Sensory Overload: The Woozies

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Some band names imply a lot about what a band might sound like. Moondrones is one of those names. So when the spacey psych trio decided to retool its sound toward power-charged pop nuggets and bring in second singer Kelly Williams for near constant harmonizing with Tommy Clark, a change of nomenclature seemed in order.

Thus, the band that played Wild Goose Creative last Saturday was called The Woozies. After an evening of progressively more complex music courtesy of Bird and Flower, Old Hundred and visitors Jookabox, the Woozies snapped things back to simplicity through two-minute bursts of guitar pop.

Though Clark, bassist Rob Ottman and drummer Ryan Dyson comprise nothing more than a traditional power trio, they did a lot with those basic ingredients, shifting from Cramps-style punk to Yo La Tengo distortion swoons to off-kilter Pixies madness. The tunes were packaged in simple, snappy structures that wasted no time in reeling me in then veering to a halt before they had time to go stale.

For all the Woozies' instrumental prowess, though, Williams was the band's shoeless sparkplug. Her harmonies with Clark were crisp and emphatic, and her stage presence - that of a rubber bouncy ball careening off the walls and ceiling - was a welcome jolt.

See 'em as soon as you can.

Perseverance of the saints

Reports of El Jesus de Magico's death are premature.

The band's show tonight at Rumba Cafe has been touted as a farewell, and it is - sort of. To set the record straight, keyboard player Tony Allman, the lynchpin of the band's gnarled psychedelic splendor, is moving to New York for the foreseeable future, but the band isn't breaking up. We'll just be seeing a lot less of them around town.

Allman said El Jesus plans to tour this June, which is probably when they'll play Columbus next after tonight's gig with Cheater Slicks and The 2050s. As for new releases, he said the band has two albums' worth of recordings, which he plans to sift through and mix down once he gets settled in NYC.

That's great news for those of us who count El Jeezy as one of the city's most thrilling, innovative acts.

For more local music news and reviews, click to the Sensory Overload blog

El Jesus de Magico

When: 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14

Where: Rumba Cafe, Campus