August 26, 2010

What's Up This Weekend?

The truth is starlight
Pure, focused
traveling at the ultimate, constant speed
unchanged through Time unimaginable

And yet
when we perceive the truth
the gravitational pull
of the mass of our desire
packed into the world we build
around ourselves
bends the truth
to the curvature of our self-deception

Thursday, tonight, there is a John Lennon Tribute Show at Kobo and a facebook rumor that Andrew Graham will participate. The Summit has Titus Andronicus and The Compressions. The Kyle Sowashes and Rosehips are at Treehouse and Wonder Twin Powers and the George Barrie Trio are at Woodland's Tavern.

Friday,The Muzzleloaders are at Ravari, Megan Palmer has a CD release during the happy hour at Rumba followed, naturally, by The Spikedrivers. Dr. Kenny Delicious, Descendre and G Finesse are at Woodland's.

Saturday, The Town Monster, The Loyal Divide, The Phantods and George Elliot Underground are at the Basement. The Shrunken Head has Vegas 66, Skully's has Jared Mahone and The Wet Darlings. Ghost Shirt is at Treehouse.

Sunday, Woody Pines does an early show at Rumba followed by Hoodoo.

Star Light, Star bright
The first star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight


August 19, 2010

What's Up This Weekend?

I’m a firm believer in taking personal responsibility for celebrating the day of one’s birth. I got the momentum started by choosing the Banana Bean for the traditional Sunday family birthday brunch and having fried oysters and soft-shell crab. My pregnant baker brought a butter cream coconut cake inspired by my request for Hostess sperm cupcakes. Afterwards, I took advantage of my Mother’s odd refusal to join the family women for a “Wicked “ matinee. This fortuitous opportunity was a gift of healing redemption for someone who had been kicking himself over losing his opening night tickets.

Since August 16th fell on a Monday this year, I had scheduled the day off but another last minute twist of fate landed me on stage in a Judge’s chamber for a short, early morning matinee where domestic disaster dramatically hung in the balance. I had compared my task of changing the Judge’s mind to quickly changing the course of an aircraft carrier but, like an unexpected gust of wind, the facts of the case turned the sails of Justice toward victory. Blind luck had allowed me to smash a scary pinata for my client and I could feel the endorphins raining down inside. Triumphant, I shed my pinstriped armor to revel in the frenzy of shopping for a picnic at the pond.

At the deli, my picnic partner-with-child and I ordered a few slivers each of five exotic salamis, the ones to which I usually pay a wistful glancing homage, right before ordering the ham or turkey that’s on sale. Like a kid allowed to go shopping for his presents in a toy store, I loaded up with a fresh baked batard, triple cream brie, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, black Mediterranean olives and an orange fleshed honey dew. Finally, I allowed myself to be seduced by the gooey strawberry, whipped cream and yellow cake strumpet that I would normally pass by with Puritanical restraint.

Down on the farm, the pond was a glittering private oasis surrounded by impenetrable bands of leafy green in brilliant sunlight and black shade, guarded by stiff, silent regiments of soft, brown-helmeted cattails. We floated between the cool wet surface and the solar-energized air saturated with a micro-toned chord of chirping crickets that slowly rose and fell, bubbled and burst, shifting back and forth across the water, punctuated by the birds’ short horn lines. This classic, sunny August day in Ohio was worthy of being called a gift from God. Time stood still as I eschewed the remainder of my clothing, walked down to the end of the splintery wooden dock and paused in quiet contemplative preparation for a dive into the refreshing layers of descending liquid temperatures.

All semblance of propriety and civilized demeanor were surrendered during our naked lunch on the blanket in the grass as I tore into the mountainous open-faced sandwich that exploded like a volcano spewing delicate, smokey spiced greases, slightly pungent, melting buttery brie, salty olive oil and the watery blood of a freshly picked tomato all over my face and body. On this fifty-eighth anniversary of my birth, in the presence of the sun-kissed freckled pink tumescence of my unborn son, I dove into the amniotic fluid of basic pleasures and reemerged from the womb of innocence.

Thursday, tonight, The Floorwalkers do the happy hour at Rumba followed by JPS Brown and an incredibly good band from Cincy, The Sundresses.

Friday, The Columbus Discount Records Anniversary party is at Bourbon Street with Guinea Worms, Sandwitch and many more. Dick's has The Randys and Kobo has Moon High, Mt. Carmel and The Phantods.

Saturday, The CDR party continues at Carabar with Times New Viking, Mike Rep & the Quotas, Black Swans and more. Wonder Power Twins and G. Finesse & the NS are at Scarlet & Grey. The Athens Community Music Festival will feature over thirty-five local acts at seven uptown venues. All proceeds go to grant opportunities for local musicians and music education. Admission is $10 for an all-venue wristband or $5 per location. Visit for a complete schedule. Hint: Stella and The Lennon Orchestra are at Jackie O's.

Sunday, Flypaper ends the Goodale Park Summer Music Series at the Gazebo.

We've got to get ourselves back to the Garden. mark

August 12, 2010

What's Up This Weekend?

I went to my 40 year class reunion last Saturday night. I skipped the formal dinner the night before because I still suffered from a significant aversion to, or fear of, my past life in Whitehall. The only loyalty I ever showed my hometown was to its music scene including the school orchestra where I played the french horn. Otherwise, I had no feeling for my school or neighborhood, just my friends and our insular little substance-abusing, rock and roll-exploring world which I didn't leave until ten years after graduating from high school. So when the first class reunion rolled around, I got together with a fellow female classmate and staged a counter-reunion with a half gallon of cheap red wine in the party house parking lot under the raised hatchback of a white AMC Gremlin. Maybe, subconsciously, I wanted to be there but I couldn't allow myself in. I skipped the next reunions completely and then the 30th rolled around. I guess I was finally of the age to have enough self-confidence to be myself in any group, even the ghosts of my past where we all knew who we used to be in our former lives. I had an absolute ball. The dancing was frenetic, sweaty and constant. This was a fun bunch after all. Sure, I stuck out like a big epileptic, red-shirted thumb with flailing strands of not-yet white hair but I felt accepted and I accepted them. I even made some new friends including the girl who use to live on the other side of the world at the end of my street. Ten years later, I still couldn't bring myself to join everyone at the Friday dinner but the Saturday night party was another blast. I'll always remember a circle of us with arms around each other swaying and singing together with gusto to the band's excellent version of " A Whiter Shade of Pale". I regretted not taking advantage of that rare moment in the passage of my life to be with them Friday night too. I'd forgotten I had nothing to fear. Maybe next time.

Thursday, tonight, Pecha Kucha is Under the Stars at Junctionview Studios in Grandview, 889 Williams Ave. Super Collider Theater will present skits in between the power point presenters and Shin Tower Music will perform. Jeni's and Pattycake will serve refreshments. I went to the last one and it was really entertaining. BYOB and chair. 8 PM.

Friday, The Treehouse has Righteous Buck & the Skull Scorchers and Whiskey Daredevils. Matt Monta & the Hot Coal Band and Eric Nassau are at Woodland's. The Summit has Wonder Twin Powers but beware of Marvin the Robot. I will being doing the annual stroll down Elvis' Memory Lane at Skully's with The Randy's and The Sons of Gladys.

Saturday, The Flashing Clock is at Ruby's and The Wet Darlings are at Rumba. Roadtrip?

Sunday, Dick's has Bop du Fway and Kobo has Six Gallery.

Monday is the day of my birth and I hope to be picnicking at the pond. Later at 10 PM, my good friend and best pet cop this town ever had, Jenn Kulina, will be starring in a documentary on Animal Planet entitled "Gang Dogs".

You ain't nuthin' but a hound dog. mark

August 5, 2010

What's Up This Weekend?

I went to The Ohio State Fair yesterday. As a life-long resident of Columbus, I've been to the Fair many times over the past half-century. The oldest memories I have center around musical experiences. Back in the 60's, my rock and roll band, The Side Effect, played on the grassy island where the giant red cardinal sculpture used to perch. I also remember seeing James Brown and Sly & the Family Stone in the outdoor arena. I used to take my son, Ruyd, there who always forced me to ride the rides like The Zipper even though I inevitably got sick and we always tried to catch the the explosively-loud tractor-pulls. After those days of taking the kid there, I rarely went back because...well, let's face it, the Fair is kind of tacky. But that ignores all the things I do enjoy at the Fair. The art show at the Janis building is always good. One of my favorite things to see is the baked goods competition at the Arts & Crafts building. I just love looking at all those cookies, pies brownies and cakes. I enjoy visiting all the farm animals which are just as exotic as any at the zoo to a city kid like me. Of course, the people watching is always amusing. The one thing that drives me crazy every time is figuring out what to eat. I have to walk up and down the fairway and look at everything and then I still can't decide. One of these days I'm going to learn not to get the french fries. They are good on the top but when you get closer to the middle they are a disgusting greasy mess. Corn dogs, roasted ears of corn and funnel cakes are usually safe bets. The chocolate covered wedge of cheesecake on a stick was geometrically tempting. DEVO was the reason that I and a lot of people I knew showed up there last night. It was reassuring to see these plump old guys pumping out that classic music like a well-oiled rock and roll machine. In between sets, they showed a spacey video that talked about how earth was a hundred trillionth of a grain of sand in the Milky Way and our life here is just an immeasurable fraction of time on our speck of the universe. The long voyage through space ended with them thanking us for spending a brief moment of that time with DEVO. I felt it was a good use my precious wisp of time and space in the vastness of the Universe to be enjoying something as absurd as DEVO at the Ohio State Fair.

Thursday, tonight, Flugge, DiCenzo & Castoe are at Dick's, my favorite gypsy punks, Gogol Bordello, are at The LC. Spikedrivers do the happy hour at Rumba and Cowboy Hillbilly Hippie Folk do the happy hour at Woodland's followed by Pleased to Meet You, Funky Roots and New Water Moonshine.

Friday, The Dublin Irish Festival begins. I should go there some year. Carabar celebrates its 5th anniversary with This Moment In Black History, Blueprint and Shin Tower Music, Circus has Two Cow Garage and The Lost Revival, Kobo has Old Worlds and Jon Burgess, Superdesserts do the happy hour at Rumba followed by Ghost Shirt and Trains Across the Sea, Miller Kelton and Billy Zenn do the happy hour at The Shrunken Head. Skully's Treehouse and The Summit are all doing Andyman benefits with tons of great music.

Saturday, Carabar has The Kyle Sowashes, Your So Bossy and The Compressions, Dick's has Derek DiCenzo, Ruby's has Matt Monta & the Hot Coal Band, Candye Kayne and The Mendelsonics are at Rumba, Soul Satyr is at Woodland's. Kobo and Treehouse have more Andyman benefits with similarly stellar line ups.

Sunday, The Spikedrivers do the Goodale Park Music Series at noon.

Use your Freedom of Choice. mark