Miracle on High Street: Celebrate the season with Miranda Sound, Earwig and Comrade Question

Andy Downing, Columbus Alive

Santa might care who's been naughty and who's been nice, but Alive's Miracle on High Street concert remains free and open to all - no matter where you might fall on the behavioral spectrum.

We all know the holiday season can be stressful, filled with mania-inducing shopping treks (navigating the parking lots at Easton can feel like the modern equivalent of Dante traversing the nine circles of hell), forced cheer and extended visits from people you share nothing in common with save for a bloodline. Indeed, there's a reason typing the term "holiday stress" into a popular internet search site returns 844,000 results, including "5 Healthy Drinks to Squash Holiday Stress," all of which (tea, cocoa, etc.) could be greatly improved by adding a healthy pour of your favorite hard liquor.

Knowing this, Alive is here to offer some holiday respite in the form of a free (have we mentioned there's no cost for admission?) concert at Ace of Cups on Friday, Dec. 19, featuring a killer trio of local bands: Miranda Sound, Earwig and Comrade Question. Read on to learn a little more about the evening's lineup.

Miranda Sound

Who: A livewire post-punk quartet consisting of members Dan Gerken (vocals, guitar, cello, keyboard), Billy Peake (vocals, guitar), Sean Sefcik (bass) and Dan Bell (drums).

Why you shouldn't miss it: The longtime local faves rarely play out these days (the band called it quits in 2008), so any chance to catch 'em live is not to be missed.

Last minute shopping: Still searching for the perfect gift for your music-loving niece/nephew? Grab her or him a copy of Miranda Sound's 2006 album Western Reserve, a melodic, high-energy rumbler produced by hardcore legend J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines).

Holiday movie/television special character most likely to be bumping its music: Charlie Brown. It's wholly possible to envision a guy who spent his childhood getting kites caught in trees growing up to write an angst-ridden tune about being struck by an Oldsmobile.

Hopes for 2015: While new music might be out of the question, we'd love to hear the full recording of the final show the crew played at Little Brothers before the local landmark closed - something the musicians have been promising since 2007.


Who: Indie-rock bandmates Lizard McGee (vocals, guitar), Costa Hondroulis (bass) and George Hondroulis (drums) are in possession of the most wonderfully surreal Wikipedia entry I've come across. Sample line: "Other songs resulted from dream visitations from a giant cockroach that spoke in a clicking language and a bloody headless woman."

Why you shouldn't miss it: Though the band has existed in some form for more than two decades, we're most excited for what's next. With an album currently in the works, the chances of hearing a new song or two here are higher than you are, dude.

Last minute shopping: Have a friend/relative who doesn't believe in "possessions" ("Can you really 'own' anything, maaan?"), make a donation in his or her name to Earwig's Kickstarter, with proceeds funding the forthcoming album Pause for the Jets.

Holiday movie/television special character most likely to be bumping its music: Cousin Eddie from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." The band's Kickstarter videos hint at a bizarro sense of humor, and its music can be equal parts gregarious and heartfelt.

Hopes for 2015:That Pause for the Jets is as good as the handful of released musical snippets suggest it could be.

Comrade Question

Who: Lee Mason (guitars, vocals), Katie Baillie (guitar, vocals), Patrick Koch (guitar) and Matt Whitslar (drums) make up the psych-loving garage-rock quartet.

Why you shouldn't miss it: While Pepe Polo, which surfaced on the consistently excellent Superdreamer Records, is among the year's best local releases, the group is even better live, substituting guitar muscle for the album's wispy '60s jangle.

Last minute shopping: A bundle of Superdreamer releases (Comrade, Ipps, Psychic Wheels, Brat Curse) doubles as an essential intro to the city's current rock scene.

Holiday movie/television special character most likely to be bumping its music: Yukon Cornelius from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." The prospector also has roots in the 1960s (the special was released in '64), and he's in possession of facial hair even the impressively bearded Koch would admire.

Hopes for 2015: We'd love to hear a live recording that captures the band's onstage growth.

Ace of Cups

9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19

2619 N. High St., Campus