ENTERTAINING THOUGHTS || Party like it’s the end of the world


Depending on who you talk to, the ancient Mayan prophecy foretells that on Dec. 21, 2012, either the world will end, or mankind will enter a new age of enlightened consciousness.

I’m pretty sure the first possibility won’t happen.

I’m even more doubtful about the second one.

But in any event, this Friday, the Lemon Grove will party like it’s ... the winter solstice. Because it unquestionably is.

Now in its fourth year, the solstice party is an all-inclusive celebration that has nothing to do with any religious holiday. It has to do with the earth’s distance from the sun, which is something we can all agree on.

The event will be extra special this year, and not just because of some mystical Mayan mumbo-jumbo.

Without a hint of hyperbole, Jacob Harver, frontman for the eclectic bar-eatery-art gallery-music venue-and-everything-else, said “It’s going to be one of the finest nights Youngstown has seen.” The first one in the Lemon’s new location, the solstice event will feature a unique variety of entertainment on three stages.

The Lemon has a new state-of-the-art sound system for its main stage and will use the old system to create a front stage, on the platform by the windows. A third performance area will be on the tier above the main floor. The McKelvey Room, adjacent to the main stage, also will be pressed into service.

“The Lemon Grove is getting back to its roots, and now we finally have the space to do it right,” said Harver.

The event will begin about 9 p.m. or so with music by Jeff Bremer, Jeff Wachter and Don Yellech, with featured vocalist Natalia Lepore Hagan, with Shedrick Hobbs and Sonny Hopchick joining in.

On the tier, Rahkeem Brown will be curating an interactive resolution activity. Eric Alleman and Daniel Rauschenbach will present art and performance in the McKelvey Room, and Richard Elmsworth also will be doing his thing.

At 11 p.m., after a dance by the Tribe of EOS, Adam Mamula will lead the Coalition of the Willing in performing “In C,” a piece written by Terry Riley in 1964. A series of short musical phrases meant to be performed by a large ensemble, “In C” will be performed by musicians on both stages to create a sound that envelopes the room.

Anyone who can read music is encouraged to participate— but bring your own instrument.

At midnight, there will be another dance by EOS, featuring Brandon Martin and Harver, followed by Brandon DJing a live mash-up of social and city political importance.

Kellianne Craig, Nick Celio and special guests will then take the stage. The grand finale will be a performance by Pittsburgh band Van Allen Belt.


As of Jan. 1, JAMZ 101-9 (WRBP), Youngstown’s urban-contemporary music radio station, will end its run. The station has been sold, and the new owner will implement a Christian format in the new year.

To partially fill the void, WHTX-AM 1570 will change its format that day from oldies to R&B oldies. Its sister station, WYCL-AM 1540, will continue to offer Spanish programming.

The two stations aim to serve the Mahoning Valley’s minority communities, said Greg Andrews, sales and marketing chief. WHTX and WYCL are owned by Sagittarious Communications.


Singer-songwriter Kenny Greco will again hold a show to benefit God’s Warehouse Food Bank. It will begin at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Petri Club, 3650 Shady Run Road, on the South Side.

It will mark the third-consecutive year for Greco. The first outing raised $2,100, and last year’s raised $2,600.

This year, Greco is shooting for $3,000. The food bank can buy $30 worth of food for every $1 it receives.

Greco will release a new album in February and will be premiering it at Saturday’s event. He plans to play most of the new album live at the show.

Greco released his first album, “No Apologies,” in 2010.


“One for Sorrow,” a novel written by Christoper Barzak, a Youngstown State University professor, will be made into a film. Casting has begun and filming is expected to begin in February in upstate New York.

Carter Smith is the director and he also adapted the book into a screenplay. Smith, who obtained the film rights years ago but only recently assembled a production team, will likely entitle the film “Jamie Marks Is Dead.”

Barzak said he spoke with Smith about the script several times in the last three years. “I think it’s a mainly faithful adaptation with some slight changes,” he said.

Smith won a Sundance Film Festival Award for Best Short Film in 2007, for “Bug Crush.” His first feature film was “The Ruins” (2008), based on the novel by Scott Smith, for DreamWorks.

Hunting Lane Films will be the producer. The executive producer will be John Logan, who wrote the script for “Hugo,” “Any Given Sunday” and “Gladiator.”

“With a crew like this, I feel like the book is in good hands,” said Barzak.

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