It Wasn’t All Bad — 2016 In Review

There was this for one thing. West Fountain Street once again has a fountain (horse watering trough) thanks to the Luongo Square Enhancement project of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA). The new bump-out in front of The Avery has been nicely executed with good quality hardscaping materials — granite curbing, Belgian block pavers, and an aggregate concrete surface.  Nothing fussy. And the excellent new Bucktown is right around the corner!

The following events helped distract me from current events this past year. Big thanks to all involved.

In February, only a month after the death of David Bowie, ‘Arc Iris and Friends’ put on “The Music of David Bowie” upstairs at the Columbus and it was terrific. A long list of local artists including Death Vessel, MorganEve Swain, Roz Raskin, Chris Daltry, and Brian Webb, mixed and matched, and performed solos, with both precision and abandon. Many of us were seeing the hyper-kinetic Rafay Rashid perform for the first time since his fall from Prospect Terrace, and he held nothing back in his ‘Queen Bitch.’ It was an extraordinary might of music and honored the memory of David Bowie in the best way possible.

Other live music I caught this year was my new favorite, NYC’s psychedelic power trio Sunflower Bean at the Columbus. And at the Met, Rochester rockers Joywave had everyone jumping up and down. In a world with ears these bands would be big stuff.

The One Providence show at The Facade featured another fave, Screaming Females. The entire line-up was fantastic — thank you Columbus Collaborative. The building facade itself now joins the stuck-open Crook Point Bascule as an urban relic we can’t live without. The space turns out to be a great place for music and light show. Please do it again!

And the most promising new local band with the least promising start — Geraldine. Bass player Brigham Brough had a bad accident involving several fingers and a power saw. Microsurgery and leech therapy saved his reattached pinkie (ProJo 10.8.16) and Brough’s surgeon and the assisting residents had front row seats as Geraldine debuted at the Columbus in October. The band is great . . . the finger stayed on . . . we all applauded wildly.

Thank you to the people who talked me into going to “Beowulf” at Trinity Rep. I’m not much of a theater person but certain people kept prodding me. Great original music performed by sexy, badass performers with some monster voices . . . nothing like a little Mead Hall metal. (I may have invented yet another sub-genre, god help us.)

Thank you Taylor Polites for your unique wallpaper show at 186 Carpenter. What a crazy concept. I coveted several of the prints.

Thank you Tig Notaro for taking us out of our spider-filled heads for at least a few hours. (The election was only days away.) My face hurt the next day from laughing so hard. I’ll be needing more of that.


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