Columbia is always a favorite tour stop for Andy Friedman, a New York-based crooner who is also a freelance illustrator and artist. Tonight, he’s a headliner at the Arts & Draughts event at the Columbia Museum of Art. Whether he’s performing backed by bands or slide projections, the milieu within Friedman’s songs are always earnest and sometimes wrenching. Since Friedman has called Columbia one of his favorite cities, we asked him to tell us four things he likes to do when in town.
1. Papa Jazz: I go there every visit. Without fail.
2. Flower shopping: (There’s) a guy who makes flowers out of corn stalks who is usually lurking out in front of Starbucks near Five Points. Once I bought three of them from him and they stayed on my dash until they rotted, withered away and disappeared altogether — until their eventual reemergence blowing back into my face through the A/C.
3. Eating brunch: I always have brunch at Harper’s, but they seat me in the back behind the bar and away from all the people in the front of the restaurant without fail. Do they think I like to eat eggs in private?
4. Listening to the “Red Bank Bar & Grill,” a Saturday-morning radio show hosted by Uncle Gram: On this holy program is where I found one of my favorite musicians, Caleb Stine, who has also become one of my best friends. Uncle Gram is the Jonathan Schwartz of Columbia.
Otis R. Taylor Jr.