Big Lazy To Play MOTR Pub

Big Lazy

On September 10 MOTR Pub will host a very special (and free) concert by a NYC-based band that uses three instruments—guitar, upright bass, and drums—to create a rich and colorful soundscape. Big Lazy doesn’t play a lot of notes, yet their music spreads out like a wide-screen Technicolor movie that opens with a shot of a desert sky that seems to go on forever. The soundtrack you’re imagining as you listen to Big Lazy somehow combines a rural setting with a noir narrative. It only makes sense that the leader of the band, guitarist Stephen Ulrich, has composed music for HBO series Bored to Death and the film Art and Craft. If you attend the show, you’ll hear echoes of Ennio Morricone and Henry Mancini, but in a different context. Their music should sound lovely in an intimate setting like MOTR Pub. The opening act will be Cincinnati’s re-energized Tigerlilies, who have been on a roll lately with live shows and new music, some of it in the form of cassettes! Sounds like a good night to check out the merch table. Here’s a video of Big Lazy playing Elephant Walk:


A Conversation with Bill Frisell

Last night was one of those kismet nights where things fall into place at the last minute. Everything went right, except for that point in the evening that mattered most, which was a brief conversation I had with one of the best guitarists in the world.

Oh well.

I was downtown on business yesterday afternoon/early evening, and after that ended I was simultaneously overdressed and underdressed, which is to say I was wearing spiffy clothes but not enough clothes because, well, it was cold. That really wouldn’t have mattered if I had driven home right away, which was the original plan, but as I headed to my car I remembered that Bill Frisell was performing at the Emery Theatre as part of The Requiem Project. If I can get in for half-price, I told myself, then I was meant to see this show, and if not I’ll go home. When I told the ticket sellers that I saw the note on about reduced-price tickets, they said sure, no problem, and suddenly I was going to the show. While standing out front with Ron Esposito, whose third singing bowls release, We Are One, came out recently, he said this to me: Continue reading “A Conversation with Bill Frisell”

uKanDanZ was great; More Music to Come

I’m about to discuss the concert that I saw last night and the music coming up later this week, but first I wanted to share with the world some very important new about cuisine here in the city of Cincinnati: Shanghai Mama’s, my favorite restaurant in the city for the food and the atmosphere, is back in action. After a fire at the end of last year Shanghai Mama’s predicted that they would reopen months ago, but the opening kept getting delayed. And although they’ve been open several weeks now I be there are still lotsa folks out there who haven’t heard yet that they’re back in operation. (And a reminder: on Fridays and Saturdays they’re open until three AM.)

Continue reading “uKanDanZ was great; More Music to Come”

Music at The Incline, The Avenue, and MOTR Pub

Last Saturday the urge hit me to revisit The Incline Lounge at the Celestial in Mt Adams, and I’m glad I did. You would be hard pressed to find a place in town more suitable for a cocktail, and true to form cocktail glasses were in abundance that evening. The Lou Lausche Trio (consisting of piano, bass, drums) was playing, and when we walked in they were performing a song I’m not sure I’ve ever heard in Cincinnati, or for that matter anywhere: “Nardis,” an early Miles Davis composition that Miles never actually recorded and which came to be associated much more with Bill Evans, who revisited the composition many times during his career. The trio also delivered a nice rendition of “Doxy,” which is a great sleazy, bluesy, boozy, seldom-played Sonny Rollins song that Jimmy McGary used to like to play and that I mentioned to Lou the day before the show. What a nice and thoughtful surprise it was to hear it, and the trio sounded great, and the Celestial has managed to retain the charm that’s been there since it opened many moons ago. Although I don’t remember her name, the vocalist who joined the trio for the second half of the first set was very tasteful, and hearing the music plus seeing the fireworks after the Reds hit a homer and won the game made for a great experience at the Incline Lounge.

(And lest I forget, the Manhattan they served me was stellar.) Continue reading “Music at The Incline, The Avenue, and MOTR Pub”

Jim Tarbell at Motr Pub


In spite of the fact that when I walk in there Motr Pub is often packed, I still run into people who have no idea that it exists, so let’s start at the beginning: Motr Pub is a new bar (it opened in September 2010) located at 1345 Main Street in Over the Rhine, and it’s a great place to hear local, regional and national bands. The cover is zero dollars, but I suspect they make a buck or two with their great (and changing) selection of draft and bottle beers, other liquids as well as a menu that includes their much-loved Motr Burgers.  The artists I’ve seen perform there include Akron/Family and Richard Buckner, and I feel fortunate to be able to drive just a couple miles to see artists of that stature. Continue reading “Jim Tarbell at Motr Pub”