Sunday, February 1, 2015

"Hey, Fred!" 02/02-02/08/2015 A Biased and Idiosyncratic Top 5

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 make 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.

Visual Art

February 6: Exhibition Preview: Hassan Hajjaj and Fiber: Sculpture 1960-Present. Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N High St. After the flash and spectacle of Fall 2014's Transfigurations, the Wex focuses on its core competencies with the one-two punch of a video installation by fascinating Moroccan-born and London-based artist Hassan Hajjaj and a various artists' retrospective on the sculptural properties of textiles. Fiber was curated by Jenelle Porter and comes to us from the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. A review of Fiber from its previous run: More information on Hajjaj, from his New York gallery, Taymour Grahne:  This preview is open to the public 6-9pm on February 6. The exhibitions run from February 7-April 12.


Romance Romance by Barry Harman and Keith Herrmann presented by Red Herring Theatre. Riffe Center Studio 2 Theater, 77 S High St. Red Herring haven't made a bad show in the time since their return. Regular (ha!) readers of my blog will remember my raves about Thicker than Water and Assassins so you know I'm looking forward to seeing their Central Ohio premier production of this music, with a dream team on stage and backstage including director John Dranschak, musical director Pam Welsh-Huggins, and stars Nick Lingnofski and Kate Lingnofski. Hopes and expectations are high. Runs 8:00pm Thursday through Saturday February 5-February 14th with 2:00pm matinee shows on Sunday February 8 and Saturday February 14. $20 tickets in advance by phone, more information at


February 7: An Afternoon of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Bexley Public Library, 2411 E Main St. For as long as I can remember, this area has been overflowing with SF/F writers of the highest caliber. This event at Bexley Public Library brings together four of the brightest lights right now to read and discuss their work. Jason Sanford (no relation), has been nominated for SFWA's Nebula Award and the BSFA award. Paul Melko's acclaimed hard science fiction novels include Singularity's Ring and The Walls of the Universe and have been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards. Gary Braunbeck, for my money, is one of the finest short story writers working today with heart-wrenching work that conjures a vein of the gothic going back to McCullers, O'Connor, and even Hawthorne but with a contemporary literary sensibility that recalls Russell Banks, that's led to his winning five Bram Stoker Awards among other awards like the International Horror Guild award. Lucy Snyder writes fantastic work in a dizzying array of genres from formal poetry to erotica with a particular focus on urban fantasy lately in her acclaimed Jessie Shimmer novels. Begins at 2:00pm. Free Event.


February 4: Cult of Youth. Ace of Cups, 2619 N High St. In the few years since their first album, and since they last played Columbus in a Skully's show that was almost there but left me a little unsatisfied, Cult of Youth had an almost-complete turnover of members around singer-songwriter Seth Ragon and refined both their sound and their attack. They've shed some of the overt Clash references and the New Romantic textures and let in some wildness and looseness, a controlled chaos around Ragon's growl that at times conjures early Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds or even Current 93. But even in the more avant arrangements (the interplay between Paige Flash on cello and Christian Kount on guitar is incendiary) there's always a core of rock-solid folk-tinged songwriting there. Riveting harmonium-based locals Cosmic Moon and the new project from Kevin Failure (Pink Reason), Brass Orchids, open, with Scott and Erin Void DJing between bands. Starts at 9:00pm. $7 cover.

February 7: Nyodene D. The Summit, 2210 Summit St. Nyodene D, Aaron Wilk from Pennsylvania, for a number of years has made a transcendent, even beautiful art out of the tricks and tropes of harsh noise. The textures aim to get behind your initial reactions and under that layer of your brain like pudding skin that filters and keeps out the toxins, built in layers of detritus by the banal ugliness of the world. If you're anything like me, this is the kind of therapeutic acid bath your soul needs once in a while. Check out this interview from Heathen Harvest: His kindred spirit, Envenomist, one of Columbus's shining lights in gorgeously arranged grim electronic music, who plays out very rarely, opens, along with Ty Owen and Lord Hypnos. Starts at 10:00pm. $5 cover.


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