Hot tickets, new shows

05:00 AM, Jan 28, 2014


Written By Jeff Spevak | Staff music critic

The Professor of Rap is back. Purveyor of “high culture” rap recordings, The Professor (in another life, local conceptual artist and mundane Rochester City Hall official John Borek) celebrates the release of his Cole Porter rap tribute, Bulldog, at 7 p.m. Thursday at Record Archive, 331⁄3 Rockwell Drive, off East Avenue. Bulldog includes performances by Sandra Boysen, Spencer Christiano, Anthony Irwin, Max Irwin, Cassandra Kelly, Hope Norton, Richard Storms and The Professor of Rap, with Greg Turner on piano.

The Professor’s first, self-titled CD debuted three years ago at the Archive. Maybe a hundred people, probably more, stared at the stage in bemused disbelief, as though they had never before seen a 61-year-old white guy stomping around in a billowing cumulus of aluminum foil, lip-syncing about Andy Warhol to hip-hop beats, then taking a seat onstage to slowly get dressed in a monkey costume while rapping from the perspective of Bubbles, the legendary chimp pal of Michael Jackson, about their “primordial primate love.”

It remains to be seen if The Professor can top that one. He claims the Porter tunes were chosen for their complexity, hence the evening’s lip-sync contest: The first 10 people who sign up get a free album, and the winner goes home with a $50 Record Archive gift certificate.

Alt-rock darling Death Cab For Cutie is joined by Head and the Heart for a 7 p.m. May 23 show at Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center. On Death Cab For Cutie’s 2011 album, Codes and Keys, Ben Gibbard sings love songs to his wife, Zooey Deschanel. Perhaps there will be some new songs since the couple’s split. Tickets ($39.50; $25 in advance for the lawn; $30 the day of the show) are available at, (800) 745-3000 and the Blue Cross Arena box office.

Former Ramones drummer Richie Ramone has an 8 p.m. Feb. 20 show at Lovin’ Cup Bistro & Brews, 300 Park Point Drive, Henrietta, near the Rochester Institute of Technology campus. Ramone was one of three drummers to play with The Ramones, and perhaps the most significant. He joined the band in 1982 and stayed for five years and three albums before leaving. In his time as a Ramone he wrote a number of songs for the band, including the punk hit “Somebody Put Something in My Drink.” He also sang lead on a handful of Ramones songs. He’s stayed active post-Ramones, including playing on Joey Ramone’s 2012 solo album, and even composed a classical piece, “Suite for Drums and Orchestra,” built around themes from West Side Story. Tickets ($15 in advance; $20 the day of the show) are available at the club and

Al Parrish of the now-retired Canadian folk group Tanglefoot has launched a solo career which brings him here for an 8 p.m. Feb. 8 show at Greece Baptist Church, 1230 Long Pond Road, Greece. Tickets are $17 in advance (at; $20 at the door. Opening is Alan Hunt, who’s just released his debut CD and is indeed the son of Heartland Concerts co-founder Ralph Hunt.

The 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first U.S. performance, Feb. 9 on The Ed Sullivan Show, will be getting a lot of attention. Locally, we have these free events at the University of Rochester:

• Andy Babiuk of The Chesterfield Kings, and author of Beatles Gear, has a 7 p.m. Feb. 5 lecture on The Beatles’ musical gear at UR’s Dewey Hall, 1-101.

• Walter Everett of the University of Michigan, who’s written two books on The Beatles, has a 2 p.m. Feb. 9 lecture on the band in Lower Strong Auditorium.

• The UR’s “Institute For Popular Music” presents a Beatles-music concert at 8 p.m. Feb. 9, 50 years to the hour after their Sullivan appearance, with performances by faculty, students and the local ’60s band The Smooth Talkers. It’s at Strong Auditorium on the UR Riverside campus.

• John Covach, director of the Institute for Popular Music, analyzes The Beatles’ musical development with a six-week online course, “The Music of the Beatles,” beginning Feb. 9 and available on the online platform Demonstrating the apparent need for such a Fab Four service, there are apparently 23,000 people already signed up.

More Beatles:

Mr. Mustard, a local Beatles tribute band, plays 9 p.m. Feb. 22 at Lovin’ Cup Bistro & Brews, 300 Park Point Drive, Henrietta.

The second annual George Harrison Birthday Party with Don Christiano, Feb. 25 at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way.

Darmon Meader, who founded The New York Voices two decades ago, premieres a 100-piece jazz choir composition at the 44th annual Penfield Jazz Fundraiser Concert at 7:30 p.m.Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 at the Penfield High School Auditorium, 25 High School Drive, Penfield. Meador also joins The Penfield New York Voices for the Feb. 8 show on a new arrangement of Rod Blumenthal’s “Tenor Madness.” Tickets ($10 for adults; $8 for students) are available at the school, The Bop Shop, Music and Arts and the Penfield branch of Canandaigua National Bank.

Renowned percussionist Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble has an 8:30 p.m. Feb. 5 show at Lovin’ Cup Bistro & Brews, 300 Park Point Drive, Henrietta. Tickets ($17 in advance; $20 the day of the show) are available at the club and The Bop Shop. Also of interest:

The Barry Altschul Trio, featuring the longtime drummer on the free-jazz scene, performs 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at Lovin’ Cup Bistro & Brews. The trio also features and saxophonist Jon Irabagon and bassist Joe Fonda. Tickets ($17 advance; $20 the day of the show) are available at the club and The Bop Shop.

Charlie Parr, an unassuming and top-notch blues and roots-music guitarist from Minnesota, performs 8:30 p.m. Feb. 20, The Bop Shop, 1460 Monroe Ave., Brighton. A $10 donation is requested.