Donate CDs and Help a Cat!

Anticipation is high for the 1st annual Northside Record Fair on Saturday, December 1. Taking place from 11 am to 6 pm at 4120 Hamilton Avenue, the fair will include live music, DJs and countless records along with every other kind of musical media.

The event also offers an opportunity to do some much-needed purging AND donate to a worthy cause. Rosie’s CDs will be holding a CD drive at the Northside Record Fair–and because Rosie will set up in front of the entrance to the fair, you can donate CDs even if you’re not attending the show. Already downloaded all your music and wondering what to do with your old CDs? Now you can clear out those shelves of CDs and help local animals at the same time. Any and all CDs are accepted.

Proceeds will be donated to OAR, the Ohio Alleycat Resource & Spay/Neuter Clinic. OAR is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which provides low-cost, high-quality spay/neuter services for feral cats, strays and pets; offers TNR (trap-neuter-return) and other outreach programs; and runs a small, no-kill adoption center dedicated to finding loving homes.

Can’t make the Record Fair?  OAR will also be accepting used CDs/DVDs at their  Holiday Open House  December 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at their Madisonville location (5619 Orlando Place).

Questions about how to donate your CDs? Rosie’s CDs can be reached at

Gotta Groove Records

My theme this week is records, which are coming back with a vengeance, as the 1st Annual Northside Record Fair indicates.  In 2007 sales of new LPs dipped to below a million, but by 2009 sales jumped to 2.5 million, and the number climbed to 3.9 million in 2011—and that’s just for LPs that have bar codes, which is probably less than half of the total records released. (And I’ve yet to hear a count for 7-inches; I don’t think anyone has figured out how to count them yet.) Continue reading “Gotta Groove Records”

First Annual Northside Record Fair


Cincinnati has long had a reputation for notoriously bad record shows—yet Columbus, which is only an hour and half away, has long had a good national reputation.

So I was pleased to see, on Facebook, people chatting about the 1st annual Northside Record Fair starting at 11 am on Sunday, December 1 at Hoffner Masonic Lodge at 4120 Hamilton Ave. Because I know some of the people who have signed up for tables, I can guarantee that this record show will be a mind-blowing breath of fresh air.

If you’re interested in selling records, be aware that the record fair only has about 15 tables left for sellers. It costs $20 to reserve a table; half tables are $10. If, like me, you’re going there as a buyer, you’ll pay a $5 entry, although the $10 Early Bird Special will get you in an hour earlier. Also, the event will include live music and DJs. You can find more information if you visit the website for the event. (Also, for more information on the event, contact Jon at

The rest of this week will be devoted to the record fair as well as records in general, with a brief detour into the world of CDs. I’ll close with a reminder to folks that you can subscribe to my blog on the right side of this webpage, and I encourage you to do so in order to keep up with things going on around Cincinnati.

Ready to Take a Vacation? Give Suzanne Sanchez a Call

Call me old-fashioned, but when I make travel plans my first choice would be meeting with a travel agent in person.

That may sound pie-in-the-sky in this era when so much is done digitally, but as it turns out there’s a travel office located in the heart of the gaslight district, on Ormond Avenue between the library and the post office. That location has served experienced travel agent Suzanne Sanchez well, and even though I suspect the majority of her work is done over the phone (you can call her at 513.731.3369) or via email (, because of her centralized location she meets lots of customers face to face.

And as soon as they visit the Brown’s Tours and Travel office at 3410 Ormond Ave. they can tell that she loves her work. Continue reading “Ready to Take a Vacation? Give Suzanne Sanchez a Call”

Jane Bunnett, Hilario Duran and Candido Enter the Sanctuary

The Concert

Flautist and soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett had a smile on her face through much of Thursday night’s performance at Thompson House, and for good reasons.

Being accompanied by superb musicians has to feel good, and on both sides of her were masters: Hilario Duran on piano, and the legendary Candido on congas. Plus it was clear though her playing and her between-song comments that she loved playing Afro-Cuban jazz. Continue reading “Jane Bunnett, Hilario Duran and Candido Enter the Sanctuary”

Five Reasons to See Redlegs at the Esquire Theatre This Weekend

This weekend the Esquire Theatre will host  the Cincinnati premier of Redlegs, a locally-shot film by a Cincinnati native, Brandon Harris. Showtimes are 1:15, 3:00, 5:00, 7:10, 9:10, and tickets can be purchased either online or at the door. It’s running for at least a week,  but here are 5 reasons to see it this weekend:

  • You can meet the director. According to a Facebook post by the director Brandon Harris, “I’ll be on hand for Q&As after Friday and Saturday’s 7:10 shows and Sunday’s 3:00. Hope to see you all there!”
  • Redlegs has lots of locally-shot scenes with iconic settings. Per a City Beat blurb, the film includes “vanilla shakes from UDF; the Ohio River; an argument in Northside Tavern’s restroom; fisticuffs with a West Side redneck; a trip to Great American Ball Park; the WEBN fireworks.” Continue reading “Five Reasons to See Redlegs at the Esquire Theatre This Weekend”

Candido at The Thompson House on Thursday: Whodathunkit?

Walter Broadnax, impresario of Doc B Productions, has long done a stellar job of hosting both local musicians and noteworthy national acts, but even by Doc B’s usual standards the concert at The Thompson House this Thursday, November 15 is exceptional. A legend in his own right, Cuban-born percussionist Candido has performed with such jazz icons as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins. Candido is now 91 years old, and one of the questions I’ll ask him Thursday night is, have you ever played in Cincinnati (well, greater Cincinnati) before? I dare say that if he has, it’s been a very long time, and if you ever want to see him, I do not advise staying home and watching Seinfeld reruns on this particular evening. The show will be from 8 pm to 11 pm, and tickets are $25. Here’s a link to Doc B’s webpage for the event.

Sometimes I struggle to find a song that, by itself, makes it clear that someone is an amazing talent, but with Candido that was not a problem. Three musicians perform on this youtube clip: Sonny Rollins on tenor saxophone; bassist Bob Cranshaw, who has been Sonny’s right-hand man for decades; and Candido. The whole song is great, and toward the end Sonny and Candido engage in a musical face-off that prompts me to ask the following question: is this not the hippest music you’ve ever heard?

The talent pool for the evening does not end with Candido, by the way; in fact, he’s the special guest for an ensemble that’s co-led Jane Bunnett, a highly respected soprano saxophonist. As Kenny G has oft proven, listening to soprano sax can be a saccharine experience, but Bunnett has a much edgier style when she wants to (and can play quite lyrically as well). Again I wonder if she has ever stepped foot in (greater) Cincinnati before. This is a rare experience to see some heavyweights carrying on the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition that Candido helped forged many decades before. God bless Doc B for bringing music of this quality to town.

Becoming Morris

Kevin Zepf, aka Morris

I remember vividly the nights spent at a table with two other men as we attempted to transform a short story I had written into a screenplay. Although it was evening, we drank coffee the way some people drink whiskey—liberally, and in a most macho manner. Truly this was not a situation where you wanted to say, as the next cup was being poured, “No thanks, I’m starting to feel a bit jittery.” Continue reading “Becoming Morris”

Amernet String Quartet at Hebrew Union College This Sunday, Nov. 11

Cincinnati is ridiculously spoiled when it comes to classical music, and that’s even more true if you happen to live in Clifton. Within walking distance is both the College Conservatory of Music (which would be sweet enough by itself) and also Hebrew Union College, home to lots of chamber music performances as of late. This Sunday, November 11 at 4 pm the Amernet String Quartet will perform music of the Jewish Diaspora for string quartet, featuring compositions by Jewish composers Pavel Haas, Aleksandr Zhitomirskii, Jacob Weinberg, Viktor Kohn, David Grunfeld and Dmitri Skosta. The concert is free and open to the public, and at the Scheuer Chapel on the Cincinnati campus, 3101 Clifton Avenue in Clifton.  One assumes the performance will draw audience members eager to leave behind all the noise of the last couple weeks and simply focus on music. Ensemble-in-Residence at Florida International University since 2004, the Amernet String Quartet was formed in 1991 while its founding members were attending Juilliard. Here the quartet performs a movement from a string quartet by one of the masters of the medium, the man who never knew for sure if or when Stalin’s henchmen might knock upon his door, Dimitri Shostakovich: