Sunday, September 7, 2003

Here's the buzz on pop music

By Larry Nager

Best deal

Hottest ticket, too: There's no getting away from this one. This fall, the 3,000-pound concert gorilla is the Tall Stacks Music, Arts & Heritage Festival, Oct. 15-19. It's the most everything: the most dramatic - and riskiest - premiere of an event, the most unbelievable bargain (five days, 75 acts, $12) Act for act - B.B. King, Lucinda Williams, Nickel Creek, Ricky Skaggs, Keb' Mo' and Los Lobos - it's the best, most diverse festival Greater Cincinnati has ever seen.

Coolest show

Toughest ticket: It's the year's hottest rock band; the concert has been sold out for months (the first date was postponed when front man Jack White broke his finger in July). It's the White Stripes at Bogart's on Nov. 25.

Most massive

Musical melange: The MidPoint Music Festival is the Tristate's fastest-growing rock event. Two hundred bands from all over the country will converge on Cincinnati Sept. 24-27 to showcase their music for civilians and industry folk alike, in clubs all over the place (but mostly downtown). So get out your lint brush, spruce up your best black-on-black outfit and lace up your most comfortable shoes. There's going to be a lot of music out there.

Most traditional

Tom Paxton: Remember when folksingers sang folk songs instead of acoustic pop? Tom Paxton remembers. Paxton, an old-school folkie, is one of the premier songwriters of the original '60s folk revival, penning such classics as "Last Thing on My Mind," "Ramblin' Boy," "I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound" and "Bottle of Wine." He's also one of the sharpest, funniest topical singer/songwriters of the past 40 years. Nov. 21, the compleat Tom Paxton will be at the 20th Century (8 p.m.; $16; 779-9462).

Coolest jazz

Pat Metheny: Pat Metheny changed the world of jazz guitar in the mid-'70s and, 15 Grammys and millions of records later, he's still at it. Any Metheny sighting is an event worth noting. But his Nov. 10 concert here is even more of a must-see. Performing in the intimate, 450-seat Parrish Auditorium on Miami University's Hamilton campus, he'll appear solo and with a stellar trio featuring Christian McBride on bass and Antonio Sanchez on percussion. 7 and 9:30 p.m.; tickets are $32 (513-529-3200).

Cincinnati classic

Celtic Festival: This Teutonic town, home of the Chicken Dance, still has a Celtic soul. Each September that soul comes to full flower at Cincinnati Folk Life's Celtic Festival at Coney Island. Enjoy a Guinness with your fish & chips and hear some of the finest Irish, Scottish, British and American musicians on the planet. Headliners for this year's fest, Sept. 27-28, are Scotland's Old Blind Dogs and the stunning Irish singer Niamh Parsons. The reels start rolling at noon daily. More information: 533-4822.

Biggest reunion

Seldom Scene: For bluegrass fans, it's the equivalent of a Beatles reunion. Nov. 1, the original Seldom Scene - singer/guitarist John Starling, dobro master Mike Auldridge, banjo player Ben Eldrdige and bassist extraordinaire Tom Gray (with Larry Stephenson subbing for the late, great mandolinist/tenor singer John Duffey) - will do their first concert together in the Tristate since the '70s, performing at Parrish Auditorium at Miami University's Hamilton Campus. In the mid-'70s, the Seldom Scene performed and recorded with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris and was the gold standard of progressive bluegrass (8 p.m.; $18; 513-529-3200).



• Visual arts: The buzz | The exhibits | Gotta see it
• Film: The buzz | The films | Gotta see it
• Classical music: The buzz | The events | Gotta hear it
• Dance: The buzz | The events | Gotta see it
• Pop music: The buzz | The events | Gotta hear it
• Theater: The buzz| The productions | Gotta see it


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