Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Video Tuesday

This week will mess with you a bit, but in a way you need to be messed with.  Staring off with SSION's Earthquake - an epic tale of love.  And speaking of love, here's a cat video by Sin Fang for Only Eyes.  Finish it up with some eye candy on the always fun San Cisco with Rocket Ship

Slowing it down a bit (a lot) with some beautiful imagery by my favorite Canadian Folk Duo - Jon & Roy for the song Let it Go off their new release

Cleveland Pride 2012

I hesitated posting anything about Pride on this blog, mostly because it wasn't about music for me - which is really kinda sad.  They had bands - but there was very little publicity, there was NO SET TIMES for any of the musicians - so you had no idea when someone you wanted to see would be coming on.  I found that incredibly annoying and disrespectful to the artists performing.

But since I technically was there, and technically there was music playing - I'm keeping with my persona promise to document all live shows I attend.  So here are some photos:

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Japandroids (6/22/12)

There was a possibility of not catching this show, since it would make three in a row.  But, it seemed like such a cool line-up with Cadence Weapon opening - who eMusic related to K-OS and K'Naan, two of my favorite rappers.  Throw in Japandroids, who are one of my favorite harder-rock bands.  Neither are genres that I get to see very much, so to get both in one night, and both coming from great (Canadian!) artists was great.  No wonder it sold out.

Cadence was awesome and was just over the moon with excitement, and it showed.  Listening to him rhyme over background electronic beats was a treat.

Cadence Weapon (6/22/12)

Things got even crazier with Japandroids, where people packed in tighter than I've ever seen.  While I don't really know Japandroid songs all that well, I really would like to after seeing how the audience responded to them.  I agree with Bill that the sound was a bit outta whack, but it didn't kill the energy.  Check it out:

Japandroids (6/22/12)

Dar Williams (6/21/12)

I couldn't have asked for a better night at Cain Park.  First we rode bikes, grabbed dinner, and got settled with our picnic on the lawn.  It was about that moment when I realized how pleased I was that we chose this experience over Nada Surf / Waters at the Beachland.  I've already heard that it was a great show, but seeing Dar again on the lawn was just what I needed.  

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Opening was Rachel Sage, who I saw ages ago at the Barking Spider, and is now a label owner, putting out music for the likes of Melissa Ferrick.   Unfortunately, she was kind of annoying with her banter, but that couldn't spoil the night.

Dar took the stage and provided a set of beautiful songs and charming banter.  I wish I had more to show from that night, but Cain Park has that militant no-camera policy.  In lieu of, here's a little clip of an older song for a newer cause:

The new video for "As Cool As I Am" by Dar Williams is a celebration of the strength of women and a powerful response to recent legislative and personal attacks. 

"Every state and every party, both men and women have found creative, resilient ways to say YES to a society that values its women (including their reproductive systems)," says Dar. "Recently, we needed to underscore this positive force in our country, so here goes!"

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Mynabirds (6/20/12)

Yet another great performer returning… I stumbled on The Mynabirds right before their last show, and was so glad I did.  On this solstice evening, Sam Goodwill opened the show (meh).  Next up was Sean Bones who were a lot of fun.  I kinda got the Ezra Furman vibe from him, with a kind of ragged swagger.  He had to work to get the audience front and center, and they would have done well with a livelier crowd.  

Sean Bones (6/20/12)

Luckily, people stayed for The Mynabirds.  I swear that Laura Burhenn has gotten even hotter since last time.  I hadn't spent much time with their new album, but it didn't matter.  The show was impeccable.  Check it out:

The Mynabirds (6/20/12)

More videos here / More photos here

Friday, June 22, 2012

University Heights Free Summer Concerts

More free area concerts announced!

University Heights free summer concerts - The Heights Observer

"University Heights free summer concerts by Simone Jasper The city of University Heights will host its Free Concert Series again this summer on the lawn in front of Wiley Middle School, or in the school auditorium on rainy days.

July concerts will take place on Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

July 5: Yiddishe Cup Klezmer Band (Eastern European Jewish folk and American swing; there will be family night activities before this performance); July 12: University Heights Symphonic Band; July 19: Blue Lunch Band (jazz and blues); July 26: University Heights Symphonic Band (there will be an ice cream social at this performance).

August concerts will take place on Thursday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Aug. 2: Frank Moravcik Polka Band; Aug. 9: The Stratophonics (rock, soul, big band and contemporary music; there will be an ice cream social at this performance); Aug. 16: Mark Grey and Northcoast Jazz Collective; Aug. 23: Clear Fork Bluegrass Quartet (there will be an ice cream social at this performance).

The concerts, which are open to University Heights residents and nonresidents, are meant to appeal to people of all ages with a variety of musical preferences."

(Continued... University Heights free summer concerts - The Heights Observer)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Free Summer Concert Series in Lakewood

Some fee live music in the area (via Cleveland Kitchen).

LAKEWOOD — The city’s Summer Band Concert Series kicks off June 24 at the bandstand in Lakewood Park, 14532 Lake Ave. 

Here is a schedule for the summer. All concerts start at 7 p.m. and are free.

June 24: Cats On Holiday

July 1: 122nd Army Band

July 4: The Lakewood Project

July 8: No concert, but The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival performs Henry VIII and As You Like It free at 7 p.m. July 7-8.

July 15: Hillcrest Concert Band

July 22: Ernie Krivda & The Fat Tuesday Big Band

July 29: Ki Allen, Lady Jazz

Aug. 5: Men of Independence

Aug. 12: Lakewood Hometown Band

In the event of rain, the Lakewood Hometown Band concert Aug. 12 will be held in the Lakewood City Hall auditorium, 12650 Detroit Ave.

Contact Cleveland Kitchen at clevelandkitchen@gmail.com.

(Continued... Lakewood announces summer concert schedule | Cleveland Kitchen)

Video Tuesday-ish

Catching up on some older, but very worthy videos.  First is Cut Copy, of which I'm not sure how new it is, but I've never seen it.  Next is a pretty sweet tune from Champagne Coast for Blood Orange.  Next is the Gossip powerhouse with Move in the Right Direction.  And of course… wait for it...

The more I listen to the new Perfume Genius, the more I like him.  And of course, how could you now when he puts his own mother in his video.


Monday, June 18, 2012

The Bowerbirds (6/12/12)

This really should have been a show for the smaller Tavern instead of the Ballroom.  Maybe that couldn't be helped, but it really would have - especially with the folk overtones of the night.  Starting out, this was my first time seeing Akron's White Pines, but was generally impressed with the dark, folk feel he brought.  Talented.

White Pines (6/12/12)

Next up was Basia Bulat, who was one of my favorite shows at the Tavern in 2010.  This time she was solo on that big stage, in that big room (very different from being with a band, on a small stage in a small room like last time).  However, she still filled it with her voice, talent and personality.  I can't wait for her next album.

Basia Bulat (6/12/12)

I wish I had the same excitement for The Bowerbirds.  In comparison to the strong openers, The Bowerbirds fell kinda flat, in particular with the vocals and energy level.  They write great songs and I love their recorded stuff, but I can't help but think the large space squashed things for them a bit.  I can still imagine seeing them in the Tavern, tearing my heart out.  Hopefully next time.

Bowerbirds (6/12/12)

Bowerbirds (6/12/12)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Video "Tuesday"

Here's some Pop goodness.  Starting off with some Marina & the Diamonds for Power & Control.  Next, I've really been enjoying the Chromatics and their smooth dance-pop sound.  Check out "These Streets Will Never Look the Same".  Following that up is the new Scissor Sisters video for Baby Come Home.

And finally, an expectedly weird bonus video from Die Antwoord

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tomorrow: Bowerbirds @ Beachland Ballroom

With so many repeat performers lately, it's good to see a brand new band.  Not that Bowerbirds are brand new, especially with 3 albums under their belt, but a first time seeing them live for me (except for that foiled Pitchfork Festival appearance).  So I'm looking forward to catching this alt-folk group at the Beachland Ballroom.  


Check out their new video for Overcome with Light - a gorgeous song.

And I'd even be recommending going to the Beachland tomorrow night without the Bowerbirds.  Opening is Basia Bulat who I gushed over seeing back in 2010 at the Beachland Tavern.  Akron's White Pines opening.  $12.

Melissa Etheridge (6/9/12)

So as I previously mentioned, if I were a good Clevelander I would have stayed in town for the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest.  However I didn't want to break a three year tradition of visiting friends and participating in the Pittsburgh Pride festivities.  This year's headliner was Melissa Etheridge, who surprisingly was performing at her first Pride (of probably of many).  I used to be a huge fan, but I didn't have high expectations for this performance.  It's been a long time, and I've gotten bored with Melissa: the "professional out musician."  I miss the early, gritty, rocking Melissa.

On the ride over, Matt had me run through the Greatest Hits to review his Melissa knowledge.  That experience really took me back and bumped up my excitement level a couple notches - especially those tracks from her first three albums (before Yes I Am).

Melissa Etheridge (6/9/12)

Melissa Etheridge (6/9/12)

The festival was an awesome experience as usual, with the Saturday night event being the main stage performance.  Melissa played a lengthy 2 1/2 hour set, but I would almost guess that an hour of it were talking about being gay.  It was exhausting.  Maybe being her first pride, she wanted to pull out every pro-gay comment/insight/battle cry that she could imagine - but seriously.  But you know what, the crowd was really into her and I ended up having a good time.

Melissa Etheridge (6/9/12)

Afterward, DJ Tracy Young took the stage and stirred up an incredible dance party.  She was just oozing good vibes and great smiles.  Total win in my book.

Melissa Etheridge (6/9/12)

Melissa Etheridge (6/9/12)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

This Weekend: Weapons of Mass Creation Fest!

A third year for the Weapons of Mass Creation Festival, which is equal part designers, speakers, and bands.  A very cool thing in Cleveland, though I'm going on hearsay because this is the third year I can't make it.  I'm a little embarrassed to say it, but since you'll be seeing here eventually - I'll actually be in Pittsburgh for Pride, seeing Melissa Etheridge perform.  Yes, seriously.  What can I say - it's a great weekend with my Yinser friends.

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But if you're in the CLE, make sure you check this out.  30+ bands and a 3 day pass for $60.  Can't beat it.  It's really pulling in some of the best local and regional talent!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Video Tuesday

fun. lives up to their bombastic sound with a dramatic love & war video for Some Nights - I can see why their show sold out at the House of Blues next week (anyone have any extra fix??).  Next us is the new video from Cosmo Jarvis - who also brought us the *great* Gay Pirates video - released his new video for Love This (presumably for the same audience wearing an outfit like that).  Finally, we'll end with a sci-fi/religious take on Hot Chip's new song Night & Day from their new release coming out on June 11th.

Bonus, some trippy Pretty Woman symbolism in this Bear in Heaven video for Sinful Nature - celebrating their Cleveland performance at the Rock Hall coming August 1st!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rock Hall 2012 Summer in the City Concert Series Announced!

Again, one of my favorite summer events here in the CLE!  The Rock Hall Summer series has boasted some of the best indie bands playing out today (Deer Tick, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Deerhunter, Trans Am, Free Energy, Das Racist, Fitz & the Tantrums, The Joy Formidable, etc. etc) and this year is no different!  Check out the 2012 list below:


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Plants & Animals (5/30/12)

Second time this month! Having just seen them in San Francisco - I was even more excited to see them back at my "home" venue.  Got some great friends to go along and had one of the best concert experiences of the past year - seriously. Bethesda opened the night, a band from Kent who's getting a shot at Bonnaroo this year.  Nights was up next and couldn't have been more opposite than Bethesda, a little more subtle and genuine - but a little heavier, more 90's rock influenced.

Nights (5/30/12)

I was beaming by the time Plants & Animals took the stage.  I was up and moving to every song - and was thrilled to see others just as excited.  Check out the clips below.

Plants & Animals (5/30/12)

He's My Brother, She's My Sister (5/29/12)

It had been almost a month since I'd been to the Beachland, and I was looking forward to getting back there for another returning band - He's My Brother, She's My Sister.  Saw them earlier this year at the same spot.  Opening was Friendly Ghosts then Oldboy.  Oldboy was a country-rock kinda band that had some nice polish - and quite the comedic front man.

Oldboy (5/29/12)

This night was all about He's My Brother, She's My Sister anyway, and they delivered their dance-inducing gypsy folk.  It's nearly impossible to not like these guys - bursting with great energy.  I can't wait to see them again.  At this rate, it might be before the end of the year.

He's My Brother, She's My Sister (5/29/12)

B-52's (5/25/12)

I probably wouldn't have gone to this show had a ticket not been provided to me.  In my little exposure to B-52's, I recognize they were innovative for their time, had a huge success with Love Shack (high school!), and then continue to have a strong following.  That's enough for me to go, and I can't say I was disappointed.  They're getting up there in age, but they still sounded good - they weren't embarrassing themselves.  By the end of the night, I was rockin' out with 'em.

B-52's (5/25/12)

Some people were really excited...

B-52's (5/25/12)

Some people weren't.

B-52's (5/25/12)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (5/22/12)

I have a hard time imagining finding a better band to close out an amazing trip…  I've seen CYHSY before (waaaay back in 2006).  With another solid new album, I knew these guys would be amazing.  Unfortunately, my phone memory was full, so not much video to prove it (and only iPhoto photos). :-(

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (5/22/12)

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (5/22/12)

Plants & Animals (5/18/12)

Ah, I'm up to San Francisco.  What a stunning city - and an excellent experience.  A major thrust of this trip was seeing a couple shows, and this one was the highlight...  I finally was getting to see Plants and Animals after falling in love with their new album The End of That.  You seriously need to check this record out.

Plants & Animals (5/18/12)

On this particular night, I ended up walking about 2 hours through SF to get here - but totally worth it (it was a gorgeous walk, with gorgeous weather as well).  After seeing Birdmonster have a stint of shows at The Bottom of the Hill, I was excited to check out the venue.  I'd definitely consider it a middle ground between the Beachland Tavern & Ballroom.

Plants & Animals (5/18/12)

Got there way early and checked out the openers.  Pretty good… but I was really just enjoying sitting in the back corner (see photo above) and chatting with some locals.  Plants & Animals got me off the stool in a hurry.  Of course it was an excellent set… check it out:

Plants & Animals (5/18/12)

Oberhofer (4/30/12)

Another repeat band!  I loved Oberhofer when I saw them open for Tapes 'n Tapes back in January '11.  Since then they have a new album and are just tearing up the indie blogs.  Their performance on this night shows why.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves, because the local openers - the Very Knees - need some recognition.  I didn't quite know what to expect, but they were one of the best opening performances I've seen in a LONG time.   I dare not even describe it here, but I definitely want to see them again - maybe even in my living room.

The Very Knees (4/30/12)

Next up was another hit indie band - Young Man.  These guys were some good indie rock.  Nothing to write home about, but I'd consider seeing them again. 

Young Man (4/30/12)

Oberhofer rocked it' like I'd expect.  These guys have such a great vibe.  They deserve all the credit they're getting.

Oberhofer (4/30/12)

Read a Cleveland Kitchen interview: http://clevelandkitchen.tumblr.com/post/22122739634/oberhofer-bands-together-cleveland-kitchen