If you haven’t checked out the best dance party in Cleveland yet - you’re missing out. Another installment of In Training at Now That’s Class!
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
I had already seen the Frontier Ruckus 5 times already, what was one more? Really. Got to catch some local bands opening, both Dolfish (Collinwood-proud) and White Pines (Akron). Dolfish was immediately intriguing to me, with his unique voice.
White Pines really amped up the night, though you can’t say they didn’t warn us.
Frontier Ruckus brought their oh-so-familar Detroit-tinged alt-folk rock once again. I’m sure there will be a 7th time.
This was supposed to be a post about a GRUM show, but as the Grog Shop sometimes goes, the show went a little too late for a weeknight. I’m sure being a dance show didn’t help. Still had a great time out, and Derek Armstrong did a great job keeping us on the dance floor.
Thanks to procrastination, I missed out on getting tickets to the Starfucker show at the Beachland Ballroom (sold out!). This was no compromise, because Valerie June is a force all her own. I love her quirky voice, producing a twang that’s as big as her hair.
Delicate Steve had several albums out earlier this decade, but decided to gestate for 5 years before putting out This Is Steve, "a collection of Seussian guitar pop instrumentals.” (Via AllMusic). It’s an interesting album and I was curious to see how that translated into a live show! Opening was Cereal Banter with their hard driving guitar sounds. Maybe not something I would seek out, but these guys were definitely in tune with their music, which is always fun to watch.
It was an eclectic performance of primarily instrumental music. Steve Marion (who is Delicate Steve) entertained us with a robust and confident set. You might even think it was a little tongue in cheek, if it wasn’t so cool.
Cate Le Bon wasn’t one of those artists I immediately connected with on first listen, but I was quick to realize that the more I listened the more I was hooked. I would have totally thought she’d play the Beachland Ballroom on her way through town, but we were treated to an intimate performance at the Happy Dog! This show was everything I was hoping it would be.
Jamiroquai popped out of nowhere with this new video for Automaton! AlunaGeorge has not slowed down with their second album, releasing the video for Not Above Love. Chance the Rapper charms us once again with Same Drugs.
Ryan Adams is back, asking the important question: Do You Still Love Me?
Finally got to a show at CODA, the new music venue in Tremont! Even better, it was the beginning of their new Electronic Music Series! I had loved his show at Mahalls back in May, and was thrilled to see this new incarnation with Stephan Haluska. Check out the video!
I was also there long enough to catch some of the sparseness of Christopher Bissonnette as well...
I’m already looking forward to the next show in the series… Some other photos:
I received a request from some friends in Columbus to come down and see (Cleveland’s own!) Welshly Arms at Rumba Cafe. So glad I did, having another mutual friend fly in for this impromptu weekend. Opening was Nick D’ & the Believers. I’m sure with the right crowd, these guys could really have some fun, but it was a little low key this night. Still, they worked out a decent set, throwing in this cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancin’ in the Dark.
Strangely enough, as popular as Welshly Arms has gotten over this past year, I still hadn’t seen them in concert. They have an intense, gritty blues rock sound. I can see why they’re getting noticed!
I saw Great Good Fine OK open for Penguin Prison back July 2015. I remember them being upbeat and fun, so I figured why not when I saw they were headlining a Saturday night show at the Beachland Tavern! Opening was Flor, a west coast indie pop rock band with great energy.
Great Good Fine OK really amped up their game as the headliner this night - big light show and all. It was a fun mix of upbeat stuff (check out the trombone solo!), so you couldn’t really go wrong with this evening.
Goldfrapp is finally back (!!!) with a new video for Anymore. Wild Beasts isn’t holding back with the release of their video for Alpha Female. As usual, M.I.A. pulls off another visually stunning video for P.O.W.A!
Bonus: Toothless is an offshoot from Bombay Bicycle Club, with a new video for Sisyphus.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Austra has a great new video, looking at depression, for her new song I Love You More Than You Love Yourself. Milky Chance had a great day in beautiful San Francisco for this Doing Good video. Sylvan Esso are still kicking out videos, including this great one for Kick Jump Twist.
Bonus: Young Thug released this video (really?) for Wyclef Jean - a take on a music video that is truly unique.
It’s not just nostalgia…
"But the conventional wisdom is too simplistic, as it so often is. Across the board, consumers who weren’t even around when these technologies first lost their prominence are driving their resurgence. How can a 15-year-old be nostalgic for a turntable, when her parents never owned one in the first place? How can you accuse a 25-year-old computer programmer of being lost in the past, simply because he collects hip-hop 45s in his spare time?
If nostalgia more broadly understood plays a role, though, that’s a bad thing only if you believe that progress ought to move in a linear direction.
"How can a 15-year-old be nostalgic for a turntable, when her parents never owned one in the first place?"
In today’s rapidly innovative, digitally driven economy, reverence for the old stands in opposition to the Utopian futurism at the heart of Silicon Valley. The past is relevant only in terms of how quickly you speed away from it, and as long as Moore’s Law holds steady — doubling the speed of processors and halving their cost every 18 months — the only hardware and software that truly matters is the next version. No one pines for Windows 2.0, or the iPhone 4; progress is a one-way street, and anyone who dares to reverse course is a Luddite."
Monday, February 20, 2017
Sampha has a great new album out, and this is the first video out for (No One Knows Me) Like The Piano. Ani DiFranco released her new video for Deferred Gratification (more detail here)! Troye Sivan is back with a little LGBT history in his new video for Heaven with Betty Who.
Bonus: Dev Hynes is getting no rest lately, also collaborating with Brandon Cook as VeilHymn.
I have this habit of ignoring bands that get a lot of attention. Not in some elitist sort of way, but if they hadn’t already caught my attention for some reason, I don’t feel the need to dig into their catalog to try and discover them. That’s how I felt about Nickel Creek. They were bluegrass darlings and everyone knew them. When the band members starting going their own ways, I still didn’t pay much attention to Sara Watkins. My friend Tim in Kent is a huge Nickel Creek fan, and when I saw she was coming I figured why not. I started digging into her new album and was impressed! Seeing her live only sealed the deal for me, putting Sara up there as a top performer I would see again. I’m probably one of the few people at the show who knew more of her stuff than the Nickel Creek stuff. I imagine that trend will continue.
Check out the other super-cool party happening at Now That’s Class every month! I was able to catch some of Chelsea Pastel’s set, enough to make me want to catch her again with Lorine Chia at the Grog Shop next Tuesday.
I love these kind of surprise shows, ones that I come about them just by searching for a show to see on a particular night. I couldn’t have been more pleased. Both Brooke Annibale and Margaret Glaspy were amazing singer songwriters and performers. I highly recommend checking their stuff out, and check out Brooke who will be coming back to open for the Great Lake Swimmers (!!!!) at the Beachland on 4/14.
Margaret has a voice and style that can really tug at your soul - whether it’s her song or not. Check out the Lauryn Hill & Neil Young covers!