Alt-Nation: Revival! 2015 and Last Good Tooth

The Columbus Collective celebrates three years of the Revival of the Columbus Theatre with a mammoth party featuring a mix of both national and local acts from the genres of folk and Americana with even a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll.  Since the Columbus reopened in November 2012 as a music venue, it has hosted over 300 touring bands plus countless local bands, plays and comedians. The theater also has been used as a recording studio where dozens of albums have been recorded as part of the Columbus Recordings. Its two rooms have allowed the Columbus to host everything from national headliners in the main theater to intimate shows with both local bands and up-and-coming acts in the smaller upstairs room where the set-up gives the audience a feeling of being right on top of the band.  I particularly enjoy the upstairs for a high energy rock show as being in the seats as if one was in a balcony but yet mere feet away from the band offers a unique perspective. Some standout shows the Columbus has hosted with this effect include Rough Francis, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, and Barrence Whitfield & The Savages. The national acts for Revival! 2015 include violinist extraordinaire Kishi Bashi and indie rockers Screaming Females. Local ghost folkers and co-founders of the Columbus Collective, The Low Anthem, headline the local side of the bash that also includes The Huntress and Holder of Hands (new project of MorganEve Swain from Brown Bird), Last Good Tooth, and Vudu Sister who recently finished recording their third yet-to-be-released record at the Columbus. The show, like the two that preceded it, is called Revival! to celebrate the theater’s return to prominence in the local arts scene. With so much happening in this show, I’m going to focus on the new record from one of the performers, Last Good Tooth, titled And All Things on Scales.

Last Good Tooth – And All Things On The Scales (Supply & Demand Music)
The members of Last Good Tooth split their time between New York and Providence, which must make for some challenging logistics for practices. Nevertheless, judging by the results, it didn’t impede the construction of And All Things On Scales, which was recorded in the woods of Hudson, New York.  Last Good Tooth is composed of Penn Sultan (lead guitar, vocals), Alex Spoto (violin), Kevin Sullivan (electric bass) and Arthur Kapp (drums). As far as audio description, I’d describe them as groove-orientated electric folk if that exists as a term. Last Good Tooth sound as lively and challenging as ever from the horn section on “This Light” and “What I Was Born For” to the indie ghost rock of “Examples.” Brown Bird’s MorganEve Swain adds a hauntingly backing vocal to “Shell.” On “Which Ones To Roll,” Last Good Tooth create a sonic collage between the violins and dirty guitars that light the way on a dreamy odyssey through the night. With And All Things On Scales, Last Good Tooth have created an album too groove-orientated to be lumped in as Americana, too heavy to be mere folk, and too dreamy and complex to be rock ‘n’ roll. The beauty of music is that there is always some sub-pocket of a genre that doesn’t exist till a band like Last Good Tooth comes along and creates it.

Catch Last Good Tooth as part of Revival! 2015 celebration at the Columbus Theatre on November 7. The shows also includes performances by Kishi Bashi, The Low Anthem, Screaming Females, The Huntress and Holder of Hands, Mitski, She Keeps Bees, Vudu Sister, Potty Mouth, Home Body, Mal Devisa, Jacob Augustine, INFJ, Ian Fitzgerald, Wes Buckley, Twain, JPA Falzone, Anthony, Savino, and EDT. The music on the main stage kicks off at 7pm, but the first act on a makeshift stage goes on at 5pm.   

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