Sunday, October 18, 2009

The week ahead: 10/18-10/24 (CB Busy as hell at work edition)

Whew. This week was a long one - all week long I was totally focused on the weekend, if for no other reason than to rest. The damp weather caught up with me, rendering me bed-ridden at the beginning of the week, but as the week progressed things got better.

The weekend ended up not being so restful, but wonderful nonetheless. I went to a great pal's birthday bash on Friday, a cool wedding at the natural history museum on Saturday (dinner & dancing with dinosaurs, yo), and today almost won a chili cook-off competition. I came in second in the people's choice ballot - obviously not a technical victory, but a clear moral one, as I'd never made chili before today. So it was kinda like the Browns keeping within the spread against the Steelers.

I could really use an easy week, but it doesn't look like that's in the cards this week either. There are great shows nearly every night of the week, and a bunch of other killer stuff thrown in for the non-music lover in you, too.

Monday, 10/19 - I have two things on my calendar that I'm equally excited about today. Naturally, they are at about the same time and on opposite sides of town. But I'm gonna make it work. Or go down trying.

Option 1: At Home in Utopia screening at Cedar-Lee. Part of the ongoing Jewish Film Festival, this documentary traces the inspiring rise and inevitable fall of one community, “The Coops” (cooperative Bronx apartments), from the 1920s into the 1950s. The United Workers Cooperative Colony, a paragon of egalitarian values long before the civil rights or women’s movement, was home to many communists and communist sympathizers, and it was the most grassroots and member-driven of the Jewish labor housing cooperatives.

Option 2: Paleface plays the venue formerly known as the Matinee on W 25th. This show will knock your socks off. If you don't believe me, check out my review from last time. If you do, check out the interview I did with him and posted earlier in the weekend.

Tuesday, 10/20 - On Tuesday, everybody's favorite multi-instrumental indie chanteuse, St Vincent, takes the stage at the Beachland. Even though she employs what might be the least responsive publicist ever, I still dig her work. And from previous journalistic experience, before you went all New York and adopted the wall of handlers approach, I know she's a pretty sweet gal. So check this out - it'll likely be a star-studded affair with appearances in the crowd from some of your favorite haircuts in town.

Wednesday, 10/21 - Wednesday is a tougher choice for music fans. Basically it boils down to a Now That's Class versus Grog Shop choice, so either way you won't be pissing comfortably. But you'll hear some good tunes, with Elusive Parallelograms playing at NTC and Langhorne Slim laying it down at the Grog.

My choice for the night, however, is cinematic. I advise you to hit up the Cleveland Museum of Art for a screening of Nollywood Babylon, an incredibly well-received documentary about film making in Nigeria, which boasts the third largest domestic film industry in the world. Doesn't sound like your cup of tea? Don't sell yourself so short so fast - this one looks amazing. Check out the trailer below if you don't think so. Your tune will change - believe it!

Thursday, 10/22 - Just like the Paleface/documentary dilemma, Thursday poses a tough choice between two good options. On one hand, you can catch another flick courtesy of the Jewish Film Festival folks, The Gift to Stalin, at the Cedar-Lee OR you can see one of the preeminent slam poets in America, Saul Williams, as he brings his craft to a heavy punk band. I have no clue where I'm gonna wind up, though I'm leaning toward the poet.

Friday, 10/23 - Another choice for you: Captured! By Robots @ the Grog Shop versus City Center @ Doubting Thomas. If you like your indie rock heavy and a cross between Chuck E Cheese-style animatronics and inter-galactic slavery, go with the Grog, but if you like to name drop hip indie labels (in this case Polyvinyl) and prefer your gallery scene to be a little edgy, Tremont's Doubting Thomas is where you should go.

Saturday, 10/24 - By Saturday, you should be wiped out. However, you are gonna have to get it going at least one more time. Rest on Sunday - Favre doesn't play for the Packers anymore, so we outta have an outside chance at beating. In the meantime, Saturdays are made for rocking, and the Beachland Ballroom has you hooked up. Not only are regional supergroup Drummer headlining a show in the Ballroom that also features pretty solid acts like The Royal Bangs and Other Girls, but my show of the week will be taking place next door.

One of my very favorite bands - not just in Cleveland, but in AMERICA - Unsparing Sea will be celebrating the release of their latest album, In the Diamond Caverns, on the Tavern side. A follow-up to their wonderful debut release, A Cloud in the Cathedral, and this year's earlier EP release, In the Crystal Canyons, these folks are in fine form on full-length #2. I received my publicity copy a week or so ago and haven't been able to stop listening, so make sure you don't miss out on your opportunity to pick up your own copy at the show, as well as hear the band play through the album's tracks all the way through.

If that wasn't enough (and trust me, after listening to this record, I'll stake every bit of my critical reputation on my assertion that it is), they'll be joined onstage at the Beachland Tavern by one of the most talented duos in all of Northeast Ohio, Akron's Trouble Books, and one of the newer indie rock bands around town here to get a little excitement going, Casual Encounters. I've never ever been disappointed by a Trouble Books performance, and I've been kicking myself for not getting to a Casual Encounters show yet, so we all have lots to look forward.

Other stuff to keep your eye on the following week:
- 10/26 - Nicole Atkins & the Black Sea @ Beachland
- 10/27 - Neon Indian @ Oberlin
- 10/27 - Electric Tickle Machine @ Now That's Class
- 10/27 - Brad Bolt, Chicago-based bartender extraordinaire at Velvet Tango Room
- 10/28 - Waterworld @ CIA
- 10/29 - Flosstradamus @ Oberlin
- 10/30 - 10 Rillington Place @ CIA
- 10/31 - Wiley & the Checkmates @ Beachland
- 10/31 - Metromix's Helloween Party @ Grog Shop
- 11/1 - The Vanished Empire @ CMA
- 11/1 - Fellini's Casanova @ CIA

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