Sunday, October 28, 2007

I was saved by rock and roll

Ok, so the title of this blog actually draws from some Tweedy-penned Wilco lyrics, but they still seem kinda relevant.

To cap off my weekend, I headed over to the east side to visit Music Saves, a cool independent record store and an cultural/commercial anchor of the surging Collinwood/Waterloo Road neighborhood. (Check out this article for more about Waterloo Road and the role Music Saves plays in it.)

Music Saves reminds me a lot of Tim DeLaughter's great record store in Dallas, Good Records (pun intended), only a little smaller. Same vibe, though; well-selected indie rock and fan ephemera, moderate album selection, but no overwhelming hipster know-it-all attitude. Good people, great music, plus a bonus sense of community and shared prosperity. Good for the soul, better for the ears. Or some shit.

Anyway, Music Saves was celebrating the 10th anniversary of Zaireeka. What is Zaireeka, you ask? Well, that's a good question. Zaireeka is an experimental album released by the Flaming Lips 10 years ago (duh). (Here is a good brief history of the album and the experimentation that led up to it.) Actually, it was four albums, designed to be played simultaneously on four separate stereos. I have every other Flaming Lips album, but have never even heard any of the music from Zaireeka (mostly because I don't have four stereos), so I figured this would be as good a time as any to visit Music Saves. I'd been hearing about the store from just about every solid music listener I've met since moving to Cleveland, but still haven't gotten over there. Talk about serendipity.

So, after prepping the requisite peanut butter rawhide, I snagged a couple tall boys from the fridge and hit the road. I found the place with no trouble, walked in, chatted with one of the owners for a bit, and began browsing and boozing. They have a decent selection of concert and pop art, and about the time I got done checking the inventory out, it was time to begin. The music of Zaireeka was cool, you could definitely tell it was a turning point for the band, as it reflected more of the music that came after (especially The Soft Bulletin EP) and not so much the psychadelic hijinks that came before.

While the cds were playing, some guys from the LA-based band Film School came in. They were playing a set that night at the Beachland Ballroom next door and seemed to be just as geeked about the Zaireeka event as everybody else. The guys were really cool and offered a place on their guest list for the show, but I passed. After the disaster that was last week, I want to start this week fresh and energized. Staying up till 2 to listen to a band, no matter how well-reviewed and how cool the members are, just wasn't in the cards.

But the offer added to my overall positive feeling about Music Saves. I'll be back again, soon. And when I do go back, I'll probably pick up the latest album by Film School.

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