The Columbus Symphony Orchestra begins a busy week with a program of Romantic music Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, at the Ohio Theatre.

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra begins a busy week with a program of Romantic music Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, at the Ohio Theatre.

It's romantic as in sweeping, dramatic and driven by emotion, not simply in terms of "romantic love"; that is, the programs -- which feature guest conductor Jacques Lacombe and cellist Zuill Bailey -- showcase music composed in the late 1800s, at the height of the Romantic period. Bailey joins the CSO for a Dvorak concerto; the rest of the program includes works by Franck and Grieg (the masterful Peer Gynt Suite, which includes multiple melodies most will recognize even if they don't recognize the name).

Tickets start at $25.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, the fabulous Chinese pianist Lang Lang highlights a special CSO gala performance led by music director Jean-Marie Zeitouni. Lang Lang will play Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3, and the CSO will feature, well, itself on Stravinsky's glorious The Firebird Suite. Tickets are $35-$85.


Wayne Hancock has earned his nickname, "The Train," and keep in mind he's no modern-day Amtrak, but an old-time "Iron Horse" locomotive, capable of honky-tonkin' and Texas-swingin' the night away until the place is stained with a combination of sweat and beer.

Did we mention he can weave a fine lyrical yarn as well? Check him out Friday, Jan. 31, at the Rumba Cafe. Tickets are $13. Visit

There's something cool about new music that has a classic feel to it -- or is it traditional music that has a fresh feel to it?

Either way, there's much to like about Briar Rabbit's indie pop-and-soul, which he colors richly in blues -- a fact that only makes sense, given he's the nephew of B.B. King.

Touring in support of his brand-new From Your Bones, Briar Rabbit plans a Friday, Jan. 31, stop at Kafe Kerouac. Ashley Brooke Toussant and Mike Reeb also are on the bill. Tickets are $7.


Dayton's Motel Beds (the band, not actual beds) is a versatile, melodic riff-rocking outfit. On record and in concert, the quintet proves equally adept at hook-laden pop-rock and crash-and-burn, old-style rock 'n' roll.

Witness the live version for yourself at the Tree Bar on Friday, Jan. 31. Tin Armor and Feature Films open.


The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is a collective of musicians who perform -- solo and in varying combinations -- both in New York City and throughout the country.

Chamber Music Columbus welcomes four representatives, including co-musical director Wu Han, for a Saturday, Feb. 1, program at the Southern Theatre featuring four pianists performing on two pia-nos. Selections include works by Debussy, Bizet and Gershwin. Han will be joined by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Soyeon Kate Lee and Anne-Marie McDermott.

Tickets are $15-$45. Visit

If Bruce Springsteen wrote a song and gave it to Cheap Trick, who delivered the story in typical tongue-in-cheek goofball fashion, you might approximate what Brooklyn's The Hold Steady does.

The quartet works from a palette of riffs that would sound at home on a classic-rock radio station, and then spray-paints modern-rock symbolism all over it.

See 'em Monday, Feb. 3, at the A&R Music Bar. Tickets are $18/$20. Visit

What's left to say about world-renowned South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo?

From the folk music of its homeland to pop and gospel music to songs that reach beyond borders, the group's singing is pure, unadulterated joy. Founder Joseph Shabala continues to lead this dynamic ensemble, which recently released two CDs: Songs from a Zulu Farm and a companion children's CD, Stories and Songs from a Zulu Farm.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo will perform in the Southern Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Tickets are $28/$33. Visit

Gentle, deceptively devastating, heart-rending piano-pop is something of which The Beat has been a big fan since we first heard Barry Manilow's Weekend in New England. Which means that, yes, we're old, probably a bit too much so to not roll our eyes a bit at the melodrama that is A Great Big World's Say Something.

The tune's omnipresence means you don't need us to describe it any more. But you may not know the earnest, young duo has a record out now called Is There Anybody out There?, and a tour, with special guests Secret Someones.

The tour stops at the A&R Music Bar Tuesday, Feb. 4. Tickets are $12/$15. Visit

Modern bubblegum-pop might not be as carefree as it once was (ironic), but is can still prove sweet and sugary -- to a point.

Witness the Wednesday, Feb. 5, show at the Newport Music Hall, headlined by raucous and amiable Danish trio New Politics and supported by Kentucky garage-pop sextet Sleeper Agent. Both groups prove you can take seriously the art of not taking yourself too seriously. Witness their respective new records, A Bad Girl in Harlem and About Last Night.

Magic Man shares the bill.

Tickets are $5. Visit

Technically, Molly Ringwald's gigs with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra are next weekend, but "Don't You Forget About Me" opens Thursday, Feb. 6, (running through Feb. 9). Chances are you've already heard about these shows (at the very least from The Beat's Season Preview edition back in the fall). We just don't want to be too far behind the game when it comes to letting you know that, yes, this is indeed the same Molly Ringwald from the Brat pack, teen star of The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and once-crush of now-40-something men everywhere.

You probably hadn't forgotten about her, but you might not have been aware she's released an album of Great American Songbook material, one that closes with a jazzy interpretation of the Simple Minds hit from The Breakfast Club.

Tickets are $30-$52. Visit