The last two weeks have been great ones for Gaslight Property. Last week marked the 25th Anniversary of the company, and this week, at Cincinnati Uptown Consortium’s Fifth Annual Business Awards, Gaslight Property won the Award of Excellence for Large Business. In the photo on the left, that’s Dave Taylor, CEO of Gaslight Property, flanked by University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono, Ph.D. and Beth Robinson, CEO and president of Uptown Consortium. You don’t win an award like that just for being a business; you win it for making a commitment to the community and making positive changes. Gaslight Property is a family-owned business with deep roots in the Clifton community, and they have a brick-and-mortar office in the heart of the Gaslight District, at 311 Howell Avenue. Also, Gaslight Property helped facilitate the Clifton Natural Foods move to Ludlow Avenue and the opening of Petey’s Pet Stop, Gaslight Gourmet Cookies, and others. And best of all, Gaslight Property has brought new construction to the Gaslight District, with The Whitfield, which offers “modern, luxury apartment living.” Apartments have already rented, but there are still some units available. To find out more about these or any other Gaslight Property apartments, call 513.861.6000.
This Sunday, May 1, from 1pm–5pm a rummage sale will take place at Clifton Plaza. The event is a fundraiser for CERESAV, a non-governmental organization created in order to fight acid violence, a sadly all-too-common occurrence in the world today. All proceeds from the sale will go to helping acid burn survivors. One of the great things about CERESAV is that since it was founded in 2012 it has had a real impact, so while acid violence is a horrible thing, definite steps have been taken to help survivors and, through the raising of awareness and legislation, decrease the likelihood of such attacks. More information about CERESAV is available on its website, http://ceresav.org/and on its facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Ceresav-642738575861208/?fref=ts. If you’re interested in donating items to the sale, CERESAV encourages you to email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday. Having attended their rummage sale last year, I can say that A LOT of people donate to this sale, and there was a huge, wide variety of stuff—I bought everything from a flat-screen computer monitor to some skinny 1950s ties. In other words, you don’t know what you’ll find there, plus it’s a chance for the neighborhood to show some support for a really good cause. See you on Sunday!
Live at the Ludlow Garage is now running full steam, with concerts every week from national performers in an intimate setting. As the crowds last night (see below) made clear, the Ludlow Garage is also a great place to eat a modestly-priced meal, have a drink, and experience the ambiance of the street in a unique way now that, with the warm weather, the doors have opened. Regarding the drinking part…well, Ludlow Garage recently revealed the details of its happy hour. From 4 to 6pm it offers:
- Tuesdays through Fridays – 1/2 off on appetizers
- Tuesdays – $2 off any draft beer
- Wednesdays – $2 off glasses of selected red & white wines
- Thursdays – $5 martinis
- Fridays – $2 off house cocktails
Invariably beer lovers will wonder what kind of beer Ludlow Garage on tap, and for that reason I took a photo last night. Note, on the right, that Stella Artois is now part of their arsenal, along with Guiness way on the left and various craft beers in between.
And don’t overlook the cocktail specials on Thursdays and Fridays. Although I’ve sipped a couple cocktails at the Ludlow Garage, this warrants some in-depth investigative journalism; I’ll take careful notes in case I forget something.
The Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead opens at the Esquire Theatre on Friday, April 15. Cincinnati should feel privileged and proud that it’s the backdrop for the film, in large part because it built—and preserved, more than most cities–the classic architecture that has film makers lining up to shoot movies here. And the story should be as colorful as the threads that Miles sports as he hops around in a sports car trying to recover a purloined reel of tape, gun ready, dark shades covering his eyes. I don’t know that a movie could have picked a better period in the life of Miles Davis to examine. It was the one time he disappeared. No records, no concerts, and a whole lot of silence. Miles had entered that limbo where Chet Baker, Sonny Rollins, Bud Powell, Art Pepper, and other great jazz musicians once resided, with drugs, drinking, artistic burnout, jail time, and asylum visits sometimes playing a role in such matters. What weighed down Miles was a combination of drugs, health problems that weren’t lifestyle related, and the fact that the music he was playing wasn’t connecting with an audiences because it was too far ahead of its time; now all people can do is rave about albums like Agharta and Dark Magus. So he disappeared. Away from the stage and the studio, a jazz musician who had been so busy reinventing himself and his music that reflecting on the past was not on his list of options looked back. Those flashbacks in the film seem like they’ll be more than a device, then: for once, during that period between 1975 and 1979, Miles could take stock of his life to date – and get that damn tape back.
April Aloisio is hosting a CD release party at Lydia’s on Ludlow this Friday, April 8. Along with singing jazz and Brazilian music, April is a yoga instructor, and on her new record, Yoga Bossa Nova, those two worlds are united. Accompanying her on the record is Fareed Haque, one of the most colorful and creative guitarists in both the jazz and jam band worlds. The album has a layered and expansive sound that may make you want to close your eyes and sink into the soundscape—or practice yoga while listening to it. The event, which takes place from 8pm to 10pm, is free, but take along a little extra cash to pick up a copy of Yoga Bossa Nova. (And if you can’t make the gig, you can still buy a copy of the record at this link on cdbaby.com.) Here’s a cut from the album, a sensual and dreamy version of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Dindi.”
On the off-chance (wink wink) that there’s anyone reading this blog entry who hasn’t done their taxes yet, I have good news: CAIN (which stands for Churches Active In Northside) is providing free walk-in service to help people file their taxes.
Again, it’s FREE.
CAIN is located at 4230 Hamilton Avenue, and Ohio Benefit Bank tax counselors are there Monday evenings from 6-7pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am–1pm. All sessions are first come, first served.
Those interested in using this service will need to bring their W-2s or other tax forms, an ID and social security card, and the information they will need to have their refund direct deposited. It is also ideal to bring the previous year’s taxes, if possible.
CAIN wants you to KEEP YOUR WHOLE REFUND and take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Some childless individuals making under $14,000, or families making under $53,000, can qualify to get supplemental income in the form of a “tax credit.” One in five families who are eligible for the EITC fail to claim it, and as a result they miss out on potentially thousands of dollars.
Also, people earning under $65,000 per year as an individual or $95,000 as a couple are eligible to e-file their taxes for free through the Ohio Benefit Bank easy to use guided system. Use CAIN’s link to the Ohio Benefit Bank’s self-serve system https://selfserve.thebenefitbank.org/ums?partner_code=424 or go to www.cainministry.org and click on E-FILE box on home page.
If you have any questions, just stop by CAIN during the above hours, or call CAIN 513-591-2246 or email Monica at email@example.com.
Gaslight Gourmet Cookies, located at 272 Ludlow, officially opened this week. They couldn’t have timed it better, what with the nice weather and lots of new things happening in the Gaslight District, including Live at Ludlow Garage. There were plenty of customers when I visited in the middle of the afternoon today, and I smelled success for this new venture. Hours are 6am to 6pm Monday through Saturday, and the store has a Facebook page – just click this link to check it out and “like” it. Also, they have a walk-up window – how old school charming is that? My cookie of choice today was an oatmeal raisin, which is a very important cookie back where I come from. My father has a soft spot for that particular confection, and you can bet that he’s been feted by daughters and daughter-in-laws who all have their own secret recipe going back hundreds of years. So which is his all-time favorite? “I haven’t tasted it yet,” has been his mantra. Well, having sampled the oatmeal raisin cookie from our new store this afternoon, it seems to me that after my father visits Cincinnati next time, he’ll be able to put that mystery to bed for good….Yummy.
Big doings on Ludlow Avenue last night, what with the premier of Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle’s tribute to Miles Davis that is based on a period when his career (and his life in general) were kind of in limbo. Folks were dressed in their finest, as only befits a film devoted to a musician who, no matter what decade you’re talking about, was known for his stylish threads. I haven’t seen the film yet, but when it opens on April 15th at the Esquire, I’ll forsurely check it out then, as I’ve got good feelings about this one. Shot in Cincinnati, it promises to be both a visual and musical delight.
The other day I arrived at the Esquire Theatre before the trailers had started for Only Yesterday, a Japanese animated film directed by Isao Takahata. At that point there were only two people in the room, and the person two rows in front of me asked if the movie was overdubbed or used subtitles. “You got me,” I said. “If there’s an animated movie on the big screen, that’s all I need to know.” He told that the movie was done with hand-drawn animation, which sounded even better. Only Yesterday has a simple and realistic plot wherein a vacation the main character, Taeko, launches a flood of memories…as well as some major life decisions. Visually a lovely film, Only Yesterday charms with its indoor school and family scenes and awes with its depictions of the woods and fields and the sky—this is definitely one for the big screen. Just as important, the story rings true. It’s fascinating how the tale unfolds piece by piece, leading we’re not sure where…but hang in there, because the ending is both subtle and powerful. I was glad to learn that the Esquire held this for another week, but it won’t be there forever—get there before it’s gone.
The next time you’re playing the music edition of Trivial Pursuit, prepare yourself for this question: What member of Blood, Sweat & Tears collaborated with musicians from the Velvet Underground?
The answer is Steve Katz, who will be performing at Live at the Ludlow Garage on Saturday, April 9. If you sift through his discography you’ll find a sweet spot where it seemed like all he could do was contribute to classic albums.
After leaving the Blues Project, Katz was the guitarist (and sometimes vocalist and songwriter) for the early jazz-rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears. Their first album, Child is Father to the Man, impressed the critics while their eponymous second album was a commercial success and then some.
About the time BS&T was losing steam Katz collaborated with Lou Reed, producing Reed’s great live album Rock ’N’ Roll Animal and the studio follow-up Sally Can’t Dance. Suddenly Lou Reed was a commercial success instead of a genius who deserved a larger audience.
In the 70s Katz also formed the band American Flyer with Doug Yule from a later incarnation of the Velvet Underground.
More evidence that Katz had a habit of being in the right place at the right time: he also performed at the two most famous music festivals from the 1960s, Monterey Pop (as part of the Blues Project) and Woodstock (with BS&T).
On April 9 Katz will be performing in a venue that’s much more intimate but that also has a rich history, the Ludlow Garage. It’s a good bet that you know some of the songs Katz has either played on or produced, and if you’re familiar with the second album by Blood, Sweat & Tears—the really famous one, that sold millions of copies and won three Grammy Awards—then you’ve heard this song that Katz wrote and sang, complete with a haunting melody, melancholy lyrics, and luscious harmonies: