Another week in the books, and more good Cleveland vibes to go with them.
Actually, I take some of those good vibes back. This was a tough week, mostly because of my debilitating honeysuckle allergy onslaught. I'm still in full retreat mode, but now at least I know who my enemy is, and once my body gets it shit together we are gonna defeat that devil weed. I'm not sure really how this is going to happen, as the obvious option (burning the shit out of the plants nearby) would almost certainly lose me my deposit and then some, but knowing is half the battle and I know who/what my fight is with.
On a happier note, I'm home from a wonderful canine-related day that included some rigorous spa treatment stuff for Smelly Els (i.e., a bath and nail-trim at the Ohio Citizen Action fundraiser at the Mutt Hutt and then a vet visit at the AWESOME Gateway Animal Clinic with the INCREDIBLY AWESOME Dr. Abby. Abby has got to be the single best gland-expresser in the state. That may sound like weak praise to you, but to Smells and I, there is none higher.) Other than that, the week featured a Harvey Pekar sighting, a great chat with the dude who runs stencilarchive.org, and will culminate tonight with a visit to the wonderful Cedar-Lee Theater for a screening of cult sensation Black Devil Doll.
Sunday, June 21 - After you get your brunch on, do what you do for the day, and than man up for a night of culture. You know all you need is an aspirin and an extra cup of coffee to get going on Monday after a night out on Sunday. Just don't drink too much or eat the wrong thing before bed and you'll be fine. Besides, Sunday events don't usually go that late anyway. If you are a film type, consider catching Moonfleet, Fritz Lang's 1955 buccaneer classic, at the CIA Cinematheque, while if you are a music fan, my money is on the Aquadora show at Now That's Class, although most indie fans in town are super-stoked about the Wooden Birds show at the Beachland. If that is your jam, be sure to check out the free Andrew Kenny in-store at Music Saves beforehand - I don't recall the precise details, but I know that if you go to the in-store, you get some reduced price at the door of the Beachland show later that night. So now you have a financial incentive, as well as a cultural one!
Monday, June 22 - Nothing for you, sorry. There is nothing at all cool happening in this county on Monday. Board your windows and protect your nuts (or whatever) - this is the cultural equivalent of Friday the 13th.
That, or I forgot to write anything down. Oops.
Tuesday, June 23 - San Diego lo-fi whiz kids Crocodiles play a set at the Beachland. Their new album is one of the better ones I've heard this year, and the crowd they drew at their Grog show a few weeks back was pretty hyped and energetic. (And they looooved to smoke outside between sets. The crowd, that is. Perhaps the Crocodiles, too, but I don't think reptiles can smoke. Ha. Get it?)
Wednesday, June 24 - Hang on the east-side and you can check out the Cotton Jones show at the Beachland or the Great American Meta-Verse Jam at MOCA, featuring roots music and internet things I just don't understand. Hang on the west side and seek doom at your own peril. Sorry. That's just how it is this week.
Thursday, June 25 - A pair of interesting shows going head-to-head. The one I'll be at is Thunderheist at Grog Shop, with local awesomers and Cleveland Bachelor heroes Arte Povera holding down the opening slot. However, even I can admit that the Ha Ha Tonka/Via Audio show at the Beachland that night will also be a good one. So, if you choose Waterloo over Coventry, I might resent you, but I won't hate you. Cool? Plus, you can make it up to me and The Arte Poveras if you come see them play on Saturday at the Beachland in the afternoon and again in the evening as they DJ the official Cleveland Bachelor This Is Cleveland (All the Stuff I See) closing party at Low Life from 9-midnight.
Friday, June 26 - So much going on this Friday. You could (should) check out the Made in the 216 event hosted by Room Service and taking over the Detroit-Shoreway stretch. The economy sucks, and no one has a lot of money right now (except for the douchey Republicans responsible for the whole decline, but that's another topic for another time), but what money we have should be spent on well-made items by local artisans (a Cleveland Bachelor commandment). This is exactly the spirit of the Made in the 216 event, and I am super stoked that I'm actually going to be in town for it. The previous two events I've been out of town, but not this time. I'll check it out Friday, for sure, especially to see Blake Miller and Jukebox Value playing outside and particularly the bands playing the after-party down at the Happy Dog, Stereo Workers Union and Mystery of Two. (Note: Cleveland Bachelor Favorites JJ Magazine and The Very Knees will be playing the same venue on Saturday.)
If that doesn't seem your style, or Detroit-Shoreway is your neighborhood-enemy for whatever reason, kick it on Waterloo. There will be a great show at the Beachland that night featuring a Coffinberry album release party with openers Founding Fathers, Bill Fox (of the Mice), and Uno Lady, as well as the Keith Corcoran-curated Straight from the Crate exhibit at the Shoparooni Annex. Tons of talent involved in that show, including Julia Kuo, whose work I really dig.
And if you don't feel like spending your entire weekend on Waterloo, cause you already know that the awesomeness of Saturday is gonna have you there for sure (see below), then join me at the CIA Cinematheque for the screening of Skills Like This, an incredibly well-reviewed indie flick (and an actual indie one, not one hatched by billionaires on vacations in mountain-west resorts and starring fresh-out-of-rehab A-listers trying to get back into the swing of things by burnishing their "edgy" cred. Skills Like This was the recent audience award winner at sxsw and is a must-see for anyone that takes seriously their facebook interests claim that they dig film and indie music. Expect a crowd of informed hipsters, but know that even hipsters get it right some time (and more often than they get credit for). And besides, they smell better than hippies.
Saturday, June 27 - If Friday was characterized by too many options, Saturday is easy. I'm sure there are other things going on (I heard word of an interesting sounding St Clair/Superior culture fest), but there will be NOTHING as awesome as the Waterloo Arts Fest. I know I talk the Waterloo district up so much I should probably change the blog name to Waterloo Public Relations Department or something, but in all honesty, last year the single best street festival experience I had was at the Waterloo Arts Fest. And I went to Hessler, Tremont Greek Fest, all the Coventry fairs and a bunch more.
Part of the reason that I really dig this festival is the people there, but another big reason why is that there is so much cool stuff going on. I'd seriously pay $5-10 for this entertainment, yet there it is for free, with a whole bunch of stuff to ogle and munch on during breaks. This year the music line-up is fantastic, even with half of the great local bands playing over on the west side at the Made in the 216 event (which is also continuing on Saturday, though you should really go on Friday if you want to be sure to get the greatest stuff for sale).
Playing 45 minute sets at the Beachland Tavern that day are The Lighthouse and the Whaler, Arte Povera (!!!), The Muttering Retreats, The Modern Electric, and Home & Garden. Playing down the block and across the street in the cool Waterloo 7 sculpture garden will be Mary Taylor-Brooks, Cleveland Bachelor favorites , Miles Beyond, Nelken, and The Church of the Lazy Bastards. And DJing some incredible sets at Blue Arrow Records are DJ Gaw from WRUW's On the One, Miss Allisun, Kid Flamingo & The 185th Street Shuffle, and another Cleveland Bachelor fave Lawrence Daniel Caswell - with Lawrence there is sure to be plenty of Bobby Womack, so be a pal to me and request as much Teddy P as he's willing to spin.
And if somehow you manage to get sick of music, there are plenty of other things going on, including a crazy-extensive children's operation. So bring your family, your musical appetite, and your staying power, as there will be awesomeness in spades from noon till well after midnight. After the fest officially ends, there will be a cool post-party at the Beachland Tavern from 7-9 pm and a post-post party at Waterloo Cafe that will go till 2 AM.
I really hope you hit up both these events, but I'm super super super excited that you'll be able to attend the first ever Cleveland Bachelor sponsored event, the aforementioned closing party of the recent This is Cleveland exhibit at Low Life. There'll be plenty of beer and some iconic munchies for you to sample as you check out the dozens of wonderful and often hilarious photos of our fair city that the participating artists took when documenting "their" Cleveland over a recent two week stretch. Plus, we'll have DJ sets the whole time, featuring the dazzling duo that comprise Arte Povera. Come to the party and find out if that is just a terrific band name, or if these two are really anti-structure artistic revolutionaries.
Other stuff to keep your eye on the following week:
June 28 - Melanie Newman "Can a sculptor paint?!" exhibit closing party at Doubting Thomas.
June 28 - Nice international double feature at the Cinematheque: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (USSR) and Dry Season (Chad/France/Belgium/Austria).
June 30 - The Roots at House of Blues!
July 1 - Pterodactyl at Now That's Class
July 2 - Screening of the original Italian Job at bela dubby
July 3 - Opening of annual Asterisk "19" exhibit
July 3 - Zappa plays Zappa at House of Blues
July 3 - Music Saves Alley Cat Friday with Casual Encounters
4 weeks ago