There aren't many bands I've talked about as much this year as I have The Modern Electric. Along with probably Ramona Falls, Afternoon Naps, Evangelicals, and The Low Anthem, these guys have been a recurring topic on this here blog and for good reason. Frontman Garrett Komyati (aka today's featured proper noun) has as much talent as any young blood in the indie rock game.
Last night, for example, an impromptu bull session with a couple of my fellow Citizen Dick writers took place at Lincoln Park Pub and along with Megafaun and AA Bondy, Komyati's band was the recipient of the most praise and critical love. All of us agreed that there are incredible things to come from this band, but even if they prove to be a one and done act (god let's hope not), they've already left us with a completely brilliant album in the form of this year's self-release. (For those interested, here is my review and here is a review Brian, one of the Citizen Dicks not in last night's convo, wrote up well before I wrote mine).
All that as prelude to this: I'm very happy that a guy who has such a bright artistic future ahead of him and such a clear commitment to keeping it real in Cleveland (see below) agreed to be a part of my Proper Noun series. Read onward to see what this young indie rock jedi has to say.
1) How long have you been in Cleveland? And if you didn't grow up in Cleveland, where'd you relocate here from?
I was born and raised in Cleveland. Well the east side suburbs at least. I don't really plan on living anywhere else either. She has given so much to raise me, like a single mother, I would be an ungrateful bastard to abandon her... especially now... when she needs me the most.
2) What is your favorite Cleveland memory?
My favorite Cleveland memory is going to see the legendary Glenn Schwartz play for the first time at his weekly Major Hoopples gig. I was too young to get into the bar, so my friends and I sat freezing outside the door under a bridge. Glenn's sound was giant echoing under that bridge. I doubt the patrons inside heard as good of a show as I did.
3) How does (if at all) Cleveland influence your work and/or art?
If anything, Cleveland drives me to succeed with the work that I produce. I hope that my name can become synonymous with the Cleveland scene, much like Lou Reed was linked to New York. When I put my name on something I take a second to ask if the work is worthy of being a representative for the city. Am I comfortable with this work being identified as a product of Cleveland?
4) If it was your birthday and you decided to have a Cleveland-centric blow-out bash, how would you celebrate? That is, what would you do, where would you do it, etc.?
If I had no budget for this birthday bash, I would rent out The Goodtime III for the night and take a tour of our waterways. I would also beg some of my favorite local bands to play on the ship for the night: Marie Corbo, The Helper T-Cells, Afternoon Naps, Expecting Rain, among others...
5) Say you had a friend coming in for 24 hours and had never been to Cleveland before. What would you make sure they saw and did?
I would take a friend down to Waterloo Rd. This is my favorite place on Earth. We'd go see a show down at the Beachland, pick up a few vinyl at Music Saves or Blue Arrow, and admire the art at Low Life or Waterloo 7. I think it would be important for my friend to meet each the guys who run these establishments. Melanie and Kevin over at Music Saves, Pete at Blue Arrow, Dave P at this way out, and Jerry over at Waterloo 7.. These guys really make the experience of Cleveland. They know what its like to take a gamble in a Dark Age, but contribute to the beginnings of a Renaissance.
6) What is something from another city you wish you could import to Cleveland?
I would import the pride that others have for their cities. So many people are in love with New York, Portland and LA, but its rare to find a Clevelander with such devotion. Most have plans to leave or wish they had plans to leave. Artists, musicians, they all think that their ticket to fame is exporting their much needed talents to cities that will chew them up and spit them out. I love clevelandclothingco.com They are making Cleveland cool again. What a simple but effective way to show your support, wear a T-shirt.
7) If you had the undivided attention of the mayor, city council, and county commissioners, what would be the one thing you'd ask for or tell them?
This may be obvious, but the lakefront is underdeveloped and borderline pathetic.
To meet Garrett and the rest of the fellas in The Modern Electric, hit up the Beachland TONIGHT for the December Cleveland Bachelor Show of the Month. For a mere $7 you'll be treated to The Modern Electric's set as well as sets by Unsparing Sea, Bears, Mystery of Two, Terminal Lovers, All Dinosaurs, and Shit Slicer. Two rooms, one ticket. Can't be that. Not with a bat. See you there!
4 weeks ago