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Columbus Alive

Local Music: Mors Ontologica
May 12 2011 Just 13 months after unveiling "Yesterday's Darlings and the Bohemian Bourgeois," Mors Ontologica is back with "Hot Mess." Mors' annual Black Box Benefit on Saturday at Ruby Tuesday, benefitting CD101 for the Kids this year, doubles as the release show. "Hot Mess" is lighter and looser than "Yesterday's Darlings," though just about anything would be compared to that double-LP-length rant about feeling betrayed by the Columbus music scene. Frontman Crow is still offended though, whether declaring "Your girlfriend's a bitch! Let's all get wasted!" or continuing to vent anger toward a segment of the music community: "I was kicked in the face by the shitgaze racist homophobic mafia." But "Hot Mess" rocks and sways like a nerdy post-punk Rolling Stones, and the Black Box show is sure to exude positive vibes. Low Men, Marvin the Robot, The Hail Bop Group, The Muzzleloaders and DJs Funky D and True Skills will be on hand, plus free barbecue and giveaways. Chris Deville

Columbus Alive

Mors Ontologica
Apr 15 2010 On their double-disc, three-years-in the-making opus "Yesterday's Darlings and the Bohemian Bourgeois" - set to be performed in full Saturday at Ruby Tuesday - Columbus rock quartet Mors Ontologica set out to chronicle a day in the life of this city's hipster underbelly. "It's kind of like a Kinks album," said singer-keyboardist Marcello Antifonario, aka Crow. "It's a really local thing, like 'Muswell Hillbillies' or something, like everything's really specific to this time and place. I feel like I'm just writing, as a regular proletariat person, what it's like to live in Columbus right now." Mors paid tribute to their North Campus neck of the woods three years ago with the song "Washington Beach." "Yesterday's Darlings" picks up that thread and runs with it for 20 tracks in 59 minutes, painting a gritty picture of a scene characterized by fickle adoration, vindictive sneers and friction between trust-fund kids and the working class. As singer-guitarist Drew Clausen put it, the album poses the question: "What's that like to be held up, and then just dropped? And then to claw yourself back to a place where you're happy?" Mors used the expanded running time to delve into stylistic rabbit holes the band might have otherwise passed over. As ever, it's founded on the ballsy bluster of punk and garage rock - Crow's keyboard working in tandem with Clausen's guitar against a no-frills backbeat by drummer Tim O'Dell and bassist Jeff Wiseman. This time out, Mors' ever-widening scope also captures woozy anthem grunge ("Misery"), solo acoustic ditties ("Tuesday Morning"), orchestral art-rock ("Perfect Lie") and the album-closing drunken waltz "The Party." "From the Gutter to the Street" jangles and sways with the best of them. And Mors has never sounded so gloriously prog as they do on "Wolves." Lyrically, the album is full of Mors' standard vitriol, only more pointed. "Persona Non Grata" is built on the angry refrain, "That chick got us banned from the clubs!" Elsewhere, "Hipster Blues" names names. "It's not a comfortable record," Crow said. "It's really heavy, and I think we just really let it all out. There was just so much struggling and violence and pain and death and suffering. But the next record's going to be fun!" A light-hearted follow-up entitled "Party Jams" is coming soon. Chris Deville

The Other Paper

Local Roundup: Mors Ontologica
Apr 10 2010 Mors Ontologica has blazed its own trail through the Columbus music scene over the years, simultaneously fitting in and remaining on the fringe. I have mentally filed them somewhere between the noisier, scarier early days of Sonic Youth and the defiantly irreverent Chuck Mosley era of Faith No More, two bands that followed their own muses as the scenes around them congealed and caught up. Trailblazing can be lonely, and can sometimes lead to that introspective album that suddenly makes a band seem more accessible. Mors Ontologica has reached that critical mass with Yesterdays Darlings and the Bohemian Bourgeois. At 20 songs, it’s a long album, but the band covers enough bases and asks enough questions to make it worthwhile. Most interesting, and possibly most telling, are stabs at the local scene and scenes in general. The bitingly funny “Hipster Blues” sounds like Woody Guthrie channeled through Tom Lehrer after a year splitting time between CCAD and Café Bourbon Street. Combine that with the noisy groove of “What’s My Scene?” and you have a band seeming to wonder where it belongs. That isn’t a bad thing. Mors has been around long enough to understand the question and still be creative enough to challenge the answers and grow as a band. Given the meatiness of the album and the wide spectrum of sound Mors Ontologica employs, there is much to explore and enjoy on Yesterdays Darlings. . Rick Allen

Bull Tounge

May 1 2008 Arthur Magazine No. 29 ´Nother fine Ohio product is the first LP by Mors Ontologica, The Used Kids Session (VSS). Because this was recorded by Mike ¨Amrep" Hummel, it's hard not to smell gusts of Cayuhogan breeze in every note. Never sure if this is a concept we generate in our own fevered brainpans, but the album feels sporadically redolent of everyone from the Quotas to Death of Samantha. The basic pummel is tres garagey, but it's blasted throughout with croak and glam-pop highlights that just won't quit. Very cool. Thank you, Ohio. Byron Coley & Thurston Moore


Apr 14 2008 The great state of Ohio has raised legends. Cleveland's known for hall-of-famers Pere Ubu and the Electric Eels. Dayton nurtured Kim Deal and Bob Pollard. And from its well-situated spot in between those two cities, the state capital of Columbus is starting to have some sort of cohesive musical identity thrust upon it. What with NME and MTV creaming on Times New Viking and Psychedelic Horseshit. Not to say it's undeserved - I think their excellent live sets in the WFMU studios (TNV) (PHS) are testament enough. What follows is a sampling - by no means comprehensive - of some of the other Columbus musicians you'll be able to hear on WFMU's Free Music Archive. MP3's from The Guinea Worms, Necropolis, Tommy Jay's Tall Tales of Trauma, Mike Rep & the Quotas, Mors Ontologica, The Lindsay, El Jesus de Magico, Ryan Jewell, and Sword Heaven after the jump. Mors Ontologica This off-kilter 4-piece brought their dirty guitar and distorto-synth to WFMU last month for a smokin live session on Liz B's show. Their newest LP, the Used Kids Session, was recorded at the top-notch Columbus record store Used Kids by Mike "I don't do no stinkin demos" Rep (and with Tommy Jay providing some LFW assistance). "Massive Action" is a jam. And the song "Washington Beach" refers to the unofficial name for Mors' neighborhood. Washington Beach is home to artists, pawn shops, OSU students, seedy characters, venues like Cafe Bourbon St (RIP the Taco Ninja), and the most excellent Columbus Discount Records store/label/studio. These are just a few of the many jams freely available for download from Columbus' Very Small Scene Records.

Merry Swankster

Feb 14 2008 I’m now convinced that in an apartment building basement somewhere in the confines of Columbus, Ohio, that there is some sort of force that has been bending the musical timeline like a piece of paper making a direct portal between 1974 and 2008. This is the only explanation that I have for a band like Mors Ontologica, a band that hits on the sound of brazen pre dawn-punk layered with moody textures, but also has the ability to create a landscape that could only have been born as a reaction to the desperate times of the present. Several months back I interviewed Mike “Rep” Hummel, the lo-fi ear that “lovingly f*cked with” Guided By Voices’ Propeller and Times New Viking’s Dig Yourself. Recently I opened up a package with one of Mike’s more recent projects, Mors Ontoligica’s The Used Kids Sessions. Now most doctors will agree that eight hours is the recommended amount of time for sleep. However what divides their opinion is whether eight hours the recommended time to record an album. On the one side you have the argument for excessive studio sessions; on the other side you have Mike Rep. Mors Ontologica admits to first being very hesitant about the project. But Mike Rep persisted with the feel of the first Ramones LP in the back of his mind and finally was able to convince the band to go into a whirlwind eight hour session on November 27th, 2006. Mors Ontologica – “Bombshell” Mors Ontologica – “Comeing Down” Mors Ontologica – “Ghost and Shadows” The Used Kids Sessions not only present an exuberant rush fueled by flasks and cases, but there is also a literate intensity in each verse and chord which is a sound that even the band didn’t expect to hear. When I spoke to the four members of Mors Ontologica a short while ago they still sounded shocked that the bass and drums could be heard distinctively on the album when they witnessed Mike’s use of only one shared mic on the drums and bass rig. Going into the recording session the band was thinking demo tape at best and practice session at worst, to their surprise not only did they have a demo but they had an album. It’s a strange phenomenon when you play a contemporary band for someone and all of the sudden they are taken back to the days of Nixon resigning. Mike Rep summed it up perfectly saying, “I really like working w/ Mors O. they are the kind of band I always wanted to have in the 70′s, a little Stranglers-y, a little Saints-y too I think, though they never to listened to either…” True, Mors Ontologica know their musical past but it is my belief that they have arrived at this sound and are pushing it forward not because they are trying to do anything retro but because their sound is a direct reaction to a similar taste of dissatisfaction and anxiety prevalent in musical circles in 1974. It’s an example of a half baked theory of musical alchemy which suggests that you could take band A and mix them in a vacuum with the politics of B and the cultural sense of C and open the door and you’ve created say The Rolling Stones. If we took Beethoven and placed him in Chicago in 1970 would he end up being in Styx? If in a hundred years the government again adopts a theory of trickle down economics would bands all of the sudden start making music that sounded a tad like Thriller? This has yet to be determined, but the members of Mors Ontologica have placed the mirror on themselves and the sidewalk and have gone through struggles and angst common in 2008. Their music is a reflection of this present but is also based on the knowledge of an adjacent past. You can catch Mors Ontologica on their first ever trip out East at: March 1 2008 – CARABAR Columbus, OH w/ ROSEHIPS & THE LINDSAY March 20 2008 – TRASH BAR Brooklyn, NY 8pm show! March 22 2008 – GOODBYE BLUE MONDAYS Brooklyn, NY Johan Gold

The Other Paper

For Once A Fresh Sound
Nov 27 2007 In a scene as big and productive as Columbus, you find a regular rotation of hip bands whose work amounts to one long rehash of record collections played for those who haven't dug deeply into the crates themselves. Once in awhile, however, a band sticks it out long enough to become memorable and craft a sound that they can lay claim to, With The Used Kids Session, MORS ONTOLOGICA has pulled off this feat. Their sound is a well-worn mixture of garage rock, minimalist art rock and disjointed, white-panther soul, all melted together like an oil painting left out in an acid rain. The final coat was put on by Mike Rep and Tommy Jay, who lovingly fucked with the album enough to give it that smothered, hissy-tape vibe that the kids dig again. The Used Kids Session is full of highlights, and space prevents a full exploration of all the gems on this long player, but a few stand out in such crowded competion. The first is "Getting Up", a nearly funky slab of no-wave soul well within the oeuvre of the Dirtbombs or any other old-school R&B revival act, but quirky enough to stand on its own. "Getting Up" is followed by "Ghosts & Shadows", which puts the spotlight on Crow's vocals. The singing resembles a less marble mouthed Shane MacGowan crossed with a less one Night in Bangkok Murray Head. The song itself is reminiscent of Mudhoney in that it rises far above what is expected from a garage-y rave up and is better than the competition as well. Given how well The Used Kids Session turned out, that's not a bad description of the album as a whole, and of the band MORS ONTOLOGICA has grown into. Rick Allen

Columbus Alive

Review: The Used Kids Session
Nov 15 2007 Recorded live last year at Used Kids, Mors Ontologica's fourth release highlights fresh combinations of Crow's eerie organs, Drew Clausen's righteous guitar and a perennially steady back beat. Thanks to local audio engineer Mike Rep, you hear the band's stage energy without the echo or crowd noise that can destroy a good live record. Armed with stronger songwriting, Mors seems more dedicated than ever to its central mission: tackling difficult metaphysical topics through rock. Life, death and decay provide the fodder for "Ghost & Shadows", "Don't Feel Alright" and "Voice of Degeneration"-three triumphs of form and function. John Ross

Columbus Alive

Community Chest
May 10 2007 On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, the members of Mors Ontologica sat huddled around a table on the patio at Bodega, enjoying food, drink and good company. And though the band had just outlined the motives behind their annual charity event, their camaraderie explained it better than words could have mustered. When Mors guitarist Drew Clausen hatched the Black Box benefit in 2001, the idea was simple, and it remains so today-get together as many friends as possible and party for a good cause. "I have a little black box on my desk that I've had since college", Clausen said. "Ever since I started working in the music industry and doing bands and all that stuff, I just put everyone's cards in this box. And then one day someone was talking about, 'You know, you could probably throw a really cool party by calling everyone in that box.'" The first event packed Campus bar Ruby Tuesday with bands, DJs, art and variety-show style entertainment. Folks had such a good time that Clausen decided to revisit the event annually. This year's show will feature six local rock bands, art from Jeff Fernengel, P-Don and others, DJ sets from the Beat Lounge, tribal belly dancers and free barbecue. The $5 door charge will go to the Epilepsy Foundation in honor of Daymon Dodson, a Columbus music fixture who died suddenly of complications from a seizure last year. "Every year it's been more and more localized", Clausen explained. Last year the event benefited cancer research in honor of Clausen's hairdresser's daughter, who was battling the disease and is now in remission. The focus of Black Box is community and a kinship Columbus musicians share, said Mors keyboardist Marcello Antifonario, aka Crow. "It's such a diverse musical scene, which is awesome",Crow said. "You don't want to go out and see six bands that sound the same, you know? But it all hangs together because we're all having similar experiences in the same place. It's a real community-oriented scene." This year's Black Box lineup shows a bulk of Mors Ontologica family ties. Rosehips recently added Mors drummer Tim O'Dell. Second State Butchers is helmed by Kyle Siegrist, who has hosted Mors performances at his Lost Weekend Records. Heroes of History has been on Mors' record label VSS for years. Adam Smith of the Unholy 2 has recorded Mors before. And punk veteran Mike Rep, whose band the Quotas is performing this weekend, recorded the upcoming Mors album The Used Kids Sessions. With so many friends lending a hand, the band is visibly pumped to throw its benefit bash this weekend. "If you want to come have a little slice of our life and come help us out, come out and support it", Clausen said. Chris Deville


Where's Jake Rivera When You Need The Man.....Mors Ontologica's 'Don't Cry' LP
Jan 27 2007 Mike Rep's got about a good've set of ears as I know, so when he sends us a record for perusal, we respectfully peruse. The guy's credentials are right on, whether it's on the topic of the Quota's, Vertical Slit, the 'Propeller' lp, Times New Viking, you just can't say enough. It's the stuff of legend & not just in his mirrors. But there's also the side to Mike that will honestly tell you that Nico was great right up till that last bike ride, or that Lou Reed might "still surprise us". Sentimental? No doubt, but the man believes & while I don't share his Quixotic notions I'll still give him props for holdin on. I suspect this was the side of him that wanted me to hear this debut lp by Mors Ontologica called 'Don't Cry'. Why the hunch? 'Cause if I didn't know better I'd guess the record was 30 yrs old if it was a day. Mors Ontologica chug out gravel throated, sax fueled, mid tempo rock that's aggressive in a pre dawn punk sort of way, not unlike the halcyon sounds of earlier fellow staties such as Rubber City Rebels, Bizzaros, Tin Huey or Numbers Band. Challenging but not in your face. Not yet anyways. If I close my eyes when this is playin I can still count the mile markers on 77 between Cleveland & Akron, the smell of molten rubber flarin in my nostrils. A room full've flared jeans, down vests, earth shoes & feathered hair comes flashin back. And them's the girls! Not the most pleasant of memories, but what the hell? Somebody was pushin the envelope. And it was fun. Then. I don't know that I need a reconstruction now but I appreciate the spirit emanating out've of 'Don't Cry'. It's challenging-again-but this time there's plenty of water under the bridge w/many swimmin holes to choose from. I ain't the same hopper I once was, fuelled on Black Label & Marlboro's, boogie'n down to aggressive strains of forward motion barroom rock. But maybe this is the current that floats your boat. Mike Rep's got his skipper's hat cocked at a jaunty angle & is on board w/Mors Ontologica. And while we obviously saunter w/2 different set've sea legs I'll have to agree w/his cabinboy on this; he might not always be right, but he's never wrong. Toot, toot, thar she blows! Roland Seward Woodbe

Scamp Radio

BlogThis (oh shit...and beyond)
Jun 9 2006 MORS ONTOLOGICA DEAD AND/OR FAMOUS (VSS RECORDS, 2006) It's like living in the 1970's all over again. I've been to Columbus a couple of times, but I ain't ever driven into town on a Harley Davidson... maybe that's the key to the chrome underworld where the Olentangy meets Nessie. The Godz created this motor hell, Rep & The Quotas are the gatekeepers- and Mors Ontologica are standing at the gates awaiting their ultimate gray-haired judgement. Short and sweet: they are just on the cusp of capturing an extremely original but classic hard rock sound (much like The Godz and The Quotas) without seeming to stray too far off the mark. Their new album, "Dead and/or Famous", is at it's best when the subject matter dabbles in familiar territory but given a sincere and personal spin, such as on "DYI", "Me and a Gun", "45 Revolutions", and "Lazy Suicide", whenever the subject matter strays into anti-corporate shitspeak generalities the results are pretty terrible (imagine a Jane's Addiction armed with a weak strain of Fugazi-esque politics). Thank the lawd, that good blows the other shit out of the water so that you end up with something that is ultimately worth your time to listen to. Obviously the group has some sort of punk-rock ideology, as they seem allow fairly inferior songwriters an even share in the final release, but perhaps that ideology a shortcoming of the band. Promote the Bon Scott/Stiv Bators/??? singer to handle the singing; his voice is amazing, filled with the type of nuances that get you to pull out the lyric sheet and read along with the music (for songs like "DYI", "Lapse Relapse", and "Me and a Gun",I wish I could read a long with the music) like some giggly girl reading the Lennon lyrics on "I Am The Walrus". I am the walrus, and I assure you that you will be frustrated (not disappointed) with "Dead And/or Famous",because if you cut away the derivitive and hesitant Mike Patton-isms which cloud up about 1/5 of the album, you are left with (surprise!) a seemingly timeless, and invigorating work, that only uses obvious influences such as the Godz, Mott the Hoople, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, the Dead Boys, and AC/DC as the foundation of their adventurous dynamic. Let's hope Mors Ontologica can build from their many strengths and leave some of those punk ideologies behind; I really can't wait to see what they do next, but this one should have me content for quite a while. Go to

Mors Ontologica "Dead And/Or Famous"
Jun 5 2006 Tuesday, 6-6-(0)6, is being celebrated many places in Columbus (and internationally, I'm sure) for obvious reasons, but for me, the main reason to rejoice on this date of numerical convergence is the Columbus release of Mors Ontologica's Dead And/Or Famous. This 14-track salvo does a great job of translating the intoxicating/ed fury of their live show to a recording you can take home. Co-lead singers/songwriters Crow Antifonario (keyboards/synths) and Drew Clausen (guitars) both do a fine job of helming their respective creations to success, whether it's the suicidal punk singalong of Crow's "D.Y.I." or Drew's pissed-off consumer anthem "Bad for Business". To add to the onslaught, drummer Tim O'Dell tastefully (yet powerfully) provides some drumset pyrotechnics and bassist Jeff Wiseman keeps things moving smoothly. Though I'm not a big fan of ballads, tunes like "Lazy Suicide" and "Shoes" are fine vehicles for Crow to belt out some back-alley soul. Overall, the album is paced pretty well, though closer "Me & A Gun" is a downer of a tune to close out a rather fun album. As originally stated, the main thing for me is that the drunken singalong of Mors' live show is maintained on disc, and the songs definitely grow in the studio space. Definitely recommended. Of course, no 666 celebration is complete without a live show. Mors Ontologica will be playing a free show at the Carabar Tuesday night featuring two sets of Mors-y goodness. Opening is P-Don (of the Heroes of History) performing all of your favorite murder ballads. The show starts at 9, so get there early for the jams. Andrew Patton

The Big Takeover issue 56

Various- Worknook Studio 25 hour Grand Prix
Dec 19 2005 Here's the idea: Take 25 Columbus, OH-area bands, give them each an hour to record a song with one of five alternating engineers, and finish a 25-band compilation in 25 hours over October 15 & 16, 2004. If the compilers hadn't told you the background, though, you'd be none the wise, as Workbook Studio betrays not one scintilla of being a rush job. It's hard to sum up so many artists quickly, but the smashing, intense post-punk of such bands as House of Heroes, TUML, Pretty Mighty Mighty, Semisextile, Mors Ontologica, and the two best tracks by the only two bands I knew, Miranda Sound and The Stepford Five, are a good way to grab attention. Some folk falls flat, a couple of women badly oversing, and there's some punk-funk-junk I can do without, but overall, this is a revealing document of something only the locals knew existed. Jack Rabid

Columbus Alive

Mors Ontologica @ Used Kids Records
Feb 24 2005 It is rare for a band or record label to completely forego the CD format when putting out a new release. But thats what Mors Ontologica and their VSS (Very Small Scene) label have done with MOs new Dont Cry. The eight-track EP was pressed to 500 vinyl copies, with the label planning to make the entire thing available for download through their website. It may be a sign of things to come; given the increasing prevalence of Internet-delivered music, CDs may be rendered obsolete and vinyl may resume its role as the prominent physical music carrier. Locally based, Mors Ontologica make a hearty noise that recalls that of the Ex. (The band also seems to share a similar worldview with the Dutch socialists, talking about how its not useful to subjugate the process to a capitalist ideological template in their press materials.) They mesh rough vocals and ragged guitar riffs with sax squawking into an idiosyncratically swaggering of rickety rock that quickly ingratiates. Stephen Slaybaugh

The Lantern

Record Label Connects Fans and Artists
Jan 20 2005 Embedded in the city of Columbus is a "very small scene" of musicians, headed by 2001 Ohio State graduate Drew Clausen. Very Small Scene Records celebrated its one year anniversary last week, and continues to base itself on the principle that music should be easily accessible and provide a strong link between the music fan and the artist. The label takes recordings from its members and other local artists and puts them up on their Web site for free distribution. "I receive demos from all over the country, just people trying to get their music heard," Clausen said as he sat in his campus-area home, which is also the headquarters of VSS Records. Clausen attributes much of what he knows to Ian MacKaye, lead singer and guitarist of the band Fugazi. MacKaye prompted a similar revolutionized record label called Dischord Records in the early 1980s for punk bands in the Washington, D.C. area. Clausen calls the rest of what he does "experimental." "We are independent in a sense that we were shown the rules and only chose to follow a couple of them," Clausen said. "VSS Records is my way around everything that I'm not supposed to be doing as far as making music my life. You always hear people say, 'Oh you can't do that for a living' ... your parents, your friends, everybody says that stuff. Through VSS I was able to put out people's records that I liked and my own records and make them accessible through the Internet," he said. The label's Web site is designed and operated by OSU student and systems developer engineer Andy Grecious. Visitors can find masses of free music, pictures, band bios, show dates and their very own radio station. "The Web site alone has a lot of great features, forums and free music," Grecious said. "It is updated bi-weekly and it is a good place for musicians to get involved in the scene. VSS takes musicians under their wings, and Drew has a lot of clout," he said. The music available to people who visit the site consists of VSS artists such as: Mors Ontologica, Quanah Parker, The Spikedrivers, Digital Millennium Planet Daddies, Glen Stuphin, DRIVe and other featured artists that play frequently in Columbus. The musical genres of these bands includes bluegrass, funk, techno, rock and working-class post-punk, which strangely compliment each other. Because of this the bands can put on ensemble performances that showcase a great sense of creativity and diversity. "VSS can be looked at like a library of local music," Clausen said. "Even if you don't have any money, we feel you should still be able to have the music from our scene, and if you really want to buy it, it will be in vinyl format," he said. David Martinez, singer and guitarist of the band Quanah Parker, has been making music with members of VSS since they lived across the hall from each other in OSU's south campus dorm, Stradley Hall. "It's not a competition. it's everybody working together to put on the best possible show with good advertising, good camaraderie, good music and a good audience," Martinez said. "If the audience is enjoying themselves, and they have a chance to enjoy all the music regardless of the genres, they will want to know what's up and tell their friends." VSS Record's most current release will feature Clausen's band, Mors Ontologica, and their new album "Don't Cry" on Valentine's Day in the format of 12" vinyl. "By releasing our album on vinyl, it's not like I'm trying to force people to go buy record players," Clausen said. "It is an alternate medium, because I think that CDs are flawed, and I don't think any CD is going to be playable in 10 years. We also have amazing artwork by Martha Knox, who is also an OSU graduate," he said. "We wanted tangible art work, something that would look good on your mantle or hanging on your wall. Not just a jewel case with a piece of paper in it." The release will be coupled by two VSS Records shows Feb. 10, at Little Brothers, 1100 N. High St., and a special free show Saturday, Feb. 19, at Used Kids Records, 1980 N. High St., at 7 p.m. VSS Records is also active in fund-raising for local organizations that have assisted the independent label. The bi-annual "Black Box" event has generated close to $3,000 for WCBE National Public Radio, which Clausen refers to as "returning the favor." VSS also raises money for various charities and cancer benefits and will be holding a tsunami benefit show in March. Kate Pivoriunas

Columbus Alive

Workbook Studio 25-Hour Grand Prix
Dec 10 2004 Having completed the arduous task of recording 25 bands in one consecutive 25-hour period in October, Workbook Studio is releasing the results as 25-Hour Grand Prix on Reverbose Records. While the recording itself is impressive-especially given the time constraints-the album is a decidedly mixed-bag of styles and songwriting talent. In fact, some of the lower points on the CD could have been written in less time than was spent recording them. Anyway, eight of the bands featured on the album will perform at the release party. Fortunately some the CD's best performances are represented, with the inclusion of The Cheat's melodic thrash (Here I Am/Alcoholics Anon'), the beguilingly dour A Modest Proposal (Turning On to Turning Away), the short-but-not-so-sweet FGDs (Rot in the Ground) and, particularly, Mors Ontologica's discordant skronk (Disorder). Tuml, Garnet, Halophane and the Shatters round out the bill. Stephen Slaybaugh
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