Discerning fans of Ohio indie rock know Miami Valley native Brian Baker’s work with Brat Curse, Astro Fang and other acts. The Columbus transplant’s latest group, Brian Damage, is performing at Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton on Saturday, Aug. 6, with Lioness, Oh Condor, Cooley the Curator and Pseudonym.
The first Brian Damage album, “Yesterday’s Slime” (Clean Demon Records 2021), was a true Baker solo joint. Like his early synth-pop release, “Grizzzzy Bear!” (2007), he played all the instruments. Unlike his hard-hitting, guitar-forward bands, these keyboard-heavy projects showcase his strong melodic sensibilities. While other musicians appear on subsequent Brian Damage recordings, the songs retain the quirky homemade charm of his solo recordings.
Baker recently discussed transforming the recording project into a band and his compulsion to create.
Reinterpretations: “Playing these songs has been different every time. We’re still trying to figure it out but it’s really fun. The songs are all completely different from the recordings but in a good way. I don’t want everyone to just play what’s on the recording. I want everybody to be able to do what they want to do and express themselves creatively. It’s been cool to see the songs change and evolve.”
Adjusted expectations: “I always planned on playing these songs live but I had more grandiose ideas of how it might be. I didn’t want to play any instruments, I always wanted to just sing and dress as Speed Racer for some reason. We haven’t quite gotten to that point yet but it’s been a lot of fun doing it live.”
Analog alternative: “Cassettes are probably all I’m going to mess around with anymore. It takes so long to get vinyl pressed these days. I don’t have the patience or the money for it. It’s an arduous process. Ideally, I’d love everything I do to come out on vinyl but it’s nearly impossible. Even the cassette prices have gone up but I want to release music as I’m making it and not wait forever to put it out.”
Musical motivation: “I’m still plugging away. I just want to record all the time. It’s a crazy high that never gets old. I should probably be in school or something but I’m still recording and practicing and playing shows all the time. I don’t know what else to do. I was already conditioned to do exactly what I’m doing now in my mid-teens. This is what I know and it’s also fun for me. I feel like I’ve got to chase that while I still can.”
Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO GO
Who: Brian Damage, Lioness, Oh Condor, Cooley the Curator and Pseudonym
Where: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6
Cost: $8 in advance, $12 day of show
More info: 937-424-3870 or yellowcabtavern.com
Artist info: permanentbriandamage.bandcamp.com