December 20, 2011

dan m

photo by steve metz                                                                                                                                                  dan at motr pub

Recently, I saw a statistic, which blew my mind a little.  It said that twenty-one thousand people attended Cincinnati's Midpoint Music Festival this past September.  Twenty-one thousand people from all over the country, in clubs all over the city, listening to bands from all over the world, for three solid nights of cutting edge, sonic bliss.  I grew up in a town of ten thousand.  Two of my hometowns, out watching rock and roll shows, for three days, in Porkopolis.  To a person like me, who remembers all too well, the uproar over the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit in Porkopolis, only twenty years ago, that's good stuff.  It's a bit of a paradigm shift to see our city, often berated for its conservatism, bust those chains a bit, to embrace the fringe.

If you enjoy Midpoint as much as I do, you have a lot of people to thank, but the biggest debt of gratitude goes to the guy sitting at the end of the bar at MOTR Pub in the photo above.  That's Dan, co-owner of MOTR.  He also happens to be the wizard behind the curtain of Midpoint, which is fast becoming one of the nation's premier music festivals, thanks to his vision and his footwork.  He's been pushing the wheel for the last five years of the festival's now ten year long run, and it's been picking up speed, year after year.

photo by steve metz                                                motr pub pickles own their veggies for drinks which require veggies 

Dan and a few of his pals opened MOTR Pub a couple of years ago.  Their combined business savviness and acumen for understanding live rock and roll have catapulted MOTR to the top of the list of live venues in Porkopolis.  One of the really great things about MOTR is that, aesthetically, it is a bar which could easily cater to an exclusive crowd.  It's charming, clean, and boasts one of the most beautiful wooden bars I've ever seen.  But Dan and his friends have chosen higher ground.  They're here to deliver something special to their city...a friendly, clean, and inviting atmosphere, with great drinks, great music, and great food, at a price that regular people can afford.

vintage pinball at motr pub
yummy breffis' burrito at motr pub

So, if you see Dan, at MOTR, or anywhere else, give him a pat on the back and thank him for busting his tail for the past twenty years to bring great music to Cincinnati.  We're lucky to have him here.  A lot of other people would have headed to easier, greener pastures.  I've heard him say "if you don't like Cincinnati, then change it into what you want it to be."  Sounds daunting.  But see him do it. 

Personally, on those warm, late summer evenings, when I'm outside listening to the Tom Tom Club, or inside listening to Toro Y Moi, I'm very glad that Dan is a fellow citizen of Porkopolis.

photo by steve metz                                                                                                dan enjoys a well deserved sip of bourbon