New Year, New Tunes

Happy 2024! May your year be filled with peace, prosperity… and some live music!

Breaking news!

Sorry to interrupt our usual programming, but we had to inform you that sales legend (and longtime This Week/Fortnight/Month in Live Music whipping boy) Dan Lewis has hung up his Cincinnati Reds spikes sport coat.

Dan spent 17 years in sales for WLW, and another 17 in sales for the Redlegs. He’s certainly earned his retirement.

And we promise to stop poking fun at Dan “Reds in 2024, but not me” Lewis now that he’s a man of leisure.

Speaking of leisure time, your favorite Koncert Keeper blogger will be out of town for a couple of weeks. I’ll be hangin’ with Donny & Marie… and Punchy.

So let’s take a look at the entire January roster o’ shows.

Monday night, Memorial Hall has “Cincinnati’s King Records: A Musical History – featuring Ben Levin.”

On Wednesday, Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke kicks off a two-night stand at Ludlow Garage. Benji Shanks (not the prison weapon) is also on the bill. Also, ska band Mustard Plug plays Southgate.

Charlie and Benji (not the adorable dog from the 1974 movie or the 2018 reboot) will be back in the Garage on Thursday. That same evening, Jason Carter of the Del McCoury Band will play the Woodward Theater.

Friday shows:

  • Beth Harris plays an unplugged (no relation to Mustard Plug) happy hour freebie show at MOTR. Two sets starting at 5 p.m. Highly recommended!
  • The Godz (legendary hard rock band from Columbus) play the Blue Note in Harrison
  • Ludlow Garage has the Ultimate Doors (no relation to AE Garage Doors)

Next Saturday, Jan. 13th:

  • Musical comedian Heywood Banks plays the Sorg Opera House in Middletown
  • Non-musical comedian Nate Bargatze is at the Coliseum
  • Musician-who-was-in-a-comedy-show Noah Reid (David’s boyfriend in “Schitt’s Creek”) plays Bogart’s
  • Najee plays the Ludlow Garage

Friday, Jan. 19th:

  • Memorial Hall has four great singer/songwriters – it’s the “On a Winter’s Night” tour featuring Lucy Kaplansky, Patty Larkin, John Gorka, and Cliff Eberhardt.
  • King Buffalo plays the Woodward, with Rezn and The Harlequins
  • Dead Letter Office: A Tribute to R.E.M. will be at Ludlow Garage
  • The old Annie’s hosts Grunge: The Sounds of Seattle. (flannel shirts and leggings under cargo shorts sold separately)

The tribute band conga line (Gloria Estefan sold separately) continues on Saturday, Jan. 20th, as Ludlow Garage hosts Kashmir – Classic Led Zeppelin Live and Madison Theater has Signs of Life: The American Pink Floyd. (“Oh, by the way, which one’s fake Pink?”)

That same evening, The Electric Indigo, Junior Citizens, and Nick Fed Trio play MOTR.

On Sunday, Jan. 21st, there’s… wait for it… another tribute show! Memorial Hall hosts All You Need is Love (“a celebration of the 60th anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in America”).

On Tuesday, Jan. 23rd, Digable Planets will do a 30th anniversary show for their debut album Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) at Bogart’s.

Michael Oliva of The Harlequins plays an Artist in Residence show at MOTR on Wednesday, 1/24, with Pretty Mean and The Dolly Daredevils. (Michael is playing MOTR every Wednesday in January.)

Story of the Year will be at Bogart’s on Thursday, 1/25.

Shows on Friday, Jan. 26th:

  • Sugadaisy,This Pine Box, and DJ Freakboys play MOTR
  • Mol Sullivan has a record release show at Woodward Theater
  • Mr. Big (no relation to the “Sex in the City” character) plays Ludlow Garage.

The Commodores play the Hard Rock Casino on Saturday, Jan. 27th (not to be confused with “Easy Like Sunday Morning”… wait, yes, it IS!). Meanwhile, over at Tribute Band Central (a.k.a. Ludlow Garage), it’s the Hot Red Chili Peppers.

No, the Hot – Red – Chili – Peppers. See what they did there? (Tube socks sold separately.)

On Sunday, Jan. 28th:

  • Steve Poltz plays the Woodward Theater
  • Branford Marsalis (not to be confused with Wynton Marsalis… but that’s tough to do) plays Memorial Hall.

Long Live Rabbit Hash!

The Rabbit Hash General Store has a “Sunday Music Behind the Stove” Series with artists performing at 2:30 p.m. Here’s the lineup for the next few months:

Long live people who are still alive!

Reader Kevin Sullivan flagged this story from The Atlantic:

It’s a good read for folks of a certain vintage… (looking at you, Dan “I’m Retired” Lewis) and not just because it has “Fee Waybill” in it. (Also, it sounds like the Greenwich Odeum is the Ludlow Garage of Rhode Island.)

Speaking of Geriatric Rock, check out Dan Lewis rocking what he likes to call “The Banana Hammock” (because it’s so comfy):

Concerts in Space!

The Washington Post has an article where the author speculates about playing music in space (not the Grateful Dead kind… or maybe so!). Hard pass for me. I’ll stick with this:

Jim James Jams!

Here’s part of a pre-New Year’s note to the My Morning Jacket email list from lead singer Jim James:

Here are some things I tell myself to try and remember, perhaps some of them may resonate with you:

Take time to tell the people close to you that you love them and are grateful for them. Take time to sit quietly and do the same for yourself – give yourself some extra love and self-care. Look in the mirror every morning and say “I LOVE YOU (insert your name here)” even if you are sad. Go to therapy. Get out in nature and close to the source. Find God in your own way. Hug a friend. If you can’t hug a person, hug a tree or a sweet animal friend, and try to give as many hugs as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask for love if you need it, most folks aren’t mind readers and are usually happy to help if only we ask. Go to an art show, see some live music or sports or performance of any kind, and connect with folks in the real world. [emphasis mine]

Frank & Dave’s faves

List member Frank B. shared his favorite albums of 2023:

  • Wednesday – Rat Saw God
  • Superviolet – Infinite Spring
  • Geese – 3D Country
  • MJ Lenderman – Live and Loose
  • Sparklehorse – Bird Machine
  • Yo La Tengo – This Stupid World

And list member Dave Purcell (now based in Albuquerque) shared his top picks for last year, along with his wife Amy’s favorite books. Those lists are linked below. (+1 on his pick of The Tubs Dead Meat – love that album!)

Album Covers of the Month

No pigs were harmed in the making of this album.

Brother Bill really knows how to pay a compliment! (I think I saw his mother at The Tubes concert.)

Not sure if this is the cover of an album or the cover of a Hardy Boys mystery.

Not sure if this is “Clare Fischer” or Charles Nelson Reilly on “Match Game ’74.”

One Reply to “New Year, New Tunes”

  1. Lisa

    Damian – I have a signed copy of Haywood Banks’ “Big Butter Jesus” somewhere in this house – I’ll find it for you – haha. I thought you might have included an RIP for David Soul with this edition. “Don’t Give Up On Us Baby” was a hit for Hutch in the mid- late ‘70’s – maybe he can be one of your album covers next month! Safe travels! And thanks for the show recs!


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