• Just what is the worst song in the world?
Each year, the Central Ohio Folk Festival attempts to discern the answer to this age-old question.
And that's just some of the fun at the annual event, which marks its 17th year in 2013. The festival is three days (May 3-5) of concerts, jam sessions, workshops, children's activities and more. Bring your own instruments -- guitar, mandolin, kazoo -- and jam, or just come and listen to others play and sing, including Saturday concert headliners Cathy Barton and Dave Parra with Ed Trickett. Many events are free; registration for workshops and Saturday's concert are $35.
The event is held in Battelle Darby Metro Park. Visit cfms-inc.org for a full schedule of events.
• The Columbus Symphony Orchestra has announced this summer's Picnic with the Pops lineup.
The PwP's second season on Columbus Commons opens with Chaka Khan on Friday, June 14, and Richard Marx on Saturday, June 15.
The rest of the season shapes up thusly: Pink Martini, June 22; Patriotic Pops, June 29; Kansas, July 6; Natalie Merchant, July 13; The Music of Queen, July 20; and the Ohio State University Marching Band, July 26 and 27.
Popcorn Pops family concerts will be held Fridays, June 21 and July 19. Visit columbussymphony.com.
• In other summer concert news, country music legend George Jones, who died last week, was scheduled to play this year's Ohio State Fair. RIP to the man they called "Possum."
Fair officials hope to fill the date.
The current entertainment schedule includes country acts Martina McBride and Justin Moore, classic rockers Styx, REO Speedwagon and Steve Miller Band, pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, R&B acts Will Downing, Lalah Hathaway and Eric Benet and contemporary Christian collective Hillsong United. Visit ohiostatefair.com.
• After we interviewed bassist Victor Wooten a few weeks back, The Beat decided we ought to read his book, The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music.
Now we note that punk rocker Ian Svenonius (Chain & the Gang, Nation of Ulysses), is on a book tour supporting his Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock 'n' Roll Group. We haven't started it yet, but we're guessing it's not really the same kind of book as Wooten's. Svenonius, who also has penned fiction novels and is an online talk show host, combines wit, sarcasm, hyperbole and seances with dead musicians (OK, that might be wit) with some hard truths about the music industry.
The tour comes to the Wexner Center for the Arts Wednesday, May 8, where the author will present a free discussion, then head to Skylab Gallery for a performance with Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening, Hive Dwellers). Suggested donation is $5 at the door. Visit wexarts.org.