Monday, June 9, 2014

"Hey, Fred!" Nights Out - 06/09-06/16/2014

I've been meaning to do this for a while.  A Sanford-eye view on stuff that's got my attention for the next week.  It's not comprehensive, it probably won't even include every show I go to (I always reserve the right to call an audible and that just piqued my interest).  The title is based off talking to a good friend of mine about a great show I'd seen that he missed and A joking, "Rick's going to start a new blog called, 'Hey, Fred, here's what's coming to town!'" and I thought this week, with at least one show I fully expect to see that friend at, was a good place to start.  Big inspirations are Steve Smith's Agenda posts at Night After Night and especially amigo Andrew Patton's weekly column on Mark Subel's Jazz Columbus

This runs Monday-Sunday of the following week; I intend to post it on Sunday or Monday.  This is not expected to be comprehensive, Joel Treadway's Cringe does a great job with that and has since I was sneaking into shows as a teenager.  These are things I feel pretty confident giving my stamp of approval to.  See my Best Of lists from past years for a barometer to my tastes.  Like with those best ofs, everything is in Columbus Ohio unless stated otherwise.  And away we go...

This is Origins week which is one of those times of the year that makes my heart sing.  The convention's meant a lot to me over the years. I worked it either volunteering, at a booth or one summer as a paid employee for the first seven or eight years it was in Columbus; I started an annual drinks off-site tradition with folks that's persisted to this day (even two years I couldn't go); and I met some of my best friends in the world at it and surrounding it.  Looking forward to laughing and raising a glass with some very dear people I don't see nearly often enough. I know in the years when I traveled to a lot of conventions, at least a couple days I wanted to get out and do something else - so maybe there's one or two of you who are like me - down for the con but want to see what else is going in Columbus and you stumble on this via Google.  There are more "standing exhibit" recommendations for lack of a better word with an eye toward that hypothetical gaming traveler.


Tuesday June 10, 2014

Diarrhea Planet with Herzog and Comrade Question; Skully's Music Diner, 1151 North High St.  Nashville winking-rock 6 piece (featuring four guitars) comes through Skully's on their tour back from the Governor's Ball festival.  It took me a little while to warm to these guys but the jokes are more than held up by the giant riffs and intensity, I'd lay money on this being the rare show that makes you glad you're out rocking on a Tuesday night.  Openers are Cleveland hooky pummelers Herzog and one of my favorite new-ish Columbus bands, Comrade Question (if the Velvet Underground were reimagined as a surf band). Doors at 7:00pm, $10.

Wednesday June 11, 2014

Stan Smith and friends; Dick's Den, 2417 N High St.  Venerable Columbus bar Dick's Den has been doing monthly Wednesday night residencies this year and they've all been full of delights. This is the second week of the residency for one of our finest guitarists, Stan Smith, in a relatively straight ahead mode with sax player Jay Miglia and the swinging rhythm section of bassist Dave DeWitt and drummer Jim Rupp. Starts at 9:00pm, $4 cover.

 Magik Markers with Psychedelic Horseshit; Ace of Cups, 2619 N High St. Elissa Ambrogio's noisy rock project with drummer Pete Nolan (currently augmented by John Shaw) coming back to town after an extended absence and to a venue with a real PA is a treat. Snaking songs to burn the cataracts off, embracing their classic psych rock forebears over the last three or four records in ways that were only hinted at obliquely in the classic days of I Trust My Guitar Etc and A Panegyric to Things I Don't Understand they grow more into themselves with every record.  Local tricksters Psychedelic Horseshit open and I can't wait to see what skin they're wearing this time.  Doors at 9:00, $10 tickets available here.

 Thursday June 12, 2014

King Khan and the Shrines with Red Mass and Bummers; Ace of Cups, 2619 N High St. King Khan is one of the greatest frontmen I've ever seen, a supple voice and endless charisma deployed in the service of righteous songs and while I first came to him in his duo with Mark Sultan, King Khan and BBQ, this bigger band is the perfect vehicle for his flights of wild fancy. Guaranteed dance party, let's just say I've already taken Friday off. Montreal punk collective Red Mass opens along with local radio-friendly rock Bummers.  Doors at 8:30, $10 tickets available here.

Friday June 13, 2014 

Wanda Jackson; Rumba Cafe, 2507 Summit St.  Rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson makes a special appearance at Rumba, I believe her first since she played Thirsty Ear with Rosie Flores' band.  That show blew my hair back and she's made some great records in her comeback since so I naturally bought tickets for this early.  No opener.  Doors at 7:00, $20 tickets available here.

 Sunday June 16, 2014

Mark Flugge Memorial Concert; Mees Hall at Capital University Conservatory of Music, 1 College Ave. Columbus lost a giant as a composer, piano player and teacher when Flugge passed away this year and it's not surprising there's been an outpouring of tribute events and of course the biggest is at Capital where he dedicated so many years.  Performers include the Dave Dewitt Trio (a frequent rhythm section for Mark), legendary big band leader and trombonist Vaughn Weister, pianists Erik Augis and Richard Lopez, singers Kelly Crum Delavaris and Jody Mancini, and more special guests yet to be announced.  A chance to come out, share some memories, and see the best cross-section of straightahead jazz in Columbus.   Begins at 2:00pm, donations accepted.


Leaving the Atocha Station by Matt Slaybaugh adapted from the novel by Ben Lerner.  Available Light Theatre is closing out their fantastic 2013-2014 season with a new work that hits many of the company's sweet spots including the difficulty of living in the world, the concurrent struggle and necessity of fulfilling your promise and living a creative life and just what identity is made of.  I had the pleasure of seeing a workshop reading earlier this year and if they execute it with the potential I saw there this might be the best play of the year.  Helped by a cracking cast including David Tull, Ian Short, Rudy Frias, Amy Rittberger, and Eleni Papaleonardos, expectations are high. Will Slaybaugh continue his streak as the pre-eminent adaptor of hard-to-adapt novels following triumphs like Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and Skyscrapers of the Midwest?  You better believe I'll be in the audience on Saturday to find out. Opens on June 12th and runs Thursday-Saturday with one Sunday Matinee through June 28.  Tickets available at

Betrayal by Harold Pinter. Shepherd productions is presenting the play that got me into Pinter, a deceptively simple structure stripping the layers away from an affair and dealing with what betraying someone really means.  Great cast including Travis Horseman and Melissa Batt. June 12th and runs Thursday-Saturday through 21.  Tickets available at

 Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Columbus's mostly-Shakespeare in the park company Actor's Theatre is a venerable institution I make it to at least once a season even if the people who are mostly there for wine in the park annoy me a little and the sound is spotty.  There are still some remarkable triumphs and the early word I've heard about this production directed by John Kuhn and Nick Baldasare is that it ranks up with their best.  Especially recommended for out of towners, Schiller Park and the German Village neighborhood are well worth spending a nice afternoon wandering around in topped off by a show.  Opened on May 22nd and runs Thursday-Sunday through June 28.  Donations encouraged.

Visual Art

Cuban Forever.  Pizzuti Collection, 634 N Park St, Friday and Saturday 11am-5pm; $10.  If you have a spare afternoon for some visual art do not miss this.  It closes on June 21st and I'm definitely making at least one more trip before then.  The other of the inaugural exhibitions is a very fine, well-selected survey of contemporary art, selections of a damn fine collection, but the Cuban exhibit is world class and eye opening and invigorating.  I know a number of writers and artists in town for Origins and I feel confident saying any of you would benefit from seeing this.

The Wave: Japonisme and the Evolution of Modernism in America (1870-1925).  Keny Galleries, 300 E Beck St, Monday-Friday 10am-6pm.  Keny Galleries is a hidden gem on the Columbus scene, secreted away on a quiet residential street next to a beautiful pocket park, that does museum quality shows and traffics in the creme de la creme of the newer work in town in more traditional (often landscape) modes and their historical shows are always breathtaking.  This is a look at the Japonisme movement and includes works by Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, Whistler all in a tiny space.  If you've got a weekday off and you're near to German Village, I promise this is rewarding.  I know a lot of folks coming to town who take a side trip to the Book Loft, Schmidt's, Katzingers... well, I'd encourage you to include this in your rotation.  Maybe do yourself a favor and have a shot and a beer at the Beck Tavern a couple doors down to discuss the art you've just seen or (on the other side of the spectrum) have a perfect martini at G. Michael's at the corner of Beck and S 3rd St.

Modern Cartoonist: Daniel ClowesWexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N High St, Thursday-Friday 11a-8p, Saturday 12-7p; $8.  I know there are some comic book fans in town for the gaming fest of Origins and I'd encourage you not to miss the spellbinding Clowes show at the Wex and its satellite exhibits, Comic Future (about the use of comic imagery in modern art) and Eye of the Cartoonist (classic art from the Billy Ireland library selected by Clowes), as well as the Bill Watterson retrospective in the Ireland right across the courtyard.

All right, for a first try this could have been worse.  More next week.


  1. Whoa, this was great! I hope you keep it up. And thanks for the shoutout!