This is a look at things coming through town (mostly music, but look for more theater and visual art as fall gets underway) I’m excited about this week. Title is inspired by A making a joke to a great friend of ours: “Rick’s going to start a blog letting you know what’s coming to town called ‘Hey, Fred! Guess what?’” Appearance here does not constitute an endorsement by the real Fred. Big inspirations are Steve Smith’s Agenda posts in Night After Night and amigo Andrew Patton’s weekly column for Mark Subel’s JazzColumbus.
This is not intended to be comprehensive. For that, Joel Treadway’s Cringe does a great job and has for 20+ years. If someone knows an equally good guide to theater and visual art, let me know and I’ll link that too.
I don’t intend for this to cover every local band I like every time they play. If I wrote up every time two of my friends played a show together, the things I want to highlight would get lost and it would be more hassle and stress than it’s worth to me. I want to note something that strikes my interest as special: a record release, a rare reunion, something new I worry will get lost in the shuffle, but obviously that’s going to be capricious and not follow a strict guideline.
Normally holiday weekends and the weeks around them are just times for entertaining at your own home. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But this Labor Day is stacked with stuff that looks great, most of it under the umbrella of Femme Fest , who with less than a month of lead time put together 11 shows with lineups so strong it cut right through the massive festival fatigue this city has been suffering from. A good cause with a cross-section of great music.
Tom Burckhardt Artist’s Talk; Canzani Center at the Columbus College of Art and Design, 60 Cleveland Avenue. The opening salvo in a packed Fall lineup of great artists talks at CCAD. Burckhardt’s an abstract painter whose work I’m not as familiar with as I should be but I always come away from these inspired to do something.Starts at , free.
- Bossy Grrl, 2598 N High – Kicking the festival off with a matinee show starting at , our burlesque-themed honky-tonk has an appropriately rough around the edges lineup with Beth Hunter's blues-rock band The Time Lords headlining and also featuring a solo set from haunting punk siren Eleanor Sinacola of Dead Girlfriends, power-pop act Sweet S, and folk chanteuse Za Unitt. Starts at 5:00pm, donations encouarged.
- Café Bourbon Street/The Summit (2210 and 2216 Summit St) – These connected venues are combining forces (one cover for admission to both) for the fest’s night iteration which might be the show I’m looking forward to most from the entire festival. Starting at 9:30 on the Bourbon Street side, highlights for me include: The Something Somethings, a resurrection of one of my favorite rhythm sections in town ever (Mike O'Shaugnessy on drums and Sarah Yetter on bass, from El Jesus De Magico); The Ipps, the even more art-damaged, angular side project of Bo Davis and Emily Davis of Necropolis; Sex Tide, who have refined their shaky, barbed whirlwind over the years into a white-hot blast of fuzz, marvelous to see; The Ferals, the sexy, snarling blues-punk of Lara Yazvac (of Ill Fits and The Tough and Lovely) and Lou Poster (Grafton) on vocals and guitars and Victoria Mahnke on drums; and WV White breathing new life into the Cure/Slowdive mold. Starts at 9:30, $6 cover
August 30, 2014
- Used Kids, 1980 N High St - A matinee show and a great chance to expose yourself and your family to some great bands still finding their footing and their audience in town and buy some terrific records (and maybe drink a daytime BOYB beer). Grrrrl Cheese, a teenage band who formed during Girls Rock Columbus, open, followed by three back to back pop-punk sets by Pretty Pretty, Dead Set Ready, and Two Years Later, and capped off by the grimy classic punk stylings of Senor Citizen and the Border Patrol. 3-7:30pm, donations encouraged.
- Little Rock, 944 4th St. - The second matinee show today veers rootsier and weirder in all the right ways. Sets by Americana singer-songwriter Lydia Brownfield who's growing leaps and bounds every time I see her, Jeff Kleinman from Nervosas and Jenny Cosmos's floating goth side project Cosmic Moon who I haven't seen live yet but can't wait to, and very popular Americana band Salty Caramels. 6-9:00pm, dance party to follow; donations encouraged.
- Ace of Cups, 2619 N High St. - A stacked lineup with Laura Bernazzoli's raw as an open wound rock band Bloody Show, ferocious rapper Dominque Larue who this year made a stunning record, Grand, and show-stealing appearances on Blueprint's newer record, the return to the stage of The Girls! maybe my favorite Columbus band, and the return of a Runaways cover band you couldn't have cast better including Mickey Marie (Estee Louder, Nervosas) and Sarah Yetter (Frostiva, El Jesus de Magico) on guitars, Emily Allen (The Means, Monster Island Zero, Estee Louder) on bass. If these four add up to anything less than an earth-shattering party I'll be very surprised. Starts at 10:00pm, $6 cover.
August 31, 2014
Reigning Sound; Ace of Cups, 2619 N High St. If there's only one thing you go to this weekend, this should be it. If I were you, I'd hit the FemmeFest day shows beforehand and I'd damn sure hit some of it on Friday and Saturday, but when they're on the Reigning Sound has been one of the greatest live rock bands I've seen over the last 15 years. Leader Greg Cartwright writes songs that are the closest thing to belonging in the classic rock canon since Dave Alvin's golden days,as much in debt to the Shirelles as the Dead Boys and Nolan Strong as X. Their new record, Shattered, does the best job of synthesizing all of their disparate influences and enthusiasms of any of their recorded work with backing band The Jay Vons finally roughed up just enough that they feel like a unit. A record that flits from Arthur Alexander and Eddie Hinton-styled Southern soul to Nashville Skyline-era Dylan and still has a little Mekons motor oil on its dancing shoes. Kiss the summer goodbye and set the motherfucker on fire in high style. Dark country band Drift Mouth and Cincy punk band Black Planet open. Doors at 9:00pm, $14 tickets at Ticketleap.
- Kafe Kerouac, 2250 N High St. - A fascinating lineup with world-music gypsies Maza Blaska; Miller-Kelton, who grow into themselves a little more from a (damn fine) Tom Waits and The National riff all the time; Reverbalines, the new project of David Banbury and Eva Owen from the ashes of terrific band Nom Tchotchkes; and Sally Cooperider of whom I know naught so far.6-10:00pm, donations encouraged.
- Little Rock, 944 4th St. - Maybe the most full-on fun show of the festival - headlined by surreal dance-punk act Damn the Witch Siren and ably supported by Moxy Martinez, Bella Ruse, and the Columbus Burlesque Collective. Stop by for some last call dancing. Starts at 9:30, $5 cover.
- Strongwater, 401 W Town St. - A pretty stacked lineup headlined by Saintseneca who are reaping well-deserved praise for their first record on Anti-, the moody and gripping Dark Arc, along with Counterfeit Madison, Psychic Wheels, and Katherine. Starts at 10:00pm, $10 cover