Today marks the start of a three-game series between the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets at Citi Field. This will be the first time the two teams have met this year; though the Mets were victorious in their last meeting, the Reds won six games against the Mets last year, while New York only won two. Going into tonight’s game, the Reds have won seven of their last nine games and are only two and a half games out of first place in the National League’s Central Division. The Mets have been having a tougher time, having only won three of their last ten games and currently sitting in the second to last spot in the NL East.
Tonight, New York will face Johnny Cueto in what will be the right-handed flamethrower’s first time on the mound for the Reds since going on the disabled list after pitching five innings on April 13. He will face off against Shaun Marcum who has been struggling this season; the Met veteran is currently 0-4 with an ERA of 6.75. Tomorrow, the Reds’ Mike Leake will go up against Jonathon Niese, while Wednesday Cincinnati’s Mat Latos will take the mound against Matt Harvey.
Tonight and tomorrow’s games are at 7:10pm, while Wednesday is an afternoon game starting at 1:10pm. As always, if you can’t make it to the games, you can watch on SNY (channel 26 on Time Warner), or listen at WFAN 660 AM or WEPN 98.7 FM.
Nina Blackwood, one of the original MTV VJs, grew up in Rocky River, a westside suburb of Cleveland. After moving to Los Angeles, where she busked playing rock & roll songs on the harp, she was the first VJ hired for the fledgling music video channel after she responded to an ad in the newspaper. Prior to her five-year stint with MTV, Blackwood’s biggest brush with fame had been a nude appearance in a 1978 Playboy “Girls of the Office” pictorial.
These days Blackwood hosts her own Sirius XM radio show, as well as two nationally syndicated programs. Tonight she will be appearing with the other remaining original VJs: Martha Quinn (who, in another Ohio connection, dated Stiv Bators for a spell), Mark Goodman, and Alan Hunter. (J.J. Jackson suffered a heart attack and passed away in 2004.) The occasion is the release of VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave, a book written with Rolling Stone contributing editor Gavin Edwards, who will be joining the VJs at 7pm at Powerhouse Arena.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Cincinnati trio Tweens will be opening for the Breeders at tonight’s soldout show at Webster Hall. Afterwards they’ll be sticking around for a couple days to play some smaller gigs. Tomorrow, they’ll be at Shea Stadium in Brooklyn, sharing the DIY space stage with Japanther and Grand Rapids. Then, Wednesday night, they’ll play a free show at Pianos with Lodro, Total Slacker, and the Drowners.
The Cincy trio, which took form last year when roommates Payton Dabney, BB Tween, and Jerri Queen decided to form a band, has been making waves at home and abroad with their fetching mix of girl-group and garage rock influences. Check out the track “Rattle & Rollin’” below, and also check out their first (but certainly not last) interview over at my other site, The Agit Reader.
Even if you haven’t read Simon Reynolds’ excellent Retromania, you’ve probably noticed that we are living in an age when seemingly bands of every era simultaneously exist. Take the Breeders, for instance. Formed by Pixies bassist and Dayton native Kim Deal as a side project with Tanya Donnelly, the Breeders achieved their greatest success once the Pixies were put to bed and the band released its second album, The Last Splash, in 1993. By then, Donnelly had moved on to form Belly, and Deal had recruited her sister Kelley and drummer Jim Macpherson, another Ohioan. Along with British bassist Josephine Wiggs (who had played on the Breeders’ debut, Pod), the group eclipsed Kim’s former band commercially, with The Last Splash going platinum largely on the success of single “Cannonball” on alternative radio. However, by 1995 this version of the band had disintegrated. Though Kim and Kelley still released several albums with new line-ups under the Breeders moniker, they never achieved the same popularity.
As such, the reunion of The Last Splash line-up to tour playing the album in its entirety has sparked the interest of Gen-Xers and others who still remember the band primarily for that record. Tonight, they’ll be playing New York for the second time (they began the tour in March at The Bell House in Brooklyn). The show is at Webster Hall and will also feature Cincinnati up-and-comers Tweens, as well as Brooklyn’s Parquet Courts. Tonight’s gig is sold out, but if you don’t have tickets, you can catch the band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tomorrow. If you do have tickets, be sure to check out the merch table as the band has a t-shirt of particular interest to Ohioans.
I’ve been asked to be a guest on the New York Talks portion of BBC Radio 5′s Up All Night program tonight. I will be on the show from 8:30 to 9:30pm (eastern time) talking about the site and no doubt other things Ohio-related. You can tune in via the internet on the Radio 5 site.
I’ve written before about the Umbrella Men, an “Ohio river folk” band comprised of brothers Danny and David Tuss. The Dayton natives are playing what they say may be one of their last Umbrella Men shows for awhile tonight at Pete’s Candy Store. As the pair also just finished the first full-length album by their project with Jamie Scythes, Cedar Point, I imagine they may play some songs from that record. (You can check out a song from the album, “Right Side of the Road,” below.)
I recently put some questions to the brothers Tuss via email and they were kind enough to respond.
As we do on the last Thursday of every month, tonight we will be gathering at The Owl Farm for our Monthly Mixer. Attendees will receive $1 off drinks at the bar, including Owl Farm’s extensive craft beer list, which right now includes several single yeast brews from Denmark. Even more excitingly, our DJ tonight is Peter Aaron, known best as the lead howler in the Chrome Cranks, who started plying their trade in Cincinnati before relocating to the Lower East Side. Aaron has promised to play only Ohio music, all on vinyl, so no doubt he’ll be pulling out some rare sides. And as always, we’ll be raffling off some prizes. It all goes down at 8:30pm. You can RSVP on Facebook and/or sign up for our email newsletter to stay informed of future events.