Fischer's Fab Five

1. Boston-based singer-songwriter Chris Trapper performs primarily acoustic shows these days, but he's no old-style folkie. After cutting his teeth in alt-rock outfit The Push Stars in the '90s, Trapper settled in (after a fashion) to writing alternately goofy and sad story songs on a bed of catchy roots-pop.

Trapper had just finished recording Technicolor prior to a show here last spring, but it hadn't yet been released. It's available now, and therefore puts him back on the road with a stop planned at Worthington's McConnell Arts Center Friday, May 16.

As was the case for last year's show, local sensation Jared Mahone opens.

Tickets are $15; $25 for VIP tickets that include a pre-show meet-and-greet with both Trapper and Mahone. Visit

2. What would Nationwide Children's Hospital do if it had a million dollars?

The Beat doesn't suppose the Friday, May 16, concert by Barenaked Ladies at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion will allow it to answer the question -- at least all on its own -- but the show is a benefit for the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation and the NCH alliance in support of the Memorial Tournament Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The goofball Canadian boys in BNL released a new album last year -- Grinning Streak -- which marked the band's 25th anniversary.

Pretty cool of them to help out with this Memorial Tournament-related fundraiser, which is sponsored by IGS Energy, Nationwide Insurance and the city of Dublin.

General admission lawn tickets are $35. VIP tickets also are available. Visit

3. The Beat liked French Horn Rebellion's band name better before we knew it has a literal inspiration -- Robert Perlick-Molinari was once the first-chair horn player in the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra.

Robert and his sound-engineer brother David decided it'd be cooler to move to Brooklyn and make '70s disco- and '80s Euro-synth-flavored electro-pop. Adding to the fun is the pair's self-aware nerdy sort of way.

French Horn Rebellion co-headlines a Saturday, May 17, show at the A&R Music Bar with Chicago's Hey Champ. Tickets are $12. Visit

4. The Basement welcomes a pair of post-modern troubadours Tuesday, May 20.

Headlining is Chad VanGaalen, a veteran practitioner of sparse, underproduced indie pop. VanGaalen continues his love affair with varied tone colors on his latest, Shrink Dust.

Opener Bry Webb, former frontman of Canada's The Constantines, embodies the modern take on throwback roots-pop, eschewing the melodic for word-painting and mood-setting.

Tickets are $10/$12. Visit

5. An oft-overlooked gem of the roots-and-Southern-jangle-rock movement of the '90s was Atlanta's Drivin N Cryin.

Like a beer-and-sweat-fueled version of R.E.M. or a more literate version of the Georgia Satellites, the Kevin Kinney-fronted band made one of The Beat's "hidden gems" in Fly Me Courageous.

We checked out DNC last spring at the Rumba Cafe and these guys can still rock. Terrific show. Since then, Kinney signed on to produce all the music for the current season of Archer on FX. And the band signed up central Ohio native Aaron Lee Tasjan as its new lead guitarist.

So check out Drivin N Cryin upon its return to the Rumba Thursday, May 22.

Tickets are $15. Visit