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Born Ruffians and Blossom Hall: Garage Pop at MOTR

Photo by Roy Cohen,

As of late, Canada seems like more and more of an ideal place; so when we got our hands on some tunes from Born Ruffians and discovered they hail from our northern neighbors, we sort of just fell in love. We think you’ll love them, too, when they come through town with a local favorite, Blossom Hall!

Post-punk revival and indie rock are the group’s forte, but they don’t shy away from some out-of-the-box fun. Mitch Derosier on bass, Luke Lalonde on guitar and vocals, Andy Lloyd on guitar and keyboard, and Steve Hamelin on drums are a lovely combination of gentlemen that simply enjoy rocking out. The band got their start in 2004 and have since released two EPs and five studio albums. In 2008, Born Ruffians' Red Yellow and Blue was nominated in the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Pop/Rock Album of the Year. Daniel Snaith of Caribou said, "Born Ruffians are one of those bands that has something special, a special charisma about them, and the energy in the way they reinterpret the songs differently from night to night is thrilling."

The band “never lets itself get too comfortable, instead introducing novel mid-song change-ups to elevate a track,” Pitchfork remarked. Their music reminisces a 1950’s rock ’n’ roll vibe and I couldn’t help but hear a Fleet Foxes influence while listening to one of their singles, “Needle.” It starts up in that majestic way that “Tiger Mountain Pleasant Song” does, but then it transforms completely into a twitchy rager. That’s what this band is good at: they grab you, spin you around, and turn you back towards something you weren’t expecting. It’s fun, it’s lighthearted, and it follows a pretty familiar indie agenda: get the people dancing!

For fans of The Pixies and The Zombies, local act Blossom Hall is right up your alley. The jubilant trio, which formed just two years ago, consists of Nancy Paraskevopoulos on vocals, bass, and synth, Phillip Cotter on vocals and guitar, and Charlie Schefft on drums. Together they are a self-proclaimed ‘90s alternative rock and ‘60s vocal harmony, with influences by Rilo Kiley and Alabama Shakes. Garage Pop is the genre that sums up Blossom Hall: they’re weirder, poppier, and more experimental than most other bands coming out of Cincinnati right now. Their EP Parasols hits heavier than one might imagine as the album cover teases a softer more delicate sound. Their lyrics take the lead and allow for a lot of jamming out, with a central synth presence and persistent guitar.

The trio is on their way up and need the help of local music lovers to get even more highly-deserved attention! All you need to do is show up; the dancing will follow naturally. We doubt getting the crowd up and at ‘em will be a problem with the expertise and energy of Born Ruffians and Blossom Hall. Boogie, people!

When: Friday, March 16, 10:00 PM

Where: MOTR Pub

How much: Free! 21+



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