Local music: The Beetkeepers

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In the winter of 1988, J.P. Olsen, Steve Perakis and John Messersmith gathered in what Olsen calls “a crappy, cold apartment off North High” and became The Beetkeepers, concocting a thoughtful, jangly brand of college rock reminiscent of what R.E.M. and Camper Van Beethoven were doing in those days.

The band practiced almost daily for a couple of months. Then they started playing shows and quit practicing altogether. After releasing an album the following spring, The Beetkeepers called it quits a few months later when Olsen moved to New York for a reporting job.

Time-wise, the band was little more than a blip in Columbus music history, but they made a deep impression on Ohio music archivist Paul Nini — enough that he reissued their self-titled album this year on his Old 3C label. And just in time for a new generation to discover the recordings, The Beetkeepers will take the stage for the first time in two decades Saturday at Rumba.

Scrawl, The Planktones and The Black Swans round out a delightfully old-school lineup.

The Beetkeepers

10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4

Rumba Cafe

2507 Summit St., Campus