Home Town Heros: Big Bands From Small Towns

thebreedersPeople give Dayton, Ohio a lot of crap, but musically the Gem City does really shine. The music scene here is one of the most impressive things I’ve scene in a long time. Undiscovered talent is all over the place, from Canal Public House (formerly Canal Street Tavern), Blind Bobs, Gilly’s, and others. The great thing about these band is they effected more than just Dayton, Ohio. From funk, rock, lo-fi, indie, and whatever the hell Brainiac is. These groups are my favorite pics that came out of my home today. Now I ask you dear rock nut, what are your favorites from your home town? Or you can even name favorites from your state? I’m sure you have some great stories attached to some great big, “local” bands and I’d love to hear about them.

Guided By Voices

No list from Dayton, Ohio wouldn’t be complete without Guided By Voices — in fact, it would be a sin. Robert “Bob” Pollard and his ever changing cavalcade of characters helped define what lo-fi and indie would look like with their first release Devil Between My Toes in 1987 to their last release Cool Planet in 2014. I’ve been lucky to see them twice; however, there could have been a third time if Guided By Voices hadn’t broken up and canceled all their tour dates. But, fear not — Pollard still keeps the prolific spirit alive with groups such as Circus Devils and Ricked Wicky.

Swearing At Motorists

A fun duo that wears Dayton on their sleeve and carries the nickname “The Two Man Who.” Their albums are a combination of rock and love songs that portray a man whose fate is determined by destiny. Their last album, While Laughing, The Joker Tells The Truth was a 2014 release that was successfully funded via Kickstarter. One other fun fact – frontman Dave Doughman has challenged The White Stripes to a contest of who can put on a better show. Sadly there was never a reply.

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Ohio Players

As a young boy my father could hear the Ohio Players practicing from his bedroom window. With so many funk classics such as “Love Rollercoaster,” “Fire,” “Funky Worm,” and “Sweet Sticky Thing,” The Ohio Players helped keep the funk alive in more places then just Dayton, Ohio.

The Breeders

If I put The Breeders (pictured above) here then I have to pair them up with the “Shocker In Gloomtown” video. Originally a Guided By Voices song, it is also GBV that appears in the video watching The Breeders rock out. The fact that it is a Dayton band, covering another Dayton band’s song, shot while in a garage in Dayton makes this the most Dayton-y thing on the entire list. Lets hope we see an album this next year with the Last Splash lineup in full force.


One of my favorite progressive bands, The Mars Volta, picked Timmy Taylor and Brainiac as a huge influence on them. Mars Volta vocalist, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, goes to Brainiac when looking for inspiration saying, “I will find something that is actually very modern and way ahead of its’ time, and I always just ask myself what would Timmy Taylor do.” It is just as Cedric said, Brainiac was a band that was way ahead of their time. If you don’t have any idea I invite you to listen.

Photo credit: By Quique from Barcelona, España (The Breeders @ Summercase 2008) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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