Fischer's Fab 10

We want to assure our readers that The Beat isn't averse to bringing to bear the entire heft of our less-than-considerable-almost-non-existent influence. Therefore, we've made it known to the powers that be at the Columbus Symphony Orchestra that Estonian conductor Anu Tali, who will be on the podium as guest conductor for CSO concerts Friday and Saturday, March 28-29, at the Ohio Theatre, would make a marvelous new music director.

We're not happy at all that current maestro Jean-Marie Zeitouni has announced this season will be his last, but if we can aid the search process in any way ...

Wink-winks aside, Tali is a gifted young maestro as well, albeit one who, as far as we know, hasn't expressed any interest in the CSO gig full-time. She has strong roots in her home country, including leading the Nordic Symphony Orchestra, which she founded.

Her programs with the CSO will include two works that mark the height of European Romanticism in Sibelius' epic Symphony No. 2 and Tchaikov-sky's brilliant Violin Concerto (featuring guest soloist Guy Braunstein).

Tickets start at $25. Visit


The 34th season of Early Music in Columbus concludes with a Friday, March 28, concert by "resident" early music ensemble The Early Interval in Capital University's Mees Hall.

Known for intriguing and engaging programs, The Early Interval will present Under Tuscan Skies, a variety of Italian music from troubadour sons to dance music to composed pieces, all from the 13th through 17th centuries.

Tickets are $12/$22/$27. Visit


In last week's The Beat, we mentioned the upcoming Ohio State University School of Music Jazz Festival. What we failed to mention was a companion program, courtesy the Wexner Center for the Arts, featuring standout jazz pianist Fred Hersch.

Hidden beneath Hersch's understated facility is a technical command and a deftness of style, both on standard jazz repertoire and original compositions.

The Fred Hersch Trio will be in concert Friday, March 28, in the Performance Space at the Wexner Center. Tickets are $22/$13. Visit


Sharp, young indie-folk collective Pigpen Theatre Company is, we suppose, part of the roots-pop movement for which Mumford & Sons can take some fair credit. Crisp harmonies, catchy riffs played on acoustic guitar and banjo, and a clever assortment of color instruments certainly make the comparison a logical one.

But PTC, which started at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, also is an actual theater troupe, making live theater (including award-winning off-Broadway stuff) and film in addition to beautiful music both delicate and rollicking. The band is working on its first children's book as well.

Pigpen Theatre Company shares the stage at The Basement with The Beat fave Spring Standards Saturday, March 29. Tickets are $10/$12. Visit


When The Beat's daughter was prime age for it, the family went to see Sesame Street Live, and Mrs. Beat was led up on stage by Cookie Monster himself to dance with the cast. (Sure, it's no Courteney Cox-Bruce Springsteen, but still.) Here's the point: Fun memories can be made at these shows, which are right in the wheelhouse for little ones.

The latest Sesame Street tour, Can't Stop Singing, stops at the Palace Theatre for four shows Saturday and Sunday, March 29-30. Tickets start at $23. Visit


SoCal quartet The Colourist offers up shimmering, engaging modern indie-pop anthems, delivered with spare-yet-fervent instrumentation and male-female vocal leads and harmonies. We can't help but think that the band's name is as apt as you're likely to find.

Fresh off the release of a debut EP titled Lido, The Colourist has taken to the road, with a stop planned Monday, March 31, at The Basement. Night Terrors of 1927 and The Wind & The Wave open.

Tickets are $12/$15. Visit


Rock 'n' soul sextet St. Paul & the Broken Bones blend southern R&B with throwback '70s rock in fine measure, as frontman Paul Janeway orchestrates the proceedings with the stage presence of a televangelist and a voice that calls to mind Jackie Wilson or Edwin Starr.

Yes, the roots-soul revival is strong, but this Birmingham, Ala., outfit has the catchy tunes and charisma required to stand out. Find out for yourself Tuesday, April 1, at the Rumba Cafe. Good Graeff opens.

Tickets are $10. Visit


The kids in eastern Pennsylvania quartet The Districts are just that -- the band's impressive, rousing indie-roots-rock belies the fact that its members are all still in their teens.

Blending varied influences including the Pixies, Spoon, Neil Young and the Gin Blossoms, these young'uns have an endearing flair for the dramatic.

Touring in support of a self-titled debut EP, The Districts will play The Basement Tuesday, April 1. Emily & the Complexes opens. Tickets are $8/$10. Visit


Switchfoot knows how to put on a rock show -- as good a rock show as you're going to see. The San Diego-based quintet plays with musicality, energy, passion and creativity.

The band is touring in support of its latest CD, Fading West, its ninth full-length album in its 18-year history. The title is shared with a recent sort-of documentary on the band; indeed, it's what serves as a soundtrack to the film, which is as much about surfing as it is about music.

With opener The Royal Concept, Switchfoot will play the Newport Music Hall Thursday, April 3. Tickets are $22.50/$25. Visit


Take little pieces of Townes Van Zandt, Wilco, Kings of Leon and Robert Randolph and bury them in the rich soil of Austin, Texas, and perhaps what you get will be something like roots-rock quintet Wheeler Brothers.

There's a genuine rock exuberance on the tunes heard on the band's debut album, Portraits, and the band is equally enthusiastic on stage, which is where you'll find the fellows Thursday, April 3, at The Basement. Desert Noises co-headlines this show.

Tickets are $10/$12. Visit