Sunday, May 10, 2015

“Hey, Fred!” A Biased and Idiosyncratic Top Five for the Week Of 05/11/2015-05/17/2015

Visual Art

May 15: Spring Exhibition Opening and conversation with Catherine Opie and Jack Whitten. Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N High St.  I couldn't be more excited for a visual art opening this year than the Spring shows at the Wexner Center. Catherine Opie is one of my favorite photographers working today, since I first saw her work at the Wexner Center in the group show Hard Targets in early 2010 and soon after saw a show of her portraits at the Gladstone Gallery in NYC. It's richly evocative, thoughtful, arresting work. Abstract painter Jack Whitten's work I've only seen scattered examples - though loved them - so it's a great treat to get to see a retrospective in my town. Icing on the cake is the discussion between the two artists being led by one of the finest arts journalists in the US right now, Tyler Green, so don't be late. Discussion begins at 5:00pm. Opening reception 6:00-9:00pm.


May 11: Holydrug Couple. Double Happiness, 482 S Front St. Chile's Holydrug Couple make some of the best sensual psychedelia of the underground music scene. They're key players on the always-solid Sacred Bones label and whether they're traversing through bluesier moods or wrapping their songs in a sweet, melancholy gauze, whatever they bring to the table is intoxicating. Don't miss this opportunity to see them in the intimate confines of Double Happiness, sometimes the best-sounding room in town. Similarly psych-drenched locals Brujas del Sol and WVWhite open. Starts at 8:00pm. $10 tickets available at

May 15: Talisha Holmes Ensemble and Friends Celebrate Stevie Wonder. Brothers Drake, 26 E 5th Ave. Talisha Holmes is one of the great singers in Columbus right now, maybe one of the best R&B singers we've ever produced. Her show in March at Dick's Den was maybe the most packed I've ever seen in that place and an early favorite for my shows of the year list, the ensemble is tight and swinging. One of the first touchstones anyone who hears her thinks of is Stevie Wonder and that late '60s-mid '70s transitional period of Motown, so this tribute show should be unbeatable. Also tantalizing is the prospect of "friends", I guarantee with her contacts and her talent there won't be any bullshitting on that stage. Starts at 10:00pm. $5 cover.

May 15: Melt-Banana. Skully's Music Diner, 1151 N High St. Japan's Melt-Banana who I first saw at the much-missed More than Music Festival 10+ years ago were one of the most joyous freakouts I'd ever experienced. Their brand of noise-pop has aged well and it's still one of the most purely fun live shows going so it should be a joy to see them at Skully's. Doors at 9:00pm. $15 tickets available at

May 17: John Fullbright. Valley Dale Ballroom, 1590 Sunbury Rd. One of the most acclaimed Americana singer-songwriters of the last few years, John Fullbright brings his wise-beyond-his-years powers of observation and his unfailing sense of melody to the Grand Valley Dale Ballroom for something resembling a Sunday secular tent revival. There's a degree of space and a respect for silence that's not often seen in the newer wave of Americana writers and there's an empathy and respect for the characters being depicted that recalls Guy Clark and John Hiatt without directly aping either of those greats. His star shows no sign of stopping its rise anytime soon so don't miss seeing him in this vaunted old concert hall, mingling with the ghosts of the Velvet Underground. Starts at 8:00pm. $25 at the door. 


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