For our first ever Festive Feature on Mad Mackerel, we asked twelve of our favourite bands and artists of 2011 to answer twelve questions and we will publish them over the next twelve days taking us up to Christmas Eve.

Mad Mackerel's Twelve Days Of Christmas 6: Ohioan.

With the release this year of Balls Deep In Babylon, Ohioan delivered a dark, intense atmospheric album that drew on folk, country and even jazz to perfectly evoke the landscapes and vignettes of the desert and the mountains, and the people who call such places home. The record is almost old fashioned in being a complete, satisfying whole, rather than just a random collection of tracks, and brilliantly uses a range of tones, moods, timbres and ideas, as well as language to reveal its characters and tell their stories.

1) Three iconic clashes. Who would you vote for in each of these?

a)    The Velvet Underground or The Doors?

The Doors. More genuine attitude, more fun, less NYC art posturing. Naked Indians. Better sense of humor. More real danger.

b) Bob Dylan or Neil Young?

Dylan. Neil is great, but he is kind of lazy. Some lyrics are pretty shameful.  Basement tapes. Nuff said.

c) The Sex Pistols or the Clash?

Clash 100%. Tho they were somewhat fulla shit. I just have the best memory of listening to Spanish Bombs in Ft. Lauderdale when I was 19, smoking a joint in the back of some Panama hat tourist shop with a gorgeous 15 year old French girl named Julia and making out in the dressing rooms. I believe that got her fired.  Sex Pistols = Vapid marketing ploy. Whatever. Can I choose Patti Smith over both?

2) What has been your personal highlight of 2011?

Getting married on a mountain, by a mountain. Leaving Portland. Merging with the desert.  

3) What was your low point of the year?

Last Xmas I woke up and immediately cried harder than I had in maybe a decade. Maybe at 6 am? Completely confused by it, I drove to Starbucks and spent the morning flirting with the cashier.

4) You can give one single album from 2011 to just one person for Christmas. What would you buy and who for?

After Dark – by Fabio to cheer up my mom. She’s recovering from surgery and nothing says get well soon like Fabio’s panty-drenching monologues over smooth r&b. I will probably create her grandchildren to this record, its only fair.

5) Give us between two and five songs from 2011 that you’d recommend as the best of the year.

“Tiny Confessions” – Wooden Wand, best songwriter album of the year

“Kerasukan”  – Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa – the most fearless, singular motherfucker out there. Makes me feel like Jimmy Buffet.

“You Fucking People Make Me Sick” – Swans, as a friend pointed out:  “that’s how you age with dignity”

“In the Morning” – Michael Hurley, jockos out there somewhere… singing this song right now.

“The Golden Hour” – Marisa Anderson, best solo guitar player around, taught me “Fishin Blues” for $20 a few years back

6) Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol – why?

Silent Night – I played it at my piano recital.

Are the lyrics really “round young virgin”?

7) Imagine you are snowed in and stuck in an isolated house in the woods for Christmas with no way out. Wolves and bears are prowling outside.You need to recommend the following:

A classic song to impress an ultra cool, know-it-all, teenager

Carmelita – GG Allin (Zevon cover)

A song to terrify Grandma

Mad Mackerel Music Blog. Watch Me Kill the Boston Bitch – GG Allin

A traditional song to help send Grandad to sleep

Hills of Mexico – Roscoe Holcomb

A song for someone just waking from a five-year coma

Black Woman – Sonny Sharrock

A book to frighten the children


An unforgettable film to watch

Dead Man

8) What is top of your Christmas list this year? Why?

Drill bits, always drill bits. Building all the furniture for our new place.

9) What is the worst Christmas present you’ve ever given and/or ever received?

I’d rather not.

10) Will you be making a New Year Resolution? If so can you share it and will you keep it? What is the stupidest New Year resolution you’ve ever made?

Resolution: To never lose my enthusiasm for eating p*s*y.

Worst one? “Get my shit together”?

11) Imagine you’re headlining a Christmas Concert at your favourite venue. You can share the stage with three other artists or bands (past or present) for the final encore of the night. Who would they be and what would you play?

Cex Fucx

Fela Kuti 


I’d cover “Slaughter of the Soul” by At the Gates in its entirety.

12) Can you write us a Christmas themed limerick (go on please have a go)?

I can’t remember what a limerick is, like a haiku with marshmallows?

Buy Ohioan releases here.

Download Ohioan – In Gold & Crushing mp3 (from Balls Deep In Babylon)

Download Ohioan – On The Horizon mp3 (from Balls Deep In Babylon)

Download Ohioan – Sometimes mp3 (from Balls Deep In Babylon)

Download Ohioan – In The Shoes Of A Dead Cop mp3 (from High Country)

Tomorrow: Wooden Wand

Previously: Lovely Eggs (here), Twilight Hotel (here), Grass House (here), Hurray For The Riff Raff (here), Lonesome Wyatt & The Holy Spooks (here).

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