This week had me feeling a little under the weather and a little low, but back on the horse. Onward and upward, whoever checks this.
Lambert Family Lecture: Robert Storr and Carroll Dunham in Conversation; Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N, High St. The lectures supported by the Lambert family endowment are always eye-opening and this meeting of Storr, dean of Yale University School of Art and the curator of the current treasure trove exhibition Transfigurations, and Dunham, whose work recalling both Cezanne and underground comics was seen in the fantastic Spring show Comic Future, discussing the still-pervasive influence by the masters on display at the Wexner Center is not to be missed. Starts at. Free.
Heather McGill: The Color of Everything; CCAD Canzani Center, 60 Cleveland Ave. This opening reception of Detroit sculptor Heather McGill’s current exhibition at the Canzani Center looks to extend the winning streak CCAD’s exhibition department has been on. There’s a deep love of ordinary materials, finding patterns and a sensual appreciation of color that opens other worlds of perception. Starts at. Free.
Kerry James Marshall; Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High St. Marshall’s work is always provocative and incredibly humane. His solo exhibition Every Beat of My Heart is one of my favorite things ever on display at the Wex, with its juxtaposition of bunraku puppetry and comic book storytelling, and he also had pieces in the recent Blues For Smoke. His talk touching on the influence of Giacometti, Dubuffet, and Picasso should be a fascinating bookend for the Lambert Family Lecture. Starts at . Free.
24 Hour Theatre; Riffe Center Studio One, 77 S. High St. Available Light Theatre’s only November show is a doozy – much of the cream of the Columbus theater scene (technicians, actors, writers, directors) broken up into smaller groups on Friday evening to create wholly new short plays to premier the next night. An energy not likely to be duplicated, and knowing the work of more than half the people involved as well as I’d do I’d bet on some moments of sublime beauty forged in the crucible of that risk and adrenaline. The Aoife O’Donovan show (see below under Music) at the same time means I won’t be in attendance for this, but I’m heartsick to miss it. Starts at. Pay what you want tickets at the door.
The Maxies and The Girls!; Café Bourbon Street, 2216 Summit St. The Maxies, a California-by-way-of-Greenland pop punk band, are known for a riotous stage show with the band wearing masks and making fun of whoever else is on the bill, so the similarly light-hearted-but-belying-a-deeper-heartbreak The Girls! should be a perfect fit fornight dive duel at Bourbon Street. Doors at . $5 cover.
November 4, 2014
Timeghost and Bernard Herman; Cafe Bourbon Street, 2216 Summit St. A little bummer noise (in the best way) to twist your week up. Providence's Timeghost is a pulsing, twitching wave of synth and I can't wait for their new record, Cellular, coming out on Load Records. They're out on tour with Bernard Herman, who are so audaciously named that I really want to check them out. Local openers are Schweppes and Bobb Hatt. Doors at 9:00pm. $5 cover.
[EDIT - THE COREY WILCOX SHOW IS CANCELED] Corey Wilcox; Rambling House, 310 E. Hudson St. Rambling House, beautifully renovated in the shell of beloved honky-tonk Mac’s, has been doing great things for its sleepy corner of Old North Columbus, with terrific house-made soda and nicely balanced cocktails using these sodas as the cornerstone of a great bar program highlighting all things Ohio. And they’ve been doing great things for a subset of the roots music community in town, booking the current crop of bluegrass, jamgrass, and other stripes of good-time acoustic music. I’m heartened to see them expanding to include some jazz because it's a great, intimate room. Corey Wilcox is a trombone player and Oberlin graduate who has been getting some heat as part of pianist Marcus Roberts band. He's in town playing with a simpatico crew of locals including Derek Dicenzo on guitar, Nate Smith on bass, and Max Button on drums. Starts at 9:00pm. $5 cover.
November 6, 2014
Letha Melchior Benefit; Ace of Cups, 2619 N. High St. Letha Melchior and her husband Dan made some of the finest underground music of the last quarter century, and were great friends to a number of Columbus musicians. Sadly, this show has turned into a celebration of her life, as she passed away recently, but proceeds still go to her remaining medical bills and it's one of the best bills playing all week. Lou Poster, of Grafton and Ferals fame and currently killing it with Drift Mouth, plays a rare solo set. The Ipps, on a white-hot streak, and Day Creeper, who are destroying in their new four piece lineup, also play, along with Adam Elliott (Times New Viking, Connections) DJing. Starts at 9:00pm. $7 strongly suggested donation.
Us, Today; Brothers Drake, 26 E. 5th St. Cincinnati's Us, Today are one of the most buzzed-about modern jazz bands to come out of that town in a while. They find the sweetspot in the timbre of vibes between the late-'90s post-rock of Tortoise and the jazz structures of Milt Hinton, with the rest of the trio filled out by guitar and drums. Locals Radarhill open. Starts at 9:00pm. Free.
November 7, 2014
Voices to End Ebola; Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St. Some fantastic music that doesn't often get play in town for a fantastic cause, raising money for Doctors Without Borders to fight the Ebola crisis. Performances include the Columbus Highlife Ensemble featuring David Aina and the kora player Ryan Skinner. Starts at 7:00pm. Donations strongly recommended.
Japanese B-Sides and New Gentle Soul; Ace of Cups, 2619 N. High St. There's always been a trend toward cover bands not doing the Top 40 that would get them the big money gigs, but instead having fun with songs they love as a release valve and a recharging for their original work - most prominently The Randys, Hoodoo Soul Band, and Good Company. One of the best up and coming bands in this category is Japanese B-Sides, a project of Dan Bandman (Kyle Sowashes, Bookmobile), Ryan Horns (Paper Airplane), James Allison, Mark Sims (Tough and Lovely, Southern Diplomats), and Matt Whistler. They're doing two sets for a good-time dance party on Friday, including The Who, Badfinger, and 13th Floor Elevators. The sweet nougat in the middle is New Gentle Soul, whose set includes a good number of covers including The Everly Brothers, Echo and the Bunnymen, and one of the finest versions of "Hold Tight" you're likely to hear anywhere, played with an abstracted freshness and conceptual rigor that never veers into pretension. Starts at 10:00pm. $5 cover.
November 8, 2014
Aoife O'Donovan and Noam Pikelny; Lincoln Theater, 769 E. Long St. Hands down one of the shows I'm most looking forward to all year. Aoife's first solo record, Fossils, was my top record last year and I still play it very regularly - there are bars I won't name that might be a little tired of hearing it on the jukebox over a year later. She's one of the finest songwriters working today, with a voice that fuses the ethereal breathy beauty of an Alison Krauss or an Emmylou Harris with a sharp wit and a ferocious earthiness. She's the lightning limning the hurricane and the burn after a beautiful sunset. Which is not to discount the other half of this roots supergroup's leaders, Noam Pikelny. Pikleny is one of the most interesting banjo players working right now, with an approach that combines every great banjo innovation of the last 40 years and plays them with a fluid ease that belies a fiery intensity, as seen on his record from last year Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe and his work in Punch Brothers. Their shared quartet is filled out by Shad Cobb on fiddle, who has added color to John Cowan, Jim Lauderdale, and Steve Earle, and Barry Bales on bass, who's played with Alison Krauss, Kenny Chesney, and Dolly Parton. Starts at 8:00pm. $23 tickets available at Ticketmaster.