Preview: Alive Summer Music Tour at Ace of Cups

  • Photo by Jeffry Konczal
    Anna Ranger
  • Photo by Eric Wagner
    Brujas del Sol
  • Funerals
  • Photo by Alysia Burton
    Vada
  • Photo by Eric Wagner
    WVWhite
By
From the June 28, 2012 edition

The second installment of Alive’s monthly summer concert series goes down this Saturday at Ace of Cups. Here’s what you get: a stellar lineup of rising Columbus musicians at a new music hotspot that seems to do just about everything right.

As usual, a portion of your $5 cover charge supports Columbus Music Co-op, as will proceeds from some of the cocktails by co-sponsor Middle West Spirits. Here’s a rundown of the awesome acts we’ll be enjoying together Saturday.

Funerals

Listen: funeralsband.com

Funerals started out building synth-heavy goth electro tracks, but their version of “midnight techno” morphed into something else entirely. They now specialize in liquid, globe-trotting productions that feel like faint glimmers in the dead of night.

It’s sleek, metropolitan stuff, as if Mollie Wells and Casey Immel-Brown are waging a one-marriage war against the Columbus-as-Cowtown meme. But their work isn’t just forward-thinking in the context of Columbus; they’ve released records through trendsetting labels from both coasts, San Francisco’s Tundra Dubs and Mishka NYC.

The latest, “Hypermotion B,” comes on the heels of several SXSW appearances. Trips to the West Coast and Europe are on the horizon too, as is a split EP with Montreal’s Hissy Fit.

Vada

Listen: soundcloud.com/kingvada

Last year, Atlanta emcee Tity Boi changed his name to 2 Chainz. He quickly skyrocketed to A-List status in commercial hip-hop.

Obviously, LxE for the Uncool is a better name than Tity Boi. (Any name is.) But the Columbus rapper recently switched to performing under his birth name, just in time to affiliate with his friend Stalley’s crew Blue Collar Gang.

Vada’s name ain’t the only thing changing. A guy whose nasally tone used to outshine his skills has refined his rapping to the point that you’ll be too busy reeling from his wordplay to notice how unique his voice is. “#TheLostKing: Memoirs of a Ghetto Child,” his project with DJ Corey Grand, is coming soon.

Anna Ranger

Listen: annaranger.bandcamp.com

Nathan Snell operates in many modes; find him spinning goth dance tunes at the KVLT party or crooning country classics with Nathan Snell and The Country Sound.

But he’s at his best when channeling Morrissey in the long-running project Anna Ranger, which has blossomed from a solo endeavor into a trio featuring Columbus rock veterans Phillip Park (Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Haynes Boys ) and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks, Gaunt, The Sun, RJD2, You’re So Bossy).

Their crystalline, morose-but-jaunty “Dolphin Blue” EP precedes an album that’s coming soon, but not that soon — with Brown joining members of Spoon and Wolf Parade in the supergroup Divine Fits, this will be Anna Ranger’s last performance for months.

Brujas del Sol

Listen: brujasdelsol.bandcamp.com

So many bands lumber through psych-rock like it’s a form to be protected or a ritual to be solemnly observed. Brujas del Sol make it fun.

The freshly assembled quartet covers a lot of ground stylistically without compromising the sonic identity that makes their lengthy screeds feel like the product of the same combustible force. They’ve been doing so on stage with regularity in recent months, and also at Electraplay Studios via their series of “Moonliner” EPs.

They’ll head back to record Volume 3 next month before U.K.-based Devouter Records compiles all three for vinyl release. An East Coast tour is in the works for fall.

WVWhite

Listen: wvwhite.bandcamp.com

We live in an era when “indie rock” is only slightly more useful a descriptor than “rock,” so we sometimes forget there was a time when you could coherently sum up indie in all its slipshod, basement-bound glory. West Virginia White is living that dream.

Splitting the difference between Neil Young and Times New Viking, they exist in that turn-of-the-’90s slacker-rock sweet spot inhabited by the Malkmuses and Mascises (Masci?) of the world. Their songwriting is simplistic, but it taps into elemental beauty. Their performances routinely verge on collapse, but also on transcendence.

As Brad Keefe wrote last week about Wes Anderson, WVWhite’s quirks are “endearing to some, eye-rolling to others.” Consider me endeared. Debut EP “Enter: WVWhite” is out now.