Things We Love: Picks from Alan Downing

Alan Downing

Local singer-songwriter Alan Downing (editor's note: no relation) has been playing locally and regionally with dark roots-rock band Hells Fire Sinners for 13 years. He and the band are now gearing up for a show to coincide with the release of Hell or Ohio: A Heavy Compilation! The concert takes place at Rumba Cafe on Friday, Aug. 10. Doors open at 8 p.m. and admission is $5.

Hell or Ohio came about when HFS and three other bands — Gudger, Mississippi Bones and Race of Devils — decidedthat there needed to be a compilation of music displaying the diversity and companionship you find while playing live shows in Ohio. If you're into anything on the heavier side of rock or punk, this is something you definitely need to check out.Here are five things that Downing loves.

Buying music

I was a teenager in the '90s, and buying music is just something you did in that era. It was exciting, and it made your blood pump when you found that hard-to-find record, or a new release you had been waiting months to hear.Staring at the artwork and reading liner notes — I was into all of that. I still love it, and it is great to see younger people doing the same thing. I feel beyond lucky to live in a city like Columbus where there are some great spots to accommodate my musical disease.

Guitar stomp box pedals

I couldn't begin to tell you how they work or why; I'm just glad they do. I love noise! And effects pedals give you the power to make your guitar sound like it came from the outer realms of the solar system. Or you can turn your guitar into a B9 organ, which I think is pretty freaking cool!

Neil Young and Crazy Horse:Live Rust

The legend that is Neil Young has always captivated me. As a young child, he made me want to buy an electric guitar and become a rock star!Live Rust was one of the first records my dad ever gave me. Growing up, I wanted to make songs that just grabbed you by the balls and made you rock!

Buying junk

I love going to tag sales and looking for cool, old antiques and old music gear. You never know what you'll stumble across out there.

Vintage stereos and speakers

I've always enjoyed old receivers and speakers. I love wiring them up and pushing them as loud as I can. I have an old, 40-watt Philco receiver wired up to a pair of Midland speakers from who knows when? And man is it loud!!! You playHell or Ohio through that setup and you just might piss off your neighbors.