December 31, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

New Year's Eve 2000 marked a turning point in my world. I did it in style, outside in the hot tub with Alison and Susan, champagne and great food, watching the incredible ABC network coverage of the Millennium celebrations around the world on the TV I rigged up outside. What I didn't realize is that I was bidding farewell to what could be called "The Good Old Days" because things started going down hill fast in the new decade. The stolen presidential election and 9/11 probably relegated the remainder of my lifetime to war and terrorism. In 2002 I lost three loved ones, all by some form of suicide. Towards the end of the decade, Comfest, which had become my religion, began to choke on the ham sandwich of its own success, Politics went from inspiring real hope and excitement to grinding gridlock and unprecedented poisonous right-wing stupidity. Who knows how long it will take to dig out from the financial mess created this decade? And for the last five years I've been spending increasingly less time with the person I love the most to the point that I haven't even seen her the last two years. So the momentum going into this next decade, my sixth, isn't going in the right direction. But, maybe like the last one, I'll be able to look back on this New Year's Eve as a turning point. I will be retiring in the next decade and I may have already found a new challenge to replace Comfest, if necessary. I found a few new friends during this decade who I'll try to drag along with me into the new one. Hope springs eternal for the likes of Mr. Obama and I'm not ready to pull the plug on my heartbeat for that long-distance girlfriend. I'm going to keep on keepin' on, trying to remain fun-loving, positive and creative, full of love and passion and, hopefully, dancing for at least the next ten.

As of 12:30, there were no Columbus Alives to be found. So be forewarned all I've got is an Other Paper.

New Year's Eve, Wet Darlings are at Ruby's, The Spikedrivers are Rumba, Miller Kelton is at Victorian's and I hear that The Bygones, Todd May and Micah Schnabel are at The Summit.

Friday, Go Bucks, beat the Ducks! Trains Across the Sea is at Treehouse.

Saturday, The Floorwalkers are at Victorian's.

While I'm far away from you my baby
Whisper a little prayer for me my baby
Because it's hard for me my baby
And the darkest hour is just before dawn

(Lowman Pauling and Ralph Bass)


December 24, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

It's Christmas Eve. I think back to my Happy Channukah days when, even though there were five of us, my parents used to find a way to give each one of us some type of gift on each of eight nights. Of course, they started with the best gifts the first night and moved on to crappy stuff later on. They actually used to try to hide them but we always knew the huge cardboard box of treasure was in the upstairs closet. I believe the development of my aesthetic senses were greatly impacted by the candles of primary colors we lit every night. That didn't last too many years, the 8 days started dwindling one by one and eventually the holiday turned into just getting together for a repeat of Thanksgiving dinner. When I started living with my non-Jewish girlfriend, my jealousy of Christmas finally found relief in a total embrace of the secular holiday traditions. I always got a big tree that smelled great and lavishly decorated it with lights and the girlfriend's treasured family ornaments. I walk around whistling carols. My Christmas card production became a tradition with a list that just grew and grew. I especially enjoyed the way it all built up to one Eve and one Morning as opposed to the long 8 day stretch. Christmas has an intensity of quiet warmth, hunkering down with loved-ones and no responsibilities other than to eat, drink and be merry that felt so good to this old Jewish boy. Merry Christmas. I hope you're spending it with the ones you love.

As you might expect, it's quiet on the music front this weekend.

Thursday, tonight, The Soul with Phil Clark, Dave DeWitt, Jeff Ciampa and Aaron Scott will be playing some good stuff at The Bexley Monk.

Saturday, Watershed is at Rumba, Donna Mogavero Band is at Thirsty Ear and Old Worlds is at the Treehouse.

Sunday is The Ooh-La-Las Jazz & Burlesque Show at Dick's.

This is Christmas, Christmas, my dear
The time of year to be with the one you love


December 17, 2009

What's Up This Weekend? Corrections

I am so sorry. I don't usually send out corrections but this time The Other Paper sent me so far astray, that I feel compelled. Thanks to Krista for the info.

Friday at Dick's is Paul Brown, not Roger Hines.
Sunday is Bop du fway's Christmas Mass show, not the Ooh-la-la's. They are NEXT Sunday, the 27th.
and Jim Maneri is doing a Christmas show at Dick's Thursday.

What's Up This Weekend?

I'm thankful for a young friend who gives this old guy a chance to dance for hours to live performances of Beatles covers and then clears off the living room table at 3:30 AM so we can dance in our socks to the Amy Winehouse CD. I'm also thankful to the old friend playing those Beatles covers and for all the fun and hospitality I've been shown in Athens all these years. By the way, I was able to add to my list of fabulous Athens eateries at The Purple Chopsticks. Unfortunately, I had to skip the traditional Sunday brunch at Casa Nueva to get back for a four hour Comfest meeting. That was brutal but they did serve a lovely buffet.

I'm aware how tight budgets are these days but for those of us who aren't homeless or hungry yet, bust the budget if necessary to give a little gift to your favorite charity this holiday season. My favorites are the Mid-Ohio Foodbank (3960 Bookham Dr., Grove City, Ohio 43123 and the Capital Area Humane Society (3015 Scioto Darby Executive Court, Hilliard, Ohio 43026-8990 You'll be glad you did.

Welcome to the World, Edra Elizabeth Duress. May you have as much fun as your parents used to have.

Finally, I'd like to apologize for all the misinformation that occasionally turns up in What's Up especially if you showed up on a cold night at the wrong place. If you don't know by now, I am subject to Alzheimer-like brain infarctions and just plain-old sloppiness. Despite all that, I hope you find it generally useful and entertaining.

Thursday, tonight, Dane Terry is one of the acts at Bernie's, Anna & the Annadroids have their 3rd Birthday Bash at Circus, Daycreeper and others are at Rumba, I wish I could tell you who was performing at the GRRLLZZ Rock Holiday Show at Thirsty Ear. It probably won't include Megan Palmer who is at Treehouse with Eric Nassau and his, in my opinion, unfortunately-named band, Sexfist.

Friday, Roger Hines is at Dick's, the Miss Molly Holiday Party including Eric Nassau and Joey Hebdo are at Thirsty Ear. And this weekend, I really believe there will be a Peloton showcase, unlike last week, at The Shelf, 57 E. Gay, with Moon High and Alwood Sisters among the acts.

Saturday, Total Foxx, comprised of David and Melanie Holm and Sam Brown share the stage with Terribly Empty Pockets and others at Bourbon Street. Every Saturday you can hear the amazing Bobby Floyd Trio, which includes Mr. DiCenzo, at the Lobby out east on Hamilton Road near Eastland (does that still exist?) and they are soliciting donations to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Skully's has The Phantods Holiday Show with Six Gallery and the Reciever. Thirsty Ear hosts the Rockabilly Holiday Ball with, among others, Vegas 68. It is 80s Power Ballad Night at Treehouse with the focus on Hair Metal and it benefits Christmas for needy kids. Boki Quartet featuring Betsy Pandora is at Vonn Blues Lounge. I haven't been to Vonn Blues yet but I saw on TV their fried chicken with waffles and strawberries that I must try.

Sunday, my girls, the Ooh-la-las do their holiday show at Dick's as only they can do.

Monday, the Cowtown Round at Rumba includes Megan Palmer, Milan Karcic and Jason Quicksall.

Wednesday, Christian Howes is back at Dick's.

Rockin' around the Christmas tree. Have a happy holiday. mark

December 10, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

I've never been good at being able to listen to music and decipher the lyrics. I've assuaged that frustration, being somewhat of a lyricist myself, by working on the theory that lyrics are written in dream language. Not exactly Finnegans Wake style but like dreams, they don't always make real-world sense if you try to explain them. In dreams, words are spoken subconsciously. They communicate something to the sleeper beyond the surface of their literal translation. Similarly. the impact of lyrics on the listener's waking comprehension is a welter of impressions and feelings from the brain's best effort to do something with the superficial sounds it receives. Literal meanings fade in and out with mistaken identities, guesses and total misses and rhymes and alliteration that just feel good, Its all food for the imagination to make of it what it will. I feel the same way about listening to people in bars while the band is playing. I rarely can understand what they are saying but I've developed what I believe to be an ability to imagine or feel what they are saying. Now, of course, it is hard to carry-on a two-way conversation with a person who knows what they are talking about when I'm just feeling what they are talking about. Occasionally I'm able to catch enough to quickly adjust my thinking and utter a word or two in response but usually I just resort to non-verbal communication like grins, grimaces, smiles, nods, laughs, snorts, eye shifts and the occasional undefinable exclamations. It usually works. I don't think anyone has ever called me out on it. (They will now.) Its amazing how people can just go on and on against the current of all that noise in the room with seemingly no clue that it might be hard for me to understand what they're saying and be satisfied with such a one-sided conversation. I wish I could understand them but I might as well wish I could remember my dreams.

Thursday, tonight, Listening Hour at The Bristol features Eric Nassau, Tin Armor is at Carabar, Circus has Lollipop Factory, The Town Monster and Mors Ontologica, Peloton Records has another showcase at Ruby's, Dottie & Clyde are at Rumba with Angela Perley and Cuddle Magic and there is a benefit for Camp Sunshine at the Treehouse with Couch Forts and Dane Terry among others.

Friday, I was looking for some good face soap and, lo and behold, my favorite Clintonville saponifier, Paul Sandstrom, will be teaming up to do Bubbles & Bling at Dick's from 5 to 9 offering handcrafted all vegetable oil soaps and handcrafted! Later on at Dick's, something I look forward to like a kid does opening his presents on Christmas morning, The Randys Holiday Spectacular. Another great holiday show is the Skaggs Family Christmas at the Palace. I would love to see that. Elsewhere, The Jellyhearts and Lydia Loveless are at Carabar, Rumba has Old Hundred, Jessica Lee Mayfield, Vug Arkas and The Stallions, Skully's brings back The Loyal Divide and Treehouse has Matt Monta & the Hot Coal Band and Josh Fitzwater & the Shambles.

Saturday, Boki Quartet, Burglar, Miss Molly and Stucco Jones are at Rumba, The Spikedrivers do it again at Dick's and Victorian's has Brawn in the Mash, The Wahoos and Cowboy Hillbilly Hippie Folk. I will be heading down to Athens for The Prom, an annual masquerade ball benefit at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Casa Nueva, followed by another annual benefit for helping local kids learn music called Lennonfest at Jackie O's.

Sunday, Brett Burleson is at Dick's.

Monday The Madison Square Gardeners and You're So Bossy are at Rumba early followed by Jason Quicksall and Jesse Henry. Dottie & Clyde reappear at Treehouse with the The Hot Seats.

Wednesday, Chris Howes is at Dick's.

Dream a little dream for me. mark

December 3, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

While many were enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers Friday, I enjoyed a musical feast. An evening with The Randys is a filling repast in itself. Dancing to their music is what I live for but, as with Thanksgiving dinner, I really need people I enjoy sharing it with for the full course experience. I was solo but the immediate Randys family of lovely ladies and a lovely and talented Randys virgin made it a very memorable evening for me. They were followed by Aaron Tasjean and his Ohio band playing his great original pop rock and showing off his tremendous set of pipes. Aaron, who is from New Albany and now hails from Brooklyn, had his family in the house including his grandmother who made it on to the dance floor to everyone's delight. I then motored over for The Spikedrivers at Dick's Den Crush of Humanity, dancing the rest of the night away. Speaking of crowded nights at Dick's, there's no better way for any remaining Randys virgins to get their cherry popped than Friday, December 11 at their annual Christmas Special. I got a taste of it last Friday when they performed my favorite holiday chestnut of The Randys repetoire "Christmas Don't Be Late" by The Chipmunks, including one verse done in falsetto. I love yelling "Alvin!".

Thursday, tonight, I'm going to sacrifice watching the first half of the Oregon Civil War to check out Dan Dougan's new project "Listening Hours at the Bristol' tonight featuring Chris Burney accompanied, I believe, by Sam Brown starting at 9 PM. Wet Darlings is at Circus, Joe Ong is at Dick's and Joey Hebdo is at Victorian's. Heidi P. W. offers fresh meat in the form of good new "post-rock" acts at Rumba including Old Worlds, Hurt People Hurt People, the Capella Movement, & Jon DePaso.

Friday, Church of the Red Museum is at Carabar (not Saturday per The Alive). It's the annual Ray Charles Tribute weekend at Dick's featuring Roger Hines and a local version of the Raylettes. This show is always good. The Floorwalkers are at Park Street. Rumba's happy hour features Jesse Henry and the Royal Tycoons and Dan Dougan's The Wahoos. Its Guided By Voices Appreciation Night at Treehouse.

Saturday, The Ray Charles Tribute reprises at Dick's, Matthew Hoover & the Supersaints and the Todd May Band are at Rumba. Skully's hosts the annual Rock Potluck Show with 41 local musicians from 41 different bands forming 8 ephemeral bands. Check out the write-up in The Alive or go to to see who's who with who and when. No doubt about it being an amazing collection of local talent. Screaming Females, Tin Armor and This Is My Suitcase are at The Summit.

Sunday, Derek DiCenzo is at Dick's. Check out his fun interview in The Other Paper.

I still want a hula hoop. mark

November 26, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

My mom's favorite story about me is simply remembering how I came up to her at age 5 and complained "Mom, I'm not having any fun." It foreshadowed the hedonist I grew up to be. I expect Life to be positive and full of rich experiences and pleasures. When I'm greeted by a perfunctory "How are you?", I had a habit of unexpectedly responding "On top of the world." But there have been years, like this one, where the top of the world turns out to just be the North Pole. Obama's global warming hasn't resulted in melting the glaciers of ignorance and hate around me and, personally and professionally, things are a little chilly. But even in a down year, I can rattle off a whole host of things for which I'm thankful like my wonderful little house, great friends, especially my business partner, and good health for myself and my family including my parents who are in their late 80s. It helps to realize I could go on and on. This year I had reason to consider how I would convince someone who was clinically depressed that there are basic things for which to be thankful. Not having experienced that condition, I imagined they had lost their taste for Life. There is no flavor or texture or aroma to give them a purpose to consume Life other than to survive to the next day. The hunger they feel is just the pain of existence. What could I say to renew their appetite for joy and happiness, to inspire an edacity to devour all the beauty there is in the world, to make them feel the need to experience the fullness of helping others and the desire to satisfy the craving to love and to share love? I concluded there probably are no such therapeutic words. Maybe all I can do is show them. Well, I'm hungry. Pass the turkey and all the trimmings.

Thursday, tonight, a guy who always gives us a place to go on a holiday evening, Derek DiCenzo is at Dick's. This year we can also be thankful that Billy Zenn is still out there performing after his heart attack at Victorian's. Rumba has Colin Gawel and the Lonely Bones with Quinn Fallon and Micha Schnabel.

Friday, Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk is at Victorian's and Paper Airplane is at Treehouse. My current budget has me down to one night out a week and this week I'm spending my allowance on the doorbuster bargain at Rumba's happy hour with The Randys' Black Friday Holiday Show (I hope there will still be the annual Christmas show to come) followed by the fabulous Aaron Tasjan and some other bands I don't know. If things get slow I might head over to Dick's to see The Spikedrivers.

Saturday, Ravari has Wing & Tusk and The Phantods, Deja Vu does a tirbute to Silvio Rodriguez at Oldfield's early, Chris McCoy, Los Cominos and Dr. Kenny Delicious are at Treehouse and Skully's has a hip-hop extravaganza featuring Grenhouse, Blueprint, Illogic, Envelope and others.

The Drexel in Bexley has the Sundance Award winner Precious with a really interesting cast of non-actor celebrities and the latest Coen Brothers production, The Serious Man. $5.00 on Mondays.

But you'll have to have them all cut out to have a Savoy Truffle. Happy Thanksgiving. mark

November 19, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

I'm an old guy. I remember black and white television, rotary phones, transistor radios, carbon paper, mimeograph machines and typewriters. I've been fortunate enough to live through the most intense technological and cultural G-Force in the history of civilization. I noticed one of those sneaky changes while watching an OSU football game last weekend. I usually end up watching by myself, which I don't mind because I like to concentrate on the game, but I did have a tradition of making quick calls to my Dad or a fellow Buckeye fan at those dramatic moments before, during and after a game to share the experience. Now, I find myself texting instead of calling. A quick "Woohoo!" or "I blame Tressel" or "Thank you Football Jesus". It feeds into my creative writing addiction and using the phone to actually call someone these days just seems so...intrusive. But because my Dad and some old friends aren't hip to the texting thing, I don't share the games with them like I used to. Ironically, I find myself concentrating on typing and then missing parts of the game from which I would normally hate being distracted by conversation. It's insidious. I need to check myself and get back to the good old days of forcing someone to answer the phone and painfully listen to me scream.

Thursday, tonight, Brainbow and Beaten Awake are at Carabar. I heard Carrie Rodriguez on CBE this afternoon and she sounds worth the price of admission at Circus. Bop du Fway is at Dick's and Psychedelic Horseshit, a band I should probably give another listen to, is at Oldfield's.

Friday, Death by Banjo is at Byrne's early, Brasileira is at Dick's. There is a benefit for WCRS at Oldfield's, Ravari has Earwig, Rumba has what sounds like an interesting show with Assembly of Dust and Bum Wealthy, Daycreeper performs with headliner Digital Leather at The Summit. Another show that sounds promising is Jon Jack Talcum of the Dead Milkmen and Jeff Fernagel doing an early show at the Treehouse. Miss Molly teams up with Apocalypso at Victorian's.

Saturday, Dick's has Fox 'n' Hounds, Treehouse has Second State Butchers, Columbus Power Squadron and Sue Harshe, but my pick of a show to hopefully celebrate another whooping of Meeshagun would be Harper Simon, Paul's son, and the fabulous Woody Pines at Rumba.

Sunday, Randy Mather and Jim Maneri are at Dick's. My friend, Jyllian Tricot, is having a bit of a book release party around 5 PM at Z Cucina on Grandview Ave. with a little musical help from Bob Sauls. I've been waiting to read her memoir of sex, drugs and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy for a long time. I had to convince her to keep the title, "Saved for the Demon".

Tuesday, Old Hundred is at the Treehouse.

Wednesday, Brad Caulkins of The Sun returns from L.A. with his band, Fool's Gold at The Summit. Gotta be good. Former Sun band-mate, Sam Brown, opens with his band, You're So Bossy.

Get back. Get back. Get back to where you once belonged. mark

November 12, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

Except for performing Script Ohio with my lawn mower on a colorful field of leaves during half-time, I didn't get outside much Saturday. So Sunday, I was determined to enjoy the freakishly warm and beautiful November weather even if it had to be by myself. I headed for Highbanks Park where I had often hiked with The Girlfriend. I was always just a follower and didn't even consider that there might be some importance to exactly where we had embarked upon the trails. I saw an empty parking space and headed for the nearest path. Before long, I realized I was exploring new territory but I pressed on figuring it had to get familiar somewhere along the line. When I saw the jarring blue and yellow tile covering the Skyline Chili restaurant through the trees, I started losing my concentration on Nature and got concerned about where the hell I was. I retraced my steps and took a different direction only to circle back to a view of Skyline Chili from another angle. I double-backed again and heard a little kid say as I walked past, "Daddy, isn't that the man we saw walking in front of us?" I eventually found one of the many "You are here" maps and felt relieved as I headed down a new path until I ended up back at the same map. The trails were like freeways at rush hour, full of people who knew where they were going and here I was, adrift in a maze. I figured out how I had gone wrong from the map and got on a different trail but when I approached a lodge I had passed an hour ago, I got a little panicky. I found a Ranger directing traffic, who knew me from the courthouse and commented on the directional deficiencies of attorneys. He gave me a map and told me how to get back to where I had started. Before I got there, I saw my car off the path and crashed through a field of tall grass and weeds like an escaped prisoner to get there. On my way out, I waived my thanks to the Ranger and headed home. Even though I finally knew where I was going, I realized that I was still lost.

Thursday, tonight, Jim Maneri is at Dick's. There is another Peloton Records showcase at Ruby's. The acts are nameless in the paper but considering all talent in their stable of artists, it's got to be good. Maybe they will be selling more vintage clothing like the fab stuff they had at Rumba last weekend. I wore my snap-on tie to court today. Treehouse has The Kyle Sowashes and Moviola and Victorian's has Will Scott with Donna Mogavero.

Friday, Old Worlds and Moon High are at Ruby's and Victorian's has a rare appearance by one of my faves, Heartbreak Orchestra along with Whoa Nellie and Erika Carey and the Calamaties.

Saturday, I can't vouch for anything but Evangelicals at Bourbon Street and Surfer Blood at The Summit sound interesting. Anna and the Annadroids perform their latest, Anthro(pop)ology Fri.- Sun. at Columbus Dance Theatre on Main St. near I-71 I believe.

Wednesday, some of my favorite ladies, Lydia Loveless and the Ooh La Las are at Circus.

Sunny day, Sweepin' the clouds away, On my way to where the air is sweet. Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street? mark

November 5, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

Work days that I'm not in court, I like to dress casually. Usually my black jeans and a long sleeve shirt. I picked out a really comfortable soft cotton black shirt that I never seem to wear and then I noticed the reason why. The second button down from the collar was gone. Sartorial impropriety was not enough to deter me once I had the vision of wearing that shirt in my mind. I sacrificed a little comfort by buttoning the top button and hoped the missing one would escape attention as if consumed by a black hole.Then I went to vote. After voting against all the issues that would eventually pass, I came out and received my "I Voted Today" round sticker. I began to stick it on my jacket when it occurred to me, "What are the chances that the one day I would be intentionally reckless enough to wear a shirt with a missing button that a plausible covering would come into my possession?" I don't know which way looked worse but I preferred to appear weirdly civic-minded rather than to have been clothed at the homeless shelter.

Thursday, tonight,The BOKI Quartet is at Dick's, Justin Townes Earle is at the dreaded Newport, Vegas 66 is at Ravari and Miss Molly and Wonder Power Twins are at Victorian's.

Friday, for an unbeatable happy hour at Rumba, Peloton Records presents Erika Carey & the Calamities beginning around 6 PM followed by Wonder Power Twins, Heidi Howes, Matthew Hoover, The Bygones and Todd May. After the showcase, there is The Black Swans and Bird & Flower. Skully's has, among others, Liquid Crystal Project with headliner Talib Kweli. The Treehouse will start softly with Time & Temperature and then it goes Guantanamo on you with Mt. Carmel and Brainbow.

Saturday, if you haven't caught him yet, no cover at Carabar to see Nick Tolford & Co. He's worth paying to see. Ravari has the Spielman benefit with Bush League All-Stars, Old Worlds and OPM. Rumba has transplanted Athenian, Joey Hebdo with Frontier Ruckus and Joe Pug. The Treehouse has Matt Monta and the Hot Coal Band and Trains Across the Sea.

Tuesday, a show worth venturing out for on a work night at the Treehouse, Lydia Loveless and Old Hundred. mark

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

Lyrics by Johnny Cash

October 29, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

Magic 8 Ball sez: "Someone really appreciates you". I was shopping at the Giant Eagle after work in my monkey suit and tie, carrying my shopping bag with the sculpted brown rubber face, reminiscent of the scary Fighting Trees that grabbed the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. I always get comments on it. Just past the frozen food forest, I'm hailed by a young mother with tatoos, pony-tails and piercings. "Hey Mark! Remember me?" Of course not. "You represented my brother in his divorce and you got him the house. He died last month in a motorcycle accident. We always really appreciated what you did for him." Hmm... Receiving praise for bravely leading them through the carnival fun house and the masterful way I delivered them, unharmed, at the exit. "I'm glad I was able to help him." Then I moved on to my real area of expertise; chatting about my shopping bag with her little girl.

Some great acts have been coming to town. Oakhurst from Colorado last Friday at Victorian's was a pleasant surprise. Gogol Bordello and Leonard Cohen were here Tuesday. Leonard was transcendent. Mr. Dylan is here this coming Tuesday and..

Thursday, tonight, one of my favorite oddity bands and incredibly great musicians, The Tiger Lillies, are at the Wexner. Perfect for a Halloween weekend. I once dressed up as the title character in their mini-opera, Shock Headed Peter, with foot-long fingernails made out of wire and tape. One of my best ever. Couldn't drink a beer or go to the bathroom by myself, however. This year I will probably just unchain my Hunchback of Notre Dame again.

The clubs have really ramped it up this weekend with benefit bashes and some scary good line-ups.

Friday, El Jesus de Magico, Necropolis and Jordan O' Jordan are at Carabar and the annual Ravari Halloween Bash with lots of pop music impersonations always gets good reviews. The Andyman's CD101 For the Kids Benefit fills the happy hour at Rumba followed by Southeast Engine and Monolithic Cloud Parade. Another branch of the CD101 benefit is at the Treehouse. Skully's has The Receiver, Brainbow and The Main Street Gospel. Megan Palmer & the Hopefuls are at the Thirsty Ear and Rollo and Old Worlds are at Victorian's.

Saturday, there is the Highball on North High St. in the Short North. The costume contest was really good last year and the whole atmosphere rivaled Athens for fun, if not mayhem. Afterwards, I will certainly be heading down to Dick's for Happy Chichester . Other options include The Floorwalkers at Ruby's, The Good Company Halloween Show at Rumba, The Spikedrivers and Two Cow Garage will be at Skully's and more CD101 For the Kids at the Treehouse where local musicians will be covering their favorites, including, I'm told, Erika Carey perfoming songs from her girlhood crush, Tom Petty.

Monday, the Rumba's Cowtown Round has Jason Quicksall, Jesse Henry and Megan Palmer.

Wednesday, I'm hearing that the Great American Taxi would be worth checking out at Victorian's.

I'm goin' out West where they appreciate me. mark

October 22, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

It's been one of those weeks where I had to remind myself that the sun will rise tomorrow morning and if I wake up in my own bed I'll be doing all right.

Friday, Karma to Burn and Black Mountain Creeper are at Ravari, The Lillybandits do the happy hour at Rumba, The Lindsay has a record release at The Summit and Waterband & Oakhurst are at Victorian's.

Saturday, The Ooh-La-Las Halloween Burlesque Show includes the Wonder Twin Powers at Ruby's. Skully's has Ghost Shirt, Paper Airplane and Phantods.

Tuesday, gypsy-punks, Gogol Bordello are at The Newport.

Keep on keepin' on. mark

October 15, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

Despite my moniker, I am a domestic relations attorney and I handle issues involving children all the time. Quite often, when someone is trying to explain something about a case to me, they feel like they have to ask me "Do you have any kids?" to determine whether or not I'm able to understand whatever wisdom it is that they are about to impart to me. People don't realize that question can be as dangerous as asking a woman with a large belly if she's pregnant. That question has been difficult for me to answer the past seven years; not emotionally, I'm cool about it, but intellectually. I could say "What difference does it make?" but I doubt that would dissuade them from arguing the point. I could say "No" but I don't feel like denying that I used to be a parent and they might say something stupid like "Well, then, you'll never understand.". My response is always, "I used to be." It's short, it's true and I can only hope that it will clue them into the thought that maybe they shouldn't go any farther but it rarely works. They usually take it as too mysterious a response to let lie. I usually satisfy their curiosity but I resent being required to do so and I always have to listen to how they find it so unimaginable. Well, guess what, it happens to a lot of people and they live through it. And guess what else, you don't need to be a parent to understand that children, just like any human being, need to be loved, need to be supported and need to be safe.

The last half hour I've been writing this, I've been listening to an excruciatingly amazing recording of John Lennon and Yoko Ono from Cambridge,1969, Unfinished Music No. 2, "Life with the Lions" on WFMU which I find preferable to listening to the pledge drive on CBE. I encourage you to join me in sending them in some money so that we will continue to have some choice when we need it.

A lot of great stuff this weekend for a change.

Thursday, tonight, The Spikedrivers do the happy hour at Rumba followed by Pokey LaFarge and The Razers. Za's Pawnshop Special is at Treehouse and Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk Festival at Victorian's features, among others, bluegrass kids, Dottie & Clyde and my funny buds from down Athens-way, The Paranormals.

Friday, Superdesserts are at Carabar, the fest continues at Vic's with the hosts, CHHF performing with a host of others. Earwig and Bush League All-Stars are at Ravari. The Pick of the Weekend, however, is at Rumba with The Mendelsonics doing the happy hour followed by Roger Klug & Band from Cincy, then Happy Chichester solo around 11 joined by Derek DiCenzo and Sam Brown at midnight.

Saturday, the Clintonville Co-op street party/benefit/festival has Erika Carey & the Calamities at 1 followed by everybody's favorite local guru, Frank Tennyson, then Miss Molly and Jesse Henry, Eric Nassau, Rosco and Za's Pawnshop Special. Kudos to all the performers and volunteers for supporting this great little community resource. Later, Jesse Henry returns with his Royal Tycoons to Dick's, Guinea Worms and TV Ghost are at Cafe Bourbon Street, Mary Adam 12 is at Ruby's, Number 1 Cat and Wet Darlings are at Rumba, The George Elliot Underground and The Lost Revival are at Skully's, Whoa Nellie is at The Thirsty Ear and The Floorwalkers are at Victorian's. Whew!

Sunday, real early, I will strap on the accordion and jam with friends at the corner of Waltham and Andover as the marathoners race by.

Monday, The Cowtown Round is at Rumba with Jason Quicksall, Jesse Henry, if he still has a voice, and Joey Hebdo. mark

Them thats got shall get
Them thats not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news
Mama may have, papa may have
But God bless the child thats got his own
Thats got his own

Billie Holiday and Arthur Herozg, Jr.

October 8, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

Hi, I'm Mark and I have a self-expression addiction, a compulsive desire to make others aware of what I think and feel in order to satisfy my craving for an answer to the question "Can you hear me?" It's like I'm afraid of being the tree that falls in the woods that nobody hears. And lately, in the darkness of my private forest, the sound of my questions crackling in the snapping branches and crashing tree trunk have gone unanswered. I'm tempted to continue yelling "Timber!" but I've decided to resist the urge to have it all explained. I'm just going to lie here, quietly now, and listen to the songs of the birds and the wind rustling through the leaves and hope that some sun light shines through the new hole in the forest canopy.

Thursday, tonight, a band I enjoyed from pe-Comfest reconnaisance, Alert New London, is at Oldfield's. Wonder Twin Powers does another Peloton Records showcase with Tod May and Cur Dogs at Ruby's and Two Cow Garage is at Rumba.

Friday, Lydia Loveless and Grace Adele do the Twang Alliance thang during Rumba's happy hour followed by Bucktown Kickback. Wolfgang Parker rises again at Skully's with Vegas 66 and Cotton Jackson. Miss Molly shares the stage with Tin Hearts and The Alwood Sisters at Treehouse.

Saturday, the Italian Festival returns for the weekend allowing me to make my annual pilgrimage to the Church of My Favorite Pizza. Gil Mantera's Party Dream reoccurs at Skully's.

Monday, Wilco is at the Wex but after recently seeing them in Athens and watching their documentary, I'm satisfied for a while.

Wednesday, quite a show at The Summit with Times New Viking and Envelope.

Let the sun shine
Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in


October 1, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

The Summit On Walhalla street party was scheduled for 6 to 10 PM last Saturday. I had been watching the weather reports all week and they got more dismal every day. I've helped organize quite a few outdoor music events in my time but they usually have larger windows of opportunity to get some music in and salvage the event in case of rain. This was like trying to sink a 30 foot putt surrounded by a water hazard. Saturday came and it was raining all day, really hard at times. Fortunately, I had the Buckeye football game to keep my spirits up. The game ended about 6:30 and it stopped raining. I set up my stage with the help of a few friends, the band and the neighbors emerged from their dens of skepticism, the weather was beautiful, the music was great, the food was tasty, the crowd was decent and we wrapped it up at 10 PM. As we loitered around the site blissfully enjoying our magical fortune, it started to rain and we hurried to tear down and continue the party at my house and then on to Rumba. I've always thought I was born under lucky stars, and, so it seems, clear skies.

Thursday, tonight, tell me. Looks like another evening on the couch with Muffy, Weiner and Riblet watching Charlie Gibson, Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann and reading Flannery O'Connor.

Friday, Cowboy Hillbilly Hippie Folk are at Byrne's early, Buffalo Killers and The Main Street Gospel are at Ravari, Micah Schnabel of Two Cow Garage is solo with the Razers, and This Is My Suitcase, Our Cat Phillip and Paper Airplane are at The Summit.

Saturday, after seeing his face at my street party and then on a billboard at Grandview and 5th, how could I not check out Daniel Work's stuff at Roy G Biv during Gallery Hop? Later, Wonder Twin Powers (got it right this time) are at Hal & Al's, 1297 Parsons Ave. I haven't been there yet and this might be a good time to check it out considering The Lindsay is just down the street at Carabar. The Alt Ohio benefit with, among others, Tin Armor is at Rumba, Matt Munhall and Josh Kracjik are at Skully's and Charlie Wonder's Rock & Roll Circus is at the Thirsty Ear with No. 1 Cat and True Moves with Eric Wrong and Bob Starker.

Woody Pines alert! Sunday at Victorian's and Wednesday at Dick's.

Rain. I don't mind. Shine. The weather's fine. mark

September 24, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

You don't get to a crossroads in your life very often. There are only so many junctions between the lines in the palm of your hand. Most of the time, we are heading forward in some particular direction, even if it is in a circle. It is rare that we make a sharp turn into the unknown. Sometimes you have no choice. Loved ones pass away or disappear. Occasionally though, you see out of the corner of your eye the fiery horizon the new road runs into, but you don't know whether you'll make that turn or not. The unknown direction is terrifying and exciting. Just seeing it makes the familiar path seem gloriously boring. Eventually, you must go one way or the other, but in the meantime, the gravitational pull of both worlds leave you moving in slow motion where you have time to appreciate the precarious beauty of just where you're at.

Thursday, tonight, Chris McCoy shares the stage with The Hiders. Couch Forts and Tin Armor are at Treehouse.

Friday, Wet Darlings are at Oldfields. I've heard that the Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit show at Rumba is sold out and that makes sense. Hopefully, I will be able to find my way in.

Saturday, I am hoping that my annual street party, the Summit on Walhalla at the corner thereof, does not get rained out but it isn't looking good. If we can sneak by, it will be great with Happy Chichester, Derek DiCenzo and Jimmy Castoe beginning at 8 PM and going to about 9:30 or 10. Free food, BYOB. Contributions appreciated. You are invited. Later, Nick Tolford & Co. are at Carabar with Mt. Carmel and The Spikedrivers are at Rumba.

They're dancin' in the streets. mark

September 18, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

It was difficult to spend almost $700 to get the hot tub fixed but I hadn't put much into over the past 10 years so I went for it. They got its heart beating again but its mind had obviously been blown. It started babbling LED messages about imaginary conditions that prevented the jets from working. After another attempt to persuade it to behave, the tub doctor said it needed an expensive brain transplant. I noticed that every once in a while, it would work but it was completely unpredictable. A tub without jets is like lying on the massage therapist's table and telling him where it hurts while he sits in a chair, nods and asks you "How does that make you feel?" I kept it filled with the water it was slowly leaking hoping it might just cure itself. Last night, after a delightful birthday dinner for a friend at Alana's, we had a little time to kill before hitting the Tim Easton show. We decided to give the tub a try and it performed like a champ. I guess it wasn't playing brain-dead just to frustrate me after all. It just didn't want me to take it for granted.

Thursday, tonight, The Spikedrivers do the happy hour at Rumba followed by Guinea Worms and Daycreeper. Couch Forts are one of three at Treehouse.

Friday, Jeffrey Lewis is at Boutbon Street. He is a really funny New York City singer-songwriter who put on a very creative mixed media show the last time I saw him. The Super Mega-Ultra Thon-a-thon at Dick's should be fun with Megan Palmer covering Fleetwood Mac, Happy Chichester doing some Sly & the Family Stone and Jesse Henry and Joe Crump doing their things. Competition in the category of stellar line-ups goes on at Rumba with the Columbus Girls' Singer/Songwriter Showcase featuring, among others, double-dipper Megan Palmer, Lydia Loveless, Elisa Nicholas, Jenny Lute of Wet Darlings, Jenny Flory of Wonder Twin Powers and Miss Molly. Matt Monta and the Hot Coal Band are at Thirsty Ear.

Saturday, the line-up at Bernie's includes Hell's Fire Sinners and Lydia Loveless, Wonder Twin Powers and Ghenghis Green are at Espresso Yourself in Powell. Lucero returns to Rumba. Josh Fitzwater & the Shambles and Monolithic Cloud Parade are at Skully's. I was thinking of going to the Paw Paw Festival in Albany, Ohio just west of Athens (love that paw paw beer) but I will probably stick around for the Independents Festival downtown on Gay St. Four stages from noon to 10 PM feature Burglar, Bush League All-Stars, Moon High, You're So Bossy, Sick Thrills, The Lindsay, Couch Forts, Tin Armor, Super Desserts and Ericka Carey. Impressive! Here's a link to the schedule: Sounds like there will be good food and lots of interesting art. It was fun last year and it was a lot smaller then.

Daisy, Daisy, Give me your answer, do. mark

September 10, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

Oh, ye (me) of little faith. I was so worried that Obama was going to wimp out last night. I should have known he would stay strong and smart like the man I was sure I voted for. But this Hope he holds onto for bi-partisanship in the face of all the evidence to the contrary reminds me of the Hope I held onto for almost 2 years. I always enjoyed shopping for bargain shoes at DSW with The Girlfriend and even though I've been walking through the rain and snow for about a year with a hole in my sole, I waited for her to come back...until this past Monday. And, yep, I got a couple of real nice bargains. It would be nice if it turned out Obama and I were right about holding on to Hope, but at some point, he's just going to have to round up the Dems he's got and go out there and get us some health care reform we can walk in.

Thursday, tonight, Paul Brown's Science Gravy Orchestra is at Dick's (I guess his suspension is up), Wonder Power Twins, Erika Carey & the Calamaties and Matthew Hoover & the Supersaints are at Ruby's and Couch Forts share the stage with what sounds like a couple out-of-towners at Treehouse.

Friday, The Hot Times Community Arts and Music Festival at Parsons and Main begins at 6 PM with Mendelsonics at 8:30 followed by New Pollution and Shaun Booker. I'll be stage managing Friday and Sunday, as usual, so come by and say "Hi". Right around the corner at Carabar there's Moon High and Deerhead. Unit One and Matthew Hoover & the Supersaints do the happy hour at Rumba followed by Colin Gawel & the Lonely Bones. Later, I'll be heading for the Day of Infamy Birthday Party for Cyndi W.

Saturday, I will be tailgating all over Buckeye Nation Central getting pumped up for the biggest game all year. Go Bucks! Beat USC! As a result, I will be missing what looks to be a great new festival, The Pabst Blue Rendezvous at the Fireproof Storage building on North High in the Short North with The Randys at 2:30 followed by Trains Across the Sea, Nick Tolford and Company, Shin Tower Music, Daycreeper and at 7:30 The Lindsay wind it up. Wow! The music starts at noon at Hot Times with Girlz Rythm n' Rock Camp followed by BHB, fo/mo/deep, headliner Pato Banton at 6:45, The Four Mints, Willie Phoenix and Flex Crew. This Is My Suitcase and Flotation Walls are at Skully's.

Sunday, I will return to stage manage at Hot Times and I will be stylin' in the African shirt my client brought me back from Kenya. Lots and lots of jazz early then the Women's Drum Chorus at 8 PM followed by Ark Band.

Wednesday, set your calendar to remind you that Tim Easton is coming to Rumba with Aaron Tasjan.

These boots were made for walkin'. mark

September 8, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

OSU banner hung on the porch with care? Check. OSU v. USC tickets in hand? Check. Beautiful fall-like weather? Check. Bucks still have a chance to win the National Championship? Check. Ready for some football? Oh yeah. "Health Care Insurance Reform Now" sign in front yard? Check. Ready for Obama to give Republicans and conservative Democrats hell Wednesday? I can still dream, can't I?

Thursday, Tin Armor is at the Circus, Sleeping in the Aviary and The Blastronaughts sounds like an interesting show at Oldfield's. The only thing that Couch Forts, This Is My Suitcase and Lydia Loveless have in common is that they are all favorite acts of mine and they are at the Treehouse.

Friday, Stucco Jones, Burglar and The Town Monster are at Circus, Miller-Kelton is at Oldfield's, Grassinine is at Victorian's and the Bush League All-Stars are at Rumba. The Greek Festival begins and I may have to go and get my Greek on because I do love the food.

Saturday, Miss Molly has another CD release at Rumba.

Sunday, the SOHUD (South of Hudson) Super Show with The Andy Shaw Band, The Floorwalkers and The Max Power Trio are at Ruby's.

Monday begins Dine Originals Restaurant Week. They support Meals on Wheels, The Mid-Ohio Food Bank and Local Matters.

Tuesday, if you were like me and missed the Brian Casey Tribute with Mary Adam 12 at Comfest, try the anniversary happy hour show at Rumba.

Fight the team across the field
Show them Ohio's here,
Set the earth reverberating
With a mighty cheer,
Rah! Rah! Rah!

Lyrics by William A. Daugherty, Jr.


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August 27, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

There are a number of things I could write about. An attorney in Michigan is hassling me about my use of the phrase "Rock and Roll Lawyer", claiming he has the rights to it. Fortunately, I have a killer trademark attorney on the case! Thanks, Lee. I wrote a song during my morning bike ride inspired by a canoe trip I took over the weekend on the Tuscarawas River. I'll include the lyrics at the end of this email. Speaking of lyrics. I went to Cincinnati to see a film of a musical, "Imagine This", for which my cousin, David Goldsmith, wrote the lyrics. It was a dramatic tale of a theater group in the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust putting on a play about the the Jews defending themselves against the Romans and eventually committing mass suicide at Masada. Not exactly "Springtime for Hitler" but it was very entertaining.

But I really wanted to write about the soap I use to wash my face. My girlfriend sent me two bars of this nice pumicey soap many months ago. I always hoped they would outlast her absence. Now, the last bar is slightly larger than a beer can tab. I'm very frugal, which I've always jokingly attributed to my Jewish heritage, and I use a bar of soap until it is an untenable translucent wisp. But my soap can only last so long.

Tonight, Thursday, get hammered with The Spikedrivers at Rumba's happy hour. Later, Ghost Shirt is one of four at the Treehouse.

Friday, Waterfire returns to Columbus lighting up the Scioto River to the sounds of the "Big Band Bash" provided by the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and Byron Stripling. 7:30 PM Genoa Park downtown. Sick Thrills is at Carabar, Grassahol is at Dick's, The Wahoos do the happy hour at Rumba followed by Matt Hoover and the Super Saints and Megan Palmer and the Hopefuls.

Saturday. Sandwich and The Flashing Clock are at Carabar, The Floorwalkers are at Park Street Tavern, The Wet Darlings and Cellar Hounds are at Rumba and Mt. Carmel and Jason Quicksall are at the Treehouse.

Lead on Blue Heron, lead on
Lead on Blue Heron, lead on
I know not where this river turns
I only know I wish to learn
Lead on, Blue Heron, lead on

Spread your wings in an elegant glide
Take me for a peaceful ride
I wish that I could stay all day
Or should I just fly away
I guess I'm waiting for a sign
That will reveal your grand design

August 21, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

What an awesome birthday weekend! Started Friday at The Thirsty Ear with the Randys doing their usual great repertoire plus an entire set of Elvis followed by dancing with lovely girlfriends to The Sons of Gladys. Saturday, there was skinny dipping in my favorite Lithopolis pond, then later being blown away by The Spanish Harlem Orchestra at Latino Festival followed by a road trip to Athens with the top down to dance and sing along all night at Jackie O's with Stella and then The Lennon Orchestra ending with an after-hours trip to O'Betty's hot dog emporium to indulge in a Blaze and chili-cheese fries that sent me right into a heavily buzzed orbit. It was a challenge to get up at 9 and do the mandatory huevos rancheros at Casa Nueva so I could get home in time to have a bagels and lox brunch and all the trimmings with the family. Finally, the icing on the birthday cake was a beautiful summer evening at the LC with good friends, The Pretenders and the fabulous Chrissy Hynde. Thanks to all the friends for the neat gifts, free drinks and loving salutations. Happy birthday to me, indeed.

Thursday, tonight, Frankfest at Hidden Lakes beginning at 4 PM for Friends of Frank, The Cellar Hounds do the happy hour at Rumba followed by quite the avante-garde rock show with Brainbow, Shin Tower Music and Monolithic Cloud Parade.

Friday, Ravari has Cotton Jackson and Hellsfire Sinners, Paper Airplane and Super Desserts at Ruby's, Bush League All-Stars at Treehouse.

Saturday, Jen Miller is at Dick's, Deadsea is at Ruby's, Couch Forts is at The Shelf located at 57 E. Gay St., Fourth Floor and Soul Satyr is at Thirsty Ear.

Sunday its The Breeders and TImes New Viking at Newport.

Sunday, Jim Maneri, Joe Crump, Joe Ong and Roger Hines satisfy whatever jazzbo cravings you might have at Dick's. I might head up to Dover, Ohio for a little R & R at a B & B in Amish country.

Still waiting. Still waiting. mark

August 13, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

On the 40th anniversary of Woodstock (at age 16, I had a chance to go and and didn't) I wake up to find in a CNN interview that Arlo Guthrie is a Republican. Come on, Arlo. I know that many Democrats are just as much in the pocket of corporations as the Republicans but Dems aren't the ones spreading lies to scare people so the health insurance companies can keep bleeding all of us. In the last election, it was a simple matter of electing somebody with some intelligence. Now, we have this incredibly complex issue and we are at the mercy of politicians who don't have a history of looking for answers beyond their lists of campaign contributors. I'm convinced Obama has the right idea. It's only the Democrats that can make it happen. I'm sitting on the edge of my seat, crossing my fingers and looking for my religion.

Thursday, tonight, there's lots to choose from. Lydia Loveless shares the stage at Bernie's, Joey Hebdo is at Victorian's, Old World's is at Oldfield's, Brasiliera is at Dick's and Lollipop Factory and Ghost Shirt are at Rumba. Wait, there's more! Maia Sharp isn't local but I highly recommend her. She's an extraordinary singer-songwriter from LA and she's performing at The Thirsty Ear.

Friday, Yummy! is an art show put on by the Couchfire Collective and a fundraiser for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank (great organization!) at the Junctionview Studios in Grandview 6 PM- 9 PM. Just bring a non-perishable food item or make a donation. The Twang Alliance has the happy hour at Rumba with among others, the wonderful Heartbreak Orchestra. Later Super Desserts are on the menu. The Lost Weekend Records Summer Show comes to Ruby's with The Kyle Sowashes at 9, Mt. Carmel at 10 and Family Night, Marcy Mays' heavy-metal project, at 12. But my pick of the weekend is the Elvis Tribute at The Thirsty Ear which begins with The Randys at 8 and continues with The Sons of Gladys.

Saturday, Festival Latino is back to being free and now it is at Genoa Park which if you haven't been there is a pretty nice venue. Starts at noon and ends at 8. The Spanish Harlem Orchestra headlines at 6:30 but the music looks interesting all day and I do love eating there. The Lost Weekend show continues at Ruby's with Day Creeper at 10, Moviola at 11 and Times New Viking at 12. If a certain someone hasn't shown up yet, I might celebrate my birthday eve by heading down to Athens where there is lots of good stuff going on including a Stella reunion and The Lennon Orchestra.

Sunday, Festival Latino continues and it's my Heinz 57 birthday and the day Elvis died. I'm hoping I get that gift that Santa never delivered.

Happy birthday to me. mark

August 6, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

I have a dirty little secret. I majored in English undergraduate and read a lot back then. I love to write and I have a decent vocabulary, but, generally speaking, I don't read books. Maybe one a year. It's embarrassing. Intellectual stimulation and the acquisition of knowledge are so much easier to get in magazines and television. Reading a book is something I often think about doing but I just never seem to get started. Well, Monday I decided to get in line early to buy Leonard Cohen tickets, so I brought a book to pass the time. I enjoyed it so much, I've gone back to it every evening. Hopefully, reading at night will turn into a habit like exercising in the morning has become. I just have to watch Keith Olbermann at 8, start reading after Rachel Maddow from 10 to 11 and stay up until midnight to watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report. I know, I'm hopeless.

Thursday, tonight, Faux Real, The Lost Revival and TV Eye are at Rumba. Interesting combination of music, Heidi.

Friday, a killer happy hour at Rumba with Happy Chichester, solo, then joined by former members of his band, Howlin' Maggie then followed by The Wonder Power Twins and the Superfriends Hip-Hop String Orchestra. Wow! All that and cheap drinks too! Later, the good stuff continues with two good old bands, Old Worlds and Old Hundred with the Phantods. If you prefer some fun, Alice-Cooper-style heavy metal, Razorbliss has a CD release at Skully's. Langhorne Slim and Couch Forts are at Summit.

Saturday, The Spikedrivers hold down the fort at Rumba.

Wednesday, country punkess, Lydia Loveless and her sister's bluegrass duo, Dottie and Clyde, will be at Bernie's. Nice to see an article about Lydia in The Other Paper. Despite what the article says, I went to high school with her mother and Loveless isn't the name she was born with.

I wonder who wrote The Book of Love. mark

July 30, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

In addition to bringing you a list of what I think are the best live local music events, I report about me. But unlike a real journalist, I can't expose everything about my world. Some things just wouldn't be appropriate to bring to light here even though they might make interesting reading. I guess that is why people must write fiction, poetry and songs. And painters paint and superheroes must right wrongs.

I unburdened myself
Of all the things I wanted to say
With one bombastic swoop
Into the empty skyscraper of cards
That could not support
One more unfulfilled story

The view from precarious heights
Could no longer suffice
To satisfy my desire
To reach the Promised Land

Sometimes a free-fall to Earth
Is the only way
To find your way
By the sunshine of the night

Thursday, tonight, Ruby's hosts The Peloton Records showcase with Erika Carey & the Calamaties, Matt Hoover & the Super Saints and you will be able to see Wonder Twin Powers reprise their Comfest performance with the Superfriends Hip-Hop Orchestra. That was my favorite performance at Comfest '09. Hoodo Soul Band does the happy hour at Rumba followed by The Bygones and Wheels on Fire.

Friday, the Dublin Irish Festival is back all weekend with locals like The Drowsy Lads at 4:30. I've never been to one but I've always been curious to check it out. The Slide Machine and Deerhead are at Carabar. Fox & Hounds does the happy hour at Rumba followed by Joey Hebdo's CD release party with Jesse Henry & the Royal Tycoons and Acoustic Floorwalkers. The Lindsay is at The Summit and The Receiver is at Victorian's. The Pit Bulls have an EP release at Ravari. If it is a nice night, you might want to consider an outdoor screening of Raising Arizona (Nick Cage and Holly Hunter) in Goodale Park at 9 PM.

Saturday, Bryan Olsheski teams up with Bobby Floyd. Jim Rupp and Derek DiCenzo at Dick's. The New Bomb Turks rise again at Ravari. Old Worlds has a 4 song demo release at Ruby's with Teeth on Teeth and This Is My Suitcase. Two Cow Garage is at Rumba. Can't help but note that Candye Kane is at The Thirsty Ear.

Sunday, Jim Maneri is joined by Randy Mather, Roger Hines and Joe Ong at noon at the Gazebo in Goodale Park..

And Tuesday, for all us Randy-philes, they will be performing on the lawn of the Grandview Library, Tuesday at 7:30 PM.

In the sunshine of your love. mark

July 24, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

It's gratifying to know that a few people missed this email yesterday. I was held hostage in a divorce trial in Washington Court House until 7 PM last night. I guess the Magistrate wasn't familiar with the old 5 PM quittin' time thing. That's one of the few Thursday deadlines I've missed over the past three and half years. I hope you were able to muddle through the night without it.

Friday, it's a star-studded evening of great music at Rumba. Happy Chichester starts it off at "Happy" hour followed by Number One Cat, with Nikki Wonder, Scott Gorsuch and the usual suspects from their former projects who are then followed by Paul Abbott's Pocket Full of Sunshine with a slew of well-known guest artists. Jazz and Rib Fest has The Dirty Dozen Brass Band at 8:30.

Saturday, The Mendelsonics are at Rumba with Stucco Jones and Burglar.

Sunday, I will be doing Curt Scheiber's "Invisible Hits Hour" at 9 PM on CD 101 (better start listening to all those CDs) and Miss Molly has her CD release matinee at The Thirsty Ear beginning at 5 PM with The Boki Quartet and Matt Munhall.

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket. Never let it fade away. mark

July 17, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

After apologizing for bothering me so early on a Sunday morning, an anonymous caller told me he had seen a cat that fit Buster's description 10 minutes ago in an alley in my neighborhood. I targeted a 2 by 4 block area between Indianola and the railroad tracks where he might be found if he had been hanging out there the past month and a half. Riding my bike, I scoured the neighborhood repeatedly like an obsessive-compulsive hand-washer. At times, as I glided through the streets and alleys, I softly whistled the call I used to use on the back porch to bring him in at night. I blew it over and over like an ice cream truck chime enticing its prey. Another night, an inner voice coped with the apparent futility of my task by repeating the name of Myanmar political prisoner "Aung San Suu Kyi". After a while, the dogs stopped barking when I would pass by. I felt suspicious riding up and down the same streets and alleys everyday like a stalker with a cat-carrier slung across my back. I imagined how I would explain myself to the police. The squirrels were ubiquitous during the day and, at twilight, the rabbit population was a veritable IHOP for runaway pets-turned-predators. As of today, I'm afraid I haven't bought the lottery ticket it requires to find him.

Thursday, tonight, Doo Dah drum major, Jim Maneri and Randy Mather are Dick's and my favorite new bluegrass couple, Dottie & Clyde, are at Victorian's.

Friday, it looks like I'm headed down to Athens to catch the Brew Choo Choo and sample a few during Ohio Brew Week. Back here I'll be missing Happy Chichester and The Mendelsonics doing the happy hour at Rumba followed by Mojoflo and The Floorwalkers. Paul Brown will be at Dick's and Ghengis Green and Town Monster will be at Bernie's.

Saturday, the Charles Mingus Tribute with Honk, Wail & Moan is at Dick's, Matt Munhall does his CD release in style at the Lincoln Theater, The Spikedrivers are at Skully's, Matt Monta and Za's Pawnshop Special are at Treehouse and the Volatility Festival raising funds for Madlab (105 N. Grant) features a long list of acts including Bicentenial Bear, Hotel Eden, Deerhead, Silo the Huskie, The Receiver and Ghost Shirt. 2 PM to 1 AM.

Sunday, it would be worth being a little sleepy Monday to see Woody Pines at the Treehouse.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. mark

July 13, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

Just before Comfest, I joined Facebook so I could help spread the Comfest "No BYOB" message. Should have known better. I try to ignore it but it sucks me in. It has been a nice way to see a lot of Comfest and Doodah photos and it did connect me with one long lost friend. But reading all the flotsam and jetsam from other people's lives can be as addictive as eating potato chips and just about as mentally nutiritional.

Long day in court. Sorry I'm tardy. I actually hope I decide at the last minute to take a vacation somewhere next week so if you don't hear from me....

Thursday, tonight, Ghost Shirt, Karate Coyote and Pomegranites are at Treehouse.

Friday, Jesse Henry and the Royal Tycoons are at Dick's, Super Desserts and Blastronaughts are at Rumba and This Is My Suitcase has an album release with Karate Coyote, Couch Forts and Tin Armor at Skully's.

Saturday, the Columbus Music Co-op's "Here Comes Your Weekend Parking Lot Blowout IV" adjacent to the Surly Girl takes off at 3 PM with Apocalypso and continues until 11 or so with bands including Deerhead, Guinea Worms and Cheater Slicks. Always a good time. Jazz Bassist extrordinaire, Andy Woodson's Magically Delicious is at Dick's, Erika Carey & the Calamities has a EP release with Matthew Hoover and the Super Saints and Matt Monta at Rumba and there is a WCRS Benefit at The Summit with Jesse Henry, Moons and Trains Across the Sea.

Wouldn't you like to fly in my beautiful balloon? mark

July 2, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

Comfest is always a mixed bag for me. This year, some very high highs and some very low lows. Musically, Hayseed and Wonder Twin Powers were the spine-tinglers. Dancing as hard as I possibly could with Jodi K. on the side stage while Happy Chichester performed with his group of fabulous musicians was memorable. Every year, the thing that I do to remind myself about what makes all the hard work worthwhile is just walking through the park and seeing people having such a good time sitting in the shade of a tree with their friends. Comfest is my religion and my mission is to do my part to make it possible for the people of my community to come together and celebrate our humanity. Now my staycation begins.

Throughout this weekend, Christian Howes' annual Creative Strings Festival (CSF) continues at numerous locations. Go to for a complete schedule. I will mention just a few of them.

Thursday, tonight, CFS presents Jeremy Killel and Marcello Viera at Dick's. The Spikedrivers are right back at it for the happy hour at Rumba followed by Friday night Comfest Jazz Stage headliner, Liquid Crystal Project. I'm going to check out The Boki Quartet at Giorgio's to see if they are the right group for my street party later this Fall.

Friday, CFS is at Rumba with Chris H. & Friends including this incredible teenage violinist Alex Hargeaves from Texas that I saw last night. CFS is also at Dick's with Daniel Kelly and Billy Contreras.

Saturday, is the Doodah Parade and I invite any of you who wish to join the Doodah Marching Band to meet at the carriage house behind 1036 Highland St. (Maison Maneri) between 11:45 AM and 12:45 PM. No experience necessary. Wear something provocative. Bring something to make noise, uh, I mean music with. Be prepared to party early. I purchased a lovely patriotic frock for the occasion and I've been promised a trombone. Later, Dr. Kenny Delicious is at Ruby's and Daycreeper is one of three at Rumba. Huh? CSF has Chris and The Bobby Floyd Trio at The Lobby (6-9 PM, Free), Daniel Kelly at Gallery Hop and then Chris & his Friends move down to Dick's for the evening.

The Camptown ladies sing this song,
Doo-da, Doo-da
The Camptown racetrack's five miles long
Oh, de doo-da day, mark

What's Up This Weekend?

The anticipation during the week of Comfest is so delicious. I especially enjoy imagining Friday night on the Main/Bozo Stage, how I will introduce the acts, dancing back stage and all the emotions that will be flowing through me as I look out on that seething sea of people. I'm starting to be able to stand back and see how the thousands of brushstrokes I've made over the past year are coming together to create a three day long kinetic mural of a Village of Joy.

Thursday, tonight, Cowboy Hillbilly Hippie Folk is at Victorian's, The Main Street Gospel is at Rumba, El Jesus de Magico is at The Summit.

Friday, Comfest has The Floorwalkers at Gazebo, The Liquid Crystal Project at Jazz, Daycreeper at Off Ramp, Hayseed, Erika Carey & the Calamaties and Trains Across the Sea at Solar and This Is My Suitcase, Happy Chichester, The Muzzleloaders and Two Cow Garage at Main/Bozo with Yours Truly as MC. Later, The Andy Shaw Band and The New Basics Brass Band are at Oldfield's, Earwig is at the Treehouse and Erika Carey & the Calamaties are at Victorian's.

Saturday, check out Main/Bozo mid-afternoon, lots of great bands and Tim Easton makes an unscheduled appearance around 5:20, The Mendelsonics are always fun at Gazebo, The Brian Casey Tribute with Mary Adam 12 should be interesting at Jazz, Wonder Twin Powers followed by The Ooh La Las will be fun at Live Arts, Bygones, You're So Bossy and The Lindsay are at Off Ramp. The line-up at Solar is one that I am very proud of including Time & Temperature, Jordan O. Jordan, Dane Terry, Super Desserts and Couch Forts. Later, if Tim Easton wasn't performing at Rumba, I would be at Oldfield's for Wonder Twin Powers. You can refill your Comfest mug at Rumba for $5 all weekend!

Sunday, after what you've just been through the past two days, you just can't beat relaxing to the music at Main/Bozo early in the day followed this year by an awards ceremony in which Tim Easton will perform the Comfest-inspired "The Festival" and I will receive one of the Honored Volunteer awards which makes me very happy. You can see Megan Palmer & the Hopefuls and The Randys at Gazebo and then walk over to Main/Bozo to end your festival with The Spikedrivers. If you have anything left, The Spikedrivers head over to Park Street Tavern, The Flex Crew is at Skully's and The Hoodoo Soul Band gets back from Chicago just in time to do Rumba.

If you are looking for me at the festival, I will be at Main/Bozo Friday. Saturday 4-8 and just about all day Sunday, I will be at the Clean-up and Recycling Headquarters just west of the shelterhouse. Come by and say "Happy Comfest". I hope you all experience some Comfest Magic. mark

June 23, 2009

What's Up This Weekend?

I went on the road with the Cowboy Hillbilly Hippie Folk to the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania (Rolling Rock, anyone?) where you find the oddly-familiar-sounding Ohiopyle State Park and the touristy little rafting/biking destination of Falls City on the seemingly-impossible-to-pronounce Youghioheny River which a local assured me is pronounced "yockaganey". I discovered that even if I ride a bike on an absolutely level ex-train track by a beautiful river for 18 miles, I will still feel like I'm going to die. The only thing that kept me going was the desire not to be passed by the lovely young bass player who hadn't ridden a bike for many years. At the gig, the band let me sit in so I sat on a picnic bench just outside the open air stage and picked up a large accordion, an instrument that I really don't play but that I knew enough to play along with songs that consisted of about 3 chords which most of theirs did. I did so with some difficulty, getting an inordinate amount of aerobic exercise squeezing the bellows and awkwardly using my left hand to make the chords. It occurred to me the next day that I had been playing it upside down. Wish I could blame it on the Yuenglings.

Friends of Mark, don't forget to volunteer at We need people to work Safety (fka Security) Friday 4-8, 8-12 and anytime Sunday. We need people to work Clean Up & Recycling Friday night and Saturday morning. It's your festival. Do your part.

This following is an all-Comfest performers list.

Thursday, today, I'm headed for my first visit to the new Huntington ballpark to see the Clippers (who are not playing at Comfest) or just to drink some beer depending on the weather. Tonight, Vegas 66 is at Circus and Couch Forts is at Treehouse.

Friday, The Receiver and Ghost Shirt are at Ravari, Megan Palmer & the Hopefuls do the happy hour at Rumba followed by Two Cow Garage. Josh Fitzwater & the Shambles and Lost Revival are at Treehouse.

Saturday, The Spikedrivers are at Dick's, The Lost Revival and Old Worlds are joined by controversially-missing-from-Comfest Big Back 40 at Rumba in what should be steel guitarist Barry Hensley's last Columbus performance before moving to the Left Coast. Bookmobile, You're So Bossy and Derek DiCenzo are at Treehouse.

Tuesday, see Comfest's lone import this year, David Ornette Cherry at Dick's Den. Couch Forts and last minute-Comfest-addition, Matt Monta are at the Treehouse.

Roll out the barrel. We'll have a barrel of fun. mark