Every Thursday through Saturday night, two pro piano players sit down at Jive and Wail's two baby grand pianos and proceed to bang out Top 40 hits from a plethora of eras, including time that has not yet come to pass, though these future-songs cannot be heard by present-day ears. Audience participation is not only encouraged but demanded by the dueling pianists—who are not above threatening their audience with atonal jazz if no song requests are forthcoming. Once you've made your request, the bar's high-tech sound system makes sure you won't miss it while refreshing your tipple at the full-service bar.
Multifaceted rocker Todd Rundgren has been entertaining fans for more than 40 years with an eclectic range of music, including hits such as "Hello, It's Me," "Can We Still Be Friends," and "Bang the Drum All Day." Since albums—like collections of porcelain stegosaurus figurines—are best presented whole, Rundgren will reward loyal listeners by playing two of his albums, Healing and Todd , in their entirety. The show is part of a six-stop tour and one of two dates featuring The Fixx—the English New Wave band known for ’80s hits such as "One Thing Leads To Another" and "Saved By Zero"—who will kick things off and guard the stage against robot encroachment until Rundgren arrives. The beautiful, ornately wrought interior of the Roberts Orpheum Theater, which has played host to performers from Mae West to Pearl Jam, wraps musical notes in a veneer of class before delivering them to eardrums in gilded sonic envelopes.
Off Broadway—heralded as 2010's Best Rock Club by the Riverfront Times—lures in crowds several nights a week with a barrage of local bands and national touring acts of all genres. On Thursday, July 28, singer-songwriter William Elliott Whitmore performs with Strawfoot, an old-time revival country band with the requisite fiddle, banjo, and washboard abs. tune-yards annexes the venue on November 8 with violently convivial ukulele jams augmented by African-inflected vocal gymnastics, looped drums, and a duo of synchronized saxophonists. Musical Merry-Go-Round matinees amuse kids monthly on Sunday afternoons with entertainers such as Super Stolie on August 14 and Little Miss Ann on September 11.
• For $25, you get a ticket for seating in sections 107–112 (a $49.50 value before fees, or up to a $62.05 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $45, you get a ticket for seating in section 104 or 115 (a $99.50 value before fees, or up to a $113.25 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees).
When a school of music also contains a live-performance venue, it’s an indicator that the lessons stick. Such is the case with the Columbia Academy of Music, where private practice rooms sit just steps from The Bridge, a club accustomed to welcoming musical talent from down the street and around the country. A stage within range of instruction can inspire even the most stage-frightened students to step into the spotlight, where they’ll get the hands-on, feet-on stage experience that renders books worthless.
The academy’s tuneful staffers are no strangers to this kind of public performance—some instructors have shared the stage with the likes of Chuck Berry, Sting, and Hank Williams III—but many also are experts in what goes on behind the music. In lessons tailored for all ages, skill sets, and music-making manners, the school strengthens the confidence of budding musicians in once-a-week sessions. Instrument instruction infuses students with techniques across a range of musical genres; audio-production and engineering courses teach students how to make solid records and tolerate most singers’ misguided requests for more Steak-Umms in the monitor.
From its perch atop the Bridge Hotel, Carmen's pairs wide-open oceanfront views and city vistas with fresh seasonal cuisine conceived by chef Dudley Rich, who has cooked privately for U.S. presidents. Starters from the dinner menu make apt preludes or small plates, with options such as the eggplant-and-goat-cheese ravioli swirled in a thyme cream sauce ($12). Sizzling with meats sourced from Harris Ranch, veal chops arrive drizzled in truffle butter ($45), and charbroiled filet mignon ($40) fairly accuses its port-wine-and-shallot reduction of smothering it. The entree menu also sates seafood yens with selections such as the peppercorn-crusted swordfish, sauced in a morel-mushroom dressing ($28).