Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Hey, Fred!" Nights Out 10/27-11/02/2014

The week after CMJ in NYC frequently coincides with Halloween, and the combination of bedraggled middle America bands making their way back home from selling themselves and local bands doing cover sets of varying intensity and joy often makes for one of the more exciting weeks all year in a crossroads town like this. And while this year seems a little light, there’s still more stuff I’m excited about than I’ll be able to make it to - my favorite problem to have.


October 30, 2014

Will Eisner: Life and Legacy presented by Jeff Smith; Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, 1871 N. High St.  Will Eisner revolutionized comics storytelling over and over again. It's hard for me to think of someone who had a bigger impact on popular art I grew up loving, and getting to see Eisner speak when I was in high school is one of my favorite memories even all these years later. Jeff Smith, hometown hero and creator of Bone, Rasl, and other work, is presenting a lecture to tie in with the Billy Ireland's jaw-dropping exhibition, Will Eisner: 75 Years of Graphic Storytelling. Don't miss this.  Reception at 6:00pm; lecture at 7:30pm. Free.

November 1, 2014

The Ohio Meatgrinder Poetry Slam; Park Street Tavern, 501 Park St.  Scott Woods and Louise Robertson, beyond being two of my favorite poets in town (or anywhere), have done immeasurable good for this city's poetry scene through their education and organization efforts. Over the last 17 or 18 years, Woods' Writer's Block Poetry night (with Vernell Bristow) has spawned the reading scene as we know it, which has flowered into competing nights and a state so healthy Columbus has sent three very competitive teams some years to the National Poetry Slam. So if those two are running a slam - especially a slam that promises to tweak the orthodoxies that have grown up in the major slam rules (no props, etc.), but keep the core quality that made it so exciting in the first place (brevity and the sense of everyone trying to outdo one another), I sit up and take notice. There are also side events like workshops; see for the full schedule. Preliminary Bouts start at 3:00pm and are $5. Finals start at 8:00pm and are $10.


October 29, 2014

New Bomb Turks and Spider Bags; Ace of Cups, 2617 N. High St.  Like the buzzards returning to Hinckley, every year seems to bring at least one homecoming of the New Bomb Turks, and even in a period of mostly inactivity (aside from an offer they can’t refuse usually paired with a hometown show), it’s still something to be celebrated. They still sound fresher and move a crowd harder than bands half their age who practice ten times as often, and the catalog of some of the best rock and roll songs anyone’s ever written in this town is a can’t-miss proposition. Get there early enough for Chapel Hill’s Spider Bags opening; their blend of fuzzy roots-stumble reminiscent a little of Grandaddy or Ass Ponys should be a properly loopy appetizer.  Starts at 7pm. $8 tickets available at the bar.

Mary Lambert and Jillette Johnson; A&R Bar, 391 Neil Ave.  I’m the farthest thing from a Macklemore fan – current proof that you can root for someone socio-politically but have no aesthetic connection to their music at all – but a big part of the reason his very earnest anthem “Same Love” connected like it did and sounds so great on the jukebox at a bar (I just heard it a week ago across the street before the OBN IIIs show) was Mary Lambert’s hook. Her first solo album is out and from a couple listens it’s the kind of Elton John/Sade-ish pop-soul I used to hear a lot of as a kid and I don’t hear much on the radio these days and didn’t even realize I missed it until this hit my radar. It’s quirky, it’s beautiful, and to say the hooks are ingratiating would be an understatement. Jillette Johnson from NYC, who made a terrific piano based record, Water in a Whale, last year, seems like she’ll be the perfect opener for this.  Doors at 7pm. $17 tickets available on Ticketmaster..

Ora Iso; Café Bourbon Street, 2216 Summit St.  I’m very glad this show is happening late enough I can see it after the NBT appearance at Ace because, after doing some digging when I heard about the show, this hits all my buttons. A duo, Kathleen Malay and Jason Kudo make jagged and swirling soundscapes in which big rhythms suddenly rise up like just-cooled steel - they remind me most of Throbbing Gristle, but also veer into the more meditative terrain of Coil, with splashes of Prurient. Mark Van Fleet of the great and much-missed Sword Heaven and other locals, Band, and Of Verandas open.  Starts at 10pm. $5 cover.

October 30, 2014

Sinkane and Helado Negro; Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High St.  Ahmed Gallab’s Sinkane project should be the source of the most hometown pride from this music scene since RJD2. His new record on DFA Records, Mean Love, is easily one of my favorites of the year, a masterpiece of slow burn sinewy texture and hooks as sticky as tar. And a great double bill with Roberto Lange’s Helado Negro opening, who also made what I think is the best record of their career this year.  Starts at 8pm. $16 tickets at the Wexner website.

October 31, 2014

The Gizmos; The Summit, 2210 Summit St.  Legendary Indianapolis first wave punk band The Gizmos reunited an early lineup this year and reports from the shows have been astounding, especially friends of mine saying Bim Thomas (Bassholes, This Moment in Black History, Obnox) and Craig Bell (Rocket from the Tombs) sat in with them at Gonerfest, a show we missed because we knew they'd be coming here. The bill is filled out by Columbus all-stars, including the legendary Mike Rep with his new trio Last Call featuring one of my favorite rock drummers in town, Chris Pierce; raw punk band The Sick Thrills; and The Hexers, about whom I've written in this space many times.  Doors at 10pm. $10 cover.

Lyle Lovett and His Acoustic Group; McCoy Center for the Arts, 100 W. Dublin Granville Rd, New Albany, OH.  One of the finest songwriters and bandleaders of the last 30 years is making a second trip to the area in a six-month period, this time with his acoustic group. Lovett's easy charm and low-key intensity translate just as well with the sparser arrangements and often with a wider range of song choices. Anchored by bassist Viktor Krauss, of many of Bill Frisell's best groups, he's bringing a crack band including violin player  Luke Bulla and mandolinist Keith Sewell.  Starts at 8pm. $42 tickets available at Ticketmaster. 


Monday, October 20, 2014

"Hey, Fred!" Nights Out 10/20-10/26/2014

A lighter week as what used to be called “Rocktober” starts to crest, but with CMJ happening this week in NYC I expect we’ll get some runoff as bands make their way home next week. Still a few things that should not be missed.

Visual Art

October 21, 2014

Marjane Satrapi talk; Canzani Center at the Columbus College of Art and Design, 60 Cleveland Ave.  Like many people, I came to Marjane Satrapi through her stunning comic book memoir about the Iranian revolution, Persepolis. Part of a wave of fascinating expressionist biographical cartoon work that expanded and exploded previous benchmarks like Chester Brown and Harvey Pekar, her two-part Persepolis was funny, riveting, and incredibly moving, and her later, smaller-scale work has held to that high standard. If you have any interest in comic books or storytelling, do not miss this.  6:30pm. Free.

October 22, 2014

Jodie Mack: Let Your Light Shine; Wexner Center, 1871 N. High St.  One of the leading lights in contemporary experimental filmmaking, Mack comes to town with five of her short films, the centerpiece of which, Dusty Stacks of Mom, is a look at her mother’s poster store, with Mack singing new lyrics to a score composed to time with Dark Side of the Moon. I’ve seen very little of Mack’s work, so I couldn’t be more excited for this.  7:00pm. $8 tickets available.


Aakash Odedra: Rising; Wexner Center, 1871 N. High St.  The Wexner Center’s always a conduit for really interesting modern dance that would likely never come to town otherwise. Odedra’s been a muse for choreographers like Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, both of whose work has blown me away  before, so his first solo show making its first trip to the US should be magical.  8pm Thursday, October 23 - Saturday, October 25; 2pm Sunday, October 26. $18.


October 20, 2014

tUnE-yArDs; Newport Music Hall, 1722 N. High St.  There aren’t a lot of artists whose work gives me the kind of true, mainlined pleasure tUnE-yArDs’ records do. Merrill Garbus’s songs have a rich empathy and a strong spine of self-criticism wrapped in a fascinating abstraction of world music grooves. Her record this year, Nikki Nack, took me a little while to warm up to because I missed the afrobeat-recalling horn charts of her masterpiece whokill, but over the last few months it’s been one of the records I’ve played most this year and maybe one of my favorite records of the year. Her last show at the Wexner Center set my hair on fire, so I can’t wait to see what the current band does in a bigger concert hall. Rising soul singer James Tillman, based in NYC, opens.  Doors at 7:00pm. $20 tickets available.

October 21, 2014

Low; Rumba Café, 2507 Summit St.  Over the last decade, Low has emerged from their slowcore cocoon and embraced additional colors, textures, and rhythms without sacrificing that ineffable thing that vibrates the hearts of anyone who loves that band. Seeing them in a venue as intimate as Rumba should be magical.  Starts at 8:00pm. $15 tickets.

October 23, 2014

Los Straitjackets and Deke Dickerson; Woodlands Tavern, 1200 W. Third Ave.  Everyone’s favorite luchadore mask-clad instrumental surf rockers have been experimenting with singers for a while, most successfully with Big Sandy (whose show with them at Little Brothers is still one of best shows I’ve ever seen), but if the new record, Sings the Greatest Instrumental Hits, is any indication, their collaboration with rockabilly icon (and no slouch as a guitar-slinger) Deke Dickerson might take the cake. Dickerson found original lyrics to songs that are often played as instrumentals, like “Honky Tonk,” “Perfidia,” and “Sleepwalk.” Expect a wild trip down memory lane and some frenzied dancing. The B-Sides open.  Starts at 8:00pm. $15 tickets.

October 24, 2014

Muyassar Kurdi and Rob Jacobs; Skylab Gallery, 57 E. Gay St (5th Floor).  In her main project, The Humminbird, Muyassar Kurdi is carving out fascinating, intricate droning folk like almost no one else. Fellow Chicago singer Rob Jacobs is her tour-mate this time; some of his work includes settings of poems by Lorca and Rumi. Locals Mark Van Fleet (Sword Heaven) and Jocelyn Hach open.  Starts at 10:00pm. $5 cover.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"Hey, Fred!" Nights Out 10/13-10/19/2014

Much lighter week this week than the last couple, but that's no bad thing and there are still a few things I'd suggest no one reading this miss. Linchpin of the week for me is Blackheart Fest, a three day tribute to the very much missed Joey Moore who passed away a few months ago; details as the weekend hits.

 October 14, 2014

Dayna Kurtz; Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza, 5601 N. High St.  Dayna Kurtz first hit my radar when she and Mamie Minch teamed up to release a tribute EP to the great Hazel Dickens, the feminist bluegrass poet of sweat and struggle. After being blown away by that, in both audacity and execution, I checked out her other records and was fully in. Kurtz finds new shadings in the oft-traversed borderline of folk and jazz singing. On her originals, she deploys a thick, sultry voice and a gimlet lyrical eye that recalls Joni Mitchell and Richard Thompson at their most cynical and even a little Dorothy Parker. On her Secret Canon covers records, she draws lines from one of my favorite doo wop songs, "Don't Fuck Around With Love" (anyone who ever shared a barstool with me at the Lakeside  Lounge - RIP - has heard this echoing through our whiskeys) through Nat King Cole's "If Yesterday Could Only Be Tomorrow" and Abbey Lincoln's "Take Me in Your Arms" to Eddie Bo's "So Glad." This should be another home run for Alec Wightman's Zeppelin Productions.  Starts at 8pm. $20 tickets available here.

October 15, 2014

Tim Carroll & Midnight Orange; Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza, 5601 N. High St.  The other preeminent Americana booker in town, Bob Teague, brings legendary songwriter and guitarist Tim Carroll to Natalie's with his new rhythm section of Bones Hillman from Midnight Oil on bass and Steve Latanation from Th' Legendary Shack Shakers and a later lineup of Agent Orange on drums. Carroll's sandpaper voice and slashing guitar traverse Bo Diddley and Luther Perkins through Curtis Mayfield and Jimmy Nolen, and the songs stab you in the heart. Those songs  have been covered by no less than Todd Snider, John Prine, and Duane Jarvis. He's written with greats like Bobby Bare, Jr. and his wife Elizabeth Cook. They've been played by bands as wide-ranging as The Dicks, Sick of it All, and Asleep at the Wheel. He even got one of two positive shout outs on Robbie Fulks' acid tribute to Nashville, "Fuck This Town." If you care about American song and you're not still nursing your liver and lights from the night before, don't miss this.  Starts at 8pm. $10 tickets available here.

October 16, 2014

OBN IIIs; Ace of Cups, 2617 N. High St.  OBNIIIs are probably my favorite band I ever discovered at a Gonerfest and if you've talked to me for more than five minutes you know that's saying something. Orville Neeley, who came through town recently with his trio Bad Sports in one of my favorite shows so far this year, leads this five-piece that lets him explore textures and let loose in ways his myriad other bands don't quite. Their third album, Third Time to Harm, goes to a heavier riff-oriented place and also a sexier, sultrier groove, conjuring the MC5 and Cheap Trick and Deep Purple and even early Alice Cooper Band, but don't be confused - it still has the raging energy of the earlier more Dictators-flavored work, that energy is just coiled tighter... or held in a fist. He's one of the best frontmen I've ever seen, and this should be seen any time they deign to leave Texas and cross the heartland. Miss this at your peril. Locals Turquoise Feeling open.  Doors at 9pm. $5 cover.

Entrance Band with Juan Wauters and PC Worship; Double Happiness, 482 S. Front St.  Guy Blakeslee's psych band Entrance (whose current lineup also features Paz Lenchantin) hits me a little unevenly but the high points are very high, justifying their touring with heavyweights like Spiritualized and Sonic Youth, and Double Happiness is the perfect venue to come out and get your third eye washed. Also, this is a really stacked bill, with a pair of NYC bands opening - Juan Wauters from The Beets bringing his cracked pop songs, and PC Worship, who are destroying right now with bursts of ferocious free-jazz noise submerged in drugged-out punk drones and krautrock beats.  Starts at 8pm. $8 cover.

October 17, 2014

We Used to Drink Together Records party; Tree Bar, 887 Chambers Rd.  Local songwriter/band leader/bon vivant Sean Woosley is putting out a compilation titled We Used to Drink Together and this is a preview show to raise funds. It's stacked with things you should see if you've got any interest in local rock and roll, from opening with a rare set from legendary Columbus songstress Jenny Mae at 9:30 to closing with Dan Spurgeon from Greenhorn's current project Bush League All Stars at midnight, including Chris Hughes from Salvage, Total Foxx with Dave and Melanie Holm, Jeff Clowdus, and Ed Mann, and St Louis's ferocious two-piece Bruiser Queen all providing the creamy filling in the middle.  Doors at 9:00pm. $5 cover.

Lo-Pan record release; Ace of Cups, 2617 N. High St.  Lo-Pan have been raking in well-deserved praise and this record release should serve as a victory lap and a preview of the next level they're about to take it to. With every album the grooves get thicker, the riffs get stickier, and the howl gets more intense, and I see no reason to expect this to not continue the trend. Two of Columbus's finest proponents of the intersection between a heavy stomp and a sexy grind open, low-end instrumentalists Bridesmaid and psych-tinged Brujas del Sol, along with Brooklyn's Black Black Black.  Doors at 9pm. $5 cover.

Blackheart Fest; Cafe Bourbon St, 2216 Summit St.  One of my favorite things is when Columbus pulls together for a common good, and this tribute to one of our own, Joey Moore, should be both a sad occasion and one of the most riotous celebrations of life we've seen all year. Highlights for me are below. Beyond what I specifically give a sentence to, there are plenty of bands I'm not familiar with yet I'm looking to get my mind blown by, so check the whole schedule at and see as much of this over the three days as you can.  Starts at 8pm. $5 cover. Proceeds go towards efforts to reduce the cultural stigma surrounding addiction and getting help and resources to those who desperately need it.
  • 11pm - Sophomore - This is the new project from Emily Allen of The Means, Estee Louder, The Vultures, and The Bloody Matt Dillons, so it automatically moves to the top of my list as something to check out.
  • 1am - Estee Louder - Anyone who said "you can't go home again" (that's right, Tom Wolfe, I'm looking at you, motherfucker) hasn't had their head bashed in by the fantastic reunited Estee Louder, back after an almost 10-year hiatus with original members Ray Johnson singing, Annie Lightbrown-Wolfe on drums, Emily Allen on bass, and new recruit Mickey Marie from Nervosas on guitar, who is the equivalent of adding extra fingers to a fist. I can't think of another example of a band coming back after that long a period of inactivity and rocking me this hard.
  • Midnight - Dead Girlfriends - Eleanor Sinacola from Carson Drew (sister of Jessica Wabbit of The Girls! and Lydia Loveless) fronts a band that's maybe closest to Carson Drew's sound: narcotized, torchy, mean punk. Songs cut down to the bone and delivered with a howl and big drums that will haunt you for days.
October 18, 2014

Blackheart Fest; Cafe Bourbon St, 2216 Summit St., and The Summit, 2210 Summit St.  One of my favorite things is when Columbus pulls together for a common good, and this tribute to one of our own, Joey Moore, should be both a sad occasion and one of the most riotous celebrations of life we've seen all year. Highlights for me are below. Beyond what I specifically give a sentence to, there are plenty of bands I'm not familiar with yet I'm looking to get my mind blown by, so check the whole schedule at and see as much of this over the three days as you can.  Starts at 2pm. $7 cover for all day and all night in both sides. Proceeds go towards efforts to reduce the cultural stigma surrounding addiction and getting help and resources to those who desperately need it.
  • Cafe Bourbon Street side:
    • 2pm - The Gallows - Joey's first band in Columbus reunited, they flew under the radar of a lot of people in town (including, I'm sorry to say, me for much of their existence). It's fitting that this is opening the biggest day of Blackheart fest, and even if you don't know the history it's a chance to get acquainted with some of the best pop-punk songs anyone ever wrote in town.
    • 8pm - Messrs - One of the noisier elements of the fest, Bo Davis's side project should bed a fuzzy palate cleanser before the night starts in earnest.
    • 9:30pm - Senor Citizen and the Border Patrol - Aleks Shaulov's current band is a bracing blast of straight-up punk rock and always worth checking out.
    • 11pm - Nervosas - Maybe the best band in town, this trio of Mickey Marie, Jeff Kleinman, and Nick Schuld takes elements of The Cramps and Wire and and The Wipers and X and combines them into something that always feels completely new and fresh.
  • The Summit side:
    • 7:15pm - Drift Mouth - I've raved about this band in this space plenty, but we're late enough in the year that I'm confident calling this my favorite new band. Snarling, narcotized country, with a riveting frontman in Lou Poster and a collection of all-stars backing him. Somehow this band always finds new shades of brown and makes everything else that day fall away for the duration of their set.
    • 8:45pm - The Hexers - Always in contention for the best band in town, The Hexers have really grown into their new two-guitar configuration, and their girl group-styled dances and stomps with some of the best hooks in town are not to be missed. If you don't see The Hexers, years from now your friends will be calling you an idiot.
    • 10:15pm - The Girls! - The band Moore, for whom this tribute is taking place, was most recently in. Some of the best songs in town, one of the most exciting stage shows, the new lead guitarist coming into his own - it's triumphant seeing them back in full fighting form. 
    • 11:45pm - Pink Reason - A rare reunion of one of my favorite local bands, who have been through so many iterations and lineups that I'm not sure what we're getting this time, but I can guarantee I'll be in front checking it out.
October 19, 2014

Tonos Triad; Natalie's Coal-Fired Pizza, 5601 N. High St.  Natalie's Sunday afternoon shows find ways to present interesting music that also isn't overpowering people at brunch. I'm willing to bet good money I'll need some hair of the dog and coal-fired pizza after the good-time marathon on Saturday, which dovetails with an appearance by Indy's Tonos Triad. They say they're influenced by John Zorn, Tin Hat Trio, and Tom Waits, so this trio of guitar, bass, and accordion/mandolin should be right in my hungover wheelhouse.  Starts at noon. Free.

Blackheart Fest; Used Kids Record, 1980 N. High St.  One of my favorite things is when Columbus pulls together for a common good, and this tribute to one of our own, Joey Moore, should be both a sad occasion and one of the most riotous celebrations of life we've seen all year. Highlights for me are below. Beyond what I specifically give a sentence to, there are plenty of bands I'm not familiar with yet I'm looking to get my mind blown by, so check the whole schedule at and see as much of this over the three days as you can.  Starts at 1pm. Free, but donations are encouraged. Proceeds go towards efforts to reduce the cultural stigma surrounding addiction and getting help and resources to those who desperately need it.
  • 2pm - The Sin Shouters - I just saw them last week and it was like a raunchy tent revival dance party. A look back at every good, greasy, jukejoint genre, with vocals that feel unstuck in time in all the best ways.
  • 3pm - Day Creeper - Long one of my favorite bands in town, they've synthesized their Jam fandom with frontman Aaron Troyer's rootsier tendencies into something that feels new and vital.
  • 4pm - Washington Beach Bums - If this is anything like the show I saw last Saturday, Washington Beach Bums are back to basics with sets of winking short classic punk rock about partying that made them Columbus's sweethearts.
  • 5pm - Gamma World - I'm really glad they're closing the day show with something at a right angle from everything before, Jeff Kleinman's awesome damaged electronic project. Because Columbus doesn't know just one dance.

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Hey, Fred!" Nights Out 10/06-10/12/2014

I apologize for the week off – I far overestimated the amount of energy I’d have after a long weekend and going back to work the next day. Next time I’m going to be out of town I’ll try to plan better. I hope everyone reading this got out and did something great in the week not forewarned because there was a cultural bounty in town and speaking strictly for me nothing was bad.

Also, due to technical difficulties at the homestead, no links this time. Mea culpa.

Visual Art

October 7, 2014

TJ Clark Talk; Wexner Center, 1871 N High St. One of the finest art historians working today, TJ Clark, whose last book neatly ties into the mammoth Transfigurations exhibition (Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica), returns to the Wexner to dissect two of Picasso’s landmark paintings both from 1932 – Nu au plateau de sculpteur and Nu au fauteuil noir. This should be electrifying. Free event. Reservations at Wexner website.


October 6, 2014

Screaming Females; Ace of Cups, 2619 N High St. One of the finest rock and roll bands working today, Marisa Paternoster’s power trio out of New Burnswick, New Jersey, have gotten bigger in their appeal and sound and sharper and more defined in their attack over their five albums. Paternoster’s buzzsaw guitar and acidic howl distill everything I’ve ever loved about punk rock with a sly wit and then fuse that to a rhythm section that swings and stomps.  A case study in recombining elements that are far from new but making them sound as fresh as a slap in the face. Nashville’s Pujol and Cincinnati’s Vacation open. Doors at 8pm. $10 cover.

October 8, 2014

Cory Branan; Lost Weekend Records, 2690 N High (5pm instore) and Rumba Café, 2507 Summit St (9pm show). Cory Branan is riding a wave of hype any rootsy songwriter would envy with his new Bloodshot Records release The No-Hit Wonderincluding guest appearances by heavyweights like Jason Isbell, Caitlin Rose, and Columbus expat Tim Easton, and the praise and the confidence of other stars are both richly deserved. Branan’s got a honeyed drawl with just enough dirt on it and an easygoing delivery that belies a cold-eyed understanding and an empathy that should put most of us to shame, with insidious hooks that don’t call attention to themselves will be stuck in your head for days. A record that for me recalls Easton’s solo debut Special 20 more than anything else but also a little Guy Clark’s Dublin Blues, Emmylou Harris’s Red Dirt Girl, and John Prine’s The Missing Years, records that already had some life and a surfeit of confidence to them. Kindred spirit, Two Cow Garage’s Shane Sweeney opens the Rumba show along with longtime Columbus jack of all trades Aaron Pauley. Instore is a free event. Rumba Café is $10, tickets available at Ticketweb.

Matt Adams Quartet; Dick’s Den, 2417 N High St.This week’s installment of bassist Matt Paetsch’s residency at Dick’s featuring the Matt Adams Quartet with led by trumpeter Adams and featuring Tony Bonardi on keys and Max Button on drums. Adams has long been a bracing trumpet voice in New Basics Brass Band and an instructor at Capital, it’s always a joy to hear his tone cutting through chatter and clouded thoughts in his rare small-group outings and it should be wondrous to hear the new material he’s been writing played by this finely tuned ensemble. More information at Jazz Columbus. Starts at 9:30. $4 cover.

Danny Bauer Quartet; Brothers Drake, 26 E 5th Ave. I haven’t seen Bauer yet but I’m very intrigued by this tribute to the Chris Potter Underground, a group led by one of my favorite saxophone players working today whose sound blew me away hearing him on Paul Motian and Dave Holland records (and live with both of them) in High School and College. This has the potential to be a really interesting airing out and expansion of some repertory not often explored. And Bauer has a powerhouse band with him for this, augmenting his keys with Bryan Olsheski on sax, Josh Hill on guitar, and Zach Compson on drums. A bigger and better writeup of this is at my pal Andrew Patton’s column at Jazz Columbus but consider this officially cosigned by me. Starts at 8pm. Free event.

October 9, 2014

Sharon Van Etten; Wexner Center, 1871 N High St. I saw Sharon Van Etten play a solo show – just her and an electric guitar – at a day show at CMJ in 2009 right before the ferocious garage-pop assault of Smith Westerns and I still remember that set like it was yesterday. Van Etten used space and silence like knives and every song kept that upstairs room rapt like I’ve very rarely seen in any circumstance, especially an event like CMJ where sometimes the loudest voice and the best drink special wins. That record, Because I Was in Love, is one of my favorite records of the last 10 years, and her followup, epic,also tore me apart. She lost me a little bit with Trampbut this year’s Are We There is a stunning return to form, continuing to dig deeper into herself while broadening her canvas. Starts at 8pm. $18 tickets available at the Wexner Center website.

Junior Brown; Woodlands Tavern, 1200 W 3rd Ave. Junior Brown is the kind of entertainer you’re lucky to see once in your lifetime. He’s a virtuosic guitar player playing a gimmick combination of electric guitar and pedal steel who overcomes any gimmick or trained seal guitar pyrotechnics connotations within one song. He comes with a rich singing voice that conjures Ray Price and Hank Locklin. And he writes some of the best country songs anyone’s written in the last 30 years. A mix of honky-tonk and western swing that’ll satisfy the purists of either but breaks through to people without any interest in country music. Texas duo The Roosevelts open. Starts at 9:00pm. $20 tickets available at Ticketweb.

New Gentle Soul and the Sin Shouters; Tree Bar, 887 Chambers Rd. I’m making an exception to one of my general rules because these bands haven’t played a lot and I’m afraid this show might get lost in the shuffle. New Gentle Soul is three of my favorite songwriters in town, Tutti Jackson (from Action Family and The Patsys), Travis Kokas (from The Cusacks) and Matt Benz (The Sovines and The Beatdowns) teaming up to create something that at least lives up to the sum of its parts, not small praise when you consider those three have led some of my favorite bands and written some of my favorite songs ever. Tutti on bass that walks and swings and trading off lead and backing vocals with Travis, and Travis and Matt’s intertwining guitar lines (sometimes on two 12-strings for a harmonic web you can get beautifully lost in) and rock-solid drummer Gene Brodeur finding new fills and textures in his always impeccable dancefloor beat. This band has the makings of some of the most interesting rock and roll in town,  heavily drawing on the Paisley Underground but with the best elements of ‘60s beat music and ‘90s shoegaze and glittering country melody, including covers of The Monkees, Everly Brothers, and the Velvets. Sin Shouters share a member in lead guitarist Matt Benz and the lineup’s identical to the first lineup of The Sovines (very possibly my favorite Columbus band of all time) with Bob Starker on vocals, rhythm guitar and sax, Ed Mann on bass and backing vocals, and Pete English on drums, but they’re not sharing any material with their storied earlier band. This is a fresh start leaning more on the wild rock they grew up with like The J. Geils Band and The Flamin’ Groovies. Starts at 10:00pm, $5 cover.

October 10, 2014

Bria Skonberg Quintet; Lincoln Theatre, 769 E Long St. One of the shining stars of the hot jazz revival in NYC right now, Bria Skonberg’s new record Into Your Own, is a sultry record bringing stone classics like “Winin’ Boy Blues” and “Laura” into a contemporary context but also writing originals that have a beating songwriters heart, not just writing melodies to solo over. Starts at 8pm. $20 tickets available at Ticketmaster.

Los Gravediggers; King Avenue 5, 945 King Ave. Los Gravediggers is the best band Quinn Fallon’s had in town, stripping away some of the jokey qualities and arena-esque flash and filigree and concentrating his observations and lyrical wit into some great, catchy songs. This is a release party for the new record, Get a New Ghost, ; Word from people who’ve heard it is it’s his best collaboration yet with producer Dan Baird and sports guest appearances from Al Perkins and Rolling Stones sax legend Bobby Keys. King 5 isn’t someplace I go very often but when I do I always have a better time than I expected, with one of the best sound systems in town, great sightlines, and cheerful, fast bartenders. For this kind of meat and potatoes rock it seems like the perfect spot in town. Hardest working band in Columbus, Erica Blinn and the Handsome Machine open. Starts at 9:00pm. $5 cover.

October 11, 2014

Landfall by Laurie Anderson and the Kronos Quartet; Wexner Center, 1871 N High St. Laurie Anderson’s been a favorite of mine since the first time I heard her and while the Kronos Quartet took me a while to come around to after my first exposure in High School I’ve since seen the light. One of the finest modern string quartets working and an unassailable force for good in commissioning and arranging new work. This first collaboration between the two – introduced at the Wexner Center’s opening in 1989 – comes to town a few weeks after its performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and I can’t wait. A storytelling-based collaboration with arrangements by Jacob Garchik (whose record The Heavens was one of my favorites of 2012 and if anyone’s listening I’d love to see come through town with his trombone-based music). Starts at 8pm. Tickets start at $27 and are available at the Wexner Center website.

UK28 Part 2; Ace of Cups, 2619 N High St. The bar-based second half of Used Kids Records’ 28thanniversary celebration features a terrific and diverse lineup at Ace of Cups. Highlights for me are the new lineup of The Girls! (about whom I’ve written a lot in this space) and the slinky R&B of Renee Dion and Jon Rogers, but everything’s worth checking out including Counterfeit Madison, Cliffs and Washington Beach Bums. Starts at 9:00pm, $5 cover.

October 12, 2014

Merchandise; Ace of Cups, 2619 N High St.Merchandise updates and upholds the classic 4AD aesthetic in equal measures, with their new recordAfter the End jettisoning their previous taste for noise and krautrock and wrapping the heavier Smiths influences in some lush REM-style guitar. I’m not sure what the live show sounds like these days but they’re worth checking out in any guise they wear. Dutch band Lower who channel similarly brooding and dramatic archetypes open along with local assault unit Unholy 2. Starts at 9:00pm. $8 tickets available at Ticketleap.