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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Huntington Park

I tend to be a nostalgic person. I like the original Transformers from the 80's, hate remakes of classic movies, and screamed bloody murder when the Browns moved to Baltimore.

That being said, the Columbus Clipper's new home at Huntington Park is superior in every way to Cooper Stadium. I feel absolutely no remorse in saying that either.

Some of my fondest childhood memories were at the Coop, and I would never give those up; but the old stadium was in a bad location, in a bad neighborhood, had bad food, looked bad, smelled bad... Cooper Stadium was just bad.

Huntington Park on the other hand is AMAZING! It reminds me a lot of Jacobs' Field in Cleveland; picnic tables, plasma screens everywhere showing the game, restaurants all over the place along with little beer and food stands. The bathrooms aren't room-length troughs to empty your bladder into; there are actual clean urinals and toilets.

The left field... I'm not sure what to call it... building is pretty amazing. It is three stories; first floor is a Bob Evans, second floor is a bar filled with amazing baseball memorabilia spanning the length of baseball from all the old Columbus Teams like the Jets and the Red Birds, and the third floor is open-roofed with a Rooster's and bleachers. All floors have HUGE open windows to watch the game below. In front of the building is a large concourse with lots of tables and benches and more picnic tables, and even a grassy knoll where you can lay down a blanket to watch the game.

On Friday's you can buy $2 Leinenkugal's before the first inning! There is a City Barbecue behind the Right Field Fowl Line, and two HUGE bars behind Home Plate. Drinks are expensive; $6 - $7.75, but that's the same for any sporting event, anywhere. The drink prices are offset by the incredibly cheap ticket prices; General Admission is only $6, Reserved Seats are $10, Boxed Seats are $12 in advance or $15 on the day of the game.

On top of all that, after the game, head out the Right Field Entrance/Exit and head West to Betty's Bar, just a short walk down the street. Betty's is a little dive that's been surviving since 1963. The place is awesome. They also happen to have buckets of 10 beers for only $20 after the game!

You need to go check out Huntington Park. Major League stadium with Minor League prices, and a great addition to our fair city.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Myspace: Lackluster
Garageband: Lackluster

Jon Hayes, the singer, guitarist, main songwriter of Lackluster describes his band as being "essentially a one man project stemming from the remains of Bender, a local central Ohio band," but I have to respectfully disagree. Bender, as I knew the group, was musically limited to a grunge/post-grunge, almost Nirvana wanna-be style that, quite honestly, wasn't that interesting to listen too.

Fast-forward ten years and Jon has created something fresh, something new, something that is willing to take risks, and more often than not, succeeds in what it's trying to do.

Like a lot of bands, Lackluster's recorded music doesn't match the brilliance of their live show. So if you don't dig the music on the official site or the Myspace site, then you should definitely check them out live. It's definitely worth your while. Besides, the shows are usually either free or no more than 5 bucks ya stingy bastards!

Jim Weisbarth of Verner Caliper and the unfortunately-defunct foid plays bass and Mike Shiller is on drums.

Jon managed to spare some time to answer some questions:

How many concerts a month do you play? how many would you like to play?

JH: Right now, we're playing maybe two or three times a month on average. As far as how many I'd like to be playing? Somewhere between 27 and 31, depending on the month, would be nice.

do you still use drum samples now that you have a dedicated drummer?

JH: Right now, no we don't. We do use a sampler of sorts for instrumentation we haven't acquired in the human sense, but not really so much for additional drum layers. We do have another song that doe shave additional percussive elements to it, but we haven't started working on it as a group just yet.

what was your favorite cartoon show growing up?

JH: Growing up... that's a tough one. Snorks. All childhood cartoons have become a blur to me, so it's not like the Snorks have a special place in my heart for any particular reason; other than, when i mention it to people, more often than not, I get a look of bewilderment staring back at me. Like the Snorks are the product of my own imagination. I question that sometimes. Have you ever heard of Snorks?

Why do you complete so many Myspace surveys?

JH: Ha, it used to be out of boredom, when I had a regular, lame-ass job. Now that I no longer have that job, it's far less frequent.

Have you seen Lackluster's fan support grow from people you know personally, to people you don't know at all?

JH: It's changing to an extent. It's weird because I imagine however popular one might become, they are always kind of relying on the support of others. Perhaps even more than their own abilities. We're just as dependent. Though, I'd like for it to be a symbiotic relationship. I'd rather someone come to see ebcause they get something out of it than just because we know each other. But we'll takes what we can gets, and be thankful for it. But, yeah, it's growing slowly. The tough part isn't getting people to come up to you after a show and pay you compliments, or money for a CD. It's getting them to come back. But, it's growing. Occasionally someone I've never met will say they saw us somewhere, then kick me in the balls and tell us we suck. It's kind of an honor really.

How was life in the Air Force? Did your service influence your musical taste?

JH: I can adapt to things pretty well, and I don't have any notions that anything but my own stink revolves around me. The military, to varying in degrees, is mostly just made up of people who feel the same way. It fostered integrity, which I feel translates into different aspects of music... but I still hate Creed.

How has your music grown since you first started playing?

JH: It's weird, because sometimes it doesn't seem like it has at all, and sometimes it does. If I were to sit down and play something current in front of myself, from fifteen years ago, I think there would be a difference. But, I actually put some effort into lyrics now. That's definitely changed.

Do you find it difficult to write songs, or does inspiration just come to you?

JH: I find it extremely difficult BECAUSE it just comes to you.

When did you first start playing music, and what made you start?

JH: I think I was 13 or 14, and I'd skip school to hang out with this kid. He had a guitar, and we'd pretty much just play it all day, wherever we could that would piss off as many people as possible. He told me my fingers were too fat, and I thought he was wrong. So, I played.