Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Move Over Carrie

My crush on Carrie Brownstein is officially over, replaced with a new indie rock longing: Alexandra Lawn, the cellist from Ra Ra Riot.

To be honest, I hope this one is replaced quickly. Lawn is so beautiful in a traditional sense it is almost inappropriate to call this an indie rock crush. No quirkiness, funky glasses, obvious flaws that are desirable in spite of and even because of themselves. Nope, this one is just hot and I feel creepier than usual for including her. However, a little creepiness has never stopped me before, so here we are.


I haven't written much about my Austin trip yet, but I probably will one of these days, when I get back from my trip this weekend to Chicago.

For now, let me leave you with an interesting and related set of statements I heard during different conversations with the two dudes I was hanging with while there.

Dude 1, during a conversation about the different types of friendships a guy often has with males versus females and how these differences evolve over time: "I'm not making any more dude friends for life."

Dude 2, during a conversation about how these young bucks always chasing tail are being stupid and getting themselves into crazy, bad karma trouble, "I'm done with these hos."

One dude is done making friends with other dudes, the other dude is done wasting time chasing girls. To make things even more interesting, these two dudes are brothers. Dude #1 is younger by a few years biologically and by a whole lot more emotionally. Both brothers fare pretty well with the ladies, given their minor league rock star status and personal charisma.

Anyway, as is often the case in life, I imagine being too far on either side of the continuum is problematic, especially when the other gender becomes demonized and/or objectified. But get beyond the urban (and misogynistic) rhetoric and you realize two different worldviews are being espoused about the nature of male-female (and same-sex) relationships. Kind of interesting, I thought.

And personally, if I had to take a position, I'm closer to Dude #2's position right now. Not the "ho" part but the being tired of the game part. As I announced a while back, I've been self-benched. That hasn't changed at all.
As we usher March out, I recall that I once, a mere 5 or so weeks ago, posted a contest concerning accurate prediction of March snowfall.

I'd like to award the prize, but ... I can't figure out how much snowfall Cleveland had in March. Can anyone help with this?


Offical Cleveland Bachelor Military Branch

We don't spend a lot of time thinking about our favorite branches of the U.S. military over here at Cleveland Bachelor HQ. However as "luck" would have it, the U.S. Air Force has recently inserted itself into my life in a way that demands I think highly of it.

My little brother recently left for boot camp in Texas to become an Air Force air traffic controller. One of my closest college buddies is shipping out to Saudi in a couple weeks to guard things - he'll find out what he's to guard when he gets there, apparently. A grad school pal is shipping out to the Green Zone to conduct intelligence briefings - according to him, he's basically a dude version of Kelly McGillis's role in Top Gun.

All these guys are Air Force men. All have my respect and affection. Therefore, I am now a fan of the Air Force. I'll even wear a hat.

Good luck, fellas.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I'm off for a much-needed (if not deserved) vacation, pals. In an hour or so I'm making my way to Hopkins to catch a flight to DFW, where I shall rendezvous with my fellow band member/film maker/partner in crime and head down to ... brace yourself ... South By Southwest.

I thought about blogging during this thing, but that'll just be a hassle and will also make me do more real work while I'm down there than I'm willing to do (though I should be doing it). But I'll try to keep notes of some sort and fill you all in (i.e., talk mad shit) about what I see and do while there. Right now, I'm just hoping we make it to town in time to catch this great Kill Rock Stars party this afternoon that my friend Jen told me about last night. Other than that, I'm looking forward to catching sets by Daniel Johnston, Dinosaur Jr, Women, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Sholi, Vetiver, Black Joe Louis, King Khan, Thao Nguyen, Abe Vigoda, Akron/Family, Wavves, and many many more.

Plus there will be actually edible Mexican food and bbq to eat.

Take care of the place while I'm gone, Cleveland - I'll see you next week.


PS - For those of you still here this week, check out the Friday night Beachland show. Sounds like it has a lot of energy building.

Monday, March 16, 2009

First Quarter Music Report

I'm just about done digesting all the various writers I enjoy and their end-of-2008 "best of" lists. Yes, I'm slow, but there are also a lot of them out there.

One thing I've noticed is that by the end of the year, they tend to (forgivably) forget the great stuff from the beginning of the year, and end up with an unintentional bias toward later releases and those big ones from earlier in the year that caught a lot of buzz.

To avoid that, I've decided to do a first-quarter report, about what I like in 2009 so far. Here goes:


1) Sholi
2) The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
3) Coconut Records, Davy
4) Cotton Jones, Paranoid Cocoon
5) Abe Vigoda, Reviver


1) Phosphorescent @ Beachland
2) Tom and Leia (from the Afternoon Naps) acoustic @ Beachland
3) Dent May/Afternoon Naps @ Beachland
4) Cotton-Jones in-store @ Music Saves
5) Anya Marina @ the Winchester

(Note: Anyone who follows this might notice a lack of mention for The Black Lips. I was at their show the other night and had the misfortune of speaking with some of these guys afterwards, and they are such testoro-douches I'm just totally turned off of them right now. That being said, the new album is pretty great, and I'm pretty sure I'll be digging it out and playing it some time in the summer after my ADD causes me to forget I didn't like them as people. I hate when my critical appreciation gets outweighed by my personal preferences, but whatever - I'm not a professional.)


1) Jason Lytle
2) Wavves
3) Harlem Shakes
4) Papercuts
5) Akron/Family


1) Dinosaur Jr. @ Akron Musica
2) Ra Ra Riot/Cut Off Your Hands/Passion Pit @ Akron Musica
3) Brian Jonestown Massacre @ Grog Shop
4) Jon Ganoli @ B-Side
5) Pains of Being Pure At Heart/Afternoon Naps @ Beachland
BONUS: Vetiver/Papercuts @ Beachland

Move Over Anya

I have a new indie rock crush, and this one is even more impossible.

Carrie Brownstein.

Still, I always dug the KRS sound and Sleater-Kinney is indisputably one of the most important rock bands ever (as much as I hate the word "important" as a cultural descriptor). I'd sorta forgotten about them since their hiatus, but when one of the dudes from Citizen Dick suggested the NPR "All Songs Considered" show as a good fit for my rock talk show pod-cast needs, I heard her on one of the episodes and was hooked. She's so freaking smart, funny, and nice. And she writes really well.

So, Anya, it was fun while it lasted, but we gotta go our separate ways. Don't worry - you'll have good company in my ex-pop culture crush club, which features such ladies as Victoria Bergsman, Juliet Berto (on a 40-year lag), and Kate Dollenmayer from Funny Ha Ha.


As I was googling for a good pic to accompany this post, I found this little post, which does a much better job of describing Brownstein crushdom than I have done. And they have much better pictures.


... is so fucking cool.

Wouldn't it be awesome if that chick really was a vampire and by digging up and displaying her corpse she became reanimated. Hope there is a real-life Blade to deal with that mess.

I just hope to god someone on that archeologist's staff has the good sense to send around a memo instructing everyone involved to not remove that brick under any circumstances!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mandatory Wednesday Event!

I mentioned this in passing before (if all capital letters can be considered in passing), but it bears mention again:

The dudes at Citizen Dick are sponsoring a free Cotton Jones in-store performance at 8 PM tomorrow (Wednesday) night at Music Saves. You should totally check it out. The Paranoid Cocoon album is terrific, the dudes at Citizen Dick deserve support for putting this thing together, and a guarantee you the folks at Music Saves have something on hand or record to add to your collection that will infititely improve your commute for many days to come.

Check it out!

I heart Anya

On a brighter note, I went with some awesome folks to dinner at Melt and a show at the Winchester last night. My primary attraction was to the opener, Anya Marina, who is sweet and sexy in a very dangerous way. She also started speaking Russian during the show, which made me flashback to some wonderful and entirely insane months I spent in that utterly bizarre country in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Wow.

Anyway, Anya's my newest crush.


I have made the executive decision to put myself on the romantic bench. There aren't exactly dozens of hearts simultaneously breaking over this news, I'm sure, and it isn't a new announcement - I made a similar one last fall as the winter approached. Nevertheless, when I returned from my southern sojourn to New Orleans and Austin in January, I encountered remarkable fortune. Several women, it seemed, were suddenly (albeit always temporarily) interested in talking to me. I don't know why, but I spent the next 7-8 weeks bouncing from interesting person to interesting person. Not much ever developed, indeed most interactions were hardly more than a handshake and a beer, but it was strangely thrilling. It also made me a lot more picky, as I was now rich with the realization that there are thousands of single women in NEO having just as much bad dating luck as me and that "settling" shouldn't be in my vocabulary.

At the same time, it made me quickly tire of the shallowness of it all, of the time and expense and witticisms wasted. The last week or two I've found myself becoming bored and boorish and, after coming home last night to a facebook message that seems to indicate the last of these temporary entanglements is kaput, I'm reeling it in for a bit. Besides, I have too damn much on my plate right now to keep giving away nights and afternoons. So, if you have that one quirky single friend you think might be interested ... let me stop you right there. I totally appreciate the thought, and truly am flattered that someone would think me decent enough to put me in contact with someone they like and care about, but I just can't pull it off right now and, likely, we'll all end up being disappointed in me and my dickish ways.

In other important personal decision news, I now know when I will be shaving my stache off: Tuesday, March 30th. I've been waiting until I could string together three consecutive days where I weighed less than 200 lbs, but as I start on the 4th consecutive day of eating buffalo cheese dip for lunch, that ain't happening any time soon and I have to look like a grown up for a convention in Chicago the first week of April. So be on the lookout for that.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Awesome local music blog

Cleveland is not a town without its fair share of music blogs, but I recently learned of a great one that I at least had been missing out on.

Standing in Music Saves today while making a purchase that'll hopefully get me through March if not April I noticed a wonderful little flyer announcing A FREE COTTON JONES IN-STORE AT MUSIC SAVES AT 8 PM NEXT WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!

It is being presented by citizendick.org. I recognized the Singles reference (which was already a good sign as I fucking love that movie) and asked what the deal was - she informed me it was a music blog by a couple dudes from here and one from the Chi and said I should check it out. Boy was she right. These guys do a really great job of balancing show reviews with album reviews and other traditional music blog ephemera. I think it is on par with any of the other non-corporate music blogs out there and suggest you do as it was astutely suggested I do: check citizendick.org out. You'll be better informed for doing so.

Indie Rock Podcasts?

Dear friends - I come to you in need of help again. You performed admirably with the Great East Side Pizza Challenge - now perhaps you can help me with this: I am in search of a podcast about indie rock that features something of a talk show format. I am a big fan of Sound Opinions and dig how they spend as much time (if not more) talking about the music, putting things in perspective for the listener, as they do playing tracks.

My question to you: does anyone know of any other indie rock podcasts that do a similar kind of thing?

Grassy Ass

Friday, March 6, 2009

Grocery Shopping Irony

So the other day I went and did a massive shopping excursion, replenishing all the various household items and refrigerator essentials that had dwindled to nothingness over the past several weeks.

I rarely go shopping in this kind of way, usually instead picking up one or two things at the corner drugstore or grocery. Perhaps because of this, I was endlessly entertained by the bizarre nature of modern marketing. In particular, the Republican-esque nature these stores have of using totally false statements to sell things. I can't decide which of the following is the best example of all, so here were my favorite two instances of such:

1) Market Fresh canned chicken.
2) The Whole Foods logo on their paper grocery bags that reads "more of the good stuff for less.

NYC Indie Pop Fest

Anybody know anything about this festival? The line-up last year was pretty stellar and the timing is great for me this year, plus I need to get my ass to New York in early summer to do some work, so this would be the perfect opportunity to double dip, have some fun, and still be able to write off the travel. If you know anything about it, let me know!

Grassy Ass


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Emergency Music Update

For all those keeping track at home, the new Black Lips album, 200 Million Thousand, has just passed the new Cotton Jones album, Paranoid Cocoon, as my favorite album (thus far) of 2009. Congrats to the "flower punk" rockers from Atlanta for surpassing the man from Maryland.

The true winners in all this, however, are you, because as a wonderful bit of serendipity, both bands are playing the Beachland NEXT WEEK, Cotton Jones on Wednesday in the Tavern, Black Lips on Thursday in the ballroom. The Black Lips show, in particular, has a solid opening lineup, with acts ranging from Gentleman Jesse to The Weakends to local rockers Hot Cha Cha - something for just about everyone's taste.

In fact, that week might be the single best live music week since I've moved to Cleveland. It begins with Sunday's much ballyhooed live performance by Dent May, with stellar local act The Afternoon Naps as openers, followed by an Anya Marina/Greg Laswell show at The Winchester in Lakewood on Monday. There is probably cool stuff going on Tuesday, but I'm working and resting up for the Cotton Jones/Black Lips back-to-backer, Friday Chairlift and Yacht invade the Grog Shop, and on Saturday Unsparing Sea (winner of CB's best local album of 2007 award) makes its triumphant return to live action when they open up for acclaimed Cincinatti band Wussy.

Has there ever been such a good music week in this town? Maybe so, but this one is awesome. Check out SOMETHING - I implore you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Help! Pizza edition

Hello friends - I'm looking for pizza recommendations for the east side, whether Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Little Italy, or wherever. Tips?

Grassy Ass

Attention Whole Foods Shoppers

If you shop at Whole Foods (or wish you did), make a point of going by there today, since a percentage of your purchase will be donated to our world-class international film festival. Info below, minus all the snazzy original graphics because I don't know how to copy and paste them. Sue me.


5% of sales on March 3rd at the Whole Foods Market at Cedar Center benefit the Cleveland International Film Festival!

The 33rd Cleveland International Film Festival is being held at Tower City Cinemas from March 19th - 29th.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Yesterday I had a somewhat spontaneously lovely day. I slept in, did a little work, the drove over to Tremont to meet up with a couple friend to see a performance by Theater Ninjas of Sarah Kane's Crave at Asterisk Gallery.

I'm a very part-time indie theater enthusiast, though I'll admit that since moving to the east side my play-going has diminished dramatically. From Tremont to Detroit Avenue is a rich stretch of live theater that you can't help but miss if you live in Ohio City, thanks to places like Convergence-Continuum, Cleveland Public Theater, and other groups. Isn't quite the same thing over here in Cleveland Heights, though the film action is much better. Swaps, I guess.

Anyway, my pal runs Asterisk Gallery and he and his better half invited me to join them for the performance. I did and it was tremendous. The acting is tremendous, especially the guy who performs what would seem to be the role of the older male character in the suit, and the whole crew did a laudable job of interpreting a very difficult script into the unique physical space Asterisk presented. I have a healthy appreciation for the arts in all its forms, but until you see folks up close and personal excelling at their craft it reminds you how special you need to be to really execute in a great way like they have. This is not some high school class play shit here, folks.

The show runs for another week and then that's it! Curtains. So, following the advice I closed the last post with, if you think you might be anywhere around the west side this coming weekend, make plans to see this with a friend. The show isn't terribly long, the price is very reasonable, the venue is cool, the acting is tremendous and bold, and it beats the hell out of watching reruns of something on Bravo while you are waiting to meet your friends at the bar. Folks like the ones in Theater Ninjas are doing great things in Cleveland, but you'll only know it if you go see it. So prove you are really a Clevo booster and show up, for this or for anything else.

You can get tix here.

The week ahead, 3/2 -3/8

Today, it is cold. Muy frio, as I would tell my old high school spanish teacher.

That's sorta ok, though, for as I look at my handy-dandy iphone weather app, it tells me that every day this week gets warmer than the previous one, up to a high on Friday of 53.

Better yet, there is much cool to do in town. Tonight is the Phosphorescent show at the Beachland, and before that the CIA is screening Synecdoche New York. I'm also going to change my furnace filter. Yesss. Nothing special in store for Tuesday (except work work work), but Wednesday my cleaning folks come (last week had to be rescheduled) and Sam Roberts Band is playing at the Grog Shop. Thursday is another blank day on my calendar (any suggestions?), but Friday is the latest opening at Artchitecture (featuring the work of Tes One) and a show at Matinee featuring Beaten Awake. Most importantly, the Film Festival's tix go onsale to regular schlubs like us that can't afford memberships or crazy VIP packages. Saturday is a very cool literature reading at Mac's Backs and a screening of one of my favorite films, Purple Rain, at the Cedar-Lee as a part of their cult series. Finally, to kick things off next week, the Music Saves team is DJing brunch at the Beachland and, later that night, a sure-fire entertaining show is booked for the same stage: Dent May/Afternoon Naps/Houseguest.

Turn off your TV and go to some of this shit.