CoMusic: Hair Hole Benefit

This Saturday, August 24th from 2-10 PM marks the first ever Hair Hole CoMo Jams BBQ to act as a benefit in support of CoMo’s favorite practice space/basement rock venue. Bands will be playing outdoors as Hair Hole staff serve food and accept donations to keep the Orr St. locale open for bands to practice, record, and perform.

Starting at 3 PM, several bands will be playing outdoors. Bands featured include Gran Mal, New Tongues, Dark Blue Dark Green, and COWARD. I will be spinning records in between sets. There will also be a vinyl swap inside for those looking to sell or score some vinyl treasures.

The cost is a suggested $5 donation. See the Facebook event for more information.

CoMusic 101: The Best of 2011

Normally, I write lists when looking back upon a year’s music. However, to rank the best in CoMusic this year would require me to rank my favorite friends. I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m giving you some local music entities that did enough this year to warrant attention in the new year.

Dubb Nubb
The twindie trio released a full-length album this year and has been playing all over the state and south, honing their skills for another run at your hearts. Be prepared, because many good things will come from the sisters Rainey this year after what was a life-altering 2011. Besides the releases and touring, Dubb Nubb’s twins, Hannah and Delia, made the big move to Columbia as first-year MU students. Expect to see them play out in the coming months as their class schedules allow, especially as buskers at this year’s True-False fest. Check out their session at Daytrotter.

Special Passenger Records
It’s no coincidence that Dubb Nubb’s success over the last year is tied to the growth of their label, Special Passenger. Aside from the Dubb Nubb material and releases from CoMo local folkster Lizzie Wright, SP put out two of the more memorable compilations of the past year. The first was Cicada Summer, a collection of songs from Missouri bands commemorating the summer of cicadas. Highlights included Delia Rainey’s “Another State” (a song I loved so much that it made my top-20 tracks of the year) and Butterflies’ “Yummy! Pass the Sprinkles” which details the entire cicada ice cream phenomena at Sparky’s. The second compilation of note was the Feels Like Coming Home project where the SP folks asked 16 of their closest friends from all over the country to sing about their homes. Listen to Lizzie Wright Super Space Ship’s “JXN.MS”.

Shows there may be sporadic, but few venues have created the buzz and energy Hairhole has achieved in 2011. A highlight of the past year includes the Believers show where the band closed with a rousing albeit sloppy version of The Breeders’ classic “Cannonball”. Shows at Hairhole are not easy to keep track of, but persistence will reward.

Ptarmigan put out what may be the record of the year in CoMo. We covered The Forest Darling back in May, but the albums sounds just as fresh today. Keeping an eye open and an ear to the ground for the next Ptarmigan showing is highly recommended. Listen to and buy The Forest Darling.

I will avoid gushing. I promise. Here are the facts… Believers formed in time to make True/False theirs. Aside from providing music for the bumpers, the band made their debut at a secret party, blowing away those in attendance. Since, they’ve taken the town and state by storm with their energetic live show, a show they eventually took east. To close out the year, Believers started a Kickstarter in order to press their first EP. The fundraiser was a success and should mean good things for the band in the coming year. See them play Mojo’s on February 10th.

Richard the Lionhearted
Few bands have worked as hard as Richard. The band bought a van and have recorded a significant amount of music in a short time. Nearly every opening gig is awarded the band and for good reason. Richard plays a kind of music that just feels familiar. You swear that you’ve heard it before even if you actually haven’t. Of course, as often as they play out, you may have actually heard it before. Listen to and buy their album or check out the two new tracks released over the holidays.

Enemy Airship
Rising from the ashes of Nonreturner comes Enemy Airship. They’ve played live a few times, but it’s usually a secret only they know. Still, from the reports I’m getting, the mopiness that permeated through Nonreturner’s material seems to have given way to some energy a la Broken Social Scene. Added to the crew has been our own Ben Chlapek (who has his own Neatly Knotted project). So, expect some good things from this reincarnation of an old CoMo favorite.

New Tongues
There isn’t much known about this band except that former members Bald Eagle, Caterpillar Tracks, MTMQ, Corn Boss, The Foundry Field Recordings, Non Stop 3, The Confident Years, Amputee Set, The Carry On Killaway, Subscribe, etc. I suspect noisy, three-piece, Socialist rawk from this band. Look for them to play out later this month or next.

Hott Lunch
There’s loads of buzz surrounding this band. After playing Bitchfork this summer and opening for Cave and Jerusalem & the Starbaskets, the buzz is hitting the right circles to insure that Hott Lunch should have the connections necessary to make some real noise in 2012. Check out Hott Lunch on January 14th at Mojo’s.

The True/False Busker and Live Show Lineup
The music at True/False has always been excellent, but this year should have a new flavor as Billy Schuh (Foundry Field Recordings, Emergency Umbrella) and Amanda Rainey (Dubb Nubb, Special Passenger) are taking over for the 2012 fest.

Bonus: White Rabbits
Although they’re no longer residents here or haven’t really done much in 2011, CoMo’s favorite sons have a new album coming out and here’s a taste…


Being a lover of all things live original music, moving here was a return to a happy place. Living in a remote Iowa town last year really made me appreciate the music scene in my former Cincinnati. Growing up in an area where there was, in all likelihood, live original music in some setting 7 days a week and then moving to a town with weekly and sometimes monthly shows began to drain me. In a period where auto-tuned, talentless, morons with unlimited resources are able to record, tour, and and endlessly promote a soulless product ripe for youth consumption, watching and listening to something that a real person made with real analog instruments brings an enormous shit-eating grin to my face.

Don’t mistake my perspective for being instrument bias nor am I apart of the Analog Taliban who will make the dumbest choices in the name of analog purity. I cut my musical teeth on the best of 1980′s and early 90′s rap. In fact, I didn’t even listen to anything with a guitar until I started hanging out with the kid who pushed carts at Central Hardware. Seeing live music, has at this point in my life, has become a crucial part of creating my own happiness. With seemingly endless wars, the emergence of Police State USA, and horrible election fever, seeing a really loud rock band whilst having some adult sodas is a fine temporary vacation.

Last Friday I got the chance to see Jack Buck (the band, not the dead Cards announcer who made the 1990 world series a painful listen) and Shaved Women (Crass anyone?) from St. Louis. They were both loud, noisy, chaotic, and slightly dangerous on stage. I could name drop a bunch of bands that they sound like but that rarely works. You should also pick up Jack Buck’s brilliantly packaged 7″ vinyl record. Its pretty much the best thing I’ve bought since I moved here. They played at the Hairhole, a DIY art/show space here in CoMo. I had heard a lot about it and know some of the folks who help out there. It was a great time and much needed. Needless to say, I had fun and met some really genuine people creating some great sounds. Everyone should have the opportunity to do that every now and again. I’m just lucky enough to have a TEAM that supports it. For its size, this town has a boatload of live music venues. Not all of them book good music but its live and mostly original. Do yourself a favor and go see some. GOOD NEWS: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a couple of righteous gentlemen and we have a band now. Our debut will be sometime in the early part of 2012 which may spell the end of civilization according to the Mayans or if Newt Gingrich is elected president.

CoMusic Preview: Netherfriends to Play Hairhole


Pitchfork after party at The Inconvenience. Photo credit: Ryan Bourque

Saturday night, you should head over to the North Arts DistrictTM to see Netherfriends play the infamous and arguably existent Hairhole with netherfriends, electroshockers Fagettes. 9:30 is the start time. I’m not sure if that is for the door/hole in the wall or when a band will commence playing music, but you should go. The cost, as usual, is a donation so that the bands can eat.

Details are also on Facebook and you can watch the video below to convince yourself to go.

Vinyl Art Show Event Is Friday!

The Vinyl Art Show and Hairhole benefit was mentioned here a couple of weeks ago. Well, all those fantastic pieces of art are now ready for your perusal. 48 artists transformed some old, unwanted vinyl into some kick-ass pieces of art. You can check out the details at the Facebook event page.

The Vinyl Art Show’s closing event is Friday night from 6-9 at Cafe Berlin.  Music by Dubb Nubb, Jack Grelle and Max Garcia Rubio.  The silent auction closes at 8:30 and there is a Hairhole show(!) afterwards with Hott Lunch, Bookmobile, Bug Chaser and Comfort Zone rocking your socks off, all for a donation at the door. For those not into the Hairhole scene, you can hang around for the No Coast Rap Battle Festival set to begin at Cafe Berlin at 9:00 for a $5 cover.

Check below for some of the great works of art up for auction:


All photos are courtesy of Amanda Rainey (pictured above).

CoMusic & Arts: 48 Hour Vinyl Art Show

The first ever 48 Hour Vinyl Art Show: A Benefit for the Hairhole commences this weekend. Here are the details pulled directly from the event’s Facebook page:

This is a call to artists and art lovers in our community to participate in an art show and silent auction that will raise money for local artists and for our community practice/venue space The Hairhole. We are asking everyone we know to create a piece of art using a vinyl record during the weekend of September 16th. The exhibit will hang at Cafe Berlin for two weeks and we hope to sell all of the art in a silent auction during that time and at a big party and show on Friday, September 30th. The money raised from each sale will be split between the artist and The Hairhole.

Schedule of Events:
Friday, 9/16 – 5pm-10pm – Pick up your record at The Hairhole on orr street right next door to orr st. studios. Hairhole DJs will be spinning records for your listening/dancing enjoyment.
Saturday, 9/17 – 3pm-7pm – Crafternoon Delight Artist Potluck & Haircuts for Hairhole, at The Hairhole. Bring your record and supplies/snacks to share. Let’s work on our pieces together and inspire each other! Also, Anna will be cutting hair for donations!! Get a new do!
Sunday, 9/18 – 5pm-7pm – Return your art to Cafe Berlin, where we will install the show as you come in.
Sunday, 9/25 – 5pm-8pm – COMO Record Swap! Bring records to Cafe Berlin to sell and trade and check out all of the art!
Friday, 9/30 – 6pm – 9pm – Silent Auction and Show! The final event will conclude the auction and art show. Each bid will begin at $10 so please come out and purchase some affordable local art!! The evening will include acoustic acts during the auction and then several Hairhole bands will perform! Cafe Berlin will be selling beer and donating a portion on bar sales to the hairhole!

Please contact Amanda Rainey at or find Amanda, Alyssa Montoya or Ben Falby around town if you are interested in signing up. We have really cool invitations to give out to participants! The entry fee is $5 and we will provide you with a record. We hope to inspire you to make art, even if you are not a self proclaimed artist. Everyone can do something cool with a record!!

Vinyl pickup happens today from 5-10 pm. Participate and help the Hairhole continue to showcase CoMo’s underground musicians, allowing them a space to develop.

CoMusic 101: 48 Hours at the Hairhole

Yes, we are like five months behind on this thing, but we also didn’t exist in November. That said, a significant event in the CoMusic scene in recent history was November’s 48 Hours Battle of the Bands competition at the Hairhole, an arts space in the North Village Arts District. Over the course of a weekend, forty local musicians got together, drew names out of a hat, formed four piece bands, wrote and practiced songs, and performed at the Hairhole in a battle du jour. Don’t take my word for it. Check the following videos below there was a firsthand account from one of the event’s participants, Amanda Rainey (who also provided me with the links to the videos you see below).

CoMusic: Inside the Hairhole

Artist depiction of Believers

The Hairhole doesn’t exist. It’s not in a basement somewhere in the North Village Arts District. They didn’t hold their last show in November. You can’t check-in with FourSquare even if you could find it. There’s no cover at the door. And there wasn’t a show there Saturday night.

I won’t write how nostalgic I felt upon entering the Hairhole, or “Harold” as some might call it. It didn’t remind me of the Neil House, a residence near Ohio State’s campus rented out to a bunch of hard core kids who would hold shows in their living room. I won’t mention a club called Bernie’s with it’s basement locale and claustrophobic-inducing darkness and lack of exit signs. I certainly won’t tell you about the time I made myself bleed watching a band in a basement because I had to pound the beat out on the wall. Nope, all those things happened and the Hairhole did not.

So, everything you’re about to read didn’t actually happen as the Hairhole doesn’t actually exist…

Columbia up-and-comers Quailskin showed great improvement from the last time I saw them a month ago. That first night at East Side was not a good first impression. However, the band pulled together a nice set of actual songs. Gone were the electrotrash pretensions that dominated their set at East Side. Here was the songcraft that will keep folks coming back. Very groove-able, certainly worth another listen. There are some strong pieces in Quailskin. Once they iron out a few wrinkles, I expect them to be a solid part of the scene.

Road-conditioned Senryu found a crowd as happy to see them as they were to see the Hairhole after its forced hiatus. Senryu don’t play ska, but it’s as danceable and rugged as the punk-approved precursor to reggae as anything else I’ve heard. Folks danced and sang along, proving that Senryu’s previous visits to the ‘hole were not in vain. Seriously, their set was a lot of fun, more fun than I’ve seen at a show in this town. Apparently, all the personality in this music community is located in that basement.

Headliner Believers’s pre-show setup gave a pretty big clue of what was to come. Two drum kits were at the front corner of the stage with everything else at the edges, spilling off the stage and into the dancing audience that surrounded them. Percussion is at the center of the Believers sound. Sure, the band features silky vocals, vintage guitars, bass lines that drive, and some well-placed ambient noise, but the beats are what made believers of the audience, whipping the crowd into a frenzy, cracking the ‘hole’s foundation.

Fucking A! This was a great set. The atmosphere was loose. The band was having a good time and the Hairhole crowd was having an even better time. The Believers set Saturday night was what you want in a rock show. So much fun. I really can’t tell you anything else except that you really have to see this band live and in-person.

As if the night couldn’t get any better, Believers switched things around and ripped into a raucous rendition of The Breeders’ “Cannonball.” The Ohioan in me smiled with pride, but the Missourian in me looked forward to more shows at Hairhole and more from Believers.

CoMusic: Comfort Zone

A couple weeks back, I was contacted by Amanda Rainey in regards to my purchase of the Dubb Nubb’s New Bones. She mentioned her involvement in the 48 Band Competition at Hairhole. Either I asked or Amanda offered to write about her experience, but the important part is that she was willing to share the post below.

Amanda describes herself as “a soon to be business school dropout and a percussionist, quilt artist, sunday school teacher and lady behind little local label Special Passenger Records.”  She is currently working on a compilation project called “Feels Like Coming Home” which is an exploration of hometowns and music communities all over the country.  That album comes out in July and will feature a Comfort Zone (her 48 Band Competition champion foursome) song about the Hairhole called “Practice Space.” Find out more at  Special Passenger Records and Feels Like Coming Home.

Also, Amanda and her collaborators are starting a craft studio/community office space at Hairhole that will be home to “lots of tools and machines and scrap fabric and materials.”  There will be open studio times and craft nights starting next month.  Email Amanda if you are interested in becoming a member, donating materials, or learning more about Hairhole. Her email: – Ed.

Sometimes perfect things happen.

Last November after hearing quiet rumors about a 48 band competition at the Hairhole, I asked Sabrina at Maude how to sign up and she said – you gotta find Leo.  I didn’t know who Leo was, but I walked down the street to meet friends at Saigon – opening night  - and they were standing at a table talking to Leo.  So I signed up.  They only had one spot left.

48 hours later I walked into the Hairhole and stood among mostly strangers as they decided the bands – and I was placed in Leo’s band, also with Max and Emily – really wonderful strangers who became friends within a few hours of excited drinking, planning and playing music. 48 hours later we performed as Comfort Zone, playing 8 songs and musical interludes that we wrote and meticulously practiced throughout the weekend.  We won.  I can’t really tell you right now exactly how much that night meant to me or how much it changed everything.  Ask me in a few years.  But I can tell you that it brought out the best in Columbia’s music community.  Through ten new bands performing 100 new minutes of music we caught a glimpse at near perfection.  Well, until the cops showed up.

Since 48 hours, Comfort Zone has played three more shows and written six more songs.  Max is moving to Chicago soon, so we will probably only play one more show in mid May.  However, we were determined to make an album before we split, so we got together a couple of weeks ago and recorded all 11 songs at the Hairhole in one night.

Leo and I arrived at 3pm to clean and set up and we started recording a couple hours later.  Throughout the night, friends showed up to hang out, drink beers and help us with our scream and clap tracks.  Emily arrived right as we finished our instruments and vocals and did violin layers that will give you goosebumps.  At the end of the night we sat back and listened to the album straight through three times – it clocks in at a whopping 15 minutes and 16 seconds.  It’s pretty perfect.

I am excited to say that the album will be released in May as a split 12″ with our sister/friendlord band Task Force on the other side. It’s called 12″ Pizza Split and the recordings are getting mastered and plated as I type this.  This record is a community art project and we can’t wait to share it with everyone. I’m sure there will be a release show in May and the records will be for sale at Maude.  For now, here are some pictures of our recording session – Wednesday March 29th, 2011 at Hairhole, USA. - Amanda Rainey