Saturday, September 12, 2009

The week ahead, 9/13-9/19

Oh Cleveland, I love you. I knew my happy thoughts would return once I got over the annual Labor Day hump (the busiest weekend of my year at the most hectic time of the year, every year - Labor, indeed). I think it was the Buffalo Wing Festival that started my spirits on their renewed upward trek. Whatever it is, I'm back home, it is now officially fall, I'm looking forward to finally making the move from the suburbs back into the city (Collinwood, here I come!) over the next couple months, and have a good feeling for the rest of the year.

Yesterday ended up being a perfect example of why this place rules. After a day of work - solving problems, putting out fires, receiving new and exciting opportunities - I hit up the Tremont Art Walk, catching the belated glimpse of the KRK Ryden display downstairs and seeing plenty of good people along the way. I snagged an old Mailer paperback for a buck at Visible Voice, grabbed a PBR for the same price at Asterisk, and then popped by the always delightful Velvet Tango Room for a couple of delicious cocktails and an always welcome conversation with my pal Paulius.

Then it was back eastward, where I took in the Danish film Flame and Citron, a beautifully shot tale of moral ambivalence, confusion, and war framed around a true story concerning the Danish Nazi resistance effort, which preceded an impromptu Lee Road bar crawl with my neighbor and friend before retiring to my couch for a couple hours of listening to Phosphorescent's Willie Nelson tribute album and watching clips of his barn-burning show here earlier in the year.

In all, it was a 6 hour time capsule showcasing just a few of the wonderful things this great city has to offer. If you are jealous, fear not - plenty more awesome stuff to do next week, too. ESPECIALLY if you like live music. Seriously - there is a worthwhile show ever day of the week this week.

Sunday, September 13 - Start the week off right on a cultural high note by hitting the Tremont Arts and Culture Fest. Lincoln Park is one of the best small urban parks in the city and the perfect host for an event like this. Dig it!

If the east side is more your jam, hit up the Cleveland Museum of Art's Chalk Fest.

And later, check out the Ra Ra Riot/Maps & Atlases show at the Grog Shop. I've been digging Maps & Atlases work for a while now, and Ra Ra Riot features one of the elusive CB Indie Rock crushes, cellist Alexandra Lawn.

Monday, September 14 - In addition to the regular reduced Monday prices at the Cedar-Lee (I plan to see Tetro, Francis Ford Coppola's latest and maybe greatest film, at least since The Godfather. It is already down to a single screening daily, so catch this one soon!

Keeping the music streak alive is the promising show by A Hawk and a Hacksaw. These folks will be bringing a really interesting sound with them when they take the stage at the Beachland Monday night, a wonderful hybrid of Central and Eastern European folk sounds and restrained indie rock instrumentals.

Tuesday, September 15 - One of the most exciting events of the week, I'm pleased to note that my good buddy Matt at Addicted to Vinyl has, along with a few of his music junkie pals, put together a pretty stellar FREE opportunity for you: a Greg Ginn in-store at Blue Arrow Records. Ginn's best known as the founder and songwriter of seminal punk band, Black Flag, but I appreciate him most as the founder of SST Records, one time label home of bands like Dinosaur Jr, Husker Du, and Sonic Youth. The get down gets down at Blue Arrow at 7 pm, and if you don't get your Ginn fill, you can check out his show later that evening at the Beachland, where he'll be playing with his band, the Taylor Texas Corrugators.

Wednesday, September 16
- The stellar show series continues with tonight's Circulatory System gig at the Grog. A spin-off from one of the first-wave bands in the inimitable Elephant 6 collective, Olivia Tremor Control, Circulatory System continues with the expected psych-rock sound as it tours its new album, Signal Morning. Opening duties go to Pipes You See, Pipes You Don't, another OTC spin-off, led by their original keyboardist, Peter Erchick, who also fills that role in Circulatory System.

Thursday, September 17 - If the written word is your thing, you could do a lot worse with your evening than by checking out the latest reading organized by the top-notch CSU Poetry Center. This event features readings by Kate Greenstreet and Rebecca Wolff, and promises to be only the first of many wonderful events this fall.

Afterwards, head to the Beachland (again) for a show by LA's noise/fuzz/pop/gazish all-stars, Autolux. Autolux features one of the musicians who made college such a grand listening experience for me, Greg Edwards (formerly of Failure), and has been on my "I can't wait until their next album comes out" list for way too long. (The band's previous album, Future Perfect, came out in 2004. For the record, it is AWESOME.) Edwards and company probably feel the same way, as the tale of this album's delay has become a metaphor for the sordid nature of the recording industry.

Friday, September 18
- For a Friday night, I have remarkably little noted on my calendar page. No worries, though, as choosing between the two pop offerings I do know about should be a difficult enough task.

Option 1: Gracing the Beachland stage tonight is Sondre Lerche, Norway's reigning pop king (that is, assuming Morten Harket has given up the crown). I first learned of Sondre Lerche when I purchased his Phantom Punch album on an impulse, based on a glowing recommendation by a clerk at Dallas's awesome record store, Good Records (which, incidentally, is owned by former Tripping Daisy and current Polyphonic Spree frontman, Tim DeLaughter, another CB favorite). The album is hook-heavy and sweet, and I've been pleased to since see Lerche achieve some critical and commercial success with his recent album, Heartbeat Radio, and his soundtrack work on the Steve Carell romantic-comedy vehicle, Dan in Real Life.

Option 2: If Norway seems too foreign for you, stick with a sure-fire local show, courtesy of The Happy Dog, nestled comfortably where Detroit Ave and W. 58th intersect. On tap for the evening are CB faves, Afternoon Naps, and the debut show for new Clevo popsters, The Buried Wires. This promises to be a good show as well as a haven for west-side hipsters, so be prepared.

Saturday, September 19 - Rounding out the week, and bringing a close to the stretch of live music offerings (though see below for more must-see shows the following week), is a show by Tobacco (the solo project for electronica artist and Black Moth Super Rainbow frontman, Tom Fec). Tobacco's latest releases, Fucked Up Friends and The Allegheny White Fish Tapes, have received pretty high praise from reliable corners of the indie blogosphere, and the show promises to be a good one.

By this point in the week, though, you might be a little tired of standing and drinking beer while waves of sonic bliss flow over you. (OK, the way I wrote that, it sounds like it'd be difficult for anyone to get tired of that, so make sure you focus on the "standing" part.) I know I probably will be. Which is why I'm super stoked to see a promising run of three straight films in a row at the CIA Cinematheque. Beginning at 5:30 with Examined Life, a documentary that examines several all-world level academics as they grapple with philosophies of life and intellect, the trio of films immediately drops the heaviness and plays Ridley Scott and James Cameron's respective space-horror classics, Alien and Aliens, back-to-back, at 7:30 and 9:30.

Other stuff to keep your eye on the following week:

- 9/20 - Arts Collinswood's annual Collinwood Unveiled event
- 9/22 - The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker @ the Beachland
- 9/23 - Audience of One screening at the Cleveland Museum of Art
- 9/23 - Bell X1 and Wild Light @ House of Blues
- 9/24 - Heartless Bastards @ Oberlin
- 9/24 - Screening of The Borinqueneers at CSU's Fenn Theatre
- 9/25 - Screening of Dead Snow (Nazi zombies!) at Cedar-Lee
- 9/25 - Free Founding Fathers show at the Grog Shop
- 9/25 - The Bridge Project event at the Detroit-Superior Bridge
- 9/25 - Murder Mystery event at the Cleveland Museum of Art
- 9/25 - Hunter Thompson event at Visible Voice
- 9/26 - Hunter Thompson event at Barking Spider
- 9/26 - Screening of Died Young, Stayed Pretty at CIA Cinematheque with special guest, director Eileen Yaghoobian
- 9/27 - Screening of The End of the Line at the Cleveland Museum of Art
- 9/27 - Death and This Moment in Black History at the Beachland

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