Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cleveland Bachelor's Top 10 Albums of 2010

I really fell off my early 2010 (and especially 2009) music writing pace, but in the spirit of finishing the year (and decade) strong, I decided to quickly crank out a list of my top 10 favorite albums of the year. I know, a far cry from my top 25 of the previous year. These are the ones I found myself playing over and again, mentioning to friends, pining to see live when/if they came through Cleveland or, better yet, their touring paths happening to cross mine while away from home on work. I endorse a visit to each of these band's websites and the purchase of their music in whatever form you digest it these days, especially some of those bands you might not yet be familiar with, like The Octagon and This Moment in Black History.

In another spirit - that of community - I'm intrigued to hear your own thoughts on best album of the year or, should you check out any of these records on my lists, what you happen to think about them.

With that, I bring you CB's Top Ten Albums of 2010...

10) Everybody Was In the French Resistance ... Now!, Fixin' the Charts, Vol. 1 (Cooking Vinyl) (Check out my 2009 interview with the band's frontman, Eddie Argos, here.)
9) Menomena, Mines (Barsuk) (Check out my 2009 interview with one of the band's members, Brent Knopf, here.)
8) Best Coast, Crazy For You (Mexican Summer)
7) Golden Triangle, Double Jointer (Hardly Art)
6) Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella)
5) CocoRosie, Grey Oceans (Sub Pop) (Check out my album review - kinda - here.)
4) Phosphorescent, Here's to Taking it Easy (Dead Oceans)
3) Titus Andronicus, The Monitor (XL)
2) Beach House, Teen Dream (Sub Pop)

... and ...

1) The Octagon, Warm Love and Cool Dreams Forever (Serious Business Records) (Check out my album review here.)

Honorable Mentions:

Best Local Album - This Moment in Black History, Public Square (Smog Veil)

Best EP - Small Black, s/t (Jagjaguwar)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Return of the Show of the Month (aka Are you ready for the CB December Show of the Month?)

We haven't sponsored one of these since June and, for a while, I was wondering if I'd ever do it again.

When I heard that my good friend, Austin-based chanteuse Jessie Torrisi, was coming through town, however, that indecisiveness solidified into hardened resolved in no time flat.

Jessie's coming through our fair city along with a scaled-down, intimate version of her backing band, The Please Please Me. She'll be making a few appearances in the city while she is here, but the big draw is this Friday when she plays two sets on Waterloo Road. She'll be kicking things off with a set at Blue Arrow Records at 7, followed by a show at the Cafe at Arts Collinwood at 9. In between, there's a bunch of great stuff going on up and down the increasingly vital Waterloo arts corridor, including some super sweet deals at Music Saves, the best little indie rock record store in all of Cleveland Ohio America!

OK, now that I have you checking your watch and calendar, calculating the hours till the work week ends and the Please Please Me please you, I'll leave you with a little light reading: my original review of Jessie's album, written pre-friendship (so you know it is honest).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Still alive

Hey folks,

I've been out of pocket for a minute ... or, rather, about four months. BUT I'm back and have a few interesting things to share with you in the coming days.

Blogging will likely be light, at least compared to 2009 levels of activity, but since I have a lot of computer-related work on my agenda in the next several weeks, I plan to find times to get back in touch with my e-Cleve peeps.

More soon!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July Live Music Radness

2 - Madame & the Moist Towelettes/Filmstrip/Matthew Forcefed @ Beachland OR Prisoners/Young Mammals @ Happy Dog OR Afternoon Naps/Go Slowpoke @ Cranky's
3 - Cracker @ Musica (Akron)
6 - Smashing Pumpkins @ House of Blues
7 - Bears @ Grog Shop
8 - Small Black/Beach Fossils @ Grog Shop OR Earl Greyhound/Miss Amanda Jones @ Beachland
9 - Sweetapple @ Grog Shop
11 - James McMurtry @ Beachland OR Cheap Trick/Squeeze @ HOB
13 - Sleigh Bells @ Grog Shop
14 - Kurt Vile/Real Estate/Cloud Nothings @ Beachland
15 - Wolf Parade @ Beachland (Free CLOVERS after-show in the Tavern!)
20 - Old 97s @ Beachland
22 - Lightning Bolt @ Grog Shop OR Heartless Bastards/Builders and the Butcher/Peter Wolf Crier @ Grog Shop
24 - The Zookeepers/Netherfriends @ bela dubby OR Tokyo Police Club/Freelance Whales @ Grog Shop OR Black Keys/Jessica Lea Mayfield @ Nautica OR Black Mountain @ Beachland
29 - Blitzen Trapper/Avi Buffalo @ Grog Shop

1 - Morris Day & The Time @ Luke Easter Park

2 - Bear in Heaven @ Grog Shop
3 - Rogue Wave @ Grog Shop

6 - Maps & Atlases @ Grog Shop
7 - Phosphorescent/Lowly, the Tree Ghost @ Grog Shop
10 - Javelin/Warpaint @ Grog Shop
11 - Deer Tick/The Modern Electric @ Rock Hall
21 - Compound Fest @ The Compound (E 63rd & St Clair)
24 - The Black Crowes @ House of Blues
27 - Lou Barlow/Wye Oak @ Grog Shop
28 - Jill Andrews of Everybodyfields @ Beachland


2 - The Breeders @ Beachland
4 - Paleface @ Beachland
10 - Matt & Kim @ Beachland
12 - KISS @ Blossom OR Somebody Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin/Telekinesis @ Grog Shop
18 - Ramblin' Jack Elliot @ Beachland
21 - Best Coast/Male Bonding @ Beachland OR Those Darlins @ Beachland
27 - Menomena @ Beachland

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cleveland Museum of Art Summer Party GIVEAWAY

Hello friends

Love art? Love summer? Love parties? Love things that are free? Especially if they are tickets to events that are already sold out?


BECAUSE, CB recently got the hook-up on a pair of tickets to the Phenomenal Handclap Band's show at the CMA Summer Party!

All you need to do to win 2 complimentary tickets to the 10 PM Solstice Party is send me an email at: clevelandbachelorATgmailDOTcom. The first to write in will have their name sent to the publicist that bequeathed these freebies to me, who will in turn make sure these names get on the hook-up list at the door.

CB can't make the party, which is a bummer, as he's dug the Phenomenal Handclaps since two SXSWs ago. Check them out for him, por favor, and pour a little bit of your cocktail out on the ground in his honor when they star playing "15 to 20" and get a little freaky when they play "Baby."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

CB Show of the Month update - CocoRosie going all televisual on that ass

This music video blows my mind. Considering the band it comes from, I guess that shouldn't be surprising. Nonetheless, I'm super stoked CocoRosie is headlining this humble weblog's June get-down.

Tonight in Cleveland (6/12): Peter Wolf Crier @ Grog Shop

Peter Wolf Crier's new album, Inter-Be, is quickly becoming one of my favorites of 2010. Yeah, it has a while to catch this year's releases by The Octagon, Beach House, and CocoRosie, but those releases also had a significant head-start on romancing my eardrums.

Inter-Be is chock full of solid tracks, from the album opener "Crutch & Cane" to the penultimate tune, the utterly brilliant "Saturday Night" (my favorite song on the album). In between are gems like "Down Down Down," "Untitled 101," "In Response," and "For Now."

And that doesn't even take into consideration moment-to-moment sneakers like "You're So High" and "Demo 01."

Seriously, this is a good record. A really good one. And the show should be pretty sweet, too. So go there. Tix are $7, the show's at 9 at the Grog Shop, and you might be able to see PWC and then jet over to Cranky's on W. 25th in plenty of time to see Folklore!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (6/11): First Aid Kit @ Grog Shop

If you know me in the slightest, you know I have a very soft spot for Swedish pop (or, really for any kind of Northern European pop music). I was super excited to see First Aid Kit coming through town, and totally devastated when I was made aware I would not be able to attend the show. So, do me a favor, will ya? Hit this show and let me know how awesome it was. But do so gently, please. Don't rub it in. I'm sensitive enough already.

The show gets going at 9 at the Grog - get there early to see Craig Ramsey rock the opening slot.

CB Q/A #38: Jimmy Hughes of Folklore

I'll admit it - I'm a fickle bastard. I get excited and grow tired of certain developments in this wonderful city more quickly than I should, but, well, that's just how it goes. What keeps me from falling into a pit of cynicism and selfishness, however, is when I see good work being done by good people in ways that I hadn't noticed before. Just like RA Washington's efforts in my own neighborhood get me pumped, Rachel Hart has been doing some good things on the west side, especially in bringing better and better talent to Cranky's Pub on West 25th.

There are oodles of examples I could point too, but instead I'll just give a shout out to the next one. On Saturday (ahem, tomorrow!), Athens GA/Philly PA's Folklore rolls through Clevo to play a gig with local heroes Afternoon Naps and Chicago's The Bears of Blue River.

Folklore is Jimmy Hughes and lots of his friends from Athens GA and Philadelphia PA, the two towns that Hughes calls home. A veteran to the Athens music scene where he plays as a full-time member of Elf Power and also toured playing with Vic Chesnutt throughout 2009, Hughes took the songwriter role when he formed Folklore back in 2005 to create the conceptual album, The Ghost of H.W. Beaverman (released in 2007). A grandiose tale, the songs sounds like they’ve appeared off different records initially but the fog will clear and you’ll find yourself traversing through the story many times over. The bonus of course is that there are splendid melodies to be found on every corner, with guitars, clarinets, strings, trumpet, trombone, digeridoo, and more forming the backdrop to songs that have been called poignant, provocative, heartbreaking, and haunting. 2008 brought the darker, more psychedelic follow-up album, Carpenter’s Falls.

The new album, Home Church Road (to be released in Summer 2010), is 16 songs telling the story of the Earth after humans have become extinct. Only a few species of mammals, birds, lizards, and bugs remain. They peacefully coexist on Earth until the day they discover, alive but buried in the ground, a human priest. His name is Loki. Mistaken as the last human, Loki is actually a shape-shifter, and his friendly manipulations and seductions will ensure the rebirth of the large carnivorous beasts and dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth. Such is the story of Home Church Road.

In 2005, Jimmy started writing the Folklore songs as an outlet for unfinished fiction, a collection of connected stories written as songs rather than prose. The Athens band was born and released two albums together. In 2009, Jimmy relocated to Philadelphia where he managed to find several people who wanted to continue playing as Folklore, and within months of moving there, the band was already playing regular club shows and house shows. So what would have most likely faded into a lost bedroom project is now a stronger than ever live band in Philadelphia: Jason Henn (drums), Chad Arnett (guitar), Scott Churchman (double bass), Avalon Clare (clarinet), Yianni Kourmadas (bass clarinet), Cheryl Nguyen (violin), Andrew Keller (viola). The Home Church Road recordings feature performances by all of the Philadelphia cast as well as all of the Athens players. This current tour will involve members of both the Athens band and the Philadelphia band.

I recently had the opportunity to do a little q&a with Jimmy - read on, he's a pretty interesting chap and a nice guy to boot!

1) How are things going with the Folklore project these days? What's next?
Things seem to be really picking up momentum. We have a new album in the bag titled Home Church Road that should be out in the Fall of 2010, we've been touring a lot, and our band (and friendship within the band) has been growing really strong. So it's been really fun being involved in Folklore! As far as what's next, it's hard to tell at this point. I guess it will all depend on what becomes of this new record and if audiences, fans, critics, etc respond to it. But even if the record just becomes another lost gem in a sea of albums, I hope that we make another one. We have already started discussing what our next concept album will be about.

2) What are you looking forward to most about this upcoming tour?
We'll be recording a Daytrotter Session ( so that will be exciting. But just in general, I think we are all excited to get out on the road and play with some awesome bands (The Bears Of Blue River, Poison Control Center, and more) and have a really good time. Most of the touring we have done recently has been short term regional shows which is fun, but it will be nice to get out on the road and stay out on the road for a spell. I like playing shows that way because I feel like it gives the band a chance to really get in a groove. We're also looking forward to seeing old friends in Cleveland, Chicago, and so on.

3) What do you think are your most significant inspirations on the forthcoming album, Home Church Road?
Birds, Lizards, Cows, Deer, Good, Evil, and the general idea that humans take the Earth for granted and will one day be erased from it. Musically, I have been inspired lately by bands like the Kinks and CCR and Bob Dylan, but I don't think that our sound can be directly linked to any one of those influences. That's just what I like to listen to. Also, all of these songwriters deal in story-telling and that is what Folklore's main objective is, so I guess I have to take a few lessons from the masters.

4) I noticed you did a Kickstarter project. I really dig the concept behind that program. What did you think? Would you do it again?
Kickstarter was an amazingly helpful tool for us to get the money to press this new album on vinyl (which we definitely wouldn't have been able to afford without the astounding generosity of our friends, fans, and family). I would definitely do it again, and Kickstarter is set up in such a way that it is easy and super user-friendly, both for us the band and for the people donating. If we had set out to do this on our own just soliciting donations from our friends via email, word-of-mouth, etc, there is no way it would have been as successful as it was.

5) Ever been to Cleveland before? Any interesting memories to share?
Yes, Folklore has played in Cleveland once before at the Beachland, and I have been through Cleveland before with other bands that I play in as well, such as Elf Power, Bugs Eat Books, and others. It was really fun last time Folklore was in town because we had a great show and then we got to hang out afterwards with my friend Paul at his warehouse studio Zombie Proof (which sadly I hear is no more). That was a really great night. One of these days if I find the time in Cleveland, I would like to visit the museum in the old house from A Christmas Story, but I don't know if we'll have time this time around. I like that movie though and that seems like it would be a fun visit. But in general, I don't think I have ever had a bad time in Cleveland.

Saturday's Folklore show is 18+ and costs $5 for legal drinkers, $10 for those not yet of age. Cranky's is located at 2527 W 25th St and the get down gets down at about 10 PM.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

CB Q/A #37: Kid Millions of Man Forever, Oneida

Ever since Arts Collinwood hired the inimitable and impressive R.A. Washington, things at the non-profit that anchors Waterloo Road have just gotten cooler and cooler. Whether pop-up art benefits for Haiti or a bewildering array of well-curated music and film events, Washington has upped the ante at the spot.

The most recent example of this takes place on Monday, June 14th, when indie rock drummer par excellence Kid Millions (most famously of Oneida) brings his percussive noise-symphony to town in the form of his newest project, Man Forever.

I've spent hours listening to the tracks that I was fortunate enough to receive from Mr. Millions, and still have only barely wrapped my mind around it (or, perhaps, I still haven't). Rather than butcher the description of something that is conceptually weighty and enormously ambitious, I'll let the man describe it to you himself:

“A few months ago I went to see Fireworks Ensemble perform Metal Machine Music, I read the liner notes for the show, listened to the original record and learned how the piece was originally recorded and discovered Ulrich Krieger’s transcription process. During the performance I was inspired to record an album right away. A conversation I’d had a year or so ago with Brian Chase (from the YYYs) about just intonation tuning with drums popped into my head and I realized I could do something with acoustic drums inspired by the “noise” of electric instruments. I visualized a monolithic recording that would utilize the rich tonality of carefully tuned acoustic drums, played powerfully and multi-tracked at different speeds onto the Ocropolis (Oneida’s Brooklyn Studio) 16 track 1” tape machine. I asked Brian Chase to come to the studio and help me tune my drums so I could capture my ambition for the piece. Richard Hoffman (Sightings) added some bass to the final mix. The tempo is something like 180BPM. The piece moves fast at an almost imperceptible rhythm. It feels overwhelming and fluctuates constantly. Turn it up!”

After reading that description and listening to the music, I just had to get further into it. Below is the best transcript my creaky old fingers could produce of a conversation the drummer and I had a few days back. Enjoy!

How do you characterize what you are doing musically right now? I think words like “free” and “post” could be used, but that there is possibly a better way to get it said. What’s your preferred way?

It’s funny - I don’t really do that, for whatever reasons. I’m kind of uncomfortable with words like free or improvisation. It is improvised and it sounds like high-energy free music, it certainly has that touchstone, but my idea conceptually is kind of like a physical performance. For the performer, it’s not meant to be something they express themselves while doing. It’s not supposed to be five guys soloing together, but more supposed to be about an ensemble and the individuals subsuming their egos to the main goals of the ensemble. The main goal would be to create a very complicated aural tapestry of tones that kind of create overtones, like acoustic noise music. That’s how I describe it to people. The show is also very aggressively played, but at the same time people find it kind of meditative. It’s kind of like taking the concepts of minimalism and noise and tuning and just intonation and bringing them all into a drum context and then just going balls out.

So kind of like there is sort of a sonic ideology behind it.

That’s a cool way of thinking about it. I would agree. I have an agenda. Definitely.

It seems like you are playing at some interesting venues on this tour – galleries, DIY venues, etc. Do you think that fits in some way with the musical project?

I agree. I wanted to get out of the rock club mentality and that kind of presentation. I do that with Oneida and it’s awesome and I love it, but I felt this would work better with less PA support and be more experiential with the acoustics. I thought that it could be presented in more alternative spaces, and everywhere except Chicago (where the show is taking place at the more traditional rock club The Empty Bottle) people saw what I had in mind and came up with some great ideas.

To be honest, this is probably gonna totally suck money-wise, unfortunately, but it’ll be super cool for the experience. The experience is about all kind of different things – yeah, it’s a performance, but its also relational. The idea is that the acoustic tone is supposed to be the most important thing, and then of course there is the physical element, with very physical drummers trying to build up a ton of energy, playing as hard and as fast as possible.

I could totally see this music being played with some sort of visual dimension.

Yeah, man, I agree. Visuals could totally complement what I’m going for. There are gonna be some visuals at some of the shows. I’m open if someone wants to do it, but I haven’t focused on that so much. It’ll happen in Pittsburgh, though, and if there were people I knew in more cities that did projections, I would totally reach out but I don’t really know everyone everywhere. I did every aspect of this project on my own, from publicity to recording, and there were some things I just had to give up on for now. But, yeah, visuals are something that’ll happen.

You have an impressive bunch of folks you’ve been working on this project with as of late. To what extent is this a Kid Millions jam versus being a collaborative thing?

They are part of the ensemble. They are really there to execute my vision and I’m really super honored by that. Everyone just wants to make it sound the way I want it to. We’ll see how it shapes out on the road, because we’ll have a bunch of different shows and we’ll probably talk after about what was successful and what wasn’t. I’m totally interested in other people’s ideas, and in terms of Brian Chase’s (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) involvement, he totally helped me execute my ideas. A year and half or so ago I had this long conversation with him about intonation and what he was doing with his drums and when I decided to do this I thought he could really help me realize what I was going for, and he did.

And then Shahin (Motia, of Oneida) helped me in the studio when I was recording it – I did everything myself, but he was there and he helped me realize it.

For another example, with Richard Hoffman (the bassist from Sightings), I told him the key the drums were tuned in and asked him to reference that, and he did, but you can tell it isn’t normal bass. It was Richard.

On tour, even though we are playing music that I originally recorded by myself, I’m not telling the drummers what to play but I also have a concept for how the piece should go. The piece needs to be full-on the whole time. Everyone’s there for me, which is kind of scary, but I’m excited.

What’s next for Man Forever?

It is gonna be interesting to see. I’m definitely going to do another album. It’ll come out on Brah (Oneida’s label) and I need to buckle down and explore what the next step could be. I’m doing a bunch of shows on weekends through the end of the year in cities all over and will be collaborating with local musicians in each space. I really view this as an opportunity to connect with other musicians outside of a traditional rock band type of setting. It’s just a different kind of conceptual playing field. So, yeah, I’m still gonna keep doing it. The album will be coming out in Japan so I might go to Japan and collaborate with Japanese drummers. Man, there is lots to do – the sky is the limit.

Finally, I always ask, any Cleveland stories worth sharing?

Oneida has played here many, many times. In fact, we played there on our first tour in 1997. We’ve made great friends there, like the guys in This Moment in Black History. You know, I think we’ve played every venue.

Now, I’ll admit, I’m an outsider – Cleveland might have more charm for me than it does for the locals. I love Cleveland. Bobby and Jane (from Oneida) both spent time at Oberlin and love Cleveland’s history, especially the punk history. We’ve always felt that connection when we are there. I’m excited it (the upcoming show at Arts Collinwood) worked out – I feel really good about the music and arts communities there. I see the punk era there being such an essential part of this country’s musical heritage so it is exciting to play there. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, well, it could be more local-centric, but maybe they have a Pere Ubu section I don’t know about. Overall, I think Cleveland is very unique, much richer musical scene and feels less striated than say New York or Chicago. I like that all kinds of artists and writers and musicians are pals and come out to the shows. I’m psyched that it worked out. I wasn’t sure that it would but it did.

Come on down to Arts Collinwood (15605 Waterloo Road, Cleveland) for what promises to be a performance that gets your brain working more than usual. You'll end up being more psyched that Man Forever came than Kid Millions was that they were able to book it.

Tonight in Cleveland (6/10): The Golden Filter @ Grog Shop (and free ticket giveaway!!!)

One of my favorite and most trusted publicists recently turned me on to The Golden Filter. She tends to rep a lot of the bands I like and though I wasn't aware of the band before she sent me a note, I'm glad she clued me in. Although I usually don't dig on the electronica stuff too much, but these guys make even a curmudgeonly fat-ass like me shimmy. Their new record, Voluspa, is something special. For those of you that thrive on endorsements, consider this: MOJO deemed Voluspa their "Electronica Album of the Month," Pitchfork called the band,"an infectious slice of shimmering disco beats, sparkling synth melodies and breathy disaffected vocals," and NME describes them as, "post-millennial disco with an icy sheen."

Stated simply, you should (a) see them live when they play the Grog tonight and (b) pick up a copy from the merch table during the set break. The show's at 9 and tix are a mere 8 bones. Not bad, considering openers The Hundred in the Hands and Pictora are worth catching, too.

HOWEVER, thanks to the generosity of the aforementioned publicist, I have 2 free tickets to give away to tonight's show. So, the first person to send me an email (clevelandbachelorATgmailDOTcom) with your name gets them. I'll make sure you are on the list at the door plus one.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gettin' Oblique with it

OK, so "oblique" might not quite have the ring of "jiggy" but work with me here. Looking for something funky to do like tonight? Maybe have an incentive to seem hip and cultured and in the know? If so, come on down to Waterloo and catch the Oblique Orchestra at the Cafe at Arts Collinwood tonight. Every Wednesday is jazz night, but tonight will be a special treat. If nothing else, say goodbye to Cleveland cultural stalwart Ryan Weitzel of Mystery of Two and Exit Stencil Recordings as he prepares to make his mark on NYC.

Tonight in Cleveland (6/9): Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros @ House of Blues

I've written elsewhere and repeatedly how much I love this band. You are crazy if you don't go see them. Ignore the hipster anti-HOB snobbery about bad sound and expensive drinks (both claims are largely incorrect) and hit up what promises to be one of the best shows you'll see this year. In fact, be smart and go grab dinner at the HOB restaurant beforehand (I heartily endorse the rosemary cornbread and the specialty shrimp dish) and you'll get to enter before everyone else, thus ensuring the opportunity to get right upfront. Trust me - for this show, you'll want to have a bird's-eye view.

Tickets are $17, doors open at 7, the show starts with openers Dawes at 8. If you need more info, check out the venue's site here.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros "Home" from Edward Sharpe on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Are you ready for the CB June Show of the Month?

We took last month off around here, but all the better considering the monster of a poster John G came up with for this month's show. There'll be more info to come - much, much more - but for now I just wanted to share this brilliant art with you.

In the meantime, mark your calendars: Wednesday, June 16th, at the Beachland: CocoRosie (with openers Diane Cluck)

Tonight in Cleveland (6/8): Stars at Beachland Ballroom

Montreal's Stars come through the tonight. You are crazy if you miss this. They'll be playing selections from their yet unreleased (unless you read this after June 22nd) new album, Five Ghosts. (Pre-order it here!) It'll be awesome. So will the show. Aw man, just make plans to go already. Tickets are only $17 and with an 8 PM show time (doors open at 7), you'll be back home and in bed early enough that you won't even feel it in the morning!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (6/2): Morningbell @ Now That's Class

As a blogger who writes a lot about music, I get more unsolicited music than you could ever imagine. Sounds cool, right? Not when you listen to most of it.

HOWEVER ... Sometimes you get some really cool stuff from boutique publicists and hustling musicians. Sometimes, for example, you get turned on to a band like Florida's Morningbell, a band who knows how to mix guitar hooks and volume as well as anyone else. For evidence, check out the video below. I recommend donning your headphones and turning the volume up.

Afterwards, you'll most definitely be wanting this information, so here goes:

The band will be playing Now That's Class tonight at 9. Other bands on the bill (all of which are worth catching) include Craig Ramsey, Sixes and Sevens, and Tides.

Let's Not Lose Our Heads by Morningbell from Eric Atria on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June Live Music Radness

So much going on this summer - June looks great but July is looking better and better and there is still a long time left for more big announcements to come in!

Also, kudos to whoever is doing the Grog's talent buying these days - they are destroying the field!

1 - Holy Fuck @ Grog Shop
2 - Morningbell @ Now That's Class
5 - The Very Knees/Tastycakes/Rebecca Nagle @ Beachland
6 - Pains of Being Pure at Heart/Surfer Blood @ Beachland

8 - Stars @ Beachland
9 - Caribou/Toro y Moi @ Grog Shop OR Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes @ HOB
10 - She & Him @ House of Blues OR The Golden Filter @ Grog Shop
11 - First Aid Kit @ Grog Shop
12 - Peter Wolf Crier/Lighthouse & the Whaler @ Grog Shop OR Phish @ Blossom OR Folklore/Bears of Blue River/Afternoon Naps @ Cranky's
13 - The Spits/Nobunny/The Wooly Bullies @ Now That's Class
14 - Dutchess and the Duke @ Now That's Class OR Man Forever @ ArtsCollinwood
16 - CocoRosie @ Beachland
17 - Beach House @ Beachland
19 - Mates of State @ Grog Shop OR Prisoners/Coffinberry @ Blue Arrow Records OR Grace Potter & the Nocturnals @ Beachland
21 - Tortoise @ Grog Shop
23 - Melvins @ Grog Shop OR Truth & Salvage Co./Paleface @ Beachland
24 - Mono/Twilight Sad @ Grog Shop
25 - Two Man Gentleman Band @ Beachland OR Sisters of your Sunshine Vapor @ Now That's Class OR The Modern Electric @ Grog Shop
26 - Waterloo Arts Fest (bands tba)
27 - Public Enemy @ House of Blues OR Lilith Fair @ Blossom
29 - Woven Bones/CCR Headcleaner @ Now That's Class OR Cindy Lauper @ HOB
30 - Paper Tongues @ HOB

2 - Prisoners/Young Mammals @ Happy Dog
8 - Small Black/Beach Fossils @ Grog Shop
9 - Sweetapple @ Grog Shop

11 - James McMurtry @ Beachland OR Cheap Trick/Squeeze @ HOB
13 - Sleigh Bells @ Grog Shop
14 - Kurt Vile/Real Estate @ Beachland
15 - Wolf Parade @ Beachland
20 - Old 97s @ Beachland
22 - Lightning Bolt @ Grog Shop OR Heartless Bastards/Builders and the Butcher/Peter Wolf Crier @ Grog Shop
24 - The Zookeepers/Netherfriends @ bela dubby OR Tokyo Police Club/Freelance Whales @ Grog Shop OR Black Keys/Jessica Lea Mayfield @ Nautica OR Black Mountain @ Beachland
29 - Blitzen Trapper/Avi Buffalo @ Grog Shop

2 - Bear in Heaven @ Grog Shop
3 - Rogue Wave @ Grog Shop
6 - Maps & Atlases @ Grog Shop
7 - Phosphorescent @ Grog Shop
11 - Deer Tick/The Modern Electric @ Rock Hall

Tonight in Cleveland (6/1): Holy Fuck @ Grog Shop

Like your rock minus the vocals and with a little instrumental electronica? Well, Holy Fuck is for you. They'll be wowing the crowd at the Grog Shop and enabling teenagers all over Cuyahoga County to slip an f-bomb past their parents and still be technically moral while doing so. Doors at 9, tickets are $12 at the door.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/21): Whiskey Daredevils/The Elks at Beachland Tavern

Been a long week? Had a touch too much stress? In need of something that rocks but also might make you laugh (a lot)?

Boy are you in luck. For tonight, The Whiskey Daredevils and their frontman Greg Miiller's Lottery League band "The Elks" will play the Beachland Tavern joined by Canton rockabilly band Rumble Daddy. With this combination of The Whiskey Daredevils and America's #1 Lodge Rock band "The Elks", this should be a real winner. The Elks only have a 20 minute set, so get there early. It goes by fast and they play first. The Tavern shows have sold out the last two times the Daredevils have held them there, so buy your tix in advance if you want to make sure and be there.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/19): Jessica Lea Mayfield/The Futurebirds at Beachland Tavern

There is a lot to celebrate in terms of the indie music richness of NEO. That's a given. But when we get down to the nitty gritty of listing out which artists we ought to be most thankful for, I gotta believe that Jessica Lea Mayfield comes at or near the top of every discerning listener in the region.

Who's that, you ask? Oh, my. Friend, you are gonna thank me for this tip:

Go to the Beachland tonight. Get there early enough to catch Athens GA's The Futurebirds, if you can, but definitely get there to hear the evening's headliner.

Doors open at 8, show kicks off about 9, and the whole thing will only set you back a 10-spot.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/16): Cracker/Reverend Horton Heat

A blast from not that far into the past, but a latter-day twentieth century get-down, nonetheless as the Beachland welcomes CB favorites Cracker to Cleveland as the alt-country heroes open for seminal punkabilly rockers Reverend Horton Heat. This one will be a doozy - I've never seen Cracker and found them to be anything other than awesome. And the rev, of course, rules.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/15): Paleface & Todd Snider at the Beachland

Anyone who has read this website for a moderate length of time should know by now of my affection for Paleface. I've dug the music both recorded and live and think anyone who does not avail themselves of the opportunity to see Mr. PF and Ms. Mo in concert is foolish, to say the least. I've even waded into the concert promotion business, to mildly disastrous results, by trying to bring these two to small-town Texas. They may well refuse to speak to me at the show after that last one, but I'll still be there anyway. If you go, and you should, say hi for me!

PALEFACE "New York, New York" from fool factory films on Vimeo.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/13): Douglas Max Utter/Kasumi exhibit opening at Asterisk Gallery

Tonight is the opening reception for the newest exhibit at Cleveland's fine Asterisk Gallery. Dubbed "Sleepwalkers," the exhibit features the work of a couple tremendous artists, painter Douglas Max Utter and video artist Kasumi. This is not one to be missed, as evidenced by the artists' statement below.

Daily life is a matter of complex equilibrium, achieved in a micro- and macro-context of mind boggling velocities -- like passengers napping on a commuter flight. One of the secrets of our poise is the interior positioning system that cognitive scientists term proprioception -- the way we perceive where different parts of our bodies are in space in relation to each other based on internal clues. This is something that art in general seems to comment on and explore. A painting or a video (or dance or concerto) inevitably distorts the transmission of information about both visual and internal realities, a distortion that has emotional, intellectual, even neuro-muscular implications and impact. The works in this show play with a range of effects caused by the interplay of color and line, recognition and transformation based on images of the human figure. These are not intended to be emotionally expressive studies (though they can be); they meditate on the use of formal qualities and materials to evoke the movement of energy through the half-awake array of identities and postures that each of us lumps together under the heading: “myself.”

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/13): Plants & Animals/Lowly, the Tree Ghost @ Grog Shop

It's a Canada vs Clevo battle tonight at the Grog, friends. Montreal's Plants and Animals are cruising in to russle with local troupe Lowly, the Tree Ghost. It should be a good event all around, and though Plants and Animals incredible hot streak this year, including the critical response to their new record La La Land, might seem to make them the favorites for top band of the evening, don't count the local boys (and girl) out. Lowly, the Tree Ghost has expanded significantly since first hitting the scene, and for the better. Frontman Andrew Arbogast still brings it on vocals and guitar, but the full band sound - especially with the addition of vocalist and keyboardist Emily McKitrick - should keep bringing more attention and higher billings the band's way.

If you are wise, then, or even a touch ridiculously anti-Canuck, you would do your best to be Grog-side this evening. Things'll kick off around 9 and tix are a mere $10.

Regardless, be sure to check out the videos below. You'll need to watch the first one at least twice, as during the initial viewing you'll be so absorbed with the visual narrative that you'll forget about the music!

The Mama Papa by Plants and Animals from Secret City Records on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/12): MC Chris/Math the Band at the Grog Shop

Got nerd?

The fact that I started this post with the way played out milk commercial line appropriation shows I do. If you don't, but want some, check out tonight's MC Chris/Math the Band show at the Grog Shop. As always, bring your pocket-size industrial strength bottle of purell. The jams begin being kicked out at 9 and tickets are $14 at the door.

Math The Band - Why Didn't You Get A Haircut? from kevin steinhauser on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/11): Local Natives/Suckers @ Beachland

Tonight, indie darlings Local Natives join Suckers, one of the best bands I discovered in 2009 as well as one of the most enjoyable live sets I saw at SXSW in 2010, to rock Waterloo Road. There is already a lot of excitement about this event, as evidenced by the move from the more intimate Tavern to the spacious and gloriously kitschy Ballroom setting.

Those of you that have caught the Local Natives bug will also want to check out their in-store performance at Music Saves earlier in the evening.

Local Natives will start the in-store about 7, doors will open at the Beachland at 7:30, and the get down commences getting down at 8:30. The in-store is FREE and tickets at the Beachland will only cost you $12 at the door.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/8): Deer Tick & The Guile at Beachland

I'll admit it - although Deer Tick has been around for a minute, I didn't get into them until I learned they were from the same town/scene as The Low Anthem. Once I got into them, though, man did I get into them. Now, well, I'm a touch heart-broken that I have to be 1000 miles away when they stroll through Cleveland tonight for their gig at the Beachland. Somebody please go see them in my stead. And if you take halfway decent (or, hell, indecent) video of a song or two, lemme know - I'll post the clip up here.

KEXP inStudio 10.1 - DEER TICK from More Dust Than Digital on Vimeo.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/7): This Moment in Black History/Knife the Symphony @ The Happy Dog

This Moment in Black History has just been killing it this year. A killer new record out, a triumphant tour to SXSW and back, and a slew of fantastic youtube concert promos. The artifact you see above is for tonight's show at The Happy Dog and I thought it was such a great riff on French New Wave cinema and silly 60s European revolutionary rhetoric that I had to put it up, even if I can't stand the opening band (hint: they are the ones not mentioned in the title of this post). So check out the show and get yourself a hot dog while you are at it. And if you happen to show up while the not-named-here contemporary indie version of Michael Stanley in the over-heated/over-rated Cleveland music love sweepstakes are playing, take a walk down the block and check out some of the gallery action that is populating Detroit these days.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/5): Frightened Rabbit/Maps & Atlases @ Grog Shop

Two big indie bands busting through Cleveland's scene tonight, folks. Specifically, everyone's favorite rock dumpster, ye olde Grog Shop, will be hosting Scotland's Frightened Rabbit and Chicago's Maps & Atlases, not to mention Ann Arbor's Our Brother the Native. Check them out below, and then check them out at the Grog - doors are at 8 and the show's a mere $15. Just bring hand sanitizer and hope you don't have to piss.

Maps & Atlases - Ted Zancha (Live @ AEMMP Records Industry Night 2009) from The Belmont Sessions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/4): An Horse & Kaki King

I'll be honest - I can't remember where I first heard An Horse, but something about the sound of the band when I did hear it for the first time stuck with me. Later, when I downloaded some music into my iTunes, I found it amusing how it was categorized in the "H" section, rather than the "A." Between that first mystical listen and that funny software glitch memory, the band has stuck with me. They are hitting the Beachland tonight. You should check them out. Maybe they'll stick with you, too.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (5/1): Road House @ Cedar-Lee

There is nothing better then welcoming in the month of May with a healthy dose of Swayze.

This movie rules and is the definitive moment of Swayze's career, though points in Point Break and (blech) Ghost also bear mentioning.

See it tonight at the Cedar-Lee at 9:30 or 12.

May Live Music Radness

Unlike last month, I've managed to hit the beginning of the month right on the dot, so we don't have to worry about any CB-endorsed shows getting missed on the monthly radness round-up.

As usual, if it is listed below, it is worth catching. If it is bolded, you'd be crazy not to etch it on your personal calendar.

1 - Backyard Tire Fire @ Beachland
2 - Ike Reilly Assassination @ Beachland
3 - Casiotone for the Painfully Alone/Shiny Penny @ Beachland
4 - An Horse/Kaki King @ Beachland
5 - Frightened Rabbit/Maps & Atlases @ Grog Shop
6 - Annuals/The Most Serene Republic @ Grog Shop
7 - Grant-Lee Phillips @ Beachland
8 - Deer Tick/The Guile @ Beachland OR Murder by Death/Ha Ha Tonka @ Grog Shop
11 - Local Natives/Suckers @ Beachland (sponsored by Music Saves)
12 - MC Chris/Math the Band @ Grog Shop
13 - Plants & Animals/Lowly, the Tree Ghost @ Grog Shop
15 - Paleface/Todd Snider @ Beachland OR Afternoon Naps/Very Truly Yours/Trouble Books @ Cranky's
OR Short Rabbits/User/The Ted Kennedys @ bela dubby
16 - Reverend Horton Heat/Cracker @ Beachland
19 - Jessica Lea Mayfield/The Futurebirds @ Beachland
21 - Mumford & Sons/The Middle East @ Beachland Ballroom OR Whiskey Daredevils/The Elks @ Beachland Tavern
22 - Prisoners/Rainy Day Saints/Kyle Sowashes @ Beachland (North Collinwood Cat Project benefit) OR Megan Zurkey @ Low Life Gallery OR Stupid Beautiful Heaven/Pale Hollow @ bela dubby
23 - Corey Fledman & the Truth Movement. (Yes, that Corey Feldman.)
26 - Besnard Lakes/Lighthouse & the Whaler/Land of Talk @ Beachland Ballroom OR White Rhino/All Dinosaurs/Spacer Ace @ Beachland Tavern
29 - GZA/Muamin Collective @ Grog Shop OR Freedom/Coffinberry/Uno Lady/Founding Fathers @ Now That's Class
30 - The Swell Season @ House of Blues
31 - Brian Jonestown Massacre @ Beachland OR Holy Fuck @ Grog Shop

2 - Morningbell @ Now That's Class
5 - The Very Knees/Tastycakes/Rebecca Nagle @ Beachland
6 - Pains of Being Pure at Heart/Surfer Blood @ Beachland
8 - Stars @ Beachland
9 - Caribou/Toro y Moi @ Grog Shop
10 - She & Him @ House of Blues
11 - First Aid Kit @ Grog Shop
12 - Freelance Whales/Peter Wolf Crier/Lighthouse & the Whaler @ Grog Shop
13 - The Spits/Nobunny/The Wooly Bullies @ Now That's Class
14 - Dutchess and the Duke @ Now That's Class
17 - Beach House @ Beachland
19 - Mates of State @ Grog Shop
21 - Tortoise @ Grog Shop
23 - Melvins @ Grog Shop
24 - Mono/Twilight Sad @ Grog Shop
25 - Two Man Gentleman Band @ Beachland OR Sisters of your Sunshine Vapor @ Now That's Class
26 - Waterloo Arts Fest (bands tba)
27 - Public Enemy @ House of Blues

29 - Woven Bones/CCR Headcleaner @ Now That's Class

14 - Kurt Vile/Real Estate @ Beachland
15 - Wolf Parade @ Beachland
22 - Lightning Bolt @ Grog Shop
24 - The Zookeepers/Netherfriends @ bela dubby
29 - Blitzen Trapper/Avi Buffalo @ Grog Shop

8 - Bear in Heaven @ Grog Shop

Friday, April 30, 2010

Celluloid Bachelor #65: This is how I get work done these days

You might find the above lame or irritating or something altogether different. That's fine. I don't care. Because I swear to god, this single clip has made it possible for me to get more work done in the last 3 days than in any consecutive stretch then the heart of my dissertation writing. For those of you that need a little help concentrating right now, it has the official CB endorsement. It only lasts about 10 minutes, unfortunately, but you can download hour-long versions from a website for like 10 bucks. Let me tell you -- I'm seriously tempted.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (4/29): Harlem & The Wooly Bullies at Now That's Class

My pal Fred turned me on to these dudes as we made our way back from a few days in grumpy New York City to Cleveland, city where people actually smile and laugh without worrying too much about cool.

Anyway, this band (Harlem) gets down pretty good, too. That's probably because they aren't from New York either.

Go to Now That's Class tonight. Watch them perform. Smile a little. Shake hands with a neighbor. Don't complain about waiting more than 15 seconds to purchase a drink. Go early for The Wooly Bullies - I saw them play an in-store at Blue Arrow a little while back and they ruled, too.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

BUMMER! Giant Cloud Cancels

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but for those of you super-pumped about tomorrow's Giant Cloud in-store at Blue Arrow Records, read the following statement carefully:


Sucks, don't it? No one is to blame, though. Well, except for the bastard that towed the band's van, forcing it to cough up the rest of its touring budget to get the sucker out of impound. As a result, the band is cancelling the rest of its northern swing and heading back to Louisiana to lick its wounds and build back the bank account.

They'll be back, though, one day. And I promise you, we'll have a get-down.

Until then, sorry we won't be doing it in front of the Blue Arrow stage tomorrow night.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Official CB In-store Announcement: Giant Cloud @ Blue Arrow Records THIS Thursday

Dear friends,

It is my great pleasure to announce that Cleveland Bachelor has dipped a toe into the in-store promotion biz. I couldn't think of a better band to start with, either.

THIS Thursday at 6:30 PM, please welcome to the Blue Arrow Records stage, New Orleans-based rockers Giant Cloud.

I stumbled upon these guys at a Park the Van Records day party during SXSW last month. I was there to see Floating Action but came away a new and devoted Giant Cloud fan. When they played "Fingernails" I put down my iphone and stopped sending emails. When the turned to "Old Books" - the title track of their recent EP - I broke out a smile, knowing I'd found a new band I could dig. When they played "Old Soul" - man, I fell in love.

I think you'll do the same. These guys do a full-figured southern folk thing, but louder and more plugged-in than that description might lead you to think. So swing by after work, have a beer or two, peruse the stacks and gaze upon Blue Arrow's amazing album floor, all the while digging the savory sounds of one of my new fave's, Giant Cloud.

See you there,


Tonight in Cleveland (4/27): Generationals/Apples in Stereo/Laminated Cat @ Grog Shop

Generationals // The Apples in stereo // Laminated Cat from Generationals on Vimeo.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Celluloid Bachelor #64: Barack Obama "Vote 2010"

That's my man.

Sweet Home Chicago

I'm from Chicago. Well, not "Chicago" Chicago, but more like a south suburb of the Windy City. A more accurate way of stating it would be to say I'm from the Greater Chicagoland Area, but other than car dealership commercials, who wants to waste time on that?

Anyway, I was back in the Chi (pronounced 'shy') last week for work. I moved away from Illinois almost a decade ago and each additional time I've visited since, I've felt more and more like a tourist. Which is fine, because Chicago is a wonderful place to vacation, even if it is a 80% work vacation.

In addition to having a pretty successful work experience this time, I made a little extra time for fun stuff. I've been to the city enough in the last several years, even after moving away, that I don't ever feel the need to hit up anywhere special (other than Portillo's, which I failed to visit this time). This time, I was perfectly happy to allow others to lead the way, focusing more on the company and the fun than on specific locations.

Even so, I had one of the best pizzas of my life at Santullo's in Wicker Park, where my pal and I were kicking around, hitting up Myopic Books and other cool spots. I got to lounge for a minute in the loop location of Reckless Records and scored some cool books (including some great weird ones for Cookbook as a thank you for watching my pups while I was away) at Afterwords.

Perhaps best of all, though, was the Saturday morning/early afternoon outing with another friend to Wrigley Field for a tour of the stadium. That was awesome - nearly 2 hours long with trips to both clubhouses, the press booth, the home dugout, and even part of the field! An event to remember for this lifelong Cub fan. So much so I found myself looking up the Cubs schedule to see when they'd be playing nearby. (FYI - there are some tempting series coming up in early June in Pittsburgh and late August in Cinci.)

To make it even better, afterwards we walked a few blocks to this vintage dive bar my friend had heard about and discovered an incredibly charming little watering hole. The patrons were welcoming, the bartendress both attractive and cool and also born the same year as me, which made for some great conversation about 90s radio alt rock. There is nothing better than meeting a stranger and bonding over that old missing children Soul Asylum video. Seriously, who else is going to get how awesome it was to drink during high school at abandoned country houses code-named things like 'Soundgarden' and 'Candlebox'? Or that you want to give a high-five to when you hear their first show was a Ned's Atomic Dustbin gig?

A handful of beers and a shot from some anonymous person down the bar from us later, we stumbled over to the thoughtfully named Taco and Burrito House for some killer tacos and nachos. Then it was back to work, albeit a bit glassy-eyed and happy.

God I love that town.

Tonight in Cleveland (4/26): Horse Feathers & Cloud Nothings at the Beachland!

Tonight's show is a good one and a great way for you to get a little rock joy out of a bleary Monday when everything else is closed anyway. New local wonders Cloud Nothings are opening for Portland-based indie folk outfit Horse Feathers. Indie Folk is really a too-limiting label for these guys, though, as it doesn't take into consideration the atmospheric and haunting nature of the band's recently released record, Thistled Spring. Intrigued? So was seminal label Kill Rock Stars when they signed the band. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for each one of us. Check them out tonight. Doors open at the Beachland at 8 and the cover is $10.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

CB Q/A #36: Grant Widmer of Generationals

I recently caught up with Generationals frontman Grant Widmer as he and the rest of the band cruised up the New Jersey turnpike, making their way from Philly to the Big Apple, en route to play the Bowery Ballroom in New York We started off talking about the experience of playing in NYC and then cruised through a number of topics, including the exciting cultural developments in New Orleans, from which the band hails, what they have planned for 2010 (hint: this is a huge year for the band), and their previous experiences in Cleveland.

Got any exciting plans for while you are in New York?

Man, it is always a headache – there is so much logistical stuff to deal with in New York. As a result, you do less than you want to, because you are always trying to keep everyone together. You have to cut your losses. However, we do have a lot of friends here, so it’ll be a party for sure.

How’s the rest of the tour been going?

This has seriously been the funnest tour we’ve had yet – every show been awesome. I really love the bands we are on the tour with (The Apples in Stereo and Laminated Cat). The weather has been amazing every day. It’s been a fantastic trip. I can’t wait to continue on.

You moved back to New Orleans in 2008, as did Park the Van. Fellow label mates Giant Cloud moved there about the same time. It seems like New Orleans is starting to experience a post-hurricane cultural resurgence. Does that have any kind of impact on your work?

All the people you mention are doing the things they are doing because that’s what they love doing and I think we’d be doing what we do even if we were the only ones there. But we’ve definitely benefited from folks coming down and setting up shop and building a richer community. I hope more bands think New Orleans is a good place to come down and set up.

What are you listening to these days?

We only have a tape player in the van so we buy tapes at gas stations wherever we go. We just bought an ELO Greatest Hits Live Part 2 tape. There is very little by way of liner notes, but from what I’ve gathered Jeff Lynne is not involved and so it is some other guy doing all the singing.

We also just got a copy of the brand new Dr Dog record that just came out on Tuesday. That one’s awesome. It is a little different from previous records – they became pretty well known for their sort of homemade sound and on this one the production value is very very high, but it has a bunch of good songs. I really like it.

Anything out of New Orleans you think people in the rest of the country should be hearing?

Giant Cloud – we’re fans of theirs, too. They are the cool deal in New Orleans right now. They do a lot of touring, as much as us, though, and are probably only there as often as we are, which is to say not very.

New Orleans has a lot of diversity. There are a bunch of brass bands that are really great. A bunch of instrumentalists that just killing it. Kermit Ruffins is about to get real famous.

Givers is another band from Lafayette doing really well, about to be on everyone’s radar soon.

Brass Bed is really great. Their new album is coming out on Park the Van, also. They are also from Lafayette. They’re gonna be killing it this year, doing a lot of touring.

Missing Monuments, have you heard of them yet? They are this power pop band that brings it so hard every night. Gonna be more known this year, definitely.

What’s the plan for the summer?

We’re gonna do a few one-off shows, a festival in June, a festival in Mexico in August, and between those two were gonna try to squeeze in as much recording as we can. We have a few recording projects to accomplish before the fall, when we are trying to work out some more touring, especially internationally. It’s gonna be a big summer. A great year.

How will new record be different from Con Law?

We’ll go in with another group of songs and they’ll sort of reflect what happens when we are in the studio. We don’t have a hard line thing we are going to do, it is just gonna be songs that we bring in and they’ll turn out how they turn out. The seeds will be similar to the ones we brought in when we made the last record, but what happens when we get in there is anybody’s guess. We do what we do, so you’ll know it is us when you hear it, but what it is that we are doing can be pretty different depending on what happens in the studio.

Ever been to Cleveland? Any memorable experiences to share?

Years ago, we played at a place called the Hi Fi with our old band. Generationals has never been there. The Hi-Fi time we loaded our stuff, and then decided we wanted to go down to Rock Hall. So we did, but as soon as we got to the museum, they literally shut the door and locked it. That was awesome. A funny little metaphor for getting shut out of the scene.

But Cleveland overall? I remember it being cool, remember having good weather, I thought it was a nice town. Actually, funny thing, that time the sound guy at Hi-Fi was named Poop. He was a total veteran, been doing it for years and years. Our old band had a female singer and he came up after the show and said we were great, told us about how he used to hang out with Blondie back in the day and how our singer really reminds him of “Debby Harris.” Right, Debby Harris, not Deborah Harry. Real tight friendship there, I bet.

Be sure to check out Generationals when they play the Grog Shop on Tuesday, April 27th with Apples in Stereo and Laminated Cat. Tickets are $12 and the show will commence promptly at 8:30. For real.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tonight in Cleveland (4/23): Dana Oldfather "We Are Mountains" opening at William Rupnik Gallery

We Are Mountains, a new solo exhibit by Dana Oldfather, illustrates the weight of one's natural emotional contradictions through a range of experiences; an accomplished existence can nonetheless be consumed with doubt and uncertainty. Her abstract wonderlands are skillful and balanced while her amoebic figures are on a transcendental journey from past to present. Each thoughtful piece gracefully embodies the revelation of contesting aspirations in an ambiguous arrangement of paths and shapes.

Beginning her career as a figurative realist painter, Dana has since loosened her hand and expanded into the realm of abstraction. Contrarily organized and layered, each piece is inspired by nature, culture and resolution. With a focus on innocence, individuality, and consumption, and by employing contrasting metaphorical and magnified pointillist elements, Dana connects to the world through beauty.

Dana currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio, and has had her works shown across the country. In 2008, she was granted 2nd place in the 9th Annual National Young Painters Competition by renowned New York painter and art critic, Peter Plagens. Dana is currently represented at The Bonfoey Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio, EO Art Lab in Chester, Connecticut, and Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in New York City, New York. Her paintings are also part of corporate collections such as the Cleveland Artists' Foundation and the esteemed Progressive Insurance Art Collection.

Opening reception at William Rupnik Gallery 7-10 PM, Friday, April 23, 2010.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Celluloid Bachelor #63: Generationals "Angry Charlie"

Can we all agree on just one thing in this complicated, convoluted world? Can we all agree that Park the Van Records is knocking the ball out of the park lately? I'm more than willing to admit that it is my favorite label (though the efforts at Dead Oceans deserve special mention, too).

Today's video comes to us from New Orleans-based band Generationals. "Angry Charlie" is the second track off last year's Con Law album. If you dig it, you'll be particularly stoked to hear the rest of the album live when Generationals hits the Grog Shop with The Apples in Stereo and Laminated Cat next week!