That The Beat has called our annual "year-in-review" Rewind is an unfortunate testament to our advancing age.

That The Beat has called our annual "year-in-review" Rewind is an unfortunate testament to our advancing age.

The term "rewind" is such a "tape" thing, and with the advent of digital technology, there's not much rewinding going on any more. But to many it still has a musical connotation anyway, so we'll continue to use it.

And what better day to look back on the year-that-was than on the first day of the new one? Once again we indulge in a couple awards and mix in a recap some of our favorite quotes as well as stuff that happened.

Best concert
We said - but didn't write - after seeing Jeff Black in March, something to the effect that if Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp and Paul Simon were collectively as good as they could be, they would approach being this good.

He opened the show with an unrecorded tune, Dance Little Children, of which we commented to those seated with us that it might be the best song we've ever heard. And lest you think we've engaged in some hyperbole here, we requested some input from a Critic Crony. The top of his reply?

"That Dance Little Children tune he opened with was quite possibly one of the most amazing songs I've ever heard. Real, impassioned and banged-out on that rugged piano - like Tom Waits meets Elton John meets steel town America."

Our Crony also recommended buying Jeff Black recordings in the interest of supporting quality artists in a world that doesn't always reward quality and apologized for forgetting to turn off his cell phone which went off during That's Just About Right, a tune which Black wrote and was a hit song for a country band called Blackhawk.

Best quote
Profound, comic, insightful - lots of quotes as usual, but we opted for this one from Murray Cook, better known as the Red Wiggle from the children's group The Wiggles, talking about encountering fans in public.

"Sometimes people say 'Hello' to me as if they know me - and of course, they do, I just don't know them."

Notable quotes

"There's this idea that children need to learn about it. But you don't need to know theory or even history. The music doesn't need a manual. It's just there and it touches you." - classical pianist Natasha Paremski

"I sing right into his ear like it's the tiniest, most delicate microphone on the planet." - singer-songwriter Mark Erelli, on singing lullabies to his infant son

"There was a time when if your songs were 'commercial,' you would lose your 'indie cred.' But the game has changed. (Television) is a way for bands to get exposure that's not dependent on radio." - Jordan Melchiorre of The Coast

"It does say 'spectacular' right in the title." - Jeffrey Capitola, Radio City's Vice President of Touring Productions, on the scope of the first-ever arena Radio City Christmas tour

"Incredible. Fun. Amazingly rewarding. Terrible. Frustrating." Angella Ahn of the Ahn trio, on making music with her sisters

"I get married every night but can't seem to get myself to the real altar. I've been trying (to plan my own wedding) for the past two years." - Erin Coors, Julia in the touring production of The Wedding Singer


"Imagine spinning a couple feet off the ground with a four-foot Genie strapped to your head and dozens of yards of silk gauze edged in fishing line flowing around your body." - Linda Pisano, who designed costumes for BalletMet Columbus' Aladdin

"The week we were performing Mariah Carey songs, I went into the bathroom and almost hyperventilated. As you can imagine, it felt a little out of my realm. But I did my best and tried to make it my own. Unfortunately I was compared to a meatless hamburger by Mr. Cowell. Ouch." - American Idol finalist Brooke White

"I'm not blind, I just can't see." - Ricky McKinnie of the Blind Boys of Alabama

"There are way too many opportunities to underestimate the intelligence of kids." - Phoenix Theatre for Children artistic director Steven C. Anderson

"We're all 'girly girls.' We take our music seriously, but you don't have to be like boys to rock out." - Lauren Barlow of BarlowGirl


And a handful of "how I got here"-type quotes:


"Pure sibling rivalry. (My sister) didn't want to, so I offered to take lessons." - pianist and Upper Arlington native Derek Han

"And as I got into it, I really didn't like it. I thought it was boring and serious." - opera basso buffo Kevin Glavin, who found his home in comic opera

"Working with superstars was exciting, but one thing I found was you're always telling people how great they are." - former promoter (The Commodores, Prince, Michael Jackson) Allen Bailey, who founded the Harlem Gospel Choir

"I was playing and singing before I started (journalism), but writing turned out to be a way to get to ask people about their songs." - singer-songwriter and music writer Peter Cooper

"I really don't want to be a children's musician." - what children's musician Justin Roberts said when told his songs would be great for kids

News department
The ongoing travails of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, which shut its doors, had a protracted contract negotiation with musicians and wrapped up in time for its Holiday Pops concerts, dominated arts news in 2008. The CSO is back - The Beat will have more about this next week.

Anniversaries - BalletMet Columbus' 30th season ended; ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's 30th anniversary season opened; CityMusic marked its 25 season ("I'm proud to see that CityMusic is a vibrant part of the Columbus music community after 25 years," founder Steve Rosenberg told The Beat); Gallery Players 60th season opens; the Ohio Theatre celebrates its 80th birthday.

Comings and Goings - Ohio State University opened its Urban Arts Space downtown; Crew Stadium debuts its permanent concert stage; the Columbus Arts Festival moves to a new home in downtown's Discovery District; Columbus Music Hall closes; two acoustic music series that formerly called the CMH home, Six String Concerts and Zeppelin Productions, face uncertain futures in their new homes, as the Columbus Performing Arts Center faces closure as part of the City of Columbus' budget woes and the Columbus Maennerchor is to be sold.

First annual shameless self-promotion award for ignorant self-restraint
It occurs to us that The Beat hit the 10-year mark back in the spring, with nary a mention on this page, online nor in the BeatBlog. Truth is, we didn't even notice. Such awareness is helped along by the kind of year-end stock-taking the likes of which we did for this column. Anyway, since no one else is going to do it, we give ourselves the award.

Thanks for reading and best to all in 2009.