Category Archives: Reporting

All my reporting, compiled.

Stuart’s Opera House to host solo guitarists from noise, psych-rock and American Primitivist backgrounds

http://www.thepostathens.com/article/2017/01/lee-ranaldo-and-steven-gunn-athens-ohio

Guitarists Lee Ranaldo, Steve Gunn and Meg Baird will wield a different kind of ax in the heart of Wayne National Forest, one that does not cut down but rather builds up.

Stuart’s Opera House will host the three guitarists Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Psych-folk guitarist Meg Baird will play an opening set at the venue at 52 Public Square, Nelsonville followed by the co-headlining sets of Sonic Youth founding member Lee Ranaldo and New York guitarist Steve Gunn.

Tickets to the show are available online for $17 for main floor and $20 for box seats. Tickets sold at the door cost $22 for the main floor and $25 for box seats.

Lee Ranaldo received acclaim over his three-decade career as a founding member of the groundbreaking noise-rock group Sonic Youth along with Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon. In 2012, Spin gave Ranaldo and Moore the top spot on its “100 Greatest Guitarists” list as descendants of the “no wave” musical movement of late 1970s New York.

Steve Gunn takes a different approach to his guitar. In the tradition of acts like John Fahey and other American Primitivist guitarists, Gunn utilizes fingerpicking techniques to produce notes and sequences full of melodious resonance accompanied by his voice.

“Solo guitar music (is) overall pretty mellow,” Brian Koscho, marketing director of Stuart’s Opera House, said. “But it should be a mix of mellow and rockin’. All of the performers have played in louder groups in their careers.”

Parallel to his solo releases dating back to 2007, Gunn played guitar in Kurt Vile’s backing band “The Violators.” Last summer, he collaborated with the “Pretty Pimpin’” rocker on an EP for Three Lobed Recordings titled Parallelogram, which includes three original songs and three covers of songs by Randy Newman, John Prine and Nico.

Meg Baird will open with the first of the three sets. She has played at the Nelsonville Music Festival with the San Francisco psych-rock band Heron Oblivion but has never played the town as a solo performer. She also performs with the Philadelphia psych-folk Espers.

She will deliver her “classic singer style” Wednesday with her Martin 00-15 guitar. She described her performance as “kind of a shared quietness that isn’t forced” between her and the audience.

“(All three of us) are chasing a lot of voicings and playing a really layered style,” Baird said. “My playing is pretty related to what Steve is doing with classic fingerpicking, but we are a little idiosyncratic and individual.”

The three guitarists bear different guitar styles exemplifying the possibilities of guitar work. However, roving in a similar group of collaborators, Ranaldo, Gunn and Baird maintain a complimentary sound that will echo off the walls of Stuart’s Opera House on Wednesday.

Multiple Brewing adds a hoppy new flavor to Nelsonville

http://www.thepostathens.com/article/2016/11/multiple-brewing-beer-nelsonville

Photo courtesy of Emily Mathews

Craft beer locavores (or anyone who appreciates a hoppy beer) will be pleased to learn about a new brewery that recently opened in Nelsonville.

Multiple Brewing, named and logoed after its co-owners’ mutual love of math, opened to the public Nov. 5 after a soft opening the night before. The brewery offers a selection of home-brewed craft beer and cream soda unrivaled in the Appalachian city.

The brewery, located at 82 W. Washington St., is open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

The husband-and-wife team of owners, Jason and Michelle Warren, splits the tasks of supplying, brewing and running the brewery. On the weekends, Jason often spends an entire day brewing, mashing and adding hops to batches on location before allowing them to ferment.

“He might start at 6 a.m. and be finished at 6 or 7 at night,” Michelle said. “The process is messy.”

Beers with a lower alcohol percentage, like the brewery’s 5 to 6 percent offerings, take four to five days to ferment, while higher percentage beers such as stouts might take several weeks, Michelle said.

“We wanted to bring an approachable beer to the area,” Jason said of the brewery’s selection.

Jason’s family originally hails from Nelsonville, and his grandparents owned the city’s Dairy Queen, Michelle said.

Multiple Brewing focuses on American styles of ales and India pale ales, or IPAs. The Variable IPA is the house beer, Michelle said. It clocks in at 6.1 percent alcohol.

Other brews include Absolute Clementine pale ale and Obtuse IPA.

Jason said a Russian imperial stout ale ranging around 10 percent alcohol is on the horizon, possibly in collaboration with FullBrooks Cafe, which is also in Nelsonville. In addition, he plans to brew a Christmas porter soon.

During the weekdays, Michelle stays in Nelsonville to run the bar portion of the brewery, while Jason returns to Columbus, their city of primary residence. Michelle said Jason worked at several breweries in Columbus and has been brewing for 10 years.

“We felt like it was the right time, and we took a risk,” Jason said. “We knew we wanted to grow organically and start small.”

The two said other craft breweries in the area have been supportive and helpful, especially the people from Devil’s Kettle Brewing in Athens.

“It’s fantastic to bring more to the beer scene in a kind of neglected area,” Cameron Fuller, owner of Devil’s Kettle, said. “There’s no craft beer in Nelsonville, and to open an actual brewery there is a great addition to the square.”

Jason said local craft breweries like Multiple Brewing depend on each other rather than compete since breweries often see the same pool of customers.

“Making beer is a craft and an art,” Michelle said. “Bringing in business, bringing people in and bringing craft beer to Nelsonville is the most gratifying part.”

Weekender Briefs: Alumni can celebrate Homecoming with sports and music

http://www.thepostathens.com/article/2016/10/athens-ohio-university-homecoming

Homecoming Weekend is nearly upon Ohio University. And like every year, it will draw in a cavalcade of Bobcat alumni driving crossover SUVs and touting much-desired financial stability. But even if students have no funds to spend, there’s a variety of events to get in the Bobcat spirit.

At 9 a.m. on Saturday, the university will reopen the Class Gateway. The annual parade will return to Court Street at 10 a.m. and will be followed by tailgates hosted by several colleges from the university. At 2 p.m., Ohio will take on MAC competitor Bowling Green. The game is free for students and $35 to $40 for non-students.

Along with Homecoming, the weekend brings many other shows and entertainment. On Friday, Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons will play at Casa Nueva, and DJ Barticus will play an early-2000s-themed set at The Union Bar & Grill.

Admission: Free

On Saturday, Casa Nueva will host the Annual Bobcat Alumni Jazz Jam, in which alumni will sight-read music in a big band performance. Sunday offers a chance to volunteer and enjoy the trails with Trail Maintenance Day, hosted in collaboration between the Southeastern Ohio Trail Runners and the Ohio University Physical Therapy program.

The weather will rest in the high 60s, offering the perfect chance to take in the university and surrounding scenery.

If You Go:

What: Y2K Millennium Dance Party with DJ Barticus

Where: The Union Bar & Grill, 18 W. Union St.

When: 9 p.m., Friday

Admission: Cover charge for those under 21 years old

DJ Barticus will spin crowd-favorite jams from the dawn of the new millennium from 1999 to 2005.

If You Go:

What: Football: Ohio University vs. Bowling Green

Where: Peden Stadium

When: 2 p.m., Saturday

Admission: $35-$40, free for students

The 3-2 Ohio Bobcats are hosting the 1-4 Bowling Green Falcons at Peden Stadium. The tailgate begins at 11:30 a.m., and various colleges at the university will hold alumni tailgates.

The Bobcats are coming off a 17-7 win in the Battle of the Bricks against Miami University and will face another MAC opponent: Bowling Green.

For coverage of games over the weekend, check out The Post‘s sports coverage.

If You Go:

What: 2016 Bobcat Alumni Jazz Jam

Where: Casa Nueva Restaurant & Cantina, 6 W. State St.

When: 10 p.m., Saturday

Admission: Cover charge of $2 to $3

Musically gifted Ohio University alumni will gather at Casa Nueva on Saturday night for the Annual Bobcat Alumni Jazz Jam.

Matthew James, an OU professor of saxophone and jazz studies, said each year the evening brings alumni back to campus to take parts in a big band performance and to casually socialize with current students.

James said 20 to 30 alumni have signed up to take part in the performance. So far, the trumpet section has the most players.

“It will be a sight-reading performance,” James said. “And current students can switch off with alumni if they get tired.”

He said the numbers for the evening include John Coltrane, a few Latin tunes and a New Orleans groove.

Two students from OU’s School of Music will take the stage before the main event.

James said there will be a cover charge of either $2 or $3.

If You Go:

What: Trail Maintenance Day

Where: Strouds Run State Park, 11661 State Park Rd.

When: 1 p.m., Sunday

Admission: Free

The Southeastern Ohio Trail Runners are collaborating with the Ohio University Physical Therapy program for an afternoon of trail maintenance at Strouds Run State Park. This is the second year the two groups have partnered for the event.

It is scheduled in recognition of Global Physical Therapy Day of Service, which officially falls on Oct. 17 this year.

The volunteers will be trimming overgrown sections of many miles of trail at Strouds Run State Park. The event will also provide an opportunity to enjoy the crisp October weather and take in the changing colors of the leaves.

Stargazers escape the light pollution of Athens to peer into the heavens

http://www.thepostathens.com/article/2016/09/ohio-university-stargazing-star-party

After dark, Athens has many sights to see — and not all of them are within this solar system.

Using a telescope with the right amount of power, like the eight-inch model Ethan Gower brings to each of his “Star Party” events, one can peer into the sky to catch a glimpse of double stars, Neptune, nebulas and infinitely more celestial objects.

During the Star Party, Gower described his Dobsonian telescope as “basically a light bucket.” A Dobsonian telescope has a simple design that allows it to be affordable and available for amateur astronomers. Gower and sophomore Jack Deffet have hosted a series of stargazing events, the last of which took place Friday night. To combat the light pollution Athens radiates, the group convened on a hillside in the State Street Cemetery, beyond the neon glow of Court Street. The previous one had been held at the rugby field on South Green.

Dubbed “Star Party 5.2,” Gower, a junior studying astrophysics, said the event attracted more people than any of the previous four star parties. The “.2” in the title accounts for two weather-obstructed attempts. Only sparse clouds obscured Friday night’s view.

As bright as Athens might seem, the light pollution in Athens is not as bad as other areas, George Eberts, an assistant professor of astronomy and physics said.

“O’Bleness Hospital and the mall have (light) cut-offs at certain times because that’s what contractors are required now,” Eberts said.

He said lighting ordinances reduce the light pollution as well.

At the height of the evening, 12 to 15 stargazers trickled in and out. Each time Gower adjusted his large, cylindrical telescope to the next star, planet or star group, the attendees formed a line to to have an up-close view of an elusive sight.

The main event for the evening, Gower said, occurred at 11:44 p.m., when Algol, “the demon star,” would become eclipsed by a smaller star, causing it to flicker and dim.

“Algol is eclipsed every two and seven-eighths days, so you can’t exactly wait for it,” Eberts said.

Those in attendance showed their appreciation for the event.

“It’s cool that Ethan is taking the time do this,” Trevor Seymour, a college student studying in Columbus, said. “He’s really knowledgeable about everything. It’s a perfect spot and everyone is in good spirits.”

As an astrophysics major, Gower said his fascination with space started when he read a space-themed National Geographic magazine as a child. He aspires to work for NASA and holds a special interest in Pluto — he said he would like to lead a mission traveling there, although the long exposure of radiation to the human body would render it difficult.

“My friends say I know too much about space,” Gower said. “There’s so much to learn about in astronomy. Just two days ago I learned two new things.”

He had previously borrowed an 8 inch inch reflector telescopes used by professors in OU’s astronomy department. He now uses his own 8 inch Dobsonian telescope that is glossy blue, wide and cylindrical.

“Telescopes are measured by their aperture in inches,” Eberts said. “The wider the reflector mirror inside, the more surface area is exposed to starlight.”

Eberts said telescope apertures reach to sizes of two meters and larger.

One stargazer said she appreciated the event’s focus.

“We describe it as really pure — no drinking or drugs,” Alayna Coverly, a senior studying painting and drawing, said.

Gower pointed the telescope at star groups such as Pisces and Taurus until attention transferred to the fading of the demon star in the Perseus constellation.

The star dimmed, much like the evening, ending another stargazing expedition.

Gower, however, plans to host another Star Party on October 27 when Saturn, Venus and a star align.