Nightlife

Firefly Nights set to begin a summer of fun in downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Firefly Nights, a new series of street festivals in downtown Bowling Green, got off to a running start Friday night. About 200 runners and walkers toed the starting line on North Church Street near the library and at the signal marked what organizers hope will be a summer of fun in the business district. The 5K race and one mile walk started at 9 p.m. The participants in fluorescent shirts and glow bracelets. The evening start was meant to set it apart from all the other charity runs, said Stacie Banfield, one the organizers. “We wanted to make it a fun event for kids.” The after-dark start was also fitting given it promoted and raised funds for evening events Banfield, owner of Mode Elle, was one of a quartet of women business proprietors – Kati Thompson, of Eden Fashion Boutique, Gayle Walterbach of Coyote Beads, and Laura Wicks, of Grounds for Thought – who organized Firefly Nights. Thompson said to get 200 registrants for a first time race was a great response. “A hundred is considered a success.” Banfield said it was exciting to watch the registrations increased as race time approached, Banfield said. That included folks who signed up on Friday night. She and Thompson are optimistic that this is a sign of the enthusiasm for the three scheduled street festivals. The race will help fund three nights of downtown activities set for the third Friday of each month – June 15, July 20, and Aug. 17 – from 6 to 10 p.m. Main Street will be blocked off from the intersection of Court Street to the intersection of Washington with music stages at each end. Four bands will play alternating sets each night. All the bands have been booked, Banfield said. The lineup of talent from Northwest Ohio will be announced on June 1. Thompson said that 30 downtown businesses have signed up to participate and be sponsors. They will have sidewalk…

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Divas dive into downtown scene to bring opera & art song to new listeners

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News An ensemble of young vocalists wants listeners to belly up to the bar and drink in the beauty of song. The Black Swamp Opera Ensemble will perform Cocktails & Cadenzas, a variety of operatic arias, art songs, and musical theater pieces, on Friday, January 12, at 9 p.m. at Two Foxes Gastropub. All six singers recently earned Masters of Music in vocal performance from Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts. Now on the cusp of careers, they are taking their art to the places they like to hang out, according to sopranos Kate Pomrenke and Kyle Schreiber. Pomrenke said she got the idea for the ensemble after performing at Toledo on Tap, an event celebrating beer brewing. “Why can’t we do something like that here? There are so many singers here that have graduated,” she said. “We’re all young singers looking for whatever opportunities we can to perform, and this is a good way bring our art to the community.” “We’re just a group of friends,” Schreiber said. “We graduated, and we’re all in the area.” Other members are Jarrod Davis, tenor, John Mink, baritone, Savanah Stricklin, soprano, and Brett Pond, baritone. They are accompanied by a pianist. Schreiber said that while they were still in school, they talked about doing a Halloween show. So the ensemble made its debut in October with a Halloween performance, complete with costumes, at Grounds for Thought. They followed that up with a Christmas concert, also at Grounds, mixing carols in with their usual repertoire. “It’s very casual,” Schreiber said. “We don’t want it to be super fancy. We want to go to bars and coffee shops. We want it to be accessible.” That means singing for the folks who come specifically to listen to them as well as entertaining those who just happen to be in the venue. People can listen to a song or two, or the whole concert, Pomrenke said. The performances are…


Guitarist Mike Bryce grooves in many styles on new album

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Mike Bryce graduated from Bowling Green State University he already had experience producing two albums. Bryce, a jazz guitar performance major, had founded the Roots Music Club on campus, and took the lead in producing the club’s annual compilations. Now he’s releasing his own CD, “Eclectic Guitar,” featuring 10 originals that cover the gamut of styles he’s explored over the years. Bryce will celebrate the new album with a show Saturday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. More information is available at www.mikebrycemusic.com. While some of the tunes date back to his senior recital, Bryce said he didn’t really get started in earnest on the project until the beginning of this year. Part of the delay was working it in with his teaching schedule. He has about 40 private students at his own studio, Studio Connection, and in Bluffton. True to the title, “Eclectic Guitar” reflects a variety of styles. Those styles are in part driven by the singers and instrumentalists Bryce recruited to join him. At the core is the rhythm section of Devonte Stovall, on bass, electric bass, and cello, and JP Stebal on drums. He’s worked with them dating back to his time at BGSU, and in the band The Barncats. “It’s comfortable,” he said of collaborating with his bandmates. They are joined by vocalists and violinists on the rest of the tracks, some are folks he knew from the Roots Music Club, or jazz classes, or are friends. He said he tailored the songs to fit the approaches of the various singers. “A lot of it is not jazz,” he said. He said there’s a spontaneity to how he composes. Beau Hamann sings both on the rocking opener, “Barn Fire” and the swing ballad “First Love.” Amy Hewitt is an old friend, who works construction, with a fine singing voice, reminiscent of Nora Jones. She’s featured on “Good Enough” and “Promise,”…


Glostik Willy to headline triple bill at Clazel, Nov. 30

Submitted by GLOSTIK WILLY Glostik Willy, a three-piece power trio from Indiana, will perform Thursday, Nov. 30, for a party at Clazel Entertainment, Bowling Green. Listeners are told to: “Expect heavy-hitting drums that will make you move and groove, with progressive thundering bass lines and guitar that sizzles and crackles all the way through your brain and explodes out into the galaxy. This is ‘Hippy Metal’ for those who like their jambands with a dose of head-banging and horn-checks!” Also on the bill will be  PeanutButter Williams and Get Right Band. The band was formed in early 2008 by Jameson “Jay Moe” Bradford (guitar), his brother Ralf Mowf (drums) and childhood best friend Buddha Aguilar (bass). At the time, they were already five year veterans of the Midwest music scene, having started their first band together at age 12.  Since then, Glostik Willy has grown to be a driving force in the National Jamband scene, bridging the gap between rock and jam and forming their own genre of music that can only be described as “Hippy Metal.. To date, Glostik Willy has logged more than 600 performances in more than 25 states and two countries. The band has hosted eight Midwest music and arts festivals, including their signature Willy Fest (headlined this past year by Molly Hatchet), and performed sets at over 70 festivals around the country. In Spring of 2017, the band completed their first National Tour playing 23 shows from Florida to Califiornia. “This band is a good old, down and dirty rock and roll machine. These guys blew me away…!” exclaims Buckeye Music Magazine. “An insanely manic band!” writes MusicFestNews. Glostik Willy’s mission is to create an experience that will change the world by entertaining all walks of life, bringing fans, friends, and family together to enjoy and value art, love and music. To that end, they have pioneered a fan-centric method of touring in which they regularly ride along with van-loads of followers, have dedicated time…


Justin Payne brings his music home for album release party

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News No sooner had Justin Payne released his second recording, he headed out of town. This fall, the Bowling Green-based singer songwriter embarked on a five-week solo with company tour that took him to points west and east including his first show in New York City. Accompanying him on the tour was fellow singer-songwriter Zach Wilson. They played solo and accompanied each other for a few numbers. The two singer-songwriters will present a double CD release party Friday, Nov. 24, at Howard’s Club H. The 8 p.m. show will feature sets by each of them, then a set by Corduroy Road, culminating in some “beer-brined” jamming at the end. Wilson, who plays bass with the Justin Payne and Co. band on “High Water,” will mark the release of “Send Scenery.” The show reunites Payne with the quartet that played on “High Water,” which also includes guitarist Calvin Cordy, who also engineered the recording, and drummer Adam Rice. The session was collaborative and inclusive. “Most of the stuff I like about the project was brought by my collaborators,” Payne said. The recording was also inspired by the space in which it was made. Payne said he spent the summer cleaning out his late mother-in-law’s barn. When the hay loft was finally empty he realized that “it’s a picture perfect recording environment. If you’re going for a rootsy sound that’s the room you want to use.” Payne grew up in Newark. His grandparents encouraged him to play violin when he was about 4, though his parents were not as enamored of those early screeches. He went on to play in his school orchestra as well as acting in musical theater. He came to Bowling Green to study violin and composition at the College of Musical Arts. He played in the Bowling Green Philharmonia for a couple years and gigged with civic orchestras in the area. He grew disillusioned with the life of an orchestral violinist, and didn’t…


Drag takes the stage as local LBGTQ claims a club night for their own

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With the band’s sound check completed, Howard’s co-owner Tony Zmarzly was on the stage at the club making sure the gear was pushed to the edges of the stage. He taped down a section of the carpet and checked for errant microphone cords. The crowd cleared the dance floor in front of the stage, and waited. Then Rosie D. Riveter appeared, all glitter and bitchy attitude. Drag was on stage at Howard’s Club, and it found a willing audience. The Rosie and Viv Show last Sunday was the first of three Queer Night drag and variety performances scheduled for the club. Organizer Gary Strain, a.k.a. Rosie, hopes this will continue and maybe even expand in 2018. The other shows are set for Nov. 26 and Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. she and Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire also will be part of the line up Saturday, Nov. 19, for the Leelah Alcorn Memorial Scholarship Benefit Show to raise scholarship money for transgender students at Bowling Green State University. The benefit starts at 3 p.m. and runs until closing time. The show Sunday marked a promising launch as Rosie and her co-hostess Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire commanded the stage with raucous, off-color humor and word play. They pulled the audience in. They even had a couple women come up to guess their bras sizes, to no avail. Then Nikki Cordy, the club’s barkeep, left her station, to nail it. Strain said when he’d approached Cordy about staging the drag show at the club, her response was “hell yeah.” So Rosie and Ms. Sinclaire and their special guests Rikki Sins and Deja D. Dellataro walked the walk to the sounds of Beyonce, Spice Girls, Lizzo, Stevie Nicks, Alanis Morisette, The Pointer Sisters, and Kelly Clarkson. The dance floor became a runway and as they strutted by on their way to the packed picnic tables in the rear, customers proffered dollar bills. One customer apologized to Rosie saying she’d forgotten to…


Transient Canvas takes contemporary music to unexpected places

Transient Canvas should feel right at home when the contemporary music duo shows up in Bowling Green to play a show at the Clazel Monday, Nov. 20. Amy Advocat on bass clarinet and Matt Sharrock on marimba have played all manner of venues, including being featured on a series of concerts at microbreweries in their home-base Boston where brewers concocted a special beer to serve with the music. “One of the things we love about this group is so we’re so mobile,” Advocat said in a recent telephone interview. “We want to reach people in unexpected places.” Transient Canvas will perform at 8 p.m. Nov. 20 in a free Music at the Forefront concert presented by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at Bowling Green State University. On Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m., the duo will perform in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery. Advocat said the programs for the two shows are tailored for the different venues. The museum concert will featured “a thoughtful program, more classically oriented.” On the program “Looking Forward, Looking Back,” the program notes state: “The composers featured … have created something new and fresh by evoking the past, acknowledging their influences without directly emulating them.” At the Clazel, Transient Canvas will turn up the volume, and play a set of electro-acoustic works, that draw on a range of influences including pop and acid rock. All the pieces on both programs have been written expressly for Transient Canvas. Advocat and Sharrock first got together to play a piece he had performed at conservatory. They also read through other pieces, hardly a handful, written for clarinet and marimba. They liked the sound and working together. “We found the bass clarinet has just a remarkable blend and balance with the marimba, so recently we’ve been sticking with that,” Advocat said. “If it work, it works.” Sharrock said that having two instruments in the same range makes the partnership a more equal one. Whenever Advocat would…