Sunday, February 15, 2015

"Hey, Fred!" 02/16/15-02/22/15 A Biased and Idiosyncratic Top Five

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.


February 21: Mark Lomax and Edwin Bayard, BlackLivesMatter Album Release; Kafe Kerouac, 2250 N High St. Anyone who thinks jazz is disconnected from current events or concerned with virtuosity at the expense of live can, first, go fuck themselves. Second, they should get their ears and soul thoroughly scoured at the release party for a majestic, righteously furious album by the duo of percussionist Mark Lomax and tenor sax player Edwin Bayard. The first time I ever saw Lomax lead a band was his old group Blacklist playing behind Amiri Baraka at the King Arts Center, the most recent time was his trio (also featuring Bayard) bringing some needed acidity and sharpness to the Jazz and Rib Fest downtown, and he's never less than jaw-dropping. This new record, BlackLivesMatter, reckons with the newest flowering of a long line of disgrace and dehumanization and horror and not only looks it in the face but comes out swinging. It's a blood-and-fist-pumping ecstatic masterpiece that should be talked about in the same breath as Mingus and Roach and Coltrane, but it's no history lesson. Poet Scott Woods put together this show (and wrote the brilliant liner notes for the record) and I believe will lead a Q&A with Lomax and Bayard after. The record can be downloaded for free at Lomax's website: Show starts at 5:00pm. $10 cover.

February 21: Aaron Quinn, New Music for Percussion and Guitar. Brothers Drake Meadery, 26 E 5th Ave. Aaron Quinn, after a couple years being one of the finest jazz guitarists in Columbus, took off for NYC but is back for a few days and a couple amazing-looking shows. For this, at Brothers Drake, a club he practically owned the stage of during its Jazz Wednesday series, he's put together a showcase of new compositions for percussion, guitar, "and other inferior instruments" by himself as well as longtime friends and compatriots including Alex Burgoyne, Seth Daily, Aditya Jayanthi, Ryan Jewell, Frances Litterski, and Larry Marotta. Feel the pulse of the cutting edge while warming up with a fine cocktail in one of the best listening rooms in town. Show starts at 5:00pm. Free, tips encouraged.

February 21: Cheetah Chrome. Shrunken Head, 251 W 5th Ave. If you love rock and roll you shouldn't miss this chance to see one of its guitar legends in a room this small. Of all the great rock Ohio has given the world over the years, Rocket From the Tombs and its offshoots, Pere Ubu and Dead Boys, is among the greatest, and Cheetah Chrome (born Gene O'Connor)'s lead guitar was the juice in both Rocket and the Boys. Music that recombined the DNA of rhythmic, throbbing, sexy rock and roll and helped jumpstart punk and its more avant-garde offshoots. The Dead Boys first record, Young, Loud, and Snotty still sounds as fresh, as thrilling, and as hard to ignore as ever. Cleveland native Chrome, now based in Nashville, has in the last few years put out a terrific memoir, a brash, joyous record called Solo, and recorded with Sylvain Sylvain, Drivin' and Cryin', and The Batusis, and he's still playing great, so this appearance should be a treat. The bill is rounded out by longstanding Detroit glam-punk ringleader Ricky Rat, formerly of the Trash Brats, and Columbus stalwarts Little Orphan Anarchy. Show starts at 9:00pm. $10 tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets.

February 21: Hypnotide. Dick's Den, 2417 N High St. Local surf-rock provocateur supergroup, Hypnotide, featuring Brett Burleson on bass, Joe Nelson on drums, and the dueling guitars of Aaron Quinn and Larry Marotta, were never less than a house-shaking party whenever I saw them, and best of all doing three sets at Dick's Den. Great compositions, great grooves, great taste in repertoire you'll get a little more of in this context than you would just seeing one set - I remember a long, reharmonized version of "Surfer Girl" that made my rye whiskey age in my glass it was so hot and rich. Their long awaited record is coming out and Quinn's back in town (see above) for the release party. I expect this to be the rare record release party that fully lives up to the party in its name. There's a lot going on this night, but if you manage to make it to this for the first set, you might never leave, and if you make it for the last set, I guarantee you'll be glad you did. Show starts at 10:00pm. $4 cover. 

Turkuaz, Pimps of Joytime, MojoFlo, and Deep Fried Five. Park Street Saloon, 533 Park St. This is one of the most loaded bills for pure funky goodness in recent memory. Locals MojoFlo have been killing it of late, heavy touring and Columbus gigging have made their stage show a can't miss and their material gets tighter and tighter. Nashville's Deep Fried Five have a fresh take on bluesy, greasy classic soul. Turkuaz' brand of afrobeat-tinged jam band have been known to really move a crowd in NYC, here in Columbus, and elsewhere. But for my taste, the can't miss act, the shining jewel in this funky crown, is Brooklyn's Pimps of Joytime. I saw them at Woodlands Tavern a few years ago and on a shitty, rainy weeknight, they not only got over 100 people out they made the sometimes staid or stuffy Columbus crowd dance. Riffing on all the great dance music of the last 50 years, from Barretto-styled boogaloo to Roy Ayers-ish jazzy slow jams (they even had Ayers guest on their last record) to hip hop to deep house, expect this band to leave a pint of blood on the stage and make the floor and some bodies slick with sweat.


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