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Pittsburgh band to donate time to Columbus

Courtesy of Tamar Kamin

The Van Allen Belt plans to bring aspects of outer space into a space one cafe owner said will fit it perfectly.

Pittsburgh-based band The Van Allen Belt is scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. Saturday at Kafe Kerouac, located at 2250 N. High St.

The band, which began recording in 2007, got its name after lead vocalist Tamar Kamin stoke an interest with conspiracies surrounding the Earth and outer space.

“(The Van Allen Belt) is a band of radiation that circles the Earth,” Kamin said. “It’s basically a protective layer that allows the Earth to use sunlight in a positive way. I think of the group as a positive hug that often goes unnoticed around the Earth, so the name stuck.”

Bekah Manning of Orchid Promotions said the band’s songs have an interesting message.

“The first thing you notice about them is their unique sensibility, especially with Tamar’s unconventional quirky-meets-glamorous stage presence and stunning vocal tone,” Manning said.

“They deliver clever cultural and political take-downs and they typically tell their stories with a twist.”

Like many artists, The Van Allen Belt’s sound has changed throughout the years, due to changing interests of the band’s members and its audiences.

“We first called (our music) post-apocalyptic rock ‘n’ roll back in 2007, when we were starting out, but we noticed other artists using that genre and electronic music became more common,” Kamin said. “Nowadays I’d call it psychedelic, electronic pop.”

When booking shows at Kafe Kerouac, owner Mike Heslop looks for real artists with original content, no cover bands, he said. In addition to high quality musicianship, Heslop also said he chooses acts based on how their music will work in the venue’s limited space.

“We’ve attempted to have bands that have a more full, rock sound, and it’s been too much for the space,” Heslop said. “These guys have a little more polished, prettier sound and it’s also one that we can really make boom well in our space.”

Joining the main act will be The Pink Flair, suggested by friend of the band Brad Dotson, and One More Sun, who signed on last minute to perform with The Van Allen Belt.

“A band called The Field Notes were scheduled to play with us, but they unfortunately broke up right before the show,” Kamin said. “It was a bit of a surprise, but we found a new act, One More Sun, whose sound we like a lot and are excited to be playing with them.”

While there will be no cover charge for the show, a $3-5 donation is suggested.

“The money all goes to the bands, so really you’re just helping out the bands that are on tour,” Heslop said. “If you’re a band on tour you’ve got to get gas and other expenses, so whatever donations people give really help out.”

For more information on The Van Allen Belt, visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thevanallenbelt.

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