Lost in space

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

At some point in the two years since Alive selected Outer Spacist as a Band to Watch, we began to wonder if we should stop watching. With no records released or notable tours under their belt, it seemed like the band might eventually float back to the far reaches of the universe, never to be heard from again.

"It's kind of tough for us because we all still have jobs in our hometown in outer space, so we have a lot of going back and forth," explained singer and keyboardist Captain D'artagnon Jones Kletting Salt.

"A couple of us still have mortgages we've got to pay in outer space. We also have earthling jobs here on Earth. So we're all pretty busy. And some of the overdubs we had to do, we had to go into outer space to do them."

Outer Spacist, some may recall, is a psychedelic punk quintet that claims to have traveled from outer space to rebuild the Mormon resort and amusement park Saltair. In the meantime, they're biding their time in Ohio playing saucy, profanity-laden garage rock that draws equally from proto-punks like The Stooges and hippie-dippy stuff like Chocolate Watch Band.

The band hasn't progressed very far in its quest to rebuild Saltair, but it's finally making headway in its rock 'n' roll pursuits.

Last month, Columbus Discount Records released Outer Spacist's long-awaited first record. The seven-inch single shows off the band's gargantuan punk energy on the basement-recorded "The Mind is as Outer Space" and indulges their psychedelic tendencies on the studio track "I Talk With Telepathy Baby."

The label also invited Outer Spacist to play its showcase at music industry mega-event South by Southwest next week in Austin. After playing a sendoff show Friday at Cafe Bourbon Street, the band will spend a week touring toward Texas.

One way Outer Spacist has kept busy over the past two years is playing countless gigs as local support for some of the nation's best, most underappreciated punk and garage groups when they come to Columbus, and putting up many of the bands at their Clintonville homestead, Saltair II. Those connections have allowed Outer Spacist to book a solid tour around their SXSW trip.

"It's good to just set up touring circuits," bassist Herk Harvey said. "Pretty much any show we've gotten has been through friends."

Upon their return from Texas, Outer Spacist plans to return to the studio to begin work on their first album.

"We're going to produce the hell out of it and make it really trippy," Harvey said, although his bandmates were quick to respond that specific plans aren't solidified yet.

However they choose to produce it, Outer Spacist hopes to have their album out before the end of the year, though they've learned enough to know not to make any promises. Those space jobs can really be a drag sometimes.

What: Outer Spacist

When: 10 p.m. Friday, March 13

Where: Cafe Bourbon Street, Campus

Web: myspace.com/outerspacist