Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Going to the Circus at the House of Blues

Last weekend, we went to the House of Blues to hear the Cleveland band DOHM perform songs from their new album, The Circus. Their set didn't begin until 11:00 p.m., way past our bedtime, as my husband and I often joke, but we went early, and stayed for the whole show. And we weren't the oldest people present at this jazzy, melodic home-grown alt-metal band, or as Scene Magazine writer Keith Gribbins described them in his recent album review, "nĂ¼-metal."

I take a special interest in the performances and success of DOHM, not only because my son is the drummer, but also because I have watched these guys play music since they were practically pre-pubescent. I have watched them grow up, and marveled as they grew up to be really hot musicians. If you click on the DOHM link it will take you to their MySpace page, where you can hear a sampling of some of their music. I especially like Rags to Riches and The Exploited on their newest, CD.

I have been surrounded by music for most of my life. My father was a musician, who made a record that I had never known about until after he died. During my childhood he kept a set of cocktail drums in our living room, which he would play with brushes whenever the mood struck. He also loved to sing, and my parents were both wonderful dancers. Like many little girls of my era, I learned to dance standing on top of daddy's shoes. I am sorry that he isn't around to see how his grandson and namesake grew to become a world class drummer.

Both my brother and his son are musicians, and my youngest sister's son, as well. My daughter and her husband both play. My oldest sister was, I think, first chair clarinet in our high school band. I even married a musician. In fact, on July 10th his acoustic duo Back Bay will be playing on an outdoor stage at the beach here on the Northcoast.
Living with music is, to me, like playing in the garden or going to see a play: the common threads of creativity, self expression and connection, to each other, the world, the earth, are what bind us. I cannot imagine a world without music. I cannot imagine a world without singing, dancing, art, flowers, drama or books. I guess I have managed to create the perfect world for myself, and, in the process, had a small part in passing it along.


  1. Art and music have always been connected for me. In fact, a good portion of my earlier fiber art dealt specifically with music in quilts that were portraits of musicians, the headstock of my bass, etc. While I don't play anymore, my basses are safely tucked away in plush cases, waiting for the day my hands decide to work hard enough to wring out some decent notes!
    All my art work is done to music---I'm never in a quiet studio! In fact, I can't imagine the two being seperated. One is the other and vice versa.
    Big congrats to proud Mom and talented son---it had to be wonderful even beyond your words!!!! So happy for you! :)

  2. Why does it seem that so many of us who are artists also love music, gardening, etc.? Tell me, what type of basses do you have? Did you also play stand-up?

  3. I can hear the streams of music from multi- generational themes and melodies. I loved your comment about precious aprons that are meant to passed from family to the next. Life is short so dance when you can to your own music! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen

  4. You have it right, Mary Helen: Dance to your own music! This is my mantra. Thanks for your thoughts.

  5. Thanks so much for incorporating our show into your blog mom! Very nice article!! Love you so much!!

  6. Very nice show, Brian! Love your music : ))

  7. I never knew Grandpa Vickery was a drummer! Do you have that recording of him you mentioned? I'd love to hear it:)

    BTW, the pic of you and Dad is cut off so that only your shoulder is visible. Call me to talk about how to fix this if you want...

  8. HB, I have, somewhere, at least one picture of Neil playing the drums, but don't have the recording. One of my step-sisters mentioned it after he died. I'd love to hear it, too.