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THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: The Black Swans
By Jerry DeCicca July 5, 2011

Favorite things from Columbus, Ohio

LA MICHOACANA: I eat tacos as often as possible. In Columbus, Ohio, where there is a large Mexican population, I go to a giant grocery store called La Michoacana on Morse Road. There is a cafe in back that serves goat barbacoa tacos, full of omega-3 fatty acids. Mexican soap operas fill the air. It is a far cry from the (American) football and strip malls and cover bands that define the city. My friend Fred tells me limes and cilantro are staples of good health. Cerveza, pinatas, happiness.

95.5 THE HAWK: 95.5 The Hawk is a classic country FM radio station from Grove City, Ohio, more rural and south of Columbus. There, “classic” is defined as 1990s on down. Old favorites like Coe, Hank Jr., Tom T. Hall, Willie, and Dolly meet new favorites like Eddie Rabbitt, Ronnie Milsap, Clint Black, and others. Miss Lisa is my favorite DJ of all-time.

WEXNER CENTER FOR THE ARTS: The Wexner Center for the Arts is a contemporary art space/cultural oasis on The Ohio State University campus. This past week I saw Michael Chapman and William Tyler. Past highlights: Andy Warhol exhibit, Debashi Bhattacharya, Peter Walker, Tony Conrad, Tinariwen, and endless films, dance performances, and theater troupes. Money from the Limited Brands old man owner makes this happen. How was I to know when I was in eighth grade lusting over the girls wearing Outback Red tube tops that the money earned from them would one day better my soul?

MUSICOL RECORDING: Musicol Recording is a studio and record pressing plant on the “other side” of Interstate 71. Countless classic, private press 45s and LPs were recorded and pressed there. The Numero Group reissued the Capsoul and Prix labels’ best releases, most of which originated inside Musicol’s walls. And the Mifflin Ensemble 45, classic high school rap from the earliest part of the 1980s. More recently, Adam Smith from Columbus Discount Records moved in for sessions. He did the new Times New Viking LP [Dancer Equired, Merge], some Cheater Slicks tracks, and our next full-length there.

YEAH, ME TOO: Yeah, Me Too is my favorite coffee shop in the world. Their beans are perfectly roasted and they only serve cups of French press and cold press coffee. No one that has had it disagrees with me that it is most delicious. Other coffee joints in bigger cities pale in comparison. YM2 accepts no credit cards and has no phone. Short on cash, you can write an I.O.U. or they take you on your word. It is also where I first discovered the art of ARC workshop (see below), which they feature regularly.

ARC INDUSTRIES NORTH WORKSHOP: ARC North Workshop is a sheltered workshop for adults with disabilities. I purchased a painting by one ARC artist, Debbie Porchetti, at Yeah, Me Too and it ended up being the album cover for our 2007 release, Change! (La Société Expéditionnaire). This led to the group of artists offering to paint 500 unique jackets for 500 LPs. One the best experiences of my life. Watch this video and get blown away.

STUDIO 35 CINEMA & DRAFTHOUSE: Studio 35 is a privately owned movie house that serves beer and does the double feature. I can walk there, get drunk, and walk home 4 hours later.

Jerry DeCicca is the guitarist and vocalist of indie folk rock band The Black Swans. The group’s fourth album, Don’t Blame the Stars, was released on Misra Records in May.

Photo: Michelle Maguire

Visit: The Black Swans | Misra
Purchase: Insound | eMusic