Saturday, October 24, 2009

The week ahead: 10/25-10/31 (The CB trying not to be a Halloween grump edition)

What a week! My insistence that H1N1 is a myth is weakening, as it seems like half the city has it right now. This week was one I feel happy just surviving. I did some fun stuff, but most of the time I spent waiting to get back in my bunker. My still unpacked, crappy bunker.

Next week will be better. Lots of cool things going on, the weather forecast seems reasonable, and after a couple weeks of being ravaged by illness, most folks will be back up and at it. Right? God, I hope so.

Sunday, 10/25 - Obviously we are all watching the Browns game today. After that, we'll either cry ourselves to a furtive nap or exuberantly celebrate ourselves into a stupor. Either way, our evening will be shot, and we'll need something to wind us down into a mellow groove before greeting the work week on Monday morning. That's where CB's favorite DJ in Cleveland, Lawrence Daniel Caswell - host of WCSB's awesome Monday morning soul show - will be bringing his unparalleled record selection to the Waterloo Cafe from 8 to 10 pm. In fact, folks will be getting down there all day long, with Arts Collinwood hosting a 10 for $10 fundraiser (that's 7 bands, 1 DJ, a beer and a hot dog for a 10 spot), so check it out if you aren't a Browns fan or you recover quickly.

Monday, 10/26 - Two solid shows for you to choose from tonight: Nicole Atkins & the Black Sea at the Grog Shop OR Electric Tickle Machine at Now That's Class. Check out both groups on myspace - you'll likely be down with both. If indie rock isn't your jam, however, you can tickle your taste buds at Velvet Tango Room, where famed Chicago bartender Brad Bolt is visiting and plying his trade. Doors for this event will open at 8 pm and continue Tuesday night from 8-11 pm.

Tuesday, 10/27 - In addition to the aforementioned Bolt visit to the VTR, there are two more good options for you this evening. Enjoy a trek out to Oberlin (where it is stunningly beautiful this time of year) to catch indie up-and-comers Neon Indian play a show OR stick local and cinematic and catch the one-time-only Cleveland screening of the new Jack Kerouac film, One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur.

Neon Indian is good, but my money is on the movie, a documentary that takes the viewer back to famed Beat poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s cabin and to the Beat haunts of San Francisco and New York City for an unflinching, cinematic look at the compelling events the book is based on.

The story unfolds in several synchronous ways: through the narrative arc of Kerouac’s prose, told in voice-over by actor and Kerouac interpreter, John Ventimiglia (of HBO’s The Sopranos); through first-hand accounts and recollections of Kerouac’s contemporaries, whom many of the characters in the book are based on such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Carolyn Cassady, Joyce Johnson and Michael McClure; by the interpretations and reflections of writers, poets, actors and musicians who have been deeply influenced by Kerouac’s unique gifts like Tom Waits, Sam Shepard, Robert Hunter, Patti Smith, Aram Saroyan, Donal Logue and S.E. Hinton.

Best of all, the film also features a wonderful soundtrack of original music composed and performed by Jay Farrar (Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt), with additional performance by Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service).

Wednesday, 10/28 - There are probably a lot of things going on in town on Wednesday night, but I only have one thing on my mind: Kevin Costner. Anyone who has read this blog for a long time can vouch for the fact that I have a sizable man crush on KC, so much so that I dragged ATV Matt off to the House of Blues with me one night months ago to see Mr. Costner and his country rock band play the big stage there. (Check out this trilogy of posts - parts one, two, and three - for more coverage of my Costner obsession, including a review of the show he performed at HOB.)

And now Kevin is back, at least on the big screen. Nope, I'm not talking about some new release. Rather, I'm talking about one of the Top 5 Costner films of all time coming to the most elite film series in the state ... Waterworld at Cinematheque.

Right now some of you are scoffing and I say to you, go to hell. Costner is a fine actor, maybe the best and portraying a certain kind of virile middle-class American male, and you are just being a hater right now to pretend otherwise. The list of fine films he's not just appeared in but starred in is incredible: Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, Dances with Wolves, and, yes, I'll even include Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and The Postman in those. Waterworld (along with The Postman) might be Costner's most controversial film, given its massive budget and box office shortcomings, but it is still a very good film. Moreover, increasingly it has a lot to say about environmental degradation and global water politics, which is why the CIA is not only screening it in their Cinematheque program this month, but is also getting a formal introduction from Dr. Christopher Flint, a well-respected scholar at Case Western, and why Case is also supporting the programming as part of their Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities "Cultures of Green" Film Festival.

So there, not only do you have my word for it, but this film gets the academic AND green stamp of approval. So get over yourself already and go see it. It certainly beats any of the big budget dreck you'll see at the megaplexes the rest of this year.

Thursday, 10/29 - A couple cool things, but admittedly we are running out of gas. I guess everyone is easing of the Thursday trigger to save the cool for Halloween weekend. Even still, the Akron Press Club is hosting a lecture by Rob Portman, current candidate for high office in Ohio but, in my view more importantly, one of the most grown up officials in the former George W. Bush Administration. Portman's tenure as OMB Director was noteworthy for its seriousness and professionalism, particularly during a time when there wasn't much more of that in the other parts of the administration and is a large reason why, even though his partisan affiliation makes my blood run cold, I'll still hear what he has to say and even consider giving him my vote.

Later in the evening, Oberlin brings another solid indie act to its student body (and anyone else willing to make the trek out); this time, dance masters Flosstradamus. You'll have some fun at this show, should you decide to hit it up.

Friday, 10/30 - So much is going this weekend I'm gonna follow my Kevin Costner night lead and just stick with top suggestions. For this pre-Halloween night, there is only one thing to do, and that is to make ANOTHER trip to the CIA Cinematheque, this time to catch 10 Rillington Place, a British dramatization of a real life serial killer and his brush with the legal system. It is part horror, part procedural, and all thrills. Plus, it stars, among others, a quite young John Hurt. Do it.

Saturday, 10/31 - Halloween. Oh, Halloween. Undoubtedly, you already have plans, are debating the final touches (or the entire concept) to your costume, and can't wait to get the work week between now and then done with. If you don't know what you are doing, however, let me make two very good suggestions.

Option 1: Metromix's HELLoween 2009 event, which takes place at the Grog Shop and B-Side Lounge. $5 cover upstairs, but the downstairs venue is free all night to anyone in a costume. There's gonna be holiday-driven dance beats, an Iron Maiden cover band, and cheap cocktails thanks to Three Olives Vodka and Kraken Rum.

Option 2: Wiley & the Checkmates bring their soul-filled funk (or, if you prefer, funkified soul) to the Beachland, where they'll be accompanied by Cleveland's own dynamic disc jockey duo, the Downtown Soulville team of DJ Mr. Fishtruck & DJ Racecard. Miss this at your cultural peril.

Other stuff to keep your eye on the following week:
- 11/1 - The Vanished Empire screens @ the Museum of Art
- 11/1 - Fellini's Casanova screens @ CIA Cinematheque
- 11/3 - Digable Planets @ Beachland
- 11/3 - Christopher Buckley lecture @ Ohio Theatre
- 11/4 - Evangelion:1.0 screens @ the Museum of Art
- 11/5 - Ghostface Killah @ Beachland
- 11/6 - John Ryan opening @ William Rupnik Gallery
- 11/6 - Natural Resources group exhibition opening @ Shoparooni
- 11/6 - Realities Unseen (Andrew Shondrick & Adam Hoskins) opening @ Low Life Gallery
- 11/6 - AIGA 365 Graphic Design event @ CIA
- 11/7 - Screw Factory open studio event
- 11/7 - White Denim @ Grog Shop
- 11/8 - Social Studies @ B-Side

1 comment:

Kevin McMahon said...

Hey Justin

I know this is not your usual fare but I wanted to make sure you and your readers know about an important event in Cleveland tonight (Thursday Oct 29) - the Obama task force on cleaning up the Great Lakes is meeting there to hear from the public. I'm told it's the only appearance they are making on the lakes, so I sure hope people show up to let them we care.



Here's the details

Obama Administration Officials to Hold Great Lakes Regional Ocean Policy
Task Force Public Meeting in Cleveland, OH, on October 29, 2009

The Ocean Policy Task Force will hold a Great Lakes Regional Public
Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 29, 2009. The Interagency Ocean
Policy Task Force, led by White House Council on Environmental Quality
Chair Nancy Sutley, consists of senior-level officials from
Administration agencies, departments, and offices. The Task Force is
charged with developing a recommendation for a national policy that
ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration of the oceans, our
coasts and the Great Lakes. It will also recommend a framework for
improved stewardship, and effective coastal and marine spatial planning.
The public is encouraged to attend and an opportunity for public comment
will be provided.

Members of the public can access the meeting in three ways:
1) In person at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center;
2) By phone (listen-only) (800-369-2133; participant code: 8314284);
3) Online via live webstream at

Note: Comments can also be submitted online at:

Great Lakes Ocean Policy Task Force Public Meeting
October 29, 4:00-7:00pm EDT
Marriott Cleveland Downtown at Key Center
Ballroom (Salon D and E)
127 Public Square
Cleveland, OH 44114