Did You Know There’s a Bang & Olufsen Store Downtown?

bang olufsen 001Back in the days when I was first falling in love with stereo equipment (this was when you could walk in a store and choose between Marantz, Pioneer, Sansui, Harmon-Kardon, and dozens of other brands at affordable prices – we didn’t know how good we had it), one of the elite brands, and one that stood out in the crowd, was Bang & Olufsen. You knew a piece of equipment was Bang & Olufsen the second you laid eyes on it. The sleek, sexy, Scandinavian design merged form and function in true modernist style, giving you great-sounding equipment AND a nice piece of furniture. Based in Denmark, Bang & Olufsen had a cult following, and I was pleasantly surprised that they recently opened a store in downtown Cincinnati where Bankhardt’s forever used to be, at 6 West 4th Street. Their hours are 11 to 9 Monday to Friday and 10 to 8 Saturday. Their Cincinnati store has its own website – linktobang and olufsenwebsite. When I visited the store yesterday I took some pictures of equipment that was all new to me. I once owned a Bang & Olufsen turntable and a pair of their speakers, but I really haven’t kept up with them. What I found when I walked around was that the the Danish electronics manufacturers  still had that signature look that – as I said before – stood out in the crowd. They’re definitely worth a visit! Although they stopped making turntables, I’ll betcha three or four Jimmy Smith 45s that, with vinyl sales ramping up, they’ll get back to it. After all, these guys have always been ahead of the curve, but they also have a rich history.

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Paul Weller Plays Bogart’s September 12

Paul Weller in concert - LondonIf you’ve heard the Jam or Style Council, then you’ve heard Paul Weller. He was the leader of both bands, singing, writing songs, and playing guitar for these two groups that, while quite different, enjoyed success from what I’m guessing were two widely different audiences. By now he’s put out more albums as a solo artist than he did with either of those bands, and the Bogart’s show on September 12 is part of a solo tour.

This is the kind of show that doesn’t come to Cincinnati very often, and it would be great if a good-sized crowd should show up to support this event. So tell your friends and share this blog entry. Here’s the Jam with Paul Weller doing one of their biggest hits, “That’s Entertainment:”

Marrakech Moroccan Cafe & Grill Opens On Ludlow

gaslite 001It’s all a roving reporter can do keep up with all the news stores and restaurants popping up on Ludlow Avenue in the Gaslight District lately. Just this week Marrakech Moroccan Cafe & Grill opened at 341 Ludlow Avenue, and when I walked past it during lunch and dinner hours it was packed. The phone number is 513.442.2233. Hours are: Sunday thru Thursday 11am to 10pm; and Friday/Saturday 11am to 11pm. On its Facebook page, the restaurant describes its food as Middle Eastern, French, and Morrocan. If you click the “About” link on that page, you can see the menu. We’re glad to see this tasty addition to the Gaslight District, and I should add that a couple other restaurants are on the cusp of opening as well – and you’ll read about here in this blog. 

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Boyhood Is Showing at The Esquire

BoyhoodThe new Richard Linklater movie is now at the Esquire Theatre. Boyhood has been getting press for a long time because Linklater used the same actors through a 12-year period for this story of a boy growing up. That strategy is more than a gimmick, and the movie is more than an interesting experiment; quite simply, the risk paid off. The main character, Mason, is likeable and believable. The movie feels like real life, and it really exposes what it the world is like in a child’s eyes. So what’s it like? Well, it’s uncomfortable. The trouble for children is that they’re surrounded by adults who see themselves as pillars of wisdom when actually they’re often kind of screwy. The children see this, but they can’t do much about it; much of their strategy is just finding a way to lay low.

There are some likable adults in the film, however. One is Mason’s mother, played brilliantly by Patricia Arquette. Abandoned by Mason’s biological father, she then marries and divorces two men who make Mason Sr. seem stellar in comparison. And while Mason Sr. makes his fair share of mistakes, he comes across eventually as a good guy who succeeds admirably—not at first, perhaps, but in the long run—in showing Mason Jr. that he loves him.

It’s the kind of movie that make you darn glad that the Esquire is still around. You might take it for granted, but there was a time when its future was a question mark. This link tells you more about the Esquire, including a period in the 1980s when some people in the Clifton community pitched in and, against great odds, helped save this historical theatre: Esquire History

Shop at Clifton Natural Foods & Win a Prize from Ludlow Wines!

002Clifton Natural Foods has been a hit since the day it opened on Ludlow Avenue, but just to add an extra incentive, Ludlow Wines is offering prizes to people who shop at the new store across the street. All you have to do is bring a Clifton Natural Foods sales receipt dated through September 30, 2014 and showing a $25 minimum purchase to win one of the dozens of prizes available. The top prize is a one-night stay at the Clifton House Bed & Breakfast. 

You get one entry for every receipt you bring in, and you can enter as often as you like. It’s that esprit de corps that makes the Gaslight District such a great neighborhood.

 Gaslight Property has been a part of the neighborhood for decades, with an office in the heart of the Gaslight District and a history of supporting activities that take place here (this year’s upcoming CliftonFest on Ludlow is just one example). Here’s a promotional video of some of our apartment buildings. Call 513.861.600 if you would like one of our staff members to show you some apartments in person!

JD Allen Quartet Live on Saturday

jd allenDid you know that a jazz musician who has built a reputation around the world as one of the most talented and innovative players on the scene happens to live in Cincinnati? Saxophonist JD Allen is young enough to still be considered a rising star and old enough to have already built an impressive resume. He didn’t grow up in Cincinnati—Detroit was his hometown, and he’s lived in New York—but recently he moved here. Although, like other in-demand jazz musicians, he spends a lot of time playing and recording around the world, he is interested in putting something together locally, and the performance Saturday night at the New Prospect Baptist Church at 1821 Elm Street (the corner of Findlay and Elm) has the potential to be some pretty awesome music. The quartet includes Willie Smart on drums; Willie you may know from the years he spent busking next to Graeter’s with any number of percussion instruments as well as a multi-tiered drum set. If someone can make it happen as a solo percussionist—and Willie sho’ nuff does—imagine what he can do with a quartet. The guitarist will be Brendon Scott Coleman, an extremely active and versatile young player, and the bassist is John P.

As for the bandleader, JD Allen, I’ll simply say that he’s one of the shining lights among young jazz musicians right now. Listening to him, I hear echoes of earlier tenor players from the golden age of bebop (and earlier too), but I also hear a searcher, someone who’s not content to mimic other musicians. He has a robust sound on the horn, and he’s a quite lyrical player when the situation calls for it.

The show starts at 8pm. The cover is $10 prepay (call 513-787-7025), or $12 at the door—and there’s a discount for seniors. Here’s some live footage of JD performing in Spain (I told you he’s a world traveler):