It is hard to believe that we are finally open but after serveral false starts and unforseen delays we are ready to share our art with Lakewood. Our last hurdle is waiting for the broken window to be fixed. Yes, we were the unlucky business that had a car come through the front window in October.
Chris Butler - Got It Togehter! - Future Fossil - 16 songs - CD
The title of this one is intentionally misspelled (it's a joke, you see), so please don't write in to say that the Lakewood Observer is a disgrace to the community or whatever. The first 12 songs on here are the album proper, plus four bonus tracks. I appreciate the sentiment of that, but if you're gonna do that, you need to also release a version that doesn't have bonus tracks, ya know? I mean, I guess I prefer that to Smog Veil leaving between 1 and 4 songs off of CDs for no reason at all other than to have "download exclusive tracks," but still. Some songs here are contemplative, some are kinda weird (I mean, Chris was in Tin Huey), and the majority of them are pretty catchy (I mean, Chris was in (and wrote the songs for) The Waitresses). I would put the overall genre down as "alternative rock" in a sort of quirky, '90s way that's not entirely mainstream but also not entirely abstract or whatever, especially given the interesting instrumentation. Some have a bit of a They Might Be Giants feel, the "I can't I can't I can't I can't" etc. part of "Late For Work" kinda reminds me of Cake…you see what I'm saying here? If you're familiar with Tin Huey– or actually, even if you just know The Waitresses– you know that Chris Butler writes with a definite sense of humor. I don't always find that sense of humor agreeing with me, (in the same way that sometimes I just can't get with The Tubes) but it's there and I'd rather have that than something that takes itself too seriously. My biggest complaint here is the length, which I touched on before with the bonus track thing, but actually just applies to the album proper as well. Mr. Butler posits on the inner cover that the problem with the CD format is that there isn't enough…space, which is a good visual joke, but I think sometimes the CD format (as in on the disc itself) has too much space. Oh well. The highlights (including "Songs For Guys," "Late For Work," and "Better Than I Ever Was" (though I actually like the bonus track demo better, funnily enough)) are pretty decent tunes. I don't know how often I'll pull this one out, but it's a perfectly okay listen and I know there are people who will love this kind of sense of humor far more than I, so there you go. One more thing: so, there should've been a version without the bonus tracks, like I said, and there also should've been a deluxe version with the bonus tracks and the cover for that should've been an actual puzzle. That would've been cool. 3.3/5
Don't let the name of our group fool you, we have artwork for sale that appeals to just about everyone. Join us at the Winchester Music Tavern on Saturday December 15th from 12-5pm and take care of that last minute Christmas shopping. We'll have paintings, prints and jewelry just to name a few items. We work with all local artists and everything is handmade so whether you're a procrastinator or not, this even is for you! The Winchester is located at 12112 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107
Let me begin by sending a hearty "thank you" to all Lakewoodites who came to the movie premiere of "THE FINAL GOODBYE" at the Capitol Theater last September 9th. Over 300 people attended which astonished the manager for a Sunday night showing. Our initial article in the LO back in late August spurred excellent attendance for our motion picture, filmed largely in Lakewood with many local actor/residents like James R. Smith, Dennis Runkle, Neil Donnelly, Donn R. Nottage, Dan Fox, etc.
We at Mil-Roy/Velvet Buck/WLFK Productions are proud to announce a second screening of this exciting film-noir thriller at the Atlas Lakeshore Cinema 7 on 22624 Lakeshore Blvd. (Babbitt Rd. & Lakeshore Blvd.) Kindly mark your calendars for Sunday, December 9th at 7:00 pm for another chance to view this much talked about movie that occurs in 1961. Yes, it's is a period piece and we managed to recreate this fine community as it looked way back when!
A Saucerful Of Lies - A Saucerful Of Lies - self-released - 6 songs - CD, digital
Earlier in the year, you may recall the group Exploding Lies (assisted by New Planet Trampoline) released a CD entitled "Obscured By Cloud Nothings." This, now, serves as the rebuttal. The musicians are listed only by their initials, but I'm reasonably certain there are some Cloud Nothings and some New Planet Trampoliners on here. The music on here is all instrumental except for when it features samples of various things. Online, there are titles listed for each of the six tracks; disappointingly, these were not listed on the CD version, which is especially unfortunate as they came up with some good ones. The style here is experimental, some more electronic, some more psychedelic, some more ambient. A couple of them, I think, would serve very as well as the soundtrack to some kind of arty movie. You've kinda got to be in the right mood to get into this, but if you are, it's not bad. I particularly enjoyed "Part III" ("Embryo'Malley"), especially when it moves from a vaguely Floyd-esque thing to a Pere Ubu "Final Solution" krautrock kind of thing. I must admit, my knowledge of Pink Floyd is mostly limited to the Syd Barrett years (and the big radio hits that everyone knows), so I can't say how well this functions as a tribute to them. It's certainly more trippy than the Exploding Lies. For "Part V" ("The Final Kurt"), I think they got the saxophone guy from Magic City to solo for a bit, occasionally joined by guitar. That's pretty cool, and then it moves into an atmospheric moody thing. Hey, when I was able to get into this, I enjoyed it, and I don't usually tend to listen to this kind of thing, so that's gotta mean something. 3/5
(asaucerfuloflies.bandcamp.com or email@example.com…or try a local record store?)
Special Holiday Performance Of Charpentier's Midnight Mass On December 22 At Lakewood Congregational Church
Acclaimed early music ensemble Les Délices (Debra Nagy, director) and Northeast Ohio’s premiere chamber choir Quire Cleveland (Jay White, artistic director) will bring Lakewood residents a musical alternative for the holiday with a performance of Charpentier’s Midnight Mass on Saturday, December 22 at 8pm at Lakewood Congregational Church (1375 W Clifton Blvd, Lakewood).
Show Review: Cruelster / Lumpy & The Dumpers / Citric Dummies / Bad Noids at Now That’s Class, 10/26
Typically, I do not do show reviews, but I decided to make a special exception for this particular show.
“Je suis Amélie” is an homage to the dreamer & do-gooder, Amélie Poulain. Show opens Saturday November 10th. Artists’ reception will be from 6 to 11 p.m. It will only run for one week through Saturday, November 17th.
Folk-noir duo Charming Disaster ("Playfully macabre"- Cleveland Scene Magazine) returns to the good goat gallery on Thursday, Nov 8 on their "Bride of Frankenstein Tour! Doors open at 6 p.m. with a few pre-show activities including a special sneak peek preview of the upcoming art show "Je Suis Amélie", an homage to the dreamer & do-gooder, (which officially opens Saturday, November 10th 6 - 10 p.m.). There will also be a tarot card reading by psychic/medium/Shaman- Joy Wedmedyk, traveling gnome photo booth with photographer Stacie Gerrity, gnome portraits by Jeff Ritchie (of Fred Paints), miniature macabre portraits by Angela Oster, and finally dark poetry by writer Nicole Hennessy. Music will begin around 8 p.m. Tickets are limited and can be purchased on the event page of thegoodgoatgallery.com $10 advance, or $12 at the door.
We who reside on the Great Lakes are a tough bunch. Tougher than we get credit for. Every last one of us have been taught respect for the natural world by the powerful lake storms we’ve lived through. Perhaps that’s why we were too slow to realize something UNnatural was happening to Rockport in January 1970.
The Ohio Fair Trade Teach-in and Expo was first held in 2005 and brings people of all ages together from across the state to learn about and become more involved in supporting fair trade – a model for socially and environmentally conscious consumerism. This year, the event will feature speakers focused on changing the banana industry to be empowering to local farmers and communities.
Art on Madison presents "By Land and By Air"
Glass Sculptures and Mobiles
by Cleveland artist Michael Zelenka
Join us for an evening of lively entertainment
Artists' reception Friday, October 19 6 - 9PM
Closing reception Friday, December 14 6 - 9PM
Live music by Tom Holland & Wyatt Howland
Light hors d'oeuvres & beverages will be served.
Free and open to the public!
Art on Madison
14302 Madison Avenue
Wed – Sat 12 – 6 PM, and by appointment
Join Uptown Lakewood on Tuesday, October 23rd between 5:00pm and 6:30pm on Madison Avenue for a Halloween "treat walk" between Hilliard and Warren Roads. Here's the scoop:
Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much.
Ricky Hell - Blue Lips - Quality Time Records - 3 songs - download
I usually hate to review digital-only releases, because I kinda feel like it doesn't really count (I know this is not a particularly modern stance to take, but whatever), but I've made an exception here. Regular readers may note they haven't seen the name Ricky Hamilton in these pages in a while, while he used to be in here almost every issue. That's because earlier this year, Ricky took off for LA, and there's been little new stuff from him since. However, with very little fanfare (in fact, no fanfare, as far as I saw– not even an Instagram post from the guy), these three songs were put up on the Quality Time Bandcamp not too long ago. Avid readers of this column may recall that I've thought Ricky's solo work (including stuff as Ricky Hell) is somewhat hit-or-miss. I'm pleased to say that this solidly falls under "hit." The title track really brings out Ricky's '80s indie rock influence, in a very melodic, melancholy pop tune. "Nela Park" is a great Cleveland tune, and I like that it's solidly ambivalent, both in the lyrics and the context. It's neither entirely positive nor entirely negative about the city, and while Ricky sings, "Cleveland, the only city that I really love," you can't help but remember that he's no longer living here. Sorry to get all reviewer-creep on you, but I like that kind of thing. I think I'm also starting to understand Ricky talking about how he's influenced by Pulp, which I'm not sure I've ever quite gotten before. Closing out the EP here is "Finger On The Pulse," in which Ricky really brings in the Nick Lowe influence on that chorus, eh? First there was Carter Luckfield quoting Brinsley Schwarz, now there's this, next thing you know Shagg are gonna be covering Little Village. The EP merges what I think Ricky's been going for with some of the previous Ricky Hell/Voidboys releases that didn't really stick for me with the more glam/pop influence of the "Life By The Thorns" tape, which was more my cup of tea. Really, all three songs here are pretty essential in the Ricky Hamilton catalog. If someone ever makes some kind of greatest hits/anthology type thing that includes all of his many projects, I'd say that all three songs here are worthy of inclusion. What's the deal with the release, though? The art (by Noah Depew) looks like it's laid out for a cassette, and yet I've heard no word of a cassette in the works. But then I didn't even hear about this being released in any form at all, so what do I know? It really ought to come out on a physical format of some kind, it's worthy of that. I need a copy when it does, please. 4/5
I awoke on the morning after Rockport’s night of terror to the haunting drone of a coastal foghorn. It’s a comforting, albeit melancholy sound that always reminds me of the cadence sung by the witch’s soldiers in the “Wizard of Oz.” “Bweeeee-bomp.” “Bweeeee-Bomp.”
As I wiped the sleep from my eyes, I remembered that it was still January. Why, I wondered, would a foghorn preside over a frozen Lake Erie? Who or what was it attempting to warn? I unpeeled myself like an artichoke from multiple layers of warm and cozy bed covers and staggered to my window. The fog was so thick that I couldn’t see the next-door neighbor’s house only 20 feet away. As I got dressed in front of a mirror, I was startled by all the bruises that covered me from head to toe. That’s when memories of the previous night with Wren Mathews came rushing back in vivid Technicolor. I had to see Wren as soon as possible.
The KUSAMA Experience, a proper perspective of art, art appreciation and happenings.
In mid-2017 I heard in a casual conversation that Yayoi Kusama was going to be on exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2018. I was unfamiliar with her work, so it barely passed notice in my mind, but in fact the seed for a happening had been sown. Little did I realize what it would lead to at the time. Throughout the rest of summer I really never heard the name Kusama again and so it was meant to be. When you sow a seed it often sits fallow in the ground as a season or two passes until it can break through the ground, grab the air and the light of day and grow.
Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much.
Drum Machine - What Is A Demo? - Saucepan Records - 7 songs - cassette
The quickest description of this band is that it's basically a continuation of Folded Shirt: Larry on vocals, Mr. Terry California on guitar, and Steve Peffer on bass, with drummer Allie replaced by Richard (from Real Regular, Rubber Mate, etc., etc.). And, again, to quickly sum it up, it is in many ways reminiscent of F/S. That is not to say, however, that Drum Machine don't have their own thing going on, because they definitely do. Genre-wise, sure, you can say it's experimental punk or whatever, but there's lots of lounge and jazz elements in here. Richard doesn't play drum machine by the way, he plays real percussion. And I don't mean just drums, either, I mean there's a glockenspiel or something on here. And he can do it live, too, I've seen proof. Maybe he's the drum machine. Or maybe that's supposed to be obvious and I'm just stupid. Or maybe the name of the band has nothing to do with Richard at all. No song titles are listed here, so I've done my best to make them up. I'm sure they're all completely incorrect. "Wander Around" really brings out the lounge-punk descriptor. "Another Boring Show" is a pretty anthemic tune, very relatable. "Shoulda stayed at home" indeed. There's some real groovy sounds going on with "Just Look Down." It's evident that these guys really know how to play with/against one another. My favorite here is perhaps "Everybody Should Die," which might be the most "punk" of the bunch. It's a sort of semi-goofy but also disturbing tune ("No God…No Narcan…No 911!") very much in the same way that F/S's "Eleven And A Bucket" is. I wonder what Larry said in the part that's backwards. I'm pretty sure "Wipe Your Third Eye" is actually called "Golden Shower," but I think that's a dumb name (not that what I've got is any better). The lyrics are conspiracy theory-oriented, who'd've guessed? "Earth is flat, so's your head." "Slow" starts off sounding like Counter Intuits, but that gets lost very quickly. They really are based in lounge/jazz, and I think I've seen them billing themselves as "Cleveland's quietest band" or something like that. The final track here is "What The Hell Is That?," which features not only some great musical call-and-response, but also vocal call-and-response between Larry and Terry. So what is a demo? I don't know. This, apparently. And it's a pretty good one at that. 4/5
The Rocky River Chamber Music Society will be celebrating its 60th anniversary all season long, and everyone is invited! The kickoff concert, on Monday, October 1, at 7:30 p.m. at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Boulevard in Rocky River, will applaud the extraordinary young talent in our region’s distinguished music schools. The Society will present an ensemble comprised of violinist James Thompson, a Cleveland native and Artist Diploma student at the Cleveland Institute of Music, along with his Cleveland Institute of Music classmates cellist Anna Hurt and pianist Sarah Ha. This ensemble will perform works by Mozart and Shostakovich.
Burning River Baroque’s “Destructive Desires” Inspires Thought-Provoking Dialogue About Issues Related To #MeToo
Burning River Baroque opens their 2018-2019 season with “Destructive Desires,” an edgy program that challenges audience members to engage with issues that have been brought to the forefront of cultural awareness by the #MeToo movement. It also touches on the profound reach of the movement and the resulting conversations about consent, the misuse of power and the fact that it has provided society with the opportunity to explore new channels of communication and redefine boundaries in all types of relationships.
Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much.
Shamanic, transitional figures: dreamlike animal/human dancers travelling between quotidian /supernatural worlds....musically playable layers: ocean/desert/forest terrains...threads revealing life structures past/present/future; worlds upper/middle/lower; dark star constellations; points of magically charged reflected light...honoring Pacha Mama: Mother Earth/Time
The Cleveland Steamers - Best Record Ever - Smog Veil Records - 10 songs - LP, CD
Let's just start this one off on a negative note and say that not only is this not the best record ever, I don't even think it's the best Cleveland Steamers record. I don't think any record should ever be called that because guess what? It's not in any way possible to live up to. And, to continue being a jerk, I was worried about this record specifically because the first two tracks did nothing for me. Fortunately, Cheese Borger and friends turned it around after that starting with "Never Saw You Again." It's a catchy garage rock-ish song (I don't think this band is really that punk, more like mid-late '80s alternative/garage/punk), and Cheese's everyman vocals really come across as defeated here, which definitely adds to it. "Dream Of Me" is a sort of spooky sounding ballad, with some tasteful organ from Cullen O'Connor of Archie & The Bunkers and a great sax part from Marianne Friend of the Adults/Rainy Day Saints to complement Meredith Rutledge-Borger's sultry vocals. Then I started thinking about how parts of it are really reminiscent of 2 Bobs' "Nightmare Song" and wondering whether it was in any way supposed to kind of be a counterpart to that. If it was, that's really funny and a really nice touch. I like the wild west guitar intro to "Monsanto" and then it kicks into an appropriate evil dirge. Halfway through it, my CD player experienced some kind of catastrophic failure and I had to take the disc out, put it back in, and go back to track 5. See, I usually wish Smog Veil would just send me the LPs, but somehow it felt right that that occurred during this song. Spooky. "Hung Up On You" features both of the Archie Bunkers (who, amusingly, are listed on the hype sticker like they're full-time members of the band– they're not), and Emmett really comes through with the bombastic drumming. I like "Last Love" well enough, but it shares the same problem as several of these songs in that it takes too long to get started as well as to go anywhere. "Maple Leaf Girl" finally brings the album a truly uptempo tune, and while I don't find "My Asshole Cousin" that interesting musically (though Nick Summa really does throw some good guitar bits in there), there are some pretty funny lyrics in there, like "he's the kind of guy who put the Jews in the oven." The last track is "Shut Up!," which is the most punk of the bunch, probably owing a lot not only to the tempo but also to guest vocalist Bob Sablack, who does indeed provide some punk vocals. The packaging is pretty great (though the two drummers are both credited as having played on track 7 and neither on track 9). Decent enough, if you're already a Cheese fan or an Archie completist, you'll probably enjoy it. 3.5/5
Saucers - Third Saucer From The Sun - Rerun Records - 12 songs - LP
Man, Rerun is having a good year. I mean, very few things could possibly top those Great Plains reissues for me, from this or any other label, but a Saucers collection is pretty darn cool. Saucers were Lakewood's own Craig Bell's band after heading to Connecticut in the late '70s. Do they sound like Mirrors or Rocket From The Tombs? No. Are they good anyway? Yes. Generally, I see Saucers represented as "Craig's thing," but there's actually a lot of shared songwriting and
"The Final Goodbye" tells the tale of an aging private detective who is drawn into a web of kidnappings, murder and Nazi treasure in 1961 Cleveland. Directors Robert Swanson (Mil-Roy Pictures) and Donn R. Nottage (Velvet Buck Productions) plus editor and special effects wizard James Neyman (WLFK Productions) have teamed up to create a nostalgic look at our city that is long gone. With painstaking detail, the streets of yesteryear are brought back to life with antique cars, wardrobe and props. "The Final Goodbye" is a "must see" thriller set to premiere at the Capitol Theater 1390 West 65th Street for a "special event" on Sunday, September 9th. It will be a night to remember.
Although our feature takes place in Cleveland, major locations in Lakewood are highlighted. Mil-Roy Pictures is a Lakewood-based film troupe with many major performers living here, people like James R. Smith, Neil Donnelly, Dennis Runkle, Dan Fox, Frank McAvinue, Mark Shane Phillips (all Lakewoodites), just to name a few. You'll see exciting scenes filmed at the Shore Restaurant (courtesy of Angelo and Tina Skantzos), several key moments occur at Westwood Dry Cleaners (courtesy of Leonard Malasi), the funeral homes of Brinkman/Dress (courtesy of the late John Brinkman) and Hanna/McGorray (courtesy of Terry Stanton) were utilized for interior settings at strategic points. Alltronics Retail Systems (Sam Kandah) made possible a rare Curtis television from the 1950's. Bellino's Barber Shop (courtesy of Sam Bellino) aided with much needed 1961 style haircuts.The NEW Waterbury Nightclub (courtesy of Hoss Ashofteh) was the mobster watering hole. The dining room of John and Karin Zimmermann's home on Cook Avenue provided means for a major gun battle. John and Karin planned to remodel and gave us free reign to riddle the area with a barrage of bullets. I could go on and on, but you'll see "every" location when viewing "The Final Goodbye". Lakewood was very important in producing this motion picture of good guys v.s. bad guys with "all" concerned learning an important lesson...don't be a do-badder!
Order tickets online now for this special showing on Sunday, September 9th at 7 p.m. in the Capitol Theater. Tickets may be purchased at the door on the night of the premier, however online purchasing guarantees you a seat and is encouraged. We don't wish anyone turned away if the movie sells out. Kindly go to: https://clevelandcinemas.com/movie/275174/The-Final-Goodbye-Trailer-and-Info/20340
A picture that Lakewood resident Bob Soltys took last fall at a Wyoming ranch was recognized as Best of Show at the 'Spirit of Wyoming' juried exhibit at the Sage Community Art Gallery in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Brain Cave - Brain Cave - Tiny God Inc. - 3 songs - cassette, download
So, the guitarist and vocalist (though all three members are credited as vocalists, more on that in a minute) of Brain Cave is Michael Bellis, a name some readers may remember from my beloved Roobydocks (and Bulsch, who are also good). In the note I received with this tape, I was told that this band does not sound like either of those bands, and I have to say I agree. I actually thought that this was gonna be some kinda powerviolence type thing because I know other members of The Roobydocks are into that, but it's not that either. I would put this firmly in the "alternative rock" camp, which is not what I expected at all. Some elements of post-hardcore, some elements of emo, the intro to the last song had me thinking they might be doing some kind of shoegaze thing…I think that last one, "Evacuate," might be my favorite of the three, it kinda sounds like it has the most going on. I'm not sure who's actually singing here, as all three members are credited with vocals (the other two are Matthew Ducey, who also plays drums, and Josh Snyder, who also plays bass), and yet, to me, it sounds like the same vocalist on all three tracks. Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention to that, or maybe they all just sound very similar. Or maybe they put that in specifically to mess with me. Who can say? To be honest, this isn't exactly my preferred genre, but it's decent stuff and I like to see when members of a band that sounds a certain way have other bands that sound completely different (aren't John and Zach Roobydock doing a new wave band these days?). Some good riffs in there, the one from "Extra Earth" really wiggled its way into my head. Cool art, too. 3/5
Elyza Mihalski is chosen as recipient of the 2018 Lakewood Arts Festival Scholarship of $4,000.
Elyza is a 2018 graduate of Lakewood High School who will study fine art at the Cleveland Institute of Art this fall. Regarding her work, she said, "Becoming a studied and well-trained artist means that I will have the tools to not only create meaningful and visually appealing art, but to give something to be proud of and to give the world something to enjoy." Work from Elyza's portfolio of paintings and drawings will be on display in Lakewood Public Library during the festival through early August.
The Lakewood Arts Festival awards a scholarship each year to a deserving high school graduate who resides in Lakewood and is pursuing a degree in the arts. More than 70 scholarships have been awarded since the Festival began in 1981. This year the Lakewood Arts Festival Scholarship is generously funded by supporters for the arts in our community. Proceeds from the food vendor/sponsors also goes directly to the scholarship fund.
Donkey Bugs - Ancient Chinese Secrets - Fish Records - 8 songs - LP
Another Cleveland group assimilated into the Spotted Race, I see. Donkey Bugs is a project of Haley Himiko and Steve Peffer, which of course might make someone go, "oh, so it's a Pleasure Leftists side project." Well, I guess, but I don't know if this will appeal to the average everyday PL fan so much as it will fans of Steve's other stuff. You might be shocked to learn that this sounds quite a bit like Factorymen but with Haley singing. All drum machine and repetitive riffs and noise and weirdness. It's a good record. I guess the quickest, most general way of calling it would be to say it's mostly post-punk, but that doesn't really mean that much. In the same way that Factorymen can, it treads a fine line between really goofy and really creepy. Steve really brings it on the guitar on "Hammer Jammer," unless that's a really distorted synth. The "stop the hammering!" bit at the end is pretty good, too. "ABC's of Lust" is what it sounds like, and could probably be a hot funk/new wave hit in some alternate universe. "F is for…no, not that!" The vocal melody of "Isosceles" is somewhat haunting whereas in another context it might not be. "Men In High Heels" is a good punker, gets pretty upbeat and all that. "The Mystic" sounds suspiciously like it's just a sample of some other record…but that could never happen. I think they really saved the best for last with "The Example." It's a real good post-punker, almost reminds me of Gang Of Four in some way. The "movie! movie!" or whatever they're yelling at the end bit comes off almost like a tribute to the Flyin' Trichecos. A fine addition to the line of Steve Peffer stuff that includes Factorymen, Deutschland Jerky Rave, and "The Brutal Birthday." 4/5
Artist and Cleveland native, Mata Zeigler, will showcase her work at The Root Cafe for the month of August. The Root Cafe, located at 15118 Detroit Ave., has been a space for local artists to share their work with the community for the past seven years and continues to open its doors to the thriving art scene of greater Cleveland.
Mata’s impressionist paintings combine her eye for color and design from years of art classes and a career as an accomplished floral designer. “I have always loved the arts and my fondest memories were those as a child working in the gardens with my mother,” Mata said. “People choose their medium by their personalities, mine being bold, bright, and permanent as oil paint.”
The vibrant display will draw you in with every detailed stroke. “Painting is my meditation and a beautiful way to escape back into the gardens,” said Mata. Don’t miss the chance to experience this energetic showcase and meet Mata Zeigler on August 11th at 6:30 p.m. at The Root Cafe.
For one glistening summer day, Lakewood closes Detroit Avenue, between Belle and Arthur Avenues, and brings artists of all disciplines together along with 15,000 collectors and art lovers. The juried festival hosts over 175 regional and national artists and makers displaying paintings, prints, photography, art glass, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, fiber and more.
For 41 years the Festival has welcomed wonderful community organizations to share the spotlight on Detroit. Visit the Kiwanis Club for a grilled hot dog, find out what’s new with LEAF or CCLAS or learn something new at the Lakewood Historical Society tent. Refresh with a bottle of water from the kids at H2O or a sweet fresh pastry from the Greek-American Hellenic Organization. Update your voter registration with the League of Women Voters or support the work of Lakewood New Life Church to provide backpacks and school supplies for children.
The Festival isn't complete without great entertainment on three stages!
7 Keith Allen, 5am Press
164 Jason Cappel
142 George Coghill
8 Lexi DeBaltzo, The Copper Rose
14 Shawn Dunn
109 Jon Lund
17 Court Smith, Uncharted Mapping
Beck Center for the Arts proudly presents "Gypsy" July 6 through August 12, 2018 on the Mackey Theater main stage. "Gypsy" is often regarded as “the greatest American musical” and one of Broadway’s all-time triumphs. Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the musical follows an overbearing stage mother, Mama Rose, and her two daughters who travel across the country during the 1920’s when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. Gypsy received multiple Tony Awards® for both the original production and its revivals. The show celebrates nearly 60 years of iconic performance. Its memorable score features songs that have become standards and helped launch the career of Stephen Sondheim.
Cruelster - Riot Boys - Lumpy Records - 14 songs - LP
I'd like to come out and make the claim that I was more excited to hear about a new Cruelster record than almost anyone else. I like everything these guys do, but Cruelster just holds a special place in my heart. This brand new LP kicks off with a clip of someone talking at great length about Captain America, and I won't go any further to avoid spoiling it, but it's pretty funny. I wanna know whether they found this somewhere or created it themselves. The problem I have is it does go on for a pretty long time and sometimes I just wanna skip to the music. Kinda like that one Uranium Club album, ya know? Hold on, I'll say Devo right now and then stick "something in the water" in at the very end, just to make sure I cover all my bases. I would not call Cruelster a hardcore band, though I know some would, because musically I don't think they're that hardcore. Other people would probably call this "Jimmy punk" or whatever that's been renamed to this week, but I don't know about that either, because I find a lot of those bands completely boring and Cruelster is anything but boring. I'm just going to say it's punk. That satisfies me plenty. I mean, we can do a whole analysis here: on the famous Lumpy label; goofy lyrics; band photo contains lots of Rancid memorabilia. It's punk, I don't care what imaginary subgenre it is. I'm glad the first song here is "Crisis In Local Government Part III," which is mostly a remake of "Crisis In Local Government Part II." It's quite a powerhouse of a song, but I'm really going to raise a fuss that they cut the "digging up skulls at Kiddie Park, murder in the ferris wheel long after dark" bit, which is probably my favorite Cruelster lyric. Points docked for that, sorry. As that line would imply, this band can be at times pretty locally specific– I'm not sure how "Cox Triv and Rover" will fly in, say, Los Angeles, but I like it. Interspersed throughout the record are short synth-based interludes, my favorite of which is the delightfully creepy "Laminate It Later," which actually brings to mind another point. At the end of "Why Did They Do That To Me Back Then," there's a bit where Piss and Runt (or maybe just one of them doubled, but that seems like a waste of resources) say "we thought you were in China, Yes Yes…we can sound just like you." Then "American Boots For Who" starts and I started thinking "wait, this actually sounds more like Nathan than it does Mike" and then that cast doubt over the whole thing. I'm not sure who it is in the lead on "Laminate It Later." My guess would've been Alex, but now I really don't know. It's gotta be Yes Yes on "Dum Fuk," that "we!" at the end is too perfect. I'm pretty sure Yes isn't on "Coco's Secret" at all, but again, I'm completely confused. "The Pipeline Could Work" is a phenomenal tune (that "chorus" melody is perfectly obnoxious; the spoken "I think it could work!" in the middle is perfect; etc.), and along with other great songs like "Gold Studded Citizen" and the outstanding closer "Benghazi Mommy," really get into an important point. I think Lumpy included something like this in his description on his website, but this really is the perfect answer to people who said, "well, now that Trump is president, we'll get some great new punk!" Well, yes, because you got a new Cruelster record, that's very correct. I don't know if this is the political punk you were hoping for, but it's the political punk we all deserve. I really could go on about this record all day, but this review is getting really long anyway. Wonderful artwork as one would expect of Nathan and friends; I think I could spend a good hour or so just taking it all in. Huge thanks to whoever put my name on there. 4.5/5
Summer is a season when body art display works well with fashion. Some fun designs are not wanted year round, and that's when temporary tattoos can be a choice. The current 4th of July parade will feature Carabel's Lady Liberty passing out 500 lady liberty temporary tattoos. Should you receive one, the directions for application are on the back. I think you might want to apply them on the day you get it so I am letting you know how to be ready for application. Think about where you might want to see this lady, on an ankle , wrist or shoulder? The size is small, have your skin pre-scrubbed for the most lasting look, peel off the plastic, apply the design on skin and wet thoroughly. Lift the tattoo and look to see if it transferred. If not, place face down and make sure it is wet enough, rub a bit until it is. A bit of baby powder patted on the design will give it the most realistic look. Our beauty salon Carabel features a variety of designs .
Fan Fiction - I Thought You Said The Legend Wasn't Real - Just Because Records - 12 songs - cassette, download
Fan Fiction is a great name. I'm not sold on the title yet. The players here are a guy who has no Discogs page, so who knows; a guy from Prisoners (whose Discogs page won't show up for some reason and I had to go to the page for the Prisoners LP to make sure it was him– someone get on this); Joe, who put this tape out; and Drew Ritchey, who has played in a variety of good bands and is the drummer here. I can't quite come up with what genre I would call this. It's a little too power poppin' and punkin' to just be straight indie rock, but I can't call it punk or power pop or pop-punk or punk-pop either. It's somewhere in there. The songs have kind of a '90s feel to them, but differently from how, say, Cheap Clone's songs have a '90s feel. Fan Fiction might be somewhere in the continuum between Cheap Clone and Classic Sand, but also sound only mildly similar to either band. Royal Headache almost comes to mind, but also not quite. "What I'm Thinking" starts with (and comes back to later) a part that made me think these guys might sound like the Joe Jackson Band, but they do not (by the way, I mean the Joe Jackson Band of the first two albums more than "Beat Crazy," in case you were thinking I meant that Fan Fiction have some weird reggae element– they don't). There's definitely at least two people doing lead vocals here; I'm assuming Dan Whiteley and Josh Goldberg since I can't remember Joe Vecchio taking the lead when I saw them live, but maybe he did and I forgot? For some reason, I now cannot hear in my head what his voice sounds like to try and figure this out. I should've emailed him and asked him to send me a recording of him reading the newspaper or something. One of them (the one who sings lead on "Motorcycle," among several others) keeps catching me off guard because there's a certain quality to his voice that sounds almost like Adam Spektor, who is in many other bands, but not this one. I just can't figure it out. Anyway. Bright, hooky guitar pop. That's a good way to really boil it down. I think the B side is stronger (it helps that "Landlord" (the best song here, total hit) and "Bloodless Coup" are both on it), but the A side has some good material as well, particularly "Affirmation" and "Leave Guns." Overall, a listenable, hooky tape. 3.5/5
Beck Center for the Arts is pleased to announce its 2018-2019 professional theater season filled with their signature eclectic titles that include modern classics and the eighth collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University Musical Theatre program. "Maybe one of these springs I’ll feel all calm and blasé’ about our upcoming season, but that’s not this spring!” says Scott Spence, Beck Center Artistic Director (now heading into his 29th season at Beck).”I am truly ecstatic about the 2018-19 season lineup and can’t wait to hear Northeast Ohio’s take on this parade of amazing shows.”
Cheap Clone - EP - Just Because Records / Peanut Butter Records - 4 songs - 7"
From what I gathered, there's not really an official title for this one. Is it self-titled? Is it "EP?" Is it "4 Songs?" Drew told me I could make up whatever I wanted, so make sure you visit a local record store and ask for "430 Eyes, One That Smiles." Anyway. The record kicks off in a real good way with "Barely Smile," which is a great power pop tune. Pretty harmonies, a tasteful guitar solo, a nice bridge; what more do you want? "This One/That One" has a total Replacements vibe. Does Roseanna sing the bridge or did Drew's voice get even higher? Speaking of other people singing, I believe Kevin takes the lead on "Isaac Newton's Eye," which reminds me a lot of "Isolation Drills." Jaworski has a knack for singing in a key that sounds like it's not quite in tune but still somehow works (listen to that Cripple Kid 7"). "430 Miles" closes it out with another great power pop tune. I like the stop-start bits, that's a nice touch. Maybe it's just because of the other members stepping up to the mic on certain songs here, but this one feels more like a group effort than previous efforts. Did you know I saw the phrase "cheap clone" out in the wild somewhere the other day? About a guitar or something? Huh. Nice cover art, too. The Just Because/Peanut Butter collaboration strikes again. Members of 9 Shocks Terror and Counter Intuits. 4/5
(probably available at pbrecs.bandcamp.com or justbecauserecords.bandcamp.com)
Beck Center Youth Theater presents the final production of their 2017–2018 season, "Annie," May 11–20, 2018 in the Mackey Theater. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. TA special student matinee will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 17. Tickets are now on sale by calling 216.521.2540 x10 or visiting beckcenter.org
Archie & The Bunkers - Play The Damned - In The Red Recordings - 4 songs - 7", download
Obviously, The Damned rule, so you know right off the bat with this one that all the songs on it are gonna be good. I guess the way to review a covers record when the band being covered is one you already know you like is to determine whether the interpreters did a good job with it. And I have to hand it to the Archies, they did. Side A, with "See Her Tonight" (which is misspelled, it's supposed to be "Tonite," these guys must be posers) and "Problem Child" is decent, though does make me think, "I should listen to the real Damned after this." Side B, containing "Suicide" and "Sick Of This And That" is the winner here, I'd say. Both energetic, reverent takes on the tunes. I know how much these guys (particularly Cullen) love The Damned, so I wouldn't expect any less than them giving it their best. My biggest whine here is I don't really think the brothers O'Connor themselves live these lyrics, so the believability gets called into question. I don't believe either of them have ever stolen a car, for example (this also comes up again when you look at the cover photo, which just comes across as being super forced). But then, on the other hand, you look at the original "Suicide" and you have to consider that neither Dave, nor Scabies, nor the Captain have killed themselves as of the last time I checked, so maybe that's neither here nor there. I mean, these guys played with The Damned. I don't mean opened for them, I mean went to their soundcheck and did "Suicide" with them. That's gotta count for something. A fun one for the fans. 3.5/5
(intheredrecords.com; download available via midheaven.com)
After graduating from St. Ignatius and Boston College, working in 80 countries as a corporate event planner, living in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, NYC, and Telluride, I returned to my hometown of Lakewood six months ago to form a new non-profit, "American Songbook Concerts". When people ask, “Why Cleveland?” I am quick to offer, "Are you kidding? Cleveland is our country’s best kept secret! And it is a mecca for artists." This mission of our "American Songbook Concerts" is to celebrate the American Songbook, to preserve this musical treasury, and to foster it for future generations through concerts and educational workshops. We define the American Songbook as any song with both a recognizable melody and meaningful lyrics written by Americans, from the past as well as contemporary, and of any genre (e.g. standards, Broadway, rock ‘n roll, folk, gospel, film, jazz, country, rhythm & blues, patriotic, spiritual, etc.) Our first concert will be held on Mother’s Day “Songs for Mothers and Those They Love” at 4PM at Pilgrim Church, 2592 West 14th Street, in the Tremont neighborhood. We have planned it for 4PM, and it will last only 1 ½ hours, so it won’t interfere with church, brunch, or dinner.
Micah Inak, a senior at Lakewood High School currently has 20 pieces of art up in her first solo art show at The Root Café, 15118 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107 which will run from April 9th to May 6th. She will be donating 20% of all sales from the show to H2O (Help to Others), a local community volunteer group. This show is a big deal for Micah. Not only will she have a nice selection of her work on display, but one of her award winning pieces was printed on thousands of paper coffee cups which will be distributed by 11 local coffee, tea, and ice cream shops across Lakewood. The cups first became open to the public on Sunday, April 15th at the opening reception, and will be available until they run out.
Micah and her twin sister, Chelsea Inak, have volunteered for H2O off and on since 2011. Through H2O they've gotten experience being volunteers for many organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Vietnam Vets, and the Cleveland Food Bank as well as being caricature artists at the annual H2O Pumpkin Palooza event. They learned a lot about being a good community members from the program, got a lot of experience they were able to put down on college, job, and scholarship applications, and now want to give something back. "It seemed like a cool thing to do. H2O is an organization that does a lot for the community," said Micah.
Phantasy Fest will start in the Symposium at 4 PM with Hermes and then move to the Phantasy proper with American Fingertraps (aka Shitbox Jimmy). There will be an afterparty in the Chamber with DJs Himiko Gogo and Mateo Manic. Also included in the fun are an Earth Quaker pedal giveaway, tarot readings in the Phantasy’s ship, and a Taco Bell giveaway. John Valley will do some jokes. The list of bands as is follows: Hermes, Mateo Manic, Xanny Star, Truman Freeman, Sneeze Sleeve, Cotton Ponys, American Fingertraps, Part Time Lover, Heavenly Queen, Cross Brothers, Megachurch. It should be a fun time. May 5; $10. .
Cross Brothers - Living On Sheepheads - Just Because Records - 10 songs - LP, download
On one hand, I wasn't sure about this because I've never been a huge Coffinberry fan (that's where the Cross brothers themselves are from, you see), but on the other hand, Scott Pickering did the cover art, so there's something immediately worthwhile about it right there. It's not bad stuff. It's indie rock, as meaningless as that genre name is. About half-and-half 2000s indie and 90s indie, with a little bit of 80s indie in there and maybe even some 70s stuff too. What am I even talking about? Writing that sentence made all other thoughts fall apart. The tunes are well-written and well-performed. There's decent harmonies throughout and some pretty good guitar playing in several places (certain George Harrison-esque parts on "Singing Machine"; the guitar interplay on the solo of "Until"). I'm not a huge fan of the vocals, but oh well. I think my general opinion here is that I'm a fan of the songs, but not so much the style. It's a bit too…I don't know. It's not at all that the songs lack energy, because they don't, it's that they don't have the type of energy I want them to have. Does that make any sense at all? I have no idea. "In Transit," "Hard Earned Trap," "Where The Water's Fine," and "Back From The Dead" come the closest to what I'd prefer, but what can ya do. Probably something I'd like more live, I'd guess. I also wish "No White Mystery" was a diss track about the band White Mystery, though I think that's highly unlikely to be the case. Oh well. Final verdict: enough good songs to make it worth your while if this sounds like your kind of thing. 3/5
You have to understand that he was being humble when he said he could play fourteen musical instruments fluently. Mike Jacobs could make beautiful music on anything—from a broken toy saxophone to an orchestral bassoon—but he never liked bragging so he only gave himself credit for the tools into which he'd really put some work. He was so unassuming and generous with the spotlight that you probably never heard of him before, but to many of your favorite local musicians he was a legend. (Mike would have hated that word, but it tells the story.) In addition to being a well-kept secret who could rock harder than Syd Barrett and John Denver put together, he was the most joyous person most people ever met, a warm and caring friend, a crazy-eyed collaborator, an inspirational teacher and a devoted father.
Beck Center for the Arts proudly presents the regional premiere of "My First Time," March 30 through April 29, 2018 in the Studio Theater. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. There is no performance Sunday April 1. Tickets are now on sale. Buy early and save with promo code: LUCKY to receive $5 off each adult/senior ticket purchased by March 29. This smart and revealing comedy contains strong language and content.
Great Plains - The Mark, Don & Mel E.P. + 4 - Rerun Records - 12 songs - LP
I don't know if this is common knowledge amongst readers of this column or just people who actually know me, but I love Great Plains. It's kinda hard to write any review other than "Ron House 5/5" but I acknowledge that to do so would be to fail my audience, who might actually want to know something more about this. This is a reissue of the very first Great Plains record from 1983, with some additional live tracks stuck on at the end (which made this into a 33 instead of a 45, which may be cause for concern for some, but we won't dwell on that). It's pretty great. I guess at its heart it would be called "garage rock," but there's a very distinct '80s indie feel to it as well. You know, if that means anything to you. There's some upbeat garage-poppers, such as "When Do You Say Hello?" and "Pretty Dictionary" along with a mix of kind of more ominous, almost haunting songs, like "The Way She Runs A Fever" or especially "It's Dying." I kinda wanna take the whole thing with me on my next spooky road trip. The keyboard part on "Confetti" is real cool, as are the weird reverb-heavy parts. I don't think there's a single iffy or even just-okay lyric in "The Night Won't Live To See The Day," and it also has 1. the greatest opening lines ever and 2. some really nice sloppy harmonies on the chorus. The all-time classic "Cave-In" sounds like it's about to fall apart from the opening seconds of the song on, and I love when we get to the bridge and Ron just misses every note. Both of those points actually illustrate another great quality about this, which is its amateurishness, which can especially be heard on some of the live bonus tracks, which really gives the band a lot of heart. I don't believe "Seven Days All Night" or "Cause Without The Rebel" were ever studio-recorded (which is a real shame about the former, given the sound quality of the live recording here doesn't quite do it justice– "Cause" sounds pretty good though). I mean, unless you want to count the Moses Carryout (or was it Twisted Shouts?) version of the latter…but was that even a studio version? I can't remember. I think the live version of "Hamburger Boy" here blows away the one from "Naked At The Buy, Sell & Trade." "I Must Have Made It All Up" provides us with some of the backstory of the mysterious bassist Hank O'Hare (actually Don Howland, who apparently was embarrassed by these recordings and didn't want his real name on them, which is ridiculous), and it's really great to hear Ron switch from being a smart-ass to singing this really sincere, sad song, and then during the bridge switch right back to "I wanna say hi to all my kids out there" and then right back into the song. The true dual-nature of Great Plains, right there. I could go on and on about this all day, but I wanna save some of my good lines for the "Born In A Barn" review. 4.5/5
Commemorating Latvia's 100 years of independence, The Cleveland Latvian Welfare Association proudly presents "The Open Suitcase Exhibit." It will take place on Sunday, April 8th from 12 to 5 p.m. at the Cleveland Latvian Hall 1385 Andrews Avenue, behind the Latvian Church (the oldest church in Lakewood, originally The Church Of The Redeemer).
Perverts Again - Friday Night Light - Total Punk - 8 songs - LP, download
I think Perverts Again were the best band in Cleveland at a certain point. And they may be again someday (look, I know that they're still playing and all, but it's not really them without Mike and Jo– sorry, fill-ins). Anyway, this is a good document of how great they are. In a way, it's sort of like the "Straight To Video" to "Our Big Party"'s "Bait & Switch": maybe the first record was packed with classics, but this one might be more cohesive as an album. Or maybe I'm just saying that because of the book version, who knows. It's got all the Pervert hallmarks, in case you were worried: catchy songs, great vocal delivery, really funny lyrics.
The 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival runs April 4 thru April 15. Most of the films will be shown at Tower City Cinemas, at Tower City in downtown Cleveland. For information go to www.clevelandfilm.org or call 1-877-304-FILM. Summaries and schedules of the 214 feature films and 250 short films from 72 countries are available. The films cover a wide variety. Something for everyone. This is the biggest film festival in Greater Cleveland, and a leading annual cultural event.
Beck Center Teen Theater continues their 2017–2018 season with "The Laramie Project," March 2–11 in the Studio Theater. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. A student matinee will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 8. Tickets are on sale now at 216.521.2540 x10 or beckcenter.org. "The Laramie Project" contains strong language and adult content.
Lakewood Young Filmmakers Academy is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering youth through the cinematic arts. LYFA offers multiple programs for kids and teens to express themselves using filmmaking as the catalyst. Students learn about filmmaking in a fun and safe environment with like-minded individuals at the Lakewood studio located at 15022 Madison Avenue. All classes and programs are taught and supervised by award-winning industry professionals.
The following programs are now accepting new applicants!
Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much.
Cleveland-based early-music ensemble Burning River Baroque will return to Lakewood this March with a performance of their Suppressed Voices: Music of the Banished. You can see this compelling program on Friday, March 23, in the chapel of the Lakewood Congregational Church (1375 West Clifton Boulevard; performance begins at 7:30 p.m.).
Beck Center for the Arts is pleased to present "HAIR," the seventh annual collaboration with the esteemed Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre Program. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the musical that introduced rock and roll to Broadway, his limited engagement runs February 9 through 25, 2018 in the Mackey Theater. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Three Wednesday and Thursday performances will take place at 8 p.m. on February 15, 21, and 22. Tickets are now on sale. Buy early and save with promo code: TRIBE to receive $5 off each adult/senior ticket purchased by February 8.