Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

4Oct/090

Cleveland Bachelor’s Show of the Week: Mofro

Oh, look who it is....it's Mr. "I missed posting last week because I was busy moving or something like that" guy, known otherwise as The Cleveland Bachelor, aka "CB", aka "unprintable expletive string."

From reading the below post, you'd start to think that he might have a little bit of remorse about his actions.  However, I can assure you that in fact, the opposite is true - but don't let that stop you from buying ol' CB a beverage to welcome him officially to the Waterloo District!  And buy me one while you're at it......

Dear Friends of Addicted to Vinyl (FAV - Oh my god, you guys are my FAVs! Get it?)

I deeply apologize for my absence last week. For those of you that felt a deep sense of abandonment, I'm sorry. It's just that, well, I had other, more important things to do. Like move to Collinwood and take naps. I'm sorry. I won't promise you that it won't happen again - it most assuredly will - but I will promise that if (ok, when) it does, I'll feel awful about it.

In the meantime, I'm gonna try extra hard today. This won't be that difficult for me, really, as there are a bunch of good live music options this week, and taken together, the CB-endorsed roster is quite a diverse one. For example, tonight and tomorrow you have a couple seminal (read: "important") indie rock bands bringing their rock and their walkers to the stage, while the rest of the week offers shows ranging from Brooklyn indie to old school blues masters to west coast DIY fuzz-punk to a promising blend of J/Swede pop. Here's the runner, after which I'll plug my favorite:

SUNDAY - Built to Spill @ The Grog Shop (Seminal Indie Rock Band Exhibit #1)
MONDAY - Yo La Tengo @ The Beachland (Seminal Indie Rock Band Exhibit #2)
TUESDAY - Two good options, both in the same building: Mofro @ Beachland Ballroom OR The Most Serene Republic @ Beachland Tavern
WEDNESDAY - Big Bang TV @ Oberlin (Brooklyn indie rockers on an upward trajectory)
THURSDAY - Japandroids @ Now That's Class. (Vancouver-based fuzz-poppers. Hipster central. Intimate and filthy, NTC is gonna be the place to be on Thursday. Expect to emerge sweaty and rocked out. Bonus points for anyone who films the show and posts a clip of "I Quit Girls" on youtube. Not only is that the best track on the band's recent Post-Nothing album, it is the unofficial Cleveland Bachelor theme song for the upcoming winter.)
FRIDAY - Tough cultural decision: Do you catch blues legend B.B. King's return engagement at the House of Blues or do you go the latin route and catch local sals-jazz impresario Noel Quintana & the Latin Crew at CSU? Your call - either way you'll be fine. (FYI - I just made the term 'sals-jazz' up. You can use it. No permission requests necessary, though if you make a bundle by putting it on a t-shirt, I want a cut.)
SATURDAY - Kurt Vile at Oberlin or, better yet, stay local and hit Waterloo Road for the evening. There will be art madness everywhere, including a great new opening at Low Life Gallery and a bad-a$$ birthday party at Shoparooni (the little store that could just turned 2!), and as it all winds down, the folks from Pink Eye magazine will have their latest issue release party at the Beachland, where you can catch four bands for $5, including CB house band Arte Povera. (OK, they are really just a couple nice people that happen to be my neighbors and also played last summer's CB party. I just like to pretend I have a house band.)
SUNDAY - While most of the in-the-know folks in town will be drooling over the rockin' line-up of The Black Angels/Disappears/Poison Arrows at the Beachland, my indie pop lovin' booty will be over at the Grog Shop for the Asobi Seksu/Loney Dear/Anna Ternheim show. Expect good times and cute girls at the latter, black t-shirts and tattoos at the former. Questionable haircuts and laudable facial hair will likely be present at both.

So, that's the week for you. But, wait, CB, what do you have as your show of the week, you ask? Oh, almost forgot.

My sonic pick to click surprises even me. For the last few weeks, I figured it'd be Japandroids all the way, and that one will still be a good one. But when I woke up this morning and started thinking about it, Mofro was the band that made me smile. Perhaps it is the idea of just being able to walk down the block to see the band play the Beachland - something I've looked forward to since I decided to make the move to Collinwood and now, post-move, finally can do. Perhaps it is because after weeks of moving and stress, the last thing I want to look forward to is loud, somewhat punky music. Perhaps, and most likely, it is because I got to thinking about discovery, and unlike Japandroids - which the big-blogs had been bleating about since well before anything had been recorded or distributed and loooong before I'd actually heard anything by them - I found Mofro myself, and quite on accident. It was at a music festival in Austin several years ago, and I was walking from one end of huge Zilker Park to the other, catching two different bands I was going to write about for the local weekly where I lived down there.

As I crossed in front of one stage, I heard a dude with a southern accent on stage talking about environmental degradation. It made me pause and listen to the rest of his between-song banter. I stayed for the next song, and then the rest of the set. Today, I can't remember the names of the two bands I was covering, but I still refuse to miss a Mofro show when they visit any place I live. These guys bring a great swampy, jukey energy - think Lynyrd Skynyrd from the Florida panhandle, but more intimate and with a Masters of Science in Environmental Science. JJ Grey (whose name actually is now officially in the band's name, though I still don't think about them that way) has serious guitar and organ chops, though neither rival his tremendous voice. There are politics in the lyrics, but not like Rage Against the Machine or even Green Day. Instead, this is a man who loves his land and sings about it. Think Marshall Tucker Band singing about walking property lines, but with a nastier drawl and a whole lot of delta grit. You're gonna dig this show, I promise.

JJ Grey