Previews: Four flavors for April 18

By Columbus Alive
From the April 12, 2012 edition

Some old Alive swag that ended up on my desk this week: a desk clock that reads “The weekend starts on Wednesday.” Conveniently, this Wednesday brings at least four musical acts of note to our fair burg.

Unlike his pal Kid Cudi, Chip Tha Ripper still lives in Cleveland, and his Columbus fan base is voracious, so trips down here are an easy sell. The gruff, gravelly rapper keeps a ridiculously prolific pace — check his recent collaboration with Casey Veggies, “The Jam” — so he should have plenty of fresh material for Wednesday’s stop at Skully’s with local talent Hodgie Street. (Side note: What is the over/under on punk kids showing up mistakenly expecting to see Hodgy Beats from Odd Future?)

At Rumba, Anais Mitchell will uncork harmonious folk music with expansive scope. After turning heads with 2010’s “Hadestown,” which re-imagined the myth of Orpheus in “a post-apocalyptic American Depression era,” the Vermont native is back with “Young Man in America.” It’s a complicated record, but for shorthand, imagine Bon Iver as filtered through Ani DiFranco.

Or just Imagine Dragons, which is the name of the group headlining A&R Music Bar this Wednesday. On second thought, don’t imagine dragons — imagine Coldplay’s synthetic side. As dragon bands go, these guys are more “How To Train Your …” than “Reign of Fire.” This band is engineered for mass success; the biggest obstacle to blowing up will be disappointed heshers and Ren-fair aficionados scaring away the rest of the audience.

You’d be better off in The Basement, where Austin retro groove acolytes White Denim will make a strong argument for the title of “America’s gnarliest rock band.” Car-jamming to last year’s super-solid “D” transforms my 2003 Civic into The General Lee (minus the implied racism).