Sunday, April 8 – Saturday, April 14
The Week in Peanuts: As I write this, my Cincinnati Reds are 2 and 13. Gosh, that hurts. At least I can enjoy Reds-branded peanuts, or so I thought. In a great cosmic joke, I bought them last week at 2 for $3 and this week they are on sale for $1. Dammit, that’s just rude.
The Week in BBQ in the Neighborhood: The restaurants keep opening in Cincinnati, oozing with enthusiasm of entrepreneurs looking to make their mark. Enthusiasm was in full display when I stopped into Lucious Q this week. Their official opening is 4/20 and they are still putting finishing touches on what looks to be a great addition to the food scene and to the neighborhood. I had ribs and a mac and cheese waffle. The ribs were fall of the bone amazing. The Mac and Cheese waffle (exactly what it sound like – a scoop of mac and cheese pressed in a waffle maker) was a fun, easy to eat side. The bourbon slushy, like a milk shake but with a coffee flavor and some bourbon makes for a surprising perfect pairing with the BBQ. I can’t wait until they’re officially open!!
The Week in Music 1 – Little and Powerful: Jess Lamb and the Music Factory perform every Thursday night at Revel OTR performing their tunes and sharing the space with other local musicians who stop in to collaborate. The evening feels alive, not programmed, and you never know what they will create. And, a portion of the proceeds are donated by Revel to a charity of the band’s choice. This month they were supporting the Free Store Food Bank. #MusicCreatesCommunity
The Week in Music 2 – Medium Sized and Powerful: The Right Now played MOTR on Friday in a not terribly crowded room. But the band delivered big time. They are a blues and jazz infused pop band from Chicago with an impeccable taste in choosing covers mixed in with original songs, a great deal of heart and enthusiasm that shines from the stage, and a personable and talented lead singer, Stefanie Berecz, who delivers the whole package. Stefanie had the strength to essentially stop a super high energy show to tell a personal story about her life partner and the father of her children committing suicide nearly a year to the day previous of show. She talked passionately about mental health and the band’s support of the suicide prevention group Hope For the Day. It was beautiful and real moment in a very impressive show.
The Week in Music 3 – The Adults: Finally for the week, I had to put on a nice pair of pants to go see the symphony. I got backed into this particular show, Beethoven and Prokofiev when I was trying to put together a cheap subscription package. It was my least favorite show of the season. Beethoven’s fourth, albeit a joyous work, isn’t terribly interesting to a casual classical music fan and it was the anchor for the evening. Modern composer Pierre Jalbert was commissioned to write a modern response to Beethoven. His tonal, mechanic sounding response was interesting to me, but I didn’t understand it. It makes me wonder though about things we listen to now that aren’t comfortable but will sound fine to audiences years down the line.
One super interesting thing happened during Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto. I didn’t even notice anything, but the man behind me whispered “something is wrong.” And seconds later, soloist Karen Gomyo appeared to struggle with the violin and the man said, “the violin is out of tune.” I would have never known. At the end of the piece (while they were setting the stage for the Jalbert piece) the man said that especially when the seasons change, the pegs on the violin slip. As he put it, it’s not unusual, “It happens in the best of families.” In the program it says; “Karen plays on the “Aurora, ex-Foulis” Stradivarius violin of 1703 that was bought for her exclusive use by a private sponsor.” The best of families!
The Week in the Resistance: The owner of Penzey’s, Bill Penzey has absolutely had it with Donald Trump. Using his spice company (of all things!) as a podium, he’s been railing against the Trump administration from Day 1. It’s lost him customers and gained him customers. This week message was delivered in the form of a box of spices they sell as a gift pack called Soul. Penzey’s flat out gave away a $35.95 package of spice, no other purchase necessary, to promote the need to stand up for the soul of the country. I went and got my box and bought a little something extra. I didn’t expect buying cinnamon to be political, but it’s 2018 in America, and there you have it.