31 December 2006

Happy New Year!

Well, in a couple of hours I plan to head out to the Rochester location of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que which, despite its faux juke joint decor, simply is a terrific place. In what otherwise is a quite moribund urban downtown, the Dino offers people one of the few reasons they have to be out and about. The folks (both staff & patrons) are friendly, the food is very, very good and tonight, as they typically do on New Year's Eve, they've booked Joe Beard, who is a great local blues man. Joe not only puts on a great show, he is an extremely nice man as well. He is a pretty well-kept secret since he rarely tours, having stayed in Rochester to raise a family (including his son Chris Beard, who is himself an accomplished performer). Joe has these three CDs out on Audioquest (in addition to at least one out of print CD on Kingsnake Records).

This typically is a night for a bit of reflection and a hopeful look ahead. I am looking forward to a bit of both this evening, the first driven by Joe's blues, the second by the city sponsored fireworks overhead at midnight. Happy New Year!

PS: (Added 1/1/07). Joe did not disappoint. He played and sang supurbly and soon enough had folks dancing and laughing and having a great time. You really should check out his albums. A couple of things about the venue. When I say that Dino BBQ is faux Juke Joint, I suspect you know what I mean. But having spent my graduate school days on the south side of Chicago and having spent too many late, late evenings over the years there at Teresa's and the Checkerboard Lounge (now both long defunct, I believe) it is faux. I do not believe in authenticity as a criterion of assessment - in instances like this it might be a synonym for decrcepitude - but neither Teresa's nor the Checkberboard needed to dress themselves up to persuade you they were a good place to enjoy yourself. A final thing, I really like the Dinosaur because it is a live music venue where I do not single-handedly raise the average age of the patrons when I walk through the door. And we in the older set still recall how to have fun!

PS2: There is a relatively new Dinosaur BBQ (0nly their third) in Harlem on W 131st Street. Give it a try if you are in the NYC vicinity. I'd like to see the local folks make good in the big city.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just pondering on your comment about the "older set" and contemplating at what age you become a member...though perhaps it is more about attitude than numbers?

Also does the name of the establishment have anything to do with the age of the clientele?

02 January, 2007 00:28  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Hey there, I am unsure where the name comes from. Age is an interesting feature - I think it is mostly attittude. After all, keeping a blog is completely age inappropriate for me. (according to the aarp only 0.3% of all bloggers (by their count 53+ million people) are evenc close to my age. and many of the older set last night had attitude to spare (even if, as the night progressed more of it came from a bottle than anywhere else!).

02 January, 2007 01:05  

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