Thursday, August 10, 2017

Article: Say hi to Songkick Travel

I’m a big fan of Songkick, and always use it when traveling.  Nice to see they’re making it even easier.

Songkicktravel

"That’s why we built Songkick Travel. Tell it when and where you’re going, and we’ll serve up the incredible concerts happening whilst you’re there.

You can even filter by your Songkick username to see which of your tracked artists are in town. Heck, you might even be sharing a hotel.

So if you’re planning your next city break / business trip / pizza pilgrimage, take Songkick Travel for a spin and unlock the live music scene."

(Via Say hi to Songkick Travel – Songkick.)

Video Day #tzachill

Ani DiFranco just released another (!!) new video off her new album Binary, for the title track.  Jon & Roy, my favorite Canadian folk duo, has a new album and a new video for Runner.  Ibeyi is back with a new album (coming out soon) and are dropping this new video for Away Away.

BONUS:  Van William (WATERS) and First Aid Kit put out this great new song (and video) for Revolution.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Drums (8/4/17)

I was already lucky enough to hit 2 free shows this week.  When The Drums appeared as a third, I was happy to take it!  I had already been eyeing this show anyway, because  I remember liking them when I saw them back in 2011.  Their new stuff has been pretty good and their sound was fitting right in with my current mood. I would say that they sound like what The Smiths would sound like if they grew up in California in the 90’s.  Really.  What a great night of music and friends.

The Drums (8/4/17)
The Drums (8/4/17)

Opening was NE-HI.  These guys were pretty good, and had quite the massive end to their set (video below).


NE-HI (8/4/17)

 

Little Dragon (8/2/17)

WOW.  After a mediocre Tegan and Sara show at HOB on Monday, it was so refreshing to be at this Little Dragon show!  Before we get to that, Xavier Omär opened.  It was just him singing with a DJ on stage.  There were some mixed feelings about his performance amongst friends, but he was really putting himself out there and I can respect that.

Xavier Omär (8/2/17)

So Little Dragon.  It has been a little over 7 years since I’ve seen them live (at the Grog Shop!).  I guess they were originally booked for the Beachland Ballroom this time, but changed venues for “production value.”  Based on the show they put on at House of Blues, I can kinda see it - if only for costume changes alone.  So musically, they were on fire. It was different, fresh, and passionate.  I even had in my notes, “the consummate alt art indie pop band.”  I guess was really feeling it.  And some of that may be due to the venue not being as full as for Tegan & Sara.  There was plenty of room on the floor for dancing, which also has much better sound than the edges of the space where you’re at (if you’re me) if it’s busy.   I already can’t wait to see them again.

Little Dragon (8/2/17)


Little Dragon (8/2/17)

Little Dragon (8/2/17)

I took a LOT of photos.  You can see the rest of them here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tegan & Sara (7/31/17)

Tegan & Sara are one of those bands that I was lucky enough to see back in 2004 at the Grog Shop (before I even started blogging).  I’ve seen them a handful of times since, but it’s really hard to top that early show.  My first documented time seeing them was in 2005, and I can’t believe that poor little video clip is still working!  Since then, the venues and albums have fluctuated.  This show at the House of Blues was not on the top of my list, but having a press pass is a luxury for the House of Blues.

Opening was Japanese Breakfast, a woman from Oregon who was the former lead singer for Little Big League.  I’e been enjoying her album, and it was great to hear that Cleveland is her favorite city in the US (to tour, I believe).  She talked about the basement shows, playing at a bowling alley (Mahalls!) and a skate park (Now That’s Class!), etc.  While I had been enjoying the album, the live performance was perfectly fine.

Japanese Breakfast (7/31/17)

Japanese Breakfast (7/31/17)

Tegan & Sara just came off a 5 day straight tour, and you could tell (especially from the photo trench).  I wish I could say something remarkable about this show.  Other then the fun inflatables on stage, I can’t really say there was much difference between this show and the others I’ve seen, particularly as they seemed to focus on their older songs for this show (tour?).  But then again, maybe I can blame it on the venue.  You can read Cleveland.com’s take on the show below as well.

Tegan & Sara (7/31/17)
Tegan & Sara (7/31/17)
Tegan & Sara (7/31/17)

(the rest of the photos are here)

"Tegan and Sara performed a range of their pop-driven indie songs, including 'Goodbye, Goodbye' and 'Closer.'

At times, this electronic edge was a little over-the-top; the duo threw in some unneeded synths and rocket ship sounds to the originally acoustic 'Living Room.' Really, the only acoustic song that the band performed was 'Call It Off,' and the crowd loudly sang along.

But besides their songs, Tegan and Sara always made time to speak up about things that mattered to them. They mentioned donating money to LGBT charities, off of an upcoming 'The Con' cover album they'll be releasing. And they repeatedly encouraged the crowd to check out their opening band, Japanese Breakfast, once they got home."

(Via Tegan and Sara mix stage banter and pop songs at Cleveland show (photos) | cleveland.com.)

The Shins (7/29/17)

I felt like something had been up with the Agora lately, as they’ve been scheduling some bigger names - like The Shins!  The first thing I noticed upon entering were the ominous metal detectors and bag checkers.  Blah.  Not cool.  And speaking of not cool - the space was sweltering hot on this evening.  But that’s not really why we’re here.

I was thrilled to be seeing the Shins this past Saturday, but I was equally excited to be seeing Tennis open!  These guys have been putting out some infections pop albums lately, and just keep getting better and better.  Her voice just felt effervescent and effortless.  I’m really looking forward too seeing these guys in a headlining show.

Tennis (7/29/17)

In preparation for this show, I went back through my Shins catalog and was reminded just how much I like these guys.  Though I guess it’s all about James Mercer, with the lineup changes lately.  But still - what a great songwriter and performer.  And that set!  Check out the shots and video, and catch a couple quotes from the local media below!

The Shins (7/29/17)
The Shins (7/29/17)

"One of the biggest highlights of the night was ‘Phantom Limb,’ a song which drew huge yelps as soon as Mercer introduced the song. Fans waved their arms along to one of the band’s best-known tracks. Mercer dedicated the next song to a friend due to join the Navy, and he exploded into ‘Simple Song,’ the first song to get the crowd jumping around. The tune concluded with Mercer raising his guitar above his head as he received a loud, standing ovation before the band departed the stage."

(Via Rousing Performance at the Agora Shows the Shins Haven't Lost Their Spark | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

"But the highlight of the concert had to have been the combination of 'Sleeping Lessons' with a short cover of Tom Petty's 'American Girl,' seamlessly tied together with the similar chords that Mercer was strumming.

Overall, The Shins mixed enough new tunes to keep their act fresh, but threw in enough nostalgia to satisfy their long-standing indie fans."

(Via The Shins combined new and nostalgic for indie fans' delight at Agora concert (photos) | cleveland.com.)

Article: AEG takes over historic Agora Theatre on Friday

 Wait - what?  How did I miss this??

Agora

"Of course, the biggest impact will be the influx of AEG, the world's second-largest concert promoter, into a city alongside Live Nation, the world's largest concert promoter.

'We're excited about joining a market where we've not had a presence to date,'' said Trell, a native of Columbus who is intimately familiar with the legacy begun by LoConti in 1966, which included a Columbus Agora. 'We view it as an important market.''

'Hank [was] a guy who was revered in the industry,'' said Trell. 'His passing'' - LoConti died almost exactly four years ago after a battle with lymphoma - 'was very said.

'We're not looking to do anything to detract from the history or the legacy of the venue,'' said Trell.

Trell and Zitterbart both pointed out that the power of AEG means an opportunity to tap new and better bands for the venue. Almost like LoConti's storied 'Agora Circuit,'' where artists and bands played Agoras in various cities during the institution's heyday, AEG can use its multiple venues as a sort of circuit as well, making it easier to book artists for entire tours at AEG clubs and theaters."

(Via AEG takes over historic Agora Theatre on Friday | cleveland.com.)

I wish I could get excited about this… 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Mokoomba (7/26/17)

A last-minute tip off for this show came with mixed blessings.  Focusing on the positive side, discovering an seeing Mokoomba was a real treat!  This Zimbabwean band, performing their Afro-fusioni music outside as part of the Ohio City Stages via Transformer Station, could not have been any more perfect for an outside show on this summer’s eve.  Throw in some good beers and the ability to bring my dog… amazing.  I really need to keep a closer eye on the concerts the Cleveland Museum of Art are putting out!

Mokoomba (7/26/17)

Mokoomba (7/26/17)

Mokoomba (7/26/17)

 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Everyone just woke up this morning in a tizzy (rightfully so) over Charlie XCX’s new video with and for Boys… LOTS of boys.  Kiesza is back with a fun new video for Give It To The Moment (feat. Djemba Djemba).  Cut Copy is finally putting out some new music with his video for Airborne.

Bonus:  Holy Fuck releases the first new video from their upcoming release on 10/21!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Andrew Bird / Esperanza Spalding (7/25/17)

Last night was such a gorgeous night for a show at Cain Park!  Esperanza Spalding’s performance was fresh & effervescent, performing with a new band just for this tour with Andrew Bird.  You would have never known it.

Esperanza Spalding (7/25/17)

This was my 3rd or 4th (5th?) time seeing Andrew Bird.  In preparation, I was going back through his catalog and it reminded me how good his albums are!  The live show was decent, but I can’t say it was anything particularly spectacular.  Thankfully the weather was.

Andrew Bird (7/25/17)

Article: Cleveland internet radio station oWOW channels WMMS' past with a twist

"Gorman went online in 2014 with oWOW Cleveland, an internet station billing itself as the 'sweet spot between classic rock and indie rock.' Making the story more interesting is that oWOW is one of a handful of stations bucking conventional wisdom and aiming to make internet radio local."

(Via Cleveland internet radio station oWOW channels WMMS' past with a twist | cleveland.com.)

I’ve been a big fan of oWOW Radio (despite the name) since they started streaming.  Hard to believe it’s been going since 2014!  This is quite an extensive write-up, and I’m glad to hear they’re still doing well!

I also like seeing how they’re partnering up with local companies, like this series with Music Box!

Owowhappyhour

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pitchfork Music Festival 2017

Another year, another Pitchfork Music Festival.  This may have been one of the best, with headliners being LCD Soundsystem, A Tribe Called Quest, and Solange!  I’m not often swayed by the headliners, as they’re usually someone I’ve already seen before - but this year was different! 

Non-headlining favorites this year:  Dawn Richard, Kamaiyah, Arca, Mitski, Madlib, Kilo Kish, Colin Stetson, Hamilton Leithauser, Jamila Woods, and Nicolas Jaar!  Check them out.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2017

Pitchfork Music Festival 2017

Pitchfork Music Festival 2017

More of my photos here.  Pitchfork has a nice gallery of better photos available here.

Some Cleveland press on the event too!

"Pitchfork returned to Chicago's Union Park this past weekend for its annual summer music festival, and we were there to experience it all.

The music website's festival has evolved a lot since its early heavy indie-rock leaning origins, and the lineup reflected the change with an eclectic mix of up-and-coming artists spanning multiple genres. In the past, they have prided themselves on booking acts before they blow up, but this year might have been one of the most established lineups yet, with three-day passes selling out before the festival took place."

(Via Pitchfork Music Festival 2017 Brought Out the Masses to See LCD Soundsystem, A Tribe Called Quest and Solange | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

Article: The Oral History of Lilith Fair, As Told By the Women Who Lived It

 One of my favorite music experiences of all time.  What a great trip down memory lane… 

Lilith entertainment

"The Oral History of Lilith Fair, As Told By the Women Who Lived It By Melissa Maerz July 5, 2017

Imagine many of the country’s most influential women all gathered together to stand up for gender equality on a national stage. There are stars performing before a massive crowd, Planned Parenthood booths (along with protesters), and reporters from news outlets analyzing what this event says about the state of women’s rights. Sounds like a scene from the Women’s March on Washington—but it actually occurred 20 years ago this summer with the debut of Lilith Fair, a music festival designed to give women the same lucrative touring gigs as men. Cofounded by singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, this multicity tour broke new ground, from the all-female talent lineup that promoters said would never work, to the controversies it ignited in the media about race and feminism. Here McLachlan and some of her fellow Lilith performers talk candidly about a cultural movement lauded by fans for its feminist ideals and lambasted by critics for its lack of diversity. And a new generation of performers reflect on the legacy of Lilith Fair and why their own fight for equality in the music industry continues."

(Via The Oral History of Lilith Fair, As Told By the Women Who Lived It | Glamour.)

 

 

 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Article: Is Sofar Sounds The Uber Of House Concerts?

I’ve always been curious about these Sofar Sounds shows, but they have eluded me - so far. :-P  I’ve also been curious about their seemingly meteoric rise into so many cities - which now makes sense knowing they had millions in venture funding.  However, only compensating artists with just a video is unacceptable.  I was once optimistic about this organization, but that is waning.

SoFar

"This unpermitted, homespun gig probably sounds familiar to participants in independent music. Unusually, though, it was coordinated by a start-up underwritten by millions in venture capital, Sofar Sounds. And though each attendee paid $15-$30 to attend, the artists will be compensated with some footage of their performance."

(Via Is Sofar Sounds The Uber Of House Concerts? - hypebot.)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Digisaurus (7/7/17)

I hadn’t heard of Digisaurus before, but that name caught my eye.  Once I realized they were a pop, dance, rock band - and that they’d be coming to CODA in Tremont, I was sold.  It’s not often I’m in that part of town for a show, so it was a particular treat (especially dinner at Ty Fun!).  While the Tremont area seemed to be bustling on this Friday night, it didn’t seem to make it's down into the venue.  This would have really helped the show.  

Digisaurus (7/7/14)


Digisaurus (7/7/14)

Digisaurus (7/7/14)

I especially want to give a shout out to Marcus Brathwaite for an excellent post-show DJ set!  Where you going to be next??

Digisaurus (7/7/14)

Ronnie Foster Organ Trio (7/1/17)

Ronnie Foster Organ Trio was a show highly recommended by Vanessa Rubin, which was all I needed to hear. So good, and so fun.

Ronnie Foster Organ Trio (7/1/17)

Ronnie Foster Organ Trio (7/1/17)

Church Girls (6/21/17)

Another night at Gabe’s in Iowa City.  I’m beginning to really love this place, especially since their shows this week were all free!  I was able to catch the Church Girls, a “female-led dreamy indie rock from Philadelphia.”  While headlining the bill, they performed second on the bill.

Finishing out the night were The Nomadic Youth, and exuberant young band from Iowa.

The Nomadic Youth (6/21/17)

 

Wood & Wire (6/20/17)

Recently I was able to travel to Iowa City, Iowa for a rare books & manuscripts conference for work.  As with any travel I look for local venues and concerts, but unfortunately Iowa City didn’t have a whole lot to offer during this mid-week venture.  Luckily, I was able to catch Wood & Wire (for free!) at Gabe’s - a place that turned into a regular haunt during my stay.  These guys truly sound like “homegrown bluegrass band from Austin, TX.”  Or as much as I could imagine one sounds like…  Either way - a great night away from Cleveland.

Wood & Wire (6/20/17)

Wood & Wire (6/20/17)

 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Fischerspooner is back (!!) with a new album (SIR, out 9/22) and a new video for their first single Have Fun Tonight.  STRFKR just released a new video for Satellite.  Run the Jewels tell the truth in their new video for Don’t Get Captured!

Bonus:  Cleveland’s own Welshly Arms just released a bad-ass (and slick!) new video for Legendary

Friday, July 7, 2017

Video Day #tzaupbeat

The new SZA album is AWESOME, just as is her new video for Drew Barrymore (coming to Cleveland on 12/13!)!  BAIO is back with his sophomore album coming soon, from which this new video for PHILOSOPHY! is showing some promise for it.  An epic new sci-fi video from ODESZA for Line Of Sight (feat. WYNNE & Mansionair).

BONUS:  While I love RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’ll admit most of the music coming from the Queens is lackluster.  This video however is the cheeky fun that I’d hope for from these three as The AAA Girls

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Steel Yard SoundSystem Launch Party (6/17/17)

I read about this dancehall party in Scene Magazine and couldn’t resist the seeing this wall of speakers, and the Cleveland CycleWerks space hosting this event! It was still hot as blazes, and there were NO seats - but who should be sitting anyway??
 
Steel Yard SoundSystem Launch Party (6/17/17)
 

Larchmere Porchfest 2017

I wasn’t really in capture mode at this year’s Larchmere Porchfest.  Probably because it was hot as blazes, but the neighborhood was alive and kickin’.  Some really great music as usual!

Larchmere Porch Fest 2017

Larchmere Porch Fest 2017

Larchmere Porch Fest 2017

Euclid Beach Live (6/16/17)

Incredibly, I finally had my first experience with Euclid Beach Live (and Euclid Beach)!  What a great experience, and one I’d recommend.  Thought I’d share a couple photos...

Euclid Beach Live (6/16/17)

Euclid Beach Live (6/16/17)

Damien Jurado (6/12/17)

Damien Jurado is one of those artists that were on my periphery, that is until I saw he was coming to the Beachland Ballroom.  I dug into his catalog and was so thoroughly impressed.  Particularly with his new album, Visions of Us on the Land.  It has this great psych-folk sound to it that really stands out.  With only him on stage, I was curious how that sound would translate.  After realizing some battery pack in his guitar was out of juice, he opted to perform the whole show acoustically.  While I’d love to hear what those batteries provided, I couldn’t have asked for a better performance.  He’s very personable and a great storyteller (obviously). 

Damien Jurado (6/12/17)
Damien Jurado (6/12/17)

I also really appreciated his new touring concept of 50 states. Saying how he’s been in this game long enough that the “major market tours” were no longer satisfying, and he was compelled to spend more time in each of our 50 states.  In Ohio alone, he was hitting like 6 different cities!  What a novel and awesome concept.  I was bummed I didn’t make it to his Akron performance at Hive Mind that following Sunday (and I’m wondering if he kept it acoustic?).

Sean Rowe (6/8/17)

I’d been following Sean Rowe for some time, ever since I heard Flying:

Several albums later, and with a new album that finds him really hitting his stride, I was over the moon being able to see him at the Beachland Tavern.  So soulful and compelling.  Take a listen, and go see him whenever you have the chance!

Sean Rowe (6/8/17)

Sean Rowe (6/8/17)

(I wish the photos had come out better!)

Nelsonville Music Festival 2017

I’ve been hearing about the Nelsonville Music Festival for several years from some friends in Columbus.  And ever year, I salivate over the lineup this little festival would get.  After reading this below, I knew I had to make it there, and soon before anything changed. 

This festival may be the largest non-profit festival in the country, with over 15,000 people taking part over four days, the eclectic mix of artists that perform cover a wide range of music [… ] The festival itself is community-based and barely has any major corporate sponsorship.

Nelsonville Music Festival: May 28-31, 2015 Via CMJ)

What an incredible experience.  Going from the urban, dance, house environment in downtown Detroit - directly to a rural, camping folk festival in rural Ohio was a little jarring, but in the best way possible.  I’ll also give a big shout out to the group of friends that provided me with instant companionship and camaraderie.  I could have asked for a better introduction.  I captured many performances on my YouTube channel, but some of my favorites are here:

Here’s also an assemblage of other random clips from the weekend.

And then some photos… The rest are on my Flickr page.

Nelsonville Music Festival 2017

Nelsonville Music Festival 2017

Nelsonville Music Festival 2017

Nelsonville Music Festival 2017

Nelsonville Music Festival 2017

Nelsonville Music Festival 2017

Nelsonville Music Festival 2017