Bob Starker and the Columbus Problem...

Bob Starker and the Columbus Problem...

I could really do without Times New Viking – and most of what that band represented during its first few years, in addition to the lame rock group it’s become since that time. And while those folks certainly do their best to portray their hometown of Columbus as something more than a stop over college town in the middle of nowhere, music TMV supports, all pretty easily trumps its catalog. That’s neither here nor there, just an observation.

Along with all those Columbus Discount bands and the folks who went and founded the cities independent rock scene during the eighties and nineties, there was a guy named Bob Starker. It’s not likely that you’re set to run into his music accidentally. Even finding it purposefully seems a bit difficult. Starker didn’t issue work on well distributed imprints, but there’s supposedly a good deal of recorded work out there.

Anyway, this single right here – which may or may not be the second release on Chimp, a label tied to Bostonians Swirlies – sports seven really short tracks. It’s not music concrete, to be certain, but Starker and whoever else he wrangled on this disc don’t shy away from splicing in some random found sounds while pounding slowly on what could be a cardboard box and blowing some mean sax. In contrast to the free improv’s recent popularity, Starker plays in a blues based idiom. If not for the production value and the occasional feeling like there’s a whole band here, Starker could have been tops in the avant-world. He still should be, but this songs might be too scatter shot for dudes collecting Emeralds’ tapes and diddling synthesizers.