Down to Earth

I come to you with cap in hand, asking your forgiveness for my disparaging comments about the local nine (technically 10 now that there’s a DH) last week. As a wise man once said:

“How about everybody just settle down and celebrate and cheer for the team.”

The guy whose dad bought the team

I was so very wrong last week when I said that this year’s Cincinnati Reds roster consists mostly of players from the Reds’ minor league affiliate Chattanooga Lookouts, only now they’re wearing uniforms with less of a “Mr. Potato Head eyes” vibe.

In reality, the team is more like players from the Reds’ low-A minor league affiliate Daytona Tortugas, only with a logo that has less of a juice pouch vibe:

But, as a wise man once said, “be careful what you ask for.”

OK, enough yapping about baseball. Let’s get to the gigs.

Moon Tooth is at Top Cats on Monday. List member Ken Laube once lost a tooth at Top Cats, in a fight with Chris Knight. (I’m kidding… although singer Chris Knight did get into a fight there…) Wait, breaking news: the Moon Tooth show has been cancelled. But Chris Knight is OK. So’s Ken.

On Tuesday, Justin Bieber is at the Coliseum. I’ve already incurred the wrath of Phil Castellini, so I don’t dare risk pissing off the Beliebers. But I will say I liked his music better when he was in NSYNC.

Wednesday night, Dylan is at Southgate House! (That’s Dylan LeBlanc.) And Candlebox plays an unplugged show at Memorial Hall.

Thursday, James McMurtry plays a solo show at Memorial Hall. List members John Sandman, Michael Orzali and I will be there. You should be too – Mr. McMurtry’s last album was one of the best of 2021.

Or you can check out local reggae band The Cliftones at the Cincinnati Zoo’s Tunes & Blooms. Admission is free after 5 p.m., music starts at 6, and you just might run into list member/Cereal Killers frontman Howard Cohen at the Great Lakes Brewing table. (More on the Cereal Killers later.)

Other Thursday shows:

  • Stick Men (featuring Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto from King Crimson plus eight-string touch guitarist Markus Reuter) is at Ludlow Garage.
  • Ashley Cooke plays Top Cats (list member Ken Laube used to cook at Zino’s, just down the street…) Breaking news: the Ashley Cooke show has been cancelled… but Ken can still make you a Zinover.
  • Ben Levin plays Shire’s Garden.
  • Comedian Lewis Black will be ranting at the Taft.

Friday is Earth Day. Hug a tree…

… or better yet, plant one.

On Friday evening, Olivia Rodrigo plays a sold-out show at the Alice the Cook Brady Music Center.

Olivia is so hot right now… but so was Alice back in the day!

A whole slew of shows is slated for Saturday:

  • Jimmy Webb plays “The Glen Campbell Years” at Memorial Hall.
  • The Quebe Sisters play Southgate House’s main room, and Addison Johnson teams up with Mic Harrison (of the late great V-Roys) for an acoustic duo set in the upstairs Revival Room.
  • Aly & AJ are at Bogart’s
  • Kenny Loggins plays the Hard Rock Casino
  • Ludlow Garage hosts Lotus Land – A Tribute to Rush.

You’ve gotta have a monster pair of brass balls to try to fill Neil Peart’s drum stool. (Oh, you’ll also need a metric ton of drums and cymbals, some wind chimes, maybe a gong…)

On Sunday, the always-entertaining Robyn Hitchcock plays the Southgate House… and Journey plays the Coliseum.

Looks like the “new” Journey has removed the Steve Perry Journey literal video of “Separate Ways” from YouTube… (ironic when you think about how they discovered their current lead singer) so you’ll have to go here to enjoy it.

The following week is rather light on gigs, so let’s cover those here:

Suzanne Vega plays Tom’s Diner Ludlow Garage on Wednesday, April 27th.

On Thursday, April 28th:

  • Leo Kottke plays Ludlow Garage
  • Chuck Mead (of BR-549) is at Southgate
  • Restless Leg String Band plays the Zoo’s Tunes & Blooms
  • Steve Hackett is at the Taft

On Friday, April 29th:

  • Sierra Ferrell plays Southgate (list members Dave Green and Michael Orzali are big fans)
  • Khruangbin and Toro y Moi are at the Brady
  • Gavin DeGraw plays the Hard Rock Casino
  • Brit Floyd is at Taft
  • Ben Levin plays BrewRiver

Comedian Brian Regan plays the Brady on Saturday, April 30th, and NRBQ will be at Southgate on Sunday, May 1st.

Must-see May gigs

The Cereal Killers are back with their inimitable combination of songs from late ’70’s British & American punk, with a dash of the New Wave, a dollop of garage rock, a heaping helping of hijinks, and a side of shenanigans. It’s like 97X is still on the air, but better because it’s live! If you’re on this list and you’re in the house for this gig, the first beer’s on me!

Actually Damian says “Hell Yes!”

And if you can’t make that raucous evening gig due to your advancing years, fear not, Cereal Killers have a matinee show (3-5 p.m.) at MadTree on Saturday, May 14th!

Then you can take a quick nap — or enjoy the early bird special at Bob Evans — before catching a fantastic blues lineup at 20th Century Theatre:

Mark the calendar in your Day Runner now, and put it in your PalmPilot too!

Concert reviews

The Waxahatchee show at Woodward was stellar – and it was great to see list members Bruce Frasure (and his lovely bride), Taylor Fox (of Inhailer Radio), Kevin Sullivan, Dave Roberto and Joe Sampson in 3-D. (Mark Messerly of Wussy also was there and said a new album from Wussy is forthcoming!)

Katie Crutchfield’s beau Kevin Morby joined her on stage (in a stunning jacket from the Fess Parker collection, no less!) for a few songs, including covers of Magnolia Electric Co. and Dylan (Bob, not LeBlanc).

Meanwhile, list member David Reid thoroughly enjoyed the Jack White gig at the Carol Brady Music Center that same evening:

Just got home from the Jack White show. So good! Dude is the complete package: Nasty-great guitar, empassioned, from-the-gut vocals, good songs and dynamic stage presence. Left knowing I’d seen something pretty special.

My new favorite podcast

OMG, Valley Heat is hilarious! It’s like A Confederacy of Dunces meets Arrested Development meets Fernwood 2 Night. Doug’s deadpan delivery, a wacky cast of characters, fun music references, the bogus promo spots, and great theater-of-the-mind audio all combine to create a perfect storm of humor. I binged every episode this weekend and was laughing the entire time.

It’s a Small (Woody) World…

Last week’s wacky album cover:

Prompted this comment from list member Lisa Collins, whose mom (Carol Jean) lives in Florida:

Just an FYI, Woody Woodbury is an acquaintance/friend of Carol Jean. He is 98 years old and lives in Fort Lauderdale. He goes every Sunday to breakfast at the same place Mom goes. They’ve become breakfast buddies – haha.

And list member/Cereal Killers frontman/online detective Howard Cohen tracked down a lovely archival photo of the spot where the album was “taped, unexpurgated and unrehearsed from the night club floor of the Bahama Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale”:

Album Cover of the Week

Remember Dionne Warwick? Remember Pricing Charts? Remember K-Mart? (This album is in pretty good shape for being 50 years old.)

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