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