Hootie gets Barenaked with some Ladies, Rubber City Jazz fundraiser, CRAP doesn't want a sludge lagoon
Hey, gang! Remember the '90s?
There was a bunch of stupid pop culture stuff that happened in those 10 years: Woodstock '98, Rap-rock, JNCO Jeans, Crystal Pepsi, Limp Bizkit.
But while we may still be a few years away from diving full on into '90s nostalgia (“Stranger Things 4: Underneathapalooza!”), here’s a chance for you to break out that pukka shell necklace from college, whip on a kaleidoscopic slap bracelet or see if any of those old AOL installation discs still work because Hootie & the Blowfish are back, baby. And they are bringing fellow '90s band Barenaked Ladies with them to Blossom Music Center!
That’s right. Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber and Jim Sonefeld are back for the “Group Therapy” tour, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of the South Carolina band's massive debut album, “Cracked Rear View,” which surpassed the 21 million sold mark in 2018. But the tour is also apparently a teaser for the long-awaited (by some folks) sixth album by the band, which hasn't released a studio album since “Looking for Lucky” in 2005.
Concert-goers will, of course, get the hits, “Let Her Cry,” “Hold My Hand,” “Only Wanna Be With You.” The band also has a fun array of covers ready to go, from Led Zeppelin to Tom Waits, R.E.M., the Beatles and Radney Foster, and a medley that begins with the bouncy tune “Old Man & Me" and incorporates some Public Enemy, Earth, Wind & Fire and Digital Underground.
Likewise, I’ve actually seen Barenaked Ladies live, and it’s a pretty goofy good time. The Canadian Music Hall of Famers have their own catalog of pleasant, mostly fondly remembered tunes.
Their biggest hit was the No. 1 “One Week,” with its popular goofball improvised rap verses. But they also had the melodic “It’s All Been Done,” “Pinch Me” and umm ... well, that’s kind of it.
Nevertheless, the Ladies released album No. 12, “Fake Nudes,” in 2017, so there’s newish material that fans are surely dying to hear live.
So, dive into the '90s pop-rock Way Back Machine for an evening and enjoy the rare chance to sing along with those around you who also remember all the rap breaks in “One Week.”
This will be the only place and time where you can rapidly scream “Chickity China, the Chinese chicken!” and still have it considered a skill by those within earshot, rather than a sign of a possible stroke.
Theron Brown at BLU
If you’re OK with the '90s, its fashions and much of the music staying back in its rightful place, there are other options.
Also happening on Friday night in downtown Akron will be the “Downtown Throwdown With Theron Brown" at BLU Jazz+.
The event title rhymes thrice, so you know it’s gonna be good.
The evening is a fundraiser for the upcoming Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival, which takes place Aug. 23-25 and will be headlined by celebrated jazz pianist Robert Glasper and his trio. That should be a great gig, and it’s a big deal for the festival as it builds its reputation with fans and touring artists.
But until then, we’ll have to “settle” for a group of the local cats jamming. Obviously, pianist Theron Brown will be there with help from well-known dudes, including globe-trottin’ guitarist Dan Wilson, saxophonist and leader of the Admirables Nathan-Paul Davis, trumpeter and member of the Acid Cats Tommy Lehman and Chris Anderson.
It’s being billed as an “all-out blues battle,” so there should be some fine soloing over some familiar tunes. Tickets are $20 and all proceeds go to the RCJBF, so it’s good music for a good cause.
Another concert with a cause happens from noon to 6 p.m Sunday at Meadow Lake Park in Wooster.
It’s called the Fight the Sewer Sludge Lagoon Family Fun Day, which doesn’t exactly roll smoothly off the tongue but is quite descriptive.
Apparently, your Environmental Protection Agency has approved the installation of a 10-million gallon “Wiles Sewer Sludge Lagoon” in a Canaan Township neighborhood by the Quasar Energy corporation.
Unsurprisingly, many of the folks around those parts aren’t super excited about a lagoon with sewer and sludge in the name and in its waters. So a group that folks adroitly dubbed the Canaan Residents Against Pollution (CRAP) is puttin’ on a show to help pay for an appeal to the EPA.
Performers include Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tribute band Long Time Gone, along with Charlie Wiener, Jon Mosey, Gary Bonewitz, Richard Underwood and Monopoly, The Bluegrass Biosolids, the Stuckey Hill Mob and other guests (The park is at 8970 Canaan Center Road. Tickets are $15; ages 12 or younger are free with an adult. For details, call 330-435-6652.)
There will also be plenty of food and some stuff for folks to do such as bouncy slides, cornhole and a 50/50 raffle.
Malcolm X Abram can be reached at email@example.com or 330-996-3758. Like him on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1lNgxml, and follow him on Twitter @malcolmabramABJ.