Cincinnati’s Own Playlist

Great music can come from anywhere … even Philadelphia. Here in Cincinnati though, we are inevitable. I say that, tongue and cheek … you get it. Anyway, this is a playlist of artists hailing from Cincinnati. Great artists if you ask me. Most of them I’ve seen live, at one point or another, and I dig their recorded work a great deal also.

This playlist is carefully curated (big ups to myself) and moves on a journey from your car in the garage, to straightforward Rock on the radio to, picking up speed, a little Punk to a flow-state of Hip/Hop and R&B. Hard left turn to Americana and Folk …

Keep going straight to what I might call (overly simplified though it is) “Singer/Songwriter.” Once on the freeway, put down your windows to some Dreamgaze – hypnotism. Indie Pop and 80s synth is the next exit. Once down the off ramp, wave to the folks juking and jiving on the Riverboat. You might, if you listen carefully, hear some carefree, almost Reggae tunes, down on the banks.

Back on the highway, Indie Rock is on the dial and it’s smooth sailing back home. Car back in the garage, comfy clothes on in the living room – and the record player spins some softer stylings.

Take the journey with me! Hear the great sounds coming out of our city! People joke at the quality of our music scene … but those cynics don’t know the treasure lying within the I-275 loop.

If you would like to nominate a band you love, please leave a comment or a message. Cheers!

On moving across town – 4/15/19

I haven’t written in a while.
My hands almost forgot what to do.
The busy things have gobbled up,
my time and strength again.

I have now settled
into a new home after five years dwelt
in a little room with white walls,
to a new room, grander.

I have stayed within the city limits,
though I changed my zip.
From one University’s lawn to another,
Don’t worry, I won’t lose my crosstown allegiances.

Truth be told, I wasn’t sure
how my mind would rest a few boroughs away.
I was a skeptic, muttering un-niceties
Under my breath while I moved

boxes twice my girth (a hard thing to imagine)
up and down, up and down staircase steps,
with no end in sight it seemed.
I swear when I get rich,

I’m going to sit in a beach chair
pointing to young, burly gentlemen
that my shit should go a little to the left.
Cocktail in my hand, cigarette in the other.

My body aches from packing my things
into cars and pickup trucks,
I wouldn’t (Well, I Would)
wish it on my seventh grade english teacher

(otherwise known as my worst enemies).
We’ll see what this move does to my psyche,
I’m still not where I’d like to be, but a change of place
could welcome some unforeseen magic.

Video to come

My view this morning. Standing on top of Longworth Hall, with Cincinnati’s skyline behind me. I preformed a spoken word piece in the freezing cold (my hands were shaking) and with the help of my friend Christine, I hope it will become an awesome poetry video. Be on the lookout!



Hemingway said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.” Right now, mine is this: Jordan Pieniazek loved people well. He loved his wife. He loved his children. He loved his friends. He loved folks he’d just met. He loved people that others felt were hard to love and he made it look easy, effortless even. It was, and still is, such an active love, one that Jordan seemed to drape over you like a warm blanket. When you left being with him, the love he showed you would not fade, it would carry on into the car and remain during the ride home. I feel fortunate that I got a chance to see this love. To feel this love. To hear this love ring out of one incredible man. When I think of him, I will think of his encouragement and his kind words. What a joy it was to feel like you were exactly the person he wanted to be with. There was never a feeling like he had somewhere more important with more interesting people. Instead, you felt the very rare sensation that you were “it”. I imagine that being in the presence of God is quite a similar feeling. I hope that I can love my children and my future wife with the same sweetness, purity and fullness. I hope that I can speak as he did about his children; like they were treasures worthy of utmost protection. I am one of so many that feel impacted by the way he lived his life. What a wave can be caused by rock such as this. Until we meet again!


Brick City

This city is built of broken brick.
Brick is made of clay.
Most of the clay comes from out of town.
Me too.

Like the brick, I come from some place else.
A place I’m not so proud of.
A place that’s, well,
not like this city.

I pull my collar down to hide that it’s not blue.
But it’s not white either. What kind of collar
do people like me wear? It’s never come up
in a job interview.

Brick and mortar.
Brick and mortar.
It goes together like…

A man got shot down the street.
That never happened where I grew up.
We’re supposed to build up, but sometimes
I see the old buildings fall down.

It goes ‘something’ by brick to show
progress, but that something’s been
cracked a long time now.

This city is built of broken brick but it does not
sway in the wind like other towns.
It does a lot of good to know
what you’re made of.