-Cleveland drummer Jeffrey T. Ottenbacher, who chills in Brooklyn, NY while navigating the big-city rock circuit and working as consultant for boutique labels like Shandi Records.  He’s the former tub-thumper for 90s Cle combos The Conservatives, Proletarian Art Threat, New Lou Reeds, and others.  Gillard’s group also features Akronite Dave Rich, on loan from Audio Eagle Records’ Houseguest.

Former Conservatives/Proletarian Art Threat member Aaron Koonce is also on the bill with the Lawton Brothers, whose other members did solid time in the Cleveland underground with groups like Ditch and Drill Kitty.

The end result should shape up like a mini-reunion full of boozy comradeship, hey-how-are-yous, and remember-whens.  Yet the intent isn’t to block new listeners with dusty nostalgia, but rather to get everyone into the wonder of Ohio’s rock n’ roll riches.

(And if you’re wondering, I know, played, drank with, toured with, and had one too many laughs with a bunch of these guys. I’m biased. There you have it.)


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