Fundraiser to Benefit Abused Children Saturday at Japp’s

On Saturday, August 31, Taylor Jameson Hair Design will be the exclusive sponsor of the the inaugural “White Out Child Abuse – The Cincinnati White Party”. This event will benefit ChildHelp, a non-profit organization dedicated to the needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. Tickets are $15 at the door, and along with helping a good cause patrons will find themselves in cocktail heaven. Among the activities planned:

  • Acclaimed local cabaret performer Mirelle Jane Devine will host and perform at the event.
  • Salon and performance artist John E. Anderson III will unleash a runway show featuring fashion created with recycled materials.
  • A silent auction featuring gift certificates from local restaurants, tickets to upcoming plays and performances.
  • Mixologist extraordinaire Molly Wellmann is pairing with Cavalier Distributors to create some tasty libations.

The event will take place from 6pm to 9pm at Japp’s Annex, located at 1136 Main Street.

Bogart’s Welcomes Back Students with Ticket Discount

Bogart’s is welcoming back students with a discount for concerts taking place in September. Every ticket that originally cost over twenty dollars is now having its price dropped to twenty. Please note, however, that this special is only available from today, August 28, through September 4, so buy your tickets now! Technically the deal is available to anyone, student or non-student, but the historic nightclub timed the offer to coincide with students going back to college.

Bogart’s has been a favorite nightspot of college students for decades, and it’s within walking distance for UC students. As documented in this blog entry, new management has made a good club even better. Also, lots of good things have been happening in the neighborhood, including many small businesses, as this blog entry points out.

Here’s a list of the concerts taking place in September; if you click the image, it will expand to become easily readable:



A Hilarious New Movie Comes to The Esquire

There was good-sized crowd at The Esquire Theatre Saturday for the 10pm showing of Edgar Wright’s new film The World’s End, and people laughed out loud from the beginning to end. The premise is simple enough: five guys who failed to finish a pub crawl twenty years earlier give it another try. This time, however, things are more complicated, partly because their lives are more complicated, and also because an ominous extra-terrestrial conspiracy weaves its way into the plot. The ability of the movie to keep adding a layer of absurdity when you thought it had reached its limit reminded me of Being John Malkovich. I won’t give away the ending of The World’s End, but I will say that during the film many a pint gets consumed, and by the time the film was over I was more than ready to quaff a cold pint at Arlin’s. The movie is number three of director Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, after Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.  Continue reading “A Hilarious New Movie Comes to The Esquire”

Clifton Plaza Music Series Tonight

Due in part to some wonderful weather, The Clifton Plaza Live Music Series has been a hit this summer, with big crowds and a warm neighborhood vibe. Tonight’s show should be the best yet, with the folksy, rootsy, down-home Four Bit Fancy Band playing from 6pm to 9pm. This band features not one but two employees of Gaslight Property, and along with being good musicians they’re good entertainers.

The music series takes place every Friday and Saturday from 6pm to 9pm, and it’s right next door to Om Eco Cafe, who have these recommendations for this particular evening: “Come into Om Eco Cafe and check out our Special! Om-made Italian Flat Bread topped with *right out of the garden* marinara sauce, spinach and parmesan cheese. Enjoy an organic Fresh Squeezed Lemonade with it! YUM! Tonight’s performance in The Clifton Plaza is The 4-Bit Fancy Band! They play LIVE for FREE from 6pm-9pm. Check them out! But get your Om on first! ~Om Eco Cafe, 329 Ludlow Ave. Clifton Gaslight Business District.”

Record Show at MadTree Brewing

Although the blog entry below was published in August 2013, MadTree Brewing will be hosting another record show on Sunday, October 27 from noon to 4pm.  There’s no admission fee for the event. People are also welcome to sell records. If you’re only bringing a box, there’s no charge, to sell and if you want to set up a table, the charge is minimal; I think it was five or ten bucks the last round, to help pay the DJ. If you have questions, email Tom Luce at

In olden days record shows in Cincinnati were notoriously bad, with the same overpriced and bland records trotted out every six months. Fortunately the show that took place in Northside last December seemed to break the mold, with lots of newcomers buying and selling 33s, 45s and 78s of every genre imaginable.

On Sunday, August 25 a record show will take place at the MadTree Brewing Company, a brewery at 5164 Kennedy Ave. in Oakley. Frankly, I’ve never understood why all the record shows don’t take place in bars, but we’ll address that another time. This is actually the second MadTree Vinyl Swap, and the people running it are going out of their way to keep recruiting fresh new dealers and have the return dealers restock with new stuff so that return buyers can continue to see something new.

The show will begin at noon and end at four, although the bar stays open until eight. Catch-a-Fire Pizza will be serving at 1pm, and DJ Grover spins from 2 to 4pm. If you have any questions for MadTree Brewing, call them at 513.836.8733, and if you’re interested in setting up for this or future shows, contact Tom Luce at

I encourage anyone who reads this and knows other potentially interested parties to pass the information on. The more people who show up as both sellers, buyers and swappers, the more interesting records (and record collectors) will come out of the woodwork.

Nelson Slater Playing Fries Cafe Saturday

On Saturday (8/10) Nelson Slater will be performing at Fries Cafe in Clifton. As I reported in a recent blog entry, Nelson just released a new album on vinyl that is a long-awaited follow-up to Wild Angel, which was produced by his old college friend and bandmate, Lou Reed. This is one those shows that should “bring ’em out of the woodwork,” as fans and friends of Nelson Slater are many. Among other things, the show provides an opportunity to buy a copy of his new LP.

I was happy to see that The Hunt, a movie shot by a Danish director, is still at The Esquire, as it’s the best new movie I have seen since The Double Hour in 2011. More than with most movies, a plot summary would be ill-advised if you haven’t seen it, so I won’t go there. I will say it’s a disturbing very movie, but is not without heart – in fact, that’s among its most redeeming qualities.

In spite of the threat of rain there was a good crowd at the Etienne Charles show at Seasongood Pavilion yesterday, which shows that there is still an audience for jazz.  That in turn renews my conviction that the Blue Wisp can overcome its growing pains and connect with a wider audience. Part of the equation is fresh new blood, and that’s one of the strengths of the It’s Commonly Jazz series, which has focused on younger musicians with new ideas. There’s still three shows left in the series, which takes place the next three Thursdays from 6pm to 8pm and is free.

George Duke Tribute Tonight on WAIF (He Played with Zappa)

At 10pm tonight on WAIF (88.3 on your FM dial) the radio announcers Saint Slade & Vincident will present a tribute to keyboardist George Duke, who passed away this week at age 67. Duke’s music career was diverse enough that since his passing my friends and I have expressed surprise at all the artists he worked with in radically different genres. Many people know him for his work with Zappa, but other projects include stints with such jazz and jazz-fusion artists as Miles Davis, Stanley Clarke Billy Cobham…and he recorded a great deal as a leader. The whacked-out style of his lengthy stint with Zappa was also present in some of his other projects, including a live album with Billy Cobham and a collaboration with another Zappa alumni, Jean-Luc Ponty, whose King Kong LP was devoted to Zappa compositions. Tonight’s program will also provide an opportunity to get a taste of the weekly programs of Saint Slade & Vincent, who play a lot of  the experimental and psychedelic music that other radio stations ignore.

I should also note that Nelson Slater will be performing at Fries Cafe this Saturday (8/10). Friday there’s a rare chance to catch the talented jazz and bossa nova vocalist Andrea Cefalo at Chez Nora in Covington; the show begins at 8pm. Here’s a sweet Billy Cobham track that includes George Duke (who was credited as Dawili Gonga because of all that record company business). Other musicians included Douglas Rauch, a bass player who did some great work with Santana, and a young and at that time relatively unknown John Scofield. Here’s “Song for a Friend (Part 1)” by Billy Cobham:


Internationally-Known Jazz Performers Play For Free at Seasongood Pavilion

My ears have been buzzing lately from conversations about the Blue Wisp, which has been in a state of flux for several months. One of the tricky things about making a jazz club work these days is that there aren’t a lot of new names getting anywhere near the attention of the older icons—yet many of them have passed away, leaving a gap that has yet to be filled.

So how do the younger guys get their names out there?  One way is to host the It’s Commonly Jazz series at Seasongood Pavilion, which takes place every Thursday this month from 6pm to 8pm. The next four concerts all spotlight younger jazz artists whose playing draws from the tradition yet has a distinct style. This Thursday (8/8), for example, features the trumpeter Etienne Charles, who blends Caribbean music with jazz. Next Thursday(8/15)  tenor saxophonist  J.D. Allen will perform. Allen performs frequently in an atypical sax-bass-drums trio format. The pianoless lineup offers greater harmonic freedom, but it’s also very challenging, and Allen has gotten a lot of attention due to his ability to make a statement in that context. Jazz vocalist Gregory Porter (8/22) and vibraphonist Warren Wolf (8/29) are also jazz artists who, though young, have already built impressive resumes. Continue reading “Internationally-Known Jazz Performers Play For Free at Seasongood Pavilion”

New Movies at The Esquire Theatre

When the Esquire Theatre reopened a couple decades ago, many of us hoped it would show a healthy percentage of experimental or “art” movies from around the world, and fortunately it has. Because of the historic Clifton theatre, we have a place to see movies by directors like Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, whose Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is probably his most famous film. His 2011 film, The Skin I’m In, was a brilliant and spine-chilling study of gender and identity. For reasons that do not need explaining if you saw the film (and would spoil the film if you haven’t), I felt serious non-comfort while watching the film, but I walked away knowing that I had undergone a unique and intense film experience.

Almodovar’s new film, I’m So Excited, is night-and-day different from its predecessor, to the point where I wouldn’t have known it was the same director…except both films are miles from mainstream cinema. In fact, one of the intriguing things about I’m So Excited is how this silly, wacked-out and absurd flick references conventional movies and TV shows while turning them on their head. Continue reading “New Movies at The Esquire Theatre”