Saturday, December 5, 2009

The week ahead: 12/6-12/12 (CB wraps things up for 2009 edition)

Things are slower this week - a common theme as we all prepare for the winter. It seems to me, entering winter #3 here, that Clevelanders engage in a cultural version of the Bush Doctrine, declaring preemptive war on all things cool before the winter can thwart their best intentions anyway. Still, there are plenty of things to stay excited about - not least of which being the fact that my handy-dandy iphone app shows no snow prediction through Friday and only has one of those days (Thursday) dropping below 40 - so before we totally go into hibernation, let's make a couple last grand stands.

Sunday, 12/6 - In what might make for a filmic metaphor as beautiful as it is apt, the CIA Cinematheque screens Liverpool today at 6:30 PM. This film-festival favorite by Argentinean minimalist Lisandro Alonso (Los Muertos) follows a taciturn merchant sailor who takes shore leave to visit his elderly mother in his desolate, snowy Tierra del Fuego hometown. A leisurely, laconic movie of quiet moods and elegant landscapes, it also boasts a haunting metaphysical dimension heightened by its ends-of-the-earth locale.

Monday, 12/7 - With all the hubbub in the news about health care reform, surges in Afghanistan, and continued nonsense about birth certificates, too-deep bows, and rogue failed vice presidential candidates on book tours, why not make today a political day? There are two solid downtown options for you, including an open strategy briefing by the Ohio Dems at Pickwick & Frolic at 6:30 PM and a performance by The Capitol Steps at Playhouse Square at 6. Whichever direction you go - satire or seriousness - you should have fun and learn something. Plus you can wander down and dine at one of the fine establishments increasingly populating the downtown quarter.

Tuesday, 12/8 - tba

Wednesday, 12/9 - No question: El Vez at the Beachland. I went to El Vez's last Cleveland show at the urging of a pair of friends and it was the smartest thing I could have done. He's finally back, and this time performing his much-loved Holiday show (last time when I saw him it was the El Vez for Prez tour). I spoke with him a few days ago - the Q&A will go up later in the week - and he promised great things, both in terms of the uniqueness of the show (he's playing with Los Straitjackets as his backing band) and the repeated phrase, "By the time we get to Cleveland, we'll be rockin'." I believe him. So should you. Check out this clop from a show just a few days ago in DC.

If that's not enough to get your blood pressure up, consider this: Wednesday is also customer appreciation day at Popeye's Chicken. That means 8 piece mixed buckets for like 5 bucks. Yum. I like mine spicy, in case anyone decides to bring gifts of thanks to me at the El Vez show that night...

Thursday, 12/10
- Two choices, both musical. I'm going to the first one, but if you like your stuff a little darker, louder, and less lyrical, you might prefer the latter.

- Option 1: Afternoon Naps and The Dreadful Yawns at the Beachland.
- Option 2: Russian Circles and Young Widows @ the Grog Shop.

If neither summery pop or wintry jams sounds like what you are going for, the CIA Cinemtheque will also be screening (at 6:30 PM) We Live In Public, a 2009 documentary that has been receiving positive critical feedback from all corners this year. People’s increasing willingness to forsake privacy and live their lives in public (via Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, reality TV shows, blogs, etc.) is the subject of this cautionary documentary that won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The movie is culled from thousands of hours of surveillance footage shot in an underground NYC bunker where Internet pioneer Josh Harris (the “Warhol of the Web”) lived with 100 volunteers on camera for 30 days at the turn of the millennium. Things did not go well for the residents of this combination hotel/prison, and they went even worse for Mr. Harris and his girlfriend, who lived together by themselves in a subsequent webcam experiment that culminated in Mr. Harris’ mental collapse.

Friday, 12/11 - In addition to the second Cinematheque screening of We Live In Public, Friday also features what is quite probably my favorite cultural event of the year, the Asterisk Holiday Auction. Art work by the dozens is put up for silent bid, many going for as low as $30 and nothing usually for more than $100, and the proceeds benefit Dana Depew's Asterisk Gallery, a vital cultural institution for the young creative class in Cleveland. For more information, including a list of participating artists, click here. Those of you who love rock as much as you love art, try to stop down between 8 & 9, when Pale Hollow plays a set.

Saturday, 12/12 - Finally, if you missed the happening on the east side after Thanksgiving, check out the traditional west side iteration of Bazaar Bizarre. The festivities go down today and Sunday at the 78th Street Studios. Between this event and Shoparooni, I was able to get all my holiday shopping done last year and was able to spend every bit of that money on locally-produced goods. I have no doubt that I'll be able to do the same again this year. Give it a try!

Other stuff to keep your eye on the following week:

- 12/13 - Jessica Lea Mayfield/Frontier Ruckus/Beaten Awake @ Grog Shop
- 12/17 - Suede Brothes/Oxford Cotton @ Beachland
- 12/18 - The Woovs @ Beachland
- 12/19 - Music Saves/Square Records Gift Exchange show @ Beachland
- 12/20 - Bronson @ CIA Cinematheque


Bob Ignizio said...

I know you mentioned it in a post before, but don't forget the Rockabilly Holiday show at the Beachland Tavarn on Friday 12/11. All 3 bands (Rumble Daddy, Capgun Cowboys, and A-Train and the Steamers) are great if you like the style. Bring a can of pet food and get $2 off the $10 admission and help local animal shelters.

And if you wanna' bang your head, Saturday night the Beachland Ballroom hosts the 25th anniversary show for Bill Peters' Auburn Records with some of the best bands from Cleveland's metal past and present. Best of all, this show is free.

I'd love to go to El-Vez, but three shows at the Beachland in one week is just a bit too much even for this old rocker.

CB said...

Hey Bob -

Good call re: both those Beachland events. I'm not a big metal guy, so I didn't endorse the Auburn Records event, though it sounds cool. I did mean to write something about the Rockabilly show, but totally forgot, which is a bummer considering how part of the proceeds are going to a cat shelter and spay operation here in Waterloo! Thanks for the add-on!