Ain't it funny how I was reminiscing about my last man date with the Cleveland Bachelor earlier this morning (the last one that really mattered, anyway), and in the middle of the day, the man date schedulers (whoever those dudes are) sent me an email to let me know that our next scheduled man date has been confirmed.
The great American rock band Cracker have decided to schedule another soon to be classic rock show, and they really have something special planned. How would you like to see David Lowery, Johnny Hickman and their band of Cracker soul hooligans play a show within the intimate confines of Musica in Akron?
Yeah? Cool. Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 3rd, and point the car in the general direction of Musica and just drive.
Tickets are 20 bucks, and damn, this is going to be a good one.
For those of you that aren't lucky enough to live in Cleveland (where you could be enjoying the yearly winter privilege of scraping ice off of your windshield with a credit card), it seems that the band has decided to play a number of other shows outside Cleveland as well. You know those crazy Cracker guys, they're always on the road....
I realized that he was letting me know that I should pick this week's show of the week.
Radio 92.3 has put together a very cool show happening on Saturday evening at 6pm, featuring a boatload of Cleveland's most talented bands and artists, all united to help raise money for Haiti relief. A minimum donation of $5 will get you in the door to see SEVEN great bands. Of course, if you can spare more than $5, it will be very much appreciated.
Feast your eyes on the lineup:
All of the money raised from this event will go to the Red Cross, and all ages are welcome. The event will be held at the Saddle Ridge in Parma, located at 5100 Pearl Road.
Click here for directions and more information about the show.
Speaking of the Suede Brothers, they've got quite a bit going on at the moment - they're currently in the studio working on a new album AND they're also about to release a live album recorded at the Beachland Ballroom. I've heard tracks from that live disc, and let me assure you that you will not want to miss it - it's a rocker!
Mark it down on your list of new music to acquire, and in the meantime, make your plans to join me on Saturday evening for a good evening of rock and roll, Cleveland style!
Hoping that the thaw will hold through the week, this time I'm gonna endorse a trip down Akron-way this Saturday (1/30) to see the incredible Brooklyn-based indie rock troupe, The Antlers . Fronted by frontman Peter Silberman, who originally started The Antlers as a solo project, the band now features Silberman's guitars and vocals complemented with powerful drumming courtesy Michael Lerner and an all-around instrumental assist from Darby Cicci. The trio are currently touring in support of the band's most recent (and astoundingly awesome) release, Hospice, which is somewhat of a concept record that deals with caring for a terminally ill person who is also emotionally abusive to the caregiver. Parts of this narrative are rooted in Silberman's personal experiences, which makes sense given the clarity and conviction present when the confused and hurt emotions of such a tale come through.
Although the central conceptualization is clearly a dark and depressing one, the record itself is beautiful and challenging. There are several stand-out tracks ("Kettering," "Sylvia," "Bear") that will be absolutely wonderful live, and I encourage each of you to make the trek to Akron's Musica club. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance here.
We've been pretty excited here at ATV HQ about this week's Beachland Christmas show on Wednesday night - 7 bands for 7 bucks, featuring a headlining performance from Bears, with support from Unsparing Sea, The Modern Electric (who we saw earlier this year and LOVED), Sh*t Slicer, Mystery of Two, and All Dinosaurs.
It turns out that our pal Cleveland Bachelor (sometimes and often our enemy) is also quite excited about the show, and in fact - it's his show of the month for December. As is the new custom, Cleveland artist John G. has sketched out a really cool poster that unfortunately doesn't feature CB tied to a burning building, but it is quite cool nonetheless!
Happy holiday season. I'm not the world's biggest holidays fan, but I tell you one thing I do like about the festive time of year: all the killer concerts. Between the Christmas show at the Grog, the Thanksgiving show at Pats, and all the various holiday shows in between, the forty odd days between turkey day and the new year are a time made for rocking. Forget Rock-tober; late November and the month of December are when things really groove.
This weekend, one of the best annual holiday treats a NEO rocker has to look forward to is on tap, thanks to the fine folks at Cleveland's Music Saves and Akron's Square Records. Continuing their sonic gift exchange, the two record stores are sponsoring 4 bands (two from each town) to play back to back weekend night gigs at their respective home venues. That means, this Friday you'll be able to catch Cleveland rockers Shiny Penny and Casual Encounters who will travel to Rubber City to join Akronites The Walkies and Talons onstage at Musica, and then on Saturday all four bands play the Beachland Tavern.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Far-out Festivus, and Kool Kwanzaa to you. This weekend will be a delight!
How are thee? Living life to the fullest, I hope. If you have been, let's keep it continuous (to borrow Sammy Sosa's rather odd parlance). If not, here's your chance. The upcoming week is a grand one for live music performance. Paleface is playing what used to be called the Matinee (on W. 25th in Cleveland, not the one in Akron) on Monday, St. Vincent is coming to the Beachland on Tuesday, Langhorne Slim is at the Grog while Elusive Parallelograms are at Now That's Class on Wednesday, Saul Williams hits House of Blues on Thursday, Captured! By Robots rolls through the Grog Shop on Friday, and Drummer splits the bill with The Royal Bangs and Other Girls in the Beachland Ballroom on Saturday. A very solid week of rock and we still haven't gotten to the CB pick to click!
Sorry to fail you last week. I don't like doing the kitchen sink method of advice giving - I am much more in favor of zeroing in on just the right thing and then hammering on it - but things were just oh so hectic. Today, as I write this, I feel a bit under the weather, but I refuse to blow it three weeks in a row. We have to build a relationship built as much on trust as on esteem, right? Right.
Which is why I'm pretty stoked about this week's rock pick to click. If you've been keeping score on the kinds of things I recommend, you'll know by now that I'm as much a film enthusiast as I am an indie rocker. (And, of course, I love buffalo wings, but for once that is merely secondary to the others.) So when you get the scoop about this week's Califone extravaganza, you'll immediately understand why I'm so geeked.
Hello Internet Friends,
Well, actually, since this is Matt's blog, I guess you aren't my friends. More like friends of a friend. OK, how about this ...
Hello Internet Acquaintances,
How are you? I'm fine. Kinda busy, but these days who isn't? I won't complain. Besides, this week's cultural choices are so rich, I'd feel like a jackhole whining about stuff. The sheer richness of the week's offerings has prompted me to compose my first ever Show of the Week split-decision post. (Technically, that's a lie, as one of the following events is on Sunday, which would be next week, but you know what I mean.)
Option 1: Eileen Yaghoobian's Died Young, Stayed Pretty screens at the CIA Cinematheque . In fact, it screens twice, on Friday at 7:30 PM and Saturday at 9:40 PM, in case (a) you are too busy one of the evenings to catch it or (b) you catch it the first night and love it so much you want to see it twice. Died Young, Stayed Pretty is a critically acclaimed documentary film about the art and craft of rock show poster making. Yaghoobian will be in Cleveland for the screening, as well.
For more information about the film, click here
Also, be sure to check out local master concert poster maker John G's own poster for the film screening below.
Option 2: Famed Detroit African-American proto-punk rock band Death plays at the Beachland Ballroom on Sunday. The subject of this wonderful NYT feature, Death's show on Sunday promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime performance that you'll be kicking yourself for missing. (Find a download of "Politicians in my Eyes" and you'll hear exactly what I'm talking about if you aren't yet sold. If you refuse to download anything, well, think Jimi Hendrix meets The Stooges and you are about 25% of the way there.) If the historical aspect of the show wasn't enough, an opportunity to catch local badasses This Moment in Black History as openers on the Beachland big stage is charming enough of a thought.
So there you have it - two excellent cultural opportunities to snatch up, all centered around awesome rock and roll. Does it get any better than that?
Click here for the complete rundown from CB!
Greetings fellow avid Addicted to Vinyl followers,
Raise your hand if you went to the Cracker show on Friday? Awesome, right? I haven't been to a show that good in a long time. Killer set-list, though you already know that from reading Matt's astute show review. At least partly because that show was so awesome, and also partly because Matt didn't complain when I suggested a movie as the show of the week a couple weeks back, I'm really gonna push the envelope on this week's endorsement.
This week, rather than suggest you hit up a particular gig at the Beachland or Grog or even Now That's Class or the Winchester, I'm going to advise you to forgo concert entertainment. In fact, I'm going to advise you to leave the friendly confines of Cuyahoga County! Now don't get me wrong, I am in LOVE with Cleveland, so this isn't some back-handed "get out while you still can" endorsement. Instead, it is a sincere acknowledgment that while we might have the best city in America right here in Northeast Ohio, occasionally other cities do some cool stuff worth checking out, too.
And one of those cool things happens to be going down in Buffalo, NY, this weekend. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you ... The National Buffalo Wing Festival. Buffalo wings have been the Cleveland Bachelor's favorite food group since some time in my early high school days. I don't remember how or when, exactly, I first tasted that spicy nectar but ever since it has been an addiction, and I have travelled the nation far and wide sampling wings and casting judgment. Once, during my years in Texas, I even hosted a buffalo wing tasting that featured submissions from nearly a dozen different eateries, both independent and chain. (For those interested, Buffalo Wild Wings won. My instinct is that if I held a similar challenge here, a big surprise winner would be Rally's, though I'm always willing to try out any place you care to suggest.)
This weekend, I'm fulfilling a long-time dream by attending the Buffalo Wing Festival and I encourage you to make a similar trek. A mere three hours drive will find you in Buffalo, home of the Anchor Bar, where America first received the gift of wing. The festival itself takes place in Coca-Cola Field, where the Indians longtime (and now Mets) Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, play their home games. Baseball will be elsewhere, however, and instead the park will be filled with dozens of buffalo wing vendors, IFOCE-sanctioned competitive eating contests, a .5K race (no, the decimal was not a mistake - this race really is only about 1/3 of a mile), and a national sauce competition designed to determine the best wing in America.
Can you really beat that this weekend in Cleveland or anywhere else in America? No, you can't. You just can't.
So saddle up, grab a half-dozen CDs you've been meaning to listen to, get your best pal to chip in on a cheap hotel room and a box of Rolaids, and head on up to The Nickel City for some wing awesomeness. Your friends will be jealous, your memories will be wonderful, and I will love you forever. Or, at least two of the three things will happen. Though as another CB favorite said, "Two outta three ain't bad..."
A couple of additional show picks from ATV:
Our good friends Pale Hollow are opening for Peter Frampton at Taste of Cleveland on Friday night. The Taste of Cleveland entertainment continues throughout the holiday weekend with Lita Ford on Saturday night (rawk!) and Billy Squier on Sunday night, featuring Cleveland locals View From Everest in the opening slot for that one. Taste of Cleveland wraps up on Monday with a triple threat of live entertainment designed to test the endurance of your liver and taste buds. Cowboy Mouth start things off with a special afternoon performance, followed by Michael Stanley and the Resonators with special guest The Jack Fords, later that same evening.
Todd Rundgren performs the classic Wizard LP in a pair of performances at the Akron Civic happening on Sunday and Monday (9/6 and 9/7.) The Sunday show is sold out, but you should be able to still snag tickets for the Monday evening performance.
There you have it, folks - Check out the complete rundown from CB for the week ahead, right here!
With the pending Cracker show at the Beachland Ballroom on Friday, members of the band have been doing some local press to help make sure that the rock kids are aware that Cracker is coming back to melt their faces off on Friday night. Cracker frontman David Lowery spoke with Scene Magazine about the upcoming show, revealing some interesting notes behind the recording of the latest Cracker album Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey.
My man/occasional ATV correspondant CB also spoke with longtime Cracker drummer Frank Funaro about a number of subjects, including Funaro's stint drumming for Cleveland Indians pitcher Jack McDowell's rock band "stickfigure."
I got a call from Jack (Blackjack) McDowell to be in his band, stickfigure. We would rehearse and play shows in Cleveland during Indians home stands, and I had this gigantic laminated pass that allowed me access to the pressbox and the clubhouse and the dugout, and I could sit in the seats behind home plate. I never felt comfortable going to the dugout, that always seemed sacred to me, but I used to love to watch the game in the pressbox, you know, really concentrate on the game. They had this sign up on the back wall that said "No Rooting", and right next to it was a perfectly baseball-sized hole where a foul ball had smashed thru the sheetrock. This was in '96, and the Tribe were real heart attack kids, 9th inning walk-off homers and extra inning games, Albert Belle and Omar Vizquel and Jim Thome... a great team... I was certainly in the right place at the right time for all that excitement. And after the 7th inning stretch, I would make my way down to the seats and soak up the excitement in the crowd, I mean, everybody just KNEW in their bones that the Indians were going to come back and win these games. Electric.
Here's where I'd love to share a tune with you from the stickfigure album Just a Thought, but my copy of the album seems to be AWOL. I was a fan of stickfigure, and I remember seeing them play the Phantasy Theater in the mid-90s as a part of the Undercurrents festival. They were solid and also featured Smithereens bass player Mike Mesaros on bass. Imagine my surprise discovering that apparently stickfigure are still a functioning unit with an official website!
But we're here today talking about Cracker, and you're definitely going to want to read the rest of CB's interview with Funaro.
And by the way, get your ass out to the Beachland on Friday night for Cracker and Whiskey Daredevils. It's going to be, dare we say it, EPIC.
photo by Jason Thrasher