May 27, 2010

What's Up This Weekend?

Mom offered to come over and help me clean my house. It was an unsolicited offer but one I didn’t even consider not accepting. That is what Mom does. She loves to do housework and she loves to do things for her children. Even at the age of 85. Don’t let her age fool you. She works out at the spa for a couple hours four days a week. And she doesn’t look her age even with the pure white hair. I’m sure I get my indefatigable energy from her although something tells me I won’t hold up as well as she has if I should ever reach that age. She is a former Navy Wave, dietitian and dental hygienist who, other than having 5 children, has never abused her body in any way, quite unlike her dissolute son. She loves housework but she has been using someone to do a lot of it at her home so I suspect helping me was partially a way to satisfy that old feeling. Also, she had purchased these bargain steam cleaning devices which her helper uses at her home and I think she wanted a chance to use them herself somewhere. It was comical when we tried to figure out how to use the hand-held fabric cleaner gun and it unexpectedly shot a hot steamy stream of water across the room. And then she left the floor steamer standing in a couple spots that caused white marks in the wood. It was amazing to see her time and again bending over with ease to pick stuff up off the floor. And it was fun working with her as I moved stuff around, followed her orders and consulted on the best way to do things. But what really made me feel like her little boy again was when she came in the den, sat down beside me on the couch and we just talked about my life. My mom, she’s always on my side.

Thursday, tonight, Jim Maneri & Friends doing Salsa, Brazilian and American Jazz plus an Irish Tenor at Gateway Film Center's "purple-box", as Jim likes to call it, for Dan Dougan's Listening Hour. Many great musicians in a great performance space. The George Elliot Underground, Love Culture and Alert New London are at Circus and Miss Molly is at The Shrunken Head.

Friday, I'm going to catch my buddy Lee performing with Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk as they open Hookahville followed by that great band from Colorado, Oakhurst, then hopefully get back in town in time to see The Washington Beach Boys comprised of Jesse Barr, Happy Chichester and Joey Hebdo at Rumba. Lovely vocal harmonies are promised. The Summit has Guinea Worms, Ravari has Muzzleloaders and Hoodoo Soul does the happy hour at Rumba.

Saturday, Moon High and The Alwood Sisters are at Rumba. I think I will go back to Hookahville to see Government Mule and maybe stay late for a reprise of Oakhurst. They are that good.

Sunday, Michael Franti & Spearhead and ekoostic hookah round things out at Legend Valley. The place to be between 4 and 8 will be Alana's restaurant for the John Boerstler Benefit. Alana is serving up a delicious Italian meal for $20 to benefit our good friend who is still recuperating at the Cleveland Clinic. The Derek DiCenzo Trio will be providing the music.

Your mother should know.


May 20, 2010

What's Up This Weekend?

I found it hard to believe that it had been 4 years since I had been to the Second Annual Nelsonville Music Festival when it was located behind the Rocky Boots factory in the relatively small field bordered by the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway Station and the Hocking River. Back then our posse had gotten in on the pretense of helping John Boerstler with his equipment (he was performing with Megan Palmer & the Hopefuls, I believe) and I vaguely remember enjoying Leon Redbone, Brave Combo and Todd Snider at what was clearly a fledgling festival just getting off the ground with one stage and a handful of vendors. I’d actually been at the first one the year before when it was in the village square and I hold dear the memory of sneaking into an empty Stuart’s Opera House singing and cavorting on the stage with a girl friend who shared my state of mushrooming silliness.

Friday Night

This year it took another promise of a free ride in by way of volunteering to “work” the beer tent 10 AM to 1 PM Saturday and Sunday. With no must-sees in Columbus, I decided to take advantage of my volunteer status on Friday night and check it out. Any money I might have saved on admission ($60 for a 3 day pass) was blown on an incredible gourmet dinner at Zoe’s in Athens which began with a roast turkey and duck proscuitto slider, ended with my first Baked Alaska and, what else but a wild mushroom crepe in between, all washed down with a vanilla bean mojito So I’m feeling pretty primed for further pleasurable sensory indulgences by the time I turn the down the road to the Hocking College campus and pass by the Main Stage, lit up in the twilight against a creamy blue and orange swirl of clouds, sitting with its backstage on the edge of a sunset pink pond and the retro-rock sound of the Detroit Cobras filling the air.

This is how I begin my article on the Nelsonville Music Festival that I hope will be published on soon. If you want to read about the rest of my Friday night experience, I will be sending a follow-up email and Facebook link. Hopefully, I will get around to writing about the entire weekend which was really nice.

Thursday, tonight, Joey Hebdo is at The Basement. Dan Dougan's Listening Hour at Gateway Plaza has Cur Dogs with Matthew Hoover. Fox 'N Hounds is at Dick's, The Shrunken Head has Miss Molly & Friends featuring Miss Tess with the Boki Quartet and Chase Potter and Treehouse has Erika Carey and Elisa Nicholas.

Friday, Dick's has Jesse Henry & the Royal Tycoons, Hal & Al's has Tin Hearts, The Wells and Miller-Kelton. Hells Fire Sinners and Vegas 66 are at The Shrunken Head, The Kyle Sowashes and Wussy are at Treehouse, Wexner has Go Analog and Bonneville and Summit has the Dangerous Curves burlesque bump-n-grind national tour.

Saturday, This Is My Suitcase at Carabar, Brasileira is at Dick's, Mary Adam 12 is at Rumba, The Spikedrivers are at Skully's, Treehouse has Number One Cat and, speaking of cats, Summit hosts the Cat Welfare Association Benefit with Flu Faker, Adult Fiction and Daycreeper.

Sunday, Nick Tolford & Co. and Mt. Carmel are at Carabar.

Monday, Ruby's has Pirates of the Scioto and Rumba's Cowtown Round features Sam Brown and Josh Kayser with Jason Quicksall. Good one!

Wednesday, The OSU New Music Collective and Carpe Diem Strings perform Charles Ives and similar modern fare at the Goodale Park Shelter House, free admission and Jeni's ice cream from 7 to 8 PM. Sounds tasty.

Next week on the twentieth of May, da-da-da-da-da-da-DA,
I proclaim Eliza Doolittle Day!


May 13, 2010

What's Up This Weekend?

My attention was drawn to a thread on Craigslist discussing new festivals in Columbus where one anonymous person took the opportunity to write some pretty nasty things about me. He must have been a disgruntled member of a band that never got into Comfest who was obviously unfamiliar with the real me when he assumed that I would make any new festival "no different from Comfest" and alleged that I manipulated the local music scene for my ego. If, as he stated, "the best bands in Columbus don't play Comfest because they don't want to be associated with a guy like" me, I can only wonder which bands he was talking about and how far underground they must exist. He also made a reference to my reputation for being "creepy" and said I was known for using Comfest to "feed young ladies drugs and booze". I couldn't help laughing out loud about that one. I've always thought that a good epitaph for me would be "He was surrounded by beautiful women." It seems that when you put yourself in the public eye, as I have, you lay yourself open to unfounded rumors, innuendo and just being generally misunderstood. I can handle that. I just don't want to look creepy.

I'll be volunteering at the Nelsonville Music Festival beer booth early Saturday and Sunday and I'll probably even go down Friday since I get in free as a volunteer. Lots of acts I don't know and I'm hoping to find some pleasant surprises.

Thursday, tonight, The Spikedrivers do the happy hour at Rumba followed by Megan Palmer with Luther Wright and the Jack Grace Band.

Friday, Daycreeper is at Carabar, Joey Hebdo Band is at Ruby's, Couch Forts is at The Shrunken Head and Treehouse has Alert New London and Love Culture. Nelsonville has Detroit Cobras, Black Joe Lewis and Man Man.

Saturday, JD Souther is at BoMA and Jen Miller is at Dick's. Ruby's hosts the Annual Black Box event featuring Mike Rep + Friends. Whoa Nellie, Flu Faker and Mors Ontologica. Skully's hosts a benefit for the Challenged Athletes Foundation with Main Street Gospel, Brainbow and Eye. Nelsonville has Lydia Loveless (I hope she gets to meet the Coalminer's Daughter), Southeast Engine, Moon High, Woody Pines, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, The Spikedrivers, Billy Joe Shaver and Loretta Lynn.

Sunday, Nelsonville finishes up with JD Hutchinson, Todd Snyder and Swell Season.

They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're all together ooky,
The Addams Family.


May 6, 2010

What's Up This Weekend?

The oil well eruption in the Gulf of Mexico is a national disaster that will be stuck in our collective memories for a long time. Hopefully, it will bring back to life the public concern for saving the environment the way the California spill 40 years ago did, resulting in the creation of the EPA and Earthday among other things. Some people I dearly love live on the coasts of Florida and it sickens me to think how greedy and negligent corporations might foul their little stretches of paradise. Here in Ohio, the slick won't spread past my television screen but I've noticed two little ripples. It is a joy to know that I won't have to watch one more BP commercial with the smug, bearded hipster extolling the virtues of finding energy "right here beneath our feet". That was one of the commercials that used to infuriate me enough to change the channel whenever it came on. If only the drill-baby-drillers were capable of feeling shame, I might experience some satisfaction from seeing the black oil slick dripping from their hands and faces. On a more personal note, The Girlfriend said she hadn't gotten around to purchasing a plane ticket to come home for a visit because she was obsessed with trying to figure out how to use her company's expertise with robotic subs to fix the leak. Over the past 2 years of separation there have been dozens of reasons she's had to cancel or the delay her trips home, usually involving her job or the weather or sickness. I just thought this one was particularly fantastic. Fortunately for me, I'd already given up any expectations that she's coming back so I didn't explode with indignation but just calmly expressed my hope that she might find a moment to work on making arrangements. I've accepted that ours is relationship that lives in an unpollutable hydroponic sea of love.

Thursday, tonight, it's -a-thon night with the Tom Waits-a-thon Benefit for Red Cross Haitian Relief at Circus and the Neil Young Marathon at The Shrunken Head.The Lions Rampant from Cincy and Moon High are at Bourbon Street.

Friday, Byrne's has Death by Banjo, Main Street Gospel and Wing & Tusk are at Circus, Carabar has The Godz (are qualudes back too?) and Nick Tolford and Co. Magically Delicious is at Dick's. I will be at Rumba to see Tim Easton and Sam Brown.

Saturday, Happy Chichester and Couch Forts are at Rumba, (Tim Easton one night, then Happy the next? I'm having a good weekend!) The Floorwalkers are at Skully's and Lydia Loveless is at The Summit.

Come with me, my love
To the sea, the sea of love