Things We Love: Picks from Jen Miller

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive
Jen Miller, left, and Megan Palmer

Beloved musician and songwriter Megan Palmer is fighting breast cancer, and some of Columbus' favorite performers are joining up to celebrate her music and raise money to help cover her medical bills. The first show takes place at Dick's Den on Monday, July 25, and a second is scheduled for Aug. 29. As her best friend of 20-plus years, this has been a journey for me, too. Here are a few things I love.

What She's Got toGive

I proudly consider myself Megan's biggest fan, but even with that bias, I want Columbus to know her new albumWhat She's Got toGive is hands-down great art. Once again, she proves herself as a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and bandleader, all while exhibiting more honesty and professionalism than ever. Do your ears and heart a favor and buy it.

Nashville

Going to Vanderbilt for Megan's cancer treatment and helping her with her CD release, I got more than just the tourist experience over the last month. Not only is Nashville full of world-class music and venues, but really incredible people who love Megan just as much as we do. She's got a team helping with household chores, dropping off meals and throwing benefit concerts. Even her kickass doctor plays the violin.

Columbus' Music Scene

Don't let my gushing over Nashville fool you - the Columbus music scene is still my favorite. That's why I'm so excited for our two benefit concerts. Columbus musicians like Happy Chichester, Jon Elliott, Jenny Lute, Jesse Henry, and Joey Hebdo will be doing their own versions of Megan Palmer songs. The house band is also stellar: Brett Burleson, Jimmy Castoe, Larry Cook and Matt Paetsch.

Dick's Den

Dick's Den has been my favorite music venue since I moved to Columbus in the '90s. I met my husband on the dance floor and even sold my home to someone I randomly met there. I especially love the owners' willingness to support good causes, including our annual benefit for Faith Mission in October.

Megan Palmer

Megan and I met while studying at Capital over 20 years ago. Megan helped me raise my daughter and served as my family's medical adviser during my parents' final years. It's hard to describe Megan. She regularly accomplishes superhuman feats, like remembering the words to every '80s song, performing emergency medicine on the floor of Dick's Den or helpinga patientdie with dignity.At the same time, she's shamelessly human. She writes honest, vulnerable songs, invents painfully badpunsand genuinely connects with everyone she meets. During hersurgery,thousands of people around the world were praying andmeditatingfor her. This is a communal fight. When we listen to her music or read about her journey through cancer, we all face our humanity with a little more grace and get braver about loving fiercely and without apologies.