Local music: Dave Buker & the Historians

Chris DeVille, Columbus Alive

Dave Buker did not flippantly decide to name his electro-folk band Historians.

"For me, as a songwriter, your job is to document emotions and people around you that otherwise would go undocumented," Buker said. "I feel like a lot of the songs I write are nostalgic. They're looking back on something."

And, as keyboardist Paul Valdiviez noted, "'Historians' sounded better than 'Nostalgians.'"

Buker formed the group last year after writing some songs for a low-budget vampire movie by a director from his hometown, Youngstown. Because he was new to Columbus, the songwriter turned to Craigslist to find bandmates, setting off a chain of events that eventually brought Valdiviez, drummer Joe Spurlock, bassist Mark Cracraft and cellist Brooklynn Brokaw into the fold.

They now attempt to bridge the gap between warm, world-weary folk music and post-Postal Service electronic sounds.

"We're using synthesized instruments, and we are organic people," Valdiviez said.

At first, that involved blending live instrumentation with pre-recorded tracks, but when Spurlock forgot to bring the iPod on tour, they reworked the songs on the fly and discovered they preferred to play sample-free.

In the studio, though, Buker continues to explore new electronic tricks and tools. To experiment with new software, he decided to record classic Christmas songs and sell them to benefit Homeless Families Foundation, a Franklinton-based group that provides temporary apartments and support services for homeless families.

Though his frigid take on "White Christmas" is a free download because of copyright concerns, public domain tunes like "Silent Night" are on sale for a minimum of $1 each. The band will also do a Christmas show to benefit Homeless Families Foundation this Friday at Kafe Kerouac.

Then it's on to 2012 and a new EP, "Say Ave.," to be released in February on a night Buker will surely remember fondly.

Kafe Kerouac

9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2

2250 N. High St., Campus


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