Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Hey, Fred!" A Biased, Idiosyncratic Top Five for the Week of January 19-25, 2015

This is the most popular feature (within the very relative confines of that word as it relates to this). A look at things I want to shine some light on - not everything I'm going to do, and not quite (as the old version was) everything I'd do if money and time were no object.

These are my top 5 suggestions for the week in question - named for my great pal Fred Pfening and named long before it was born, by A., who suggested "Rick's going to have a blog called 'Hey, Fred! Here's what's coming to town...' - whatever media strike my fancy. It could be all theater one week, it could be all films or all readings or all gallery shows, but most weeks will include some if not mostly music - I hope to spark some conversations and get people excited about what I'm excited for. If you read this, let me know what would m ake this more useful to you. As well, if you get any value out of this, please send me links/invite me on Facebook/send up a carrier pigeon to let me know about your events.


National Gallery directed by Frederick Wiseman. Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N High St. Frederick Wiseman's documentaries get you the closest to the reality of a situation you will ever see on film. His dedication to getting it right in a way that's not sensationalized is a wonder and very, very rarely equaled in any medium. At 85, he's still doing riveting work you could get lost in, and I can't wait to see this exploration of London's National Gallery. An interview with Wiseman on Lumiere: A New Yorker review:

Screens on January 24, 2015, at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. $8 Tickets available at the Wexner Center website.


January 25: Richard Maxwell and the New York City Players, Isolde. Thurber Theatre at Drake Center, 1849 Cannon Drive (presented by the Wexner Center). Richard Maxwell, who makes theatre unlike almost anyone else and has for 25+ years bring his take on the wrenching, epic love story of Tristan and Isolde to town under the auspices of the Wexner Center. I'm not saying much about this here because I'm writing a full preview for Columbus Underground which I'll link to here when it posts, but nothing this week gets a higher recommendation from me. A titan. To tide you over, a an interview with the New Yorker and a review from Hyperallergic. 8:00pm. Tickets available at the Wexner Center website. 


January 20: Zola Jesus. Skully's Music Diner, 1151 N High St. Zola Jesus (real name Nika Rosa Danilova) returns to town after what seems like a protracted absence bringing her shuddering, restless, sultry songs and one of the richest, most resonant voices you'll hear live. She's broadened her scope through relentless collaboration and in the last few records exploded the songs with fascinating arrangements by the likes of J.G. Thirlwell (with Versions) and Tuba Joe (on Taiga). Taiga, the newest record of hers, was a bolder grab for pop music but it still sounds inimitably like her and there are great songs throughout. Angel Deradoorian from Dirty Projectors opens with her captivating baroque folk. Doors at 8:00pm. $20 tickets available at Ticketweb.
January 23: Margo and the Pricetags. Ace of Cups, 2619 N High St. Margo Price, formerly of  Nashville rock band Buffalo Clover, brings her classically-styled honk-tonk five piece The Pricetags to town with a fresh voice and a quiver of great, great songs. Where too much (or whatever you call it now) settles for monochromatic depression, Price remembers that the great weepers like Lefty Frizzell and Ernest Tubb also had more than a few dance numbers and could even keep you dancing and crying at the same time. Locals Meagan and Milan from the Alwood Sisters and cough-syrup country Drift Mouth open, and local singer-songwriter Chad Williams, who runs the DJ night Whiskey Jukebox, spins records between bands.. Doors at 9:00pm. $5 cover.

Pharmakon.  The Summit, 2210 Summit St. It took me a while for Pharmakon to make an impression. I didn't quite get it with her first record and her opening slot for Swans here in town. But her second album, Bestial Burden, and a 15 minute set I saw at PS1 for Return of Schizo-Culture burned the cataracts off my eyes. Her new work is some of the most moving, gripping composition about the dread and horror of knowing your own body can turn against you at any moment. It's a deep, cathartic, pulse-pounding music that doesn't give you any quarter in understanding. Locals Corrina and Slavehouse, along with Lafayette, Indiana's, Rev//Rev, open. Starts at 9:30pm. $10 cover.

Still Running

Visual Art

Esther Ruiz: Neon Dreams. Glass Axis, 610 W Town St.  Brooklyn artist Esther Ruiz is presenting a solo exhibition of her minimal futuristic landscapes that use glittering, shiny surfaces to conjure a vibration down the viewer's spine. I can't wait to see this work in person.  Opening Friday, January 9 from 5:00pm-9:00pm. On view through February 22, 2015. More information:


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