Moviola

moviolaIf you asked any local in Columbus, Ohio with even the slightest grasp of music who Moviola is, they would most likely respond brightly, describing the band’s career with a glow on their face, even comparing them to local legends Guided By Voices, before shifting suddenly into a look of dismay while being reminded of Moviola’s lack of success outside Ohio. Indeed, Moviola are one of those bands who have their entire state of origination behind them, even if their universal status is generally unknown.

Either way, Ohio has kept the band going into the second millennium. Jake Housh, Ted Hattemer, Jerry Dannemiller, and Greg Bonnell met while students at Ohio State University, which is the location in which all four hold jobs to this day. They appear to have their beliefs set on equal distribution; several of the members play a variety of instruments and you are most likely to find sets of about three or four different vocalists on the album, though Jake Housh is often considered the primary vocalist. While their sound is maleable and often undefinable, the diversity has built them a steady local fan base who finds great joy in the four-piece’s unpredictable behavior.

Their first release came in Frantic, an EP released in 1992 that later saw a reissue in 2000. Their first full-length, The Year You Were Born, was released in 1996, over three years after Frantic, and drew comparisons to Robert Pollard’s Guided by Voices. The Pollard comparison came in the style of Moviola’s lo-fi approach, often incorporating distinct melodies over several aspects of alternative and country; slide guitar, endearing vocals, and slow-shifting percussion. Throughout the years, Moviola’s sound has remained largely the same with indistinguishable patterns and unpredictable structures, all while presenting entertaining forms of songwriting with different musical styles often peeking through. The majority of the albums also appear to be quite lengthy, with thirteen or fourteen tracks of longing songs being the norm. However, with such a diverse style being utilized in each song, most of the releases have never become tiring or dull. Their most exceptional release is often considered 2000′s Durable Dream, an album that was a particularly rousing presentation that rendered most of the group’s strong points with romantically symbolical lyrics and devastating instrumentation.

Their seventh release, Dead Knowledge, has a bit of an ironic name considering the band’s aged experience and knowledge regarding what it takes to produce and write an album. Really, it is far from dead at this point. This album is where Moviola began to finally show their age, and that is meant in a complementary sense, as this is the album where the four members implemented their previous successes while abandoning flaws of the past. In doing so, they crafted an album that may even be more likable than Durable Dream. In the subsequent years, Moviola has added Paul Wilkinson (a.k.a. Parker Paul) to their ranks, releasing digital singles at a relaxed pace while playing the occasional show.

Discography
“Waste” 7-inch single (MindWalk/Eardrop/Anyway, 1993)
Lookin’ In 7-inch EP (Anyway, 1994)
“All By Myself” 7-inch single (Ratfish, 1994)
Frantic 10-inch EP (Anyway, 1995)
Cowtown IV split 7-inch EP (Anyway, 1995)
“Empty Ford” split 7-inch single with Cobra Verde (Wabana, 1995)
The Year You Were Born LP/CD (Anyway, 1996)


“Payday” split 7-inch single with Eric’s Trip (Me Too, 1996)
Glen Echo Autoharp CD (Spirit of Orr, 1997)
Propane Brainhole 7-inch EP (Wabana, 1997)
“Crowding the Sky” 7-inch single (Home Base, 1997)
Next Door 7-inch EP (Ata-Glance, 1997)
Kitchen Waltz Preamble 7-inch EP (Kim Will Kill Me, 1998)
Durable Dream CD (Spirit of Orr, 2000)
Frantic CD reissue (Spirit of Orr, 2000)
“Spark” split 7-inch single with Eyesinweasel (Spirit of Orr, 2001)
Rumors of the Faithful CD (Spirit of Orr, 2001)
“St. Vincent” split 7-inch single Handsome Family (Spirit of Orr, 2002)
East of Eager CD (Anyway, 2004)
Dead Knowledge CD (Catbird, 2007)

8 comments

  1. […] Moviola […]

  2. […] a link to a Moviola page over on Bela’s Anyway Records […]

  3. Kevin
    December 12, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Hey moviola,
    Just wanted to tell you/thank you that while recently on tour I found a few moviola cds for cheaps and bought em up cause I had heard your name through a friend whose a fan. Anyways rumors of the faithful particularly the song rumors of the faithful was kind of my theme song through getting though a break up while on the road and became my sort of spiritual guide song through that whole mess. It ain’t no complicated matter, it’s just the way it goes! Greatly appreciate the great tunes.
    Take it easy y’all.
    Kev

    • Bela Koe-Krompecher
      December 19, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      thank you so much, i will pass it along. We still have a handful of vinyl records (“Year You Were Born” and various 7″), there was a terrific best-of compilation on CD from Catbird Seat out of NYC about five years ago as well,
      all the best,
      Bela

  4. Rebekah
    June 20, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Where can I find more of your music? I found a pristine copy of Frantic at my local record store in Athens, Ga and am now hooked. But this copy is all I can find of any of your music. If I never find anything else, you are terrific and this find was a gem!

    • Bela Koe-Krompecher
      June 20, 2017 at 2:12 am

      Rebekah

      We have three other releases plus some early singles, they also had several records on Wabana and Spirit of Orr (“Durable Dream” and “Glenn Echo Autoharp”–the record right after “the year you were born”—these are still available.) Discogs has the Spirit of Orr records. There was also a greatest hit/singles collection put out by the NYC label, Cat Bird Seat. Not sure if that is still available. Jake, the main singer had a wonderful record with his brother called The Catalpa Boys, kinda of a Palace type record but with a touch of the Louvin Brothers or Delmore Brothers–we have this as well. If you want any of these please let us know, [email protected] most come cheap
      thanks
      Bela

  5. Tom Krone
    June 28, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Was wondering if you guys still have any copies of that Moviola / Hiss Golden Messenger split still floating around? Was hoping to grab it before it slipped into the ether like rare magical little moments tend to do

    • Bela Koe-Krompecher
      September 13, 2017 at 2:21 am

      WE did not do a Moviola/Hiss Golden Messenger single, there was a Moviola/Cobra Verde split and maybe they did one with Court and Spark, I’m not sure. We do have “Year You Were Born” LP/CD, East of Eager CD and the Cowtown IV single still
      thanks
      -Bela

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