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