However you choose to celebrate the holiday season, please don’t spin any of those overplayed seasonal tunes within earshot of me. It’s not just Mariah, it’s also Andy Williams, Bobby Helms, Brenda Lee… basically the same 12-song rotation that’s been shoved down our earholes since November 1st.
There are good Christmas songs (R.I.P. Shane and Kirsty), but you’ll rarely hear them on iHeart/Cumulus radio stations or in the malls.
Thanks, my spleen feels vented now. On with the shows!
Tonight, Ben Levin plays Schwartz’s Point, and then he’s got his big Holiday Blues Revue on Thursday.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy plays a “Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Party” at the Taft Theatre on Wednesday.
On Saturday, it’s a Sophie’s Choice for the stoners:
- Afroman’s “Merry Spliffmas” is at Annie’s
- Hyryder (Grateful Dead tribute band) plays the Madison Theater
After those smokin’ Saturday shows, all is calm, all is bright… two adjectives that my school teachers never used to describe me.
Things pick up a bit after the fat guy heads back to the North Pole.
On Friday, December 29th, Sylmar and Bendigo Fletcher play the Woodward, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra trots out their usual holiday tuneage at the Coliseum.
Saturday, December 30th is a very busy night for concerts:
- Jess Lamb & The Factory (featuring Siri Imani) plays MOTR
- Rumpke Mountain Boys kick off a two-night stand at Annie’s
- Root Cellar Extract plays Plain Folk Café in Goshen
- Tickled Pink (Scott Covrett, Bob Nyswonger and Bam Powell) plays the Pub in Rookwood
On Sunday, December 31st:
- The Rumpke Mountain Boys ring in the new year at Annie’s
- Foxy Shazam plays the Foxy Carol Brady
- Your favorite writer of a semi-coherent, sporadically-published list of Cincinnati-area concerts will celebrate his birthday… by attending the wedding of one of his wife’s co-workers.
Coney Island Baby
Did you hear the news that MEMI is draining the Coney Island Sunlite Pool for good, and building a concert venue in its stead?
Oh goody, a state-of-the-art venue to host those cutting-edge Lynyrd Skynyrd/Kid Rock double bills!
Best Coast, best advice
Bethany Cosentino from the band Best Coast put out a really good solo album this year… and not many people heard it. She talked to Stereogum about her disappointment. Money quote:
I just genuinely think the record I made is really fucking good, and I love it. And again, that’s what matters. I guess maybe at the heart of this message is: If you really love something, do it. Don’t give up. Don’t overthink it. Don’t say, “Well, I should just do the other thing that works already.” No. Do the think you wanna do. Make the thing you wanna make. You know what? If it doesn’t work out, that’s OK.
And the story has a bit of a happy ending, thanks to the dumpster fire that is whatever Twitter is called now.
Album worth a spin
I’m really digging the new release from a UK band called Witching Waves.
Read an interview with the band members here and check out the album below:
Matt & Dave
Cincy meets Indy when Matt Berninger chats with David Letterman.
Hot Ticket Alert
Alvvays plays Bogart’s on Friday, 4/19, and Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew bring the Remain in Light tour to that same venue on Friday, July 26th. (The Bogart’s box office is open Mondays and Fridays from noon-5, and it opens two hours before showtime on the nights of a show — purchase your tickets there to save big on fees.)
Favorites of 2023
Steven Hyden of Uproxx has it right:
Before I share my list, I need to repeat my regular “year-end list” disclaimer. If you already know the drill, feel free to skip ahead.
1) Ranking albums is dumb … We all know this. Art isn’t a competition. I can’t really distinguish between my 13th favorite album and my 15th favorite. This is all talk. None of it really matters.
2) … but it’s kind of fun … Of course it is! Because it’s about sharing music recommendations. And I do mean share — make your own lists and show them to me, especially if you’re the sort inclined to complain about lists. Put yourself out there and let me complain about you, too!
3) … because it’s really about discovering an album or two (or possibly more!) that you might not have known about otherwise. Exactly!
Now, let’s rank!
Steven’s list is here. Other lists:
- Allmusic Top 100
- Paste Top 50
- KEXP’s Best of
- Sound Opinions Podcast (music critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot)
And this site compiles several “best of” lists into… you guessed it… a list!
If you care to share your 2023 favorites, post them in the comments.
Album Covers of the Week(s)
Slim and Rampal not only know how to rock, they also know how to rock a gorgeous robe!