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Music Interview: Travis Hoewischer + Columbus, OH


(614) Magazine is for those wanting to know all about events, food and fashion in Columbus, Ohio and Travis Hoewischer is its editor-in-chief. A Columbus resident for the past 12 years and a graduate of Ohio State, when not manning a magazine that has a circulation of 25,000 Travis is performing as a standup comic and recently formed his own comedy collective. Travis mines his years of knowledge about the Columbus music scene to give us his guide the city.
What should we know before we go to the Columbus?
It’s a pretty spread-out city, as far as they way it lies. There’s a lot of growth toward the suburbs, but High Street is the definitive hub for local art, music and food. It runs north/south through the middle of the city. Ohio State University paces much of the youth culture, and sports are big in town.

Who are your local musical heroes?
Sadly, one of our local musical heroes just passed away, a local DJ for CD101 named Andy Davis. He was one of the first people in the country to break bands like Arcade Fire, Cold War Kids, OK Go and Spoon. He and the indie radio station he worked for helped establish a modern identity for our music scene, both for local performers and national acts. New Bomb Turks, Times New Viking, are also highly thought of. Two Cow Garage represent Columbus well, too.

TVT3What local bands or musicians should we be listening out for?
Nick Tolford and Co. are a seven-piece soul band that are one of the tightest, yet fun bands in the city; Phantods, a quirky hard rock band with an amazing female vocalist; and some amazing hip-hop. Blueprint, signed to Rhymesayers, makes beats and EPs in his Columbus basement between tours, one of his somewhat proteges, Envelope is a self-described half-Dago, half-mic who has songs that go from Beastie Boys to Common in content. Ghost Shirt, a really solid pop band, has been writing a single a week for the whole year. Dane Terry plays an incredibly unique brand of piano music he calls “neo-vaudeville.”

What are your favorite music venues and where should we eat and drink around there?
There’s a few of different sizes. The LC Pavilion is a good joint to see an outdoor summer show; Skully’s s an excellent mid-sized music “diner” that fits around 400-500. You can catch a fun mix of national and local — has a great ladies eighties dance party every week. Finally, my favorite, The Treehouse. Hidden away in an alley, it has a maple tree growing straight through the middle of it. Sound’s not great, but suitable and it’s always fun. Last year, they had a Guided by Voices tribute and Pollard showed up to slug some drinks. Just a cool joint. Grab some Dirty Franks hot dogs while you’re downtown, or go off the beaten path for a Bloody Vicky and a burger at The Shrunken Head


Any local music festivals or events we should put on our calendar?
Independent’s Day, Sept. 18
ComFest, June 24-26
Parking Lot Blowout, July. 
Also, a large-scale festival called Direct-In is being organized for sometime next year, modeled after SXSW.
Is there a ” Columbus sound”? Or is there a community/scene vibe in the city?
Much of the “Columbus sound” of the past was very much inspired by the Guided by Voices power pop, and while some of that (the best ones) remains, the scene is extremely eclectic. Lots of strings and banjos currently, which I enjoy. The bills are becoming much more diverse, where you’ll be more likely to see hip-hop, folk and blues all on one bill.
What’s your perfect night out in Columbus?
Low-key outdoor show in a parking lot, headliner at Skully’s, close out the night with a house show or the last band on at the Treehouse.

Any other things that are a must see and do in Columbus?
The zoo is always popular, or an OSU football game, but as cool as those are, I’d still take a great set of bands over that any day.
The Shrunken Head
251 W 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43201 – (614) 299-2295

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Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace
248 South 4th Street, Columbus, OH 43215 – (614) 824-4673

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The Treehouse
887 Chambers Road, Columbus, OH 43212 – (614) 294-2264

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Skully’s Music-Diner
1151 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43201-2441 – (614) 291-8856

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