Sunday, March 22, 2015

"Hey, Fred" 03/23/15-03/29/15 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.

Happy birthday to me! As was my tradition for many years, I'm ditching town for my actual birthday for some outside culture - this year Louisville for just a taste of Humana and then Knoxville for Big Ears which I've said before was the most enriching time I've had at a festival musically in many years. So as with a couple weeks ago (for a trip I didn't get to make due to sickness) forgive me if this week's is a little more tossed-off than usual.


Don Quixote: a pilgrimage by Jen Schleuter. Presented by Available Light Theatre; Van Fleet Theatre in the Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave. A little sorry I won't see this until it's second weekend but don't you make the same mistake! One of Available Light's signature forms is the exploded literary adaptation - great works collaged to include context and changing opinions regarding them. So I'm very excited to see this new installment in that vaunted tradition - a look at one of the greatest novels of the Western canon, Don Quixote, written by brilliant playwright and frequent collaborator Jen Schlueter and directed by Artistic Director Matt Slaybaugh. Opens on March 26. 8pm shows Thursday-Saturday except April 2, 2pm matinee Sunday April 12. For tickets and info visit


March 25: California Mavericks: Compositions by Cowell, Harrison and Cage. The Garden Theater, 1187 N High St. The Short North Stage's renovation and operation of the Garden Theater has been a boon all around. One of my favorite elements of their programming has been New Music at the Short North Stage which presents well-chosen chamber music programs in informal settings. I'm particularly excited about this newest program which looks at modernist giants who all originally came from California. The program includes Lou Harrison's "Song of the Quetzalcoatl" and "Song for Violin and Percussion Ensemble" performed by the Capital University Percussion Ensemble and featuring Elizabeth Chang, John Cage's "One4" played by Robert Breithaupt, and Henry Cowell's "Set of Five" performed by Elizabeth Chang, Maria Staeblein, and Ryan Kilgore. Starts at 7pm. Free.

March 26: Ritmos Unidos. Lincoln Theatre, 769 E Long St. This Afro-Caribbean jazz juggernaut should sound amazing in the warm acoustics of the Lincoln. Full of West Coast-tied players but formed in the hallowed land of Bloomington, Indiana, where percussionist Michael Spiro teaches at IU, they delve into and breathe through a panoply of Latin styles and music from the African diaspora. Starts at 8pm. $20 tickets available at Ticketmaster.

March 28: Day Creeper LP Release. Ace of Cups, 2619 N High St. Day Creeper's been one of my favorite bands since they formed in Columbus a few years ago, playing a writhing, electric fusion of hard mod-rock propelled by The Jam and classic Columbus for lack of a better word heartland rock. Aaron Troyer's songs are catchy and interesting, Laura Bernazzoli is one of my favorite bass players in town, eschewing the obvious Motown riffs and injecting strange angles without sacrificing the groove, and augmented by the current line up of Elijah Vasquez on drums and former drummer Dan Ross on second guitar is the most powerful, exciting lineup they've had. Churning drone-rockers Sex Tide open along with noise-pop band Brat Curse and Red Feathers. Starts at 10pm. $5 cover.

March 29: Steve Gunn and Ryley Walker. Spacebar, 2590 N High St. Two of the acts I'm most looking forward to seeing at Big Ears are winding their way through my hometown on Sunday. Steve Gunn's buzz has hit almost deafening levels with his breakthrough last year, Way Out Weather, and his brand new collaborative record with avant-bluegrass band The Black Twig Pickers. Ryley Walker, touring with him, finds the sweet center of a venn diagram between Van Morrison, Bert Jansch, and Nick Drake. This complex, emotional music should brace you for the week upcoming at the best sounding new rock club in town. Banjo player Nathan Bowles - of the aforementioned Pickers - opens. Starts at 9pm. Googling did not return a cover.


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