Divine Fits (left to right: Sam Brown, Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner)
Divine Fits, the new indie supergroup featuring Columbus drummer Sam Brown with Spoon's Britt Daniel and Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner, plays Ace of Cups tonight, and they'll do a Big Room session for CD102.5 at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon.
In case you missed it, here's the story of how Brown got hooked up with such prestigious bandmates, and here's my full interview with Brown. But before joining up with those guys, Brown accrued quite the impressive resume in Columbus. Below you'll find a rundown of his many projects over the past two decades, from world-famous punk icons to homespun garage bands.
Brown first came into the Columbus consciousness circa 1993 as a member of Feversmile, a roots rock band featuring fellow Bucyrus natives Sean Beal (later of Big Back 40) and Dan Cochran (later of Colin Gawel and the Lonely Bones). The internet is all but devoid of information about this band, but their song "Place to Stay" was featured on Episode 3 of this podcast by the Twang Alliance of Central Ohio (a.k.a. TACO) along with a brief history of the band's various descendants. Feversmile later morphed into a similar project called Train Meets Truck, also featuring Brown.
In the mid-90s, Brown joined up with lo-fi luminary Jim Shepard (also of Vertical Slit and Ego Summit) in V-3, one of those holy grail bands among fans of iconoclastic underground rock. He played on several tracks from the band's 1996 classic "Photograph Burns," which was released by Onion, an offshoot of Rick Rubin's American Recordings. The band came to an unfortunate conclusion when Shepard committed suicide in 1998.
In the late 90s, Brown became the last in a series of drummers for Gaunt, the legendary punk band fronted by the late Jerry Wick. Brown joined the band in time to play on 1996 LP "Kryptonite," named the best Columbus album of the past 30 years by Alive in 2008 (which apparently isn't on our site anymore, but you can see the list here). He stayed on through the end of the band, including their stint with Warner Bros. for 1998's "Bricks and Blackouts." Like V-3 a few years before, Gaunt came to an abrupt finish in 2001, in this case because Wick died tragically after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle.
New Bomb Turks
In 1999, Brown replaced Bill Randt in the world-famous New Bomb Turks, making his full-length debut on the "Nightmare Scenario" album for Epitaph in 2000. (Hear the smashing "Point A to Point Blank" above.) Though the Turks scaled back touring and recording in 2005, they still play several gigs a year, often in Columbus.
Not long after he joined New Bomb Turks, Brown signed on as part of Chris Burney's pop-rock project The Sun, which signed with Warner Bros. and ended up releasing their album "Blame It On the Youth" on vinyl and DVD but not CD. I told their story in a 2009 farewell feature, and Minimum Tillage Farming conveniently archived almost their entire discography. As explained in last week's Divine Fits feature, recording the final Sun album with Spoon producer Mike McCarthy forged the connection that led to Brown teaming up with Britt Daniel.
You're So Bossy
Brown's own songwriting vehicle, the always-infectious You're So Bossy, has been around for the better part of a decade. But they've never released anything, just piled up lots of amazing pop songs (demos presumably stored in some vacuum-sealed vault in the back of Yeah, Me Too). Just about the only official recording that's slipped out was on our own Alive compilation from 2008, which was handily archived by Minimum Tillage Farming for your consumption.
Brown has been known to tour as the drummer for his pal Tim Easton, a Columbus native roots rocker with a vast cult following.
Brown logged many months of tour dates as part of turntablist-turned-pop weirdo RJD2's band of Columbus music pros. (Derek DiCenzo and Happy Chichester were also on board.)
One way Brown has stayed busy in the past few years is drumming for Anna Ranger, a Nathan Snell-fronted trio that brings a morose strand of 1980s Britpop to the bars of Columbus. Anna Ranger recently released an EP called "Dolphin Blue" and performed at our Alive Summer Music Tour stop at Ace of Cups.
In recent years Brown has also been seen bashing behind Dave and Melanie Holm, the married folk behind beloved garage stompers Bigfoot, in their astoundingly fun rock 'n' roll band Total Foxx. Sometimes Jeff Clowdus subs in for Brown on drums (and that might be Clowdus in the video above), but you get the idea.
Now comes Divine Fits, Brown's first band with musicians from outside Columbus. And wow, what excellent collaborators. Catch them tonight at Ace of Cups if you can, and grab "A Thing Called Divine Fits" on Merge Records starting Aug. 28.