Our Ohio Success Stories, Revisited

Of all the fashion articles, in all the online women’s magazines, in all the Internet, I found another Youngstown blogger who wrote about Nanette Lepore this past fall. While perusing Glamour’s Slaves to Fashion blog last night, I found this article about Youngstown’s favorite fashionista and her “Made in the USA” values. It includes photos from inside her NYC Garment District studio and factory, where all of her pieces are designed and assembled.

I want this dress in my closet, stat.

I wish I knew how to wear these colors! (Photo from Glamour article.)

I posted a comment about how I’m sure Ms. Lepore’s work ethic is a reflection of her Rust Belt roots, and posted a link for Joni’s article featuring the fashion designer. This afternoon when I went to see if anyone had replied to my comment, I found two lovely surprises: 1. Nanette Lepore is bringing her line to JCPenney (although, it’s a junior’s line, which I read as, “Not so much for you, curvy girl” —  however, accessories like bags and necklaces are one size fits all!); and 2. Someone had responded to my comment! Natasha, another Youngstowner, posts about fashion on her blog, Cardigancouture. It turns out, she also wrote a post last fall about this hometown success story. What are the odds? Anyway, I highly suggest you check her out. Her most recent post about brightly colored denim is a a territory I’m not sure I could ever approach, but I love her creative suggestions!

Last fall, I also wrote a post about my personal favorite Ohio success story: a little rock and roll band from Columbus, Ohio, called Red Wanting Blue. Well, the day I’ve been waiting for since the start of last semester is just about here. Tomorrow, they will be performing at the first Penguin Pre-Party at YSU, and I have to try to not turn into a total fan girl.  Yesterday, the band released the first music video to accompany their new album. Their song, “Audition,” is a remade version of the same song which appeared several years ago on one of their early albums. The structure and sound are still generally the same, which just goes to show that this fan favorite is a solid tune. At live performances, they add in a throwback to Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” (do, do do, do do, do-do-do…). And speaking of those live performances, tomorrow also kicks off a 3 concerts in 9 days streak for myself, my sister, and her fiance. Though they can’t make it tomorrow night, we’re all going to Cedar’s this Saturday night for their show. I also bought Carmen and Josh tickets to their House of Blues show in Cleveland for next Saturday. Like I said in my original post, not all people can afford to go see their favorite band multiple times a year, and its even more unlikely that their favorite band makes multiple appearances in the same region in a year.

Here’s the video for “Audition,” filmed at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus. They asked for fans to send in the videos they took that night of the performance to be included in the video. I think it turned out pretty well.

Red Wanting Blue – Audition (Official Music Video) from Red Wanting Blue on Vimeo.

“From the Vanishing Point” – A Fangirl’s Review

I know my fellow Dames are well aware of my love of a certain “rock n’ roll band from Columbus, Ohio” called Red Wanting Blue. However, I’ve been a little silent about them on Facebook and the Twitters recently, but that’s because I’ve wanted to do a post about them, about why I’m such a huge fan, and their new album “From the Vanishing Point,” which will have it’s wide release on January 10, 2012. (Although some fans may have already pre-ordered it and will find it under their Christmas trees this year…)

I attended my first RWB concert as a sophomore in college, when a friend asked me to come with him to Barley’s as sort of a wing-woman, which is kind of one of my pro-skills. We sat towards the back, and it was pretty loud in there anyway, so I didn’t hear much of the music, but from what I could tell — not so bad.

The second time I went to see them was actually a total fluke. I was at one of the pre-party concerts at my university seeing another band, and there was a raffle for tickets to see RWB at the House of Blues in Cleveland. A friend of mine won the tickets, but was unable to take them, since she had plans for the next night, and offered them to me. The opening acts were… weird… but I loved what I heard from RWB when they started playing. We had to leave before the show was over, but stayed long enough to hear this song, accompanied by a trumpet player, which was the only time I’ve ever seen them do that live. New fave song. I hunted the band’s page down on MySpace (chyeah, MySpace.) so I could friend them and listen to the five or so songs they had on their page over and over. (It’s probably one of the best off of “These Magnificent Miles,” along with Gravity, Where You Wanna Go, and US Bumper Sticker.)

Fast forward to my junior year when my little sister, Carmen, had just started her first semester at college. I asked her to come with me to see them play at Barley’s because I totally wasn’t going to go by myself. She semi-reluctantly agreed, but we’re both glad she did, since now, I have someone who goes to every concert with me.  I can’t count how many shows we’ve been to in the last 3.5 years in the Youngstown-Cleveland-Kent area, but it’s definitely in the double digits. With the college-student-friendly ticket prices, guaranteed quality of entertainment, and friendliness of the band, it’s difficult not to go.

Seriously though, these guys are wonderful to their fans. I have this picture and two autographed posters to prove it. (L-R: Mark McCullough, Scott Terry, me, Eric Hall, Carmen, Greg Rahm, and Eddie Davis.)

Just a note: That picture is from early 2009. Since then, Eddie has left the group (and I think is actually working on his Masters at YSU), and Dean Anschutz (also a YSU grad) has taken over on drums. Not pictured is Eric’s beard.

It seems like the guys are constantly on tour, with shows just about every weekend. This past year has been pretty big, as this indie band signed with Fanatic Records, a small part of EMI, and it lead to the nationwide re-release of “These Magnificent Miles.” You can get it on Target and Best Buy’s websites, but save yourself the postage and get it directly from their merch booth after a show. Leading up to their recent performance at The Newport in Columbus, the band, through Fanatic, released a track from their new album, “From the Vanishing Point,” each morning for 13 days.  Listen to the album, in its entirety, here:

Stay On the Bright Side: Very strong start to the album. They did the same distortion-y opening on “Magnificent Miles,” and that song is one of my faves.
Audition: Not a new song, but a fun reincarnation of a much older tune I’ve heard several times at shows, minus the shoutout to Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side.”
White Snow:  I love how the lyrics always seem to tell a much deeper story. The chorus is super catchy, but its structured a little differently than I’m used to. I’m interested to see what they use to get the fuzz sounds at live shows..
Playlist: I’m really trying to get into this one. I am. As many times as I’ve listened to it, I can’t figure out what about the song doesn’t do it for me.  More listening required. This song is fantastic, and kinda sexy (not gonna lie). It finally clicked for me when when I heard them play it live at YSU this past January. (Updated July 18)
Love Remains: This song will most assuredly be making an appearance on my “Sexy & I Know It” workout playlist. With lyrics like “don’t give up, you can keep up, keep on moving. chasing the sound of the sun somewhere going down…” how could it not be?
Cocaine: Yes. This. Scott played this originally as a solo acoustic piece when they were road testing it, and I don’t know which way I prefer.  Kind of a rough love analogy, but its perfect.
Walking Shoes: This song is all kinds of fun and cute and happy.  I love how simple they kept it, and the autobiographical lyrics about “living life through postcards and telephones.” Great harmonies in the bridge, which I’ve never heard from RWB before. Neat.
Dinosaur: Much harder than the song before it. This one also has workout playlist potential. Definitely more alt-rock than “Americana.”
Running of the Bulls: I always like to hear the lap guitar in their songs. This one reminds me a little of “Finger in the Air” in it’s defiant spirit, which I appreciate.
Ballad of Nobodies: This is another story-telling song, really highlighting the beautiful tenor of Scott Terry. The way this song is written reminds me of any of Jimmy Buffett’s ballads. Yes, weird comparison, but its true. Listen to him, too.
Hope on a Rope: This is how I feel about graduate school. “Dream is a whale, and I am Ahab. I am the captain of this rusty bucket ship… I promised my family that I’d break the mold.” I love every part of this song. My boyfriend likes it because Scott yells.
Pour It Out: This song gets me a little bit each time I listen to it, which is probably why it’s my favorite on the whole album. “For every dream that’s in my mind there’s another butterfly that I can’t catch… Maybe I caught the wrong dream runnin’, but this one just ain’t mine to live, all I know is right now something must give.” These lyrics are incredible, and so is the sound.  Or maybe it’s because I love Ohio so much. I don’t know.
My Name is Death: Bonus track. This playful, tongue-in-cheek song is a witty and clever way to end an album I can’t wait to get my hands on.

I can’t wait to see that yellow bubble mailer sitting on my kitchen island in December.

July Updates!

The first time Carmen and I heard them play “White Snow,” we were anxious to see what they used to create the distortion. As soon as I saw it, I turned to her and said, “It’s a #&*%@ Yak-Bak.” At least it’s something like a Yak Bak, which is pretty cool.

On June 29, Red Wanting Blue played for their largest audience in the state of Ohio at Rockin’ on the River in Cuyahoga Falls, hosted by 91.3 The Summit. They were joined by Modern Electric, A Band Called Ashes, and We Are Public Radio, which is fronted by another local favorite, Andy Dolson. Despite the inclement weather, all of the bands put on an amazing show. Red Wanting Blue was even joined on stage by a few mini-fans who led the crowd in cheering for the band, showing us all again how much these guys appreciate their fans.

They’ll be making their network television debut on July 18, 2012 on The Late Show with David Letterman, and you know I’ll be in the front row… in my living room, but still super excited!