There seems to be this buzz going around that there is some sort of renaissance happening in Ohio, and the rest of the Midwest too. Recent news reports have told us there are growing urban populations, growth in jobs across a bunch of industries, and cultural events gaining attention from around the country. Hopeful as the messages sound, I don’t think the numbers and statistics being shared by news sources make any difference. The chest thumping data pushing seems like some sort of laughable agenda driven ego battle, I hate that… mostly because the numbers don’t prove or show anything that really matters. I don’t care about headlines, I want to live, thrive and survive and see my friends and family do the same.
Now, hold that thought and let’s talk about Dub Step.
I’ve been really confused about the whole electronic music thing for a while, but I think I got it figured out when I went to a Girl Talk show a few weeks ago. Smashing extreme frequencies at either end of the spectrum of sound comprehensible to the human ear at ridiculously high decibels makes your body shake and head sway. It actually feels awesome if done right. On top of this physical experience, DJs are putting on visual light displays that put the rest of rock and roll to shame. Skrillex, Girl Talk, Pretty Lights… these guys have got it down, pushing all of your senses to their limits and dropping them off, over and over. This is why it’s the age of the DJ. Live music is the only place where there is accessible money for music and the experience of these live shows works like a drug on your mind and body.
Yesterday, I was reading the internet and found a link to a band from Columbus that I had heard of but never checked out before, Twenty One Pilots. They just got signed to a label I used to follow when I was a teenager: Fueled By Ramen. I sorta stopped following the label when I wasn’t into Fall Out Boy sort of bands anymore, but the story of Fueled By Ramen is success in the midwest… pulling bands from DIY pedigree and hustling their way to a national audience. Here’s what Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots has to say about it.
For me, music romance is rare… it’s a dream to be moved and connect with music often, daily if possible, but it just doesn’t happen that way. Twenty One Pilots has got me in a spin for so many reasons.
The composition of their music is ready for the age of the DJ. Sonic diversity pushing the limits, fast drops, poppy hooks and a live performance that holds a flame thrower next to anything I’ve ever seen. The lyrical delivery and aura of Tyler Joseph makes you wonder what Marshall Mathers would have sounded like if he grew up in a middle class, suburban family with food on the table. It’s so good, and distinctively Midwestern. Seeing the glimpses of the DIY show with 5 people in a room is often times what our music scene looks like, I know that room, and I respect people that have started their careers playing there. Most important to my current fascination with this band, I connected with Tyler’s timely statement of encouragement. Forget the stupid news reports, This is what’s happening in Ohio, in music and everything else.
“don’t give up, push through the drought, channel the inevitable disappointment back into your craft, break molds, think, create, most importantly stay alive, and in the process make it about others… “