“All You Need is Love” Music Benefit at Mecklenburg Gardens

Brooke Salem Krewe
Brooke Salem Krewe

This Friday, December 27 from 7pm to 11pm a benefit to celebrate the life of a good friend and support The Lindner Center of Hope will take place at Mecklenburg Gardens. All You Need is Love III promises a night of music, fun, and friendship. According to one of the organizers of the event, Jim Lawson, “It’s always a good time, and it’s always a good crowd.”

“After the hustle and bustle of family obligations at Christmas, it offers a chance to catch up with friends,” he added. “There’s a warmth there that I feel all the time.”

The event will include a cash bar and free hors d’ouevres. The suggested donation is ten dollars, with a “more if you can, less if you can’t” policy. The proceeds will be donated to Lindner Center of Hope, which describes itself as “a state-of-the-art, free-standing mental health center.” The donations underscore the fact that the motivation to host the events in the first place is quite serious. The people who stage the All You Need Is Love benefits,  as well as many of the musicians and attendees, were friends with Britt Stevens Krebs, a huge music fan and a musician who, having struggled his whole life with depression, took his own life in 2011.

Think of it, then, as a good time for a good cause, with six musical acts performing: Continue reading ““All You Need is Love” Music Benefit at Mecklenburg Gardens”

The Best Beer I Have Ever Had

Three Floyds GumballheadLike everyone else I’ve been running around more than normal this month, it being the holiday season and all. Whenever I’m the designated driver I drink one beer at most. That was again the case last night—but boy, I chose well. When I noticed at Neon’s a Three Floyds beer on the board, I asked the bartender to describe it. He told me it was a wheat pale ale and it was kind of hoppy, but not too much. Those comments didn’t influence my decision to order a Gumheadball—it was kind of a no-brainer as it was a Three Floyds I’d never tasted before—but, I was curious.

Located in Indiana, Three Floyd’s is a brewery I take quite seriously, as do many other people. Because of archaic, illogical and business-unfriendly state laws Three Floyds used to be impossible to obtain in Ohio.  For this reason me and my posse used to make the trek to Indiana to stock up and imbibe. Driving the back roads to bars and liquor stores that sold the stuff, we passed Amish families riding in buggies. (We also stopped at their farm houses to buy some of their some rhubarb). In Indiana and Ohio I have tasted some superb Three Floyds, but Gumballhead was favorite—by them or by anyone.

Here’s my low-level analysis of what I consumed last evening. I can never get too crazy about beers that are weighed down by extraneous flavors, and there was a citrusy undertone to the Gumballhead, but just enough that you could notice it (crucial). Beers that are too hoppy make my stomach hop, but there were just enough of the right kinds of hops to give the beer a wee bit of an edge, which I consider an asset. It was a highly drinkable beer, but it wasn’t one of those wimpy “gateway” craft beer bars serve to placate the unenlightened. It had body, but not to the point where I felt as if were drinking oatmeal, and it was flavorful.

And there’s one other thing. In audiophile circles folks talk about what’s called “tonal balance.” Perhaps you got your lows, mids or highs just right—but the trick is blending them all together seamlessly, and in a way that’s pleasing aesthetically. Those same attributes apply to the beer I drank last night. It warrants a trip to Neon’s—where a friendly and informed bartender also gushed about some European imports presently on tap.

Finally, mark your calendars now for the Three Floyd’s beer tasting taking place at MOTR Pub on March 5. That may seem a long way away, but I would hate for someone to double book on that night. After all, this is serious business.

Tatsuya Nakatani Performs this Saturday

Tatsuya NakataniThis Saturday, December 21 at 7pm sound artist, percussionist and drummer Tatsuya Nakatani will perform at Bromwell’s downtown. Yes, you read that right: the store at 117 W. 4th Street, which sells luxury fireplaces and home décor, will host this intriguing event. According to his website, Nakatani “creates sound via both traditional and extended percussion techniques, utilizing drums, bowed gongs, cymbals, singing bowls, metal objects and bells, as well as various sticks, kitchen tools and homemade bows….His approach is steeped in the sensibilities of free improvisation, experimental music, jazz, rock, and noise, and yet retains the sense of space and quiet beauty found in traditional Japanese folk music.”

Saturday’s show will include both solo performances and duets with Napoleon Solo Vox, the composer, beat box artist, and front man for IsWhat?! Recently I asked Nakatani a few questions via Facebook, and he was kind enough to respond. He requested that I edit his English, which I did in a conservative manner.

What made you decide to work extensively as a solo artist using percussion instruments?

I used to play as a drummer and was in a band or group. Sometime ago (late 90s) I realized many drummers work as a member and not as a soloist. Solo is very flexible and powerful, so I moved to that direction instead of playing in an ensemble. Based on touring and moving myself to different places as a touring musician, that also makes it possible to do a variety of work.

To what extent will Cincinnati’s show be improvised?

The Cincinnati show will be solo and collaboration with Napoleon. We will be totally improvised. We have collaborated briefly, a few very short collaboration in a several years; this time should be a nice one.

You’ve made a great number of recordings. Is there a particular label that you’ve been working with primarily for the last few (or many) years? Can you tell me a little about that label?

I have been producing a small self label for surrounding my work. I have a new LP on Taiga records in Minneapolis, they focus on only vinyl. They did a beautiful job. I trust their work.

Are your influences primarily other drummers…or composers…or musicians who play other instruments?

I am influenced by day-by-day life and people. I tour, meet so many people every day, which is my influences. I used to listen carefully to drummers, but now, more to focus on what kind of sound, tone is…

I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, and I see that you performed there last night. Your thoughts of that fair city…

It was good time in Des Moines for my first time show. A small but nice group of people are doing the art of sound there.

Here’s a video of Nakatani during a live performance:


Holidays on Ludlow on Friday

Holidays on LudlowHolidays on Ludlow takes place this Friday, December 13 from 6pm to 9pm, with free parking after 5pm in the Merchant Lot on Howell Avenue. Bring your kids–and bring your pets! Here are just a few of the activities for one of Clifton’s most popular annual events:

  • Free pictures with Santa
  • Free pet pictures with Santa
  • Open houses, refreshments, raffles, and specials
  • Free carriage rides with luminaria along route
  • A concert by the Clifton-Fairview Language Choir
  • Free entertainment throughout the business district
  • Holiday hat making and raffle
  • Snowflake making contest
  • Holiday tree in Clifton Plaza

Here’s a link to lots of pictures from last year’s Holidays on Ludlow.

Once again during this event Gaslight Property will be collecting canned goods and cash donations for the Lord’s Gym at 1829 Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine and 811 Madison Avenue in Covington.  Since 1993, the Lord’s Gym has provided an opportunity for men to grow spiritually, emotionally, and physically. The Gym offers a variety of weight-lifting equipment and opportunities for Christian fellowship. The FoodShare is a food co-op for the participants.

Because the Gym hosts on average 400 patrons each month, hundreds of people have heard and responded to the gospel of Jesus. The Gym has seen God help men overcome their addiction problems and become productive people. Recently Channel 12 broadcast a feature about The Gym that shed light on how the Lord’s Gym is helping people get back on track. Check it out!

Laurel and Hardly Come to Clifton

Laurel and HardySome great Laurel and Hardy movies will be showing this Saturday, December 14 at 6:45pm at the Masonic Lodge at 215 Ludlow Avenue in Clifton. You seldom get a chance to see such films on the big screen—except in Clifton, that is, as “The Chimp Tent” (a Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society) has hosted films by the duo and other early comic geniuses regularly since 2008. Cost is $5, and the event is free to children 12 years old and younger. To learn more about the film series, check out the website for The Chimp Tent or email Gene Sorkin at chimptent@live.com. In one of Saturday’s films, Laurel and Hardy attempt to sell a Christmas tree to Jimmy Finlayson, a classic comedian who was the foil in many a Laurel and Hardy film. Here’s a scene from him one of the 33 movies Finlayson made with Laurel and Hardy:


Pop-Up Ludlow Rescheduled to 6pm Today

Pop-Up-Ludllow-Dec-2013Today’s “Pop-Up Ludlow” offers a chance to see the redecorated merchant windows in the Ludlow Avenue Business District.

Festivities begin at 6:00pm on the plaza with the  lighting of the tree and reindeer. Then follow the artists, who will be in illuminated costumes, down Ludlow Avenue as the magical windows are unveiled.

Then at 7:15pm you can meet and greet the DAAP creators of the window wonderlands at the library for cookies and hot chocolate.

Originally this first-time event was rescheduled from last night due to bad weather.  It will be more fun tonight, with snow still on the ground but much safer conditions!

Mandela by Santana

Nelson Mandela on Day After ReleaseIn 1987 Santana released an album that contained the song “Mandela.” At that time Nelson Mandela was still in prison, but people around the world were drawing attention to the injustice he was experiencing. Along with being a call to action, the song was a tribute to Nelson Mandela, who passed away yesterday. Time hasn’t diminished the relevance of this song; in fact, it has only deepened it. Three of the musicians appearing in this video performed at the amazing Bogart’s show that took place in 1983: guitarist Carlos Santana, who was wearing a John Coltrane t-shirt; percussionist Armando Peraza, who first appeared on the 1972 release Caravanserai; and keyboardist Chester Thompson, who was so new to the lineup that he had not yet shown up on a Santana album. With a band comprised from musicians of different races, from different countries and radically different musical background, Santana embodied, long before most of us even knew who Nelson Mandela was, the spirit of his message. Here’s Santana performing “Mandela:”

Go Bearcats!!!

Keg of NailsIs it any surprise that the UC-Louisville football game taking place at Nippert Stadium Thursday is sold out?

Along with a long-standing rivalry, this game is a make-or-break game for Cincinnati to stand any chances of reaching the BCS Bowl. This is Nippert Stadium’s last game before remodeling begins, and at stake is the Keg of Nails trophy.

To show our support for both the team as well as UC fans and students, Gaslight Property will be in attendance that evening. We encourage everyone to visit our booth behind the student section, where we’ll be handing out basketball schedule magnets and coozies – AND you can enter to win a FREE iPad!

This promotion is a friendly reminder that Gaslight Property is very active renting all 12 months of the year.  December is actually a busy month that includes many renters setting their sites on the fall.  For example,  this month we will already have houses available for fall rentals. Call one of our representatives at 513.861.6000 to learn more.

Live Music at the Listing Loon

Listing LoonThe Listing Loon is a craft beer and wine bottle shop located at 4124 Hamilton Avenue in Northside; its phone number is 513.542.5666. It’s been around for almost two years, and during that time it’s kept adding events, some musical and others that tie in directly with alcohol (wine tastings, etc.). Their schedule includes Piano Wednesdays, and  starting at 8pm this Wednesday, December 4, jazz pianist Chris Comer will be performing duets with bassist Bryan Berwanger.

It’s also worth nothing that the Listing Loon is hosting “Tuesday Night Vinyl Sessions” that start at 8pm and are all about spinning records. Vinyl nights continue to spread around  Cincinnati – in fact, a new one just popped up at The Drinkery in Over-the-Rhine; they take place every Wednesday, starting at 9pm.

Back to Chris Comer: here’s some nicely-shot and -edited footage of him performing recently with a trio: