Santa and Star Wars. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that these are two of the things I dearly loved as a child. This weekend, the Dayton music scene embraces these beloved childhood fantasies, and celebrates them in a unique and fun way! So let out the inner child whose been waiting to let loose. It’s a grand time to do so, especially since temperatures are well above normal. Get out and celebrate before we truly get into hibernation season!
Pro tip this weekend: Grab a toy or two when you’re out shopping. There are tons of shows that are accepting toys instead of admission price this weekend. Also this Saturday is the Oregon District’s Santa Pub Crawl too! Lots of area kids are going without a visit from Santa this year, so please help remedy that!
Thursday, December 10th
The weekend kicks off early at Canal Public House with a super fun night of rockabilly, featuring The Punknecks (Los Angeles) and Cherry Lee & Hotrod Hounds. The Punknecks are a fabulous 2-piece traveling love story that combines punk and country. “Jason and Polly Punkneck are a high energy show. They twang to the core, channeling Hank Williams Jr. and Dolly Parton more so than Sid Vicious and Siouxie Sioux” (Erica K. Landau, New Times Florida). Sounds sweet! Only a $5 cover! Show 9:30 p.m., ages 21+.
Friday, December 11th
The Dublin Pub is not missing out on the Star Wars pandemonium! Friday night they celebrate the upcoming release of Episode VII by hosting a Star Wars party, which doubles as a charity event, which is free to the public. Remember to bring a toy, as The United States Marines will be collecting toys and donations for Toys for Tots.
The musical act featured this evening is Il Troubadore & The Wookie Cellist. A wookie playing cello?? Now this I gotta see! They are a famous Sci Fi/Fantasy convention band from Indianapolis. Stormtroopers and Darth Vader are also said to make an appearance, so watch your back! There are prizes for best costumes too. Event starts at 7 p.m., music starts at 9 p.m., costume prizes announced at 11 p.m. Again, this is a FREE event!
Renowned Dayton promoter Mick Montgomery brings legendary guitarist Johnny A to Oddbody’s Music Room this evening. Johnny is heading out on his solo tour directly after wrapping up his fall tour with The Yardbirds. He originally launched into the Boston music scene in the 1970s, and hasn’t looked back since. He has impressed the music world for decades, playing with a host of famous musicians, and even getting a Gibson guitar named after him! Tickets $15. Doors 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., ages 18+.
Blind Bob’s is hosting their annual Noise for Toys event, with bands FBS, The Frankx, The Community Standards and Some Kind of Nightmare, coming all the way from San Diego for this show. These punk rockers are donating the collected toys to the Salvation Army, so please show the kids some love. Admission is $5, or $2 with a new toy. 9:30 p.m.
Indie rock fans, you’ll be delighted to know that Smug Brothers, Brat Curse, and Manray will be performing at South Park Tavern this evening. Smug and Brat (had to!) are celebrating the release of their split EP, Echo Complex. I’m predicting a standing room only show, so get there early!
Canal Public House has an eclectic mix of Americana and folk bands on the menu tonight, including Gus Moon (Indianapolis), Achilles Tenderloin, Blind Cavalry and Sidekick Complex. Check out the links to find out more about these bands. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the talent and songwriting skills. This will be a nice listening room type evening. Enjoy!
In Yellow Springs, the bohemian crowd will be diggin’ on Grateful Dead tribute band Terrapin Moon, with special guest Sonikora (Columbus), over at Peach’s Grill. Sonikora is new on my radar, playing spacey jam/jazz. Will be a heady night!
Saturday, December 12th
Beloved local singer/songwriter, Paige Beller, is hosting a very special live recording session at Canal Public House tonight. For $5 at the door, you get in and get a digital copy of the album when it’s out. For $10, you get a physical copy of the CD when it’s out, as well as a digital copy of the video they will be shooting. Special guests include Dayton favorites Tod Weidner, Nick Kizirnis, Kelly T. Morelock, Chris Witham and Peter Mills. There will also be an acoustic set by the wonderful Andy Smith from Me Time and a special acoustic set from The New Old-Fashioned. WOW! For Dayton music fans, it truly doesn’t get much better than this! Show at 8 p.m.
If you’re in the Oregon District, check out local folk super stars Nasty Bingo and Charlie Tipton at The Oregon Express. Into bluegrass and Americana? This is where you’ll want to be! Remember, anything in the Oregon District is also part of the Santa Pub Crawl, too. Parking might be tough, but there is a shuttle service, so don’t get frustrated. Use it! 9:30 p.m. show, $5 cover, ages 21+.
At the other end of the Oregon District you will find the Afrobeat band Baoku at Trolley Stop. Baoku blends big-band jazz fusion with African instruments and languages to express world peace and unity. I think we all need a little of that this holiday season! 9:30 p.m. show, $5 cover, ages 21+.
In the South Park/UD area? Two very sweet shows in your area as well. One of my all-time local favorites, Subterranean, is sharing the stage with Adam’s Ale (Canton) at Jimmie’s Ladder 11. If you like jazz, jam bands, funk, improv – any of that – you’ll love this show. 9 p.m., $5 cover.
Electronic music fans, there is a huge event happening at Masque tonight! 3DMentional Entertainment delivers once again with a long night full of the best in EDM, featuring nationally renowned DJ Josh Wink, and well as a plethora of regional DJs. Party starts at 9 p.m. and lasts till 4 a.m.! Hard copy tickets can be purchased at Clash Dayton or Therapy Cafe, or online here. $15 + service fees online.
Outside the immediate Dayton area, there is an incredible 2 day event happening in Richmond, Indiana. SoNA and Lyricists’ Corner are proud to present the 3rd Annual Songwriter’s Solstice, which features 30 songwriters from around the region, playing their original music. The event will help collect monetary and food, kitchen item donations for Richmond’s local Circle U Food Pantry. For more information about SoNA and this history of this annual charity event, click here.
Sunday, December 13th
Looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon? Why not see a free show at The Dayton Art Institute! Their series, Afternoon Musicales, continue with the 65th annual Junior Honors Program, presented by the students of Dayton Music Club teachers. This special Afternoon Musicale is free and open to the public. 2 p.m.
Last but not least, let’s get funky this evening with the 1st Annual Funk Holiday Gala at Gilly’s Jazz from 4-8 p.m. Music by DJ Oscar and Flash G & Top Secret. Early night folks, so no Monday morning excuses! There will be food and door prizes too! Admission is $20.
Bonus: Have fun and be SAFE this holiday weekend! Your Dayton Music Insider has scored free Uber rides for first time riders Saturday evening using code “SantaCrawl15.” Up to $20 value!
As always, thank you for supporting the live music scene in Dayton.
Your Dayton Music Insider,
Note to Readers: The information above is for December 10th-13th. If I don’t list a price, it’s because I’m not sure what the price is. Generally cover charges for local shows are $5. Please click the hyperlinks to find out more about the bands, venues and events, including start times, directions, and ticket availability. As you can see, I try to promote as many shows as possible, but there will be some I miss. Keep me in the loop: @LibbyBallengee. Check out the latest shows I’m promoting @theVenusChild. You can also keep up with my adventures on Instagram here.