Seasonal sounds: A guide to Saturday’s glut of holiday shows

By Columbus Alive
From the December 20, 2012 edition

After Columbus celebrates the end of the world Friday night, music venues large and small turn to celebrating the holidays on Saturday — you know, assuming the world still exists. Presumably, the relief of doomsday avoidance will make the proceedings especially festive.

Probably the most traditionally Christmas-y event among Saturday’s glut is Mannheim Steamroller’s appearance at the Palace Theatre. Eleven months out of the year this band is unlistenable, but from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve pressing play on a Mannheim Christmas album is like stepping inside a synthetic winter wonderland, one where virtuosic keyboard trills fall from the sky instead of snow.

Speaking of the intersection between music technology and powdery white substances, Future will also be in town Saturday to headline Power 107.5’s Jingle Jam at LC Pavilion. Although it’s questionable whether this show will be holiday-themed in anything but name, it’s also unlikely anybody should care. The breakout Atlanta rapper already graced Columbus once this year, so getting a second crack at him should be viewed as a gift. His album Pluto is a genuine trailblazer, a heavy-hearted thug spilling his guts through breathless robo-blather.

An entirely different sort of hip-hop show — that is, a chilled-out, organic one — is happening at Brothers Drake Meadery. This Hip Hop Holiday is presented by the jazzy rap collective This Hip Hop Project, Eric Rollin of LES Crew, Stretch Lefty and Evan Oberla Project (EOP). DJ Redsun will spin, and Steve Finley will do live art.

Also on a jazzy note, another EOP associate, drum genius Justin Campbell (also of Descendre), is throwing an “X-mas Jam” at New Harvest Café and Urban Arts Center in Upper Arlington. Campbell promises “good music guaranteed,” and given his prodigious talent, he’ll almost certainly follow through on that.

Lastly, for those who live life on life’s twangy edge, Rumba Café will host a holiday bluegrass night courtesy of Spikedriver Steven Fox’s combo Fox N Hounds.