This title disclaimer will run until I’m sick of it.
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 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!'". I should note appearance here does not necessarily constitute an endorsement by Fred – this is my mess alone. 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 intended 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.
July 07, 2014
Page Meets Stage: Zach Smith and Hanif Abdurraqib; House with No Name, 186 E Hudson St. Page Meets Stage is a favorite series of mine, from its earlier incarnation tied to the Urbana Poetry Slam in NYC (formerly at CBGB’s and the missed first incarnation of the Bowery Poetry Club, currently holding down Tuesdays at The Sidewalk Cafe) to its infrequent but always edifying appearances here. Abdurraqib I’ve seen read sporadically over the last few years and he’s grown by leaps and bounds. His performance at the Columbus Performing Arts Center in April knocked me sideways; fierce and lyrical, never trading truth for an easy bon mot. Zach Smith I know almost nothing about but if I can get out of work in time I’ll almost certainly be there rolling the dice. Starts at 6:30, $5 cover.
July 8, 2014
Gary Clark, Jr.; Newport Music Hall, 1722 N High St. I’m as skeptical as the next guy of new “blues saviors” but friends I trust say Clark is the real thing and it’s only really appreciated live because he hasn’t yet mastered making great records. This might be your last chance to see him in a room the size of the Newport for a long, long time. Doors at 7:30pm, $27.50 tickets available at Ticketmaster.
Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers; Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza, 5601 N High St. For roots music of a more conversational stripe and far less steeped in virtuosity, this is the kind of show Natalie’s does better than anyone in town. A show that will benefit from and really reward attentive listening. Muth has been putting out records for a few years and really hit her stride lately. An unassuming voice and lyrics that mine the understated lived-in desperation of much of America, somewhere between Tift Merritt and Raymond Carver. Might be the sleeper pick of the whole week. Starts at 8:00pm, $10 tickets available here.
July 9, 2014
[CORRECTION - THIS SHOW IS CANCELED] Neighborhood Brats with Senor Citizen & The Border Patrol and The Last Ones; Ace of Cups, 2619 N High St. Raw punk from San Francisco on Dirtnap Records rolls to town on Wednesday in the form of Neighborhood Brats. The new EP is a supercharged SST-recalling assault led by frontwoman Jenny Angelillo. Opening are fellow classic punk revivalists (but with a punch that echoes through the future) Senor Citizen & The Border Patrol and The Last Ones with former members of The Nurses and Donnybrook Boys. Doors at 9:00pm, $5 cover.
July 11, 2014
Scott Miller; Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza, 5601 N High Street. One of my favorite songwriters going back to his time with the V-Roys, Miller took a couple years off from recording but he’s coming back with a vengeance attested to by his EP with violinist Rayna Gellert, CoDependents, and his new album written in collaboration with Doug Lancio, Big Big World. As sharp a wit as anyone you’ll ever see on a stage but writing with a big-hearted empathy that should make most songwriters green. Backed here by phenomenal bassist Bryn Davies. Starts at 9:00pm, $10 tickets available here.
July 12, 2014
This is Your Golden Age, Curated by Vanessa Jean Speckman; Wild Goose Creative, 2491 Summit Street. This is the official opening/party for Wild Goose’s July gallery show consisting of 35 artists’ works inspired by Patti Smith. Obviously Smith casts a long shadow and is a very visual, sensual writer, so there’s a lot of material there. Plus, her own visual work is wildly underrated – I still recall a show of her Babel pieces at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh very vividly. Some of Columbus’s finest singers and songwriters also perform at this including Todd May, Lydia Loveless, Sean Gardner, Micah Schnabel and Shane Sweeney (the latter two play in Two Cow Garage who perform later that night at Rumba Cafe two doors down). Starts at 7pm, no cover.
July 13, 2014
Pokey LaFarge; Park Street Patio, 533 Park Street. Pokey LaFarge’s good-time blend of early western swing and late ragtime might get a little aw-shucks for me at time but he’s writing great songs in a genre I love that very few people do at all, much less do as well as he does. Backed by a crack band, this should be a Sunday night waltz you’re raving about to your friends the next morning. Doors at 7:00, $12 tickets available at Ticketweb.