Tonight (4/30) at the House of Blues!!
I was lucky enough to grab some front row seats to Joan Armatrading on her last major tour - and I don't expect her to pull a Cher either. This time she performed solo on stage and had no problem commanding attention with her (still) amazing musicianship and witty banter. In addition to a full repertoire of songs, we were also treated to some great visuals and stories of her herstory. I'm so glad I've discovered her music and have been able to see her several times in concert.
I was lucky enough to attend, but unfortunately forgot my phone for this marathon 6 hour event. Thankfully Matt had his to document the experience, otherwise it's like I wasn't even there. :-P After a great Record Store Day that morning, the excitement continued to this event... Overall, this was a phenomenal experience, with an impressive list of venerable artists. Go Cleveland!
Forgot about this show… whoops. Opening was Icky Blossoms, who has some great recorded music! I was really pumped for these guys, but their live show had a slow start. By the end of their set, I started to see why I liked them in the first place. Just took some warming up.
Reptar is a fun band. I can’t say this show was all the memorable, but I love their eclectic style...
Sufjan Stevens returned to Cleveland with a new album in tow. His new release, Carrie & Lowell, is a consistantly light & delicate album - much like his performance. Also like the album, the show was precise and extremely polished (great visuals & lighting!). Also, I couldn’t have been more proud of a Cleveland audience - you could could have heard a pin drop in that auditorium, for the entire length of the show.
I was recently in Seattle for work, and was able to pad some time to visit with friends while I was there. As usual, I looked for some live shows… Not much was happening while I was there, but I did see they had a local rap showcase at The Crocodile - which looked like an excellent venue. It was only $5! There was some great stuff there...
While that was the only official show I saw, I did find some musical entertainment with this guy as well… Quite the setup.
This was supposed to be a “House Concert” but this show actually took place in the Superelectric space at the 78th street studios. Alex Ounsworth was as a little sheepish as usual, but talented as always. Wasn’t necessarily a great space for an acoustic show, but overall worth it! He is still one of my favorite songwriters and vocalists!
I had high hopes for this show, especially with such an eclectic lineup. We unfortunately only caught one song by CHAPPO, but it was enough to be interested to see them next time.
ON an ON were pretty good, but I guess it says something if I don’t remember much of their show - but I was there with a good group of friends, so I did have some distractions.
Big Data full on embraced our current technology empire, with non-stop visuals of Google, Hulu, YouTube, etc… The were high energy and lots of fun. Roll the tape!
Hot Chip has a fun, iterative video for Need You Now. I don’t know much about Will Young (a UK Pop Idol), but I’m liking this new song/video! Will Young will easily be able to start a Love Revolution with this new track & video. Young Fathers has an intense new video for SHAME.
Bonus: I’m still acclimating to this new Roisin Murphy, but I have high hopes it starts to resonate with me. Here’s here video for Exploitation
This new video for Ezra Furman’s Restless Year is everything. Major Lazer is back again, this time with MØ and a new video for Lean On. Modest Mouse has a chaotic, yet complling new video for Lampshades on Fire.
Bonus: If you can past the opening of this video, there’s some pretty great stuff on this FKA Twigs - who I’m still not quite sure about yet.
I’ve been a fan of Deer Tick for some time, and a big part of that is John McCauley. Well, he's also in this little super-group called Diamond Rugs. They are definitely a party band - but one that some weight behind it... and this would be a great show for the Grog Shop. In fact, I’m surprised it hasn’t sold out yet.
New Madrid is opening and these guys have a fun buzzed out rock sound. I’d lovingly classify both these bands as altered-state rock bands. New Madrid is herbal and Diamond Rugs more hoppy.
I saw Reptar open for The Faint (5/22/14) and loved them! Their new album sounds great as well… so this headlining show has definitely been on my radar.
Continuing their exploration of indie-electro-guitar-pop-weirdness, Reptar returns with their second full-length album, Lurid Glow, out March 31st on Joyful Noise Recordings. A diverse amalgamation of sounds and styles delineate the music of Reptar, culminating from the band’s disparate array of influences. Comparisons can be made to bands like Talking Heads and MGMT, but Reptar simultaneously showcases musicianship in the heritage of Frank Zappa, Rush, Mike Patton, and Tortoise - creating a blend of party music suitable for music nerds.
The tough part is that I also want to go to the Grog Shop on Wednesday for the Diamond Rug show as well. So then the question then becomes, how good will the openers be and will they sway me to going out on this night? Well, I then discovered these 3 amazing videos for Icky Blossoms - who are the middle opener! I think these just secured my attendance at this show. (The second one is NSFW!!)
The Grog Shop site didn’t have much on the very first band, but these two are enough to bring me out.
I’ve been really pleased with what I’ve been hearing on Cleveland’s newest online-only radio station: oWOWnow.com
It’s a nice mix if indie pop/rock, with some great live, deep cuts as well. And of course I love their hyper-local approach and I think they’re representing Cleveland well. Here’s some other local coverage:
"The station will feature several on-air personalities and will offer special programming such as Friday Night Live, seven hours of pre-recorded live concert music.
‘It will be a combination of live music from albums that anyone can buy plus some unreleased live material,’ Gorman says. ‘It’s a mix of everything. We are slowly building our own archives. At ’MMS, we had an incredible archive that went back to the ’70s.’ "
"CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Two Northeast Ohio radio veterans, John Gorman and Jim Marchyshyn, announced the launch of a new Internet rock radio station called oWOW that will be housed in the 78th Street Studios in Cleveland's Gordon Square Arts District. It is set to go live Friday at owownow.com.
A press release issued Thursday described oWOW, with an Adult Album Alternative format, as a 'regionally based, hyperlocal, online radio station, presenting 'timeless' rock music, featuring the best of new, current, recent, and classics. oWow will serve Cleveland/Akron/Canton and Youngstown ... creating the United States' 18th largest advertising market.'"
I think this is going to be a pretty epic night. Big Data has been making waves lately, especially with star-studded (almost) guest vocals on their most recent album. This isn’t a real video - but the song is great and these guys are going to be fun live - I hope!
The middle band for the night is On And On. I think these sound like an electrified Fleet Foxes! Again, should be fun.
CHAPPO is opening up the night. I’ve probably received more promo emails on these guys, than anyone else recently. I think these are jus working it right now, and with a write up like this - I’m intrigued:
With a Flaming Lips meets the Killers vibe, CHAPPO's synth take on west coast psychedelia bring us from the 60's into galaxies far away. Now the band moves on to support the release of their latest LP, FUTURE FORMER SELF with their lead single, "Hang On". Entertainment Weekly says the slow-building single, "proves how cosmic CHAPPO can be, setting countryish slide guitars adrift in a synthesizer nebula."
Had a great night at the sold out Shakey Graves show at the Beachland. Nikki Lane opened up and she seems quite the force of nature. Strong voice and some strong passion - exactly what you want in an alt-country performer.
Shakey Graves is a true performer. He’s one of those guys who I feel like they can’t (or shouldn’t) be doing anything else. I would easily put him up there with the likes of Dan Bern and Plants & Animals. Passionate and playful. I can see why he’s getting a lot of attention lately...
Hot on the heals of a New Pornographers release, Kathryn Calder is back on the solo scene with a new album and this video for Take A Little Time. Just discovering this Avid Dancer with a delicate and balanced new song (& video) for All Your Words Are Gone. Jose González has his new video for Leaf Off / The Cave.
Bonus: tUne-yArDs new video for Wait For A Minute