True Endeavors Presents
Night Moves, 1,2,3
330 E. Washington St.
Iowa City, IA, 52240
Doors 7:00PM / Show 8:00PM (event ends at 11:59 pm)
This event is 19 and over
Turning On / Leave You Forever
[Carpark / True Panther; 2010]
Last fall, Cleveland native Dylan Baldi began recording songs in his parents' basement, on a computer, under the name Cloud Nothings. By December, Baldi was playing his first show, opening for lo-fi kingpins Woods and Real Estate in Brooklyn. There was one snag: Baldi, 18 at the time, was in the middle of his first college finals. He opted to drop out, play the show, and spend his time touring and recording like wild.
Turning On is a compilation that lassos together nearly everything from those first several months, including one split cassette, a 7", and the cassette-turned-CD-R-turned-vinyl LP from which it takes its name. All of the songs have been floating around online for a while, but the comp is as much a primer for a forthcoming full-length as it is an early portrait of a young songwriter with an immediate ear for what works and why. Though Baldi figured out pretty quickly how to deliver his hooks in a variety of styles (see: the post-punk squall of "I Am Rooftop" or the AM-radio twinkle of "Strummin'") his strength lies in always giving straight-ahead pop mechanics license to spazz out. Verses boast sharp fangs, choruses beg repeating, and everything is presented with throaty conviction.
But what becomes clear most quickly is how much these songs would benefit from a studio and band. (Baldi recorded every instrument himself.) Beneath his chorus and backup vocal on "Waddya Wanna Know", you can barely make out a handsome guitar line that, if heard more clearly, would only tease out more melody. Three quarters of the way through "Water Turns Back", the disc's highlight, Baldi solos loosely but very faintly, the sound of his Fender almost completely buried in an already heady mix. Moments like that are scattered throughout this compilation, though to really hear a difference, you need to hear something new.
Released alongside Turning On, the four-song Leave You Forever single, recorded this summer, finds Baldi giving his songs a bath. The guitars are clean and sharp, there's a drummer with verve behind the kit, and as a result, every hook is more vibrant. From the slingshot pace of the title track to the La's-like ribbons of "Talk to Me" to the harmony-enriched coda of "You Were Scared", there's a lot at which to marvel. Here, Baldi sounds not just like a guy getting over a girl, but someone whose melodic understanding continues to evolve as his confidence grows.
Review Written by— David Bevan, October 25, 2010
In recent years, Ohio has found itself on the receiving end of many jokes. Yet despite some unfortunate sports teams and economic problems, the Buckeye State remains fertile ground for great music.
In particular, the Akron, Ohio scene has produced legendary punk bands like The Cramps, Dead Boys, and Devo. More recently, The Black Keys exploded onto the national scene with their intoxicating mix of garage rock and blues. And, if it wasn't for Oberlin College, the world may never have heard of Yeah Yeah Yeahs — singer Karen O and drummer Brian Chase met while attending the school and were both inspired by Ohio's legendary 80s and 90s-era punk scene.
Lo-fi power pop group Cloud Nothings are the latest cool kids to rock out on the Ohio block. Upon first listen, you may think that they sound like any other garage band, but once the upbeat drumming and fuzzed-out guitars sink their teeth into you, you'll keep coming back for more. Songs like "Can't Stay Awake" and "Hey Cool Kid" — off their debut EP Turning On — are anthemic, undeniable gems.
Upon repeated listens, Turning On reveals a hidden depth that belies its lo-fi aesthetic. Buried beneath all the static and fuzz is the focused and talented songwriting of 19-year-old Dylan Baldi, who shows great promise for his age. Baldi possesses a MacGuyver-like resourcefulness to match his talent — he recorded Turning On with nothing but a microphone and his computer.
Expect Cloud Nothings to have a big 2011. They recently signed to Carpark Records and are recording their first full-length in Baltimore with Chester Gwazda — who in the past has recorded albums for folks like Dan Deacon and Future Islands — for a Winter 2011 release. The band is currently wrapping up some New York dates and will then tour Europe. Rest assured, they will no doubt be embarking on a North American tour shortly thereafter.
I wouldn't be doing this if I felt I had a choice," realizes Nic Snyder. He pauses, sips a beer. "I don't think I have a choice."
He's talking about life as a musician, and more specifically, about his new band... 1,2,3. The band includes long-time pal Josh Sickels on drums.
Snyder grew up inspired by a steady diet of Mercury-era Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Bacharach & David, and all-time fave, Roy Orbison, but he was lured into actually playing the stuff by his dad, who not only collected punk 7's back in the seventies, but was a piano player in Pittsburgh's monolithic Iron City Houserockers, probably the biggest band to come out of the Three Rivers area in the 70/80's. Says Nic, "I have pictures of him on stage with Springsteen, Lenny Kravitz, and B.B. King. Now he's considered a "legend" in the local blues scene. One of my first memories was of my mom speeding away from our house and telling me don't ever become a musician or your wife will hate you."
Drummer Sickels, who himself has a respectably diverse musical palette, has been playing with Snyder for over a decade. Josh confirms, "Nic listens to literally EVERYTHING, and I think you can hear that in his songs."
Hence, 1,2,3 is the platform for some very incredibly smart songwriting, for example, "Confetti," a tune about death that quite happily sounds like the orgasmic collision of latter day Beatles (definitely a Lennon tune), Gram Parsons and Big Star, and "Can't Bribe God," a kind of slow, Gospel shuffle that finds Snyder displaying simply the most viciously visceral vox work this side of Prince Rogers Nelson with a middle eight that feels curiously like ELO… in a good way.
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