Never Mind the Bollocks, H-e-e-e-e-e-re’s Johnny!

Johnny Carson image

I’m not one to embrace new technology too quickly. Although I play CDs, vinyl is still the heart of my record collection, and I’ve never streamed anything. I record my songs not with Pro Tools but a cassette player.

One reason I’ve put off signing up for Cable TV is that I’ve gone for years at a time without a boob tube.

Last year, though, someone called to tell me that I could add cable to my Internet and phone package and actually pay less money, so for the first time I bit. By that point I had somehow amassed not one but two TVs.

In some ways the experiment has been successful. More than anything, Turner Classic Movies has helped satisfy my need for grainy black-and-white movies.

A couple months after I enrolled, however, I discovered that starting on January 1 Antenna TV—Channel 64.2 if you’re in Cinci—was going to show Johnny Carson episodes every night of the week. In some cities Antenna TV is available on cable, but with my cable provider you can only watch it with an antenna.

Somehow that just seems right.

So, I dug out an antenna and started watching Johnny Carson for the first time since his final week in 1992. At 11pm on weekends they show episodes from the 1980s and 1990s, and at 10 pm on weekend nights it’s shows from the 1970s. The weekend shows are 90 minutes long, a tradition that lasted until 1980.

No TV stations have rerun Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show since it ended. Even if you’ve watched clips on YouTube, returning to full episodes will spark a reappraisal.

Was it as great as you remember it being?

Absolutely. Carson is a master, and you can see it in the earliest 1970s clips through the episode that ran the other night with Elizabeth Taylor just three months before he called it quits.

Why was Johnny Carson such a natural as a talk-show host? In part it has something to do with his upbringing. Born in the Midwest, he was a down-to-earth guy who could have been your neighbor down the street.

Yet on the East and West Coasts—his shows took place New York and after that Hollywood—he exhibited a sophistication that was understated rather than flashy. Even the most famous entertainers Carson approached as an equal, and the interviews seem like real conversations as opposed to Hollywood glitz. We all know talk show hosts who are deferential or condescending, but that was never Carson’s style.

Something that becomes clear when you watch the show again is just how weird Carson’s humor could be. Obviously that’s a trait we associate with Letterman, but Carson got there first – somehow, though, with him that type of humor called less attention to itself.

So, the cable viewers whose providers don’t carry Antenna TV need to figure out how to hook their TV sets up the old-school way for an old-school show. And for those people who don’t watch cable, take note: the best show on TV is pure antenna.

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A quick note: Antenna TV DOES show up these stations on cable in Cincinnati:

  • Comcast Ch. 253
  • Limestone/Bracken Cablevision Ch. 131
  • Limestone/Bracken Cablevision Ch. 18 (Mount Olivet)
  • Time Warner Cable Ch. 996

And they’re working on adding it to other cable providers.

Open Mic at Lydia’s on Ludlow

open mic 2 001

Good news from Lydia’s on Ludlow, aka Om Eco Café: two Thursdays a month the coffee house will host open mic nights, which means that anyone who wants to share their music, poetry, performance, fiction, or creative non-fiction is free to come up and perform. The readings will take place between 7pm and 9pm on the second and third Thursdays of each month, and the first will be on January 14. Already the buzz is on about this new series, which is sure to pull writers and musicians out of the woodwork from both the Gaslight District and throughout Cincinnati. The series will be hosted by Kelly Thomas, who earned an MA at Miami University and an MFA at Butler University and teaches English at NKU and Xavier. Kelly also happens to be a witty, provocative,energetic, and thoroughly unpredictable poet, as the poems on her website attest. Note also that Lydia’s on Ludlow is also going to have literary readings on the fourth Thursday of every month, only these will host featured readers instead of the open mic format – but I’ll save the details of that for a later blog entry. This should be fun, folks—and you can bet there will be a packed house, as ‘round these parts there’s all kinds of poets and fiction writers with no place to go—until now, at least!

 

Clifton Market Is A Go!

Clifton Market

Perhaps you’ve heard the news, or perhaps you haven’t. Even if you have, it’s worth hearing again, and in fact you may want to say it aloud a few times just to let it sink in:

Clifton is going to have a grocery store again.

That splendid news spread like wildfire yesterday, after this email that was straight from the horse’s mouth: Clifton Market Closed on it’s Loans Today! With our loans coming online today we will be seeing construction starting in the new year!  

Construction is expected to be finished by summer.

It’s appropriate that it would occur during the holiday season and right before the dawn of a new year. This happened because the people of Clifton worked together and refused to give up. It was the same spirit that save the Esquire Theatre, which has been a great success and a cornerstone in the community. 2015 was a great year for our community, and 2016 will be even better!

 

The Latest at Petey’s Pet Stop: Go Get Grover Groomed!

The groomer, Suzanne Whitaker, with the scene-stealing and perpetually photo-opping Breezy and Annabelle
The groomer, Suzanne Whitaker, with the scene-stealing and perpetually photo-opping Breezy and Annabelle

About two months have passed since Petey’s Pet Stop opened in Clifton’s Gaslight District. Petey’s was an instant hit in the neighborhood, and it’s nice to have such a fun new addition to the small businesses that make the Gaslight District a special to live. You can read about some of the services it offers in this blog entry. This week it began offering a new service: grooming. The newly-hired groomer, Suzanne Whitaker, has over 15 years of experience with dog grooming as well as a lifelong passion for animals. Suzanne trained at Nash Academy of Animal Arts in Lexington, Kentucky. She has groomed at several grooming salons in Greater Cincinnati and owned and operated Your Best Friend Pet Salon in Hebron, Kentucky for several years. She’s at Petey’s every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, as well as some Saturdays. You can make an appointment for a grooming session or try a walk-in; she’s available for walk-in nail trims no matter what. Although it’s not essential, Suzanne encourages first-timers to meet her beforehand and discuss how they like their pet groomed. Price varies according to breed and size. Sounds like Suzanne was, like the store, an instant hit—when I checked in at the end of her first work day, she said she was busy the whole day. Petey’s is located at 311 Howell, right next to–very conveniently–Howell Avenue Pet Hospital. Hours for Petey’s are Tuesday through Friday 9am to 7pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm. Their phone number is 513.221.7387.

OTR Record Fair This Saturday

otr record fair 1

A first-ever record fair will take place this Saturday, September 26, from 12pm to 6pm at Rhinegeist Brewery, located at 1910 Elm Street in Over the Rhine. The event, which is free, promises “Vinyl, Beer, and great door prizes from Crosley Radio, Ubahn, Plaid Room Records, and more.” Agar, Rhinegeist, Northside Record Fair, Savantry and Ubahn Festival teamed up for this event. It’s great to see more record fairs coming to Cincinnati. The Northside show has been a hit from the beginning, and the vinyl boom in general has helped a music industry that took a quick, hard dive begin to crawl back and make things interesting again. Although there are lots of other good things you can say about vinyl, I focus on the craftsmanship involved in physically creating a vinyl record; to make one, you have to get your hands dirty, applying old-school (and largely forgotten) technology that they don’t teach you in school. The person spearheading this record fair is Rob Mason, who works for the OTR marketing firm Agar and has met Jerry Springer. And he’s a real music + record lover, as this Q+ A attests:

What inspired you to host a record fair in Cincinnati? I decided to put this event together because I was looking throw a fun, community facing event that coincided with the music community that will be taking over OTR during the music festival.

How long have you been into records/vinyl, and what do you collect? I’ve been amassing records for the past 20 years. I’m a music fanatic and I’m always on the lookout for cool new bands…I’d say I’m probably 70/30 in favor of new music over classic LPs. My wife would say that I have more than enough LPs and 45s but we all know that’s never the case.

Sounds like you’re from around these parts, then left, then came back. What took you away/where did you go…and why did you come back?  Nice Jerry Springer photo by the way. I went to school at Miami Univ…got my start in the music biz at WMSR and then at WOXY… I lived in NYC for the past 10 years working for various record labels and a music distribution company. We recently relocated to Cincinnati (my wife is from here) as we just had our 2nd kid and it was time to be closer to family. I was very excited to meet Jerry at Whispering Beard Fest. He couldn’t have been nicer!

Tell us about your label. I’ve been running Old Flame in various capacities for the past 7 years. It’s definitely been a labor of love but I’ve had the honor of working with some amazing bands including putting out an early 45 for Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings, the debut LP from Northampton, MA’s Potty Mouth, and way more great bands. I’m really excited to be back in SW Ohio and bring more shows and music-centric events to the area!

otr record fair 2

Northside Rock and Roll Carnival Returns

northside-rock-n-roll-carnival-2015

Gaslight Property is a proud sponsor of the 2015 Northside Rock and Roll Carnival. This all-ages free event will take place from Thursday through Saturday, July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. The music takes place at Hoffner Park, where the pavilion will be a Beer Garden. Along with music, carnival-goers will be treated to fire breathers and a carnival side show features sword swallowers and a bed of nails.

This year’s carnival definitely features a strong and varied lineup, with some of Cincinnati’s best bands as well as a slew of out-of-town groups. No doubt a huge crowd will be on hand on Thursday night when Wussy, a Cinci band that now has a national audience, takes the stage at midnight.  Of the out-of-town groups, the one I like best is Wildhoney, who start at 8:05pm on Friday. Here’s the schedule for the event:

THURSDAY JULY 2

6:00 THE STEALTH PASTILLE 7:00OHIO KNIFE 8:00MASON SCHOOL OF ROCK 9:00JEREMY PINNELL 10:00THE HARLEQUINS 11:00NUDE BEACH (NEW YORK) 12:00WUSSY

FRIDAY JULY 3

6:00 COMET BLUEGRASS ALLSTARS 7:00 OLD CITY 8:00R. RING 9:00 NOMAD 10:00 BEAT AWFULS (LEXINGTON) 11:00 CAVE (CHICAGO) 12:00 SAINTSENECA

SATURDAY JULY4

6:00 DANIEL WAYNE AND THE SILVER LININGS 7:00 THEE TSUNAMI’S (BLOOMINGTON) 8:05 WILDHONEY (BALTIMORE) 9:00 DAAP GIRLS 10:00 FLESH PANTHERS (CHICAGO) 1:00 THE GOTOBEDS (PITTSBURGH) 12:00 THOSE DARLINS

Don’t forget, of course, that the main event that weekend will be Northside’s July 4th parade; here’s a link to more information on that, and here’s a video of the dark shoegazing sounds of Wildhoney:

 

 

Miles Davis in Cincinnati

Miles Davis MovieHere’s something to be excited about: a movie about one of the greatest jazz musicians ever is about to be filmed in Cincinnati.

That musician is Miles Davis, and the filming is set to take place in July. As with ‘Carol,’ ‘A Rage in Harlem,’ ‘The Public Eye’ and ‘Lost in Yonkers,’ modern-day Cincinnati will be transformed into midcentury New York City.

Miles Davis for blogOne of the intriguing things about the project is the fact that Miles Davis visited Cincinnati during every phase of his career. He played Cinci when his introspective style was described as “walking on eggshells,” and he also performed here after turning electric and throwing some Sly Stone into the mix.

Then, after battling back from serious health issues, he pMiles Davis for bloglayed here a couple times in the 1980s. That brings us to the two times I have been the same room as Miles Davis: one at the beginning of his “comeback,” and the other near the end of his life. In all, I saw Miles Davis perform three times, and each concert was radically different. I published a piece about that in perfectsoundforever.com, and if you’d like to know what happened when I saw Miles Davis in Cincinnnati, have a look-see: Miles Davis in Cincinnati.

A New CD by The Tigerlilies

TigerliliesThe Tigerlilies are a Cincinnati power-pop band that’s been together almost 25 years. During that time they’ve countless shows and recorded several full-length releases. When I first saw them they were playing Sudsey Malone’s during a period when short Vine was hopping. Already they showed evidence of tight songcraft, good live energy, and an ability to combine pop melodies and rich harmonies with crunchy rock n’ roll. Everything they’re able to do live comes through on their studio recordings, and their latest, In The Dark, is solid from start to finish. Their chief influence (and they’d be the first to tell you) is Cheap Trick. At times I hear echoes of other bands as well – The Ramones, Big Star, and (on “Pull You In”) REM. Just to throw in one arcane reference, the background vocals on “Green Eyes” make me think of a French pop group named Indochine, who are (or were, at least) huge in their native country but not so big here. People I’ve played them for have usually found them too sugary for their tastes.  I’m a fan, though, for the same reason that I like the Tigerlilies: their albums string together one well-crafted pop melody after another. In The Dark can be purchased online at cdbaby.com or at Shake-It Records. From the album, here’s “Sweetheart.” It may sound nice on your computer or your phone, but another thing I like about the new Tigerlilies release is its rich, layered sound, so grab the CD to get the full experience.

New Coen Brothers Film at the Esquire

Inside Llewyn DavisThe new Coen Brothers movie Inside Llewyn Davis is showing now at The Esquire Theatre. The film takes us into the world of the 1960s folk music revival during the period where the corporations are starting to infiltrate a scene that originally stood out for its idealism. In the film Oscar Isaac plays Llewyn Davis, an authentic folk musician who has opportunities to sell out but chooses not to. He also makes some career and life blunders along the way, and the movies runs the risk of presenting a character who’s just one more ne’er do well in a long line of losers. It sidesteps that trap, however, and it also avoids the hoaky, two-dimensional portrayal of the folk coffeehouse scene that would have been so easy to stumble into.

I was too young to experience that scene, but as a record collector I caught a whiff of it. It seems like it was always in Clifton that I would find remarkable collections from folkies who were there when it happened. The ten- and twelve-inch EPs and LPs on Folkways, Elektra, Arhoolie, and other labels were more than just black plastic discs that happened to contain music. They were mementos of a movement whose musical depth was matched by a deep social and political consciousness. That was new stuff back then, and it helped lay the groundwork for whatever progress has been made. I suspect that Inside Llewyn Davis will help turn some ears toward folksingers who made invaluable contributions during the revival but have been under-recognized since. Phil Ochs was one of them, and when I started dropping the needle on folk records, this was one the songs that stuck out:

http://youtu.be/cs9mKetZFQk

Gaslight Property Wins The “Best of UC” Poll

Gaslight LogoLast week we were excited to learn that Gaslight Property won the 2014 UC News Record’s “Best of UC” poll for Best Rental Property. Thanks to everyone who voted for us! There’s a reason we deserved to win – or several reasons, actually:

  • Classic Spaces: Like most cities, Cincinnati has its share of prefab apartment complexes, but Gaslight Property rents apartments with history and character.
  • Experience: Gaslight Property is a family-owned business that’s been part of Clifton for decades.
  • Accessibility: Gaslight Property’s  office is in the heart of Clifton’s Gaslight District, so it’s within walking distance (or a very short drive) for many of their tenants.
  • Location: Most of Gaslight Property’s rentals are located in or near “The Uptown Area,” known for world-class education and healthcare. Within minutes you’ll find University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Cincinnati State, Hebrew Union College, University Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital. You’ll find many of of Gaslight Property’s places are pet-friendly, within walking distance of unique shops, locally-owned cafes, an independent theater, and scenic parks. Most also have close access to public transportation.

This came at a time when Gaslight Property is extremely busy preparing for the upcoming school year. We encourage anyone who is looking for a house or an apartment to rent to call us at 513.861.6000, so the best rental property in the area can find an apartment that suits your needs!