If you’ve spent some time on this site, you know that one of my primary focuses has been on all the great music to come out of Ohio, both past and present. One band occupying both realms is 15-60-75, or as they are more commonly known, The Numbers Band. They were formed in Kent in 1969 by singer and guitarist Robert Kidney and Chrissie Hynde’s brother Terry (saxophone), among others. Countless members would occupy spots in the band over time, including Chris Butler of The Waitresses (famous for “I Know What Boys Like” and the theme for Square Pegs) and Devo’s Gerald Casale. They would record several studio albums over the decades, but have always been known for their live shows, which have never occurred with any frequency outside of Northeastern Ohio.
That live show was famously captured for the band’s debut, Jimmy Bell’s Still in Town, released by Pere Ubu’s David Thomas on his Hearthen label in 1976. Recorded at the Cleveland Agora when the band was opening for Bob Marley, the record captures the band’s mix of blues, jazz and proto-punk into extended jams that come off like some kind of Midwestern motorik. The record was recently reissued in extended form by the Brooklyn by way of Cleveland label Exit Stencil, and to celebrate, The Numbers Band is making a rare appearance tonight at Bowery Electric, where they will play two sets that are not to be missed.