Squeeze the Day for 12/19

Steve Schmidt's Christmas Show, The Harlequins and The Koala Fires, plus This Day in Music with Creed, Funny Or Die and Edith Piaf

Music Tonight: A great trio of Greater Cincy-area bands will pay their respects to the Southgate House tonight, playing what will likely be each acts' last performance at the ol' house in Newport, which switches ownership/management on Jan. 1. (Though the new owners, who also run notorious nightspot The Brass Ass, have been reported as saying they'd like the property to remain a music venue, at the very least, it will never be the same.) The Harlequins, The Koala Fires and Killer Star Effect bring a mix of Indie Rock, Garage Pop and Post Punk to the venue tonight, just the latest (and not the last) in a string of shows by local musicians who quickly booked gigs at the club before the Dec. 31 farewell headlined by Cincy Punk band The Dopamines. The groups' "Goodbye, This Old House" concert starts at 9 p.m. in Southgate's Parlour room. Admission is just $5 for those 21-and-up; music/Southgate lovers aged 18-20 have to pay an up-charge ($8). Tonight is also the second-to-last edition of the Southgate's popular "Songwriter Showcase and Open Mic," an every-Monday occurrence with a rotating cast of hosts (tonight, The Newbees' Misty Perholtz plays hostess; Billy Catfish hosts the final Songwriter Showcase night on Dec. 26). Music starts in Juney's Lounge at 9:30 p.m. and there is no cover charge. 

Check out The Harlequins' music video for the band's "Midwest Coast," one of my favorite songs of 2011. —-

• Local Jazz pianist/organist Steve Schmidt presents his 15th annual Steve Schmidt Organ Trio Christmas Spectacular tonight and tomorrow at The Comet in Northside. Frequent guest vocalist Eugene Goss (of the group Triage) returns to sing several selections with Schmidt and Co. at the shows, this year joined by singer Mandy Gaines, a "good get," as she doesn't perform a lot locally these days, considering her busy schedule as a professional musician (which has included performance and other work from Europe to Asia to Africa). Rounding out the Organ Trio this year is guitarist Brad Myers (ex-Ray's Music Exchange/current member of Savoy Truffle, Aja and others) and drummer Marc Wolfley, who has played with everyone from the Northside Jazz Ensemble to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The Trio and guests will, of course, perform a lot of funky, jazzy Christmas music, but they'll also throw in a few wild-card numbers (Schmidt says you might hear some Donny Hathaway, Burt Bacharach or Michael Jackson, for example). As usual, there is no cover charge at The Comet. Showtime both nights is 8:30 p.m. (music will run until about 8:30 p.m.).

Momentous Happenings in Music History for December 19
On this day in 2003, some dude in Florida who posed as a Rock Star and, reportedly, acted like one, amassing huge (ultimately unpaid) tabs at restaurants and bars, was sentenced to 25 months in prison. No, he wasn't jailed because of who he chose to impersonate — Mark Tremonti, guitarist for Earnest Schlock Rock band Creed (according to reports at the time, the impersonator bears a "slight resemblance" to the six-stringer) — but for ripping off a bunch of people. Who knew the name "Mark Termonti" would not only get you moved to the front of the line at Dairy Queen, but also apparently allow you to open a line of credit at real restaurants, too? 

It was reportedly not the first time the accused identity thief pretended to be someone with notable ties and connections, yet wouldn't be recognizable to the average person on the street. Reports say he also once scammed folks by pretending to be the son of late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

For those haters who think Creed sucks and is good for nuthin' … you're wrong. Because comedy needs satire and Creed's fertility in that area is of Fred Durstian proportions. For example, from Funny Or Die:

Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers born Dec. 19 include: New Orleans music hero Henry Roeland Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair (1918); acclaimed Folk singer/songwriter Phil Ochs (1940); founder and leader of Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White (1941); Nickelback drummer Daniel Adair (1975); and legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf (1915). 

Though she passed away (from liver cancer) in 1963 at 47, Piaf's wide-reaching influence lives on and, today, she's held in even higher esteem than Jerry Lewis in France.

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