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Locals Only: : The Sweep

Former pictureshow members start anew with already prolific new band

By Sara Yaste · February 28th, 2007 · Locals Only
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  The Sweep
Sara Yaste

The Sweep



Once the smoke clears, he claims the band's name heralds from the days of the Cincinnati Reds sweeping the Oakland A's in the 1990 World Series.

Brian Moeller, The Sweep's resident beat maker, paces around the attic of his house in Northside. He tries to explain his musical role with a bit more clarity, giving props to a bummed out Korg Electribe. So what if the rhythm box was hot? He found out later it belonged to a coworker (the guy's beats were still programmed into it).

Bassist, Glen May first met Moeller when they each played at the Warner House, which hosted house parties with live music regularly in Clifton. Moeller played drums with the Marmalade Brigade while May held it down solo. After the dissolution of May's other project, pictureshow, which featured guitarist/poet Nic Powers, he recruited Moeller to play drums with The Sweep.

"(This sound) is a much more controlled beast than pictureshow," May says.

Moeller also serves as the band's sound engineer, cranking out two five-song EPs thus far. The first one beckons deep waters to warmer climes. Subjects like death and destruction peek from glistening corners on the opener, "Contact," warping loneliness and clap tracks alike. They plan to release the second EP Saturday in conjunction with a show at the Southgate House. They say once they hammer out four EPs they'll start working on an album.

Moeller rubs his hands together and asks to play a few tracks from the second EP. A few clicks later, his long, brown curls bob up and down to the rhythm of "All in a Day's Work." The melody dips into sonic glitter before boiling down to a piano sonnet. Powers' lyrics bemoan the exploits of drunk dialing, covering the mundane to the insane.

All the while Moeller works his magic behind the scenes, injecting stellar strings and groove hooks into the mix. His hands flutter about the Tascam 8-Track recorder positioned between his knees. All their songs start on two instead of four. Moeller credits Bootsy Collins' assistant with that nugget of wisdom. May points out how they keep their song lengths to about 3 minutes -- perfect timing in the radio world. Sometimes they have to stretch to get even that.

The lyrics from the second EP still swirl around the room: "I believe in what it was/ It was right there in front of us."

As if on cue, Powers finally shows up, cocktail in hand.

He wants to make sure everyone in Cincinnati and beyond knows they're looking for a fourth member -- another guitarist From now on he's going to stick to piano because it's easier on the fingers. His doctor said he shouldn't play guitar anymore because his skin is too dry. Sometimes after sets his hands bleed from all the cuts.

Speaking of blood, the conversation turns toward CSI and the amount of money it costs to run their imaginary tests. Is The Sweep talking about reality or television?

"TV's real, isn't it?" May asks, chuckling.

American culture talk continues, as someone tips off on politics and everyone winds up talking about guns. They all have a story. Moeller chats about a buddy, a soldier ordered to shoot people walking toward a hospital in Iraq. May remembers being called Dead Eye May growing up. Powers recalls a lucid dream that took place in a mall. That dream was Tylenol PM induced or, as Moeller suggests, bi-polar med Seroquel.

May laughs and declares he's taking Tylenol PM tonight. "I need something tonight, and I think Tylenol PM's gonna give it to me," he says.

Thinking of his own pain, he looks over at Powers. "And he's bleedin' over here. Somebody get him a fourth (band member)."



THE SWEEP (
  The Sweep
Sara Yaste

The Sweep



Once the smoke clears, he claims the band's name heralds from the days of the Cincinnati Reds sweeping the Oakland A's in the 1990 World Series.

Brian Moeller, The Sweep's resident beat maker, paces around the attic of his house in Northside. He tries to explain his musical role with a bit more clarity, giving props to a bummed out Korg Electribe. So what if the rhythm box was hot? He found out later it belonged to a coworker (the guy's beats were still programmed into it).

Bassist, Glen May first met Moeller when they each played at the Warner House, which hosted house parties with live music regularly in Clifton. Moeller played drums with the Marmalade Brigade while May held it down solo. After the dissolution of May's other project, pictureshow, which featured guitarist/poet Nic Powers, he recruited Moeller to play drums with The Sweep.

"(This sound) is a much more controlled beast than pictureshow," May says.

Moeller also serves as the band's sound engineer, cranking out two five-song EPs thus far. The first one beckons deep waters to warmer climes. Subjects like death and destruction peek from glistening corners on the opener, "Contact," warping loneliness and clap tracks alike. They plan to release the second EP Saturday in conjunction with a show at the Southgate House. They say once they hammer out four EPs they'll start working on an album.

Moeller rubs his hands together and asks to play a few tracks from the second EP. A few clicks later, his long, brown curls bob up and down to the rhythm of "All in a Day's Work." The melody dips into sonic glitter before boiling down to a piano sonnet. Powers' lyrics bemoan the exploits of drunk dialing, covering the mundane to the insane.

All the while Moeller works his magic behind the scenes, injecting stellar strings and groove hooks into the mix. His hands flutter about the Tascam 8-Track recorder positioned between his knees. All their songs start on two instead of four. Moeller credits Bootsy Collins' assistant with that nugget of wisdom. May points out how they keep their song lengths to about 3 minutes -- perfect timing in the radio world. Sometimes they have to stretch to get even that.

The lyrics from the second EP still swirl around the room: "I believe in what it was/ It was right there in front of us."

As if on cue, Powers finally shows up, cocktail in hand. He wants to make sure everyone in Cincinnati and beyond knows they're looking for a fourth member -- another guitarist From now on he's going to stick to piano because it's easier on the fingers. His doctor said he shouldn't play guitar anymore because his skin is too dry. Sometimes after sets his hands bleed from all the cuts.

Speaking of blood, the conversation turns toward CSI and the amount of money it costs to run their imaginary tests. Is The Sweep talking about reality or television?

"TV's real, isn't it?" May asks, chuckling.

American culture talk continues, as someone tips off on politics and everyone winds up talking about guns. They all have a story. Moeller chats about a buddy, a soldier ordered to shoot people walking toward a hospital in Iraq. May remembers being called Dead Eye May growing up. Powers recalls a lucid dream that took place in a mall. That dream was Tylenol PM induced or, as Moeller suggests, bi-polar med Seroquel.

May laughs and declares he's taking Tylenol PM tonight. "I need something tonight, and I think Tylenol PM's gonna give it to me," he says.

Thinking of his own pain, he looks over at Powers. "And he's bleedin' over here. Somebody get him a fourth (band member)."



THE SWEEP (myspace.com/sweepthis) plays Saturday at the Southgate House with Knife the Symphony, The Invitational and Ruby Vileos.
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