This title disclaimer will run until I’m sick of it.
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.
September 9, 2014
The Swing Set by CeCe Bellomy; Drake Event and Performance Center, Room 2060, 1849 Cannon Dr. The lab series at OSU is a fascinating look at works in development; it's included a terrific new adaptation of Virginia Woolf's "Between the Acts" and work by Emma Dante, whose Operetta Burlesque blew me away last week. I've got a good feeling about this week's iteration by theater student CeCe Bellomy. It's a one act look at a woman on the verge of graduation grappling with her self-worth as reflected in her party guests. If I can get out of work in time, I don't intend to miss this one night performance. Starts at 7:00pm. Free.
September 12, 2014
Exposed directed by Beth B; Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High St. Beth B's work (with her then-husband Scott B) from the early 1980s was a revelation for me when I saw it (in not very good VHS copies) as a teenager in the '90s, especially Black Box which is still one of the most riveting, exciting movies I've ever seen. She's still making vital work, including Two Small Bodies and Salvation. So I'm pretty excited she's coming through town to introduce her new movie, Exposed, a look at the NYC burlesque renaissance which (in the dovetailing of things that opened my mind up as an adolescent) also features music from Jim Coleman of Cop Shoot Cop and Phylr. Starts at 7:00pm. $8 tickets available here.
September 8, 2014
Dead Rider; Tree Bar, 887 Chambers Rd. Todd Rittmann, guitarist from US Maple, brings his new project, Dead Rider, to town for a Monday show at the Tree Bar, promoting their raging third record Chills on Glass. It's a patchwork of lugubrious grooves reminiscent of Gang of Four or late Joy Division, with bursts of synth noise and static, stitched together with big hooks that turn in surprising ways. Locals Barely Eagle, formerly of Go Evol Shiki, and Brat Curse, about whom I know nothing, open. Doors at 9pm. $7 cover.
September 10, 2014
Bombino; Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High St. Tuareg singer-songwriter Omara "Bombino" Moctar is making some of the most exciting guitar music I've heard in a long, long time - spiky and dynamic, thick and acidic. It's a joy seeing Bombino breaking out to a wider American audience with Nomad on Nonesuch and even though it's not as strong a record as his masterpiece, Agadez, it's still a breath of fresh air. Starts at 8:00pm. $18 tickets here.
Paul Brown; Dick's Den, 2417 N. High St. This month's residency at Dick's is Paul Brown, and this week is the most interesting out of the box for my tastes: elder statesman Brown paired with my favorite young jazz guitarist Aaron Quinn and a string quartet led by violinist Christian Howes. This promises to be a fascinating guitar counterpoint to the pyrotechnics at the Wex earlier in the evening. More detail on the residency here. Starts at 10:00pm. $4 cover.
September 11, 2014
Lee Bains III and His Glory Fires; Rumba Cafe, 2507 Summit St. Straightforward shit-kicking rock darkened and leavened by a taste for classic country never goes out of taste in some circles. And of the many current contenders, Lee Bains III (formerly of the Dexateens) and his band have been burning the brightest lately. Their new record, Dereconstructed, is a similarly rough-hewn grappling with putting Southern mythos into the context of the ugly reality of the last 30 years to the Drive By Truckers' Southern Rock Opera, and what it lacks in subtlety it makes up for with swaggering stomps that show the lie that practice ever made perfect where rock's concerned. Starts at 8:00. $10 tickets at Ticketweb.
Insane Jazz Posse; Dick's Den, 2417 N. High St. Aaron Quinn, one of the most interesting jazz guitarists to come down the pike in a while, is moving on to NYC later in the fall and winding down his involvement in several of his regular groups. One of them, Insane Jazz Posse, is having a final show with Quinn on Thursday. While their propensity for covers I didn't care for sometimes seemed cloying or contrived, when they clicked together, bassist Ben Johnson, drummer Ryan Jewell, and saxophonist Alex Burgoyne, along with Quinn, was a magical chemistry of playing that's a delight to watch. It's a pretty safe bet I'll be out for at least one set this evening. Starts at 10:00pm. $4 cover.
Potty Mouth; Ace of Cups, 2619 N. High St. Northampton MA's Potty Mouth is a breath of gritty, dirty air blowing on the winds of change - slashing surf-inspired guitar, catchy-as-hell songs, and a rhythm section out to make the walls shake. They deserve every ounce of hype they've gotten on the heels of their terrific record Hell Bent. The rest of the bill includes NYC pop punk band Aye Nako and a couple newer Columbus bands I'm not familiar with yet, Katherine and Yuze Boys. Starts at 10:00pm. $5 cover.
September 12, 2014
Secret Sisters; Woodlands Tavern, 1200 W. 3rd Ave. The Secret Sisters - real sisters Lydia and Laura Rogers - are plowing a parallel strain of Americana to the Lee Bains III discussed earlier, derived from the crystalline harmonies of the Boswell Sisters and the Everly Brothers and the torch song qualities of Patsy Cline and Ray Price, but like all those artists there's a knowing darkness bleeding through that beauty. Their new record, the T Bone Burnett-produced Put Your Needle Down, is still a little uneven but comes the closest to capturing that smoky sexiness and sense of impending dread of all the best '60s country, and "Iuka" might be my favorite song so far this year. Starts at 9:00pm. $15 tickets at Ticketweb.
September 13, 2014
Kid Congo Powers; Used Kids Records, 1980 N. High St. (6pm) and Ace of Cups, 2619 N. High St. (10pm). I've seen Kid Congo Powers probably half a dozen times over the years and grew up with his playing on the Cramps, Gun Club, and Nick Cave records. His record release at Tonic in NYC in 2006 might be my favorite night of rock and roll ever, and the other times I've seen him live, while less of an overstuffed carnival, are some of the best examples of fiery danceable rock you'll ever see. He always brings a killer rhythm section and great songs, and his voice has grown into a fair foil for some of the best guitar playing of the last 30 years. An afternoon reading from his memoir in progress at Used Kids, with comedian, writer, and bon vivant Paul Bearer opening, is followed by a full rock show with The Hexers and Cheater Slicks opening at Ace of Cups that night. Starts at 6:00 for the reading, which is free. 10:00pm for the show, $15 cover.
September 14, 2014
Bell X1 and Gabriel Kahane; Rumba Cafe, 2507 Summit St. Bell X1 are one of the most popular Irish rock bands of the moment still trying to break America; if you're a fan, it's a treat to see them in a room the size of Rumba. I'm interested in checking them out but this show, for me, is all about Gabriel Kahane. Over the course of three records, each one better than the last, culminating in the new The Ambassador, and an original cast recording of his score for the Public Theatre musical February House, Kahane has grown from the heir apparent to David Garland (no small thing) into someone merging the deep musical knowledge of his classical background into a deeply personal and idiosyncratic art that can stand alongside Owen Pallett or Doveman or even Joni Mitchell. I wish Jerry DeCicca were still in town because he was the only songwriter who could even come close to holding his own opening for this. Early show, starts at 7:00 and over by 10:00. $14 tickets available at Ticketweb.